As exciting as it can be to get a brand spanking new instrument, it can be frustrating to find the best electric guitars for the money. The market is overflowing with options, which can be overwhelming. These great options will not only get you the best bang for your buck, but a quality instrument to last you for years to come.
Coustii's Choices for the Best Electric Guitars for the Money
If you'd like a quick review on the different parts of an electric guitar, take a look at the below diagram. You can also read about it, Guitar's Anatomy: Parts of an Electric Guitar.
What's the Body Like?
There are many good points that must be explored when finding a quality electric guitar. A good model needs to have a body that is not only easy to handle, but also made with a design that produces sounds well. A typical electric guitar can come with a solid wooden body, but a hollow wood option can also be used when finding an electric guitar. A hollow wood can create deeper bass responses and stronger tones.
A semi-hollow body is also good choice. A semi-hollow body is a cross between a traditional wood option and a hollow choice. A semi-hollow body often features a solid wood block in the middle to create a better sustain effect within the guitar. This means it is able to keep a note sounding consistent. In addition, feedback will be less of a problem with a semi-hollow guitar.
Rosewood also creates dense sounds in some guitars. However, it is also a heavy option that is tough to lug around, especially if you're traveling.
Ash is another option used to create a good sustain and tone while also establishing the mid-range effects on the guitar. Buying a guitar made of ash, will cost you a pretty penny.
What Should I Look for in the Guitar Neck?
There are three particularly important types of neck options to look into when finding an electric guitar. First, there’s a bolt-on neck that features a neck that is directly bolted onto the body of the guitar. This efficient model makes it easier for the neck to be removed, repaired or replaced as needed. However,the sustain on the guitar will not be as strong on a model like this.
A set neck is another choice to find in that the neck is set into the body and glued in its place. It is then fastened by getting the neck attached to the body while waiting for the glue to dry. This is a stable choice that offers a better sustain, but it can be harder to repair it as needed.
A neck-through guitar is the third option. This is a choice where the neck will extend through the whole body. This offers more stable notes that are consistent, but at the same time it is even harder to get a guitar such as this repaired.
How does the Tuning Work?
The process of tuning the guitar entails a series of easy to handle strings that can be tightened or loosened at the top, as well as controls that may be used on the body of the guitar itself. Many guitars can come with their own knobs on their bodies that feature treble adjustments, tone shift changes and much more. Not all guitars have these features, but these do help with making it easier for the guitar to be played properly.
The number of controls that may be found on the body will vary by each guitar. The controls can be tested and adjusted before playing to ensure that the guitar is in tune. This should allow you to have a little more control over how you are playing an instrument.
What Should I Look for in Pickups?
The pickups used in typical electric guitars include single-coil options. This is where a single magnet is used with a wire around it to establish a magnetic field. Single-coil pickups will take in the vibrations made by the strings to create the electric signal that causes the guitar to have a good sound. They create a bright tone that stands out, but you also risk interference (the hum or hiss sound).
A Humbucker pickup offers two single coils that are wound together, while the polarity of the magnets is organized against each other. This creates a louder tone that may be better for more intense types of music. Plus less interference!
A piezo pickup is the third option. This is where a sensor in the middle of the guitar will identify vibrations without magnets. This is often used in guitars that look to achieve more electronic sounds similar to what might come out of a traditional keyboard. A magnetic pickup may be included in some guitars that have piezo pickups.
What About the Bridge?
The bridge is the last point to look at when finding the best electric guitar for the money. The bridge is on the lower part of your guitar and works with intonation to improve how the guitar can create the best sounds.
The bridge typically has a material at the bottom to help regulate the length of each string on the guitar. Some guitars will allow users to adjust their guitars based on the lengths of the strings used on the model or how well tuned they are.
A rotating bar may also be included on the guitar in some cases. This bar is typically spring-loaded. It adjusts how the individual notes sound based on the string intonations that are generated by each individual string.
The bridge must be stable enough to handle all sorts of playing motions and actions. Meanwhile, it needs to be sturdy enough where it will not wear out and weaken as you use the electric guitar. You must make sure the bridge is powerful enough to where it can make great sounds, while still being impressive in its own right.
Most Popular Electric Guitar
The Epiphone G-400 is an artificially worn cherry finish and features a mahogany body with a tapered neck, plus a rosewood fingerboard. It offers a humbucker pickup on the neck and another on the bridge. The guitar is popular for being very versatile and easy to control without worrying about losing too many sounds in the process.
The G-400 especially works well with thinner strings. Also, it can be easy to control with a few small knob features, but it is best that you make sure it is linked to a proper amplifier for it to work right for any purpose.
Best Electric Guitar Under $1000
The Epiphone LP Special II Les Paul electric guitar is another cheap option to consider. It has a bass wood body and a rosewood fretboard, while using humbucker pickups to help you create heavier sounds.
The LockTone bridge keeps the strings in place longer and can even work for left or right-handed players. You can use a three-way selector switch to adjust the tunes on the guitar and to emphasize treble if needed. The two other knobs on the base of the guitar used to help adjust the quality of the sound should be checked carefully to ensure that they work well.
The Gibson Les Paul 2016 T is a gorgeous instrument, that looks gently aged, will take you all the way from the basement to playing in front of your fans. This 2016 T electric guitar has a slimmer neck, which makes you feel like you're back in the classic 60's carved look. It also helps you enjoy great clairity and sustain.
The chrome hardware allows for speedy string changes and allows for quick adjustments, which is ideal when performing. The two Burstbucker Pro humbuckers are specially made with potted coils to avoid any squeals at high gain.
I would recommend getting a quality tube amp to pair with the 2016 T. Tube amps are where Gibson Les Pauls really shine. This git will give you quality over the years and it's worth the investment.
The Fender Squier Vintage Modified 70's Stratocaster is not just another pretty face. This smooth and sleek instrument features a maple neck and 21 medium jumbo frets. The frets allow the user to quickly play with all the right notes and movements.
The three single-coil pickups are especially designed to make it easier for the unit to play back more sounds the right way. The dot position inlays also help you to keep the guitar played right by listing the appropriate spots where the guitar is to be played.
Regardless of whether you're looking for a budget friendly electronic guitar, or a tried and true instrument, these top 4 picks will guide you to musical satisfaction.