The 10 best affordable electric guitars in 2018

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, choosing the right guitar for your needs it’s not always easy. You may have an idea of what you’re looking for in a guitar in terms of tone, design, and last, but not least, price.

However, there are a lot of other aspects that have to be considered. It’s easy to end up buying an overrated guitar. Some instruments won’t sound nearly as good as a better-quality guitar in the same or lesser price range. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. In this article we’ll review some of the best guitars on the market for the price.

Beginners will find this article especially useful. When you’re starting to play, it’s hard to know what makes a certain guitar a better option than other. So it’s easy to make the wrong choice.

After a lot of research, we came up with this selection of the best 10 affordable guitars in the market today. We gave secial consideration to qualities like tone, price, design, construction, and playability.

Perhaps you’re just starting to learn guitar and your budget allows you to purchase a guitar in a higher range? Even in this case, we would still recommend considering one of these before getting a professional one. You can always upgrade to a better model once you decide you’re really into playing guitar and ready to invest in a premium instrument. So, let’s get to it!

 1. Epiphone Les Paul STANDARD Electric Guitar

 les paul standard

Epiphone is one of the most recognized guitar brands in the market. They have a long history of manufacturing high-quality instruments that sound amazing. For that reason, they are employed on a regular basis by prominent musicians across all genres.

The Les Paul is one of their flagship models. It’s an all-time favorite for millions of guitarists all around the world. who love the Les Paul’s elegant design. The classic tone heard in thousands of live and studio recordings.

The Epiphone Les Paul is masterfully constructed. A combination of mahogany and maple top makes up the body. These fine woods contribute to the vibrant tone and show what this guitar is famous for. Featuring a rosewood fingerboard, Grover machine heads and a 14-degree headstock, you get a lengthy sustain and a warm tone. Plus, you get excellent playability without having to tune guitar constantly like it usually happens with its lower quality counterparts.

Epiphone uses cutting edge technology and high-quality materials when manufacturing a guitar. For the pair of Alnico Classic Humbucker pickups, Epiphone combined complex waxing processes. This is in order to avoid hum and unwanted noise, resulting in a crystal clear, warm tone. Other interesting features in terms of hardware include a Locking StopBar adjustable bridge. Also, they use 1’’diameter potentiometers, metal toggle switches with spring steel contacts, and a spring steel reinforced jack output.

The Epiphone Les Paul Standard is without a doubt one of the best options on the market. We highly recommended it because of the impressive design, durability, reliability, and tone. With that level of overall quality, it’s no surprise that the Epiphone Les Paul is considered a classic. It remains as one of the most popular electric guitars in the world.

2. Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012DLX Electric Guitar Old Violin Sunburst

Yamaha Pacifica electric guitarThis is one of the most acknowledged series of Yamaha electric guitars, due to the solid design, neat performance and versatility the Yamaha Pacifica PAC012DLX offers. The construction of the body is similar to the one of more expensive models in the same series. It features a sturdy yet sleek basswood body. This allows you to have a light-weight electric guitar that still delivers a rich, crisp tone. If you’re one of those players that practice long sessions or gig standing up, this guitar might be of special interest to you.

The basswood body allows the guitar to keep a warm tone and a good level of resonance. At the same time it’s notably light, and the flat neck and rosewood fingerboard makes it very easy to play. Topped off with a retro-looking Violin Sunburst (although you can find in in other colors), this guitar is beautifully designed. It offers a lot of value of the price.

In terms of hardware, the Yamaha Pacifica features three passive pickups, two single-coils and as a humbucker at the bridge, which allow you to have a wide range of tone qualities, and the whammy bar on the tremolo bridge lets you add cool effects when you’re playing a solo.

You can choose from a wide range of different tones using the five-way pickup selector switch, so it doesn’t matter what genre you play; this guitar will perform adequately. Just be careful with using the whammy bar too much since it can make the guitar go out of tune.

This guitar is definitely a great option for those who are just getting into guitar, or for players coming from an acoustic guitar background and are looking for a decent electric guitar to make the transition.

 3. Squier by Fender “Mini” Strat Beginner Electric Guitar Rosewood Fingerboard


The Squier Mini is a perfect guitar for beginner players (especially kids), who will find the instrument easy to play and carry, since the scale length of the Squier Mini is only 22.75 inches compared to the 24-75 of a regular sized guitar, and the decreased tension of the strings allows players with small hands to comfortably reach between the frets and develop a solid technique right from the start while avoiding pain or injuries in the process.  

You probably wouldn’t expect too much from a guitar in that price range in terms of versatility, but you’d be amazed at the wide range of tones the Squier Mini offers. It doesn’t matter what type of music you play. The 5-way switching single-coils pickups provide a bright tone adequate for most styles of music.

The Squier Mini has quite a vintage feel as well, in part due to the laminated-wood body, the C-shaped neck profile and rosewood fretboard (which you can find in many colors such as green, orange, and purple). But what probably contributes to the retro vibe the most is the Hard-Tail bridge system it features- unlike regular Stratocasters, which usually have a Floating Tremolo System. This results in better sustain and transference, producing a mellow, warm tone. The adjustable truss rod allows you to calibrate the guitar for maximum comfort

The Squier Mini is a great choice for young players because it offers a lot in terms of comfort, sound and playability- at an extremely affordable price. It may not offer some of the fancy features of a premium guitar, but it still performs great and sounds really good for a guitar in that price range.

4. Epiphone Les Paul-100 Electric Guitar

 les paul-100

The next guitar on the list is the Epiphone Les Paul-100- in our opinion one of the most reliable guitars in the market, featuring the classic Les Paul design but with some new upgrades like a LockTone tailpiece, tapered heel neck, and the high-quality 700T and 650R humbucker pickups that provide that distinctive Les Paul tone.

The construction is excellent; this guitar has a solid mahogany body and maple top that resonate very well and provide great sustain, while still being light enough for transport. The Les Paul 100 has to offer a lot in terms playability, featuring a rosewood fingerboard and a bolt-on tapered heel neck.  At a scale length of 24-75 and a nut width of 1’68, you will be able to play easily without having to stretch your fingers too much.

The Epiphone Les Paul-100 doesn’t disappoint in the hardware department, offering an all- metal nickle machine heads, output jack, LockTone bridge, and a StopBat tailpiece, all manufactured according to the authentic Les Paul standard of quality. Regarding sound, it performs amazing, mainly thanks to the pair of 700T/650R powerful Alnico open-coil humbucker pickups, which deliver a warm, crisp sound- perfect for both lead and rhythm playing. It’s hard to find a better sounding guitar for the same price, so if you want to take your guitar playing to the next level you should consider getting the Epiphone Les Paul 100- we can assure you won’t regret it.

 5. Squier by Fender Bullet Strat Beginner Electric Guitar HSS

 squier hss

While most Squier models rarely sound as good as their Fender counterparts, the Fender Squier Bullet Strat is certainly one of the exceptions; it sounds almost as good as a Fender and it’s sold at an extremely affordable price.

The Fender Squier Bullet Strat is a great choice of guitar for beginner players and offers a lot of value in terms of design and playability, featuring a rosewood fingerboard and C shaped neck with an adjustable truss rod that allow comfortable playing and calibration.

In terms of construction, this is a very well-built guitar. The basswood body, which is a cheaper but also lighter wood than maple or mahogany, make this guitar quite light in comparison to the other guitars included in this list, so it’s a great choice for children and small-handed players. The gloss polyutherane finish and oval body shape give the Squier Bullet Strat a stylish vintage look.

It sounds better than what you would expect at such a price, thanks to the 3 single pickups which give the Bullet Strat a sound almost indistinguishable to the one of the original Fender Strat. It features a 5-way switch that allows you to experiment with different tones, and a synchronized chrome tremolo which is quite useful for making sharp and flat pitch disparities.

You can find the Squier Bullet Strat both in SSS and HSS configuration, but no matter which one you go for, you can be sure that this guitar performs quite well, providing flexibility, comfort and a warm, bright tone; definitely a great deal for the price.

The reviews on this guitar are fantastic and there are a ton of them.

6. C-1 SGR by Schecter Beginner Electric Guitar

 C1 SGR Schecter

Schechter is one the most successful brands in the guitar manufacture business, due to their affordable, reliable and great sounding instruments. The C-1 SGR electric guitar is one of their most popular models today due to the great value this guitar offers at a very low price.

Marketed towards beginners and intermediate players, the C-1 SGR offers a set of neat features like a sleek arch top carved body, a maple neck, rosewood fretboard decorated with a 12th fret inlay for comfortable fret navigation, and a pair of humbucker pickups that provide a clean, balanced sound, while still allowing the player to access different tones by toggling between them; the neck pickup provides a deep tone while the bridge pickup has more of a crunchier sound. You can experiment with the knob settings and get a wide range of sounds by combining the two pickups.

In terms of design, the C-1 SGR features a black satin finish that fits the modern-looking black chrome hardware of the guitar, although you can find it in other colors as well. As a plus, Schechter also included a zipper enclosed gig bag in the package so you can easily store your guitar and take it to gigs or band rehearsals.With all these features, you would expect this guitar to cost at least as twice of its actual price, and you if you decide to buy it you will find that it actually performs better than more expensive models in the market.

7. Epiphone Les Paul STANDARD PLUS-TOP PRO Electric Guitar

 Les Paul Standard Plus Top Pro

We’re not afraid to say that this is probably one of the best electric guitars- ever. This Les Paul model is slightly more expensive that its standard counterpart. However, if you’re an advanced player who wants to upgrade to a better sounding instrument and develop your technical skills, you should seriously consider investing in this electric guitar.

The overall look of this guitar is very impressive, featuring a mahogany SlimTaper D profile neck with rosewood fingerboard. It’s available in different color finishes, too. With its AAA flame maple top, trapezoid inlays and a 14-degree headstock you get a beautiful looking guitar with the classic tone and vintage design the Les Paul is known for.

The quality of the hardware this Les Paul offers is amazing. The premium Grover machine heads, the LockTone and Stopbar help to keep the guitar in tune. The all-metal toggle switches use high quality spring-steel contacts. The jack output also features a new upgraded design.

The unique Les Paul sound is achieved largely thanks to the two Epiphone ProBucker pickups the PlusTop has. These pickups feature magnets that deliver a warm, balanced one. Coil-tapping allows the player to select from a huge variety of tones, from a single-coil crisp sound to a deep humbucker sound. The double waxing process the pickups go through results in an impressive amount of hum and noise reduction. This is a very reliable guitar in terms of sound quality.

It’s not easy to find a quality guitar with so many features in the same price range.


8. Gibson USA Les Paul Faded T 2017 Electric Guitar

Gibson Les Paul Faded T 2017Guitars manufactured at Gibson USA are famous for their superb quality, stylish design and signature sound. Musicians also recognize the company for their use of cutting edge technology and the constant introduction of innovative features and upgrades. The Gibson Les Paul Faded T is one of the most notorious models of their new Faded series is . This guitar features a unique, worn-in design, with a faded gloss that results in a stylish, vintage look. Light-weight, with long sustain and great resonance, it delivers a rich, classic Gibson tone that is guaranteed to sound amazing in any style of music.

The Gibson Les Paul Faded T offers valuable features like a slim taper neck profile that allows comfortable playing. It’s built with a mahogany body with maple top, thick rosewood fingerboard with 22 frets, and a tektoid nut. There are vintage style keystone tuners that look neat besides doing an excellent job in keeping the strings in tune.

 In terms of hardware, you get a pair of Alnico II pickups, a 490R which is great for rhythm playing and does a great job in recreating the original PAF vintage tones, while the 490T adds a lot more crunch, more suitable for lead playing. This allows the Les Paul to be versatile enough for both live gigs and studio recordings.

When you buy the Gibson Faded T you get also a padded gig bag and a strap. You also get a cloth for cleaning and polishing the instrument. Stylish design, excellent playability, impressive sound- this guitar has all of them. So If you can stretch your budget a little, you can get your hands on a premium quality instrument.

 9. Ibanez GRX70QA GIO RX Series Electric Guitar

 Ibanez electric

Ibanez is quite a popular brand. They are known for crafting high quality instruments at an affordable price. The GIO series doesn’t disappoint at all. The Ibanez GIO RX is one of the best models in Ibanez’s ‘first step’ line. It offers both splendid sound and an elegant appearance for a low price-without sacrificing build quality.

Material-wise, it features a smooth GRX Maple neck and lightweight poplar body with a quilter art grain top. This provides natural resonance and a wide range of responsive tones. The FAT-6 tremolo bridge was a screw-tremolo arm, allowing you to perform dramatic bends without detuning the strings. The medium sized frets, and the pearl dot inlay contribute to the great feel and playability this guitar features.

The sound this guitar produces is magnificent; the 3 infinity pickups combine humbucker with single-coil pickup technology. This configuration allows the user to select from a large range of tones. This makes the Ibanez GIO RX a very versatile guitar, and also a very responsive one. It will deliver a rich, full tone, no matter if you’re playing chords or lead. The versatile sound will fit any style of music.

The Ibanez GIO is available in a broad range of lively color choices, so you can go for the one that fits your style the best. For a budget-line guitar, it really has a lot to offer in terms of value; a modern looking design, a spectacular variety of tones, and quality materials and hardware. If you’re looking to buy your first electric guitar, the Ibanez GIO RX could be an excellent choice.


10. Epiphone Les Paul CUSTOM PRO Electric Guitar with Coil Tapping

 Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro

The last model in this list is the Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro. Now here is a truly remarkable guitar. It provides a convenient blend of vintage and modern features. You get Pro-Bucker pickups, gold hardware, a 5-ply binding enveloping the maple veneer top. Plus, you get the single-ply cream binding from around the guitar’s body.

The tone of this guitar has more character and bite than the original model. This is largely due to the maple veneer body top which allows the Les Paul Custom Pro to deliver a great tone. It even sustains the tone while still resonating like one solid piece of wood. The mahogany neck has a very ergonomic design which contributes to the amazing playability of this instrument. Also, it features Pearloid block inlays, a 12” radius rosewood fingerboard and 22 medium-jumbo frets for maximum comfort.

Hardware-wise, the Les Paul Custom Pro features a mahogany SlimTaper profile neck, and Grover machine heads. Also, it has gold hardware, full size potentiometers and a 3-way rugged toggle pickup selector switch. The Pro-Bucker pickup configuration features coil-tapping that shapes. This creates the sound just like the vintage hand-wound humbuckers from the 50’s. It’s a delightful warm tone. A push/pull control is placed by each pickup’s volume knob. This allows the guitarist to easily toggle between pickups and obtaining the right sound.

 The Les Paul Custom Pro is an incredibly well-crated instrument, offering an amazing performance, stylish design, durability, and a fantastic tone. Yes, it’s a little pricier than other guitars on this list, but it’s definitely great investment for what you’re getting. It’s got a lot of value and will last you a lifetime if you take proper care of it.


One Response

  1. good article

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