2018 Buyer's Guide

The Best Acoustic Guitar of 2018

2018 Buyer's Guide

The Best Acoustic Guitar of 2018

by Heeyoun

Acoustic guitars make some of the most beautiful music in the world. They can be used to play a variety of types of music, from rock and roll to classical. Whether you have just taken an interest in playing the acoustic guitar, or played a while ago and are interested in starting playing again and want to get a new one, you are going to find that choosing an acoustic guitar can be a bit of a challenge. There are so many types of acoustic guitars on the market, which can make it difficult to choose the best one for your specific needs. How can you decide which one will work the best for you and allow you to play the music that you love? – By reading this buyer’s guide. To help you on your quest for finding the best acoustic guitar, we have put together this handy buyer’s guide. This guide highlights everything you need to know about acoustic guitars, including the different types that are available, the factors to consider when choosing one, the features that they can offer and the best brands on the market. With the information presented in this buyer’s guide, you will be well on your way to finding the best acoustic guitar for your specific needs.

Types of Acoustic Guitars

In order to find the best acoustic guitar that will allow you to play the music that you love, and will allow you to play the most comfortable, the first thing you need to do is understand that there are different types of acoustic guitars.

Acoustic guitars can be differentiated by their shape. The shape of the guitar affects the tonality, the volume and the playability of the guitar. There are six main types of acoustic guitars, which include:

  • The classical acoustic guitar
  • The dreadnought acoustic guitar
  • The concert acoustic guitar
  • The grand auditorium acoustic guitar
  • The jumbo acoustic guitar
  • The mini or travel acoustic guitar

Below, you will find a detailed description of each of these types of acoustic guitars.

The Classical Acoustic Guitar

Classical guitars have nylon strings and are built to be played only with nylon strings. Classical guitars also tend to have a wider fretboard, which makes fingerpicking easier. The fretboard also tends to join the body at the 12th fret, as opposed to the fretboard of other types of acoustic guitars, which tend to join to the body at the 14th fret. This type of acoustic guitar is usually smaller in size than acoustic guitars that use steel strings. This is typically the first type of guitar that people start playing on, as the nylon strings are easier to manipulate, as is the smaller size.

The Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

The dreadnought shape is one of the most popular acoustic guitar shapes available. The shape of this type of acoustic guitar is defined by a very large soundboard, which has a very ‘un-curvy’ shape, unlike other types of acoustic guitars. In other words, it has a wide, less defined waist than other acoustic shapes, which gives it a squarer look. Because of the large soundboard, dreadnoughts produce a louder sound and a ‘boomier’ type of sound than other guitar shapes. Dreadnought acoustic guitars are very popular for playing rock and bluegrass music. It is predominantly used for flat-picking and strumming. Though fingerstyle playing isn’t as common on this type of acoustic guitar, you can play that way, too (though it is not as suited for this type of playing as other types of acoustic guitars.) In regard to playability, the dreadnought acoustic guitar can be harder to hold, which can make it harder to play, particularly for beginners and those who have a smaller stature; however, their necks do tend to be very narrow, which can make it easier for smaller hands to play, but more difficult for fingerpicking.

The Concerto Acoustic Guitar

The concert guitar, also known as the “0” for acoustic guitar, has a smaller body and usually has a lower bout width of about 13 1/2 inches. The concert acoustic guitar shape is more similar to the classical guitar shape and has a narrower, more defined waist than the dreadnought style, but it still has a larger lower bout than a classical guitar. It has a smaller soundboard, so it produces a quieter sound, but it produces a more rounded tone. It is less bass heavy than the dreadnought acoustic guitar, and the narrower waist width helps to add more definition to the sound. This type of acoustic guitars is great for playing fingerstyle. This type of acoustic guitar is easier for those who have a smaller stature to play.

The Grand Auditorium Acoustic Guitar

Next to dreadnoughts, the grand auditorium acoustic guitar is the most popular type of acoustic guitar because it can be used to play a variety of styles of music. In terms of size, this body type is in between the dreadnought and the concert acoustic guitar, with a 15-inch width at the lower bout, though this can vary. They are generally quite similar in shape to the concert-style but just with that larger lower bout. A grand auditorium has about the same lower bout dimensions and body length as a dreadnought acoustic guitar, but it has a narrower, which makes the overall body size of this type of acoustic guitar smaller. This grand auditorium acoustic guitar offers a great balance between volume, tone and playability. The size and shape also make it a great all-rounder guitar, as fingerstyle, strumming and flat picking are all easy to do on the grand auditorium acoustic guitar.

The Jumbo Acoustic Guitar

The jumbo acoustic guitar is the largest of all types of acoustic guitars. Often referred to as the ‘cowboy guitar’, it was a popular choice for country and rock-a-Billy artists in the 1940’s and 1950’s. This type of acoustic guitar can be up to 17 inches in size at the lower bout. In terms of size, the jumbo acoustic guitar rivals the dreadnought, but in terms of shape, it is more like the grand auditorium acoustic guitar. The lower bout does give it its own distinctive shape. Jumbo acoustic guitars are great for strumming and they produce a lot of volumes.

The Mini Acoustic Guitar

This type of acoustic guitar is basically a shrunken down dreadnought acoustic guitar or grand auditorium acoustic guitar. It is perfect for players who have a smaller stature. It is also great for travelling with, as the smaller size makes it more portable.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Acoustic Guitar

In order to choose the best acoustic guitar for your specific needs, there are a number of factors that you are going to want to take into consideration. Some of the most important factors that you are going to want to take into consideration include the size of the neck, the ‘action’ of the guitar, and the sound the guitar makes, among other things. By taking these factors into consideration, you will be able to choose the best acoustic guitar for your needs. Here is a look at some of the most important factors that we think you should take into consideration when choosing an acoustic guitar.

The Type of Music You Want to Play

The first thing you are going to want to take into consideration is the type of music you want to play with your acoustic guitar. As mentioned above in the ‘types’ section of this buyer’s guide, different guitar shapes play different types of music. Make sure you know what type of music and sound you want the guitar to make before you choose the type of guitar that you want to purchase.

The Neck

You also want to consider the size of the neck. The neck is important because this is what you will be holing whilst you are playing, and you want it to be as comfortable as possible.

The Fretboard

You also want to make sure that the fretboard is comfortable and that you can easily wrap your fingers around it so that you can play the notes that you want to play.

The “Action” of the Acoustic Guitar

Another important factor to take into consideration when choosing an acoustic guitar is the “action.” Action basically refers to the space between the strings and the fretboard. If the action is too high, it can be difficult to press the strings down onto the fretboard; if it is too low, the strings can catch onto other frets, which can create a buzzing sound when you are playing.

How Well it Stays in Tune

There is nothing more annoying than playing an acoustic guitar that doesn’t stay in tune. When you are shopping for a guitar, make sure you play it for a while before purchasing it. By doing so, you will be able to determine whether or not it stays in tune. Keep in mind that the strings on samples are usually played and worn out, so you may want to ask to have the strings replaced so that you can really get a good idea of whether or not the guitar will stay in tune while you are playing it.

The Size of the Acoustic Guitar

Another important factor to consider is the size of the acoustic guitar. Acoustic guitars vary in size, and the size will have a direct impact on your ability to comfortably play. Make sure you test out the guitar before you buy it so that you can determine whether or not the size is appropriate for your needs.

The Type of Wood the Acoustic Guitar is Made Out Of

The type of wood that the acoustic guitar is made out of will have a serious impact on the sound quality. The sound is created when you strum the strings and they vibrate the bridge. Different types of wood vibrate in different ways. Laminated veneer is often used for acoustic guitars. It is usually inexpensive, but it doesn’t produce the best sound. Solid wood is also used to create acoustic guitars, which offers better resonation, more clarity and an overall better sound; however, solid wood is more expensive than laminated veneer.

The Cost

Of course, you also want to consider the cost of the acoustic guitar. They can vary widely in price, and you want to make sure that you know how much you want to spend before you start shopping so you don’t overextend your budget. Generally, the larger and more specialized the acoustic guitar is, the more features it offers, and the better the quality of material that it is constructed out of, the more expensive the guitar will be.

Features Acoustic Guitars Can Offer

The features that acoustic guitars can offer are related to the elements that are used to amplify the sound. These features include pickups and microphone connections. The more features that the acoustic guitar offers, the more expensive it will be, which is important to keep in mind. Here is a look at some of the most common features acoustic guitars can offer.

Electromagnetic Sound Hole Pickups

This is the most basic feature that an acoustic guitar can offer. As the name implies, it fits into the sound hole of the guitar. It senses the movement of the strings through a magnetic field, which then amplifies the sound.

The Microphone Pickup

This type of pickup captures the sound that the guitar produces and converts it into an electrical signal, which can then be amplified.

Contact Pickups

This type of pickup is placed directly onto the guitar. It detects and converts vibrations of the guitar into an electrical signal, which then amplifies the sound.

The Best Acoustic Guitar Brands

There are several manufacturers that make acoustic guitars. Here is a look at some of the best manufacturers on the market today.

Yamaha

This company produces high-quality guitars at an affordable price. They make all types of acoustic guitars and they are constructed of durable materials.

Fender

Fender is one of the best-known brands in the guitar industry. Their guitars are durable, expertly constructed and use the best quality materials possible to offer exceptional sound.

Gibson

Another highly regarded name in the guitar industry, Gibson produces outstanding acoustic guitars. This name is the preferred choice of many musicians, including famous ones. Their acoustic guitars are constructed of excellent materials and provide a range of features.

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