With so many choices, buying the best electric guitar under $300, under $500 and under $2000 can be impossible. We’ve done the work for you!
Looking to understand guitar specs first before buying? We’ve got you covered here in this article.
Neck: Maple, C-shaped
Pickups: Squier Single-Coil Strat
Options for sub-$300 guitars have traditionally been limited (and not great), but luckily modern guitarists are presented with a wide range of options.
The guitar of choice for many beginning guitarists, the Squier series is an affordable gateway into the world of Fender guitars.
The Affinity series offers a classic Stratocaster body, along with single-coil pickups and a C-shaped maple neck, making it great for achieving vintage tones on a tight budget.
Neck: Maple Wizard III
Pickups: Quantum humbuckers
The Ibanez RG421 is a great guitar for beginners or those on a budget. It features a thin and fast maple Wizard neck as well as Quantum humbucking pickups. Unlike some of Ibanez’s other models, the RG421 has a fixed bridge, making it great for beginners. This is an excellent guitar for those looking for speed and playability.
Neck: Maple, C-shaped
Pickups: Yamaha Alnico V Single-Coil
The Pacifica 112v is an extremely affordable electric guitar from Yamaha with a C-shaped neck, rosewood fretboard and 22 frets. Another great feature at this price point is the H/S/S configuration, which gives you the versatility to play a wide range of styles.
This price range is normally where you get the best value for money. Guitars in this category come packed with features at a price that is still highly affordable. Because you are paying slightly more, there won’t be as many corners cut when it comes to building quality or specifications.
Neck: Maple, Modern C
Fretboard: Pau Ferro
Pickups: Player Series Alnico 5 Strat Single-Coil
The Player series by Fender represents the best value in their entire lineup at the moment, providing excellent specs and modern features at a great price. This Mexican-made Strat comes with an alder body, a Modern-C neck profile and three single coil pickups, as well as 22 frets on a maple fretboard. This is essentially the best Stratocaster you can get for under $1,000, with specs good enough for beginners and professionals alike.
Neck: Mahogany Thin U
Fretboard: Pau Ferro
Pickups: EMG 80/61
Despite looking like a classic Gibson Les Paul, this ESP guitar has been built from the ground up for high-intensity shredding.
Besides offering 24 frets instead of 22, the EC-1000 also comes fitted with a set of EMG 60/81 active pickups, allowing for extremely thick high-gain tones. When paired with the right amp or distortion pedal, these pickups will truly pack a punch. The ebony fretboard and comfortable mahogany neck are also ideal for speedy guitar solos. If you’re looking for the perfect metal guitar under $1,000, this is it.
Body: Mahogany with Beveled Maple Top and Flame Maple Veneer
Neck: Maple, Wide Thin
Pickups: 85/15 “S”
While PRS are best known for their high-end US-made guitars, they also offer an SE line with affordable Korean-made guitars. The SE Custom 24 is one of these. With a beautiful mahogany body and maple top, as well as 85/15 pickups that offer both humbucking and single-coil tones, this is a highly versatile all-rounder. Playability is also excellent, thanks to the Wide Thin maple neck and rosewood fretboard. If you’re looking for a guitar that can do it all for under $1,000, you can’t go wrong with this one.
Body: Mahogany with maple top
Neck: Maple, Pattern Thin
Although it comes in at just under $2,000, the CE24 is still one of PRS’s more affordable models. At this price point, you get a US-built guitar for half the price of comparable models from PRS. Key specifications include a bolt-on maple neck, 85/15 pickups and of course 24 frets. Compared to the even more affordable SE Custom 24, the CE24 features a thinner neck, higher-quality electronics as well as a flamed maple top compared to the SE’s veneer. The neck on the CE24 has a smooth satin finish, while the SE’s is glossy. Another important difference is that the CE24 features a bolt-on neck, while the SE has a set neck.
Neck: Maple, Deep C
Pickups: V-Mod II Single-Coil Tele
The new Professional II Telecaster features a bolt-on Deep-C neck, 22 frets and V Mod II Tele pickups. In terms of woods, the body is made from alder, with a maple neck and rosewood fretboard. It also comes with a sculpted neck that makes it easier to reach higher frets. For the money, this is one of the best telecasters you can buy.
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