Hi folks, Glenn here with The Best Guitar World again. When you read the Topic of this Article, you would think that there was only 1 top 10! Well, just like the best guitarists of all time, the Best Brand Guitars are also a very Opinionated topic. Of course these are expert opinions, BUT, every expert has their own ideas of what is Best. And depending on how they class the importance of certain criteria, will depend on where that Brand falls on their list.
Now myself, there are brands that make a great sounding electric guitar, but tend to fall a little short with the Acoustic build. And, on the flip side of the coin, some brand name Acoustic guitars are nowhere near the quality, or popularity of the electric guitar manufactured by the same Brand.
So what I have done, is compiled a list of the top 10 Acoustic Guitar Brands. I compiled these lists from 3 or 4 other lists that I found, and simply placed them in order of the most popular for where they show up on all the lists, I hope that makes sense. In my next Article I will showcase the Best Brand Electric Guitars, and then I will highlight the Best Guitars for Beginners in an Article for those folks looking to get started. So, for now, here are the top 10 rated Acoustic Guitars:
1. Martin Guitars
The Martin Guitar Co. goes back all the way to the year 1883. Martin guitars have been hand made since they started production, and they are still hand made today! Read all about their History HERE!
2. Taylor Guitars
Taylor guitars was founded in 1974 and is one of the leading builders of premium acoustic guitars today. The Taylor guitar line is widely considered one of the Best sounding, and easiest to play in the World. They are certainly worthy of their reputation and quality which is why they land so high on this list.
3. Collings Guitars
This Brand is not near as popular a name as Fender, or Gibson, or even Yamaha. A lot of folks never even heard of the Collings Guitar. These guitars originated with a young man building guitars, 1 at a time, on his kitchen table. This was back in the mid 70’s. Even today, after Bill Collings died of cancer in July of 2017, his superb craftsmanship and design is still sought after and considered one of the Best Blues guitars on the Market.
4 Fender Guitars
the Fender guitar was founded in 1946. The guitars at that time were mostly Acoustic, or Acoustic / electric. However; sometime through the 40’s, Leo Fender realized he could improve the amplified hollow body guitar by designing a simple Solid body. But, even today, the acoustic guitar made by Fender is still at the top of their game!! Just take a look at THIS!
In 1951, a prototype solid body electric guitar was introduced to the Industry. This guitar later came to be the “Telecaster” – “TELE” The Fender Stratocaster came to life in 1954, and over the years, the design, has remained unchanged, but copied by many other guitar Brands. It is probably the Most popular, and widely used in the Music Industry today.
Due to poor health, Fender had to sell his Business in 1965 to a Company called CBS. William Schultz became Company President in 1981, and bought the Company from CBS in 1985. This new and exciting venture was called “The Fender Musical Instruments Corporation” – (FMIC). In 1987, a new manufacturing facility was opened in Ensenada, Mexico, and the Fender Custom Shop opened its doors in the Corona, California facility.
Fenders’ Corporate Headquarters is now located in Scotsdale, Arizona. They manufacture and Market some of todays Most popular names: Fender®, Squier®, Charvel®, Gretsch®, Jackson®, and EVH®.
If you ever want to read the History of the Fender Corp. just go here: fender-about.
5. Gibson Guitars
one of the Best known guitars on the Market, the Gibson guitar has a reputation of being one of the Best there is. This guitar Brand has been around for over 100 years. Gibson guitars was founded in 1894 and has its’ Corporate Headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. Their portfolio includes some of the Most recognizable Brand names in the Industry: Gibson, Epiphone, Kramer, Steinberger, and MESA /Boogie to name a few. Gibson is, and always has been, dedicated to quality, innovation, and sound excellence. The Gibson Brand is used by millions of musicians both Professional, and beginner across the World.
That’s The First 5 – Now Here Come the Last 5
6. Paul Reid Smith (PRS)
the Brands like Fender , or Gibson, or even Martin have been around for a long time. Yes some of their guitars sound Amazing, but, I think they are well known, and so Popular, because of their name. Everybody knows the names of the most popular and well known brands. They have heard them in one way or another for years.
But, PRS, is fast becoming a Name Brand “just like them”. The story behind this guitar brand is Amazing in itself. Rather than me miss some important feature or fact, I am including a link that will take you straight to their story. The PRS Story (prsguitars.com) PS, I own 2 PRS guitars myself. An Acoustic, and an electric, and I love them both. ?
7. Seagull Guitars
Robert Godin produced the first Seagull guitars in a little village called LaPatrie, in Quebec. Since 1984, every single Seagull guitar has been hand made in Canada. From the wood used, to the finished product, everything Canadian. This is something Seagull Guitars is very Proud of. The Concept: take the essential components of the Best hand crafted guitars and build those features into a quality guitar that was easily affordable to the average Joe.
Although the Seagull guitar is not near the top of the list, the playability of one of these guitars is amazing. The feel, and action in a Seagull guitar is smooth and comfortable.
8. Takamine Guitars
One of the best sounds in Acoustic guitars. I can’t believe the Takamine Brand placed so low on the list. In a small family run workshop in 1959, at the foot of Mount Takamine in central Japan, the Takamine Company was founded in a small town called Sakashita. 3 years later, in 1962, (the year I was born)??, because of growing popularity in guitar playing in Japan, the Company was re-named Takamine Gakki LTD, after the actual Mountain that shadowed their little workshop.
Over the years, Takamine has reached many milestones, One of the Biggest, I think, was being commissioned by the Grand Ole Opry, to design it’s 80th anniversary commemorative guitar in 2005. They have designed many signature guitars for some pretty well known performers such as: Steve Wariner, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Glen Frey, and Toby Keith.
9. Guild Guitars
In 1945, Alfred Dronge, along with a Business partner, opened a music store called Sagman & Dronge. A few years later, Dronge buys his Business partner out and re-names it Alfred Dronge Music. It wasn’t until 1952 that Dronge partnered with George Mann, the ex- Vice President of the Epiphone Company, and they registered the Business Name “Guild Guitar Company” The very first “GUILD” guitars were not produced until 1953.
Over the years the Company first made flattops. Ten they introduced the Archtop. In 1956 the production was moved from New York City to New Jersey. in the 60’s there were some very popular models made, like the Starfires, and Thunderbirds. Guild produced their first 12 String, and Bass models.
The Company was sold in 1966 and production was moved from New Jersey to Westerly, Richmond.
End Of An Era!
Al Dronge died in a Plane crash in 1972 that ended a Major era for the Guild Guitar Company. A gentleman by the name of Leon Tell assumed Presidency in 1973. Guild’s 12 String and Jumbo guitars started to flourish.
The entire line of Solid body electric guitars, including Basses, were completely overhauled, and Guild released their design of the Dreadnought guitar. Through the 80’s the Metal and Hard Rock scenes grew more and more popular. Guild introduced many solid body electric guitars, including basses, to best suit the style of these guitarists. Artist models such as the Hank Williams Jr., the Duane Eddy re-issue, and lead guitarist for the Talking Heads – David Byrne, were produced during this decade.
In 1994, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation purchases the Guild Brand. Through the 90’s and 2000’s, right up until today, there were, and still are, many well known Artists that play and cherish the Guild Brand. Artists like: Stevie Ray Vaughan, Slash and his double – necked guitar called “Crossroads”, Brian May and his signature Line, Soundgarden’s lead guitarist, and the Goo Goo Dolls lead singer and guitarist Johnny Rzeznick, who flashes many Guilds.
In the 2000’s the production moved a few times. But again, because of their quality and sound, the Guild Brand was used by popular Artists the likes of: Tom Petty and Cheryl Crow. In 2014, Cordoba Music Group acquired the Guild Brand from the Fender Musical Instrument Corporation, and still hold that privledge today!
The Yamaha guitar is one of the most well known guitars on the Market today. Although they are at the bottom of this list, Yamaha has been a well known and respected name in the Industry for a long time.
Yamaha’s line of Acoustic Guitars has a wide range of designs and models. The feel and Action of some the Yamaha Guitars is amazing, and the tone is remarkable. Yamaha has a History that doesn’t even start with guitars. Their 2nd and third productions are not even guitars. It’s a pretty unorthodox beginning. If you want to learn more go here: Brand and History – About Us – Yamaha Corporation
Best Acoustic Brands:
So there you have it! The best of the best in Acoustic perfection and tone. Not everyone will agree with this list. Heck, even I don’t like where the Takamine and Yamaha Brands landed on this list, However; there are other lists that may place these Brands higher up, but then there may be top 10 lists that do not even include them?? It is all a matter of taste. What you like is what you like, no matter what the experts say.
I hope you enjoyed this little blurb on some of the Best Acoustic Guitars on the market. Remember, coming up are the 10 Best Electric guitar Brands, and the Top 10 Best Guitars for Beginners. watch for these awesome run downs!
Like always, I would love to hear your opinions. By all means, leave any comments or questions below.
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