The top 4 Acoustic Guitars under $1000

I thought it would be impossible - my initial challenge

I thought it would be impossible to narrow down this "under $1000" field to the few most excellent acoustic guitar models, but after what seemed to be endless research, playing, listening and comparing my very "picky" quality specifications with those of other consumers around the US and the world, I am finally proud to present the cream that has risen to the top . . .

My top 4 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Choices for under $1000

I have searched different Dreadnought models (Dreadnought is an industry standard full size guitar based off Martin Guitar standards) high and low, and have come up with 4 distinct winners in the categories of:

  • Best Complete Value
  • Best Tone Quality and EQ Balance 
  • Best Comparison to Models twice the price and higher
  • Best Playability at all skill levels
  • Best Craftsmanship
  • Best Life Expectancy (great guitars can actually get better with age)

#1 Yamaha A3R Acoustic Electric with SRT (Studio Response Technology)

The Yamaha A3R Acoustic Electric with SRT combines the best of the acoustic and studio recording worlds with their professional built-in pickup system technology.

Of our top picks under $1000, this is our new #1 pick because it combines both solid Rosewood back and sides, Colid Sitka Spruce Top, and an un-matched microphone - piezo pickup blender which produces the perfect acoustic sound when miced or plugged in.

We had just recently learned about Yamaha's new SRT system which is like having3 different professional recording studio microphones with multiple combinations of output and EQ settings built in.  Even without the SRT, this guitar is a beautiful and quality made acoustic dreadnought (full size) guitar and is easily better than other top manufacturers of "under $1000" guitars, including Taylor and Martin, in our opinion . . . Read our Complete Review (including the SRT review)

or Read more about the Bundle at (the only value bundle online)

#2 BlueRidge BR-160 Historic Dreadnought Guitar

The Blueridge BR-160 Historic Dreadnought Guitar has been called the "Poor Man's Martin" and now we know why.

Of these 4 Top Picks, this one boasts solid back and sides made of East Indian Rosewood for the deepest bass projection, the fullest sound of all 4 models, and the most "Martinesque" of the 3 (but does not touch the Yamaha's SRT if you want to plug the guitar in).

Blueridge BR-160 Historic Dreadnaught Guitar - Lowest Price is at

I have found that anyone can get a Martin quality guitar and Martin sound without paying a Martin price.  This Blueridge BR-160 Model offers a Martin Quality Sound at less than half the price of a Martin with similar tonewoods and craftsmanship.

Honestly, a while back, I had never really given Blueridge guitars much notice because they are not among some of the top name brands that I was used to seeing and hearing about in music and guitar stores as well as online forums around the world.  Wow, was I ever surprised that this would quickly become one of my top picks for a high quality guitar under $1,000. . .  Read our Complete Review

or  Read more about it at   


#3 Breedlove Studio D25 SME (Cutaway with Electronic Pickup) Pick

   The Breedlove Studio D25 SME - best price is at

The Breedlove Studio D25 SME is the Dreadnought that is built so well it "just keeps ringing" when strummed with open chords as one owner recently boasted.  And, that is a great test for the craftsmanship and quality of tonewoods for any acoustic guitar.  Strum an open G or E chord and listen to how long the soundbox (body) resonates and vibrates.  Though that is not the only quality test for summing up an acoustic guitar's quality, it is a great start.  

Other tests include "playability" and intonation while moving  up the fretboard (does the guitar stay in tune when you chord and play up the neck and when you place a capo on the guitar).  All 3 of the guitars picked in this top 3 review keep great intonation all along the fretboard, which equates to fine craftsmanship and excellent set-up before leaving the factory (set-up being the height of the strings as determined by the truss rod setting, the nut height and the saddle height) . . . Read our Complete Review

or Read more about it at    

#4 Taylor 110 e (with ES-T Expression System Pickup)


The Taylor 110 Dreadnought - best price offered at

Get a Taylor Quality Sound for well under $800 - Standard Dreadnought Body Size & Style

Skill level - Playability: Excellent guitar for the beginner or intermediate player looking to get a better long-term sound, pleasure and investment than a less expensive guitar, or for the professional who is looking for a second quality guitar on a budget and does not want to sacrifice playability, tone quality and sound projection.  You really won't "outgrow" this model. . . that's how well these Taylors are built.  This one also projects quality balance tone for studio recording when miced w ith a quality condenser microphone.  Additionally, Taylor's electronic version (the Taylor 110e)  of this model are ideal for the stage and recording as well.  As one would expect from a Bob Taylor qulaity crafted guitar, it boasts great action (playability) with full sound for flat-picking- strumming and finger-picking – it is truly very versatile and serves all playing styles well. . . Read our Complete Review

or  Read more about it at