The task of selecting the best electric guitar under 300 dollars, which plays remarkably and make you play like a rock star is definitely not easy. Not every electric guitar that costs $300 or less is made from solid tonewoods and have impressive pickups and electronics. In addition, some less costly electric guitars typically cheap out on certain hardware such tuners and bridges. That is why we made the recommendations below, which highlights reviews of what we found to be the best of the best. We also did this to showcase the most popular electric guitars $300 and under, which are made from good best quality materials and give you bang for your guitar bucks.
Looking for something to go along with it? Take a look at my article on the best guitar amplifiers under $300 too!
- Our Under $300 Electric Guitar Recommendations
- Under $300 Best Electric Guitars Conclusion
Our Under $300 Electric Guitar Recommendations
Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II
The mahogany body of this best guitar is a lot flatter than the traditional Les Paul and the tuning peg stylings and headstock are most certainly Epiphone electric guitars. It features Epiphone 650R and 700T humbucker pickups, a nickel, tune-o-matic bridge, twin hot open-coil and a single control for the tone and volume.
Its neck has a slender taper ‘D’ profile that is reminiscent of a 1960 instrument. The other side of its neck has a rosewood, 22 fret fretboard with a scale length of 24.75 inches. It also has the same stopbar tailpiece, tune-o-matic bridge and pickups as would be expected on a more costly Gibson guitar model. On a cheap guitar, the pickups typically sound toneless and muddy but this is an exception. It has smooth, liquid tones and when it is being played, the neck is comfortable and fast and it certainly doesn’t have the feeling of a cheap guitar.
Similar to other under 300 lower cost instruments, a few sacrifices have been made. For instance, a Les Paul Standard has a “set” neck but the neck on this guitar is a ‘bolt-on.’ This could slightly impact the sound and could dampen the sustain in comparison to a higher-end version. However, many high-end guitars sound just fine with bolt-on necks.
There is not any huge con to this electric guitar. This would be a remarkable guitar for beginners who love the feel, sound and look of a Les Paul but don’t have the money for a more costly guitar.
Fender Squier Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar
This under $300 electric guitar looks great and plays well too. It has a rosewood fingerboard and its eye-catching sunburst pattern has a finish that resembles antique. It is available in chrome, black, candy apple red and other colors. The radius of its maple is 9.5-inch and the rosewood fingerboard has 22 medium jumbo frets that make it much easier to play without your hands getting cramped. This is both because the neck is big and the frets are large but not too large for the smaller hands.
Agathis wood is used to make the body, which looks just as nice as mahogany and offers a geat quality sound. Polyurethane gloss is used for its high gloss. It is equipped with a synchronous twin-pivot tremolo bridge, two tone controls, a master control volume knob and a 5-position pickup selector switch designed to give you the desired sound.
There is lifetime lubrication on the die cast tuners and tuning will always be easy and stable. Additionally, it will stay in tune while being played, unlike instruments with other tuning systems.
The twin-pivot bridge with its satin-anodized saddles produces smooth tremolo action. Its single-coil alnico pickups helps with producing a remarkable sound. Additionally, its electronics are produced abroad, with inexpensive but good quality guitar parts to ensure the low cost of this best instrument.
This is definitely not a knock-off, it is a genuine Fender guitar; therefore, even at such an affordable price, you will be getting a high-quality instrument that it is highly likely you will be playing on for a number of years to come.
Squier Standard Telecaster Electric Guitar
The Squier Standard Telecaster electric guitar is designed with the distinctive single-cutaway body shape that was quite popular way back in the 1950s. It is also widely appreciated for its iconic Telecaster headstock and unique pickup configuration.
As is standard practice for reasonably-priced models nowadays, this impressive guitar is made out of basswood or what is also called solid agathis, which is a great wood. It is comfortable and lightweight and fits this guitar very well. A vintage creamy blonde paint is used to cover the instrument, topped by a polyurethane coating and is amazingly well finished for the cost.
The Squier Telecaster is outfitted with a standard bolt-on maple neck and is equipped with an Indian laurel fretboard, which is a later rosewood option and there are 22 medium frets. It has a satin finish that allows for a smooth and sleek feel; this creates an enjoyable playing experience. Furthermore, on the back of the guitar, there is an addition of the conventional ‘skunk strip.’
Its two pickups are a bit hotter when compared to the Affinity and provide a little more oomph with lead playing and rhythm. ‘Twang’ is a word that comes up quite a bit in conversations about this guitar and it does produce the classic bluesy tone craved by Telecaster guitarists. However, the general sound is a little more modern when compared to the Affinity. Its build and playability are the highlights of this guitar; these modernized upgrades make it comfortable and fast. The electronics and hardware also do a best job for the guitar sub 300 price tag.
Jackson JS32 Rhoads
The sound of the Jackson JS32 electric guitar will transport you back to the era of the 1980s death metal and thrash metal. It also sounds great on metalcore, Nu metal as well as on a cube 40 xl practice amplifier. It will sound even more impressive on a Marshall JCM2000 that is equipped with a Digitech Deathmetal pedal.
This guitar features master tone along with master volume controls, Jackson cvr2 pickups, 3-way blade selector, thin and fast necks, fixed string thru body, T.O.M bridge, flat Rhoads style and shark tooth inlays. It is available in gun metal grey, red and black finishes. It is easy to use; you can just plug in and rock out and it comes with a free sturdy and waterproof gig bag.
The quality of the JS32 is pretty decent with its very solid body, durable strap buttons, solid hardware, tight non-locking tuners (are locking tuners worth it?) and shiny glossy finish. With proper maintenance, it will last for quite a while.
This guitar will torture, bludgeon and ultimately slaughter other guitars in its price range. Although it is an entry level guitar, it definitely doesn’t feel or look like one. Best of all Jackson is renowned for dealing with their customer exceptionally.
There is absolutely no hiding the fact that this guitar belongs to the RG Series. This is because of its classic Superstrat body that is designed with a lavish double cutaway. It is available in a fascinating fading grey metallic finish and the particularly remarkable blackberry sunburst, which just oozes attitude. All for under 300 bucks!
The Ibanez RG421 electric guitar showcases a decent dose of RG playability with its renowned Wizard III maple neck. Typically referred to as the fastest guitar neck, there is truth in that description. This guitar plays like warm butter with its thin, comfortable feel and smooth satin finish. Its rosewood fretboard provides 24 jumbo frets, supplying two full octaves to play with.
As for the rest of the guitar, it also withstands the keenest scrutiny. Its solid body is made from basswood, which is also used to make high-end models. Its finish and fit are pretty for this reasonably-priced guitar and the definitive RG finish and shape are evident in the headstock.
The RG421 pickups are outfitted with a pair high-output Quantum humbuckers. They are standard, even though they are definitely an upgrade from the generic stock pickups that were utilized in the GIO series. A guitar tone and volume control and a selector switch can be used to control the passive pickups and the pickups. It should also be noted that it utilizes the same humbuckers as the RG450DX and as such, it produces an awesome best sound, especially for the price.
A good amount of time was clearly spent carefully selecting the features of the Omen 6 electric guitar with a cool under $300 price. Very little is missing where it concerns core aspects that make this instrument a full-featured guitar for musicians who play metal guitar. It is set up impressively; although it is made in Korea, the setup is done in the United States. This keeps the guitar in tune roughly 90 percent of the time, which is helped by the great built-in hardware pieces. It was ready for action straight out of the box.
However, there is an issue in that after prolonged use, the strap pegs typically loosen. To preserve the integrity of the Omen 6, it would be wise to invest in strap locks. Besides that, the guitar looks great and feels quite durable despite its price tag. If you are looking for a solid guitar designed to withstand the rigors of studio session jams and live performances, this is definitely a worthy candidate.
The guitar has a 25 ½-inch scale bolt-on neck that is made out of maple, a rosewood fretboard and 24 huge frets. Its bolt-on neck is a bit substandard but it is not a deal breaker. It is actually on par with the guitars in the category. Included among the other key features are a string-through tailpiece, dual humbuckers, all chrome hardware and diamond tuners. It is a great guitar and certainly superior to many other similarly-priced guitars. The pickups are decent and more than adequate for a beginner.
Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V
Take a single look at the Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V electric guitar and the inspiration for its body shape can be instantly recognized; it came from the Stratocaster. However, in spite of its similarity, some notable differences are still there. At less than 300 dollars!
Launched in 1990, the line of Pacifica electric guitars was primarily designed by Rich Lasner, who was the Senior Guitar Designer of Yamaha USA. Lasner had worked for Ibanez previously and the Pacifica line was designed as an extension of sorts of his work at Ibanez.
In contrast to a number of budget guitars in the early 1990s, these guitars were carved from single pieces of wood; in particular, the 112 is made of alder. This is certainly a remarkable contribution to the world of budget guitars.
Yamaha wanted to show off that quality alder is used for the body instead of some cheap plywood. As such, options for semi-translucent finishes are always available. These include old violin sunburst and satin yellow. They are also some opaque options available and these include black and raspberry red. The body resembles the Fender Stratocaster quite closely; however, there are some noticeable differences in the shape. These include the curvature of the body being a little sharper and the cutaway horns being narrower and longer.
The bolt-on neck of the 112 is made from solid maple, it has a subtle satin finish and also has a rosewood fingerboard. Another nod to the Fender counterpart of this guitar is its ‘C’-shaped curvature. However, in contrast to the Fender, it has 22 frets, one more than the traditional 21. Additionally, the guitar neck feels smooth to the touch and pretty fast.
Gretsch Electromatic Jet Club
This under 300 guitar is fairly easy to dismiss; however, the more it is looked at, the more the details will be noticed and the more attractive it will become. It has a two-tone body and the sides and back are stained in a walnut tone. It also has an arched top, it is bound body, which makes it easy to miss; however, it looks very good.
This guitar has dual-coil pickups that are definitely not “muddy,” it is rather trebly and bright in a very good way. This can be described as a mix between a P90 and a Jazzmaster. It is quite a usable sound that works for pretty much everything from country to rock to to shoegazer stoner to virtually anything you can think of. However, it does not play metal but it can be used by a metal player when he or she needs to record clean parts on another instrument.
For the guitar players in the world who can be described as “atmospheric”, this Gretsch Electromatic Jet Club electric guitar works with effects better than the majority of guitars. If you put a washy-style delay or reverb on this, it will sing and this is because of the sound of its pickups.
For those players into 1990s grunge tones and vintage, stoner rock, this instrument handles fuzz tone in a very impressive way; it is even better than a Jazzmaster. When this Gretsch is hooked up to a Big Muff Pi, you will definitely be impressed with a big, crazy sound. When the 6 strings are dropped to a D, the power chords will ring out the good stuff.
Cort CR100BK Classic Rock Series
The Cort CR100BK electric guitar Classic Rock Series is designed to deliver the feel, looks and the performance of vintage instruments that are much sought after these days. All for under 300! The Classic Rocker pickups are at the heart of all the models and they are particularly designed for this series. The classic design of the new CR100 has a single cutaway body that is attractively topped in arched maple. In addition, the guitar is outfitted with rosewood fingerboard, hard maple neck, T.O.M bridge and die cast tuners.
The features of the Cort CR100BK Classic Rock Series include a long-lasting Cameron Sino battery designed for the Sony Ericsson E2114 Xperia E4. The part numbers are Sony Ericsson 1288-1798 and Sony Ericsson LIS1574ERPC. It is very important to ensure both battery part and model number are coordinated with your device prior to making a purchase.
Epiphone SG Special VE
Everything about the SG electric guitar for under 300 dollars is first-rate; however, not every player can afford to buy it. As such, Epiphone launched its less expensive alternative; this is the SG Special VE from Epiphone. It is one of the top-sellers currently available because it designed to be extra special.
It is a premium solidbody guitar that is made from poplar with satin and mahogany veneer finish. Its double-cutaway shape is complete with a standard 1960s SlimTaper D neck profile. Additionally, its mahogany neck is a bolt-on, which assures its stability, particularly when playing fast.
To produce a vintage vibe, both its looks and its sound are classic. The look and feel of the old instruments are embodied in the vintage heritage cherry sunburst finish that depicts it so well. In addition, you can select cherry, ebony, walnut vintage worn and vintage sunburst finishes.
The strings could do with some amount of upgrading since they are definitely not the best on the market right now. When the strings are changed, the intonation and tuning of this SG guitar will improve greatly. Its playability and the quality of its sound will be improved as well.
The chrome die-cast tuners and the bridge are designed to hold the tune well and stabilize the strings. The tuners can be accurately changed to ensure you quickly get the right tuning and can hold it for quite a while. Therefore, whether you need to jam with friends or practice for hours, this guitar will be a dependable companion.
The SG Special VE is an affordable and well-sought guitar, especially for rock players. Its feel, looks and overall sound quality deliver what rock guitarists are seeking in a guitar. The players of this guitar include legends like the Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton and Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath.
Under $300 Best Electric Guitars Conclusion
Even though it is impossible for us to be totally objective as it relates to selecting a best electric guitars under 300 or actually in any other classification, we do make the effort to recommend what is widely considered to be the best of the best. In addition, we strive to go for the ones that will be suitable for the majority of players. This is a big part of the reason we have recommended such guitars like the Fender Squier Standard Stratocaster. This guitar is designed to be suitable for a number of different styles of playing and genres. It sounds good, it is affordable and in its price range, it will be hard to find any better.
Got a bit more to spend? Look at these electric guitars under 500 options too!