The value of an acoustic guitar depends on a long list of factors. Generally though, where and how an acoustic guitar is made makes the biggest impact on its price. If a guitar is handcrafted in America as opposed to being built overseas, you’re likely to pay more for the instrument.
Having said all of this about the wide range of acoustic guitar pricing, it’s also certainly worth noting that you don’t have to pay a fortune to find a great-sounding, highly playable acoustic guitar. You can even find many limited edition, collectible guitars at prices similar to standard models. And for beginners, there are acoustic guitar packages that include everything needed to start playing: the guitar, a strap, extra strings, and a tuner.
Many lower-priced guitars use laminated wood, or a series of layers, to comprise the top instead of one solid piece. Laminate wood doesn’t tend to vibrate as wholly or retain the same sound characteristics as a solid top, though many players prize laminate for its reliability in changing climates and temperature environments, and also find that it produces a fine tone onstage.
Wood selection plays a tremendous role in the cost of a guitar. Some manufacturers put aside “choice” pieces of wood as they receive shipments and then utilize these pieces to craft limited-edition instruments. The rarity of a particular wood, the amount of figuring or detail in its grain, and even the style of finish affect price.
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