13 Affordable Made In America Guitars. Update 2023.

I’ve decided to compile an essential list of the most affordable made in America guitars. And considering I’ve finally got my hands on one, it’s time to give you my rundown of the best.

After Fender’s biggest boom ever in sales in 2020, the legendary guitars are back! A 17% rise in sales of the classic guitar as people look to learn guitar with the old classic axes from the 50s and 60s.

Which Is The Best American Made Electric Guitar To Buy? 

If you’re considering buying a classic electric guitar, you may be scratching your head over the number of variations there are to each brand. And there are a lot!

My name is Lee and I’ve played some form of American made Stratocaster, Telecaster, and Gibson SG for the last two decades. 

American Made Guitars

If I could (or if Fender/Gibson would like to sponsor me?) I’d own a classic guitar from each evolution. I cannot get enough of them. I could literally sit here looking at them all day. I’m guessing you’re here because you feel the same?

There’s definitely something special about the legendary electric guitars of the past. But over the years it’s difficult to keep up to date with the number of models being released.

I’ve added some custom shop, re-issue, standard, and budget models to mix things up. All American made!

Let’s get into it: 13 affordable options for the Greatest American Made Guitars. 

The 13 Best Models Of American Made Guitars. 

I’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular american made in america guitars over time, as some have had such a positive effect on guitarists all over the globe.

My new USA Vintage II 1961 Strat


1American Performer Stratocaster

Fender American Performer Stratocaster Electric Guitar-Honey Burst

Best Low Budget Stratocaster

  • Single Coil Fender Yosemite Pickups 
  • “Greasebucket” Tone Circuit
  • Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo Bridge
  • Large, ’70s-Style Headstock
  • 22 Jumbo Frets

The American Performer is light and looks impeccable in its finish. The body shape is vintage and curvy.

A guitar that fits nicely between the Standard and the Highway One. It’s a very good place to start if you’re a Strat newcomer on a tight budget. 

The Satin Polyurethane finish requires a lot less labor than a nitro finish. Less sanding between coats results in the wood being sprayed a lot less, as not to stifle the wood grain. Unlike the thick syrupy type 70s coating polyester. 

This really is a step up in quality compared to the guitars lower in the Strat line. Making it a more pleasurable experience for the player.

The ‘grease bucket’ tone circuitry gives you the option to roll off those highs without adding extra bass frequency. This is a classy touch. 

The guitar comes with Single Coil Fender Yosemite Pickups to give you an increased output, whilst keeping feedback to a minimum. You can get some real classy chimey tones and chugg away with fat chunky riffs. A kinda mixture between the old classic and modern day tones. 

The American made Performer Stratocaster is a safe starting point for any guitarist looking for that timeless Fender Style and leading-edge features.

Leo Fender American Perfromer

The American Performer delivers a modern tone and performance, bringing the player the full Stratocaster experience for a low price. 

Number Of Frets 22, Scale Length 25.5″, Nut Width 1.685″, Neck Shape Modern “C”, Body Style Stratocaster®, Neck Type Bolt On, Neck Wood Maple, Body Wood Alder, Pickup Configuration S-S-S Pickups Yosemite™ Single-Coil Stratocaster, Bridge Type 6-Saddle Vintage-Style Synchronized Tremolo, Tuning Machines Fender ClassicGear™, Weight 5.3lb


2- American Vintage II 1961 Stratocaster

Fender American Vintage II Rosewood; 3 Tone Sunburst. Feed The History

The Greatest Re-Issue Ever

  • Manufactured from the original ‘50s and ‘60s Fender factory machines
  • Unique Pure Vintage ’61 Pickups
  • Slab Rosewood Fingerboard
  • Gloss Nitro Lacquer Finish
  • Outrageously Beautiful

The American Vintage II ‘1961 replicates the tiniest details from Fender’s early history. Using re-tooled hardware you’re guaranteed to get that vintage look and the same feel if you were to buy it in the early 60s. 

That’s a pretty special feature by Fender. You can only applaud them for re-creating an already successful vintage range with this old classic. This guitar has only been out a few months and exerts around the internet are backing this model to be Fenders finest re-issue.


Super thin Gloss Nitrocellulose finish ensures the alder body can breathe and age naturally, just like the originals did. If you are looking for the natural road-worn look in time, you’ll definitely get that with the Vintage 60s Stratocaster. As the chemicals that go into the finishes have changed since the 60s, this new re-issue will take longer to age.

The tone is meaty and full. I’ve not known a strat with as much depth as the Vintage II 61 reissue. This is exactly what you get if you listen back to the late 60s Stratocaster-based music. 

The pickups are specially made for this guitar only. Pure Vintage ’61 Single-Coil Strat® pickups to be exact.

So, If you’re looking to get close to anything from Hendrix, The Shadows, or Pink Floyd. This is your instrument!

The neck is the thick ‘C’ 60s style. The 60s single-coil pickups are wound exactly like the original spec. 

The slab rosewood fingerboard edges are rolled beautifully in comparison to the newer square edge style. Even the nut is a proper ‘bone nut’, this all adds up to an outstanding experience. In fact, the neck is by far where i noticed the biggest difference. Considering i previously played a 9.5 radius USA Standard. For me, this feature was a world apart in comfort and class.

Fender has gone full whack into authenticating that Vintage 61 Stratocaster. A very desirable guitar if this era of music is your thing. I can see online there’s already a waiting list.

Take a moment to look at the other two colors: Olympic White and the classic Fiesta Red. Beautifully made quality instruments for the Strat purist.

Category Solid Body Electric Guitar ,Number of Strings 6, Body Style Stratocaster, Scale Length 25.5″, Number of Frets 22, Fingerboard Radius 7.25”, Body Wood Alder, Neck Wood Maple, Fingerboard Wood Slab Rosewood, Pickup Configuration S-S-S, Series American Vintage II

3-  American Professional Stratocaster II

Fender American Professional Stratocaster-Dark Knight

Complete Evolution Of The Stratocaster

  • Special electronics: Tone bypass
  • Bridge type: Tremolo/Vibrato
  • Bridge design: 2-point Fulcrum tremolo Individual saddle
  • Tuning machines: Sealed High-ratio

The Fender Professional II is for the enthusiast or ‘strat addict’. If you’re looking for a durable guitar to see you through years of live shows and hours on end of home practicing. Then this is your next guitar.

It’s beautiful to look at. It’s evolved from the mark Pro 1.

The fretboard is now slightly rounded and it feels far more broken in (another great feature in my eyes). The neck becomes thinner as you get nearer the nut. The bridge is now constructed from ‘cold rolled steel’. Fender quotes that this upgrade gives you a beefier tone due to the thicker metal.

I really like the tiny little tweaks Fender adds over the years. Always trying to improve, yet keeping the classic shape and feel to the original Fender Strat. They always seem to be changing some aspects, but always to aid us, guitarists.

One very different feature comes in the pickups. The pickup poles are now made from different magnetic alloys. It’s now based on what’s considered to be optimal for each pickup position. 

This is essential as it gives you a balanced volume when playing the low and high E strings. It now has a more proportional all round tone. Outstanding!

Another impressive small perk fender has improved, is the bridge pickup boost. When the furthest tone pot is pushed, it adds some tasty warm bassy tones into your sound.

(Adds neck pickup to positions 1,2 and 3). This is definitely my favorite ‘extra’ you get with the Pro II.

Leo Fender Pro II

The American Professional II Stratocaster may be one of the most complete evolutions since 1954. It really is an outstanding upgrade and I would highly recommend it.

Category Solid Body Electric Guitar, Scale Length 25.5″, Body finish: Gloss Urethane, Neck finish: Satin Urethane, Material: Rolled-edge Maple, Radius: 9.5″, Fret size: Narrow-Tall, Number of frets: 22, Nut width/material: 1.687 in. (42.8 mm) Bone, Body Wood Alder, Neck Wood Maple, Pickup Configuration S-S-S

4-  American Elite Stratocaster

Fender American Elite Stratocaster-Sky Burst Metallic

The Ultimate American Made ‘Live’ Stratocaster

  • 4th Generation Noiseless Pickups
  • S-1 Switch — Offers five additional pickup configurations
  • 9.5″-to-14″ Compound-Radius Neck
  • 2-Point Deluxe Synchronized Tremolo With Pop-In Arm
  • Double-Action Truss Rod Adjustment Wheel
  • Locking Tuning Pegs
  • Soft-Touch Controls

At first glance, you may be thinking ‘yet another strat’. It may look like all the others, but you’d be wrong to think it’s anywhere near the same. 

Underneath that classic strat-shaped body, you’re given over a dozen new and interesting extras for the modern-day guitarist.

As soon as you plug in and play, you know you’re playing something special. Exceptional tones and a beautifully built modern strat. 

The Elite is kind of a (super) rejuvenated version of the older Strats. Lots of updates. At this point, it’s safe to say the vintage Fender purists fans among us won’t like this.

I feel Fender is always trying to improve their range and appeal to everybody. Well done to them.

Ok, now the updated perks:

The pickups are the Fourth Generation Noiseless Pickups. These are a fantastic addition.

The volume pot can be pushed in, giving you further tones to play with (S-1 Switch). This fancy inclusion enables the player to achieve more scope and become more dynamic in their playing.

The S-1 switch adds subtle colors to your playing. In the bridge pickup positions, the difference in tone is very noticeable. Middle positions are less prominent but darker in tone. The Middle and neck are warm and snappy. The neck pickup is creamy, fat, and bassy. With a quick tap of the volume switch your back to that classic crisp sound.

I can only imagine how suitable the Elite is for the gigging guitarist. The push-button option to cut in and out with lush tones is far quicker and a lot less hassle than using a pedal. I love the S-1 switch!

The Double-Action Truss Rod Adjustment Wheel is now at the bridge end of the neck, rather than behind the nut. It actually makes so much more sense positioned at the bottom of the fretboard. When you’re adjusting the truss rod, you’ll have the guitar in the ‘playing’ position. This feature makes it so much easier, rather than reaching up to the headstock for every small tweak.

Leo Fender Elite Series

If you don’t mind spending top dollar and you want all the new features and trimmings Fender has to offer. The American Elite is for you. 

The ultimate live guitarist Stratocaster.

Item Weight 17.6 pounds, Product Dimensions 6.5 x 22 x 17 inches,Body Material Alder,Color Name Sky Burst Metallic,Guitar Pickup Configuration SSS,Scale Length 25.5,Guitar Bridge System Tremolo

5–  Custom Shop Stratocaster

Fender Custom Shop Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature Stratocaster 

‘Number One’

  • 2-Piece Select Alder Body w/ 3-Color Sunburst Finish
  • 25.5″ Scale Special SRV Oval “C” Rift Sawn Maple Neck w/ Rosewood Fingerboard
  • 3 Hand-Wound Texas Special Single-Coil Strat Pickups
  • Left-Handed American Vintage Synchronized Tremolo Bridge
  • Vintage-Style Tuners
  • Includes Hardshell Case, Strap, & Certificate of Authenticity

The Fender Custom Shop produces special order guitars. Creating limited edition high end quality instruments. If you love the road-worn relic look, these guys assemble some real mouth-watering pieces.

In 1987 the Custom Shop was born. The initial master builders were John Page and Michael Stevens. Since then the team has expanded and produced some of the most sought-after guitars made. 

Their passion and first-class approach towards reproducing guitars is unparalleled.

Stevie Ray Vaughan’s ‘Number One’ Stratocaster was, according to him ‘his first wife’. Stevie also dated the guitar as a 1959 model, as the pickups had this date on them.

The neck has an Oval C shape 60s profile. A two-piece select alder ’63-style body and hand-wound pickups. Just like the storied original. This guitar bears an American Vintage left-handed synchronized tremolo bridge for Hendrix-style access.

Other features include a 10”-radius round-lam rosewood fingerboard, 21 #6100 frets, a five-way pickup switch, custom wiring, 3-ply Black pickguard, vintage-style chrome tuning machines, bone nut, and wing string tree.

With Texas Special single-coil pickups, you get a scorching tone. Overwound for that unique SRV sound. They offer a dynamic response and a focused mid-range. If you’re looking to get anywhere near that famous SRV tone, go get yourself some gauge 13 strings or some thick galvanized steel! How anyone plays 13s as Stevie did is beyond me!

Ladies and Gentleman, The Holy Grail of guitars.

Category Solid Body Electric Guitar, Number of Strings 6,Body Style Stratocaster,Scale Length 25.5″, Number of Frets 21, Body Wood 2-Piece Select Alder, Neck Wood Rift Sawn Maple, Fingerboard Wood Rosewood, Pickup Configuration S-S-S, Color Sunburst, Case/Bag Included Hard Case, Weight 7 lbs, 12.7 oz., Series Signature

Did You Know?

In 2020: Fender sold more guitars in 2020 than any other year in its history

Les Paul & SG

6- Gibson Les Paul Special 

Les Paul Special Electric Guitar-TV Yellow

Best Budget Les Paul

  • Mahogany Single Cutaway Body
  • Gloss Nitrocellulose Finish
  • 24.75″ Scale Mahogany Neck (Vintage ’50s Profile)
  • Rosewood Fretboard 
  • 22 Medium Jumbo Frets and Acrylic Dot Inlays
  • Classic Dual P-90 Pickups
  • Individual Volume/Tone with Orange Drop Capacitors
  • Wraparound Bridge and Vintage Deluxe Tuners

Where would we be without The Les Paul? 

With the Les Paul hitting the market in 1955, this was dubbed the golden generation of Gibson innovation. 

Just like the strat, the Les Paul changed the way we listened to music forever. With plenty of variations to look at I’ve chosen the very popular ‘Les Paul Special’. 

Loaded up with many great features. The Special looks and sounds fantastic (considering the low price). 

A throwback from the 1950s, a step up from the Les Paul Junior (they look very alike). The original guitar came with P-90 pickups but today you have a choice of those or humbuckers. 

The legendary P90s are a must for the live guitarist. 

When plugged in, The Les Paul Special sounds just like it should! A beasty no nonsense ax with an outrageous amount of power. It sits comfortably on the verge of break-up at medium volume. This is something guitarists spend $100s on to achieve. 

A thick bluesy tone can be found around the ¾ mark of your volume knob. Cranking it up gives you that clear shimmery crunch just like a Les Paul of old.

The Finish is a thin coat of gloss nitrocellulose. As I’ve mentioned before, this is an important feature and aids tone and allows the guitar to breathe. Ask any Gibson addict!

A 24.75″ scale length neck. Shaped from mahogany, giving you a Vintage ’50s profile. The fretboard is rosewood, lined with 22 beasty medium jumbo frets and acrylic dot inlays.

A solid affordable Les Paul starter guitar in my opinion. Very popular (so that tells you something). 

Number Of Frets 22, Scale Length 24.75″, Nut Width 1.695″, Neck Shape Vintage ’50s, Neck Wood Mahogany, Fingerboard Rosewood, Body Wood Mahogany, Pickup Configuration S-S, Bridge Pickup P-90, Neck Pickup P-90, Bridge Type Wrap-Around, Tuning Machines Vintage Deluxe w/ White Buttons, Case/Bag Included Yes, Case Type Hardshell Case, Series Les Paul Special

7- Gibson Les Paul Standard ’50s

Gibson Les Paul Standard ’50s Electric Guitar Tobacco Burst

The Real Deal

  • Beautiful Maple Top on Mahogany Body
  • Vintage ’50s Neck Profile
  • 22 Medium Jumbo Frets and Acrylic Trapezoid Inlays
  • Dual Burstbucker Humbucker Pickups
  • Includes Hardshell Case
  • Value For Money
  • Solid Resonance
  • Finest Craftsmanship

Now back to the roots of this iconic guitar with Les Paul Standard 50s. 

The unique PAF Style Burstbuckers brought inspiration to generations of Gibson players. Gibson has handpicked the hardware to bring you the classic 50s blueprint.

Vintage tuners with those delicious amber top hat control knobs. A lush nickel plated binding feel that tells you a story from way back in the day. 

The tone is vibrant vintage and crunchy. Boosting up into the thick and creamy neck position for fat feisty riffs that’ll vibrate the ground. The clears are high and shiny. With Strumming chords, you can hear every individual note. Just like the guitars made in the 50s.  

An incredibly dynamic guitar with a beautiful vintage tone that would suit the Les Paul purist. The design is original and offers the same craftsmanship as you’d get buying in the 1950s.

The neck is a rounded chunky mahogany feel. I have a few Les Paul playing friends, this is the feature they love most about the guitar. The heavy feel of the guitar in your palm awaiting your next move is super comfortable.

The big style neck gives you plenty of resonance and gives you the natural boost you’ll need when playing your slow deep blues licks. 

Rosewood fretboard gives you an unrivalled smooth fingering experience, this could become very addictive, beware! 

A distinguished and dominant sustain enables you to feel the full Gibson Les Paul experience. 

Need I say anymore? The legendary experience awaits you

Number Of Frets 22, Scale Length 24.75″, Nut Width 1.695″, Neck Shape Vintage ’50s, Fingerboard Radius 12″, Body Style Les Paul, Neck Wood Mahogany, Fingerboard Rosewood, Body Wood Mahogany, Top Maple, Pickup Configuration H-H, Bridge Pickup BurstBucker 2, Neck Pickup BurstBucker 1, Bridge Type ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic with Aluminum Stopbar Tailpiece, Tuning Machines Vintage Deluxe, Case/Bag Included Yes, Case Type Hardshell Case, Series Les Paul, Model LPS500TONH1

8- Gibson Les Paul Standard ’60s 

Gibson Les Paul Standard ’60s Electric Guitar Bourbon Burst

The Cornerstone Electric Guitar

  • Dual Burstbucker 61 Humbucker Pickups
  • Top Quality Build
  • The Cornerstone of Les Paul Guitars
  • 5 Star Guitar
  • Thinner 60s style neck
  • Crystal clear note definition
  • Alnico V magnets For an all-round balanced sound

If your eyes haven’t lit up at the sight of this, we have some serious problems.

A blast from the past, a real beauty from the 1960s in the shape of the stunning Bourbon Burst Gibson Les Paul. With authentic 60s specifications to give your fingertips a truly magical trip down memory lane. 

It’s by far the best non Custom Shop LP produced. Gibson has purposely kept the simplification of the instrument in line with the guitars made in the 50s & 60s. 

Depending on where you stand in the room, the slight flame feature on the body changes color. The finish to the guitar is a real work of art. The intonation comes spot on straight outta the box. The stability and tuning is a far better standard than some of the previous models. 

The pickups are hotter than expected so take that into consideration. There is still lots of tasty shimmering clarity and chubby blues tones to be discovered. Overall this model seems to be one of the most resonant in the collection of Standards. 

A sonically jaw dropping version of the classic 60s Gibson Les Paul for any fans.

Lots of high quality attention to detail factors for those looking for perfection. 

Considering the last 5-10 years, the gold standard of Les Pauls dropped in build quality (in my opinion), I’m happy to say they are now back to what they do best. 

Value for money right here in your Gibson Les Paul Standard ’60s Electric Guitar Bourbon Burst. 

Body Style Les Paul, Neck Wood Mahogany, Fingerboard Rosewood, Body Wood Mahogany, Top, AA Figured Maple, Pickup Configuration H-H, Bridge Pickup Burstbucker 61T, Neck Pickup Burstbucker 61R, Bridge Type ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic, Tuning Machines Grover Rotomatics w/ Kidney Buttons,, Case/Bag, Included Yes, Case Type Hardshell Case, Series Les Paul, Model LPS600ITNH1

9- Gibson Les Paul Modern

Gibson Les Paul Modern Electric Guitar Faded Pelham Blue Top

Best New Hardware

If you’re a purist. Look away now. 

The outstanding modern Les Paul comes out with all guns blazing. The 2020 Les Paul Standard is something that needs to be taken into consideration if you love everything about that Les Paul sound. 

The first thing you might notice is the ultra modern lightweight relieved mahogany body. With its slim taper and modern contoured heel. 

Locking Grover Rotomatic tuners with keystone buttons gives you assurances of your ax staying perfectly in tune. 

The guitar’s finish is outrageously beautiful, real eye candy for everybody watching you play. 

The Faded Pelham Blue looks sharp and looks like nothing else in the whole of the Gibson catalog. I just love the look of this! 

A real feature in my eyes is the outstanding finish of the ‘Modern range’. Take a moment to look at the other Black graphite top and Burgundy colors. So lush. 

Although we have a body thickness that’s 10mm shallower than its brothers and sisters. It doesn’t take away the shortage of natural sustain, especially above the 12th fret.

The sonic attributes of this instrument reflect in the price. Do not think the price reflects the ‘newness’ of design.

The price indicates the build and hardware quality. And we all know the better the build, the more tone options you’ll have at your fingertips. 

The Humbuckers give you plenty of treble, clarity, and rolling the volume on- some surprisingly nice fizzy tones. If there’s such a term!

On pulling up the volume pots you’re given a gorgeous P-90 ‘type’ characteristic tone. Gibson does like to use this as one of the guitar’s major selling points, and fair enough! 

There’s no considerable drop in levels of volume or resonance when switching from Humbucker to a single coil. This is a nice touch as I’ve played many guitars that cannot boast such a benefit.

A serious contender if you have the budget. It has all the bells and whistles and would definitely make a sturdy live guitar. It’s very different in a lot of aspects to the standard, classic Les Paul but you can’t take that away from Gibson for trying to please a ‘modern’ audience. 

It’s still a very good guitar with many hours of fun to be had. 

Number Of Frets 22, Scale Length 24.75″, Nut Width 1.695″, Neck Shape Asymmetrical SlimTaper, Body Style Les Paul, Neck Wood Mahogany, Fingerboard Ebony, Body Wood Mahogany, Top Maple, Pickup Configuration H-H, Bridge Pickup Burstbucker Pro + Lead, Neck Pickup Burstbucker Pro Rhythm, Bridge Type Aluminum Nashville Tune-O-Matic with Aluminum Stopbar Tailpiece, Tuning Machines Grover Locking Rotomatics with Keystone Buttons, Case/Bag Included Yes, Case Type Hardshell Case, Series Les Paul, Model LPM00M3CH1

10Gibson SG

Gibson SG Standard ’61 Electric Guitar-Vintage Cherry Red

Most Comfortable-Great For Beginners

The instantly recognizable horn shaped guitar is known all over the world. It’s offered its services to many genres of music. 

The Gibson SG has been superbly used by such legends as Angus Young, Robbie Krieger, right through to the early blues recordings of Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Now that’s versatility right there!

The Gibson SG Standard 61 takes the classic vintage aesthetics from the original. But updates the hardware and electronics with a perfect blend of old and new. 

I’ve owned one of these for almost 10 years and I can safely say it’s one of the most comfortable electric guitars I’ve ever played.

A beautiful cherry stain color and slim taper mahogany neck give you an unrivaled sustain. 

Dual Burstbucker 61 Humbuckers enable you to match the classic rock and blues tones of old. Superb clarity and huge low end punch give you the choice to smash out big angry riffs or power chords. 

The vintage stop bar tailpiece and deluxe cream tuners make it look exactly like the original 60s model. The spacious 22 fret fingerboard is made from mahogany and feels like silk under your fingertips. 

My favorite part of the guitar is the Acrylic Trapezoid inlays. I don’t know why it’s just a style feature I love about the SG.

A three way toggle switch, two tone, and two volume controls give you many sounds to choose from. A crystal clear shimmer can be ideal for the quiet bedroom type scenarios or you can go full blazing face melt and show everybody who’s the daddy.

If you’re already a big Gibson fan, you must absolutely own an SG. The most comfortable guitar I’ve played!

Number Of Frets 22, Scale Length 24.75″, Nut Width 1.695″, Neck Shape Slim Taper, Neck Wood Mahogany, Fingerboard Rosewood, Body Wood Mahogany, Pickup Configuration H-H, Bridge Pickup Burstbucker 61T, Neck Pickup Burstbucker 61R, Bridge Type ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic with Aluminum Stopbar Tailpiece, Tuning Machines Vintage Deluxe w/ Keystone Buttons, Case/Bag Included Yes, Case Type Hardshell Case, Series SG Series, Model SG6100VENH1


“In a post-apocalyptic world, there will be cockroaches and Telecasters. And the Teles will be in tune”- Greg Koch

11- Fender Jimmy Page Telecaster 

Fender Jimmy Page Telecaster Electric Guitar-The Dragon

If You Need That Early Zep Tone

When you picture Jimmy Page, the guitar you probably see is his 1959 Sunburst Les Paul Standard. This was the guitar he bought from Joe Walsh and can be heard on most of Led Zep II.

Jimmy’s unmistakable overdriven sound made people sit up and listen. Big fat riffs and power chords played through small to medium amps. In the studio, Page would push these smaller amps hard, they would break up at high volumes, this gave Jimmy the legendary Led Zeppelin sound.

Did you know Jimmy Page played a Telecaster in the early days? Most of ‘Led Zeppelin I’ was recorded with a Blonde 1959 Telecaster named ‘The Dragon’. 

The Tele was also responsible for the greatest solo in the history of rock music, ‘Stairway To Heaven’.

This unique Telecaster style was originally painted by Jimmy himself. The guitar is fitted out with the ‘Jimmy Page’ custom single coil pickups. With a blazing hot tone, they’re built purely for that classic rock sound. 

I have an American Standard Tele, and sometimes the sound is a little too bright. Like most telecasters you need to roll the tone knob down 15% to gain a thicker sound. 

Not so much on the JP Tele, the neck pickup was crispy and had an element of thickness. This is what all Tele players spend hundreds of dollars on in pedals to acquire this sound. 

The neck is very comfortable and designed with the JP Custom thin ‘D’ maple neck and a 7.25” radius fingerboard. I can tell you now Tele fingerboards are the smoothest in the market. 

If there’s any guitar in music history that’s capable of ripping out huge riffs then playing something in a country music style, it’s the versatile Telecaster.

The neck has a road worn nitro lacquer finish just like Jimmy’s original. The attention to detail is superb. Although this guitar isn’t as famous as, say, Gilmours Black Strat, it’s still very much a collector’s guitar for the JP fan. 

If you’re looking to get that early Led Zeppelin sound you’ll get it straight out of the box with this beast. For all collectors and Jimmy Page fans, get yourself a piece of history. 

Number Of Frets 21, Scale Length 25.5″, Nut Width 1.650″, Neck Shape Jimmy Page Custom “Oval C”, Fingerboard Radius 7.25″, Body Style Telecaster®, Neck, Type Bolt On, Neck Wood Maple, Fingerboard Rosewood, Body Wood Ash, Pickup, Configuration S-S, Bridge Pickup Jimmy Page Custom Tele, Neck Pickup Jimmy Page Custom Tele, Bridge Type 3-Saddle Vintage Style Tele® with Threaded Steel Saddles, Top-Load or Strings-Through-Body, Tuning Machines Fender Vintage-Style, Case/Bag Included Yes, Case Type Hardshell Case, Series Artist Signature, Model Jimmy Page Telecaster®

12- American Ultra Telecaster

Fender American Ultra Telecaster Electric Guitar

The Most Versatile Guitar On Planet Earth

The Fender Ultra is a big seller and is probably the most attractive looking guitar in my review. 

There isn’t any genre of music the Tele cannot deal with. From Bruce Springsteen, Rage Against The Machine, Led Zeppelin to Merle Haggard and Brad Paisley. 

One of the lighter Telecasters at just over 7lbs and looks modern and sleek. With noiseless pickups, this makes it a go-to guitar for the live performer. The Tele is the world’s most sturdy guitar. 

The Great Greg Koch once said, “In a post-apocalyptic world, there will be cockroaches and Telecasters. And the Teles will be in tune”. 

The neck is a modern “D” shape, but not like the older versions. This shallow neck groove gives the player a much more comfortable playing experience than the earlier models. 

One of the first things you’ll notice when placing the American Ultra in your lap. The top edge is bound, and the gap between your rib cage and the body contour is quite spacious. I’m not really sure why this is. 

I actually like a guitar to hug into my gut and hip, almost like a part of your body. I guess it’s swings and roundabouts, depending on what you like. My American standard is wider in the body and heavier, so I guess I’m not used to this new body contour design.  

The modern chrome brass saddles give you more room for sustain. Personally, I love the small print you get on the pickups, the ‘Fender’ and ‘Noiseless’ font feature is very professional looking. 

With a variety of tones to be had due to the 4-way selector switch. It does come across quite trebley at the bridge end. But like I’ve mentioned previously, you need to play with a tele and its tone pots to mix up a sound that suits you.

If you’re looking for an affordable, sturdy live guitar that looks beautiful, then this is your next instrument. I can safely say, it’s a very reliable guitar that will last the rest of your life. 

Every guitarist should have a Telecaster of some sort. 

Category Solid Body Electric Guitar, Number of Strings 6, Body Style Telecaster, Scale, Length 25.5″, Number of Frets 22, Body Wood Alder or Ash, Neck Wood Maple, Pickup Configuration S-S, Case/Bag Included Hard Case, Series American Ultra

PRS-(Paul Reed Smith)

13- PRS SE 277 Baritone Electric Guitar

Paul Reed Smith-Best Alternative Option For Low Budget 

An Absolute Beast

  • Unique PRS Tone
  • Great Low Price
  • Mahogany Body with Beveled Maple Top and Flame Maple Veneer
  • Classic PRS bird inlays
  • Coil split available for single-coil tones

Paul Reed Smith guitars are already a popular choice in the electric guitar world. They are well built, reliable, and meant to cranked up into oblivion, blasting out heavy riffs and power chords. 

PRS Players like Brad Delson (Linkin Park) and Carlos Santana have brought this brand of guitar to the mainstream with amazing unique tones of their own. A stunning looking guitar which to be fair is a great price. 

PRS guitars have a unique sound that you cannot get with any other guitar in this review. The voicings sit perfectly between an electric guitar and bass. So you’re getting the best of both worlds when it comes to the versatility of tone.

The PRS 227 was definitely the easiest to play, a comforting shape that sits nicely into your body and is generally small in size.

The neck is the same length as a standard guitar with 22 frets (27.7’ scale length). It is easy to play, which might be a major factor for you if this is your first baritone.

It’s a beautiful-looking instrument and gives you the player a wide range of low-end colors to explore and play with.

Perfect for recording sessions or releasing huge riffs live to melt some faces.

The Humbucking setup gives you the raw power, it can be split into single coils if you need to take your foot off the gas and play something intricate and clear.

PRS guitars are certainly versatile alright. If you need to set a club on fire with aggressive riffs or power chords this is your guitar. If you need to play some beautiful melodies and give your fans a dreamy tone, switch down to the single coils, and away you go.

100% my vote for the best budget Baritone. Many hours of fun to be had with this beast.

Take a look through the Paul Reed Smith collection in the link below. Some real affordable options. PRS are guitars made with the utmost quality.

Number Of Frets: 22, Scale Length 27.7″Nut Width 1-11/16″Neck Shape WideFat BodyStyle Double Cutaway Neck Type Set Neck Neck Wood Maple Fingerboard Rosewood Body Wood Mahogany Top Maple with Flame Maple Veneer Pickup Configuration H-H Bridge Pickup 85/15 “S” Neck Pickup 85/15 “S” Bridge Type PRS Guitars Designed Plate-Style, String Through Tuning Machines PRS-Designed Orientation Series SE Series Model SE 277 Baritone

Features You Need To Consider Before Buying An Electric Guitar:

Fingerboard Radius

  • The Smaller radius fingerboards are more curved. In general, players perceive this better for playing chords.
  • A Larger radius is seen as a better option for playing lead and bending, as the radius is larger.  

Fret Size

  • Some guitars feature narrow tall frets—currently very popular with players
  • Classic Series ’60s Stratocaster vintage-style frets (smaller and narrower in size compared to Jumbo frets)
  • Standard models feature medium jumbo frets
  • American Special Strat features jumbo frets

Neck Shape

Most of the guitars covered in this article follow these basic neck shapes. Check Notable Features. 



Alderwood gives the guitar a higher resonance. The upper mid-range pushes through nicely, giving you that extra sustain for attack. Red Alder is used by Fender as it is fast-growing and readily available. Bodies made from Red Alder are constructed from two to four pieces glued together. They feature a tighter more consistent grain than that of ash.


Ashwood can give you a more rounded and slightly mellower tone. The highs of Ashwood are not too bright in comparison. Ash has a more inconsistent but straight and visible grain that looks great with natural and transparent finishes.

Maple Or Rosewood Fretboard

The American Professional, Fender Ultra Telecaster models are available with maple fingerboards or, for a small additional cost, rosewood. If you click on the links to most of my fender items, you can choose between the two.

The Fender Classic Series ’60s and the selection of Gibson guitar models are only available with rosewood fingerboards.

Apart from the difference in color between the whole piece of maple makes up the neck as well as the fretboard. Rosewood on the other hand is normally glued to another piece of wood to make up the fretboard.

When it comes to tone, some people claim there is a big difference. Rosewood is known for being more mellower and has a spongier feel to the fingerboard. Whereas a maple neck is harder in tone but feels very smooth under your fingertips. 

I’ll be honest, I’ve got both two guitars with both types of neck. There isn’t much in it at all. It’s all down to the player. It’s best to try it out for yourself.

American Made Guitar Legends

Best Stratocaster
SRV. pic by Bbadventure

Legends Who’ve Graced The Stratocaster

  • Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Nile Rodgers
  • Hank Marvin
  • Yngwie Malmsteen
  • Mark Knopfler
  • Ronnie Wood
  • Eddie Van Halen 
  • Pete Townshend 
  • Bonnie Raitt
  • Hank Marvin
  • Buddy Guy
  • John Frusciante
  • Dick Dale
  • Ry Cooder
  • Joe Bonamassa 
  • Kurt Cobain
  • Robert Cray 
  • Jeff Beck
  • Ritchie Blackmore
  • Eric Clapton
  • Rory Gallagher
  • David Gilmour
  • George Harrison
  • Buddy Holly
  • …….Oh, and Jimi Hendrix
Slash. pic by Scott Penner

Legends Who’ve Graced The Les Paul

  • Slash
  • Jimmy Page
  • Billy Gibbons
  • Randy Rhoads
  • Zakk Wylde
  • Ace Frehley
  • Gary Moore
  • Bob Marley
  • Neal Schon
  • Steve Clarke
  • Duane Allman
  • Peter Frampton
  • MIke Bloomfield
  • Peter Green
  • Gary Rossington
  • Mick Ronson
  • Joe Perry
  • Joan Jett
  • Tony Iommi
  • Paul Kossoff
  • Joe Bonamassa
  • Joe Walsh
Angus Young
Angus Young. pic by Joan Sorolla

Legends Who’ve Graced The Gibson SG

  • Angus Young 
  • Robbie Krieger
  • Sister Rosetta Tharpe
  • Frank Zappa
  • Ian Mackaye
  • Derek Trucks
  • Gary Clarke Jr
  • Josh Homme
  • Jerry Garcia
  • Frank Marino
  • Daron Malakian
  • Pete Townsend
  • Eric Clapton
Keef. pic by Kronos

Legends Who’ve Graced The Telecaster

  • Keith Richards
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Andy Summers
  • Steve Cropper
  • Muddy Waters
  • Brad Paisley
  • George Harrison
  • Prince
  • Tom Morello
  • Merle Haggard
  • Jeff Buckley
  • Rick Parfitt
  • Greg Koch
  • Jimmy Page
  • Bob Dylan
  • Jonny Greenwood
  • Robbie Robertson
  • Joe Strummer
Paul Reed Smith
Carlos Santana. pic by joho345

Legends Who’ve Graced The PRS

  • Carlos Santana
  • Brad Delson
  • David Grisson
  • Dustie Waring
  • John Mayer
  • Zach Myers
  • Ed Robertson
  • Gerry Leonard
  • Noel Hogan
  • Steve Vai
  • Tom Toomey
  • Troy Mclawhorn
  • Dave Navarro
  • Ace
  • Danny Lohner
  • Zac Brown
  • Rob Harris

Final Word:

With any of these guitars in my review, you’re guaranteed a top-notch build and a guitar for life.

There are plenty of variations to choose from. What one person likes doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to like it. Everybody’s picking style and setup are different from the next person’s.

You don’t need to spend a small fortune on a high end guitar, simply choose one which is best for YOUR needs and budget.

Grab yourself a lower-priced legendary American Made Guitar and feel the history between your fingertips.

There is no other nation that can boast so many outstanding guitars.

Good luck on your journey!

About Lee

Lee has been playing guitar for over 25 years. In the 1990's he made a few TV appearances in London and supported a few big bands at festivals. He's recently sung on radio and worked as a full-time guitarist/singer. Lee is the founder of Authority Guitar, a site where he wants readers to enjoy every aspect of learning the guitar.