OUR TOP PICKS
So you fell in love with strings and decided to go for a guitar, acoustic guitar to be precise. Now nothing is in your way, for you are sorted with money and a teacher who is ready to give you guitar lessons. However, to go through the best acoustic guitars in India, you will need to have the right kind of information on what do you need. Then you will need to go through the available options that match your requirements. Finally, you will land up with the one that will be with you for a long time in your musical journey with strings.
Factors That Must Be Considered When Selecting Best Guitars
Now the trouble that you may be facing is considering what factors must be looked upon to find the best acoustic guitar brands. Hence, we bring you a comprehensive list of the most vital factors that you can ponder over while looking for the right guitar for you.
You will have to ask the much vital question to yourself first; how much do you wish to spend on the best acoustic guitar? It is to be asked to yourself because you need to have a figure in your head and the amount in your pocket or on your card when you start looking for the guitar.
Also, know that though there are many brands available in almost any range of price, you get what you spend your money on. However, most of the time, if a salesman ends up convincing you that he has the ‘right guitar for you, but it’s just bit expensive than your budget’, then you should be capable to come to an informed conclusion.
In case you are just beginning or want a guitar to use in your soundproof room or a local concert, then you may not want to spend much. However, you will also not like to get something that is difficult to work with, while it sounds lousy when you play it. Let’s say that you have a spending limit of around INR 10,000/-.
Now guitars at such a range of price should come with a strong spruce stop. The more you raise this ceiling, the better the instrument you will get. However, the noun ‘laminate’ must not come in the description of the guitar that you are looking to buy because it will take the price to or beyond four digits.
Expensive guitars must bestow upon you nothing below a professional level instrument which you will adore and would never tend to outgrow from. Now anything above that level means that you are extremely specialised and in a hand-crafted area of the instrument. Now, this is a sensitive zone since in case you end up buying a sour lemon for such an amount, you will never be able to take that sour feeling from your gut.
If you happen to be budget conscious in particular, then you may make do with some friendly suggestions to save money. You should not spend your money on buying expensive accessories, such as hand-carved leather straps or a tuner that is high-end (even if it’s a practical requirement). Instead, you may put in your money to buy the right guitar that you can procure from the market.
Also remember that you never pay the list price anymore these days, which means that you can ask for a discount of 10% to 30% and if you can bargain well, you might get yourself a 40% discount. The big music stores are no way different than the clothing establishments as well as audio shops that run on cut-rate. They would use any opportunity to have the “Sales Event” which will not offer you real savings in the true sense.
Well, there is nothing wrong or right way when selecting a good guitar for yourself. Here a bigger guitar does not mean a better guitar, while a popular brand of the guitar may not be perfect for you as well. The acoustic guitars come in almost every size and shapes, which means that there is a perfect piece for everyone, as per their requirement. Conventional acoustic guitar’s workhorse is dreadnought, where Martin D-28 happens to be a bearer which is standard.
This is considered an extremely cool-looking, versatile and powerful model that has been used for numerous recordings as well as it is deemed as the acoustic guitar for classic rock. D-28 has spawned a multitude of imitations, which includes both bad and good. Now you may pick one from them, render some fine strums and go ahead onto another which has a varied sound, feel and look; perhaps a smaller guitar such as Grand Concert Tylor, Ovation Adams, or Gibson. Even if you are not able to afford these guitars, just trying them out will render you a clear idea of what kind of instrument you find yourself comfortable playing.
It is obvious that whatever piece you finally select, should feel comfortable for you to play. In case the action happens to be high, or the strings are way too far from its fretboard; the fingers will suffer. It is also an indication of the guitar neck being bowed which may not be a good thing. Hence, search for even, low action on the fretboard both up as well as down, where the strings tend to be a bit higher at its 12th fret for the convenience.
Do check the buzz of fret by playing single notes and chords at various spots on its neck in the standard variation. Few professional players prefer their action on to a higher level to get a punchier, clearer sound, but in case you happen to be a beginner or tend to be an electric guitar player going for an acoustic guitar, you should probably find the light strings as well as a lower action more suited to your particular requirements.
Another aspect that any players discuss is “intonation” being good or bad on a specific guitar. Such specification refers to how well the guitar is tuned up as well as down the guitar neck. Here the most convenient way to ensure the same is to play the D chord openly and then playing the same chord at the 14th fret to find out the difference. Here, if the sound of the guitar is out of tune, then you would know that it has an issue.
Though, tuning as well as any other issues such as fret buzz may often be removed with just simple adjustments on the neck. However, they do require some time, more involved work on the bridge. Here odds can be that it is something which you may not wish to get involved into while buying a guitar that is brand new.
Also, in case you have genuinely fallen for a particular brand of the guitar which needs some work, then let the dealer look after the essentials. Then you shall try the same guitar once more before finalising your decision.
Now there is a question that arises here when we discuss this aspect or factor, how can someone confidently access anything as subjective an element as sound. Since a guitar that has a deep bass knocks anyone out might strike to the player as being just too boomy. Each guitar style, with each guitar, is unique, while there may not be any universal guidelines for whatever constitutes a bad or good guitar sound. Once more, if you happen to be the last arbiter since it is your money as well as your ear would judge the entire purchase; be careful.
Here the right way to hear the way the guitar sounds is to have anyone else strum it while you hear it from a good distance of a couple of feet. Hearing the guitar from such a vantage point would sound different than what it does at the time you would play.
Type of Wood
Wood plays a major role in the construction, feel and sound of the guitar. The kind, quality as well as a variety of wood combination utilized in constructing the guitar aid in determining the tone that it will deliver when played. The entry-level guitar models are usually made out of laminated wood that does not tend to mature while getting old.
Know that with guitar, what you hear is what you usually receive. The intermediate guitars usually feature tops that are made of solid wood with laminated sides and back. Know that the most beautiful instruments are built with solid wood that produces a resonant and rich sound.
Cedar or spruce is used most of the times to make the guitar tops, whereas standard woods are used for making the sides and back. These are mostly maple, mahogany and rosewood. The synthetic materials are used as well pretty effectively by manufacturers such as Rainsong and Ovation. Let’s see what the lumber party here is all about.
A. Spruce: It is the much-sought lumber for the top of an acoustic guitar. Its ratio of strength-to-weight is what makes it viable for the guitar top to be very thin and remain strong as well as resonant. Tops made out of spruce will take whatever is dished out to them and remain pretty responsive even if they are played vigorously. This wood is just perfect for flatpicking and strumming style.
B. Cedar: The cedar tops can be easily recognised by their darker colour in comparison to spruce wood, and they have a bit reddish hue to them. The cedar tops respond well to light attack, while it is also considered to be a perfect choice for tunings at a lower tension as well as fingerpicking. Since it is not strong like spruce, but softer, it can always be overdriven while playing too hard, which will consequently make the sound compressed and lose integrity to some extent.
C. Rosewood: It is a dark coloured wood that gives warmth of a deeper level while contains complex richness to its guitar tone. The Brazilian rosewood is considered the tone wood’s holy grail while it is also much prized by the players as well as luthiers. But Brazilian rosewood being scarce, makes it pretty pricy. Though the Indian rosewood contains similar kind of timber qualities yet it does not strike visually.
D. Mahogany: This near perfect wood falls right in the middle of a tonal spectrum, where it renders a warm and bright sound with highs that are sweet.
E Maple: The maple wood will give dry and bright tone that has a high, well defined, clear end to it. The tiger or quilted maple could be somewhat of a dramatic visual.
F. Synthetics: It is true that the synthetic guitars would never completely replace the wood variety, but they are in use for decades while they are popular as well. The ovation makes use of fibreglass composite to form the sides and body of the guitars with a round structure. It is then combined with a wood top that is solid, whereas Rainsong manufactures guitars that are made of graphite. Usually, the synthetic guitars happen to be less susceptible in comparison to wood, towards the climatic changes as well as offer distinctive characteristics to its tone. On the contrary, they do not tend to mature with age as the wood does.
The appearance matters when its guitar because it covers the mid-section of the player and looks prominent. Hence, the majority of guitars come with a natural and clear finish. The sunbursts, as well as other colours, tend to give a unique appeal to the instrument. However, be aware of the heavy finish because that may hinder the guitar’s sound.
Check for the translucent finish from which the wood grain is visible. The herringbone trim, mother-pearl-inlays, gold-plated tuners as well as additional decorative choices could add to a guitar’s beauty, but they will not make it a good instrument. Though, getting your name on the fretboard, inlaid will be a good idea which will also make your guitar more personal.
Where to buy
This is more of shop talk because there are obvious advantages to buying a guitar from a regional or national chain of music stores. On one side, they have a well-stocked inventory of guitars to select from, while on the other side they will have less of the expensive high-end instrument.
The specialty musical instrument stores may have knowledgeable staff on the sales team who may be much likely to give you all the information that you may be needed for the right selection.
Time to get you through our selected guitars that will best suit your need. These best acoustic guitars are also the most affordable in the Indian market
Top 10 Best Acoustic Guitars in India 2019
1. Yamaha F310, 6-Strings Acoustic Guitar, Natural
Yamaha makes some great acoustic guitars and not just electronic musical instruments. The 2.4 Kg hand finished 89 cm x 12.1 cm x 10.9 cm has a bit shortened scale-length to give you the convenience of playing it well.
Thus, its design makes it much soft on the fingertips which deliver extra comfort to play this guitar. Furthermore, 120 watts of audio wattage adds more possibilities to it. This is the best acoustic guitar considering the price and quality.
2. Juarez Acoustic Guitar, 38 Inch Cutaway, 038C With Bag, Strings, Pick And Strap
The first guitar in our list of best guitars is a 2.06 Kg, 100 cm x 44 cm x 11 cm, with 18 frets acoustic guitar by Juarez. This 38-inch cutaway piece of musical instrument has a glossy black finish and comes in a package with a bag, 2 picks, strings and strap. Pretty good deal indeed for starters, the finger board is made of linden wood, while the fretboard is made of ebony wood. The linden binding along with complete wooden construction becomes profound with a geared tuning to compliment the steel strings on a wooden frame.
The cheap price with good quality makes it the best acoustic guitar for beginners.
3. Fender 971110421 FA-115 Dreadnought pack (Natural)
The heaviest at last is right out from the house of Fender at an incredible 5.13 Kg and 111.3 cm x 51.1 cm x 16.8 cm dimension. With a natural body colour it is made of rosewood and offers an incredible sound as well as tremendous value. The best part with buying this guitar is that you get an access to hundreds of lessons online on everything, which will help you play it from the moment you go on the internet.
4. Jixing JXNG 6 Strings Acoustic Guitar
A great looking, 18 fret acoustic 6 string guitar in black colour is perhaps something of a gothic inspiration. But this 1.5 Kg and 38-inch Jixing instrument promises good quality of sound which delivers an accurate and crisp sound at the most affordable cost. Linden wood is used to make the finger board, whereas maple wood is used to make the fretboard. The bridge material is made of plastic, which makes it pretty light to carry around.
5. JUAREZ JRZ38C Right Handed Acoustic Guitar (Sunburst, 6 Strings)
Another Juarez instrument in our list that weighs 2 Kg and has a dimension of 96 cm x 43 cm x 12 cm has its finger board made of linden wood and fretboard made of ebony wood. The cutaway 39 inches guitar has a complete wooden construction to it with linden binding to it. You can confidently start using it from the moment you pull it out of its package.
6. Intern INT-38C Acoustic Guitar Kit
A small sized guitar at 98 cm x 40 cm x 11 cm, this 2.1 Kg acoustic guitar by Intern has a cutaway design, and the finger board is made of linden wood while the fretboard has maple wood construction to it. Most of the beginners select this instrument as it is considered to be one of the best guitar brands. You have to ensure that you take good care of it if you buy it.
7. Yamaha FS-100C, 6-String Acoustic Steel Guitar
A bit ‘heavy’ Yamaha towards the end of this list stands at 3.2 Kg and lays at 105.6 cm x 37.6 cm x 14 cm. The fretboard is Nato while the bridge is made of rosewood. The tuners are open chrome, and the instrument gives a smooth and precise response with focused and sweet tone. It is considered good for fingerpicking or recording. Go for it, if you find one!
8. Zabel Elletra Series Acoustic Guitar
The series of Zabel Elletra from the Zabel House of musical instruments is 38 inches at scale length and black, but its Truss Rod gives better adjustment of strings for optimum action. The 2.3 Kg weight with 101 cm x 41 cm x 10.3 cm dimension makes it a much convenient acoustic guitar for beginners. The maple wood fretboard and linden wood body of this guitar results in a longer span of life than similar models. A good investment!
9. Photron Acoustic Guitar, 38 Inch Cutaway with Pick Guard
Seventh acoustic guitar in our list is from the house of Photron. The package contains a set of extra strings, a guitar bag, a strap, two picks and most important; a 2.64 Kg acoustic guitar in a dimension of 98 cm x 45.5 cm x 11 cm. The top, side and back of the guitar are made of linden plywood, while the neck is made out of catalpa. The steel strings work fine on the plastic fingerboard, where the machine heads are also of plastic. This glossy instrument is pretty popular with the first-timers.
10. Kadence Frontier Series, Black Acoustic Guitar
Coming towards the end of this list, we give you a 2 Kg, 100 cm x 43 cm x 17 cm acoustic guitar from Kadence frontier series. This 6 round-wound string guitar has its fretboard made of rosewood while the body is constructed with spruce wood. The model delivers the right quality of sound, with high durability assured at an increase in the ease of usage. The best part is that this model is good for beginners and professionals to prefer it too.
Pay attention to what you hear when you try because what you hear is what you will buy. Hence, be attentive to the sound and other factors mentioned above, which will lead you to the best acoustic guitar that you want.