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Top 10 Best Electric Guitars Under $1000 In 2019 Reviews

Choosing the right electric guitar that fits your budget can be difficult. You need to consider construction and hardware as well as the kind of sounds and styles you’re going for.

Are you looking to wake up the neighborhood or cover every genre possible? Where and how are you most likely to be playing? There is a lot you need to look at.

So, what are the best electric guitars under $1000 and which is the best one for you?

That’s never an easy question to answer, but we’re going to made the decision a lot easier by bringing you our Top 10. They are all excellent guitars, but which is the right one for you? You’ll find out soon enough…

Best Electric Guitars under $1000

Top 10 Best Electric Guitars Under $1000 In 2019 Reviews


1 Epiphone Les Paul Custom PRO Electric Guitar

Classics never grow old…

Epiphone’s Les Paul Custom is renowned for its excellent performance. This guitar looks, sounds, and feels like the most expensive Les Paul models on the market, and all for under $1000.

Here are a few reasons this could be the electric guitar for you.

You get two ProBucker humbucking pickups that are known for their rich tones. These pickups are dynamic and powerful.

A set mahogany neck and full mahogany body with a rosewood fretboard. This is an affordable guitar that gives you that one of a kind feel and vibe you can only get with a Les Paul.

It holds its tuning and has a rich, full sound. Les Paul guitars are known for how they sound and how they look.

This one looks as good as it sounds, with a full complement of binding and gold hardware. It can easily be mistaken for any of the more pricey models of Les Paul guitars.


Epiphone Les Paul Custom PRO Electric Guitar

Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pros
  • ProBuckers produce a rich sound.
  • The coil split feature augments sound variety.
  • Great for any kind of music session.
  • Variety of tones.
Cons
  • The gold plating on certain parts may wear off with time.
  • It’s Chinese-made so quality control can be an issue.

2 Schecter Guitar Research Synyster Gates Custom Electric Guitar

Eat your hearts out fanboys…

This guitar is pretty special. First of all, it looks great. It needs to look that way because it is a signature guitar. Designed with help from Synyster Gates, lead guitarist of the popular metal band Avenged Sevenfold, this a metalhead’s dream guitar.

Wicked black and silver stripes complete with Syn’s own “Death Bat” inlay. A mahogany body and neck with rosewood fretboard. This guitar looks sleek and deadly.

This guitar’s wood and hardware give it tremendous resonance, sustain and tone. It’s a highly specialized guitar when it comes to performance.

This Schecter wants to be on stage. It is not the kind of electric guitar a beginner or up-and-coming pop artist would want to bring home.

The Floyd Rose Tremolo is a cool feature for the guitarist who wants to bend their strings to the limit and beyond. Coupled with the locking nuts, this guitar is rarely out of tune.

It has a great metal sound, and here’s why…

With your amp set on the clean channel, there is still a little bit of distortion from the Seymour Duncan’s. That’s not all. The pickups can be split to achieve a nice, clean sound without losing any of that metal edge. These are pickups made for seriously powerful guitar solos.

However, like all signature custom guitars, some features may not be useful for novice players or those looking for an all-around guitar.


Schecter Guitar Research Synyster Gates Custom Electric Guitar

Our rating:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Pros
  • Made to replicate the guitar Synyster plays on stage, both in looks and sounds.
  • Seymour Duncan custom pickups.
  • Made for metal.
  • Uses higher quality materials than most guitars in the same class.
Cons
  • Floyd Rose makes it harder to change the tuning quickly.
  • Custom pickups means more time trying to find the right setting for lower quality amps.
  • Best for live and loud performances, not ideal for small studio sessions.

3 Fender American Special Telecaster, Maple Fingerboard, Vintage Blonde

Classics never get old…

Guitar making legends Fender have introduced the American Special Series Telecaster, an affordable “Made in the USA” instrument within your reach.

Features include an alder body, maple neck with 9.5″ radius fingerboard, and jumbo frets that offer easy string-bending and a modern feel.

The greasebucket tone circuit is something lots of professionals swear by. It can cool off the high frequencies without making the tone dirty or muddy.

The Texas Special custom pickups deliver classic and contemporary tones, perfect for Blues, Country, and Rock.

One thing that makes Telecasters distinct is the sound produced by their pickups. They have a higher output and attack. You won’t find another guitar with the same kind of harmonic setup.

Telecasters have quite a reputation, and this guitar continues to deliver. With a bright and aggressive sound, it’s great for the studio and on stage.


Fender American Special Telecaster, Maple Fingerboard, Vintage Blonde

Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pros
  • Good, consistent sound with most amps.
  • Maintains the original Telecaster twang and bite.
  • Single coil distinct sound.
  • Made in the USA.
Cons
  • Sharp edges on the frets and very high action.
  • Wider neck than most players are used to.
  • Not really ideal for heavy, thick distortion sounds.

4 Fender American Special Stratocaster, Maple Fretboard, 2 Color Sunburst

Versatility and style…

Fender is offering a modern twist on a timeless classic – the American Special Series Stratocaster HSS.

In a classic two-tone sunburst, this American-made Strat is everything you want in an electric guitar. An alder body and 22 fret maple neck, this guitar has tones that cover Rock, Blues, Country, and Pop.

Complete with 3 Texas Special pickups that can push the tone fat and full, or keep it lively and light. These pickups are dynamic and easy to match with any kind of sound you want.

The American Special Series Stratocaster is a player-centric blend of specs. This allows it to be used for all kinds of music while staying true to the icon that Fender invented decades ago.

Strats are one of the most versatile guitars ever made, and this one is no exception.


Fender American Special Stratocaster, Maple Fretboard, 2 Color Sunburst

Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Pros
  • Texas Specials produce a great crunch and tone.
  • Fast and easy action.
  • Quality sound with any amplifier.
  • Pickup switches can produce a wide variety of sound.
  • Easy to adjust to user specs.
  • Made in the USA.
Cons
  • Stability issues with built-in vintage tremolo bridge and tuning.
  • Jumbo frets usually require higher gauge strings.

5 PRS 6 String SE Mark Electric Guitar, Holcomb Burst

A signature that makes a statement…

Guitarist Mark Holcomb helped achieve a full, lethal sound with his PRS guitars and the signature Alpha and Omega pickups from Seymour Duncan. PRS and Holcomb have worked closely to develop a unique guitar for the SE Series.

Lovely black chrome hardware. A two-piece body of a beveled maple with quilted maple top, and a solid mahogany back. 24 fret three-piece maple neck with satin finish.

The Holcomb Signature Seymour Duncan Pickups provide just the right amount of output and sound definition. The treble pickup is the “Omega,” and the bass pickup is the “Alpha.” This set of pickups can really punch. You can choose if those punches are going to be body blows or uppercuts.

It has a range of tone, color, and power playing chords or solos, alone or working with a band.

This guitar includes a 3-way blade pickup switch with push/pull tone knob for coil splitting.

What does that mean?

It means you can set different modes on the pickups. They can be configured to either a humbucker or a single coil.


PRS 6 String SE Mark Electric Guitar, Holcomb Burst

Our rating:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

Pros
  • Alpha and Omega Seymour Duncan pickups are incredibly versatile.
  • Sounds great clean or with heavy distortion in either humbucker or single coil mode.
  • Works with every style of music, from gospel to speed metal.
  • Smooth, fast neck action.
Cons
  • Tuners are not that reliable.
  • The nut is not high quality.
  • Lots of sound setting options means you can’t just plug and play.
  • Limited range of keys you can tune to without loss of quality.

6 EVH Striped Series Stratocaster Electric Guitar – White With Black Stripes

Simple and strong…

A custom electric guitar that was designed with a simple objective: To rock and rock loudly.

A solid basswood body and single piece maple neck with irregular black stripes on a white background. Looking at this guitar might make you want to grow your hair out.

That single direct-mount Wolfgang Humbucker pickup is all you need to recreate some of the most famous Eddie Van Halen’s tones. From thick, rhythmic power-chords to wailing, white-hot solos.

It’s high-output and quite unrefined, making it aggressive with plenty of feedback.

The EVH D-Tuna device allows you to drop from E to D instantly, and back again. Just one volume knob, called a ‘tone’ knob, makes this guitar easy to pick up and play.

There is not much in the way of sound and tone variation, since it’s a tribute to Eddie Van Halen’s style of play. But this electric guitar comes as close to Rock God status as you can get.


EVH Striped Series Stratocaster Electric Guitar - White With Black Stripes

Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros
  • Super fast, smooth frets.
  • The pickup is a monster of sound.
  • Beefy lows and bright highs.
  • Easy setup and ready to go out of the box.
Cons
  • Limited musical genres other than rock.
  • Clean sound is lacking.
  • No adjustable tone switch or knob.

7 ESP LTD EC-1000 Electric Guitar

Deep in the black…

The ESP LTD Deluxe EC1000 Electric Guitar is built to dominate for both rhythm and lead players. It’s also an electric guitar for under $1000 that stands up to it’s more pricey competitors.

Featuring a white, bound rosewood fingerboard with abalone inlays and purfling. The pitch black mahogany body and rosewood fretboard give this guitar a mean look.

ESP’s excellent TonePros System II locking bridge and ESP locking tuners help keep it in perfect tune. This system also ensures those screaming tones, and the ability to play faster than a stealth bomber.

There is a choice of Active EMG and Passive Seymour Duncan humbuckers. This guitar’s sounds range from sweet, warm tones to the rawest of rock ‘n’ roll. But this electric guitar really shows its stuff when you’re playing fast enough to burn your fingerprints off.

A guitar that pulls no punches. The EC1000 might knock pictures off the wall.

This guitar is a B-grade version of an A-grade one. While high-quality sounds can be recreated, the overall quality regarding manufacturing is not the same.

If you want to shred with speed and accuracy without denting your wallet, this is the guitar.


ESP LTD EC-1000 Electric Guitar

Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Pros
  • Pickups produce long sustains, punchy palm muting, and shrieking pinch harmonics.
  • Stays in tune.
  • Lightning fast neck.
  • Sounds just like more expensive models.
Cons
  • Hardware, like knobs and strap button, are poor quality.
  • Fret ends tend to be rough.
  • Made in Indonesia, so some quality control issues.
  • Not suitable for jazz, pop, or most softer genres.

8 Schecter Hellraiser C-1 Electric Guitar (Black Cherry)

Raise a little hell…

The Hellraiser has raised the bar on looks, sound, quality, and affordability.

A quilted maple top on a mahogany body loaded with active EMG 81TW/89 pickups. Abalone binding, Gothic cross inlays on a set three-piece mahogany neck. Hellraiser guitars are basically as versatile as they are beautiful.

The pickups are 81TX Dual-mode. Dual Mode “split” tone gives you the ability to dial in your tone while looking fantastic. They allow for maximum flexibility, with the original 81 providing all the crunch and aggressiveness.

An all-new single-coil that features a fatter tone with plenty of punch and clarity.

This guitar has flexibility but is primarily a metal guitar. Metal guitars are typically built for power and need to be played through big amps.

This electric guitar is built to scream and put cracks in the wall.


Schecter Hellraiser C-1 Electric Guitar (Black Cherry)

Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros
  • The fingerboard is smooth and quick.
  • Powerful tones.
  • TonePros keep it in-tune and allows for stronger strumming.
  • Fantastic sustain.
Cons
  • Needs a 9V battery that tends to drain quickly.
  • Not suitable for small, close sound or venues.
  • Needs a powerful amp.
  • The sound is not useful for quieter or lighter musical genres.

9 Guild S200 T-Bird Solid Body Electric Guitar

Quirky, Freaky, Awesome…

Guild reintroduced one of their most iconic, uniquely recognizable guitars: the S200 T-Bird.

This reissue is an exact replica of the original. Solid mahogany body and neck with a rosewood fretboard. Tune-O-Matic bridge with the vintage Hagstrom Tremar Vibrato tailpiece.

Its unique controls create the widest array of tones offered on any Guild instrument, possibly any electric guitar.

The Dual Guild LB-1 Little Bucker pickups can produce almost every conceivable kind of tone and color. From sparkly clean single coil-esque spank to thick and warm humbucker sounds that fatten and sing when driven. This guitar can match any sound you want.

When engaged, an optional tone capacitor creates single-coil tones while maintaining the hum-free reliability of the LB-1s.

This guitar has a vast range of sound capabilities. The drawback is that there is often a learning curve. If you are not familiar with all the different sound settings, you will need to tinker around to get it to your liking.

While it might look a little strange, Guild has been a leader in electric guitars for a good reason.


Guild S200 T-Bird Solid Body Electric Guitar

Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros
  • Versatile and easy to play.
  • Wide range of tone and color.
  • Great for all musical styles.
  • Sounds the same on any amp.
Cons
  • Lots of switches mean more time needed to find a specific sound.
  • Unusual shape not always the most comfortable.
  • Action on the pickups tends to be a bit high.

10 Ibanez AS153AYS Artstar Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar, Antique Yellow Sunburst Finish

Blues guitar? Totally…

The AS is a semi-acoustic guitar that has been built to tackle just about any genre of music you throw at it. Its pickups are mounted into a sustain block for increased sustain and feedback elimination.

The Super 58 Custom pickups are fantastic at delivering the smooth tones and biting growl that are the standard of the Blues sound.

Art Star fret edge treatment provides a tight response, as well as, smooth left-hand fingering.

The Bone nut provides a richer tone from low to high.

Like most semi-acoustic guitars this one is meant for the blues. And honestly, semi-acoustics aren’t for everyone. Especially if you’re interested in playing fast, hard, and loud.


Ibanez AS153AYS Artstar Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar, Antique Yellow Sunburst Finish

Our rating:3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

Pros
  • Great jazz guitar and the ‘tri-tone’ switch gives you single coil and out of phase settings.
  • Incredible sustain.
  • Perfect for bright and whiny slide guitar.
  • No feedback issues.
Cons
  • Not ideal for heavy, distorted sounds.
  • The action is usually high.
  • The neck is not very fast.
  • Power is sacrificed for sustain and feedback elimination.

Best Electric Guitar Buyers Guide

Know Yourself

When choosing any instrument, you have to know what you’re going to be doing with it. Sure, the EC1000 could probably set off a car alarm, but is that what you want?

One person’s dream guitar is nothing more than “meh” to someone else.

Before buying any electric guitar be honest with yourself about how you’re going to play it.

Everyone has different preferences, yours need to be clear.

Quality Counts

We all know the old saying, “quality over quantity” and it’s just as true for electric guitar purchases.

Check out where the parts are made and where the guitar is assembled. Different countries have different quality control standards.

Another important aspect is the warranty. A new, quality electric guitar will always include a warranty that lasts more than a year.

Advantages And Disadvantages of ‘Customs’ And ‘Signatures’

Custom components generally live up to what they are offering. They are higher quality, have a specific sound, and are typically made for more experienced guitarists. The same is true for signature guitars.

They are great if you know exactly how you want your guitar to sound.

The downside is that these are specific instruments. They are great guitars for experienced players.

However, for novices or someone who wants to play a variety of genres, custom or signature guitars usually don’t satisfy those needs.

Other Factors To Consider When Buying An Electric Guitar

You should know something about the different kinds of wood used to make guitars. Knowing the wood used can give you an idea of how the guitar will sound.

The big four guitar woods are maple, mahogany, rosewood, and alder.

A quick rundown

  • Maple – high and bright tone, along with good sustain.
  • Alder – a full sound and a clean tone.
  • Mahogany – dry, airy and crisp with a great midrange.
  • Rosewood – wet, shiny and metallic with good sustain and sound.

Also, it’s important to learn a bit about hardware and components. These are going to influence how you want your guitar to sound and play.

Take, for example, the Floyd Rose Tremolo.

If you know you will be playing hard and fast, and staying in tune is one of your most pressing concerns, then this type of bridge will have you covered.

The flipside is that you need to get used to using it and it’s comprised of a lot of small moving parts that need extra attention.

For someone who just wants to sit in their room playing along with backing tracks or learning their favorite solo, this kind of specialized hardware is usually not a necessity.

Again, we stress knowing yourself and your style.

So, What Is The Best Electric Guitar For You?

We’ve gone over a collection of what we think are the 10 best electric guitars under $1000 that are currently on the market.

They are all excellent choices. Which one is best for you depends on what you will be using it for, the kinds of music you will be playing, and of course your preferences for sound, tone, and feel.

Still, there has to be a winner. And that winner is the…

Fender American Special Stratocaster, Maple Fretboard, 2 Color Sunburst

We chose this electric guitar because it offers the best combination of sound possibilities, quality manufacturing and hardware, usability, and beauty at a great price.

Looking at this guitar, you can hear it whisper, “Play me.”

It’s no coincidence that nearly every famous guitarist owns a Stratocaster. They are the everyman’s swiss army knife of electric guitars.

Power ballads?

Check.

Stinging soulful solos?

Check.

Grinding driving rhythm?

Check.

You will be hard pressed to find a better option for the price, and still be able to easily give the best sound that’s suitable for any musical genre.

We also really liked the Epiphone Les Paul Custom. Who can honestly resist the way it looks and sounds at the same time?

A highly fluid and functional guitar for all kinds of music, without ever giving up its inner Rock n’ Roll lifestyle.

Honorable mentions also go to the Schecter Hellraiser C-1 in Black Cherry.

The fact this guitar could practically shatter glass and the next minute whisk you away on endless Acid Jazz jams, needs a mention.

And the EVH Striped Series Stratocaster for sheer simplicity.

There’s something so satisfying about just plugging in and cranking up.

Have fun choosing your perfect electric guitar and we’ll see you for another informative, fact-filled review, very soon…

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