Best Electric Guitar Under $750
Intermediate-Level Electric Guitars
If you are looking for an electric guitar, and you've set a budget of $750, you have some great options. Companies like Epiphone, PRS, Fender, Ibanez, and ESP make beautiful instruments in this price range, with the tonewoods, hardware and electronics to get the job done on the stage, at rehearsal or in the studio.
Most guitar companies offer a wide range of instruments in their lineups, from guitars perfect for beginners to those best for pro players. I consider guitars in the $750-range to be intermediate-level instruments, good enough for seasoned pros but still affordable enough for serious up-and-coming players or basement hobby guitarists. At this price point, you can expect quality instruments which are a noticeable step above budget guitars.
But to land the perfect guitar you have to be willing to do a little research. This article can help get you on your way. Here you’ll find five of my favorite electric guitars under $750. If I were hoping to grab an amazing guitar and stay under budget, I would start with these instruments.
Truthfully, depending on what genre of music you are into, you can find a ton of different options out there in this price range. For the sake of this review, we’ll be looking at versatile guitars that are capable of spanning many genres.
They also come from some of the top guitar builders in the world, so you know you can expect quality. In many cases, they are versions of high-end guitars, made more affordable for the average working guitar player.
So, let's look at some guitars!
PRS SE Custom 24
My top pick goes to the PRS SE Custom 24. It's part of the affordable PRS SE series and based off a classic instrument. This is a company that makes some makes some beautiful, great sounding guitars, and their legendary Custom 24 model is at the top of the heap. For decades it has been coveted by guitar players around the world, and if you can manage to get one you’ll be the owner of one of the finest guitars out there. But, you’re not going to do that for under $750.
But you can grab a PRS SE Custom 24 and stay under budget. PRS SE guitars are instruments made for players who love the PRS vibe but are a little light in the wallet. But don’t go thinking they are sub-par instruments. They still must meet those high PRS standards.
The SE Custom 24 features a mahogany body with a maple neck and beveled maple top. Electronics include PRS pickups, a 3-way switch and push/pull coil split.
With its flame maple top and classy bird fretboard inlays, this is a gorgeous guitar that sounds as good as it looks. There are some outstanding guitars in this article, but the PRS SE Custom 24 is my favorite of the lot.
Check Out the PRS SE Custom 24
Ibanez S Series guitars are mahogany-bodied shred machines beloved by metalheads around the world. But some Ibanez guitars go a step beyond their metal heritage and make outstanding instruments for guitar players in any genre.
The S771PB is an S-Series guitar with a beautiful poplar burl top. Like all S-Series guitars, it has a super fast neck, a thin, comfortable body, and outstanding Ibanez hardware and electronics.
In this case, we have a pair of Quantum humbuckers surrounding a Quantum single coil, all controlled by a 5-way switch and one each volume and tone knobs.
For a long time, I have been a fan of the Ibanez S770PB. This is a guitar I definitely recommend checking out, but it will put you over your $750 budget. It has the same poplar burl top, mahogany body and Wizard III neck as the S771PB, but the difference is the bridge. The S770PB features an Ibanez Edge Zero II tremolo, where the S771 PB has a fixed bridge.
Epiphone Les Paul Ultra III
The Gibson Les Paul is one of the finest guitars in the world, but you sure aren’t going to land one and stay under your budget. So, through Epiphone, Gibson brings us affordable versions of their high-end guitars. One of these guitars is the Epiphone Les Paul Standard. It is affordable, and it looks and sounds amazing.
Somewhere between the wallet-friendly Epi Les Paul Standard and the pricey Gibson Les Paul, we find the Epiphone Les Paul Ultra III. This is a guitar similar to the slightly less expensive Standard PlusTop PRO in some respects, with its ProBucker pickups and mahogany body and neck.
However, there are some very interesting things going on here beyond what you’d expect from a typical Les Paul.
Most notably, the Les Paul Ultra III features advanced electronics that incorporate a Shadow NanoMag pickup built to capture the guitar’s body acoustics and string vibration. According to Epiphone, this brings you hard-driving humbucker tones and acoustic-like tones in the same guitar. If that’s not enough, the Les Paul Ultra III is capable of interfacing with your computer via a USB port.
It’s clear this is a step way beyond what most guitar players expect out their instrument, but for the tech-savvy guitarist, the Epiphone Les Paul Ultra III might be the perfect option.
The Epiphone Les Paul Ultra III Demo
ESP LTD EC-401
Theis based on the ESP LTD EC-1000 design, which is based on the ESP Eclipse, which is a single-cutaway guitar that brings some modern updates to the standard Les Paul-style vibe. Got all that? ESP LTD EC-401
It doesn’t matter where it came from, the EC-401 is an awesome guitar with some appointments you’ll appreciate in this price range. Some models feature active EMG pickups, where others have a passive DiMarzio PAF 36th Anniversary pickup set. Personally, I’d go with the DiMarzios.
There are also several finishes available, from pretty see-through tops to slick solid blacks and whites, to some very metal-looking Satins.
They all feature the same single-cut design with a mahogany body, set mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard and Tune-o-Matic-style bridge. The electronics are controlled by a 3-way toggle switch and two volumes plus one tone control. It’s a classic setup with some serious modern upgrades.
It's also a very impressive and affordable alternative to the Les Paul.
Hear the ESP LTD EC-401VF
Fender Deluxe Players Strat
The Fender American Standard Stratocaster is one of the most famous guitars in the world, sought after by guitarists in just about every genre out there. This isn’t that guitar. But it is an innovative Fender Stratocaster with some surprising features, and it is available for well under your budget.
Let’s start with the ash body. More commonly, Stratocasters are made out of Alder. However, and while it is a matter of debate, some players prefer ash and feel it makes the tone a touch more nuanced.
Personally, I think it’s cool, and I’d consider grabbing an ash Strat just to have something a bit different than my alder Strats.
The pickups are Fender Vintage Noiseless, a quality choice for a stock pickup. More interestingly, there is a special switch that allows additional pickup configurations beyond what is typically available with the standard Fender 5-way switching.
It’s a pretty guitar, with some tricks up its sleeve, and a great Strat for the money. The sunburst model with the rosewood fingerboard and gold hardware reminds me of a certain late Texas bluesman.
Choose Your Guitar
So how do you pick one of these guitars above the others? That’s a problem you are going to have to solve for yourself, but the least I can do is offer a few final words of advice.
- The PRS SE Custom 24 is my favorite guitar of the lot, although by a narrow margin. It’s a classy instrument, and I think guitarists in genres as diverse as metal, country, blues, and jazz will find it an outstanding choice.
- The Ibanez S771PB is a great option for rock guitarists who love to solo. While the Ibanez S Series is made to shred, this model has the elegance to appear onstage with even the most dignified of guitarists.
- The Epiphone Les Paul Ultra III is a unique instrument that’s full of surprises. Guitarists who are looking for a ton of versatility and who aren’t afraid of a little technology may love it, where more traditional players may shy away.
- The Fender Deluxe Players Strat is the only single-coil pickup guitar in this article, so it is the obvious choice for blues, rock and country players who want that Strat tone. It’s a great value for a Strat in this price range.
- The ESP LTD EC-401 can either be a classy guitar worthy of a jazz group, or a metal machine able to peel the paint off the walls. Or, anywhere in between for that matter. It’s a good-looking guitar that takes the classic single-cutaway design and builds on it in some interesting ways.
Really, you can’t go wrong no matter which of these guitars you choose. Good luck landing the best electric guitar under $750!