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Top 10 Electric Guitars Under $200

1. Squier Affinity Stratocaster

Level: Beginner

  • Comfortable to play
  • Modern design
  • Can create multiple genres of music

Coming from Fender’s budget line, Squier is one of the best brands for affordable guitars. Once again, they deliver with the Squier Affinity Stratocaster HSS. This electric guitar is a beautiful modern, classic instrument that is excellent for a beginner or even kids looking to start playing electric.

Even though it is labeled a budget guitar, the Affinity Stratocaster HSS still comes with the classic double-cutaway body made from Adler and a bolt-on maple neck. The body of the guitar comes with a couple of color options, including white and black. Regardless of what color you choose, it comes with a high-gloss finish, which gives this electric guitar a high-quality sparkle. The neck has a C shape, which is more comfortable for beginners and people with smaller hands to play comfortably. The Affinity Stratocaster also comes with a maple fretboard, 21 medium jumbo frets, and single dot inlays.

Because it is a mass-produced guitar, you likely will need a bit of extra setup before it is ready to play. The hardware of the electric guitar does provide a little extra edge and helps to make the guitar well-worth the already affordable price tag. In the middle and neck positions, there is a Standard Strat single-coil pickup, and there is a humbucker on the bridge. This humbucker goes against the normal tradition of a Strat, but it does help give this musical instrument a little extra kick for metal and rock styles. The guitar also has a five-way pickup selector switch, tone control, and a master control knob.

While the sound is not going to blow you away, it is still a very versatile guitar that can produce a variety of genres of music due to the five-way switching system and three pickups. The sound is about what you would expect from a budget guitar, making this affordable Strat worth the small investment.

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2. Epiphone Les Paul Special II

Level: Beginner – Intermediate

  • Gorgeous vintage look
  • Great playability
  • Good value

The Les Paul guitars have the most familiar and popular body shapes in the music industry. This Les Paul is one of the cheapest out there, and it gives you everything you might want in an affordable guitar.

With the standard single-cutaway body, the mahogany wood helps to create a soft sound that is versatile enough for a variety of musical genres. However, in order to keep the price tag under $200, Epiphone had to cut a few corners. Because of this, it has a bolt-on neck made of okoume, which is a cheaper wood that is similar to light-weight mahogany. This particular electric guitar also doesn’t have a carved top like you would find on more expensive Les Pauls.

Despite these changes, the Les Paul Special II is a good option in regard to playability and design. The body has a gorgeous vintage Sunburst finish on the body, and the neck comes with a SlimTaper D profile, a rosewood fretboard, and 22 frets.

To keep it easy for beginners, it comes with two humbuckers, a 650R, and a 700T that both come equipped with simple and reliable controls. The pair of humbuckers are controlled by a master tone and a master volume knob, as well as a three-way toggle switch that allows you to flip between the two humbuckers.

The sound of the guitar is perfect for a beginner player, but a more experienced player might find the tone lacking. As long as you have a decent amp, you will be able to produce a tone that is warm and clear, with a fairly decent sustain. This particular electric guitar is better for producing genres of music like blues, or classic rock, but you can also get more aggressive tones too if you want.

Even if you are an intermediate player, you still can find value in this well-designed and built Les Paul Special II. It comes with a genuine Les Paul design, and offers great playability, tone, and feel that make it a good value for its price tag.

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3. Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012

Level: Beginner – Intermediate

  • Good tone
  • Good coloring options and design
  • Affordable electric guitar

If you are looking for a budget guitar, one of the best places to look for is at the Yamaha line of electric guitars. The entry-level guitar – the Pacifica Series PAC012 – has become more popular with beginners because it delivers an affordable guitar and great sound.

The PAC012 is a well-designed guitar that comes with a double-cutaway body, which is comfortable to hold and play. Yamaha helped to cut costs by making the electric guitar out of solid agathist, which is similar to basswood. You can choose between several cool colors like a vintage Old Violin Sunburst, Black, and Metallic Blue. The neck is made of maple, and the fretboard, which comes with 22 frets, is made from sonokeling, which is another way for Yamaha to cut costs.

If you are looking for variety, this electric guitar is a durable option. It comes with three single-coil pickups and humbucker, as well as a five-way pickup selector switch and tone controls. When you use the classic tremolo bridge, you have a versatile instrument that can produce almost any sound you want. The pickups are all designed by Yamaha and do a surprisingly good job of voicing the guitar.

While the tone isn’t incredibly powerfully, it is still very good for the price of the electric guitar. The design, tone, and the affordable price tag makes the Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012 a good option for beginners who want to purchase their first guitar.

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4. ESP LTD EC-10

Level: Beginner – Intermediate

  • U-shaped maple neck
  • Powerful enough to handle rock and metal music
  • Fast neck

For a playable guitar that shows off your rock style, the EC-10 should be your number one choice. It has a glossy back, a single-cutaway body that is made from solid basswood and helps to produce a warm sound. On the U-shaped maple neck, there is a bolt-on with a rosewood fretboard, as well as 24 extra big frets. The larger size of the frets allows you to play fast and string bend without any problems. The EC-10 features two ESP-designed passive LH-100 humbuckers located at the neck and bridge positions. These two humbuckers have enough power to be able to handle rock and metal lead music. However, if you choose to play without distortion, you can still produce a warm and smooth sound.

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5. Jackson JS22 Dinky

Level: Beginner – Intermediate

  • Built for speed
  • Attractive appearance
  • Designed for playing all genres of music

The Jackson JS22 Dinky is a low-cost option that is perfect for beginners and advanced players alike. The electric guitar combines elegance and edge, so it is ideal for playing all sorts of genres of music, including soft rock and heavy metal.

The JS22 Dinky has an attractive appearance, with an arched-top basswood body with a double-cutaway design that cuts in deep. Those deep cuts give you extra access to the 24 jumbo frets on the neck, so players can play fast and string bend without issues. The bolt-on graphite-reinforced maple neck is also built for speed. The guitar gets its sound from two Jackson-designed humbuckers, which deliver the sound you would expect from a Jackson guitar.

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6. Squier Affinity Telecaster

Level: Beginner – Intermediate

  • Iconic Telecaster Shape
  • C shape maple neck
  • Good for creating country, jazz, or blues music

While there are some Fenders that cost upwards of $10,000, there are also more affordable options from this line that cost less than $200. This guitar comes from Squier, which is the more budget-friendly subsidiary of Fender. The Affinity Telecaster delivers a solid design, tone, and a price that is affordable for everything. This electric guitar is good for any beginner guitarist.

Of course, the Affinity Telecaster is designed with the iconic Telecaster shape with the single-cutaway body. This gives it a more vintage appeal and comes with a Butterscotch Blonde finish that shows off the natural grain of the alder body. You can also choose other finishes if you want. This electric guitar has a 25.5-inch scale length, with a bolt-on C shape maple neck, which makes it easy for novice players. The neck and fretboard are made of maple and come loaded with 21 medium jumbo frets.

The hardware of the Squier Affinity Telecaster is equipped with two vintage-style single-coil pickups located on the bridge and neck position and is controlled by the master volume and tone control. It also has a three-way pickup selector switch that allows you to switch between sounds and genres.

The tone and sound of this guitar are pretty good, considering how affordable this guitar is. However, as you increase the volume, you start to hear more buzzing and humming from the pickups. It is not bad, but it does deliver a clear and warm sound, especially when you are creating country, jazz, or blues music. It is capable of playing more aggressive and heavier styles if you have the overdrive.

While sometimes this guitar does show its price line at some points, it is still an impressive guitar that has a classic style, beautiful playability, and pretty good tone. For beginners or intermediate players who want a cheap guitar to play on as they learn more.

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7. Ibanez GRX20ZBKN

Level: Beginner

  • Good sound quality for the price point
  • Packs a punch on the tone
  • Aggressive guitar sound

For a new guitarist, finding the right guitar for their style can be difficult. Some people will want a classic Strat-style of an electric guitar, while others prefer to play with a Les Paul. However, if you want something with a little more rough and aggressive sound. If the people who want to play a harder genre of music, then the Ibanez GRX20 might be the right one for them.

The body shape of this electric guitar is a modified Super Strat, which is what you often see in Ibanez models. The body is made out of basswood, which is not the most expensive material out there, but it still makes a solid guitar. The neck is made of maple and a rosewood fretboard. All in all, the body of this guitar is no-frills and stripped down, which helps to keep the cost down.

The hardware of the electric guitar is fairly basic. The bridge is a FAT 6 Trem unit and doesn’t have a tremolo bridge. It also comes loaded with standard, average quality die-cast tuners, which are fairly good at tuning retention. The guitar is also powered by two passive humbuckers and is controlled by a single volume and tone knob. The pickup selector switch allows you to switch between the humbuckers or even combine the two sounds.

The sound that the Ibanez GRX20 produces is quite impressive, and it packs quite a punch. It gives users the chance to have as much distortion as possible. It’s a perfect guitar for a beginner who wants to learn more about playing electric guitar without spending a ton of money.

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8. Dean Vendetta XM

Level: Beginner

  • Can handle string bending
  • Produces aggressive sound
  • Offers a bit of sustain

You often won’t be able to find a Dean within this price point, but this electric guitar has a price tag of less $200. The electric guitar packs a mean punch, and it well worth the price tag.

The body of the Dean Vendetta XM is made out of paulownia, which is very rarely seen in guitars nowadays. It does offer an interesting tone and resonance and still delivers. The neck is a bolt-on maple piece with a fairly standard rosewood fretboard. It also features a slightly modified Strat body.

The hardware of this guitar deviates a bit from the standard fixed tail bridge. Instead, the Vendetta XM comes with a tune-o-matic bridge and a string-thru-body design. There is also a set of die-cast tuners that have been designed by Dean. These features are all relatively standard but still do their job well. The intonation and tuning stability of this electric guitar is excellent and even can handle string bending. The electronics of this beginner electric guitar is also pretty standard. It comes with two balanced humbuckers that were designed by Dean. The pair performs well across a wide range of genres of music. The humbuckers are controlled by a single tone knob, a volume knob, and a pickup selector switch.

Due to the tonewood, hardware, and pickups that were selected when Dean designing this Vendetta XM, the overall sound is fairly unique and even offers a bit of sustain. The humbuckers are able to handle some distortion and can produce a solid, punchy tone. The Dean Vendetta XM is a solid guitar for the price and is perfect for a beginner and doesn’t cost more than $200.

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9. Oscar Schmidt OE20G-A-U

Level: Beginner

  • Fun color options
  • Versatile sound and tone options
  • Mimics the classic Les Paul style and shape

Many beginner players immediately flock to the big, familiar names like Gibson, or Fender. However, a reliable alternative comes from Oscar Schmidt with the OE20 guitar. While it doesn’t come from a big name brand, it is one of the best models you can purchase for under $200.

This electric guitar delivers on the classic Les Paul style and features a single-cutaway solid body, a 24.75’ scale length, and raised pickguard. The body of this musical instrument is made with mahogany, and you can choose between a few paint jobs, like black, gold, and Purple Burst, which is one of the newest options.

The neck of the electric guitar draws its inspiration from other Les Paul and has a maple neck that is set onto the guitar, rather than bolted-on like many other cheaper models. The neck is very playable and features a rosewood fretboard, 22 frets, and trapezoid block inlays. The OE20 comes equipped with beautiful binding and an abalone inlay. Because this is a cheaper guitar, you will have to do some setup before it is ready to play.

The hardware of the OE20 is also fairly impressive, as long as your expectations aren’t too high. It comes with two unbranded stock humbuckers located at the neck and bridge positions. The humbuckers are controlled by two volume and two tone controls and a three-way pickup selector toggle switch to switch between sounds. It also has sealed chrome die-cast tuners, which are easy to use. The Oscar Schmidt OE20 also comes with a stop bar tailpiece, so you get added sustain.

The sound of this musical instrument gives a general tone that is crisp and clean but still packs a punch when overdriven. It is an extremely versatile guitar that can produce almost any genre of music, including country, classic rock, and more. Overall, this isn’t a perfect guitar, but it still has a beautiful look and a tone that is good enough to impress even more experienced players. The Oscar Schmidt OE20 is well worth the $200 price tag.

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10. Glen Burton GE47 Solid Body Electric Guitar

Level: Beginner

  • Unique design
  • Good for producing metal music
  • Aggressive sound

This electric guitar is one that is sure to make you stand out from the crowd. The Glen Burton Machine Electric guitar features a solid body guitar that is shaped into a machine gun. For some who wants to rock hard and play a unique guitar without spending more than $200, then this might be the electric guitar for you.

The body and shape of this electric guitar are what really causes it to stand out from every other guitar on this list. The body is made of solid mahogany and comes with a camo paint job and smooth, glossy finish. It is shaped into a machine gun, so it is perfect for someone who loves guns and wants to showcase an attitude on stage. The electric guitar also features a maple neck and rosewood fretboard. The neck is thin, so it makes it easy for you to play, especially if you are a beginner.

The hardware of the Glen Burton G247 electric guitar does the job quite well. It is loaded with two humbuckers located at the neck and bridge positions. The humbuckers are controlled by one volume and one tone control, as well as a three-way pickup selector toggle switch. It also has a tremolo board so you can dive bomb and get added sustain.

This electric guitar is better for producing more aggressive, harsher sounds that you find in metal and hard rock music. However, it can still create a beautifully clear and bright tone if you want. All around, this electric guitar from Glen Burton could be the perfect fit if you want an affordable, unique musical instrument that can produce metal music.

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