Everyone knows the look of a Telecaster. The Squier Classic Vibe 50′s Telecaster brings back all of the vintage glory of the electric guitar from the birth of rock n’ roll. Few guitars are more synonymous with the founding of rock n’ roll than the Telecaster. This telecaster has a solid pine body and a solid maple neck with a 21 fret fretboard. It has a 9.5″ radius neck which makes it perfectly sized for playing as it is neither too narrow or too fat. There is no overhang on the frets that can snag your hand when moving up and down the neck, which is one of my biggest complaints with many guitars. Most of the electric guitars I have played do not have pine bodies — Ash, Alder, and Mahogany are more common — but the resonance of the pine body on this guitar is lovely. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it before I picked it up, but I was pleasantly surprised. The construction is very good, and I have very few complaints about the fit and finish of the guitar. The dual pickup setup is nice and they’re great for the amount that you’re paying for this guitar. The front pickup gives a warm and rich sound, which makes it great for lighter playing like rhythm of folk. The back pickup creates that classic Telecaster sound that was made famous by the likes of George Harrison, Joe Strummer, and others.
The foreign made Fenders — and Squiers which are made by Fender — had a poor reputation for many years as being poorly built with a sound that did not match their American-made counterparts. That is simply not the case today and this guitar is every bit the Tele as it’s more expensive cousins. Overall, I was very pleased with this guitar and while it isn’t as hot as some of the higher end guitars I’ve come across, it is a great guitar for its price. You can buy this Tele for 349 bucks. Please feel free to check out my other squier guitar reviews and fender guitar reviews.
Buy The Yamaha GigMaker EG Beginner Pack
Guitar Center: Buy for $259
Amazon: Buy for $259
My Review Of The Yamaha GigMaker Electric Guitar Starter Hit
If you are new to playing the guitar, it makes perfect sense to start off at the very beginning. Most guitarists, especially those that have begun to play in the past 20 years, will have owned a guitar starter pack at some point in their lives, and they can be incredibly beneficial starting out. There are many different guitar starter kits out there and they tend to be on the cheaper side. (You can read my other reviews of beginner guitar packages.) As such, it is important to do your research before buying one. In addition to this review, I have many guitar starter package reviews that you can browse through in your search. Today, I’ll be talking about the Yamaha GigMaker EG Electric Guitar Pack. First, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages.
The contents of the Yamaha GigMaker EG Electric Guitar Pack contain everything that you could possibly need to get started when it comes to learning how to play the guitar. Not only does it contain a Yamaha guitar, a brand that is known for making quality instruments, but it also has a 15-watt amp, gig bag, guitar cable, tuner, spare strings, picks, and am excellent introductory DVD. This guitar sounds good and has a nice dual humbucker setup. Finding a beginner electric guitar kit that has a quality guitar is the biggest challenge as these packages are targeted for beginners who do not know a great deal about guitars. Fortunately, sound quality is not an issue with the Yamaha GigMaker EG Electric Guitar Pack. The sound is very good for the price range, the build quality of the guitar is good, and it is definitely a guitar that can grow with you as you learn how to play.
Overall, I was really pleased with this starter kit. The guitar is good and you get a nice 15-watt amp to jam with (most starter packs have a 10-watt amp). If I have one complaint, it is that the gig bag isn’t great but that is really a small complaint when compared to the overall package you’re getting. This may not be the greatest beginner package that I’ve ever tested, but considering the fact you can buy it for $259 puts it safely near the top in the under $300 category and a solid choice any way you slice it.
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Buy The Fender Blacktop Telecaster
Guitar Center: Buy for $499
Amazon: Buy for $499
My Review Of The Fender Blacktop Telecaster Electric Guitar
The name Fender is synonymous with the electric guitar. Fender is one of the original electric guitar manufacturers and they have been making awesome electric guitars for over half a century. Finding a great electric guitar can be difficult but, when you are buying a Fender, you know you’re getting something good, and this is certainly true with the Fender Blacktop Telecaster.
The first thing I noticed when I checked out this guitar is the classic styling. This is definitely a great looking guitar, and it feels great in your hands too. The body is made from solid Alder with a bolt-on Maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard. Throwing the strap around your neck and holding this in your hands and you can feel that it was meant for thrashing. It has a 22 fret fingerboard that feels nice underneath your fingers, and I had no complaints sliding my hand up and down the frets. One of the things I really loved about this guitar is the amp style volume and tone knobs. On some electric guitars, the volume and tone knobs can stick out and interfere with picking the high E but that is not the case with this. The sound that you get from this guitar can be described in one word: aggressive. The dual humbuckers that come with this Blacktop Telecaster — hence the HH in the name — give you a fat aggressive sound that is great for serious rock. While I did not experience any problems with tone control, I have heard complaints from others that the tone control isn’t too responsive. This is definitely a very visually appealing guitar and it comes in red, black, or gray. The one that I reviewed was finished in the candy apple red, and it definitely looked good enough to eat.
The Blacktop Telecaster is an excellent modern take on one of the true iconic electric guitars. For about $500, you can get a guitar that looks every bit as good as its much more expensive siblings, and it sounds great too. If you’re looking for a hard charging, heavy rocking electric guitar under 500 dollars, this should be on your list.
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Guitars under 500 dollars
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Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster Review
Buy The ESP LTD EC-100 QM
Guitar Center: Buy for $249
Amazon: Buy for $249
My Review Of The ESP LTD EC-100 QM Electric Guitar
You’ll have to come up with a pet name for the ESP LTD EC-100 QM, because if there is one thing that is not sexy about this guitar, it is the name. ESP is a lesser known guitar manufacturer that most people have never heard of. The first thing I noticed is the sexy styling. It definitely has Les Paul looks but with a modified look that makes it stand on its own. The basswood body, maple neck, and rosewood fret board are all incredibly high quality, especially when you consider the fact that this guitar is only $249.
One of the many things that stood out to me about this guitar is the fact that it is very versatile. I play many different styles of music, and, so far, this guitar has been acceptable to excellent in all of them. This is not something that you will often find from guitars in this price range, so I was very pleased with that. Another thing that surprised me was that there is almost no feedback with the stock pickups. In addition to the lack of feedback, these pickups also give a nice amount of sustain, though this is also thanks to the good construction of the guitar itself. When I first picked it up (pun intended) I assumed that there was going to be the potential for feedback as ESP is a smaller brand and this guitar is at a relatively low price point, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Another thing that I like about this guitar is the unique take on the classic Les-Paul design. Another thing that I liked about this guitar is the fact that it holds a tune pretty well, which is a huge benefit to newer players who find getting the guitar properly tuned a pain.
This isn’t the greatest guitar in the $300 and under category, but it is definitely a very very solid guitar that does many things well with almost no drawbacks. Between its sexy styling, quality workmanship, and a nice rich sound, this is a guitar you would be happy to own.
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