Best high-end acoustic guitars

Posted Nov 23, 2012 at 4:30am
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ACOUSTIC WEEK: So, you want to buy an acoustic guitar?

We've plucked the best guitars we've reviewed over the last three years to show you the very best of what's out there.

After looking at budget and mid-range guitars, here are the the very best of the high end, the guitars that are reserved for those lucky folks who have north of £1000 burning a hole in their pockets.

How did we choose these guitars?

Every guitar in this guide has been reviewed within the last three years and has gained a minimum of a 4.5 star rating. That means we feel their build quality, sound, playability and value for money are not in question at their relative price points.

Scale length

A guitar's scale length is important because it has a direct effect on the tension of the strings and therefore how the instrument feels to play: the longer the scale length, the higher the tension of the strings for a given pitch.

In terms of tone, all things being equal (which they rarely are!) a longer-scale-length guitar will tend to have more pronounced string separation and clarity to single notes; compare a Martin 000-28 with an OM-21 for example. To measure a scale length, measure from the inside edge of the nut to the centre of the 12th fret, then double it.

Nut widths

We've quoted the nut widths for every guitar, as it's a significant factor in playability. To the right are common widths in both metric and imperial sizes – different makers use different units. You'll be amazed how different a millimetre or two across the nut can feel!

A note on prices

The prices we've quoted are the manufacturers' suggested retail prices, correct at the time of the original review. Some official SRPs will have gone up slightly, while many advertised/web prices from retailers will be lower.

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1 Comment
Mike Oppenheim (931) wrote:
Nov 23 2012
Wow, Martin is certainly well represented on this list, though there are a couple of things that surprise me. Anyone know anything about the Martin OOO-15M? I see from the review that the M series is slightly different from the standard 15 series, but that seems like quite a price jump (I remember buying my OO-15 new for about $750...granted, that was more than 10 years ago, but still). I'm more shocked that Huss and Dalton isn't on the list at all. I prefer their guitars even to Collings.