HomeElectric Guitars10 best electric guitars review : great for all styles & budget

10 best electric guitars review 2021: great for all styles & budget

Electric guitars are one of the most popular instruments for beginners. 

Personally, I’d recommend the PRS SE Custom 24, as among the best electric guitars (will talk more about this later).

Honestly, who hasn’t dreamed of doing a snazzy guitar riff in front of a rambunctious crowd? 

However, the guitar world can be daunting and confusing, considering that there are numerous electric guitars on the market, and you probably don’t know much yet about your new instrument. 

But you don’t have to worry, this article will provide you with all you need to know about electric guitars. 

It will even come with a product review section, a buying guide and lastly, a FAQs section to help you find the best electric guitar in the market.  

Here are the best electric guitars

PRS SE Custom 24

We Recommend
PRS SE Custom 24 Black Gold Sunburst
5.0
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Their SE Custom 24 is the newest addition to Paul Reed Smith Guitars, featuring a shallow violin carve, mahogany body, maple neck and rosewood fingerboard and finished with a maple veneer. 

The Paul Reed Smith SE 24 guitar is versatile with its three-way pickup selector and push-pull tone controls, giving you eight distinct tones. 

This electric guitar also comes with a Fender Stratocaster-like coil-split functionality and thick humbucker pickups. 

The PRS SE 24 electric guitar is also comfortable to play in with its 25-inch body, “wide-thin” neck, and extra frets. 

Also Read: 10 Best PRS Guitars in 2021 (Reviews): Which PRS is Best for You?

Pros 

  • Clearly well-made and durable 
  • Provides eight pickups 
  • Wide tonal variety 
  • Comfortable to play in 

Cons 

  • No left-handed custom 

 

Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster 

Also Great
Squier Classic Vibe 50's Stratocaster
4.6
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The Squier Classic Vibe electric guitar features a cutaway body, giving it a vintage style akin to Fender

guitars in the 50s. 

This electric guitar is made of an eye-catching combination of an alder body and a C-shaped maple neck. 

Squier’s Classic Vibe guitar comes with three single-coils, a five-way toggle switch, volume control, and tone controls to produce varied tones and sounds. 

Despite its high-end features, the Squier electric guitar has an affordable price point compared to its competitors.

Pros 

  • Ideal for beginners on a budget 
  • Provides varied tones
  • Exudes a vintage vibe 
  • No fret buzzes 

Cons 

  • Sticky guitar finish 

 

Fender American Ultra Telecaster 

Runner-Up
Fender American Ultra Telecaster
4.5
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The Fender American Ultra Telecaster guitar comes with a durable maple body, D-shaped maple neck, and different colored scratchplates, giving it a classy and modern look. 

The Fender American electric guitar measures 25.5-inches and comes with 22 medium-jumbo frets, making it easy and comfortable to play in.

The Fender Telecaster guitar is an excellent choice in terms of its tone production with an ultra-noiseless single-coil bridge pickup, three-way selector switch, and a master tone switch for your convenience and to prevent unnecessary humming. 

This Fender electric guitar also comes with deluxe locking tuners to keep the strings stable and easy to adjust. 

Also Read: Fender American Ultra Luxe Telecaster Review

Pros 

  • Produces wide tonal variety 
  • Classy and modern look 
  • Comes in various colored finishes 
  • Has 22 medium-jumbo frets 

Cons 

  • Pricey

 

Gretsch G5222 Electromatic Double Jet 

Gretsch G5222 Electromatic Double Jet BT Electric Guitar
3.9
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Despite its lower price point, the Gretsch G5222 guitar features a Gibson Les Paul design and boasts a high-quality construction, comfortable playability, and high-end specs. 

The G5222 electric guitar comes in a 24.6-inched chambered mahogany body, a U-shaped mahogany neck to give it a modern look and enhance playability.

This guitar also features a double-cut curve, resulting in easier access to the 22 medium-jumbo frets. 

The G5222 electric guitar comes with the coveted Dual Broad Tron pickups that the guitarist can adjust via either the master volume and master tone control, the three-way toggle switch, or the individual volume controls.

With a three-way selector, the G5222 guitar can produce numerous tones and sounds, ranging from country, jazz, pop, rock, and the like. 

Pros 

  • Affordable price
  • Modern and classy guitar 
  • Hollow lightweight body 
  • Dual Broad Tron pickups

Cons 

  • Slight feedback 

 

Fender American Performer Stratocaster HSS 

Fender American Performer Stratocaster HSS
4.5
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Despite its low price, the Fender American Performer electric guitar does not disappoint. 

The Fender American Performer guitar comes with its 70s-inspired design and vintage-style tremolo bridge. 

This electric guitar features an Alder body, C-shaped neck, resulting in enhanced playability and performance.

The 22 jumbo frets also makes it easy but it might take some getting used when you’re used to medium-jumbo or smaller frets. 

The Fender American Performer guitar has single-coils coupled with Alnico V magnets, producing open-sounding and full-bodied tones. 

This electric guitar also comes with a Greasebucket tone circuit to maintain gain and clarity and humbucker pickups for different tonal flavors. 

Also Read: Fender Stratocaster HSS vs SSS – Differences, and Which is Better?

Pros 

  • Vintage-style guitar
  • Affordable price
  • Enhanced playability 
  • High-end specs

Cons 

  • Jumbo frets might take getting used to 

 

Epiphone Les Paul Standard ’60s 

Epiphone Les Paul Standard '60s
4.2
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While not like the Gibson Les Paul or Gibson SG, the Epiphone Les Paul Standard guitar features high-quality construction made up of a solid mahogany body paired with a Rosewood fingerboard and maple top, making it easy and comfortable to play in. 

The Epiphone Les Paul Standard electric guitar also comes with Alnic humbucker pickups and three-way selector, producing a variety of sounds and tones. 

You’ll find that the pickup itself gives a bright and clear tone. However, you can get blues-inspired tunes when you nudge the selector a little. 

Hence, many guitarists favor the Epiphone Les Paul during their transition from beginner to intermediate level. 

Pros 

  • Cater to various music styles 
  • High-end aesthetics 
  • Ideal for intermediate level 
  • High-quality construction 

Cons 

  • Quite expensive compared to its competitors

 

Ibanez Gio GRGM21M 

Ibanez Gio GRGM21M
4.2
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Finding a high-quality short scale electric guitar is difficult. 

The Ibanez Gio GRGM21M is one of the best short scale electric guitars in the scene. 

The GRGM21M comes in a 22.2-inched scale and features an RG-shaped Poplar body coupled with a comfortable neck and 24 medium frets. 

With its dual STD humbucker pickups and three-way selector, the guitarist can cater to a decent range of music styles. 

Pros 

  • Easy to play in 
  • Affordable price
  • Decent specs
  • Surprisingly sturdy 

Cons 

  • Has a bit of rough edge on frets 

 

Squier Mini Strat 

Squier Mini Stratocaster Electric Guitar
4.3
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Again, high-quality short scale guitars are uncommon in the guitar market as these guitars are usually marketed towards children. 

However, the Squier Mini Strat is one of those high-quality ones. 

The Squier Mini Strat is the scaled-down version of the original guitar, giving it the same classic look and feel. 

With only a 22.75-inched scale length, the Mini Strat is ideal for children and smaller guitarists. 

Squier’s Mini Strat also features three Fender single coils that are connected to a five-way selector and master volume and tone control knobs. 

As such, the electric guitar is quite versatile and caters to various music styles.  

Pros 

  • Miniature version of the classic Strat 
  • Versatile guitar 
  • Reliable hardware 
  • Travel-friendly 

Cons 

  • Slight feedback 

 

Fender Player Telecaster

Fender Player Telecaster Electric Guitar
4.4
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The Fender Player Telecaster comes with an Alder body and paired with a C-shaped maple neck and fingerboard, enabling the guitar to produce a light tone, and making it comfortable to play with. 

This guitar gives off a vintage feel and comes in six colors to choose from. 

Fender’s Player Telecaster also boasts its versatility due to its Alnico V single coils with coil-split functionality, delivering a punchy tone balanced with ample output. 

The pickups plus the guitar’s thin neck enables it to produce a variety of tones and cater to music styles such as the blues, jazz, pop, rock, etc. 

Also Read: 10 best telecasters for the money

Pros

  • Easy to play with 
  • Unique design 
  • Ideal for mid-range playing 
  • High-quality build 

Cons

  • Inferior bridge pickup sound 

 

ESP LTD EC-1000 

ESP LTD EC-1000 Electric Guitar
4.7
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The ESP LTD is what most of us imagine when we think of electric guitars. 

Featuring a mahogany body, Rosewood fingerboard and the signature Gibson Les Paul single cutaway design, the LTD EC-1000 guitar is not only stunning but also easy to play with. 

What makes the ESP LTD EC-1000 guitar great is that it produces an uncompromisingly brutal tone due to its unique set-in neck, EMG humbucker pickups, and a tone two-way toggle switch. 

While you can still experiment with other music styles, it’s no question that this electric guitar was made for rock-n-roll. 

The EC-1000 guitar is also easy to tune due to its TonePros bridge and locking tuners. 

Pros

  • Set neck providing excellent sustain 
  • Ideal for rock music 
  • Stable tuning 
  • Stunning aesthetics

Cons 

  • Unpolished frets 

 

Buying Guide 

Purchasing the best electric guitar for you is a delicate affair since you must consider various factors. 

The sheer number of electric guitars further complicates things due to the numerous choices available. 

However, you don’t have to worry.

This buying guide will lay down all the essential factors you need to know about the best electric guitars in the market. 

Guitar Body 

Electric guitars come in three body types – the hollow, semi-hollow, and solid body type. 

Here are the differences between the three. 

Hollow Body 

Hollow body electric guitars have similar bodies with acoustic guitars, providing more resonance and sound depth. 

Their design enables them to produce rich and full tones and deep bass, making them a favorite among jazz and blues guitarists. 

However, some of these electric guitars suffer from feedback problems during amplification. 

Semi-Hollow 

Semi-hollow electric guitars are akin to hollow guitars but come with a solid wood center. 

This construction enables the semi-hollow guitar to produce a rich and full sound coupled with the stability found in solid guitars. 

As such, semi-hollow electric guitars can cater to various music styles, ranging from jazz to rock style of music. 

Solid Body 

Solid body electric guitars are the most familiar.

They are made from a solid piece of wood, resulting in less resonance and more low-end. 

As such, the tone this guitar produces is more affected by the tonewood, its design, and the electronic equipment. 

Moreover, these electric guitars are less bulky to hold and come in numerous designs compared to the other types. 

The Gibson SG is a popular solid body electric guitar. 

Tonewood 

The guitar’s tonewood is also an essential factor since it affects its tone and sound. 

There are numerous woods you can choose from and it’s best if you carefully study each. 

Pickups 

Another factor that greatly affects the guitar’s volume and tone are pickups and your other electronic equipment. 

Single-coil pickups 

Single coils feature a single coil of wire and a magnet, creating a magnetic field that affects the string’s vibrations. 

Thus, single-coil pickups produce a thin and bright tone that can cut through dense rhythms. 

You can often see single-coil pickups on electric guitars used for country, rock, and pop such as Fender and Telecaster. 

However, single coils tend to hum loudly, affecting your tone and sound once you hit the high notes. 

Humbucker pickups 

Gibson introduced the first humbucker pickups which are now the most common and popular type among the pickups.

Compared to the single coil pickups, humbucker pickups either have two coils and two magnets, or the coil split at opposite ends of the magnet to eliminate hum and produce powerful tones. 

As such, humbucker pickups produce a thicker and more powerful volume and tone. 

Humbucker pickups are versatile and are often seen in Gibson Les Paul electric guitars. 

Pickup Selector 

Electric guitars often come with multiple pickups, usually single-coil and humbucker pickups, giving the guitarist a variety of tones and sounds to choose from. 

The pickup selector comes with either a blade selector, rotary knob, or toggle switch to help the guitarist access and control various pickups during the performance. 

Tuning Machines 

Your electric guitar’s tuning machine is also vital as it locks the strings in place and enables you to easily tune the guitar. 

Tuning machines often pertain to bridges and tailpieces which are locking tuners that lock down at the guitar’s bridge and nut, providing stability and easy adjustability. 

The bridge is found in the lower portion of your guitar and compensates for varying string lengths as it ensures that the strings are in tune with one another. 

As such, guitarists often call the bridge as the “anchor” since both its material and adjustability features affect the electric guitar’s tone and sound. 

Bridge-tailpiece systems

Bigsby 

Bigsby bridges are not as popular compared to other systems and are mostly found in vintage and vintage-style electric guitars. 

These systems are large with a rotating bar that keeps all the strings attached. 

Stoptail bridge 

A stoptail bridge features the combination of a Stop bar tailpiece and bridge and is found on most solid body electric guitars. 

The stop bar tailpiece bridge type provides more tuning stability and has higher resonance. 

Two-point rocking tremolo 

They are also known as the fulcrum vibrato and come with individual string saddles that you adjust for intonation and height. 

It also has locking tuners that clamp down on the guitar strings for stability. 

Tune-o-matic

Gibson produced the first tune-o-matic bridge in the 1950s which are now considered the standard and common feature every electric guitar should have. 

The tune-o-matic bridge is easy to set up and is effective as they allow the guitarist to individually adjust the string’s intonation and heights. 

Popular models in the market include the Epiphone Locktone tune-o-matic bridge and several Gibson products. 

Locking Vibrato 

Also known as the Floyd Rose bridge, this bridge system is akin to the two-point rocking tremolo. 

The Floyd Rose enables individual string height and intonation adjustments. Compared to the Tremolo, the locking vibrato secures the strings at both the head nut and bridge. 

 

FAQs 

What are the different electric guitar brands? 

Epiphone, Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, Squier, Paul Reed Smith Guitars, and Yamaha are known brands that provide some of the best electric guitars on the market. 

How many and what size of frets do I get? 

Electric guitars often come with 22 frets. However, 24 frets are recommended for higher registers. 

The size of your fret depends on your preference. 

Jumbo frets, the largest, are ideal for guitarists with bigger hands while smaller handed guitarists can do well with smaller frets. 

However, many beginners choose 22 medium-jumbo frets for their first electric guitars. 

What is the difference between a bridge pickup and a neck pickup? 

The position of the pickups on your electric guitar produces various tonal qualities. 

The bridge pickup produces a bright and piercing tone that is excellent for lead lines, riffs, rhythms, and solos. 

In other words, the bridge pickup is “hotter” (aka louder) on the guitar neck. 

On the other hand, neck pickups give a darker and warmer tone used for mostly melodies and lead solos. 

What are some good electric guitar accessories? 

Guitar amplifiers are a must for every electric guitar player, especially when you play on gigs. 

The master volume and tone enable you to adjust the sound amplification and volume. 

Some amplifiers also come with tone controls for the pickups, enabling you to choose from soft tones to bright and distorted sounds. 

 

Editor’s Pick

We Recommend
PRS SE Custom 24 Black Gold Sunburst
5.0
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We may earn commission from purchases made from our links, at no additional cost to you.

Out of the electric guitars on the list, the PRS SE Custom 24 remains the best electric guitar overall.

With its high-quality construction, the SE Custom 24 is easy to play in while giving off a classic look and feel. 

The guitar comes with a single coil pickup, the three-way selector, a mini toggle switch, and push-pull control enables it to produce varying tone qualities and ranges. 

As such, the Custom 24 guitar is versatile, seamlessly transitioning to different music styles. 

If you are looking for the best electric guitar, then the PRS SE Custom 24 is your best bet. 

Get the PRS SE Custom 24 here.

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