Not too long ago, budget guitars were considered by many to be junk for beginners. You weren’t a real guitarist until you had a high-end, handmade instrument in your hands. Today we are seeing more and more affordable guitars offering amazing quality and playability right of out box. So, for those of you looking to make an upgrade or wanting a roadworthy axe that you don’t mind throwing around, here are five overlooked guitars under $1K.
Ibanez Artcore AS73 Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar
The Ibanez Artcore line of semi-hollow and hollow body guitars have easily become some of the best low cost, high quality guitars on the market. The AS73 is an incredibly versatile semi-hollow that lists for only $399.99. Featuring a select-grade maple top, back & sides, mahogany neck, and bound rosewood fingerboard, this instrument could easily facilitate the needs of all players from beginner to advanced skill levels. A pair of Ibanez Classic Elite humbuckers provide players with a punchy tone, while a dual volume, dual tone, 3-way selector switch configuration provides optimal tonal versatility. Accented with block inlays and chrome Ibanez hardware, the Ibanez AS73 has a truly classic look. This is a solid guitar featuring set-neck construction, so live performers can definitely bring the AS73 on stage as a main or backup instrument.
Yamaha REVSTAR Series RS420 Electric Guitar
In a relatively short amount of time, the Yamaha REVSTAR line of guitars has become a popular, budget-friendly series amongst guitarists. With models covering various price points, there is a REVSTAR model for almost every budget. The RS420, at just $499.99, is a whole lot of guitar for a great price. Featuring a nato body & neck, maple cap, rosewood fingerboard, and a pair of Yamaha VH3+ Alnico V humbuckers, the REVSTAR RS420 is a modern looking rock machine ready for the stage or studio. Other features you will find on this model include master volume and master tone controls, a 3-way blade switch, Tune-O-Matic bridge with stoptail, and a very comfortable belly carve on the back.
Gretsch G2622T Streamliner Center Block Electric Guitar
If you’re wanting a top-notch Gretsch guitar at a fantastic price point, look no further than the Streamliner series. Once Gretsch rolled these models out, the reviews were positive right out of the gate. One of the more notable models is the G2622T. For a mere $549.99, players can get their hands on an affordable, well-built, semi-hollow Gretsch guitar. Built on their traditional doublecut design, the Gretsch G2622T features a laminated maple body, set nato neck, and laurel fingerboard with eye-catching pearloid Big Block inlays. You also get a Bigsby B70 Vibrato Tailpiece and a pair of Gretsch Broad’Tron BT-2S pickups. Fans of vintage Gretsch guitars will appreciate the traditional control layout of master volume and tone controls, dedicated neck and bridge pickup volume controls, and a 3-way selector switch.
Michael Kelly Custom Collection CC50 Fralin Striped Ebony Electric Guitar
When it comes to providing the most bang for your buck, Michael Kelly is a brand that delivers. Coming in at $799.99, this Custom Collection CC50 Fralin is jam packed with features that set it apart from other guitars at this price point. The alder body is adorned with a gorgeous striped ebony top and 3-ply black pickguard, while the bolt-on maple neck features a modern “C” neck profile, pau ferro fingerboard and a bone nut. Loaded into the CC50 Fralin is a set of Fralin Steel Pole 43 pickups, single coils designed to get you close to a P90 tone. An added phase reverse mod makes this an incredibly versatile instrument. You also get master volume and tone controls, as well as a 3-way blade switch. Plus, a vintage style bridge with brass saddles for a little extra twang.
Reverend Double Agent OG Electric Guitar
Last, though certainly not least, is the Reverend Double Agent OG. At $899.99, the Double Agent OG is a real Swiss Army knife of a guitar. Like all Reverend guitars, the Double Agent OG features a korina body, and some color options also feature a flame maple veneer. You also get a roasted maple neck with, depending on the color you choose, a roasted maple or pau ferro fingerboard. The Double Agent OG is loaded with a vintage PAF style Reverend HA5 in the bridge position and a Reverend 9A5 P90 in the neck position, which is designed to sound slightly cleaner than a vintage P90. You get master volume and tone controls, a 3-way blade switch, and a bass contour control which filters out bass frequencies and gets your pickups close to that single coil sound without sacrificing volume. Other features worth noting are a Tune-O-Matic bridge with stoptail, Reverend pin lock tuners, a boneite nut, and Reverend’s innovative Triple Tree.
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