Best Electric Guitar Under $1000

Roz Bruce Music Tuition

Best Electric Guitar Under $1000

Electric guitars come in all shapes and sizes… and prices! If you’ve been playing for quite a while on a budget guitar, it’s likely that you’re looking to upgrade to something a little more, well, proper.

You might gaze at the guitars in the hands of your favourite rock stars, or even at local bands’ instruments at gigs, and wish you had one of your own. Is $1,000 enough for a piece of quality kit? Short answer: yes.

For $1,000 you really can get some good quality axes! And some even better news: we’ve researched the best picks for you, to narrow down your hunt a little.

Best Electric Guitars Under $1000

Don't have time to read the whole article? Here are our top 10 electric guitars under $1000 in 2018, at a glance:
ImageName More
Shecter Hellraiser Hybrid C-1Shecter Hellraiser Hybrid C-1
4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
See Price
Fender Deluxe StratocasterFender Deluxe Stratocaster
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
See Price
Epiphone WILDKATEpiphone WILDKAT
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
See Price
ESP LTD JH-600ESP LTD JH-600
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
See Price
Godin 5th Avenue CWGodin 5th Avenue CW
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
See Price
Fender American Special TelecasterFender American Special Telecaster
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
See Price
Epiphone Les Paul Custom ProEpiphone Les Paul Custom Pro
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
See Price
PRS MHHB2 SE Mark Electric Guitar, Holcomb BurstPRS MHHB2 SE
4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)
See Price
Gretsch G5420T ElectromaticGretsch G5420T Electromatic
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
See Price
Epiphone G-400 Pro Electric GuitarEpiphone G-400
4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)
See Price

Buyers’ Tips: Things To Look For When Buying An Electric Guitar Under $1000

If you have $1,000 (or a little under) to spend, you can afford to ask for what you like on a guitar.

If you are looking for a chunky, rock or heavy metal sound, ensure to get one with humbuckers. You might also benefit from 24 frets if you’re a metal guitarist. Your budget allows for that!

If you’re looking for a guitar with a warm tone, and smooth playability, a Rosewood fretboard is your best bet, and a Mahogany body.

If you’re looking for something a bit more twangy, you’ll need to look out for guitars with single coil pickups. You might also prefer Maple fretboards, which have a brighter tone.

Are you a jazzer? Keep an eye out for semi-acoustics with f-holes. You know the type: Gretsch or similar… $1,000 says yes you can!

So, now you know what you’re looking out for, let’s take a look at our top 10 electric guitars under $1000 in a bit more detail!

Shecter Hellraiser Hybrid C-1

Shecter Hellraiser Hybrid C-1
Sound:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Build:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Value:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Another metal one here: the Shecter Hellraiser really is capable of raising Hell. It has 24 frets so that you can shred your heart out, and its low action and fantastic sustain make this even easier. There are humbuckers which sound brilliant both clean and distorted and this guitar really is suited to switching between the two types of sound. This guitar is a beauty and a beast. You won’t want to put it down.

 

Pros:

  • 24 frets makes it perfect for reaching the high notes in your fast playing / shredding.
  • Great sustain and low action.
  • Humbuckers give it a substantial, chunky rock sound.

Cons:

  • There’s no pick guard, so you are likely to scratch the beautiful body.
  • It’s very geared towards metal playing, and might not be appropriate for those who want something more versatile.
  • It’s one of the pricier models in this list.

 

Fender Deluxe Stratocaster

Fender Deluxe Stratocaster
Sound:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Build:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Value:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Average:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

This classic choice is just that: a classic. You can’t go wrong with a Fender Stratocaster, and this one – made in Mexico – is high quality and reliable. There’s a Maple fretboard, giving it a bright tone, and there are 3 pickups and 2 tone controls which give the guitar controllability and versatility. Being a Fender, it’s also exceptionally well built, and will survive in the hands of even the roughest players.

 

Pros:

  • Extremely versatile; you can choose the pick up and tone settings appropriate to your genre, and use this for all genres from jazz to heavy metal.
  • The comfortable Strat shape has a classic look and is comfortable to hold and to play.
  • As it’s made by Fender it is durable, sturdy and can handle a few knocks.

Cons:

  • It’s pretty heavy.
  • The guitar might need setting up in order to perform at its best.
  • The fretboard is Maple, not Rosewood, so if you’re after the warm tone of Rosewood, this one might not be for you.

 

Epiphone WILDKAT

Epiphone WILDKAT
Sound:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Build:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Value:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Average:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

 

The Epiphone WILDKAT is another jazzy one, with f holes, however the body is only semi-hollow this time, and it’s a little smaller than the Gretsch or the Godin. Good news for the smaller players! It’s pretty lightweight, making it great for prolonged playing, and it has gold sparkling binding and hardware. Blingtastic! There aren’t many of these about, so if you’re after something limited edition and a bit special, grab one quick!

 

Pros:

  • Perfect for jazz / blues playing.
  • Lightweight, semi-hollow body gives it a twangy sound and makes it easy to play for long periods.
  • Bigsby tremolo is fun and gives you more playing options.

Cons:

  • You might want to lower the action before you start playing this guitar.
  • It’s less versatile than some other, solid-bodied guitars. You wouldn’t, for example, play something with heavy distortion and pinched harmonics on this.
  • The tuning isn’t as stable as on some other guitars.

 

ESP LTD JH-600

ESP LTD JH-600
Sound:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Build:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Value:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Average:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

The ESP LTD JH-600 is a metal guitar, and its low action and 24 jumbo frets make it suitable for fast shredding. The Ebony fingerboard is smooth and stylish-looking, and the black finish on the guitar adds to its subtle elegance. This guitar has a locking tremolo, which suits a lot of metal players who like to down-tune, and do dive bombs with the tremolo. If metal’s your thing, check this out!

 

Pros:

  • 24 jumbo frets makes it perfect for fast playing / shredding.
  • Great sustain and low action.
  • Locking tremolo system which makes tuning stable and use of the tremolo safe.

Cons:

  • The locking tremolo might not suit everybody.
  • It’s very geared towards metal playing, and might not be appropriate for those who want something more versatile.
  • It’s a Jeff Hanneman signature model, so if you’re not a fan of his, it might not be an appropriate instrument to play.

 

Godin 5th Avenue CW

Godin 5th Avenue CW
Sound:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Build:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Value:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Average:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

The Godin is a very stylish looking instrument. Its black body and headstock, with a Rosewood fingerboard in between are tasteful and eye-catching, and the sounds it creates are easy on the ear. As a semi-acoustic, it’s perfect for jazz, blues, country and rock ‘n’ roll playing, and it’s pretty similar to a Gretsch. However, the Godin doesn’t have a Bigsby tremolo, so if you don’t require one of those, this might be a better choice for more stable tuning.

 

Pros:

  • Perfect for jazz / blues playing.
  • Lightweight, hollow body gives it a unique sound and makes it audible when unplugged.
  • Rosewood fretboard makes it smooth to play and smooth-sounding.

Cons:

  • The body is pretty large, which won’t suit players with a smaller frame.
  • It’s less versatile than some other, solid-bodied guitars. You wouldn’t, for example, play something with heavy distortion and pinched harmonics on this.
  • You might need it setting up before you can get the most out of this guitar.

 

Fender American Special Telecaster

Fender American Special Telecaster
Sound:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Build:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Value:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Average:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Another classic here, this one, however, has more of a ‘distinctive’ sound. It is a Tele, and it sounds like a Tele. However, there are some extra cool features here! This Tele is super-easy to play, thanks to its jumbo frets and V shaped neck, and there’s a push button to switch between pickup settings, for extra versatility.

 

Pros:

  • Medium jumbo frets make it easier to play than some other guitars
  • 4-position pickup gives extra tonal versatility.
  • As it’s made by Fender it is durable, sturdy and can handle a few knocks.

Cons:

  • Although the jumbo frets are comfortable, fret ends on this guitar might be a little jagged.
  • You might get some feedback / humming problems with these pickups.
  • It’s has tonal versatility, but still isn’t as versatile as a Strat.

 

Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro

Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro
Sound:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Build:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Value:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Average:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

This lovely guitar will suit any blues-rock players out there. It’s smooth, has the classic Les Paul look and is made of Mahogany to enable a richness and warmth. This warmth is also enhanced by the Rosewood fretboard, which helps to make the playing experience easy on the fingers. It’s reliable, stylish and comfortable to play.

 

Pros:

  • Rosewood fretboard gives a warm tone and feels smooth as you play.
  • Mahogany neck and body adds to the warmth and richness of the tone.
  • Humbucker pickups are great for a thick, blues-rock sound.

Cons:

  • The humbuckers sound great, but if you’re looking for a bright tone, this won’t be the guitar for you.
  • It’s pretty heavy.
  • You might need to get it set up to eliminate minor issues like slight fret buzz.

 

PRS MHHB2 SE

PRS MHHB2 SE Mark Electric Guitar, Holcomb Burst
Sound:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Build:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Value:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Average:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Mark Holcomb and PRS worked together to design this beauty, and it really does nail the Prog Metal tones of Periphery. It’s designed to be played in drop C tuning and its Seymour Duncan humbuckers give it a monstrous tone. The neck is thin and comfortable, so you can whizz around with speed, and there are 24 frets, meaning you can really get the most out of this guitar!

 

Pros:

  • Great metal guitar, designed to cope with drop-C tuning.
  • The Mahogany body contributes to the warm sound of the guitar, and the Seymour Duncan humbuckers give it a high quality chunkiness.
  • There are 24 frets, so you can really make the most of this guitar.

Cons:

  • Although it’s great for metal, the way it’s designed for this style makes it less versatile than some other guitars.
  • There are just 2 knobs: volume and tone, so it’s less controllable than some other guitars.
  • As it’s a Mark Holcolmb signature guitar, it would feel slightly inappropriate in the hands of someone who wasn’t a fan.

 

Gretsch G5420T Electromatic

Gretsch G5420T Electromatic
Sound:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Build:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Value:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Average:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Jazz sounds great on a Gretsch, so does Blues, Country and Rock and Roll. This guitar has the classic Gretsch twang and its hollow body makes it easy on the shoulder if you’re standing for prolonged periods. It has a fun Bigsby tremolo, and it’s sturdy, big and really good value.

 

Pros:

  • Perfect for jazz / blues playing.
  • Lightweight, hollow body gives it a twangy sound and makes it easy to play for long periods.
  • Bigsby tremolo is fun and gives you more playing options.

Cons:

  • The body is very large, which won’t suit players with a smaller frame.
  • It’s less versatile than some other, solid-bodied guitars. You wouldn’t, for example, play something with heavy distortion and pinched harmonics on this.
  • The tuning isn’t as stable as on some other guitars.

 

Epiphone G-400

Epiphone G-400 Pro Electric Guitar
Sound:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Build:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Value:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Average:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

This Epiphone is also comfortable to play, though it’s the SG shape, rather than the Les Paul shape. Angus Young fans, look no further. It really does sound as you’d expect any SG to sound, even those that cost twice the amount. This makes it excellent value for money, and a great choice for those who play heavy rock.

 

Pros:

  • Slim neck and Rosewood fretboard makes it easy and comfortable to play.
  • It’s pretty light, so great for playing for prolonged periods.
  • Has great sustain and a well balanced tone.

Cons:

  • You might want to restring it before you start playing; the included strings don’t hold their tune as well as some more expensive strings.
  • You might need to get it set up to eliminate some small issues like minor fret buzz and slight problems with intonation.
  • The humbucker pickups sound great, but if you’re after the sound of single coils then there isn’t that option here.

 

Our Favourite?

As you’ve seen, some of these guitars are more suited to some genres than others, so the one you choose will be a personal decision.

However, we do of course have a favourite. There’s one guitar here which seems to shine above all of the others, and that’s the Shecter Hellraiser Hybrid C-1. Its quality of build, sound and the way it switches from beautiful clean tones to hell-raising distorted sounds is out of this world.

If you’re looking for something that’s suited to a wider variety of styles, the Fender Deluxe Stratocaster is the obvious choice, as its classic look and choice of tones delivers exactly what you’d expect it to.

Gibson freaks can rejoice in the Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro and the Epiphone G-400, both of which offer fantastic value for money as affordable alternatives to Gibson guitars, and jazzers can’t go wrong with the Gretsch G5420T Electromatic or the slightly different Godin 5th Avenue CW.

With the options here, we’ve no doubt something has caught your eye. Whichever guitar you decide to go for, we hope that it helps you to sound exactly as you should.

Happy jamming!

RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Google+
http://www.guitaristroz.com/best-electric-guitar/under-1000">
Twitter

Have your say