Due to improvements in design, and computer aided machinery, you will have access to a much better instrument than those made back in the 1960’s or ‘70’s, like the instruments that I learned on.
|Squier Guitar Package|
|1957 Fender Stratocaster|
When I started playing guitar at age 13, in 1965, I was fortunate that my Dad was willing to spend $150 for a decent guitar. He purchased a used 1957 Fender Stratocaster. I wish I had kept it.
|1964 Kay Model 803 amplifier|
He spent another $25.00 for a small Kay model 803c tube amp. This was a basic 4 watt, three tube, class A amplifier with no effects. I still have this amp. Back in the day it was not loud enough to be heard over a drummer. But was a nice practice amp.
|Mid 1960's Silvertone 1457 with amp in case|
Most of my friends started out on budget Silvertone guitars and amplifiers.
|Mid 1960's Silvertone Twin Twelve|
Those guitars were not all that great, but a Silvertone Twin Twelve amplifier was very nice amp and affordable for a garage band.
So let us look at some present day electric guitars that I can recommend.
|Epiphone Les Paul|
|Les Paul SL|
Epiphone offers a few other instruments in the $120 to $150 price range. Due to the single coil pickups, and wrap-around tailpiece on their Epiphone Les Paul SL that music stores are pushing, I would not recommend this instrument.
|Epiphone LTD Special 1|
As with most Epiphone and Gibson guitars, the scale is 24.75”, which is standard length for a normal guitar.
That same year, since Fender was losing sales to Japanese and Korean companies that were selling “replicas” of their instruments at a much lower price, the new Fender management decided to take them head-on and created the Squier brand, and still has been a successful venture building and selling replicas of their famous instruments that are produced offshore.
Presently there are two types of Squier guitars; The Bullet, and The Affinity. There are several differences between the two versions. The Bullet sells for a lower price, while the Affinity series sells for about $50 more.
|Squier Special Edition |
The Affinity model features an Alder wood body, like on a genuine Fender Strat, a maple fretboard, dye cast tuners, a five position pickup selector, and three high output pickups.
However for a beginner that wants to learn the guitar, and perhaps progress to a genuine Fender instrument, the Bullet Stratocaster would be an excellent choice.
For a child or an adult with small fingers, Squier also offers the Mini Stratocaster. This 3/4 size instrument features 20 frets instead on 21 found on the normal sized 25.5” scale Stratocaster. It also does not have a tremolo unit, but instead had a six piece adjustable bridge/saddle unit. It does have a maple fretboard on its 22.75” scale neck, and comes in a black or white finish.
The Squier Special Edition Bullet Strat retails for $130, and Sea Foam Green or Red Sparkle.
The Mini Stat retails for $130 and comes in black or white.
|Squier Bullet Tele|
Squier Guitars also offers the Bullet Telecaster in a few different models. The Squier Limited Edition Bullet Telecaster features a maple neck with a basswood body, and a rosewood fretboard, plus the other amenities found on the Bullet Strat, only in a two pickup guitar. It is available in Red Sparkle or Blue. This guitar sells for $130.
|Squier FSR Tele|
The Squier FSR Bullet Telecaster comes in Butterscotch Blonde, and has a maple fretboard. The body on this instrument is made of Basswood. I sells for $150.
If you need a left-handed instrument, the Squier Affinity Strat or Tele's sell for around $200. The Bullet version does not come in a lefty model.
Ibanez guitars have been around since 1935. They began importing copies (or replicas) of US made instruments in the mid to late 1960's, and are responsible for the "Lawsuit" guitars.
|Ibanez Lawsuit Les Paul copies|
Part of his agreement with Ibanez made Elger Music the exclusive distribution center for Ibanez guitars. It is a long story, but a settlement was reached and Ibanez began building its own unique style of electric guitars, instead of copying existing US guitars. Since then, Ibanez has come up with some excellent offerings. The Ibanez company uses a variety of guitar manufacturing companies, that build guitars to their specifications, and then puts their name on the headstock.
|Ibanez Mikro GRGM21|
|Ibanez Mikro GRGM21M|
The Ibanez Mikro GRGM21M Electric Guitar is a similar guitar, with the same features as the MIkro instrument, but has a maple fretboard with dot inlays. It also features twin Powersound pickups, a 3 way toggle switch, a master volume and a master tone control. It is available in a black or white finish. It too sells for $150. A case or a gig bag is sold separately for either instrument.
One other suggestion is the Ibanez GRX20 electric guitar. This is a normal sized guitar, with two Ibanez humbucking pickups. The body is made of Poplar, and the neck is maple, with a New Zealand pine fretboard. The advantage of this guitar is the Ibanez FAT-6 Tremolo bridge. This guitar comes in blue, black, or the GRX20W comes in white. It retails for $150.
In 1975, Mr. Hisatake Shibuya opened a shop called Electric Sound Products (ESP) in Tokyo, which provided custom replacement parts for guitars. At this time, ESP also began making guitars under the ESP and Navigator brand in the Japanese market.
ESP replacement parts were first introduced into the US in 1983 and began crafting custom instruments for local New York artists between 1984 and '85.and in exporting to the Americas.
The ESP EC10 has some of the same features on a modified Les Paul shaped satin black body. The bolt-on neck scale is slightly shorter at 24.75”, and instead of a six-on-a-side headstock, this instrument comes with a three-on-a-side style head stock. It retails for $140.
Yamaha is another Japanese based company that has been building electric guitars since 1967. In 1990 they launched their Pacifica line up. Yamaha currently offers two models priced at $180.
The Yamaha Pacifica PAC012DLX HSS Deluxe guitar is a very similar guitar, but is available in a sunburst finish with a black pickguard. Both sell for $180.
|Ibanez AM53 & AS53|
Any hollow body or semi-hollow body guitar will start at around $300, and have similar features to the solid body models.
In my experience, if you are going to play in a band, you will need at least a 15 to 30 watt amplifier or better. Anything less is fine for practicing at home.
I have a Roland Micro Cube that puts out only 4 watts of power, but it is fine for home practice.
|Line 6 Spider V|
It is light and pumps 20 watts of power into a heavy duty 8" speaker, which is a well made and rated for higher volume. It sells for $130. I own an older version of the Line 6 Spider, and I really like this amplifier.
|Fender Mustang LT25|
Fender offers a 25 watt version of their Mustang amplifier, the Fender LT25, with a lot of preset sounds, and built in effects. It has an 8" special design speaker and retails at $150.
|Fender Champion 40|
The Fender Champion 40 watt amplifiers sells for around $200, and is packed with many useful sounds, some are modeled on older Fender tube amps. It also has two channels, many built in effects, and a 12 inch speaker. It is compact, but loud enough for gigging.
Acoustic Amplifiers has the G35FX Lead Series Amp for only $120. It comes with a 12" speaker, two channels, spring reverb, and delay and chorus effects.
For $230 you can get the Marshall MB30GFX amp which has four channels, Clean, Crunch, OD1, OD2 and pumps out 30 watts. It has built in effects, and reverb.
|From Guitar Center Used Instruments|
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