Best Choices for a New Guitar
Most instruments have at least a few moving parts. Guitar is no exception. What can often make purchasing a guitar so tricky is the fact that some romance & intrigue is sometimes attached to a few of those moving parts, complicating the purchase process. While Saxophonists may certainly debate about the best reed for a certain purpose, or Trumpet players about the best mouth piece, guitarists have many variables to ponder and much of that is truly a matter of opinion.
For example, while most would agree that plywood is perhaps not the best material for guitar construction, some may feel that Ash always sounds best, others Mahogany, some even sing the praises of exotic woods such as Koa. And then there is the topic of pickups, and then there are the strings, and fret-size, and many other decision points. With the exception of the very wealthy, a typical guitarist in search of a new instrument will look to strike a balance between their wish-list of features and cost. Luckily, many guitar makers are more than happy to cater to you, offering instruments that provide this kind of balance, sometimes surprisingly well.
Best Acoustic Electric Guitar
In the old days, when you wanted to amplify an acoustic guitar, you would place a microphone in front of it and then spend precious sound-check time wrestling with feedback. Fortunately, the old days are gone and current technology allows for superb amplified acoustic tones as well as the tools to control that dreaded feedback. The Best Acoustic Electric Guitar all around is the Godin Multiac Spectrum SA Cutaway. The feature-set accompanied by the very reasonable price tag make it a can’t-miss purchase. The real standout feature here is the ability to directly control a Roland GR Series or Axon AX100 guitar synth and determine just how much of your acoustic sound is blended into that; essentially three instruments in one. The Taylor T5 Standard is another fantastic choice. In addition to the top-notch craftsmanship of this stunning instrument, there are five pickup combinations that yield some seriously impressive tones.
Best Budget Electric Guitar
Even if your absolute main priority is lowest possible price, you still need a guitar that is playable and offers at least some kind of tonal options. While you can’t expect to find one model that will “Do it all…” it certainly is possible to find one that, depending on your preferred genre, offers some pretty decent features for such a low price. Although it is a bit of a “Shredder’s” guitar, the Ibanez GRG170DX brings the most to the table in this price category. A two-octave neck gives you the widest possible harmonic range and the two-point floating trem bridge provides much better dive-bomb performance than the traditional vintage-style six-screw bridge.
Most “T-Style” knockoffs in this price range fail to really deliver the “Twang”. Fortunately, for Tele-Lovers, the Squier Affinity Series Telecaster Special Butterscotch Blonde is a great pick. This model gives you all the features you need to really nail the vibe of such master as Arlen Roth, Roy Buchanan, Steve Cropper or Danny Gatton, right down to the most-cherished flavor of finish; Butterscotch Blonde. For the Les Paul lover, the Epiphone Les Paul Special II is another terrific choice as just like the aforementioned squire, you’ve got the basic feature set that gives you that classic guitar that you are dreaming of at an affordable price.