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How Much Does It Cost To Build An Electric Guitar?

Find out the cost of building an electric guitar. Learn about the different components and factors that affect the price, and create your dream guitar without breaking the bank!

Of all musical instruments, the guitar has a wide range of use; the popularly used versions include the electronic and acoustic modes in both contemporary and classical forms. Chinese-made “without brand” materials, a very simple guitar can be constructed for as little as $120. If one wants to build with original components, named-brand hardware, and premium materials, one might probably exceed $645 before factoring in one’s labor costs. Numerous more elements can affect building a guitar. Furthermore, the diversity of sounds made by the electric guitar makes it a personal instrument since one can develop any resonance they can conceptualize. 

The Body

Cheap Options

The electric guitar costs cheap if the body is made of cheap wood. Wood is commonly accessible and locally sourced. Narrow wood is cheaper than broad wood; many cheap body guitars are made of narrow wood and then fortified by some bit of expensive wood. The electric cheap electric guitar body could fetch not less than $ 65 up to $ 120. That makes the guitar less expensive than if all the materials were expensive and high-end.

Pros

It saves more money for the buyer; the electric guitar would fetch less and still be functional. Cheaper options have less expensive paints and finishes, making the instrument less expensive than those made from high-end materials. Secondly, it is functional despite the low materials used to build the electric guitar. It can perform the same tasks as the expensive ones because it is a personal instrument. Thus the player determines the quality of tunes and melodies they expect to create from the instrument.

Cons

It is less durable since the cheap materials used to build the electric guitar cannot last for a long time. Thus they have a short life span and are prone to frequently breaking down due to the quality of materials used to build the electric guitar. Secondly, the quality of materials used to build the electric guitar could also affect the quality of resonance produced by the electric guitar. Tough wood such as mahogany and rosewood makes the instrument firm, which allows the sound from the instrument to produce more soothing tones. 

Recommendations

Cheap bodies for electric guitars are suitable for people who want to practice playing the guitars or who cannot afford to own a sleek one. Then again, it is convenient for beginners since they have less experience with the instrument and would probably not handle it cautiously. Correspondingly, they are yet to discover the type of electric guitar that works for them.

Mid-range Options

An electric guitar will also cost less if it is built from less expensive materials such as basswood, which is easy to craft into whatever shape and size. Similarly, alder is another less expensive wood used to make midrange electric guitar bodies. It is lighter and has swirling grains that help harden the wood and improve its complexity of sounds. The electric guitar body would cost approximately $ 120 to $ 180. 

Pros

It is not very expensive and thus mainly affordable to many people. It is also efficient since it provides utility to customers who cannot afford high-end electric guitars. Midrange options provide convenience to customers that cannot afford more expensive electric guitars. 

Cons

They are less expensive and of lower quality, thus influencing the quality of the sound generated by the electric guitar. Secondly, the body is less durable and could frequently break down, thus less effective than the expensive options. Thirdly, the body could require frequent fixing and repairs due to the low-quality materials used to build the guitar’s body. Therefore, prompting the owner to incur high maintenance costs makes them more expensive than the cheap option body electric guitars.

Recommendations

It should be bought by experienced and seasoned electronic guitarists who understand the value of the electric guitar since they can maintain and take good care of it.

High-end Options

They are expensive and made from high-end materials such as mahogany. Typically, such an electric guitar could cost you approximately $ 200 and above, depending on the brands available in the market. 

Pros

  • They are high quality and last longer.

Cons

  • They are expensive and also have high maintenance costs. 

Recommendations

High-end electric guitar bodies should be bought by highly experienced players who know the importance of every aspect of the properties that come with the high-end materials. Since they understand the instrument’s value, they would not shy away from investing more in the body than a new player who is ignorant of the value they expect to get from the instrument.

The Neck 

Cheap Options

The neck of an electric guitar is the uppermost part between the body and the headstock and sits beneath the fretboard. The neck supports the fretboard and consists of a metal beam called a Truss Rod that balances off the tension on the strings and stabilizes overall tuning accuracy. The cheap option for the neck of an electric guitar ranges from $ 53 to $ 100. 

Pros

The guitar neck might come cheap if it is made of locally sourced wood such as alder and basswood. Neck-through electric guitars have the advantage of easy playability since the player can easily reach any note. Secondly, they have clean aesthetics and are more rigid than the bolt-on electric guitar neck.

Cons

Neck-through electric guitars are more expensive than bolted ones. Similarly, they are expensive to maintain since they are not easily repairable.

Recommendations

The neck-through should be bought by new guitar players who are not well conversant with playing the instrument to avoid breakage, as would be the case with a bolted neck.

Mid-range Options

For midrange options, the neck of the guitar is as good as the high-end options, only that they lack the perfect finishes, such as the expensive paints. The price of a mid-range option of the neck of an electric guitar ranges from $ 81 up to $130. 

Pros

  • They aremore durable and high qualitythan the cheap options. 

Cons

  • They are expensive to repair once broken.

Recommendations

It should be bought by experienced guitar players who understand how to play the electric guitar and are looking for specific aesthetics and playability positions.

High-end Options

Electric guitar necks can be expensive because they are made from high-end materials. The cost of the neck of a high-end electric guitar option would fetch $150 up to $ 267.

Pros

  • They are more durable and of high quality than the midrange options such as Mahogany.
  • They are more attractive due to the quality craftsmanship applied. 

Cons

  • They are only affordable to a few people making them less common.
  • The high-end guitar necks are expensive to repair once broken. 

Recommendations

It should be bought by experienced electric guitar players who understand the sound quality they need to produce.

Fretboard

The fretboard is a flat piece of wood that holds the strings against the frets, allowing the player to strum the strings to make a tune. The vibrations made by the strings as they hit the metal frets produce tunes that resonate on different notes.

Cheap Options

Cheaper options fretboardsare made of locally sourced woodthat is commonly available such as basswood, alder, or ebony. The cost of the cheap option of a fretboard for a high-end electric guitar would go from $ 4 up to $ 25.

Pros

It is easier to reach for the frets. It also has a consistent tension. Furthermore, one can adjust the treble string to one’s preferences. Lastly, it has better ergonomics and is lighter to carry around. 

Cons

It is not suitable for new beginners due to its ergonomics and thus needs experienced players. Given that there is no going back after the process is complete, it is essential to assess whether or not one wants to play a particular style.

Recommendations

It is suitable for experienced guitar players due to its ergonomic nature.

Mid-range Options

They are made from standard materials like Maple only, which lack the final finishes present in a high-end fretboard.The prices of mid-range fretboards for an electric guitar would fetch from $35 to $ 50. 

Pros

  • They are of good quality, therefore durable.

Cons

  • They are expensive.
  • They have a high maintenance cost.
  • They are hard to install.

Recommendations

Mid-range fretboards for electric guitars are suitable for people with little experience with guitars. Such people can understand the guitar’s value and handle it with caution. Secondly, they have to understand which type of guitar suits their specifications.

High-end Options

The fretboard of high-end electric guitars is made of expensive wood such as mahogany, rosewood, and maple wood. The wood is broad and heavy, unlike most of the wood used in cheap bodies. The cost of a high-end fretboard for an electric guitar goes from not more than $50 up to $ 80. 

Pros

The fretboards of electric guitars built from high-end options are durable and high quality. Moreover, they have perfect finishes, thus making them look more classy, attractive, and resonant. The high-end options provide the required value to the customers.

Cons

They are not readily available to many, thus less common to many guitar players. 

Recommendations

They are only suitable for experienced guitar players. It would be challenging for an amateur to play a high-end fretboard of an electric guitar. 

Frets

Frets, the metal strips placed at regular intervals along the guitar’s fingerboard, are a key feature of an electric guitar. The number and the size of fret wires can affect the guitar’s playability and some other aspects of your technique.

Cheap Options

Most of the fret wires used in cheap options include nickel silver which allows for copper and is not very strong. The cost of fret wires goes for not less than $ 5. 

Pros

  • They are cheaper to buy and thus commonly affordable.
  • Nickel silver frets are more durable than brass.
  • Nickel silver frets are easy to polish and install, unlike stainless steel.

Cons

  • They are not durable.
  • They have a high maintenance cost due to the frequent wear and tear and replacement of the nickel-silver frets. 

Recommendations

Nickel frets are convenient for cheap or first-time electric guitar owners since they are easy to polish and install. 

Mid-range Options

Mid-range options are predominantly made of stainless steel. They are more durable, and the price of a mid-range stainless steel fret wire of an electric guitar could fetch not more than $8.

Pros

  • They are more long-lasting than nickel silver fret wires.
  • They are hypo-allergenic and harder than nickel silver.

Cons

  • They are hard to install.
  • They are more expensive than nickel or silver.

Recommendations

They require experienced electric guitarists since they are hard to install.

High-end Options

As expected, they are expensive since they are made from expensive materials, mainly Evo-gold. A high-end option, Evo-gold fret wire could cost no more than $ 15.

Pros

  • Durable and of quality.
  • Have easy vibratos.
  • The fret wires are always bright and show no signs of getting old.
  • It has smooth bends too. 

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • Hypo-allergenic.

Recommendations

It should be installed by experienced electric guitarists who can match the value of the frets to the guitar since they are expensive and require technical knowledge.

Pickups

A pickup is an instrument that translates guitar string vibrations into electrical impulses. The guitar’s amplifier then increases the impulse volume to audible levels. 

Cheap Options

They are made of common materials that are convenient for sourcing. The prices of pickups for electric guitars range between $5 to $ 40.

Pros

  • It helps amplify performanceand eliminates resistance to feedback.
  • Easy to assemble and install.
  • Their aesthetic positioning shields the vulnerable part of the guitar.

Cons

Mid-range Options

They are built from not very expensive materials and have good quality than the cheap option pickups for electric guitars. Prices for mid-range pickups for electric guitars range from $40 to $120, depending on the brand. 

Pros

  • Help amplify electric impulses in an electric guitar.
  • Have less effect on string vibrations.

Cons

  • Switching pickups does not give you a different tone.
  • The pickups have more effect on string vibrations.

High-end Options

They are made from high-end materials that may be sourced from overseas. The cost of high-end pickups for electric guitars ranges from $120 to $200. 

Pros

  • They help amplify tone in electric guitars.
  • The pickups have less effect on string vibrations. 

Cons

  • They are expensive.

Bridge Options

1. Tune-o-Matic Bridge

 A tune-o-Matic bridge enables one to adjust their guitar’s intonations by moving the saddles that the strings sit either forward or backward.

Cheap Options

They are built from locally sourced materials. Thus, they come cheap. The cheap option of a Tune-o-Matic: bridges of an electric guitar would fetch around $5 to $40.

Pros

  • It is easy to change strings.
  • Their tuning stability is excellent. 

Cons

  • They are noteasily portable or comfortable to carry around while playing.

Mid-range Options

They are made from materials of higher quality compared to the cheap option tune-o-Matic: bridges. Their prices range between $ 25 to $ 70.

Pros

  • Affordable and good quality
  • Thus last longer than the cheap options tune-o-Matic bridges. 

Cons

  • Not easy to move around while playing.
  • With a Tune-o-Matic, you can’t individually alter string height; instead, one has to adjust the height either at the string post, giving you far less freedom to precisely set the electric guitar to a specific action.

High-end Options

This range of tune-o-Matic bridges consists of high-end materials that are a little more sophisticated and of greater quality than the mid-range tune-o-Matic bridges. The cost of the tune-o-Matic bridges goes for not less than $120 and not more than $ 200 depending on the brand name.

Pros

  • One can easily adjust the tunes.
  • Simple to upgrade and cheaper to maintain and repair.

Cons

  • Not many

2. Hard Tail Bridge

Any fixed bridge can be considered a hardtail in an electric guitar. It implies that the bridge and strings remain in their original positions. The bridge maintains the fixed position of the strings. The hardtail bridges might be located near the bridge’s end or hidden behind it. They occasionally also pass through the body.

Cheap Options

These materials are cheaply sourced and of not high quality. The prices range from $10 to $30.

Pros

  • Have more excellent tuning stability.
  • It is more durable.
  • Easy to maintain and change strings.

Cons

  • Some hardtail bridge models are uncomfortable while playing. 

Mid-range options

They are of superior quality than the cheap option hard trail. The prices range from $ 30 to $ 60.

Pros

  • Restringing is easy.
  • It hasthe flexibility of adjusting action. 

Cons

  • Itdoes not have tremolo options.
  • Some designs are not aesthetically attractive.

High-end Options

Their materials consist of greater quality than the mid-range options, and the cost ranges between $ 90 to $ 160.

Pros

  • It has excellent tuning stability.
  • Easy to repair and maintain. 
  • It is easily adjustable for any action required.

Cons

  • It has no tremolos, and some designs are not appealing.

3. Tremolo Bridge

One can use floating bridges to allow the guitarist to adjust the strings’ intonation after they have been plucked by raising or lowering the tremolo arm. The process is also called vibrato.

Cheap Options

They consist of cheap materials that are locally sourced and of inferior quality. The prices fetched from around $ 8 up to $ 50.

Pros

  • It has arms that make it comfortable to carry around while playing. 

Cons

  • It is fragile and difficult to adjust.
  • It isalso hard to restring.

Mid-range Options

They are made from superior quality materials than the cheap option bridge tremolos. The prices fetched from between 50 to $ 80.

Pros

  • The telecaster makes it simple to drop the “D”tuning without bothering to tune the other strings.

Cons

  • It is only possible to tune down using the tuning key physically.
  • Therefore one is unable to bend a note down.

High-end Options

They consist of high-end materials sourced from far and distant regions. They are also of superior quality to the mid-range options tremolo bridges. The cost is from $ 100 and above, depending on the brand names.

Pros

  • It is versatile and can be used in multiple ways.

Cons

  • It isn’t easy to restring.

Tuners 

A tuner can be a tool to tune your guitar to a particular pitch. Contemporary music has a standard frequency of 440 Hz, ensuring that every instrument in a band plays notes at precisely the same pitch. 

Cheap options

They are made from cheap materials that are conveniently sourced. Their price ranges between $ 10 and $ 25.

Pros

  • They are easy to restring.
  • They have good tuning stability.
  • They are suitable for anyone, either an amateur or professional guitarist.

Cons

  • They are heavier and can negatively affect the guitar balance while playing.

Mid-range Options

They are of superior quality to the cheap option tuners and their cost ranges between $45 to $ 75.

Pros

  • They make the headstock appear neater.
  • They are suitable for anyone as long as they can play the electric guitar.

Cons

  • Some guitars would need modification for the tuner to be fixed.

High-end Options

They consist of greater quality materials than the mid-range tuners, and their prices fetch between $ 80 to $ 150. 

Pros

  • Make the headstock appear neater.
  • They are easy to restring.

Cons

  • More expensive.

Truss Rod

It is an elongated metal bar that goes through the entire stretch of a guitar fretboard to assist the guitar neck in withstanding the tension put on it by the strings. The rod is adjustable adjusted.

Cheap Options

The cheap option truss rods for electric guitars comprise cheap materials that are conveniently sourced. The prices range between $ 4 to $ 12.

Pros

  • It is light in weight and thus doesn’t interfere with the guitar’s balance.

Cons

  • It might be adversely affected by differences in wood density.
  • The adjustment nut is permanently attached and cannot be repaired. 

Recommendations

It is suitable for use by an expert in guitars. 

Mid-range Options

Comprise materials that are of higher quality than the cheap option truss rods. The costs fetch from $ 12 to $ 18.

Pros

  • They arecomfortable andeasy to handle.

Cons

  • It lacks forward adjustment.
  • It is also affected by humidity.

Recommendations

It is suitable for experienced guitarists. 

High-end Options

The materials are of higher quality than those of the cheap option truss rods. The prices range from $ 18 to $ 30. 

Pros

  • It is independent of wood density.
  • It can be adjusted both ways, forward and backward. 

Cons

  • It is heavy and thus might affect the balance of the guitar.

Recommendations

They are suitable for experienced and seasoned guitarists.

Inlays, Nuts, and Pots

These are fixtures for enabling the electronic guitar to function and be firm. The nuts, pots, and inlays are purposely used to make the electric guitar firm when making installations or restringing the fret wires. 

Cheap options

The materials used to build these parts are locally sourced, thus cheap. These cheap options for the inlays, nuts, and pots range from $ 5, nuts $ 1 to $ 10, and $ 5, respectively.

Pros

  • They are cheap.
  • They are convenient since they are readily available.
  • They decorate the guitar. 

Cons

  • When there aretoo much of inlays, nuts, and pots, makes the electric guitar look stuffy. 

Mid-range Options

These parts are made from materials that have superior quality to those used for the cheap option. Their costs fetch between $ 5 and $ 15 for the inlays, $ 10 and $ 20 for the nuts, and $ 10 and $15 for the pots, respectively. 

Pros

  • They decorate the guitar.
  • Inlays enable one to know which position they are playing. 

Cons

  • Affect the appearance of the guitar and the fine finishes.

High-end Options

Comprise standard materials of higher quality than the cheap option ones. The prices are as follows: inlays, $ 15 and above; nuts, $20 and above; and pots 15 and beyond, depending on the brand names available.

Pros

  • They give the electric guitar a decorative appearance.

Cons

  • They affect an expensive guitar’s beautiful finishes and appearance.

Switches, Knobs, and Jacks

Theseare the basic fixture and jig tools used to improve the performance of an electric guitar. 

Cheap Options

The materials used to build these parts are conveniently sourced and therefore available at low prices as follows:

Switches are $ 8, Knobs $ 4, and Jacks $ 3, respectively. They are cheap, readily available, and universally used.

Mid-range Options

The materials used to make these parts are of standard quality and thus better than the ones for the cheaper options. The cost ranges as follows switches between $ 8 and $ 10, knobs $ 2 to $ 6, and jacks $ 7 to $ 10, respectively. They make the usability of the guitar seamless. 

High-end Options

These parts are made from high-end materials that are internationally fetched. The prices are as follows: switches $ 10 to $ 25, knobs $ 6 to $ 10, and jacks $ 10 and above, depending on the different brands. They are also easy to install.

Strap locks 

These knoblike gadgets are intended to more securely fasten the guitar strap to an electric guitar than regular strap buttons. 

Cheap Options

The cheap option of strap locks for electric guitars is comprised of cheap and conveniently sourced materials. The cost ranges from $ 2 to $ 5. 

Pros

  • Affordable.

Cons

  • Not easy to install. 

Mid-range Options

They are of standard quality and thus better than the cheap option strap locks. Their price range is between $ 5 and $ 15.

Pros

  • They are cheap.
  • They assure the safety of your guitar.

Cons

  • They are not challenging to install.

High-end Options

They consist of high-quality materials and are of superior quality to the mid-range strap locks. Their prices range from $ 25 to above, depending on the available brands.

Pros

  • They are readily available.

Cons

  • You can only use customized straps locks for specific brands.

Final Verdict

In conclusion, building an electric guitar can be a fun and rewarding experience for guitar enthusiasts. While the cost of building your own guitar may vary depending on factors such as materials, hardware, tools, and labor costs, it is possible to create a high-quality instrument without spending a fortune. By doing proper research and planning ahead, you can build your dream electric guitar at an affordable price.

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