Best Baritone Acoustic Guitars: Unlocking Potential

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Baritone acoustic guitars are the unsung heroes of the six-string world. Often overlooked, they offer a unique tonal palette and an intriguingly different playing experience. But navigating the realm of baritone guitars can be a bit like venturing into uncharted territory. This comprehensive guide will help you unlock the hidden potential of the best baritone acoustic guitar in 2023. We’ll explore the leading models, their pros and cons, and even delve into some surprising uses across diverse music genres.

From their unique tuning styles to their elongated bodies, understanding which baritone acoustic guitar is the best fit for you can seem intimidating. Fear not, fellow strummers and pickers! Let’s dive into the mesmerizingly low tones of the baritone world and find the perfect instrument to expand your musical horizons.

The Alvarez Artist Series Acoustic-Electric Baritone guitar

Alvarez Artist Series Acoustic-Electric Baritone


The Alvarez ABT60 is a standout in the Artist Series, offering the unique sound of a baritone guitar paired with the accessibility of an acoustic-electric model. This guitar shines with a solid A+ Sitka spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and a mahogany neck. Adding a rosewood fingerboard, real bone nut and saddle, and premium die-cast tuners enhance its playability and aesthetic appeal.

Plus, the natural gloss finish and a handy Jumbo case make it a complete package for musicians. Two versions of the ABT60 are available: the standard ABT60 and the cutaway ABT60E, which features an LL Baggs pickup and Stage Pro EQ for an amplified sound.

Key Benefits

  • Tuned lower than standard guitars, offering unique tonal possibilities
  • Longer scale lengths maintain string tension and improve intonation and tuning stability
  • Suitable for various musical genres, from metal to folk and country
  • The chord shapes are identical to a standard guitar but produce a lower pitch
  • Solid construction with high-quality woods for excellent tone and durability
  • Easy to play, making it suitable for musicians at different skill levels
  • ABT60E model features an LL Baggs pickup and Stage Pro EQ for amplified performance


The Alvarez ABT60 and ABT60E are priced affordably given their sound quality and features. The standard ABT60 retails for $399.95, while the ABT60E with the acoustic-electric functionality is priced at $499.99. Prices for baritone acoustic guitars can vary significantly, with budget models starting around $200 and high-end models reaching into the thousands. However, the ABT60 offers a compelling balance of quality and affordability.

Pros & Cons

As with any instrument, the Alvarez Artist Series Acoustic-Electric Baritone has its strengths and weaknesses. On the upside, we appreciate its carefully selected woods, high construction standards, and beautiful appearance, including diamond inlays, binding, and gold Taylor tuners. It’s an instrument that not only plays well but also looks stunning.

However, the cost could be a downside for some. While it’s more affordable than many high-end Taylor guitars, it’s still a significant investment. But if you’re after a quality baritone guitar with great tone and playability, it’s a price worth considering.

The Guild BT-258E Baritone guitar

Guild BT-258E Baritone


The Guild BT-258E Deluxe 8-string Baritone is more than just a guitar – it’s a unique musical instrument that brings together the best elements of a harp guitar, bass, and a 12-string. Part of the affordable Westerly Collection, this jumbo acoustic guitar is built in China and offers a distinct sound and versatile appeal.

Crafted with a solid Sitka spruce top, laminated rosewood sides, and an arched rosewood back, the BT-258E is both visually pleasing and acoustically sound. Tuned two and a half steps below standard, this guitar is ideal for players looking to explore sounds beyond the realm of typical 6-string guitars.

Key Benefits

  • Features octave string pairs in the third and fourth slots for a distinctive, rich sound.
  • Tuned two and a half steps below standard, offering a unique range of chords to experiment with.
  • Built with a 27-inch scale length, ideal for fingerpicking.
  • Equipped with an onboard Fishman GT-1 pickup system for accurate sound reproduction.
  • Offers a unique “thwap” factor, making it ideal for percussive players.
  • Suitable for various playing styles including fingerpicking, strumming, and bass.
  • Unique sound makes it well suited for songwriting and studio applications.


The Guild BT-258E Deluxe 8-string Baritone provides a unique musical experience at a relatively affordable price. This guitar can be purchased for a street price of $629, making it an accessible choice for guitar players seeking a new sound without breaking the bank.

Pros & Cons

From a first-person perspective, the BT-258E is a joy to play. It provides a rich, unique sound that lends itself well to songwriting and studio applications. The octave strings add a 12-string element without the hassle of managing six extra strings.

This guitar is a fantastic choice for bassists looking to explore the acoustic realm, and the “thwap” factor makes it particularly appealing to percussive players. Despite its larger size, the guitar has surprisingly normal playability thanks to a familiar nut width and a comfortable C-shaped neck.

The only downside I have noticed is that it doesn’t come with a case or gig bag, which could be an issue for those who need to transport their instrument frequently. Nevertheless, the Guild BT-258E offers solid value for its price and is definitely a lot of fun to play.

The Guild BT-240E

Guild BT-240E


From the trusted Guild’s Newark St. Collection comes the BT-240E Baritone Natural. This jumbo-shaped baritone acoustic-electric guitar boasts a unique and mysterious sound, creating an atmosphere of deep, moody richness and low-end timbre. The guitar’s extraordinary voice is the result of its historically large jumbo body shape and pressed back construction. A solid spruce top and arched mahogany back contribute to its full-frequency baritone voice and balanced delivery.

Key Benefits

  • Tuned B-E-A-D-F#-b, five steps down from a standard guitar, suitable for ensemble fills or standalone performance.
  • Solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides, contributing to a full, rich sound.
  • Features a C-shaped mahogany neck with a Pau Ferro fingerboard and 20 frets — perfect for easy handling and playability.
  • Equipped with Guild Vintage 18 Open Gear Tuners, a pau ferro bridge, and a compensated bone saddle for superior tuning stability and tonal clarity.
  • Incorporated with Guild/Fishman Sonitone GT-1 system, complete with volume and tone controls for easy sound amplification and control.
  • Comes with D’Addario XTAPB1670 coated phosphor bronze strings for a high-quality sound.


We recommend checking reliable online retailers or your local music store for the most accurate and current price information.

Pros & Cons

In our experience, the Guild BT-240E offers numerous advantages. The deep and moody tone is perfect for creating a unique and mysterious sound. The solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides contribute to a rich and balanced sound, while the Fishman Sonitone GT-1 preamp allows for easy amplification and control of the guitar’s sound.

On the downside, we noticed that there’s no mention of a gig bag or case being included with the guitar purchase, which might be a drawback for some players. Please note that the accessories included may vary depending on where you purchase the instrument. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to confirm what’s included with your retailer.

The Alvarez ABT60E Baritone Acoustic Electric Guitar

Alvarez ABT60E Baritone Acoustic Electric Guitar


The highly esteemed Alvarez ABT60E Baritone Acoustic Electric Guitar is part of the lauded Alvarez ABT60 series, sitting alongside the ABT60 and ABT60CE models. This guitar is part of the respected Artist Guitars Series, a lineup renowned for its dedication to quality and innovative design.

The ABT60E boasts a solid A+ Sitka Spruce top, African Mahogany back and sides, and a bi-level Indian Laurel/Rosewood bridge. Other notable features include a real bone nut and saddle, premium die-cast tuners, and LR Baggs StagePro EQ and Element Pick-Up.

Key Benefits

  • A part of the Artist Series, known for high-quality design and innovation.
  • Robust construction featuring a solid A+ Sitka Spruce top, African Mahogany back, and sides.
  • Equipped with a real bone nut and saddle, premium die-cast tuners, and LR Baggs StagePro EQ and Element Pick Up.
  • Offers a unique range of tones suited for various musical genres.
  • FS6 bracing design allows for uniformity across different body sizes.
  • Ideal for composers and musicians seeking to explore different tonal possibilities.


The Alvarez ABT60E Baritone Acoustic Electric Guitar is competitively priced, with values ranging from $399 to $499 on popular online platforms like Amazon and Zzounds. This makes the ABT60E an affordable option that delivers exceptional tone and playability.

Pros & Cons

From our perspective, the Alvarez ABT60E has quite a few things going for it. First off, its build quality is commendable, scoring a 4 out of 5. It also stands out in terms of playability, earning a similar rating. In terms of tone, the guitar scores even higher, with a 4.5 out of 5 rating. This instrument delivers a deep, rich tone that is perfect for those looking for a baritone guitar that is easy to play.

The Alvarez ABT60E offers a wide range of unique tonal possibilities, making it a valuable tool for composers and musicians seeking to explore beyond the typical range of an acoustic guitar.

The Ibanez ACFS380BT Baritone Grand Concert

Ibanez ACFS380BT Baritone Grand Concert


Emerging from the esteemed Artwood series by Ibanez, the ACFS380BT baritone acoustic guitar epitomizes the fusion of traditional craftsmanship and modern innovation. This guitar’s crowning glory is its grand concert style body, which is comprised of a solid Engelmann spruce top and pau ferro back and sides. The C-shape African mahogany/pau ferro five-piece neck, coupled with a Macassar ebony fingerboard, extends to a scale length of 27 inches.

It’s equipped with an Ibanez T-bar under-saddle and block contact pickup, as well as an Ibanez DP1 preamp, offering flexibility in sound and performance. The ACFS380BT also possesses chrome die-cast tuners, ebony bridge pins, and an unbleached, oiled nut and saddle, all wrapped up in an open-pore semi-gloss finish.

Key Benefits

  • The guitar’s baritone tuning offers a deep and rich sound, complementing a vocalist’s tonality.
  • Its 27-inch scale length and C-shape neck enhance playability, even with the lower tuning.
  • The open-pore semi-gloss finish provides a natural and organic appearance.
  • Its tonewoods, preamp system, and overall performance make it a worthwhile addition to any guitar collection.
  • The dual outputs allow for flexible sound and performance.


The Ibanez ACFS380BT Baritone Grand Concert offers value for money with pricing options that cater to different budgets. It’s available at a retail price of $799, but you may find it for around $570 at certain outlets.

Pros & Cons

From our experience, there is a lot to like about the Ibanez ACFS380BT. Its affordability compared to other baritone acoustic guitars is a stand-out feature. The comfortable neck profile makes it easy to play for extended periods, and the high-quality amplification options offer versatility for different music genres.

One (small) potential downside is that it does not come with a guitar case, which may be an additional cost for those wanting to ensure their guitar’s safety during transport or storage.

The Taylor 326ce Baritone-8 Special Edition

Taylor 326ce Baritone-8 Special Edition


The 326ce Baritone-8 Special Edition is a unique product born from the innovative spirit of Taylor. It features a distinctive blend of deep, low-register notes and a 12-string shimmer. This acoustic-electric guitar brings a baritone-scale (27″) tuning from B-to-B, with octave pairings for the third and fourth (D and A) strings. Constructed with a solid mahogany back, sides, and top, the guitar exudes a warm, clear, and focused sound. It is equipped with ES2 electronics and comes with a deluxe hardshell case for protection. Its body is crafted from Tropical Mahogany and features Expression System® 2 Electronics.

Key Benefits

  • Delivers a unique blend of low-register depth and 12-string shimmer
  • Features baritone-scale tuning with octave pairings for added depth
  • Solid mahogany construction offers warmth, focus, and clarity
  • Equipped with ES2 electronics for enhanced sound output
  • Comes with a deluxe hardshell case for optimum protection
  • Incorporates ethical sourcing and sustainable practices


The 326ce Baritone-8 Special Edition falls within Taylor’s more affordable range, the 300 series. The price of this guitar ranges from $2,438 to $2,599, making it a cost-effective choice for those seeking to diversify their musical palette without breaking the bank.

Pros & Cons

As an owner of the 326ce Baritone-8 Special Edition, we’ve noticed a few things that stand out.


  • It pairs well with vocalists whose range falls below the standard guitar’s frequency spectrum.
  • It can be returned to standard tuning by placing a capo at the fifth fret.
  • The guitar’s unique tonal colors produce a rich strumming voice and intriguing jangle for fingerstyle players.
  • The 27-inch scale is on the shorter end of the baritone spectrum, which means it’s as playable as a standard guitar.
  • The doubled third and fourth strings make strumming sound more dimensional.


  • The unique setup might require some getting used to, particularly for those new to baritone guitars.

What Is An Acoustic Baritone Guitar?

An acoustic baritone guitar is a type of guitar that offers a different, deeper range of pitches compared to regular guitars. Essentially, it operates in the gap between the registers of a standard guitar and a bass, creating unique sounds and tones that can’t typically be achieved on a regular guitar.

These instruments are constructed with a slightly longer neck and larger body, which contribute to their distinctive tonal qualities. They are tuned lower than standard guitars, most commonly to B standard (B-E-A-D-F#-B), and feature longer scale lengths to maintain string tension and improve intonation and tuning stability. This lower tuning and increased string tension result in a deeper, more resonant tone, which can add richness and depth to your music.

Despite these differences, it’s important to note that chord shapes on baritone guitars remain the same as on regular guitars; they produce a lower pitch. This makes them a great option for musicians seeking to experiment with different tonal possibilities, and they can be a fun and inspiring addition to any guitarist’s collection. They are suited to a variety of music genres, including metal, jazz, funk, folk, country, and even spaghetti western movie soundtracks.

Acoustic baritone guitars, therefore, are a compelling choice for composers, songwriters, and solo players looking to explore a lower, richer sound. They provide a unique sound and playing experience that can significantly enrich a piece of music, offering an invaluable tool for those seeking to push the boundaries of their creativity.

Benefits of Acoustic Baritones – Why They Are Such A Fun Alternative

Acoustic baritone guitars offer a unique alternative to standard six-string guitars. They’re often hailed as a “fun” alternative, and there are several reasons why they have gained this reputation.

Firstly, acoustic baritones are tuned lower than standard guitars, which creates a unique tonal landscape for musicians to explore. This lower tuning offers a deeper, more resonant sound that can add richness and depth to a variety of musical genres. From metal to folk and country, acoustic baritones offer a unique contribution to the soundscape that standard guitars can’t match.

Secondly, despite the lower tuning, the chord shapes of acoustic baritones are identical to standard guitars. This means musicians can leverage their existing knowledge of chords and play them with a lower pitch, expanding their musical vocabulary and range.

Lastly, acoustic baritones also maintain a longer scale length compared to standard guitars, which assists in maintaining string tension and improving intonation and tuning stability. This not only makes for a more satisfying playing experience but also enhances the overall sound quality.

To further understand the unique appeal of acoustic baritones, it’s worth considering some specific models. For instance, instruments like the Alvarez ABT60 and Taylor BAR-6 demonstrate the unique benefits of acoustic baritones, with each offering a distinctive resonance and depth that sets them apart from other guitars.

Decoding the Deep Notes: Baritone Acoustic Guitars

Today, we’ve navigated through the world of baritone acoustic guitars, exploring the distinctive, resonant sound that sets them apart. From the versatile pricing of the Alvarez Artist series to the luxurious details of the Martin Custom Shop 13-Fret Baritone, we’ve learned that baritone guitars offer unique tonal possibilities and distinctive design features.

Baritone guitars – the longer scale length, lower tuning, and richness of sound make them well suited to multiple musical genres. They provide an alternative for musicians desiring to experiment with new sounds, or who just love that deeper resonance that only a baritone can produce.

The affordability of guitars like the Alvarez ABT60 and the Taylor BAR-6 makes baritone guitars more accessible than ever, while the Guild BT-258E Deluxe 8-string brings its unique sound, offering an exciting choice for adventurous souls.

However, let’s not forget the Martin Custom D-SS 13-Fret Baritone – yes, it carries a hefty price tag. But it’s a distinctive, high-end model crafted with meticulous attention to detail, something that could make it a prized asset in any guitar collection.

In the end, the best baritone acoustic guitar is the one that sounds right to you, fits your budget, and inspires you to make music.


Andrew Scrivens

Andrew Scrivens

I am a live musician and guitar teacher from Brisbane, Australia, with extensive experience playing live, in the studio and for TV shows. I play in many venues, studios, music shops and with my students and as such am exposed to a lot of different gear. I form my opinions based on my experiences playing instruments in these locations.

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