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Best Electric Guitars Under 500 Reviews In 2020 | BreatheCarolina

Are you looking for a high-quality electric guitar under 500? Actually, it is not easy to find an electric guitar with a reasonable price. Understanding this trouble, BreatheCaroline has listed 17 best electric guitars under $500 in 2020.

Regarding the best electric guitars under $500, you can certainly expect good quality building and versatile sound. To be more specific, the simple divide between the flagship, mostly American-made electric guitars, and these more budget-friendly electric guitars has become more blurred.

Some guitar players have even made a public statement to show that these inexpensive guitars feel better in their hands, which would convince you that you are in for a pleasant surprise when you take home one of the high-quality electric guitars under $500 below.

Reviewed by a community of BreatheCarolina specialists and professional players, each affordable electric guitar below gives you an excellent tone and fantastic playability at prices that won’t break the bank. If you want to discover our top pick, here it is…

Quick Comparison: best electric guitars under 500

** Below, you will find our detailed reviews of the Best Electric Guitars Under $500, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Detailed Reviews of Top 17 best electric guitars under $500

Best Electric Guitars Under $500

The Yamaha Revstar RS420 is a guitar that beats well beyond its weight, This dual-cutaway device is built for the brawny, gritty sounds of rock ‘n’ roll – think AC/DC and even Cream, Yamaha is a brand known for its quality construction, and that credibility is preserved with this sub-$500 deal.

Influenced by the racing motorcycles of the 60s, the Indonesia-made RS420 is a powerful vehicle. The understated appearance belies the tissue: two YGD alnico V humbuckers (VH3 models) are specially wound for the Revstar collections and yield those differentiated tones you have heard on countless classic rock albums. A Yamaha-exclusive “Hot Turn” breaks the coils with no hum and then eliminates the low-frequency signals so that the single-coil sounds are as loud and straightforward as they should be. 

Furthermore, the tone woods applied are modest – the RS420 has a mahogany-topped nato body and a nato neck. It is a great guitar to play. Yamaha had mounted a belly cut and kept the lean, balanced neck incredibly accessible to the higher loads. 

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • High-quality construction
  •  Differentiated tones bring great sound
  •  Nice design
Best Electric Guitars Under $500

With the rapidly growing resurgence of rock and Britpop in the 1990s, how does Fender target to remain relevant to millennials? Just reprint the classic Duo-Sonic, of course. Founded in 2016, the Duo-Sonic HS is a student model that resembles the main 1956 body form of the model with a greater waist on the bass side and much similar to a teardrop-shaped than the Mustang’s, which is a real offset.

The short-size six-string electric seems to have a Strat-style hardtail bridge with bent steel straps and a matching C-shaped, satin polysaccharide-finished neck with 22 medium jumbo frets and 9.5-inch fingerboard radius. 

It is derived from student models, but this killer guitar is lightweight, durable and designed for heavy-energy stage performance, Building quality is generally neat across the broad, and we see so little to worry about, particularly in this budget range.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Lightweight, durable
  • Available for high-energy stage performance
Best Electric Guitars Under $500

The PAC112V is a part of Yamaha’s Pacifica line of electric guitars. It’s essentially a tweaked Start type guitar designed for instrument learners. At its heart is its double-cutaway alder structure, with more space on the lower cutaway to hit the top notes.

Furthermore, the neck is made of maple and is covered with a rosewood fingerboard, with a C-shaped profile that is newbie-friendly. Eventually, it comes fitted with two single-coil pickups for the neck and middle position and a humbucker with a suspension for the bridge side.

Bang for buck is the most vital point of this instrument, and many are shocked by its sonic versatility, especially when considering the price range. Moreover, playability and high-quality are frequently pointed out by pleased owners and professional players. For instance, Music radar said: “Construction ids outstanding quality.” More significantly, the Yamaha PAC112V gets a host of add-ons from long time guitar players, ensuring its durability and longevity. Nevertheless, there are some questions about the strings shipped with and the demand for changes out of the box.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Playability and high-quality
  • Durability and longevity
Best Electric Guitars Under $500

The Sterling By Music Man Albert Lee HH offers an eye-catching look and a gorgeous tone buffet delivered by his Ernie Ball Music Man-produced equivalent at a price that will not make you panic when you check your bank account reply-purchase.

Like that of the Ernie Ball Music Man variant, the Sterling Albert Lee HH is made with such an African Mahogany body and two humbuckers wired to a five-way switch. The classic tremolo, available for the Ernie Ball Music Man version of the guitar, comes equipped.

Although DiMarzio’s significant brother aspects are missing, Albert Lee HH’s Sterling by Music Man’s Four-leading humbucker pickups is not slouching themselves. From fantastic, ringing cleanses to chunkier singular-coil sounds that demand an incredible amount of weight, and the Albert Lee HH punches far beyond its weight. 

According to its strong, creative construction and dazzling tonal range, you can see why Albert was persuaded that he would leave his signature retro Teles to build his own stand-alone mode now accessible at an attractive price. 

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Extendable solid stools are a great touch
  •  Wonderful tonal range
Best Electric Guitars Under $500

The new innovation in the Ibanez S series, the S521 gives you a look and several great tones of Ibanez at an outstandingly reasonable price. The guitar’s rosewood fingerboard is two-octave and includes 24 jumbo frets, while its mahogany body is covered with an eye-catching burst finish.

The freight board of the S521 is exceptionally swift and smooth as silk. Narratively, while the clean guitar is not always top-notch, the mid-range is phenomenal. At the higher end, its articulation is powerful and articulate, with a lean yet nimble base. In addition to its rock-solid variety of tones, the S521’s stands out within its price.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Very swift and smooth as silk
  • Reasonable price
Best Electric Guitars Under $500

Sleek and full of visual and auditory attitudes, the Jackson King V JS32 T is one of the biggest value-for-your-buck offers on the fingerstyle guitar market nowadays. With Jackson’s signature pointed headstock and Sharkfin location inlays, which make a world of an impression before you just even play a note.

Furthermore, the King V JS32T features a wrench-on and graphite-reinforced maple speed neck with 24 jumbo frets. The two Jackson humbucking pickups on the guitar are equipped with ceramic magnets.

King V JS32 T's tone is overly aggressive, while even the Nigel Tufnels of the world will satisfy its maintenance. The compound-radius of the guitar makes it easy to enjoy. Prolonged, steady riff age as well as hurricane-speed shredding both end up being a piece of cake.

Its weak action also gives the finger the instrument’s shredding abilities and paves the way for titanic string bends. Mean, lean, and surprisingly quick on the pocket, the Jackson King V JS32 T is a force to be reckoned with.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Maintain for days
  • Equally perfect for the metal rhythm and the lead
  • Nice look
Best Electric Guitars Under $500

The Epiphone G-400 PRO is to the Gibson SG, like the Squier Contemporary Stratocaster is to its American Original Fender counterpart.

In addition to the healthy mahogany body, the two Epiphone Classic PRO humbuckers are significantly responsible for the ‘honky’ sound of the guitar with a quite brash treble. They have Alnico V magnets, which generate a tight reaction and are great for crunchy rock rhythms at AC/DC. 

Nevertheless, pickups are also where the G-400 goes beyond the SG. Both humbuckers are coil-split, which, in association with a three-way pickup selector switch. Eight, to be exact. Go from the shimmering cleanses of a separate-coil neck, to the dirt of a bridge humbucker, to the strength of both humbuckers in tandem or something in between. It is not as fast, but the tense shoulders of the G-400’s neck make this approach typically more convenient when holding down power or bared chords.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Reasonable price
  • Mahogany body provides comfort for guitar players
Best Electric Guitars Under $500

If you’re looking for an initial Jazzmaster but do not want to pay thousands of dollars for it., the Squier Classic Vibe ‘60s Jazzmaster is definitely up your alley. The offset guitar maintains much of the old-school features that made the popular model back in the day.

In spite of its low expense, it is not suitable for newbies. The circuitry is complicated, the bridge is famously bewildered, and it feels heavy when you play sitting down. However, this is the best authentic Jazzmaster you can own with less than $500.

Specially, The Squier Classic Vibe ‘60s Jazzmaster has the tested dual circuitry of the original versions from the 60s. The rhythm circuit activates only the neck pickup, and the Lead circuit makes you choose between neck, bridge, or both. Each circuit seems to have its own designated master volume and tone buttons. In comparison with Fender American Professional Jazzmaster, it doesn’t own this circuitry.

It’s up to which side of the fence you are on, you may be into or not this Jazzmaster's floating vibrato device and vintage-style bridge. Some find the grooved barrel saddles fragile, while others claim that they contribute to the classic of the Jazzmaster’s low sustain and sonic artifacts.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Classic rhythm and lead circuits, and their corresponding controls
  • The floating vibrato system, just like the traditional jazz master.
  • Lightweight body.
  • Vintage gloss finish
  • Reasonable price 
Best Electric Guitars Under $500

The concept of The Streamliner is to build more durable Gretsch guitars without sacrificing their unique DNA. Two new Broad’Tron humbuckers are operated in the classic Gretsch style by a three-way toggle selector switch on the neck's bass side.

The construction of the G2622 gives a different response and resonance to other recent releases by Gretsch and, with these pickups, moves further away from the Gretsch sound. And while its structure brings it a more sturdy character or at least ES-335. This is a little airier and less strong with a lighter, squashier tone.

The beefier pickups definitely don’t hit the traditional Gretsch tone, and however, if this is what you want, the full-size pickups are simple to substitute. Nevertheless, they do broaden the sound range, particularly for more advanced styles, meanwhile remaining true to the classic iconography. If you want a high-value semi-hollow, this is one of the best electric guitars which has under $500.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Create-to-price ratios are extremely high
  • Strong acoustic ability
Best Electric Guitars Under $500

You might consider the budget of PRS to take on its traditional Custom 24 to pale in comparison to the real deal, however that’s certainly not the case. This is one magnificently put-together instrument; we searched our sample model for the guitar's price tags, and all we could find was a slightly loose vibrato arm fitting – a small error.
The same with the classic US-made Custom 24 design, there is no scratch plate, therefore, the SE Standard 24 electronics are mounted in a cavity. Non-locking SE-level tuners are smooth-handling, and visually, you will be struggling to differentiate the vibrato from the top-of-the-range PRS guitars.
The SE Standard is not as polished or elegant a playing experience as the PRS S2 and above versions, owing to the chunkier Wide Thin profile, higher action, and a little creaky vibrato response, more player-personal setup assists to correct that. The tones are here, though: roasting solos, toasty rhythms, and coil-split quacks are all within control. It is an excellent output among the best electric guitar brands on the market.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • A huge of bang on your buck
  • Amazing vibration
  • Searching for solo tones
Best Electric Guitars Under $500

The EC-256 is the entry-level edition of the Eclipse line of the ESP. And while it‘s no mystery where it gets its great looks. Do not let that deter you from such a great guitar under $500. All about the EC-256 is certainly state-of-the-art, and it will take you from blues to rock to metal.

The EC-256 is evocative of Les Paul Black Beauty and has quite similar features: a mahogany body and a fixed neck, a 24.75-inch length, a Tine-o-Matic bridge, and a pair of humbuckers. The pickups here are a little muddy when they’re played clean, even when they’re broken; however, they’re conveniently swapped out anyway.

Although it may look like Les Paul, the EC-256 is not as conventional. Many guitar designs are ideally suited for current players such as a thin U-shaped neck that’s easier to play on, a flatter 14-inch fretboard length, 22 extra-jumbo frets, and coil-split humbuckers.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Single-cutaway mahogany body and three-piece mahogany neck.
  • Slim U-shaped neck for easy play and convenience.
  • 22 new jumbo freights
  • Reasonable price
Best Electric Guitars Under $500

The classic Fender Mustang is a cult classic. Alternative brands and guitars liked it in the ‘90s for its small size, accessibility, and customizing potential. Bullet Mustang is the most beautiful version of the breed. In connection with Squier’s other entry-level versions, it features a basswood body that makes it extremely lightweight feel.

This, coupled with its 24-inch length, makes it a perfect selection for starters. The two humbuckers are the most noticeable departure from the initial, offering angular grit in the bridge position and fun, earthy warmth in the back; The boil-on maple neck and six saddle hardtail bridges sound encouragingly straight, while the adapters did a decent job of keeping their pitch in our tests without too much trouble. 

Volume and tone knobs, which are also vital signs of quality assurance in value guitars, are firmly positioned with no noticeable wobble. Whereas the pickup selector switch is positioned not to be knocked off, you play too enthusiastic.

Additionally, the 12-inch radius of rosewood’s broad is a flat pancake and makes string bends easy for even the most sausage-fingered player. The C-profile neck is also incredibly easy to keep while the satin finish allows the fretboard-spanning licks a doddle. 

It is awe-inspiring for Squier to pack in its features, with the overall quality standard building on show.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Its weight
  •  Comfortable fingerboard
Best Electric Guitars Under $500

Inexpensive, soft, and vicious all at once, the Schecter Demon-6 is excellent for activating your internal speed demon. The thin-C-profile neck of the guitar, made from the satin-finished maple, is extremely simple and rewards a light touch. 

The bridge is necessary but brawny. Meanwhile, the guitar's significant pickups were powered by an easily accessible nine-volt battery, which is entirely fantastic. Alternatively, the revised Demon-6 remains the same as its counterparts, with industrial black chrome hardware, burnt tone, and sound knobs, and a Crimson Red Burst coating.

Timbre-wise, the Demon-6 really lives up to its bag. The bridge Humbucker is a workhorse with a heavy, grinding mids and an utterly diabolical amount of high-quality, which is a gold mine for metal soloists, no doubt.

Those who do not wish to unleash supernatural powers with their playing may find that the cleaner tones of the Demon-6 serve just as satisfying. Furthermore, any rough classic rock riffs act as a breeze. Meanwhile, the cleanest settings produce startlingly articulated leads, which are more than sufficient for the best subtle sections.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Smooth fretboard provides a light tap.
  • Incredible high-gain tones.
  •  Good stability of tuning.
Best Electric Guitars Under $500

Looking for some sort of genuine ‘60s nostalgia? This Silvertone Classic 1478 might be what you’re searching for, with a classic style and many sounds. Accurately based on the original 1478 dating back to 1963- through with some modern improvements. This reissue features a classic asymmetrical double-cut mahogany body, a maple top, a modern C-shaped mahogany bottom, and rosewood fretboard 

Improved hardware includes a fully adjustable chrome bridge with an original Bigsby tremolo tailpiece and sealed antique chrome tuners. The retro sound comes from two Silverton-designed chrome-coated single-coil pickups, using materials identical to the original ones, as well as offering bright and strong tones that are versatile for everything from surfing rock to blues.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Nice look
  •  Versatile.
  • Reasonable price
Best Electric Guitars Under $500

The KH-202 from ESP’s more accessible LTD branch is a splendid reproduction of the high-end versions of Kirk Hammett’s classic axes which complete with a headrest, distinctive skull and crossbones inlays, and a decent injection of the classic Metallica sound

With a sturdy but convenient style, this classic ax features a simple basswood body and an extremely small, U-shaped, 24-frame maple neck-bolted as Hammett looks. It leads to outstanding playability and a great deal of sustainability. The pair of ESP-designed passive humbuckers give a robust, simple, and detailed sound, making Metallica's endless hours of training quite satisfying indeed.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • Convenient style.
  • Outstanding playability.
Best Electric Guitars Under $500

While Gretsch did not recreate the wheel, so to speak, they certainly made their guitars their own-in terms of design, quality, and even tone. The G5220 is a perfect example, with its common single-cut form that doesn't look like your typical Las Paul clone.

Its bound body headrest and collar and its V-stop tail component further reinforce its distinct vintage appeal. This guitar has a chambered dark wood body with a maple top and comes with Blacktop Broad’Tron pickups, which brings it the treble tone that the company is known for. 

Furthermore, many customers reported that this guitar achieves what they expect in terms of visual appeal and quality construction. Some even define it as a nearly wonderful guitar. Others are just as pleased with its sound, with some commending it for being straightforward and creative. 

Nevertheless, some others complain that this guitar had a more classical control configuration.

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • High-quality construction.
  •  Aesthetics appeal.
  • Nice look
Best Electric Guitars Under $500

The Fender Standard Telecaster is a class instance of Fender’s hard work and commitment to producing some of the finest guitars on the planet.

One of the outstanding features of this guitar is the kit. Finding an electrical guitar kit is like discovering an Easter egg that you’ve got to snatch it. This kit comes with a guitar stand, some sticks, strings, capos, and so on. Getting the best out of the package will save you loads of money in the long run.

There is a wide range of different colors and styles that you can select from with the Fender Model Telecaster. Moreover, with such a wide variety of designs such as sunbursts and tide pools, you will never run out of imagination. They also have special ones for left-handed sized people. 

  • Pros

  • Cons

Things we liked
  • The kit has enough things to fulfill your set and then get you began on a musical journey.
  •  Having many different colors to select.
  • Famous electric guitar brand
  •  Low price but high quality.

Things guitar players should Consider When Buying an Electric Guitar

Configuration of pickup

Best Electric Guitars Under $500

Most of how the electric guitar sounds are determined by the type of pickup utilized. There are a few more pickup options. However, we have left them out since they are not as common in this budget range. Therefore, if you are not sure which one you’re into, you can look at the setup used by your beloved guitarists.

Here is a list of the best popular pickup configurations:

  • SSS – The guitar with three single coils, such as retro Stratocasters.
  • SS – The guitar with two single coils, such as Telecasters.
  • HH – The guitar with two humbuckers such as Les Pauls, SGs, Super Strats, and so on.
  • FF – The guitar with two FilterTrons
  • HSS – The guitar with two single-coils and a humbucker on the bridge position, such as modern Stratocasters.
  • HSH – The guitar with two humbuckers for the neck position, and a single coil for the middle position, such as Custom Les Pauls

Playability (Willingness to play)

Best Electric Guitars Under $500

This is where the design of the neck comes into play when overlooked, can lead to uncomfortable playing experience for both beginners and experienced players. The four most critical specs to consider below have been mentioned, along with a summary of they affect playability.

  1. Scale
  2. Nut Width
  3. The profile of neck
  4. Fingerboard radius
  5. Body form and completion

The shape and finish of the guitar will make the difference between a dull and an inspiring guitar. Therefore, it’s perfect for getting the one that looks fantastic as well as feels comfortable. Guitarists are drawn to the type of instruments that their idols play. So they may be your best recommendation.

Centuries after the first release, the Stratocaster, Telecaster, and SG seem to be the most popular solid-body guitar shapes. Although many more strange shapes for rock and metal, much of what guitar builders make nowadays is either influenced by. 

To suit this, we mentioned a wide range of common guitar shapes with the purpose of assisting you find your favorite guitar.

Best Electric Guitars Under $500 Method of Choice

This report aims to determine the best substantial body electric guitars that you can easily buy in the under $500 budget range. And to maintain this guide oriented, we decided to search for top-rated solid-body 6-string electric guitars that are commonly accessible from major online US retailers. 

We used Amazon's rating scores to perform the list to just the extremely best, which is separated into pickup used, including single coil, mixed, humbucker, and filter Tron. Eventually, we drilled down on each guitar's benefits and drawbacks as recorded in consumer feedback and expert reviews to give you comprehensive information on why these guitars are so popular. To get more detail on our processes, please check BreatheCarolina

For a guide on how to use an electric guitar, check this video:

Final Thoughts of Best Electric Guitars Under $500

Our best choice is the Gretsch G2622 Streamliner.

In comparison with 17 best electric guitars under $500 below, we eventually selected the Gretsch G2622 Streamliner as the best electric guitar under $500. We choose it owing to its strong acoustic ability. Moreover, the second feature of this guitar is its weight, which makes it easy to carry out. More importantly, the Grestsch G2622 Streamliner has a high-quality sound, which many guitar players are looking for.

See more best seller of Electric Guitars on Amazon and find the best option for you here!

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