7 Best Electric Guitars Under $1000 in 2018 (In-Depth Review)

If you're looking for the best electric guitar under $1000, consider the Fender American Special Stratocaster. What's great about this guitar is it allows your to play different styles of music, while staying true to its iconic Fender quality and sound. It's got everything you need for an electric guitar, and it's American-made, what's not great about that?

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best electric guitars under 1000 dollars

Got a budget for a new electric guitar, but don’t want to go beyond $1000?

Don’t worry, there are a lot of guitars within your budget.

We’ve done an intensive market research on the guitars under $1000 and we came up with this ultimate list.

Now, choose what’s best for you from this list of 7 best electric guitars under $1000.

Best Electric Guitars Under $1000 in 2018

Our #1 Rated
Fender American Special Stratocaster, Maple Fretboard - 2-Color Sunburst
Our #2 Rated
Epiphone Les Paul STANDARD PLUS-TOP PRO Electric Guitar with Coil-Tapping, Wine Red
Our #3 Rated
Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar - Maple Fingerboard, Black
Our #4 Rated
Fender Standard Telecaster Electric Guitar - Maple Fingerboard, Candy Apple Red
Our #5 Rated
ESP LTD EC-1000QM Electric Guitar, See Thru Black Cherry
Body: Alder
Body: Mahogany
Body: Solid-Wood
Body: Alder
Body: Solid-Wood
Fretboard: Maple
Fretboard: Rosewood
Fretboard: Maple
Fretboard: Maple
Fretboard: Rosewood
Neck: Maple
Neck: Mahogany
Neck: Maple
Neck: Maple
Neck: Mahogany
Bridge: Tremolo
Bridge: Tune-O-Matic
Bridge: Tremelo
Bridge: Hardtail Bridge
Bridge: Tune-o-matic
Pickups: Single-Coil
Pickups: Humbucker
Pickups: Single-Coil
Pickups: Single-Coil
Pickups: Humbuckers
Our #1 Rated
Fender American Special Stratocaster, Maple Fretboard - 2-Color Sunburst
Body: Alder
Fretboard: Maple
Neck: Maple
Bridge: Tremolo
Pickups: Single-Coil
Our #2 Rated
Epiphone Les Paul STANDARD PLUS-TOP PRO Electric Guitar with Coil-Tapping, Wine Red
Body: Mahogany
Fretboard: Rosewood
Neck: Mahogany
Bridge: Tune-O-Matic
Pickups: Humbucker
Our #3 Rated
Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar - Maple Fingerboard, Black
Body: Solid-Wood
Fretboard: Maple
Neck: Maple
Bridge: Tremelo
Pickups: Single-Coil
Our #4 Rated
Fender Standard Telecaster Electric Guitar - Maple Fingerboard, Candy Apple Red
Body: Alder
Fretboard: Maple
Neck: Maple
Bridge: Hardtail Bridge
Pickups: Single-Coil
Our #5 Rated
ESP LTD EC-1000QM Electric Guitar, See Thru Black Cherry
Body: Solid-Wood
Fretboard: Rosewood
Neck: Mahogany
Bridge: Tune-o-matic
Pickups: Humbuckers

 

Fender American Special Stratocaster

Fender American Special Stratocaster, Maple Fretboard - 2-Color Sunburst
35 Reviews
Fender American Special Stratocaster, Maple Fretboard - 2-Color Sunburst
  • With a 9.5" fret-board radius, 22 Jumbo frets, and a satin-finished neck, the American Special Strat offers easy string-bending and a fast, modern feel.
  • Explore dark thicker tones while retaining clarity with Fender's Grease Bucket Tone circuit (rolls off high frequencies without adding bass).
  • Express yourself with pitch variations via Fender's famed Synchronized tremolo a signature ingredient of the Stratocaster
  • Keep a Strat close and comfortable via the 'belly cut' in the back of the body and the contour arm bevel in the top of the body.
  • Fender Deluxe Gig Bag Included

Who doesn’t want an American Stratocaster? But, if you want something that doesn’t break the bank, you can still get an American Stat with the Fender American Special Stratocaster.

From the body, to the resonance to its versatility and playability, you are really playing a real American Strat.

When you say American made, it’s somewhat synonymous to “top-quality” or “best in the market,” but, the price is rather high. However, Fender offers this guitar of “top-quality,” but cheaper than the American Stratocaster.

Feel

Got a smooth neck for fast action and it’s not too heavy. It is very comfortable to play with, especially with the wide variety of tones it can play.

Look

The sunburst and the urethane finish really sealed the deal of making a very elegant-looking guitar. The body contour is flawlessly curvy and reveals the top-quality construction and material being used.

Sound

It’s a classic Fender. That’s explains it all. You can play diverse genres from blues, jazz, country and heavy metal.

Value for Money

Looks, feels and sounds like the Standard American Stratocaster, but for a fraction of its price.

Related: Fender American Special Stratocaster Review

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PROS

  • Great value for its price
  • Versatile tones
  • Wonderful neck

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CONS

  • Needs a bit of adjustment
  • Doesn’t play right out of the box

 

Epiphone Les Paul Standard PlusTop PRO

Epiphone Les Paul STANDARD PLUS-TOP PRO Electric Guitar with Coil-Tapping, Wine Red
42 Reviews
Epiphone Les Paul STANDARD PLUS-TOP PRO Electric Guitar with Coil-Tapping, Wine Red
  • With a set neck, rosewood fingerboard and Trapezoid inlays , this Standard is that and much more. Cream binding on the body and neck and a Locking Tune-o-matic bridge, this guitar is a gift that keeps giving.
  • The Les Paul Standard Plus-Top PRO has the very popular Epiphone ProBucker 2 and ProBucker 3 pickups. If that wasn"t enough it also offers the neck pickup volume with push/pull coil-tapping and the Bridge pickup volume with push/pull coil tapping.
  • Like every Epiphone, the Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus top PRO features a Limited Lifetime Warranty backed by world famous 24/7/365 Gibson Customer Service. Be a part of history today with the Les Paul Standard Plus top Pro.

Whether it’s for practice, for recording or for big concerts, the Epiphone Les Paul Standard Pro is a great company and a great weaponry. Make yourself ready for the big show.

If not a Gibson, seasoned musicians and aspirants alike are looking for a Les Paul. But, since LP guitars had paved the way to great rockers like Clapton to stardom, many have replicated it.

Fortunately, Epiphone got the guitar that lets you make that renowned LP sound without breaking the bank.

Feel

The neck has that slim profile like the old LP, which gives comfort and ease in playing and experimenting with this guitar.

Look

It has a beautiful finish with simple features to enhance the versatility of its overall design. It maintains the classic appeal, but it’s very stunning and makes you look like a real pro holding an expensive model of the Les Paul.

Sound

Has a great power and sound quality. It gives that clean and rich sound with a little reverb whether playing the contemporary jazz, blues or funk.

Value for Money

Electric guitarists, fanatics and Gibson lovers would know that Epiphone is an affordable alternative to the top-of-the-line and high-priced Gibson. Hence, for its price point, you will never go wrong with this Epiphone.

Related: Epiphone Les Paul Standard PlusTop PRO Review

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PROS

  • Stays in perfect tune
  • Quality guitar for a reasonable price

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CONS

  • Buzzing on the neck pickup

 

Fender Standard Stratocaster

Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar - Maple Fingerboard, Black
131 Reviews
Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar - Maple Fingerboard, Black
  • The Standard Series is the perfect choice for any musician looking to upgrade to a professional level instrument
  • The "C" shaped tinted neck provides universal comfort and elegant styling
  • Achieve the classic iconic tones that only a Fender Stratocaster with three single-coil pickups can provide
  • Vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge with a high-mass block provide increased sustain and enhanced tuning stability
  • Reduced hum provided by the shielded body cavities

Fender Standard Stratoscaster has been among the most eye-catching guitars ever created.

On top of it all, its quality build and sound makes it among the top picks for affordable electric guitars.

If you badly want a legit Fender but can’t afford one, this Fender Standard Stratocaster is a cheaper alternative. You can still get that signature tone of a Fender Strat without breaking the bank.

Feel

The neck feels sleek and very comfortable to play with. Overall, this thing gives you utmost comfort when playing your song, but not heavy metal, perhaps.

Look

Very elegant looking guitar, especially with the maple on top. Among its assets is its great fit and stunning finish.

Sound

It comes with a standard Stratocaster shape made of Alder. It’s among the most neutral Strats and gives a great sonic foundation for a wide variety of genre.

Value for Money

This is a great investment for the quality sound you will get at its price point. In addition, it comes with a beautifully designed finish.

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PROS

  • Elegant finish
  • Versatile tone

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CONS

  • Minor pickups problems
  • Need an expert to properly tune the guitar

 

Fender Standard Telecaster

Fender Standard Telecaster Electric Guitar - Maple Fingerboard, Candy Apple Red
83 Reviews
Fender Standard Telecaster Electric Guitar - Maple Fingerboard, Candy Apple Red
  • The Standard Series is the perfect choice for any musician looking to upgrade to a professional level instrument
  • The "C" shaped neck provides universal comfort and elegant styling
  • Envoke the iconic tones that only a Fender Telecaster can provide with the dual Single-Coil Tele pickups
  • A classic string-trhough-body Tele bridge with block saddles provide excellent sustain and tuning stability
  • Reduced hum provided by the shielded body cavities

From the material, to the design and finish, the Fender Standard Telecaster is a perfect replica of the old American Tele. You can play country music, blues, rock, even metal with this guitar. There is nothing this guitar couldn’t do.

Everyone likes the American Tele and longed to have a hold of one. But, if you are on a budget, but still dream to own one, this guitar is a cheaper choice. And, it’s money well spent.

Feel

The stylish finish of the guitar makes it very smooth and very comfortable. The maple neck is smooth as well, which is perfect for fast action and it’s very easy to play.

Look

Very rich design and style. The alder body, which is known for its greater resonance and greater sustain is used to make this guitar a true American Telecaster. It features a single cutaway, which is very comfortable to play.

Sound

You can achieve that great and classic Fender tone. If you love to play rock, jazz and blues, this guitar will surely make you sound like the legendary Eddie VanHalen or James Burton.

Value for Money

For a guitar with this price, you are now able to play a wide variety of tones and sound like the legendary guitarists. Great value for money, indeed!

Related: Fender Standard Telecaster Review

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PROS

  • Stays in tune
  • Great pickups

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CONS

  • Lacks the twang of the old Tele

 

Fender American Standard Stratocaster

Fender American Standard Stratocaster Solid-Body Electric Guitar with Hard-Shell Case, Bourdeux Metallic
46 Reviews
Fender American Standard Stratocaster Solid-Body Electric Guitar with Hard-Shell Case, Bourdeux Metallic
  • Smooth and easy playing string to neck action via the satin back of neck finish, 9.5" modern fingerboard radius and medium jumbo frets
  • Enjoy awesome body resonance acoustically or plugged in via the undercoat of the finish and bent steel saddles and a copper infused steel bridge block
  • Thick and spanky tones via the Fender Custom Shop Fat 50's pick ups, Delta Tone knob and 5 way selector switch.
  • Accommodate most string gauges and stay in proper adjustment in almost any climate with the Bi-Flex truss rod that is internally located inside the neck
  • Express yourself via Vibrato from subtle to extreme with a 2-Point Synchronized Tremolo with Bent Steel Saddles

Designed and crafted by the brand that made a lot of artists into the spotlight, Fender American Standard Stratocaster is no doubt, another great product. It’s crafted to preserve the classic Fender signature tone, at the same time made it available to newbie and wannabes.

You know that Fender’s American Special Stratocaster is one of the iconic guitars in the history and having one is a pride. But, if you ain’t got thousands of dollars in the bank, this is a cheap alternative for only less than $1000.

Feel

The touch is heavenly. Very smooth and very marvelous. The neck and the strings are perfect in quality that you won’t have any problem playing, even free styling.

Look

If you are a looking for top-notch design and quality, you found it with this guitar. You would get that classy, elegant-looking Strat that speaks way beyond its price tag.

Sound

This is a work of art. You can play not just the classic blues, but also a wide range of modern tones. As always, you can still play the classic Fender tone with just a few adjustments of the knobs and controls.

Value for Money

You can’t get anything to play closer to the old American Strat than this one. Probably one of the best guitars in this price range.

Related: Fender American Standard Stratocaster Review

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PROS

  • Fairly easy to keep in tune
  • Great playability

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CONS

  • Fret buzz

 

Epiphone Les Paul Custom PRO

Epiphone Les Paul CUSTOM PRO Electric Guitar with Coil Tapping, Ebony
38 Reviews
Epiphone Les Paul CUSTOM PRO Electric Guitar with Coil Tapping, Ebony
  • Body Body shape: Single cutaway Body type: Solid body Body material: Solid wood Top wood: Maple Veneer Body wood: Mahogany Body finish: Gloss Orientation: Right handed Neck Neck shape: SlimTaper D Neck wood: Mahogany Joint: Set-in Scale length: 24.75" Truss rod: Standard Neck finish: Satin Fretboard Material: Rosewood Radius: 12" Fret size: Medium jumbo Number of frets: 22
  • The king of solid body guitars, the Les Paul Custom made its debut in 1954 after the initial success of the Les Paul Goldtop
  • Les Paul himself suggested black as a great color for a new Les Paul because it looked "classy" and went well with a tuxedo on stage
  • Now with its ebony or antique white finish, the Les Paul Custom has often been referred to as the "tuxedo" Les Paul
  • And with its gold appointments, fully bound body, neck and headstock and mother-of-pearl inlays, we think you'll agree that the Epiphone Les Paul Custom is "dressed to kill"

Why the Epiphone Les Paul Custom PRO is in this list? Simply because of its great playability.

From the top-quality creation, to the knobs and controls to the versatile sounds it produces, this will just simply blows you away!

If you hail great guitarists, surely, you’re a fan of either a Gibson or a Fender. However, if you are just a beginner, spending thousands of dollars might not be a great choice.

Feel

Comes with an impressive solid build. Fretboard is great and perfect for playing in fast speed. The quality build really made this guitar very comfortable to play with.

Look

The black finish doesn’t only look classy, but it also signifies “rock.” The body gets that legendary shape, which doesn’t need any introduction.

Again, it’s made with mahogany body and maple neck, fairly the tandem used for most Epiphone Les Paul guitars.

Sound

Naturally, you can play classic blues, but is also versatile enough to accommodate heavier tones. Considering its price and the great sound it produces, it’s really a surprising bargain, but not with its quality.

Value for Money

With its playability and affordability, this guitar is one of the best you can get from Epiphone that speaks of quality and greatness. With all the features you can get for its price, it’s more than worth it.

Related: Epiphone Les Paul Custom PRO Review

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PROS

  • Classy looks
  • Great tone

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CONS

  • Fret buzz

 

ESP LTD EC-1000

ESP LTD EC-1000 Electric Guitar, Black
22 Reviews
ESP LTD EC-1000 Electric Guitar, Black
  • The EC1000 Black has a Mahogany Body and Neck with a Rosewood Fingerboard
  • This guitar comes equipped with a Tonepros Locking TOM Bridge & Tailpiece
  • It has a Set-Neck Construction and a 24.75" Scale with 24 Extra Jumbo Frets and a Thin-U Neck Contour
  • The pickups are active EMG 81(b) and EMG 60(n) and comes standard with LTD Locking Tuners
  • The controls are Vol/Vol/Tone with a 3-way toggle switch

Buying a guitar worth less than $1000 might be a risky choice. However, if you choose the ESP LTD EC-1000, you will never go wrong with it.

From the brand that made top-notch guitars, surely you have the best value for money.

If you want to outperform yourself and buy a new shred machine, then, this will be perfect for you. You can achieve that screaming tone like the elite guitars and get to play it with speed and accuracy.

Feel

This is meticulously crafted to give you utmost comfort when you perform. Hence, you got that thin profile neck, comfortably smooth body and light weight.

Look

The mahogany body, with thin-U maple design makes this thing classier. Just one look, just a single glance of this mighty guitar you will realize you made the right investment.

Sound

Accurate tone versatility. If you like heavier tone, you got your perfect tool right here.

Though it’s perfect for metal and high gain distortion, if you want to play on the opposite extremity, you can still do so with proper manipulation of the controls.

Value for Money

For its price, it’s something you rarely find for a guitar that really brings the dark side of you.

Related: ESP LTD EC-1000 Review

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PROS

  • Great long sustain
  • Beautifully finished

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CONS

  • Limited play style

Wrapping Up

There you go. For budget buyers who still can afford up to a thousand dollar guitar, surely you have your choice right now.

Always remember, the best value guitar doesn’t come with the most expensive price tag, it comes with quality and playability, especially the one that serves your purpose well completely.

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