If you’re completely new to guitars, or if you’re gifting somebody their first guitar, it’s always a good idea to get set up with everything that you (or the lucky recipient) need. You can only imagine the disappointment if when playing the guitar for the first time, a string snaps and there isn’t a spare set to hand!
Fortunately, there are some great acoustic guitar bundles on the market that help you to take the thought out of the buying process. They’re usually loaded with everything you need to start making music right away! In this KillerGuitarRigs Guide we’ll be reviewing the 7 best acoustic guitar kits to find out which ones are worth your consideration!
When testing these bundles, we were primarily focused on the guitars themselves, looking for comfort, playability, tone, and construction quality. Of course, with the accessories, we were mostly interested in what items came with the guitar, and how much value they add.
- Our Top Three Picks
- Fender CC60S – Top Pick
- Jasmine S35 – Best Value
- Seagull S6 – Editor’s Choice
- Squier by Fender SA-150
- Fender CD-60SCE
- Tanglewood TW2T
- Yamaha FGX-800C
- What Are the Different Styles of Acoustic Guitar?
- What To Look for In an Acoustic Guitar Kit?
- Final Thoughts on the Best Acoustic Guitar Kits
Our Top Three Picks
The Fender CC60S was our top pick award winner in this test. It performed exceptionally, and features surprisingly high end construction and materials given the price. The bundled accessories were all useful, and much like the guitar, all great quality.
Those of you looking for something inexpensive, yet enjoyable to play should look at our best value pick, the Jasmine S35 . It sounded great, it was comfortable to play, and it’s built to a high standard, so it should grow with you as your skills develop.
If you’re looking for something special and cost isn’t a concern, we’d recommend our Editor’s Choice – the Seagull S6 . We’ve reviewed this guitar in depth before, and we remain impressed with its unique tones, excellent construction quality, and superb playability.
Fender CC60S – Top Pick
A winning combination of comfort and playability
Fender is one of the most widely recognized brands not just in the music business, but in the world – ask a non-guitar player if they know what Fender make, and there’s a good chance they’ll answer correctly! Starting with a well recognized brand like Fender is always a good choice if you’re trying to make a choice on a new guitar, especially with so many far eastern “pop up” brands coming and going like ships in the night.
The CC60S is a concert shape guitar, which we found makes it a joy to play for extended periods of time. It’s comfortable, and because we weren’t fighting against awkward or bulky designs, we were able to hold the guitar better, resulting in better technique and better tone.
The nato wood neck is slim and comfortable, perfect for getting used to playing the guitar. The fretboard edges are rolled for better ergonomics and increased comfort – a feature rarely seen on beginner instruments.
Visually, this is a stunning guitar. It has a natural solid mahogany top, which at this price point is rare – typically you’d expect to see layered or laminated woods in the sub $300 range, but Fender saw fit to equip this model with a solid tone wood top. The back and sides are layered mahogany, but as the back and sides have much less impact on tone than the top, this actually helps to improve durability without overly sacrificing sound quality.
The mahogany top gives this guitar a wonderfully deep woody quality. It has some top end bite, but plenty of mid range and bass presence too, which is a great combo.
The bundle includes a soft padded Fender branded gig bag, picks, spare strings, a Fender branded guitar strap, an instructional dvd and a clip on tuner – everything you’ll need to get started immediately.
Verdict: We loved playing the Fender CC60S ! The concert body keeps the tones a little more nuanced than you’d find with a big dreadnought, and the shape makes it comfortable to hold. It’s built with great quality materials, and being from Fender you know it’s going to last – whether you’re buying this for yourself or somebody else, it’s definitely worth your consideration.
Jasmine S35 – Best Value
A turn key deal that’s perfect for any beginner
If you’re not familiar with Jasmine guitars, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of their former parent company – Takamine. Takamine produce some of the world’s finest acoustic guitars, and while Jasmine was sold on to another company, the quality instilled while they were in the Takamine family still remains.
The S35 is a full bodied dreadnought style guitar. This is by far the most common shape when it comes to acoustics. This is another slim necked guitar, making it easy for newer players, and especially for those with smaller hands, to get a proper grip and reach all areas of the fretboard.
The neck is made from nato wood, and interestingly enough, it comes with a rosewood fretboard, something not often seen outside of high end guitars these days. We found that the rosewood felt great under the fingers, and we’re sure you’ll love not only the feel, but how good it looks, and how hard wearing it is, too. The action was low and fast playing, which further increased the comfort factor.
Being a budget guitar, you aren’t getting solid tone woods on the body, but despite this, we still think it sounds fantastic. The S35 has a very bright tone, and sounded wonderful when fingerpicking. The volume you get from the big dreadnought body is also a big plus.
The top is made from laminated spruce, while the back and sides are made from a laminated agathis. Solid tonewoods are always nice, but laminate is often a better choice for a beginner – it responds much better to changes in temperature in humidity, so you can take it to the beach, camping, or wherever else you like. Plus, laminate is more resistant to chips, scratches and cracks, and the difference in tone is minimal until you start getting into premium selections.
Bundled with this Jasmine was a soft nylon gig bag, an instructional book and DVD, picks, a spare set of light gauge Martin SP acoustic strings, a cleaning cloth, a nylon strap, a clip on tuner, and even a free trial to Fender Play – an awesome, interactive online guitar lessons site.
Verdict: For the money it doesn’t get much better. You’ll be getting a reliable, well made guitar in the Jasmine S35 , that looks, sounds and plays great. The substantial bundle means you’ll be able to get started right away, and of all of the kits we reviewed, this value set contains the most instructional material, which is one of the most important things for any new guitarist.
Seagull S6 – Editor’s Choice
Unique tones and expert craftsmanship
As a brand, Seagull guitars are something of a mystery, they’re well known in guitar circles, but still exist as a fringe manufacturer. We really believe that Seagull needs more recognition as a mainstream brand – after all, their S6 model is to this day, one of the cheapest ways to get a North American made guitar built with solid, premium tone woods.
The made in Canada Seagull S6 has a dreadnought body shape, but offers a slim body depth, we loved the big tones it produced while still remaining ergonomic and comfortable to hold. The silver leaf maple neck was substantial, and felt great in the hand, and at no point did it become tiresome.
Unusually, the Seagull comes with a solid cedar top. Cedar is a tone wood usually reserved for classical instruments, but combined with the cherry back and sides of the S6, it really works. Tones were nuanced, with crystal clear highs, accentuated mids and foreboding lows. It sounds exceptional when finger picking, and for other folk styles, it’s certainly one of our favorites.
If you see yourself taking up open mic nights, you’ll be pleased to know that the S6 also features high quality Godin QIT electronics. We plugged in and found that we lost none of the gorgeous harmonic qualities that we loved so much about this guitar.
The bundle itself is unfussy, and lets the guitar do the talking. It comes with a high quality custom fit hard sided case and a microfiber cleaning cloth, which should help you to keep your S6 in pristine condition for years to come.
Verdict: Whether you’re a beginner looking for a guitar that will grow with you as your abilities do, or whether you’re planning to upgrade a guitar you already own, the Seagull S6 is a great choice. It’s an heirloom quality instrument, made in Canada with sustainable, yet premium tone woods. The bundled hard case is also superb quality and will ensure that your Seagull stays in great condition for years to come.
Fender quality and styling at a budget friendly price
Fender’s Squier brand is widely known in electric guitar circles, but seemingly less so when it comes to their acoustic line up. Just as with their electric guitars, though, Squier offers a great blend of features and price, with the comfort that comes with knowing that a rigorous QA process exists at the factory.
The SA-150 is a full body dreadnought. If you’re looking for classic booming, acoustic tones, this is a good option for you! The body depth was great for tones, but we found that it might hinder smaller players in holding the guitar correctly, and could be a little uncomfortable.
The neck is made from maple, and it even includes a maple finger board. We found that it had a nice, low action, and the frets were finished well despite the low price.
It has a full laminate construction, meaning no solid tone woods anywhere on the body. The big benefit of all laminate construction is that it makes it very hard wearing. It isn’t as susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity. The tradeoff is that the tones aren’t as delicate as you’d find on a an all solid or a solid top guitar. That being said, for learning the fundamentals, the SA-150 is still a very capable beginner instrument.
The bundled accessories are quite comprehensive, and really give the new player everything they’ll need. It comes with a soft nylon gig bag for carrying and storage, picks, a nylon strap so you can get playing while standing, it comes with a Fender branded clip on tuner, a spare set of 10 gauge strings, a string winder for fast changes, and an instructional DVD. Being a Fender product, you’ll also get a free trial subscription to Fender Play.
Verdict: If you want to get into the Fender brand, but are constrained by budget, Squier is a great entry point into the ecosystem. The Squier SA-150 is a good starter guitar for any beginner, although smaller players may want to look at one of the smaller bodied guitars we’ve covered in this review. It comes in black, or in an attractive sunburst finish, and considering the low price has a good fit and finish.
Quality tone woods and electric-acoustic flexibility
Fender really need no introduction as a brand, and as such, many newer players gravitate towards them in search of quality and great sound. In the vast majority of cases this is warranted, but is blind trust justifiable with the CD-60SCE? Let’s find out!
Striking a balance between comfort, tone, and playability is often tricky, but Fender have done it well with their CD-60SCE. It’s a dreadnought shape, which in most circumstances makes things more difficult, especially for newer, or smaller players in particular, but this model features a cutaway on the treble bout, which provides better fretboard access and makes it overall easier to handle.
The neck is slim, and comfortable. It’s fast playing for the more experienced guitarist, and easy to manipulate for the beginner. The only real negative we could find with this guitar centers around the string height, or action, being a little too high. This can reduce comfort a little for newer players, although the positive side of this is reduced fret buzz, which can help to improve tone as you establish better technique.
The body is made with laminated mahogany back and sides, and features scalloped X Bracing, which helps projection while keeping weight down. The top is made from solid spruce, a common tone wood used in steel string acoustic guitars. The combination of the spruce and the big, dreadnought body gave us a wonderful, full tone. It was bright and clear at the top end, with powerful bass, and excellent projection.
This is electric-acoustic model, and comes loaded with a Fishman classic pickup and preamp. We liked the amplified tones as much as we did the acoustic sound. The preamp gave us control over sound shaping, which helped to keep feedback under control.
It comes with a premium bundle, so rather than the soft gig bag featured with other models, you’ll get a fitted hard side case, which is suitable for everything from storage to travel. On top of that it comes with a cable for connecting to your amp, a Fender branded clip on tuner, a Guitar Essentials instructional DVD, a set of spare strings, picks, and a nylon strap.
Verdict: If having the ability to plug in to an amp is important, and you’re set on a full featured kit, the Fender CD-60SCE is one of the best options out there. The solid top is a rare feature at this price point, and the projection power plus on board pickups make this guitar giggable out of the box. We would have liked to have seen this bundled with a practice amp, too, but that doesn’t take anything away from the value you’ll get from this set as it is.
Good looks and excellent comfort from an established British brand
As a brand, Tanglewood is something of an unsung hero. It isn’t a household name in the same way as Fender, Squier, or Yamaha are, but when it comes to great value acoustic guitars, Tanglewood have been a viable option for budget conscious players for years now.
The TWT2 is a dreadnought shaped travel sized guitar. It has a scale length of 22.84” and a smaller body than a full sized instrument like the Squier SA-150, for example. While it doesn’t have quite the same volume as a big dreadnought, it offers similar projection, which we found added a huge amount of versatility to the little Tanglewood. Not only is it a great beach/campsite/insert any other travel scenario guitar, but it’s the perfect starter instrument for younger and smaller players.
Another huge surprise was how well equipped this guitar was, hardware-wise. We were shocked to see that it came with a Nubone nut and Nubone compensated saddle, both of which contribute heavily to the superb tones. Speaking of tones, for an all-layered mahogany body and top, it was surprisingly balanced, although there wasn’t a lot of punch in the mid range when playing with a heavy strumming technique.
We found the neck to be slim and comfortable. Larger players may actually find that it’s a bit too small, but the majority of guitarists will enjoy the speed and fret access that this brings.
Bundled with this guitar, you’ll get a Tanglewood gig bag, which we found to be one of the nicest of any that we saw in this test, you’ll also get a nylon strap, replacement strings, picks, a Fender branded clip on tuner, an instructional DVD, and a polishing cloth.
Verdict: If you’re looking for something that can match the big brand names in terms of quality and sound, but you still want to stand out you can’t go wrong with the Tanglewood TW2T . It’s comfortable, it sounds great, comes with a good bundle of accessories, and offers some high end features rarely found at this price point.
A premium bundle for the discerning guitarist
Yamaha guitars have long been associated with unassuming quality, both tonally, and physically. They aren’t flashy instruments, but they deliver where it matters, and that’s clearly the case with this wonderful acoustic guitar kit.
The FGX-800C is a dreadnought style guitar with a treble side cutaway. It’s a full size instrument, so as you’d expect, we found it to have a powerful, full voice, with rich mids and lows, and sparkly highs.
The neck was amongst the thickest of all those on test. We personally enjoyed playing it, but those with smaller hands might find it difficult to reach for barre chords. The neck and fretboard are made from rosewood, which is a nice touch. It looks great, and rosewood is one of the hardest wearing materials you’ll find used in guitar manufacturing.
The body construction is fairly standard, but as we’ve come to expect from Yamaha, the fit and finish far exceed the price point. The back and sides are made from nato wood, and it’s fitted with a lovely solid sitka spruce top. This combination of woods typically ensures excellent dynamic response, and a balanced range of tones, and we did find this to be the case.
The on board electronics include a piezo under-saddle pickup and a preamp with 3 band EQ. It took some work on the EQ to get the mid balance right after plugging in, but we got there in the end, and enjoyed the amplified tones just as much as we did the acoustic sound.
As far as bundled accessories go, this Yamaha has some of the best. It comes equipped with a Gator brand hard side case, and if you aren’t familiar, know that gator make some of the very best guitar travel gear out there. It also came with a D’Addario clip on tuner, a set of spare D’Addario strings, a 10 pack of D’Addario picks, an instructional book, and an Ernie Ball nylon strap.
Verdict: The Yamaha FGX-800C came close to winning our editor’s pick, but the robust size of the guitar just gives it slightly less universal appeal. Despite this, it’s still an absolutely fantastic guitar, especially for larger players, or for those looking to upgrade from a true beginner instrument. The branded accessories alone make this bundle an absolute steal when comparing the cost of the kit vs the individual prices, too.
What Are the Different Styles of Acoustic Guitar?
The beauty of these acoustic guitar kits is that there is a variety of different styles, each of which will suit a particular player. Keep reading to learn a little more about each particular style
Concert shape guitars are a relatively modern design, and are amongst the most comfortable to hold and play. They have a pronounced hourglass body shape, and their superior ergonomics make them a favorite amongst fingerstyle players, and those prefer to play from a seated position.
Travel guitars are typically scaled down versions of full size instruments. They can have a smaller dreadnought shape, a concert shape, or even more obscure designs, like the Martin Backpacker. The small size makes them popular amongst those who like to travel with their guitar (hence the name) but they also offer a way for smaller players to get a quality instrument that fits them comfortably.
Dreadnoughts are the archetypal image that most people have of acoustic guitars. They have a big bottom, with a broad waist and shoulders. They are associated with big, booming tones, incredible projection, and a full sound. They’re popular amongst almost every genre, from country to blues and rock.
Electric-acoustic guitars are another popular category. These are regular acoustic guitars fitted with a pickup, and usually a preamp with EQ, so that they can be plugged directly into an amp or a PA system, letting you play to larger audiences without the need for close mic-ing. They are available in a wide range of styles, including concert, travel, and dreadnought amongst others.
What To Look for In an Acoustic Guitar Kit?
The fundamentals of guitar shopping apply to kits in the same way as they do when looking for standalone instruments. To get the best kits you should look for:
Guitar Build Quality
Remember, above all else, focus on the quality of the guitar before looking at the accessories. Solid tone woods are best, but even laminates and layered woods are perfectly fine as long as the construction quality is good.
If this is a first time guitar purchase, you’d be right to want to know if it comes with some kind of warranty or guarantee against manufacturing defects. Big name brands almost always feature a limited warranty of some description, and this should provide some purchase protection should there be any issues with your guitar.
Design and Color
Especially if you’re purchasing an acoustic guitar kit as a gift for somebody else, consider the colors they like. Many of the bundles that we covered in this review are available in a range of colors, from natural wood tones, to black, or sunburst designs. Especially for younger players, having a guitar that they like the look of will inspire them to want to use it more.
Final Thoughts on the Best Acoustic Guitar Kits
While much of the point of an acoustic guitar is that you don’t need anything other than the instrument and the player to make music, the reality is that having the type of accessories that come in the kits we’ve reviewed can make learning and playing much easier. Whether it’s simply a case and a cloth or a full array of accessories, a bundle can add serious value to the purchase.
To summarize our favorites from this review, we found that our top pick, the Fender CC60S , was comfortable, had a wonderful voice, and came with some great accessories. Our best value option, the Jasmine S35 , offers incredible value for money, getting you great styling, and everything else a beginner needs at a wallet friendly cost. Finally, our Editor’s choice, the Seagull S6 , is one of the most underrated guitars on the market – a North American made acoustic, built with all solid tone woods for $600 or less – this kit was simple, but if a guitar, a case and a cloth is all you need, then it’s the right bundle for you!