Instrument Insight

Top 10 Best Electric Guitars Under 500 (Best Mid range Picks)

Best Electric Guitars Under 500

Learn about our top 10 picks for the best electric guitars under $/€/£500 to give you the best output with the best purposes for each and a thorough buying guide.

Your guitar journey will remain incomplete till you get your hands on a great electric guitar. Whether you’re looking for a guitar to rock the stage or for a friendly jam, we have got you covered.

With the myriad of guitars out there, it’s quite a daunting task to find the best electric guitar under 500. We have gathered up the top-rated guitars in the market that too just under 500 dollars. All of them have decent build quality with excellent sound output to give a kickstart to your music career.

Related Complete Buying Guides:

Table of Contents

Our Top 3 Picks (At A Glance)

EDITOR'S CHOICE
ESP LTD EC-256FM
ESP LTD EC-256FM
9.9
  • An affordable and popular guitar with many similarities to some of the most highly-regarded guitars in history
  • Features a comfortable Mahogany body and 3 pc. neck, as well as roasted jatoba fingerboard and flamed maple top
  • Also features covered passive pickups, set-neck construction, and 22XJ frets
  • Blues, classic rock, hard rock, progressive rock, fusion, and much more
PREMIUM PICK
Ibanez JEMJR Steve Vai Signature
Ibanez JEMJR Steve Vai Signature
9.8
  • Mahogany Body
  • Wizard III Maple Neck
  • Rosewood Fretboard
  • Tree of Life Fretboard Inlay
  • Jumbo Frets
BUDGET PICK
Epiphone Les Paul Electric Guitar Player Pack
Epiphone Les Paul Electric Guitar Player Pack
9.6
  • Epiphone's Les Paul Player Pack has everything you need to start playing guitar right away
  • It includes a genuine Les Paul Special-II LTD guitar featuring two classic humbucker pickups and a 10-watt Electra guitar amp with a 10ft guitar cable
  • Epiphone also includes a clip-on headstock chromatic tuner, a guitar strap, medium picks, downloadable guitar lessons from media, and an easy-to-carry gig bag 

Before we jump into the reviews in detail, here’s a sneak peek of our top 10 choices with their best purposes and top specifications.

What Are The Best Electric Guitars Under 500?

1. Best For Classic Rock: Epiphone Les Paul Player Pack

Mahogany body, Two classic Humbucker pickups, 10-watt Electra guitar amp, and much more.

2. Best For Country: Ibanez JEM JR Steve Vai Signature

Mahogany body with Wizard III Maple neck, Rosewood fretboard, HSH pickup configuration.

3. Best For Metal: Schecter Omen Extreme-6

Quilted maple top, String-thru bridge design, Dual Schecter Diamond Plus HH pickups.

4. Best For Hard Rock: Jackson Dinky JS32Q

Solid poplar body with a quilt maple top, Compound radius rosewood fretboard, Dual HH pickups.

5. Best For All-Around: Ibanez RG421AHM

Wizard III maple neck with Ash body, Dual Quantum (H) pickups, Maple fretboard w/ black dot inlays.

6. Best For Progressive Rock: ESP LTD EC-256FM

Single-cutaway Mahogany body, Flamed Maple top, passive pickups, Tune-o-Matic bridge style.

7. Best For Rock and Metal: PRS SE Standard 24

All-Mahogany Body, Rosewood fretboard, PRS 85/15 ‘S’ Humbuckers, PRS-designed tuners.

8. Best For Metal Rhythm And Lead: Squier By Fender Jim Root Telecaster

Mahogany/Basswood body, “C”-shaped Maple neck, Dual passive humbucking pickups with black covers.

9. Best For Jazz: Gretsch G5222 Electromatic Double Jet BT

Double-cut chambered Mahogany body, Black Top Broad’Tron pickups, Anchored Adjusto-Matic Bridge.

10. Best For Aggressive Rock: Dean MLX Flame Top Electric Guitar

Flamed maple top poplar body, C-shaped bolt-on maple neck, DMT design pickups.

Comparison Table (Best Electric Guitars Under 500)

Best For Classic Rock
Epiphone Les Paul Electric Guitar Player Pack
Epiphone Les Paul Electric Guitar Player Pack
  • Epiphone's Les Paul Player Pack has everything you need to start playing guitar right away
  • It includes a genuine Les Paul Special-II LTD guitar featuring two classic humbucker pickups and a 10-watt Electra guitar amp with a 10ft guitar cable
  • Epiphone also includes a clip-on headstock chromatic tuner, a guitar strap, medium picks, downloadable guitar lessons from media, and an easy-to-carry gig bag
Best For Country
Ibanez JEMJRWH Steve Vai Signature
Ibanez JEMJRWH Steve Vai Signature
  • Mahogany Body
  • Wizard III Maple Neck
  • Rosewood Fretboard
  • Tree of Life Fretboard Inlay
  • Jumbo Frets
Best For Metal
Schecter Omen Extreme-6
Schecter Omen Extreme-6
  • Modern 6-string electric guitar in black cherry with quilted top for good looks and comfort
  • Comfortable double-cutaway body gives you full access to the fast maple neck
  • 24 extra-jumbo frets for speed and comfort
  • String-thru bridge design that adds extra sustain
  • Master volume and tone controls with 3-way toggle switch
Best For Hard Rock
Jackson JS Series Dinky JS32Q
Jackson JS Series Dinky JS32Q
  • Poplar Dinky Body with Quilt Maple Arch Top
  • Bolt-On Maple Speed Neck with Graphite Reinforcement, Scarf Joint, and 12"-16" Compound Radius Amaranth Fretboard with 24 Jumbo Frets and Pearloid Sharkfin Inlays
  • Jackson High Output Humbucking Bridge and Neck Pickups with 3-Way Pickup Switch, Master Volume & Master Tone Control
  • Black Hardware Includes Jackson Sealed Die-Cast Tuners and Jackson Licensed Double Locking Floyd Rose Tremolo
Best For All-Around
Ibanez RG421AHM
Ibanez RG421AHM
  • Wizard III Maple neck Ash body Maple fretboard w/Black dot inlay Jumbo frets Quantum (H) neck pickup Quantum (H) bridge pickup Fixed bridge Cosmo Black Hardware
  • As the originators of the thin, fast neck, the Wizard III is yet another achievement in player comfort—comfort that translates into maximizing player performance
  • A pair of proprietary Quantum pickups produce an entire palette of thick, distorted tone textures that offer exceptional high-end articulation
Best For Progressive Rock
ESP LTD EC-256FM
ESP LTD EC-256FM
  • An affordable and popular guitar with many similarities to some of the most highly-regarded guitars in history
  • Features a comfortable Mahogany body and 3 pc. neck, as well as roasted jatoba fingerboard and flamed maple top
  • Also features covered passive pickups, set-neck construction, and 22XJ frets
  • Progressive rock, blues, classic rock, hard rock, fusion, and much more
Best For Rock and Metal
PRS Paul Reed Smith SE Standard 24
PRS Paul Reed Smith SE Standard 24
  • Body wood: mahogany
  • Neck wood: Maple
  • Fretboard wood: rosewood
  • Bridge: PRS Patented Tremolo, molded
  • Pickups: 85/15 "S"
Best For Metal Rhythm And Lead
Squier by Fender Jim Root Telecaster
Squier by Fender Jim Root Telecaster
  • Mahogany body
  • Maple neck with “C”-shaped profile and 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with 12” radius
  • Dual passive humbucking pickups with black covers
  • Strings-thru-body Telecaster bridge
  • Warranty Included
Best For Jazz
Gretsch G5222 Electromatic Double Jet BT
Gretsch G5222 Electromatic Double Jet BT
  • Solidbody Electric Guitar with Mahogany Body
  • 2 Humbucking Pickups - Jade Grey
  • Laurel Fingerboard
  • Mahogany Neck
  • Maple Top
Best For Aggressive Rock
Dean MLX Flame Top Electric Guitar
Dean MLX Flame Top Electric Guitar
  • Body: poplar
  • Top: Flame Maple
  • Construction: bolt-on neck
  • Bridge: tune-o-matic (with V plate)
  • Pickups: DMT design

Top 10 Best Electric Guitars Under 500 (In-Depth Guide)

Best For Classic Rock: Epiphone Les Paul Player Pack

Key Features

  • Mahogany body with a vintage sunburst finish
  • Maple neck with rosewood fretboard
  • Equipped with two classic humbucker pickups
  • 10-watt Electra guitar amp
  • Clip-on headstock chromatic tuner
  • Guitar strap, medium picks, gig bag

Epiphone Les Paul Player Pack Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Epiphone Les Paul Electric Guitar Player Pack

Product Description: The Epiphone Les Paul is mostly known as a classic choice amongst guitarists. Nothing can be more overwhelming when this classic comes with everything you need to start playing the guitar right away within the budget. In this player pack version, you'll get a 10-watt Electra amp, guitar strap, medium picks, easy-to-carry gigbag and the genuine Les Paul Special-II LTD guitar that features a Mahogany body, maple neck, rosewood 22-frets fingerboard and equipped with dual classic humbucking pickups with stop tail bridge.

Brand: Epiphone

  • Build Quality
    (4.5)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.5)
  • Playability
    (4.7)
  • Versatility
    (4.4)
  • Electronics
    (4.6)
  • Value For Money
    (4.9)

Specifications

  • Body Shape: Single-cutaway
  • Body Material: Mahogany Wood
  • Top and Back Material: Mahogany
  • Finish: Vintage Sunburst
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood
  • Number of Frets: 22
  • Neck Pickup: Classic Humbucker
  • Bridge Pickup: Classic Humbucker
  • Pickup Configuration: HH
  • Bridge: Stop Tail
  • Guitar Amp: Yes
  • Amp Profile: 10-watt Electra
  • Tuner: Clip-on Headstock Chromatic
  • Guitar Strap: Yes
  • Picks: Medium
  • Gig Bag: Yes (Easy-to-carry)
  • Orientation: Right-Handed
Overall
4.6

Pros

  • Suitable for beginners.
  • Comfortable.
  • Beautifully crafted.
  • Slim and lightweight.

Cons

  • Challenging to tune at first.
  • Not for acoustic tone.

As the name suggests, the Epiphone Les Paul Electric Guitar Player Pack can be a very handy purchase as it comes with everything you need to kickstart your musical journey right away. It’s a player pack that includes a chromatic tuner, guitar strap, medium picks, easy-to-carry gig bag, Epiphone branded Electra guitar amp, and of course, the Epiphone Special-II LTD guitar.

Epiphone Les Paul Standard is that kind of electric guitar that delivers quality sound with a dashing outlook design. This electric guitar can be a perfect choice for the best electric guitar under 500. The mahogany body with a rosewood fretboard in Epiphone will always give off an inspiring notion of a worthy investment. This electric guitar promises to give the signature sound of a Gibson Les Paul at a low cost.

Epiphone Les Paul is ideal for beginners as it is not too heavy and has a comfortable grip. The adequate string length helps beginners to learn notes without facing any trouble. The volume and tone adjustment knobs will give your desired sound range. Epiphone has a quality tuner that works well enough. On a special note, the guitar will ensure fantastic comfort.

Overall, the Epiphone Les Paul Player Pack can be your top pick in the market as it also has the most reviews. It will value your money as well as give you a top-notch experience.

| Epiphone Les Paul Player Pack Demo |

Best For Country: Ibanez JEM JR WH Steve Vai Signature

Key Features

  • Mahogany body with Wizard III Maple neck
  • Rosewood fretboard with Jumbo frets
  • Tree of Life fretboard inlay
  • Passive/Ceramic pickups with HSH pickup configuration
  • Monkey Grip, Lion’s Claw Tremolo Cavity
  • Case sold separately

Ibanez JEMJR Steve Vai Signature Review insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Ibanez JEM JR WH Steve Vai Signature

Product Description: In 1987, Steve vai came to realize that his signature model JEM has a greater impact as an iconic instrument when he collaborates with Ibanez. So they decided to make available this for the broader fan base and released JEM JR that features a Mahogany body, Meranti top, and back, Wizard III neck profile, and many JEMs distinguishing characteristics like HSH pickup configuration, Tree of Life inlays, famous Monkey grip, Lion's Claw tremolo cavity and much more.

Brand: Ibanez

  • Build Quality
    (4.9)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.7)
  • Playability
    (4.7)
  • Versatility
    (4.6)
  • Electronics
    (4.7)
  • Value For Money
    (4.8)

Specifications

  • Body Material: Mahogany
  • Top Material: Meranti
  • Back Material: Meranti
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Neck Type: Wizard III
  • Neck Width at Nut: 43 mm (1.7 inches)
  • Fretboard Material: Jatoba
  • Fretboard Inlay: Tree of Life
  • Fretboard Radius: 400 mm (15.75 inches)
  • Scale Length: 648 mm (25.5 inches)
  • Bridge: Standard Ibanez Double Locking Tremolo System
  • Neck Pickup: Quantum Neck Humbucker
  • Middle Pickup: Quantum Single-coil Mid Pickup
  • Bridge Pickup: Quantum Bridge Humbucker
  • Pickup Type: Passive/Ceramic
  • Hardware Color: Cosmo Black
  • Orientation: Right-Handed
Overall
4.8

Pros

  • Great tone and sound quality.
  • Comfortable to play.
  • Top-notch pick-up.

Cons

  • Fret buzz issue.
  • Flat sound.

Ibanez JEM JR WH Steve Vai Signature guitar is distinctively famous for its attractive look and design. This guitar has made its market with the signature of legendary guitarist Steve Vai. The JEM has always been a counterfeit model across the globe, and in order to make JEM available to mass people, Ibanez has released this model.

This stylish guitar comes with a sturdy yet comfortable mahogany body and a Wizard 3 maple neck. The fretboard has a radius of 400mm. The glossy white color will give off an aesthetic as well as an inspiring look to the enthusiast. The rosewood fretboard, along with its ideal string length will make it easy to play the notes. 

If you want to get a JEM series with a vintage touch of legendary guitarist Steve Vai in an affordable price range, Ibanez JEM JR WH Steve Vai can be your perfect choice in today’s market.

| Ibanez JEM JR WH Demo |

Best For Metal: Schecter Omen Extreme-6

Key Features

  • Modern-6 string electric guitar with quilted top for good looks and comfort
  • The convenient double-cutaway shape gives full access to the fast maple neck
  • 24 extra Jumbo frets for comfort and speed
  • String-thru bridge design adds extra sustain
  • Control layout consists of Master volume and tone controls
  • 3-way toggle switch

Schecter Omen Extreme-6 Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Schecter Omen Extreme-6

Product Description: The Schecter Omen Extreme-6 is loaded with almost all the features that modern guitarists look for like fine figured carved quilted maple top, string-thru bridge design, and dual passive parallel Schecter Diamond Plus high-output alnico pickups add an array of tones. Moreover, controls include one Master volume and tone controls with push/pull coil-splitting. All these features make it one of the best choices for metal lovers.

Brand: Schecter

  • Build Quality
    (4.6)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.7)
  • Playability
    (4.6)
  • Versatility
    (4.4)
  • Electronics
    (4.7)
  • Value For Money
    (4.8)

Specifications

  • Body Shape: Double-cutaway
  • Body Material: Basswood
  • Top Material: Quilted Maple
  • Back Material: Mahogany
  • Neck Shape: Thin C
  • Neck Joint: Bolt-on
  • Scale Length: 25.5 inches
  • Truss Rod: Standard
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood
  • Fretboard Radius: 14 inches
  • Inlays: Abalone and Pearloid Vectors
  • Nut Width: 42 mm (1.656 inches)
  • Pickups: Schecter Diamond Plus
  • Pickup Configuration: HH
  • Bridge: Fixed, Tune-o-Matic
  • Orientation: Right-handed
Overall
4.6

Pros

  • Lowest price.
  • Has an excellent sustain level.
  • Great sound and tone quality.

Cons

  • Slightly heavier.
  • Fret edges are rough.

Nowadays, people are more into heavy metal. For them, the Schecter Omen guitar can be a perfect tool for shredding. You might not have heard about this brand, but it’s quite renowned in the metal world. Schecter Omen is well structured, ensures comfortable play and versatility. This model is also considered the best product by Schecter.

With a basswood body and a bolt-on maple neck, Schecter Omen 6 comes with an eye-catching design. The black cherry color also gives a metal vibe. The 14-inch radius fretboard has a rosewood finish. The gothic inlays on the extra 24 jumbo frets make it more fascinating. The bolt-on neck and maple top altogether make it ideal for producing snappier sound and extraordinary tone.

Schecter Omen 6 ensures great pickup as well as clarity of tones. It has excellent value for money and thus makes it the best electric guitar under 500 in the market.

| Schecter Omen Extreme-6 Demo |

Best For Hard Rock: Jackson Dinky JS32Q

Key Features

  • Gloss finished solid poplar dinky body with quilt Maple Arched top
  • 25.5″ scale length bolt-on maple speed neck with graphite reinforcement
  • Jackson high-output ceramic humbucking neck and bridge pickups
  • Jackson licensed Double locking Floyd Rose Tremolo
  • Sealed die-cast tuners
  • Case sold separately

Jackson Dinky JS32Q Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Jackson Dinky JS32Q

Product Description: The Jackson Dinky JS32Q is equipped with HH configured Jackson branded passive parallel High-output ceramic humbucking neck and bridge pickup. The guitar also features a Poplar body with a bolt-on maple graphite-reinforced speed neck and much more. Moreover, the control layout consists of one master volume and one tone control. All of the features make it the perfect choice for hard rock guitarists.

Brand: Jackson

  • Build Quality
    (4.5)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.7)
  • Playability
    (4.5)
  • Versatility
    (4.2)
  • Electronics
    (4.7)
  • Value For Money
    (4.7)

Specifications

  • Body Shape: Double-cutaway
  • Body Material: Solid Poplar
  • Top Material: Quilted Maple
  • Neck Shape: Speed Neck
  • Neck Profile: 1-piece bolt-on Maple
  • Scale Length: 25.5 inches
  • Truss Rod: Graphite reinforced
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood
  • Fretboard Radius: Compound 12-16″
  • Inlays: Sharkfin
  • Nut Width/Material: 42.8 mm (1.687 inches), Locking
  • Pickups: High-output Humbucker Ceramic
  • Pickup Configuration: HH
  • Bridge Type: Tremolo/Vibrato
  • Bridge Design: Floyd Rose Licensed
  • Tuning Machines: Sealed Die-cast
  • Orientation: Right-handed
Overall
4.4

Pros

  • Great pickup with tonal stability.
  • Comfortable play.
  • Solid electronics.
  • Best for jamming.

Cons

  • Beginners may face difficulties for a few days.

Jackson JS Series is another best electric guitar under 500 in the market. It has a well-structured poplar body and a quilt maple top. This guitar is well-known for its comfortable chording. The stylish look, as well as a beautiful transparent finish, make this guitar attractive nonetheless. Apart from the design, Jackson JS Series also ensures top-notch sound quality.

This electric guitar has high-end stability. The high-output pickups create crunchy tones that are perfect for hard rock or heavy metal. It has an ‘S’ style body shape and is quite comfortable whilst playing. Tuning stability is also well-ensured by the Floyd-Rose licensed double-locking bridge. With 6 strings and 24 jumbo frets, the fingerboard made with Amaranth ensures comfortable riffing. 

This Jackson JS Series model is a top choice for metal and hard rock enthusiasts as it has all the required specs, and that too comes at a lower price than usual.

| Jackson Dinky JS32Q Demo |

Best For All-Around: Ibanez RG421AHM

Key Features

  • Ash body with Wizard III maple neck
  • Maple fretboard and Jumbo frets with black dot inlays
  • Dual Quantum (H) pickups with a fixed bridge
  • Cosmo black hardware
  • Case sold separately

Ibanez RG421AHM Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Ibanez RG421AHM

Product Description: With an Ash body sparkling highs and beefy lows, the Ibanez RG421AHM is complemented by the distinction of a maple fretboard, which, as tone aficionados know well, yields a shade more "bite" to its voice. The guitar maximizes player performance by the inclusion of the thin and fast Wizard III neck profile. Moreover, the RG421AHM is equipped with a pair of proprietary Quantum pickups that is very much capable of producing distorted and a palette of thick tone textures.

Brand: Ibanez

  • Build Quality
    (4.7)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.5)
  • Playability
    (4.5)
  • Versatility
    (4.8)
  • Electronics
    (4.5)
  • Value For Money
    (4.7)

Specifications

  • Body Shape: Double-cutaway
  • Body Material: Ash
  • Top Material: Maple
  • Neck Shape: Fast Neck
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Neck Type: Wizard III
  • Fretboard Material: Maple
  • Fretboard Type: Jumbo
  • Number of Frets: 24
  • Inlays: Black Dot
  • Neck Pickup: Quantum (H)
  • Bridge Pickup: Quantum (H)
  • Bridge Type: Fixed
  • Hardware Color: Cosmo Black
  • Orientation: Right-handed
Overall
4.5

Pros

  • Great tone with high sustain.
  • No sharp fret edges.
  • Solid-body.
  • Comfortable.

Cons

  • A little bit heavier.

The Ibanez RG421AHM RG Series Electric Guitar is a perfect tool for rock on the floor. It is ideal for high-speed and low drag playing. It has an eye-catching design with a well-balanced ash body as well as maple wizard 3 necks. Altogether this model of Ibanez gives off an aggressive solid body style.

This RG Series of Ibanez is not only suitable for metal but also outshines in both rock and blues. It has dual-quantum humbucking pickups that help in ensuring a wide tonal range. This guitar also provides tonal stability with the fixed bridge that comes along with it. The dial-in tone is much effortless than other guitars in the market.

You have to buy a case separately as it doesn’t include it in the product. This right-handed six-string best electric guitar under 500 is a top choice in today’s market and will never let you down.

| Ibanez RG421AHM Demo |

Best For Progressive Rock: ESP LTD EC-256FM

Key Features

  • Comfortable Mahogany body with Flamed Maple top
  • 3 pc. neck with roasted jatoba fingerboard
  • Equipped with passive pickups and set-neck construction
  • Tune-o-Matic bridge style with 22XJ frets
  • Case sold separately

ESP LTD EC-256FM Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: ESP LTD EC-256FM

Product Description: The ESP LTD EC-256FM features with Flamed Maple top all over a Mahogany body. The 22XJ frets across a 24.75" scale length designed for comfort and speed make the rosewood fretboard very special. The guitar also features independent volume controls for each EC-256 sports ESP humbucking pickups and one master control with push/pull coil-split. It's one of the most popular and affordable ones to some of the most highly-regarded guitars in history and can play blues, classic rock, hard rock, progressive rock, fusion, and much more.

Brand: ESP

  • Build Quality
    (4.8)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.9)
  • Playability
    (4.7)
  • Versatility
    (4.7)
  • Electronics
    (4.8)
  • Value For Money
    (4.9)

Specifications

  • Body Shape: Single-cutaway
  • Body Material: Mahogany
  • Top Material: Flamed Maple
  • Back Material: Mahogany
  • Neck Shape: Thin U
  • Neck Material: Mahogany
  • Neck Wood: Maple
  • Nut Width: 42 mm (1.65 inches)
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood
  • Number of Frets: 22
  • Scale Length: 24.75 inches
  • Pickups: Dual EC-256 sports ESP Humbucking
  • Bridge Style: Tune-o-Matic
  • Toggle Switch: 3-way
  • Coil-split: Push-Pull
  • Tuning machines: ESP LTD Die-cast
  • Orientation: Right-Handed
Overall
4.9

Pros

  • Easy adjustment
  • Smooth fretboard
  • Stunning design
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Slightly heavy

In today’s saturated market, getting a budget-friendly guitar sometimes becomes a hassle. In this regard, you can rely on this Japanese brand and bring ESP LTD EC-256FM Electric Guitar to your home. This guitar will offer you good sound quality as well as a beautiful outer look.

The body and the neck come with a mahogany finish. The rosewood fretboard and flamed maple top give this guitar a Les Paul look. As for a strong electronic device, ESP LTD EC-256FM has two humbuckers for both neck and bridge. This system ensures more tonal variation than the rest. Indeed ESP LTD EC-256 guitar has all the reliable hardware in it.

This guitar can be the best alternative for high-end electric guitars in the market as it’s way cheaper than those. ESP LTD EC-256 is a top pick for beginners. It can play rock as well as blues at the same time. If your price range is comparatively low, then you must go for it. As you can see, there are endless reasons to have this guitar as one of our top choices.

| ESP LTD EC-256FM Demo |

Best For Rock And Metal: PRS SE Standard 24

Key Features

  • All-mahogany body with a 24-fret maple neck
  • Rosewood fingerboard with 25 inches of scale length
  • Equipped with PRS 85/15 ‘S’ Humbuckers
  • Push-pull coil tap on the tone control
  • PRS Parented molded tremolo bridge
  • PRS-designed tuners

PRS SE Standard 24 Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: PRS SE Standard 24

Product Description: The PRS SE Standard 24 is equipped with 85/15 "S" passive parallel pickups while the control layout consists of one master volume and push/pull tone control. The bridge type is Tremolo/Vibrato and tuning machines are PRS-designed that can easily go from subtle to outrageous and has a great look at the same time. In summary, the SE Standard 24 captures the mojo of the classic PRS flagship guitar with the warm and resonant all-mahogany body.

Brand: PRS

  • Build Quality
    (4.8)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.8)
  • Playability
    (4.8)
  • Versatility
    (4.9)
  • Electronics
    (4.7)
  • Value For Money
    (4.8)

Specifications

  • Body Shape: Double-cutaway
  • Body Material: Solid Mahogany
  • Body/Neck Finish: Gloss
  • Neck Shape: Wide Thin
  • Neck Profile: Set-in Maple
  • Scale Length: 25 inches
  • Truss Rod: Yes
  • Fretboard Material: Rosewood
  • Number of Frets: 24
  • Inlays: Birds
  • Nut Width: 42.8 mm (1.687 inches)
  • Pickups: 85/15 “S”
  • Pickup Configuration: HH
  • Pickup Switch: 3-way
  • Bridge Design: PRS tremolo
  • Orientation: Right-handed
Overall
4.8

Pros

  • High-quality pickups and tuner
  • Available in several finishes
  • Excellent design
  • Thin neck profile offers better playability

Cons

  • The gloss finish of the neck may not be preferred by everyone

The PRS SE Standard 24 is the affordable version of the Custom 24, and it’s undoubtedly one of the best electric guitars under 500. It features a vibrant mahogany body, and it’s available in three different finishes. The translucent sheen on the guitar makes it highly suitable for stage performances.

The skinny neck offers excellent playability and helps you attain your desired speed. The solid mahogany body has a sleek hefty weight to it, and it looks great in all the finishes. The combination of the tonewood delivers a crisp, clean tone with tons of tonal versatility.

The guitar comes with PRS’s humbucking pickups that are designed by Paul Reed Smith. The pickups are wired to the master volume and push the tone knob to split the humbuckers. It also features the RS-designed standard chrome tuners that hold onto the tune quite well. 

Overall, this guitar is an absolute joy to play and a great addition to rock or metal lovers.

| PRS SE Standard 24 Demo |

Best For Metal Rhythm And Lead: Squier By Fender Jim Root Telecaster

Key Features

  • Mahogany/Basswood body with “C”-shaped profile Maple neck
  • 22-fret rosewood/Indian Laurel fingerboard with 12 inches of radius
  • Electronics include dual passive humbucking pickups with black covers
  • Hardtail string-thru-body 6-saddle Telecaster bridge
  • Control layout consists of Master volume control with a 3-way selector switch
  • Case sold separately

Squier Jim Root Telecaster Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Squier by Fender Jim Root Telecaster

Product Description: The Jim Root Telecaster is a brand-nu signature model by Squier. Inspired by the Slipknot/Stone Sour guitarist, it features the most notable satin-matte finish in black or white over a mahogany/basswood body. Its single switch control layout, black die-cast tuners with black hardware, and dual pulverizing passive humbucking pickups with black covers make it one of the most unique guitars in today's era. The Squier Jim Root Telecaster offers both metal rhythm and leads playing without a question.

Brand: Fender

  • Build Quality
    (4.7)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.8)
  • Playability
    (4.8)
  • Versatility
    (4.5)
  • Electronics
    (4.7)
  • Value For Money
    (4.8)

Specifications

  • Body Shape: Classic Telecaster
  • Body Material: Mahogany/Basswood
  • Top and Back Material Type: SQ371020506
  • Body Finish: Satin-matte in Black or White
  • Neck Profile: “C”-shaped
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Fretboard Material: Indian Laurel/Rosewood
  • Fretboard Radius: 12 inches
  • Fret Type: Jumbo
  • Number of Frets: 22
  • Pickups: Dual Passive Humbucking
  • Pickups Cover: Black
  • Pickup Switch: 3-way
  • Bridge Style: Hardtail String-thru-body
  • Control Layout: Master Volume
  • Orientation: Right-handed
Overall
4.7

Pros

  • Excellent playability
  • Tonal variation
  • Available in different colors
  • Suitable for all skill levels

Cons

  • May not satisfy all music styles

The Squier By Fender Jim Root Telecaster is an absolute bang for the buck. It’s designed after the Famous guitarist Jim Root from Slipknot. So, if you’re a metalhead, then this baby is a must-have for you.

The body of the guitar has a mahogany finish, and it comes in multiple different colors. The neck has a slim design that provides a modern feel and playability. It ensures a great base for a variety of playing styles and genres. From groovy to gritty rocky, this baby will cover it all.

The previous telecasters were equipped with single-coil pickups. However, this one comes with dual passive humbucking pickups with black covers with a three-way pickup switch and master volume knob. Overall, the sound quality is highly impressive with plenty of tonal variation.

| Squier Jim Root Telecaster Demo |

Best For Jazz: Gretsch G5222 Electromatic Double Jet BT

Key Features

  • Arched maple top with double-cut chambered Mahogany body
  • Lower-set mahogany neck for effortless access and performance
  • 22 medium jumbo frets with 12″ radius Laurel fingerboard
  • Pearloid Neo-classic thumbnail inlays
  • Black Top Broad’Tron pickups
  • Anchored Adjusto-Matic Bridge

Gretsch G5222 BT Review Insight

Product Name: Gretsch G5222 Electromatic Double Jet BT

Product Description: The Gretsch G5222 Electromatic Double Jet BT delivers true Jet essence with Broad'Tron power that is suitable for the most pristine clean tone. The guitar also features a chambered mahogany body with a Maple top that produces rich mid-range, big lows, and shimmering highs. Control layout consists of the following combination: individual pickup volume control, a master volume with treble breed circuit, and master tone. Moreover, with die-cast tuners, the Black Plexi pickguard with white Gretsch logo enhanced the aesthetics to a whole new level.

Brand: Gretsch

  • Build Quality
    (4.6)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.7)
  • Playability
    (4.7)
  • Versatility
    (4.5)
  • Electronics
    (4.7)
  • Value For Money
    (4.6)

Specifications

  • Body Shape: Double-cut Chambered
  • Body Material: Mahogany
  • Upper Bout: 10.25 inches
  • Lower Bout: 13.46 inches
  • Waist: 8.5 inches
  • Body and Neck Finish: Gloss
  • Neck Material: Mahogany
  • Scale Length: 24.6 inches
  • Fingerboard Material: Laurel
  • Fret Number/Size: 22-medium Jumbo
  • Position Inlays: Pearloid Neo-classic Thumbnail
  • Nut Material/Width: Synthetic Bone, 1.687 inches
  • Pickups: Black Top Broad’Tron
  • Control Knobs: G-Arrow
  • Bridge: Anchored Adjusto-Matic
  • Hardware Finish: Chrome
Overall
4.5

Pros

  • Sleek lightweight design
  • Blacktop Broad’Tron pickups for signature Gretsch sound
  • Mahogany body with laminated maple top
  • Thin U-shaped neck

Cons

  • Few users complained about the strings it comes with

If you have been eyeing the high-end double-cut jet but backing off due to the hefty price tag, then think no more; the Gretsch G5222 Electromatic Double Jet BT is the one for you. The guitar is super ferocious yet smooth enough that will seem like a treat to your ears.

The body of the guitar has mahogany and arched maple top construction with the double cut chamber. The double-cut design offers excellent playability for effortless performance. The combination of tonewood gives out a deep rich tone while giving it a vintage sleek look. The fingerboard has 22 medium jumbo frets and Pearloid Neo-Classic™ thumbnail inlays.

It features a pair of Broad’Tron pickups that generate the signature Gretsch humbucker sound. The V-shaped stoptail bridge not only gives it an antique look but also helps it stay in tune. There are individual pickup volume control, master volume, and master tone that provide vast tonal range and control.

| Gretsch G5222 Electromatic Demo |

Best For Aggressive Rock: Dean MLX Flame Top Electric Guitar

Key Features

  • Poplar body with Flame Maple top and Single Ply white body binding
  • Bolt-on maple neck and rosewood fingerboard with 22 Jumbo frets
  • Dual Action DMT Design pickups with sealed die-cast tuners
  • Tune-o-Matic (with V plate) bridge
  • Case sold separately

Dean MLX FM Review Insight

Product Name: Dean MLX Flame Top Electric Guitar

Product Description: With a Poplar body, Flame maple top, bolt-on "C"-shaped maple neck, and Tune-o-Matic bridge, the Dean MLX FM is equipped with a dual-action DMT-designed neck and bridge pickup with pearl dot inlays and all-black hardware. From the beliefs, Dean added radical string angles to the resonance that helps a guitar become more alive. Moreover, the ML has appeared in many award-winning videos, album covers, on stage, and in some of the rock's finest recordings.

Brand: Dean

  • Build Quality
    (4.7)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.5)
  • Playability
    (4.5)
  • Versatility
    (4.7)
  • Electronics
    (4.6)
  • Value For Money
    (4.7)

Specifications

  • Body Material: Poplar
  • Top Material: Flame Maple
  • Top Contour: Flat Top
  • Body Finish: Trans Red
  • Binding: Single Ply White Body
  • Neck Shape: C
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Neck Joint: Bolt-on
  • Fretboard Material: Jatoba
  • Fretboard Radius: 356 mm (14 inches)
  • Scale Length: 629 mm (24 3/4 inches)
  • Inlays: Pearl Dot
  • Frets: 22-Jumbo
  • Nut Material/Width: Polymer (Plastic) (OEM), 43 mm
  • Truss Rod: Dual-Action
  • Pickups: DMT Design
  • Bridge: Tune-o-Matic (With V Plate)
  • Tuners: Sealed Die-cast
  • Knobs: Speed Black
  • Controls: Vol/Vol/Tone/3-way Toggle
Overall
4.6

Pros

  • Unique design
  • Solid Built Quality
  • Suitable for all genres
  • Tune-o-Matic bridge

Cons

  • Available in only one color

The innovative building techniques and the master craftsmanship of the Dean guitars have led it to be one of our top choices. The Dean MLX Flame-Top Electric Guitar has a unique design that will awe strike you on the very first look. 

The ML line was created back in 1977, and it has been a favorite by many well-known guitarists over the decades. The concept of the guitar is to spread out the mass throughout the body to bring out the ultimate sustain and tone.

It has a poplar body construction with a Maple top that makes it weigh feather-light with kickass sound quality. The electronics and the hardware of the MLX are quite impressive as well. It features a Tune-o-Matic bridge and DMT design pickups that offer plenty of punch.

Overall, this guitar is a great suit for those who’re into the metal and rock genre. However, this has proven to be an all-rounder, and you can perform any style of music besides aggressive rock with this baby on your hand.

| Dean MLX Demo |

Best Electric Guitar Under 500 (Your Complete Buying Guide)

What To Look For In A £/€/$500 Electric Guitar To Get The Most Output

Body

There are three basic types of electric guitar bodies: solid body, hollow body, and semi-hollow body.

Solid-body guitars are great for making a sound without resonance. On the other hand, hollow and semi-hollow body guitars can sustain and create more resonance. They can add a lot of stability to the sound, making them a better choice than solid body guitars.

Neck Profile

Neck profiles contribute to the guitar’s playability and the player’s comfort when fretting. If you have smaller hands, you should seek out an electric guitar equipped with a narrow, shallow neck profile.

Fingerboard and Bridge

The electric guitar you’re purchasing should have a rosewood fretboard. They’re great at playing smooth and fast with a warm tone. It should also include a stoptail bridge. They’re more stable for tuning and offer more sustain.

Tuning Machines

It’s important to consider what kind of tuning machines your guitar features. Guitars equipped with enclosed machine heads don’t need much maintenance or replacements than open tuning machines.

Pickups

If you want your electric guitar to have more sound blending options, you should look for one that has a 3rd or middle pickup. With these guitars, you’ll have access to different types of sound.

Scale Length

It’s important to consider the scale length too as they have a great influence over the tonal quality of the notes produced and the tension of the string at a particular pitch.

Strings Action

It’s important to understand what strings action is. If you don’t have a clear concept about this term, then you mightn’t be able to buy a comfortable guitar to play.

Finish

You don’t need to worry too much about what type of finish your electric guitar is going to be equipped with; because the type of finish doesn’t have any impact on electric guitars.

Overall Built Quality

When you’re in the market looking for an electric guitar, make sure whether the frets are sticking out over the edges or not. You should also check out the smoothness of the neck.

Sound Quality

You should test the guitar you’re purchasing before you buy it once and for all. In this way, you’ll be able to evaluate its sound quality.

Playability

Before making a purchase for your guitar, you must check out whether you feel comfortable holding its body, play high up the fretboard. If you get any negative feelings while checking them out, then don’t buy that guitar and search for another one. Otherwise, you won’t have a great time playing it.

Versatility

You must also make sure whether the electric guitar you’re purchasing is versatile enough to give service for a long time.

Who Should Buy an Electric Guitar in This Price Range?

Electric guitars under 500 are considered to be mid-ranged. A guitar is not merely an instrument. The sound needs to soothe the ears and your mind so that you get more inspired to play the guitar.

All the guitars that we reviewed here are some of the best electric guitars under 500, and they offer quite a decent sound quality. These guitars are suitable for both beginners and professional-level players. We highly recommend these guitars, especially for beginners.

What Budget Electric Guitar Is Best for Beginners? (Under $500)

Both ESP LTD EC-256FM and PRS SE Standard 24 electric guitars are our top budget choices for beginners. 

Can You Upgrade A $500 Electric Guitar?

Yes, absolutely. The electric guitar we reviewed is completely upgradeable. You can change both the hardware and the electronics of the guitar with your changing musical taste. You can change the pickup as they’re considered the sonic character of the guitar since they can enhance the guitar’s tonal range and versatility.

You can also upgrade the tuning machine, knobs, and wirings for better performance and sound from the guitar.

Best Alternative to A $500 Electric Guitar for A Lower Budget (Under $300)

If you’re running low on budget, then take a look at the Jackson Dinky JS32 as it’s an excellent choice under 300. In fact, we have covered everything you need to know in a complete buying guide on the best electric guitars under $300.

On an Even Tight Budget? (Under$200)

The Ibanez GRX70QA, ESP LTD EC-10, and Epiphone Les Paul Special have some impressive features, and any of them can be a superb choice if your budget is under $200. We have also got you covered by our top 10 choices with a thorough buying guide in this article what we call the top 10 best budget electric guitars under $200 that you can definitely have a look on.

Have A Bigger Budget? (Under $1000)

We have reviewed some great midrange guitars. However, if you want to make an upgrade and go for a premium choice, then the Fender American Special Stratocaster is the one for you. It has been the industry leader for quite a few years, and you’ll surely love the classic Stratocaster design of the guitar.

Have an Even More Budget? (Under $2000)

If you’re a professional guitarist who’s looking for the perfect guitar under $2000 then look no further, the Ibanez RG Prestige Series RG652AHM is a great choice for you. The sharp horn design with the Nebula Green Burst color gives it a highly premium look.

Accessories that you need with your Electric Guitar

Instrument Cable

In order to set up a connection between your electric guitar and the amplifier, you must own an instrument cable. You must also make sure that it’s proper. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get the best sound.

Guitar Tools

You’ll need tools in order to keep your electric guitar working. It’s best to own some guitar tools and put them together into a dedicated tool kit.

String Winders

Whenever you have to change the strings of your guitar, you should make use of string winders. With them, you’ll be able to change strings with ease, quickness, and efficiency.

Guitar Stand

Leaning your guitar up against a piece of furniture or any other object can lead it to hit the floor. So, if you want to prevent your guitar from accidentally falling, you should own a guitar stand.

Guitar Cleaners and Polishes

In order to keep your guitar in good shape, you need to invest your money in owning a polishing cloth, as well as various polishes. These types of equipment can help you maintain the overall quality and functionality of your guitar.

Where Are Budget Electric Guitars Made?

It may strike you by surprise, but the guitar’s quality relies heavily on where it is made. Manufacturers are constantly recruiting a skilled workforce to ensure top-notch quality on their instruments.

Electric guitars are generally made in the USA, UK, Japan, France, Germany, and Australia. However, recently many Asian countries have started their own manufacturing factories. Korea, Japan, Mexico, and China are some of the common manufacturing countries for budget electric guitars.

Should You Expect to Replace Pickups and Hardware?

The guitars that we reviewed come with decent quality pickups and hardware. Changing the pickups and hardware will bring out some tonal changes, and it may even enhance the quality of the sound as well.

The built-in hardware and pickups of the 10 electric guitars have solid quality and performance. However, your tone preference may change over time. Therefore, if you prefer a tonal variation in your guitar, then you may change the hardware and the pickups.

Should You Go for Used or New?

Be it an instrument or a gadget, when electrics are involved, we advocate for going with the new one. Getting a new instrument will give you mental satisfaction that will help with the learning process.

These are the best electric guitars under 500 catered towards a variety of skill levels and musical styles. However, if you get a superb deal for a used electric guitar within this budget, then you may opt for that.

What Guitar Amp Should I Get?

The Fender Mustang LT50 is an excellent choice for both professional and novice players. It features 20 different amp voicing with a vast range of quality effects.

Are the Reviewed Guitars for Beginners or Professionals?

Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, these reviews will come in handy for all. We have chosen these guitars carefully so that guitarists with different skill levels can enjoy the goodness of the best electric guitar under 500.

Pro-Tips

If you want to get the right sound out of your electric guitar, you’ve had to follow some pro-tips. Following these tips, you can stay assured that you’re going to get the best sound out of your guitar, nothing less or more.

Stay in Tune

It’s the most important tip by far. Well-tuned guitars featuring sound intonation are the reason why professional studio-quality recordings and amateur demos sound so different. Before you record anything, you have an efficient tuner with which you can make sure that your guitar is in perfect tune. You should also check out its intonation and ensure that it’d stay in tune all the way down to the fretboard.

Don’t Record too Loud

Many guitarists think that if they record their guitar very loud, they’ll be able to match their sounds. Unfortunately, that’s not the case because if you record loud reduced headroom, you’ll be pushing yourself closer to clipping. So, it’s best to avoid recording loud.

Use Less Distortion

For some reason, guitarists have this tendency to apply more distortion to their guitars compared to corresponding professional recordings. When we hear a song, we also hear the guitar in it and immediately assume that it’s being used at a certain distortion level. In reality, it’s being used less.

If you dial up the gain, you’ll be causing damages to your mix, especially if you intend to layer several tracks together. So, it’s better to turn down the distortion so that you can have more tone and preserve some dynamics.

FAQs

Q) Will a budget electric guitar still sound good?

Ans: Yes, they will. Many people have this concept about budget electric guitars that they’re poor in quality, sound, performance, etc., because of them being sold at an affordable price. However, that’s not the case.
Just because they’re budget-friendly, that doesn’t mean they can’t offer great service. They can offer a great value; in fact, some are packed with many beneficial features where even the most expensive guitars aren’t. As long as you’re able to take good care of them, you can stay assured that they’ll still offer you the same great sound they did when they were bought new.

Q) Should a beginner use an electric guitar with a Floyd Rose Tremolo?

Ans: No, they shouldn’t. As a matter of fact, they mustn’t. Although a Floyd Rose Tremolo is awesome; it’s not great for beginners.
If they use their electric guitar with a Floyd Rose Tremolo, they would have to maintain a lot. They would have to focus more and understand how things on the guitar work. Oftentimes, these can be very overwhelming for them. As a result, they would feel frustrated playing it the entire time. They would lose interest in playing an electric guitar eventually.

Q) Which guitar material is the best?

Ans: Swamp ash is the best electric guitar material. Swamp ash is lightweight, looks very pretty, and features a unique yet pleasant timbre. It has great sustainability, firm bass tones, as well as bite in the midrange and airy highs. For these beneficial characteristics, it’s used in many American electric guitar factories.

Q) What type of tuner do you need with your electric guitar?

Ans: You need to use pedal tuners with your electric guitar. Pedal tuners are one of the most common tuners for electric guitars. They’re quite easy to use, highly accurate. They can even be left connected to the guitar at all times.
Pedal tuners are generally equipped with an LED display. You can easily read this display in a dark setting like a stage. The addition of these LED displays is the reason why they’re suitable for live situations, along with home or studio use.

Selection Methodology: Our Process of Choosing Top 10 Of Budget Electric Guitars to Recommend

Our philosophy is very simple and straightforward when we write reviews. We want to ensure that you get your hands on the best value out of your purchase. We shortlisted 50 electric guitars from a demographic of multiple professional guitarists.

Later, we carefully scrutinized those instruments based on hands-on user reviews online. The final decision came down to these 10 electric guitars that got excellent ratings from both the professional guitarists and current users.

Final Words

Learning guitar is a never-ending journey. All the guitars we reviewed are the best electric guitar under 500 in the market. They offer excellent playability with superior reliability despite their mid-range price category.

These guitars are wonderful for the beginner, and the professional players can modify them a bit to get the best value out of them. Do give one of them a try, and don’t forget to let us know about your experience.

Author | Electric Guitar and Gear Expert at Instrument Insight | Website

Cornell K. Benson is from Mansfield, OH. He is 30 years old and has expertise in electric guitars and gears. Cornell has a great understanding of electric guitars and their materials, build quality, playability, and versatility. He also has an in-depth knowledge of the history and origins of various electric guitar brands.


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