If you are a beginner looking to get a new guitar, a mid-level player or an active musician looking for a new tone that won’t break the bank. We have put together our “Top 6 guitars on a budget” list that highlights all the benefits and features of each guitar.
The first thing you need to think about when looking for your first “real” guitar is the differences between features and benefits. Features are an important aspect of a guitar when considering your preferences and style of music. Benefits will help you make the final decision on why a certain guitar is right for YOU and be confident in taking the plunge into buying that new piece of gear.
I will be going over the features of these guitars in an effort to help you have a better understanding in thoughts that are far too often overlooked when buying your first guitar. The benefits are going to be individual to you but with this list and key information you will be able to decide which guitar offers the most benefits to you personally.
To start this list off we will be going over one of the highest rated guitars on the affordable market. The Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Telecaster coming in at $399.99 bridges the gap between modern and vintage tones, feel and at an incredible price point. The guitar comes stock with a custom set of telecaster pickups with your choice of Alnico 5 magnets (available in the butterscotch finish) or Alnico 3 (available in the blonde finish) which will be a great factor in cost when you do not have to think about spending extra cash on pickups right away. That can be said about the rest of the hardware as well, with stable tuners from the factory and a vintage style bridge, this guitar will keep your wallet intact from spending loads on new hardware and pickups. Now where we come to the more modern features of this guitar you will have a 9.5″ radius with medium jumbo frets on a comfortable “Modern C” shaped neck which will not only make this guitar easy to play, but enjoyable and natural to a beginner. A Telecaster will not only be a familiar and comfortable guitar but one that will leave you with plenty of tonal options to keep your style and playing fresh without overwhelming complexity.
Another guitar in the Classic Vibe series that makes the list at number 2 is the Squire Classic Vibe ’60s Stratocaster also available for $399.99. Now the same can be said for the Stratocaster that was said about the Telecaster as far as build quality, the great hardware, and pickups. This Stratocaster is set up with another custom set of pickups utilizing the Alnico 5 magnets, vintage style tuners, and the famous fender style 6-point vintage tremolo system to give you a few more tonal options. A beautiful rosewood fretboard with a 9.5” radius with medium jumbo frets on a maple “Modern C” neck. I believe that every player should own a Stratocaster, they are classic guitars for a reason. Deep punchy rhythm tones out of the neck pickup, a warm mellow tone out of the middle, and a bright lead tone that will cut through any mix from the bridge with the ability to mix with the 5 way switch this guitar will do it all.
Switching it up we have at number 3 the Gretsch G2420 Hollow body. At only $349.99 this Gretsch is perfect for anyone looking to break from the norm. With a jazz box style body and the 12” radius you will be able to play fast clean leads or deep mellow rhythm fills with ease and style. Combine that with a set of custom Gretsch “Broad-Tron” pickups and you have a guitar that stands out in looks and sound. This guitar holds up to “That Great Gretsch Sound” while also giving you some more modern features with a thin U neck shape, quality tuners, and an Adjusto-matic bridge gives this guitar great tuning stability and allows for easy setups to keep you playing the best you can. Versatility is part the reason that Gretsch guitars are so great and even at this price point this streamliner does not fall short in that aspect. If a true hollow body is what you are after on a budget look no further, you will not be disappointed.
Coming into the list at number 4 this Gretsch G5425 Electromatic Club Jet is the lowest price point on the list at $299.99 it offers a modern and affordable twist on the famous Gretsch Duo Jet. Neo classic inlays on a rosewood fretboard, cream binding surrounding the carved maple top, and a two-tone finish give you a guitar that looks just as good as it can play. The chambered body paired with Gretsch Broad-Iron pickups give you great twang without being shrill and a muddy thump without losing all of that Gretsch sparkle. The V shape neck fits in your hand naturally and the 12” radius will give you a familiar feel that will be hard to put down. Don’t let the low price point fool you, this Gretsch still offers quality hardware that won’t leave you running back to your local shop for some upgrades right away and the anchored Adjusto-Matic bridge will keep setups simple and staying in tune a breeze.
A classic rock machine at number 5 on this list is the Epiphone Les Paul Studio Deluxe at only $399.99 this budget Les Paul holds up to what you would expect from such a revered instrument. Epiphone keeps the price on this guitar low and the build quality high by sacrificing some of the aesthetic features you would find on a standard. It does not skimp on tone or feel though, with a set of Epiphone’s Alnico Classic Plus humbuckers you will get low-end punch and a great crunch with ease. Tuners with a vintage look and feel with modern stability will keep you confident you won’t slip out of tune when you rock out. The chunky neck set into the mahogany body gives you crazy sustain and if that wasn’t enough the LockTone Tune-O-Matic Bridge and stop bar tailpiece will add even more. This guitar oozes that classic rock tone and look at an insane price. A meaty mahogany neck with a 12” radius rosewood fretboard will give you a fast playing rock machine that will not fret out on you.
With a design that will shoot you back to the golden era of guitars and a classic tone that is often copied but never matched, the Epiphone ES-335 PRO comes in at number 6 on the list at $399.99. A maple body and carved top paired with Epiphone’s Alnico Classic Plus humbuckers with push-pull pots give you an abundance of tonal abilities at a steal of a price. The classic semi hollow body will feel natural and provide the famous tone we all know and love. A set mahogany neck with a slim tapered “D” profile paired with a 12” radius makes this a dream to play. Wilkinson tuners, LockTone Tune-O-Matic Bridge and stop bar tailpiece keep this in tune and gives you the sustain to stand out with your sound and feel confident in your choice when you pick one of these up.
With countless guitars to choose from, confusing specs and many features to think about, we know that making this next step in your musical journey can sometimes feel very intimidating and overwhelming. We are certain that this top 6 list will help you gain a better understanding of the basics that you need to feel confident when making that final decision.
Keep checking back for more great articles coming soon from The Daily Tune!