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Top 10 Great and Inexpensive Electric Guitars

Updated on September 17, 2014

Inexpensive Electric Guitars

When it comes to electric guitars, there are many different styles, sounds, and colors. This article sticks to the solid-body guitar that so many beginning guitarists desire. Solidbodies are well known for greater sustain and higher amplification with fewer feedback issues. Solidbodies are generally intended for: hard rock, rock, metal, and punk.

When it comes to choosing any guitar, be it acoustic or electric, many beginning guitarists assume that they should purchase the cheapest guitar available. After all, what if they show no talent or interest? One wouldn't want to waste a lot of money, right? Purchasing the cheapest guitar you can find is kind of like purchasing the cheapest steak from the butcher. You won't enjoy it. While few beginning guitarists would want to buy the best guitar money can buy, it's always a good idea to purchase a decent guitar, one that won't be utterly frustrating to play. Rest assured, the guitars featured in this article are great electric guitars for both beginning and experienced players; these are guitars that won't break the bank. Happy playing!

If you're looking for a great acoustic guitar, please go to:

Top 10 Great and Inexpensive Acoustic Guitars


Number 1: Epiphone LP-100 Les Paul Electric Guitar

The Epiphone LP-100 provides a commanding, rich sound that is perhaps the greatest deal in electric guitars. The mahogany body with maple top delivers a classic, heavy tone, while the bolt-on mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard are easy to play. Utilizing 700T/650R open-coil humbucking pickups and chrome hardware, the Epiphone LP-100 is a great, solid guitar that is designed to sound and last much like a Gibson while saving you thousands of dollars. Many lesser guitars can be found for the same price or more, but why should anybody settle when they can own a genuine Epiphone? Epiphone guitars are an amazing value, one that is seldom beat by department-store quality guitars of similar design. In addition to high quality and great sound, the PL-100 comes with Epiphone’s limited lifetime guarantee and Gibson's customer service. Few guitars can boast that kind of commitment to quality in this price range.

If you're looking for the Gibson Les Paul sound of Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend, Duane Allman, Slash, Billy Gibbons, and, of course, Les Paul, then you'll want this guitar. The Epiphone is made by Gibson, and it sounds like a Gibson, costing a lot less.

Founded: Epiphone has been making musical instruments since 1873.

Available Finishes: Ebony, Heritage Cherry, Sunburst, and Vintage Sunburst

Notable Epiphone Players:

  • Bob Dylan
  • The Edge
  • Noel Gallaghe
  • John Lee Hooker
  • Brian Jones
  • John Lennon
  • Alex Lifeson
  • Paul McCartney
  • Les Paul
  • Keith Richards
  • Nancy Wilson

Countless additional guitarists have played Epiphone guitars over the years.

Fender Squier BulletStrat Electric Guitar

Number 2: Fender Squier BulletStrat Electric Guitar

It's a fender. That in itself says a lot. The Fender Squier Stratocaster has many features: a tremolo, a basswood body, a maple neck a rosewood fingerboard and 21 medium jumbo frets, and 3 single-coil pickups. Known for a sharper sound than the Les Paul, many notable guitarists have played the Stratocaster, namely: Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Pete Townshend, to name a few. The Fender Squier Stratocaster has a rich, strong tone that doesn't sound cheap. This Fender guitar is an amazing value, one that you'd be hard pressed to beat by department-store quality guitars of similar design and inferior value.

Founded: Fender has been making musical instruments since 1946.

Available Finishes: Arctic White, Black, Brown Sunburst, Fiesta Red, and Pink

Notable Fender Players:

  • Randy Bachman
  • Jeff Beck
  • Ritchie Blackmore
  • Eric Clapton
  • The Edge
  • David Gilmour
  • George Harrison
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Buddy Holly
  • John Lennon
  • Alex Lifeson
  • Pete Townshend
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Ronnie Wood
  • Jeff Beck
  • Bob Dylan
  • Jimmy Page
  • Keith Richards
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Keith Urban

Who hasn't played a Fender? The list is quite literally endless.

Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012 Electric Guitar

Number 3: Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012 Electric Guitar

Yamaha is a respected name in music, and the Yamaha Pacifica lives up to that deserved reputation. As electric guitars go, the Yamaha Pacifica is closer in design to the Fender Stratocaster than the Gibson Les Paul. It sports a bolt-on maple neck, agathis (similar but less expensive than mahogany) body, sonokeling (rosewood) fingerboard, a tremolo, and a five-position switch. The sound quality and construction of the Pacifica are comparable to guitars with a much higher price tag.

Founded: Yamaha has been making musical instruments since 1887.

Available Finishes: Black, Blue, Metallic Blue, Metallic Red, Red

Notable Yamaha Players:

  • John Lennon
  • Bob Marley
  • Brian May
  • Paul McCartney
  • Jimmy Page
  • Carlos Santana
  • Bob Seger
  • Billy Sheehan
  • Paul Simon
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • James Taylor

Countless additional guitarists have played Yamaha guitars over the years.

Epiphone LP Special II Les Paul Electric Guitar

Number 4: Epiphone LP Special II Les Paul Electric Guitar

There's a reason this guitar is Epiphone's number one selling model. If you really want a great deal, the Epiphone Lp Special II Les Paul is your best bet. It's not the best guitar on the list, but it's probably the best for the money. While it's lacking in some of the features that some guitars have, it gives the essential elements of a Les Paul. Made with a mahogany body, a bolt-on mahogany neck, and a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard, the Epiphone II LP Special II Les Paul is a looker. It sports 700T/650R open-coil humbucker pickups that deliver a long sustain and the desirable tones of a true Les Paul. As if that's not enough for the price, this Epiphone also has the Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece. The Epiphone LP Special II Les Paul has a Limited lifetime warranty.

If you're looking for the Gibson Les Paul sound of Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend, Duane Allman, Slash, Billy Gibbons, and, of course, Les Paul, then you'll want this guitar. The Epiphone is made by Gibson, and it sounds like a Gibson, costing a lot less.

Founded: Epiphone has been making musical instruments since 1873.

Available Finishes: Black, Heritage Cherry Sunburst, and Vintage Sunburst

Notable Epiphone Players:

  • Bob Dylan
  • The Edge
  • Noel Gallaghe
  • John Lee Hooker
  • Brian Jones
  • John Lennon
  • Alex Lifeson
  • Paul McCartney
  • Les Paul
  • Keith Richards
  • Nancy Wilson

Countless additional guitarists have played Epiphone guitars over the years.

Number 5: Epiphone SG Special

If you're looking for the classic, iconic Gibson SG sound at a budget price, this is the guitar for you. The Epiphone SG is modeled after the famous Gibson SG and features twin, open-coil humbucker pickups and a Tune-O-Matic bridge/Stopbar tailpiece combo for maximum sustain. The double-cutaway design gives players access to all 22 frets, and the bolt-on, hard maple neck and rosewood fingerboard make it easy on your fingers.

If you want to sound like AC/DC, The Beatles, The Jam, Frank Zappa, and The Who, the Epiphone SG is a good place to start. Sporting a pair of hot, open-coil humbucker pickups, the Epiphone SG provides just the right amount of grit and growl one might expect from a Gibson but at an Epiphone price. The Epiphone SG comes with a limited lifetime guarantee and Gibson's customer service. Few guitars can boast that kind of commitment to quality in this price range.

Founded: Epiphone has been making musical instruments since 1873.

Available Finishes: Cherry and Ebony

Notable Epiphone Players:

  • Bob Dylan
  • The Edge
  • Noel Gallaghe
  • John Lee Hooker
  • Brian Jones
  • John Lennon
  • Alex Lifeson
  • Paul McCartney
  • Les Paul
  • Keith Richards
  • Nancy Wilson

Countless additional guitarists have played Epiphone guitars over the years.

Number 6: Washburn WIN14 Electric Guitar

While it tends to have sharper lines, the Washburn WIN14 is reminiscent of the Gibson Les Paul and sports some of the typical Les Paul features, such as the Tune-O-Matic bridge. The Washburn WIN14 features: basswood sides, a maple neck, a rosewood fingerboard, a stoptail bridge, and humbucker pickups. If that's not enough, Washburn provides a lifetime warranty on the WIN14. These are features you won't always find at this price, particularly from similar-priced, no-name guitars that you might find in department stores.

Founded: Washburn has been making musical instruments since 1883.

Available Finishes: Black, Walnut

Notable Washburn Players:

  • Paul Stanley
  • Scott Ian
  • Jimmy Page
  • George Harrison
  • Bob Dylan

Countless additional guitarists have played Washburn guitars over the years.

Number 7: Fender Squier Telecaster Electric Guitar

It's a fender. That in itself says a lot. The Fender Squier Stratocaster has many features: two single-coil pickups with three-way switching, smooth-playing rosewood fingerboard with 21 medium jumbo frets, and a six-saddle top-load bridge. While most people think that the Fender Telecaster is primarily a guitar for country music, it has a distinguished career in both country and rock. Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend, the Beatles, Andy Summers of the Police, Mike Bloomfield, and Bob Dylan all recorded with Telecasters. The Fender Squier Telecaster has a strong, versatile tone that doesn't sound cheap. This Fender guitar is an amazing value, one that you'd be hard pressed to match with a department-store quality guitar of similar design and inferior value.

Founded: Fender has been making musical instruments since 1946.

Available Finishes: Brown Sunburst, Gun Metal Gray, Lake Placid Blue, and Metallic Red

Notable Fender Players:

  • Randy Bachman
  • Jeff Beck
  • Ritchie Blackmore
  • Eric Clapton
  • The Edge
  • David Gilmour
  • George Harrison
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Buddy Holly
  • John Lennon
  • Alex Lifeson
  • Pete Townshend
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Ronnie Wood
  • Jeff Beck
  • Bob Dylan
  • Jimmy Page
  • Keith Richards
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Keith Urban

Who hasn't played a Fender? The list is quite literally endless.

Number 8: Dean Vendetta XM Electric Guitar

The Dean Vendetta XM has a string-through-body design, dual humbucker pickups, and a paulownia body with a maple neck and rosewood fingerboard. The Vendetta XM uses bolt-on construction. In addition, the Dean Vendetta XM features a Tune-O-Matic bridge and diecast tuners. You could easily pay more for a lot less.

Founded: Dean has been making musical instruments since 1977.

Available Finishes: Black Satin, Classic Black, Metallic Silver, Natural

Notable Fender Players:

  • Rusty Cooley
  • Dimebag Darrell
  • Dave Mustaine
  • Eric Peterson
  • Michael Schenker
  • David Vincent
  • Jacky Vincent
  • Laura Wilde

Countless additional guitarists have played Dean guitars over the years.


Ibanez GRX20ZBKN Electric Guitar

Number 9: Ibanez GRX20ZBKN Electric Guitar

Known for electric guitars and a hard rock sound, Ibanez is a Japanese guitar manufacturer. Ibanez's GRX series has a solid reputation but at prices that won't bankrupt most guitarists. The Ibanez GRX20ZBKN features: a maple neck, basswood body, a fingerboard that has a rosewood inlay, two humbucker pickups, and a pearl-dot inlay bridge.

Founded: Ibanez has been making musical instruments since 1957.

Available Finishes: Black

Notable Ibanez Players:

  • Joey Allen
  • Chris Broderick
  • John Christ
  • Adam Clayton
  • Phil Collen
  • Marty Friedman
  • Dexter Holland
  • Yngwie Malmsteen
  • Joe Satriani
  • Paul Stanley
  • Steve Vai

Countless additional guitarists have played Ibanez guitars over the years.

Number 10: Legacy Electric Guitar

The Instrument Store has its Legacy line of guitars, a line of guitars that lacks a notable pedigree but holds a lot of respect among guitarists. Often considered comparable to Fender Squiers, the Legacy focuses on making solid guitars for a reasonable price. The Legacy guitar has a lightweight, alder body and a maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard. The Legacy's single-coil pickups and 5-Way pickup selector provide an ample array of desirable tones while the vintage tremolo bridge provides both fantastic tuning stablilty and sustain.

Available Finishes: Black, Metallic Blue, Metallic Red, Red Sunbust, Sunburst, White

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    • profile image

      Pharmg919 

      4 years ago

      Very nice site!

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Education Answer 

      4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you. If you have any guitar questions, I'm here for you.

      Best wishes.

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      Johne374 

      4 years ago

      What's Happening i'm new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It positively helpful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to contribute &amp help other users like its helped me. Good job. ddefaggakfgg

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