Good beginner electric guitars

There's already an acoustic thread, so here we go with the plugged version.

I'm going to start by saying don't buy a cheap guitar just because it's cheap. A lot of times they won't stay in tune or have other intonation problems, or sometimes they just sound like ass in general. But sometimes you can get a really good deal if you look around hard enough.

Feel free to give opinions or ask questions about guitars to suit your style, but I'm gonna start by asking how the quality/durability/playability compares between entry level (less than $500) Jackson/Ibanez/Ltd. (ESP) guitars.

Also, my first guitar was a Washburn Strat copy with a bridge humbucker. I gave $180 for it, decent sound, good quality, very versatile, one of the most versatile guitars I've ever played. But I had to sell it :(

This is a complicated question.We have to establish some criteria for the "beginner" making the purchase.For Mom and Dad buying a guitar for their kid who has just expressed an interest in becoming a future rock star but really has nothing more than enthusiasm going for him or her, the best bang for the buck is probably one of the "starter" kits available at large retailers like Guitar Center.Fender has a Squire series guitar(Chinese or Indonesian made),a 15 Watt amp,cable,strap,tuner,etc. all in one easy to wrap box.I think it runs $280ish.There is also a $199.00 set up,but I haven't seen it.If the kid gives up, you're not out much cash and it's garage sale fodder.Then maybe we have a young fella who has played sax and/or piano when younger and wants to branch out into doing something that just might get him laid. He has a bit more cash and wants to get a really crunchy sound. He could get a $299 Schecter Omen guitar and a Crate DXB 112 amp for $199.Next we have a guy with a job who wants to get something better in both an amp and a guitar. His priorities are classic tone and look, with his favorite players being SRV,Billy Gibbons,and Bon Jovi guitarist/Heather Locklear love slave Ritchie Samboro. For him I might suggest a Fender Standard Fat Strat(Mexican made)Which has a dual coil humbucker in the bridge position for the fatter ZZ Top and rock tones. Match it up with a small tube amp like a Fender Blues Jr. and you're ready.

Gotta go. I'll add more later.

I have a Korean made Schecter C-1 Elite. Looks like the guitar pictured:Very nice guitar for about $600.00. I installed EMG pickups because I wanted a certain sound out of this guitar but the stock Duncan Designed pickups were good sounding pickups.

I bought a Fender Squire Strat as my first electric...I played it for
about four years until it fell apart, but I think it was a good
starter. It sounded and played great.

Danelectros and cheap and sound and play great too...right now
that's my main electric.

RX, is that Crate DBX 112 as in, 100 watts to a 12" speaker for $199? And it sounds really crunchy? I may have to check that out.

No Joey, but close. I think it's 60 watts and 1x12 speaker, but the cool thing is that it has 12 digital amp models,so it makes a bunch of sounds. I think it's discontinued, but if you can find one it's a screamin deal. But then most all Crate amps sound OK and give you a lot of watts and features for the money. They just aren't usually the best at any one sound.

Ok since we are talking about electrics I have a question. I have an epiphone 12 string acoustic guitar. I got it on sale for 130. the non sale price was 199. It is just an acoustic but I want to turn it into an electric acoustic, what is a good pick up to buy for it? Or shoudl i just get an electric acoustic and not worry about transforming this one?

Since you got a goon price on it, I would recommend a Fishman Acoustic Matrix pickup for it. You can get one for about what you paid for the guitar(139.00 list price, street price $110.00-120.00), and installation should be around $50-70 depending on who is doing it and any special factors with your guitar.

It takes a 9V battery to run, but it lasts for many months on one battery and sounds so much better than non-powered pickups that it is well worth it.

Right now I'm looking hardest at this Ibanez GSA60 for $205:
and this ESP Ltd. H-202 for $250:

If you intend to engage in any tremolo hijinks, make sure you get a guitar with a locking nut or you will be forever dragging strings back and forth across the nut.

Between those, I would recommend the ESP. As Ponyboy mentioned, a tremolo bridge like the one on the Ibanez just goes out of tune so much that it is hardly worth the effort, and a pain in the ass for the beginner.

Those ESPs look nice for the price. The LTDs are built in Korea,and the quality control looks pretty good, so it's probably a safe bet.

My first guitar had a trem w/out a locking nut, I put some Fender Bullets on it and they helped a lot, but finally I just started pre-bending and releasing for a close enough trem effect.

Yeah, the ESP is probably the most beautiful guitar I've ever seen for that money.

They had some Washburns on sale, their version of a Les Paul for $300 (list $900) and those NX3s for $300 ($1000), but the NX3 was ugly as hell.

Peavey makes some very nice guitars. Good choice.

What about the Behringer V-Tone Guitar Pack at

"The V-Tone kit has everything an aspiring guitar player/enthusiast needs to start playing electric guitar.
The pack contains an extremely playable double cutaway with 3 single-coil pickups,5-way switching,and vintage vibrato bridge and a 22-fret maple neck.
The 15W modeling amp provides 3 classic guitar amp models,3 speaker simulations,3 gain modes,and an 8" speaker.
Also includes a cable,strap,3 picks,lesson book,amp manual,and padded gig bag.


Double cutaway guitar

15W modeling guitar amp



3 picks

Lesson book

Amp manual

Padded gig bag"

Is this decent for the price?

Um, decent for the price? Sure. The guitar is no doubt a rock bottom model and the amp pretty weak, but hell, for $100.00 you're playing guitar(maybe even in tune!).

OK for a kid that might not keep at it, or and adult that just wants to get their feet wet and minimize their investment. At that price level though, you might look into used stuff. Maybe somebody's more expensive guitar pack they got last Christmas and didn't play. You might end up with more guitar that way. ;)

if you're looking for an entry level, Fender Squire and ESP LTD series are hard to beat. Forget ibanez. The cheap ones are junk. cheap jacksons suck too.

My fist electric was a "Fame" "mastercaster", a cheap ripoff of the telecaster. It was perfect for my needs, a guy I knew who played said he thought it had a great sound for the money....I'm not convinced. Not sure if they even make them anymore.

16 years later I'm a beginner again and I bought that Jackson I made a post about earlier. I won't outgrow it anytime soon.

quick ? for you Racer X.

What does the "duncan designed" mean (sorry if its a dumb question) but I did notice that was written on the schecters. Does it mean that it copies the design of Seymore Duncan or is it actually from Seymore duncan. I played a Schecter Devil, and it sounded pretty darn good. Not to mention it looks cool as heck.

"Duncan Designed" just means that they are Seymour Duncan specs and Korean manufacturing. Good stuff in my experience.

The only dumb question is the one you don't ask.