best cheap guitar to upgrade


Hey there, fellow guitar enthusiasts! Are you on a tight budget but still want to get your hands on a quality instrument? Look no further! In this article, we will discuss the seven best cheap guitars that you can upgrade to enhance your playing experience. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player looking for an affordable option, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and explore these hidden gems that offer great value for your money!

1. Yamaha Pacifica 112V

🎸 The Yamaha Pacifica 112V is a fantastic choice for guitarists who are seeking a versatile instrument without breaking the bank. With its solid alder body and high-quality hardware, this guitar delivers exceptional tone and playability.

Key Features:

– Solid alder body for a rich and balanced sound

– Maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard for comfortable playability

– Alnico V pickups for a wide range of tones

– Vintage-style tremolo bridge for added expression

– Smooth tuning stability with die-cast tuners

– Five-way pickup selector switch for enhanced versatility

– Available in various finishes to suit your style

2. Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster

🎸 If you’re a fan of the iconic Stratocaster sound, the Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster is an excellent choice for you. This guitar captures the essence of the vintage ’50s Stratocaster at an affordable price.

Key Features:

– Poplar body with a gloss polyester finish for a classic look

– Maple neck with a modern “C” shape for comfortable play

– Indian laurel fingerboard with 21 vintage-style frets

– Custom vintage-style single-coil Strat pickups for authentic tones

– Vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge for expressive playing

– Aged white plastic knobs and switch tip for a retro aesthetic

– Available in various classic colors

3. Epiphone Les Paul Standard PlusTop Pro

🎸 The Epiphone Les Paul Standard PlusTop Pro offers an affordable alternative to the iconic Gibson Les Paul. This guitar boasts excellent build quality, stunning looks, and versatile tones, making it an ideal choice for players on a budget.

Key Features:

– Mahogany body with a flame maple top for a visually striking appearance

– SlimTaper “D” profile mahogany neck for smooth playability

– Rosewood fingerboard with trapezoid inlays for a touch of elegance

– ProBucker pickups with coil-splitting capabilities for versatile tones

– LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece for excellent sustain

– Grover tuners for precise and stable tuning

– Available in a range of stunning finishes

4. Ibanez RG450DX

🎸 If you’re into rock and metal, the Ibanez RG450DX is the perfect guitar for you. This affordable shredder’s delight offers exceptional playability and high-performance features that will satisfy even the most demanding guitarists.

Key Features:

– Basswood body with a striking sharktooth inlay design

– Wizard III maple neck for ultra-fast playing

– Jatoba fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets for effortless bending

– Quantum pickups for a high-output and versatile sound

– Double-locking tremolo bridge for extreme dive bombs and pitch shifts

– Cosmo black hardware for a sleek and modern look

– Available in various eye-catching finishes

5. Fender Player Telecaster

🎸 The Fender Player Telecaster offers a classic design and iconic Tele sound at an affordable price point. This guitar is perfect for players who crave the timeless twang and versatility that only a Telecaster can provide.

Key Features:

– Alder body with a gloss polyester finish for timeless style

– Modern “C” shape maple neck for comfortable playability

– Pau Ferro fingerboard with 22 medium jumbo frets

– Player Series Alnico 5 Tele pickups for authentic tones

– String-through-body Tele bridge with bent steel saddles

– Standard cast/sealed tuners for reliable tuning stability

– Available in a range of classic and vibrant finishes

6. Gibson SG Standard ’61

🎸 If you’re a fan of the iconic Gibson SG but don’t want to break the bank, the Gibson SG Standard ’61 is a fantastic option. This guitar offers the legendary SG design, premium features, and outstanding tone at a more affordable price.

Key Features:

– Mahogany body with a slim taper neck for enhanced playability

– Rosewood fingerboard with acrylic trapezoid inlays for a classic look

– Burstbucker pickups for vintage-inspired tones

– ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece for excellent sustain

– Grover Rotomatic tuners for precise and stable tuning

– Available in classic SG finishes

7. PRS SE Custom 24

🎸 The PRS SE Custom 24 offers the renowned PRS craftsmanship and stunning aesthetics at an affordable price. This guitar combines versatility, playability, and eye-catching looks, making it an excellent choice for players in search of a high-quality instrument without breaking the bank.

Key Features:

– Mahogany body with a flamed maple veneer top for a striking appearance

– Wide Thin maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard for comfortable play

– PRS 85/15 “S” pickups for a versatile and clear sound

– PRS patented tremolo bridge for smooth vibrato effects

– PRS-designed tuners for stable and precise tuning

– Available in a variety of gorgeous finishes

Guitar Model Features Price Rating
Yamaha Pacifica 112V Alder body, maple neck, alnico V pickups $299 4.5/5
Squier Classic Vibe ’50s Stratocaster Poplar body, maple neck, vintage-style pickups $399 4.2/5
Epiphone Les Paul Standard PlusTop Pro Mahogany body, flame maple top, ProBucker pickups $499 4.7/5
Ibanez RG450DX Basswood body, Wizard III neck, Quantum pickups $499 4.4/5
Fender Player Telecaster Alder body, maple neck, Player Series Tele pickups $699 4.6/5
Gibson SG Standard ’61 Mahogany body, slim taper neck, Burstbucker pickups $1,299 4.8/5
PRS SE Custom 24 Mahogany body, flamed maple veneer top, PRS 85/15 “S” pickups $799 4.9/5

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Are these guitars suitable for beginners?

Yes, all of these guitars are beginner-friendly and offer excellent value for money.

2. Can I upgrade the pickups on these guitars?

Absolutely! These guitars are built for upgrades, allowing you to customize your tone.

3. Do these guitars come with a warranty?

Yes, most of these guitars come with a manufacturer’s warranty to ensure your peace of mind.

4. Are these guitars suitable for different music genres?

Definitely! Each guitar offers its unique tonal characteristics, making them suitable for various genres.

5. How do I choose the right guitar for me?

Consider your playing style, preferred genres, and budget to find the guitar that resonates with you.

6. Can I add additional features like coil-splitting?

Yes, many of these guitars allow for modifications like coil-splitting for added tonal versatility.

7. What type of strings are recommended for these guitars?

We recommend trying different string gauges to find the one that suits your playing style and preferences.

8. Can I upgrade the hardware on these guitars?

Certainly! Upgrading the hardware can be a great way to enhance your guitar’s performance and aesthetics.

9. Are these guitars suitable for live performances?

Absolutely! These guitars deliver reliable performance and tone, perfect for gigs and performances.

10. Are these guitars compatible with effects pedals?

Yes, you can easily connect these guitars to effects pedals to explore new sonic territories.

11. Are these guitars available in left-handed versions?

Some of these models offer left-handed versions, but availability may vary.

12. Can I swap out the neck on these guitars?

While it’s technically possible, we recommend consulting a professional luthier for such modifications.

13. Where can I purchase these guitars?

You can find these guitars at reputable music stores, online retailers, or directly from the manufacturers’ websites.


There you have it, folks! We’ve explored the seven best cheap guitars that are perfect for upgrading. Whether you’re a beginner looking for an affordable entry-level instrument or a seasoned player on a budget, these guitars offer exceptional value, quality, and versatility. So, don’t let your limited funds hold you back from unleashing your musical potential. Choose one of these fantastic guitars, upgrade it to your heart’s content, and embark on your musical journey with confidence. Happy playing!

Closing Statement

Disclaimer: The prices and availability mentioned in this article are subject to change. Please check with the respective retailers or manufacturers for the most up-to-date information. Additionally, while upgrading your guitar can greatly enhance its performance, we recommend consulting a professional or experienced technician for any modifications to ensure proper installation and avoid any potential damage to your instrument.

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