Truthfully, basswood isn’t a bad guitar building material. Grab a Fender Telecaster or Gretsch Streamliner. It means a lot of choices and some affordable options. Fender’s ‘Player Series’ brings legendary Fender Quality, style, and sound to intermediate players at a great price. Copyright Phlash Formations, LLC © 2020 I know it is tough to do these days, but I'd try to get out and experience each guitar in person. Pretty cool! differences between the Strat and the Les Paul. But here’s the tough part: I’m guessing you don’t have a lot of cash to drop on new gear. So, what separates a $350 instrument from a $1000 one? He counts Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and B.B. ), the choice of materials, quality of components, the manufacturing process and quality control, style, as well as the finish and design all combine to determine the overall playability. However, you also have the ability to combine the neck and bridge pickups, or all three together. I was absolutely impressed with what they've got going on today. Guitar Gopher (author) on August 12, 2020: @James - As far as quality I think they are comparable. Where the basic Standard comes in plain-top colors, the PRO version features pretty see-through flame tops. The Gibson instrument, while it uses similar components, the parts are of a higher quality. Here we’re talking about pickups, wiring, selector switches, pots, tuners, bridges, guitar strings, and nuts. Especially I was impressed when I'd play the twenty five hundred dollar, or more, Gibson version. In this write-up we would … Whether you’re on a strict budget for your first axe or you’re looking for a project guitar, here are our picks of the best electric guitars under $500. This is especially true on turning heads. For example, you can grab a Tele with a pair of Humbuckers instead of the basic single-coil pickups. But the biggest upgrade between the basic Standard and the PlusTop PRO is the pickups. The PRS SE is built to Paul Reed Smith’s exacting standard under license in Indonesia (this is how they keep the cost down vs. their US-made instruments). To me, these are two of the best rock and blues guitars out there. Both the body and the neck have a lovely antiqued binding, which is another rare feature in the $500 price range. Take the PRS and the Epiphone from this list, for example. There’s a Les Paul for pretty much every player level and budget, and this just so happens to be my favorite in the intermediate category. That’s the reason why we’ve taken the liberty to scrounge the market for only the best of the best, which resulted with this electric guitar … There are even a few metal players who have relied on modified Telecasters. There are many versions of the MIM Strat out there, from the basic model with three single-coil pickups, to HSS, HSH and HH models, and even a model with a Floyd Rose tremolo. But don’t get too excited: You know you're not an expert yet either. There are obviously some omissions from the list, but whatever your preferred genre is, one of the above guitars will get the job done right. It has an alder body, maple neck, and maple fretboard, for a wonderfully punchy sound and great playability. The fingerboard is genuine rosewood, which is getting harder to come by, and the body and neck are solid mahogany. So, why are they more costly? hey how does the PRS custom 24 se compare to the fender player series strat. As purpose-made guitars go, Jacksons represent incredible value. YourMusicInsider.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Both sound good, both will help an intermediate guitar player develop into a great guitar player, and both will last many years if properly looked after. It may be that, but it is also so much more, and in many ways appears to be a continuation of the Fender vision. There’s a very good reason for that, too. Split coils are humbuckers that can switch off one half of the pickup to become a single coil. This article will cover intermediate electric and acoustic guitar songs, as well as intermediate guitar solos.Each of these … I'd call the Fender Player Stratocaster a head-to-head tie with the Epi Les Paul PlusTop PRO for the number-one spot when it comes to mid-level instruments. Take a good look at them and decide which best meets your criteria for the perfect guitar. For intermediate guitarists who are into anything from ‘80s hard rock to modern extreme metal, this guitar will get the job done. Hardware includes a PRS-designed tremolo and locking tuners. During my search to bring you this list of the 5 best electric guitars for intermediate players, I came across one clear winner, and it wasn’t even close! Not only that, but without proper quality control, you’ll find that more guitars with some glaringly obvious defects slip through the net and make their way to the store. At first glance, it is obvious that the top is one major difference between the two guitars. Carlos Santana, anybody? Truthfully, there are many Ibanez guitars worth checking out for the intermediate guitarist. It allows mere mortals an opportunity to own a genuine PRS without having to take out a second mortgage. The Fender Payer Stratocaster is one of the best electric guitars for intermediate players. If I wanted a guitar for country or blues I would seriously consider the Fender Tele. Guitar amps are crowding the market by the minute, so finding the best new guitar amps and high-quality guitar amps in 2020 isn’t as easy as it used to be a couple of years ago. Today we’re going to look at my top 5 favorite intermediate level electric guitars. The best part about all of these guitars is they'll be both great backups and mod platforms if/when a guitarist moves on. The choice of wood is also partially driven by the country of manufacture, too. Les Paul guitars are available as one of the cheapest beginner instruments going and can reach tens of thousands of dollars at the top end, but within that $350 to $1000 range, lie some wonderful intermediate examples. I love the Les Paul PlusTop Pro and the Fender Player Strat. Leo Fender went on to build another great guitars company, and it is easy to see his influence in the design of G&L guitars such as the S-500. While they’re technically considered electric guitars, they have a much more resonant tone than a typical solid-body guitar. All of this for just $300! But that's what I would do if I were trying to choose the best electric guitar as an intermediate player. They’re pointy, the pickups scream, and they have some of the fastest necks around. The Soloist design is an interesting one, with a maple neck-through build for amazing sustain and a basswood body. In this guide, we’re going to be reviewing our picks for the best semi-hollow and hollow-body guitars on the market. SG fans have the same opportunity with the Epiphone G-400 PRO. Of course, there are exceptions, some cost a little less than that, some a little more. You'll get a lot of different opinions, but my thoughts are as follows: Like the Les Paul, an Epiphone SG only falls short when you compare it to a Gibson SG. The guitars I’ve talked over in this piece are all wonderful instruments in their own ways. Here you’ll find my top recommended guitars for intermediate players, with entries for just about every style of music you can think of. In that case, I'd be thinking about the ESP LTD with the EMGs, the Schecter, the Ibanez or the Jackson. But I chose the Damien Platinum 6 for its budget-friendly price tag. Marion Garbo Seltzer from South Portland, Maine on August 17, 2015: This is great! I guess it's been more than a year now since I went to a music store with a huge Epiphone selection, and I played all the brand new Les Pauls. For one thing, the S-500 features a mahogany body instead of the alder traditionally found in Strats. Beginner guitars are usually built to a price, not a standard. And, like its bigger brother, there are a few different versions of the EC-401, with a choice of finishes and pickups. So, let’s get on with it. Especially since the American gear has shot up in price so much over the past decade or so. Read More >> How Do You Choose The Perfect Acoustic Guitar? Beginner guitars tend to use the cheapest available electronics. Enjoy the lowest prices and best selection of Intermediate Electric Guitars at Guitar Center. That’s where the increased variety of guitars you’ll find in the intermediate lineup handy. I think the Schecter and ESP LTD are a bit more geared toward modern metal, where the Ibanez and Jackson appeal more to the shredder in me. Combining cedar and sapele tone woods with some pretty advanced electronics, you get a guitar that is comfortable in the hands of any players. Are Intermediate Guitars Different From Beginner Electric Guitars? This style is wonderfully balanced, light in weight, and leaves a ton of room for customization. Plus, they are flexible, so it doesn't matter if you play country or metal or everything in between, they will get the job done. It’s time to cast aside that starter guitar and move up to a better grade of instrument. A great example is the Japanese made Squier Stratocasters of the early 1980s. This particular model is a limited edition, so you aren’t going to see too many around. You also might want to consider the Epiphone Les Paul Custom PRO. It is a good start for guitar enthusiasts. They are jacks of all trades that can handle everything from blues and jazz through to rock and metal, but once you get to the intermediate level of playing, you might find that you want to specialize in a specific style of play. The Damien Platinum is a guitar built for heavy music, with active EMG 81/85 pickups, a mahogany body and a bolt-on maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard. Let’s start by investigating a couple of examples to check the differences and why they rack up the cost so much. They are affordable, but they are good enough to gig and record with, and really that's what you are looking for at this point in your career. Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on April 18, 2019: It absolutely IS an accomplishment to have basic skills on a guitar. This is the first PRS to come in under $500, and the beauty of this price point is that it isn’t out of reach as a first guitar, but the quality and playability could also mean it’s the last guitar you’ll ever need to buy, too. They're made by the top guitar brands in the world, they all come in somewhere around the $400-$700 mark (give or take a few bucks) and all are good enough to get you through the next few years until you can declare yourself an expert. With its double-cutaway body, bolt-on neck, and a trio of single-coil pickups the S-500 is seen by many players as a quality alternative to the Fender Stratocaster. Ladies and gents, I give you the PRS 24 SE Standard. An intermediate guitar will almost certainly have better pickups than 99.99% of beginner guitars, and this opens up a whole world of possibilities. I’ve had the opportunity to play many guitars over the years, and not only did I think it was the best guitar on test in this list, it might be one of the best I’ve ever picked up. What is the best electric guitar right now? It was im thinking of purchasing. The Ibanez RG is a favorite of shredders and metal guitarists around the world, and the RG450DX is an outstanding mid-level RG that will introduce players to a classic shred guitar. Tuning stability is helped with the fantastic Epiphone deluxe tuners. Can you imagine BB King playing the blues on a Jackson or a Gibson Explorer!? Guitar Gopher (author) on April 19, 2019: Thanks Wesman. Like the Player Strat, the Player Series Telecaster is a guitar intermediate and pro-level guitars can rely on for gigs and rehearsals. Typically the more money a guitar costs, the more manual the manufacturing process is. Epiphone Les Paul Custom PRO Electric Guitar. More than perhaps any other, this is a guitar company associated with metal and extreme music. Really, I think any of the instruments in this review will serve you well for years to come. The Dinky range, including the JS32, have all the trappings of a real metal guitar. If you are a fan of anything from melodic hard rock to death metal you know Jackson is among the best metal guitar brands in the world. It’s seriously that good. They represent pretty much the entire spectrum of musical styles within the world of electric guitars. It sounds cheesy, but I really believe it! The custom-built guitar … Domestic labor costs are higher, and it’s generally accepted that the standard of craftsmanship is higher. The Fender Stratocaster is without a doubt one of the most important guitars ever made, and if imitation is the highest form of flattery, Fender should be very pleased with themselves. This model offer everything a costly guitars would give you. For those looking for a modern metal sound, you can grab an EC-401 with an EMG 81/60 pickup set. Leave a comment! Due to its enormous weight, maple isn’t commonly used for the complete construction, but even adding a laminate top adds a super nice bite to the tones, and as it often features beautiful figuring, it adds huge aesthetics, too. For decades the Epiphone Les Paul has been a way for up-and-coming guitar players to experience the Gibson Les Paul sound and feel without enduring the huge price tag. Top 50 Intermediate Electric and Acoustic Guitar Songs. It comes out of the same Mexican factory as the Strat, and the quality is just as good. The Epiphone ES-335 Semi-Hollow Body will get the job done like no other! All three colors really pop, and the zebra exposed humbuckers look amazing against all of the available backdrops. If you're not entirely sure what you're looking for, your best bet might be to check out our top sellers to get a feel for what is available. ESP LTD guitars are the 2nd best as per my own opinion in this list of our top 8 best intermediate electric guitars. As such you need an electric guitar worthy of your skill and prowess. Read More >> How Can You Tune A Guitar Using A Piano? This guitar is featured on the Artcore Series that is based on affordable semi-hollow electric guitars. Upgraded electronics will reduce unwanted noise, or hum, you won’t get crackle from your cable jack or when operating the pickup selector, your pots will have a smooth progression from 0-10 rather than being 0 or 100%, and the list goes on. I feel like it'll give me the most tonal variety (while retaining humbuckers) from my current Mahogany body Rosewood neck dual humbucker guitar. Those who lived in the same era as Hendrix knew that Little Wing paved the way for the birth of R&B guitar genre. It simply wouldn’t be fair to include a Stratocaster in a list like this and leave out the Telecaster. Master luthiers don’t come cheap, and what hand made (or at least partially hand made) guitars lack inconsistency, they more than make up for in personality, feel, and most importantly, soul. Hardware and electronics have seen improvements across the board on Epiphone guitars as well, and today more than ever the Epiphone Les Paul is a guitar you shouldn’t hesitate to take to a gig. I have to count myself in the crowd. It has a hardtail bridge (no tremolo arm), which provides insane amounts of sustain, incredibly precise intonation, and gives the guitar that classic Telecaster twang. Improved machine heads and tuners will keep your instrument in tune for much longer, and a properly seated bridge will do wonders for your instrument’s intonation, too. Visually, the two are almost identical, save for the headstock shape and the name upon it, so if you’ve got Gibson taste, but Epiphone money, you won’t be disappointed. The body is solid alder, and the neck solid maple. If someone asked you to picture an electric guitar, there’s a 99% chance that the silhouette of a Fender Stratocaster comes to mind. But for intermediate guitar players, you might want to try Hendrix's 'Little Wing.' I think the Asian and Mexican guitars are more viable than ever. This article is intended to help you get started on your quest to find the right guitar. Fender wants to make sure intermediate guitar players have access to those sounds and styles, and the Made-in-Mexico Player Series is one way they accomplish this goal. This guitar may be priced right, but from the pretty and comfortable double-cutaway body design right now to the bird inlays on the fretboard, it has what it takes to call itself a PRS. ), the high-quality split-coil pickups (HFS bridge pickup, Vintage neck pickup), and to top it all off, it’s fully bound on both body and fretboard! If you're on a budget you should consider Yamaha's Pacifica 112V.With classic double-cut looks and the company's renowned build quality, Pacificas have long been a go-to guitar for those seeking quality on a tight budget, making it our favourite beginner electric guitar … It has a mahogany body, it’s equipped with P90 pickups, it has individual pickup tone and volume controls, and above all else, a proper set neck. This is a guitar built for the extreme, and the Jackson name on the headstock means you can expect quality. In fact, the ESP LTD EC-Series are some of the best alternatives to the Les Paul you are going to find. I love it that much! Both, however, are perfectly serviceable guitars. : ). You have a lot of work ahead of you, and you need the right tool for the job. If there’s anything you think I may have missed drop a comment in the box below! The cheapest guitars are all so cookie cutter that they’re unlikely to improve with age. Maybe you are looking for an affordable guitar for metal. While all-electric guitars are fundamentally the same (steel strings, electromagnetic pickups, etc. This is another serious contender for the all-mahogany, dual humbucker market the Epi Les Paul has previously dominated. Have a question about music? It can be fun just to play about on the guitar… I've been considering a Les Paul Standard but I wanted to do some comparison research and this is just what I need. Most importantly, it has to sound great and be able to carry you through songwriting, rehearsals, gigs and maybe even some studio recording. Keep reading to learn more about these electric guitars. We picked these guitars based on two main criteria: their … Look for updates and reviews about all the latest guitar gear from Simon as he shares his knowledge and expertise with you. Electric guitars have basic components that you will see on all electric guitar models. Here is my list of the top electric guitars for intermediate players. The quality control is second to none for a foreign-made instrument, and it still bears all the hallmarks of a real PRS – I especially love that it gets the ‘Birds in Flight’ fretboard inlay (older versions of the SE models didn’t all get this!). Like other guitars in the SE Series, the PRS SE Standard 24 brings serious PRS tone and quality down to a price intermediate players can afford. These guitars are on-par with Epi and Fender quality but have a slightly different vibe than their more well-known counterparts. Or, if you are a little more traditional, consider an EC-401 with a set of DiMarzio humbuckers. Check out my top 5 picks below! So, which do you choose? I hope this has been useful for any of you looking to upgrade your guitar. The next guitar on my list is the Jackson Soloist SLX, a guitar built for metal that has stood the test of time for decades. Some intermediate level guitars even feature locking tuners (much more common on metal style guitars), which keep your ax pitch perfect even after generous amounts of whammy bar action. Most orders are eligible for free shipping. The Custom Classic Pro Les Paul features a fully bound body, neck, and headstock. This is a significant upgrade from the Les Paul Standard. Are intermediate electric guitars different from beginner electric guitars? The pickups are Duncan Design humbuckers, and the bridge is a Floyd Rose Special. While they may lack a little clarity compared to Gibson pickups, these are good pickups for a guitar in this price range. That’s the blunt answer, now, bear with me as I explain the key differences between axes designed for beginner guitarists, and those built with intermediate players in mind. Great selection. PRS, or Paul Reed Smith, isn’t quite as much of a household name as Epiphone, Gibson, or Fender, but that hasn’t stopped some of the all-time greats from becoming lifelong fans. When you upgrade to intermediate level instruments, guitars who have had hands laid on them by skilled craftsmen, you’re getting something that will learn over time to tell its own story. Well, this isn’t just my favorite intermediate electric guitar, it’s one of my favorites of any guitar on the market. Well, if you’re into Jazz, there’s probably no better guitar, truth be told. Below is a quick list of what I consider to be the top five best intermediate electric guitars on the market today. Pickups are probably the single biggest differentiator. In recent years the classical guitar has been a musical instrument many guitar brands compete in manufacturing. This is one of the true classics of the guitar world, and it comes in at a price friendly to intermediate guitar players. I’ve played a MIM HSS Strat (the Standard version) for almost a decade now, and I’ve been pretty happy with it. The Hellraiser and Blackjack are affordable instruments that sound great, and the C-1 Classic is a good-looking guitar. The Stratocaster is an icon of the guitar world, renowned for its sound and style. I’m in love with this white version, but it’s also available in classic Ebony, too. It has a nice punchy sound, similar to alder, but it will never have the sustain and tone of a guitar made with a premium wood like alder or mahogany. The Epiphone G-400 PRO features Epi’s Alnico Classic Pro humbuckers. In my opinion, these are the best electric and acoustic guitars for people with small hands. Don’t get me wrong, I love Epiphones, my Epi SG is my daily player, but at the end of the day, no matter how hard it wants to be one, it’s not a Gibson – the quality isn’t as good, and the headstock still says Epiphone (the same can said for Fender’s still excellent Squier line). There is more hands-on, human interaction with the instrument to double-check the automation work and make any necessary corrections, and some will even get a set up from a trained guitar tech. My (close) second choice is the Epiphone Les Paul Standard PlusTop PRO. While the American-made version of the Stratocaster is superior to the budget MIM version, many players consider the Player Stratocaster better than good enough for gigging and recording. Including authentic materials like these is usually a signal that the instrument was built to last. This is more set at the intermediate level player. Epiphone ProBuckers are a huge leap ahead of the old Alnico Classic pickups when it comes to character and clarity, and they even have a coil tap feature. But they each have a very different sound and vibe. King as his biggest influences. This combination gives the Damien Elite the right punch and power for extreme metal sounds and solos. Another reason for the jump in price from beginner to intermediate level guitars is an improvement in the manufacturing process, as well as tighter quality control. Hard rock fans can’t go wrong with a solid body Epiphone SG or Les Paul (if you’ve got the budget, the lower end Gibson versions are also a viable option). In a hurry? If that still confuses you, then its time to learn more about the differences between the Strat and the Les Paul. Epiphone Les Paul is a good custom pro best mid-range electric guitar that is a wonderful option when you are upgrading from best beginner electric guitar to intermediate. Best Electric Guitar for Intermediate Top Selected Products and Reviews Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, Right, Transparent Red Burst (GRX70QATRB) by Ibanez Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). For many players, Epis are more than good enough to forgo an expensive Gibson for a much more budget-friendly Les Paul. Check out some of these other helpful guides from this music insider. You’re getting a house designed and wound pickups, which is not the norm at this level, and Paul designs some of the best pickups in the business. This guitar has been around since 2008 and is one of the best jazz to rock versatility guitars. Maple is one of the finest guitar building woods out there. Guitar Gopher is a guitarist and bassist with over 35 years of experience as a musician. I would recommend it for beginners and intermediate players who want to buy a guitar … The Fender Player Series instruments included in this list are built with solid alder, whereas, the Squiers are made from basswood. Read More >> How Do You Restring An Acoustic Guitar? No longer will you play an instrument that's simply good enough to practice and learn on. The Fender Payer Stratocaster is one of the best electric guitars for intermediate players. But, if you want the hot pickups, whammy bar, fast neck and classic look the Ibanez RG is known for, the RG450 is the most complete package for the most budget-friendly price. This guitar has everything you need without the major price tag of other Fender guitars. There may be differences in construction materials, types of wood, sizes and other things but the basic components of pickups, knobs, frets, etc are the same from one guitar … Read More >> What Are The Best Microphones for Acoustic Guitars? What do you think of the list? There are multiple variants of the same guitar, many of which are borderline identical, save for pickups and the country of manufacture. So, here we have it, the last axe on my list of the best intermediate guitars, the Fender Telecaster Player Series. The SE Standard 24 features a mahogany body and set mahogany neck with a 24-fret rosewood fingerboard. They are available in the usual array of Fender colors (including those gorgeous sunburst finishes), as well as a more contemporary range. Mahogany is a warmer, deeper-sounding wood, and in stark contrast to the snappiness of alder. The PRS SE Standard 24 lets intermediate guitarists get their hands on an instrument that has been designed with the highest level players in mind. Electric Guitar Components. When intermediate guitars use more exotic materials, they often have to be imported to the factories, which is another factor in the increased cost vs. a beginner instrument. Manpower is an interesting paradox in the guitar world. This makes them adequate for those just getting started, but if you’re looking to play live performances or record your own music, you absolutely need an upgrade. This guitar … The real question is, what will you do? Yes. One of the biggest differentiators between a beginner instrument and an intermediate guitar is the quality of the components used. Price: Price: $199.99 "A great second guitar … Got a question? As part of the improved fit and finish of an intermediate level guitar, you’ll also find things like real mother of pearl or abalone fret markers, rather than stickers or faux products. In this insider guide, you will learn the following: Looking for intermediate electric guitars is one of my favorite things to do – here we start getting into some real high-quality instruments, and they’re still affordable for nearly all budgets. Now, moving up to the $1000 price range, you can pick up a genuine Gibson Les Paul Special Tribute. But Epiphone quality has improved tremendously over the past few years. This affordable electric guitar features classic PRS appointments, including a 24-fret maple neck, rosewood fretboard with bird inlays, 85/15 “S” pickups, and the PRS patented molded tremolo, resulting in a guitar … A great guitar will be there for you on your darkest days and at the best of times, and buying an intermediate guitar means you’re willing to spend a little bit more in the beginning to ensure years of faithful service. Fender Player Stratocaster Electric Guitar If someone asked you to picture an electric guitar, there’s a 99% chance that the silhouette of a Fender Stratocaster comes to mind. This guitar … This ax also features a mahogany body, individual volume and tone controls for each of the P90 pickups, and of course, it has a set neck. Thankfully I have another opportunity to talk more about the PRS SE Standard 24! I'm also impressed with how many of these more budget friendly guitars wind up with coil tapping. The Player Series Strat is another guitar that presents an issue for working musicians. Intermediate level guitars often feature advanced spilled coil pickups, again adding another level of versatility to the guitar. This is similar to the PlusTop PRO with some slick gold hardware, attractive binding and awesome black and white finishes. Stratocasters are wonderful guitars for learning the basics. Glad you mentioned G&L's Asian stuff. If you are into metal I would say it is an excellent choice for an intermediate level guitar. Upgraded pickups provide superior tone, they allow harmonics to shine through, and they help chords to sound even as they more accurately pick up the vibration of each string. My Reviews Of The Best Intermediate Electric Guitars, Final Thoughts On The Best Intermediate Electric Guitars, Top 5 Best Budget Cymbal Packs (2020 Review), Top 5 Best Electronic Cymbals (2020 Review). 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