Who Makes The Best Acoustic Guitars?

Knowing what is best is really a matter of preference and perception – but knowing what’s good is generally a matter of knowing what isn’t, and avoiding that. There are a few names in the guitar business that have successfully done so, long enough to become legendary brands – and there are newcomers that are well on their way to following in those rich footsteps.

But the question is, between the thousands of guitar makers out there, exactly who makes the best acoustic guitars?


  • Gibson

Probably the most famous – and expensive –guitar makers in the world, Gibson Guitar Corporation have produced the very same guitars that many of today and yesterday’s rockstars became famous with. For over a hundred years, they’ve squarely stood as the kings of the guitar world.

Today, however, buying a Gibson is an investment you generally only make once in your life. And it’s one that’ll stick with you for a long time to come.

  • Fender


The younger, yet not much less popular Fender is known specifically for their electric guitars – the Stratocaster and Telecaster – but that hasn’t stopped them from producing some of the best acoustic guitars out there.

Squier guitars, in particular (as subsidiary of Fender) are noted for their affordability and quality.

  • Ibanez


Noted for being the guitar sales front of Japan’s first instrument company to become successful in the West, Ibanez is named for the Salvador Ibanez guitars it imported from Spain in the late 20s; in the 30s, company Hoshino Gakki decided to continue the venture by making the guitars themselves with “Ibanez” becoming an eventual brand name.

Known for wild designs and a “lawsuit era”, they make some of the best acoustic guitars on the Japanese market.

  • Martin & Co.


Ancient compared to Gibson at over 180 years of service, Christian Frederick Martin’s guitar business venture has gone on to create some of the most valuable and best acoustic guitars in the instrument’s history – with steel-string vintage instruments that can, in some cases, be found on the market going for six-figure numbers. And even the regular flattops will cost you a few thousand dollars.

Uniquely, the company has more often than not been headed by a member of the Martin Family – today, that head is CEO C. F. Martin IV, the original founder’s great-great-great-grandson.

  • Paul Reed Smith


A rarity in the modern world of guitar makers, PRS Guitars’ founder is still alive, and jamming – Paul Reed Smith, master craftsman and guitarist, is owner to one of the youngest, and continuously more popular guitar companies. Specifically, it’s earned a reputation for custom instruments, and recently, affordable quality guitars. One particularly famous guitarist using a PRS Guitars-made model, is Carlos Santana.

These are the generally top 5 most respected guitar makers, among which you’ll definitely find most of the best acoustic guitars out there – but mind you, I didn’t write the above list in any particular order of quality, or ranking.

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