Musicians love electric guitars. They sport a solid body, volume controls, steel strings, and other exciting features. They can also cost a pretty penny if you look in the wrong place. Fortunately, not all electric guitars burn a hole in your pocket.
Quick Links To Our Best Electric Guitar Under $500 Recommendations
- Squier by Fender Jim Root Telecaster – OUR TOP CHOICE!
- ESP LTD MH-203QM Electric Guitar
- Ibanez JEMJRWH Steve Vai Signature 6-String Electric Guitar
- Squier by Fender J Mascis Signature Series Jazzmaster
- Gretsch G5220 Electromatic Jet BT Jade Grey Metallic
- Fender Duo-Sonic
- Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith
- Schecter Guitar Research Omen Extreme-7
- Yamaha Revstar RS320
- Daisy Rock – Rock Candy Custom Guitar
Since it might be confusing for you to find a quality electric guitar for an affordable price, we’ve done the homework for you! Read through this guide to choose the best electric guitar under 500 for a smooth musical journey.
- 1 Quick Links To Our Best Electric Guitar Under $500 Recommendations
- 2 Our Under 500 Electric Guitar Reviews
- 2.1 Squier by Fender Jim Root Telecaster
- 2.2 ESP LTD MH-203QM Electric Guitar
- 2.3 Ibanez JEMJRWH Steve Vai Signature 6-String Electric Guitar
- 2.4 Squier by Fender J Mascis Signature Series Jazzmaster
- 2.5 Gretsch G5220 Electromatic Jet BT Jade Grey Metallic
- 2.6 Fender Duo-Sonic Electric Guitars
- 2.7 Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith Electric Guitars
- 2.8 Schecter Guitar Research Omen Extreme-7 Electric Guitars
- 2.9 Yamaha Revstar RS320 Electric Guitars
- 2.10 Daisy Rock – Rock Candy Custom Guitars
- 3 What To Look For When Choosing An Electric Guitars Under $500
- 4 Summing Up On These Electric Guitars Under $500
Our Under 500 Electric Guitar Reviews
Squier by Fender Jim Root Telecaster
The Squier by Fender Jim Root Telecaster is an iconic electric guitar at a budget-friendly rate. It boasts a 12-inch fingerboard radius. The Rosewood fingerboard adds a touch of elegance along with a smooth surface.
This class guitar has a robust design that reflects the stage personality of the famous Slipknot guitarist, Root. It also has EMG active dual-passive pick-ups. The fingerboard appears flat but has a decent curvature that makes it a very comfortable instrument to play.
This classic guitar also offers extra stability through high-quality locking tuners. The Jim Root Telecaster is a must-buy for stage performers. It sports a dark, classy Mahogany finish with all-black controls, tuners, buttons, and more.
The Jim Root Telecaster is strategically designed to allow changing strings quicker and simpler. It also makes bending notes easier using the slight curve at the edges. It is a great buy for someone who is looking to play some heavy metal guitar or hard rock. Thus, it is safe to say that this iconic design can be considered under the best electric guitar under $500 list.
- 22 Jumbo Frets
- 12’’ fingerboard radius
- Three-way Switch (Pick-up)
- Dark Matte Mahogany Look
- Versatile Instrument
- Stylish Look
- High-quality tuners
- Dual-Passive Humbucking Pickups
- Slightly weaker pick-ups
ESP LTD MH-203QM Electric Guitar
The ESP LTD MH-203QM is one of the best designs of the ESP Horizon M Series. It is built to support an aggressive playing style. The ESP classic guitar boasts a robust Mahogany body with a sleek neck as well as a Maple top. It supports the user with a 350mm fingerboard radius. Its pick-up configuration is extremely versatile as it offers an H-S-S combination.
The Maple fingerboard is equipped with 24 extra-jumbo frets that let you play a deep, fulfilling piece. It also has a classy LTD by Floyd Rose Tremolo. The guitar is designed for quick string-changes and fast shredding.
A classic highlight of the MH-203QM is its unique ‘see-thru blue’ color. This eye-catching color adds an extra oomph to your personality and performance. The color easily makes it a great choice in the best electric guitar under $500 category. This high-quality instrument also features D’Addario XL120 strings adding more life to it.
This stylish instrument is a wonderful choice for those looking for a quality guitar at an affordable price.
- 350mm fingerboard radius
- See-thru Blue Color
- Locking Nuts
- Floyd Rose Tremolo
- Extra-Jumbo Frets
- Fast Shredding
- Smooth handling
- Unique look
- Out of tune due to overuse of Tremolo
Ibanez JEMJRWH Steve Vai Signature 6-String Electric Guitar
The Ibanez JEMJRWH Steve Vai Signature guitar is as popular as the three-time Grammy winner himself. This solid body guitar has an iconic design that is known to grab eyeballs. The Acrylic-Vine inlay, along with its signature “monkey grip” handle, makes it an absolute beauty to look at.
The Steve Vai Signature guitar has two Quantum humbuckers along with a five-way switching option. What’s more, it also has a single-coil pick-up that makes strumming a child’s play. Oh, and don’t forget the Tremolo bridge with a double-locking feature!
Ibanez records one of its fastest necks with the Steve Vai guitar. It has the Wizard III neck, which makes it an absolute delight for guitarists. The sleek neck design also makes it a very comfortable guitar to play. The instant you pick up this guitar, you’ll feel it’s built for a high-quality performance.
Are you a professional guitarist? Well, arpeggios and quick runs are a cakewalk with this guitar. The Steve Vai Signature guitar is built to give you comfort and stability even with heavy-pitch bends.
- Monkey Grip Handle
- Double-Locking Tremolo Bridge
- Fast neck
- Quantum Humbuckers
- Sleek and stylish
- Comfortable handling
Tremolo requires frequent adjustment.
Squier by Fender J Mascis Signature Series Jazzmaster
The Squier J Mascis Signature is an ode to the alt-godfather and legendary guitarist J Mascis. This guitar has a strong build to deliver a striking performance. This instrument’s specifications are designed with the help of its legendary namesake.
The J Mascis Jazzmaster has a smart dual-circuit design that brings out a great tone while playing. Its profile is C-shaped and sports a 21-fret fingerboard. The Maple neck has a smooth design while the Indian Laurel Rosewood fingerboard adds an extra aesthetic.
The guitar’s Adjusto-Matic bridge also makes it a great instrument to achieve stability while tuning. It has a vintage tremolo in a “floating” design. The body has a glossy finish complete with white controls to add a vintage vibe.
J Mascis made sure to install single-coil pick-ups for the perfect rock tunes. Another notable feature of the J Mascis Jazzmaster is its aluminum pickguard, which is made of anodized gold. Looking for the top electric guitar under $500? This one offers you comfort, affordability, performance, and more!
- Gold Anodised Pickguard
- Glossy Vintage Look
- Floating Tremolo
- Wide 9.5’’ fingerboard
- Dual-Circuit Design
- Aesthetic Design
- Comfortable Playing
- Rosewood fingerboard
Slightly difficult tuning
Gretsch G5220 Electromatic Jet BT Jade Grey Metallic
The Gretsch G5220 guitar is a solid instrument with high-quality parts as well as exciting features. It sports a Mahogany body that promotes an effortless performance. This guitar also has 22-medium jumbo frets and a wide 12’’ fingerboard. The Laurel fingerboard and the Maple top provide the perfect note and tune balance.
The Gretsch volume controls have individual pick-ups. These Dual Black Top Broad’Tron™ pick-ups make for a solid sonic profile. The Adjusto Matic Bridge is the perfect addition to delivering a master performance.
This guitar boasts a Block inlay as well as closed-back tuning keys. Its Chrome hardware also gives it a vintage-inspired look that wins over onlookers. The Gretsch V-Stoptail tailpiece allows stable tuning as well as a clean tone.
Finally, the classy guitar comes a gorgeous Jade Grey Metallic shade, which is a cherry on the top. If you’re thinking bold, powerful, smooth, as well as versatile, the Gretsch G53220 can be your pick for the best electric under $500.
- Chambered Body
- Maple Top
- Gretsch V-Stoptail Tailpiece
- Dual Black Top Broad’Tron™ individual pick-ups
- Jade Grey Metallic Color
- Flexible Volume Controls
- Vintage-style Purfling
- Wide FIngerboard
- Effortless Tuning
- Heavy to carry
Fender Duo-Sonic Electric Guitars
The Fender Duo-Sonic is a popular guitar among guitarists. Even though it is played across various genres, it is a favorite for alternative music. It features a compact design as well as a stylish look.
Its Maple fingerboard has a wide 9.5’’ radius with 22 medium-jumbo frets. The Strat bridge has bent steel saddles and a six-straddle string. The saddle promotes accurate intonation and tuning while the bridge works on enhancing vibration.
It sports a three-way pick-up switch, which offers flexible volume as well as tone controls. The C-shaped profile allows flexibility while bending and lets the guitarist play as fast as he likes. It has a classic Fender design with an iconic “F-stamp” on its body.
The guitar features a sleek neck that also makes it easier to hold. The 24-inch scale length makes it a very compact and comfortable guitar to play. If you’re confused as to which is a top rated electric guitar under $500, this is a great choice!
- Hardtail Bridge
- Compact body
- 5’’ fingerboard radius
- C-Shaped Profile
- Three-way pick-up switch
- Comfortable and Lightweight
- Compact Scale Length
- Easy Portability
- Stylish, Modern Look
Slight Fret Snag
Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith Electric Guitars
Iron Maiden is a crowd favorite when it comes to iconic heavy metal band performances. The band is famous globally and has given the music industry, one of the best guitarists. The Jackson X Series Signature Adam Smith is an ode to its namesake, the Iron Maiden lead guitarist.
It features a classic San Dimas Basswood body with a sleek maple neck as well as a compact top. It boasts a Fender Strat headstock that makes it a perfect companion for a power-packed performance. The 12’’-16’’ wide fingerboard radius is fitted with 22 jumbo frets and a Jackson humbucker bridge.
The guitar also sports black dot inlays and an efficient five-way switching pick-up feature. Additionally, it has a Floyd-Rose Double-Locking Tremolo that allows for stable tuning. The signature guitar is available in a breathtaking transparent green design that makes it look as good as it sounds.
If you’re considering a legendary guitar at a pocket-friendly rate, the Jackson Signature Adam Smith guitar could easily be a choice for the best under $500 electric guitar list.
- Basswood Body
- Fender Strat Headstock
- Floyd-Rose Double-Locking Tremolo
- Striking Transparent Green Look
- Great controls
- Wide Fingerboard Radius
- Sleek Design
- Rough Frets
- Uneven Pickguard
Schecter Guitar Research Omen Extreme-7 Electric Guitars
The Omen Extreme-7 is an iconic Schecter design. It is packed with top-quality features and smart, compact design. It features a Mahogany body that gives it a classic look. The Omen Extreme-7 also has a Rosewood Fretboard and a Maple neck that adds to its aesthetic design.
The Arched top guitar has Abalone & Pearloid Vector inlays along with a sleek 26.5’’ scale length. The C-shaped profile makes it a comfortable guitar to play and manage. It also has a bolt-on construction style with Chrome textured hardware.
It features Ernie Ball Regular Slinky 7 strings. These strings are strong, durable, and easy to strum. It doesn’t matter if you prefer the pick or your fingers, this guitar is built to support both. This has a two-way adjustable truss rod that increases flexibility while playing. The Omen Extreme-7 also has versatile volume and tone controls that let you tune the guitar the way you like.
If you’re considering the Omen Extreme-7 as a great under $500 option, you’re not far from making a great choice!
- Mahogany Body
- Abalone & Pearloid Vector inlays
- Ernie Ball Regular Slinky 7 strings
- Versatile Controls
- Smooth handling
- Wide Fingerboard Radius
- Bolt-On Construction
Yamaha Revstar RS320 Electric Guitars
The Yamaha Revstar RS320 is a guitar inspired by the Cafe Racer bikes that were seen in London in the 60s. This guitar is built with high-quality parts and extreme precision. It features a brass baseplate and ceramic magnet to deliver a great tone.
It sports a solid Nato body inspired by the Yamaha bikes. This has a tune-o-matic engineered bridge along with die-cast sound tuners. The sleek profile makes for a compact, lightweight design that is easy to hold and play.
The Revstar RS320 boasts custom hardware that is fitted onto a contoured body for greater comfort and flexibility. It also uses a passive filter circuit, which gives the feel of a split humbucker. The RS320 is known to deliver a very powerful and clear sound.
Can’t decide on an electric guitar under 500? The Yamaha Revstar RS 320 is indeed a wonderful choice!
- Iconic Nato Body
- Custom Hardware
- Tune-O-Matic Bridge
- Passive Filter Circuit
- Compact and Lightweight
- Affordable Price
- Powerful Performance
Slight Tuning Issues
Daisy Rock – Rock Candy Custom Guitars
The Daisy Rock- Rock Candy Custom Guitar is a great choice for those looking for bold, powerful performance in a guitar. The solid-wood guitar comes with a rosewood fretboard that makes it look elegant yet powerful.
It comes in a sleek, handy design with a slim Mahogany neck and star inlays. The streamlined neck design offers a great grip while playing. It also has a tune-o-matic guitar bridge set-up. The six-string guitar is great for a thunderous stage performance. It lets you strum, shred as well as bend notes smoothly.
The Rock Candy Custom guitar has a combination pick-up configuration with D’Addario EXL 165 strings. The pick-up also follows a Duncan-style humbucking setting that lets you experiment with tunes.
This elegant instrument might look plain sophisticated on the outside but is a guaranteed winner! Looking for the best under $500 electric guitars? The Daisy Rock- Rock Candy Custom Guitar is a worthy option!
- Solid-Wood Body
- Mahogany Neck
- Tune-O-Matic Bridge
- Durable Strings
- Sleek, compact design
- Wide Fingerboard Radius
- Six-String Play
- More suited for a left-hander
What To Look For When Choosing An Electric Guitars Under $500
Spending $500 on an electric guitar should get you a decent instrument, but do you know exactly what to look for? Do you know what features to expect in this price range? Look no further – this section will help you figure out what to look for when choosing an electric guitar under $500.
Guitar Body Tonewoods
Although cheap electric guitars typically don’t contain many of the higher-quality tonewoods common on expensive instruments, some manufacturers still manage to include them. The most common is basswood, which is the wood used in most sub-$500 electric guitars. It has a warm tone and resonant quality and is lighter than other woods used for electric guitar construction. Mahogany is another tonewood that’s occasionally found in inexpensive instruments. It’s a dense wood with a punchy tone that works well for blues and rock.
The same applies for good sounding acoustic guitars and top rated acoustic electric guitars.
You’ll find solid hardware in all electric guitars under $500, but you’ll rarely see other features such as locking nuts. That’s because they’re not necessary for beginners and the extra cost would raise the price of your instrument too much for most companies. The hardware on inexpensive guitars is also designed to keep the cost down. So don’t expect high-quality parts such as TUSQ nuts, and low-friction tuners.
Electric Guitar Pickups
Like on more expensive versions, cheap electric guitars are equipped with humbucking pickups. However, there are no features to suggest that they’re more expensive than less expensive guitars. What you’ll usually find in a cheap electric guitar’s electronics cavity is a volume knob and a tone control for each pickup.
No matter what kind of guitar you’re looking for, it’s guaranteed to include something in its electronics cavity. But this also applies to inexpensive instruments, at least as far as the preamplifier circuit is concerned. Most guitars under $500 have a passive mixer with volume pots or a single master tone control for both pickups. This is simple, but sufficient to get started playing and with no additional features, it keeps costs down. However, you should be aware that some inexpensive guitars also include preamp and pickup-selector switches that let you do more advanced configurations of your pickups’ tones.
Although the hardware of inexpensive electric guitars tend to be simple, their bodies are usually crafted from quality tonewoods. The basswood is the most common tonewood in these guitars, but you may find mahogany, spruce, or maple for a bit more money.
Electric Guitar Finishes
As with most other guitar projects under $500, the paint and finish are likely to be the most important aspects of an inexpensive electric guitar’s construction. Cheap electric guitars have polyurethane finishes, which are chip-resistant and not as susceptible to wear as nitrocellulose lacquer.
Under $500 should get you a decent instrument, but if you want to get your money’s worth, do some research on what to look for and potential problems you may run into with inexpensive guitars. You’ll find that manufacturers use the same basic designs for their cheapest instruments as they do for most of their more expensive ones when you check price online.
Some other quick picks:
- Fender Classic Vibe 50s Telecaster
- Fender Classic Vibe 50s Stratocaster
- Squier Classic Vibe 50s Stratocaster
- PRS SE Standard
- Schecter Omen6
- Epiphone Les Paul Standards
- Fender Vintage Modified
- Ibanez Steve Vai jemjrsp
- Epiphone G400 Pro
- Yamaha Revstar RS420
- G&L Tribute
- ESP LTD EC256FM
- Yamaha Revstar RS420
Summing Up On These Electric Guitars Under $500
Electric Guitars are a must-have for guitarists who’re into stage performances. However, high-end electric guitars come at exorbitant rates. Fortunately, there are quite a few great quality guitars that you can buy at affordable prices. These won’t burn a hole in your pocket while offering you a great long time investment.
With our recommendations for the best electric guitar under $500, you have all the necessary information you need to make the best choice. Each of these guitars has unique and sturdy features designed to give you the best performance.
Well, don’t wait any longer and shop for your electric guitar today. Happy shopping!