Best Electric Guitar Under $1500 For 2021 [Our Reviews and Comparisons]
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Electric guitars have one of the most significant influences on the evolution of popular music. It has caused the development of many new genres, and has changed the look and feel of many old genres. Electric guitar or electric bass guitar is now an important part of nearly every famous band on the planet.
After considering various factors, we’ve put together the top 5 electric guitars under $1500, which we hope will shed some light on the various aspects you need to be mindful of when you select your first or next instrument.
Best Electric Guitar Under $1500 Comparison Table
|1. Fender American Professional Stratocaster
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|2. Schecter BANSHEE ELITE-7 FR Sustainiac
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|3. Ibanez RG Prestige RG652AHM
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|4. Fender Deluxe Series Roadhouse Stratocaster
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|5. Guild Starfire V (includes Guild Vibrato Tailpiece Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar)
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Are you concentrating on a specific type of playing, e.g. rhythm or lead, or are you deciding more focused on a particular type of music, e.g. punk, pop, metal? We’ll help you get prepared with this guide so you can buy the best electrical guitar in the market.
See Related Article: Best Cheap Electric Guitar
Our Best Electric Guitar Under $1500 Reviews and Comparisons
1. Fender American Professional Stratocaster
Fender is a leading guitar manufacturer that is still innovating and building on its already successful models. Contributing to their legacy of innovation, its popular 30-year-old American Standard Series has been replaced with the American Professional Series.
This Stratocaster is one of the brilliant additions in this new range. The biggest style distinction between the two lines is found in the collar that is made of Maple and now has a deep ‘C’ profile that is easy to grip and better suited for solo play. Along with this, it has a Rosewood fretboard with 22 slim packs.
- The fretboard is narrow-sized which gives you more power when you’re playing. This is one of the most sought after styles of frets and it makes the guitar a lot easier to play while still sounding amazing.
- The pick-ups on this model have a crystal clear tone. Around the same time, they’re going to sound better with some lighter distortion. You get a consistent tone around the pickup positions on this Stratocaster.
- There is also a treble bleed circuit on board. This circuit guarantees that you have an equal distribution of tone at all volumes throughout the instrument.
- The tremolo on this guitar is a two-point structure. It’s quick to adapt and provides great stability when you’re playing. The arm mechanism fits into the slot, and it’s easy to deal with. You can quickly change the tension on your tremolo handle.
- This guitar comes with a regular volume button and two-tone buttons.
- Furthermore, there’s a pickup selector for your single-coil pickups along with chrome hardware and Fender’s sealed tuners.
- Fender Stratocaster is well built and has an outstanding finish. The body is made of alder, which provides resonance as you play the instrument.
- The neck is a normal Fender bolt-on, meaning you can swap it if anything goes wrong with it. This is one of the benefits of Fender Stratocaster- that you can change its neck if you have a problem with the original neck.
- This guitar is perfect for someone who needs an instrument that is easy to play. It’s great for beginners and experienced guitarists.
What We Like About Fender American Professional Stratocaster
The Fender American Professional Stratocaster has a really strong sound. It sounds amazing through most of the amplifiers. The guitar is the best for low distortion because of the single-coil pickups. It’s hard to get a good warped sound out of the Stratocaster because it’s not built for extreme distortion. Use light distortion and overdrive to achieve the best sound.
Sounds great when you play it clean and add in a little chorus or reverb. Generate tones or several different forms of sound. Great for country, rock, jazz, and blues guitar in particular. Dial the distortion down to two or three comfortable stages, since this is where the Stratocaster stands out.
See Related Article: Best Beginner Electric Guitar
What We Don’t Like About Fender American Professional Stratocaster
You certainly won’t be able to get a heavy metal tone out of it because of single-coil pickups.
- Strong sound
- Treble bleed circuit on board for an equal distribution of tone
- Pick-ups give clarity of tone
- You might be disappointed with the performance of this guitar’s tuning machines during heavy gigs.
2. Schecter BANSHEE ELITE-7 FR Sustainiac
The Banshee Elite-7 FR-S 7-string guitar by Schecter Guitar Research exudes premium construction, an ideal USA Schecter bridge pickup, a Sustainiac neck pickup for limitless assistance, and a special visual flare.
- The Banshee Elite Series features a swamp ash body with a flamed maple crown, a maple/walnut collar with carbon fiber reinforcing rods, and an ebony fingerboard.
- Along with this, it has 24 X-Jumbo stainless steel beads, mother-of-pearl offset/ reverse dot inlay with brass buttons and a collar-thru construction with ultra-fast access for quick playability and easy access to higher beads.
- The Banshee Elite comes with a Schecter Exclusive Floyd Rose 1500 Series bridge with stainless steel components, a new push-in weapon, and a knifepoint for improved tuning and smoother tremolo action.
- An additional aspect is that the Banshee Elite comes equipped with Schecter’s own crafted USA SuperCharger Mach 7 bridge pickup and Sustainiac in the neck position.
- Based on the very same principles that make the 6-string version so popular, this rock and metal guitar is ready to impress guitarists with its 7 strings. With the extra-low ‘B’ string, the notes are still well-formed due to the recent US SuperCharger pickups and great tonewood options that carry this guitar to life.
- An Ebony fingerboard contains a 9 piece Maple/Walnut neck
- Floyd Rose 1500 Series bridge include parts made of stainless steel
What We Like About Schecter BANSHEE ELITE-7 FR Sustainiac
The Banshee Elite is a guitar that really performs on its own and provides exceptional flexibility and tone that players appreciate. It looks like, and it sounds like a high end 7 string model. The highlight is the fantastic aesthetic appointments like the natural maple binding, and the shockingly cool USA Schecter pickups.
There are more luxurious, higher performance guitars that can suit and finish better, but they won’t have steel frets, paid nuts, high-quality inlays and links, 27 “scale, carbon fiber neck protection, etc. unless you pay 2-3 times as much.
What We Don’t Like About Schecter BANSHEE ELITE-7 FR Sustainiac
The only aspect that might disappoint you is that this model does not come with a gig bag.
- Stainless steel parts
- Quick playability
- Knifepoint for improved tuning
- No gig bag
3. Ibanez RG Prestige RG652AHM
This is one of the most famous guitars of the brand, and over the last 30 years, a range of great versions have come out of this design. The Prestige series reflects the high-end guitar range of the business, made entirely in Japan. The RG652AHM is one of many in the series and was released in 2015.
It features a solid Ash body with a double cutaway pattern, while the thin Maple/Walnut neck houses a 24-frame Maple fingerboard. The electronic portion is fitted with two passive/alnico DiMarzio humbucking pick-ups – the Air Norton at the neck and the Tone Region at the bridge. Both are operated by a 5-way pick-up blade switch, a master volume, and a tone knob.
- The neck for shredders – 17 mm thickness at 1st and 19 mm thickness at 12th.
- The Edge Bridge delivers amazing tuning stability, precise intonation adjustment, and ease of play.
- A pair of high-output DiMarzio® Air NortonTM pickups and the Tone Zone® pickups deliver a strong sound with a large dynamic range and limitless support.
- The well-balanced tonal character covers low to high due to the Birdseye Maple’s distinctive grain of wood.
What We Like About Ibanez RG Prestige RG652AHM
Electronics comprises a pair of DiMarzio Air Norton and the Sound Zone pickups for a great combination of power and sound and a 5-way selector option for full tone flexibility. The Edge Bridge masterpiece promises excellent tuning precision, accurate intonation modification, and ease of play.
What We Don’t Like About Ibanez RG Prestige RG652AHM
Most users have been satisfied with this model. Some have found its tuning to be tricky.
- Jumbo frets with Prestige fret edge treatment
- DiMarzio Air Norton neck pickup
- Comes with a Hardshell case
- Its tuning might be tricky for some users.
4. Fender Deluxe Series Roadhouse Stratocaster
The Fender Deluxe Roadhouse Stratocaster is an incredible value guitar that offers a wide variety of tones with a retro and contemporary sound. With a strong preamp tucked beneath what would usually be the tone register, you won’t believe how well this guitar goes from retro to high gain saturation. While the specs on this guitar are almost as new as you can find on the Strat, the look is still really 70’s.
- Equipped in this instrument, you’ve got a collection of classic Retro Noiseless pickups that blend genuine retro single-coil tones without any of the irritating vibration or hum that you get on standard single-coils.
- A lot of guitars have come with preamp systems over the years, but it’s not so often that you see it on a Stratocaster. With 6 different preset tones attached, you can switch between several starkly different sounds that are not usually possible with a regular SSS style guitar.
- Filled with a wide range of sounds, ranging from a rough, wiry single-coil spank to a high-output sound that’s great for pulling leads, this guitar is flexible enough to handle whatever you throw at it in style.
- Three Antique Noiseless pickups deliver all the precision and articulation you’ve come to know from Strat pickups with no buzz.
- The authentic feel of the Strat is due to the six-position V6 turn that provides 6 additional tonal variants.
- The S-1 switch hidden in the volume control bypasses the preamp for rich, conventional pick-up-only sounds.
- The contoured heel of the neck and the 4-bolt asymmetrical neck plate make it possible to use the upper registers of the neck with ease.
- The flatter 12″-radius fingerboard makes it easier to play short leads and execute deep bend.
What We Like About Fender Deluxe Series Roadhouse Stratocaster
The S-1 and V6 changes make it possible to easily adjust the tonal character of the guitar radically, from fat midrange to shimmering treble. Antique Noiseless single-coil pickups include classic Strat sound with midrange honk, treble glow, and percussive rhythm, but without any noise or hum.
With its somewhat flatter body and oversized headstock, this guitar is still proud of its roots, recognizing that a lot of aspects have changed in recent years.
The Deluxe Roadhouse Strat is the right instrument to deliver a powerful performance for a long time. It’s the right instrument for an artist who wants harmonic versatility and the freedom to turn sounds at the drop of a hat. Enjoy easier travel with the tremolo bridge, thanks to the new two-point coordinated style, which includes bent steel saddles for classic elegance.
What We Don’t Like About Fender Deluxe Series Roadhouse Stratocaster
- Antique Noiseless pickups eliminate any buzz
- Vintage feel
- A versatile model
- The saddle adjustment screws along with fret ends on this guitar are quite sharp.
5. Guild Starfire V (includes Guild Vibrato Tailpiece Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar)
The Guild Starfire V semi-hollow body electric guitar is a full-size double-cut guitar that is completely packed with features that improve each player’s unique playing style. When it comes to performances, the Starfire V semi-hollow electric guitar body does not disappoint.
The Starfire V is for those who esteem classic style and enjoy the Guild Starfire guitars. The output of the Guild Starfire V is extremely remarkable. Not only is the material quality used in its construction top-notch, but there is a lot of thinking that has gone into the production of this instrument, as can be clearly seen from the amount of detail on the instrument.
You’ll find, for example, not one or two but a few minor specifics, ranging from gold pins on volume and tone knobs to high-quality Grover tuners, glossy rosewood fretboard, and an archtop made of mahogany.
- The Starfire V sports a graceful 16-3/8 in a thin line chassis with twin Guild LB-1 ‘Little Bucker’ pickups, making it the perfect option for blues, rock, and more.
- Featuring dual f-holes and a center-block structure all nicely wrapped in white ivory body packaging, the Starfire V is a stunner that sounds amazing too.
- Some of the luxury features used in the Starfire V include a three-piece collar with a very retro soft-U picture.
- The 9-1/2 in., radius, 22-frame fingerboard was made from rosewood to give it a luxurious appearance.
- It also features Pearloid block inlays, individual volume, a three-way pick-up switch with tone settings, and a master volume.
- The Guild Starfire V semi-hollow body electric guitar has a classic sound and feel. It has a clear voice, a low-end description, and a light treble pickup with a good grip.
What We Like About Guild Starfire V (includes Guild Vibrato Tailpiece Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar)
The Guild theme makes the Starfire V look more vintage relative to those like the Gibson ES-335. This guitar sounds like a classic, particularly because its neck joins the body at the 18th fret, a move that took place in the guitar design of the late 60s.
What’s amazing about the Starfire V is that while it seems like a handful, it’s really easy to play. The tone of this guitar is as pure as a whistle, but it snarls like a beast when you speed it up.
What We Don’t Like About Guild Starfire V (includes Guild Vibrato Tailpiece Semi-Hollow Body Electric Guitar)
Apart from the faint fret buzz, one weakness that some guitar players can experience with the Starfire V is the tune-o-matic bridge. A sturdy bar Style Bridge would have been a great alternative. Players typically replace the tune-o-matic bridge with the Compton bar bridges for the archtops.
Another problem some players have with the Guild Starfire 5 is that the nut slots are too large for the unwound strings. This leads to a minor pinching every time the tuner is adjusted. But this is definitely not going to be a deal-breaker.
- Remarkable output
- Easy playability
- Good detailing
- Nut slots too large for the unwound strings
- Faint fret buzz
Schecter BANSHEE ELITE-7 FR Sustainiac is the best electric guitar under $1500 according to us. Not only is it high on durability, but has been constructed keeping a lot of detailing and aesthetics in mind. We think this model will truly make you shine as a guitarist.
When buying an electric guitar, you can keep the following factors in mind:
- Body Wood
Walnut body wood usually produces a complete sound with prominent peaks and strong lows and is often compared to maple, sonically (though not as bright). Its grain and shading, however, are much more appealing than its tone.
While much more widely used as fingerboard or acoustic guitar wood, rosewood (most notably from India today and traditionally, but now endangered, from Brazil) has been used in electrical guitar body construction. Since it is especially heavy wood, it prefers to be used in chambered, hollow, or semi-hulled electrical appliances.
Commonly used in more inexpensive instruments, poplar is a reasonably balanced sonic and does not have an overly warm or bright response. Poplar body guitars typically have solid-colored finishes.
A popular body wood, mahogany, is used in a wide spectrum of uses, from single-wood to laminate, as well as necks. Originating from Africa and Central America, mahogany offers a deep, warm sound while providing excellent sustain and somewhat reserved yet pleasing heights. Its grain typically gets a translucent or translucent finish.
Another classic wood body (and neck) option, maple is a rugged, hardwood sourced in the United States of America and Canada. Like mahogany, it is often used for both body and neck woods, but maple also creates a lighter, more detailed tone. It’s usual to see the maple tops in the laminate guitar body.
Famously used on Gibson’s Flying-V and Explorer guitars, this African body made of Korina is known for its resemblance to Mahogany, but it sits on the colder side of the tone scale. However, the korina is more pleasant and pronounced in the middle than the mahogany. It’s normally finished naturally due to its fine grain.
Koa, native to Hawaii, is considered to have identical yet somewhat clearer tonal characteristics than mahogany. It is also found in acoustic guitars and electric basses, which typically come in a natural finish to show off its beautiful wood.
Originated from South Africa, this body wood is moderately strong and is considered to have a bright tone with an expressive bottom end, as well as long-lasting protection. It is most widely used for neck wood and tops and sides and is also used in laminate-constructed guitars and basses. Its distinctive grain typically needs a translucent finish.
This more inexpensive body wood is usually used in entry-level and discount instruments, but due to its tonal properties, it has also been used in many higher-end axes. As its name suggests, it offers a louder, bass-like sound. Basswood bodies typically have opaque finishes.
Ash is commonly present in two varieties: hard ash, which is thicker and denser than the most prevalent swamp ash. Swamp ash originated from the southern United States, from wetland trees whose roots are completely submerged. Swamp ash provides a subtly vivid, airy sound with balanced lows and a clear finish.
This common wood body is typically lightweight and provides a reasonably balanced tone response, often preferring a slightly brighter sound. It was one of the body woods of choice for the popular double cutaway, single-coil guitars introduced in the 1950s, and is still commonly used today.
Ready-to-use conifer wood found in the tropical Far East and South Pacific. It’s also seen in the entry-level guitar build.
- Neck Wood
As for the necks, the bulk of the guitars would have a neck made of either maple or mahogany, a rosewood, an oak, or an ebony fretboard. Again, there is no correct or incorrect choice, and the wood of the neck will never affect your judgment.
But you need to pick something that feels easy and relaxed to play. There are a number of shapes and styles, and what you’re going to choose depends on your tastes and style of play.
For example, a modern C-shaped neck is often a good choice since most guitarists are relaxed using it, whereas a narrow U-shape is better for faster players (like rock and metal).
- Fingerboard Wood
Rosewood: Rosewood fingerboards generally have a warmer response, with some accentuation in the center. Rosewood is a very popular fingerboard that pairs with a mahogany neck, offering a smooth tone and feel.
Maple: As a fingerboard, maple (often combined with contrasting maple neck wood) offers light and expressive lows.
Ebony: Most frequently combined with a mahogany neck, an ebony fingerboard offers clarity to offset the warmer tone of mahogany. With a firm fiber, Ebony’s color can range from black to light brown. It’s also one of the toughest woods used to make fingerboards.
- Body Type
Semi-Hollow: taking on a traditional hollow-shaped configuration and incorporating an interior middle block, semi-hollow-shaped guitars run around the line between hollow bodies and an electronic solid-body. Feedback, which may be a concern with actual hollow-bodied guitars, poses less of an issue here.
Chambered: A traditional chambered guitar body is a solid-body design that has lost parts of its wood during the manufacturing process, normally to minimize bodyweight by using especially strong body material. If correctly manufactured, the chambered body may serve to provide improved sustenance.
Strong Frame: a body made of sturdy wood, whether it is composed of one type of timber body or several types of laminate.
Hollow: Designed like an acoustic guitar, the hollow-bodied electric would have a hollow within, but usually uses a single-coil or humbucking pickup, as opposed to an acoustic pickup. Hollow-bodied electrical appliances will, not unexpectedly, create an acoustic sound.
The cutaway refers to the scooped region of the guitar body where the body meets the neck of the instrument, the purpose of which is to allow access to higher fret locations. The cutaway that swoops to a sharp point is known as the Florentine cutaway, and the gentle is known as the Venetian cutaway.
Single Cutaway: guitars with a single-cutaway segment just on the side of the higher strings, most commonly portrayed by Gibson’s Les Paul or Fender’s Telecaster.
Double Cutaway: Double cutaway guitars are the ones that are scooped out on both sides of the body, popularly portrayed by Fender’s Stratocaster and Gibson’s SG.
- Bridge Type
There are many types of a bridge (located at the bottom of the instrument, where the strings are attached), but to keep it easy, you can usually find either a fixed bridge or a tremolo bridge. They do have pros and cons.
The Tremolo Bridge will encourage you to experiment with everything from vibrato effects to full-on divebombs, and it can sound incredible while playing high lead solos. Tremolo bridges can, however, impact tuning, unless the bridge and the nut click.
The fixed bridge is excellent for sustaining and tuning to equilibrium, even when there is no vibrato.
There are two major types of pickup that you’ll find on a beginner’s guitar: a single-coil pickup and a humbucker pickup. Without bogging you down in the particulars of how they work, the single-coil is a classic original pick-up that usually provides a vibrant and sparkling sound.
When they cut into the mix, single-coils are great pick-ups for lead players. And comes the loyal humbucker, who, as the name implies, ‘bucks’ the hum, meaning less background noise.
Humbuckers create absolute, meaty sounds heard all over the world of rock and roll, and they’re perfect for lead and rhythm guitar. However, you can still play fast punk rock power cords with a single-coil, much as you can play an upbeat country number with a humbucker!
Usually, you’ll find two or three pickups on the instrument, but some of the versions will offer only one. Guitars with two or three pickups can come with a pickup selector switch to easily switch between pickups.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Here’s what the common queries of guitarists have been:
What is the most comfortable electric guitar?
Gibson ES-339/359 and CS-336/356 have shapes and weights that are very pleasant to play with sitting down. A little bigger than the LP and a little smaller than the ES-335, they can be played with ease even while standing.
Which is easier to play, electric guitar or acoustic?
Electric guitars are a little easier to play physically. Acoustic guitars have thicker gauge strings that need a much firmer pick and stronger fingering.
Do I need an amp to play an electric guitar?
Yeah, the electric guitar can be played without an amp. They’re not going to project as much sound, though, if they’re not plugged in. As any guitarist would tell you, an amplifier is a vital part of an electrical guitar rig. It will help to amplify the tone and add a little ‘oomph’ to it.
Can you use headphones on electric guitar?
No headphones can be wired directly into the electric guitar. Even if you buy an adapter to fit your headphones into the guitar port, it won’t function. When you connect your headphones to your electric guitar, you’re not going to hear it. The guitar has to amplify the sound before it hits the ear.
Can you plug a guitar into a speaker?
You can connect the guitar to standard speakers using a number of methods. The trick is to plug in your guitar not as if it was an instrument (there is no dedicated input), but as if you were plugging in a sound source like a turntable or a CD player.
How much time does it take to learn to play the electric guitar?
Somewhere from 6 and 18 months-After six months, you may start to feel relaxed and get to know your way around the guitar. You may not have been busting epic solos, but you’ve learned common chords, and you feel relaxed playing.
What voltage does an electric guitar use?
Nominally, consider 25 mV of RMS for a single plucked string. With the neck pickup as a hot humbucker, you will achieve a high of as much as 740 mV, strumming an open E chord hard at the point where you strum, with a sustained frequency of 150 mV for that chord.
Which is better, Telecaster or Stratocaster?
The Telecaster usually has two single-coil pick-ups, the bridge pick-up being larger and longer than its Strat equivalent. What’s more, it’s mounted on the Tele’s metal bridge layer, which can make it a stronger sound.
Can you play an electric guitar like an acoustic?
One can play an electric guitar like an acoustic guitar. You can strum the same chords, choose the same arpeggios, and play the same music. It’s going to look and feel totally different on an electric guitar, but you can play an electric guitar like an acoustic.
Can I use my computer to play the electric guitar?
Connecting an electric guitar to a computer is simple, but it requires a special piece of hardware called an audio interface. To connect your electric guitar to a device, you need to use an audio interface to securely process the signal of your guitar to anything that your device will use.
Can you start with an electric guitar?
Electric guitars are extremely easy to play, but they are very difficult to learn. The reason they’re ideal for beginners is that they’re going to be able to play for hours without damaging your fingertips – if you feel like you don’t understand the fretted notes well, just turn up the volume on your amp.
How many hours a day should you practice guitar?
Try to practice the guitar for at least 15 minutes and not more than one hour a day. If you plan to practice for more than 20 minutes, schedule short breaks to divide the practice sessions for the best outcomes possible.
Why do guitar strings hurt my fingers?
The thickness of your guitar strings can influence how irritated your fingers will become, the thicker the string the harder you click. Strings are labeled in Hard, Medium, Moderate, and Extra-Light. Try starting with light or extra-light strings that are easier to press down.
Do guitar calluses go away?
Within a few weeks of playing, though, the fingertips harden due to the development of calluses. At this point, particularly with regular play, the calluses just get harder and harder, and all of a sudden the pain disappears and you don’t have to think about it again.
That said, the guitar calluses are not permanent, and they’re going to go away once the musician finishes playing the instrument. It usually takes about a month of inactivity for the calluses to eventually get loose, based on how strong they are.
We hope our review, buyers guide, and FAQ have helped you choose the best electric guitar under 1500.
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