Choosing The Best High-End Acoustic Guitar For You

High-end models perfect for when you need to upgrade your guitar

Best high end acoustics

You’ve put in the time with your hand-me-down guitar, the beginner pack that’s served you well or the one you’ve “borrowed” from your friend (and failed to give back for 3 years). You know pretty much every Oasis and Led Zeppelin song there is, heck, you’ve even started your own band and crafted your own songs, played parties and watched your first guitar become part of you. But now it’s come to that time in your musical journey where you face the “upgrade”, where you push yourself into the upper echelons of music mastery and purchase that high end acoustic guitar that’s built to last a million years -something that will travel with you forever and a day. It’s like graduation day for a musician, and the start of your GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) which will undoubtedly lead to many more guitars over the years (trust me it’s going to happen). But where do you start?

You have your own acoustic and you love it, but you need to upgrade to better, longer lasting parts, more resonant woods and a higher quality build. Well, look no further, we’re going to look at some of the best high end acoustic guitars money can buy – perfect for those who want to upgrade or take the next step with their guitar. Here’s the top 5 high end acoustics for the guitarists who wants to get serious with their playing, in price descending order.

Gibson J-200 Standard

Gibson 2016 J-200 Standard Electro Acoustic Guitar - Vintage Sunburst

We’ll start with the holy grail of acoustics, the Gibson J-200 standard. This absolute beast of an acoustic guitar goes by the name “King of the Flat-Tops” and with one strum, you’ll hear why. Since 1937, the Gibson J-200 has been the go-to guitar for the discerning guitarist, from country, to blues to rock and anything in between, there’s no style of music this guitar can’t play with – in fact you’re likely to find one of these on many records you own. Updated for 2016, the Gibson J-200 appears with a Flamed Maple back and sides as well as a solid Sitka Spruce soundboard that sounds better the more it ages. This guitar comes with the upgraded L.R. Baggs Anthem pickup for when you want to plug-in onstage as well as a hardshell case so you can take it with you on the road, on the plane and wherever your music takes you. As far as high end acoustic guitars are concerned, the Gibson J-200 is a must have or at the very least a must play before you die type of guitar.

Martin D-28 Acoustic Guitar

Martin D-28 Acoustic Guitar - Natural

If you like guitar based music, you’ll have heard a Martin D-28 acoustic guitar at some point, that’s pretty much a guarantee. Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Johnny Cash, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Jimmy Page, Noel Gallagher, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Kurt Cobain and countless others have relied and still rely on this acoustic to get their sound. Martin have been crafting guitars since 1833 and still create world renowned models and push the envelope when it comes to superior tone, resonance and playability. However, the D-28 can be considered their flagship or at the very least most revered model. The solid East Indian rosewood for the back and sides creates a gorgeous low end sound not often seen in acoustics whilst the Sitka spruce top does a fantastic job of creating bright, rich resonant tones. This guitar only gets better with age (hence vintage ones go for thousands), and will undoubtedly be handed down generation to generation. When you make the upgrade to a high end acoustic, this must be on your list of “must try’s”.

Taylor 410ce Electro Acoustic Guitar

Taylor 410ce Electro Acoustic Guitar - Natural

If you’re looking for an acoustic that you can safely travel all over the world and up the fretboard with, then the gorgeous Taylor 410ce Electro Acoustic Guitar should certainly be considered. The dreadnought shape with cutaway allows for those higher fret noodling sessions, or just some solos, up to you really – whilst the onboard Taylor Expression System pickup and preamp offer an unparalleled acoustic warmth when you decide to take your guitar to the stage. The interesting thing with this guitar is the fact the all-magnetic pickup system differs from every other pickup system out there. Basically, the onboard system which utilises a Dynamic Body Sensor and Dynamic String Sensor functions like a mic, rather than a pickup so it doesn’t colour your tone and offers a transparent representation of your guitar’s sound. The tropical mahogany 20-fret ebony fingerboard is also very comfortable to play – typical of the Taylor brand. A great instrument for the serious guitarist.

Farida SD-58 Acoustic Guitar with Case

Farida SD-58 Acoustic Guitar with Case - Sunburst

Farida have once again raised the bar when it comes to crafting gorgeous guitars ideal for the worlds stage. This brand has gone from strength to strength consistently improving on their guitars and the new range for 2016 is certainly no exception to this strive for excellence. The Farida SD-58 is by far one of the standout models from the new Farida flagship Soundboard series with its classic dreadnought style, warm Sunburst finish, abalone and spalted maple soundhole rosette it is not only a beautiful sounding guitar but a real eye catching piece of work. As for the actual sound though, the

Fender PM-1 Deluxe Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

Fender PM-1 Deluxe Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Natural

Proving that you don’t have to spend thousands to get a super high quality, high end guitar, the Fender Paramount series is definitely a range that you should consider when you want to upgrade to a high end option. The Fender PM-1 Deluxe Dreadnought Acoustic is Fender’s foray into professional quality acoustic guitars, with all the bells and whistles attached for aesthetics and overall playability. Just because it’s “affordable” doesn’t mean it’s not a professional instrument, especially when you take into account the solid spruce top and rosewood back and sides, and of course the Fender seal of quality. What sets this guitar apart though is the intricacies in the decorated frets and the built in Fishman Paramount preamp. The mop/abalone concert tone inlays and headstock motif is a striking addition whilst the preamp with in-built phase switch offers the touring musician the perfect option without taking away from your overall tone.

When you want to upgrade your guitar, view the full range of acoustic guitars at the Dawsons website here.

Lee Glynn is a guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who lives in Liverpool, England. After moving to the UK from Perth, Australia, Lee enjoyed a successful career as guitarist in Liverpool based rock band Sound of Guns. After releasing two albums, a myriad of EPs / singles and touring extensively around the world for 6 years including stops at Glastonbury, Latitude Festival, as well as the coveted Reading & Leeds Festivals, Lee decided it was a time for a change of scenery. Utilising his experience in music journalism, Lee now works within the web team at Dawsons Music, where he can still relay his passion for music by producing great content for the Dawsons blog and social media. Lee is still an avid guitar player and writer.