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January 26, 2008

Cheap Guitars

These days, there are many good options available for those who are looking for a good but cheap guitar. When I was starting out playing guitar, a decent guitar cost a fair bit. Things have changed. You can REALLY get a fairly decent guitar under 200 dollars! On of the best places to get great cheap guitar is Rondo Music. I have bought several guitars from them, and I'm quite impressed by how much you get for you money with them.

Many have written to me and thanked me for demonstrating that cheap gear can sound good. I am glad to hear this. You see, my point of view is we should listen with our ears, not with our eyes... so many people look at the brand name and make their judgment before they've even heard the product. Not surprising, that's the kind of society we live in. The brand names you buy (car, clothes, brand of camera, etc) to some degree define how people around you perceive you. Same with guitar gear. I say screw that! Trust your ears. If it sounds good and works good for your needs, it is good. End of story.

So, what cheap guitars are there out there worth buying? Well, by no means have I tried all of them, so feel free to add your comments below on guitars you think are great for the money but still consider cheap. What is cheap to me? Well, I think under $200 is a fairly cheap guitar, so let's keep the talk around that number. First, I'll mention the guitars I have played myself, then I'll list guitars that I have heard are quite decent (but I have not played them myself).

SX guitars

I have several SX guitars, and I think they are fantastic value for the money. I have a Strat, a Jazz bass and an acoustic. The bass is the best of the three I have. They are made in China and I suspect the quality control is not always top notch, but I know several players who have bought several SX electrics and they are very content with them. Definitely worth a look.

Fullerton guitars

I got this $44.95 guitar from Music123.com when they had a blowout sale. It's a really good guitar for that money. It's your basic Stratocaster-type of guitar, but they also had guitars with humbuckers. I upgraded the nut and set the intonation, and it makes for a great backup guitar or a beginner guitar. I don't know where these can be found anymore. Maybe they are discontinued?

Jay Turser guitars

They have been around for quite some time, and some of the early ones I tried really sucked to be honest. However, more recently I have tried some Jay Tursers that were really nice. Much better attention to detail, and better pickups and hardware.

Squier guitars

Squier seems to have a bad reputation. Many of my youtube videos get comments about how bad a guitar I'm playing. Well, I don't think that needs to be true. I have played old Squiers that were pretty bad, but the ones they are producing nowadays are sometimes surprisingly good. My Standard Tele sounds just fantastic with my pickup upgrades, but even completely stock, it was a more then decent guitar for a couple of hundred bucks. Of course, the '51 was a huge hit for low dollars, so much that it was continued. I bet it was selling more than Fender wanted!

Other cheap guitars

Rondo Music

You can get Agile, SX and Douglas from Rondo Music - Click the image below. Great cheap guitars!

Musicians Friend

Most of the other brands mentioned can be bought from Musician's Friend. Click the logo below to go there.

By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com

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Posted by Robert Renman on January 26, 2008

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