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April 22, 2007

So you want a good, cheap electric guitar?

Well, you probably know by now that I like buying cheap guitars and upgrading them bit to be decent guitars. I have had success doing this with my Squiers, and my SX guitars. Recently I ran into a crazy deal on - a Fullerton strat copy for $44.99 with free shipping! Talk about insane deal. That exact deal is now gone, but do check what is available at Music 123.

I don't really know much about the background of these guitars, but I do know they are a sweet deal! I took it to a gig the same day I got it - I set the intonation and lowered the action a bit - it rocks!

It is a typical Frankenstrat - doesn't look exactly like a Fender Stratocaster, instead it's a bit more pointy looking.

Mayb you are thinking, "I can imagine what kind of crap guitar that must be". Well, I can tell you right away that I had those thoughts too, but I was blown away with the quality for this price. Good electronics, tuners and the neck is wonderful. It is easy to play, it stays in tune and it looks really cool. The obvious drawbacks would be the pickups and the cheap plastic nut. Replace those and you have an excellent backup guitar to your expensive Fenders, or what have you.

Fender Stratocasters

Talking about Fenders - I went to the music store to try out some Fenders. Cheap guitars in all their glory aside - I really want to get a high quality Stratocaster some day. The cheap guitars I have are all good and sweet, but they are of course not of the same quality as a guitar that cost 7 or 8 times as much - simple logic.

So I tried out a few Fender Strats, and I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't so many models to try out. I tried an Am Standard, a VG Strat, a Highway 1 and a MIM Standard. The ones that felt the best to play were the Highway 1 and the VG Strat - nice, big jumbo frets, just how I like frets to be. The MIM Standard had a horrible set up, but it was also very nice. It was the only one of these that I actually played through an amp (a Traynor 100 watt head), and it did sound quite good. With a good set up, I would be happy to strut around with one of these MIM Strats. The Am Standard did actually not excite me as much. The one I tried just didn't feel very interesting or fun to play.

So, the conclusion is I will keep eyes and fingers out for Fender MIM Strats, or maybe the Highway 1. There are other models I would like to try as well, the the Deluxe Players Stratocaster, or the 60th Anniversary MIM Strat. I don't really feel like spending the bucks on a American-made strat, since I felt the MIM strat sounded and felt just as good, if not better, than the American.

I do realize that I need to try quite a few guitars of the same model to be able to have a chance of making some sort of fair judgement. There is always the case that one guitar might sound and/or feel much better than the other 6 guitars of the same model. Try a lot of guitars of the model you like, and pick the one that feels the best - that's my advice!

By Robert Renman -

Comment on this?


Posted by Robert Renman on April 22, 2007

Comments on this blog entry

gingking gemini said...

I would like to buy a very good guitar but cheapest in electric guitar,If i buy a guitar all the necessary thing will give?

Comment added on April 12, 2012
David said...

That's just pure guitar snobbery rubbish. Jack White plays an old JB Hutto that originally sold at Montgomery Wards in 1965 for about $100 and was considered a "cheapo" for the masses. He also uses among other "cheapos" an old Harmony Rocket probably sold originally from Sears. Also, as professionals Jimmy Page, Syd Barrett, Eric Clapton, and Joe Perry, to name a few, all used the Danelectro 3021 AKA 59-DC a "cheapo" with a plywood masonite (plastic veneer) body and poplar neck. Nobody needs to spend "about $500" for a good basic guitar. Especialy now. There are some great inexpensive gems out there if you do the research.

Comment added on October 23, 2010
justin said...

man i bought a cheap guitar for 160 and it really sucks. i wish i had the money to buy a new guitar. from what ive read around the web a good guitar costs between 200 and 300 bucks. im not old enough to work yet and my parents wont buy me one, but my dad has like 7 grand in the bank. this totally blows

Comment added on July 16, 2010
Jaymann D. said...

I know of a website that you can find good cheap guitars and I do mean good, just go to trust me I paid $165 for my Douglas V and I'm very impressed with it

Comment added on July 09, 2010
AvidGuitar said...

There are many guitars out there for a good price.Many are around $200 and up. For someone learning these are great. Check these out from Arbor.

Comment added on February 28, 2010
Kaitlin said...

heyy everyone i dont know about this article but if you want a good guitar dont go for the crap $250 guitars. A good basic guitar starts from about $500. For some people there thinking wow i wont be able to afford that for my 7 year old!Trust me you will end up spending more on a cheap one because eventually the frets will wear faster and the sound will dull. And the swiches will fall off and youll go out and buy a new one. If you want a really good basic guitar buy a yamaha pacifica or a fender squier strat they are about $500-$550 depending on where you buy them from. haggle a bit it dosent hurt and dont buy the first bargain you see.Trust me my family arnt rich but we have about 10 guitars now. We bought some of them second hand and repaired them i dont recomend you do this unless you are experianced. When learning the guitar sometimes books arnt enough pay extra and get a real person to teach you. Im only 12 and i have been playing the guitar for 6 years now so i know a fair bit about them. Looking at my age you might think im a stupid little girl but im not. I have my own band now and we love performing infront of guests. It gives us a sense of pride, and teaches us that we can acheive anything if we really try. For begginners a peice of wise info do not learn the guitars just because you see all your favourite rock stars doing it! Thats not what its about ive seen many students quit as i have progressed bacause they had no patience and they only wanted to learn riffs. Thats come after you learm row row row your boat not before. Remember that.
good luck to everyone,

Comment added on January 12, 2010
sarah said...

OMG hi im sarah im 12 im looking for a really good guitar i cant seem too fined any but imm still going too keep looking o i have been able too play the big G ever since i was 8 that 4 years imm really good well justwonted too shear got ttooo go im not a loude on the coumutter

Comment added on December 07, 2009
Beefs said...

Wow there are some pricks in these comments.

If you don't understand the advice, then you shouldn't be here.

Comment added on November 29, 2009
Leif Williams said... may try spending a little on a good spelling class spelling sucks badly...

Comment added on August 20, 2009
sara said...

umm dis is not really helping me 2 look 4 a gwd buh cheap guitar anyone have any gwd websitez 4 meehh???

Comment added on August 17, 2009
Thomas Crown said...

check out this guitar it looks so cool

Comment added on September 24, 2008
Cameron said...

yh I came across this website when i ws looking for a cheap guitar and i saw this yh wat is the point of this website? It has no gd comments and the last comment was ages ago I think you should just redoe this website completey

Comment added on July 06, 2008
Mike B. said...

I just came across this site and have enjoyed checking it out. I like your suggestions about cheap guitars. I don't have the major budget, or the major skills but I do enjoy playing and if I can get what I like from a cheap instrument, I'm fine with that. Best regards,

Comment added on June 05, 2008
Erik said...

Made in Japan fender strats from the 80's are the same as american made strats! Try one the quality is there!

Comment added on December 22, 2007
ellie baker said...

you are so good at playing the guitar and i really wish that i could have a guitar and play as good as you can

Comment added on September 02, 2007