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10 Best Electric Guitars Under $1000/£1000

December 29, 2023
best electric guitars under $1000/£1000

If you’ve decided to buy an electric guitar for $1000 or less, you’re ready to step up your game and get a good-quality instrument that will help you bring your skills to the next level.

However, buying a new electric guitar can be a challenging task, as there are so many great models to choose from.

But we are here to help you out – check out our reviews of the best electric guitars under $1000/£1000 and find the perfect guitar for you.

Whether you’re fond of modern, distinctive electric guitars or classic models with a vintage vibe, we’ve got you covered.

1. PRS SE Custom 24 – Best overall electric guitar under $1000/£1000

PRS SE Custom 24, best overall electric guitar under $1000/£1000.

When it comes to the top electric guitars you can buy for less than $1000, the PRS SE Custom 24 is often somewhere high on the list.

It’s PRS’s flagship guitar, and it’s a great choice for players of all levels.

The Custom 24 is also versatile enough to fit any style and genre, from country and blue to rock. 

It’s made of quality materials like mahogany with beveled maple and flame maple veneer.

Good-quality materials make this guitar very durable and sturdy, so it’s an ideal guitar for the road.

The sound it produces is simply wonderful, providing a well-balanced tone, big sustain, and stability on the vibrato.

Plus, it looks stunning, and you can choose from different finishes, including Charcoal Burst, Sapphire, and Vintage Sunburst.

All in all, if you’re looking for a well-made electric guitar under $1000, you can’t go wrong with the PRS SE Custom 24.

2. Chapman Guitars ML3 Pro Modern – Unique look 

Chapman Guitars ML3 Pro Modern Electric Guitar under $1000/£1000.

One thing is for sure: Chapman Guitars ML3 Pro Modern is a type of guitar that will make you stand out from the crowd.

It’s beautifully made and equipped with everything you need for an unforgettable performance or practice session.

It has a mahogany body and neck and a roasted maple fingerboard.

It features Seymour Duncan Sentient (neck) and Pegasus (bridge) pickups for powerful volume.

In terms of hardware, it has a fixed bridge and Hipshot locking tuners.

This is an extremely resonant guitar, and it can fit any style and genre.

It’s a combination of top-notch materials, simplicity, and excellent craftsmanship. 

3. Charvel Joe Duplantier Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 2 HH – Best for playability

Charvel Joe Duplantier Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 2 HH Electric Guitar under $1000/£1000.

Another mahogany guitar you should check out is this wonderful model by Charvel.

It has the powerful iMarzio Fortitude and PAF 36th Anniv. humbuckers and Charvel radius compensated bridge, an Anchored tailpiece, and Charvel locking tuners.

It has rather simple controls, so you can play it with ease.

Thanks to its materials, quality components, and construction, Charvel Joe Duplantier Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 2 HH is capable of producing incredible volume and beautiful tone.

On the other hand, it looks gentle and elegant.

It’s a perfect mix which ultimately makes it one of the best electric guitars out there. 

4. Yamaha Revstar RS502T – Best innovative guitar

Yamaha Revstar RS502T Electric Guitar under $1000/£1000.

Yamaha is known for producing high-quality electric guitars that are usually reasonably priced.

The Revstar RS502T is definitely one of the best and most innovative models they have to offer.

It looks amazing, featuring a mahogany body with a sleek, eye-catching finish.

In terms of controls, it features volume, tone (with an innovative push-pull “Dry” switch high-pass filter), and a 3-way selector.

Soundwise, the Revstar RS502T can be very intense and powerful, with an incredible resonance and sustain from the floating tailpiece.

It’s all you need from an electric guitar that will serve you well for many years to come. 

5. Epiphone 100 Les Paul – Best for beginners 

Epiphone 100 Les Paul Electric Guitar under $1000/£1000.

Epiphone is another great guitar brand you can trust.

It’s known for making reliable beginner-friendly electric guitars, and the Epiphone 100 Les Paul is one of them.

However, this is not just an entry-level guitar – it’s a powerful instrument that has everything you need, even if you’re a professional musician.

On the other hand, it’s ideal for newcomers, as it offers excellent playability. 

Thanks to its 700T/650R open-coil humbucker hardware, it’s capable of producing powerful sound. 

In fact, if you’re looking for a guitar with the classic sound, look, and feel of a Les Paul, this might be a perfect option for you. 

6. Fender Player Plus Stratocaster HSS – Great value for money

Fender Player Plus Stratocaster HSS Electric Guitar under $1000/£1000.

Fender is a reputable guitar brand responsible for producing some of the best electric guitars of all time.

Their Stratocaster guitars are often referred to as the best electric guitars you can buy for less than $1000.

And we definitely agree – this popular electric guitar offers incredible value for money.

It’s made of quality tonewoods like alder and maple, available in several finishes, including 3-Color Sunburst, Olympic Pearl, Sienna Sunburst, Aged Candy, and Opal Spark

It has a distinctive Strat voice, but it’s a mid-priced Player Plus option, so it won’t break the bank.

Also, in this HSS offering, the pickups have been replaced with a set of noiseless single coils and a Wide-range-looking bridge humbucker.

Plus, the fingerboard radius is updated to 12″ as opposed to the original 9.5″.

7. Yamaha PAC311H – Best for versatility 

Yamaha PAC311H Electric Guitar under $1000/£1000.

With the Yamaha Pacifica PAC311H, you’ll get a brilliant electric guitar for less than $1000.

In fact, it can be found for less than $500, so it’s a great budget option that will save you some money. 

But the cheaper price doesn’t mean poorer quality. 

Thanks to its solid wood construction (alder body and maple neck), the PAC311H produces a wonderful tone.

It’s also durable, and it looks great. 

On top of that, it features custom-wound pickups and high-grade hardware, with locking tuners providing tuning stability and the possibility to change strings a lot faster and easier.  

It’s a very versatile electric guitar, suitable for all levels and styles. 

All things considered, it’s no wonder that Yamaha makes best-selling electric guitars – they’re well-made and playable, and they’re reasonably priced.

8. Ibanez RG550 – Best colorful guitar 

Ibanez RG550 Electric Guitar under $1000/£1000.

The Ibanez RG550 is another great electric guitar worth exploring. 

Ibanez is a reputable brand, and this is one of the best electric guitars they’ve ever produced – it was designed as a mass-appeal version of Steve Vai’s famous JEM777 model.

It’s well-made and durable, boasting a basswood body, a 5-piece maple/walnut neck, and a maple fingerboard.

There are also Ibanez V8 humbucker pickups, S1 single coil (middle) pickups, and a V7 neck humbucker.

It’s a great guitar for shredders, it’s tonally versatile, and we’re sure it will meet your expectations.

All in all, the RG550 is a modernized old-school electric guitar worthy of consideration.

9. D’Angelico Premier Series SS – Best semi-hollow tone 

D'Angelico Premier Series SS Electric Guitar under $1000/£1000.

If you’re searching for a single-cutaway semi-hollow, the  D’Angelico Premier Series SS should be on your shortlist.

Equipped with the Seymour Duncan-designed humbuckers, the SS delivers a full-bodied and warm but crisp tone.

So, whether you prefer soulful music or rock, the SS will meet your needs.

It’s also very comfortable and easy to play, thanks to its good construction and lightweight center block.

On top of that, it looks great – simple and elegant yet distinctive and eye-catching.

It’s available in Black Flake, Ocean Turquoise, Fiesta Red, Champagne, and Sky Blue.

10. Charvel Pro Mod So-Cal Style 1 HH FR – Best for fast playing

Charvel Pro Mod So-Cal Style 1 HH FR Electric Guitar under $1000/£1000.

Our last recommendation refers to the Charvel Pro Mod So-Cal Style 1 HH FR – a beautiful and powerful electric guitar that won’t let you down. 

It features an alder body, a two-piece maple neck with a 25 1/2–inch scale length, a 12- to 16-inch compound fingerboard radius, and 22 jumbo frets.

It has a 2-piece maple neck with graphite reinforcement, ideal for fast guitar playing.

That being said, this eye-catching electric is a top choice for hard rock and metal players.

Featuring amazing Seymour Duncan pickups, it’s capable of producing some serious volume.

In combination with the Floyd Rose double-locking tremolo, when it comes to shredding, the Charvel Pro Mod So-Cal Style 1 HH FR is hard to beat. 

How to Find the Best Electric Guitar Under $1000 for You

If you have a budget of $1000 for an electric guitar, you have plenty of options at your disposal.

Most electric guitars fall in the $600 to $900 price range, so you’ll be able to get a good-quality guitar in this price range.

But what type of electric guitar is the best for you depends on your level, goals, and preferences.

However, there are several things you should look for in an electric guitar.

Electric Guitar with amplifier

For instance, you should make sure the guitar is made of quality materials.

And in this price range, you’ll probably won’t have to worry about that.

The guitar’s body shape also affects the playing experience, so you need to find a guitar that feels comfortable to play. 

The appearance is another factor – some players prefer distinctive, colorful guitars, and others are fond of classic electric guitars.

Your level of experience is also something to consider, as some guitars are suitable for beginners and others are designed with professional guitar players in mind.

You can also think about what you intend to use it for – do you want to improve your guitar skills and have a reliable instrument to practice with, or do you want to buy a workhorse guitar that will accompany you on your upcoming tour?

All of these factors will help you determine what kind of electric guitar you’re looking for. 

Which Brands Offer the Best Electric Guitars Under $1,000?

If you want to buy a well-made electric guitar that will serve you well for many years to come, you should opt for a trusted guitar brand.

Thankfully, almost all the reputable brands produce guitars in all price ranges – from affordable acoustic guitars to premium quality instruments.

When it comes to top electric guitars that you can buy for less than $1000, the options are vast.

Fender is one of the most popular guitar brands known for making top-notch guitars that won’t break the bank; their Player, Player Plus, and Vintera series are definitely worth checking out.

Charvel is owned by Fender, and it’s another great choice for beginners as well as intermediate players.

Furthermore, you can check out Yamaha, Ibanez, PRS, and ESP’s LTD brands – they all offer fantastic guitars for less than $1000. 

What Guitar Body Shape Should I Choose?

Generally, there are two main categories of electric guitars to choose from: single-cutaway and double-cutaway guitars.

A single-cutaway guitar sounds warmer and fuller, and it’s usually 4-5 lbs heavier than a double-cut guitar.

The Fender Telecaster and Gibson Les Paul are the most popular single-cut guitars.

On the other hand, double-cut guitars will provide you with better upper fret access, and they tend to be lighter and more comfortable.

The number of cutaways on an electric guitar also has an effect on the overall tone, but if you’re a beginner, you probably won’t hear such a huge difference. 

Nevertheless, the shape of the electric guitar will determine how you feel while you’re playing it, so make sure you find a comfortable guitar that fits you well.

Neck Profile Types 

The type of neck profile is another thing you should factor in when checking out the best electric guitars under $1000.

There actually isn’t one shape that’s better than the other – it’s a matter of personal preference and playing comfort.

The C-shaped neck profile is one of the most common neck profiles.

C-shaped necks have a comfortable oval profile that works well for most playing styles, and it’s a great choice for novices as well as seasoned guitar players.

The V-shaped neck comes in two popular versions – a more rounded “soft” V, and a more pointed “hard” V, often used in classical instruments too.

The third popular neck shape is the U-shaped neck profile – it’s chunky and rounded, and it’s ideal for players with larger hands.

Electric Guitar Neck Profile Types

Source: Fender 

Pickup Types 

As you probably already know, pickups are the heart and soul of electric guitar.

A pickup is a device that turns the vibrations of guitar strings into electrical signals and therefore allows the sound of your guitar to be processed and played through a speaker.

Now, there are many different pickup types to choose from.

Single coils and humbuckers are the most popular guitar pickups.

Single-coil pickups are the first electric pickups to be invented, and they’re still the most popular choice.

They’re known for their sharp tone and clarity, but they have more feedback than humbucker pickups, and that’s why many rock and metal guitar players tend to avoid them.

Humbucker pickups have less feedback, and they generally produce a thicker, warmer, and bigger output.

They use two magnet coils wound in reverse to one another, so it’s possible to cancel out the hums.

Epiphone also created mini humbuckers that produce a smaller amount of signal compared to humbuckers.

Some electric guitars feature a mixture of single coils and humbucker pickups, which is a great solution as well.

Piezo pickups work in a slightly different way as they are located inside the bridge of the guitar and pick up the vibrations of the string and guitar.

Piezo pickups are popular in acoustic guitars, but they’re sometimes used with electric guitars in order to create a more acoustic sound.

What Is the Best Wood for Electric Guitars?

Besides pickups, another element that affects the overall tone and sound of the electric guitar is the type of wood.

The weight of the electric guitar is also determined by the wood used.

So, what are the best woods for electric guitars?

Wooden Electric Guitars

Generally, the denser the wood, the better sustain an instrument will have.

Some of the woods used to make electric guitars include well-seasoned hardwoods like maple, walnut, ash, alder, and mahogany for the solid body. 

Mahogany is a warm, resonant tonewood, and it’s often used by Gibson.

Some manufacturers combine it with a brighter wood such as maple to bring out higher-range frequencies.

Fender often uses alder, a timber that provides an even frequency response, and for a smaller number of instruments they use ash.

Basswood is another popular choice because it’s easily sourced; it’s a cheaper option, but it has a nice warm and resonant tone. 

Best Electric Guitars Under $1000/£1000 – Final Thoughts

There are many amazing electric guitars to choose from – and if you’re willing to spend $1000 or a little less, you’ll be able to find a high-quality guitar that won’t let you down.

But buying a new electric guitar is not so easy, as there are so many good brands and models to choose from.

Also, since this is a more serious investment, you should do your research before making a final decision.

Either way, we hope our list of the best electric guitars under $1000 provided you with some good recommendations and useful tips. 

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Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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