10 Under-$300 Acoustic-Electrics

October 3, 2007

So how little can you get away with in the acoustic-electric world and still take home something that plays and sounds good? To find out, we set our sights on acoustic-electrics with street prices of less than $300—definitely the bottom end for something you might want to use for gigs or recording, but a popular price category for players who are stepping up from the beginner packages purchased on sale at Costco or Wal-Mart. We selected ten guitars that met the criteria and subjected them to a thorough evaluation of their build quality, setup, playability, and tones. For the amplified part of our tests, we used a Genz-Benz Shenandoah Acoustic Pro, a Schertler Little David, and a Fender Acoustasonic Junior.


Alvarez RD8C

Applause AE 128 

Ashland SF 70CE3TS

Dean Performer E Mini-Jumbo Cutaway

Fender Sonoran SCE

Greg Bennett OM 5 CE

Ibanez AEL10E 

Jasmine ES33C

Silvertone SD 50CE

Washburn EA16

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