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Guitars & Accessories

Best Electric Guitar

Well into the 20th century, the electric guitar has been a symbol of all that is cool, rebellious, innovative, and creative. Nearly every genre of popular Western music employs the electric guitar while utilized by some of the most popular and significant musical icons in existence. While many musical greats have used it to carve out their legacy and shape the evolution of music, it’s still an instrument used in garage rehearsals by countless artists who may change music in the years which lie ahead. If you’re looking to buy an electric guitar, you have a wide range of options to choose from. We’ve outlined some important things to keep in mind in our electric guitar buyer’s guide below.

Epiphone Les Paul Special II Electric Guitar

There’s a reason the Les Paul Special II is Epiphone’s number one selling electric guitar model as it offers the great sound and feel of the Gibson Les Paul axe at a price tag that will work for nearly any budget. The mahogany build of the LP Special II’s body and bolt-on neck gives this guitar a full and warm tone that especially favors tight lows, making it perfect for hard rock styles. A pair of open-coil Epiphone 700T and 650R humbucker pickups drives the sound of this instrument, and with the built-in pickup switch, you can customize the tone to your liking.

And the look of this thing just screams finesse. It’s got a classic appearance that immediately calls to mind all the greats who have previously rocked Les Paul axes, and its 22-fret rosewood fingerboard offers dot inlays that are of great use to players who are just learning. But don’t mistake this as an option solely designed for beginners; even intermediate players will welcome this fine-sounding, sturdy guitar into their collection. Played through the right amp, it can be quite a capable axe that you can take on-stage and on the road with confidence.

Squier by Fender Bullet Strat with Tremolo Brown Sunburst

Fender initially introduced its Bullet series as the first of a line of student guitars for those who were picking up the instrument for the first time. With that said, it may be more geared towards those still learning to play, but it can be used even by players who are starting to play out and record music as well.

The three single-coil pickups in the bridge, middle, and neck positions allow players to manipulate the guitar’s tone as they see fit, using the five-position pickup switching blade to dial in the appropriate sound. The neck is smooth and many players appreciate the ease with which they can execute particularly rock and blues-style fret board moves like hammer-on’s and pull-off’s on the rosewood fingerboard.

The Bullet’s vintage-style tremolo arm bridge also gives players the ability to make their notes dive and soar in the style of other tremolo proponents such as Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen. And while the guitar is more prone to go out of tune from such hijinks in comparison to some of the higher priced tremolo-equipped axes, it remains a go-to option for guitarists seeking that classic Fender feel for a great price.

Jackson JS22 Dinky Electric Guitar

With 24 jumbo frets and pearloid sharkfin inlays, the Jackson JS22 Dinky’s appearance is sleek and dangerous-looking, which makes sense since Jackson has so often been the go-to option for metal guitarists over the last few decades. And its dual high-output humbucking pickups and synchronized fulcrum tremolo bridge ensure that it’s got the goods to pull off the type of feats that genre demands; this thing can seriously pull off strong sustains in high gains. But it’s also capable of playing a variety of other styles, including classic and hard rock.

Thanks to its graphite-enforced bolt-on maple neck, the JS22 Dinky is a high performance guitar that can easily handle speeds, whether it’s being used for rhythms of leads, which makes it an ideal choice for both beginners and intermediate players. It’s the type of budget electric guitar that players can grow with, and its design gives it a classic look that separates it from other guitars in its price range; in fact, you’re not going to see many other axes at this price with the beautiful arch top look and sharp looking headstock. Recommended for those who want to rock out AND look cool while doing it.

Ibanez GRX20 Electric Guitar

For years, Ibanez has been the product of choice for guitarists seeking to play a variety of styles of rock music, from metal to classic rock and beyond. With the GRX20, the company has managed to replicate the quality and character of some of its more high-end products in a guitar that is super affordable. This makes it an ideal choice for new guitarists or even those who want to add another axe to their collection without breaking the bank.

With one volume knob and one tone knob, controlling the sound of this guitar is pretty straightforward. The Infinity R (H) pickups in the neck and bridge positions give a real gritty character – it sounds great in overdrive, but also works in a clean setting as well. Sporting a maple neck and 22 medium frets, this guitar is perfect for fast-playing. Its poplar body is extremely durable, so you won’t be worried about denting or damaging this axe through standard day-to-day use. The modern-style tuners and tremolo bridge allow you to dip and dive your notes to your heart’s desire, without having to worry about going out of tune. Quite simply an incredible buy for those who want to experience all that Ibanez has to offer.

Sterling by Music Man S.U.B. Series AX3 Electric Guitar

Back in the 80s, Music Man unveiled the Axis, a fine guitar that also happened to serve as the signature axe for a guitarist you may have heard of named Eddie Van Halen. Decades later, the S.U.B. AX3 takes that design and provides it for players at a very affordable price. The neck is one of the highlights of this instrument as its asymmetrical carve is thicker on the bass side than the treble side, which gives it great support for when you’re chopping away at low-end riffs and chords. At the same time, the freed-up space on the top-end ensures you’ll be able to soar through lead lines and licks without any physical barriers.

The pickups on the AX3 are also notable since you’re getting a variety of options here, including two humbucker sounds, bridge and neck coil-split single coils, and two single coils in the middle position. Navigate between the options using the 5-way switch, and you’ll find suitable tones for classic rock, blues, funk, and everything in between. While the single coil configurations are superior to the humbucking options, it’s still a very versatile axe for beginning and intermediate players. And with a standard tremolo setup, you too may find yourself pulling off some Van Halen-esque moves in no time.

Jackson Pro-series KVMG King V Electric Guitar with SKB Hardshell Case

Metal is a gruelingly abrasive genre of music, so it makes sense the Jackson KVMG Pro Series King V isn’t just an axe in the colloquial sense guitars are often referred to. No, this thing LOOKS like a battle axe, with a wicked sharp and sleek design which takes a cue from Gibson’s original Flying V model. 24 jumbo frets ensure you’ll have no problem doing speed-metal solos without any physical restrictions, while the active EMG pickups (81 in the bridge position and 89 in the neck) are some serious tone throttlers; they’ll definitely give you the drive necessary to pull off those riffs.

Despite the fact that there’s basically nothing relaxing about listening to metal, the way the King V is designed makes the playing experience quite enjoyable for the person holding the instrument. The neck is designed to curve more intensively at the nut, thus making it easier to hold and maintain chord voicings, while things flatten out a bit more at the neck. This means you’ll be able to pull off low-action bends without drifting into free-falling oblivion. Combine that with a basswood body and maple neck-through body construction, you’ve got an instrument optimized for the low and dark sounds metal requires.

ESP KH2 Kirk Hammett Signature Electric Guitar

There are few metal bands who can match the impact and accomplishments of Metallica and a huge part of that group’s legacy is due to the nimble heroics of guitarist Kirk Hammett. ESP crafted his signature KH-2 guitar to meet his specifications to a tee, an endeavor which has resulted in an extremely playable guitar perfect for anyone who might incorporate some of the guitarist’s signature techniques, including furiously fast fretwork and super note bending. The KH-2’s wide fretboard radius greatly helps in that department, and the 24 extra-jumbo frets are perfect for all of your soloing needs.

The alder body and maple neck of the KH-2 are ideal for the tight, low-end necessary for extreme metal riffage, but this guitar precisely handles mid and high frequencies as well. Active EMG bridge and neck humbucker pickups provide the screaming tone that’s made Hammett one of history’s veritable guitar gods. As far as looks go, let’s not forget Metallica is the band behind the infamous Black album so of course this thing has a dark visual appeal, complete with skull-and-crossbones pearl inlays to further drive the aesthetic point home.

Schecter Hellraiser C-1 Electric Guitar (Black Cherry)

Schecter has been a go-to brand for metal players over the years, providing axes for bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Danzig, Papa Roach, and Black Label Society. The Hellraiser C-1 continues that tradition of making guitars that are customized to be able to play aggressive music in a naturally intuitive way. The EMG pickups are dual mode, meaning they can operate as either humbuckers or single coils via the use of a push/pull switch. This provides players with the ability to make the necessary changes to fit their sound, whether it’s rhythmically churning riffs or soaring lead lines.

The C-1 is also equipped with locking tuners which means you won’t have to worry about the guitar accidentally going out of tune and the three-piece mahogany neck also helps to this end as well. Its body is similar to that of a Les Paul in that it resonates and is great for long-lasting sustain. And this thing is a solid axe to boot; you won’t have any intonation issues thanks to the locked-down bridge and tailpiece, and you can raise hell on the road without worrying about damaging wear-and-tear from normal use. You might be able to play this thing in Hell too, but we can’t confirm that just yet.

Charvel Warren DeMartini Signature Snake Pro Mod Electric Guitar

It would feel dishonest to not address this guitars most obvious quality first; the Charvel Warren DeMartini Signature Snake Pro Mod guitar has a textured matte finish that impressively captures the snakeskin appearance Ratt guitarist sported during the band’s ’80’s MTV heyday. This is just one thing that sets this axe apart from the rest, but thankfully it has the sound to earn it a spot on any metal guitarist’s list, too.

Designed similar to Charvel’s San Dimas Style 1 guitar, this axe has an alder body and 22-fret maple neck, which gives it the dark and warm sound associated with the tones of the Ratt metal-era. A custom-designed Seymour Duncan RTM (Rattus Tonus Maximus) humbucker in this guitar’s bridge assists in nailing that low-end rumble humbuckers are known for, but with an added crunch providing a very compressed and tight sound.

An original Floyd Rose tremolo delivers what many guitarists believe to be superior to the more commonly found licensed Floyd Rose models so feel free to dive away without worrying about going out of tune. Bottom line, wrapping a guitar in faux-snakeskin takes some serious guts, but with all the features included in this axe, Charvel and DeMartini have definitely earned the right to get flashy.

B.C. Rich Metal Master Warlock Tribal Fire Black Electric Guitar

Slayer guitarist Kerry King and guitar manufacturer B.C. Rich have spent more than two decades working together to bring metalheads great options for their own axes. The Metal Master Warlock is just one of the fruits of their labor, complete with the distinct B.C. Rich jagged body shape that screams metal before you even hear a single note. A basswood body and maple neck provide the right timbre for the kind of growling tone that has made Slayer one of the defining metal bands of all-time. The guitar’s bolt-on neck construction ensures players can easily make adjustments to their instrument for years to come.

Despite what you may think, the guitar’s BDSM pickups don’t stand for anything too overtly dominating, rather it stands for Broad Dynamic Sonically Matched, capturing a wide (or broad) range of frequencies and then matched in pairs in both the neck and bridge positions to guarantee a well-balanced spectrum of tone. So come to think of it, they DO produce a sound that can be as punishing as the name might infer. In fact, if there’s one thing that this axe excels at, it’s pure aggression, and there are not many things more aggressive-looking than the beveled edge around the contours of the guitar. It’s a surefire way to turn heads onstage before you even hit your first note.

Fender Classic Player 60s Stratocaster Electric Guitar

Although Fender’s Stratocaster first debuted in 1954, it truly came of age in the ‘60s when guitarists such as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, and George Harrison used the instrument to craft innovative sounds that would resonate for decades later within the genre of rock music. Fender’s Classic Series aims to recapture both the feel and sound of some of its beloved axes, and they’ve definitely succeeded with their ‘60s Stratocaster model.

Vintage-style single-coil pickups nail the vintage Fender sound, and players can tweak their tone using a modern five-way pickup switch. The C-shaped maple neck on this thing is very comfortable, with a glossy polyurethane finish that will help you in gripping your axe whether firing off bluesy leads or hammering through chord shapes up and down the frets. A vintage-style synchronized tremolo allows you to dip and dive notes as you see fit, while vintage Fender-style tuners ensure your strings will stay in tune. And of course, the guitar sports a classic look with a polyester finish on top of the alder body. If you want to sound and look like a legend, this is the guitar for you.

Gibson SG Special Electric Guitar

The Gibson SG kicked in the door and went straight to business when it debuted in 1961, replacing the single-cutaway Les Paul. The axe became a prominent factor in the music of the 1960s from that point on, making musical history in the hands of players like Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, and Robby Krieger. Years later, the SG Special pays tribute to the legendary axe while also making some cool improvements on the original design.

A slim profile neck and 24-fret rosewood fingerboard ensure you’ll be ripping through notes with ease, The SG has your back with vintage-style tuners and a tune-o-matic bridge to  keep you in tune and heighten your performance with a smooth sustain. High-output 490R and 490T humbucking pickups replace the original SG’s single-coils, but only a stickler will complain with the type of biting versatility this upgrade provides. While the SG body is built from solid mahogany for a deep and resonant tone, it’s still a lightweight guitar which won’t stress the shoulders as you spend hours rocking out on your axe.

Gretsch Guitars G6128T George Harrison Duo Jet Electric Guitar Black

Early in the Beatles’ career, guitarist George Harrison used a 1957 Gretsch guitar for hit songs such as “Please Please Me” and “P.S. I Love You.” With their GH128T-GH George Harrison Tribute Duo Jet, Gretsch has replicated the sound and design of that Harrisons guitar which is sure to appeal to fans of the Beatles’ work. The guitar carries a classy look with its design, featuring an all-black color scheme for its arched maple top, mahogany back and sides, and one-piece mahogany neck. The guitar’s truss rod cover is also adorned with Harrison’s signature.

Another visual treat on the GH128T-GH is the “rocking” bar bridge with rosewood base, which not only is striking in appearance but also adds extra sustain to your playing. A 3-way pickup selector switches between the two DynaSonic single-coil pickups, both of which are capable of squeezing out a variety of styles, including Beatles-style classic rock, twangy rockabilly, country, and much more. If you’re looking to capture the sound of the Fab Four, you probably aren’t going to get much closer than with this guitar.

Classic Series 60s Telecaster Olympic White 6-String Electric Guitar

Classic Series 60s Telecaster Olympic White 6-String Electric Guitar

The Telecaster has enjoyed quite a run since its 1950 debut, playing a significant role in the music of a variety of notable players, from blues legends such as Albert Collins and Muddy Waters to rock stars like Keith Richards and Andy Summers to country icons Waylon Jennings and Buck Owens. Many of these players would do amazing things with this instrument in the 1960s and to that end, Fender has created their ‘60s Telecaster as part of their Classic Series of guitars.

The ‘60s Telecaster has an alder body that produces a wide range of tones, and the guitar’s rosewood fretboard also aids in producing a smooth feel and warm sound. The vintage appearance of this guitar is a huge part of this guitars appeal with aged knobs and pickup switch are designed to specifically replicate the classic look of the ‘60s. A distinctive body build and headstock instantly brings to mind timeless photos and performance footage most guitarists grew up idolizing.Two vintage-style single-coil pickups in the neck and bridge positions drive the overall tone of this axe, which sounds just as good clean as it does overdriven. And the three-ply mint green pick guard provides a seriously beautiful aesthetic to this guitar, truly driving home the classic look that Fender is aiming for with this model.

Les Paul 60s Tribute Guitar

Les Paul 60s Tribute Guitar

In 2013, Gibson celebrated its iconic Les Paul axe with a reissue series that captured the look and feel of some of the greatest Les Paul models in history, while at the same time adding some more modern perks to catch up to present-day innovation. What does that mean for consumers? Well to start, the Les Paul ‘60s Tribute has that classic mahogany body with carved maple top to provide the renown hybrid tone – a combination of sounds that is at once both warm and rich as well as cutting and sharp.

The neck is a bit slimmer than the Les Paul that preceded it in the ‘50s, meaning it’s a bit lighter and easier to maneuver. Two BurstBucker humbucking pickups reside in the neck and bridge positions, emulating the vintage PAF humbuckers of yesterday to great effect. But you may not even focus on the sound at first, as the beautiful Vintage Gloss lacquered finish on this model is captivating to the eye, available in Vintage Sunburst, Wine Red, Ebony Black, or Goldtop. The ’60s Tribute also has an optional Min-ETune upgrade, implementing automated “robot” tuners that do the tuning for you, a futuristic improvement on an a classic axe.

Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster

Whether you want to lean more towards the blues-based sounds of classic rock or move towards a heavier direction, the Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster is an axe that can do no wrong. Listing what branches of classic rock it’s good for in such a constrained space doesn’t seem to do it justice, as it’s been used on classic recordings by guitar legends all over the map. The Deluxe takes this legendary sound and feel, and augments it with some improvements that make it a must-own for guitarists today.
 
The single-coil pickups of the Stratocaster have been one of the more defining attributes of its tone, but one can’t forget that this pickup configuration historically presented its own set of problems (namely the presence of a buzzing hum). Thankfully, N3 noiseless pickups replicate all of the positive factors of this pickup without any of the drawbacks, eliminating all hum. A push-button S-1 tone switch allows you to seamlessly jump between pickup settings simply by tapping the master volume knob – now you can draw from a tone that uses all three pickups, out of phase sounds, and more. And the modern C-style neck was implemented with comfort in mind, allowing players to easily move up and down the neck to hit spitfire riffs or switch chords with grace and precision.

Fender American Deluxe Telecaster Thinline

The Telecaster has been an integral part of classic rock well before the genre truly kicked off. After first being released in 1950, the instrument would become an iconic piece of rock and roll history, thanks to its use by players such as the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards and Andy Summers of The Police. Fender’s American Deluxe Telecaster Thinline captures the best and most endearing components of the Tele and fuses them with some beneficial upgrades to ensure that the Telecaster will continue to be a weapon of choice for guitarists for years to come, allowing them to continue to play with that classic rock sound.
 
Let’s start with the body: its semi-hollow ash body is adorned with a F-hole, just like the axes of the late 60s to the early 70s. This feature provides a warm and resonant sound that instantly invokes the rockin sounds of yesteryear. N3 Noiseless pickups push forward that cutting single-coil sound, but improve upon some of the technical limitations of the originals. Bend away at those notes all you want, you’re less likely to go out of tune thanks to the headstock’s high-end locking tuners. And the compound-radius fingerboard means you’re getting a much more playable experience, as the fret radius gets wider as you move down the neck. So not only will you be bending without fear of de-tuning, but also without fear of flying of the neck.

Gibson Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar Gold Pearl

At first glance, Gibson’s Les Paul Standard Golden Pearl is sure to wow both players who are already committed to the legendary axe’s cause and those who are new to the LP experience. Its golden pearl finish gives the mahogany body an elegant air about it, a sentiment that is only confirmed once you hear the classic tone that emanates out of the machine-wound, gold-covered Alnico V pickups. This thing is made to provide the crunch of Led Zeppelin, the soaring leads of guitarist like Randy Rhoads and Slash, and the full-bodied tone of everything in between. There’s a reason why the Les Paul is a classic rock staple, and the Golden Pearl only reinforces that concept.
 
Locking gold (sensing a theme here?) tuners ensure that you won’t have to worry about going out of tune as you rock out, and a cream pickguard protects the body from any pick-related wear-and-tear. The slim taper neck makes for an extremely comfortable experience in playing this thing, and two volume/two tone control knobs allow you to tweak your tone till you get it just right. Put simply, the Les Paul Standard Golden Pearl takes what is already an impeccable instrument experience, and makes it, well, just golden.

Gibson Custom Shop SG Standard Reissue

Whether you’re playing it clean or dirty, the Gibson SG Standard is sure to punch through the mix of whatever style of music you’re playing. But to deny the guitar’s role in the sound of classic rock is to miss out on some of the greatest musical moments in the axe’s history. Its mahogany body falls in line with the classic Gibson sound, delivering a warm and balanced tone. Combined with the one-piece mahogany neck and one-piece rosewood fingerboard, the SG Standard is also an extremely playable instrument, perfect for pulling off rocking leads or handling breakneck chord patterns all over the neck.
 
Custom Bucker pickups in the neck and bridge position drive the sound of the SG, and with two volume control knobs and two tone knobs, you’ll be able to dial in the exact sound that you want with ease. Whether you want to thrash about in a live setting or are opting for an axe for home and/or studio work, the SG is versatile enough to fulfill all of those roles. And the included custom shop hardshell case will give you peace of mind that no matter where you choose to take this guitar, it will remain safely protected, and always ready to rock.

Gibson 1959 ES-335 Dot Reissue Electric Guitar

Not quite a solid body guitar and not quite a hollow body either, Gibson’s ES-335 is the world’s first commercial thin line archtop semi-acoustic electric guitar. A solid maple wood block runs through the guitar’s center, and f-holes top hollow side “wings” of the axe, giving it the capacity to generate incredible sustain and the type of warmth that can only be attained via a hollowbody. The Dot Reissue takes all that was great about the original and adds in some newer innovations to bring the classic rock staple into the modern era.
 
This guitar’s Custom Bucker pickups have a real vintage bite to them, while the one-piece rosewood fingerboard provides an extremely smooth and easy playing experience, you’ll be maneuvering up and down the guitar’s 22 medium jumbo frets in no time. A fixed Tune-o-matic bridge gives the ES-335 a strong and resonant sustain. And a hardshell case protects this guitar so that you’ll never have to worry about taking it out of your home and bringing it onstage.

ESP George Lynch M-1 Electric Guitar

George Lynch first teamed with ESP in 1985 to design the company’s first signature model. Due to his heavy touring schedule, Lynch wanted a guitar that could bring the noise but still provide comfort both in the way that it plays as well as how it feels hanging around a player’s neck. With the M-1 Tiger, the team was able to capture the best of both worlds, and this axe is still a viable option for players today who want to channel the guitar legend’s tone and feel within the lanes of hard rock and 80's metal.

The M-1’s lone humbucker pickup is the Seymour Duncan George Lynch Screamin’ Demon, and its name is not misleading – this thing cranks out the attitude. The bolt-on maple neck and fretboard offers a bright sound and extreme playability, while the Floyd Rose tremolo allows you to capture that classic 80's dive-bomb sound along with stable tuning. With just one volume knob on this guitar, it’s a particularly no frills affair; you’re basically plugging this thing and letting it wail. It’s a rather simple and elegant approach, which isn’t necessarily something you’d expect from a guitar that is made to resemble the appearance of a bright yellow tiger. Oh, the 80's!

Ibanez JS1200 Electric Guitar

Few guitarists in the 80's could be held in the same high regard as Joe Satriani. After being lauded by veritable guitar god Steve Vai as the next in line to inherit the throne, the axe-slinger accomplished the rare feat of becoming a somewhat household name while still playing instrumental guitar rock. Ibanez’s Joe Satriani signature series has served to replicate his sound and specifications, and the JS1200 represents the top of the line in this endeavor. If it’s good enough to satisfy the self-described “Master of Tone,” you know that you’ve got a fine instrument in your hands.

Two DiMarzio humbucker pickups provide a wide range of tones and sounds; FRED pickups in the bridge position offer strong mids, while the PAF-JOE neck pickups are ideal for cutting through the frequency range for all of your shredding needs. The action on this guitar is extremely low, making it extremely playable. Meanwhile, the original Edge tremolo bridge allows you to dip, dive, and ride the whammy like the greatest guitarists of the 80's, without ever having to worry about going out of tune. And the basswood body is sculpted to allow easy access to the higher frets, meaning you’ll be getting your guitar hero on in no time.

Floyd Rose Kramer Pacer Classic Electric Guitar

If you’re looking to shred like the great guitarists of the ‘80s, there are worse guys to take a lead from than Eddie Van Halen. His go-to axe was always a Kramer, and to that end, the company has unleashed its Pacer Classic model for those who are looking to capture that classic 1983 sound all while catering to those with speedy fingers and an ambition to rock. A 22-fret, 25.5” scale maple neck is designed to be very easy to play, and with the type of low action this instrument offers, you’ll have no problem whizzing around the large frets at will.

The Kramer Pace Classic is equipped with extremely responsive Alinco V humbucker pickups, which means you’ll be able to coax out the type of harmonics this guitar was made to play with pure ease. The classic Floyd Rose tremolo bridge with locking nut gives players the ability to dive bomb while still staying in tune. And the premium black die-cast tuners and classic Kramer logo on this guitar’s headstock is an instant throwback to the era in which it came into its own, which is important for anyone looking to really channel the 80's through their instrument. After all, this was a decade that was as much about look and style as it was about screaming guitar tones and virtuoso dexterity.

B.C. Rich MG1BK Mockingbird One Electric Guitar

The B.C. Rich Mockingbird One is immediately recognizable by its distinct body shape. Crafted from basswood, this guitar not only has a distinct 80’s look that exudes attitude and flair, but it also is designed to provide comfort to players as well. A 24-fret rosewood fingerboard sits on a bolt-on maple neck, with jumbo frets that ensure that you’ll have no problem bending notes on this thing. A pair of B.S.D.M. humbucker pickups bring the full-on assault that you’d expect with a name like that.

The Mockingbird One’s tune-o-matic bridge supports increased sustain, thanks to its strings-through-body construction. Meanwhile, the die-cast tuners and dome control knobs give this axe a sleek appeal that subtly implies that despite being a musical instrument, this guitar is also a weapon in the hands of the right assassin. And with its no-nonsense setup (a three-way tone switch, master volume knob, and master tone), you won’t have to worry about dialing in the right settings; simply plug it in and unleash the beast!

Charvel Warren DeMartini Signature Snake Pro Mod Electric Guitar

It would feel dishonest to not address this guitars most obvious quality first; the Charvel Warren DeMartini Signature Snake Pro Mod guitar has a textured matte finish that impressively captures the snakeskin appearance Ratt guitarist sported during the band’s ’80’s MTV heyday. This is just one thing that sets this axe apart from the rest, but thankfully it has the sound to earn it a spot on any metal guitarist’s list, too.

Designed similar to Charvel’s San Dimas Style 1 guitar, this axe has an alder body and 22-fret maple neck, which gives it the dark and warm sound associated with the tones of the Ratt metal-era. A custom-designed Seymour Duncan RTM (Rattus Tonus Maximus) humbucker in this guitar’s bridge assists in nailing that low-end rumble humbuckers are known for, but with an added crunch providing a very compressed and tight sound.

An original Floyd Rose tremolo delivers what many guitarists believe to be superior to the more commonly found licensed Floyd Rose models so feel free to dive away without worrying about going out of tune. Bottom line, wrapping a guitar in faux-snakeskin takes some serious guts, but with all the features included in this axe, Charvel and DeMartini have definitely earned the right to get flashy.

Fender Vintage Hot Rod '52 Telecaster Electric Guitar

When musicians in the ‘50s were hammering out Texas Blues riffs in their heyday, there’s no way they could have anticipated that decades later there would be a modern instrument that replicated the look and feel of their favorite axe but added modern improvements. But here we are in present day, and that’s exactly what Fender has done with the Vintage Hot Rod ’52 Telecaster, an instrument that is able to walk the walk and talk the talk with ease. This guitar’s premium ash body and one-piece maple neck ensure you’re going to be holding something with a comfortable, classic feel coupled with a sound that's warm and welcoming like the blues of the past. But look a little bit closer and you’ll see this axe is capable of screaming tones that blues players of the ‘50s could never fathom.

With a Seymour Duncan Vintage Mini-Humbucker in the neck position and a custom-wound Tele pickup in the bridge, the Vintage Hot Rod is capable of truly getting hot in ways that not only suit the style of Texas Blues, but are able to push past the limits into a whole other category. Medium jumbo frets ensure you’ll be able to bend, stretch, pull-on and pull-off with great ease and maximum playability. A deluxe vintage tweed case is included with your purchase which allows you to properly protect your axe with the utmost of style.

Fender Stevie Ray Vaughan Stratocaster Electric Guitar

Fender’s decision to dedicate an axe in their Artist Series to blues great Stevie Ray Vaughan was something of a no-brainer, as the guitarist revolutionized Texas blues and exposed the craft to a legion of new artists that continues to expand with each passing year. Debuting in 1992, the Stevie Ray Vaughan Stratocaster is built to the exact specifications of Vaughan’s favorite Strat, which he called Number One, giving players an axe that captures the sound and feel of this legendary instrument in a brand new package.

Vaughan favored a thick oval neck profile on his Number One, which allowed him to improve tone and sustain while offering more comfort to his fretting hand, and this feature has been incorporated into the SRV Strat. Because his style of Texas blues (and most variations of the sub genre, quite honestly) rely so heavily on string bends and vibrato, the guitar features jumbo-sized frets which provide players with better string control. Three single coil Texas Special pickups cover the entire frequency range necessary to really make the axe sing, from deep lows to screaming highs. And because this guitar was so thoughtfully crafted with its innovator in mind, the pick guard features the iconic ‘SRV’ initials running vertically alongside the instrument.

Fender American Stratocaster

The Stratocaster has been the go-to choice for blues musicians over the years, and it’s not hard to understand why. The single coil sound that is associated with the Fender brand is perfect for the wailing leads and distinctive tones of Texas blues, and the American Standard Stratocaster’s three Fat ‘50s pickups achieve that tone with an absolutely undeniable sheen. Two tone knobs allow you to control the sound coming from the neck pickup and bridge/middle pickup respectively, letting you dial in a voice that is all your own.

The “C”-shaped profile on the Standard’s maple neck provides the sort of comfort you’ll need for blues-inspired bends and chord voicing. Because the blues requires a significant amount of sustain to let the guitar “cry,” the Standard’s modern two-point tremolo bridge is ideal in getting you to that end result. Finally, what kind of Texas bluesman doesn’t take his guitar out on the road with him? To that end, the Fender American Standard Stratocaster comes with a hardshell case so that you never have to worry about damage when taking your baby out of the safe confines of your home.

Gibson 50th Anniversary Firebird

Guitarist Johnny Winter not only was a prominent Texas Blues player, but also helped to put the Gibson Firebird on the map during his commercial heyday. And it’s not without reason as his legendary blues tone would not have been possible without the Firebird, which Gibson has continued with this 50th Anniversary edition. With a stunning gold-burst finish to complement its distinct shape and unique reverse styling, the Firebird’s SlimTaper neck allows for fast-action and a comfortable feel ideal for pulling up blues licks.

Two mini-humbucker pickups capture the best of both worlds in their tone and delivery, offering the punch typically associated with single coil rigs as well as the dark and warm tone that can only be achieved via the use of humbuckers. The neck-through-body construction of this guitar provides the type of sustain that can really make your tone sing, a feat enhanced by the neck’s 9-piece mahogany/walnut build. If you’re looking to channel the sound of many Texas Blues greats and do so with an impeccably unique visual appeal, the Firebird will help you to soar to new heights and then some.

Gibson 1959 ES-335 Dot Reissue Electric Guitar

The ES-335 is the world’s first commercial thin line archtop semi-acoustic electric guitar. The Dot Reissue of this instrument takes all of the classic sounds of its original incarnation and adds in some much welcomed modern improvements to the design and sound. Custom bucker pickups provide a distinct bite that still maintains a vintage feel, which is perfect for playing a gritty style of music such as Texas blues. The one-piece rosewood fingerboard and 22 medium jumbo frets ensure that you’ll be able to comfortably maneuver up and down the neck for an extremely smooth playing experience.

What makes this guitar stand out immediately to the eye is the f-holes on the hollow side wings of the instrument, allowing for an undeniable sustain and warmth usually only attainable through the use of a hollowbody guitar. Meanwhile, a hide-glued mahogany neck also provides great sustain and response, which only enhances the personal touch that blues riffs and licks require; after all, the spirit of any great blues musician comes from the player’s fingers. Finally, a hardshell case will put your mind at ease when you take this classic looking and sounding instrument out of the house and on the road with you.

Fender Road Worn '50s Telecaster Electric Guitar

You’ve got to hand it to Fender, their Road Worn series rolls out a line of guitars manufactured to have “old souls” thanks to a perfected hardware aging process is a pretty genius idea. The end result is like a broken-in pair of sneakers; it just feels better than when you first break a new pair out of the box. To that end, the finish on the Road Worn ‘50s Telecaster is worn down to the wood, the hardware is rusted, the neck is bruised but none of these elements should be looked at as deterrents. This thing looks and feels amazing.

Although the guitar is built to look and feel like a vintage instrument, it’s been tweaked to include some features that are modern and advantageous to any current blues player. Narrow jumbo frets are the ideal size for the type of note bending styling that the blues requires while the dual single-coil Tex-Mex pickups can nail a pristine clean sound or an overdriven, wailing hot scream. If you want to grasp the power of the past but in a package that won’t break the bank or have you nervous about the expiration date, the Road Worn ‘50s Telecaster is a no-brainer.

Gibson 1959 ES-335 Dot Reissue Electric Guitar

The ES-335 is the world’s first commercial thin line archtop semi-acoustic electric guitar. The Dot Reissue of this instrument takes all of the classic sounds of its original incarnation and adds in some much welcomed modern improvements to the design and sound. Custom bucker pickups provide a distinct bite that still maintains a vintage feel, which is perfect for playing a gritty style of music such as Texas blues. The one-piece rosewood fingerboard and 22 medium jumbo frets ensure that you’ll be able to comfortably maneuver up and down the neck for an extremely smooth playing experience.

What makes this guitar stand out immediately to the eye is the f-holes on the hollow side wings of the instrument, allowing for an undeniable sustain and warmth usually only attainable through the use of a hollowbody guitar. Meanwhile, a hide-glued mahogany neck also provides great sustain and response, which only enhances the personal touch that blues riffs and licks require; after all, the spirit of any great blues musician comes from the player’s fingers. Finally, a hardshell case will put your mind at ease when you take this classic looking and sounding instrument out of the house and on the road with you.

Gretsch Guitars G5810 Bo Diddley Signature

Modeled after the “cigar box” style that Bo Diddley is rumored to have first created for himself back in 1958, Gretsch’s G5810 is instantly notable for its unique rectangular shape. But make no mistake, this guitar has way more going for it than just a highly distinct look. Two chrome humbucker pickups instantly conjure a tone that is perfect for wailing blues leads and gritty rhythmic riffs; it’s also worth noting that this guitar is well-suited for southern rock music, too. Just dial up on the volume knob to fluctuate between pristine clean tone or growling overdriven greatness. The electronic components of this guitar are also heightened by volume controls per pickup, as well as a master volume control, which provides you with the ability to really dial in the perfect sound.

The G5810 offers a rosewood fretboard and maple neck which are ideal for comfort while you play, as well as the wrap-around adjustable bridge which ensures the type of sustain you’ll need to have your instrument truly sing the blues. The late, great Diddley’s signature sits upon the headstock as an added visual flair and beyond that, there’s not much else to discuss. Plainly put, this is just the type of guitar that you’ll want to plug into an amplifier and immediately start playing.

Fender Buddy Guy Standard Stratocaster

Tone is crucial to blues music, and one of the more prominent factors in shaping the tone of Fender’s Buddy Guy Standard Stratocaster is the guitar’s three single-coil pickups. The electronic components in this axe have what it takes to make the instrument truly sing, which is ideal for blues guitarists. Many guitarists also like to use their fretting hand thumb to wrap around the neck and hold down bass notes on the low E string (in a style popularized by blues players such as Jimi Hendrix, John Mayer, and more); that approach is made easy with this guitar’s slightly rounded soft “V” profile neck.

Looks can be just as important as the sounds and playability of an electric guitar, and fortunately the Buddy Guy Strat doesn’t disappoint in that category, either. First, let’s acknowledge the obvious, this guitar is adorned with a loud polka-dot finish, giving it a vibe that’s at once vintage as well as somewhat eye-catchingly modern. The hardware also sports a vintage feel, with a stylized 6-Saddle synchronized tremolo, a set of vintage-style tuners, and a 4-bolt vintage-style neck plate. This guitar sounds fantastic, plays like one of the greats, and looks distinguished yet fun. You won’t feel blue playing it, but it will definitely help you play the blues.

Gibson Guitar Gibson Custom VOS 1956 Les Paul Goldtop Electric Guitar (Antique Gold)

The goldtop finish and cream color accents on the Gibson 1956 Les Paul Goldtop reissue may at first inspire an air of elegance and prestige, but that doesn’t mean this guitar can’t get down and dirty for some raw Chicago blues playing. The single-coil P-90 pickups in the neck and bridge pickups are ideal for getting the best of both worlds, whether you want your lead lines to have a snarling bite to them or a creamy thickness, this axe has got you covered; dial in the mix that best fits your vision using two tone knobs, two volume knobs, and a 3-way selector switch.

A one-piece mahogany neck gives way to a 22-fret rosewood fretboard that allows you to effortlessly peel off the type of guitar stylings necessary to play the blues. The Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece guarantee a singing sustain and also allows for quick and easy string changing. And although this guitar may look so classic that your first instinct may be to keep it under a glass case at all times, it would be a mistake to overlook the Goldtops durability, as it’s built like a tank and is coated with a finish to make sure the golden glow lasts for years. But just in case, this guitar comes with a hardshell custom shop case to keep your golden treasure extra safe.

Fender American Stratocaster

The Stratocaster has been the go-to choice for blues musicians over the years, and it’s not hard to understand why. The single coil sound that is associated with the Fender brand is perfect for the wailing leads and distinctive tones of Texas blues, and the American Standard Stratocaster’s three Fat ‘50s pickups achieve that tone with an absolutely undeniable sheen. Two tone knobs allow you to control the sound coming from the neck pickup and bridge/middle pickup respectively, letting you dial in a voice that is all your own.

The “C”-shaped profile on the Standard’s maple neck provides the sort of comfort you’ll need for blues-inspired bends and chord voicing. Because the blues requires a significant amount of sustain to let the guitar “cry,” the Standard’s modern two-point tremolo bridge is ideal in getting you to that end result. Finally, what kind of Texas bluesman doesn’t take his guitar out on the road with him? To that end, the Fender American Standard Stratocaster comes with a hardshell case so that you never have to worry about damage when taking your baby out of the safe confines of your home.

Gibson 1959 ES-335 Dot Reissue Electric Guitar

The ES-335 is the world’s first commercial thin line archtop semi-acoustic electric guitar. The Dot Reissue of this instrument takes all of the classic sounds of its original incarnation and adds in some much welcomed modern improvements to the design and sound. Custom bucker pickups provide a distinct bite that still maintains a vintage feel, which is perfect for playing a gritty style of music such as Texas blues. The one-piece rosewood fingerboard and 22 medium jumbo frets ensure that you’ll be able to comfortably maneuver up and down the neck for an extremely smooth playing experience.

What makes this guitar stand out immediately to the eye is the f-holes on the hollow side wings of the instrument, allowing for an undeniable sustain and warmth usually only attainable through the use of a hollowbody guitar. Meanwhile, a hide-glued mahogany neck also provides great sustain and response, which only enhances the personal touch that blues riffs and licks require; after all, the spirit of any great blues musician comes from the player’s fingers. Finally, a hardshell case will put your mind at ease when you take this classic looking and sounding instrument out of the house and on the road with you.

Gretsch Guitars G5810 Bo Diddley Signature

Modeled after the “cigar box” style that Bo Diddley is rumored to have first created for himself back in 1958, Gretsch’s G5810 is instantly notable for its unique rectangular shape. But make no mistake, this guitar has way more going for it than just a highly distinct look. Two chrome humbucker pickups instantly conjure a tone that is perfect for wailing blues leads and gritty rhythmic riffs; it’s also worth noting that this guitar is well-suited for southern rock music, too. Just dial up on the volume knob to fluctuate between pristine clean tone or growling overdriven greatness. The electronic components of this guitar are also heightened by volume controls per pickup, as well as a master volume control, which provides you with the ability to really dial in the perfect sound.

The G5810 offers a rosewood fretboard and maple neck which are ideal for comfort while you play, as well as the wrap-around adjustable bridge which ensures the type of sustain you’ll need to have your instrument truly sing the blues. The late, great Diddley’s signature sits upon the headstock as an added visual flair and beyond that, there’s not much else to discuss. Plainly put, this is just the type of guitar that you’ll want to plug into an amplifier and immediately start playing.

Fender American Deluxe Telecaster Thinline

The Telecaster has been an integral part of classic rock well before the genre truly kicked off. After first being released in 1950, the instrument would become an iconic piece of rock and roll history, thanks to its use by players such as the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards and Andy Summers of The Police. Fender’s American Deluxe Telecaster Thinline captures the best and most endearing components of the Tele and fuses them with some beneficial upgrades to ensure that the Telecaster will continue to be a weapon of choice for guitarists for years to come, allowing them to continue to play with that classic rock sound.
 
Let’s start with the body: its semi-hollow ash body is adorned with a F-hole, just like the axes of the late 60s to the early 70s. This feature provides a warm and resonant sound that instantly invokes the rockin sounds of yesteryear. N3 Noiseless pickups push forward that cutting single-coil sound, but improve upon some of the technical limitations of the originals. Bend away at those notes all you want, you’re less likely to go out of tune thanks to the headstock’s high-end locking tuners. And the compound-radius fingerboard means you’re getting a much more playable experience, as the fret radius gets wider as you move down the neck. So not only will you be bending without fear of de-tuning, but also without fear of flying of the neck.

Gibson Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar Gold Pearl

At first glance, Gibson’s Les Paul Standard Golden Pearl is sure to wow both players who are already committed to the legendary axe’s cause and those who are new to the LP experience. Its golden pearl finish gives the mahogany body an elegant air about it, a sentiment that is only confirmed once you hear the classic tone that emanates out of the machine-wound, gold-covered Alnico V pickups. This thing is made to provide the crunch of Led Zeppelin, the soaring leads of guitarist like Randy Rhoads and Slash, and the full-bodied tone of everything in between. There’s a reason why the Les Paul is a classic rock staple, and the Golden Pearl only reinforces that concept.
 
Locking gold (sensing a theme here?) tuners ensure that you won’t have to worry about going out of tune as you rock out, and a cream pickguard protects the body from any pick-related wear-and-tear. The slim taper neck makes for an extremely comfortable experience in playing this thing, and two volume/two tone control knobs allow you to tweak your tone till you get it just right. Put simply, the Les Paul Standard Golden Pearl takes what is already an impeccable instrument experience, and makes it, well, just golden.

Fender American Standard Telecaster

With their American Standard Telecaster, Fender has taken all of the qualities that have made the Tele a go-to instrument for musicians over the years and continued to uphold the legacy of the model but with added improvements. The versatility of sounds that the American Standard brings to the table is definitely an endearing quality for pop guitarists who need to be able to shape-shift their musical identity, often between songs in the same set. The Custom Shop Twisted Tele pickup in the neck position is ideal for softer and more nuanced styles like jazz and blues, whereas the bridge’s Broadcaster pickup conjures more of a raucous, rock-inspired tone recalling the heyday of America’s greatest pop sensations.

The new-and-improved contour of the American Standard’s body is also a welcome addition to the mix, as any guitarist who has felt the bruise against their ribcage from hours of rehearsal or performance will tell you. The guitar almost perfectly hugs your body in order to make playing a whole lot more comfortable. And the 6-saddle Tele-style bridge offers bent steel saddles featuring elongated string slots to ensure your tone will see a markedly improved sustain and resonance in whatever style of music you choose to play with it.

Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster HSS Electric Guitar

If you’ve been around the block in the guitar neighborhood, you know Fender’s Standard Stratocaster HSS is a best-selling standard in the realm of rock, blues, pop, and more. The biggest reason why it’s such a beloved instrument is because it’s capable of capturing every tone you could ask for. The guitar’s pickup configuration offers Strat single-coils in the neck and middle, while the bridge has a humbucker with the five-way tone switch to easily maneuver between full-sounding warmth and a sound with more bite.

The fingerboard on this guitar is available in rosewood or maple with either option providing optimal comfort and effortless playability for whatever kind of style you choose to use this instrument for. The guitar’s 21 medium jumbo frets give you the room to bend and maneuver around the neck without running out of space or encountering other playability issues. Finally, the Standard Stratocaster HSS is also equipped with a vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge for all your note-diving needs, because when it comes to pop music you need to be ready for anything.

Paul Reed Smith Guitars ST22PT SE Standard 22 Electric Guitar

Paul Reed Smith first launched their SE series in conjunction with guitarist Carlos Santana, a man who clearly has been able to straddle the line between playing full-out rock music as well as more radio-friendly commercial pop. Expanding the endeavor so that consumers could get in on the action, the company’s SE Standard 22 offers an incredibly distinct and warm sound thanks in part to its all-mahogany body.

The focused midrange of this electric guitar is ideal for sitting comfortably in the mix, which is conducive to pop music where the instrument isn’t always necessarily the center of attention. That doesn’t mean this axe can’t sing, either. PRS-designed standard humbuckers configured for treble and bass are what allow this beauty to soothingly sing or growl like a beast, should the need to stand out arise.

PRS is also renowned for its stylish design, and let’s be honest, when it comes to pop music, looks can be just as important as sound. To that end, the SE Standard 22 is available in black, platinum, tobacco sunburst, translucent blue, and vintage cherry. Combined with the customary PRS bird fretboard inlays, this is an axe that will leave an impression on peoples’ eyes as well as their ears.

Gibson Les Paul Supreme 2015

You’ll notice that Gibson’s Les Paul Supreme 2015 is something special upon first glance. The mahogany body is adorned with dual f-holes for a hollowbody sound resonating with warmth and presence. Add the all-mahogany neck to the mix, and you’ve got an instrument that easily can switch between aggressive sounds to buttery tones. This is a real treat in pop music, which can often require that type of dynamic shift, often within the same song.

Two humbucker pickups take the ball and run with it; a floating humbucker in the neck position provides a pristine clarity that’s great for clean sounding chords or melody lines, while the 492T humbucker in the bridge turns up the heat and can growl in times when you need a little more punch. The Les Paul Supreme 2015 is already set up to be playable from day one, but if you need to make any adjustments or tweaks to the guitar’s action, look no further than its adjustable zero fret nut. This feature allows you to quickly and easily make any number of adjustments to adhere to your playing style and feel.

Gretsch G6199 Billy-Bo Jupiter Thunderbird Electric Guitar

The origin story of the G6199 Thunderbird will reveal it’s a mutant guitar. Rock-n-roll founding father/bluesman Bo Diddley first designed the Jupiter Thunderbird with Gretsch, and he eventually gave the original model to ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons as a gift. Gibbons and Gretsch took Diddley’s design and tweaked it a bit for the Billy-Bo Jupiter Thunderbird, so you're getting an instrument which embodies a creative brainstorm. The G6199 relies heavily on mahogany in its design, with its chambered body and one-piece neck built from a warm, deep-sounding tone wood. 

Despite its build, this guitar is actually very lightweight, coming in at just 6.8 pounds, an added incentive for any performing pop guitarist taking part in active stage movement. TV Jones Power’Tron Plus pickups in the neck and bridge positions give this guitar the versatility to play many different styles whether bright, clangy tones or more aggressive, biting sounds. More than anything, this guitar simply has a look that is fun yet can still be taken seriously. The chrome hardware really catches the eye, while the actual long, thin shape of the body will capture the attention of anyone in the room. Pop music is all over the place, and so is this guitar in the best sense.

Paul Reed Smith SE Zach Myers

The concept of an instrument capable of walking the line between acoustic and electric guitar isn’t unfathomable, it’s just that in most cases people would assume the answer lays in an acoustic-electric guitar. But that is no longer the only horse in the race, as Paul Reed Smith’s 245 Semi-Hollow body proves. Its LR Baggs/PRS piezo system allows players to play an electric guitar that can also conjure acoustic tones. True to form, this thing has two output jacks, allowing you to route the signal to an electric or acoustic amplifier/DI soundboard. Of course, if you want to combine the signals into one sound, a separate blend control drives both signals through a unified output.

The cross-pollination doesn’t end with the output sound. The 245’s body is made of carved maple in the front, and mahogany in the back. Combined with the mahogany neck, this is a guitar that can play warm and deep tones just as easily as brighter and more soaring sounds as well. Available in a variety of colors, including some dazzling options such as Blood Orange, Faded Whale Blue, and Jade, this thing looks as stunning as it sounds.

Fender American Stratocaster

The Stratocaster has been the go-to choice for blues musicians over the years, and it’s not hard to understand why. The single coil sound that is associated with the Fender brand is perfect for the wailing leads and distinctive tones of Texas blues, and the American Standard Stratocaster’s three Fat ‘50s pickups achieve that tone with an absolutely undeniable sheen. Two tone knobs allow you to control the sound coming from the neck pickup and bridge/middle pickup respectively, letting you dial in a voice that is all your own.

The “C”-shaped profile on the Standard’s maple neck provides the sort of comfort you’ll need for blues-inspired bends and chord voicing. Because the blues requires a significant amount of sustain to let the guitar “cry,” the Standard’s modern two-point tremolo bridge is ideal in getting you to that end result. Finally, what kind of Texas bluesman doesn’t take his guitar out on the road with him? To that end, the Fender American Standard Stratocaster comes with a hardshell case so that you never have to worry about damage when taking your baby out of the safe confines of your home.

Fender Vintage Hot Rod '52 Telecaster Electric Guitar

When musicians in the ‘50s were hammering out Texas Blues riffs in their heyday, there’s no way they could have anticipated that decades later there would be a modern instrument that replicated the look and feel of their favorite axe but added modern improvements. But here we are in present day, and that’s exactly what Fender has done with the Vintage Hot Rod ’52 Telecaster, an instrument that is able to walk the walk and talk the talk with ease. This guitar’s premium ash body and one-piece maple neck ensure you’re going to be holding something with a comfortable, classic feel coupled with a sound that's warm and welcoming like the blues of the past. But look a little bit closer and you’ll see this axe is capable of screaming tones that blues players of the ‘50s could never fathom.

With a Seymour Duncan Vintage Mini-Humbucker in the neck position and a custom-wound Tele pickup in the bridge, the Vintage Hot Rod is capable of truly getting hot in ways that not only suit the style of Texas Blues, but are able to push past the limits into a whole other category. Medium jumbo frets ensure you’ll be able to bend, stretch, pull-on and pull-off with great ease and maximum playability. A deluxe vintage tweed case is included with your purchase which allows you to properly protect your axe with the utmost of style.

Gibson Les Paul Supreme 2015

You’ll notice that Gibson’s Les Paul Supreme 2015 is something special upon first glance. The mahogany body is adorned with dual f-holes for a hollowbody sound resonating with warmth and presence. Add the all-mahogany neck to the mix, and you’ve got an instrument that easily can switch between aggressive sounds to buttery tones. This is a real treat in pop music, which can often require that type of dynamic shift, often within the same song.

Two humbucker pickups take the ball and run with it; a floating humbucker in the neck position provides a pristine clarity that’s great for clean sounding chords or melody lines, while the 492T humbucker in the bridge turns up the heat and can growl in times when you need a little more punch. The Les Paul Supreme 2015 is already set up to be playable from day one, but if you need to make any adjustments or tweaks to the guitar’s action, look no further than its adjustable zero fret nut. This feature allows you to quickly and easily make any number of adjustments to adhere to your playing style and feel.

Gibson 1959 ES-335 Dot Reissue Electric Guitar

The ES-335 is the world’s first commercial thin line archtop semi-acoustic electric guitar. The Dot Reissue of this instrument takes all of the classic sounds of its original incarnation and adds in some much welcomed modern improvements to the design and sound. Custom bucker pickups provide a distinct bite that still maintains a vintage feel, which is perfect for playing a gritty style of music such as Texas blues. The one-piece rosewood fingerboard and 22 medium jumbo frets ensure that you’ll be able to comfortably maneuver up and down the neck for an extremely smooth playing experience.

What makes this guitar stand out immediately to the eye is the f-holes on the hollow side wings of the instrument, allowing for an undeniable sustain and warmth usually only attainable through the use of a hollowbody guitar. Meanwhile, a hide-glued mahogany neck also provides great sustain and response, which only enhances the personal touch that blues riffs and licks require; after all, the spirit of any great blues musician comes from the player’s fingers. Finally, a hardshell case will put your mind at ease when you take this classic looking and sounding instrument out of the house and on the road with you.

Buyer's Guide

 

Electric Guitar Buyer's Guide

Before you even enter a store or go online to purchase an electric guitar, there are many questions that you should ask yourself. Who are you buying this instrument for? Will it be used for a child, a beginner, or an expert? A musician working strictly in the studio or a touring guitarist who’s on the road half the year? Assessing what kind of sound and style you’re looking to play will also help determine which axe best suits your needs. And of course, determining what your budget is like will also help narrow down some of your best options.

Body Types

There are three different body types for electric guitars with each producing its own distinct sound suited for specific kinds of tones.

Solid Body
As the name might imply, a solid body electric guitar is comprised of one solid piece of wood. It is the most common of the three body types, and is exemplified by some of the most popular guitars (think Fender Stratocaster or Gibson Les Paul). Depending on the type of wood and electronic pick-up configuration, solid body electric guitars can pretty much be used for any genre or style of music.

Semi Hollow
The semi-hollow body electric guitars are hollowed out in the middle, much like an acoustic guitar. However, they also feature a solid block of wood positioned in the center of the instrument. Because the instrument is hollowed out on the inside, it tends to resonate more, which adds greater warmth, while the solid block prevents unwanted feedback and provides a greater sustain. Blues legends like B.B. King favored a semi-hollow body guitar.

Hollow Bodies
These guitars are completely hollow, and are usually played by jazz musicians because of their warm tones and deeper bass range. They are more prone to feedback, but they definitely have a sound all their own.

Neck Types

Just as a guitar’s body plays an important role in its sound and playability, the neck is an equally crucial factor to consider.

Woods
When looking at different neck types, the first thing to look at is the kind of wood it’s made from. Rosewood, mahogany, and maple are some of the more common types of wood utilized in neck construction. The weight of the wood as well as the grain type can have an impact on the sound of the instrument as well as the feel of how it plays.

Neck-to-Body Attachment
The way in which the neck attaches to the body of the guitar is also significant. There are three types of ways in which these necks join with the rest of the instrument.

Set-In
The set-in neck configuration means that the neck is glued into place, a configuration more commonly found in acoustic guitars but also some electric guitars such as the aforementioned Les Paul. Set necks provide greater sustain and are very stable; they are, however, much more difficult when it comes to repairs.

Bolt-On
The bolt-on neck configuration finds the neck attached to the body through four screws. This setup typically has less sustain, but allows for much easier repairs.

Neck-Though-Body
This style features a neck extending throughout the length of the entire guitar. This configuration is exclusively used for solid body electric guitars, and provides the greatest amount of sustainability and sturdiness. However, they are much more costly and difficult to repair.

Bridge Types

An electric guitar’s bridge is the piece on the body of the instrument that supports the strings. Bridges can be divided into two main types: tremolo bridge and stop tail bridge.

Tremolo bridge
Commonly referred to as the whammy bar; by pressing down on said bar, the pitch of the notes takes a dive or can be bent up ala Jimi Hendrix or metal bands. Although this feature can be useful, this approach also will often bring the strings of the instrument out of tune.

Stoptail Bridge
This option is much more stable and provides more sustain, although it doesn’t give guitarists the ability to alter the pitch of notes as the tremolo does.

Tonewoods

The effect that tonewood has on the sound of an electric guitar is actually quite a controversial topic. Many players will swear up and down that the wood used to construct the body of their axe makes all the difference in the world, while others vehemently insist that this is a factor that makes absolutely no difference at all, citing that the tone comes largely from the pickups/neck/bridge.

While the jury is still out on just how impactful this variable is in getting to the end result of your sound, here are some attributes regarding the way in which tonewoods affect other type of guitars – as well as the actual physical feel of the wood.

Alder
Lighter weight with an even tone.

Ash
This wood is often used for electric guitars with a transparent finish. Tone is also balanced.

Basswood
Great for warm tones that favor stronger mid-level frequencies.

Mahogany
Ideal for players looking for greater sustain. Can be medium to heavy weight.

Maple
Similar to mahogany, with more brightness on the high-end of frequency.

Poplar
Light weight, with a very bright tone. Also ideal for players seeking long sustain in their playing.

Pickups

Single-Coil
The original pickup configuration for all electric guitars, single-coil pickups have been used by legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and more. They tend to have a distinctly clean and thin tone, making them ideal for a variety of styles including rock, blues, funk, country, and pop. Fender axes such as the Stratocaster and Telecaster most commonly utilize the single-coil pickup. The only drawback to single coil pickups is that they can sometimes pick up unwanted external frequencies and electromagnetic frequencies from the air, which can include the hum coming from a building’s wiring or a computer monitor.

Humbucker
Humbuckers were created in order to solve the aforementioned problem with some single-coil setups. By employing two coil pickups, the unwanted buzz/hum is cancelled out. This pickup setup is most prevalent in Gibson guitars like the Les Paul. The tone of a humbucker is traditionally a bit thicker, warmer, and smoother. Famous humbucker enthusiasts include Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, BB King, and John Lennon.

Scale Length
Scale length refers to the distance between the bridge and the nut on an electric guitar. This distance can determine both the tone and pitch of an instrument. There are two prominently used scale lengths that are used today. The first is the “Fender” scale, which gives a clear and more “cutting” sound at 25.5 inches. The other scale length is the “Gibson” scale, which is more round, warm, and favors a greater bass sound; its length is 24.75 inches.

Pickup Switch

The number ways that an electric guitar can switch between its pick-ups can have an effect on how guitarists can shape their tone. In general, guitars tend to have 2-3 pickups, with one at the neck, one at the bridge, and then sometimes one in the middle. The neck pickup will provide a thicker sound, whereas the bridge is thinner and more trebly.

Some electric guitars have a switch with three positions, allowing players to choose either one pickup sound or a blend between the two. A five pickup-switch allows players to do this but also change their phase relationship, which can result in an interesting tweaking and blending of the sounds that the instrument is capable of producing.

Tuning Machines

The tuning machines of an electric guitar are simply the tuning peg systems located at the headstock of the instrument. They enable players to tune their instrument (as the name implies) and keep the guitar in tune. There are two main types of tuning machines: open-gear and enclosed-gear.

Enclosed systems have a mechanism that is housed in a small metal piece, whereas open systems are exposed and unprotected. Enclosed tuning machines are more ideal in theory, as they prevent any kind of damage, dust, or rust to affect the mechanism, but both work types of systems work fine.

Buying Tips

There are hundreds of electric guitars out there, and in a way, they’re like snowflakes – each one is different, and different players will all tell you which one they think is the best. The truth is that it’s a completely subjective topic. That’s why it’s most important for buyers to try their instrument out in person before actually making a purchase.

While online stores and services can offer a great advantage of convenience in sending the axe directly to your doorstep, it is most beneficial to go to guitar stores in person and hold the instrument, play it, and see how it feels. Hearing how it sounds and feeling how it plays is the best way to decide if it’s the best instrument for you.

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