How Much Are Electric Guitars? 11 Factors That Affect Price

Are you looking to buy an electric guitar, but aren’t sure how much they cost? Electric guitars come in a variety of styles, designs, and prices. All from entry level models to high-end professional instruments. 

They come with different hardware options and are normally focused on specific music styles. Whatever it is that you’re looking for, there is sure to be a guitar for you! But how much are electric guitars, and what should you get?

In this article, we’ll break down the costs of electric guitars, so you can make an informed decision when shopping for your next axe.

The Short Answer

The cost of an electric guitar can vary greatly! Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $800 for an entry level guitar. But all the way up to several thousand dollars for a high-end professional model. No matter what your budget is, there will be something available to suit your needs and budget.

Entry-Level Electric Guitars 

Entry-level electric guitars are an excellent option for those getting into playing! Whether as a beginner or as someone on a tight budget. These guitars are typically priced between $100 and $700. 

All with less expensive materials and fewer features than pricier models. Despite this, they can still offer a great playing experience. And are more than suitable for learning the basics of guitar playing.

Average Prices

The average price for an entry-level electric guitar is around $300 to $500. At this price point, you can find guitars that are well-built and effortless to play. Plus, they have good quality sound! These guitars are normally made in China or Indonesia and have very basic components and hardware. But they are generally pretty good for the cost.

Here are the best electric guitars under $500 today!

Examples of Popular Entry-level Electric Guitars

Yamaha Pacifica Electric Guitar
Guitar ModelPriceFeatures
Squier Bullet Strat HT$180.00A classic design! The Squier Bullet is a solid option for beginners. It has a maple neck and single-coil pickups. This is great for those looking to learn the basics of guitar playing.
Epiphone Les Paul Special $200.00The Epiphone Les Paul Special offers a classic look and feel. It’s a great option for those wanting to learn on a guitar similar to a Gibson Les Paul. It has a poplar body and a pair of humbucking pickups.
Yamaha Pacifica 112V$320.00The Yamaha Pacifica is a versatile option that offers a comfortable playing experience. It features a solid alder body, maple neck, and rosewood fingerboard. It also has a HSS pickup configuration. This gives a good range of tonal options.

Variations in Entry-level Components

The pickups, hardware, and electronics are of lower quality compared to more expensive models. This helps the guitar brand in keeping the price down. Lower-end pickups are frequently found on these guitars. 

This implies that while the sound is good, it isn’t fantastic. You will also find less expensive hardware. Things like tuners or bridges are not as durable or robust. Additionally, the electronics in these guitars may be simpler and less versatile. 

Especially when compared to those found in more expensive models. This does not, however, imply that the sound quality is subpar! The sound quality is acceptable for the price range and for someone who is just starting to play the guitar.

Mid-Level Electric Guitars 

Mid-level electric guitars are a great choice. Especially for those looking to take their playing to the next level! Or even for players wanting more features than entry-level models. Generally priced between $800 and $1500, these guitars are made with higher-quality materials. 

They often have more features than entry-level models. And without being as expensive as high-end options.

Average Prices

Mid-level electric guitars are a great choice for intermediate players. Especially when looking for something more than entry-level models. At around $800 to $1000, these guitars provide good quality, sound, and features. 

They are more than suitable for the developing player. They tend to have better hardware and construction. Better sound and playability are also a huge result of this!

Examples of Popular Mid-level Electric Guitars

Fender American Original 50s Telecaster
Guitar ModelPrice Features
Fender Player Telecaster$850.00The Fender Player Telecaster offers a classic look and feel! It’s a great option for those looking for a versatile guitar. It features an alder body, maple neck and single-coil pickups.
Ibanez RG7320EX$750.00The Ibanez RGRG7320EX is a 7-string guitar and new! It has a Meranti body, maple neck and humbucker pickups.
Gibson Les Paul Tribute$1300.00The Gibson Les Paul tribute is a rock machine. It has a mahogany body, maple neck and two humbuckers. They are warm and brilliant!

Variations in Mid-level Hardware

In mid-level electric guitars, the cost of pickups, hardware, and electronics are typically higher. Especially over entry-level models! But not as expensive as high-end models. These guitars often feature higher-end pickups. 

The sound is better, which could mean better articulation. More expensive hardware also means more durable tuners or bridges! Better tuning performance is normally a result. Additionally, the electronics in these guitars may be more versatile and complex. 

You will find that the potential for better controls is more than possible. Especially when comparing those found in entry-level models. But they will not be as advanced as those in high-end models.

Check out the best electric guitars for under $1000 here!

High-End Electric Guitars 

High-end electric guitars are the ideal option for professional players. Those who are looking for the best quality and craftsmanship in an instrument. These guitars typically range from $1500 to upwards of $10,000 or more. 

Made with the highest-quality materials, these instruments offer the most advanced features and playability! This often makes them considered works of art.

Average Prices

The average price for a high-end electric guitar is around $3000 to $5000. At this price point, you can find guitars that are hand-crafted. They are made with the highest-quality materials! And they often come with advanced features and specifications. These are an amazing investment to a player who wants the best quality available.

Examples of Popular High-end Electric Guitar Models

PRS Private Stock
Guitar ModelPrice RangeFeatures
Fender Custom Shop$3000 – $5000The Fender Custom Shop offers a wide range of high-end electric guitars. These are hand-crafted to the highest standards. They feature a variety of models with different pickups, such as single-coil and humbuckers. They are built with alder, ash, or swamp ash body, and maple, rosewood, or ebony fingerboard.
Gibson Custom Shop$3000 – $5000The Gibson Custom Shop offers great high-end electric guitars! They offer different models that are built with premium wood. They also offer different pickup configurations. But more often they are humbuckers that deliver a rich and warm tone with a lot of sustain.
PRS Private Stock$3000 – $10,000The PRS Private Stock are some of the best guitars in the world. They are also some of the most expensive. The woods and craftsmanship is superb! The hardware and electronics top notch!

Variations in High-level Hardware

The cost of pickups, hardware, and electronics in these electric guitars are typically the highest. These guitars often feature the most advanced pickups. Custom wound pickups that have the best sound possible! 

The most expensive hardware, such as gold-plated or hand-engraved tuners or bridges. These are components that have amazing performance. They will hold tune like no other! Additionally, the electronics in these guitars may be the most advanced and versatile! 

You might find active electronics, coil-splitting, and more. The craftsmanship, wood selection, and custom options all come into play in the guitar price. 

Check out these guitars with active pickups!

How Much Do Used Electric Guitars Cost? 

Used electric guitars can vary greatly in price! This depends on the condition, age, and any modifications that have been made. They can range from a few hundred dollars for a well-used entry-level guitar. To several thousand dollars for a vintage or collectible instrument.

Tips and Recommendations for Buying Used

Are you thinking of buying a used electric guitar? Then it’s important to keep in mind the following tips and recommendations:

  • Check the condition of the guitar. When inspecting a guitar, it is important to look for any signs of wear and tear. Things such as dings, scratches, or rust on the hardware. Additionally, check the fretboard and frets for wear. As well as the electronics such as pickups and knobs. Doing so will ensure that you get a guitar in excellent condition.
  • Research the model. Research the model of the guitar you are interested in. Familiarize yourself with the typical prices for that model in good condition. This will help you to determine if the price being offered for the used guitar is fair.
  • Ask for a warranty. If possible, ask for a warranty or return policy when purchasing a used guitar. This will give you peace of mind in case there are any problems with the guitar after purchase. It doesn’t always apply, but when it does, it can’t hurt to ask!
  • Play the guitar before buying. It’s important to play it before making the purchase! You must ensure that it’s in good working order and that it feels comfortable to play. Nothing worse than realizing this at home after the purchase.
  • Find a reputable seller. Look for a reputable seller, such as a local music store or a well-known online retailer. Try and get the best deal and have after-purchase support available.

These tips and recommendations will help you get the best-used instrument available. There are many of them, but you must be diligent and patient.

Cost of Electric Guitar Starter Kits 

Starter kits are a great option for people who are just starting to learn how to play the guitar. These kits typically include everything you need to get started! Including an electric guitar, an amplifier, and various accessories. Things such as a guitar cable, tuner, and instructional materials.

How to Get the Most Value when Buying a Starter Kit

Starter kits usually consist of everything you need to get playing the guitar. You can expect to pay between $200 and $500. This will provide you with everything you need. Just make sure to try it all out before you buy it. Not every kit is of even decent quality! Some are just down right junk!

See what other people are saying about them, too. If they seem to be quite happy, then the electric guitar starter kit is probably alright. This is most important when buying online.

Take our guitar buying quiz to find your next instrument!

Cost of Other Popular Electric Guitars

The prices for the more popular electric guitars are approximate and may vary depending on the model, location, and availability. This table will provide some pricing on some of the more popular models today!

Guitar ModelPrice Range
Fender Stratocaster$600 – $2000
Gibson Les Paul$1000 – $4000
Ibanez RG$500 – $1000
PRS SE$500 – $1000
Jackson Soloist$1000 – $2000
ESP Eclipse$1000 – $2000
Gretsch G5420T$800 – $1000
Dean ML$600 – $1000
Rickenbacker 330$2000 – $3000
Charvel San Dimas$800 – $1000

It’s important to remember that certain electric guitars are better suited for specific genres. Music such as metal, rock, and blues. Therefore, it’s critical to research the guitar and find one that fits your playing style and preferences.

Factors That Affect Electric Guitar Pricing 

The price of an electric guitar can be affected by a variety of factors! Things like the location of production, the type of wood used, and the pickups and hardware. The electronics, the manufacturer, and the year the guitar was built also play a role.

1. Location of Production 

The location of production can have a significant impact on the price of an electric guitar. Instruments made in the United States or Europe cost more. Especially when compared to those mass-produced in other countries, such as China or Indonesia. This is due to the higher labor and material costs associated with manufacturing in these countries.

2. Tonewood 

The type of wood used in the construction of an electric guitar can also affect the price. Instruments made from premium woods such as mahogany, maple, and koa are typically more expensive. More so than those made from less expensive woods like basswood or alder. The tonewood used in guitar construction also affects the sound, weight, and look of the instrument.

3. Grade of Wood 

The type of wood used in the manufacturing of an electric guitar can greatly influence its price. Guitars made from high-grade wood are usually more expensive. Especially compared to those made from lower-grade woods. As an example, the choice and quality of mahogany can dictate the final cost of the guitar.

4. Pickups 

The quality of pickups used will also affect the price. Guitars with high-quality pickups, such as those made by Seymour Duncan or DiMarzio, are more expensive than those with lower-quality options.

5. Hardware 

It’s important to note that the hardware used in an electric guitar also plays a role. Items like the bridge, tuning keys, and knobs. Generally speaking, guitars with top-notch hardware are just more expensive. Hardware brands like Gotoh or Schaller tend to be pricier than lower-quality components.

6. Electronics 

The electronics used in an electric guitar can’t be overlooked. Items, such as a preamp and potentiometers, can also affect the price. Guitars with high-quality electronics, like those made by Lace, or Seymour Duncan, are typically more expensive. But the performance is also light years better!

7. Manufacturer or Brand 

The make and brand of an electric guitar can also have a say in its price. Guitars made by well-established and respected manufacturers. Builders like Fender or Gibson are usually more expensive. Especially those created by lesser-known brands. This is because the manufacturer’s standing and brand name can impact the perceived value of the guitar.

8. Year the guitar was built 

The year the guitar was built is also important. Vintage guitars, those that were built decades ago, can be quite expensive! This is due to their rarity and historical significance. While guitars that are recent production may be less expensive.

9. Supply and Availability of a Model

The number of guitars produced and how long they were available. This has a way of influencing the cost. And it makes sense when something is rare. Guitars that were produced in limited numbers or for a short period of time can be more expensive. 

This is due to that rarity. On the other hand, guitars that were produced in large quantities or for a long period of time will be less expensive.

10. Construction

The construction of an electric guitar can also affect the price. Instruments with more intricate designs and features. Such as carved tops or inlaid fretboards, for example. They are typically more expensive than those with simpler designs.

11. Pricing by the Brands

Different brands have different pricing strategies. Some brands are known for their affordable options, while others are known for their high-end gear. It’s worth checking different brands and comparing the prices and features to get the best value for your money.

How Much Should You Spend on an Electric Guitar?

When it comes to buying an electric guitar, the decision of how much you should spend can be a difficult one. Numerous elements come into play when making your purchase. Like your level of experience, the kind of music you want to play, and most importantly, your budget. Consider all these factors before deciding on which electric guitar is right for you.

For those just getting started, it’s suggested you start with an entry-level model. These guitars are usually found in the range of $200 to $500 and offer solid construction. But they have more basic features. They are a great starting point for learning. Without having to invest too much money into a more expensive instrument.

As you gain experience and improve your skills, you can consider a better guitar. Some of which can be found for around a grand. They offer more advanced features, such as better pickups and hardware. It’s quite a sound performance upgrade! And they are perfect for intermediate players.

This will give you a chance to make sure you actually like playing guitar! Once you realize that you do, then invest in the best guitar you can. If you can afford a top-of-the-line model, go for it! The better the quality of the guitar, the more you will love and enjoy playing it. And you just can’t beat that!

Conclusion

Electric guitars range in crazy ranges. As you can see, you can spend as much or as little as you want. And still end up with a great instrument. Just stick with well known brands and see what people are staying about them.

Then make sure it will play the type of music you like. If it can, then your set! That’s the only real hurdle besides your budget. But if you can afford something expensive, make sure it will satisfy your style.

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Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear. I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!