Another Step Up, Another Guitar

Buying a new instrument can be tough. There is so much to think about, what color do you want it to be? What brand? What kind of tone do you want it to have? And so much more. It can bring a lot of stress and anxiety. Making a choice for your long lasting partner is especially hard when you are on a budget. You looked at thousands options but each one lacks some of the qualities that you are looking for. No need to worry, we are here to show you the list of Best Electric Guitars Under 500 and give you some good tips as we have looked into this matter in deepest way possible. Here goes the list:

Top 10 Best Electric Guitars Under 500

#ImageGuitar Model
Rating
Check Price
1ESP LTD EC256FM4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)Check on Amazon
2
Epiphone G-400 Pro4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)Check on Amazon
3Gretsch G5230T Electromatic Jet FT4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)Check on Amazon
4Fender Duo-Sonic HS4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)Check on Amazon
5Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 60's Stratocaster4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)Check on Amazon
6Yamaha Revstar RS3204.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)Check on Amazon
7Dean Michael Angelo Batio MAB4 Gauntlet4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)Check on Amazon
8Schecter 443 C-6 Plus4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)Check on Amazon
9ESP LTD MH‌-100QMNT4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)Check on Amazon
10Ibanez JEMJRWH Steve Vai Signature4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)Check on Amazon

ESP LTD EC256FM

Build Quality:4.9 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.9 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.9 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.9 out of 5 stars
Value:4.9 out of 5 stars
Average:4.9 out of 5 stars

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Full Review

ESP LTD EC256FM

This vintage looking guitar ESP LTD EC256FM is very popular among best $500 electric guitars. The instrument has variety of colors – black, lemon drop, dark brown sunburst, cherry sunburst – that will cater to all tastes. It has a Mahogany Body with a Flamed Maple Top, Mahogany Set-Neck and Rosewood Fingerboard, with 22 jumbo frets that will allow you to play smoothly for a long time. The guitar is equipped with TOM Bridge & Tailpiece. With its great-sounding ESP Designed LH-150 pickups and individual volume controls, as well as a tone knob with a push-pull control – you will be able to split the pickups. It has a really nice tone, versatile in regards to different genres of music. ESP LTD EC256FM will definitely amaze you with its quality in relation to the price.

Pros:

  • Great Sound
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Slight String Buzz

Epiphone G-400 Pro

Build Quality:4.8 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.8 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.8 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.9 out of 5 stars
Value:4.9 out of 5 stars
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars

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Full Review

Epiphone G-400 Pro

This Epiphone SG-400 Pro honors the historic SG s with its beautiful design. It is available in two colors – cherry red and ebony. You can say without a doubt that this instrument is a beast! It has a big power, rocking sound and merciless sustain. Epiphone G-400 Pro features Alnico Classic PRO pickups and push/pull coil-tapping. It has Mahogany body and Mahogany set-neck with Rosewood fingerboard and Trapezoid inlays. It is very light and will let you practice for hours without getting tired. If you are looking for a powerful instrument to play heavy style-Epiphone G-400 Pro might be perfect for you. This will be definitely an excellent buy.

Pros:

  • Interesting Design
  • Great Sound
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • A little heavy

Gretsch G5230T Electromatic Jet FT

Build Quality:4.8 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.8 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.8 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.7 out of 5 stars
Value:4.8 out of 5 stars
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars

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Brands such as Gretsch offer so much even with their affordable guitars that it becomes really easy to make up your mind. Their axes speak for themselves – to be more precise, their specs do so. Their Electromatic G5230T Jet FT proves that it’s capable with its looks and features. The color selection is pretty wide here: you can choose Airline Silver, Aleutian Blue, Black or Firebird Red. No matter which one you navigate towards, it’s a sure thing that they will look great. You’ll see the brands name a couple of times throughout the body, which adds even more character for some reason. When it comes to specs, we’re dealing with a glossy, chambered mahogany body, set-in mahogany neck and 12” black walnut fingerboard. Neck and bridge, both feature Black Top Filter’Tron pickups. They both have individual volume controls, which makes the tonal adjustments even more precise. Of course, there’s also a three-way toggle switch that enables you to choose the desired pickup combination. G5230T Jet FT has everything you could wish for and even more. If it weren’t for a couple of flaws, this bad boy would definitely be the best electric guitar in its price range.

Pros:

  • Decent build quality
  • Eye-pleasing color selection
  • Amazing pickups

Cons:

  • Could have had better tuners
  • Not perfectly stable

Fender Duo-Sonic HS

Build Quality:4.8 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.8 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.7 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.8 out of 5 stars
Value:4.7 out of 5 stars
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars

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Guitars, and musical gear in general, gain even more significance as the time goes by. If they were great at the time of their production, years later they become legendary. We keep coming back to the legacy of the past, because it never lets us down. When Fender produced their Duo-Sonic back in 1956, they marketed it as a student guitar. Though they have made a couple of adjustments, the very essence of the instrument has remained the same. Duo-Sonic HS is a newer, and more affordable version of the original. It has a 24” scale, c-shaped maple neck, which makes it really comfortable to play. It has two pickups, Duo-Sonic single-coil on the neck and Duo Sonic humbucker on the bridge. The latter has a coil-splitting feature, which is always an amazing addition to any guitar. It’s really hard to find faults with Duo-Sonic HS, as it is virtually perfect. If we were nitpicking, we could say that you might notice a significant difference in the volume of single-coil and humbucker (that’s usually a case but not to such an extent). Still, this bad boy is really hard to beat!

Pros:

  • Virtually faultless
  • Rich and well-defined sound
  • Could rival with more expensive models

Cons:

  • The single-coil pickup is significantly quieter than humbucker

Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 60’s Stratocaster

Build Quality:4.7 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.7 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.7 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.7 out of 5 stars
Value:4.7 out of 5 stars
Average:4.7 out of 5 stars

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Full Review

Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 60_s Stratocaster

Squier by Fender Classic Vibe 60’s Stratocaster delivers that special sixties vibes without a doubt. It has some new elements as well, so seems like modern and vintage styles have collided in this edition of Stratocaster family. It comes in four different colors: 2 color sunburst, 3 color sunburst, Sherwood green metallic and burgundy mist. The instrument has an alder body, rosewood fingerboard, vintage-tint gloss maple neck with 21 medium jumbo frets. This guitar is light and comfortable. Its sound is amazing, thick and powerful. It holds in tune very nicely. It is not too light but not heavy as well. This guitar will leave you surprised with its high quality and good tone, especially if you keep in mind the price.

Pros:

  • Vintage Feel
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Slight String Buzz

Yamaha Revstar RS320

Build Quality:4.6 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.6 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.6 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.6 out of 5 stars
Value:4.7 out of 5 stars
Average:4.6 out of 5 stars

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Full Review

Yamaha Revstar RS320

Yamaha Revstar RS320 is available in 14 different colors -black, red, yellow, blue, green and so many more. Just have a look at its stunning design. Every detail in this instrument is a top notch. It delivers a surprising amount of value at given price point. Yamaha Revstar RS320 has very own, customized HH3 pickups with a ceramic magnet and brass baseplate. Solid Nato Body and Set-in Neck with Thin Profile makes playing very simple and even more satisfying. This instrument is one of a kind. It has so much power and unique sound. Overall it really is an awesome guitar and well worth the money. One of the best deals in guitars under 500.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Good Sound

Cons:

  • Heavy

Dean Michael Angelo Batio MAB4 Gauntlet

Build Quality:4.7 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.6 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.6 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.6 out of 5 stars
Value:4.6 out of 5 stars
Average:4.6 out of 5 stars

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If you ask me, every rockstar should own a distinctive guitar, something that will set his collection apart from the crowd. They should own something that they would hang on the wall proudly and show everyone who would step in the doorway. Let’s be honest, we all deserve that. Plus, thanks to Dean Guitars, such a luxury is now available under 500 bucks! How amazing is that? Their Michael Batio MAB4 Gauntlet has a very unique and attractive design. No, it isn’t shaped like a mermaid. What it has is a stunning artwork on the body. Black surface is covered with snake paintings that intimidate you a bit, but satisfy your inner rebellious self. Its double cutaways suit the overall design perfectly and turn this fella into a real piece of art. But looks aren’t everything – fortunately, MAB4 Gauntlet is virtually faultless as an instrument as well. It features a basswood body, maple neck and rosewood fingerboard. It comes with three DMT Design pickups (neck, middle and bridge) that add pronounced character to your sound. I’m sure this guitar would be worth way more money, but the brand somehow managed to keep it accessible for all of us.

Pros:

  • Unique appearance
  • Stays in tune for a long time
  • Impeccable performance

Cons:

  • Comes in poor packaging

Schecter 443 C-6 Plus

Build Quality:4.7 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.6 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.6 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.7 out of 5 stars
Value:4.7 out of 5 stars
Average:4.7 out of 5 stars

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Have you ever looked at the guitar and thought that it belonged to the elite? I certainly have had that thought quite a lot, because some guitars give me the impression that they belong to the highest class of our society. Yet the reality always reveals that they belong among us, ordinary people who don’t even recognize the concept of classes. Schecter 443 C-6 Plus will drown you in its essence, as its ocean blue burst surface immediately makes you feel like you’re swimming in the waves of endless waters. Once pick up the guitar and start playing, those feelings intensify even more and you get submerged in the mesmerizing haze. I’m glad Schecter included this magnificent color in their line – I’m in love and you will be too. 443 C-6 is a bit more ordinary in the feature section. Its basswood body is equipped with maple neck and rosewood fingerboard. This guitar is extremely easy to hold and smooth to play. And the results are outstanding: its Schecter Diamond Plus neck and bridge pickups yield powerful, expressive tone. It’s perfectly suitable for heavy genres, since high-gain utilization unveils its true potential.

Pros:

  • Comfortable to play
  • Powerful and versatile sound
  • Beautiful design
  • Remains in tune for a long time (even with heavy playing)

Cons:

  • Nothing else rather than a boring name

ESP LTD MH‌-100QMNT

Build Quality:4.6 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.5 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.5 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.6 out of 5 stars
Value:4.6 out of 5 stars
Average:4.6 out of 5 stars

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Full Review

ESP LTD MH‌-100QMNT

The guitar has a basswood body with a Quilted-maple veneer on top, with a trans-red finish. The body is a curve-top strat/superstrat style and a nice thin-U neck shape. It has a Bolt-on Neck with a 25.5″ Scale, 24 Extra Jumbo Frets and an Extra Thin-U Neck Contour, to let you play for hours nonstop without getting tired. The instrument is pretty light. It has TOM string-through bridge. It sounds as good as it looks for sure. The instrument is available in See Thru Black Cherry color, that makes its design stand out. The guitar sounds so much better that what you would expect for this price. ESP LTD MH-100QMNT will definitely be your reliable partner.

Pros:

  • Good Sound
  • Interesting Design
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Tuning Stability Issues
  • Easy to Outgrow

Ibanez JEMJRWH Steve Vai Signature

Build Quality:4.8 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.8 out of 5 stars
Electronics:4.8 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.8 out of 5 stars
Value:4.9 out of 5 stars
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars

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Full Review

Ibanez JEMJRWH Steve Vai Signature

This beautiful instrument is a very special edition – it is made on model of Steve Vais partnership with Ibanez, since 1987. Its design will make you get that star vibe right away. The guitar is as iconic as the player himself. It has Mahogany Body and Wizard III Maple Neck with Rosewood Fretboard. The slim neck will give you the playground for fast playing. Ibanez JEMJRWH Steve Vai Signature is equipped with two Quantum humbuckers and one Quantum single-coil pickup complete with five-way switching. The sound quality is amazing, you will scream with this beast guitar. This is undoubtedly a great deal for the money.

Pros:

  • Great Sound
  • Stylish Look

Cons:

  • A bit heavy

Have you found the right one from this list yet?

Those are definitely the leader models in this sub-category of best electric guitars; so try to look closer. We understand that this process is long and tiring, so we definitely do not want it to end with frustration. It is very satisfying feeling when you save up some money and go and get exactly what you want – when you find “the right one”.

Try to make the most out of the whole process and enjoy it, because at the end of the day it all comes down to music which should definitely not be stressful but on the contrary, give you the best feeling in the world. Every guitar is unique in their own way, they all have something special, some qualities that you might be attracted to. But together with that they might not be equipped with exactly the same details that you want. If you will be that picky, there is a possibility that you will not find something you like. So, we would advise you to concentrate on guitar’s strength and characteristics that attract you the most. If they outweigh the things that you do not like, then it should be considered as an option. Plus, most of the time you, yourself or with the help of professional, will be able to change the parts that are not necessarily the best, for example if the guitar strings are too thin and you do not feel comfortable – you can always replace them, or if the instrument has single coil pickups and you want humbucker, go for it and change – make the guitar suit you and your tastes- mold it into “the right one”.

We would also like to advise you to not compare guitars from this price range to those with higher value. Something will always be better, especially the instruments that cost thousands of dollars. Of course, they will have more exquisite design and better sound, that is the reality, but you can always make the most out of the instrument that will not make you rob the bank but will be pocket friendly. Beautiful design and powerful sound is still accessible in best electric guitars for under 500!

Also remember one thing, the more you know the better the choosing part will go as well as the result. You need to learn as much as you can to exactly know what you want from you instrument. First of all decide if it stays with you for a long time or if you plan to change it in the nearest future. Than you can learn more about specifications of the instrument, find the qualities that make the sound and playing exactly what you want it to be, and at the end we wholeheartedly believe that you will find the right one.

Conclusion

We hope that you have found what you were looking for from the list of Best Electric Guitar Under 500, but if not, you still learned some good tips that will help you throughout tough choosing process. You should not forget that at the end you are doing it for fun and pleasure so do not make yourself anxious about little things but vise-versa. If you keep in mind the “secrets” that we just uncovered, very shortly you will find the partner that will suit your tastes and will give you the opportunity to rock out the way you want.

 

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