Best Acoustic Guitar Under 500


The Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar with Hard Shell Case and Guitar Stand is my #1 pick for best acoustic guitar under $500  

After reviewing dozens of guitars in the $400 to $500 price range, this Seagull S6 Original Acoustic guitar bundle (with hardhshell case and stand) is easily the best acoustic guitar under $500.
In fact, the guitar alone (without a case or stand) retails for only about $419, and consistently receives 5 star reviews from other owners across different sites and reviews.
When I first held and played a Seagull S6, I was not expecting such an amazing feel and response from an under $500 acoustic guitar.  In fact, because of the solid cedar top and polished finish, it rings more crisp and true, the harder you strum it! (which is a good test of craftsmanship)  
* Some more inferior guitars get muddled, buzz, or reveal intonation issues when you really open up and strum them hard, but the harder you play on this beautiful Seagull S6 Original guitar, the better it sounds (this is a nice test you can perform on any guitar, by testing the response and intonation during quiet, subtle play versus really jamming hard on the strings, to see if it stays in tune and to listen if all of the strings resonate in a balanced, intonation).
A little bit of background: Seagull guitars are made in a tiny town of about +/- 500 people, in LaPatrie, Ontario Canada. About 50% of the residents of LaPatrie work at the Seagull factory.  Owned by Godin Guitars, the parent company, you will find the same fine craftsmanship one would find in an $800 to $1000 guitar in this best acoustic guitar under $500 model.
This guitar is an excellent fit for players of ALL levels including:
1- A beginner who does not want to have to upgrade guitars as he or she becomes more advanced
2- Any style guitar player including - rhythm player, blues player, finger-picker, jazz, contemporary, rock, classical etc.
3- Intermediate or professional who is seeking an $800 to $1000 quality guitar for half the cost
5- Player wanting a professional sounding guitar for under $500
When I originally picked up a Seagull S6, a friend of mine swore by them, but I was a bit skeptical.  However, because I already owned a $3000 Canadian acoustic from another, high end manufacturer, I was open to the possibility of other quality guitars coming out of Canada.  
Boy was I surprised at the playability, the beautiful finish, the quality, the sound, and the feel of the guitar.  This thing resonates and sings when you play it. I just wish I had one of these when I was back in college, versus my $375 Fender I had at the time.  The projection, beauty, playability and obvious quality craftsmanship of this Seagull S6 was easily 2-1/2 to 3 times better than the $375 Fender I owned.
The Seagull S6 with hard shell case and stand is also the winner of many quality awards, and it should be.  Seagull and Godin do not cut corners when it comes to quality materials and craftsmanship.  Being one of their "flagship" acoustic guitars, the Seagull company says the S6 Original represents the quality philosophy that all other Seagull guitar models follow.
This guitar bundle, at $450, easily possess the quality and playability of many guitars that are priced around $800.
Specs on the "ingredients" and craftsmanship:
best-acoustic-guitar-under-500-seagull-s6-topThe Top is bright, crisp and responsive- made from quality, straight grained Cedar
The Back and Sides are made from Canadian Wild Cherry- sounding similar to Mahogany and Maple (crisp mid and top end)
best-acoustic-guitar-under-500-seagull-s6-neck-jointThe Neck is hand crafted from Silver Leaf Maple for strength, long life & stability resisting the ~180 lb string tension 
The Tuners are fine quality, chrome, for long life and stabile tuning in all kinds of environments
best-acoustic-guitar-under-500-seagull-s6-backThe Fingerboard & Bridge is made from dark, beautiful Rosewood for beauty and smooth, professional feel and playability
The Nut and Saddle is made from Tusq® while the saddle is compensated to stay in tune along the entire neck
best-acoustic-guitar-under-500-seagull-s6-compensated-saddleThe Truss Rod is double functioning / adjustable both ways for the best personal setup and long life 
The Finish is Semi-Gloss, Custom Polished featuring a great, crisp, bell-like projection that will improve with age
 best-acoustic-guitar-under-500-seagull-s6-tuners-headThe Scale Size is slightly shorter than standard dreadnoughts at 24.84"

What some recent buyers have said:

-high quality. great sound. worth the money.  - Pineyan
-This was a gift for my husband. Not only did he love it but thought I spent twice the amount of money on it that I actually did.  - M. Brown
-Sounds as good as guitars costing twice and three times as much - Roger J.
-When I touched this very fine Canadian wood, I knew from the begining that I was handling a fine musical instrument.  - J. Santos
seagull-s6-original-bag-standAlthough the best protection for any acoustic guitar is keeping it in a solid, hard shell case, you can also purchase the Seagull S6 with a nice Gig Bag and stand for about $419 (a $75 combined value if bought separately).
Some people prefer the lighter gig bag, versus a hard shell case, for a lot of gigs and traveling, where they are more responsible and know that the guitar will not be piled with a bunch of other items or knocked around.  If you travel a lot, a hard shell case is heavier and more bulky, but it will protect your guitar better than a gig bag.
The tubular guitar stand is light-weight, and can dis-assemble, and comes with this package as well as the hardhsell package above.
The Seagull S6 Gig Bag has reinforced / padded sides to protect the guitar during short travel, and as long as other goods are not piled up on it.  The bag has a nice clean, professional look with black and brown synthetic fabrics, and is embroidered with the Seagull Logo and Brand.  The bag also has additional pocket space for picks, books, sheet music, tools, cords, and all other smaller acoustic guitar or gig items you would normally need for a gig.
You can also purchase the Seagull S6 alone for $419, but it does not make much sense to buy the guitar without a case or gig bag.
The Gig Bag and guitar stand retail for $75 separately, but this complete package with the Gig Bag and Stand is available for about $419.  

This same Seagull S6 guitar with the Hard shell Case is available for about $449 here at Amazon.