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15 Best Budget Guitars – Electric Models In 2024

best budget guitars

A Guide to the Best Budget Electric Guitars in 2024

The best budget guitars can be found within the range of 200$ to 1000$. They refrain from incorporating luxury materials and components, choosing to invest in the bits that matter the most to a guitarist.

Not definable as budget electric guitars, or high-end ones – these hold the tag of being the best value for money guitars. Let’s find out which guitars earn the title cream of the crop.

Have you ever fancied 12-string guitars? Check out some of the 12-string guitars that made their mark in history.

Our Top Picks

Choosing the right guitar can be a pivotal decision for any musician. Different guitars have different qualities but our top picks from the list — the Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster, Epiphone SG, and Yamaha Pacifica — stand out for several compelling reasons:

Squier Classic ’50s Stratocaster

Squier guitars, particularly models like the Classic Vibe series, offer an exceptional blend of affordability and quality. They provide beginners and budget-conscious players with the authentic Fender experience, including classic designs and tones.

Epiphone SG

The Epiphone SG brings the iconic Gibson SG’s legendary rock and roll vibe within reach of a broader audience. It’s a versatile instrument that excels in genres ranging from blues and rock to metal, making it a favorite among players looking for a guitar with a rich history and a bold, assertive sound.

Yamaha Pacifica

The Yamaha Pacifica series, particularly the PAC112V, is renowned for its outstanding versatility, playability, and value for money. With its HSS pickup configuration, the Pacifica can navigate from clean and mellow to gritty and aggressive, making it suitable for virtually any genre. 

1. Epiphone Les Paul Special-I Limited-Edition Electric Guitar – 200$

If you want a low-cost guitar that shreds a lot, this is it. Designed with both beginners and players on a budget in mind, this guitar maintains the classic Les Paul aesthetics and tone, albeit with some modifications to keep costs down. This limited-edition model combines classic features with some modern touches, making it an attractive option as the best electric guitar.

Epiphone Les Paul Special

Key Features

Mahogany Neck with SlimTaper™ Profile

The mahogany neck offers warmth and sustenance, while the SlimTaper™ profile is comfortable for players with smaller hands or those who prefer a thinner neck.

Double-Cutaway Basswood Body

The contoured basswood body provides a balance between affordability and good tonal character, making it lightweight and comfortable for playing.

Nickel Hardware

The nickel hardware adds a touch of modern elegance and complements the worn finish.

Pros & Cons of Epiphone Les Paul Special-I Limited-Edition Electric Guitar


  • The guitar produces a robust and warm tone that punches above its weight class for its price range.
  • The vintage-style worn finish gives it an appealing look that resonates with players who prefer a guitar with character.
  • Compared to traditional Les Paul models, the Special-I is relatively lightweight, making it easier to handle for extended playing sessions.


  • Compared to higher-end Les Pauls, this Epiphone model is a simple guitar with easy construction methods and materials.

2. Ibanez GRX70QA Electric Guitar – 200$

Ibanez GRX70QA

If you are looking at guitars under 500$ this one is the best cheap guitar for you. Known for its striking appearance and versatile sound capabilities, the GRX70QA is a popular beginner guitar as well as famous for intermediate players who seek the quality and playability Ibanez is known for. I believe it’s one of the best budget guitars on this list.

Key Features

Medium frets

These frets are a good middle ground, offering ease of playing for both chording and single-note playing.

T106 tremolo bridge

This bridge allows for whammy bar effects and string bending.

Infinity R humbuckers 

These Ibanez-designed passive humbuckers provide high output and distortion, ideal for rock and metal music.

Pros & Cons of Ibanez GRX70QA Electric Guitar


  • Visual Appeal.
  • One of the best guitars on a budget.
  • Versatile enough for various rock and metal tones.


  • Poplar body may not resonate as richly as mahogany or other tonewoods used in more expensive guitars.

3. Epiphone SG Special Satin E1 – 200$

The Epiphone SG Special Satin E1 Electric Guitar is one of the best cheap guitars available on the market. It’s a budget-friendly version of the iconic SG model, known for its distinctive shape, rich tone, and history of being played by legendary musicians. This one is definitely one of the best value for money guitars in the affordable guitars bracket.

Key features

Controls Knobs

Simple yet effective, the guitar has a master volume and master tone control, along with a 3-way pickup selector switch, allowing for easy tonal adjustments.

Rosewood fingerboard with 22 medium jumbo frets

The rosewood fingerboard is smooth and comfortable to play, and the medium jumbo frets are ideal for fast playing.

Pros & Cons of Epiphone SG Special Satin E1


  • The blend of the neck and middle creates a beautiful modern Strat-like mix.
  • Fantastic entry-level guitar.
  • Versatile pickups
  • Reliable hardware
  • Available in any guitar store.


  • May not be the best choice for clean tones

4. Yamaha PAC012DLX Electric Guitar – 220$

Yamaha PAC012DLX Electric Guitar

Yamaha PAC012DLX Pacifica Series HSS Deluxe Electric Guitar is one of the best cheap electric guitars 2024 for Aspiring Players. The Yamaha PAC012DLX Pacifica Series HSS Deluxe Electric Guitar in Vintage Sunburst is a guitar designed for aspiring musicians seeking a versatile, comfortable, and well-made instrument. It is one of the best best value for money guitars out on the market.

It boasts a classic HSS pickup configuration, a comfortable neck profile, and features that enhance playability and tone shaping.

Key features

Lightweight Agathis body

Offers good resonance while remaining comfortable for extended playing sessions.

C-shaped maple neck and rosewood fingerboard

Provides a familiar and comfortable playing experience.

HSS pickup configuration

Features a bridge humbucker for powerful tones and single coils in the middle and neck positions for brighter, chimey sounds.

Pros & Cons of Yamaha PAC012DLX


  • The PAC112V offers features and quality often found in more expensive guitars, making it fantastic value for money.
  • Thanks to its HSS pickup configuration and coil tap function, this guitar can cover a wide range of genres, from jazz and blues to rock and metal.
  • The Old Violin Sunburst finish, combined with the quality construction, gives this guitar a premium look and feel.


  • May not have the same level of detail or premium materials as more expensive models.

5. Yamaha PAC112V Electric Guitar – 330$

best cheap guitars Yamaha PAC112V
Yamaha PAC112V Electric Guitar

Yamaha is one of the best guitar brands in the guitar world. The PAC112V exemplifies this reputation just as well. It’s great for beginner and intermediate guitarists seeking a versatile, well-made, and budget-friendly instrument. It boasts classic features alongside modern touches, making it a compelling option for various playing styles.

Key Features

Maple Neck and Rosewood Fingerboard

The bolt-on maple neck, paired with a rosewood fingerboard, offers a smooth playing experience. The neck’s profile and the fingerboard’s radius are designed to accommodate both rhythm playing and lead guitar work comfortably.

Vintage-Style Tremolo

The PAC112V features a vintage-style tremolo bridge, allowing for expressive vibrato effects while maintaining tuning stability.

Quality Hardware

Yamaha’s attention to detail extends to the PAC112V’s hardware, including reliable die-cast tuners and a block saddle for enhanced sustain and intonation.

Pros & Cons of Yamaha PAC112V Electric Guitar


  • Suitable for various genres, from rock and blues to pop and country.
  • Thanks to The lightweight alder body and C-shaped maple neck, the guitar feels comfortable for extended sessions.
  • The H-S-S pickup configuration and coil-split functionality offer a diverse sonic palette.


  • The single-coil pickups, while offering bright and clear tones, may introduce some noise, particularly in high-gain settings, which is common with this type of pickup.
  • The vintage-style vibrato bridge may not be suitable for extreme whammy bar effects.

If you are planning to buy any of these guitars, you need to store them properly, so we suggest you to check out our list of guitar stands that are appropriate for you. 

6. Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster Electric Guitar – 430$

As an offset guitar, the Squier Classic Vibe 50s Jazzmaster is outstanding. The guitar pays homage to the iconic Fender Stratocasters of the 1950s. This great guitar is part of Squier’s Classic Vibe series, which has been highly praised for its ability to blend vintage aesthetics and modern playability. 

Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster

Key features

Vintage-Inspired Design

This vintage guitar features a design reminiscent of the 1950s Stratocasters, including a vintage-tint gloss neck finish and a classic body shape that has become synonymous with the Stratocaster name.

Alnico Single-Coil Pickups

It is equipped with three single coil pickups that deliver the bright, clear tones characteristic of the ’50s Stratocasters, suitable for a wide range of music genres.

Maple Neck and Fingerboard

The guitar features a maple neck and fingerboard, contributing to its bright tone and smooth playability. 


The ML3 Pro Modern features a five-way pickup selector switch, allowing players to access various tonal options, making it a versatile instrument for different musical genres.

Vintage-Style Hardware

From the tuning machines to the synchronized tremolo bridge, the hardware on the Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster is designed to replicate the look and feel of vintage instruments. 

Keep in mind that these elements will influence the instrument’s tone before it’s further shaped by the amp or effects pedals.

Pros & Cons of Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster


  • Compared to its Fender counterpart, the Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster offers excellent value for money.
  • The guitar’s classic looks and finishes add a touch of nostalgia and timeless style.
  • Despite its budget-friendly price, the guitar benefits from Squier’s commitment to quality, with solid construction and reliable hardware.


  • While decent, some players might find the stock pickups lacking in refinement and may desire an upgrade for a more premium sound.

7. Ibanez Steve Vai Signature JEMJR – 499$

The Ibanez Steve Vai Signature JEMJR is a budget-friendly iteration of the iconic JEM series, designed in collaboration with virtuoso guitarist Steve Vai. Despite its more affordable price point, it maintains many of the features and design elements that make the JEM series legendary.

Ibanez JEM JR
Image By Ibanez

Key features

Steve Vai’s Signature Design

The JEMJR retains the instantly recognizable “Monkey Grip” handle in the body and the “Lion’s Claw” routing beneath the tremolo bridge, just like its higher-end JEM counterparts.

Wizard III Neck

The JEMJR features a slim and fast Wizard III maple neck, which makes it exceptionally playable and perfect for Vai’s intricate playing style.

HSH Pickup Configuration

Equipped with Ibanez’s Quantum pickups, this guitar offers a versatile tonal palette, from clear and crisp single-coil sounds to powerful humbucking tones.

Double-Locking Tremolo System

The double-locking tremolo bridge ensures precise tuning stability even during aggressive dive bombs and whammy bar antics.

Vibrant Finishes

It comes in various striking finishes, including White, Pink, and Yellow, showcasing Steve Vai’s flamboyant aesthetic.


The JEMJR provides the opportunity for players of various skill levels to own a piece of the Steve Vai legacy without the high price tag associated with many signature models.

Pros and Cons of The Ibanez Steve Vai Signature JEMJR


  • One of the most affordable signature guitars
  • Locking nut and bridge
  • Combination of ceramic and alnico pickups
  • Tremolo bridge


  • Not suitable for thick gauge strings
  • The long 25.5” scale length may not be to everyone’s liking

8. ESP LTD TE-200 – 500$

The ESP LTD TE-200 is a budget-friendly electric guitar that offers a classic design with modern features. Priced around $500, this guitar is a part of ESP’s LTD series, known for delivering quality instruments at affordable prices.

Image by ESP Guitars

Key features

Classic Design

The TE-200 boasts a timeless single-cutaway design, reminiscent of vintage “T-style” guitars, known for their bright and articulate tones.

Seymour Duncan Pickups

The model is equipped with a set of high-quality Seymour Duncan humbuckers. It provides a versatile tonal range, from crisp cleans to powerful overdriven tones.

Comfortable Playability

The guitar features a bolt-on maple neck with a comfortable “U” shape profile and a 24-fret fingerboard, ensuring smooth and effortless playability.

Tune-O-Matic Bridge

The Tune-O-Matic bridge and stop tailpiece contribute to excellent sustain and precise intonation. Consequently, there is rock-solid tuning stability.

Variety of Finishes

The TE-200 comes in various finishes, including classic sunburst and solid colors.

Pros and Cons of The ESP LTD TE-200


  • Best pickups available for models at this price range
  • Stable tuning and intonation
  • Thin U Neck contour


  • Fixed bridge and bolt-on neck

9. Epiphone Les Paul Studio – 550$

The Epiphone Les Paul Studio is undoubtedly one of the best budget guitars of all time.  a versatile electric guitar model known for its combination of affordability and quality craftsmanship. This guitar maintains the timeless design and powerful tones that have made the Les Paul a legendary instrument.

Epiphone Les Paul Studio best value for money guitar
Image by Epiphone Guitars

Key features

Classic Les Paul Design

The Les Paul Studio features the iconic single-cutaway body shape with a mahogany body and a carved maple top. The body is bordered.

Alnico Humbuckers

Equipped with Alnico Classic Pro humbuckers and ceramic single-coil pickups, it produces a wide range of tones, from warm and mellow to fat and powerful, suitable for various musical styles.

SlimTaper Neck Profile

The mahogany neck with a SlimTaper “D” profile ensures a comfortable and fast-playing experience, making it accessible to players of all levels.

Affordable Price

One of the best metal guitars you can buy at a cheap price.

Variety of Finishes

The guitar is available in a selection of attractive finishes, allowing players to choose a style that suits their preferences.

Pros and Cons of The Epiphone Les Paul Studio


  • Easily navigable SlimTaper neck
  • Rich tone and sustain
  • Great pickups for the price point


  • Heavier in weight than similar-shaped models

10. Epiphone Les Paul Pro IV – 550$

The Epiphone Les Paul Traditional Pro IV is a limited-edition electric guitar that captures the essence of the iconic Les Paul design with some modern upgrades. It’s a great option for guitarists who want a versatile and well-made instrument at a more affordable price point.

Pro IV Epiphone Les Paul
Epiphone Les Paul Pro IV

Key features

Classic Les Paul Design

The Epiphone Les Paul Standard Pro IV maintains the iconic Les Paul silhouette, known for its single-cutaway body that not only looks timeless but also provides easy access to the upper frets.

Body & Top

Constructed with Epiphone Les Paul’s special design, the guitar contributes to the guitar’s sustain and rich, warm tones, complemented by a maple veneer top for added clarity and resonance.

ProBucker Pickups

Equipped with Epiphone’s ProBucker pickups, which aim to replicate the vintage Gibson PAF (Patent Applied For) humbucker sound, offering a range of tones from warm and mellow to bright and aggressive.

Coil-Tapping Capability

A standout feature is the coil-tapping function, which allows players to split the humbucker pickups into single coil pickups with a simple push/pull control, vastly increasing the guitar’s tonal versatility. Also, full-size pickups are easy to replace.

Looking for Guitar cables, a tube amp, or a guitar stand? Check out our list of must-have guitar accessories for every guitarist here!

Pros and Cons of The Epiphone Les Paul Pro IV


  • Offers many features typically found on higher-end guitars at a more affordable price.
  • The mahogany body, Alnico Classic pickups, and traditional design deliver the warm, rich sound that Les Pauls is known for.
  • Thanks to its Alnico Classic PRO™ pickups and coil-tapping feature, this guitar can cover a wide range of genres, from blues and jazz to rock and metal.


  • Like most Les Paul models, it can be on the heavier side, which might not be comfortable for all players during long playing sessions.
  • While generally well set up from the factory, some units may require additional setup for optimal playability, a common aspect of more budget-friendly instruments.
  • Being a limited-edition model, finding one might be challenging depending on stock and location.

11. ESP LTD EC-256FM – 600$

The ESP LTD EC-256FM is a versatile and well-crafted electric guitar known for its outstanding features. With a balanced blend of classic aesthetics and modern performance, it caters to a wide range of players.

best budget single cut guitar ESP LTD EC-256FM
Image by ESP Guitars

Key features

Build Quality

The EC-256FM boasts a solid mahogany body and a set-in mahogany neck, contributing to its warm and resonant tone.

Flamed Maple Top

Its eye-catching flamed maple top not only enhances the guitar’s appearance but also adds a touch of brightness to the sound.


Equipped with ESP-designed LH-150 humbuckers, this guitar delivers a powerful and articulate tone suitable for various music genres. In terms of adaptability, this pickup will allow you to cover a lot of ground.


It features high-quality hardware, including a TOM bridge and tailpiece, as well as reliable tuning stability with ESP-designed tuners.


The EC-256FM offers comfortable playability with its thin U-shaped neck profile and a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard.

Aesthetic Appeal

Its classic single-cutaway design, abalone inlays, and elegant finish options make it an attractive instrument on stage.


Whether you’re into rock, blues, even metal, or any other genre, the EC-256FM guitar is a great option for all these genres. 

Pros and Cons of The ESP LTD EC-256FM


  • Sturdy mahogany body and neck
  • 24.75” scale length
  • Comfortable Thin U-neck contour


  • ESP Humbuckers that don’t deliver the clearest of tones

12. PRS SE STANDARD 24 – 750$

Image By PRS Guitars

The PRS SE Standard 24 is a popular electric guitar known for its accessibility, impressive build quality, and versatile tonal capabilities. As part of the PRS SE (Student Edition) series, it offers musicians a chance to own a reliable and high-quality instrument without breaking the bank among the best budget guitars.

Key features


It features a classic double-cutaway design with a solid mahogany body, contributing to its resonant and warm tone.


Equipped with PRS-designed 85/15 “S” humbuckers, it delivers a wide spectrum of sounds, from sweet and clear to powerful and dynamic.


The comfortable wide-fat set maple neck and 24 frets on a rosewood or ebony fingerboard offer easy playability. The tremolo bridge is also there to top it off.


With a 3-way pickup selector and dual volume and tone controls, the SE Standard 24 allows for a broad range of tonal options, ideal for various musical genres.


PRS offers a variety of finishes like Vintage Cherry or Translucent Blue to cater to individual aesthetics.

Pros and Cons of PRS SE STANDARD 24


  • All mahogany body construction
  • Wide-fat neck shapes
  • Cheaper than the almost identical SE Custom 24
  • 24 Frets in all its full glory


  • Lower nut quality than the SE Custom series
  • Visually less aesthetic than SE Customs

13. Fender Player Telecaster – 800$

The Fender Player Telecaster is a classic and beloved electric guitar in Fender’s lineup, renowned for its iconic design, timeless sound, and affordability. It’s a modern interpretation of the legendary Telecaster, maintaining the instrument’s legendary reputation while offering some contemporary upgrades.

Fender Player Telecaster
Image By Fender

Key features

Timeless Telecaster Design

The Player Telecaster features an instantly recognizable single-cutaway solid body shape, offering a comfortable playing experience and a vintage aesthetic that has made the Telecaster famous.

Alnico Pickups

Equipped with a pair of Player Series Alnico 5 single-coil pickups, it delivers the signature Telecaster sound, known for its twangy and bright tones.

Modern “C” Shape Neck

The modern “C” shape maple neck with a 22-fret fingerboard ensures comfortable and smooth playability, perfect for a wide range of playing styles.

Top-Loading Bridge

The Telecaster’s traditional top-loading bridge and strings-through-body design contribute to its classic tone and sustain.

Variety of Finishes

The Player Telecaster is available in various finishes, from classic butterscotch and sunburst to modern and vibrant solid colors, allowing players to choose a style that suits their personality.

Pros and Cons of The Fender Player Telecaster


  • Hand-crafted traditional tele body shape
  • Modern C-shaped neck for extra playability
  • Block steel bridge to enhance tone


  • The differing fret number from vintage tele may not be liked by everyone

14. Epiphone Les Paul Custom – 800$

The Epiphone Les Paul Custom is a more affordable rendition of the iconic Gibson Les Paul Custom, providing musicians with an opportunity to own a remarkable instrument without the premium price.

Epiphone Les Paul Custom
Image By Epiphone

Key features

Iconic Les Paul Design

The Les Paul Custom features a well-known single-cutaway body shape with a mahogany body and a maple top, offering a rich and sustainable tone.

Alnico Humbuckers

Equipped with Alnico Classic Pro humbuckers, this guitar delivers powerful and warm tones, perfect for rock, blues, and more. In fact, the bridge humbucker will surprise some; it’s hefty without being too mid-range heavy, and while the coil-split sounds a little bland when played clean, with a distortion boost, it’s a pretty handy nasty and wiry rhythm voice.

SlimTaper Neck Profile

The mahogany neck with a SlimTaper “D” profile ensures comfortable playability, suitable for a variety of playing styles.

Bound Body and Neck

The Les Paul Custom is adorned with elegant binding on the body, neck, and headstock, adding a touch of sophistication to its appearance.


The Alpine White or Ebony finish, along with the gold hardware and ebony fretboard, exudes a timeless and striking visual appeal.

Pros and Cons of The Epiphone Les Paul Custom


  • Great pickups for thick tones
  • Flashy hardware finish
  • Comes with a removable pickguard


  • Wide 43mm nut might not be for everyone

15. Yamaha Revstar Standard RSS20 – 850$

The Yamaha Revstar Standard RSS20 is a part of Yamaha’s Revstar series, known for its unique blend of vintage aesthetics, modern features, and high-quality craftsmanship. This guitar is designed to appeal to players seeking a classic rock ‘n’ roll vibe with a contemporary touch.

Yamaha Revstar Standard RSS20
Image By Yamaha

Key features

Distinctive Design

The Revstar series showcases a bold and unconventional design inspired by vintage cafe racer motorcycles, which gives the guitar a standout and edgy appearance.

Body Construction

The RSS20 features a solid mahogany body, delivering a warm and resonant tone, with a maple top for added visual appeal.

Set-In Neck

The mahogany neck is set into the body for enhanced sustain and resonance. It’s shaped for comfortable playability, making it well-suited for various playing styles.

Humbucking Pickups

Equipped with two custom-designed Alnico V humbucking pickups, the RSS20 delivers a versatile range of tones, from warm and smooth to rich and powerful, making it ideal for rock, blues, and more.

TonePros AVT-II Bridge

This bridge ensures accurate intonation and excellent tuning stability, vital for precise performance.

Pros and Cons of The Yamaha Revstar Standard RSS20


  • Versatility in tone options due to the pickup nature
  • Unique body shape that stands out
  • Durable set-in neck


  • May not go with everyone’s visual aesthetics


Wrapping up, the lineup of budget guitars is seriously impressive, proving you don’t need to splash loads of cash to get a quality instrument. From the versatile Yamaha PAC112V, rocking Squier vibes, to the Epiphone specials, there’s a guitar for every taste among the best electric guitars.

Finding the best cheap guitar for life is tough but with so many popular guitars out there,  it’s important not to compromise on quality. Just focus on how the guitar feels to play and how flawlessly the guitar plays. Whether you’re just starting out or looking for a new addition without breaking the bank, these models are proof that great guitars are accessible to everyone. 

Best Budget Guitar FAQs

Rafsan Ahmed

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