Best Acoustic Guitars For Recording

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An acoustic guitar is an acoustic guitar, right? That is what many might think when looking to invest in a new acoustic guitar, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Each design and model is crafted with attributes that make it better for certain playing styles and atmospheres.

For instance, take the recording studio. With this situation, you want to look for certain aspects that are different than live shows or even practicing. You will look more at the tonality of the sound and the electronics that are built into the guitar itself. Aside from these two factors, if you are looking for the best acoustic guitar for recording, you will also need to look at a few other factors.

These factors are what we used to create the list of options below. These features include:

Size – When planning a recording session, you may want to think about the size of the guitar. You will be playing for a long time trying to nail that riff, and a guitar that is too large could be uncomfortable to hold. Finding one that is lightweight and perfectly fit for your frame is vital.

Projection/Sound – When recording, you might be hooked up to an amp, so you will want to consider the projection and the sound quality. The projection will help you get better and fuller recordings. As for sound quality, the wood plays a big part (see below), but you also want to look at the overall sound quality in regards to your genre.

Electronics/Pick-Up – Though you are playing an acoustic guitar, there are still some electronics and other components that you need to pay attention to. The first of these, and perhaps the most important, is the pickup. Along with that, a good preamp is vitally important.

Woods – Depending on the wood that the guitar body and neck are constructed from, the sound will be different. For instance, spruce gives a balanced sound with good dynamic range and clarity. Paying attention to the tonewoods is important.

The number of choices that you are inundated with as you peruse the field for a new acoustic guitar that is perfect for your recording sessions could overwhelm some. Understanding this, we have chosen a few guitars that we think might be the answer to your needs. We have taken an in-depth look at each to help you with your decision-making process.

Best Acoustic Guitars For Recording Reviews and Comparison Chart

Comparison Chart

Yamaha 6 String Series A3M Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar-Mahogany, Vintage Natural, Dreadnought VN
Fender Newporter Player – California Series Acoustic Guitar – Candy Apple Red Finish
Recording King 6 String RPS-7-TS Dirty 30’s Series 7 Single 0 Acoustic Guitar Tobacco Sunburst
Fender Paramount PM-3 Acoustic Guitar – All-Mahogany – Triple-0 Body Style – Ovangkol Fingerboard – With Case
Cordoba Fusion 14 Maple Crossover Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Nylon String Guitar, Fusion Series

Yamaha A3M Cutaway

The first guitar that we think will work well in the studio is a 6-string cutaway dreadnought from Yamaha. The A3M is crafted with quality materials and components that elevate its comfort and performance.

Review

  • Top wood – spruce
  • Body wood – mahogany
  • Back wood – mahogany
  • Scalloped bracing
  • Yamaha SRT2 electronics system
  • Piezo pickup
  • Rolled frets
  • Satin mahogany neck and fretboard (slim, tapered)
  • Hardtail bridge
  • Dimensions – 42.5” x 21.7” x 6.1”
  • Weight – 6.8 lbs.
  • Soft case included

Yamaha is a brand name in music that is well-known and respected, so it is no surprise that we have one of their acoustic guitars included in this list. The A3M is one of a series of guitars, but there are so many elements to love about it. When it comes to recording, though, the element about this model that shines is the design. The cutaway design makes it very comfortable for long sessions.

Along with that, there are other great things about this acoustic guitar that is worth investing in. The woods used in the guitar give it an improved sound quality that delivers a rich full sound. Built into the guitar are high-quality proprietary electronics that will help individualize your sound.

Now, there are a few issues that we should discuss. The tuners are quite basic, so there is nothing special about the guitar in this aspect. On top of that, the guitar will take some time to set up.

PROS

  • Provides a rich, full sound
  • Designed with high-grade electronics
  • Cutaway design makes it easy to play for a long period of time
  • Crafted with quality tonewoods for improved sound capability

CONS

  • Some may find the setup process a little time consuming
  • Tuners used in the design are very basic

Fender Newporter Player – California Series

The next guitar comes from one of the big names in music equipment – Fender. Fender’s PM-3 is a Triple-0 styled body acoustic guitar that is crafted with care for high-level usability and sound.

Review

  • Top wood – Sitka spruce
  • Back/side wood – mahogany
  • Mahogany neck
  • Ovangkol fretboard
  • Quartersawn Scalloped X-bracing
  • Satin C-shape neck
  • Fishman PM system
  • Hardtail bridge
  • Piezo pickup
  • Dimensions – 46.5” x 19.5” x 7.3”
  • Weight – 2.2 lbs.

This model brings the quality and attention to detail that musicians have come to expect from this musical instrument giant. Over the decades, Fender has delivered many iconic models, and though this acoustic guitar is not as iconic as the Stratocasters, it still has a lot of benefits to offer. Not only do you get a well-balanced sound, but regardless of your level of experience, this guitar is comfortable to use.

One of the most important things when recording is your time, so having a guitar you have to continually tune is not something that you want in your guitar. This guitar keeps tuning very well. All of this combined is why we feel it is a great investment for your hard-earned money.

That being said, though, there are a few things that we feel could be improved upon. The first of these is the quality of the tuners. There have been some concerns about them breaking easily. Along with that, the action is decent but nowhere near as good as some of the other acoustic models from Fender.

PROS

  • Comfortable design for players of any skill level
  • Offers a balanced and unique sound
  • Designed well and holds a tune well
  • Price versus value is great in comparison to competitors

CONS

  • •Some issues with the quality of the tuners
  • Action is not as good as other Fender models

Recording King RPS-7-TS

If you are looking for a recording acoustic that looks good and sounds amazing, then this next guitar could be a good choice. Crafted with a Dirty ’30s style, this guitar brings a lot to the table.

Review

  • Top wood – spruce
  • Body wood – spruce
  • Back wood – whitewood
  • Satin finish and Nato wood neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Hardtail bridge
  • Cross lap bracing
  • Dimensions – 39” x 14” x 4”
  • Weight – 4.6 lbs.

If you are a studio musician and travel a lot to do your work, then you want to find an acoustic guitar that is easy to transport. This model from Recording King is a fine choice. Part of the portability of this guitar comes from the lightweight, compact body. The less weight you have to lug from studio to studio, the better. Along with this, you have other factors that make it a great option for recording sessions.

Elements like the electronics and the woods used in the construction of the guitar elevate the sound crafting capabilities, as well as the overall sound quality. The guitar body is constructed with mahogany and spruce, which gives it balanced and clear tonality. Plus, this guitar is designed with a sleek-looking 1930s design.

However, all of that doesn’t necessarily mean that there are not some issues that could cause some to reconsider choosing this guitar. The biggest of these issues may be the neck. If you have large hands, the neck may feel very uncomfortable to play. Also, the strap attachment has been known to loosen and break off.

PROS

  • Designed with a compact, lightweight body
  • Fashioned with a 1930s style aesthetic
  • Use of mahogany and spruce to elevate the sound quality
  • Fitted with electronics for more control of sound

CONS

  • Problems with the quality of the strap attachment
  • Some find the neck too thin

Fender Paramount PM-3

Next is another entry from Fender and it is a great option for use in the studio. The Newport Player has a Newport body (which is proprietary to Fender) and is crafted with high-quality components from Fishman that brings a unique sound and feel to the meld.

Review

  • Top wood – spruce
  • Back/side wood – mahogany
  • Satin-finished mahogany tapered C-shape neck
  • Walnut fingerboard and bridge
  • CD-1 Fishman electronics
  • Scalloped X-bracing
  • Piezo pickup
  • Hardtail bridge
  • Dimensions – 45.5” x 17.7” x 7”
  • Weight – 9.3 lbs.

As we have said, many people think of the name Fender when they think of guitars, and this is for good reason. This brand has consistently delivered for a long time. The Newport Player guitar we are looking at is one of these. This is another great option when it comes to portability.

The overall proprietary design of the body makes it quite easy to get to where you are going with no extra fuss. One unique quality of this guitar is that, for those who have solely played electric, it is crafted to be easier to transition to.

The sound of a guitar is by far the most important quality. With this model, you get a model that brings with it a bright and crisp tonality that is great for many different genres. With that amazing sound quality, you also have a slim tapered neck. This makes it a fast play, which is why it is a good transition from electric to acoustic. It also makes it great for those with smaller hands.

There are some issues, though, that we would be remiss without mentioning. When it comes to the actual performance, there are some concerns about the projection capability of this guitar. Many feel that it is only good when amplified. Also on an aesthetics level, the finish tends to show dings and scratches easily.

PROS

  • Build of the guitar elevates the portability of the model
  • Good transition to acoustic for electric guitar players
  • Neck design is tapered and easier to play, especially for small hands
  • Tonality of the guitar is bright and crisp

CONS

  • Finish of the guitar shows flaws easily
  • Projection is only good when amplified

Cordoba Fusion 14

The last guitar on our list is a maple crossover cutaway that is part of Cordoba’s Fusion series. It is designed to be easy to play and is uniquely crafted for a distinctive sound.

Review

  • Top wood – spruce
  • Body wood – flamed maple
  • Back material – maple
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Mahogany neck
  • Piezoelectric pickup
  • Dimensions – 38.5” x 14.5” x 3.5”
  • Weight – 4 lbs.

This guitar from Cordoba is crafted for elevated performance and easy use. Let’s start with the performance. The filter is designed with spruce and maple, which give a distinctive sound when combined. These two kinds of wood create clear and detailed sounds, especially in the higher end, but that is not the only thing that plays a part in the performance of this guitar.

In fact, one of the biggest things that play a role in this area is the electronics. The electronics of this guitar give it two distinctive sounds – a natural unplugged sound and a distinctive plugged-in tone. This makes it more versatile. When it comes to using this guitar, its design gives it a luxury feel with a more affordable price tag.

There are a few drawbacks that you should consider when making your decision, though. The biggest thing is the fact that the frets are not rolled and are therefore sharp. This may make the guitar uncomfortable to use. In that vein, the weight of the guitar is also a bit heavy, which will detract from the comfort of use.

PROS

  • Flamed maple adds a little extra curb appeal to the guitar
  • Materials used produce a clear, detailed sound in the higher ends
  • Playing experience is on par with some luxury models
  • Electronics used help produce a natural tone, as well as a plugged-in tone

CONS

  • Some found that the edges of the frets are too sharp
  • Issues with the weight of the guitar – too heavy

Final Verdict

Those are five of the models that we think are some of the best acoustic guitars for recording. You will want to look for specific models with the attributes we talked about above, and hopefully, one of the models we looked at will meet your needs.

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