Whether buying your first guitar, making a purchase on a budget, or buying a guitar for a specific purpose – whether as a backup, for stylistic purposes e.g. achieving a different kind of sound, etc – getting the purchase right is always a tricky thing to do.
By definition, the ‘budget guitars’ area of the market contains a broad range and spectrum of quality. There are some fantastic, durable, stage worthy options that really deserve their place – to the extent that it’s hard to believe they’re so cheap.
Equally there are some awful guitars that are barely worth the cost of their postage! They’re only still being purchased because so many customers are misinformed new-starters purchasing the wrong instruments – perhaps not understanding that particular guitar’s lack of quality.
It’s really important to educate yourself on these differences within the budget guitars market before making a purchase. So here are five of the best value guitars electric guitars around at the moment. All the options below can be found between $140 and $200.
Squier is a name synonymous with entry-level electric guitars. Owned by Fender themselves, Squier make many products, but the most famous ones – along with the Squier Bullet – are arguably their Affinity Stratocaster and their Affinity Telecaster
There are so many Strat and Tele copies around – some good and some not so good. The Squier range is frankly about as good as it gets without playing the real thing. These are fantastic guitars which can see a new player through several years before needing to upgrade.
The Affinity Strat, for example, is built to a similar spec to the real deal and is as close as you’ll get in terms of quality, in this price range. It’s a 21 fret guitar with maple or rosewood fingerboard, has a Strat’s traditional three single coil pickups with a five way switch and it features a vintage style tremolo bridge.
For Fender copies under $200, you simply can’t get better than the Squier affinity range.
With a mahogany body, 700T humbucker pickups, and a 24.75 scale, this is al slimline guitar but a fantastic approximation of the real deal in terms of look, attitude and packing a mighty punch.
Whilst it may not be the best Les Paul copy on the market, it certainly is the best one at under $200, by far. It’s the obvious choice for anyone looking for a lower budget Les Paul style guitar.
Suitable for all guitarists, although often preferred by heavy rock and metal players, this is a wonderful budget range from Ibanez – a well-established and trusted brand name in the industry.
The GRX range – costing only around $150 – is a range of fantastic value instruments. With a fat 6 bridge, an alder body, 2 power sound humbuckers and 22 frets, this is a solid instrument – with a distinctive Ibanez tremolo bridge.
If you’re a rock / metal player looking for a superb budget option, you won’t find anything better for $150, although the Yamaha Pacifica also deserves mention.
It’s important there’s a hollow body guitar on this list, because they’re such beautiful and in-demand guitars, generally speaking.
It’s difficult to find a better hollow body electric guitar for under $300 than the Ibanez AM53. Hollow body guitars are a little more expensive than solid bodies, however, to find an instrument of this quality from such a reputable brand at only around $299 is fantastic.
It has a rosewood fretboard, with jumbo frets for ease of playability. A roller bridge with a stop tailpiece ensures maximum tuning stability, and the pair of humbuckers ensures a great tonal range.
You can be assured that any of the options above will be a superb, durable, reliable – and most importantly playable – guitar!