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There are a variety of musical genres in which an electric guitar is essential to elevate the sound of the whole musical composition.
But since they are an electrical instrument, with intricate components required to give you the right quality of sound, they can also be expensive.
This doesn’t mean they are entirely unaffordable. Sure, if you are looking for a high-end electric guitar you would need to shell out quite a few dollars but there are several guitars that are reasonably priced and may also just be downright cheap!
The following are reviews of some of the best electric guitars under $1,000.
These are not the cheapest guitars in the market as you can also easily find a guitar that costs anywhere between $100 to $200. But for a semblance of quality and standard, this lineup will focus on guitars that range between $500 and $1,000.
Lets get rock n’!
Quick Answer: 9 Best Electric Guitars Under $1000 in 2019
- Fender Player Stratocaster
- Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus
- EVH Striped Series Stratocaster
- ESP Ltd EC-401FR
- Fender Classic Series ’70s Stratocaster
- Schecter Hellraiser C-1
- Fender Classic Series 50s Stratocaster
- Fender American Special Stratocaster
- Dean Vendetta XM
|Fender Player Stratocaster||VIEW ON AMAZON|
|Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus||VIEW ON AMAZON|
|EVH Striped Series Stratocaster||VIEW ON AMAZON|
|ESP Ltd EC-401FR||VIEW ON AMAZON|
|Fender Classic Series ’70s Stratocaster||VIEW ON AMAZON|
|Schecter Hellraiser C-1||VIEW ON AMAZON|
|Fender Classic Series 50s Stratocaster||VIEW ON AMAZON|
|Fender American Special Stratocaster||VIEW ON AMAZON|
|Dean Vendetta XM||VIEW ON AMAZON|
9 Best Electric Guitars Under $1,000 in 2019
Fender Player Stratocaster Review
- Alder Body with gloss finish; Flame Maple top
- Three player Series single-coil Stratocaster pickups
The Fender Player Stratocaster electric guitar has a maple fingerboard, an Alder body and a striking look with a glossy finish and a flame maple top.
This guitar is from the three-player series and has single-coil Stratocaster pickups. The pickups give the sound a crisp and articulate quality.
The Player’s fingerboard has a radius of 9.5 inches which gives you plenty of space to play comfortably. There is also a two-point tremolo bridge that has bent-steel saddles. This gives you a smoother travel but also stability while tuning the guitar as there is considerably less friction against the posts.
- First things first, this is a really good looking guitar and has a fiery alder finish.
- The maple fingerboard has a radius of 9.5 inches so the guitar also gives you ample space to fine-tune your craft.
- The neck profile is a “Modern C” shape which makes it comfortable for any playing style.
- The Player Series has Alnico 5 magnets which offers a great bass response.
- It has the Fender pedigree and maintains the classic Fender tonal quality.
- There can sometimes be a fret buzz which needs adjustment every now and then.
- Some electric guitar enthusiasts have reservations about alder bodies.
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Review
- Triple AAA Flame Veneer Top
- Coil splitting via push/pull controls
- ProBucker pickups
- Grover Machine Heads with 18:1 tuning ratio
The Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus is one of the best professional electric guitars in the market. It has a coil-splitting feature through push and pull controls.
The body has a AAA flame veneer top and there are also extremely efficient ProBucker pickups in the guitar for the most accurate sound. The Grover machine heads have a tuning ratio of 18:1 and provide the guitar with great flexibility.
- There are several amazing options for colors that you can pick when it comes to this guitar.
- The ProBucker-2 and ProBucker-3 pickups provide the guitar with great control and restraint over the sound.
- The AAA flame, maple veneer top gives the guitar a sophisticated and finished look.
- It comes at a great price and in fact, customers have said it offers much more than you pay for.
- The guitar can be slightly difficult to set up when you first bring it home, especially if it was purchased online.
- There is some room for improvement with the knobs.
EVH Striped Series Stratocaster
- Solidbody Electric Guitar with Basswood Body
- Direct-mounted Humbucking Pickup
- D-Tuna - Black and White Stripes
The EVH Striped Series Stratocaster Electric Guitar is a funky looking instrument that is sure to liven up a stage performance not only by its sound but also by how fashionable the guitar looks. It has white and black stripes on a glossy and smooth basswood body.
The solid body electric guitar has a one-piece maple neck and boasts of a direct-mounted Humbucking Pickup and a Floyd Rose tremolo which elevates the sound tremendously.
- The maple neck has garnered extremely positive reviews and is one of the best features of the electric guitar.
- This is a very good choice for professional and serious guitar enthusiasts.
- The guitar is not very expensive and delivers a lot more than it promises within its price.
- The pickup on the guitar is excellent, especially for those who are fans of shredding.
- The Floyd Rose is non-floating and can be a bit disappointing for guitar enthusiasts.
- The neck of the guitar is extremely smooth but the fret dressing can be extremely sharp.
ESP Ltd EC-401FR Review
- Built to last and perform for even the most demanding professional musician
- Features the expressive power of a Floyd Rose bridge to handle any music that pushes guitar to the forefront
The ESP Ltd EC-401FR Floyd Rose Bridge electric guitar is a highly durable and ergonomically built electric guitar that will support even the most demanding and grueling practice sessions and performances.
It has a Floyd Rose bridge that makes the sound it emanates a lot more expressive and powerful. The ESP also has a rather comfortable set-neck design so you can get easy and fast access to higher frets.
The body is built with durable and well-finished mahogany and the neck also boasts of a three-piece mahogany design. The pau ferro fingerboard is able to provide excellent resonance. But one of the best features of the electric guitar is the EMG 81/60 active pickups that provide an excellent active pickup combination for rock tones.
- The guitar has extremely reliable hardware and will provide its loyal services for a long time.
- The three-piece mahogany neck has a very comfortable design.
- The active pickup combinations are a rock musicians dream come true.
- The Floyd Rose bridge offers the guitar with the versatility to play any kind of music and tunes.
- This is a four-string guitar so if you are looking for a full-size, six-string guitar, this may not be it.
- This is essentially a guitar for punk and rock music but may lack softness for certain genres.
Fender Classic Series ’70s Stratocaster Review
- Three vintage style single-coil Strat pickups provide the full range of classic '70's Strat tones.
- The larger headstock, bullet truss-rod nut, "F" tuners, and 3-Bolt neck-plate (with Micro-Tilt) recall the hallmark aesthetics of the decade.
The Fender Classic Series ‘70s Stratocaster electric guitar is an incredibly fashionable vintage style guitar, it has single-coil Strat pickups which give you the full range of all the classic 70s Strat tones.
Everything about the guitar’s style is a reflection of the decade it is paying homage to. There is a larger headstock, F-tuners, bullet truss rod nuts and also three-bolt neck plates.
What’s more, the guitar also comes with a deluxe gig bag so you are completely ready to get on stage and travel for gigs! It is available in the natural wood finish or in an Olympic White finish.
- The three vintage style single-coil Strat pickup is extremely versatile and can provide the full range of 70’s Strat tones.
- It comes with a deluxe gig bag for easy portability.
- There are two elegant styles you can choose from — Natural and Olympic White.
- The U-shaped neck allows easy access to the higher frets.
- The straps provided have been found to be incompatible with the guitar.
- The tremolo is not locked and is spring based so there are often some issues with tuning the guitar.
Schecter Hellraiser C-1 Review (Left-Handed)
- Set-Neck w/ Ultra Access
- Quilted Maple Top
- EMG Active 81TW/89 pickups
- Mahogany Body
- Limited Lifetime Guarantee
The Schecter Hellraiser C-1 electric guitar has a quilted maple top and a set-neck which provide extremely easy access to the higher frets. The mahogany body has an elegant finish and is extremely durable. There are also three different colors and styles that you can pick from when it comes to the guitar — Black Cherry, Gloss Black and Gloss White. T
his also happens to be a left-handed guitar which comes with a limited lifetime guarantee.
- The guitar has a set-neck which provides you with ultra access to the higher frets.
- The quilted maple top and the mahogany body have an extremely elegant look.
- The guitar boasts of EMG active 81TW/89 pickups for incredible power and resonance.
- The guitar comes with a limited lifetime guarantee.
- This is a left-handed guitar, which certainly makes it unique, but the consumer base for it is limited.
- There is a slight fret buzz after the initial setup which needs addressing.
Fender Classic Series 50’s Stratocaster Review
- Vintage style single-coil neck, middle, and bridge pickups wired to a 5-way switch offers the full range of classic Strat tones.
- Cool '50's era appointments like a maple freeboard (with vintage 7.25" radius), 1-ply, 8-hole pickguard, and soft V-shaped neck recall the hallmark features of '50's models.
The Fender Classic Series 50’s Stratocaster electric guitar has a maple fingerboard, quite like the 70’s version that has been reviewed above. It has a vintage style single-coil neck, middle and bridge pickups that are attached to a five-way switch which is able to provide you with a full range of classic 50s Strat tones.
Some of the 50s era additions to the guitar are the maple freeboard with a radius of 7.25 inches, the eight-hole pickguard and soft, V-shaped neck. It also comes with a deluxe gig bag for easy portability.
- The guitar has a vintage style single-coil neck and several other features that come together to give you a full range of classic 50s Strat tones.
- It has a soft V-shaped neck that makes it easier to access the higher frets.
- There are aged knobs and a switch tip which make interesting and fun additions to the guitar.
- It comes with a practical deluxe gig bag which makes it easy to carry it around.
- There are several color options for you to pick from.
- The actual color of the guitar is not as advertised in the pictures, at least for some of the shades.
- The alignment can be a little off when the guitar first comes out of the box.
Fender American Special Stratocaster Review
- Loaded with a trio of Texas Special pickups, the American Special Strat delivers classic and contemporary tones that are perfect for Blues, Country, Rock, and Pop
This is another offering from Fender that has made it to this list. The Fender American Special Stratocaster is an excellent choice for an electric guitar under $1,000. It can deliver tones that are best suited for blues, rock, pop and country music.
The American Special has a trio of Texas Special pickups and a 9.5-inch fingerboard radius. There are 22 jumbo frets making this a great electric guitar for players with large hands or thicker fingers. The neck has a satin finish.
This guitar provides the player with easy string bending and a great, contemporary feel. It also comes with a deluxe Fender gig bag that makes it convenient to carry the guitar around. Finally, this Fender also has a limited lifetime warranty.
- The American Strat has a trio of Texas Special pickups that give the guitar an ideal tone for blues, country, rock and pop music.
- There is a grease-bucket tone circuit which is able to deliver high frequencies without adding bass.
- The deluxe Fender gig bag makes it a whole package.
- The satin-finished neck and the jumbo frets make the guitar more comfortable to play.
- The bag is not great quality and may not protect the guitar.
- The guitar strings tend to have a buzz that needs to be tuned out extensively.
Dean Vendetta XM 6-String Review
- Contains: Dean Vendetta XM 6-String Electric Guitar, Gravity GMO-1 Metal Overdrive Pedal, Archer Electric Bass Guitar Gig Bag, Omega Bronze Standard Instrument Cable - 1/4" to 1/4" (6ft)
The Dean Vendetta XM six-string electric guitar comes with a whole set and paraphernalia that makes it easy for you to take care of the instrument. The set has the XM six-string electric guitar, a gravity GMO-1 metal overdrive pedal, an Archer Electric Bass guitar gig bag, and an Omega bronze standard instrument cable.
The fact that the guitar comes with the whole package makes your life a lot easier. What’s more, you get the host of accessories under the price of $1,000. It is certainly a steal!
- The electric guitar also comes with an overdrive pedal, a gig bag and instrument cables.
- The overdrive pedal is compact but very effective and can create heavy distortion and also sustain the effect.
- The gig bag is padded and can fit most guitars, in case you have more than one.
- The guitar has a durable alder body and has a fixed bridge system.
- The pickups are poorly soldered and may require redoing.
- The frets are sharp and may cause injury.
What to Look for in an Electric Guitar in This Price Range
The following are some of the factors you should look for when looking for a guitar in this price range. To be honest, these are factors you should consider regardless of the price range but $1,000 is a decent amount of money to pay for a guitar as there are several cheaper options as well that are under $500. Therefore, a $1,000 guitar should definitely have these features.
Tonewoods, simply put, are the different varieties of woods that come together to build a guitar. Any guitar enthusiast will have a preference for a certain kind of wood to be used in different parts of the guitar. Some woods are incredible for the neck, while others are ideal for making up the body of the guitar, the fingerboard and the tops.
But not every guitar is the same and not all kinds of woods for guitars are equal. Each type of wood has a distinct sound so depending on the kind of sound you are looking for, the wood might be different.
Some people like mahogany-bodied guitars, while others may prefer basswood. But in the end, the tonewood of electric guitar matters as much as any other guitar. People are under the impression that in an electric guitar, all that matters is the electronics, the pickup and amp. The wood does not make much of a difference, but this is not necessarily true.
The wood used in the guitar makes a big difference to the sound. When you are considering an electric guitar in this price range, you need to be certain that the tonewood used is improving the sound rather than detracting from it. Some of the common wood types that are popular for electric guitars are mahogany, alder and basswood.
You can pick the tonewood depending on how you like the sound but if anybody tells you tonewood does not matter when it comes to an electric guitar, they would be wrong.
There are a plethora of brands for electric guitars in the market and a fair number of them offer instruments under $1,000. The guitars that have been reviewed above cover a range of different brands. Fender is one of the best brands in the market for electric guitars. They sell a variety of different types of guitars even in this category and a few of them have been reviewed above. Each of the guitars has something different to offer even if they are from the same company and manufacturer.
Other than Fender, Gibson is a well-known brand that has a reputation for making some of the best electric guitars in the world. Epiphone, Ibanez, Yamaha and EPS are all extremely respected electric guitar manufacturers. If you buy a guitar from any of these brands, you are certainly in safe hands. They also have guitars in a variety of price ranges but one brand may be slightly more expensive than the other. But within this pool of brands and manufacturers, you are sure to find a guitar that suits your needs.
No electric guitar is complete without its electronics. This is, perhaps, one of the main components of an electric guitar and without the electronics, the guitar is simply any regular guitar. It would not serve its purpose even as a regular guitar if the electronics are removed from an electric guitar.
There are four main components that make up an electric guitar’s electronics — pickups, pickup selectors, volume pots and tone pots. These are all essential parts of an electric guitar and if even one is missing or is compromised, the sound of the guitar will be affected.
An electric guitar pickup acts as the microphone. The sound of the waves created when the strings are struck are picked up and sent to the effect pedals. From here, the waves are sent to the amp for amplification. This is a very important process in any electric guitar.
Next, the pickup selector acts as a lever that allows you to select which pickup is needed. It is, quite literally, a switch that can be toggled so you can control which pick up is required at the moment. Most electric guitars have at least two pickups, so a pickup selector is important so you can navigate the electronics of the instrument with greater ease. If there are multiple pickups, there are also pickup selection combinations you can choose.
“Pot” stands for potentiometer. It is an electronic device which manages to adjust the flow of the current and therefore impacts the sound that emanates from the electric guitar. As has been mentioned above, there are two types of pots, volume and tone. The main difference between the two is that the tone pot has a capacitor attached to the ground lug.
The high frequencies are blocked off from reaching the amp, therefore, regulating the treble in the sound. The pots basically act like resistors. They appear as knobs on the guitar and when they are turned, the voltage can be regulated.
Here are more details about guitar capacitors and what they can achieve.
Finally, the sound of an electric guitar is of utmost importance. All of the factors that have been described above come together to create that perfect sound. Regardless of the tonewood you choose, the brand you pick and the electronics the guitar has, what it comes down to is whether or not the guitar has a good, full-bodied sound.
It is best if you can test the guitar out, hear the sounds and check whether you like what you are hearing or not before you purchase the guitar. This may not always be possible when you are purchasing a guitar online, so it is important to look for the factor’s mentioned above in the product’s description in order to make an informed choice.
If the guitar emphasizes on the quality of tonewood and of the electronics, you can take a chance and go ahead with the purchase. If it does not work out for you, you can always return the product! But in order for this to happen, you need to be mindful of the return policy and check whether the product is eligible for returns before you hand out your credit card details.
Enhance Your Playing Experience
The electric guitars that have been listed above are nine of the best in the market in this price range.
Each of the guitars focus on great tonewood, high quality electronics and they are all from good, reputed brands.
More than anything, all these features come together to give you a great and expressive sound which makes your playing experience a pleasant and exciting one.