Best Acoustic Guitar Under £1000 & Why You'll Likely Never Hear One!
I know many people who viist this page will want an answer - fast! So for you guys I will give you my top recommendations at the top of the page.
If however you want to know more - please do keep reading beyond the recommendations as its all important to read!
So to the title of my blog - and the best acoustic guitars under £1000....
Remember - these are genuine, personal recommendations based on 27 years research - constantly challenging my own knowledge and experiences.within the industry. These are heart felt recommendations that are unquestionably benchmarks in ine industry.
If I had to pick ONE for you?
When I first learned about Furch guitars nearly 20 years ago NOBODY in the UK knew of them. I was the first shop in the UK to have one in my hand and I have to thank Keith Twine - former Director of the UK Distributor, who asked me what I thought of the "demo stock" that had been sent to them for appraisal.
He told me it was a small workshop in Czech Republic and he really believed they were something special - but what did I think?
At this point I was a main dealer for all the "leading" acoustic brands and was running a 2 million pound dealership (Regent Guitars) with the proud belief I knew all about the best acoustic guitars in the market.
Lets just say the moment I opened up these 6 guitars and played my first chords - my World changed forever. My passion for what I THOUGHT were "the best" was turned on its head. These guitars were a fraction of the price yet tonally unique and superior to everything I had in my shop!!! This really was a juncture in my life where I realised what I thought I knew - needed, at minimum - a rethink!
Like I say that was 20 years ago. Their production has increased since those days but they have managed to develop using modern technologies to retain the unique qualities of the guitars - and still their output is a tiny fraction of mass-produced brands hence available in very limited numbers.
I have been their biggest dealer and remain so - for the past 20 years! These days we have up to 100 guitars on order at any one time and one of the characteristics our lovely customers share is..... patience :
Good things come to those that wait, and the best things are rarely the easiest to find. Please remember this -it's a fact you can ignore at your peril - or just kid yourself into thinking the best guitar money can buy is hanging on the wall just waiting for you to buy it - just by chance - in your local music shop?
If you were looking at the Furch guitar range for a "best acoustic guitar at £1000" then you would need to look at the Furch Blue Series. They have been my #1 recommendation since I started selling them. Available in OM, Dreadnought & Auditorium body sizes - spruce and cedar tops - but just chat to us and I can help you navigate to the ideal instrument.
Talking of this wonderful find 20 years leads me on to my next wonderful find - which I could call Furch Mk II - but this find only occurred 3 years ago....
The following all solid wod acoustic guitar is a massive favorite of mine since designing it personally :) Dowina don;t in fact make money from this model - They produce it for me to help raise awareness of their ethos and quality of instruments. Most customers continue to buy a second, third and fourth Dowina once they have been drawn into this new World!
The Pure is available in BV (Parlor), OMG (OM) and Dreadnought too!
When you have spent 20 years loving a brand and appreciating its unique qualities and how this brand is so special compared to brands you have seen before - It was hard to believe that lightening really had struck twice. It was almost like Deja Vous - this time a small workshop in Slovakia - A stones throw from Czech republic. So many memories of Furch in their infancy but this time around I had a direct connection to Stan & Erika (Father & Daughter) who run Dowina. Their passion is custom built instruments - and making them accessible to a wide audience who would normally expect to pay double the price for totally bespoke hand made acoustic guitars. In the 3 years I have been working with Dowina - we have rapidly become their largest European customer - and we have done this whilst growing our Furch sales - for me? Eutopia!!! Raising awareness of the Worlds Finest Hidden gems! Like I say - if thats just 1% of people who visit my website - then so be it :)
I could write a book - let alone a single blog about the unique qualities of Dowina guitars and of course I will be writing much more about them in 2023 - SO much to tell you - but to keep in theme with is blog lets just focus on the best acoustic guitars they offer at £1000 or under.
The Dowina Pure was a guitar I had made for me (remember these guys are bespoke builders - I literally designed it and they made it!) with a focus towards "less is more" - beauty in the simplicity of design whilst remaining truly beautiful. All solid woods with cedar top and mahogany back and sides. Build quality is second to none - Tonally out of this world and made with love and passion by a small team of guitar builders in Europe - and under £1000. Would you rather buy a mass-produced guitar built thousands of miles away - available hanging in every main guitar shop in every town - or one of just a handful made especially for the purpose of providing you an affordable bespoke hand made guitar?!! For me its crazy that I even have to "sell" this concept!!
The Dowina Pure is your gateway to a wonderful world - where your limits are you bound only by your imagination - A perfect brand for someone who wants a guitar buying experience - not just a "purchase". Trust me - Memories will be made during the process of its production that you will hold forever - and thats before you even play one!!
Then I need to mention....
Auden Acoustic Guitars
Auden is an English brand. The owner Doug selects the woods and operates 2 workshops. One in China - the other in England. The results are hand made acoustic guitars at a fraction of the price you could ever dream of paying for guitars of this immense quality. So an all solid hand made guitar from Auden starts at £899 and they are TONE MACHINES. The look and tone isLowdenesque (At just 30% of the price!)
The range to look at around your £1000 mark would be the Auden Neo Series which start at £899. ** Since writing this blog they have now reverted to electros only - the pickups are also incredible and still available under £1000. **
The beauty of visiting us is that we can give you a special day out - Whereby you can have the showroom to yourself and with selected Dowina, Furch & Audens to compare.
Last but by no means least....
Eastman Acoustic Guitars
Eastman Guitars have a couple of different "angles" which make them truly unique in the market - as are my other recommendations from their "angle". We need to say straight away that Eastman guitars are made in China. So if thats a problem for you - then you'll never experience what are staggering instruments that put Martin Guitars completely in the shade when it comes to the quality and price you pay.
Eastman guitars are TOTALLY 100% HAND MADE. Hand tools and the most incredible skills by a workforce who were originally employed to make VIOLINS produce all their acoustic and electric guitars. The catalog of Eastman acoustic guitars will have a benchmark instrument that is worth comparing to a Furch, Dowina or Auden. What makes Eastman stand out for me is that unlike my other premium quality brands, Eastman also cater for WELL under £1000 - not just UNDER like my other recommendations. All solid wood acoustics from £500 - even the most incredible "affordable first guitars" around £300 which are staggering quality. Whilst instruments like the AC acoustic range are knocking Taylor electro guitars out the park from arround £900 upwards. For the Martin fans you would be looking at the E series acoustic guitars. If you hop on the live chat we can talk you through what may suit you - rather than give you a generic recommendation that means nothing (Other than maybe I just want a quick sale - which I dont - I want to know you truly believe in us - and the recommendations made).
With the 4 brands that I have taken 27 years to compile - I reckon you will have the best chance possible of finding YOUR best acoustic guitar for £1000!
Maybe I have left the most important detail to the end!
The ONLY shop in the UK that has all these guitars under one roof is Richards Guitars.
Want to know why?.....
Dowina are such a small boutique builder (without boutique prices -= thats important to remember) they can only make a small number per year and so require only one or maybe 2 dealers in any country. We share their ethos and vision for quality so are humbled to be therr UK partner.
Auden - Again hand made acoustic guitars made in much smaller numbers and are simply not easy to access all year round - but when they are available - our customers have the most wonderful opportunity to have a guitar that is truly different from the "mainstream".
Furch. Well it has seemingly taken my entire business life for the World to wake up to Furch - but after 27 years more and more people are catching up so we have to order our guirars 4 months in advance. We are not only the largest Furch dealer in the UK but one of Europes top dealers. To sell Furch requires methodical planning to ensure we can keep them in stock for our showroom customers. Patience is often required
Eastman. I have been promoting Eastman from the moment they were available in the UK. Whilst Eastman are by far the most "well marketed" - this is for no other reason than Eastman seem able to do what they do on the most incredible scale - enabling the incredible hand made quality to be produced - yet on a scale that achieves that recognition in the wider market. Eastman is the closest thing I can say we do to "mainstream" yet there is nothing mainstream about their quality and tone - and any Eastman will knock what I call mass marketed high profie brands - out the park as I call it - and save you money of course - a lot of money!
I created this errmmm quirky - very amateur video - not to win prizes in video production or animation (thankfully) but to tell an important point that sums up what I have been waffling about in this blog.
I prooduced this videafter the one above got removed from Youtube (I got it back as you can see!). This video explains the difficulties of talking to an audience mainly made up of people who own guitars I am not recommending - for the reasons I have listed above. Its about the difficulties of sharing views based on information others are not aware of.
I produced this quick video purely because I was SO in awe of what I was receiving from Dowina Guitars. I know Zuzka is just one of the incredible individuals that make Dowina possible and I hope to feature more of the team when I can
A couple of years ago I produced this video to highlight how and why it was so important to me to never lose sight of why my customers come to me - and to never take it for granted or abuse that trust.
If you think what I have said has resonated in any way PLEASE share it?
If you have a Facebook page or can share to a forum - many people will dismiss what I have said as "scare mongering", "Brand Bashing" - I have heard it all.... You know why they say this? Because they either own the brands I dont sell (like most do) and / or they are not prepared to make the effort to challenge their own wisdom (which they probably picked up by reinforcing their views chatting on forums to other people who own the same brand as they do).
I rely on people like yourself to share what we do here - if you agree and want to learn more :)
Please remember our live chat is open most hours - Our showroom is available for you to visit (centrally located in England - Straford Upon Avon) - and you can test all my recommendations in person and see whether the waffle stands up to your scrutiny in reality.
If you got this far? Welcome to the 1% - and thank you for reading. Naturally I would be really interested in hearing your views so please do click on the chat if you fancy chatting about this or anything else on your mind. We are here to help.
Check out my Top 10 Electro Acoustic Guitar Recommendations at £1000 or less...
Here is the extra stuff that you can read if you have the time or inclanation - It was at the top of the blog but few people made it past the waffle so I have dropped it down here!!! :)
- In my defense however, of a long and waffly blog post - that would NEVER appear on any website trying to make a quick sale - I feel you will be missing out on some important details - not just about guitars but I am 100% certain what I have to say will also apply to all other industries too (and if youre in one of them - you will know exactly what I am talking about).
In for the long haul? Put the kettle on - grab a seat - take time to enjoy the process - and hope we will see you soon either in store or chat online.
OK so we all know that "sound" or "tone" is subjective - but it is possible to use characteristics to differentiate certain traits we may find appealing.
My personal selection of recommended acoustic guitars at £1000 (or less - or above for that matter) are based on a range of factors - factors which will suit certain playing styles etc. I have spent nearly 3 decades listening to guitars made by all the main brands - and supplying MOST of them in my time - to enable me to focus now ONLY on the brands I am telling you about today - the ones I believe offer something truly special. I specialise in what I love - and I enjoy educating people on why I love them! The net result is that you simply cannot buy anything but the very best acoustic guitar money can buy - tailored to your personal playing requirements.
So, using this theory in practice - despite ONLY selling benchmark acoustic guitars - there is no ONE single best acoustic guitar - but by knowing what tonal characteristics suit certain players we can begin creating shortlists - and from those shortlists you can come to a summary of maybe one that you feel is "the best".
Once you have found something that seems to fit your requirements - we are then here to help give you further insight and details that may help you refine your list further - ensuring you find your perfect acoustic guitar. We can do this online via chat and / or in our showroom in Stratford Upon Avon.
The reason I say in the title of this blog that you'll probably never hear the best acoustic guitars - is that the "BEST" is rarely easy to find - as I have learned from my 27 years research.
The brands you will definitely get to experience are the ones made in massive numbers and generally available in most towns in most countries. This availability creates a sense of connection between players, who all seek positive reinforcement of their purchase - which will of course come from others who have made the same purchasing decision (who also came across the same range of options based on availability). We all love to see the guitar we bought selected by the Industry Press as their chosen victor - well sadly this is often more to do with advertising and fostering relationships than a true representation of the very best out there - although I am guilty as anyone else for taking advantage of such accolades when products I sell are selected!!! The only guitars you will tend to see in magazines are the guitars produced in high volume that can foster relations with magazines through large marketing budgets.
Reality: Finding REAL Standout Quality - Is NOT Easy
Sadly... The guitars that I personally believe will give you the most special of experiences - the ones with the story to tell - are the ones that are made in much smaller numbers and therefore very few people will experience- and there will be few people to endorse your purchase or give you that sense of validation that your purchase was indeed a good one. Its highly unlikely they will be given any industry awards as they just dont have the volume of sales to justify the marketing budgets required to gain access to such awards. If you were Taylor, Martin or PRS (all brands I have been a main dealer for) would YOU be happy if "Dowina" were given "best acoustic guitar under £1000" award when you've ploughed tens of thousands of pounds into your annual marketing budget with the magazine? Would you want to continue advertising in a magazine that ignored your brand?
I know a good commercial blog should entice you with several products to buy but I am hoping you have more intelligence than to buy a guitar just because I have brainwashed you into it.
A quick Google search will give you lists of shops providing lists of guitars to buy based purely on their availability and popularity with NO thought about what YOU need from the guitar or whether the guitar they are recommending is anywhere close to what they say it is - IE "The Best Acoustic Guitar At / Under £1000" type articles. ( I call this Fast Food Reality which I mention below - Its fast - Its efficient- but its not healthy)
I am however going to give you 3 brands I will come back to time and time again which will have a guitar that will suit you plus 2 AMAZING "Bonus" brands who also earn their right to be mentioned - but I would suggest you speak to us so we can work out which is the one for you! You will notice that my 27 years of industry experience points you toward 3 brands I'd be surprised you have even heard of - but I am hoping you will trust me!!! I have over 5000 reviews that backup my recommendations and unique style of service via Trustpilot and Yotpo to guitarists literally all over the World.
" We Are All Victims of "Fast Food" Reality "
With around 1200 guitarists visiting my website every day - If only 1% of those players take heed of my experiences - then 12 new people are possibly learning about truly special guitars and I would hope would consider buying from me - This is ths REALITY that I accept as normal - because I know we live in what has fast become a "fast food" reality.where popular Youtube channels have had to adopt "to creating Youtube Shorts". Instagram feeds us "Reels". We have TiK TOK for "news" or TINDER to find our life long partners. All of these incredibly popular new forms of "learning" are givung us content in 30 seconds or less. These rechnology developments are shortening the span of time children and adults are wiring their brains into "education" (IE How long you are prepared to read this blog or research your next guitar). We ae literally becoming a species of "sound bites". This is BAD news in lots of ways - I am more than happy to be the antidiote! - If anyone will let me I will happily bore you to death with my experiences - and however hard work it may be digging through it all - You will find genuine heart felt recommendations that are born from 27 years of my life researching this. It wont look snazzy - No sales traps - no quick fire reels to sucker you in to biuy now - but its all from the heart and purely because I enjoy the process of making people happy through the recommendations made