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Best Electric Guitars Under 500 Dollars

best electric guitars under 500

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

Ibanez Standard ART120QA

Killer Rig Rating
4.7/5

Ibanez Warranty: 1 year

The poplar body on this traditionally designed rock guitar is light and comfortable.The throaty snarl from its overdriven tone is way cool.This is a great guitar from Ibanez!

Epiphone Les Paul Standard

Killer Rig Rating
4.6/5

Epiphone Warranty: Limited Lifetime

This electric is an incredible value in this price range. It an iconic guitar that feels and sounds great giving you inspiration to practice like the greats!

Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster 50s

Killer Rig Rating
4.5/5

Squier Warranty: 2 Years

The gorgeous Squier classic vibe telecaster 50s is an instantly recognizable guitar! The vintage vibe and great tone of this guitar make it an awesome addition to your guitar collection!

 


Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster 50s

Killer Rig Rating
4.5/5

Squier Warranty: 2 Years

Vintage vibe to the max! This Stratocaster has some unique touches but is stock full of features modern guitar players demand!Anyone who owns one has nothing but good things to say!

ESP LTD EC-256

Killer Rig Rating
4.4/5

ESP Warranty: 1 Year

Unbeatable value from ESP with this killer rock ready electric! ESP’s eclipse body style with cutaway gives amazing sustain and playing freedom!

Schecter Omen Extreme 6

Killer Rig Rating
4.3/5

Schecter Warranty: 1 Year

The Schecter omen extreme 6 is a modern guitar with great electronics and hardware.

Quick Reviews Of Our Best Electric Guitars Under $500

Ibanez Standard ART120QA Front

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.

PROS

  • Build is Tough
  • Sounds Great
  • Plays Nice And Feels Great
  • Light For Its Body Shape
  • Great hardware And Electronics
  • 3 colors/finishes available

CONS

  • Some of them may need to be set up
Epiphone Les Paul Standard

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!

PROS

  • Quality Build/Materials
  • Great sound for price point
  • Easy to play - Great feel
  • Iconic Looking Guitar
  • Quality hardware
  • Many colors/finishes available

CONS

  • May require a set up depending on where its bought
best electric guitars under $500

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.

PROS

  • Quality hardware and material
  • Sound rivals more expensive guitars
  • Fun to play
  • Vintage looks and feels great
  • Well known brand

CONS

  • Some have complained that the action was high until properly set up
best electric guitars under $500

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.

PROS

  • Quality hardware and materials
  • Sounds Great
  • Fun and Easy to Play
  • Vintage Look
  • Designed by a professional Manufacturer

CONS

  • Some have complained about the action being high. set up required
best electric guitars under $500

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!

PROS

  • Build Hardware and Materials
  • Excellent Pick-up configuration
  • Easy to play cut-away
  • Great look and sound
  • Designed by a well known brand.

CONS

  • Some have complained that the action was high. set up possibly required
  • Stock strings may need to be replaced with better quality
Schecter Omen Extreme 6

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!

PROS

  • Build quality and hardware
  • Sounds good
  • Nice neck, easy to play
  • Stays in tune
  • Designed by an experienced and well known brand

CONS

  • May need a set-up out of the box
  • Fret buzz a common occurence, can fix with a set up

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.

Final Thoughts

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!

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