Best Electric Guitar Under $500 of 2020

"This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links."

If you’re in the market for an electric guitar within the sub-$500 category, chances are you are looking for a model that is affordable but doesn’t sacrifice quality.

Our table for the best electric guitar under 500 dollars is unsurprisingly monopolized by two of the industry’s behemoths, Fender and Epiphone (which falls under the Gibson umbrella). Here we take a look at why they are so great at what they do and who else is nudging at their shoulders!

Top 6 Electric Guitars Under $500 Table

PictureNameRating (1-5)
Picture
Name
Rating (1-5)
1. Epiphone Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar, Ebony4.7
2. Fender Standard Stratocaster, Maple Fretboard - Brown Sunburst4.7
3. Fender Standard Telecaster, Maple Fretboard - Arctic White4.6
4. Ibanez AM73B Electric Guitar Flat Tobacco4.6
5. Epiphone ES-339 Semi Hollow body Electric Guitar, Ebony4.5
6. Epiphone Dot Archtop Electric Guitar, Cherry4.2

Considerations Before Buying

Although the sub-$500 bracket for an electric guitar is not the most expensive, it is still a fair bit of money to shell out. Therefore, you want to make sure you make the right choice, first time. Here are some factors to think about before deciding.

  • Don’t Be Shy, Try Them Out! The world of consumerism surrounding us today means that most of us buy online, without a backward glance. However, choosing the right guitar for you means that you can’t just rely on a pretty picture and the views of strangers.

There is nothing more personal than buying a guitar, so get down to your local music store and check out all the models they have, even if they fall beyond your price bracket. This will allow you to get a good understanding about how they feel, how well they fit your own body, and whether you like the sound they produce.

  • Think About Your Expertise Level. If you have fantasized about owning an electric guitar for a long time, but the closest you have actually got to playing one was a spot of air-guitar as a teenager, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to rush out and buy the most expensive model!

Guitars come in all shapes and sizes and although the majority can be played by anyone from a beginner through to a professional, some are better suited to those that aren’t so familiar with the instruments. Additionally, some guitars are bulky, heavy and not the most comfortable for a new beginner.

Top 3 Best Electric Guitar Under $500 Reviews

1. Epiphone Les Paul

Let’s face it – you aren’t going to go very far wrong with a coupling between the well-established and reputable Epiphone (part of the Gibson family) and the legendary Les Paul.

Although nobody could dispute the inimitable quality of the Gibson Les Paul, this guitar offers the same signature, classic tone, but without the hefty price-tag. The sound produced has a lovely, rich, bluesy resonance and a long-lasting sustain that is perfect for playing almost every genre of music.

The guitar is made to a high standard and comes in a variety of colors. It has a sturdy, robust and fairly heavy feel that gives it a sense of being able to handle whatever is thrown at it, even the most frenetic of strumming. Featuring a well-thought-out design which includes two fabulous-sounding humbuckers, perfectly adjusted pick-ups and solid tuning pegs, it is a joy to play, right out of the box.

Nobody could ever say this was as good as a Gibson, but to be honest, it is good enough. On its own merit, the Epiphone Les Paul Standard is excellent value for money, gorgeous to look at and takes the very well-deserved joint top-spot in our best electric guitar under $500 category.

2. Fender Standard Stratocaster

Fender is a name synonymous with excellent quality and the production of bad-ass playing machines, and the Standard Stratocaster is no exception.

Sharing the honors of the best electric guitar under $500, the Stratocaster has an iconic look that is instantly recognizable. Made to a high standard, it is solid, durable and built to last; this is an electric guitar you can always rely on. However, it hasn’t traded in its looks for reliability and sturdiness because this guitar is also gorgeous to look at with a flawless finish.

Designed with the ease and comfort of the player in mind, the guitar has a fairly low action and a smooth maple neck that it is easy to move up and down on. Whether you are strumming the blues or belting out rock, the guitar has a pure, punchy tone and superb versatility that can range from warm and mellow to bright and sharp.

Fender have been delivering exceptional products for a long time and the Standard Stratocaster will not disappoint. It is excellent value for money, versatile, sturdy and looks great.

3. Fender Standard Telecaster

Coming close behind is another model from the Fender stable, the Standard Telecaster, which gives you the opportunity to get your hands on an exceptional guitar at an affordable price.

Although many feel that it was made for country music with an almost banjo-like sound, the guitar is versatile enough to carry off pretty much any genre, even a little metal. It has a distinctive and recognizable sound that is consistent and clear, using two pick-ups and a three-way switch.

The guitar is easy on the eye with an iconic, solid Telecaster design which showcases great workmanship along with an immaculate gloss finish. The guitar’s design, especially the fairly chunky maple neck and well-spaced frets, make it comfortable to play, even after several hours, regardless of your experience or skill level.

If we were to deliberate look for faults, the neck and frets can be a little rough, the pick-ups perhaps aren’t the best, and it can feel a little on the heavy side. That said, you know what to expect from a Fender and the Standard Telecaster doesn’t disappoint with quality craftsmanship, a versatile sound and superb value for money.