Expect to see some well known brands in this price category.
While $1000 can land you a name brand top quality acoustic electric guitar, you don’t have to spend that much.
$300 will do, and it will do very nicely!
With a little more quality, and little more pizzazz, you’ll be rocking an affordable acoustic-electric guitar with a solid reputation.
We’ve found the jazziest lineup in this price category!
The Top Electric-Acoustic Guitars for Less Than $300
Any one of the guitars in this lineup would be an excellent first-time acoustic electric guitar for a beginner. We even have some good options that are probably more inline with what you’re wanting to spend. Beginners will love the options we’ve laid out.
You’ll get a quick taste of what a little extra bucks can do for quality and sound. Intermediates will be happy here to rock a little more and jam a little harder as they carve out their own signature grooves. Even pros might find themselves attached to a jammin’ guitar in this price range to bear the burdens that they wouldn’t dare demand of their much more expensive guitars.
We did say $300 is all you need. It caters to all levels of guitarists, and we’re here to prove it!
7 Best Acoustic Electric Guitars Under $300
1. Yamaha FGX800C – Top Pick
- Solid Sitka Spruce Top
- Nato Back & Sides
- Rosewood Fingerboard & Bridge
It was tough competition between this one and its vying competitor, the Yamaha Thinline acoustic electric guitar. But, don’t be disappointed since you’ll see it here yet.
The one downside is that this guitar with the Nato body and Natural finish is the only guitar in this series that lands it in the under $300 range. Any other finish and you’re looking at a jump up in cost. But, that’s pedantry if you’re not overly concerned with aesthetics.
The FGX800C sports a new scalloped x bracing design that completely redefines sound for the FGX line. With an ability to richen and reach natural tonality across the lows and mids while still maintaining durability to the solid top, you’ve got yourself a good versatile guitar where no style of playing is off limits.
This new guitar kept everything that was so popular on the FGX700 series, but its new and improved features have earned it a spot in this lineup. Worth 300 bucks? Oh yeah!
2. Yamaha APX600 Acoustic-Electric Guitar
If you are a fan of the APX500III then you are in for a treat! The much-anticipated APX600 has taken all the good from the APX500II and built on it, giving you a phenomenal balance of both playability and fantastic sound.
✔️ What we like: Thin build & terrific build quality
❌ What we don’t like: Design minimizes low bass frequencies
- Abalone soundhole rosette
- Highly acclaimed SRT transducer
- Under-saddle piezo pickup
- Thin-line cutaway body
- Rosewood fingerboard
Yamaha has done an exceptional job with the design of this guitar. It’s smaller and its thin-line body is a leap forward in terms of comfort. Furthermore, its cutaway allows you full mobility to access the entire length of the neck without any issues.
Not only does the design produce a powerful and full sound, but the electronics also do an impressive job of translating that raw sound on stage and in the studio. The APX600 has been decked out with an SRT transducer from the highly acclaimed Series A range, producing tones that are overflowing with the uncompromised acoustic character of your guitar.
While the design of the body does a great job of producing a bright sound, the APX oval soundhole is responsible for thickening that lower-mid response. This, along with the new non-scalloped x-bracing design, adds bass response and gives the guitar a full, natural tone.
The guitar has been designed with comfort in mind and this is even seen in the reduced scale length of 25’’ and narrower string spacing. However, this may work against some players who struggle with precise finger placement or have larger hands. Another thing to note is that the APX600’s top is made from laminated spruce. While laminated tops are not uncommon in this price range, it would still be great to see a solid wood top.
A standout feature of this guitar is its rosewood fingerboard, which some players prefer over the other common choice of maple. The APX600 also boasts a beautiful abalone soundhole rosette, giving the guitar its own unique flair while also preventing vibration loss. If you were a fan of the APX500III or just want a fantastic and solid guitar, the APX600 has proven to be nothing short of a remarkable guitar.
3. Alvarez AD30CE Acoustic Electric Guitar
Hailing from the internationally-renowned “Award Winning Artist Series”, the Alvarez AD30CE delivers professional quality at an entry-level price. The AD30CE distinguishes itself with masterful craftsmanship and sound-optimizing features that will enhance your playing experience.
✔️ What we like: High-grade bracing & rich sound quality.
❌ What we don’t like: Inconsistent quality of strings.
- Professional-grade in-built tuner
- Excellent craftmanship
- Solid Sitka spruce top
- Amazing tonal quality
The Alvarez AD30CE features a solid high-grade Sitka spruce top, which creates an amazing tone quality that will maximise your riffs. Paired with the hand-selected mahogany sides and neck, plus rosewood fingerboard, this selection of highest-quality woods ensures a balanced feel and sound. You can play confidently, knowing that your guitar is founded on durability, excellent craftsmanship, and respect for the sound.
The advanced bracing system, featuring a forward shifted X brace design and scalloped edges, ensures that the Alvarez AD30CE delivers on structural integrity. Its design creates a larger soundboard and solid foundation, ensuring the power and reliability of the guitar. You will appreciate this attention to detail when you feel how secure and powerful the instrument feels in your hands.
The Alvarez AD30CE also features a professional-grade B-BAND SYS250 EQ with built in backlit tuner, which eliminates any synthetic noise. This ensures that you are producing only the most organic and impressive sound when you take to the stage.
The only thing to watch out for with the AD30CE is the inconsistency of string quality. You should take care to test all of your strings upon purchase, as some players have reported a low buzzing sound from some strings.
Overall, the Alvarez AD30CE delivers a top quality product with expert craftsmanship at an entry level price. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional, the AD30CE will not disappoint.
5. Ovation AB24-RR
- New for 2017
- Ovation Lyrachord Mid-Depth Cutaway, Ovangkol Fingerboard
- Applause by Ovation CE304T with three band EQ and built in tuner, Ovation Under the Saddle Piezo Pickup
More inline with an affordable price for beginners, the Ovation AB24-RR acoustic electric guitar is a win-win when it comes to cost, performance, and playability. With a round back lyrachord shape with a cutaway, you know you’re getting yourself a guitar from the AB24 series – a decent buy.
With some genuine TLC, the Ovation guitar can be yours for a long time to come. Beginners will get a lot of practice time, and they’ll quickly learn the tricks of the trade, thanks to the good on-board tuner.
Even better, the guitar still remains well under 300 dollars when you buy it as a kit. In fact, we strongly encourage you to buy it as a kit – the savings can’t be compared. Granted, there’s no included case or bag of any kind, but you will get some much-needed accessories. Check out the full review if you think it deserves your applause or your money!
6. Luna Henna Paradise A/E Select Spruce
The Luna Henna Paradise A/E Select Spruce has set the music world abuzz with its folk body style, sleek look, and C-shape neck. You’ll love it if you’re just learning how to play the guitar because it’s affordable, attractive, easy to use, and it creates stunning sounds. Even professional musicians adore this guitar because it pulsates with melodic reverberations in front of a live audience.
✔️ What we like: Gorgeous craftsmanship and stunning henna design.
❌ What we don’t like: The guitar bag is quite flimsy and may require replacement.
- Effective pre-amp and in-built tuning device.
- Bargain basement price
- Authentic Luna guitar
- Great sound and easy to play
The Luna Henna Paradise A/E Select Spruce is the perfect guitar for beginner guitarists just starting out and experts who’ve mastered their craft.
The gorgeous henna design immediately stands out. The designer chose medieval Spanish artwork for the Paradise, which provides the appearance of cultural diversity. Its beautiful folk body design, spruce top, and mahogany back and sides imbue this guitar with character, presence, and a measure of uniqueness rarely seen in an inexpensive guitar of this caliber.
Besides its stunning looks, the Henna Paradise A/E Select Spruce creates tuneful tones that tickle the eardrums while delivering pleasant sounding music.
Whether practicing solo, jamming with friends, or playing live in front of an audience of rabid fans, the Luna SL-3 pre-amp system doesn’t disappoint. In fact, it comes with a built-in tuner, which makes it easier than ever to blast impressive amplified sounds that’ll make your audience scream for an encore.
The bag was the only negative aspect of this otherwise exciting bundle. It’s durable enough to protect the guitar from dust and scratches. But the zipper leaves a lot to be desired because it was loose, jiggly and unstable, and about to fall off. You might be better off buying another bag with a better zipper and sturdy padding. Otherwise this acoustic/electric guitar bundle is an absolute bargain for such high-quality merchandise.
7. Ovation Applause Standard AB24II
The Applause line from Ovation has been committed to giving you more bang for your buck since day one, and the Ovation Applause Standard AB24II is no different. This guitar is great for beginners and intermediates, with its smooth sound and no-fuss playability.
✔️ What we like: Great value for money
❌ What we don’t like: Some customers have reported bad quality tuners
- Lyrachord body
- Mid-depth cutaway design
- Electronics offer incredible tone clarity
- Durable and robust
I think we can all agree that the playability of a guitar is key when choosing between the many guitars on the market. The Applause AB24II tackles this head-on by giving you a fast neck, created by the narrow nut and the mahogany neck with a satin finish. On top of that, the Applause guitars feature a 10’’ radius. This gives you a more accurate electric guitar feel if that is what you’re after, as well as making chords easier to play.
These Applause guitars are also well-equipped to deal with all of your plugged-in performances. This is achieved by the unique combination of the Ovation Slimline pickup and the CE304T Preamp, which give you bass, mid and treble sliders for you to individualize your sound. Tuning is made easy with the built-in tuner and a low-battery indicator to ensure that you are always prepared for public sessions.
The Ovation Applause Standard sound is characterized by a robust Lyrachord body, fitted with a laminated spruce top and scalloped x-bracing. All these components come together to give you an optimal response, undeniable power and a natural acoustic tone. This guitar embraces that classic Ovation sound by giving you all the best of note clarity while still retaining its subtle tonal complexities.
This is a guitar that excels in giving you exactly what you need. Whether you’re in need of a reliable guitar to shred on stage or you want to throw it in the back of your car for a spontaneous camping trip, you can’t go wrong with the Ovation Applause Standard.
What to Expect in The Under 300 Dollar Price Range
In this price range, quality isn’t cranked up too much when comparing it to acoustic electric guitars in the under $200 price range. However, there are a few things worth noting that your extra hundred bucks can get you. Keep a lookout for these features if you’re determined to make the most of your dollar.
- Tone woods: Laminate is typically your choice of wood in this price range. However, solid tops can be found on the higher end of this budget.
- Quality: There might always be complaint about quality, especially the build, in this price range. Ensure that vital components, like the neck, aren’t the source of poor quality control. Cosmetic blemishes are acceptable unless you have a vain streak in you.
- Sound: Being more aware of how a guitar in this price range will sound is key to getting the best buy. Ensure you are alert to its tonal abilities and/or the lack of.
- Electronics: The preamps and pickups are going to be acceptable in this price range. There’s not much you can do, because upgrading can cost you more than what your guitar is worth.
- Accessories: Most accessories in this price range are going to be mediocre, so you may want to invest in higher-quality accessories if you plan on purchasing better instruments in the future. However, if you’re getting a package for a steal, take it and improvise.
- Brand: For $300, you might want to be a little more brand-specific. Ensure warranties are in order, and ensure the guitar has the appropriate value for the features it sports.
Premium Sound in Beginner Turf!
This price range is on the heavy end for a beginner player looking for a first-time purchase. However, the $300 acoustic electric guitars here are happily accepted by a variety of players with differing skill levels.
Know how and where you want to use your guitar, and you might just be surprised that you can achieve premium sound with a really nice, souped-up entry-level guitar!
- Yamaha Silent Guitar Review – SLG200S Acoustic Electric Guitar (Bodiless Design & Steel String)
- Yamaha FGX800C Review – Solid Top Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar
- Yamaha APXT2 Review – 3/4-Size Acoustic-Electric Guitar Less Than $200
- Yamaha APX500III Review – Top Quality Thinline Acoustic Electric Guitar
- Yamaha A3R Review – A-Series Dreadnought Cutaway Acoustic Electric Guitar
Simon is a music lover, musical instrument player and passionate audio afficionado. When he is not playing the guitar or listening to music he is either eating tacos or snoring too loudly.