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Cheap guitar picks for 2017

C-1 SGR by Schecter Beginner Electric Guitar - Midnight Satin Black

As the 4th quarter of 2017 draws near at the time I write this, these are my picks for good cheap electric guitars for 2017.

Starting with the guitar pictured above, that's the Schecter C-1 SGR, and it comes with a gig bag. To this day I am amazed at the level of build quality Schecter can deliver for a price so low. I don't know how Schecter does it, but even when you pick up one of their cheapest models, it feels like something that costs triple the price. The C-1 is a design that's been in Schecter's stable for a long time. It's balanced absolutely correct, never dives, feels good and it's a very easy player. This is pretty much a can't-go-wrong electric.

Squier Bullet Stratocaster SSS Electric Guitar with Tremolo Sea Foam Green
Squier Bullet Strat

Still the best cheap good traditional Strat there is. 21 frets, 6-screw bridge, old school wiring with no tone control wired to the bridge-only pickup selection, all awesome.

I gotta admit that I miss the one I had. Some wonder why I ever got rid of mine. Simply put, I wore it out. I played the bejeezus out of that thing. Maybe it's time I get another?

Ibanez GIO series GRX40Z Electric Guitar Candy Apple
Ibanez GRX40Z

While true Squier makes a Strat with HSS, this is simply the better guitar for the same price. Many players prefer the 2-knob layout of the Ibanez compared to the 3-knob Strat.

Epiphone G-310 Electric Guitar Ebony
Epiphone G-310

This is the most "expensive" (but still cheap) guitar on the list. While true there are Epiphone SGs cheaper than the G-310, this particular model has the full 4-knob controls instead of just 2. That means each pickup has its own separate volume and tone controls.

Epiphone Les Paul Special VE Solid-Body Electric Guitar Walnut
Epiphone Les Paul Special VE

VE means Vintage Edition, as is stated on the truss rod cover at the headstock. While this guitar's electronics are the same as other low-cost Epiphone Les Paul guitars, what's different is the finish and the neck profile.

The finish is "vintage worn," which basically means low-gloss satin urethane. The neck is a bolt-on with a Slim Taper D profile. This profile is the slimmer style that many Gibson players prefer and you can get it for dirt cheap with the VE Paul.

Which is the best?

My pick for the best cheap electric from the above is the Schecter C-1 SGR. As for why, all I can say is that you'll know why when you pick one up. Everything just feels better and the playability is amazing.

This isn't to say that the others are bad because they're not. I still want another Bullet Strat. But I can't deny that out of this list, the C-1 is definitely best bang for the buck - even if it didn't come with a gig bag.

Published 2017 Aug 19

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