Best Electric Guitars Under 500 Dollars
For anyone on a tight budget that is interested in an electric guitar, the assumption is that the quality is just going to be too poor to enjoy playing. Best electric guitars under $500? Does such a thing really exist?
Luckily, there are many electric guitars being produced today that are of wonderful quality for $500 and under, and whether you are a beginner or not, there is normally something for everyone in this price range.
In fact, the quality of some of these electric guitars is so good, that the look, feel and tone would almost have you convinced that you were playing a guitar in a much higher price range.
This opens up a rather large selection of electric guitars that may or may not be a great fit for you.
The truth is, to truly be inspired, the guitar must have the right characteristics to fit each unique individual.
Electric Guitar Manufacturers
We have roamed the NAMM show floors many times, the vast array of electric guitars lined up are almost spanning to the ceiling!
This makes the choice a difficult one indeed. Many of the manufacturers producing electric guitars have been at it for many years and are masters of their craft.
So we decided to visit some of the more well know builders to see what they have available.
These will be guitars that are also readily available in most guitar shops and online retailers so that it is also a lot easier to get your hands on one.
There are many boutique builders but the wait times and custom orders will be a bit much if your budget is in the under $500 range. We spent a considerable amount of time sifting through a lot of their offerings to come up with this article.
Hopefully we have shed some light on some of the concerns or questions you might have in your search for the right electric guitar for you!
So on that note, lets have a look at what we feel are the best electric guitars under $500 on the market today!
If you have a few more dollars to put towards a new electric, check out our review on the top picks for electrics under $1000!
Best Electric Guitars Under $500 Overview
Quick Reviews Of Our Best Electric Guitars Under $500
Ibanez Standard ART120QA
Made of a poplar body, this les paul style guitar is very light and comes in 3 different colors.
The set-in neck makes this one rigid guitar but also contributes to some amazing sustain and resonance.
Classic Elite Humbuckers give this guitar a snarly bite from the mid range in this rock machine.
Ibanez truly came through for players with this beauty of a guitar.
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
The Epiphone les paul is one under rated guitar to say the least. Made with solid mahogany body, maple top, and a mahogany neck.
This iconic design features Epiphones Slim Taper neck with D profile making it incredibly easy to play.
The guitar features 2 humbuckers with tone and volume controls and a 24.75 scale length with 22 frets.
The Epiphone Les Paul is available in Ebony as shown above, as well as faded cherry sunburst, metallic gold and pelham blue color finishes. This is one of the best electric guitars under $500!
Schecter Omen Elite 6
Schecters new metal machine in the Omen line up is a great value. Not only does the guitar look great, but it comes with some quality hardware.
Their new pickups modeled after the Apocalypse units are a real articulate and crushing pair. The settings from the 5 way switch provide tons of different sounds which is very versatile.
The feel of the unit is spot on and is very inspiring . There are a couple of different bridge offerings and 3 colors to choose from with some beautiful finishes.
Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster '50s
The Squier Classic Vibe telecaster is all vintage and will amaze you with its pine body, maple neck, 25.5 inch scale length and very musical pickups.
The telecaster is also available in other colors and finishes as well as a left handed version for you lefties!
The Squier Classic Vibe telecaster is nothing short of amazing for the price. It fits many genres of music and is one guitar you must have in your collection.
Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster '50s
Another amazing vintage style guitar, this time in a stratocaster!
This historic design has an alder body, gloss polyester finish, a "C" style maple neck with a 25.5 inch scale length and vintage style single coil pick-ups.
This guitar is also available in different colors/finishes and a left handed model also exists.
The Stratocaster is a guitar every player should own. Now its affordable enough to have in your collection.
Epiphone Coronet Reissue
The Coronet is one of Epiphones first original electric guitars. This guitar was a popular model when released in 1958.
The Reissue supports all the great features like the double cut away, glued in neck and single P-90 pick up.
This guitar is a rock and roll machine and the pick ups output is perfect and articulate.
If your looking for a P-90 guitar, this is the one for your collection as the quality is amazing for the price!
ESP LTD EC-256
The ESP LTD EC-256 comes in a few different colors on its mahogany body.
Just a killer looking guitar with a 3 piece mahogany neck, roasted jatoba fingerboard , 24.75 inch scale and 2 ESP designed humbucker pick-ups.
The EC-256 offers push-pull coil tap configuration for single and humbucking tones and a set neck for excellent articulation and long lasting sustain!
A seriously great guitar at an excellent price!
Schecter Omen Extreme 6
The Schecter Omen Extreme 6 can be obtained in a few different colors, all feature the great mahogany body with carved quilted maple top.
The maple neck features 24 jumbo frets and the strings are loaded through the bridge.
This acoustic is made in Indonesia but is a well crafted guitar, features double cut-away, coil tap pick-up system and is an easy to play neck.
A great score from Schecter for a great price!
Our Electric Guitar Selection Process
There are many things we consider when suggesting a guitar. Sure its easy to just grab a cheap guitar, but do you really know what you are getting? With some of the worlds best guitar builders offering great quality for less, you gotta be careful what you buy.
Why buy a cheap guitar that lets you down when you can buy a cheap guitar that will provide a good experience? The price tag on so many guitars are the same but the quality is not.
This is why we chose the guitar we did for our best electric guitars under $500 dollars list.
Not only are they affordable, but the quality is incredible and the sound is great! Our selection process also takes into consideration warranty and availability.
Best Electric Guitar Under $500 F.A.Q.
What Should You Look for When Selecting an Electric Guitar
Once you have decide on your budget, there are a few things to consider when selecting an electric guitar. All of the guitars on our list are great for a beginner and so in this case you need to consider your music type.
Once you have started to learn and can play songs your guitar is going to need to be able to perform them. In this case, once you have an amp, you will want to choose the guitar with the right sound.
So if your going after a high gain sound then you might not want to choose a stratocaster. Something with humbucker pick ups would be better.
Not sure what that means? Check out our guide on electric guitars for beginners.
Should I Also Buy An Amplifier?
An electric guitar is optimal with an amplifier. But if your starting out, an amplifier is not necessary right away. An electric guitar is not very loud when playing without an amp, but it can still be heard.
And at first it might be best to learn how to play a few chords maybe even a song before amplifying the guitar.
But it can also be a benefit to have an amplifier even when starting. This will mean that your budget will need to be larger. But there are also some great guitar amps under $500 that would pair with our suggested guitars nicely.
With the guitars we have selected for our list, it is hard to go wrong with any of them. They each do something different and fit into different genres of music. At some point in your playing journey you will play all of them.
But if you are just getting started, you want to pick the one that best fits your current music interests.
This way once you get more comfortable with the guitar, you will be able to get the sounds you want from it as you progress. If you don’t use an amp right away, you will eventually. So make sure to pick the one that fits your interests.
Have you played any of the guitars on the list? Let us know!