In 1967 Vox introduced a series of guitars which featured built in effects such as Distortion (fuzz tone), Repeat Percussion (percussive tremolo), Treble/Bass Booster and a wah-wah operated by the heel of the picking hand pushing on a spring-loaded lever over the bridge. The Delta phantom style guitar and bass, the Starstream teardrop 6-string, and Constellation teardrop bass had such effects.
Tuner: If you’re new to guitars and playing music, there is absolutely NO way that you know how to recognize all the notes by ear and tune your guitar without a tuner. Even if someone tunes the guitar for you at the shop, it will get out of tune by the time you’re home, so this one’s an absolute must have. Hang on for the price until we discuss the next device.
STEM educators will take part in an intense five-day electric guitar design/build institue. Each faculty member will build his/her own custom electric guitar and will engage in student centered learning activities that relate the guitar design to specific math, science and engineering topics. Participants leave this weeklong experience with their custom-made guitars, curriculum modules with short term assessments that can be immediately integrated into the faculty team school curriculum.

Specifically, the book includes exercises to focus on sweeping, alternate picking, string skipping, and bending in addition to arpeggios and legato. Keep in mind, this book builds on the skills you’ll learn and practice along the way. Having said that, intermediate players can jump a few chapters and still get a ton of value out of the guitar exercises in this book. In that way, it really can function as a choose-your-own-adventure type way to learn guitar that matches your current skill level.


The origins of the modern guitar are not known with certainty. Some believe it is indigenous to Europe, while others think it is an imported instrument.[32] Guitar-like instruments appear in ancient carvings and statues recovered from Egyptian, Sumerian, and Babylonian civilizations. This means that the contemporary Iranian instruments such as the tanbur and setar are distantly related to the European guitar, as they all derive ultimately from the same ancient origins, but by very different historical routes and influences.
Without going into technical details, the amp's power rating is directly correlated to its loudness. This means that the higher the power rating is, the louder the amp can go. But loud is not always better, especially when considering space and noise level restrictions, this is why even those with big wall of amps have a humble practice amp to play quietly with. Low power amps also let you crank the gain at lower volumes, so you can get to your amp's sweet spot without being a noise nuisance. Thankfully, some big amps now come with built-in power attenuators, which give you the option to lower the power rating when needed. Also note that many tube amps are louder than similarly rated solid-state amplifiers.
PRS is an American guitar company founded by luthier Paul Reed Smith in 1985. It makes some of the finest high-end electric guitars and custom shop instruments. It was extremely popular in the '90s and eventually spread to Asia, where they started the SE lineup that was more affordable and budget-friendly. However, they are not meant for beginners even though they cost less. They are used by musicians and players of all kinds of genres. The high-end models are classy and can be somewhat expensive.
When you shop the huge selection of combo guitar amps at Musician’s Friend we make it easy to hone in on what you’re looking for. Just select the type ( tube, solid state, or hybrid), brand(s), and price range, and voila—up pops a selection fine tuned to your specs. To really fine-tune the process you can also dial in the wattage, type (combo or stack), and speaker size/configuration.
Coming from Martin's Travel Series, the LX1E Little Martin has smaller proportions, with a total length of 34", body width of 12", shorter scale length of 23" and 1 11/16" nut width. While it can be a bit too small for some, it is easy to appreciate its impressive workmanship, bearing the same build quality and materials as found on their more expensive models. With the LX1E, you can own an affordable Martin guitar that has been proven to be a true workhorse instrument.
While there are cheaper Strats under the Squier sub brand, the Standard Stratocaster is the way to go if you want a budget friendly one with with the Fender logo. This guitar is fondly called an MIM (Made in Mexico) Strat to differentiate it from the American made version. While some elitists will tell you that the difference is noticeable, many others attest that it's hard to spot the difference in an actual blind test - making this a true to form Standard Stratocaster, only this one is not made in the USA.
Martin guitars have been around for over 180 years, and are widely considered to be some of the best guitars currently in production. The Little Martin is a ¾ scale guitar perfect for kids and beginners with a smaller stature. Featuring professional-grade construction and hardware, the Little Martin has a big sound in a small package. Also great for travel, the compact body stows easily.
Multi-effects units are exactly what the name implies—single units that offer many different effects and allow those effects to be used singly or in combinations simultaneously. Most will offer just about all the effect types discussed in this guide and many more. Typically they include dozens if not hundreds of effects presets—combinations of effects and effect parameters designed to achieve specific sounds with the touch of button or footswitch. Most also allow you to also save your presets for instant recall.

So, to make a successful guitar company, you need to beat the best brands out there. But how would you do that? Brands like Fender and Gibson advertise themselves as the original inventors of the two most popular electric guitar models, the Stratocaster and the Les Paul. This is one of their biggest selling points. Unfortunately, you can’t reinvent something that’s already been invented, hence you can’t really beat them at brand name, especially when you’re starting a guitar company. You have to try to beat them at quality, price and novelty (i.e., introducing something new that improves a guitarists experience). Eventually, you’ll have to get some artists to try out your models and sign deals with them. If you get all of this right, I think you should be able to make it big.
This is a guitar that we’ve featured before as our top pick for those who are looking for an electric acoustic for less than $500, so there’s no surprise that it’s back as one of the very best prospects at any price at all. Epiphone might be Gibson’s more affordable brand, but that certainly doesn’t mean you aren’t getting very high quality when you choose the Dove Pro.

Are you running it through a cab simulator? That or proper eqing. Turn up the mids and drop a high pass filter on that sucker. If you're finding it still lacking check out the KeFir cab simulator and then just use the preamp you have now. I've had wonderful results with that. If you're not liking your preamp try out The Anvil by Ignite amps. Best clean tone I've had out of freeware.
Our list of best electric guitar brands will remain incomplete if we do not add Schecter in it. Schecter Guitar Research is a firm that evolved from a startup into a guitar giant during the recent years. Aimed mainly at the heavy metal side, Schecter produces several guitars that metal players look. However, players from all genres will find something of their wish at Schecter as it touches every side of this domain. Created with the utmost care, delicacy, and artisanship, these guitars exhibit the most amazing and high-end features that suffice to surpass most expensive brands in the market today.

While these sum up the most significant Gibson tone woods, other species do occasionally contribute to the brew. Swamp ash lends the Les Paul Studio Swamp Ash a degree of twangy sweetness and a round, slightly scooped midrange, while the most common Gibson fingerboard woods, rosewood and ebony, even make their mark on the frequency spectrum. Rosewood generally helps to add a certain thickness and creaminess to the tone—warming up the voice of a maple neck, or adding depth and cohesiveness to that of a mahogany neck—while an ebony fingerboard, long considered an upmarket option, contributes tightness, brightness, and a quick attack.
Got one, a V-???? Gold Top w/ P-90's. Way hotter than my PRS or my Gibson. Plays about as well. If I were a LP kinda guy I'd probably rant and rave, it has a special place in my herd but not in the top five. If you want an LP style and sound but don't want to spend $3K plus, it's more worthy than any of the Epi's I looked at including the '56 reissue.
The other US-based manufacturers were from Chicago Harmony (formerly owned by Sears), National-Dobro (Supro/Valco) and Kay. Chicago was the largest guitar manufacturing area of the US at the time. The only other manufacturer of Silvertones during this period was the Japanese-based company, Teisco (or Teisco Del Ray as it was formerly called). Teisco created some of the wildest designs for Silvertones, in our opinion. The earliest model was the TG1. This was the first guitar to incorporate an amplifier and speaker into the body of the guitar. Although some people look down on the Japanese guitars we think they've got some really interesting sounds and innovations not found on American made guitars.
Which got me to thinking about the history of American guitar companies. Many famous brands of guitars which started production here in the USA now exist as a name being used by an unrelated company for importing guitars into this country. Other brands are still being made but ownership has passed to one of a few big guitar companies. It’s difficult to trace this history without a “score card”.
There are continuous debates on various topics that I am often asked to contribute to with my opinion. I usually decline, because it’s rarely important what my opinion is when it comes to the instruments I produce – it has to be the musician’s opinion that counts. So let’s start by the question “Which tonewood is the best” and just answer it with “The tonewood that gives the musician the sound and feeling he or she is after” and then we can leave it at that.

It's a basic rule of physics (called Faraday's law) that a changing magnetic field produces electricity. So a guitar string will produce electricity only for as long as the magnetic field is changing—in other words, for only as long as the metal string is moving. Once the string stops vibrating, the sound stops. In that respect, an electric guitar is just like an acoustic one.


You might have read our review about the C40 GigMaker kit from Yamaha earlier on. This is a similar guitar, but it’s the C40II, and the black color makes it a limited edition instrument. The inlay is less “traditional” looking. Instead of an ornate “rosette” style, the inlay is a stripe pattern all the way around the sound hole, making the guitar look somewhat “jazzy,” to use a more descriptive term. So if this is the look you prefer, read on for more details.
Martin actually got into the electric guitar business in the late ’50s when it started slapping DeArmond pickups onto some of its acoustic guitars yielding the D-18E, D-28E and OO-18E. These pickups were the DeArmond humbuckers with chrome sides and a black center in a trapezoidal hole, large pole pieces along one side and smaller poles along the other. Prototypes of the D-18E began in 1958 and in 1959 production began on it plus the D-28E and OO-18E.

This is a solid body bass guitar that has a full deep sound. There is not much middle to it which makes it less defined than a lot of basses but it does suit some music very well. There is a choice of sample sets to choose from in this soundfont. Direct or through my j-station (which makes it sound more like its through an amp), or a mix of the two. The j-station samples are the same direct samples routed out and through the j-station and back in again, which is why it is possible to have a mix of the two. The J-Station samples make a distorted beefy bass sound which can be useful for some music i.e. 3 piece bands where tha bass fills out instead of a rhythm guitar or just for a more lo-fi bass sound. The direct samples are not so distorted and can be used in alot more styles of music. There is a preset that includes slaps and slides etc to help add some realism.


Tremolo bars - Many lower-end guitars are designed to look cool and are equipped with floating bridges for super tremolo bends and flutter. They look cool , but a sad fact is many of these lower end models have low quality hardware. There is nothing more frustrating than being a newbie, buying a hot looking guitar, and have to fine-tune it every 2 minutes. Avoid this, or buy a decent bridge for around $100.00 extra and install it.
Joining the J-1 (and J-2) were the sunburst J-3 and J-5. These had no real relationship to the earlier, very fancy J-5 mini Les Paul. These both had somewhat larger bodies with narrower waists and had ever-so-slightly offset double cutaways, with the upper horn just slightly extended. The bolt-on necks were similar to the J-1, with an open-book head and large dots, with added binding. The J-3 had a single rectangular bridge pickup, while the J-5 had a pair of pickups and a chicken-beak selector on the upper horn. The pickguards covered just the area under the pickups; controls were mounted on the top, volume and tone for the J-3 and three controls on the J-5.
While it definitely looks unique with its four sharp edges and sculpted cutaways, this guitar follows conventional super strat design, starting with a basswood body that is joined to a maple neck. For its price, its quite surprising to find that this guitar features a neck through design, which is normally only found on more expensive electric guitars. The 25.5" scale neck is topped by a 24-fret rosewood fingerboard with a nut width of 1.65", providing a familiar shred friendly feel. Giving this guitar its metal friendly voice are two LH-150 Humbuckers that are hot enough for mean high gain metal tones.

Chord CG-10Classically styled guitar combo in a vinyl covered cabinet with metal corner protectors and basket-weave style grille cloth. Front control panel is recessed with retro "chicken-head" control knobs and additional features for Gain, EQ and outputs. Custom solid-state circuitry is voiced to produce authentic vintage-style clean and driven tones.•Headphone output for practice•Switchable clean and drive channels•Classic styling•Power supply; 230Vac, 50Hz (IEC)•Model: CG-10•Output: 10Wrms•Speaker; 165mm (6.5")•Controls: Gain, drive switch, volume, treble, middle, bass•Connections: Guitar input, headphones out (6.3mm jack)•Dimensions; 290 x 280 x 150mm•Weight: 4.0kg
Reverbs and delays can sound particularly unruly when run into an amp set dirty. If you use natural amp distortion but still like using pedals, you can run some effects into the front of your amp, and run time-based effects into an effects loop (most modern amps with channel switching will have an effects loop). Some modern programmable pedals, such as the TC Nova System or Eventide Time Factor delay, allow you to switch between -10 and +4 operation, so you can use them in front of your amp at the instrument level or at line level in an amp effects loop. This is really handy, allowing you to create and store presets tailored for using the pedal either in front of the amp or in the loop. Of course you can also use studio-type rack effects in amp effects loops. Units such as the Fractal Audio Axe FX and TC Electronic G-Major work great in this configuration, allowing you to store many presets and get pristine time-based effects, whether you are using clean sounds or dirty sounds.
This specific review is for the full-size guitar, which is 40”, so if you read all the reviews on Amazon, many of them are for the ½ and ¾ size. If you’re an adult with smaller hands, purchasing the smaller sizes may be a better bet than trying to wrestle with a full-size instrument. Size doesn’t necessarily have to do with this guitar model’s tone, which many reviewers say is quite good for the price.
In 1935, the Dobro Corporation and National Stringed Instrument merged to become the National Dobro Corporation. The Dobro operation moved into the larger facilities of National, however, the two organizations never really reintegrated. Both National and Dobro maintained separate production lines, sales organizations and distributors throughout the rest of their L.A. tenure. Before long, as we shall see, National Dobro would relocate to Chicago while keeping its facilities in L.A. for a few more years. Dobro production would continue in L.A. through ’37 or so, with some leftover parts being assembled perhaps as late as ’39, after which the Dobro name went into hiatus until revived by the Dopyeras in ’59, but that, too, is another story in the Big Guitar City!
During the first three decades of the 20th century, with the rising popularity of Hawaiian and big band music in America, guitar makers built larger-bodied instruments, using steel instead of gut strings, and metal instead of wood for the guitar body. Around 1925, John Dopyera designed a guitar with metal resonating cones built into the top that amplified the instrument’s sound. That suited twangy Hawaiian and blues music but not other genres. Then, in the 1920s, innovations in microphones and speakers, radio broadcasting, and the infant recording industry made electronic amplification for guitars possible. The volume was suddenly able to go up: way up.
Additionally, Gibson’s president Ted McCarty states that the Gibson Guitar Corporation merely approached Les Paul for the right to imprint the musician’s name on the headstock to increase model sales, and that in 1951, Gibson showed Paul a nearly finished instrument. McCarty also claims that design discussions with Les Paul were limited to the tailpiece and the fitting of a maple cap over the mahogany body for increased density and sustain, which Les Paul had requested reversed. However, according to Gibson Guitar, this reversal would have caused the guitar to become too heavy, and Paul’s request was refused.[12] Another switch: the original Custom was to be all mahogany and the Goldtop was to have the maple cap/mahogany body. Beyond these requests, Les Paul’s contributions to the guitar line bearing his name were stated to be cosmetic. For example, ever the showman, Paul had specified that the guitar be offered in a gold finish, not only for flashiness, but to emphasize the high quality of the Les Paul instrument, as well.[12] The later-issue Les Paul models included flame maple (tiger stripe) and “quilted” maple finishes, again in contrast to the competing Fender line’s range of car-like color finishes. Gibson was notably inconsistent with its wood choices, and some goldtops have had their finish stripped to reveal beautifully figured wood hidden underneath.[citation needed]
We all know the sound of this effect: It replicates varying degrees of the sound of playing your guitar in the gym showers, a cathedral, or Mammoth Cave, and it has proved itself one of the most atmospheric aural adulterations available. Since none of those locations is entirely gig friendly, however, our ever-handy techs have bottled the flavor in a reliable, portable form. This category covers both echo and reverb effects, since they are versions of the same thing. The term “echo” was used more often in the early days, and is sometimes used today to refer to the distinct and distant repeats of a signal, while “delay” refers to anything from the same, to the short repeats heard as reverb, to the complex, long, manipulated repeats of an intricate digital delay line. Either way, they are both really the same thing, just used differently.

Many of the best guitars I saw in my trip to Japan were models made for their own domestic consumption. After World War II, U.S. Armed Forces Radio blanketed Japan with American music. As a direct result, rock and roll, country, bluegrass and American popular music all took strong root in Japan creating a vibrant market for good guitars. Although Japanese players would have preferred to be able to buy genuine American Martins, Fenders and Gibsons, the supply of such instruments in Japan was extremely limited and prices were simply beyond the budget of most of the Japanese population. Japanese manufacturers produced a very wide range of instruments from low-priced student models on up to remarkably sophisticated professional-grade instruments, some of which were better reproductions of vintage American instruments than any of the American manufacturers were doing at the time. These high-end instruments are seldom encountered in the USA because they were priced high enough that wholesalers in the USA did not find them economical to import. Regardless of how good a Japanese guitar of that time might have been, if it cost anywhere near the amount of a new Martin, Fender or Gibson in the USA, there would have been no point in bringing it into this country. For example Tak Inoue, the export director of the Morris Company of Matsumoto, Japan, told me at that time that he had approached Fender to offer them Japanese-made versions of the Telecaster and Stratocaster which he proposed they could import and sell at a lower price that the standard American-made models. He told me that he gave them what he considered to be a very competitive price only to be told that Fender would not be interested since their cost at that time to make a genuine American made Telecaster or Stratocaster in their Fullerton, California, factory was actually lower than the amount quoted by Mr. Inoue. Needless to say, it would appear that CBS, the owner of Fender, had a very good profit margin at the time.
Why We Liked It - Given the price, the hardware, and the attention to detail, this would undoubtedly be a contender for one of the best all-round choices on our list. There aren’t many other options that come from a premium manufacturer and give you all this for such a good price. The looks however will divide opinion. This is a must consider if they’re to your tastes however.
In contrast, wiring two pickups in series produces a longer path with increased resistance, adding volume while preventing the highest frequencies from getting through. With series wiring, the output of one pickup goes into the input of another pickup, while with standard parallel wiring, each pickup takes its own path to the output. Besides being noticeably louder, series wiring emphasizes low and midrange tones, and this is a perfect combination to drive any tube amp into saturation without the help of a booster.
This is another budget guitar that is routinely praised for the excellent value for money it provides. Many reviewers point to its playability as its strongest point, which is not surprising given that this guitar is from Ibanez. There were even several people who wrote in their reviews that they liked the GRX20Z so much that they had bought it more than once.

Ultimately, be aware that the key to sounding the way you want lies in your hands and your head more than anywhere else. The way a player attacks the strings — the nuance, dynamics, and subtleties of the playing technique — usually has a bigger influence on how he or she sounds than any other single ingredient in the rig. Try to play mindfully, being keenly aware of the variations in sound produced when you simply play the guitar differently, and you will quickly develop an original voice.


Planning for this review started right after the January 2018 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show in Anaheim, California. We didn’t notice any significant introductions in the under-$200 electric guitar category during our time there, but new guitars can appear at any time. We’ll be watching out for them, and we’ll get our hands on them as soon as we can.
Although they just released the Gibson 2016 line, Gibson's first production electric guitar, marketed in 1936, was the ES-150 model (“ES” for “Electric Spanish” and “150” reflecting the $150 price of the instrument). The ES-150 guitar featured a single-coil, hexagonally shaped pickup, which was designed by Walt Fuller. It became known as the “Charlie Christian” pickup, named for the great jazz guitarist who was among the first to perform with the ES-150 guitar. The ES-150 achieved some popularity, but suffered from unequal loudness across the six strings.
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