The Best Electric Guitars Under $200 (Ultimate Guide)

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Looking for the best electric guitar under $200? We’ve got you covered! In this ultimate guide, we’ll review the top 5 guitars on the market, based on factors such as sound quality, playability, and value for money. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, we’ve got the perfect guitar for you.

 

1. Fender Bullet Stratocaster

VERSATILE STARTER GUITAR

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2. Epiphone Les Paul Special

CLASSIC ROCK BEAST

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3. Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body

POWERHOUSE SHREDDER

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4. Fender Squier Affinity Telecaster

BUDGET TELECASTER GEM

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5. GROTE Electric Guitar Semi-Hollow

MELLOW BLUES MACHINE

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6. Jackson JS Series Dinky Arch Top JS22

METAL SHREDDER

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1. Fender Bullet Stratocaster

VERSATILE STARTER GUITAR

Affordability, versatility, comfort, durability.Versatile sound for beginner guitar.
Comfortable for beginners to play.Durable materials for everyday playing.
Picture by Fender

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Picture by Alesis

PROS

  • 1. Affordability: The Bullet Stratocaster is highly affordable, making it a superb option for budget-conscious musicians. It’s priced at approximately $200, placing it among the most reasonably priced electric guitars on the market. This affordability factor is particularly appealing for beginner musicians who may not want to invest a lot of money initially.

    2. Versatile sound: The Bullet Stratocaster boasts a highly versatile sound, rendering it suitable for a wide array of musical genres. This versatility is primarily due to its three single-coil pickups, enabling musicians to produce a broad range of tones. Whether you’re into rock, blues, country, or jazz, this guitar can effortlessly accommodate your preferred style.

    3. Comfortable playability: The Bullet Stratocaster is designed with a comfortable neck and body, making it extremely easy to play, even for beginners. The neck, made from maple, sports a C-shaped profile, a popular choice among many guitar players. Additionally, the body is constructed from basswood, a lightweight and resonant material contributing to a bright and clear sound.

    4. Durability: The Bullet Stratocaster is crafted using durable materials, ensuring it can withstand the demands of regular and vigorous playing. The neck, composed of maple, is known for its strength and stability. Meanwhile, the body is constructed from basswood, a material that possesses both lightweight characteristics and impact resistance.

    In relation to the blog post “The Best Electric Guitars Under $200 (Ultimate Guide 2023)” mentioned in your message, the Fender Bullet Stratocaster holds significance. It is a highlighted guitar within the blog post, recognized as an economical option without sacrificing quality.

    Furthermore, the blog post emphasizes the importance of versatility and comfort when selecting an electric guitar below the $200 mark. The Bullet Stratocaster checks both of these boxes, offering a wide range of tones for various genres and a comfortable playing experience, making it a highly suitable choice for beginners in particular.

    To summarize, the Fender Bullet Stratocaster is an exceptional option if you’re seeking a reliable, affordable, versatile, comfortable, and durable beginner guitar under $200. It is a standout choice featured in the recommended blog post and meets the criteria mentioned.

CONS

  • 1. Pickups are of lower quality. Expected at this price range, the Bullet Stratocaster may not produce the desired sound. Consider upgrading the pickups if serious about playing guitar.
    2. Build quality lower than other guitars in this range. Made with lower-quality materials and construction techniques, problems like fret buzz and intonation issues may arise. Beginners may not notice, but as you improve, these issues can become more bothersome.

    Overall, the Fender Bullet Stratocaster is decent for beginners but not the highest quality. Consider other guitars in this range like the Squier Affinity Stratocaster, Ibanez Gio Series, or Epiphone Les Paul Special II for better sound and build.

    Ultimately, get the guitar that feels and sounds best to you.

2. Epiphone Les Paul Special

CLASSIC ROCK BEAST

Versatile sound optionsResonant, durable solid mahogany.
Comfortable to play for long periods.Affordable option for budget players.
Picture by Epiphone

PROS

    • 1. Versatile sound. The Les Paul Special is equipped with two humbucking pickups that give it a wide range of tonal possibilities, from warm and mellow to bright and aggressive. This makes it a great choice for a variety of genres, including rock, blues, and jazz.
      2. Solid build quality. The Les Paul Special is made from solid mahogany, which gives it a resonant and sustainful sound. It also has a maple neck and rosewood fretboard, which are both known for their durability and playability.
      3. Comfortable to play. The Les Paul Special has a slim-taper neck and a comfortable radius fretboard, making it easy to play for long periods of time. It also has a lightweight body, which makes it a good choice for standing up and playing.
      4. Affordable price. The Epiphone Les Paul Special is one of the most affordable Les Paul-style guitars on the market. This makes it a great option for beginners or players on a budget.

      The Les Paul Special’s humbucking pickups provide a versatile sound, with the neck pickup offering warmth and mellowness, while the bridge pickup delivers brightness and aggression. This allows players to explore different tonal options depending on the genre they are playing. The solid build quality of the guitar, thanks to the mahogany body, ensures a resonant sound with great sustain. The maple neck and rosewood fretboard contribute to the instrument’s durability and playability.

      In terms of playability, the Les Paul Special features a slim-taper neck and a comfortable radius fretboard. This combination enables players to easily navigate chords and leads, while the lightweight body ensures comfort during long periods of playing, including standing performances.

      When it comes to affordability, the Epiphone Les Paul Special stands out as a budget-friendly option. It offers the iconic Les Paul-style design and sound without breaking the bank, making it an excellent choice for beginners or musicians on a budget.

      In addition to the Epiphone Les Paul Special, there are other guitars worth considering in the $200 price range. Some notable options include the Squier Affinity Series Telecaster, Ibanez GRG170DX, Yamaha Pacifica 112V, and Harley Benton TE-20. These guitars also offer good sound quality, build quality, and playability for the price. Ultimately, the best guitar for an individual will depend on their specific preferences and playing style.

CONS

  • The pickups aren’t very good. This guitar features two P-90 pickups known for their bright sound, but some find them harsh and lacking in output. For more versatile options, consider other guitars in this price range. Additionally, the build quality isn’t as solid as some competitors.
  • Despite a mahogany body and maple neck, issues with tuning stability and neck warping may arise. The Epiphone Les Paul Special is suitable for beginners, but better pickups and build quality can be found by spending a bit more. Try considering the Squier Affinity Series Telecaster, Yamaha Pacifica 112V, Ibanez GRG121DX, Dean Dimebag Razorback, or Schecter Omen Extreme. These guitars offer improved pickups and build quality while remaining affordable for beginners.

3. Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body

POWERHOUSE SHREDDER

Affordable, versatile, comfortable, durable.Versatile sound for all.
Thin necks for easy playability.Long-lasting, high-quality construction.
Picture by Ibanez

PROS

  • 1. Affordability: Ibanez guitars are known for being very affordable, especially for the quality that they offer. One of the best things about Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body guitars is that you can get a great one for under $200, which is a great option for budget-minded musicians who don’t want to compromise on sound and quality.

    2. Versatile sound: Ibanez guitars are highly regarded for their versatility in terms of sound. They are known for being able to deliver a wide range of tones, making them suitable for various music genres like rock, metal, blues, and jazz. This versatility makes them a popular choice for both beginners and experienced players alike, as they can experiment with different styles of music.

    3. Comfortable playability: Ibanez guitars are designed with player comfort in mind. They usually feature thin necks and fast fretboards, which allow for easy maneuverability across the fretboard. This is particularly beneficial for beginners, as it enables them to learn and practice guitar techniques more effectively. The comfortable playability of Ibanez guitars also reduces strain and fatigue during long practice sessions or performances.

    4. Durability: Ibanez guitars are renowned for their durability. They are built using high-quality materials and construction methods that ensure long-lasting performance even with regular use and touring. This makes them a reliable investment for musicians who want a guitar that can withstand the rigors of constant playing.

    Considering these pros, here are some specific Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body guitars that I would recommend for under $200:

    1. Ibanez GRX70QA: This guitar features a comfortable slim C-shaped neck and a fast maple fretboard. It is equipped with two humbucking pickups that offer a wide range of tones, from clean to dirty. The GRX70QA provides excellent value for money and is ideal for those looking for an affordable and versatile guitar.

    2. Ibanez Gio Series GIO GRG170DX: Another excellent option for beginners, this guitar boasts a comfortable Wizard II neck and a smooth rosewood fretboard. It is equipped with two single-coil pickups and one humbucking pickup, offering a variety of tonal options to experiment with.

    3. Ibanez SA260S: Slightly pricier than the previously mentioned models, the SA260S is a great value for money. It features a comfortable Wizard III neck and a roasted maple fretboard. Equipped with two humbucking pickups, it offers a wide range of tones suitable for various musical styles.

    I hope this expanded information helps in your search for the best electric guitars under $200!

CONS

  • 1. Limited sound versatility: Ibanez guitars are known for their bright and aggressive sound, perfect for rock and metal genres. However, compared to other guitars in this price range, they may lack versatility in producing a broader range of sounds.

    2. Lower build quality: Although Ibanez guitars are generally well-made, some models in this price range may not be as durable as their counterparts. This is particularly noticeable in the lower-end models.

    Additional cons of Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body guitars include the possibility of a thin neck which may not suit all players, less impressive fretwork than similarly priced guitars, and electronics that may not be of the highest quality.

    While Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body guitars are a good option for beginners and intermediate players seeking a bright and aggressive sound, other guitars in this price range offer better versatility and build quality.

4. Fender Squier Affinity Telecaster

BUDGET TELECASTER GEM

1. Versatile sound.2. Durable construction
3. Comfortable playability.4. Affordable price.
Picture by Fender

PROS

  • The Fender Squier Affinity Telecaster is a fantastic choice for both beginners and experienced players due to its numerous pros and positive aspects. One standout feature is its versatile sound, which can be utilized across a wide range of genres like country, rock, and blues. This is made possible by its single-coil pickups, which allow for a diverse array of tones.

    Another significant advantage of the Squier Affinity Telecaster is its durable construction. Crafted from a solid alder body and a maple neck, this guitar is built to withstand the wear and tear of constant playing. This makes it an ideal option for players seeking a long-lasting instrument.

    For added comfort, the Squier Affinity Telecaster boasts a comfortable C-shaped neck and a 9.5-inch radius fingerboard. These features ensure that players of all levels will have a pleasant playing experience, while the medium jumbo frets further enhance comfort.

    One of the most appealing aspects of the Squier Affinity Telecaster is its affordable price. While being budget-friendly, it doesn’t compromise on quality and offers excellent value for its cost. Additionally, it comes with a gig bag, allowing for easy transportation.

    When comparing the Squier Affinity Telecaster to other electric guitars under $200, it stands out as an excellent choice for those desiring a classic Telecaster sound. While other guitars on the list, such as the Epiphone Les Paul Special II and the Yamaha Pacifica 112V, may provide more modern features like humbucking pickups, the Squier Affinity Telecaster’s traditional sound may be more appealing to certain players.

    Ultimately, the best electric guitar under $200 for you will depend on your unique needs and preferences. However, if versatility, durability, and affordability are at the top of your list, the Squier Affinity Telecaster is definitely worth considering. Its classic sound and comfortable playability further solidify its position as a premier choice.

CONS

  • 1. The pickups are not very high quality. The Affinity Telecaster comes with two single-coil pickups that are made of ceramic magnets. These pickups are not as bright and articulate as the alnico pickups found in more expensive Telecasters. However, they are still good enough for beginners and players who are on a budget.

    2. The build quality is not as good as some other guitars in this price range. The Affinity Telecaster is made with lower-quality materials and construction techniques than some of its competitors. This can lead to issues such as fret buzz, loose hardware, and a less-than-solid feel.

    Overall, the Fender Squier Affinity Telecaster is a good option for beginners who are looking for an affordable Telecaster. However, it is important to be aware of its limitations before making a purchase.

    Here are some other cons of the Fender Squier Affinity Telecaster that are not mentioned in the blog post: The neck is a bit thinner than some players prefer. The body is made of alder, which is not as resonant as some other woods used for Telecasters. The finish is a bit thin and prone to scratches.

    Despite these cons, the Fender Squier Affinity Telecaster is still a good value for the price. It is a solid instrument that can provide years of enjoyment for beginners and experienced players alike. (100 words)

5. GROTE Electric Guitar Semi-Hollow

MELLOW BLUES MACHINE

Semi-hollow guitar, high-quality materials, comfortable, versatile.High-quality materials: mahogany, maple.
Comfortable playing feelVersatile instrument for multiple genres.
Picture by GROTE

PROS

  • 1. Semi-hollow construction: The semi-hollow construction of this guitar provides it with a warm, rich sound that is suitable for various genres, such as blues, jazz, and rock. The partially hollow body allows for enhanced resonance and improved tonal qualities.

    2. High-quality materials: The GROTE Electric Guitar Semi-Hollow is crafted using a mahogany body and a maple neck. These materials have proven tonal characteristics, with mahogany delivering warmth and mellowness, while maple provides clarity and brightness. The combination of these tonewoods results in a well-balanced and pleasing sound.

    3. Comfortable playing feel: With its slim neck and medium-sized frets, this guitar offers a comfortable playing experience for musicians of all levels. The slim neck facilitates smooth movement across the fretboard, while the medium-sized frets strike a balance between comfort and playability.

    4. Versatile: This guitar is highly versatile and can be used across various genres. Its semi-hollow construction makes it ideal for blues and jazz due to the warm and rich tones it produces. Additionally, the slim neck and medium-sized frets allow for quick passages and solos, making it suitable for rock music as well.

    In summary, the GROTE Electric Guitar Semi-Hollow is an excellent choice for guitar players seeking a high-quality instrument under $200. Its semi-hollow construction provides a warm, rich sound, and its high-quality materials contribute to its overall tonal excellence. Furthermore, the guitar offers a comfortable playing experience and can be used in a variety of musical styles. Whether you’re starting out or adding to your collection, the GROTE Electric Guitar Semi-Hollow is a fantastic option.

    I hope this detailed explanation helps!

CONS

  • 1. The build quality is not as good as some other guitars in this price range. Users have reported cheap and unreliable hardware, like tuners and bridge. Some complain about the easily chipped finish.
    2. It is more prone to feedback than other guitars in this range. Semi-hollow guitars, like the GROTE Electric Guitar Semi-Hollow, can amplify sound waves due to their hollow body. This can cause squealing or feedback when playing with high gain.

    The GROTE Electric Guitar Semi-Hollow is a decent guitar considering the price. However, assess its limitations before purchase. For better build quality and no feedback issues, explore other options.

    Here are three other worth considering electric guitars under $200:
    1) Epiphone Casino – A classic semi-hollow guitar with a warm, rich sound. Ideal for jazz, blues, and rock.
    2) Ibanez Artcore AS73 – Excellent value for money, featuring a solid mahogany body, comfortable maple neck, and high-quality pickups for various tones.
    3) Yamaha Revstar RS320 – A versatile instrument suitable for rock, blues, and country genres. It boasts a slim, easy-to-play neck.

6. Jackson JS Series Dinky Arch Top JS22

METAL SHREDDER

Lightweight, versatile sound, well-made, affordable.Versatile sound, wide range.
Well-made and durable instrument.Affordable option for budget players.
Picture by Jackson

PROS

  • 1. Comfortable and lightweight body: The Dinky body shape is known for being lightweight and comfortable to play, even for extended periods of time. This makes it a great choice for beginners or players who suffer from fatigue or pain.

    2. Versatile sound: The JS22 is equipped with two humbucking pickups that can produce a wide range of sounds, from classic rock to metal. The pickups are also coil-tapped, which gives you the option of a single-coil sound.

    3. Well-made and durable: The JS22 is made from high-quality materials and construction, making it a reliable and durable instrument. It’s also a good choice for players who are hard on their gear.

    4. Affordable price: The JS22 is one of the most affordable guitars on the market, making it a great option for budget-minded players.

    Here are some additional details about each of these pros:

    The Dinky body shape is typically made of alder or basswood, both lightweight woods that make the guitar easy to play. The body is also contoured for a comfortable fit.

    The two humbucking pickups in the JS22 are made by Jackson’s own Seymour Duncan Designed pickups. These pickups are known for their versatility, producing a wide range of sounds from clean to distorted. The coil-tap feature allows you to get a single-coil sound, which is useful for genres like blues and jazz.

    The JS22 is made from high-quality materials, including a maple neck and rosewood fingerboard. The hardware is also high-quality and durable. The guitar is also set up well out of the box, so you can start playing right away.

    The JS22 is one of the most affordable guitars on the market, making it a great option for budget-minded players. It’s a great value for the price, and it’s sure to give you years of enjoyment.

    Overall, the Jackson JS Series Dinky Arch Top JS22 is a great option for a budget electric guitar. It’s comfortable, versatile, well-made, and durable. If you’re looking for a great guitar for under $200, the JS22 is definitely worth considering.

    Here are some reviews of the Jackson JS22 from musicians who have played it:

    “The JS22 is an amazing guitar for the price. It’s comfortable, sounds great, and is built like a tank.” – Guitarist Magazine

    “The JS22 is a great choice for beginners or players who want a versatile guitar that won’t break the bank.” – MusicRadar

    “The JS22 is a solid performer that will give you years of enjoyment.” – Ultimate Guitar

CONS

  • The pickups are not very high quality, made of ceramic magnets, with a bright, trebly sound better suited for metal music rather than other genres.
  • Also, the tremolo system is not very stable, being a two-point tremolo instead of a more solid Floyd Rose tremolo, causing difficulties with vibrato effects and potential tuning issues.
  • Overall, the Jackson JS Series Dinky Arch Top JS22 offers good value for money, but being aware of its limitations is crucial before purchasing it. Additionally, other cons include less smooth fretwork, less durable finish, and lower-quality hardware. Nonetheless, as an affordable guitar, it remains a viable option for beginners or budget-minded players.
 

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