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5 Best Electric Guitars Under $750

I'm a guitarist and bassist with over 35 years of experience as a musician.

The PRS SE 245 is one of the best electric guitars under $750.

The PRS SE 245 is one of the best electric guitars 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.

This article recently went through a major update, as many of the guitars I originally recommended are now in the $800 to $1000 price range. There are certainly some excellent electric guitars under $1000 out there if you have the cash. Otherwise, check out these more affordable options.

1. PRS SE 245 Standard

My top pick goes to the PRS SE 245. It's part of the affordable PRS SE series and based on a classic instrument. This is a company that makes some beautiful, great-sounding guitars and, along with their legendary Custom 22 and Custom 24 models, their single-cutaway designs are at the top of the heap.

For decades, PRS instruments have 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 245 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.

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 245 is my favorite of the lot.

Don’t go thinking SE Series guitars are sub-par instruments. They still must meet those high PRS standards.

PRS SE 245 Specs

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Top: Beveled maple top with veneer.
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Pickups: PRS humbuckers
  • Electronics: Two each tone and volume controls, and a 3-way switch.

This guitar is also available in a slightly more affordable Standard version. PRS is one of the best guitar brands in the world and they don't fall short with the SE Series.

Check Out the PRS SE 245 Standard

2. Fender Player Series Stratocaster

The Fender American 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.

You may have heard of MIM or "made in Mexico" Stratocasters. This was a moniker given the old Standard lineup of Fender guitars. They were built in Mexico, they were affordable, and many guitarists loved them, including me.

Fender's new line of MIM instruments is called the Player Series. In my opinion, they have some serious upgrades from the Standard Series, and they continue to be one of the best affordable Stratocasters on the market.

If you are a serious guitarist without but you can't justify dropping the cash on an American Fender, I think will be very happy with the Player Series Strat.

It’s a pretty guitar, with some tricks up its sleeve, and a great Strat for the money.

Players Series Stratocaster Specs

  • Body: Alder
  • Neck: Maple
  • Pickups: Three Fender single coils
  • Fretboard: Pau Ferro or maple
  • Electronics: One volume control, two tone controls, and a 5-way switch.

The Player Strat is also available in HSS and HSH pickup configurations as well as with a Floyd Rose tremolo.

The Fender Player Series Stratocaster

3. Epiphone Les Paul PlusTop PRO

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 Standard PlusTop PRO. This is a guitar similar to the less expensive Standard in some respects, but with its ProBucker pickups, it comes much closer in sound and feel to a Gibson.

There is always going to be a debate and people comparing Epiphone and Gibson Les Pauls. Having owned both, here is my take: If you can afford a Gibson and can justify spending the money, go for it. They are amazing guitars and worth every penny.

However, for players who can't or don't want to drop $2,500 on a guitar, the Epiphone Les Paul PlusTop PRO is a really solid option. It has everything you want in a Les Paul-style guitar, without the big price tag.

You don't have to spend a fortune to grab a great Les Paul.

Epiphone Les Paul Standard PlusTop PRO Specs

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Top: maple top with veneer.
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Pickups: ProBucker humbuckers
  • Electronics: Two each tone and volume controls, and a 3-way switch.

Epiphone is part of Gibson and they make some of the best Les Paul alternatives on the market. They also have some cool '50s and '60s inspired models you might want to check out.

Epiphone ProBucker Pickups

4. ESP LTD EC-401

The ESP LTD EC-401 is 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?

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 pickup set. There are also several finishes available, from pretty see-through tops to slick solid blacks and whites, to some very metal-looking Satins.

It's a very impressive and affordable alternative to the Les Paul, but with a slicker feel and faster action.

ESP LTD EC-401 Specs

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Pau Ferro
  • Pickups: EMG 81/60 active set
  • Electronics: Two volume controls and one tone, 3-way switch.

ESP LTD EC-401 has a really cool vibe. It’s a classic setup with some serious modern upgrades.

ESP LTD EC-401

ESP LTD EC-401

5. Ibanez S670QM

Ibanez S Series guitars are 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 Ibanez S670QM is one of those guitars. The S670QM is an S-Series guitar with a beautiful quilted top. Like all S-Series guitars, it has a super fast neck, a thin, comfortable body, and outstanding Ibanez hardware and electronics.

This is a guitar built for speed, and if shred is your thing you will fall in love with the S670. Ibanez is one of the best guitar brands for metal, so if you are into heavy styles of music you know it can get the job done. However, I think it is versatile enough for other genres as well.

I have loved Ibanez guitars, ever since I got my first one in 1985. The Ibanez S Series comes in more expensive versions as well, but S670 is a great guitar for the money.

Ibanez S670QM Specs

  • Body: Meranti
  • Neck: Maple
  • Top: Quilted Maple
  • Fretboard: Jatoba
  • Pickups: Two Quantum humbuckers, one Quantum single-coil
  • Electronics: One volume control and one tone, 5-way switch.

You might also want to check out some of the affordable RG-series guitars in the Ibanez lineup. The differences between the RG and S are subtle but significant.

Ibanez S670QM

Ibanez S670QM

Honorable Mentions

Here are a few more guitars you might want to consider:

Fender Player Series Telecaster

To be fair, the Fender Player Telecaster could have been in my top 5. I personally just prefer Stratocasters. If you like Teles instead, definitely check this one out. Like the Player Strat, it is an outstanding, affordable alternative to going with an American-made Fender.

Schecter Damien Platinum 6

This is another guitar made for metal. I really like the Schecter C body shape, and their guitars are always better than you’d expect in their price range. The Hellraiser is an amazing guitar, but you aren’t going to get one for under $800. Instead, check out the Damien Platinum and stay under budget.

Jackson X Series

Jackson guitars have long one of the best guitar brands for metal. Countless shredders and metalheads have wielded their guitars throughout the decades. There are a bunch of Jackson models in this price range, including the Soloist, Rhoads, Kelly, and King V.

EVH Wolfgang Standard

It’s a bare-bones version of Eddie Van Halen’s tone machine. I think the EVH Wolfgang is one of the best guitars for shredders out there, and it is nice that you can get all of the things that make it great in an affordable version.

Gretsch G5230T Electromatic Jet

This is a great archtop guitar for jazz, but maybe more suited to rockabilly. It’s got that 1950s sound and vibe, right down to the Bigsby tremolo. The single-cutaway version is called the Jet, but there is also a double-cutaway model called the Double Jet.

What Is the Best Electric Guitar Under $750?

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.

  • PRS SE 245: This 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.
  • Ibanez S670QM: This 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.
  • Epiphone Les Paul Standard PlusTop PRO: This guitar is a great alternative to the Gibson Les Paul for a fraction of the price.
  • Fender Player Stratocaster: 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: 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!

Your opinion: Which is the best electric guitar under $750?

Comments

Riaan on January 09, 2018:

I love rock and I love birds, so guess what my next guitar is going to be :)

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