I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “you get what you pay for”. While this phrase tends to hold true in most product markets, there is certainly some crazy value that can be had when searching for a cheap electric guitar. Cheap certainly does not always mean poor quality or poor sounding. So if you want to shop for an electric guitar but are on a budget, I suggest searching for a diamond in the rough.
I’ll start this article by jumping right into reviews on the best cheap electric guitars out there right now, but if you want to learn more about what to look for when buying a guitar in this price range, I recommend checking out our electric guitar information guide at the bottom of the page here.
|Name of Product||Image of Product||Description||Price Range||Full Review|
|1. PRS SE Standard 24 (Best Overall)||Body: Mahogany|
Scale length: 25”
|$500||Read Full Review Below|
|2. Yamaha Pacifica 112V (Best Value)||Body: Alder|
Scale length: 25.5”
|$240||Read Full Review Below|
|3. Epiphone Casino Coupe Electric Guitar (Editor's Choice)||Body: 5-layer laminated maple|
Scale length: 24.75”
|$500||Read Full Review Below|
|4. Ibanez GRG7221 7-strings (Budget Pick)||Body: Solid wood|
Scale length: 25.5”
|$200||Read Full Review Below|
|5. Schecter Omen-6 Solid-Body Electric Guitar||Body: Basswood|
Scale length: 25.5”
|$400||Read Full Review Below|
|6. Squier Affinity Stratocaster||Body: Alder|
Scale length: 25.5”
|$230||Read Full Review Below|
|7. Squire Classic Vibe||Body: Pine and Poplar|
Scale length: 25.5”
|$400||Read Full Review Below|
|8. Ibanez JEMJR Steve Vai Signature||Body: Mahogany|
Scale length: 25.5”
|$500||Read Full Review Below|
|9. Travelcaster Deluxe Electric Travel Guitar||Body: Solid wood|
Scale length: 25.5”
|$300||Read Full Review Below|
|9. Dean MLX Flame Top Electric Guitar||Body: Poplar|
Scale length: 24.75”
|$350||Read Full Review Below|
|10. Squier Bullet Stratocaster HSS HT||Body: Basswood|
Scale length: 25.5”
|$180||Read Full Review Below|
|11. Ibanez Artcore AS73||Body: Linden|
Scale length: 24.7”
|$400||Read Full Review Below|
|12. Jackson Rhoads JS32||Body: Solid wood|
Scale length: 25.5”
|$350||Read Full Review Below|
|13. Squire Affinity Telecaster||Body: Alder|
Scale length: 25.5”
|$230||Read Full Review Below|
|14. ESP LTD F-200||Body: Mahogany|
Scale length: 25.5”
|$500||Read Full Review Below|
|15. Traveler Guitar Pro-Series Standard||Body: Hard Maple|
Scale length: 24.75”
|$400||Read Full Review Below|
|16. Monoprice 610210 Route 66 Modern Solid Body Electric Guitar||Body: Basswood|
Scale length: 24.75”
|$350||Read Full Review Below|
Here Are the Best Cheap Electric Guitars
1. PRS SE Standard 24 (Best Overall)
|Pickups||2 humbucker pickups|
|Bridge||PRS Molded Tremolo|
My Review: PRS SE Standard 24 guitars have been the best overall choice for a lot of players because they offer great versatility, precise tone, appealing looks, as well as overall excellent playability. This guitar looks amazing and performs just as well. With an all-mahogany body and PRS 85/15 ‘S’ humbucking pickups, this guitar can deliver extremely warm tones. It has a nice wide yet thin neck, as well as PRS tremolo bridge, and the incredible looking PRS bird inlays, this guitar is one of the most popular and versatile guitars available for the money.
Key Specs and Features: PRS SE Standard 24 features a double-cutaway design with a full mahogany body, which allows it to deliver deep warm tones. The body itself is beautifully crafted, combined with the excellent fretboard binding. Along with that, there is a wide-thin type of neck profile, which will be a very comfortable form most while playing this guitar. It comes with 85/15 ‘S’ humbucking pickups, alongside the push-pull pot coil tap for single-coil tones, adding an incredible dimension of versatility to this guitar. PRS tuning pegs and bridge you will provide excellent and stable intonation and hold tune extremely well.
Build Materials: The whole body of this electric guitar is made of mahogany, while the neck is built from maple. The fingerboard is created from top-quality rosewood. The guitar features PRS molded tremolo bridge, as well as the synthetic nut.
Hardware: PRS SE Standard 24 comes strung with 9s, and has 24 medium jumbo frets as well as the specific PRS designed tuners. There are also two 85/15 ‘S’ humbucker pickups, for neck and bridge, as well as additional master volume and tone controls, paired with the 3-way blade pickup button for switching pickup.
Finish: This guitar comes in a number of incredible finish colors. The example above is a beautiful translucent blue color, with the gloss acrylic urethane finish, as well as with the iconic PRS flying birds fingerboard inlay.
Who Will Use This the Most: PRS SE Standard 24 is suitable for both professional players and beginners, since it brings the best of PRS quality, allowing you to comfortably learn to play or to have a live performance.
Bottom Line: PRS SE Standard 24 is definitely one of the best cheap electric guitars you can buy. You’re getting a reliable electric guitar that excels in almost all areas, offering an incredible value.
2. Yamaha Pacifica 112V (Best Value)
|Pickups||1 humbucker and 2 single-coil pickups|
My Review: Choosing the right guitar as a beginner is difficult and whenever they can, beginners tend to buy more expensive guitars. However, the cheaper options such as this Yamaha model might be the better option. This guitar is beginner-friendly – all starters can pick up the basics and learn different techniques. Yamaha guitars are known for being great quality guitars for the money.
Key Specs and Features: First of all, the body edges have a nice rounded-shape with nice body contours that make this a comfortable guitar to play both standing and sitting down. Also, the body is double-cutaway, so musicians can easily get to the high notes. The fretboard is made of rosewood with a comfortable radius and has 22 frets. It has a 5-way pickup switch and 2 knobs for controlling volume and tone.
Build Materials: Let’s start with the material of the body – it is made of alder, just like many other cheap electric guitars. Because of the alder body, the guitar is relatively lightweight. The curvy fretboard is made of premium quality rosewood and feels smooth. Moreover, the neck is made of maple. It could be a bit more sturdy, however, for the price it does the job quite well. The overall design of the guitar is great – it looks modern, and most importantly it is comfortable so musicians can play it without any discomfort.
Hardware: This guitar has 6 strings and 22 frets. When it comes to the bridge, it has six saddles. There is a humbucker in the bridge pickup positional as well as two single-coil pickups in the middle and neck position. There a control knob for volume and tone.
Finish: This Yamaha model comes in different colors. It has a shiny finish and looks like it came from a vintage store. The rounded body and curvy fretboard are only adding to the great looks of this guitar.
Who Will Use This The Most: This is an all around great guitar for beginners as well as intermediate and advanced players. What makes this guitar so affordable is its lack of premium materials as well as inexpensive overseas manufacturing. However, the materials that are used, although not top of the line, are solid and provide an excellent value for those shopping on a budget.
Bottom Line: The Yamaha Pacifica 112V is a great Strat-style guitar. Really good quality, for a great price.
3. Epiphone Casino Coupe Electric Guitar (Editors Choice)
|Body||5-layer laminated maple|
My Review: Epiphone Casino Coupe comes with the distinctive and popular Casino design, with the body that is made of a high-quality maple, in the combination with ivory. The guitar itself has a scale of 24.72”, and a SlimTaper neck shape, which will bring you back to the ‘60s. To power up your nostalgia, there is also a Sloped Dovewing headstock, positioned at an angle of 14 degrees, which positively affects the level of intonation, by increasing it. Because of its well-made neck, and bridge, the instrument is pretty comfortable to use, even for a prolonged period of time. Just like its predecessor, the very first Casino guitar, this one also features a full-size ‘dogear’ P-90s, which allows players to use this guitar to play different genres.
Key Specs and Features: Casino Coupe features pretty good Sloped Dovewing headstock, which is angled at 14 degrees, to increase the quality of the tones, as well as the audio power. It’s built of the best quality materials, such as mahogany, maple, as well as some ivory. For balanced sound effect, there is a ‘dogear’ P-90s, which allows this guitar to produce sharp, and precise sounds, while also being able to pretty easily control the feedback. To enhance the experience, there are vintage-style tuners, as well as a LockTone Tune-o-Matic bridge, as well as a coupe-sized Trapeze tailpiece. Just like most products from Epiphone, this one also comes with a limited time warranty, and complete 24/7 Gibson support.
Build Materials: This electric guitar features a 5-layered body made of laminated maple, along with one layer of the binding made of ivory on the back, as well as the top side. Furthermore, there is a SlimTaper shape neck, constructed from mahogany, with the traditional 24.75” scale. The fingerboard is built from the finest rosewood.
Hardware: There are a total of 22 medium jumbo frets, that are relatively easy to play, as well as the ‘dogear’ P-90s, to enhance the audio experience. Along with that, there are Nickel hardware vintage tuners, as well as LockTone Tune-o-Matic bridge, combined with the Trapeze coupe-sized tailpiece, and the 6 top-quality strings. There is also a 3-way toggle switch for pickup, as well as additional buttons for controlling the volume and tone of each separate pickup.
Finish: Overall, Casino Coupe looks very pretty, with the great combination of colors, and natural ivory bindings, which, combined with the other standard components, make this guitar appear very likable, and brings you back to the past.
Who Will Use This the Most: Truth to be told, Casino Coupe is great for playing different genres, but I wouldn’t recommend it to beginners since there are quite a few options to use, which may be overwhelming to new players.
Bottom Line: The Epiphone Casino Coupe is an excellent electric guitar, suitable for playing many different genres, producing high-quality tones, and comfortable to play.
Related Article: Recommended Electric Guitars for Beginners
4. Ibanez GRG7221 7-strings (Budget Pick)
|Fretboard||New Zealand pine|
|Pickups||2 PSND-7 pickups|
My Review: Ibanez is creating some of the best electric guitars on the market. They are often partnering with different musicians and making high-quality instruments. However, the downside to some of these collaboration instruments is often a high price. Since not everyone can spend a few thousand dollars on one guitar, they have created a product lineup with several more affordable pieces. The GRG model features 7-strings, and an RG body – signature body for most of their models. Even though the guitar is budget-friendly, it looks high-end. Keep in mind that because the price is so low, some features aren’t the best. With 7 strings, Infinity R pickups, and jumbo frets, you can produce a variety of great tones, but the guitar has some limitations. Also, some guitarists might not be too pleased with the strength of the neck – yet it still functions very well.
Key Specs and Features: This Ibanez guitar is 25.5″ long, which makes it great for all musicians. Beginners might find it a bit too big, but most are still able to learn the basics and play it. The bolt-on neck makes the guitar even more comfortable for playing – even if you play it continuously for a longer time, it won’t cause any discomfort. It also features 24 jumbo frets and two humbucking pickups, which makes this guitar ideal for low-drag shredding. If you are worried about the low B when playing the guitar with 7 strings, don’t be – all of the tones are clear.
Build Materials: Even though it is a cheaper Ibanez model, the guitar is durable. The body is made of solid, poplar wood and has a shiny finish made of polyurethane. Thanks to the proper choice of wood and gloss finish, the guitar doesn’t look cheap at all. Moreover, the fretboard is made of New Zealand pine and has 24 jumbo jets. Even the bridge is constructed properly, though it might feel a bit lose for some musicians.
Hardware: This GRG model has 7 strings and infinity pickups with a 3-way switch. Often guitars with seven strings don’t play all tones properly, but this problem is resolved on this guitar. It also features 24 jumbo frets that allow low-drag shred and playing of the heaviest music.
Finish: The guitar comes in different colors – white, black, and walnut sunburst. Out of all three, the walnut sunburnt version looks the cheapest – consider choosing either white or black version. It also has a thin, RG body with black control switches.
Who Will Use This The Most: This is a great guitar for all passionate musicians that can’t spend too much money on their instruments. Also, it is great for beginners. Keep in mind that musicians that want to play with the tones a bit more might get frustrated with the limitations of this model.
Bottom Line: The price of the guitar is budget-friendly, and it is ideal for everyone that wants to start playing this instrument. Even though it is only $200, it is still quite durable and the tones are clear.
5. Schecter Omen-6 Solid-Body Electric Guitar
|Pickups||2 humbucker pickups|
My Review: Schecter Omen-6 features a solid body, as well as excellent tonal capabilities. You will definitely be amazed when you first hear it, I promise you that. With the Tune-o-Matic bridge, as well as the string-through design, Omen-6 will allow you to achieve the maximum level of sustain, as well as the optimal tension. Along with that comes its ability to create a very precise response, combined with the production of strong tones. To make it more effective in combination with almost all amplifiers, there are two Diamond Plus humbuckers, which lets you tune up your music performance to the next level.
Key Specs and Features: Schecter Omen-6 is a walnut satin electric guitar made of high-quality materials, such as basswood, maple, and rosewood, which allow it to produce strong, balanced, and clean tones, without any distortions or decrease of the sound quality. With the Schecter’s own 15:1 sealed tuner, and Diamond Plus pickup, you won’t have to worry about having enough tonal power. To help with that, there are switches for several options, such as the volume and tone, as well as a button to select a pickup. The guitar itself is of a pretty standard size, featuring a scale length of 25.5”. Note that the SGR-1C case is not included in the package, but you can buy it separately.
Build Materials: This guitar has a solid C-shaped body, made of basswood, allowing it to produce high-quality high-pitched tones, without issues. The Schecter-shaped neck is built from the top-rated bolt-on maple tree, while Fingerboard is built from rosewood.
Hardware: Schecter Omen-6 comes with 6 Ernie Ball Regular Slinky .010-.046 strings, which go through the body itself, reducing the vibrations, and improving the overall sound experience. There are 24 frets, alongside the completely sealed tuner, as well as two Diamond Plus humbucker pickups, one for the neck, and one for the bridge. Apart from that, there are three control buttons, for volume, tone, and pickups switch.
Finish: This electric guitar has a pretty nice walnut satin coloring, as well as a polyester body finish, making it look quite elegant.
Who Will Use This the Most: Due to its standard size, and a couple of additional options, Omen-6 can be used by everyone, both pros, and beginners. However, since it allows quick changing of pickups, as well as the fact that it delivers a great sound, it is a pretty common choice of real professionals.
Bottom Line: Schecter Omen-6 electric guitar is definitely one of the best choices if you are looking for a well-balanced electric guitar, capable of delivering amazing sound, while also being comfortable to use, no matter if you are a beginner or a professional music player.
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6. Squier Affinity Stratocaster
|Pickups||3 single-coil pickups|
|Bridge||Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo|
My Review: Squier Affinity Stratocaster series features standard high-quality design, which is always expected from Fender. The guitar is fairly comfortable to use, so you will be able to play for hours, without having to catch a rest. It is capable of delivering pretty harsh, fast, but still very satisfying tones. With the master volume knob, as well as two different tone knobs, you will be able to customize your tones and play the way you like. To help with that, there are 21 medium jumbo frets, combined with the maple fingerboard, which allows you to play almost every possible note out there. Furthermore, this product is very affordable, considering how good it is, so you shouldn’t miss a chance to get it.
Key Specs and Features: With the fender quality design, this product is capable of being very comfortable, while also being able to provide excellent sound quality. Overall, there are three single-coil Stratocaster pickups, allowing you to change the way you play. Along with that, you can control the tone on both neck and middle pickups, by using the individual tone control buttons on each of them. To tune up the experience, there are standard die-cast tuners. Neck and fingerboard made of maple, along with the 21 jumbo frets, will let you comfortably play your guitar for hours. There is also a 6-saddle synced tremolo in vintage style.
Build Materials: This solid-body Stratocaster electric guitar features a body, that is built from fine alder wood, allowing it to look both elegant and smooth, while also providing great tones. Neck and fingerboard are completely constructed from maple, with a fingerboard radius of 9.5”. The nut is made of standard synthetic bone material, while the bridge and tailpiece feature a 6-saddle vintage-style synchronized tremolo.
Hardware: When it comes to the hardware, Squier Affinity Stratocaster comes with 6 Fender USA 250L strings, as well as 21 medium-jumbo frets. Along with that, there is a standard die-cast tuner, to let you tune up the sound the way you want. There are also three standard single-coil pickups, on the neck, in the middle, and on the bridge. Apart from that, you can use control buttons for volume, as well as for tone. Tone controls are on the bridge and neck.
Finish: This electric guitar features 2-tone sunburst coloring, with the polyurethane finish, as well as fingerboard dots inlay, making it look quite stylish, and modern at the same time.
Who Will Use This the Most: This Squier electric guitar is suitable for everyone, but it is especially good if you are a starter, looking to get high-quality Stratocaster guitar for yourself since it will let you play wonderful sounds, while still offering great comfort during performances.
Bottom Line: Squier Affinity Stratocaster electric guitar is a wonderful instrument that offers great comfort, while also being very effective, when it comes to delivering great and stable tones, without too much effort.
7. Squire Classic Vibe Telecaster
|Body||Pine and Poplar|
My Review: If you are looking for a classic-looking electric guitar, then Fender Classic Vibe is the right choice for you since it will bring you back to the ‘50s with its distinctive and traditional looks, while also having up-to-date features, to help it cope with the modern times. It is traditionally made of pine, featuring a classic finish, which brings it back to one of the most popular telecaster guitar series from Fender, “the Black Guard”. Even though it has a traditional look, it can still pack a punch, thanks to its modern features, while also being quite affordable compared to the competitors.
Key Specs and Features: This guitar features a traditional pine telecaster body, with the classic finish, as well as a C-profile maple neck, which is very comfortable to play. The fingerboard has dot inlays and a radius of 9.5”. It has a total length of 25.5”, as well as 21 narrow and tall frets, which, along with the vintage-style tuners, allows you to customize your playstyle. There are also alnico single-coil pickups for neck and bridge, specifically designed by Fender. Along with that, there is a 3-way pickup changer, allowing you to swap between the pickups, as well as button controls for volume and tone. To make things even more interesting, there is a through-body bridge design, allowing strings to go all the way through the body itself.
Build Materials: Fender Classic Vibe comes with a solid-body telecaster design, with the traditional ‘50s look, with the body made of pine, while the neck is C-shaped and is made of maple, just like the 9.5” fingerboard. The nut itself is built from bone material, while there is also a 3-saddle strings-through bridge in vintage style, along with the barrel saddles made of chrome.
Hardware: This fine electric guitar includes 6 NPS .009-.042 strings that go through the body, for maximum sound effect. Along with that, there is a total number of 21 narrow and tall frets, as well as vintage tuners, allowing you to tweak the tones when you need them. Neck and bridge pickups are alnico single-coil, specifically designed by Fender.
Finish: Fender Classic ‘50s Vibe has a nice butterscotch blonde color, with the classic gloss polyurethane body finish, as well as black dots fingerboard inlay. This makes it look very traditional, which will truly immerse you in the ‘50s if you play a similar type of music.
Who Will Use This the Most: Overall, this guitar is pretty good, it can produce very well-balanced tones, while also being quite comfortable to use. It is a very good choice for people who are starting to play on a telecaster electric guitar since it is not hard to get it to work, but it can also be used by professionals, who would like to immerse themselves and relieve the ‘50s through the music they create.
Bottom Line: With the Fender Classic ‘50s Vibe electric guitar, you will be able to experience the old “Black Guard” series, with the modern features, while also being able to create amazingly rich and well-paced tones. This is easily one of the best budget electric guitars out there right now.
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8. Ibanez JEMJR Steve Vai Signature
|Pickups||2 Quantum Humbucker pickups and one single-coil pickup|
|Bridge||Standard Double Locking Tremolo System|
My Review: Nowadays, Steve Vai Signature JEMJR electric guitar from Ibanez is easily almost as popular as Ste Vai himself. It is a solid-body guitar, with a pretty distinctive look, thanks to the acrylic vine inlay, as well as the ‘monkey grip’ handle. However, this guitar is not just pretty, but it also sounds extremely good, thanks to the high-quality build materials as well as the Quantum single-coil pickup, along with the Quantum humbuckers. Apart from that, JEMJR features a tremolo bridge that can be double-locked. Also, there is a Wizard III neck, which makes the guitar very comfortable to play.
Key Specs and Features: This guitar is a version of the same iconic guitar, played by Steve Vai. It even holds his signature for true fans. To achieve the optimized audio experience, there are two Quantum humbuckers, as well as only one Quantum single-coil. Furthermore, to get the iconic JEM style, which is highly recognizable, there is acrylic vine inlay. As for the neck, this electric guitar from Ibanez comes with the Wizard III neck, which allows you to play extremely fast, without problems. In order to adjust tonality, and achieve the perfect level of intonation, there is a standard double-locking bridge.
Build Materials: Ibanez JEMJR comes with a solid body type, along with the JEM body shape, which is best suited for right-handed people. The body itself is built from the finest mahogany, while the Wizard III neck is constructed from top-notch maple wood. The fingerboard is made of jatoba, and the guitar features a locking nut, as well as a double-locking bridge.
Hardware: JEMJR comes with a total of 6 strings, as well as 24 jumbo frets. Along with that, there are Cosmo Black tuners, to help you achieve that perfect sound. Next to that are two Quantum humbucker pickups for neck and bridge, as well as a Quantum single-coil middle pickup. Furthermore, there are controls for switching the volume, tone, and pickup, more specifically, a 5-way pickup changer.
Finish: This electric guitar is pretty recognizable, due to its white color, with urethane body finish, as well as the acrylic vine inlay, giving it an extremely fashionable look. And there is also a signature from Steve Vai himself to boost the excitement.
Who Will Use This the Most: Even though Steve Vai fans will probably get this, whether it turns out to be good or bad for them, this guitar is actually pretty good overall, simple to use, lightweight, and pretty comfortable overall, while still being able to deliver the amazing audio quality, so it is a good purchase for everyone as well.
Bottom Line: Ibanez JEMJR Steve Vai Signature is definitely an electric guitar of very decent quality, amazing design, and great comfortability.
9. Travelcaster Deluxe Electric Travel Guitar
|Pickups||2 standard single-coil pickups|
My Review: If you are looking for another compact, and light electric guitar, that doesn’t sacrifice playability, then it is time for you to check out the Travelcaster Deluxe electric guitar. It features a full 25.5” scale, but it is very light, weighing only about 5 lb 3 oz. To boost up the playability, there are three single-coil pickups, as well as additional control buttons for volume and tone, and a 5-way pickup switch, for fast and precise switcher between the pickups. Along with that, you can use tuners to boost the tones even further. Overall, the design and playability of this guitar are pretty decent, for the amount of money you’re paying.
Key Specs and Features: This guitar comes with a double-cutaway poplar body, which is the best fit for right-handed. Along with that, there is a standard C-shaped maple neck, with a scale length of 25.5”, along with the truss rod. Next, there is a maple fretboard with a radius of 9.5”, along with the three passive pickups on the neck, bridge, and middle. Apart from that, there are different control knobs for volume, tone, and pickup switching. To increase the power of your guitar, you can also use standard die-cast tuning, and achieve the desired level of intonation.
Build Materials: Travelcaster Deluxe Electric Travel Guitar features a solid double-cutaway body, completely made of solid poplar wood. Along with that, there is a bold-on C-shaped neck, constructed from the top-notch maple wood. The fretboard is also made of maple, but the nut is built from the bone.
Hardware: Travelcaster Deluxe comes with 22 medium jumbo frets, with a total neck radius of 9.5”. The pickups have SSS configuration, with the three OEM standard single-coil passive pickups, on the neck, middle, and bridge. Furthermore, there is a Tremolo/Vibrato bridge, with the 2-point Fulcrum tremolo design, as well as chrome die-cast locking tuners. Also, there are 6 top-notch strings, as well as a gig bag, so you could carry the guitar with you, wherever you go.
Finish: This travel electric guitar features a pretty nice surf green color, with the classic gloss finish, and the dot fretboard inlay, giving the instrument a more modern look.
Who Will Use This the Most: Since this guitar is specifically designed for traveling purposes, it is safe to assume that it is mostly used by people who travel a lot, or who have single performances quite often, so they need to have their guitar with them most of the time.
Bottom Line: Travelcaster Deluxe Electric Travel Guitar is a pretty good all-rounder instrument, which is the best choice for people who travel often. Even though it is smaller in size, it is still capable of delivering that high-quality sound effect.
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10. Dean MLX Flame Top Electric Guitar
|Pickups||2 DMT designed pickups|
My Review: Dean MLX is a successor of the famous ML series, made by Dean, all the way back in 1977. It was a guitar that was supposed to offer the optimal tonality level and to keep well-balanced sustain, at the same time. MLX flame is designed to spread the center mass of the guitar body across the larger area, to get better sound resonance, and overall tonal power. The leading concept behind all Dean guitars is that string positioning should be more radical, so to speak, in order to achieve that higher resonance, which will help the guitar to look and feel powerful. The overall design and shape of the MLX Flame are what makes it so different than other guitars. For this reason, and because of the sound it delivers, it has been played by a lot of elite rock stars.
Key Specs and Features: Dean MLX Flame comes with a pretty distinctive body design, made of poplar, as well as of flame maple. Its scale is 24.75”, or in other words 629mm. Along with that, there is a C-shaped neck, with a DMT design pickup. Furthermore, there is a Tune-o-Matic bridge with the DMT pickup as well. There are additional control knobs, two for volume, one for tone, and a 3-way switch for pickups. Apart from that, to further enhance the power of your guitar, there are standard sealed die-cast tuners.
Build Materials: Dean MLX Flame features a body made of poplar, with the top material being flame maple, to enhance the general look of the instrument, as well as its tonal properties. The neck is made of maple wood, while the fretboard is built from Jatoba. The bridge features a Tune-o-Matic design, with a V plate, while the NUT is built from OEM polymer plastic.
Hardware: Dean MLX Flame comes with a total of 22 jumbo frets, with a fretboard radius of 14”, or 356mm. There is also a dual-action truss rod, and two DMT pickups, on the bridge and neck. To control them, you can use 3-way knobs for toggling the pickups. There are also two control buttons for volume, and one for tone. The guitar features a Tune-o-Matic bridge, as well as sealed die-cast tuners. Apart from that, it comes with 6 D’Addario EXL120 (.009-.042) strings.
Finish: Dean MLX Flame features a distinguished trans red finish, as well as flat top contour, with the single-ply white body binding, and the pearl dot inlays. The hardware color is black, and the knobs are speed black. All of this combined gives this guitar a very distinctive look, compared to its competitors.
Who Will Use This the Most: Literally, everyone can use Dean MLX Flame, from pros to players who simply like the looks of the instrument, since it is a fairly good guitar overall, considering everything, from design, and tonality, to the comfort, and ease of use.
Bottom Line: Dean MLX Flame Top electric guitar is a pretty well-made guitar, with an interesting design, and overall performance, that is rarely seen in its competitors. Due to its iconic look, and tonal properties, it simply had to be on this list.
11. Squier Bullet Stratocaster HSS HT
|Pickups||2 strat single-coil pickups and one standard humbucker|
My Review: If you are one of the people who are looking for a classic Stratocaster look and overall sound quality, then Squier Bullet Stratocaster HSS HT is the right guitar for you. And, since it is quite affordable, there is no reason to overlook such a great opportunity. It features a light body, made of basswood, making it easy for transport to private gigs, and comfortable to play for long sessions. It comes with a C-shaped neck, built from maple, as well as a fingerboard made of Indian laurel, which both makes this electric guitar look pretty traditional, while also allowing it to produce great and responsive tones. To boost up the sound effect, there are two single-coil pickups, as well as one humbucker.
Key Specs and Features: One of the main features of HSS HT is its value, since it is very affordable, which may come as a surprise to some people. Because its body is made of a basswood material, this guitar can deliver a wide range of tones. The humbucking bridge pickup adds another dimetion of versatility to this guitar, there are 2 single-coil pickups For higher sustain and further stability increase, there is a hardtail bridge, along with the C-shaped maple neck, featuring an Indian laurel fingerboard, making the instrument extremely comfortable and fast to play.
Build Materials: Bullet HSS HT features a solid body in Stratocaster shape, which is most suited for right-handed people. The body of the instrument is completely made of basswood, while there is also a 6-saddle hardtail bridge. It comes with a C-shaped neck with a radius of 9.5” that is completely made of maple, along with the Pearloid dots fingerboard inlay built from Indian laurel. The nut is 1.650” wide, and it is built from synthetic bone.
Hardware: There are a total of 21 medium jumbo frets, along with the 6 Fender USA, NPS, .009-.042 strings. Also, the instrument comes with the standard die-cast tuners, alongside the 5-way blade pickup switch controls, as well as one button for adjusting volume, and two for tone adjustment. There are three pickups, two standard single-coil pickups on the neck and middle, and one standard humbucker on the bridge.
Finish: The guitar features pretty elegant brown sunburst coloring, with the Pearloid dots fingerboard inlay, as well as classic polyurethane finish, making the entire instrument to look very nice, and appealing, even to the most hardcore of non-traditional.
Who Will Use This the Most: Due to its low price, Squier Bullet HSS HT is a perfect choice for students, or brand-new beginners, who don’t have a lot of money to invest in their first guitar.
Bottom Line: Squier Bullet HSS HT is easily one of the best cheap electric guitars out there right now. It delivers promising tone quality, high comfort, and a nice design in general at a very cheap price.
Related Article: Recommended Guitar Amps
12. Ibanez Artcore AS73
|Pickups||2 classic elite humbucker pickups|
|Bridge||ART-1 with quick-change 3 tailpiece|
My Review: Ibanez Artcore AS73 is a semi-hollow electric guitar that brings some of the best-quality sounds its category has to offer. Due to the large versatility, it can be used for playing different music genres. To increase the precision and resonance of the sound, there are two humbucking pickups, while this guitar is also very enjoyable to play, due to the walnut fingerboard.
Key Specs and Features: AS73 features high versatility, allowing you to try out different playing techniques, as well as various music genres. Thanks to the semi-hollow design, and the body made of linden, it is capable of providing sustained block, as well as bring natural light tones. Due to the nyatoh slim neck, this guitar is very comfortable as well, and the walnut fretboard brings additional enjoyment.
Build Materials: AS73’s body is constructed from linden, while Artcore AS neck is made of nyatoh. The fingerboard is built from walnut, while the nut is made of regular plastic.
Hardware: AS73 comes with the set of six .010-.052 strings, as well as the five button controls, two for volume, two for tone, and one 3-way pickup switch. As for the bridge, there is an ART-1 bridge with a Quick Change III tailpiece. There are two Classic Elite humbucker pickups, as well as 22 medium frets.
Finish: AS73 double-cut body comes in the classy tobacco brown color, combined with the classic polyurethane gloss finish. Apart from that, there is an acrylic block fingerboard inlay.
Who Will Use This the Most: Due to the excellent features, versatile design, and high-quality performance, AS73 from Ibanez is the most suited for guitar players, who are looking for a reliable guitar to play different genres.
Bottom Line: Ibanez Artcore AS73 is a perfect choice for almost anyone who is looking for a well-balanced semi-hollow electric guitar, with excellent performance, at a completely affordable price.
13. Jackson Rhoads JS32
|Pickups||2 humbucker pickups|
My Review: If you want to play like Kirk Hammett, you need the right guitar and Jackson Rhoads JS32 is the right choice! This guitar is often referred to as “shred” guitar and many famous rock guitarists played Jackson Rhoads guitars. Also, this guitar is a signature of metal music. This guitar will produce high-quality metal tones. The fingerboard is made of rosewood with 24 frets – just what a guitarist needs for shredding. One thing you should keep in mind is the design of the guitar – since it is V-shaped, playing it while sitting is quite uncomfortable.
Key Specs and Features: As said, this is a guitar that many rock and metal guitars played on. Randy Rhoads along with Jackson has sketched the guitar he needs for shredding that will distinguish him from other guitarists. Just like Jackson Rhoads JS32, that guitar was also V-shaped. With the 24 frets, it allows great shredding and produces amazing metal tones – just what a rock star needs! Thanks to the design of the neck, playing solos and fat riffs is quite easy. There is also a single volume control, as well as a tone control.
Build Materials: The body of Jackson Rhoads JS32 is made of solid, poplar wood with a shiny, glossy finish. Furthermore, the neck is made of premium quality maple, and the fingerboard out of amazing rosewood. There are also two humbucking pickups and ceramic magnets. All materials allow the production of a great metal sound.
Hardware: Jackson Rhoads JS32 features 6 strings and 24 frets – they are placed on a rosewood fingerboard which helps with creating that signature metal sound. Switching between riffs and solos is easy, and fingers are gliding on the riffs. There is also one volume and tone control, along with two humbucking pickups with ceramic magnets and a 3-way pickup changer.
Finish: The guitar can be recognized by a V-shape that Randy Rhoads and Jackson have designed together. It is black with a shiny finish and a sleek neck. Anyone holding this guitar will look like a rock star!
Who Will Use This The Most: Even though V-shape guitars look powerful, amateurs will struggle with playing on them. This design is quite uncomfortable, especially if you need to be sitting down. Also, since it doesn’t produce a variety of tones, it works the best in the hands of the professionals that know how to play with clear tones and make the best of them.
Bottom Line: If you were looking for a budget-friendly, shredding guitar, this one is a great choice. It is made of high-quality materials and has a unique design.
Related Article: Our Favorite Mini Guitar Amps
14. Squire Affinity Telecaster
|Pickups||2 Tele Single-coil pickups|
My Review: This is another cheap and high-quality guitar from Fender. It costs the same as the Stratocaster, so it all comes down to the features and specifications of each. Whichever you choose to buy, you won’t make a mistake. This model looks quite vintage and features a super comfortable C body. Even after playing for longer periods, you won’t feel discomfort. Also, Square Affinity Telecaster is super lightweight, which makes holding the guitar easier. It is made of high-quality materials that ensure the longevity of the guitar. Adjusting the tone is easy with master knobs, and tones are bold – just like in other Fender guitars. The guitar allows you to try out different genres, so you don’t have to feel limited to playing only rock or metal music.
Key Specs and Features: The body of the Telecaster is 25.5″ and thanks to the proper choice of materials, they’ve kept the guitar super lightweight. Carrying and playing is much easier when the weight of an instrument isn’t tiring. Also, it has a C-shaped body – this is increasing comfort. The Squire Affinity Telecaster has 6 strings and 21 medium jumbo frets. Two pickups along with master knobs for volume and tone are delivering a variety of tones. There isn’t anything you can’t do with this guitar.
Build Materials: the body is Alder with a polyurethane finish for a durable and all-around great modern looking instrument.
Hardware: This guitar has 21 medium jumbo frets. Furthermore, it has 2 single-coil pickups, and master tone and volume knobs.
Finish: One thing you won’t have to worry about is the guitar looking cheap, that’s for sure. There are eight color options to choose from. What makes this guitar recognizable is the vintage look. The shiny gloss finish of polyurethane makes the guitar even more durable and adds to the amazing appearance.
Who Will Use This The Most: This guitar is perfect for everyone. If you are just starting, with this guitar you can learn the difference between tones and enjoy a clear and bright sound. Also, because the sound can be easily adjusted, you get a chance to explore different genres.
Bottom Line: Squire Affinity Telecaster is a powerful guitar that produces clear tones. It is also lightweight and quite comfortable, which makes playing it even more enjoyable.
15. ESP LTD F-200
|Pickups||2 LH-301B Humbucker pickups|
|Bridge||Floyd Rose Double Locking Tremolo|
My Review: The ESP’s LTD F-series offers plenty of high-quality guitars. This model is their medium size guitar. It is great for both beginners and professionals. Also, if you are still learning to play, but have outgrown your current electric guitar, this one can be a great switch. It is made of high-quality materials and features a bolt-on neck, so it is super comfortable to wear for prolonged periods. The design of the guitar is simple, and the black color adds to its modern appearance. If you need a good 6-strings guitar, that will produce high-quality tones, this one is a great choice.
Key Specs and Features: The LTD F-200 model is 25.5″ long, and it is a medium length guitar, suitable for guitarists at an intermediate level. If you are a beginner, you will also be able to learn all of the basics of this guitar and it will follow your progress. Furthermore, it has 6-strings and 2 LH-301 pickups. Thanks to the U-profile and bolt-on neck, it is comfortable to wear and great for longer playing. The 3-piece neck allows shredding, riffage, and variety of tones can be produced.
Build Materials: The body of the guitar is made of mahogany, with a U profile. It is sculpted to ensure comfort and durability. Secondly, the fingerboard is made of roasted jatoba. Most LTD guitars have maple necks and this one is no exception – it features a three-piece neck which is a bolt-on.
Hardware: This LTD model features 24 XJ frets and has 6-strings. It also features two LH-301 pickups designed by ESP with push-pull splitting made of the coil. The bridge is an outstanding Floyd Rose bridge. Thanks to the amazing hardware, the guitar produces a nice variety of high-quality tones.
Finish: You can recognize this model by its black color and shiny finish. It has outstanding hardware and a body and neck made of high-quality materials which make the guitar durable and playable. A thin profile adds to its stunning appearance.
Who Will Use This The Most: This guitar is suitable for everyone! It produces a variety of excellent tones, so it suits professional guitarists. Also, because it has a comfortable design, beginners can easily grasp the basics with it. Once you reach an intermediate level, you can continue playing it.
Bottom Line: This is an affordable electric guitar that is durable, suits everyone, and can deliver amazing tones. Both rock and metal music can be played on this LTD model.
16. Traveler Guitar Pro-Series Standard
|Pickups||One magnetic single-coil and under-saddle piezo|
My Review: Traveler Guitar Pro-Series Standard is just like you are imagining it. It is light, compact, and easy to transport, thanks to its interesting design. It’s almost full size, with the 24.75”. However, it is designed to be compact, so there are only essential parts on the body, allowing you to easily carry it around with you when traveling. It is mostly made of maple wood, meaning that it is not just compact and light, but also pretty, and very effective, when it comes to sound production. With the bridge-mounted pickup, it is capable of producing extremely good amplified sounds, when it is plugged in. All of this makes it perfect for musicians who are constantly traveling.
Key Specs and Features: Pro-Series Standard features a very specific design, allowing it to have a full scale of 24.75”, while also being highly compact, and transportable. It can deliver high resonance, due to the fact that it is completely made of maple, which not just makes it sound good, but also reduces its weight. There is a single-coil pickup, which gives pretty precise and high-pitched sounds, while piezo bridge pickup helps with delivering more acoustic sounds. For additional comfort, you can detach the arm and leg rest, while the headless design allows this guitar to be compatible with almost all standard strings for electric guitars.
Build Materials: Traveler Guitar Pro-Series comes with a solid body, with the pro-series travel body shape. It can be used by right-handed people. The body itself, as well as a pro-series-shaped neck, are made of the East American hard maple wood, giving it both lightweight and durable. The fingerboard is made of a standard maple, while there is also a Stop nut. There is a Piezo Tune-o-Matic bridge.
Hardware: This electric guitar comes with two volume controls, as well as a 3-way pickup switch. There is a magnetic single-coil neck pickup, as well as under-saddle Piezo pickup on the bridge. Strings are of the highest quality, considering this instrument uses 6 D’Addario 10s strings. Apart from that, there are closed gear tuners, for additional tuning options. Also, there are a total of 22 medium frets. The gig bag is included in the package as well.
Finish: As for the finish, Pro-Series traveler features a satin finish on the body, with the black color, as well as the dots fingerboard inlay, which makes the instrument look very fancy, combined with its unique design.
Who Will Use This the Most: As the name suggests, this electric guitar is perfect for people who travel a lot, whether they are going on constant gigs, or simply switching towns for some other reasons. It is light, compact, and easy to carry around.
Bottom Line: Traveler Guitar Pro-Series Standard is an excellent choice for pros, who are looking for a compact electric guitar to bring on their travels, which also has pretty decent tonal properties, while not being too expensive for everyone’s taste.
17. Monoprice Route 66 Modern
|Pickups||two humbucker pickups|
My Review: Monoprice 610210 Route 66 features an archtop single-cutaway design, and it is made of quite good materials, such as basswood, maple, and rosewood, which combined, allow it to produce wonderful audio and satisfy the ears of many. To further boost the tonality, there are two humbucker pickups, allowing you to increase the strength of your sound. The guitar itself is of full size, along with the 22 frets, on a bolt-on maple neck. To make things even easier, all knobs are turned 90 degrees opposite of the clockwise, which means that the movement of knobs and pickup switches are completely correlated and can be tweaked in the same way.
Key Specs and Features: This electric guitar is a full-length instrument with a scale length of 24.72”, as well as an overall weight of 14 pounds. It is made of top-notch materials, such as solid basswood, rosewood, maple, and chrome, allowing it to produce balanced and powerful sounds, without losing stability and having uncontrolled vibrations. With that comes a single-coil guitar pickup configuration, to allow you to easily change the pickup, and play the tones you like. With the hardtail bridge system, Monoprice Route 66 is comfortable enough to use for a few hours, without causing you pain and other difficulties.
Build Materials: This archtop single-cutaway guitar is made of different tonewoods. First of all, there is a solid basswood material, used to build the back and top of the body, while the bolt-on neck is constructed from the finest-quality maple wood. The fingerboard is built from rosewood, and pickups are made of standard chrome material.
Hardware: The total amount of frets this guitar comes with is 21, while there are also 6 high-quality strings, to boost up the tonal quality, and increase durability. There are two humbucker pickups, one on the neck, which is controlled by the left button, and the other is on the bridge, and it can be accessed by using the knobs on the right. To further boost up the sound, you can use tuning pegs made of chrome.
Finish: Monoprice model 610210 has a pretty awesome look, due to the black color, and silver lines, as well as chrome components. Because of it, it looks like a next-gen instrument, like something that is yet to be discovered.
Who Will Use This the Most: This electric guitar is usable by everyone, both beginners and professional players since it is pretty well-balanced, and relatively comfortable to use, while also not being too hard to set up and produce some great sound effects.
Bottom Line: If you really like to see something different, and modern-looking, while keeping the quality of the standard electric guitar, then Monoprice 610210 Route 66 is a good choice for you since it can still deliver excellent sound, while also being comfortable and elegant-looking.
Choosing the Right Cheap Electic Guitar (Buying Guide)
If you decide to buy an electric guitar, the first thing you need to clear out in your head is to answer the question of why are you even buying an electric guitar in the first place. The reason for this is because there are different types of guitars, for different uses, and types of people, as well as for people of different ages.
For example, if you are a beginner, you should find an electric guitar that is pretty much simple to use, so you could gradually learn over time, while also thinking about the sound quality, since it is something you don’t want to lose.
Apart from that, there are people who buy electric guitars for their domestic and international gigs. In this case, it is important that the guitar is not too large and heavy since you will need to carry it a lot. For this purpose, there are electric guitars of different sizes, such as 3/4-sized, travel, and mini guitars.
Some of these smaller guitars are perfect for children, since they are light and easy to hold, which is a great way for them to start playing electric guitars.
Of course, there is something for real pros as well. Most electric guitars offer different setups, tuning options, and some additional features. If you are already an experienced buyer, you will know what to look for.
Also, even though the price is not a key factor when buying an electric guitar, it is a really important one to notice, especially if you are a student, who cannot afford the most expensive guitars. In this case, you should try to find a balance between the price and quality, since there are some high-quality guitars, that are cheaper, as you will later see.
Different Body Types
In short, different electric guitar body types give a different type of sound, which is pretty important to professionals and audiophiles. Three basic types of electric guitar body types are:
Each of them brings a few different characteristics, which impacts the sound quality and type of sound the guitar produces. Let’s discuss the specifics of each of these body types, to learn more about them.
Solid Body Guitars
The electric guitar body type that is the most seen is a solid body. It is usually made of solid wood, making them quite durable. You can find all sorts of solid-body electric guitars. Whether you like a simple and traditional look or something that looks more interesting, you will be able to find it, without problems, since these guitars come in all designs. Due to the firmness of the materials, from which it is made, the solid-body guitar has a bit less resonance in the sound it produces.
Hollow Body Guitars
If you want an electric guitar, that is also capable of sounding similar to acoustic guitar, then you should take a look at a hollow body type electric guitar. They offer pretty good resonant sounds, along with the deep, and relatively strong bass effect, which is why it is preferred by a lot of people who play jazz.
Semi-Hollow Body Guitars
Semi-hollow electric guitars are capable of producing more resonant sounds, even though their center part is made of a solid wood, which is also important for giving stable and consistent tones overall. This type of electric guitars is good for multiple music genres, but it is mostly used in genres, such as jazz, or even blues.
Electric Guitar Styles Explained
Next, let’s talk about some of the most common electric guitar styles, and what are the main differences between them. I am going to mention six of the most famous and popular electric guitar designs, and give you a brief description of their most important characteristics.
Stratocaster is one of the most common designs for electric guitar. It features high comfortability, and it is capable of producing wonderful, well-balanced tones. Some of the most popular musicians, such as Eric Clapton, or even a legend like Jimi Hendrix, have used this type of guitar in most of their performances. That said, it is mostly used in blues, indie, funk, pop, country, and some milder rock, while most heavy metal performers don’t find it useful because there are better options.
Firstly designed by Gibson back in the ‘50s, Les Paul is the second most famous electric guitar design, next to the Stratocaster. Most guitars of this type are made of mahogany, which gives pretty distinctive softer tones, while also providing a pretty good resonance. A large number of Les Paul guitars come with the pre-installed humbucker pickups, usually two of them, as well as a bit rounder shape and tone, which makes them perfect for performers who are searching for a good guitar for heavier rock, as well as metal. However, Les Pauls are also used in other genres, such as blues because they are capable of delivering well-balanced sounds when needed.
For pros, who are looking for a larger electric guitar, which can also provide similar tones to acoustic guitars, jazz guitar design is probably the best option to choose from. It features a bit heavier and larger body, which allows it to deliver pretty decent, both strong and softer sounds while maintaining the overall stability. Jazz guitars usually have semi-acoustic properties, allowing you to play a variety of music genres, but they are the best choice for jazz, blues, as well as indie performers. Due to their larger design, and tonal properties, they are usually not used in heavy metal and similar music genres.
For those who primarily enjoy playing old country songs, as well as the indie genre, there is a telecaster guitar design. The most popular manufacturer of these guitars is Fender. Most of them come with two pieces of single-coil pickups, allowing you to play with maximum clearness and decent sound power. For increased durability, and better sustain effect, the strings on telecaster guitars go through the wood itself.
Similar to the Les Paul design, Gibson has also made an electric guitar that is designed to be much thinner, allowing you to hold them easier, and play them for a much longer amount of time. This guitar design is perfect for rockers, who want to get the maximum out of their guitars, as well as for professional blues players. Some popular musicians, such as Angus Young, and Tony Iommi have used this type of guitar and managed to create wonderful music with it. The most noticeable characteristic of SG guitars is their looks since it is pretty interesting and elegant at the same time. They are also very comfortable to play, which is perfect for professional players.
Now, some people may disagree that this is actually designed at all, but, since it is still different than other designs in some way, I need to mention metal guitar design. Just to clear things up in front, metal guitars are not made of metal. They are still mostly wooden, just like other guitar types. They are called metal guitars because they are the most suitable for playing a metal music genre, as well as some types of punk. These guitars excel at providing excellent and clear high-pitched tones, without murdering your ears, with vibrations and distorted tones. Metal guitars are also usually much thinner, to make them suitable for constant traveling. Apart from that, they are not so good for playing different genres, other than punk and metal.
Electric Guitar Components and Accessories
Now that you know some basic things about electric guitar build design and body types, let’s get onto the more complex features. Here, I’ll talk about some of the crucial components of electric guitar, and teach you why they are important.
Pickups and Electronics
One of the most important factors, when it comes to deciding the sound effect in an electric guitar, are pickups, and other available electronics.
For that purpose, there are several types of pickups, such as:
The single-coil pickup is the most commonly known type of pickup. Imagine it like a spider web. Just like on the web, something is also caught in the pickup as well. The single-coil pickup is basically a magnet, wrapped with the wire, whose main task is to catch vibrations and signals that are created when you play the guitar and transform them into an electronic signal. This type of pickup creates really sharp tones, but it is known for also generating a bit of hum.
Humbucker pickup should’ve been a solution to the humming effect created by a single-coil pickup, while also trying to bring the overall performance to the next level. The basic idea behind humbucker pickup is that it is basically the combination of two single-coil pickups, that are brought together, while their magnets have the opposite polarity. This ensures that the annoying hum is completely gone. On the other hand, humbucker pickups deliver much stronger and a bit louder sound effects, which makes them perfect for music genres, such as heavy metal, jazz, and rock.
Piezo pickup is not so popular on electric guitars, but it can still be found on some of them, which is why it is worth mentioning. Piezo pickup is composed of special crystalline sensors, that are most commonly located in the saddle. Instead of using magnets to transform the sound into electric signals, they use mechanical vibration. They are mostly used for mimicking the sound effect of acoustic guitars, and they can be used with magnetic pickups to increase the tonal variety.
Those were passive pickups. Sometimes, you will find guitars that use active pickups. They require an energy source in order to work, which is in most cases, a battery. Apart from that, they work in a combination with a preamp, in order to shape the sound according to your wishes. In addition, they can also utilize equalizers and some sort of filters, to increase the control of the tones. Guitars that use active pickups generally offer much more powerful and cleaner tones, but the majority of instruments use passive ones instead.
As you will notice later when I present the products, a large number of electric guitars come with a combination of single-coil and humbucker pickups.
They can easily be recognized by checking the markings on the guitar. If a guitar, for instance, has two single-coils and one humbucker, you will see the SSH marking, where the two S marks the single-coil pickups, while H is a sign for a humbucker pickup. To change between the pickups, there are usually control buttons.
Scale Length Explained
The scale length of a guitar is quite important because of several reasons, but first, let’s see what it represents at all.
Basically, the scale length is a piece of information that tells us what length does the string vibration covers. This distance is measured from the nut, all the way to the bridge.
When the scale is high, then the string gives a bit tight feeling, which results in a pretty good low end. On the other hand, if the scale length is short, the tension is lower, which means that the string is easier to bend while offering a bit softer sound.
The most common scale length is 25.5”, which is usually found in Fender models, and 24.75”, which is pretty common for Gibson models.
The neck is a part of the guitar that goes directly from the body and extends further from it. It consists of the headstock, where you can also find tuners and the fretboard.
The neck is important for the overall playability of a guitar, as well as the level of comfort players, can experience while playing the instrument.
In short, there are three different types of neck design:
- Set neck
Bolt-on necks are usually the cheapest method to design a neck, since here, the neck is simply bolted onto the body itself, allowing you to easily remove or replace it for whatever reason. Perhaps it broke, so you need to replace it, or you simply want to use another neck, which looks better on your guitar.
The set neck is a more stable version of the guitar neck since it is firmly put into the body, and glued, so it cannot be easily moved. This results in better resonance, as well as a higher level of sustain. However, if you need to repair it, it is a more difficult thing to achieve.
The neck-through neck design is the one that goes through the entire length of the main guitar body, which gives the best possible stability, and increases the level of resonance and sustain. Just like with the set necks, it is harder to repair these ones as well, but due to their stability, they are more durable, so you might not need to repair them often.
Tuners are one of the most important components of every guitar because they allow you to tweak the settings and optimize the string tension, in order to get the best possible sound.
The majority of tuners nowadays feature sealed tuners, that are already lubricated, with the option to lock them, to avoid accidental string slipping.
Bridge and Tailpiece
To enhance the tonality and general playability of your electric guitar, you can combine bridge and tailpieces.
The bridge is located on the lower side of the body, and it is meant to make sure that all pieces, as well as strings, are well-tuned with each other. Some bridge types let you move the bridge up and down, in order to optimize the performance. These bridges are known as tremolos.
It is not recommended to handle tremolos if you are just a beginner, but you shouldn’t be afraid to learn and use them in the future.
Combined with the bridge, tailpieces are also quite important, so here are some of the most common bridge tailpieces.
It was first made back in the ‘50s by Gibson, and it is a pretty common tailpiece design, since it allows string intonation one by one, as well as adjusting the height of the string the way you see fit.
Two-point rocking tremolo or fulcrum vibrato
It comes with the option to adjust the height and intonation of each separate string. The design of this tailpiece is that the bridge features a broad plate, that goes all the way through the guitar body, allowing it to match the tension of the strings from inside the body.
It is known more as Floyd Rose bridge, named after the person who invented it in the first place. It is capable of delivering a completely stable tuning.
It is a classic vibrato, which can be found on more traditional instruments, as well as on the vintage-style modern electric guitars.
Six-point rocking tremolo
Created by Fender, back in the ‘50s, it is the original vibrato, with the spring-loaded system. Due to the more screws, compared to the 2-point bridge, it is capable of producing more complex vibrations, allowing the guitar to have stronger tones.
This is the most common tailpiece on hollow guitars, that have a vintage-style design. It is easily attached to the tail, and it is tasked with helping the top to ease the string tension.
In this case, strings are carefully placed through the specific holes over the bridge saddle, and all the way to the top. This can affect and improve the level of sustain.
Last, but not least, all guitars, both acoustic and electric, are made of wood, with specific tonal characteristics, which are commonly addressed as tonewoods.
Let’s see what tonewoods types are there, and what each of them can bring to your guitar, or, in other words, how they can affect the guitar’s sound.
Mahogany can be found in almost all parts o the guitar, except in those parts that need to be made of a harder piece of wood, such as fretboard and bridge, for instance.
It is fairly common to see mahogany combined with maple. Usually, tops are made of maple, while the rest of the body is built from mahogany, except for those parts, we mentioned earlier. This is mostly the case for short-scale instruments. Another often seen application is in instruments completely made of mahogany.
The tonal properties mahogany offers are midrange frequency, combined with bass frequency, to provide more vivid sounds, while enhancing the sustain, due to the high resonance of the natural properties of mahogany.
Another very commonly used tonewood is maple, of course. It is mostly used for the construction of guitar necks.
Maple itself is a bit harder wood, which is capable of giving your guitar the ability to produce pretty bright sounds. Because of that, maple is quite used as an additional laminated component for some more expensive guitars on the market.
Maple is perfect for creating strong trebles, allowing you to define the tonal properties much better, and to provide more precise and more powerful tones.
The most common application of rosewood is in building fretboards. It is quite beautiful and dense tonewood, which can come in various colors.
It is also used for electric guitar bodies, but it is very rare to see that, since rosewood is quite hard, so it would increase the weight a lot.
Ebony is one of the hardest and densest tonewoods, which is why it is mostly used for fretboards, on some guitars that are usually not so cheap. It looks and feels pretty elegant, since it is usually completely black, and it has sort of like a silky touch.
Ash is usually used in solid-body electric guitars. It is quite denser than mahogany, even though it offers similar resonance.
This allows the guitar to produce light sounds with mid-range properties. Apart from that, it is quite beautiful as well, since it is mostly combined with a transparent finish.
Alder is cheaper than ash, but they both share quite similar properties. Alder is mostly used for making solid-body guitars.
Just like alder is similar to ash, agathis is similar to alder, with the difference being in the level of resonance, which is usually a bit lower. This tonewood is usually seen in some of the more expensive electric guitar models.
Nato is otherwise called Eastern mahogany. It is mostly used in the creation of cheaper electric guitars. One of its most common traits is that it is capable of delivering pretty soft and mild resonance.
If you’re looking for a good cheap electric guitar, look no further! We have tested dozens of guitars in this price range and compiled a list of our favorites here.
My name is Chris and I’ve had a passion for music and guitars for as long as I can remember. I started this website with some of my friends who are musicians, music teachers, gear heads, and music enthusiasts so we could provide high-quality guitar and music-related content.
I’ve been playing guitar since I was 13 years old and am an avid collector. Amps, pedals, guitars, bass, drums, microphones, studio, and recording gear, I love it all.
I was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. My background is in Electrical Engineering, earning a Bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University. With my engineering experience, I’ve developed as a designer of guitar amplifiers and effects. A true passion of mine, I’ve designed, built, and repaired a wide range of guitar amps and electronics. Here at the Guitar Lobby, our aim is to share our passion for Music and gear with the rest of the music community.