12 Best Electric Guitars Under $200 (2018 Review)

More often than not, we always find it interesting to see if there is any possible way an affordable electric guitar can outshine or even just come close with their expensive guitar counterparts. So as you do some research on the subject matter regarding on where, how and what components the guitars are made of; a glaring contrast will be established, which mainly be in favor of the expensive guitar models, blowing away the competition on that category.

However, when comparing them on the sound alone, especially when overdriven playing rock, hard rock and metal. You will find less expensive guitars are not that bad at all. They are also very much capable of producing the needed dirty tones, and also able to produce decent smooth clean sound to let you go out there and play.

The term cheap electric guitars doesn’t necessarily mean bad sounding and unplayable. It is a misnomer of a name given to entry level guitars because of their price, and without knowing that these guitars are solid enough in fulfilling the most basic requirements on sound and playability to consider them worth buying.

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Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Series Silo3Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Elctric Guitar

Read Full Review This brand already has a long history of making great guitars and basses. In fact the brand has already change its name 3 times in the past from Tri-sonix Inc. to Musitek Inc. and finally to Sterling by Music Man. The name “Music Man” that we all recognize today was a Leo Fender idea, suggesting to change the company’s name for the very last time. The first product they produce is a Leo Fender designed amp, then followed by the instruments players now rave about.

Going now to the guitar, at first glance we can already see the influence of Leo Fender with the guitar design. It has a strat design body and neck powered by HSS, neck and middle single coil, humbuker bridge pick-up. If you happen to like a stratocaster guitar on this budget, here’s an alternative besides from just choosing on the Squier by Fender line.

Where to buy: Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Silhouette Electric Guitar, Black $199.99 Amazon

Ephiphone Slash “AFD” Les Paul Special II GuitarEpiphone Slash AFD Les Paul Special II Electric Guitar

Read Full Review This guitar offered by Epiphone is an absolute steal and stunner above all its competitors for a $200 dollar markdown guitar. The guitar comes in a mini package complete with strap, guitar cable and plectrums as added perks for the 200 dollar value.

Besides the name recognition of Slash and Lester William Polsfuss, known as Les Paul. The guitar per se has some of the qualities that you can already see on a mid-range level guitar. For starters, it has a triple AAA flame maple veneer top that you won’t see on any other guitars on this level and price. Gold top hats with metal inserts for volume and tone control knobs, A special Epiphone ceramic plus zebra-coil humbucker pick-ups on the neck and bridge to muster a clear rich tones on a Epiphone guitar.

Comparing the Slash AFD Les Paul Guitar with the Epiphone Les Paul Special VE Electric Guitar which is also an entry level guitar of Epiphone. The value on this guitar package is much better and has more bang for your bucks from the added features on the guitar and add-ons on the package.

Where to buy: Epiphone Slash AFD Signature Les Paul Special II Electric Guitar Apetite Amber $201.14 Amazon

Epiphone SG-Special Electric GuitarEpiphone SG Special Electric Guitar

Read Full Review If you’re looking for a lightweight guitar other than a Stratocaster. You prefer more the quality of tone a humbuck has rather than a single-coil, the SG models from Epiphone meets that need, price and requirements.

Like the Les Paul, the SG guitar models in all its form is another guitar that has an iconic status used by guitarist in all levels. A mainstay of every guitar enthusiast collection and go too guitar by many guitarist for the looks, playability and quality of sound it brings to the table unique on its own.

The cherry red finish accented by all black pickguard, pick-ups, knobs and headstock, gives this guitar its sought after classic look and feel for an SG model without any reservation for its price value.

Where to buy: Epiphone SG-Special Electric Guitar With KillPot Cherry Red $179.00 Amazon

C-1 SGR by Schecter Beginner Electric GuitarC-1 SGR by Schecter Electric Guitar

Read Full Review This guitar from Schecter has an awesome low price for beginners out there who thinks all Schecter guitars are expensive. The body of this guitar has similarities with the design of a Schecter Omen 6 series, a mid-range model in the Schecter guitar line. Another good comparison and a striking resemblance is by having humbuckers for its pick-ups controlled by 1 master volume, 1 master tone and a 3-way toggle switch that you will also see on a mid-range Omen.

As for a first guitar, the C-1 SGR has a beautiful Superstrat body with slim neck contributing to the looks and performance for the easy access on the higher frets. If you want a guitar away from the traditional look and feel of a strat or LP models, this guitar is unique on its own for the body style, looks and feel on a guitar.

Where to buy: C-1 SGR by Schecter Beginner Electric Guitar Blue $145.24 Amazon

Ibanez GRX70QAIbanez GRX70QA Electric Guitar

Read Full Review If the ambition is to become a shreader. Want to play a lot of solos in the future. A fast action guitar with a lightweight body, together with a slimmer neck profile not seen in any other guitars is needed for this type of guitar playing. All of that requirements and specs on a guitar are met with this Ibanez guitar for just a cheap price.

Unlike the Gio model of Ibanez included in their guitar package that only has 2 humbucker for pick-ups. The GRX70QA has the typical pick-ups use in an Ibanez guitar that has neck humbucks, middle single-coil, and humbuckers for the bridge. Esteemed for being the ideal pick-ups to be use by fast playing guitar players. In regards with the looks and feel the guitar has, Ibanez always offers their sporty look and feel on a guitar, again ideal for fast licks and riffs.

Where to buy: Ibanez GRX70QATBB Electric Guitar Transparent Black $199.99 Amazon

Jackson JS22 DinkyJackson JS22 Dinky Electric Guitar

Read Full Review The guitar is a superstrat, a name given for guitars that resembles a Stratocaster that evolve in design by giving the guitar a more aggressive and edgier look to it, while still keeping the design sensible and pragmatic. This guitars comes in different colors to choose from, you can either go with a metallic red, satin black, metallic blue and snow white depending on your preference.

Neck of the guitar is made from maple with 24 fret rosewood fingerboard mark and garnish by sharks fin inlays contributing to the looks and performance of the guitar. The JSS22 Dinky is equip with 2 humbuker pick-ups 1 neck and 1 bridge. Sealed die-cast tuners and 2-point fulcrum tremolo to complete the guitar’s main features.

Another decent sounding and playable guitar on a budget price for beginners and for experience players who would like to try out a guitar with a different look and feel away from the traditional.

Where to buy: Jackson JS22 Dinky Electric Guitar Metallic Red $199.99 Amazon

ESP LTD EC-10ESP LTD EC-10 Electric Guitar

Read Full Review The brand ESP that we all know today started its roots as a shop in Tokyo Japan selling custom replacement parts for guitars and quickly gained a reputation for the high quality of these replacement parts. Soon came after it transformed to a guitar brand and burst in the thrash metal seen of the 80’s signing in big name bands like Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth as endorsers of the guitars they make.

ESP LTD EC-10 is an evolution of the Les Paul design guitar like the superstrats guitars on a Stratocaster. The features has similarities but again a more aggressive looking and has an edgier guitar body. Another resemblance is the humbuckers pick-ups equip on the guitar. 1 neck and 1 bridge controlled by 1 master volume, 1 master tone and 3-way toggle switch for pick-ups selection. Together with the bridge design having a tailpiece and bridge without a whammy bar.

Where to buy: ESP LTD EC-10 Electric Guitar Blue $199.00 Amazon

Squier by Fender Affinity Stratocaster Electric GuitarSquier by Fender Affinity Stratocaster Electric Guitar

Read Full Review When talking about classic guitar designs the Starocaster is one of the best if not the best guitars ever made. It has an ergonomically design contoured double cutaway lightweight body that mostly conforms in any body type contributing to the guitars comfort and playabilty.

In regards with the pick-ups the guitar uses. The basic Stratocaster would have a 3 single-coil pick-ups SSS or a HSS 2 single-coil and humbucker for the bridge. The Squier strat guitar featured on this list has the HSS for be beginners to try out and be able to play with both pick-ups in one guitar. This will enable them to understand the differences in tone qualilty and to know more on what those pick-ups can do when played.

Where to buy: Squier by Fender Affinity Stratocaster Electric Guitar HSS Montego Black $199.99 Amazon

Squier by Fender Affinity Telecaster Electric GuitarSquier by Fender Affinity Telecaster Electric Guitar

Read Full Review The telecaster is another great guitar in the Squier line recommended to those who are just starting out and also for experience guitarist to play as well. It’s simplicity in body design and pick-ups configuration made this guitar popular and gained the iconic stature it has today for being an easy and good sounding guitar to play.

Conceptualizing the look of this Squier telecaster brings you back on it’s early days. The classic butterscotch blonde finish along with the glossy maple neck gives the guitar a 50’s and 60’s vibe that never go out of style. When talking about the sound, the guitar can muster classic rock, rock, hard rock, jazz, and blues just to name a few of the genre that you can play with this guitar.

Where to buy: Squier by Fender Affinity Telecaster Electric Guitar Butterscotch Blonde $199.07 Amazon

Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012DLXYamaha Pacifica Series PAC012 Electric Guitar

Read Full Review It’s amazing to see a company that excels in all the products and services they offer, while other companies are struggling and scratching their heads to find a way to break through the market. One good example of that in the long line of products is the Pacifica Series guitars this brand makes.

What makes the Yamaha PAC012 stands out among the rest is the simplicity and ergonomic design the guitar posses to go along with the guitars low price for an establish brand like Yamaha. The contoured double cutaway body, slim neck profile is well thought of for comfort when the guitar is played sitting and standing.

The HSS pick-ups the guitar uses gives every beginner a great way to start learning the application on how each pick-ups works and the difference of sound each pick-ups produces to be applied on the way they play. Blending the volume and tone, switching pick-ups to know whats best for a rhythm style and solos which are the main core on playing the guitar.

Where to buy: Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012DLX Electric Guitar Old Violin Sunburst $179.99 Amazon

Dean VX Electric GuitarDean VX Classic Electric Guitar

Read Full Review Unlike others suggest that a V-shape guitar is not an ideal guitar to start with because of the body design the guitar has, but if you come to think of it especially when played on a sitting position, it’s more like playing the guitar the classical way by placing the guitar in the center position having the V part of the guitar anchor in your thigh.

The guitar is equip with humbucker pick-ups on the neck and bridge to muster the classic rich fat tone humbucks are known for. Also the guitar gives you an easy access on the higher frets when you come up the neck playing lead riffs and solos. The V-shape is really more of an advantage than a disadvantage for this guitar than you can think of. The design of this guitar is not really an issue for beginners on not considering the V-shape as a good playable beginner guitar.

Where to buy: Dean VX Electric Guitar Classic Black $179.99 Amazon

Squier by Fender Electric Guitar PackElectric Guitar Starter Packs

Electric guitar package is a start up kit that has all the basic equipment you’ll need to begin your journey of being a guitarist. The guitar on the package is an entry level guitar that comes with a small amplifier, tuner, gig bag, guitar cable, strap, plectrums and instructional DVD or an online guitar lesson.

There are lot of brands that offers their guitar on a package and mostly are mention on this list. If you choose to start out with a guitar package, your not picky or critical on the guitar to play and learn with, the way you think is you only need a decent guitar to get you starting. A guitar package is the right one for you.

Recommended Guitar Package: 5 Best Electric Guitar Starter Packs For Beginners

Why Buy An Affordable Guitar

The guitar is just a small step on being a guitar player. Having a budget friendly guitar to practice and learn with is suitable enough at this stage. The key to success really depends on how you practice and dedicate yourself on learning how to play. As long as you have a decent sounding playable guitar to begin with and has the quality that can last you in years to come. You’ll be all set.

Playing the guitar is no joke. To be honest, not all who bought a guitar end up playing. Maybe it’s just hype from friends and family or along the way found something else more interested on. You have to remember that you will spend countless hours practicing and the time you spent to it is impossible for you to get it back. This is not meant to discourage but to challenge you to succeed.

A conservative way to begin is through these budget friendly guitars or if you select to start with a guitar package. You can find out with these guitars if you’re really into guitar playing or not without spending to much.

Low cost guitar as well will teach you the basics of taking care of an instrument. In most part cleaning and changing the strings. You can also try out to learn adjusting the neck if needed, guitars string action and intonation. Handling all this things with care on these guitars to prepare you when you decide to buy a higher end guitar model.