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ACOUSTIC WEEK: So, you want to buy an acoustic guitar?
We've plucked the best guitars we've reviewed over the last three years to show you the very best of what's out there.
We're starting today with guitars under £500 (that's around $790), for those among you who don't have too much cash to splash.
How did we choose these guitars?
Every guitar in this guide has been reviewed within the last three years and has gained a minimum of a 4.5 star rating. That means we feel their build quality, sound, playability and value for money are not in question at their relative price points.
A guitar’s scale length is important because it has a direct effect on the tension of the strings and therefore how the instrument feels to play: the longer the scale length, the higher the tension of the strings for a given pitch.
In terms of tone, all things being equal (which they rarely are!) a longer-scale-length guitar will tend to have more pronounced string separation and clarity to single notes; compare a Martin 000-28 with an OM-21 for example. To measure a scale length, measure from the inside edge of the nut to the centre of the 12th fret, then double it.
We’ve quoted the nut widths for every guitar, as it’s a significant factor in playability. To the right are common widths in both metric and imperial sizes – different makers use different units. You’ll be amazed how different a millimetre or two across the nut can feel!
A note on prices
The prices we’ve quoted are the manufacturers’ suggested retail prices, correct at the time of the original review. Some official SRPs will have gone up slightly, while many advertised/web prices from retailers will be lower.