Comparison: the best cheap electric guitars
This test was originally published in English on the Wirecutter website in the United States and can be read here in its original version.
After testing 13 new and second-hand guitars for 24 hours with a team of teachers, students, musicians and a guitar repairman, we believe that the Squier by Fender HSS Bullet Strat is the best electric guitar for beginners.It’s comfortable, light weight, and has been satisfying from the very first use (and even more so when set up correctly), and its set of sensors and controls offer enough variation in tone to satisfy beginners, who will be able to try to find their own sound, whatever style of music they are interested in.
*At the time of publication, the price was $129.00, while the used one is much cheaper.
While our testers enjoyed many guitars, the Squier by Fender HSS Bullet Strat received the highest reviews for comfort, sound and value for money, and all of our panel members found that its build quality and design were sufficient to make it not only a reliable study guitar, but also a good secondary guitar for live performers.
Epiphone Les Paul Express
A compact and very comfortable model for teenagers and travellers
Teenagers loved the comfort, ease of play and harmonious sound offered by the Epiphone Les Paul Express, as did our adult testers.
*At the time of publication, the price was 131.50 $.
To our surprise, the teenagers among our testers largely preferred the simplicity and comfort of the Epiphone Les Paul Express over its more flamboyant competitors. This small guitar, also known as a “short scale”, is comfortable for small hands, and thanks to its compact size, can be carried around easily. It also offers good sound and surprisingly good playability, given its very low price.
Apart from the Epiphone Les Paul Express, which clearly stood out from the rest in the mini guitar category, no other model stood out from the rest, and the guitars we have chosen are the ones with the best averages. Since our testers liked many of the guitars we tested very much, you may find a guitar strummer more suited to your own needs in our “The Competition” section, where we comment on all the guitars we tested.