Top 20 Budget Parlor Guitars Under $200,$300, $400, $500


Have you considered buying yourself an acoustic guitar? But what happens if the dreadnought size is too big for you? Or you are simply looking for something a bit different? The answer is parlor guitar. Parlour or parlor guitars are significantly smaller compared to dreadnoughts, they have a smaller waist, and they are a lot more comfortable for playing.

If this is something that seems interesting to you, then let’s take a look a bit closer. Here, I will go through some of the options you will have if you decide to buy yourself a parlor guitar on a budget. 

Needless to say, the quality of these models will not be exceptional, and you can’t really expect a professional instrument for such a low price. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t find a couple of great models. As we go through price ranges, the quality of instruments will increase with the price. 

Top 5 Budget Parlor Guitars Under $200

The first category is reserved for the cheapest instruments, and I will consider only guitars under $200. What is also impressive is that you’ll be able to choose between many different well-known brands. And this is something that’s ideal for beginners. 

Of course, the quality of these guitars is decent enough that even those with experience can enjoy using them. As I mentioned before, these models are perfect for younger audiences and those that prefer smaller instruments. 

Dean AXS Parlor Acoustic Guitar

Dean AXS Parlor Acoustic Guitar, Mahogany
  • The Dean AXS Parlor Acoustic Guitar is an affordable steel-string with a...
  • Features a parlor size body made of mahogany
  • The guitar is full-scale with a set mahogany neck and a comfortable "C"...
  • Die-cast tuners make tuning a snap
ProsCons
Great priceMight look a bit rough
MahoganyCould use more finishing touches
Beautiful designMight require setup
Comfortable
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany with rosewood fretboard
  • Scale Length: 25.51 inches (648 mm)
  • Frets: 22, medium
  • Tuners: die-cast
  • Bridge: Standard fixed

Dean is not really known for making acoustic guitars, but this one is really a prime example of how even a company known for metal electric guitars can also offer something else. The design of the guitar is quite simplistic, but it looks great. It’s on the edge of the price range, which only means higher quality compared to cheaper instruments. 

The neck on the Dean AXS is made of mahogany with rosewood fretboard, and it has a comfortable C shape. While the size of the instrument might seem too small, it’s something that you would expect from a parlor guitar. It is still a full-scale guitar, and it has twenty-two frets. 

Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top

ProsCons
Great priceMight require setup
Good materialsLooks fragile
Beautiful design
Comfortable
  • Body: Agathis
  • Neck: Nato with walnut fretboard
  • Scale Length: 24 inches (610 mm)
  • Frets: 24, medium
  • Tuners: Nickel 
  • Bridge: Rosewood with compensated saddle

The first thing I need to say here is that this is a Gretsch guitar. And being able to get it for such a low price is unbelievable. Now, this isn’t a premium guitar. It might look a bit too fragile, but that is the entire idea behind this instrument. It is designed to look and feel like old parlor guitars, and it does it quite well. 

As for the sound, the guitar is versatile, and you can play anything on it. One of the things you might want to do besides setup is to replace the nut since the spacing between strings is too narrow. Naturally, if this isn’t something you enjoy. If this is your first instrument, then you probably won’t have any problems with it. 

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If you want to check other types of acoustic guitars in general, check out my post Top 20 Budget Acoustic Guitars Under $100, $150, $200, $300 For Beginners

Ibanez PN1MH

Ibanez Performance PN1MHOPN Mahogany Parlor Acoustic Guitar High Gloss...
  • Body Body type: Parlor Cutaway: No Top wood: Spruce Back & sides: Mahogany...
  • "With Ibanez's Performance guitars, you get professional features, quality,...
  • The PN1MHOPN features a mahogany body and spruce top with an open pore...
  • This parlor also features a mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard and bridge,...
ProsCons
Great priceCheaper materials
Comfortable
Beautiful design
Binding
  • Body: Mahogany, spruce
  • Neck: Mahogany with rosewood fretboard
  • Scale Length: 24.4 inches (620 mm)
  • Frets: 18, medium
  • Tuners: Chrome Open Gear
  • Bridge: Rosewood

Ibanez is known for designing electric guitars, which are mostly focused on heavier genres. But here, we have an acoustic guitar that’s perfect for this price range. The instrument is smaller, but the sound is still great. There are a few similar models that come with a preamp and a pickup, but this one is without electronics. 

It is one of the cheapest guitars you can find, and you will still get an Ibanez if you decide to go for it. The design of PN1MH is incredible. The guitar has a binding, mahogany neck, and looks quite nice. It works great for beginners and those that just want to get themselves another guitar. Keep in mind that the guitar is a bit smaller compared to others, and it has eighteen frets. 

Fender FA-15N

Fender FA-15 3/4 Steel, Blue
  • Body: Laminated Agathis Top with Sapele Back and Sides
  • Neck Material: Nato
  • Fingerboard: Walnut
  • 3/4 Scale
ProsCons
Great priceCheaper materials
ComfortableMight require setup
Good sound
Great for beginners
  • Body: Agathis, mahogany top
  • Neck: Nato with rosewood fretboard
  • Scale Length: 23.3 inches (592 mm)
  • Frets: 18, narrow tall
  • Tuners: Diecast
  • Bridge: Walnut with synthetic bone saddle

Fender has been around for quite a while, and the company is one of the most popular brands of electric guitars. While the acoustic models made by Fender are not ideal, they are an excellent starting point for beginners. In fact, you will have a hard time finding an expensive Fender acoustic, if we’re not counting the Acoustasonic series. 

This model is a ¾ size instrument, and it’s affordable. That is its main quality. The sound is decent, and it looks quite nice. If you want to buy yourself a decent guitar, it’s better to go for a Fender than some no-name brand. Keep in mind that this guitar is not on the same level as Fender electric guitars, but it is worth the money. The guitar is available with nylon and steel strings. 

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If you are looking for a dreadnought guitar, check out my post Top 20 Budget Dreadnought Guitars Under $100, $200, $300, $500

Harley Benton Custom Line CLGS-10S

ProsCons
Great priceCheaper materials
Comfortable
Good sound
Great for beginners
  • Body: Mahogany, spruce
  • Neck: Nato with blackwood fretboard
  • Scale Length: 23.5 inches (596 mm)
  • Frets: 20, medium
  • Tuners: Black Deluxe die-cast machine heads
  • Bridge: Blackwood

In the past couple of years, Harley Benton has been dominating the market when it comes to affordable instruments. And the company offers acoustic guitars as well. It seems that the general rule is: if you want a great instrument for a low price, Harley Benton is the answer. Here, we have a travel guitar that looks amazing. The quality is a lot higher compared to what you would expect in this price range. 

The CLGS-10S has a mahogany body, with an arched back, walnut binding, and gloss finish. It also has a V-shaped neck profile, with a blackwood fingerboard. Now, this is still not a professional-level instrument, but it is great considering the price. 

Top 5 Budget Parlor Guitars Under $300

As we increase our price range, the quality will improve as well. And the difference will be noticeable. Here, I will go through some of the options for budget guitars, and the price will be between $200 and $300. You will also notice a lot of returning brands, but with better models. 

If you can afford to buy a guitar in a higher price range, I would always recommend doing so. When it comes to budget equipment, a $100 difference can be a game-changer. 

Fender CP-60S

Fender CP-60S Parlor Acoustic Guitar, Walnut Fingerboard, Sunburst
  • Solid Spruce Top with Laminated Mahogany Back and Sides
  • 24.75" scale mahogany neck w/20 fret walnut fingerboard
  • Chrome Die-Cast tuners
  • Rosewood Bridge
ProsCons
Great price
Comfortable
Good sound
Well-made 
  • Body: Mahogany, spruce
  • Neck: Mahogany with walnut fretboard
  • Scale Length: 24.75 inches (628.65 mm)
  • Frets: 20, medium
  • Tuners: Die-cast machine heads
  • Bridge: Rosewood bridge

This is another Fender on the list, but we have a CP-60S model. The guitar is made of a combination of mahogany and spruce. It has a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and mahogany neck. What is great here is that the neck is easy to play with. It has a modern Fender shape, and it will be quite comfortable if you are a beginner. 

Some acoustic guitars can be too big for people with smaller hands, and this one will solve any similar problem. As for the quality of sound, the guitar is great. Especially if you consider the price. It is also great that the Fender CP-60S is on the lower end of the price range, and you won’t need to invest as much if you wanted to get this one. 

Framus Legacy Series FP 14 SV

ProsCons
Great priceBrand not as famous
Comfortable
Good sound
Well-made 
  • Body: Mahogany, spruce
  • Neck: Mahogany with ebony fretboard
  • Scale Length: 24.75 inches (628.65 mm)
  • Frets: 18, medium
  • Tuners: Steel Post style machine heads
  • Bridge: Tigerstripe Ebony bridge

Framus is not as well-known of a brand as some other entries on the list, and it might be a deal-breaker for some players. But if you are willing to try out something new, this can be an excellent choice. The guitar is made of mahogany with a spruce top, and the neck is made of the same material. The fingerboard is made of ebony, and the guitar has eighteen frets. 

All things considered, it is a well-made guitar that’s worth the price. You can choose between a couple of different finishes, and the guitar is available in natural, vintage, and even with EQ if you’d like to plug it in the amp. Regardless of the model you choose, each will fall in the price range of under $300. 

Recording King RPS-9-TS

Recording King RPS-9-TS Dirty 30's Series 9 Single 0 Acoustic Guitar,...
  • Solid Sitka Spruce top
  • 25.4" Scale Length
  • Cross Lap bracing
  • Bone nut & saddle
ProsCons
Great price
Comfortable
Good sound
Beautiful design
  • Body: Spruce
  • Neck: Nato with revebond fretboard
  • Scale Length: 25.4 inches (645 mm)
  • Frets: 20, medium
  • Tuners: Chrome
  • Bridge: Revebond bridge

This is another less-known brand that offers a great instrument. The company that designed this guitar is called Recording King, and the model is RPS-9-TS. The guitar is a part of the Dirty 30’s series, it’s made of solid spruce with a back and sides made of whitewood. The neck on this model is comfortable for playing, and it has a thin C-shape. 

Probably the first thing you will notice, besides the vintage design, is that it looks gorgeous. And it sounds even better. The color of the instrument is Farbe Tobacco Sunburst Satin, and it has a satin finish. It is a great guitar for practice, and it’s quite comfortable to play thanks to the neck shape and size. 

Gretsch G9520E

ProsCons
Great price
Pickup
Good sound
Beautiful design
  • Body: Basswood
  • Neck: Nato with walnut fretboard
  • Scale Length: 24 inches (610 mm)
  • Frets: 18, medium
  • Tuners: Open-gear diecast machine heads
  • Bridge: Walnut Top-Load bridge material with compensated saddle

Now, this model is a real treat. It is a guitar designed by Gretsch, and it is inspired by instruments used for blues and roots. Of course, you can play any genre on it without any problems. The guitar has binding, vintage tuners, a satin black finish, and most importantly, a pickup. 

This is something you don’t often see on such affordable instruments, and it is a great addition for anyone looking for an instrument they can play on stage. The guitar has a Gretsch Deltoluxe pickup system, and it sounds amazing. Needless to say, it also has an EQ you can use to adjust the sound of the pickup, and it can be quite versatile. 

Harley Benton Custom Line CLP-15ME

ProsCons
Great priceTuners are not ideal
Well-madeMight require setup
Good soundQuality of materials
Pickup
  • Body: Okoume
  • Neck: Okoume with Pau Ferro fretboard
  • Scale Length: 24.7 inches (628 mm)
  • Frets: 18, medium
  • Electronics: Fishman Presys-II preamp system with built-in tuner
  • Bridge: Pau Ferro

If you are looking for an affordable instrument, there is a high chance you can find one by Harley Benton. The company is a part of Thomann Music, which is one of the biggest retailers in Europe. This Custom Line CLP-15ME is a perfect example of what you can expect from Harley Benton. The guitar is well-made, it’s affordable, and it sounds amazing. One of the problems you might encounter is with tuning machines, but it is something you can expect for such a low price. 

All things considered, Custom Line CLP-15ME is a great guitar, and it sounds quite good when you plug it in. It is equipped with a Fishman Presys-II preamp system, and it also has a tuner. 

Top 5 Budget Parlor Guitars Under $400

The next price increase is for guitars under $400. Specifically, between $300 and $400. Now, some people might disagree on the fact that this is a budget price, but considering how expensive professional equipment is, we can still count this as a budget option. 

Here, we will see a couple of returning brands, but also a few new ones. You can expect better quality and overall sound in this category as well, and these are some of the best options for parlor guitars if you can afford to spend as much.

Ibanez AVN9-OPN

ProsCons
ComfortableA bit expensive for some people
Well-madeDoesn’t have a pickup
Good sound
Great design
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany with rosewood fretboard
  • Scale Length: 25 inches (634 mm)
  • Frets: 18, medium
  • Electronics: No
  • Bridge: Ibanez Advantage tailpiece, Rosewood

Here we have a more expensive version of the Ibanez parlor guitar, and it is incredible. You can see from the start that this is a well-made instrument, and the quality of materials is quite good. One of the main downsides is that this model doesn’t have a pickup, which might not be a problem for some people. However, if you were hoping to get one, you might need to go look for a different model. 

Naturally, this isn’t a deal-breaker, and many people dislike the sound of pickups on acoustic guitars. This doesn’t mean that the instrument is bad. It’s quite the opposite. And it’s well worth the money. 

Richwood P-50 Parlor

ProsCons
ComfortableDoesn’t have a pickup
Handmade
Good sound
Decent price
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany with rosewood fretboard
  • Scale Length: 24.7 inches (628 mm)
  • Frets: 18, medium
  • Electronics: No
  • Bridge: Rosewood

Richwood began its musical journey by making cheap copies of well-known instruments. And it didn’t go as well as the company hoped for. But over time, the company improved and started making its own models, and it showed how things can change in the world of guitars. Today, Richwood offers many great guitars, and P-50 is just one of many examples. 

The guitar is an excellent choice for all blues lovers out there, but you can use it for other genres as well. The P-50 is a great guitar for the price, even though it doesn’t have a pickup system installed. What is really impressive is that this guitar is handmade. 

Harley Benton CLP-15E Koa Exotic

ProsCons
Comfortable
Well-made
Good sound
Decent price
  • Body: Mahogany with a koa top
  • Neck: Mahogany with Pau Ferro fretboard
  • Scale Length: 24.7 inches (628 mm)
  • Frets: 18, medium
  • Electronics: Sonicore pickup with Fishman Presys II preamp
  • Tuners: Black diecast quality mushroom knob machine heads
  • Bridge: Pau Ferro bridge

Another category, another Harley Benton. This time, we have a CLP-15E Koa Exotic model. While the name of the guitar might seem similar to the previous one, it isn’t from the same category, and this is an improved version with better materials, a Sonicore pickup, a preamp, and better hardware. 

The CLP-15E plays great, it’s comfortable, and the sound is amazing. It is obvious that Harley Benton decided to use the opportunity to make another incredible guitar for such a low price. There aren’t many things you could even list as cons for this model, and everything you would have to say is in line with the price range. 

Framus FP-14SVE VNT Legacy Series

ProsCons
Comfortable
Well-made
Good sound
Decent price
  • Body: Spruce, with mahogany back and sides
  • Neck: Mahogany with rosewood fretboard
  • Scale Length: 24.7 inches (628 mm)
  • Frets: 18, medium
  • Electronics: Fishman Isys+ pickup system with integrated tuner
  • Tuners: Premium diecast mushroom machine heads
  • Bridge: Rosewood bridge

This is a similar model to the one I mentioned before by Framus, but it offers better materials and higher quality. The guitar is made of solid spruce with a back and sides made of mahogany. It has a rosewood fingerboard, “mother-of-pearl” inlays, and eighteen frets. What is also great with this model is that it has electronics, so you can easily plug it into the amp while playing live or practicing. 

It is a nice improvement compared to the previous model, and the guitar sounds quite good. Naturally, you can buy it regardless of your skill level. 

Takamine GY11MENS

ProsCons
Comfortable
Great quality
Good sound
Decent price
  • Body: Mahogany back and sides
  • Neck: Mahogany with Indian laurel fretboard
  • Scale Length: 25.35 inches (644 mm)
  • Frets: 20, medium
  • Electronics: Pickup Takamine TP-4T system
  • Bridge: Indian laurel

Takamine is one of the most popular brands when it comes to affordable and mid-range instruments. Here, we have one of many parlor guitars that this company offers, and the name is GY11MENS. The guitar features laminated mahogany on top, back, and sides, and the fretboard are made of Indian laurel. It is a part of the G-series, and it is designed for beginners and those with a bit more experience. 

One of the biggest advantages is that this model is equipped with the Takamine TP-4T system, and it sounds quite good when played on a speaker. 

Top 5 Budget Parlor Guitars Under $500

The final category is reserved for guitars between $400 and $500. Going above this price range would be pointless since there is no way someone would consider guitars over $500 to be a budget option. The quality of these models is incredible, and if you can afford to buy a $500 instrument, you’ll be more than satisfied. 

Naturally, the choices are even better if you can afford to pay more, and here, we will see some of the best parlor guitars you can find in this price range. 

PRS SE P20

ProsCons
ComfortableMight be too pricey for some
Great quality
Great sound
Beautiful design
  • Body: Mahogany 
  • Neck: Mahogany with ebony fretboard
  • Scale Length: 25.28 inches (642 mm)
  • Frets: 20, medium
  • Tuners: PRS designed machine heads
  • Bridge: Ebony bridge with bone inlay

Paul Reed Smith became popular for his unique and beautiful guitars, and the most popular model is the one played by Santana. Over the years, the PRS company broadened its repertoire, and today, you can find numerous different models. And this includes acoustic guitars. 

If you decide to buy a PRS guitar, you know that you will get a gorgeous-looking instrument that sounds amazing. And PRS SE P20 is no different. The guitar has binding on the mahogany body, incredible design, and famous bird inlays. The only downside I can think of is the price. But you can expect it to be higher for such a stunning instrument. 

Harley Benton CLP-15E Flame Koa Exotic

ProsCons
Comfortable
Well-made
Good sound
Beautiful design
  • Body: Mahogany with a flame koa top
  • Neck: Mahogany with Pau Ferro fretboard
  • Scale Length: 24.7 inches (628 mm)
  • Frets: 18, medium
  • Electronics: Sonicore pickup with Fishman Presys II preamp
  • Tuners: Black diecast quality mushroom knob machine heads
  • Bridge: Pau Ferro bridge

This is a similar model to the previous Harley Benton guitar, but the difference is in the top. If you liked what CLP-15E had to offer, but you still want something more, this Flame Koa version might be a perfect choice for you. The guitar has a different look, and with better materials, the price is likely to be higher. 

Once again, the CLP-15E model has a preamp with a Sonicore pickup, and it allows you to play it with a speaker or an amplifier.

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Framus Vintage 5/51

ProsCons
Comfortable
Well-made
Good sound
Beautiful design
  • Body: Laminated maple veneer
  • Neck: Maple with Tigerstripe ebony fretboard
  • Scale Length: 24.7 inches (628 mm)
  • Frets: 18, medium
  • Electronics: Framus Alnico V Mini-Humbucker
  • Tuners: Framus Vintage Style
  • Bridge: Tune-O-Matic

Here, we have something a bit different. This acoustic guitar doesn’t have a standard resonator hole, but instead, it has two f-shaped holes. It also comes with an Alnico mini-humbucker, and with two controls for volume and tone. 

It is a nice combination of parlor guitars and semi-hollow electric models, and it sounds quite nice. Moreover, the pickup will allow you to experiment with notes, and you can use it with pedals as well. 

Richwood P-65-VA Parlor

ProsCons
Comfortable
Well-made
Good sound
Beautiful design
  • Body: Spruce, with rosewood back and sides
  • Neck: Mahogany with rosewood fretboard
  • Scale Length: 24.7 inches (628 mm)
  • Frets: 18, medium
  • Electronics: No
  • Tuners: Chrome
  • Bridge: Rosewood

Richwood P-65-VA is a model from the master series, and it offers a couple of upgrades compared to the previous model I mentioned by this brand. The first thing I should mention is that it has a different bracing you could usually find on dreadnought models. As a result, it offers a “bigger” tone compared to other parlor guitars. 

The neck on the guitar is with a satin finish which allows easier playing. It’s quite comfortable, and it sounds really good. 

Epiphone J-200 EC Studio Parlor VS

ProsCons
Comfortable
Well-made
Cutaway
Beautiful design
  • Body: Ovangkol, with solid spruce top
  • Neck: Maple with Pau Ferro fretboard
  • Scale Length: 25.5 inches (648 mm)
  • Frets: 20, medium
  • Electronics: Shadow Nanoflex HD, Performer tuner preamp, pickup system
  • Tuners: Gold hardware
  • Bridge: Standard

Epiphone J-200 EC Studio Parlor VS is another exciting model you need to check out. The most notable feature of the guitar is that it has a single cutaway, which means that you will have easier access to higher frets. 

The company has been offering incredible guitars based on Gibson’s designs, and this one is no different. It also has a pickup system you can use if you enjoy playing with a speaker or amp. The “VS” in the name is for color, and this model is a vintage sunburst. 

Conclusion

If you enjoy smaller instruments and dislike dreadnought shape, parlor guitars might be a perfect choice for you. They have a smaller body with a narrower waist, and they offer eighteen or twenty frets. 

This means that you will still get a full-size guitar, but you won’t need to struggle while playing. For those that enjoy the idea, they should know that it is possible to find good parlor guitars for under $200. Of course, the more money you’re willing to spend the better instrument you’ll get. 

For under $300, you can see a couple of upgrades in quality and sound, and instruments that cost under $400 are great for both beginner and advanced players. Finally, you can spend up to $500 on a great guitar, and going above that would hardly be a budget option.

Last update on 2021-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Jacob

I have been playing guitar since 2004. As long as I can remember I always had a huge passion for rock music and I extremely enjoy playing it. Helping people on their rock journey is what drives me to keep on playing. Read More About Me

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