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Black Friday guitars 2019

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This is a bit of a tradition where every year I list off my picks for the guitar buys where you get the best bang for the buck.

For this year, I have 8 guitars, starting with the cheapest first and goes up from there - but the top price is $500 and does not go higher. Or at least it doesn't at the time I write this.

Let's begin.

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Ibanez GRX20

This is as cheap as you can possibly go while still getting something decent. It's usually true that when you buy a guitar priced as low as this one, what screams "CHEAP" more than anything else are the tuners. Ibanez is one of the very few where the tuners actually work right at this price point. They're about on par with Squier Affinity guitars, which is not bad to begin with.

What do you get? Basic black, 22 frets, 2 humbuckers, 3-way selector, volume, tone, bridge with whammy bar. It works.

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Squier Standard Stratocaster

You get the most Strat for the least cash with this one. This guitar will probably be discontinued in 2020, so if you want one, get it now. It has everything Strat guys like. 2-point bridge, 22 frets, proper sunburst finish, parchment (meaning not stark white) color pick guard, knobs and switch tip, good tuners, good pickups. This is also a very mod-friendly Strat, much like the Mexican Standard (now discontinued) used to be.

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Squier Standard Telecaster

This is another one that will probably be gone in 2020. Like the Strat, this Tele has all the stuff Tele players like. Upgraded string saddles, "barrel" switch tip, upgraded tuners, 22-fret neck, and again like the Strat, mod-friendly.

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ESP LTD EC-256FM "Lemon Drop"

You get the most eye candy for the lowest price with this specific finish. Usually this guitar is over $400. This one is way less. The guitar is more than just looks. 3-piece neck, mahogany body, flame top, set neck, X-Jumbo fret wire (very nice for soloing), handles any style of music you can throw at it. Totally looks like a custom shop guitar without the custom shop price.

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ESP LTD EC-256 Black w/Gold hardware

Same guitar as the Lemon Drop finish. No flame top on this one. Instead you get the full "black beauty" treatment, complete with gold hardware everywhere - including the tuners. Yes, it does cost more than the Lemon Drop version to get all that gold.

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Squier '70s Telecaster Thinline

I used to own one of these personally. Pictures don't do it justice. Gorgeous guitar, and this interpretation of the Wide Range Humbuckers sounds pretty darned good. Obviously a semi-hollow body, so it's very light in weight. You would be hard pressed to find a better Thinline Telecaster for the money, at least where an HH pickup configuration is concerned.

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Gretsch Electromatic Double Jet Broadway, Jade

CME has a bunch of these, and they want them gone. When you want something unique and cool while still being an easy player and having a stunning appearance, well, this is it.

How does it play? More or less like a Les Paul. 12" fingerboard radius, top loader, 24.6" scale, Filter'Tron pickups, and body chambered internally for lighter overall weight.

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Fender Mustang, Faded Mocha

The last one here is another CME. They don't have a bunch of these. Just one. And it's worth getting. This is just a simple guitar with two single-coil pickups, 3-way selector, volume and tone. Nothing new there. But what makes it special is the finish. This is only offered through this specific listing. You can't order this from anywhere else. This is a great little bang-around Mustang. Ridiculously easy to play because of the short 24.0" scale.

Out of all guitars listed here, this is by far the easiest to get along with. Simple construction, simple electronics, great sound, short scale, easy player.

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