Finding a Great Guitar for Under $500
When it comes to buying your first electric guitar, it is important that you get something that will last you a long time, without breaking the bank.
There are tons of budget guitars out there aimed at beginners, but most of them aren’t good for much more than keeping yourself warm in the winter. With that said, a great beginner guitar needs to be inspiring to play.
A bad guitar will not inspire creativity, and often hinders the beginner’s ability to play. Cheap instruments are usually subject to quality control problems like bad fretwork. Bad fretwork can keep specific notes from sounding, or even worse, cut your hands while you play!
You are better off buying a better instrument for a few more dollars. Invest in yourself (or someone else) and get a great instrument. When you play a great instrument, you are more likely to stick with it in the long term.
The best part is that great instruments do not have to be expensive. For well under $500 you can buy a great guitar that will serve a professional musician, let alone a beginner.
Squier Classic Vibe
The Fender Squier Classic Vibe series allow players to get classic, vintage-styled guitars, at a ridiculously low price. These guitars retail for only $399.99 brand new, and supersede the build quality of guitars twice and three times the price.
The Proof is in the Details
This series of guitars has the best of both worlds! It combines vintage styling with modern playability to create an amazing guitar that will last a lifetime of rigorous playing.
The guitars come with Vintage-styled bridge, tuners, and pickups and body materials. This helps to preserve the vintage look and vibe of the guitar.
They also use modern neck shapes, and fret-wire. This allows you to get the best playability, so that you end up with a guitar that is comfortable and easy to play.
Strat or Tele
These guitars come in two main varieties, Stratocaster, or Telecaster. There is no wrong answer here! They are both great instruments, so pick whichever one looks the coolest, or sounds the best to you. If you have a favorite guitarists that uses one or the other, you may consider getting that guitar.
No matter what you choose, you will end up with a great guitar!
Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster
The Classic Vibe series contains 3 different Telecasters, the 50’s, the Custom, and the Thinline.
Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster 50’s
The Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster 50’s model has a pine body, which pays homage to the original “Esquire” made by Fender in the late 40’s. It has a maple neck, with a modern c shape, and a 9.5 inch radius. This radius is a medium size that is great for playing chords, or leads.
The neck has a scale length of 25.5”, and it has 21 Medium Jumbo frets. It has a 1.625” synthetic bone nut, which is comfortable to grip for any size hands.
Squire Classic Vibe Telecaster Custom
The Squire Classic Vibe Telecaster Custom is modeled after a 60’s Telecaster Custom. It has an Alder body, and a Maple neck, with an Indian Laurel (rosewood substitute) fretboard. It has the same Modern “C” shape as the 50’s, as well as a 25.5” scale length and 9.5” radius. It also has 21 Medium Jumbo frets, and a 1.625” synthetic bone nut.
The best part about Custom model is that it features double binding around the body. This is a purely aesthetic feature, but is a major selling point for many people.
Squire Classic Vibe Telecaster Thinline
The Squire Classic Vibe Telecaster Thinline is a semi-hollow guitar, modeled after the 1968 Thinline Telecaster. It features a Mahogany body, and a maple neck. It has a Modern C neck with a scale length of 25.5” and a radius of 9.5”. It also has 21 Medium Jumbo Frets, and a 1.625” synthetic bone nut.
Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster
There are 2 varieties of the Classic Vibe Stratocaster, the 50’s and the 60’s.
Squire Classic Vibe Stratocaster 50’s
The Squire Classic Vibe Stratocaster 50’s model has an Alder body and a Maple neck. The neck has a Modern “C” Shape with a 25.5” scale length, and 9.5” radius. It has 21 medium jumbo frets, and a 1.65” synthetic bone nut.
The nut is a little wider on the Strat than the telecaster, so it is a little less suited for smaller hands.
Squire Classic Vibe Stratocaster 60’s
The Squire Classic Vibe Stratocaster 60’s model has an Alder body wand a Maple neck with a Indian Laurel fretboard. The neck has a Modern “C” Shape with a 25.5” scale length, and 9.5” radius. It has 21 medium jumbo frets, and a 1.65” synthetic bone nut.
If you like blues guitar tones from players like John Mayer, or Stevie Ray Vaughan, then you will definitely like the 60’s version. Both John Mayer and Stevie Ray Vaughan used a 60’s model Strat, so If those are the tones your are looking for, look no further.
Every model’s pickups are voiced a little differently, but this guitar will help you achieve a similar tone to these players’ original guitars.
I have played Squire guitars, and I hated them! When Squire came out with this new line, I thought they had to be just another piece of firewood from the Squire factory. I had walked past them in guitar shops time and time again.
IT WASN’T UNTIL I PICKED ONE UP!
I was literally blown away! Like, holy wow! These guitars are great, and they are pretty cheap. I have played Mexican and American Fenders that aren’t as good as a Classic Vibe.
These aren’t just instruments for beginners, or people on a budget. These are serious guitars for gigging musicians, or for use in the studio.
I could buy 3 of these for the price of one American Fender, which means that I can be 3 times as happy. More guitars is what makes us happy, right?
Not to mention, if you are gigging, the chance of your guitar getting damaged or stolen is pretty high. If you gig with a Classic Vibe, you don’t have to worry about losing your life savings when your guitar gets stolen. Now you can play an amazing instrument, and have greater piece of mind.
I hope this was helpful in equipping you to find YOUR sound! If you found this article helpful, please follow Moustache Audio on social media, and take a look at our products here on our website.