Acoustic Guitar Community

Welcome to the Acoustic Guitar Community.

Inexpensive Guitars. Who has them, what are they and how do they perform.

I had to sell my guitars earlier this year because of how the economy has affected my bottom line, putting the line firmly on the bottom.  I hadn't been playing much up till that time, but as soon as they were gone I couldn't get my hands on another guitar soon enough.  I know there's something psychological in that some where, but the experience of not having a guitar of any kind available left me thirsting to make music again.  My wife, bless her heart could see this and asked me if it was possible to get something for 200.00 that would quench my need to have a guitar in my hands again.  I really didn't think there would be, but I looked anyway.  I went on to the Musician's Friend site and brought up everything they had at 200.00 and a little less.  I saw a lot of people going on and on about these Mitchell guitars I'd never heard of that are really cheap.  All but the cheapest have solid cedar tops, so I stopped into a local music store that carries them and picked up the Mitchell MD 100-SCE cutaway.  I was really surprised at how acceptable this inexpensive guitar sounded and played.  So for now, until the finances come back, I have a very attractive looking and respectable sounding guitar to play.  Manufacturers must have really been making strides in producing affordable instruments for those of us who appreciate good sound, but can't afford even the low end Martins and Taylors.  I'm wondering how many are in this forum in the same kind of situation and have discovered little gems like this.

Views: 1332

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion


I've seen the Mitchell you bought and it is a sweet guitar for the money. This economy sucks big time! I'd say you did good. Rock on!

It's not a direct answer to your question, and you probably already know this, but you can find some good used guitars for the $200-300 price range that may have been $300-500 when new. And they may sound better than new if they've "aged." I wouldn't buy one without trying it, but most guitar shops have some used ones (There's even a shop in my town that specializes in used instruments), and there's always Craig's List and even pawn shops.
I just bought a used Epiphone EL-00 off Craig's List for $200USD. I already had an Epiphone PR350 that I got used for $125USD. I love playing both of these. As a Newbie, I didn't want to tie up a lot of money in something I have just started a bit over a year ago. I made sure I took my coach along for both acquisitions to help evaluate the git. So, I did play both before buying. There are good deals on good gits out ther. Just had to be patient. Dean
try an Ibenez V-series, low action, great sound for the money, I use one for as my fun guitar while jammin and open mic's
I am blown away by the Ibanez SGE130 Sage Jumbo guitars. The Honey Sunburst and Dark Violin ones. I had no idea how much they cost, but the looks caught my attention one day, and I plugged in and was amazed at the sound that came through, and it sounded great unplugged also. It was a join and easy to play, was setup just right. I asked the guy how much it cost since it didn't have a price on it and he said $240, and I said no, this guitar right here, and he said yep, that guitar right there. Amazing guitar especially for $240-$250.

Also, I have a Epiphone EJ-200, and Epiphone Hummingbird, and each cost around $350 and both are great guitars and I play them more than my expensive ones.
I bought one of those Mitchells.... Very impressive for the money. Fit, finish, intonation...All spot on. Came properly set up from the store. (I bought mine at guitar center as well.) The thing had a better sound than the (also foreign-made) Fenders and such that I looked at.
They did "cheap out" on a couple of things; the endpin jack was just a press-fit in the end block. First time I tried to pull out the cord the whole thing popped out. I had to re-solder the leads and put it back in.
A proper endpin jack with a nut on the inside is only 12 bucks or so...
Also, changing out the battery on the electrics is a bit of a pain; you have to loosen the strings and go in through the soundhole.
Still, impressive for 200 bucks. The only reason I sold it was that my wonky old shoulder started going bad playing the dreadnought-sized body. I bought a much smaller guitar and my shoulder is happier.

Don't be afraid of inexpensive instruments; many of our ancestors made great music on instruments we wouldn't look twice at in a thrift shop.
I didn't even factor in that it can be plugged in. I just like the cutaway body. After playing it for a few weeks I determined the low E and A strings were buzzing just a bit. I ended up putting a Tusq saddle in. The saddle Mitchell fits the guitar with is a little too arched making those strings too low. I also tightened up the truss rod a little to decrease the relief a bit and it plays very nicely now.
I can certainly relate to your problem. I've run into the same thing. I recently went looking for a inexpensive acoustic guitar. I checked Musician's Friend, American Music and others. I was looking at name brands: fender, Epiphone, Washburn, etc. I was told by a friend that sometimes lesser know brands offer more for the buck. So I went looking online and ended up buying a Kona. For the money, I'm very satisfied with it. Hey it's not a Martin, but I didn't have to rob a bank to buy it. Here's the description from the site where i bought it:
Have you seen Kona's Trinity River Guitars. Looks and plays like a $3000 Martin. Music store up the street from me has a few of them. The Dreadnaught one with solid top and Satin Finish one is fine. The guy who owns the place is a hard core bluegrass player, and can tear one to pieces he plays so well, and the sound he gets out of it is wonderful. I go up there and play them all the time. I just think he wants to much for them even though he still has them priced very low.
If you can grit your teeth and buy a Chinese-made guitar, I haven't found anything better for the money than Blueridge. They're Martin copies - they're not Martins, but an incredible value, I think. I have a BR-43 that lists for $495, but I paid right at $300. I was looking for $200 when I bought it. It's a copy of the 000-18 with Sitka and Mahogany, but has laminated back and sides. The neck feels as smooth and clean as a much more expensive instrument. It's not on the same planet as my main guitar, but the D-35 isn't embarrassed to have the BR-43 hanging around. Best deal I've found other than used guitars.
I have a used BR-140 that I bought for $450 with a hardshell case shipped. It's a great guitar. A copy of a D-18V. I have a 2002 model.
This is a new golden age for acoustic guitars under 500 bucks. I can find several around 300 or so that are quite decent.

I particularly like the Recording Kings. The OOO models as well as some of the dreads are very good for the money.

Asian, I know, but they really give some bang for the buck.


Check Out the Latest in Acoustic Guitar

Free e-newsletter!

Sign up for Acoustic Guitar Weekly—the weekly e-mail newsletter that delivers coverage of players and gear, lessons and technique tips, and advice about performing and recording. Get it now!




Be alerted to the latest articles on, including lessons, CD, guitar, and gear reviews, how-to tips, and player profiles.

© 2016   Created by Acoustic Guitar.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service