Acoustic Electric Guitar Under $300

The Best Acoustic Electric Guitar Under $300

Guitars can be very expensive, and getting the perfect one for you can be quite a challenge. If you are just starting out, you may not be quite sure what to look at. But one thing is for sure: you want to get a decent guitar.

The main consideration when you are buying a guitar is that it must feel comfortable to hold and to play. Nothing is worse than handling a guitar that is too big or small for you, or one that just doesn’t feel right in your hands for some reason. Go out and hold a few guitars to see what feels comfortable for you.

Second, you want the perfect sound. It must be a loud sound that carries, is acoustically tuned, and is well rounded. Then you want to have a look at the pickup. It should reproduce the sound that your guitar makes, just louder.

Last but not least, consider what it looks like. These days, you have so many different looks for guitars, so you will definitely be able to find what you are looking for. Some guitar series also come in different colors, so your options are virtually endless.

Best Acoustic Electric Guitar

In this guide, we will look at 6 guitars that are perfect if you are just starting out and don’t want to break the bank with your new hobby. All of these guitars come in at under $300, so let’s check them out!

The Yamaha APXT2 3/4-Size Acoustic-Electric Guitar

For a beginner, this Yamaha is a great package. Not only will you get a guitar, but also a carrier bag that protects your guitar from scratches. Just keep in mind that you should handle it carefully, as it is not a hard case. Along with the guitar purchase itself, you will receive a shoulder strap that is great if you want to be walking around or enjoy more stability while playing.

The Austin Bazaar instructional DVD also teaches you the ropes of playing your new guitar. A few other bonuses included are the extra strings, clip on tuner, and some extra picks. Basically, you get the whole starter pack in one purchase.

As for the guitar itself, it features an all-natural, classy look with Meranti sides and back. The neck of the guitar is made from mahogany or Nato wood, and the fingerboard is made from rosewood.

This guitar is a ¾ size so it is perfect for a youngster or a smaller built person to play with, as it will be easier to handle. Even though it is smaller, it still produces a great quality of sound and the pickup will make sure to carry that sound over the PA or speaker system. The proprietary tuner is very sensitive and has a great accuracy that allows for quick tuning.

Specifications

  • Weight – 6.9 pounds
  • Dimensions – 41 x 5x 17inches
  • Color – Natural
  • Hand Orientation – Right
  • Strings – 6

Pros

  • Small design makes is great for kids
  • Great option for a beginner – everything you require is included

Cons

  • Very small design, better for a child
  • Pins doesn’t stay in place
  • Difficult to tune
  • Lacks the rich, full sound of a larger guitar

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The Fender FA-125CE Dreadnought Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar

This Fender is also a great option if you are just starting out or would like to purchase a new guitar with all the bells and whistles. Upon purchase, you will receive the guitar in one of two color options to choose from, so you will have something that suits your style. Included with the guitar is a carry bag, shoulder strap, picks, and a Fender Play DVD that will start you off with the basics, hand exercises, and other skills to learn.

The body of the dreadnought allows for a big and bold sound, which is also rich and deep. These sounds are also greatly due to the laminated spruce top and basswood back and sides. The neck is a C-shaped walnut fingerboard, which allows for great playability. The Viking bridge is pleasing to the eye, but also provides great tonal support.

Lastly, the electronics on this guitar will guarantee a powerful, pure sound played through the PA or speaker system. The preamp system is small, easily accessible, and will deliver a reliable performance.

Specifications

  • Weight – 14 pounds
  • Dimensions – 45 x 18.5 x 7 inches
  • Color – Black or Sunburst
  • Hand Orientation – Right
  • Strings – 6

Pros

  • Might be bigger than expected
  • Everything than you require to start playing are included
  • Great option for a beginner 

Cons

  • Strap is very uncomfortable and poor quality
  • Poor action when playing
  • Produces a poor quality sound

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The Ibanez AEG10II Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar

This guitar is very eye-catching, and it is not just the vivid blue color that really grabs your attention. Being a bit on the smaller side, this guitar is great for traveling with. But don’t let the smaller size fool you when it comes to sound. This guitar was designed to deliver a great quality sound with every pick of a string.

The slender, single-cutaway body will deliver a powerful and balanced acoustic sound every single time, whether you play it unplugged on through an amp or PA system. The guitar is easy to play and the Mahogany body with the spruce top creates a workhorse guitar that will rise to every occasion whenever you need it.

The preamp system has an onboard tuner that makes for easy sonic manipulation, right at your fingertips. It also offers a reverse feedback reduction and any contour is right there at your fingertips, giving you the quality sound that you require.

Specifications

  • Weight – 7.25 pounds
  • Dimensions – 46.8 x 21.2 x 6.2 inches
  • Color – Transparent Blue Burst or Sunburst
  • Hand Orientation – Right
  • Strings – 6

Pros

  • Produces great quality sound
  • Clean, crisp sound
  • Build in pickup provides clean, full sound
  • Great for a smaller player

Cons

  • Paintwork doesn’t hold up

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The Oscar Schmidt OD312CETS-A-U 12-String Acoustic Electric Guitar

Looking for a bit more of a challenge? This Oscar Schmidt will definitely be the one you want. Designed with 12 strings, this guitar is beautiful, with rich mahogany sides, back, and neck, a spruce top, and a Rosetek fingerboard and bridge. To complete the look, it has chrome die cast tuners and a fully adjustable truss rod.

The cutaway style allows for easy access to the upper fret, making it one of the easiest 12 strings to play on the market today. Not only does this guitar look very expensive, with the marquetry rosette just adding to the beauty, but the guitar also has a superb tone. The guitar will produce a full sound that is acoustically very pleasing.

If you perform on stage or at home and you make use of the preamp system, the guitar’s full potential will definitely shine through. The preamp carries the sound clearly through the PA or speaker system. Best of all, it comes with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.

Specifications

  • Weight – 5 pounds
  • Dimensions – 42 x 4.8 x 16 inches
  • Color – Tobacco Sunburst
  • Hand Orientation – Right
  • Strings – 12

Pros

  • Easy tuning thanks to the built in tuner
  • Electrical output
  • Overall a great guitar with a great meetup and design

Cons

  • Bridge tends to come of the guitar
  • Poor packaging, causing headstock to break

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The Washburn Apprentice G-Mini 5

Bigger isn’t always better, as proven by the G-Mini 5. This guitar is small and packs quite some sound. Whether you are a beginner or experienced guitarist, this little guitar is perfect for any occasion, going to the beach, on a road trip, or for a live stage performance. The smaller size makes it great for traveling and it also comes with a very sturdy gig bag. Being smaller the guitar works well for youngsters and for smaller sized people.

Even though it is a smaller guitar, the quality of sound that it produces is remarkable. The back and sides, which are Mahogany, resonate more with the lower tones of the guitar, and the spruce top provides a full rich tone. The shape of the guitar also makes it one of the most comfortable guitars to play with.

Though the guitar doesn’t have a built-in preamp, you can fit it afterwards if you require, or you can just set up a microphone right at the guitar for a live performance. You will still be able to get that great sound from the guitar.

Specifications

  • Weight – 7 pounds
  • Dimensions – 42 x 6 x 19 inches
  • Color – Natural
  • Hand Orientation – Right
  • Strings – 6

Pros

  • Great guitar for a starter guitar
  • Great option if you have smaller hands 
  • Delivers a full, well rounded sound

Cons

  • Not a solid spruce top

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The Ibanez AEWC10 Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The first thing you notice about this guitar is its sleek design and the quality embellishments that give it a very expensive look. The guitar is a great crossover guitar between electric and acoustic, with the body of the guitar more streamlined than other acoustic guitars.

The sides and back are made from Sapele and the spruce from Sitka. All together, this delivers a balanced, full tone with a rich sound projection. The AEQ-SP2 Preamp with the onboard tuner makes adjusting the output super easy, and getting ready to play has never been this easy. This preamp system will carry the sound clearly through the PA or speaker system, hearing the pure beauty and quality of the sound.

Not only is the thinner body very comfortable, making hours of playing a breeze, but it also has another function. The guitar body also keeps the “boomy” feedback at bay, giving you clear sound. The Florentine cutaway allows you easy access all the way to the 17th fret.

This is a great guitar for a beginner or an experienced player, and it’s handy for all occasions, whether the beach, stage, or garage.

Specifications

  • Weight – 11 pounds
  • Dimensions 44 x 19 x 5 inches
  • Color – Night Metallic Green
  • Hand Orientation – Right
  • Strings – 6

Pros

  • Perfect choice for a smaller person
  • Easy to tune and stays in tune  
  • Very comfortable to play and produces a great sound 

Cons

  • No case included

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Buyer’s Guide

We hope that this buyer’s guide has helped you decide which guitar should be your next purchase, whether it’s an addition to your collection or even the start of your collection.

Let’s have one final look at these beautiful instruments.

The best all included package

Here, you have the option of two guitars to choose from: the Yamaha APXT2 ¾ Size and the Fender FA-125CE. Both of these will be great buys if you are just starting out and want to get the whole package. Each of these purchases includes a gig bag, shoulder strap, picks, and a DVD with instructions on how to play and other tips.

Both of these guitars produce a great quality sound that is well rounded and acoustically pleasing. Also, both of them are fitted with a preamp system that makes it possible for you to play through a PA or speaker system, so you can get the full effect of the sound.

The best smaller guitars

In this category, we have two options to choose from: the Ibanez AEG10II and the Washburn Apprentice G-MINI 5. Being on the smaller side, these guitars are perfect for youngsters and people with smaller builds, as it is much more comfortable to handle.

Although they might be small, both still produce a big sound and they are perfect for every occasion. The Washburn model doesn’t have a preamp system installed, but you can do it later if you feel like it. These two are also quite the contrast from each other, as one has a natural wood finish and the other is a vibrant blue.

The best 12 string guitar

Some people might be intimidated by a 12 string guitar, but they are so worth your while to learn how to play them. This Oscar Schmidt is one of the easier 12 strings to play, and the design gives you easy access to the upper frets. Also fitted with a preamp system, you can rock this guitar on stage with ease and be assured that the best quality sound will be played through the PA system.

The best streamlined guitar

The Ibanez AEWC10’s sleek design and streamlined body makes for some great acoustics. It is very comfortable and light, so you can play for ours. The preamp system is great and set up is super easy, so you will be playing in no time. This guitar is a great crossover from electric to acoustic, and is perfect for all occasions from the beach to the stage.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you have your mind made up on a guitar and you know what you like. If you are still a bit unsure, go to your closest music shop and see if they have what you like there and test it out. Get a feel for the guitar and see if it is what you want.

Happy picking!

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