There’s something about the look, feel, and sound of an electric guitar that just exudes cool. It may be how often we see musicians on tv and in movies, or maybe our collective love for rock and roll and the blues. Either way, electric guitars are always associated with that certain element of style and vibe. And it’s not just limited to what we see on screen either; many of us have our own electric guitars and play on our own at home or with a band in local gigs. For those venturing into the world of guitars for the first time, or even for those who are well-versed with electric guitars, it’s often daunting to think about the process of purchasing a new instrument.
There are always so many factors to consider, from the hardware included to your own skill level and style, and not to mention the price! Good electric guitars can run you up quite a bill. Fortunately, there are now a lot of options for you to consider outside the high-end world of guitars that still boast incredible quality, sound, and build. For a budget of around a grand, you can definitely find a guitar that is well above the bracket of entry-level guitars and also fits everything you’re looking for. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, our picks will definitely strike a chord with you. Read on to see what our 2020 recommendations are for the best electric guitar under $1000!
Our Favorite Electric Guitars Under $1000 In 2020
The PRS SE Mark Tremonti electric guitar is a decently priced model that delivers on the classic design and sound that you might expect from Paul Reed Smith. This guitar has everything that you might expect for one that’s named for Mark Tremonti, a heavy rock player who made his name both through his solo work and as the lead guitarist of Creed. The specially-designed Tremonti “S” pickups for treble and bass are paired with volume and tone control for each pickup. The bridge is a PRS patented molded tremolo with trem-up route while the tuners are also PRS-designed. The body of the guitar features beveled maple with flame maple veneer for the top wood, and mahogany for the back for a smooth and classic look. While it does come with a gig bag, it doesn’t come with a strap so that’s something that you will have to look out for on your own. Otherwise, as one reviewer raved, this guitar has “awesome response, smooth feel, amazing sound! Easily an $8000 guitar in an $800 price point.”
From looks alone this Fender Strat might take the cake, with its alder body, maple neck, oversized “CBS-era” headstock, and synchronized tremolo with vintage-style bent steel saddles. The olympic white finish completes the look of a classic Strat but for a price that you wouldn’t believe. Beyond its look, this is a feature-heavy electric guitar that includes vintage noiseless pickups, locking tuning machines, and a push button S-1 switch built into the master volume control knob. The electronics are customized such that the master volume control knob consist of a preamp and a 6-position V6 rotary tone switch. When the S-1 switch engages the preamp, six different tone settings are available for you to choose from so that you can easily switch sounds. You may have to reposition the V6 switch so that the numbers align correctly but other than that, this is a solid pick. One reviewer commented that “this is guitar number 15 for me (it’s a sickness) and this is definitely my new favorite. It sounds amazing, has all the premium features, looks great, plays smooth, has a nice weight to it, and isn’t so expensive that you feel like babying it rather than playing it.”
Yamaha is a veteran instrument maker for both amateurs and professionals, and the RevStar RS502T is no exception. This model is a solid workhorse but Yamaha did not compromise on its comfort and playability–the body features a deep belly cut, hidden forearm contour, and a newly-designed neck joint to enable better access to the upper frets. The pickups are VP5 single-coils for the neck and bridge, built by Yamaha Guitar Development (YGD), and feature alnico V magnets, enamel wire, a German silver baseplate, and 8.3k ohms of output. You get volume and tone controls and a 3-way selector, and a wide selection of finishes so that you can select an electric guitar that best matches your existing set-up and ideal aesthetic while delivering on the sound. One reviewer noted that “for $700, this is a lot of instrument. The materials and craftsmanship are simply unbelievable. Every detail– from fit/finish down to switches and pots–is top notch. Neck is really comfortable–including nicely finished jumbo frets. If you like Gibson style electric guitars, you will not go wrong with this one.”
Although Electric Sound Products (ESP) is a relatively newer musical instrument manufacturer, it has been known around the world for its high quality standards and careful craftsmanship since its founding in 1975. The LTD EC-1000 series is especially designed for the price point that everyday musicians are looking for while still providing the tone, feel, looks, and quality that professional musicians demand from their instruments. It’s no surprise that the Duncan is one of the most consistently in-demand guitars out there, due to its vintage look and features such as LTD locking tuners, classic Seymour Duncan JB/’59 passive pickups, and a Tonepros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece. We completely agree with this review from a satisfied customer: “This guitar is really great. I’ve played a lot of Les Pauls and this one (EC-1000T) is a beast!
For this price you can’t go wrong. This guitar is very well built and come with TonePros locking Tune-o-matic bridge and tailpiece,22 Extra jumbo frets and Ebony fingerboard, I mean , It has features that just top and expensive guitars have.”
- Designed to offer the tone, feel, looks, and quality that professional musicians need, while still being affordable
- Consistently one of ESP's most popular guitars due to its combination of incredible looks and great performance
- Offers a vintage looking body/neck/headstock binding and gold hardware and includes premier components
- Features LTD locking tuners, a Tonepros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece, and classic Seymour Duncan JB/’59 passive pickups
- Also offers set-thru construction with a mahogany body, 3 pc. mahogany neck, and 24-fret Macassar ebony fingerboard