If you are new to playing and have reached a point you feel you need to move up to a higher quality guitar or if you are looking for a guitar to take to a gig that will perform well and not worry you about the abuse of the road a mid range guitar might be your solution.
We put together a list of 5 guitars under$500 that will serve this need and many more. We are covering a wide style of guitars and one or more should fit your style.
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar – avg price $425
For the rocker or the mellow player. The forever classic favorite that sets the standard for guitars of this style. Heavy mahogany bodies and dual humbuckers make for great sustain and rich tones. These guitars can provide that thick classic rock sound as well as clean up so well to provide smooth buttery tone.
For many, there is so little difference between the Epiphone and Gibson version it not matter what the headstock decal says to some players. The 24.75 scale neck and Tune-o-Matic bridge make this guitar endlessly comfortable to play.
Squier Deluxe Jazzmaster with Tremolo – avg price $449
For the “jangly” and the vintage player. This vintage-inspired guitar with pure Fender tone and style features a basswood body, Jazzmaster single-coil pickups, and classic dual-circuit switching design.
The Jazzmaster has this near endless tone adjustability and can keep one busy exploring the various switches and knobs. The mellow tones achievable are impressive. The guitar seems to play extremely well and it’s sound on clean and overdriven channels defiantly keeps up. If you are looking for a harder rock sound this guitar might not be for you since the single coils only go so far.
Schecter Demon-6 – avg price $479
For the “technical” to the shredder player. The archtop guitar features classy (bordering gothic) looks with its cream colored binding and pretty neck inlays. The deep body cuts allow easy access to the 24 frets on the 25.5 scale body.
The available genuine Floyd Rose whammy provides flawless performance as well as the Duncan designed active pickups. Give this one a run, it rarely disappoints.
Ibanez RG – avg price $450
For the shredder and hard rocker. The Ibanez RG series guitar set a new standard way back in the late 80’s and has continued to deliver today. The fast neck, light body, 24 frets, and evergreen style is evidence of this guitar’s longevity within the shredder and hard rock arena. Available in several colors and pickup combinations with the HSH style being the most popular. The IBZ pickups provide great tones for high gain and clean up nicely for a softer sound.
The Ibanez floating tremolo system is one of the best on the market and will provide a lifetime of awesome operation. Hard to not love this guitar.
Sterling by Music Man Cutlass CT50 – avg price $499
For the non hard rockers and almost anything else. The Cutlass is a strat like guitar that provides improved quality and playability then a Squire strat without the price tag of a Fender strat. The single coils provide that classic strat sound and the floating bridge with locking tuners keep the guitar in tune with use.
The simplified volume/tone knobs remove the vague function found in Fender/Squire strats. An interesting added feature is the finger ledge found on the rear of the tremolo. This allows the player to move the tremolo with their fingers in case the bar is not being used.
There’s 5 that provide awesome quality and play-ability without a large cash outlay. The varied styles can fit into many playing categories. Pop into your local store to check out some of these. If you have your own favorites leave a comment.