What Is The Best Electric Guitar Under $150?
Posted: December 8th, 2016 by Ashley Saunders
While many of us think we have to invest in expensive gear in order to play well or sound good. Modern manufacturing means that cheap doesn’t always mean crap. Let’s look at my top 5 best electric guitars which cost $150 or less, which are not only great for beginners but are good enough for gigging.
Invest in better cables
If you end up buying a package deal, then you’ll want to change out the cables for something that won’t break after a few minutes of use. Invest in something like a 10 ft / 3m Fender Performance Series Instrument Cable which is affordable and will survive years of abuse.
For the price your paying there’s has to be a catch? right? Sort of. Most of the guitars should play ok out of the box, however all will need some adjusting in order to get the best of out the guitar. What I mean is, it’s likely, that the strings will be a mile away from the fretboard. This distance can be lowered and therefore improve how the guitar plays. Either you have to find someone who knows what they’re doing, like a professional tech or you can try making small adjustments yourself. There are two things to change. The first is the bridge, you can raise and lower this without having to remove strings. The second is the trust rod, which is usually hidden and may require a few adjustments to get it right.
You can potentially upgrade most things on a guitar, from the bridge, to the tuners and everything in between. The three most common electric guitar upgrades are to change the pick-ups, upgrade the tuners and have a local tech cut a custom nut.
Work on your playing
The best way to get any guitar to sound better is to practice more. Work on your timing, tone and touch. I know this isn’t as sexy as new guitars, but if you work on your playing, then the guitar starts to matter less.
Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II
This Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II might be regarded as a beginners guitar without many features. I’ve played these guitar and once set-up correctly, they play well and sound great. Sure you don’t have control over both pick-ups or even a tone pot for each one, but you do have solid guitar which is built to last.
It’s features include a mahogany body and bolt-on neck. The neck has a 22 fret rosewood fingerboard. The electronics and hardware are good quality too, with 700T/650R open-coil humbucker pickups, a LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece. With a stopbar tailpiece, strings are much easier to change.
SX RST EB Blue Electric Guitar Package
While SX might not be as well as known as Epiphone or Squire, they do built good guitars at an affordable price point. Also the brand gets favourable reviews from well respected guitarist and magazine. This SX RST EB Blue Electric Guitar Package comes with all you need to get started. The package includes the Stratocaster style Guitar, GA1065 Amp, Strap, Instructional DVD, case, the list goes on!
This guitar might not be a world beater in terms of spec or sounds, but would provide you with an instrument to use around the house or as a backup on a gig. It’s likely, the action will be really high and that’ll need to be the first thing you sort out. Try with the smaller Allen key to lower the 6 bridge saddles, watch out that you don’t lower it so much as to get fret buzz.
Sawtooth ST-ET-SGRW Electric Guitar
Next up, is a telecaster style electric. Tele’s are a current favourite of mine and I prefer them over Strats. They got the first electric right, the first time! Anyway, the Sawtooth ST-ET-SGRW Electric Guitar is finished in a Surf Green with Aged White Pickguard which give it a vintage look. While unlike the SX above, this is not a package guitar, it does comes with some nice extras. These include 15 picks, case, headstock tuner and strap.
I think we should all own a Tele style guitar at one point or another in our playing career and this Sawtooth guitar is a great place to start.
C-1 SGR by Schecter – Midnight Satin Black
C-1 SGR by Schecter Electric Guitar in Midnight Satin Black features a modern body style and is exclusive to Amazon. Schecter are well known for their innovative designs and this entry level guitar doesn’t disappoint. Plus the gig bag will keep the guitar safe and is a nice addition.
The guitar has an arched top which improves playability. A tune-o-matic bridge allows you to adjust the action and intonation easily. The controls are well placed for easy of use without being easily knocked. Finally, the pick-ups are well balanced and enable you to cover most styles.
Stedman V Series Electric Guitar – Black with Red Stripe
Just like the C-1, The Stedman V Series Electric Guitar sports a modern design and is finished black with a red stripe. This guitar comes with a whole host of extras such as case, capo, picks, tuners and more. This Flying V Style guitar features a Floyd Rose inspired bridge as well as locking tuners. As you may not be aware, a guitar with a Floyd Rose bridge can require some tweaking in order to get the guitar to hold it’s tune. Another issue with Flying V body is you can’t sit down and play the guitar with ease! If you’re just starting out buy this to play in your room, at band practice, and on gigs. Also buy a strat style guitar for lessons and practice as it’s be easier to use sitting down.
Ibanez GRX20ZJB Jewel Blue Electric Guitar
This guitar is simply stunning! And while you can clearly see inspiration has be drawn from the Stratocaster, the Ibanez GRX20ZJB Electric Guitar in Jewel Blue takes this to the next level.
Ibanez has packed this guitar full of expensive features, usually found on their high end guitars. However the price is affordable and provides you a way to own an Ibanez without having to mortgage the house! Lets take the FAT-6 Tremolo Bridge, which has been designed to hold the guitar perfectly in tune while allowing you to get maximum dive bombs! The custom humbucker pickups deliver a full fat rock tone. This guitar blend a classically inspired design with modern features to create a guitar most of us would want to own.
So, What is the best electric guitar under $150?
While I can’t tell you what is the best electric guitar under $150 for you. I have tried to include a range of guitars, each with a different look and features. Luckily, there’s now a range of inexpensive guitars to choose from, especially when compared to 15 years ago when you could only buy Strat style copies! Please leave a comment below with issue or question you have choosing your first guitar and I’ll do my best to help!