How to Sound Like Jimi Hendrix (on Budget Guitar Gear)

This article focuses on gear, not technique. You can devote many years to trying to learn Jimi’s style and play like him, but this is more about getting a guitar rig that will get you close to recreating the Jimi Hendrix tone at various times in his career.

In short, this is about capturing a tone similar to Jimi Hendrix. It’s not about playing like him.

Also, note that this is a basic list of gear that will get you close to 80% of Jimi’s tone. He was well known for trying many different techniques and gear throughout his brief career. This list covers the gear you will need to get something close to 80% of his tone. It covers the core of his sound but not every flourish, so to speak. Basically, this is not an exhaustive list for gear collectors and Hendrix aficionados. This is a list of inexpensive gear to use if you want to capture tones close to what Hendrix is most known for.

Now that the preliminary disclaimers have been dispatched, on with the list…

First up on the list is Jimi’s choice of guitar. While Hendrix is known to have played a Gibson Flying V on occasion, he is most known for playing a Fender Stratocaster.

“1969 Fender Stratocaster, original pick-ups, maple neck, strung upside down for a left-handed … genius, Jimi Hendrix.”

Ford Fairlane

If you want your tone to sound like Jimi, it’s essential to use a strat. As mentioned above, Jimi did play other guitars at times, but he’s so well known for playing a Stratocaster that it’s downright iconic. And the fact that Jimi played a right-handed strat that he strung upside down is so legendary it’s become a cliche (as evidenced by the quote above)

DENMARK - SEPTEMBER 03: Photo of Jimi Hendrix 10; Jimi Hendrix KB-Hallen Copenhagen September 3 1970 (Photo by Jan Persson/Redferns)

DENMARK – SEPTEMBER 03: Photo of Jimi Hendrix 10; Jimi Hendrix KB-Hallen Copenhagen September 3 1970 (Photo by Jan Persson/Redferns)

If you’ve got the money, then by all means go for an American made Fender Stratocaster, but the Mexican made is half the price and sounds just as sweet.

61awxcmla2l-_sl1500_Next up on the list is Jimi’s choice of amplifiers. He’s most known for two: The Marshall stack, and the Fender Bassman. Either one of these will set you back thousands of dollars if you go for the authentic. Lucky for you, modern technology makes it possible to achieve fairly accurate Hendrix like tone at a fraction of the price (and volume).

Marshall DSL15C

Marshall DSL15C

The best choice here is all tube, and for the budget conscious buyer that means the Marshall DSL15C DSL Series 15-Watt Guitar Combo Amp. It’s 15 watts of Marshall crunch and searing lead tone at just under $600.

Fender Bassman

Fender Bassman

That covers Jimi’s high-decibel, hard rock sound from such classics as Purple Haze, Foxy Lady and most of his early and mid-sixty’s sound. For his softer, more blues based side (think Electric Ladyland, especially “Voodoo Chile”) you’ll want the Fender Bassman tone, but that’ll set you back a bit more.

The Fender Mustang II

The Fender Mustang II

So, if you’re like me you’ll want something not too expensive and versatile. One of the most inexpensive and versatile amps on the market today is the Fender Mustang series. I recommend the Fender Mustang II V2 40-Watt 1×12-Inch Combo Electric Guitar Amplifier as the budget friendly option with enough bang for playing solo or small gigs. The Fender Mustang amp is a modeling amp, so it uses onboard software to model various other amplifier models and cabinets and does so convincingly. Just dial up a Marshal Plexi or Fender Bassman and voila!

The next piece of the Hendrix tone puzzle is the effects chain.

Jimi’s favored effects pedal were Fuzz and Wah, and later some Chorus/Vibe.

Hendrix Fuzzface

Hendrix Fuzzface

If you’re shooting for the authentic Hendrix Fuzz tone, you’ll want to check out the Dunlop Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face Distortion. If you want a good approximation for a few bucks less, check out the Dunlop FFM1 Silicon Fuzz Face Mini Distortion.

Dunlop Fuzzface Mini

Dunlop Fuzzface Mini

Jimi’s favored Wah pedal was the Vox Wah V847A, which is still available today.

VOX V845 Classic Wah Wah

VOX V845 Classic Wah Wah

Another favored sound of Hendrix in his later career was the Octave Fuzz (think “One Rainy Wish” from Axis: Bold as Love). A good choice today is the Electro-Harmonix Octavix Octave Fuzz Pedal.

Electro Harmonix Octavix Octave Fuzz

Electro Harmonix Octavix Octave Fuzz

Lastly, if you’re searching for the Hendrix “Star Spangled Banner” from Woodstock or “Machine Gun” from Band of Gypsys you’ll want to

Dunlop M68 Uni Vibe

Dunlop M68 Uni Vibe

use a Univibe pedal. The best bang for your buck here is the Dunlop M68 Uni-Vibe Chorus/Vibrato.

 

 

 

Pro Tips.

Here are a few bonus pro tips for nailing the Hendrix tone.

Strings.

Jimi preferred light strings, and according to Eddie Kramer, sometimes even banjo strings. This will definitely help you with bending notes. The great thing about strings is that they are probably the cheapest change you can make. Two great choices are Electro-Harmonix NIC9 Nickel Wound Ultra Light Electric Guitar Strings and D’Addario EXL120 Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings, Super Light, 9-42.

Cables.

Jimi preferred coiled guitar cables. Why is this worth mentioning? Because coiled cables in Jimi’s day had a bigger effect on tone than cables today. Coiled cables in the 60’s remove a lot of the higher frequencies which reduces the brightness you hear. This is especially important with single coil pickups, as are found in Stratocasters – Jimi’s cable choice likely mellowed the tone of his strat in ways modern cables do not.

Playing tips.

I said this post wasn’t about how to play like Hendrix, but here are some super-simple tips that are easy to implement and best of all – free!

Tune half-step down.

Hendrix tuned his guitar a half a step down (Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb). If you don’t follow suit, you won’t sound quite right for the Hendrix tone.

Pickups.

Use the middle or neck pickups as Jimi rarely used the bridge pick up.

Also, he favored rolling back the volume knob on the guitar for to get a “clean” tone, as opposed to a foot switch or channel swap…

This is all done with modern, inexpensive off the shelf gear so what you’ll get is a close approximation… not magic bullet solution…

e n j o y!

Related Posts:

Cheap Electric Guitars That Should Cost More, but Don’t.

There are many lists of cheap guitars on the web. Heck, I’ve even written a few myself. This is not one of those lists. This is a list of excellent guitars that should sell for more, but don’t. They are truly great guitars at affordable prices.

Many of these are the more affordable version of major guitar makers. For example, Epiphone is the affordable version of the Gibson guitar. Sometimes, the price difference is due to different components that are used, sometimes it’s a difference of where the guitar is assembled. Epiphone Les Paul guitars have different components than Gibson Les Pauls, but the difference is usually not noticeable to the novice or hobbyist.

Ibanez Artcore AF75

It’s hard to find a hollowbody electric guitar at this price, and harder still to find such a good quality one. The Ibanez AF75 is part of their Artcore series of hollowbody guitars, with a maple body and mahogany neck and ultra-smooth rosewood fretboard it has the look and feel of an old-fashioned jazz box. The AF75 comes with a pair of Classic Elite ACH humbucker pickups for everything from a warm jazz tone to classic rock growl.

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
Jazz Tones Demo:

 

Classic Rock Demo:

 

Epiphone Limited Edition Wildkat

If you’re looking for an ax with a sense of style – whether you play blues, jazz, rockabilly or just plain rock – look no further than the Epiphone Limited Edition Wildkat Electric Guitar in Pearl White.

Epiphone has been a leader in archtop guitar design since the 1930’s, but they’re not afraid of a little innovation. The Wildkat Royale is just such a design. Epiphone’s WildKat is a beautiful blend of pearl white finish accented by gold sparkle binding, gold Hardware and a gold Bigsby tailpiece. Vintage style dogear P-90 pickups round out the Royale vibe and give the WildKat classic tone and bite.

The Epiphone Wildkat is a smaller body, semi-hollow guitar that provides great vintage sound and vibe at a surprisingly affordable price. The WildKat features a solid mahogany body that is routed to create an acoustic guitar-like body. It’s got plenty of tonal versatility too, with bridge volume, neck volume, master tone and master volume controls. The WildKat also has premium 16:1 Grover machine heads, likely to help offset the Bigsby’s tendency to mess with the tuning. But the Bigsby was never really meant for dive bombing solo’s anyway.

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Watch the Review

Or watch this demo for more rock tones:

 

Epiphone LP Special II Les Paul

The Epiphone LP Special II is on this list because it is the Les Paul Electric Guitar that you can afford!

Epiphone was one of Gibson’s main competitors until Gibson bought the company. Being that Epiphone is now owned by Gibson, and they both make Les Paul style guitars, you can imagine that the differences other than price are such that the weekend warrior or hobbyist isn’t going to notice. (see the link at the top of this post for more on that)

So while the Epiphone LP Special II isn’t top of the line like the Gibson Les Paul, it is a very good guitar and it isn’t going to set you back $3,000 or more either.

The body and neck are mahogany, while the fingerboard is a smooth rosewood. It’s got 700T and 650R open coil humbucker pickups for long sustain and searing Les Paul tones. Also included are the LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge and stop-bar tailpiece.

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Watch the Review:

 

Fender Telecaster

The Fender Telecaster solid body electric guitar has been around since the birth of Rock and Roll, and with good reason – it’s a work horse! Its simplicity of design and versatility make it an easy guitar to play, and an old stand by for seasoned players when that flashy new ax runs afoul of the tech gods and starts to glitch.

All the Fender guitars on this list are made in Mexico, which is why they don’t cost twice as much. Unless you’re a pro, you won’t notice the difference otherwise.

Fender Standard Telecaster

First up in the Tele line is the Fender Standard Telecaster, with Maple Fretboard. This is the classic, no frills Tele. Complete with 2 single-coil pickups (neck and bridge), C-shaped neck, 9.5″ fretboard radius and medium jumbo frets, master tone and master volume knob, and pickup selector. That’s it. Not a lot can go wrong here, but once you master the finesse of the tone knob and the appropriate playing style, you’ll be amazed at what you can play with such a simple rig.

The 6-Saddle string-through bridge provides superior intonation, sustain, and ease of adjustment. Because of this and its simple design, the Fender Telecaster has a reputation for keeping great intonation and staying in tune, even after the most abusive play.

Fender’s use of alder wood for the body provides a bright, balanced and resonant tone with pronounced upper midrange, excellent sustain, and sharp attack. It’s a great guitar for Blues, Rock and Jazz.

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Watch the Review:

 

Fender Modern Player Tele Plus

For those who like the standard Telecaster, but feel that something is missing – check out the Fender Modern Player Tele Plus.

The Modern Player Tele Plus features the same body, neck and fretboard as the standard Telecaster, but the pickups are different. The Player Tele Plus replaces the single-coil bridge pickup with a humbucker, and adds a single coil strat pickup in the middle. It also has a 5-way switch for selecting a much greater range of tones.

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Watch the Review:

 

Schecter Omen-6

Schecter-OMEN-6The Schecter OMEN-6 is a great hard-rock and metal guitar for anyone on a budget less than 4 figures. This guitar features a Maple neck and basswood body, Rosewood fretboard and Schecter Diamond Plus pickups in the bridge and neck position. The naturally bright tone of the maple balances the warmer tones of the basswood body, and the Schecter Diamond Plus pickups are over wound for aggressive high output pickup, to help give your  amp a friendly shove over the edge. The OMEN-6 also has high quality Schecter tuners for precise tuning and a tune-o-matic bridge with string-thru body tail for better sustain and clarity.

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Schecter 431 C-6 Deluxe

The 431 C-6 is Schechter’s first “entry level” guitar to earn the “Diamond Series” name. That’s because it is built with more care and quality than many entry level guitars, but it still retains the entry level price. The Schecter 431 C-6 Deluxe looks cool, and plays great and all with an affordable price.

The Schecter 431 C-6 Deluxe comes in a very slick looking satin metallic light blue, black or white and features solid basswood body with a maple neck and rosewood fretboard. The 431 also has Schecter Diamond Plus humbucker pickups (which I think are actually produced by Duncan); volume, tone and 3-way pickup selector switch (neck, bridge, both).

Schecter 431 C-6 Deluxe
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Gretsch G5425 Electromatic Jet Club

It’s not often you see a Gretsch in new condition for a price like this. To be fair, it is an entry level guitar – but it’s still a Gretsch for under $300!

The G5425 Electromatic Jet Club features a chambered basswood body and arched laminated maple top with slick gloss finish. The neck is maple with rosewood fingerboard and “Neo-Classic Thumbnail” inlays. The chambered body gives it more sustain when plugged in, and a more acoustic sound when strummed without an amp. This makes it a pretty decent practice guitar if you want to get some licks under your fingers late at night without disturbing the peace.

Speaking of plugging in, the G5425 has two humbucker pickups – both Gretsch dual-coil humbuckers, and 3 positions: Bridge, Neck and both Bridge and Neck.

The Gretsch look is complete with pearloid pickguard and “G-Arrow” control knobs.

The Gretsch G5425 Electromatic Jet Club has a great mellow tone but is also capable of darker metal or hard rock tone as well at an incredible price.

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Watch the Review:

Danelectro ’67 Heaven

The Danelectro ’67 Heaven is one of the most unique looking guitars out there. With its single coil lipstick pickups and offset body style it looks vaguely like a distant relative to a Fender Mustang or Jaguar. Rest assured, it is as unique as it’s gator skin finish.

This is a modern day reissue of the ’67 Hawk that first appeared back in 1967. The body is solid poplar, the neck is maple and the fingerboard is rosewood. The controls are about as simple as can be: volume knob, tone knob and pickup selector switch. The switch toggles between neck, bridge and a blend of both.

It’s unique, cool and surprisingly cheap. What’s not to love?

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Watch the Review:

 

 

 

Related Posts:

Top Electric Guitars for Beginners Under $500

These guitars are suitable for beginners and more advanced players alike. They are middle of the road in terms of price, but the quality is top notch. They’re great for the hobbyist or even the weekend musician, or someone staring out in a more professional musical career. They touch on a number of styles and tones, and they’re attractive and fun to play.

Without further ado, here is my list of Some of the top electric guitars for beginners under $500.

Danelectro

The Danelectro company was founded in 1947 and still have a retro-futuristic vibe to their guitars. The look of these guitars conjures up science fiction visions of the atomic age, and they’ve got a distinctive sound too. If you’re the type of player who wants to get noticed for your guitar, a Danelectro is a great choice.

Danelectro D59MOD

Danelectro-D59MODThe Danelectro D59MOD is a double cutaway which features two single coil “Lipstick” pickups and vintage tuners. The Mod ’59 has basswood body and neck and a rosewood fretboard. The tone and volume knobs are dual, concentric knobs (one for each pickup).

At 6.4 pounds, it’s fairly lightweight too, which is good for the beginner or anyone who plays for an extended period of time.

The light weight and single coil pickups mean it doesn’t have the darker tonal qualities of a Les Paul, so it’s not well suited to the player looking for a more aggressive, metal tone.

Danelectro ’67 HeavenDanelectro-67-Heaven

The Danelectro ’67 Heaven is one of the coolest things out there. It’s got a classic, offset body style (similar to a Fender Jaguar) with an alligator finish, and “Souped up” single coil “Lipstick” pickups and an adjustable bridge. This is a 2013 re-issue of the 1967 classic.

Demo video:

Epiphone

Epiphone has been making musical instruments since 1873, and has made instruments for just every style of popular music. They’re mostly known these days for making more affordable Gibson clones. Gibson guitars have name recognition, but they also have a premium price tag to go with it. The truth is that it doesn’t make sense for the hobbyist (much less a beginner) to fork over a couple thousand dollars for a Gibson when they can get a better quality for the price with an Epiphone.

Epiphone Es-333 Tom Delonge Archtop

Epiphone-es-333-tom-delongeThe Epiphone ES-333 Tom Delonge Signature archtop electric guitar is built to the specifications of the Blink 182 guitarist – and it’s less than $500!

The ES-333 features the best of archtop and semi-hollowbody designs, along with Gibson USA Dirty Fingers humbucker pickups. It has a laminate maple body and mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard.

One problem with hollowbody guitars is feedback caused by too much uncontrolled resonance. The ES-333 solves that problem with a mahogany center block. This also makes for amazing sustain. An instantly recognizable Tom Delonge “paint job” of Cream racing stripes on a Brown finish round out the signature look.

Weighing a solid 12 pounds and stocked with Dirty Fingers humbuckers, the ES-333 has a nice beefy tone that lends itself well to hard rock and rock-blues styles.

Epiphone Es-339 Semi Hollow Body Electric GuitarEpiphone-ES-339-Semi-Hollow-body

If you’re looking for versatility and sustain, then look no further than the Epiphone ES-339 Semi Hollow body electric guitar! The ES-339 is one of the smaller ES series from Epiphone. It features ProBucker humbucker pickups, push-pull coil tapping knobs, which lets you switch between humbucker and single coil tones for each pickup. The body is a laminate maple and the “D” profile neck is mahogany. The tune-o-matic bridge makes it easy to keep in tune

It weighs 8.5 pounds, which makes it middle of the road in terms of weight. Also available in Natural finish.

Limited Edition Les Paul Custom Pro Electric Guitar, TV Silver

Here we get to the Les Paul.

epiphone-Les-Paul-Custom-ProI’ve always found it somewhat ironic that the guitar that is loved the world over by hard rock and metal fans was invented by an iconic Jazz and country guitarist from the middle of the 20th century.

But be that as it may, Epiphone makes killer (and quite affordable, compared to Gibson) versions of Les Paul. Here is one such version.

The Limited Edition Les Paul Custom Pro electric guitar is slightly smaller – it weighs a paltry 8lbs – than a traditional Les Paul model, but the the fingerboard and body are exact recreations of the Les Paul Custom’s iconic look. It’s a solid wood body (no laminate) with rosewood fretboard, tune-o-matic bridge and mahogany neck. It’s decked out with a ProBucker-2 and ProBucker-3 humbucker pickups. The volume controls allow for coil-tapping, which means you can switch between full humbucker or split single coil mode for a total of 6 different tonal possibilities.

Les Paul Quilt Top Pro Electric Guitar Faded Cherry Sunburst

Here’s an affordable Les Paul for all you Slash fans out there!

epiphone-Les-Paul-Quilt-TopThe Epiphone Les Paul Quilt Top Pro electric guitar, in faded cherry sunburst.

This beauty features a solid Mahogany body and carved maple top with a quilt design to the finish. It also has a set-in mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard. Equipped with 2 Pro humbuckers, each with coil-splitting (humbucker/single coil) and weighing a hefty 14lbs, this puppy is ready to rock when you are. Like the Custom Pro above, the Les Paul Quilt Top also has a tune-o-matic bridge and Grover tuners, so it gets in tune and stays in tune easily.

Wildkat Royale

epiphone-wildkatFinally, we have Epiphone’s entry to the Jazz/Rockabilly segment of the market. (Yes, I know, you can rock out on the Wildkat too but it just oozes Jazz Box looks..)

The Epiphone WildKat Royale is beautiful in a pearl white finish, with gold sparkle binding. The gold hardware and Bigsby tailpiece make for stunning accents as well. The WildKat is equipped with 2 vintage style dogear P-90 pickups which give it a hefty, bite to its tone. The gold B70 licensed Bigsby vibrato and tailpiece complete the look.

The WildKat is a limited production release, so they have a good chance of becoming moderately collectible, and at least holding their value a bit better than other mass-market productions. It’s got a semi-hollow mahogany body (with center block to dampen unwanted feedback), maple neck and
rosewood fretboard and weighs about 11 lbs.

It also features bridge volume, neck volume, master tone and master volume controls, and premium 16:1 Grover machine heads for more accurate and long lasting tuning.

Fender

Fender is one of the big players in the electric guitar market and they are well known for fine craftsmanship and innovative products. This craftsmanship extends to their budget (Squire) and Mexican made brands as well. Often times, the models made in Mexico use the same parts as American made, but with cheaper labor. The result is virtually the same quality guitar at half price.

Here are two classic models that feature the Fender logo, but are made in Mexico.

Fender Standard Telecaster

Fender-Standard-TelecasterLeo Fender’s game changing solid body electric guitar that launched the sound of Rock and Roll is still available largely unchanged today. Sure, there are artist endorsed and modified version for thousands of dollars, but you can still get a standard Tele for less than $500.

The somewhat corny history of the Telecaster is that Leo Fender wanted a modern sounding name for his modern, solid body guitar. Being the 1950’s and the heyday of the television age, he settled on “Tele” from television and “caster” from Broadcaster.

The Telecaster is still a preferred guitar for many players today (myself included). It’s simple feature set allows for a multitude of tonal possibilities from classic Tele spank and twang to classic rock crunch without any bells and whistle to get in your way. It’s a workhorse that rarely goes out of tune or out of style.

The Fender Standard Telecaster features:

  • 2 Tele single-coil pickups, great for Country, Blues, Rock, Pop and even Jazz.
  • A modern C-shaped neck, 9.5″
  • 6-saddle strings-thru-body Tele bridge allows for improved intonation and individual string height adjustment.
  • Shielded body cavities to limit unwanted feedback.

The Standard Telecaster is a simple, solid electric guitar. It has a 3-way pickup selection switch, volume and tone knob so you get excellent control over the sound, without an overly complicated control panel getting in the way. The 6-saddle string-thru-body bridge helps to keep the guitar in tune. In short, it’s simple and dependable, which makes fro a great guitar for beginners and experienced players alike!

The Standard Telecaster comes in more color and finish variations than I can really display here, but Additional Fender Standard Telecaster Models!

Fender Standard Stratocaster

Fender-Standard-StratocasterMade famous by the likes of Hendrix, Clapton, Beck, Gilmour and Vaughan the Stratocaster was Leo Fender’s follow up to the wildly successful solid body Telecaster. Once again, as with the Telecaster, Leo wanted to capture the modern futuristic vibe that the 1960’s had to offer and hoped his use of “strato” would make people think stratosphere and evoke the excitement of the newly born space race.

Whether people got the connection he was shooting for is open to debate, but what is not debatable is that the Fender Stratocaster is still one the preeminent guitar models 60+ years later!

Strats come in a host of varieties and player endorsed versions, but you can still get a basic strat for under $500.

The Fender Standard Stratocaster electric guitar features:

  • 3 Standard Strat single-coil pickups. This is the heart of everything from the Stratocaster squawk to creamy blues goodness.
  • A modern C-shaped neck, 9.5″ freeboard radius and medium jumbo frets. Playing fast, and string-bending like your favorite bluesman is a breeze on this neck.
  • Synchronized tremolo bar for everything from dive bombs to subtle vibrato
  • Shielded body cavities to prevent unwanted feedback

The Standard Stratocaster gives you legendary Fender tone with classic styling and weighs about 10 lbs. Additional Fender Standard Stratocaster models.

Godin

Godin is a Canadian guitar company and while some of their most popular models aren’t even branded as Godin (They make acoustics under the Seagull, Simon & Patrick, Norman, LaPatrie and Art & Lutherie brands), they are better known in electric guitar circles. They are typically favored more by studio musicians and touring players than frontmen, but the construction quality and tone are just as good as the big names.

Godin Redline HB

Godin-Redline-HBNext up, the Godin Redline HB electric guitar. The Redline is Made in North American (instead of China or Mexico, as is common with this price range) and features a double-action truss rod to help ensure a straight neck and proper intonation. The neck is made from Canadian Hard Rock Maple and features Godin’s “ergo cut neck” style for ease of play.

The Godin HB Redline weighs about 13.5 lbs, and comes with 2 custom Godin humbucker pickups – a GHN1 in the neck position, and a GHB1 in the bridge position.

Here are the full specs:

  • Rock Maple neck
  • Rosewood Fingerboard
  • 24 frets
  • 16 ” fingerboard radius
  • 24 3/4″ Scale
  • 1 11/16″ nut width
  • Body has silver leaf maple centre with poplar wings
  • 2x Godin humbuckers (Neck: GHN1 / Bridge: GHB1)
  • 3-way switch, 1x volume & 1x tone
  • Fixed Bridge

With its double cut-away body and hot humbucker pickups, the Godin HB Redline makes a great hard rock or metal guitar and the price is just right for the beginner or hobbyist.

 Gretsch

Gretsch-G5425-ElectromaticThe Gretsch G5435T Electromatic Pro is a very affordable and very versatile entry in the under $500 range. It features an arched top, chambered mahogany body with set maple neck and rosewood fingerboard. An Adjusto-Matic bridge with Bigsby B50 tailpiece and “Blacktop” Filter’Tron pickups complete the sound, making the G5435T a great way to own a piece of that Gretsch vibe.

I like the G5435T Electromatic Pro so much, I wrote a full review for it when it came out. You can read the full review here.

 

Related Posts:

The 10 Best Electric Guitars for Beginners Under $300.

What makes for a great guitar for a beginner?

In making this list of top electric guitars for beginners, I looked at 3 criteria:

  1. Quality vs. price
  2. Simplicity of design/use
  3. Versatility

My thinking is that it really doesn’t make sense for someone looking to start learning to play electric guitar to get a poorly made (cheap!) guitar – they don’t stay in tune, and they’re difficult to learn on. You really do get what you pay for, BUT there are quite a few good quality guitars for less than $300.

Simplicity and ease of use is also important because if you want to learn to play electric guitar, you don’t want to get lost in the bells and whistles of the device itself. The nice thing about this is that simpler designs are often cheaper too, because you usually pay extra for those bells and whistles.

Versatility is my own personal belief. I think if you’re going to be shelling out good money for something, you should get something you can use for a variety of styles, instead of a one-trick pony.

So without further ado, here’s my list for top 10 electric guitars for beginners under $300.

Epiphone

Epiphone has been making instruments for every style of popular music since 1873. They have a reputation for making affordable versions of Gibson model guitars, but they’ve been instrumental (pardon the pun) in jazz age guitars of the 1920s through through post-war pop, jazz, R&B, early rock n’ roll to grunge, and thrash.

Here are a few of the Epiphone models that make the top electric guitars for beginners, each for less than $300.

Epiphone Limited Edition “1966” G-400 PRO

epiphone-G-400-PRO

The Epiphone Limited Edition 1966 G-400  is a Gibson-authorized version of their great ’66 SG (the one made famous by the likes of AC/DC’s Angus Young, Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, Tony Iommi, Paul Weller, Derek Trucks and others) with a solid mahogany body and slim-taper set mahogany neck.

Beside the price, there are a few other things that set the Epiphone 1966 G-400 PRO apart from the original vintage 1966 SG. Instead of the smaller pickguard, the Epiphone 1966 G-400 PRO has the larger pickguard so there aren’t any pickup mounting rings around the pickups.

Other features include:

  • high-output Alnico Classic Pro humbuckers (P-90’s on the original ’66 SG )
  • Separate volume and tone controls for each pickup (this increases the tonal possibilities and control)
  • A LockTone tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece (to provide better sustain )

The classic SG double-cutaway body of the Epiphone 1966 G-400 PRO lets you reach all 22 frets with ease. The body is solid mahogany and so is the Slim-taper neck. The Alnico Classic Pro humbuckers are set to coil-split, meaning you can switch them from full humbucker to single coil, increasing the tones available.

Longtime readers of this site know that I’m a huge fan of simplicity and versatility. The Epiphone Limited Edition 1966 G-400 Electric Guitar has both, and at a price which definitely makes it a top electric guitar for beginners.

Here’s Demo of the features and flexibility:

Epiphone G-310

Epiphone-G-310The Epiphone G-310 is built to the same dimensions as the vintage Gibson SGs of the 1960s, and with the same techniques as those used in the original Kalamazoo factory. It’s a well balanced guitar, unlike many cheaper clones that tend to be neck-heavy.

Like the Epiphone 1966 G-400 PRO above, the The Epiphone G-310 features a Mahogany body and neck, with a rosewood fingerboard. Where it differs from the G-400 is in the pickups. The G-310 does not feature coil splitting, so you only get the pure humbucker sound. Also, the G-310 features a 650R Humbucker in the neck and a 700T Humbucker pickup in the bridge, and a 3-way toggle switch for selecting neck, bridge or both.

The 700T humbuckers of the G-310 give it a warmer, Les Paul sounding tone, while the G-400 has Alnico V pickups and give it a more aggressive, punchy sound, typically found on Fender guitars.

The 700T humbuckers of the G-310 make it better suited to more metal tones, but make it less versatile than the G-400.

I actually wrote a review of the The Epiphone G-310 a while ago before I thought about what makes the best electric guitars for beginners. That’s because the G-310 is one of the best electric guitars under $300.. Period. So rather than re-write that review again, you can just read the full review here: The Epiphone G-310, An affordable SG.

The Epiphone G-310 is available in both Black and Red, and is available for about $250 at the time of this writing.

Clean demo:

Gain demo:

Epiphone Dot Studio

Epiphone-DotLast up for Epiphone’s entry into this list of the top 10 electric guitars for beginners under $300 is the Epiphone Dot Studio Electric Guitar.

The Epiphone Dot features:

  • Mahogany neck and body
  • 2 Alnico Classic pickups with a hotter bridge pickup
  • ever fashionable chrome hardware
  • classic vintage style tuno-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece
  • Mahogany center block (to limit unwanted feedback)

The Epiphone Dot is capable of producing a wide range of tone that makes it a very versatile electric guitar that’s great for beginners. It’s also a Semi-hollowbody, which means it has an acoustic element to it as well as electric, and has more resonance than a solid body electric guitar.

The Epiphone Dot is well suited to classic rock, country, blues and jazz styles.

The Epiphone Dot is Epiphone’s version of the Gibson ES 335 “Dot” (made famous by the likes of Eric Clapton, BB King, Albert Lee, Chuck Berry, Larry Carlton, Dave Grohl and Roy Orbison) and is one of the best deals today for guitar players who want the classic sound of an ES 335 at an affordable price.

Jazz/Blues/Rock Lead demo

Fender

The Squier name is known to many as a low-cost “value brand” alternative to the Fender name. Don’t worry, Squier guitars are made with the attention to quality and often with the same parts as Fender guitars, albeit lower priced parts. While you won’t find top-notch extras and hand-assembly in Squier models, you will find top-notch quality. Squier guitars can be viewed as simply Fender electric guitars under $300.

Squier Affinity Telecaster

Squier-Affinity-TelecasterThe Squier Affinity Telecaster is hands down one of the best choices for an electric guitar for beginners. It’ solid, simple and versatile. Because it’s a Squire (by Fender) you know it has quality built in and it can be yours for a great price.

The Squier Affinity Telecaster features:

  • Alder body
  • Maple neck, with Polyurethane finish
  • 2 single coil pickups – both vintage Tele single coils
  • Master Volume control
  • Master Tone control
  • 3-Position blade pickup switch:
    • Position 1. Bridge Pickup
    • Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups
    • Position 3. Neck Pickup

What makes the Fender Squier Affinity Telecaster Electric Guitar such a great choice for a beginner is its price, and simplicity. There’s no coil tapping, tremolo bar or pickup circuit switching.

The Squier Affinity Telecaster stays in tune and holds its intonation well. Basically, it gets out of your way so you can focus on learning guitar, be it blues, rock, jazz or country. Easily one of the best electric guitars under $300, for beginners or anyone, really.

Demo

detailed demo

Squier Stratocaster

Squier-Fender-Deluxe-StratocasterThe Fender Stratocaster is a musical icon unto itself. It’s taken center stage from the early days of rock-n-roll, through blues and even hard rock and metal. It’s easy to see why, with the comfort and features it has to offer.

The Squier Stratocaster is a value-priced version of the Fender Strat, which means not as many hand-styled appointments and less expensive pickups. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad guitar. In fact, it’s a really great guitar and saves you $700+ in the process!

Squier Deluxe Stratocaster features:

  • Basswood body
  • Polyurethane finish on the neck
  • Maple neck and fingerboard
  • 3 Duncan single-coil pickups; SC-101B (bridge), SC-101 (middle), SC-101N (neck)
  • 5-position pickup selector :
    • Position 1. Bridge Pickup
    • Position 2. Bridge and Middle Pickup
    • Position 3. Middle Pickup
    • Position 4. Middle and Neck Pickup
    • Position 5. Neck Pickup
  • Standard Tremolo Arm

The Squier by Fender Deluxe Stratocaster is a great electric guitar for beginners and a great way to own a piece of iconic guitar history for less than $300.

Demo

Jaguar

Squier-Fender-Vintage-Modified-JaguarThe Jaguar was originally released for the Surf Music crowd in the 1960’s, but has been seen prominently in everything from Jazz to punk to alternative. It’s one of the few guitars on this list that don’t fit the simplicity rule, but it’s got such a great, unique vibe and it is one of the better electric guitars under $300 on the market today, so it made the list.

The Jaguar style is very similar to the Jazzmaster, but the tone circuit is where the difference really hides. The rhythm circuit is a simple, straightforward design that lets the player only worry about the tone and volume. The lead circuit lets you choose between pickups, turn off either pickup on or off and cut the bass frequency for treble heavy lead tone.

Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar features:

  • Basswood body
  • Maple neck with polyurethane gloss finish
  • Duncan JG-101B single coil bridge pickup
  • Duncan JG-101N single coil neck pickup
  • 3-way toggle switch for pickup selection – neck, bridge or both
  • Tortoiseshell pickguard
  • Chrome hardware
  • non-locking floating vibrato with vintage-style tremolo arm

The Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Jaguar Electric Guitar is a unique and versatile guitar at a great price. It’s great for beginners and experienced players who are looking for something a little bit different, without breaking the bank.

Demo

Gretsch

A Gretsch guitar is a very special thing. They have a completely unique vibe. Unfortunately, they also have a Gibson-like price tag. Gretsch does have a few really nice budget friendly models. Only one makes the cut for top 10 electric guitars for beginners under $300 though.

Gretsch G5425 Electromatic

Gretsch-G5425-ElectromaticThe Gretsch G5425 is all you Gretsch fans out there who can’t afford the $2,500+ for most models. (me included!)

The G5425 has that real Gretsch sound and classic Gretsch style that just ooze jazz and rockabilly vibe. The  Jet Club Electromatic is well suited to country and rock too.

The Gretsch G5425 features:

  • Chambered Basswood Body with Arched Laminated Maple Top
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Maple neck
  • 2 Gretsch dual-coil humbucker pickups; 1 in the neck position,
    1 in the bridge position
  • 3-Position pickup selector toggle:
    • Position 1. Bridge Pickup
    • Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups
    • Position 3. Neck Pickup
  • Master Volume control
  • Master Tone control
  • “G” arrow knobs and white pearloid Gretsch-logo pickguard

The G5425 Jet Club Electromatic is all Gretsch, except the price.

It’s also a great electric guitar for beginners for the same reason the Squier Affinity Telecaster is – simplicity, quality and price (although the Gretsch G5425 is a bit more money than the Squier).

What sets the Gretsch G5425 apart from the Squier Affinity Telecaster is the Telecaster has more treble-y “spank” and twang to its character, while the Gretsch G5425 has a more mellow tone, and is capable of darker (more traditionally metal) tonal characteristics.

The Gretsch G5425: another great electric guitar under $300.

demo

Ibanez

Ibanez is well known in jazz and rock circles, even though players of one genre may not be aware that they make guitars for the other!

A quick look at these two offerings for this list of top 10 electric guitars for beginners under $300 from Ibanez will show how diverse a company it is.

AS53TF

Ibanez-AS53TFThe Ibanez AS53 is a great electric guitar for beginners because it’s a semi-hollowbody guitar, which means it has acoustic guitar qualities of resonance – the best of both worlds! The AS53 has jazz box looks and vibe, but don’t let that fool you, it can rock with the best of them.

AS53 features:

  • Mahogany neck
  • Sapele body
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • 2 humbucker pickups:
    • Neck:ACH-ST
    • Bridge:ACH-ST
  • 3-way toggle
    • neck
    • bridge
    • both

The ACH pickups create a nice, warm tone with quick response which makes it very well suited to jazz or clean style blues. It does give a nice classic rock crunch as well, but probably not enough for metal (without some serious distortion effect pedal…).

The ACH pickups and semi-hollowbody structure of the AS53 make for some great sustain characteristics, while the center block helps eliminate unwanted feedback. The Ibanez AS53 is one of the few hollow body or semi-hollowbody electric guitars under $300, and it’s a great buy if you dig the style.

Demo

Ibanez GRX20ZBKN

Ibanez-GRX20ZBKNThe Ibanez GRX20ZBKN is most definitely a hard rock/metal/80’s guitar. It always makes me laugh to think that the same company makes guitars like the AS53TF jazz box above and a shredder like the GRX20…

Anyway, where the AS53TF is built for comfort and groove, the Ibanez GRX20 is built for speed and power. It’s dual humbuckers are built to howl, not purr, and a tremolo on an ax like this is meant for one thing – dive bombs!

Yeah, I know… this one doesn’t quite meet up with the “versatility” criteria for top electric guitars for beginners, but it is a great buy and rounds out the list nicely.

Ibanez GRX20 features:

  • Maple neck
  • Basswood body
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • 2 Powersound humbucking pickups
    • Bridge
    • Neck
  • Tremolo arm

The Ibanez GRX20ZBKN Electric Guitar is a great electric guitar for beginners, or anyone seeking that 80’s rock vibe.

Demo

Yamaha

Yamaha is well known for their keyboards, pianos and bass guitars, but they also have a number of very good electric guitars. Sadly, there’s only one with a price tag that fits the under $300 category. The good news: it’s definitely a top electric guitar for beginners!

Pacifica PAC112V

Pacifica-PAC112VThe Pacifica PAC112V has a very strat-like body, and like the strat, it is comfort-contoured. Unlike the classic strat, the Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V has 1 humbucker pickup and 2 single coils. This gives it a different sound than the Squier Deluxe Stratocaster further up this list, even though it has a similar look.

Here are the full specs:

  • Solid Alder body
  • Maple neck
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Vintage Tremolo with Block Saddles
  • 3 pickups:
    • single-coil neck pickup
    • single-coil middle pickup
    • AlnicoV Humbucker bridge pickup
  • 5-Position Pickup Switch with Coil Tap Function
  • Master Volume control
  • Master Tone control

The Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V Electric Guitar is currently selling at the high end of the price range to make this list of top 10 electric guitars for beginners under $300, but it’s a very good quality guitar.

Demo

Conclusion

No matter what style of music you prefer, I think we can agree that there is something on this list of top 10 electric guitars for beginners under $300 that suits the style, and fits the bill (budget-wise). They’re all great quality guitars and none is better than the other, just different enough to suit your personal taste.

Happy strumming!

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6 Best Camping guitars under $300

Camping season is upon us, at least it is here in the Northeast…

My family and I are avid campers, but we don’t backpack to remote locations in the mountains. We load up the family car and head off to a very nice, and somewhat secluded state park every year.

This means we have plenty of space for good food, beer and shelter. We don’t rough it, but we do sleep in tents and shield ourselves from the rain with a canopy tarp system.

We don’t have many rules when camping, but electronics are taboo. That means bringing any of the impressive amps that made my list of The 8 Best Portable Battery Powered Guitar Amps is out of the question, and it also means my beloved Pignose 7-100 Legendary Portable Amp stays at home on the shelf as well.

But that’s OK, because it lets me focus my playing on my acoustic guitar.

There’s just something organic and real about playing acoustic guitars in nature. I don’t know how else to explain it.

What makes a great camping guitar ?

Since you’re out in nature, there is a real chance of accidental damage due to sudden rain storm, or the occasional flaming hot coal springing out of the campfire, so you don’t want to be bringing your prized $1,000 acoustic guitar along.

That means the first criteria for a good camping guitar is a low price point. It turns out you don’t have to spend that much to get a good sounding, quality built acoustic guitar.

But low price point alone will likely get you a cheap piece of crap that doesn’t stay in tune or is uncomfortable and just no fun to play.

So that means that the second criteria is quality.

You want an acoustic guitar priced for beginners, with build quality that professionals and long time players expect from a guitar.

Some factors that go into build quality include: use of solid tonewood tops (no laminate!), an effective bracing pattern (bracing on an acoustic guitar strengthens the top against the tension of the strings and also serves to create the guitar’s tonal signature), and lightweight.

The weight is somewhat optional for me, since we pack all our stuff into the car. But if you’re concerned about weight, there are a few nice lightweight models on this list too.

6 of the best camping guitars under $300.

Epiphone DR-212 12-String Acoustic Guitar

epiphone-DR-212

The Epiphone DR-212 is a 12 string guitar and delivers great dreadnought sound and style.

This is an incredible buy for the price – the Epiphone DR-212 is not just a 6 string guitar with an extra 6 strings (as some cheaper made 12 string guitars out there), the Epiphone DR-212 is built to Epiphone standards and that means solid structural engineering.

The Epiphone DR-212 has the strength and body support to handle the additional tension of 12 strings, but it’s still fairly lightweight and delivers a balanced, yet crisp tone owing to the use of the all Spruce top.

The Epiphone DR-212 features a solid Spruce top and 25.5″ scale Mahogany SlimTaper neck with rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays.

The Epiphone DR-212 is one of the larger guitars on this list, but given its sound and quality and the fact that it’s a full fledged 12 string guitar, the size is still manageable for a camping guitar… just as long as you’re not backpacking.

Product Dimensions: 44 x 19 x 5.8 inches ; 8.5 pounds

The Epiphone DR-212 currently lists for over $300 but sells for only $199.

You probably won’t find a more versatile, better made 12 string at this price point.

Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar

epiphone-DR-100

The Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar is essentially the 6 string version of the DR-212. It’s a classic dreadnought body, which makes it well suited to just about everything from bluegrass, folk, rock, country and some blues.

The Epiphone DR-100 features a select spruce top, mahogany body, and neck with 25.5″ scale rosewood fingerboard.

It’s available in Ebony, Natural and Vintage Sunburst finish.

The Epiphone DR-100 sells for about $99 and at 8 pounds and 42 x 18.5 x 5.5 inches, it fits easily in the car or camper.

Epiphone AJ-220S Acoustic Guitar

epiphone-AJ-220S

The last camping entry from Epiphone is the AJ-220S Acoustic Guitar.

Its “bell-like” shape gives the AJ-220S a unique voice in the Epiphone family of Acoustic Jumbo guitars. The tone is strong, but balanced making it sound a whole lot more expensive than it is. The AJ-220S is built to stay in tune and be ready to play when you are.

The AJ-220S features solid Sitka Spruce top, mahogany body and 25.5″ scale rosewood fingerboard with dot fret markers.

The Epiphone AJ-220S Acoustic Guitar comes in Natural and Vintage Sunburst finish, is 43.2 x 18.8 x 5.8 inches , weighs about 7.7 pounds and sells for $199.

Yamaha FG730s

Yamaha-FG730s

The Yamaha FG730s is at the top of the price range for this list of the best camping guitars under $300, coming in at $299, but it weighs a mere 4 and a half pounds. This makes it the lightest and most portable acoustic guitar on the list as well.

The Yamaha FG730s is built with a focus on bracing, which provides stability and precision and means it stays in tune better, so you can focus more on your playing and less on maintenance.

The Yamaha FG730s ultra-thin finish (only 0.25 mm thin) means more of the the natural resonance of the wood can shine through, and of course makes for a lighter guitar too!

The Yamaha FG730s features solid Sitka Spruce top, and Rosewood fingerboard, bridge, back and sides.

The result of all this great wood and lightweight technology is an acoustic guitar with a clear, balanced tone and incredible control, in a lightweight package.

Product Dimensions: 42.5 x 21 x 6 inches ; 4.5 pounds

Fender CD-140s Mahogany

Fender-CD-140s-mahogony

Next up is the Fender CD-140s Mahogany. This is a dreadnought style acoustic guitar with a really sweet and mellow tone. It features all mahogany top and sides, multiple black/white body binding and is complemented by an elegant tortoiseshell pickguard and mother of pearl rosette design.

It’s much bigger than the Yamaha FG730s, but it’s a must for mahogany lovers, and is a steal at the price. It’s a Fender, so you know it’s made with quality and attention to tone.

If you’re looking for the full sound of a dreadnought at a good price, the Fender CD-140s Mahogany will not disappoint.

The Fender CD-140s Mahogany has a 20-fret rosewood fingerboard with small 3 mm dot inlays and sells for only $199.

Product Dimensions: 47 x 19.5 x 7.5 inches; 8.2 pounds

Ibanez AW400 Artwood

Ibanez-AW400-Artwood

Lastly, we come to the Ibanez AW400 Artwood. This is another dreadnought style acoustic guitar that features a solid Sitka spruce top, mahogany neck (satin finish), back and sides, a rosewood fretboard and tortoiseshell body binding.

It’s part of the Ibanez Artwood series, which means it is a modern construction guitar, built in a traditional style – a “best of both worlds” approach.

The Ibanez AW400 Artwood comes with an upgraded bone nut and saddle instead of Tusq, found in most acoustic guitars at this price point.

The Ibanez AW400 Artwood sells for around $299 and is comparable in size and weight to the Yamaha FG730s.

42 x 19 x 6 inches Weight: 4lbs 5oz

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Comparison: Fender Mustang Amp v1 vs v2

Since I posted Fender Mustang 1 vs 2, a Comparison, Fender has released another version of their popular Mustang series of modeling amps; the v.2.

Since then, I’ve gotten a lot of emails about the differences between the original Fender Mustang (v.1) and the newer v.2 and how they compare. Rather than copy my replies to everyone individually, I figured i would just write a post about it and be done. 😉

Difference between the Fender Mustang v1 and v2

The new v.2 models have gotten minor upgrades to the control panel, but otherwise look very much the same.

The new v.2 models have gotten minor upgrades to the control panel, but otherwise look very much the same.

Here’s a brief overview of what’s new in the Mustang v.2:

The V.2 is physically much the same as the V.1, except the outer covering is now tolex and the control panel has a more “modern” look.

The new Mustang V.2 series includes five new amp models, five new stompboxes, and pitch shifting (only available when you connect your amp to Fender Fuse).

New Amp Models in v.2

The five Amp Models are:

  • Studio Preamp
  • ’57 Twin
  • ’60s Thrift
  • British Watts
  • British Colour

I know the ’57 Twin was/is available as a download from the FUSE community page for the v1 Mustang series, and it was very popular. Fender probably decided to include it in the presets for that reason.

“’60s Thrift” is code for Silvertone amps, “British Watts” is the HiWatt, and “British Colour’ is an Orange amp style.

New Effects in v.2

Five New Stomp Box Effects:

  • Ranger Boost
  • Green Box
  • Orange Box
  • Black Box
  • Big Fuzz

And, like the Mustang V.1, all effects and amp models are tweakable when connected to the FUSE software via USB cable. Unlike the Mustang V.1, some of the new effects require an expression pedal (sold separately) to fully use.

Fender Mustang V.2 Demo

Final thoughts

The Fender Mustang series of amps is easily one of the best on the market. Not everyone will enjoy all the amp or effects presets, but with the Fender FUSE software you can tweak to your heart’s content. I long ago replaced most presets with my own versions and some I downloaded from the Fender community site. I’ve gone through a couple of sets of presets since I got it, and that’s one of the best things about it – whenever I find myself in a rut, or looking for a new sound, I can change my amp to suit my needs.

Fender FUSE is not hard to use (it provides an excellent visual simulation of your sound rig), but if you’re not comfortable with computers it’s probably not a big selling point. But for those who welcome modern technological tools, FUSE is a huge plus. With it, you can tweak just about every aspect of the Mustang.

So, is the Mustang v.2 worth the extra money?

If you’re looking at a Mustang III, IV or V, then the answer is yes. This is due mostly because the v.1 versions of those amps had a bug that is know as “FIZZ” among their grumpy owners. V.2 solves the FIZZ problem.

Note: The Mustang I and II models never had the FIZZ issue, so the only reason to buy a v.2 over a v.1 for those models is for the new effects or amp models.

Eventually, the v.1 versions will all be sold, so you won’t have the option of choosing. But until that happens, you can still snag a v.1 for much less than a v.2, and if you’re not hot for the new effects or amp models and are looking for a Mustang I or II, you can get a sweet deal.

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The 8 Best Battery Powered Guitar Amps Today!

Battery powered guitar amplifiers have come a long way. Technology has advanced to the point where you can now get classic Fender or Marshall tones in an amp about the size of a lunch box.

Better still- you can get classic Vox tones with a built-in beatbox for honing your rhythm chops anywhere you go. Or get virtually 11 different amps all in one, small portable battery powered amplifier.

The times, they are a changing but I think these changes are a good thing.

Here are 8 of the best battery powered guitar amplifiers on the market today, from big-name makers.

Marshall MS-4 Micro Stack Amp Review

The Marshall MS-4 Micro stack is what it sounds like – a miniaturized Marshall Stack.

Marshall-MS-4-Micro-Stack-Amp

It’s a 1w battery powered guitar amplifier featuring 2 independent speaker cabs – each with a single 3″ speaker – and an amp head with Gain, Volume and Tone controls. The Marshall MS-4 Micro stack is small and stands only 9 3/4″ tall.

The amp is switchable between Clean and Overdrive modes, and the single Tone control lets you adjust the balance between bass and treble. The Marshall MS-4 Is a playable little amp that is well suited for classic rock and blues, but not jazz or metal.

The Marshall MS-4 Micro stack is powered by a single 9v battery or optional AC power adapter and sells for about $60.

read more for a full review and demo of the Marshall MS-4 Micro stack.

Marshall MS-2

What a great time we live in!

Marshall-MS-2-Mini-Amp

Modern technology has now made it possible to grab the Marshall MS-2 Mini Amp and take that Marshall tone with you – anywhere.

The Marshall MS-2 Mini Amp has that classic Marshall look and crunch, with surprisingly loud volume for such a little thing. it’s just 5-3/4″ high and even includes a belt clip!

It features controls for overdrive, tone, and volume and is powered by one 9V battery.

The Marshall MS-2 Mini Amp is a 1w battery powered amp that makes a great and fun gift or a truly portable practice amp, and sells for around $45

Demo

Fender Mini Tone-Master

Last up on the mini Fender hit parade is the Fender Mini Tone-Master Amp. This is a miniaturized version of the classic Tone-Master. As with all amps mini, the Mini Tone-Master provides pretty nice tone – considering its tiny size.

Fender-Mini-Tone-Master

Fender does another exceptional job of keeping true to the authentic Fender details here – cab corners, retro grille cloth, and vintage white control knobs.

The Fender Mini Tone-Master Amp is a small 1w battery powered amplifier that features two 2″ speakers, Gain, Volume, Tone and Power controls. It runs on a single 9V battery (included), or AC adapter and measures 6-1/2″ W x 6-1/8″ H x 2-1/4″ D

Unlike the Fender ’57 mini, the Fender Mini Tone-Master Amp is all plastic, but lightweight and small. It sells for $29.99.

Clean DEMO:

Distortion DEMO:

Fender ’57 Mini

Fender-Mini-57-Twin

The Fender Mini ’57 Twin Amp is for all the Fender Tweed fans out there. This is quite simply a battery powered, highly portable version of the original.

Measuring at just 2.8″ x 9″ x 8″ and weighing less than 2 lbs, this is a ’57 Twin for your desk or to just grab and go practice anytime!

The Fender Mini ’57 Twin Amp completely captures the vintage 50’s look from its miniature chicken head knobs, down to its tweed covering and brown grille.

It’s a bit more sturdy than many other battery powered guitar amplifiers out there, since the Fender Mini ’57 Twin is made of real wood and not plastic.

Beyond the vintage look, it’s a rocking little amp too. The Fender Mini ’57 Twin is a small 1w battery powered guitar amplifier with twin 2″ speakers, Built-in distortion, Power, volume, and tone controls. It runs on a single 9V battery or power adapter.

The Fender Mini ’57 Twin Amp sells for about $43, and would make a nice addition to a game room, or office or bedroom.

read more for a full review and demo of the Fender Mini ’57 Twin Amp.

Fender Mini Deluxe

fender-min-deluxe-amp

The Fender Mini Deluxe looks exactly like a shrunken Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. It even includes identical “dogbone” handle, chrome control plate, mini chicken-head knobs. It’s a 1w, battery powered guitar amplifier with a single 2″ speaker. The Fender Mini Deluxe runs on one 9v battery, and includes headphone out, Volume, Tone and Drive controls.

The Fender Mini Deluxe measures at 5.8″ x 6.2″ x 2.8″ and weighs in at just over 1 lb. It’s highly portable, and great for practice anywhere.

The Fender Mini Deluxe sells for around $35.

read more for a full review and demo of the Fender Mini Deluxe.

VOX Mini3 G2 Modeling Guitar Amplifier Review

The VOX MINI3 G2 is quite possibly the ultimate portable modeling amp.

VOX_MINI3_G2_ivory

The VOX MINI3 G2, Ivory

It’s powerful and portable enough for street performances or picnics with the family or wherever.

Unlike some other battery powered amps, the VOX MINI3 G2 is not a toy. It’s a serious modeling amp based on the VOX Valvetronix family of amps and includes a new Bassilator circuit that provides richer low-end frequencies, which is great high-gain players looking for a deep metal tone.

The VOX MINI3 G2 features 8 editable effects, 11 amp models and a direct line connection for ultimate clean tone, or portable PA!

The VOX MINI3 G2 runs on 6-AA batteries or AC adapter, weighs 6.6 lbs (3 kg) and measures10.32″ (262mm) x 6.85″ (174 mm) x 8.78″ (223mm).

read more for a full review and demo of the VOX MINI3 G2 .

Vox AC1 RhythmVOX Portable Practice Amp Review

Vox-AC1-RhythmVOX

The AC1 RhythmVOX is not just a great portable practice amp, but it’s a rhythm box too. The RhythmVOX features 66 Rhythm/Song Patterns for rhythm practice and experimentation. From straight forward metronome to song accompaniment with a host of song style beats, the AC1 RhythmVOX is a box of fun.

The quality of the beat patterns is excellent and the tempo and volume of each can be controlled in an intuitive way, so you can quickly dial in the settings you want.

Features include gain, tone, and volume controls, headphone jack, Aux In jack – to jam along with your CD or MP3 player and a pair of 3″ speakers.

Coming in at about the size of a lunchbox (7″W x 2-1/2″D x 5″H) and weighing about 1 lb, the Vox AC1 RhythmVOX is a truly portable battery powered amp, but also runs on AC adapter.

read more for a full review and demo of the AC1 RhythmVOX.

Orange Micro Crush

orange-micro-crush-amp

The Orange Micro Crush CR3 a 3w battery powered amp from famed Orange Amplifiers. With a single 4″ speaker, overdrive channel, and tone control, this little guy can rock!

The Orange Micro Crush CR3 is all Orange, from the woven grill to rubber footstools and trademark Orange finish. it’s also wood, and not plastic.

The CR3 has a chromatic tuner, headphone jack and runs on a single 9v battery 9or AC adapter).

It may be small, but the Orange Micro Crush CR3 is all Orange and it’s a little beast.

read more for a full review and demo of the Orange Micro Crush amp.

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Fender Mustang 1 vs 2, a Comparison.

Fender Mustang 1 vs. 2. It’s a question many guitar players may ask themselves when they’re looking for a new modeling amp. Digital modeling amps dominate the market for guitar amps under $200. Some of the best sellers in this price range are the Fender Mustang series of amps, specifically the Fender Mustang 1 and 2.

Both have the exceptional cleans that Fender amps are renowned for, and both are loaded with a ton of features, effects and amplifier models to play with.

In fact, the Mustang 1 and Mustang 2 are really very similar. Here’s a comparison between the two models to help decide which one fits you best.

Fender Mustang 1 vs Mustang 2 comparison

Fender Mustang 1 vs 2: physical dimension/construction.

The Fender Mustang 1 fits the standard practice amp mold with 20w and 1-8” speaker. It’s measures at 7.6″ x 15.5″ x 14.5″ and weighs 17 lbs. It’s big enough for decent volume, yet small enough to be portable.

The Mustang 2 is the big brother by comparison. It features 40w and 1-12” speaker, measures 8.7″ x 18.25″ x 17.25″ and weighs 24 lbs. The Mustang 2 is still pretty easy to get from point A to point B, but has a bit more rounded sound and larger headroom.

Both the Mustang 1 and 2 sport the Fender Carbon Tweed Textured Vinyl with Silver Grille Cloth cover.

Fender Mustang 1 vs 2: features.

This comparison is really easy – both the Mustang 1 and Mustang 2 have identical feature sets.

Both the Mustang 1 and Mustang 2 have the following features:

  • One standard guitar input
  • One foot switch input
  • 1/8” Stereo Input Jack
  • Speaker Emulated USB Output;
  • 1/8” Headphone Jack Doubles as Speaker Emulated Line Out
  • One Channel with 24 Presets
  • Amp modeling
  • Distortion
  • Chromatic tuner
  • Additional effects including fuzz, pitch shifter and touch wah, with even more available through Fender FUSE.

Both the Mustang 1 and Mustang 2 come with the following software:

  • Fender® FUSE™
  • Ableton® Live Lite 8 Fender Edition studio-quality recording software compatible with Mustang USB recording output
  • AmpliTube® Fender LE software with free Fender® FUSE™ editor/librarian software for Mac and PC.

Fender Mustang 1 vs 2: controls.

Besides the basic gain, volume, treble and bass controls, both amp models feature include knobs for amp model selection, modulation selection, and delay/reverb selection. There’s also a tap temp button for various delay settings and buttons for saving your on-board edits.

Fender Mustang 1 vs 2: effects.

The Fender Mustang 1 and Fender Mustang 2 provide a total of 24 effects available in 2 categories:

  1. The 12 modulation effects include chorus and deep chorus,flanger, 3 kinds of tremolo , vibratone (fast and slow),octaver, phaser and step filter.
  2. The 12 delay and reverb effects include 3 tape delays (150ms/1 repeat, 300ms/3 repeats, 700ms/4 repeats), 5 kinds of reverb (small room, plate, large hall, ’63 and ’65 spring), tape delay room, tape delay large hall, ducking delay small hall, and echo filter.

Fender Mustang 1 vs 2: modeling

Both the Mustang I and Mustang II are modeling amps, which let you choose between 8 different amplifier presets out of the box, and four additional models with the Fender FUSE software.

The amp models available include Metal 2000,Super Sonic™,American 90’s,British 80’s (A.K.A.: Marshall),British 60’s (A.K.A.: Vox),’65 Twin Reverb®,’59 Bassman®, and the ’57 Deluxe™.

Fender Mustang 1 vs 2: price

Mustang 1 MSRP: $159

Fender Mustang 2

The Fender Mustang

As I write this, Guitar Center has the Fender Mustang I 20W 1X8 Guitar Combo Amp Black for $95, and Amazon is selling them for $109 (with extended warranty).

Mustang 2 MSRP: $269.99

Note: While the Mustang 2 has an MSRP over $200, it is easy to find for under (very close to) $200.
At the time of this review, Guitar Center was selling a Fender Mustang II 40W 1X12 Guitar Combo Amp Black for $199 and Amazon carried it for $199 also.

Who’s better, who’s best?

Which amp is best or better is a matter of personal taste and use, but here are some things to consider when choosing between the two.

The Mustang II is bigger.

Since the Fender Mustang II is a bit larger than the Mustang I, it would be a bit bulkier to transport. It’s also a bit louder than the Mustang 1. Because of this, the Mustang 2 may not make as good a choice for solo practice amp, especially if you play in a small room or apartment.

Volume for home practice and live gigs.

With minimal tweaking and the use of the FUSE software, both these amps can kick some serious ass. Volume is not a problem unless you’re looking to do some serious gigs. If that’s the case, then you may want to look at the Fender Mustang III or IV. The Mustang II is loud enough for small gigs, and you might be able to get away with mic’ing up the Mustang I.
The Mustang 2 has a larger speaker and more power, which gives it a rounder, more balanced sound but it may be overkill in small settings.

Solo practice or band practice?

If you’re going to be playing in a band and are looking for a good practice amp that won’t break your back or your budget in the process, the Fender Mustang 2 is a solid choice. However, if you’re looking for a versatile and affordable amp for solo practice, the Mustang 1 is a most excellent choice.

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Why the Fender Mustang I is the Best Practice Modeling Amp for Under $100.

Looking for the best practice amp for under $100 can be a confusing experience. Guitar Center alone carries over 100 such amps for less than $100. It’s easy to see why choosing which guitar amplifier is the best for your money can be difficult.

I realize $100 may not seem like a lot to some people, and in the world of guitar amplifiers it really isn’t that much. But for the aspiring guitarist just starting out or the hobbyist, 100 bucks can be a good chunk of change.

Many practice amps in the under $100 range are frankly not worth the money. The Fender Mustang I is the exception. In fact, I think it is hands down the best modeling amp for under $100. Here’s why.

Basic features

The Mustang I practice amp is a 20w combo modeling amp with a 1 x 8″ speaker configuration. It’s plenty loud for a practice amp, but sounds sweet with the volume down low too. It also has a headphone jack, so you won’t wake the neighbors / wife / kids etc…

Features include:

  • Line in (for CD or mp3 player)
  • Input for foot switch
  • Headphone/line out
  • USB connection port

Controls for:

  • Gain
  • Volume
  • Treble
  • Bass
  • Master
  • Preset Select
  • Modulation Select
  • Delay/Reverb Select
  • Save Button
  • Tap Tempo Button

Modeling amps are all about effects and modeling different amp configurations, so it’s not surprising that one of the major aspects that differentiate one amp from another is what presets are available on the amp.

The Mustang I amp features a total of 24 different presets, in 3 colored groups – green, amber and red. Each group has 8 presets, labeled A, B, C, D, E, F, G, #. The factory presets follow a steady progression from vintage ’57 Tweed Deluxe to increasingly heavier sounds up to more modern, metal based amps (think Mesa Boogie and Diesel).

The range of these stock presets is enough to provide hours of enjoyment, playing in a range of styles from early Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly to Hendrix and Deep Purple to Ozzy and Metallica. It also does a good job of jazz and blues, and you can always dial back the effects to get those renowned Fender cleans.

Not satisfied with the preset? Think the sound is close, but not quite right?

No problem. The Mustang features knobs to control the Gain, Treble, Bass, Volume (of the amp being modeled), Master Volume, Effects, and Reverb/delay.

Still not totally happy with the mix?

No problem. The Fender FUSE software opens the door to complete customization of sound.

Fender FUSE

Perhaps the one feature more than any other that sets the Mustang I above other modeling amps is the Fender FUSE software.

FUSE allows you to edit and tweak all the settings of an amp that are available through the top panel knobs and dozens more that aren’t. FUSE lets you to add and configure effects modeling (stompbox and rack mount) to the base amp preset. It enables you to tweak the EQ settings and effects settings and save them to the amp using one of the colored presets. It even lets you choose and configure different cabinets to model.

You can hear the changes you make in FUSE immediately on your amp, so you can fine tune all the various aspects to get the sound right with your guitar. Once you like what you hear, you just select a preset to save it to and you’re free to rock out without your computer.

FUSE doesn’t stop there though. There’s a whole FUSE community on the Fender forums where owners share their favorite presets for others to download and try. There is a multitude of different presets available for modeling various styles, bands and amp brands.

From Jazz to Blues to Rock to Metal, capturing the sound of AC/DC, Zeppelin, Clapton, ZZ Top, GNR, Metallica, Hendrix or .. frankly whatever guitarist you want is a snap with FUSE.

Once you’ve downloaded your favorite preset or built your sound rig from scratch, you save it to one of the 24 amp preset slots. After that, switching from Angus Young’s acidic rock tones to Clapton’s vintage blues is as easy as turning the knob.

Although the Mustang’s modeling of a vintage tube amp may not be 100% accurate in all cases, it’s close enough so that most people will be hard pressed to tell the difference. And those who can will likely not being playing a solid state, modeling amp to begin with. 😉

FUSE let’s you backup your current amp presets at anytime so you are free to customize and tweak, secure in the knowledge of that backup safety net. Totally hosed your preset? Can’t stand the settings on your amp anymore? no problem, just restore the backup and that ugly episode never happened.

FUSE gives the Mustang owner the keys to the kingdom in terms of controlling their amp. It gives you full control of the modeling and sound, and it keeps things fresh and exciting. That’s also what makes this a great amp for the hobbyist. If you find yourself stuck in a certain style of play, just fire up FUSE and give your amp a makeover, or download a new community preset. It’s amazing what a change in sound will do to your playing style.

It is because of FUSE that I believe the Fender Mustang series of amps is perhaps the most versatile modeling amp on the market today.

Effects

The Mustang controls let you choose from a variety of different effects using the 2 knobs on the top: Mod and Delay/Reverb.

That’s the basic way to flavor your sound with a touch of effect, but the FUSE software really blows the doors open on adding effects.

Here’s how the virtual effects work on FUSE:

You can chain up to 4 different effect types together to sculpt the sound you want.

The 4 effect types are:

  • Stomp
  • Mod
  • Delay
  • Reverb

So, you can create an amp preset with 1 stomp, 1 mod, 1 delay and 1 reverb effect all linked together. Furthermore, each effect setting is fully configurable – just like a real effects pedal, or rack effect.

Here’s a further breakdown of the effects:

  • Stomp effects.
  • Overdrive
  • Fixed Wah
  • Touch Wah
  • Fuzz
  • Fuzz Touch Wah
  • Compressor
  • Simple Compressor

Mod effects.

  • Sine Chorus
  • Triangle Chorus
  • Sine Flanger
  • Triangle Flanger
  • Vibratone
  • Vintage Tremolo
  • Sine Tremolo
  • Ring Modulator
  • Step Filter
  • Phaser
  • Pitch Shifter

Delay effects.

  • Mono Delay
  • Mono Echo Filter
  • Stereo Echo Filter
  • Multitap Delay
  • Ping Pong Delay
  • Ducking Delay
  • Reverse Delay
  • Tape Delay
  • Stereo Tape Delay

Reverb effects.

  • Small Hall
  • Large Hall
  • Small Room
  • Large Room
  • Small Plate
  • Large Plate
  • Ambient
  • Arena
  • Fender ’63 Spring Reverb
  • Fender ’65 Spring Reverb

To be honest, adding the virtual effects to the amp modeling via FUSE is not as flexible as a standard stompbox because that effect is then on the preset always, whereas if you use a pedal effect you can easily toggle it on and off. But the Fender Mustang, as with many modeling amps, isn’t meant to replace pedal effects completely. Besides, you can always create a stripped down amp model and attach your stompbox as you would with a non-modeling amp.

I think most people will agree though that the multitude of effects available on this amp is quite generous for the $99 price.

Software

The Mustang also comes with Ableton Live and IK Amplitude software programs. These are studio software for recording, mixing and arranging music. You can add drums or stings to the background of your recording. You can even alter the tone of your guitar sound – yet again – with Amplitube.

Demo

Check out this most excellent demo of the Fender Mustang I:

Summary

If you’re just starting out learning to play guitar, you probably want to skip modeling amps entirely, and get a very good, very basic guitar amplifier.

But once you’ve mastered the basics and you’re looking to take your playing to the next level, take a look at the Mustang I. The possibilities open to the guitarist with this package are astounding, and all for just $99!

 

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10 Best Inexpensive Acoustic Guitars for Beginners.

If you’re looking for an affordable acoustic guitar for a beginner, but not one that’s cheaply made then you’ve come to the right place. There are hundreds of cheap guitars out there, with low price tags and low quality. These aren’t them.

These acoustic guitars offer good quality, and great value for their respective price tags.

Many of the guitars on this list might be considered the best acoustic guitars for beginners, but they also make an excellent choice for a backup or travel guitar for the experienced player as well. Worried about bringing your Martin D-16GT on a camping trip for a week? Why not pick up the Seagull S6 instead?

To put it simply, these are good acoustic guitars for cheap.

Without further ado, I present to you….

10 inexpensive acoustic guitars for beginners.

1. Seagull S6

Seagull-S6

Seagull acoustic guitars are made in Canada and come highly regarded. They offer a beautiful sound at an excellent value. The Seagull S6 has a mahogany back and sides, and a solid cedar top. The Seagull S6 blends the warmth of mahogany with the crisp definition of maple.

The rosewood fretboard is easy on the fingers, while the Tusq nut and saddle provide good tone and stable tuning.

This acoustic guitar also features a double action truss rod to help keep it in tune over the years.

At around $399 it may seem a bit pricey, but it it well worth the money. It’s not a cheap guitar, but it’s a good guitar and one of the best in the under $500 price range. I would not recommend it for someone who is looking to try his hand at learning guitar and may not stick with it, but it’s an excellent 1st guitar and a great investment for someone willing to put in the practice time needed to play well.

Here’s a demo/promo video of the Seagull S6 in action:

2. Yamaha FG800

Yamaha-FG700S-soundThe Yamaha FG800 is significantly lower in price (about half the price of the Seagull S6), but still a very good beginner acoustic guitar. It features a solid Nato back and sides, Solid Sitka Spruce top, rosewood fingerboard and die-cast tuners and a high-gloss natural finish.

Yamaha’s legendary value and quality make are present in this very affordable entry-level 6-string acoustic guitar.

Check out the Yamaha FG800 in action:

 

3. Takamine GD20-NS

Takamine-G-340

The Takamine GD20-NS is a Dreadnought body style acoustic guitar and features a Cedar top with synthetic bone nut and bridge saddle, rosewood head cap, and pearloid dot inlays. The back and sides are Mahogany. This is definitely the beginner line of Takamine guitars and while it does not feature the superior sound qualities of the higher end models, it doesn’t feature their higher end price tag either.

Most people agree that the GD20-NS gives you pretty good bang for the buck and makes an excellent acoustic guitar for beginners.

With a beautiful sound, sturdy construction and a pleasing look, the Takamine GD20-NS is a solid beginner guitar offering plenty of room to grow. At  under $300, it’s a solid buy.

Here’s a demo of the it in action:

 

4. Fender CD-140S

Fender-CD-140S

The Fender CD-140S is a full bodied Dreadnought acoustic guitar featuring solid Spruce top and laminated mahogany back and sides. It’s a lower-end Fender and may not have the superb workmanship of the higher priced models, the solid Spruce top and Rosewood headstock and bridge with compensated saddle make it an appealing beginner model.

The CD-140S dreadnought provides a full, resonant sound at a great value (currently under $200).

The 2011 upgrade gives this model a new tortoise shell pickguard and mother-of-pearl rosette design.

Check out the Fender CD-140s acoustic guitar in action here:

5. Epiphone DR-100

Epiphone-DR-100-brstThe Epiphone DR-100 acoustic guitar features a Spruce top, Rosewood fingerboard and Mahogany back and sides giving it an overall balanced tone.

The DR-100 is considered by many to be strictly an acoustic guitar for beginners  – meaning it will not be long before the serious player wants to trade up. But at less than $100, it’s a fine starter guitar for people who aren’t sure they will have the desire or aptitude to stick with playing.

It’s available in 3 different finishes: Ebony, Natural, and Vintage Sunburst.

6. Ibanez PC15NT

acoustic guitars for beginners - Ibanez - AC30NT

The Ibanez PC15NT is a worthy entry in the beginner guitar series, and while you can find better acoustic guitars out there, few are as good at this price. It features a solid Engelmann Spruce top, and Mahogany back and sides. It’s smaller body doesn’t take much away from it’s loudness or crispness. It’s similar to Martins and Taylors in terms of sound and retails for around $150.

You do get what you pay for though, and the PC15NT is geared toward finger picking or soloing. It’s ok for strumming and rhythm work, but not as well balanced for each technique as some other guitars on this list.

See demo:

7. Fender DG-8S

Fender-DG-8SThe Fender DG-8S features a solid Spruce top, and laminated Mahogany back and sides. It has a Rosewood bridge with compensated saddle. The saddle and nut are plastic.

If it sounds a little light on construction, it’s because it is. This is a definite starter guitar – read: you will be trading this in if you pursue playing past the basics. That’s ok though, because this is a great acoustic guitar for people looking to try their hand at guitar playing but who aren’t sure how far they want to go with it.

It’s usually sold in a starter kit package, including things like a chromatic electronic tuner, instructional DVD, strings, picks and strap. Basically, everything you need to sit down and start learning. All for under $200.

There are cheaper starter kits out there, but they’re…well, cheap. In the right hands the Fender DG-8S can really sing (and make a great gift for Christmas 😉 ):

8. Martin LX1

Martin-LX1The Martin LX1 is a 3/4 size acoustic guitar which features a solid Sapele top, back and sides. It also has a Stratabond modified low oval neck and Gotoh nickel-plated tuners with the classic C.F. Martin script logo on headstock.

Being 3/4 size it’s perfect for a travel guitar as well as a practice guitar for beginning students or younger students with smaller hands. It retails for under $300 and includes a gig bag. That might seem like a lot for a 3/4 guitar, but it’s a very good quality 3/4 guitar.

Here’s a demo:

9. Baby Taylor

Baby-TaylorThe Baby Taylor is another 3/4 size dreadnought acoustic guitar and like the Martin LX1, it’s perfect for younger players and those with smaller hands. It’s in the same price range as the LX1 (under $300), and while it’s a good guitar, it’s not as good as higher end Taylors. That’s also true of the Martin LX1 though. It’s simply difficult to provide a high quality instrument at the lower price point.

Don’t get me wrong, the Baby Taylor is still a solid guitar a great 3/4 Dreadnought. It’s got a solid Mahogany top, and Sapele back sides. It’s also got a Tusq nut and saddle for great tone in such a tiny package. A gig bag is generally included also, since it’s a non-standard size.

Here’s a nice demo of the Baby Taylor acoustic guitar:

 

10. Washburn WD10 Series

Washburn-WD10-SeriesThe Washburn WD10 Series has a solid Spruce top and wood Rosette with bone nut and saddle. It may be the bone saddle and nut, or maybe it’s better construction but this guitar sounds like a guitar twice it’s price. That and the fact that its price is less than $200 make this a great acoustic guitar for the beginner or as a backup or travel guitar.

You could do far worse for $250 than this great looking guitar with a nice bright tone and strong mid range.

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