As we’ve just suggested, for every individual ‘the best acoustic guitar’ will be different. This is why we’ve split some of the top guitars on the market into relevant categories.

You’ll find it easier to navigate to the category that interests you the most, bypassing those guitars out of your budget or too basic.

Before we get started if you are in the market for an electric guitar instead of an acoustic, don’t worry we have them covered in our extensive electric guitars page elsewhere on Guitar Fella.

The same goes for nylon-stringed acoustics

You will no longer find them on this page because we have a new chart dedicated solely to classical guitars.

Body shape

  • Parlor – Parlor guitars have small compact bodies and have been described as “punchy” sounding with a delicate tone. It normally has 12 open frets. The smaller body makes the parlor a more comfortable option for players who find large body guitars uncomfortable.
  • Auditorium – Similar in dimensions to the dreadnought body shape, but with a much more pronounced waist. The shifting of the waist provides different tones to stand out. The auditorium body shape is a newer body when compared to the other shapes such as dreadnought.
  • Dreadnought – This is the classic guitar body shape. The style was designed by acoustic guitars to produce a deeper sound than "classic"-style guitars, with very resonant bass. Used for over 100 years, it is still the most popular body style for acoustic guitars.[citation needed] The body is large and the waist of the guitar is not as pronounced as the auditorium and grand concert bodies. This allows mid-range frequencies to stand out, helping the guitar cut through an ensemble of instruments.
  • Range – The smallest common body shape, sometimes called a mini jumbo, is three-quarters the size of a jumbo-shaped guitar. A range shape typically has a rounded back to improve projection for the smaller body. The smaller body and scale length make the range guitar an option for players who struggle with larger body guitars.
  • Grand Concert – This mid-sized body shape is not as deep as other full-size guitars, but has a full waist. Because of the smaller body, grand concert guitars have a more controlled overtone and are often used for its sound projection when recording.
  • Jumbo – The largest standard guitar body shape found on acoustic guitars. The large body provides more punch and volume while accenting the “boomy” low end of the guitar. Jumbo is bigger than a Grand Auditorium but similarly proportioned, and is generally designed to provide a deep tone similar to a dreadnought's.
It was designed by Gibson to compete with the dreadnought, but with maximum resonant space for greater volume and sustain. These come at the expense of being oversized, with a very deep sounding box, and thus somewhat more difficult to play.[citation needed] The foremost example of the style is the Gibson J-200, but like the dreadnought, most guitar manufacturers have at least one jumbo model.

Takamine EF360S-TT

Innovation, tone and a touch of vintage is what’s on offer with this delightful high-end Takamine electro-acoustic. As we discuss further in the full Takamine EF360S-TT review, the Japanese brand includes a solid spruce top treated with its Thermal Top aging process.

Here, the wood is baked at high heat, opening it up for a full and distinctive vintage tone. This warm tone is naturally replicated through an amplifier thanks to the on-board electronics featuring Takamine’s Pathetic pickup and TLD-2 line driver preamp.

In fact, the whole experience feels very premium, with appropriate vintage appointments and a fast-playing mahogany neck, with an ebony fretboard and 20 frets. It also comes with a nice hard-shell case. Excellent!

Martin 16 Series D-16GT

There is always room for an American-made all-solid-wood Martin on any chart here at Guitar Fella, with the higher-end D-16GT from the iconic brand’s respected 16 Series hugely impressing.

It features a simple but elegant design, with a traditional dreadnought body made from solid Sitka spruce and solid mahogany, finished with a polished gloss on the top. The hardware is on point, with sturdy Martin tuners and an included Martin 345 hard-shell case.

However, as we highlight in the complete D-16GT review it’s the sound that impresses the most on this beauty, with a big, booming low-end which is warm and articulate. Such a rich guitar, it’s hard not to smile as you play.