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Differences between cheap and expensive acoustic guitars

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-05-20      Origin: Site


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Acoustic guitars are unplugged guitars, including folk and classical guitars. Acoustic guitars are the choice of many music lovers and beginners because they require no extra equipment and can be played anywhere, anytime. However, the price of acoustic guitars also varies greatly, from a few hundred yuan to tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, what's the difference between cheap and expensive acoustic guitars? Do these differences affect the sound quality and the playing experience? This article will be introduced from the following aspects:

- Material, Workmanship, brand, Sound, feel.

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The material of an acoustic guitar is one of the most direct factors affecting price and sound quality. Generally speaking, acoustic guitar materials can be divided into three types: splint, single board, and full single.

- Splint: Splint is a sheet of three or more thin pieces of wood bonded together, often used to make inexpensive acoustic guitars. Splint has the advantages of low cost, durable, not easy to deformation, suitable for beginners. The disadvantage of splint is poor sound quality, insufficient resonance, monotonous timbre, which is not conducive to improving the performance level.

- Veneer: A veneer is a board cut from a single piece of wood. It is usually used to make mid-to-high end acoustic guitars. The advantages of veneer are excellent sound quality, rich resonance and diverse timbre, which can show the characteristics and charm of wood itself. The disadvantages of the single board are high cost, easy to be affected by the environment, the need for careful maintenance, suitable for a certain foundation and the pursuit of timbre players to use.

- All-single: All-single refers to making all parts of a guitar from a single board, including the sound board, the back board, the neck, etc., usually used to make high-end and handmade acoustic guitars. The advantages of all single are excellent sound quality, excellent resonance, unique timbre, to achieve the best acoustic effect. The disadvantages of a single is that it is expensive, very rare, requires professional maintenance, and is suitable for players with high level and high requirements.

In addition to cleats, veneers, and single sheets, acoustic guitars come in many different kinds of wood, such as spruce, sequoia, mahogany, and rosewood. Different kinds of wood have different hardness, density, color and texture, which can also affect the sound and style of the acoustic guitar. For example, spruce wood is often used to make sound boards because it is elastic and responsive and produces a clear and balanced sound; Rose wood is commonly used to make back panels and fingerboards because of its high density and oil content, which produces a deep and warm tone.


Workmanship is another important factor affecting price and sound quality. Generally speaking, workmanship can be divided into two kinds: factory and manual.

- Factory guitars: Factory guitars are mass-produced guitars in factories, usually using standardized and mechanized manufacturing processes to improve efficiency and reduce costs. The advantages of factory piano are moderate price, stable quality control, after-sales guarantee, suitable for mass consumption. The disadvantage of factory piano is that it is less personalized, less innovative, difficult to meet individual needs, which is not conducive to the display of personal style.

- Hand guitar: Hand guitar refers to the guitar made by luthiers themselves, usually with personalized and refined production techniques, in order to pursue the best quality and the most unique effect. The advantages of handmade piano are outstanding quality, distinct personality, high artistic value, suitable for collection and appreciation. The disadvantages of manual pianos are that they are expensive, rare, difficult to maintain and require specialized knowledge and skills.

In addition to factory and hand-made guitars, the workmanship also involves many details, such as string distance, silk, paint and so on. These details affect the feel and durability of an acoustic guitar, as well as the skill and style of the luthier or manufacturer. Generally speaking, the more refined and sophisticated the acoustic guitar, the more expensive and useful it is. Work mainly includes the following aspects:

Finish: Finish refers to the paint or varnish applied to the surface of acoustic guitar, mainly to protect the wood and beautify the appearance. Finishes can be divided into smooth and matte finishes. Glossy finishes look smooth and bright, but scratch easily; Matte finishes look plain and natural, but they tend to catch dust. The finish can also affect timbre and resonance. Generally, the thinner the finish, the better, as too thick a finish can inhibit the vibration of the wood.

String distance: String distance is the distance between the bottom of the string and the top of the string. String distance directly affects the feel and intonation of playing. Too high string distance will lead to strain and finger pain; Too low a pitch will cause the string to hiss when it hits the wire. String spacing should be within reason.

Spines: Spines are metal strips embedded in the fingerboard. The silk is used to divide the length of the strings and adjust the intonation. The silk should be flat and smooth, with no sharp or protruding parts.

Pickup: A pickup is a device installed on an acoustic guitar to amplify the volume or adjust the timbre. Pickups can be divided into magnetic pickups and piezoelectric pickups. Magnetic pickup uses magnetic field to induce string vibration to generate signals; Piezoelectric pickups use piezoelectric effects to induce vibrations in the body to generate signals. Magnetic pickups are better for electric box guitars or electric guitars; Piezoelectric pickups are better for acoustic or classical guitars.


The brand of acoustic guitar also affects price and word of mouth. Generally speaking, the more well-known and historic the brand, the more expensive and popular the acoustic guitar. The brand mainly represents the inheritance and innovation of luthier or luthier manufacturer for the concept and technical level of luthier. Different brands may have different styles or characteristics. Here are some common acoustic guitar brands:

Martin: The United States, is almost considered to be the best box piano brand, many European masters use this brand when performing or recording. Martin Guitars has six generations of exquisite craftsmanship and the pursuit of perfect quality, which makes Martin guitars in the high-end of the market positioning and high price.

Taylor: The United States, the top brand of acoustic guitar, technology leading brand practice, "only make the best guitar!" That's what Bob Taylor believed when he created Taylor Guitars in 1974, and it's still true today. Taylor constantly challenges the limits of human guitar-making technology from the aspects of wood, workmanship, timbre and so on, showing his depth and dedication in guitar manufacturing.

Gibson: The United States, needless to say, only produces high-end acoustic guitars, and its electric guitars are well known around the world. Gibson guitars are known for their unique tone, styling, and history, making them the dream of many musicians and collectors.

Takamine : Japanese, is one of the most famous acoustic guitar brands in Asia, known for its excellent pickup system. The Takamine guitar is suitable for stage performance and studio use with a clear, balanced and stable tone.

Yamaha: Japanese, is one of the world's leading musical instrument manufacturers. Yamaha acoustic guitars are widely popular for their cost-effective, well-built, and well-balanced sound, which suits players of all levels and styles.

Cort : South Korea, is one of the world famous guitar brands, aiming to produce the highest cost performance guitar and bass manufacturer. Cort acoustic guitars cover different grades and types from entry level to high end, and have their own tone and feel.

Farida: It is the only guitar brand in China that goes abroad. It is positioned at the middle and high end and is the leader in the domestic guitar industry. Falida guitar by three Taiwanese came to China to develop the Chinese guitar market, with its exquisite technology, excellent materials, unique design and reasonable price, has a good reputation at home and abroad.

Kepma: One of the most innovative and influential guitar brands in China, Kepma mainly produces high-performance, high-tech, high-quality acoustic electric box guitar. Cammarghe has introduced the production line and technology of Taylor and other international famous brands, and continuously carried out independent research and development and innovation, to create a series of international standards and competitive products.


The sound of an acoustic guitar is mainly determined by the material, construction, workmanship and strings of the guitar.

In general, expensive acoustic guitars use more advanced woods, such as spruce, redwood, rosewood, etc., which have better resonance and sound characteristics. Cheaper acoustic guitars use splints or synthetic materials, which are cheap but tend to sound flat and monotonous. Expensive acoustic guitars also have more elaborate workmanship and design, such as the curvature of the neck, the height of the bridge, the position of the wire, etc., which will affect the clarity, balance and stability of the timbre. Cheaper acoustic guitars may have some workmanship flaws, such as high or low pitch, uneven wire, and distorted neck, which can lead to noise or distortion in the sound.

Expensive acoustic guitars also use better strings, such as steel strings or nylon strings, which have better tension and longevity and give a fuller, richer sound. Cheaper acoustic guitars may have lower-quality strings that break or rust easily, leaving a dull, dry sound.


The feel of an acoustic guitar depends on factors such as the size, shape, weight and strings of the guitar.

Generally speaking, expensive acoustic guitars come in more suitable sizes and shapes, such as different barrel types and corners for different styles and uses, which will give players more comfort and freedom. Cheap acoustic guitars can come in unreasonable sizes and shapes -- too large or too small a barrel, too thick or too thin a neck, too long or too short a body -- which can be uncomfortable or limiting for the player.

Expensive acoustic guitars also have lighter weights, such as lightweight wood or hollow construction, which make the player more relaxed and flexible. Cheaper acoustic guitars can have heavy weights, such as heavy wood or solid construction, which can be cumbersome or stiff for the player. Expensive acoustic guitars also come with softer strings, such as thin or coated steel strings or nylon strings, which have lower tension and better feel, making them smoother and more comfortable for the player. Cheaper acoustic guitars may use stiff strings, such as thick or uncoated steel or nylon strings, which have higher tension and poorer feel, and can be difficult and painful for the player.

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