In case you’re not in the loop, the domain of the best cheap electric guitar has seen an amazing expansion in recent years!

With the ever-increasing popularity of guitars in general, the realm of beginner six-strings grew into a very significant portion of the market, resulting with manufacturers trying to best each other by releasing more and more high-quality instruments at amazingly low prices.

However, the situation is nowhere nearly as utopian as that description makes it sound like.
First and foremost, the market still packs a fair share of cheap stinkers to watch out for. Additionally, there are plenty of plain mediocre guitars, and who wants those with some shiny gems lying around?

Therefore, what you need is a good guide to help you find the best cheap guitars out there. We took the liberty of putting our years of experience to work in an attempt to present you with the best cheap electric guitar and things to watch out for when buying one. Here goes!

 

QUICK RUNDOWN

If you are in a hurry these areΒ our TOP 4 Picks:

Top 10: Best Cheap Electric Guitar

In our pursuit for the best deals on electric guitars, we singled out the following 10 champions.

Kicking off our rundown of good affordable electric guitars, we give you the best option for a cheap Les Paul – the Epiphone LP 100. At a price 10 times lower than a classic Gibson LP, this fella delivers an incredible sound quality you can use not just in the newbie, but well into intermediate stage as well.

The instrument utilizes a mahogany body combined with a maple top, mahogany neck, classic rosewood fingerboard, 22 frets, white dot markers and a super classy headstock. In the electronic department, the axe wields a pair of 700 Thumbuckers and 4 standard knobs for volume and tone control.

The sound of this puppy is creamy, powerful and strong. The mahogany tonewood is well known for its resonance and it is very obvious that the manufacturer aimed for that renowned organic and chunky Les Paul vibe.

Within this price range, we say the 100 is worthy of consideration for the title of the best mid priced electric guitar.

For more about Epiphone LP100, check out customers reviews on Amazon.

best cheap electric guitar
  • Body & Neck: 96%
  • Hardware & Electronics: 94%
  • Sound: 98%
  • Value for Money: 100%
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75sp_jjHN6E
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Amazing value for money
  • Classic Les Paul vibe at fair price
  • Quality construction
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Mediocre pickups

The thing about the pursuit for best value electric guitar is that quite a lot of them are aimed towards rock and metal music, which is perfectly understandable since so many beginners are into those genres.

 

But if you want a pinch of versatility and a sound that can tackle blues, jazz, pop, country, and other styles, a nice little Yamaha Pacifica is the thing for you.

 

As one of the best electric guitars under 200 dollars, the instrument utilizes an agathis body, a bolt-on maple neck, a sonokeling neck, and a classic rosewood fingerboard with 22 frets and white dot inlays. The electronic section features a peculiar combination of one humbucker and two single pickups, allowing the guitar to cover plenty of sonic ground.

 

For more about Yamaha Pacifica, check out customers reviews on Amazon.

 

  • Body & Neck: 94%
  • Hardware & Electronics: 96%
  • Sound: 98%
  • Value for Money: 100%
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-3EhuRAC4o
THINGS WE LIKED
  • High versatility, can tackle anything from pop to metal
  • Good pickup combo
  • Sturdy built
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Not the best choice for beginner metal guitarists

We get frequently asked on what is the best electric guitar under 100 bucks, and our first reply is to thread very lightly because there are plenty of stinkers in there. However, one of the safe bets you can make is this black beauty from Davison Guitars.

 

We are looking at the best budget package we can possibly think of, a miraculous deal that includes a humbucker-driven guitar, an amp, a gig bag, and an accessories pack.

 

Needless to say, this is a beginner-only instrument, but still something that will have your back covered throughout the first stage of your ride. The sound is strong in the mid-range audio segment, with a strong fuzzy punch you can use for multiple styles.

 

If you want to pay the lowest possible amount of money that will get you an instrument that is actually usable, this is it.

 

For more about Davison Guitars Full Size Black, check out customers reviews on Amazon.

 

  • Body & Neck: 78%
  • Hardware & Electronics: 76%
  • Sound: 82%
  • Value for Money: 100%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Amazingly cheap
  • Good tone for beginner rockers
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Still a whole level below most other guitars on this list

If a Les Paul is too beefy for you, don’t be threatened by these devil horns, because an SG is a surprisingly versatile beast. If you’re into the beefy sound of Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath and sludgy rock, but also like to jazz it up with crispy clean notes, this is a perfectly valid choice for you.

 

The axe rocks a laminated alder and maple body, combined with a light maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, 22 frets, and white dot markers. The electronic department is driven by a standard set of two humbuckers, a Volume knob, a Tone knob, and a three-way selector switch.

 

The sound of this fella is raw and organic, but still free of unwanted fuzz and overbearing feedback. It certainly falls into the category of awesome cheap guitars and products we wholeheartedly recommend. For this price range, it’s as close to the iconic SG sound you can get.

For more about Epiphone SG-Special, check out customers reviews on Amazon.

 

 

  • Body & Neck: 92%
  • Hardware & Electronics: 98%
  • Sound: 98%
  • Value for Money: 98%
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=088uOgNcSKI
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Raw sound
  • Light weight, good for younger players
  • As close to a real SG as you can get for this price
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • More prone to damage than some other models

Up next on our list of good guitars to buy, it’s the budget-friendly option of the legendary sound of Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen, and the rest of the gang – the one and only Telecaster.

 

Coming right from Fender subsidiary Squier, the Affinity Telecaster is a clever mixture of all the factors that made the Tele and all-time icon of the six-string world and clever budget cuts made in proper places.

 

Available in seven different colors, the instrument rocks an alder body with smooth gloss finish, a maple neck with a 9.5” radius, along with a 21-fret maple fingerboard and dot markers.

 

In the electronic department, we are looking at a pair of two single-coil Pickups, and standard volume and tone knobs with a three-way selector switch.

Although you can feel that the craftsmanship is not classic Tele, the sound of this puppy has pleasantly surprised us as nothing but classic Tele! It’s bright, punchy but still well-rounded, gritty but not overloaded with gain, quite close to the real deal, good stuff!

For more about Squier Affinity Telecaster, check out customers reviews on Amazon.

 

  • Body & Neck: 90%
  • Hardware & Electronics: 92%
  • Sound: 98%
  • Value for Money: 100%
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJcNm5l0YsQ
THINGS WE LIKED
  • A trusty replica of the real deal
  • Great value for money
  • Ideal for blues rock guys
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • A bit too twangy sound

If you’re into metal and blazing-speed solos, Ibanez is your perfect match! And the company’s contender for the best cheapest guitar is the GRX20ZBKN model. Driven by a pair of humbucker pickups, this instrument utilizes that same renowned super-slim yet still amazingly sturdy neck.

 

Crafted from maple, the neck piece will allow you to shred away a million miles an hour, while retaining high playability and a beefy tone. The rest of the mix includes a poplar body, a rosewood fretboard, 21 frets, and all the standard controls.

 

The sound is on the gain-driven and fuzzy side, with a rich chunk of basses, punchy middles and enough trebles to round up a proper sonic attack. The instrument can cover an array of styles, but it is fast solo playing that suits it the best.


For more about Ibanez GRX ZBKN, check out customers reviews on Amazon.

 

  • Body & Neck: 96%
  • Hardware & Electronics: 92%
  • Sound: 96%
  • Value for Money: 98%
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3J8W-sIkgk
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Easy to play
  • Ideal for shredding
  • Good lead tone
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Pretty much hard rock and metal only

Needless to say, one of our top choices for best electric guitars for beginners had to belong to the iconic Stratocaster family. In our opinion, the cheap Squier Bullet series is fine for the budget, but it’s the Vintage Modified ’70s series that offers truly the best bang for the buck.

 

Loaded with a strong basswood body, this fella is the closest you can get to that booming mahogany tone of high-end instrument. The iconic combination of three single-coil pickups is of course there, and so is the three-way pickup selector. The sound is very resonant and articulate, making the guitar very well suited for the realms of classic rock, blues, jazz, and country. Metal is also within its reach, and so is light pop on the clear side.

 

One of the things users praise about this fella is that it comes in very good shape and proper intonation out of the box, and we tend to agree. A strong contender for the title of the best electric guitar under 300 dollars, too!

 

For more about Squier Vintage Modified 70′, check out customers reviews on Amazon.

 

  • Body & Neck: 98%
  • Hardware & Electronics: 100%
  • Sound: 98%
  • Value for Money: 98%
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1QmRdVoM4M
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Highly versatile
  • An instantly recognizable tone
  • Amazing looks
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Pickups could use a bit of a boost

Switching to the gain-driven domain, we bring you another favorite of beginner metal guitarists and one of the best guitars for metal on this list – the JS22 Dinky from Jackson.

 

The axe utilizes a basswood body with plenty of crunch and boom, and quite possibly the strongest mid-range punch on the entire list. If you need a guitar that can cut right through the mix without eating away the other instruments but just focusing on the six-string frequencies, this is it.

 

In our guitar prices guide, this thing stands out as one of the stronger representatives, as even the experts tend to estimate its value as two times higher than it actually is.

 

One of the features that makes the Dinky additionally stand out is the synchronized fulcrum tremolo bridge, which secures those loveable dive bombs with nothing but minimum interference to the tuning and stability. For guitarists who appreciate both heavy soloing and heavy riffage, this six-string is a great choice.

 

The instrument is available in three colors – elegant black, wild blue, and sexy red.

For more about Jackson JS22 Dinky, check out customers reviews on Amazon.

 

  • Body & Neck: 88%
  • Hardware & Electronics: 92%
  • Sound: 92%
  • Value for Money: 98%
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwJ1TaFl7oc
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Classic ’80s metal sound
  • Killer looks
  • Top-notch value for money
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Lack of versatility

Diving into the jazz domain of our good cheap guitars guide, the Artcore series is perhaps the best choice you can make. This instrument is a peculiar combination of an all-sapele body and a sturdy maple neck, a mixture that reels in a sound that’s organic and free of fuzz and distortion.

 

To secure more of that jazzy feel, the company threw in a pair of humbucker pickups with ceramic magnets. As you might have noticed already, this is a semi-hollow six-string with distinctive F-holes and a solid kick of natural boom.

 

The mix also includes a bound rosewood-made fingerboard with 22 frets, a set of standard white dot markers, Volume control, Tone control, and a three-way pickup switch.

For more about Ibanez Artcore AS53, check out customers reviews on Amazon.

 

  • Body & Neck: 98%
  • Hardware & Electronics: 98%
  • Sound: 100%
  • Value for Money: 100%
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddZbP4uazY8
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Possibly the best cheap jazz guitar you can get
  • Surprisingly quality tonewood
  • Quite versatile for a jazz guitar
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Not much wrong with this thing for the listed price

Finally, let’s go balls out and full on metal! Closing our rundown of best budget electric guitars, we bring you the affordable edition of groove metal tone of late great axe icon Dimebag Darrell of Pantera – the ML XM from Dean Guitars.

 

The company went out on a limb here with a paulownia body combined with a mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard, not exactly a commonly used combo in the metal world.

 

But when combined with those Dean humbuckers, this thing full-on rocks! It’s full of gain, fuzz, buzz, but still articulate enough thanks to the strong middle frequencies, reeling in that Dime sound to cut any mix and in style. Additionally, the price is lower than many of the models on the rundown, making this puppy a safe choice for cheap good guitars.

 

The rest of the mix includes a set of 22 frets, a 24.75-inch scale length, Grover tuners, black hardware, and more.

 

For more about Dean ML XM, check out customers reviews on Amazon.

 

  • Body & Neck: 86%
  • Hardware & Electronics: 88%
  • Sound: 92%
  • Value for Money: 98%
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Wh2-vt9sxE
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Full-on metal tone, all about the fuzz!
  • Quite cheap, top value for money
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Metal and metal only
  • Take it or leave it!

Extremely important things to know when buying best value electric guitar

So this is how it goes – we’ll first single out the most important for you to be aware of, and then dive right into guitars we think match those conditions best.

When it comes to buying good guitars at a fair price, a factor that is constantly overlooked is the use of given budget. What most people need to understand is that buying an electric guitar is not a process limited to buying just the instrument.

Instead, you need a string of additional equipment to make that instrument produce sounds, and that extra gear will usually cost you as much as the guitar itself. All of this is perfectly fine, but many beginners tend to overlook it, spend all their money on a six-string and end up not being able to play it.
So, if you’re in pursuit for the best cheapest guitar, know that you absolutely must buy or already own these things as well:

  • Amplifier: It’s an electric guitar, it doesn’t have a resonant body like acoustic models, and if you want to produce a sound you will need an amp to rock it through. You can get a good cheap guitar amp for around $100 without a problem.
  • Cable: So you have the amp, but you still need a cable to connect it to your guitar. That’s another $10 to $15.
  • Tuner: If you’re new to guitars and playing music, there is absolutely NO way that you know how to recognize all the notes by ear and tune your guitar without a tuner. Even if someone tunes the guitar for you at the shop, it will get out of tune by the time you’re home, so this one’s an absolute must have. Hang on for the price until we discuss the next device.
  • Picks: Can’t go without a pick in most cases. This one’s a cheap factor, you can get a nice big bundle for $5 max.
  • Metronome: A crucial tool for developing a sense of rhythm, musical articulation and accuracy. The thing about this puppy is that it often comes a 2-in-1 package with a tuner and that’s the option we recommend the most. Price for tuner and metronome: around $30.
  • Guitar strap: If you intend to stand up while playing on guitar during live shows (and most people do), then you need to practice in the same position like when you’re playing live. Your muscles and hands are in a completely different position when you’re sitting down and when you’re standing, and that’s why you MUST get a strap right from the start and practice standing up, as well as sitting down. Price: $10 – $15 should do the trick.
  • Gig bag: Your guitar needs protection, end of discussion. Price: $20

As you can see, this brings us to a total of at least $170 for extra gear you can’t go without. That’s not a whole lot of money, but it’s not a negligible amount since that’s around the price of a good cheap guitar.

Additionally, you might want to consider getting an extra set of strings to replace the stock strings. Of course, if you want pedals, that’s another story and something worthy of a separate article.

But with these things out of the way, let us proceed to specific guitars, shall we?

Problems with cheap guitars we made sure are avoided

Just to let you know about some of the issues you can encounter if you don’t pay enough attention to what you’re buying, these are the frequent issues with affordable models, problems we made sure are NOT present on the instruments we have just listed.

 

  • Poor fret dressing and leveling – this causes pain to your fingers and unwanted fuzz to your tone. Sonic impact can be devastating, hence we avoided these flaws at all cost.
  • Difficult tailpieces with poor saddles – this affects ease of use, intonation, tuning, and general playing experience. You want none of that, of course.
  • Low output – Silent guitars are not our thing, but neither is gain oversaturation.
  • Poor routing – This leads to guitars being prone to breakage, and we don’t want that, now do we?

Where can I buy a cheap guitar for the best price?

Strangely enough, our experience has shown that the internet is packed with the best deals you can find.

If you do the proper digging, it beats just about any local store out there.
We did our best to conduct such a proper dig, and the results have been presented in the rundown above!

Conclusion

And this wraps up our discussion on budget electric guitars!

We hope you enjoyed the ride and learned something about the budget-friendly domain and found which good inexpensive guitars match your personal taste and preferences.

If you enyoed this article be sure to check our guide for guitar chairs, acoustic guitars,Β  classical guitars and acoustic guitars for fingerpicking.

Most importantly, you can rest assured that each of the listed puppies is a choice you cannot regret purchasing for the listed price.

Jot down your needs and exact spending budget, get yourself a nice six-string as early as today and feel the power of guitar music!

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