Best Acoustic Guitar Under £200. Advice You Will Never Hear From A Guitar Shop
Looking for the best acoustic guitar under £200?
Do not be fooled by "best acoustic guitar under £200" recommendations you find on guitar shop websites and industry magazines!
3 YEARS ago I did this video talking about this very same subject and whilst I forget the exact motivation for the video at the time I am pretty sure I would be saying something similar to what I have just been observing - and felt compelled to tell you.
Here is the video on "The Best Acoustic Guitar Under £200"
It seems 3 years on - and nothing has changed.
What Is The Advice Guitar Shops Don't Want You To Know?
OK - So guitar shops, especially big online stores who provide you seemingly endless choices of "guitars under £200" all share one thing in common. Most of the brands they are showing you are all from similar factories - often with poor or non existent human welfare standards - and has anyone even checked into it?
I have - I do. The truth is pretty grim and many of the factories supplying brand names you know and love are using factories exposing workers to untold dangers - carcinogens and poor working conditions.
The supposed "choice" you receive is no more than a color change, a variation in body shape, a brand name on the headstock but this is all smoke and mirrors.
So where should you be focusing your attention most of all? EXACTLY where they do not want you to look.
Which is.... HOW DOES IT PLAY? HOW DOES IT SOUND? Where was this MADE?
You may as well forget the descriptions and recommendations - merely content on a page to try and make one guitar sound more interesting than another. They are all much of a muchness - in terms of quality - feel - sound - Its next to impossible to differentiate one from another. Thats the TRUTH - whether you want to hear the truth or no - thats the reality.
So whats MY advice when looking for the best acoustic guitar under £200?
1. Have the guitar setup - either by the shop you are buying from or privately after you have purchased it.
Every single guitar I sell is setup to perfection. If you had your guitar setup privately at Richards Guitars in our workshop it would cost you £85 - but when you buy a guitar - its FREE.
As well as the FREE setup worth £85 - ensuring your guitar plays to perfection - You can return the guitar in 6 and 12 months to have it reset!
Guitar shops do not want you to know HOW important a setup is. If they let you know this crucial fact you would soon realise how utterly pointless it is scrolling through page after page of acoustic guitars under £200 when NONE of them are setup pre sale - and if they SAY they do - they are most likely lying - because if they DID, they would be shouting it from the hill tops! Its a very expensive, time-consuming process, which high volume retailers do not have the resources to provide - so they dont mention it whilst appearing to offer you lots of choice.
Watch The Following Video To See How Much Work Goes Into A Setup (FREE With Your Guitar Purchase At Richards Guitars)
2. Buy a brand that is the ACTUAL manufacturer
If you want to test my advice, ask any other store you visit, how many of the guitar brands they are recommending actually MAKE the guitar they are selling? You will soon find out that probably NONE of them do. So to give you a sample.... Ibanez, Tanglewood, Sigma, Fender - all brand names you THINK would make guitars - but dont ACTUALLY make them in this case. They out source to what are called OEM manufacturers like Cort guitars who will produce the guitar with their brand name - and ship it to them - for them to pass on to dealers - who pass them on to you - the guitarist looking for the best acoustic guitar under £200!
But think about it? How on Earth can a brand name, who has a large marketing budget, guitar endorsements to fund, who is having to pay an external manufacturer to produce their guitars and have them shipped to them - be as economical to produce and supply as a manufacturer who is selling their brand direct to the distributor or retailer? In simple terms - any manufacturer using an OEM producer will have to sell the guitar at a higher price than the OEM manufacturer selling their own brand direct.
OK - So the simple question therefore is how many manufacturers who produce OEM guitars also supply their guitars direct? Well I deal with both of the highest profile examples - Cort guitars and Fujigen guitars. Fujigen are made in Japan and renowned for their high end guitars and Cort guitars are the Worlds largest manufacturer in the mid price market.
Cort have technologies that most brands could only dream of and have put brands like Tanglewood guitars, Ibanez guitars, Fender guitars on the map when it comes to providing players affordable acoustic guitars - but ultimately the way to get most bang for your buck is.... to buy a CORT!!!
So now we have TWO vital pieces of advice that will save you so much pain and heart ache - as well as money.
What is the point of buying your first acoustic guitar under £200 only to then have to upgrade 6 months later because the guitar you have bought plays like a cheese grater?
Putting these two vital pieces of advice together and the obvious conclusion I would give you is...
" Buy a Cort acoustic guitar setup to perfection! "
The Cort Earth 60M has just been launched for 2023 and is INCREDIBLE and comes complete with our FREE professional setup (worth £85) as well as a 6 and 12 month check and reset at our workshop totally free of charge.
I guarantee you that my ONE offering of a solid topped Cort acoustic guitar under £200 will play better than any other guitar you could buy elsewhere - will sound fantastic and be of the highest specification your budget can afford.
So? You want me to give you 50 other body shapes, colors, or brands to browse? I can't - because they are not my recommendation - for the reasons highlighted above - but should you wish to buy a more expensive guitar or a brand of lesser quality - we can of course have that guitar setup for you to a professional level for £85
Here is the Cort EARTH60M With its solid mahogany top this is an incredible guitar and with our professional setup included this is literally second to none...