2022 UPDATE: The 12 Best Electric Guitars Under $1000

Top 12 ELECTRIC Guitars Under $1000 You Can Get | integraudio.com

Today we talk about the “12 Best Electric Guitars Under $1,000 You Can Get in 2022”. As you may know, there are many options, and we’ll try to help you separate the crappy ones from the ones that deliver the goods.

There are so many guitars out there. The variations you see today would have you scratching your head, wondering which features matter, which tone wood sounds the best, which fingerboards and neck profiles would be most suitable for your hands, etc.

Then we come to the electronics behind each instrument. Singles coils, while noisy, deliver some unique, focused sounds. Humbuckers are more powerful and clean up the noise. Then there are different pickup configurations that guitars come in.

Some Telecasters employ 2 single coils while Strats may have 3 of them or, better yet, an HSS formation. Guitars designed for heavy metal may make use of a couple of EMGs. Pickups can be passive or active depending on what the instrument is aspiring to achieve.

12 Best Electric Guitars Under $1000 In 2022

1. Fender Player Series Strat MN

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The people at Fender have replaced their “Standard” line with the relatively new “Player Series.”

Introduced in 2018, the made-in-Mexico Player Series not only gets you extremely close to the core sounds that the higher-end American Fender Guitars can deliver but does so with some significantly lower price tags.

The Player Series delivers some remarkable recreations of the Stratocaster, the Telecaster, the Jaguar, and the Jazzmaster models from the American Fender line. The Mexican-made instruments also feature exceptional quality and some hidden goodies.

Key Features:

  • Neck
    The Fender Player Series Strat has a C-shaped neck that is symmetrical from both sides and deeper in the middle. This particular model labeled “MN” comes in a maple neck with a maple fingerboard. Other variants in the line showcase a combination of a maple neck with a pau ferro fingerboard. The neck has a 9.5” radius with a 25.5” scale length. Furthermore, the Player Strat has a synthetic nut with a width of 1.65”. The guitar comes with 22 medium jumbo frets adorned with black dot inlays. The fingerboard has a satin finish that lets your finger glide over it smoothly. Finally, the bolt-on neck is held in place by the “F” plate with the Fender “F” logo, which you’ll find on some of the more high-end models. You’ll also find the famous “Spaghetti” Logo on the headstock.
  • Body
    The Fender Player Series Strat has all the standard body contours that have made the Strat shape famous over the years. The guitar is extremely balanced with no neck diving issues, and a double cutaway design offers just the perfect access to the 22nd fret. The body is made of alder and has a glossy polyester finish. The Player Series Strat comes in an amazing array of colors, including 3-Tone Burst, Black, Buttercream, Capri Orange, Polar White, and Tidepool, while the Pau Ferro version is available in Silver and Seafoam Green. All color variations come with a standard white 3-ply Fender pickguard that offers great contrast.
  • Electronics
    The Player Series Strat comes with 3 single-coil Alnico V Strat pickups, which can be controlled by the one volume and two-tone controls found on Strats worldwide. This time around, the circuitry behind the tone pots has been managed differently. The bridge pickup doesn’t get tone controls in the original design. However, the first tone pot on the Player Strat controls both pickups, and the bridge gets a dedicated tone knob, giving you even more versatility for dialing in your favorite tones. Finally, the Strat boasts a high-end 5-way selector switch to offer users several pickup selection options.
  • Hardware
    The bridge on the Player Series Strat is a two-point floating tremolo that adds to the stability of the instruments and brings more character into your playing. You won’t find an open cavity behind the bridge, but it can be set to float, so there is some room that allows you to pull up the tremolo arm. The headstock features 6 in-line Fender Standard Tuners.
  • Character & Sound
    Playing around with the 5-way selector switch will get you the tones you’re looking for in a cinch. Position one selects the neck pickup, which is slightly warm and smooth. Position 2 combines the neck and middle pickups for the signature twangy sound that only a Fender instrument can deliver. The Alnico Vs are very responsive and offer a very detailed sound. Positions 2 and 4 on the selector switch are ideally suited for percussive riff work, while the bridge pickup over some bright tones.

Pros:

Getting a full-featured instrument with the Fender logo on the headstock at this price point is unheard of. In addition, the made-in-Mexico Strat has great build quality, as you won’t find any sharp edges or polish issues on the frets.

The Player Series Strat is a versatile instrument with ultra-responsive pickups that can deliver famous Fender tones with great accuracy. The Strat is available in several different pickup configurations depending on the requirement.

Cons: 

The two-point floating tremolo requires some setting up. Furthermore, if you’re an aggressive dive bomber, this is a good time to mention that this Strat’s bridge is suited for light fluttering rather than hardcore whammy dives.

Unfortunately, the machine heads are mediocre and may lose tuning after a few heavy bends. A good ploy is to replace them with some Fender locking tuners that hold tuning significantly well. The process hardly takes 10 minutes and can be done easily at home.

2. Squier CV 60s Thinline Tele MN

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Squier strivea to deliver some exceptional guitars that get you very close to what a Fender counterpart may deliver.

If you’re a guitar player who wants to venture into different styles and genres of playing by adding a quality instrument to your current arsenal without breaking the bank, the Thinline Tele could be your next purchase.

Not only do the people at Squier pack this baby with some vintage tonal and build qualities from the 60s, but in the Thinline Tele, you also get the perfect blend of the classic Telecaster characteristics and modern ingenuity.

Key Features:

  • Appearance
    The Squier Thinline Tele is a semi-hollow guitar that sports a beautiful glossy polyurethane finish. The chambered body offers considerable weight relief, which adds to the playability and comfort of the guitar when playing long-duration gigs. The Thinline resurrects the old Telecaster shape from the 1960s with a unique curvy modern-looking 4-ply pickguard. The wood used in the guitar’s body construction is called “Nato” or “Eastern Mahogany,” which is cost-effective but simultaneously delivers impressive tones. The body has a string-through design and comes in two finishes. The Natural finish is paired with a white pearloid pickguard, while the Sonic Blue comes with a pickguard that has a wooden finish.
  • Characteristics of the Neck
    The Thinline Tele “MN” has a maple neck with a 9.5” radius. Being a representation of the 60s Telecaster, the Thinline offers a similar “C” shaped neck connected to the body with 4 bolts and a neckplate displaying the “Squire” logo. The Telecaster employs a bone nut with a width of 1.650”. The presence of a bone nut is an added advantage in a low-priced guitar like the Thinline Tele, as it brings tuning stability and provides sustain. In addition, you’ll find 21 frets of the “Narrow Tall” variety on the guitar with black dot-shaped fret markings. The neck itself is made of maple and has a maple fingerboard. Squire has a keen eye for detail and adds a vintage tinted glossy finish on the back of the neck to enhance playability and give it an aged appearance. The headstock sports a “Squier by Fender” logo next to the words “Telecaster Thinline.”
  • Mechanics
    The Thinline Tele is equipped with two Alnico Single Coil pickups designed by Fender. On the controls side, the guitar exhibits a master volume control and a single-tone control with a 3-way selector switch organized on top of the pickguard. When the switch is centered, it combines both bridge and neck pickups. The individual pickups can be selected by choosing positions one and three.
  • Hardware
    The Thinline Tele comes with 9-gauge (0.009 to 0.042) strings threaded through the body to rests over the vintage 3-barrel bridge bolted onto the body by 4 screws. Three additional screws hold the bridge pickup in place. The headstock also sports vintage-style tuning machines that are arranged in in-line.
  • Sound Delivery
    The Alnico Tele pickups designed by Fender will remind you of those classic 60s sounds which made the Telecaster famous. The single coils deliver a very punchy and clear sound. Since the guitar has a hollow body, it provides great resonance, and the bone nut combined with the vintage bridge delivers great sustain. So, while the electronics bring you that classy telecaster twang suited for playing country music, you get decent warmth thanks to the chambered body construction of the Thinline Telecaster. With its vast array of tonal possibilities, the guitar gives you the freedom to play any genre of music, from jazz, country, and blues to rock and much more. 

Pros:

The Squier Thinline Tele has a lot of good things going for it. It delivers that classic Telecaster sound from the 1960s with the added versatility of a hollow-bodied instrument that delivers great quality on a budget.

Also, its chambered design adds a whole new dimension to your sound by providing more resonance, which gives way to pronounced lows and warmth in the mids, making these guitars ideal for jazz and blues music.

Cons: 

Since the Squier Thinline is priced modestly, you may realize that some aspects of this Telecaster are cheaper. The stock tuners don’t do what they’re supposed to and have you reaching for your tuner after a couple of harsh bends.

Also, the fretwork on some of the instruments from the Squier line has not been given proper attention. As a result, the sharp edges and unevenness may require you to spend a few extra bucks to get them rectified. 

3. Ibanez Gio GRG121DX

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The GRG range from Ibanez offers some surprisingly good guitars at a very affordable price.

The Gio series has been around since 1997 and has been known for delivering cheaper alternatives to their RG line of guitars. While Ibanez targets beginner guitar players with the GRG series, the guitars deliver some decent features.

The look and feel of the GRG121DX are quite impressive, and nothing about it reminds you that you’re playing a budget instrument. The guitar is set up well and needs little to no adjustments right out of the box. Just plug it in and start rocking.

Key Features:

  • Neck Design
    The 121DX has a standard GRG-shaped maple neck with a purpleheart fingerboard. Purplewood is denser than maple but has similar tonal characteristics with a purplish hue. The GRG121DX has a flatter neck with a radius of 15.75” and a scale length of 25.5”. As on most lower-end guitars, the nut is made of plastic and has a width of 1.692”. The neck supports 24 jumbo-sized frets. A really exciting feature of the neck is that it has shark tooth inlays found on some more expensive guitars from the RG series. The neck is connected to the guitar’s body with 4 bolts in typical Ibanez fashion without any neck plate. The headstock sports a “GIO” logo over the standard “Ibanez” logo. One of the most appreciable features of Ibanez guitars is the presence of a sliding truss rod cover. This means you don’t need to unscrew the cover each time truss rod adjustments need to be made, which adds to its convenience.
  • Body Construction
    The GRG121DX comes in some cool satin finishes. You can choose from Walnut Flat, Black, and a glossy Metallic Gray Sunburst. The 121DX has a solid body construction with a gloss polyurethane finish. The body is made of poplar, which is a cheaper substitute for alder. Having a popular body means that the GRG121DX doesn’t have much weight to it and remains balanced without diving downwards when playing standing up. The cutaway design is ideal for reaching the farthest extreme of the neck down to the 24th fret. This particular GRG has a string-through design, so you’ll see 6 holes on the back through which the strings are threaded.
  • Mechanics
    At first glimpse, you may think that the guitar is equipped with 2 EMG pickups because of the similar design. However, the guitar has Ibanez’s IBZ-6 Ceramic Humbucking pickups. The controls on the GRG121DX include a master volume and master tone knob. Usually, guitars with 2 humbuckers have a three-way selector switch, but that is not the case with this one. Instead, the 121DX has a 5-way selector switch thanks to some innovative coil splitting wizardry which at this price point is a huge bonus.
  • Hardware
    The GRG121DX makes use of an F106 fixed bridge that is bolted onto the body with 4 screws. The strings are threaded through the body and onto the six individual saddles that have adjustment screws for controling string action and intonation. The guitar also features 6 Ibanez Closed Gear machine heads for tuning adjustments. In addition, the 121DX comes with 10 gauge strings (0.0010 – 0.046).
  • Character & Sound
    The materials used in the construction of a guitar have just as much influence on the sound it delivers as its electronics. The purplewood adds decent sustain and clear bass, and high-end response. The 121DX’s poplar body has a neutral frequency response, so it relies mostly on the pickups to produce some magic, and surely the IBZ-6 Ceramic Humbuckers do not disappoint. The neck pickup setting produces warmth, while position 5 gives a bright, trebly response. Positions 2 and 4 put the humbuckers in coil switch mode to dish out some fascinating sounds.

Pros:

Even being a budget model, the guitar hardly needs any setting up right out of the box, which is a feather in its cap. The pickups on the 121DX are versatile and seem well-suited for any form of music.

In addition, the frets are nicely rounded with a slight roll-off on either side of the neck to give it that played-in feel. The nut has smooth edges, and the overall build quality is impeccable.

Cons: 

Since this guitar from the GIO line has a fixed bridge design, if you’re someone who likes a floating tremolo with a little room for some whammy tricks, maybe you should steer clear of the GRG121DX.

Also, while the pickups can produce a wide variety of sounds, they are a bit mellow and may need more juice to dish out those squealing pinch harmonics. Lastly, the guitar is a bit on the heavier side.

4. Epiphone Firebird

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Epiphone has blown people’s minds by introducing some phenomenal guitars in the NAMM show of 2020.

The company has upped its game by blurring the line that separates its product line from the more expensive Gibson brand. As a result, not only does Epiphone deliver the goods when it comes to looks, but nails it when speaking of delivering tonal diversity.

The Epiphone Firebird comes from Epiphone’s inspired-by Gibson collection, which recreates some amazing Gibson models from the 50s and 60s with a much lower price tag. So if you’re after that iconic Firebird sound, look no further than the Epiphone Firebird.

Key Features:

  • Appearance
    The Gibson brand released its first-ever neck-through guitar back in 1963 in the shape of the acclaimed Firebird. Epiphone has accurately captured the essence of its Gibson counterpart and, in doing so, has made it substantially affordable for the masses. This solid-body guitar uses mahogany for the body construction as seen on most other Epiphones. The Firebird comes in a Vintage Sunburst color with a glossy finish. The huge white pickguard with an aptly placed red Firebird emblem adds to the aesthetics. Since the body is quite massive, the Firebird sports a significantly chunky headstock to counter the extra weight and keep the guitar nice and balanced when playing.
  • 9 Ply Neck
    The Epiphone Firebird’s neck through design features a unique-looking 9-ply mahogany and walnut neck that goes through the body to the base of the guitar, where the strap lock is located. The guitar has a slim taper C profile neck, as found on the original Gibson model from the 60s. You’ll also find a graph tech nut with a 1.693” width on the Firebird. The nut works well and lets the strings slide over it to encourage tuning stability. The fingerboard is made of Indian Laurel and offers 22 medium jumbo frets with the famous trapezoid inlays that Gibson and Epiphone love to display on most guitars. Finally, the Firebird offers a 12” radius and a scale length of 24.75”. The headstock has a cover with the “Epiphone” logo, which can be unscrewed to access the truss rod for adjustments.
  • Pickups and Controls
    Epiphone’s Firebird features two ProBucker FB720 humbuckers that are noiseless and, at the same time, have enough juice in them to get the job done. The Firebird offers familiar knob controls as seen on higher-end Epiphone models. Each pickup gets its dedicated volume and tone controls. In addition, the 3-way selector switch can be found on the lower wing near the Firebird logo.
  • Hardware
    The strings are threaded through the Stopbar Tailpiece held in place on the body with two adjustable screws. Next, the Epiphone Firebird features a Tune-o-Matic bridge with adjustable saddles that help set the intonation of the instrument and two bolts on either side to raise or lower the action of the strings. In addition, the Firebird comes installed with 10-gauge (0.0010 – 0.046) Gibson strings, the icing on the cake. Finally, it has 6 downward facing in-line kidney style tuners that hold tune reasonably well.
  • The Sound
    The mahogany in the body and the neck, through design, gives the Firebird great sustain and resonance. You can really feel those power chords ringing forever. The Indian laurel fingerboard is slightly less warm than rosewood and offers a balanced response along the frequency spectrum. The humbuckers deliver deep growly distortion and clear, clean tones. The neck pickup has decent warmth, while selecting both pickups give great articulation for arpeggiated riffs. Fiddling with the available volume and tone controls, you’ll realize that the guitar can produce crunch and clean sounds on its own.

Pros:

The ProBucker pickups from Epiphone sound great and offer a lot of tonal freedom. They’re not overly aggressive but have enough power to deliver the sound you’re looking for. In addition, they’re quite articulate and clear in their sound delivery.

Having separate volume and tone controls for each pickup is always great. If you have just a distortion pedal on hand, dialing back on the volume controls can deliver phenomenal crunch tones and even cleans for delicate chord picking.

Cons: 

Because of its design, the selector switch on the Firebird’s lower wing takes a bit of getting used to. In addition, the switch’s location seems a bit out of reach, especially when playing some faster stuff in a live situation. 

The classic Firebird body shape may not be for everyone. Due to its expansive body and multiple-ply neck, the Epiphone Firebird is bulky and heavy. Also, good luck finding a case for the unusual body shape.

5. Schecter PT

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Schecter’s puts its own spin on the classic Telecaster shape with its Shechter PT, which is built to impress.

The people at Schecter have always impressed their target audience by coming up with innovative instruments that have unmatched quality and seem to come at a much lower price point than their competition.

The Schecter PT offers tremendous tonal range, so it doesn’t matter what genre of music you play; the T-style guitar has something for everybody. The guitar pays homage to the great Pete Townshend, who used a similar Schecter guitar while playing for the Who in the 80s.

Key Features:

  • Appearance
    This Tele-style guitar is built will all the right contours for comfort and playability with a single cutaway design for ease of access. The body has a semi-gloss finish which looks exceptional. The wood chosen for the PT’s body construction is swamp ash, one of the most popular tone woods out there. The maple neck version comes in a beautiful 3-tone Sunburst with the wood grain showing through nicely. The rosewood variant comes in Black and Purple Burst variations.
  • Neck
    The PT sports a GraphTech Tusq XL nut with a width of 1.653”. The nut is nicely rounded on both sides, so you won’t have to avoid sharp edges. The guitar comes with a C-profile neck that offers 22 extra-jumbo frets with black dot inlays. The neck has a slight tint on the back, which gives it a more vintage look. The frets have been set nicely and do not hinder any string bends. Furthermore, the attention to detail is great on the guitar, as you’ll not find a single sharp end on any of the frets. The Schecter PT’s neck has a 12” radius and comes with a scale length of 25.5”. The neck has a bolt-on design and is connected to the body by 4 bolts. You’ll also see a slight contour here, which aids in accessing the frets near the bridge.
  • Hardware
    The first thing you’ll note on the Schecter PT is the 6 in-line tuning machines on the headstock. The guitar sports Grover Deluxe vintage-style tuning machines, which hold tuning immaculately. The Schecter PT also features an ashtray-style bridge with staggered saddles for scale and intonation adjustments. You’ll also find a matching steel plate under the control knobs and pickup selector. Finally, the Schecter PT comes installed with Ernie Ball 10-gauge strings (0.010 – 0.046).
  • Pickups
    As seen in the classic Tele design, the Schecter PT comes with two single-coil pickups. The neck pickup cavity holds a Schecter Diamond V-90, while the pickup used for the bridge is Shecter’s own Diamond VT-1. In addition, the PT has one master volume and one tone pot with push/pull capabilities so you can choose between series and parallel pickup modes. Finally, the controls section also has a 3-way selector to toggle various pickup combinations.
  • The PT’s Sound
    The Schecter PT offers great sustain as your notes will keep ringing for hours. The essence of a Telecaster-shaped guitar is its ability to play some country tones, and the Schecter PT is a great example of that. Dropping down to the bridge pickup adds a sparkly twang, the likes of which you may have only heard on more expensive guitars. The twanginess is further enhanced as you move closer to the bridge pickup. If you’re in the mood to play some jazz music, switching to the much warmer next pickup and playing with a softer touch is the way to go. If you still want more tonal variety, you can always pull out that tone pot to put the pickups in series mode to get a fuller-bodied, deeper humbucking sound.

Pros:

The Schecter brand always goes the extra mile to offer quality products that deliver something extra. The Schecter PT is a testament to that, as the pickups sound is great, the controls are solid, and the internal wiring is flawless.

The fret finish is near perfect, and the frets and fingerboard are nicely polished to offer a smooth, buttery playing feel. The vintage deluxe tuners keep the guitar in tune perfectly.

Cons: 

If you’re someone who likes to make the instrument your own by modifying it, you may think of swapping out the bridge as some screws may settle to give you tuning and action-related issues. On the other hand, perhaps a 6-saddle bridge could be more stable.

Furthermore, the Schecter PT could benefit from a contour on the neck joint so you could reach the last fret easily without the neck plate getting in the way of things. Not much else is wrong with the guitar.

6. ESP LTD EC-256

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LTD to ESP is like Epiphone to Gibson in that it delivers premium features while staying in the realms of affordability.

If you’re one of those guitar players who envied the acclaimed eclipse series from ESP line and hoped to possess one someday but stayed at a safe distance because of the high price tag, LTD has you covered.

Not only does the LTD EC-256 sound great, but if you look past its aesthetically pleasing exterior, you’re sure to be surprised by the controls on board. And here’s the kicker, all of this comes at a very affordable price.

Key Features:

  • Appearance
    The LTD EC-256 delivers some eye-catching finishes, including Glossy Black, Satin Black, Polar White, and Cobalt Blue Flame Maple options. The EC-256 has a shape reminiscent of the classic Les Paul design but with sharper edges on the body and the headstock. The solid body is made of mahogany, a popular tonewood that offers a lot of sustain. The back of the body has rounded contours to add to its playability. You’ll also find screwed compartments that give you access to the electronics should the need arise.
  • Neck Design
    The LTD EC-256 has a 3-piece mahogany neck with a roasted jatoba fingerboard. Jatoba is preferred due to its hardness, as it gives strength to the guitar’s neck. The nut on the EC-256 is made of molded plastic and has a width of 1.653”. The neck has a thin “U” profile, making it straighter on the edges and deeper in the middle. The guitar offers 22 extra-jumbo frets with some impressive-looking pearloid flag inlays. The neck radius comes to around 13.7”, while the scale length on the EC-256 is 24.75”. The headstock has the vintage “Ltd” logo on it while the truss rod cover labeled EC-256 can be unscrewed to reveal the neck adjustment section. Finally, the guitar has a set neck rather than a bolt-on design, enhancing the instrument’s sound projection.
  • Hardware
    As with most Les Pauls, the guitar is equipped with a Stopbar Tailpiece bolted onto the body, which leads to a Tune-o-Matic bridge. The bridge has individual saddles for adjusting the intonation of each string separately and can also be lowered or raised to set the guitar’s action. The EC-256 also has 6 LTD tuners arranged on the headstock in a 3 x 3 formation. You’ll also find 10-gauge (0.010 – 0.046) D’Addario strings on the guitar.
  • Electronics
    On the electronics side of things, the EC-256 has two humbuckers, including the ESP LH-150N pickup for the neck and an ESP LH-150B for the bridge. Instead of the 4 control knobs you may associate with the single cutaway body shape, the guitar has two volume control knobs, one for each pickup and a tone knob that is shared between the two. The multipurpose tone knob also has push/pull capabilities to toggle the coil tap feature. You’ll also find a 3-way pickup switch in the controls section.
  • Character & Sound
    The guitar itself is designed in such a way that it can deliver several tonal options by just combining the three pickup selection options and the coil tapping mode. The coil-tapped pickups offer a brighter tinny sound, much like those you hear on a Strat. The sound seems to get thicker and warmer in humbucker mode, which can be ideal for dishing out those heavily distorted riffs. The jatoba fingerboard complements the bridge pickup in delivering brightness, offering clarity and projection. The mahogany body enriches the overall sound with its higher sustain characteristics. So, as you may have gathered, the EC-256 can be a worthy addition to your guitar collection as it can handle any kind of music with relative ease.

Pros:

Even with a simple amp on hand that offers basic distortion and clean tones, your EC-256 can impress you with its innovative mechanics and highly responsive pickups. The push/pull pot is always a good feature to have.

The fretwork is good, and the overall quality is impressive for the price. In addition, the EC-256 comes with some amazing-looking finishes, especially the Cobalt Blue Maple Finish, which looks exceptional.

Cons: 

When it comes to the neck shape, it’s all a matter of preference. The U-shaped neck may not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially for people with smaller hands. Furthermore, the EC-256 could’ve had a more reliable nut than the cheap molded plastic one it comes with.

Furthermore, the EC-256 is somewhat limited in its sound delivery and is more suited for music genres that require heavily distorted guitar work. The guitar is also a bit heavier than the usual Les Paul shaped instruments.

7. Harley Benton TE-52 NA Vintage Series

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Harley Benton is the home brand of Musikhaus Thomann, the German music instrument retailer.

You may be inclined to think that something this affordable must be subpar or cheap in construction and sound delivery. However, be sure not to dismiss the instruments that come under the Harley Benton brand, as they will pleasantly surprise you.

The great thing about Thomann’s approach with its Harley Benton guitars is that you can experience the capabilities of each instrument by visiting their website and selecting different sound samples of the selected instrument from a drop-down menu.

Key Features:

  • Body
    The Harley Benton TE-52 NA uses American Ash in its body construction. Ash is a lighter-tone wood that has inconsistent pores that need to be filled in before applying any finish over it. This makes any two Ash body guitars slightly different from each other. The guitar comes in a natural high gloss finish that looks appealing to the eye. The Tele-style black pickguard stands out over this wooden finish. The TE range by Harley Benton has some exciting Telecaster-shaped guitars with quilted maple tops and hollow bodies, all offered at very affordable prices. The guitar has a string through body, so you’ll see six string holes on its back.
  • The Neck
    The TE-52 NA guitar features a bolt-on neck connected to the body with a firmly placed four-bolt neck plate. The instrument has a friendly “C” profile neck made of caramelized Canadian maple with a striped wood pattern, adding to its vintage look. The fretboard is also made of caramelized maple. The advantage of the caramelization process is that the wood is heated to remove any oils or moisture that resides inside, which makes it less susceptible to any changes caused by weather or humidity. The TE-52 NA has 21 frets with black dot markings. The neck radius comes to 13.8” while the scale length on the guitar is 25.5” long. Finally, the nut on the guitar is made of plastic and has a width of 1.654”.
  • Metals
    The deluxe chrome bridge on the TE-52 NA looks like something you’re bound to find on a Tele and is shaped to mimic an ashtray-style bridge with slightly less depth. The saddles are staggered for setting the intonation and string action. The guitar also features 6 in-line Kluson style machine heads threaded with 10-gauge (0.010 – 0.046) strings. In addition, the neck has a truss rod installed which can be set through the adjustment hole on the headstock.
  • Mechanics
    Roswell is Harley Benton’s brand that offers pickups for these budget guitars. On the TE-52 NA, you’ll find 2 Roswell Tea Alnico 5 tele-style pickups of the single coil variety. Also on board is the control strip that includes a master volume and a tone knob followed by a 3-way selector switch for selecting different pickup combinations.
  • Character & Sound
    The pickups are nice-sounding and respond well to clean tones and distortion. The pickups are also highly responsive to the tone control and the pickup selector, which may or may not be the case with cheaper guitars. The caramelized maple gives the guitar good resonance. The highs can be nice and tinny, like on most Telecasters, with reasonable definition and clarity in the mids and lower end.

Pros:

This affordable guitar could be suitable if you’re just learning to play and don’t know if you’ll go the distance. The pickups sound good and provide decent articulation for different playing styles and music genres.

You can experiment with the pickup selector to really bring out some character in the sound, like sparkly tones for country-style playing or more warm tones for something like jazz.

Cons: 

As with such an affordable guitar, the fretwork is rather poor, with polish issues and sharp edges sticking out. In addition, the TE-52 NA’s body is quite thick, so you may find it heavy and uncomfortable while playing standing up.

The guitar will require some setup before you can start playing it properly. There are other imperfections, too, like the tuners seem to lack stability. You may find other guitars with better quality at the same price point.

8. Ibanez AS53-TKF Artcore

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The AS53-TKF Artcore from Ibanez is a guitar with a lot to offer at a relatively low price point.

Ibanez is known to deliver quality instruments to musicians worldwide thanks to their impeccable quality control, great electronics, and exceptional creativity. No wonder it’s easy to gravitate towards the Ibanez section when visiting your favorite guitar store.

While the Gio line from Ibanez caters to beginner-level musicians and is associated with more economical instruments, you’ll also find some other Ibanez guitars that give you great value for money in a budget package.

Key Features:

  • Body
    The Ibanez AS53-TKF Artcore is another semi-hollow guitar on today’s list. The great thing about these hollow guitars is that their chambered bodies offer substantial weight reduction, so you don’t get tired during longer jam sessions. The AS53-TKF has a double cutaway design with two “F” whole openings. The body is made of Sapele, a popular tonewood used in constructing acoustic and semi-hollow guitars because of its fine grain and sound characteristics. The guitar comes in three satin finishes, including the Sunburst Red Flat, Tobacco Flat, and Transparent Black Flat.
  • Fingerboard
    Also referred to as nato or easter mahogany, the AS53-TKF neck is made of nyatoh, a cheaper alternative to mahogany. The guitar has a glued-on set neck so you won’t find any bolted neck plate on the back. The fingerboard is made of walnut with 22 medium frets marked with white dot inlays. Furthermore, the AS53-TKF offers a scale length of 24.7” and a radius of 12”. The neck has a 1.692” nut made of plastic. Another great feature of the AS53-TKF is that you can easily make truss rod adjustments by sliding the truss rod cover, which makes things easier compared to screwed-on covers. Finally, the headstock displays the “Ibanez” logo with a funky-looking crest, giving the instrument a high-end look.
  • Hardware
    The AS53-TKF comes with a Gibraltar Performer Bridge, almost identical to the Tune-o-Matic bridge you find on Gibson/Epiphone guitars, with 6 individual saddles for setting the intonation. The bridge is paired with a Quick-Change III Tailpiece that resembles a Stopbar Tailpiece but with 6 string ridges at the top. The headstock features 6 Ibanez Die-Cast tuning machines arranged in a 3 by 3 formation. Finally, the guitar comes with 10-gauge strings ranging from 0.010 to 0.052 inches.
  • Pickups
    When it comes to electronics, the AS53-TKF sports 2 Infinity R Ceramic Humbucking pickups, one for the bridge and the other for the neck. To control the pickups, you can adjust the master volume and master tone knobs. You’ll also find a 3-way switch on the instrument to try different pickup combinations according to the requirement.
  • Character & Sound
    The feedback issue is a common problem when semi-hollow guitars are paired with gain. The good thing about the Infinity R humbuckers is that they suppress noise and control feedback exceptionally well. The guitar’s nyatoh neck is rather tame and offers a flat response, but the sapele body delivers great sustain and warmth, further enhanced by the creamy warm tones emanating from the pickups. As you would imagine, the hollow body is full of resonance and produces some immersive sounds that can not be experienced with solid-body guitars. If you cut back on the tone knob to quell the higher frequencies, the guitar becomes ideally suited for some jazz soloing. However, all in all, the guitar manages any kind of music genre reasonably well.

Pros:

As far as hollow-body guitars go, the AS53-TKF is incredibly affordable and gets you very close to sounding like some of the more expensive instruments. The pickups can produce diverse sounds, and the body construction offers great resonance.

Another advantage associated with such an instrument is that it acts like a slightly quieter acoustic guitar, so you can always play it unplugged if you’re on the move when an idea hits you and there’s no amp in sight.

Cons: 

The AS53-TKF’s frets may have sharp edges, so you’ll have to try sanding them down or pay the extra cost for a luthier to do it for you. There are also some fret polish issues, so your string bends won’t be so smooth till this problem is addressed.

Also, tuners are not the best, as they lack stability. After a few bluesy bends, you’ll find yourself fiddling with the machine heads to fix the tuning, so you may have to replace them with better ones.

9. Squier Bullet Strat HSS

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While Squier is a cheaper alternative to Fender, the bullet series is Squier’s most affordable range.

It’s always good not to invest too much when you’re an aspiring musician looking to get into guitar playing. If that is the case with you, the Squier Bullet Strat HSS could be the ideal choice for you to get started.

The guitar looks good and offers a reasonable range of tones which you can achieve by manipulating the different controls and trying different pickup combinations. However, once you get the hang of things, you may want to move on to something more high-end.

Key Features:

  • Body
    The guitar has a Strat-shaped basswood body with a gloss finish. The Bullet Strat has several color options, including Black, White, and Sunburst. Each color variation has a white-colored single-ply pickguard. The cutaway design doesn’t get in the way when you wish to access the last few frets.
  • Neck
    The neck has maple on the back and an Indian laurel fretboard. The Bullet Strat has a plastic nut with a width of 1.654”. The C profile neck offers comfort and ease of use for beginner-level musicians. The scale length on the Bullet Strat comes to 25.5” with a neck radius of 9.5”. The neck is also fitted with a truss rod which can be accessed from the adjustment hole on the headstock. Finally, the Bullet Strat offers 21 medium frets with white dot inlays.
  • Hardware
    The Squier Bullet Strat HSS has 6 in-line die-cast Squier tuners on the headstock. In addition, the instrument has a 6-point hardtail bridge which is supposed to provide good tuning stability and sustain. Finally, the guitar comes with 9-gauge Fender Super 250 strings, which are easier to bend and feel easier to play for beginner-level guitar players.
  • Electronics
    The guitar has an HSS pickup configuration and offers Standard Single Coil Strat pickups for the neck and middle position. In addition, the Bullet Strat comes with a Standard Strat Humbucker for the bridge position. The guitar sports one master volume and two tone knobs in terms of controls. The first tone knob applies changes to the neck pickup, while the second tone knob is for cutting and boosting the frequency response of the middle pickup. The Bullet Strat also has the usual 5-way selector that’s found on standard Stratocasters for activating different pickup configurations.
  • How it sounds
    The neck and middle pickups are nice and warm, with good bass and mid tones articulation. The bridge humbucker has more juice and response than the single coils and gives way to impressively bright treble sounds. Position 2 combines single coils to give a decent twangy tone for country-style playing. The basswood body contributes to the warmth in the sound and decent articulation of the mid-ranges.

Pros:

The Squier Bullet Strat HSS is an extremely affordable instrument. The guitar seems like a good starting point for beginner-level musicians and is targeted as such. The neck profile is easy to get used to for younger musicians.

The pickups are decent and responsive, getting you close to creating sounds associated with a Strat-style instrument. Being lightweight, you’ll be playing the Squier Bullet Strat for hours.

Cons: 

As with many budget guitars, you will have to spend time setting this one up properlyThe tuners are not the best, so you may replace them. The frets feel slightly sharp and may need to be sanded down.

The control knobs seem cheap, and so does the pickup selector. Furthermore, the single-coil pickups are quite noisy. However, some of these issues might be overlooked, considering what you’re paying for the guitar.

10. Yamaha Pacifica 112J

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The Pacifica series from Yamaha has been around in some shape and form since the 1990s.

By and large, the Pacifica line of guitars is shaped like the ever-popular Stratocaster or modeled to resemble Telecasters. However, they all differ in the choice of tonewood, neck options, pickups, and price.

Although targeted towards beginner-level guitar players, the Pacifica is no slouch in terms of its features and tonal capabilities. Combine that with the array of colors and finishes on offer, and you have an axe that looks great and rocks equally harder.

Key Features:

  • Body Construction
    The Yamaha Pacifica 112J has a solid body design that looks very close to the Stratocaster design but with sharper cutaway corners and wider curves. The Pacifica’s body is made of alder, which is a balanced mid-weight wood. The guitar is cleverly contoured for comfort and to provide a balanced alignment when playing standing up. The Pacifica 112J comes in a gloss polyurethane finish and has several color options like Metallic Red, Natural, and Old Violin Sunburst. Each variation employs a white pickguard that looks good in contrast.
  • Neck
    The Pacifica 112J has a “C” shaped neck profile. The neck itself is made of a maple back and a rosewood fingerboard. You’ll get 22 mediums sized frets on the 112J with dot fret markings. The neck also sports a urea nut-like plastic which has better resistance to nut erosion caused by the strings. The nut’s width measures 1.614”, while the neck radius comes 13.75”. Finally, the scale length on the Yamaha Pacifica is 25.5” long.
  • Hardware
    The Yamaha Pacifica 112J has 6 in-line Yamaha Die-cast Sealed machine heads. The bridge is a standard vintage-style tremolo system connected to the body with 6 screws. The individual saddles can be lowered or raised to adjust the action or moved back and forth to get the intonation just right. The Pacifica 112J comes fitted with 9-gauge (0.009 – 0.042) D’Addario strings.
  • Sound controls
    If you want a Strat-style guitar with an HSS pickup formation, the Yamaha Pacifica has what you’re looking for. The guitar is equipped with Yamaha Ceramic Single Coils for the neck and middle position and uses a Yamaha Ceramic Humbucker near the neck. The 5-way selector gives you different options when selecting pickup variations, and the other controls include a master volume and tone knob.
  • Character & Sound
    The clean tones sound warm and soft with great articulation when fingerpicking arpeggiated patterns, thanks to the rosewood fingerboard. The alder wood gives the Pacifica 112J tonal clarity with an upper mid-range that shines through nicely. The 5 pickup configurations each possess unique characteristics making the Pacifica a guitar well-suited for any type of guitar work. The neck pickup is mellow, the bridge humbucker is much brighter and more powerful, and everything in between sounds great, especially position 2.

Pros:

The Yamaha Pacifica is a great beginner guitar with all the necessary controls and pickup combinations you could want when you’re starting. Yamaha also offers a wide range of colors to suit your personality.

At this price point, Yamaha uses some of the best materials for the Pacifica’s construction to ensure you get good value for your hard-earned money. This is evident from the fact that the guitar feels good and is fun to play.

Cons: 

Some aspects of the Yamaha Pacifica lack attention to detail, like the bridge screws that may feel sharp and dig into the palm a little bit. You’ll probably also think about changing the tuners if you plan to play some aggressive double stops on your Pacifica.

Some users have also experienced problems with the flimsy input jack on their Yamaha Pacificas.

11. Fender Player Series Telecaster

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Another iconic instrument from the Fender Player Series range is the infamous Telecaster guitar.

If you’re in the market for a multifunctional Telecaster that gets you unbelievably close to sounding like an expensive Tele from the Fender American line without denting your savings, you won’t find a better alternative than the Player Series Telecaster.

Over the years, I’ve owned several Player Series guitars, and I can tell you that the build quality is second to none, and if you don’t look down on the headstock, you can easily fool yourself into believing that you’re playing an actual American Tele.

Key Features:

  • Neck
    The Fender Player Series Tele has C shaped neck profile which is very easy to get used to. Fender has been very generous in delivering its made-in-Mexico Player Series. Not only do you get truckloads of color options to choose from, but you’ll also be able to pick from a range of fingerboards. In all the variants, the neck is made of maple. However, you can choose maple, pau ferro, and roasted maple fingerboards. The Player Tele has a 9.5” radius with a 25.5” scale length. Much like the Strat, the Telecaster has a synthetic bone nut 1.65” wide. The neck offers 22 medium jumbo frets made of polished nickel. Each neck variation has black dot inlays. Having a bolt-on design, the neck is connected to the body with a 4 bolt neckplate that features the “F” logo giving the Tele the look of a more expensive Fender instrument. The headstock exhibits the Fender “Spaghetti” logo with the word “Telecaster” next to it.
  • Body
    The Player Series Tele comes in mesmerizing color options, including 3-Tone Burst, Black, Butterscotch Blonde, Capri Orange, Polar White, Sienna Sunburst, and Tidepool. So, you’ll surely find a guitar that suits your personality when you choose to buy a Player Tele. Each color variation comes with an alder body and a gloss polyurethane finish. In addition, no Tele is complete without a pickguard which is why each variant comes with a white 3-ply pickguard except the Black and Butterscotch Blonde body finishes, which are adorned with black ones. Finally, the body has a string-through design, so you’ll be able to easily thread your strings from the back of the instrument.
  • Pickups
    On the Player Series Telecaster, you’ll find two Player Series Alnico 5 Telecaster Single Coils. As seen on all Fender Tele guitars, you get one master volume and one tone control shared by both single-coil pickups. The selector switch on the guitar has three settings. The first one selects the neck pickup, the second combines both pickups, and lastly, the third position activates the bridge pickup.
  • Hardware
    The guitar has a 6-saddle bridge with block steel saddles. Having individual saddles is always a good feature to have when it comes to setting the action and intonation of the strings. Another good thing that adds to the comfort is that the bridge isn’t raised from the sides like in typical ashtray bridges. The Telecaster also features Fender’s standard die-cast/sealed machine heads set in-line on the headstock. In addition, the Player Series Tele comes with 9-gauge (0.009 – 0.042) strings.
  • Character & Sound
    Over time Fender has enhanced the quality of their neck pickup on the Player Series Telecasters, which means now it sounds much more robust and responsive. In addition, the neck pickup is warm and eloquent if you’re not a fan of too much brightness. Combine the two pickups, and you’ll have the perfect blend for playing some funk tones. Finally, if you want to push out some blindingly bright tones, the solo bridge pickup will get you there with no problem. Furthermore, the alder body compliments the characteristics of the pickups quite well.

Pros:

The Player Series Telecaster offers a barrage of neck-tone woods (regular maple, roaster maple, pau ferro) and body finishes so you can choose the ideal instrument for yourself and look good on stage. 

The pickups, while tight and punchy, can also be warm and subtle if necessary. In addition, the build quality is great, and the satin finish on the neck provides an extremely smooth playing experience.

Cons: 

If you’re a blues player, you might prefer a slightly thicker neck on the Player Series Telecaster. The thicker neck would also be beneficial if you wanted to show off some slide guitar techniques.

Unfortunately, the tuners are average and may not hold tuning perfectly. Also, some perfectionists may prefer a bridge that offers bent steel saddles when it comes to the bridge.

12. Harley Benton ST-20HSS SBK Standard Series

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Here’s another guitar from the jaw-droppingly low-priced Harley Benton range.

The ST-20HSS SBK Standard Series from Harley Benton is a Strat Style guitar under $100. It’s easy to dismiss guitars priced so low as cheap and worthless, but you should stick around as this Strat may impress you.

Once again, you can get a good idea of how this guitar will sound in different genres by visiting its page on the Thomann website, where you’ll be treated to some sound samples to showcase the instrument’s capabilities.

Key Features:

  • The Look
    The “ST” in the ST-20HSS SBK stands for Stratocaster, so that’s the body shape the guitar recreates. The ST-20HSS SBK has a beautiful matte black finish which looks quite good. Also on the body is a rather stylish-looking pearloid pickguard which enhances the overall look. The ST-20 series has several body finishes that you can choose from, including Black High Gloss, White High Gloss, Candy Apple Red, and 3-Tone Sunburst. The ST-20 comes in a model with dual active humbuckers too. The guitar has a plate on the back to thread through the strings and adjusts the spring tension on the bridge.
  • The Neck
    The ST-20 comes with a bolt-on neck made of maple. The fingerboard is amaranth and supports 22 medium frets with dot inlays. Amaranth or purpleheart is a much harder wood and has become a popular choice for use in guitar necks of late. The ST-20’s neck offers a modern C profile, much like some of the Player Series Strats. The neck has a plastic nut installed on it which is 1.654” wide. The scale length on the guitar is 25.5” while the neck has a radius of 12”. Finally, the headstock sports the text “Harley Benton Standard Series” on it next to the “HB” logo. This is where you’ll also find an access hole to adjust the truss rod. A unique feature of the neck on the ST-20 is that it uses a double-action truss rod so that you can adjust the curvature of different neck sections according to preference.
  • Hardware
    The ST-20HSS SBK Standard uses 6 die-cast tuning heads arranged in-line on the headstock. The guitar has a Strat-style 6-point bridge with individual saddles for fine-tuning your action and intonation. In addition, the ST-20 has a matt black boat-style input for the guitar cable insertion. The Strat comes with 9-gauge strings (0.009 – 0.042).
  • Electronics
    The ST-20HSS SBK has a humbucker near the bridge and two single coils for the neck and middle position. To control the pickups, the guitar makes use of a master volume and two-tone controls. Lastly, the selector switch can select all three pickups individually and combine a couple of them on either side.
  • Character & Sound
    The guitar has something to offer for every kind of guitar player. The pickups produce powerful rock sounds, gentle blues tones, and subtle jazz nuances. The humbucker is bright, with enough power to make those pinch harmonics squeal. Adding a little crunch to the neck and bridge, single coils deliver presence and clarity on those classy blues riffs you like grooving to. All in all, the ST-20HSS is a multitasking axe.

Pros:

Surprising to see how well the pickups on such an inexpensive guitar come to life to do justice to almost any fathomable music genre. The fretwork is good, and the tuners hold tuning well as long as you stay away from the whammy bar.

The guitar itself is quite light and easy to play for extended gigs. The general body construction seems to be good, and several finishes are available. The C profile neck is easy to wrap your hand around and play fast.

Cons: 

While useful, a double-action truss rod requires some skill to adjust, or you may permanently damage the neck. It is better to have it looked at by a trained professional, which will cost you.

The frets will require some buffing to improve the playability and make those string bends become smoother. Also, don’t expect the tuners to maintain their tuning after harsh dive bombs. You’ll be better off avoiding the whammy altogether.

How To Choose Electric Guitar For Your Needs

We need to consider a few important aspects when buying an electric guitar. Firstly, which genre of music will you create using the guitar? This particular question has further subdivisions.

Deciding the type of pickups could be one way to go about it. For example, a country/blues player would target a Strat or a Tele because of the sparkly single-coil pickups. On the other hand, a thrash/progressive metal guitar player would deviate towards active pickups because of their high output and noise reduction.

The next thing to look into could be the neck profile and radius. Les Pauls, for instance, have thick baseball bat-type necks, whereas Superstrats have slimmer necks with a high or compound radius.

Most shredders prefer their guitars to be loaded with a Floyd Rose floating bridge for extreme dive bombs and guaranteed solid tuning stability. However, players who prefer using the bridge for gentle vibrato and nothing too extreme would go for a standard six-screw tremolo system.

However, many progressive rock and metal guitar players have shifted to fixed bridges for tuning stability and maximum resonance. As a result, you’re sure to find guitar players with some EMG-equipped active and passive axes in this genre.

The type of wood used in the body construction also greatly matters to guitar players. Some tone woods offer a warmer tone, while others have a flatter response over the frequency spectrum. Denser wood, like rosewood, offers great warmth but makes the guitar heavier.

Once you’ve gone through your checklist, it’s time to list the guitars that fall under your criteria and do a nice long internet search to find out which stores have them in stock. Going out for guitar shopping can be the most exhilarating experience of a guitarist’s life.

When you overcome the adrenaline rush of holding the guitar you selected for the first time, you must gather your wits and check it through and through. You must make sure that visually, the guitar looks perfect and doesn’t have any scratches, dings, or finishing flaws.

Make sure you run your fingers over all the frets and check for buzzing. You’ll also need to look down the neck to ensure it is perfectly straight. Checking if the string action is perfect for you is essential.

Lastly, and this might be your favorite part, it’s time to play that favorite guitar of yours. Double check the working of all control knobs and see if the pickup selector does what it should. Also, check with yourself if this was the sound you were after.

In reality, you are the most important piece of the puzzle. Therefore, it would be best to pinpoint your style of playing, preferred genre, the sound you’re after, and of course, your budget. Answering all these questions will put you on the right track to selecting the most suitable instrument for yourself.

So, without further ado, let’s jump right into the mix and take a look at some of the best guitars under the $1,000 mark.

 
Guitar
Neck & Body
Pickups & Controls
Strengths 
Weaknesses
Fender Player Series Strat
C profile maple neck, maple fingerboard, alder body with glossy poyurethane finish
3 single-coil Alnico V Strat pickups, 1 volume, 2 tone controls, 5 way selector switch
Bright pickups ideal for any genre, good build quality, economical price
Stock tuners don’t hold tuning well
Squier CV 60s Thinline Tele MN
C profile maple neck, maple fingerboard, hollow body made of eastern mahognay with glossy polyurethane finish
2 single-col Alnico pickups, 1 volume, 1 tone, 3 way selector switch
Delivers class 60s Tele sound, light chambered body with lots of resonant warmth
Tuning issues, frets may be sharp and uneven
Ibanez Gio GRG121DX
GRG shaped maple neck, purpleheart fingerboard, poplar body with glossy polyurethane finish
2 IBZ-6 Ceramic Humbucking pickups, 1 volume, 1 tone, 5 way selector switch enables coil splits
Good build quality, smooth frets with rolled edges, requires little setup, pick ups with coil splitting
Fixed bridge so no room for whammy tricks, pickups need more juice
Epiphone Firebird
C profile, 9-ply mahogany & walnut neck, Indian laurel fingerboard, neck through design, mahogany body
2 ProBucker FB720 humbuckers, 2 volumes, 2 tones, 3 way selector switch 
Pickups are articulate and clear, can produce decent crunch and clean tones by dialing back on controls
Expansive body, chunky neck, hard to find a case for this shape
Schecter PT
C profile, maple neck, maple fingerboard, swamp ash body with semi gloss finish
Schecter Diamond V-90 neck pickup, Diamond VT-1 bridge pickup, 1 volume, 1 tone (push/pull for series), 3 way selector
Great sounding pickups, quality build, solid controls, good fretwork, tuning stability
Unreliable bridge screws, challenge to reach last frets due to lack of contoured neck
Harley Benton TE-52 NA Vintage Series
C profile, caramelized canadian maple neck and fretboard, American ash body, natuaral high gloss finish
2 Roswell Tea Alnico 5 tele-style single coil pickups, 1 volume, 1 tone, 3 way selector 
Affordable guitar, decent pickups, good for beginners
Sharp & unpolished frets, chunky & heave body mediocre tuners
Ibanez AS53-TKF Artcore
nyota neck, walnut fingerboard, semi hollow sapele body, satin finish
2 Infinity R Ceramic Humbucking pickups, 1 volume, 1 tone, 3 way selector 
Resonant body, responsive pickups, affordable guitar, can be played unplugged
Sharp & unpolished frets, tuners problems
Squier Bullet Strat HSS
C profile, maple neck, Indian laurel fingerboard, basswood body with gloss finish
HSS configuration, 2 standard single coils, 1 standard humbucker, 1 volume, 2 tone, 5 way selector
Good for beginners, affordable, lightweight, picks produce decent strat tones
Tuning issues, frets are sharp, cheap feeling controls, single coils are noisy
Yamaha Pacifica 112J
C profile, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, alder body, gloss finish
HSS configuration, 2 Yamaha Ceramic Single Coils , 1 Yamaha Ceramic Humbucker, 1 volume, 1 tone, 5 way selector
Good for beginners, affordable, many finishes available, picks produce decent strat tones
Tuning issues, sharp bridge screws, cheap/flimsy input jack
Fender Player Series Telecaster
C profile, maple neck, multiple fingerboard options, alder body, wide array of colors
2 Player Series Alnico 5 Telecaster Single Coils, 1 volume, 1 tone, 3 way selector
Most number of freatboad and color options, great sparkly pickups, good build quality
Average tuners, some blues player may prefer thicker neck
Harley Benton ST-20HSS SBK Standard Series
maple neck, amaranth fingerboard, C profile, basswood body, several finish options
HSS configuration, 1 volume, 2 tone, 3 way selector
Inexpensive guitar, pickups sound good, many finishes and colors, good build quality, light
Tuning issues, uneven polish work on frets,complicated dual truss rod adjustments

Conclusion

So, you know that even guitars under the 1,000 dollar mark can deliver amazing value. Furthermore, with relative ease, you can narrow down which guitar is the best for you based on your existing collection, playing style, and tonal preferences.

If you’re looking for a decent hollow-body guitar for playing some jazz, you could consider the Ibanez AS53-TKF Artcore and Squier Thinline Tele. The Player Series Strat/Tele can handle most genres but are particularly suited for jazz, blues, and funk music.

Every guitar arsenal needs a few beater guitars, which sound decent but can also be carelessly lugged around anywhere without worrying about a few bumps, dings, and scratches. The Harley Bentons, Squier Bullet Strat, Yamaha Pacifica, and Ibanez GRG121DX all fit the bill for this purpose.

The multifunctional Schecter PT and Epiphone Firebird can be ideal for casual noodling when in your studio trying to write songs or can make you look good when performing on stage. But if heavy metal is your forte, the ESP LTD EC-256 will rock out like no other.

Or better yet, why don’t you just put your foot down and get all the guitars on the list? As you all know, there’s no such thing as too many guitars. The more, the merrier.

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