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Cheap Electric Guitars for Beginner
Comparing the Washburn BT-2 to the Squier Strat by Fender
If you are a beginner or intermediate guitar player looking for an economical first electric guitar, you can find some great deals out there. There are all sorts of guitars that actually play pretty well and can be had for less than three hundred dollars. You don’t have to fork out a thousand dollars for a Fender Stratocaster, Gibson Les Paul or many other high end guitars out there. When you are first starting out the Washburn BT-2 Maverick series and the Squier Strat by Fender could be a good choice. Let’s compare.
The Washburn BT-2 is a three quarter size electric that is designed for the beginner, especially smaller learners with short arms and small hands. The guitar play amazingly well for the price, the one in the photos is one I purchased a couple of years ago for my teenage son for less than a $125 dollars. I have found that the Washburn BT-2 stays in tune really well and with just some minor adjustments, intonation down the neck is as good as many other expensive guitars that I have played. There are some minor issues with the guitar, but for the beginner nothing that can’t be overcome.
The specs for the Washburn BT-2:
BODY MATERIAL: Solid Mahogany double cut away
Neck Material: Bolt on Maple
Hardware: Chrome Tuning Machines
Grover Frets: 22
Pickups: WB 200 Humbucking
Three way pickup switch
Series Bridge: Tun-o-mat Stop tail
Next we look at a full scale Squire Strat by Fender. The Squire Strat is another economical electric guitar for beginners that can be had for around $150 dollars or cheaper if you look around. This is not a Fender Stratocaster by any stretch of the imagination, but for a tenth of the price, you can’t expect it to be. The one in the picture is one that I purchase for my son as he grew taller and size was no longer an issue. This is an older version of the guitar; the newer ones have some upgrades to the pickups and tuning keys, but basically the same body, neck and fret board. The Squire Strat, I found, required a little more set up work than the Washburn to play well. You can take the guitar to a set up pro and have it done for around 40 dollars, as long as you don’t do any upgrades. Once the intonation and bridge was set on this one it plays great. Now, don’t get me wrong, the guitar played well right from the store, but not to my standards. My son really loved this guitar and it sounds great even when played on his small Fender practice amplifier. The guitar has a versatile sound range and can be used for all types of music; country, rock and other styles. The neck has good action and bends or pull offs don’t knock it out of tune as with many other cheap guitars.
The specs for the Squier Strat by Fender: affinity series
Body: contoured alder
Neck: bolt-on maple
Fingerboard: rosewood with late '60s headstock
Pickups: three single coil pickups
Five way pickup switch
Rear Bridge: Synchronized tremolo
So if you’re looking for your first electric guitar or buying one for a beginner, these two guitars are well worth what you pay. These guitars play well and are very durable. I recommend the Washburn BT-2 Maverick series for younger players where the down sized three quarters scale makes for an easy reach. Also, the Washburn Maverick makes for a great travel guitar because of its smaller size.
For taller beginners or intermediate players that want to play a full size guitar, the Squier Strat by Fender is a great choice. With many upgrades available, the Squier Strat can be made to play and sound as good as many guitars with a much higher price tag and can last a lifetime.