The Top 7 Electric Guitars Under $200 Reviewed
So, you’d like to get an electric guitar and spend $200 or less?
Perhaps you’re just getting started and want to make sure you enjoy learning and playing guitar before you make a more substantial investment?
Or maybe you have been playing for a while and want to upgrade from an entry-level axe but don’t have a huge budget to work with.
In looking for a bargain of this nature in the electric market place we can forget name brands like Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, and Yamaha and instead focus on a few solid beginner guitars offered on Amazon in our price range.
Best Electric Guitars Under $200
Epiphone, a subsidiary of the Gibson Guitar company offers a Les Paul-ll Special electric guitar in a vintage sunburst finish. This is a pleasant surprise here, as with the names Epiphone and especially Les Paul you’re getting a lot of beginner guitar for your money.
Les Paul was one of the mad geniuses of music, as he was an inventor, a pioneer of multi-track recording, a pop star, a jazz guitarist and his famous solid body Gibson Les Paul guitar models were, along with what Leo Fender was doing with the Telecaster and then Stratocaster models, at the forefront of the electric revolution in guitar manufacturing.
So the Epiphone Les Paul, with a basswood body and rosewood fretboard is a good looking, lightweight and solid beginner guitar with two humbucker pickups. For an extra ninety bucks or so, they will bundle the guitar with an amp, guitar cable, picks, a strap, a tuner and a gig bag.
- Mahogany body
- 700T Humbucker pickups
- Rosewood fretboard
- 24.75 Scale
If you’re interested in the same kind of bundle without breaking the bank.
The Crescent Guitar company offers a Green/Black Electric guitar that comes with a 15 watt California amp, a strap, guitar cable and a gig bag.
This guitar is designed more like a Fender Stratocaster in appearance, so if you prefer that look this could be the model for you.
If you like players like Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen who made outstanding use of the whammy bar and would like to emulate them, the Crescent has one.
- 15w Electric Guitar Amp
- Volume, Bass,& Trembol Control Knob
- Headphone Output Connection
- L.E.D. Power Signal
- Ultra-Thin Slick Design For Easy/Light Transport
Best Choice or BC, is another company that competes in the mid to lower end guitar market and they offer the Full Size Blue Electric guitar for around one hundred dollars and they include a ten watt BC amp.
All the accessories as the Crescent and they even throw in an extra set of strings.
That’s actually a pretty good idea, as sometimes a guitar sits in a factory or on a shelf for a long, long time before purchase in various temperatures and humidity levels and the strings on the guitar can already be shot by the time you get the instrument.
Interestingly enough, the BC is also patterned after the Stratocaster design and is an appealing looking beginner guitar.
- ALL-INCLUSIVE GUITAR SET: This ultimate starter kit includes a 39-inch electric guitar, 10W amp, amp cable cord, guitar pick, whammy bar (tremolo bar), shoulder strap, and replacement strings
- DURABLE AND COMFORTABLE: Made of a classic hardwood body with a beautiful glossy finish for lasting use, and a 22-fret fingerboard lets you play comfortably
- CARRYING BAG: Pack this guitar up in the included nylon gig bag to protect it from dust and scuffs as you take on the go
- FOR ANY SKILL LEVEL: Perfect for beginning musicians just learning how to play or for experienced artists who want a practice guitar to travel with
- AMP CONTROLS: Easily control Volume, Treble, Bass, Drive on the amp to achieve the perfect sound; GUITAR DIMENSIONS: 39"(L) x 10.5"(W) x 2"(H)
The Davison is also a Strat look alike, but is a bit more utilitarian and more basic looking.
One difference here is this guitar only offers one humbucker pickup.
The range of sounds and tones you can achieve here will be less than either the Epiphone, Crescent or Best Choice.
The ten watt amp in the package does however come with a built in distortion feature so you can play this very affordable beginner guitar “dirty” and funky or clean.
- Full Size 39" Davison Electric Guitar
- Also includes carrying case, picks & pitch pipe tuner
- Top Rated Guitar Pack
- Teacher Approved
If you’re more of a heavy metal shredder enthusiast you’re probably familiar with Dean guitars, the next company whose offering we’ll discuss.
Dean guitars is a more established and well known company than either Crescent, Davison or Best Choice and is endorsed by many hard rock and metal soloists including Dave Mustaine of Megadeath fame, Uli Jon Roth from the Scorpions, Mountains Leslie West, Poisons Bret Michaels and many, many others.
They offer the Dean Vendetta XM electric guitar with a natural finish right in our budget. The Vendetta uses a type of wood I hadn’t heard of called Paulownia which I discovered is a beautiful, affordable and lightweight wood that many luthiers now favor.
Other features of the XM are a maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard, two Dean humbuckers and a three way toggle for many tones and textures and a “Tune-o-Matic” bridge, a bridge design that helps with intonation and the strings staying in tune longer.
- Paulownia body with natural finish and bolt-on construction
- 25.5-inch scale, 24-fret maple neck with rosewood fingerboard and dot inlays
- Dual Dean humbuckers with volume and tone controls, three-way toggle
- Tune-o-Matic bridge with string-through-body design
- Dean diecast tuning machines
Upon further inspection Legacy guitars are made by G & L, the company that George Fullerton (the G) and the legendary Leo Fender (the L) started in the late 70’s.
It comes as no surprise then that the Legacy Solid Body looks pretty much exactly like a Fender Stratocaster. The Legacy is made of Alder wood, which is perfect for the unique natural finish and boasts a medium weight and a strong full sound which accents the mid and low ranges of the aural spectrum.
All the things we’ve come to love about Fender guitars over these many years are present here, from the three pickup system with five way toggle switching for a wide array of sounds and tones to the “whammy” bar with a vintage tremolo bridge for “stay-in-tunability” that help to make this cool guitar a solid first bet.
This guitar offers a great look and quality for the price, but you will need at the very least an amp and a guitar cable to start cranking the volume on this beauty up.
- Contoured Solid Alder Body, Chrome Hardware ,Covered Tuning Machines with a gear ratio of 14:1
- 1 Piece Maple Neck, Rosewood Fingerboard with a 9.5" Radius (241mm), 21 Medium Jumbo Frets
- 3 single-coil pickups, 5-Way Pickup Selector, One Volume and 2 Tone Controls, 3 Ply Pickguard
- Vintage 6-Screw Tremolo Bridge, Scale Length: 25.5" (648 mm), Width at Nut: 1.65" (42 mm), White Dot Position Inlays
Silvertone, a complete and total “blast from the past” in guitar history is back and offers the Silvertone SS10 Electric Guitar Package. Silvertone was a musical instrument maker for the Sears company that started making radios and ukuleles in the 1920’s.
They started making guitars in the 30’s and electric guitars in the decades after that. Theirs is a long and interesting American success story that you can investigate on your own, but for the purview of this article we’ll discuss the SS10 package we have at hand. As far as these “packages” go, you get a lot for your money with this one including a strong, loud amplifier with 20 watts of power, the amp cord, a tuner, the picks, the strap and gig back, an extra set of strings, which will come in handy sooner than you think, and the instructional software by eMedia.
In my humble opinion nothing beats a good teacher, but a quick glance into this software reveals it to be a good start, as the fairly extensive program was designed by a university trained professional and appears to teach some fundamentals of music and basics of the guitar before it tries to get the beginner player into playing some popular songs.
- Electric guitar package with everything you need to start rocking out
- Includes Smart II amplifier, digital tuner, chord chart, strings, strap, picks, cable, gig bag
- Citation SS10 guitar with contour-cut, S-type sculpted body design
- 20-watt Smart II amplifier with switchable overdrive, 6-inch speaker, three-band EQ
- Guitar backed by limited lifetime warranty
I think the seven models here all have different things to offer. If you need or want the one stop shopping value of the packages and have to stay under one hundred dollars, I think the BC, Crescent and Davison are good ways to get started. If you need the bundle and want the best guitar that offers that and can go a bit above the 100 limit, get the Epiphone with the bundle option. I’d suggest that the best stand alone guitar here is the Dean Vendetta. Happy guitar hunting!
If you are interested in what to look for when buying an electric guitar, this video will help: