Best Electric Guitar under 200| Striking the Right Chord

Affordable electric guitars are a fantastic option for those who are starting their guitar journey or for those budget-conscious players who desire quality without a hefty price tag.

The market has significantly evolved, and a $200 guitar today is miles ahead of what you would have got for the same price a decade ago. In fact, some guitars under this price range can outperform higher-priced alternatives.

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As a beginner or a budget-conscious player, your first guitar plays a crucial role in shaping your learning curve and enthusiasm. A good-quality guitar will keep you inspired and motivated. A poorly constructed guitar, on the other hand, could hinder your progress and dampen your enthusiasm.

Reviewing the Best Electric Guitars under $200

Reviewing the best electric guitars under $200 is an exciting journey into the world of affordable yet quality instruments. In this price range, the market offers a variety of options that cater to beginners and budget-conscious musicians without compromising on sound and playability.

These guitars often feature thoughtful designs, decent build quality, and versatile sound capabilities. Brands have significantly improved their offerings over the years, ensuring that even at a lower price point, players can enjoy a guitar that feels good, sounds great, and inspires continued learning and creativity.

Whether it’s for practicing at home, jamming with friends, or even performing at small gigs, these sub-$200 guitars prove that starting your musical journey or expanding your collection doesn’t have to be a costly affair.

Fender Bullet Stratocaster

The Fender Bullet Stratocaster is an entry-level model from the iconic Fender brand known for its timeless designs and exceptional sound quality. Even at a low price point, this guitar retains many of the attributes that make Fender instruments so beloved.

The Fender Bullet Stratocaster is incredibly lightweight, making it comfortable for extended playing sessions. Its slim, C-shaped neck is easy on the hands, while the hardtail bridge adds tuning stability. The guitar features three single-coil pickups, giving it that classic Stratocaster sound.

Overview and Specs

  • Body: Basswood
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Pickups: Three Single-Coils
  • Controls: One Volume, Two Tone, Five-Way Pickup Selector

Sound and Performance

The Fender Bullet Stratocaster offers a broad range of tones, thanks to its three single-coil pickups and five-way pickup selector switch.

This allows you to go from a bright, twangy sound perfect for blues and country, to a warmer tone suitable for rock and pop. While it doesn’t have the same richness and depth as higher-end models, the Bullet Stratocaster’s sound quality is impressive for its price.

Pros

  • Lightweight and comfortable for beginners.
  • Versatile sound with its three single-coil pickups.
  • The hardtail bridge provides great tuning stability.
  • Excellent value for money.

Cons

  • The single-coil pickups may produce some hum when used with high-gain settings.
  • The basswood body, while lightweight, may not offer the same resonance as other types of wood.

Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012

Next up, is the Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012, an incredibly versatile and reliable option from Yamaha. Known for its superb build quality and sound versatility, the Pacifica series has been a popular choice among beginner and intermediate players for years.

The PAC012 features a comfortable double-cutaway body that provides easy access to the higher frets. It also comes with a unique pickup configuration, with a humbucker at the bridge and two single coils at the middle and neck positions, giving you a wide array of tonal options.

Overview and Specs

  • Body: Agathis
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Pickups: Two Single-Coils, One Humbucker
  • Controls: One Volume, One Tone, Five-Way Pickup Selector

Sound and Performance

The PAC012 delivers a rich and varied sound palette, thanks to its HSS pickup configuration. The humbucker can dish out thicker, harder rock tones while the single coils provide the crisp, clear tones needed for blues and jazz.

Additionally, the five-way pickup selector lets you blend these pickups in various ways, allowing for tonal experimentation.

Pros

  • Versatile sound with its HSS pickup configuration.
  • Good build quality for the price.
  • Comfortable double-cutaway body shape.
  • Suitable for a wide range of music genres.

Cons

  • The Agathis body may not be as resonant as other woods.
  • The finish and overall aesthetic, while functional, are quite basic.

Ibanez GRX20ZBKN

The Ibanez GRX20ZBKN is a fantastic choice for those who want to venture into the heavier side of music. Ibanez is well-known for its high-quality guitars catered toward rock and metal players, and the GRX20ZBKN holds true to this reputation, even at a budget price point.

This guitar features a double-cutaway poplar body and a smooth, slim neck, making it a breeze to play, especially for fast passages and solos. Its dual humbucker setup ensures that it can handle high-gain settings without unwanted noise or feedback.

Overview and Specs

  • Body: Poplar
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Pickups: Two Humbuckers
  • Controls: Two Volume, Two Tone, Three-Way Pickup Selector

Sound and Performance

The GRX20ZBKN can certainly roar when it needs to, thanks to its pair of humbuckers. It delivers a thick, meaty tone that excels in rock and metal settings. However, with the right amp settings, it can also pull off the cleaner, softer tones for more mellow music genres.

Pros

  • Fast and comfortable neck, ideal for speedy solos and riffs.
  • Good build quality and durability.
  • Excellent value for money.

Cons

  • Less tonal versatility compared to guitars with single-coil pickups.
  • The poplar body, while lightweight, may not have the same resonance as other types of wood.

Understanding Electric Guitars: A Brief Primer

Before diving into our top picks, let’s take a moment to understand the electric guitar’s basic anatomy. Having a fundamental understanding of the components and their roles will help you make an informed choice.

An electric guitar is made up of several key components, each contributing to the sound and playability of the instrument. From the headstock that houses the tuning pegs to the neck that features the fretboard, every part plays a critical role. The guitar body, often made of wood such as alder or mahogany, significantly contributes to the instrument’s tonality.

The electric guitar differentiates itself from its acoustic sibling through its pickups, volume, and tone controls. The pickups are magnetic devices that capture the vibration of the strings and convert it into an electric signal, which can then be amplified. This is a very simplified explanation, and if you wish to dig deeper into the world of guitar construction, websites like Guitar World offer comprehensive guides on the topic.

Understanding Guitar Specifications

Guitar specifications are equally important in the selection process. They indicate the kind of hardware used, the type of wood, the pickups, and the overall construction.

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Notable specs to consider are the type of neck construction (bolt-on, set neck, or neck-thru), the type of pickups (single-coil, humbucker, or P90), and the kind of bridge system (fixed, tremolo, or locking). These specs can significantly influence the guitar’s tone and playability, and websites such as Music Radar offer helpful guides for understanding these specs.

Key Factors to Consider When Purchasing an Electric Guitar under $200

Now that you’ve got a basic understanding of what to look for in a guitar, let’s delve into the factors to consider when purchasing an electric guitar under $200.

The quality of a guitar’s construction is of utmost importance, even for those in the sub-$200 price range. While you might not get top-tier materials at this price point, you should still look for a guitar that is sturdy, well-assembled, and comfortable to play. Misaligned parts, rough fret edges, or a warped neck could significantly affect your playing experience.

B. Sound and Tone

The sound and tone of a guitar depend on its materials, the types of pickups used, and its overall construction. Different types of pickups, from single coils to humbuckers, produce different sound characteristics, so understanding these differences can help you find a guitar that suits your musical style.

Comfort and playability are highly subjective and depend on personal preferences. Some might prefer a slim neck, while others might find a thicker neck more comfortable. Similarly, the guitar’s weight and body shape could influence its comfort. When buying online, it can be helpful to read user reviews to get a sense of the instrument’s playability.

While sound and playability are paramount, the guitar’s look can also contribute to your desire to pick it up and play. Luckily, budget guitars today come in various designs and finishes, so you can find one that matches your personal style.

The Role of Brands in the Under $200 Guitar Market

In the world of electric guitars, brand reputation matters. This is not to say that lesser-known brands cannot produce excellent guitars, but established brands usually offer consistent quality and reliable customer service.

An established brand typically has a reputation to uphold, which generally translates into better quality control. They also tend to have better customer support and more comprehensive warranties. You can check out guitar forums or online communities like Ultimate Guitar for insights into a brand’s reputation among the guitar community.

While sticking to known brands may seem like the safest bet, don’t discount emerging brands. Many new players in the market are producing impressive instruments at highly competitive prices. Again, user reviews and online communities can be a great source of information when considering these brands.

Honorable Mentions

While the above options stand out in terms of quality, performance, and value for money, there are several other guitars in the sub-$200 price range that deserve a mention.

Squier is Fender’s budget line, and the Affinity Telecaster is a great tribute to the timeless Telecaster design. It delivers a bright and twangy tone perfect for country and blues.

Epiphone is Gibson’s budget line, and the Les Paul Special VE is a testament to the timeless Les Paul design. It offers the chunky, warm tones that the Les Paul is known for, making it perfect for blues and rock.

Jackson guitars are known for their sleek designs and high-output tones. The JS22 Dinky, with its dual high-output humbuckers and fast neck, is an excellent option for those looking to venture into metal or other heavy genres.

Tips for Maintaining Your Electric Guitar

Once you’ve found your perfect guitar, it’s essential to know how to take care of it. Here are some tips for maintaining your electric guitar, ensuring it stays in optimal playing condition.

Dirt and sweat can damage your guitar’s finish and degrade your strings over time. Regular cleaning, including wiping down the strings after each use, can prolong your guitar’s lifespan.

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Strings lose their tonal qualities over time and with regular use. Changing your strings regularly will keep your guitar sounding its best.

Proper storage can protect your guitar from damage and unwanted changes due to environmental conditions. A hard case is the best protection, but a quality gig bag can also provide good protection.

FAQ

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about buying an electric guitar under $200.

ARE THERE GOOD ELECTRIC GUITARS UNDER $200?

Yes, there are many excellent electric guitars available under $200. While these guitars might not offer the same level of craftsmanship or premium materials found in more expensive instruments, many deliver impressive performance and sound quality for their price.

IS A CHEAP GUITAR WORTH IT?

Yes, a cheap guitar can be worth it, especially for beginners or those on a budget. It’s crucial, however, to choose a guitar with good build quality, sound, and playability, even at a low price point.

HOW LONG WILL A $200 GUITAR LAST?

The lifespan of a $200 guitar depends on several factors, including the build quality, how it’s used, and how well it’s maintained. With proper care, a $200 guitar can last for many years.

Conclusion

Finding the best electric guitar under $200 can be a rewarding experience, especially when you find one that suits your musical style and playing comfort.

While the options in this price range won’t compete with high-end models, they can serve as a great starting point for your musical journey or as a reliable backup guitar.

Remember, the best guitar is the one that inspires you to play, and that doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive one.



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