If you are interested in learning to play the acoustic-electric guitar, one of the first things you have to think about is how much you’re willing to spend.

After all, you don’t necessarily want to spend thousands on a new hobby, but you also don’t want to end up with an instrument that isn’t up to par. Thankfully, there are plenty of decent, budget-friendly acoustic-electric guitars on the market.

In this article, we’ll bring some of those to your attention. Additionally, we’ll explain what an acoustic-electric guitar is, why you should buy one, and why it’s worth at least starting out with one in this price range.

What is An Acoustic-Electric Guitar?

Basically, an acoustic-electric guitar is an acoustic guitar that has a pickup, which allows you to connect to an amp to project your music. These pickups come in several different varieties.

Why Should You Buy an Acoustic-Electric Guitar?

Acoustic-electric guitars can be played through an amp and routed through effects pedals, which decreases the necessity for expensive mics when you’re performing and makes it easy to record in your studio.

Everyone has their personal reasons for the instrument they choose, and most of the people that choose acoustic-electric guitars do so because it’s possible to add effects while they are playing.

The major advantage of these guitars is that they serve a dual purpose. You can play with an amp, or you can play sitting by the campfire with your loved ones.

Should You Buy One Under $300?

How much you’re willing to spend depends on your skill level and how determined you are to play. If you’re a beginner, you might prefer to stay within the $300 range. After all, many times, people invest the money into an instrument and equipment and end up putting it away in the closet within a few months.

Once you’ve been playing for a while and decide that it’s definitely something you want to stick to, you can sell your starter acoustic-electric guitar and upgrade to a more expensive model.

Of course, you still don’t want to spend thousands. Leave those for the professionals who will make their money back after a couple of performances.

The bottom line is, spend what you’re comfortable spending. If you’re just starting out and you’re not sure how long you’ll stick with it, a $300 maximum expenditure will be perfectly acceptable.

Once you’ve been playing for some time, you can upgrade to something on the higher end of the spectrum. If you do end up playing professionally, feel free to spend a thousand or more on a high-quality instrument.

Let’s take a look at list compiled below!

5 Best Acoustic-Electric Guitars for Under $300

1. Oscar Schmidt OD312CE

Reviewed: Best Acoustic Electric Guitar Under $300 75

Despite the fact that the top is laminate and the electronic system is low-end, this guitar is actually pretty decent, and the price is hard to beat. This is one of the most affordable acoustic-electric guitars on the market.

Many beginners hesitate with this guitar and don’t really feel like they want to start out with a 12 string because it means more wear/tear on fingertips and more trouble changing strings. However, the beautiful sound this guitar provides makes it worth it.

However, don’t expect this guitar to take you to stardom. After all, you get what you pay for, and this is a guitar that is good to get you started, but you will want to upgrade eventually.


  • Spruce laminate top
  • Mahogany neck and body
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Barcus Berry EQ4T preamp/pickup electronics


  • Affordable
  • 12-strings
  • Available in 7 finishes


  • Cheap electronics
  • Doesn’t project acoustic capabilities fully due to laminate top

Reviewed: Best Acoustic Electric Guitar Under $300 76 1

2. Yamaha FGX800C


Reviewed: Best Acoustic Electric Guitar Under $300 76Reviewed: Best Acoustic Electric Guitar Under $300 76

When it comes to the “best” in the music industry, you will almost always find Yamaha on the list. Therefore, it’s no surprise that they are showing up here with the best guitars under $300.

The first thing you’ll notice about this guitar is the solid spruce top, which is a high-quality feature on a guitar at this price point. The body and neck are made up of okume and nato, which are lightweight woods that are similar to mahogany in resonance.

While that’s not the most traditional construction for tonewood, it still provides the classic acoustic tone and is a guitar that can be managed by children.

The preamp on this guitar is not the best, but it’s not the worst either. It’s good enough to hop on a small venue, but you’re not going to wow anyone in a professional environment.

It features a smooth cutaway and rosewood fingerboard and is a great guitar for beginner to intermediate players.


  • Solid spruce top
  • Nato/okume body
  • Nato neck
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • SYSTEM66+SRT Piezo pickup


  • Budget-friendly
  • Solid spruce top
  • Smooth, comfortable playability
  • Reliable electronics


  • Not traditional acoustic due to nato/okume build

3. Fender CD-60SCE

Reviewed: Best Acoustic Electric Guitar Under $300 77

Another brand that is well-known in the music scene and often found on “best of” lists is Fender. Since Fender is pretty much a household name, even for those not in the industry, it doesn’t need much introduction.

This model is a dreadnought guitar that features a wide cutaway and smoothly tapered neck, as you would expect from Fender. The tonewood projects a clear, bright tone, and though the volume isn’t the strongest, it’s louder than you might expect with what it will cost you.

The action on this guitar is set low enough that you don’t have to over-extend your fingers to play, but you might need an adjustment to the truss rod to eliminate some buzz from the fret.

While affordable Fenders are typically best for beginners, the intermediate players will also enjoy this model.


  • Solid spruce top
  • Mahogany neck and body
  • Walnut fingerboard
  • Fishman classic preamp/pickup


  • The neck shape is easy to fret, so it’s easy to play.
  • Great projection due to solid spruce top
  • Cutaway allows smooth shredding of upper frets


  • The pickguard is plastic.
  • Sometimes, you get undesirable fret buzz.
  • easy

4. Washburn Festival EA15 

Reviewed: Best Acoustic Electric Guitar Under $300 78

While it’s true that this is a budget-friendly acoustic-electric guitar that you will pay less than $300 for, the sound is on the higher end of the spectrum.

This guitar uses unusual wood for the body and has a laminate top. In addition, the fingerboard material is not that great, but it sounds absolutely beautiful.

This small-bodied guitar is nice to play because of its mid-centric, focused, well-articulated voice. This is an excellent choice if you want a guitar whose voice stays focused around you as you play.


  • Flame maple laminate top
  • Catalpa body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Engineered wood fingerboard
  • Barcus Berry EQT4 preamp/pickup


  • Great for players with smaller frames due to size
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Preamp controls are versatile.


  • The fretboard is not capable of the resonance due to engineered wood.
  • Pickup/preamp not very remarkable

5. Epiphone PR-4E

Reviewed: Best Acoustic Electric Guitar Under $300 79

This is another brand that commonly shows up in “best of” compilations. Perhaps this is because they are a subsidiary of Gibson.

The reason this one made to this list isn’t because of its quality but because of the bundle it comes with. This bundle comes with the guitar, a strap, an amp, some picks, and a 1/4” instrument cable.

The guitar is fairly standard and doesn’t exactly have the most exceptional tone, but it’s not terrible either. This is definitely a great option for a beginner who is looking to get into the music industry but doesn’t have the funds to get high-quality accessories all the way around.


  • Spruce laminate top
  • Mahogany body and neck
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Passive under-saddle piezo pickup


  • Amazing value bundle featuring cable, strap, amp, and more
  • Decent combo tonewood
  • Made by a dependable company


  • Mass-produced

Other honorable mention:

Another top contender for acoustic-electric guitars was Orangewood Guitars. They may not have as popular a name as Fender or Yamaha, but their quality is often better depending on the model you end up going with.

Got some extra time on your hands and are a DIY enthusiast? Try building your own DIY guitar. 

Bottom Line

Why to Buy an Acoustic-Electric Guitar

If you are looking to start playing the acoustic-electric guitar but you’re on a budget, you don’t have to worry too much. There are plenty of options that you can get started with for under $300. We’ve given you 5 to choose from right here!