Welcome to the fantastic world of guitars! Whether you’re picking up a guitar for the first time or already know your way around a tune, there’s always something new and exciting to discover. Picture guitars that have rocked big stages and are all about the future.
We will explore famous guitar brands, witnessing what makes each one special. From classic Fenders that have jived in jazz to rocking Gibsons and super modern Strandbergs, a guitar buddy awaits everyone.
So, grab a spot, and let’s find the guitar that will be your new best friend. It’s all about having a great time with music and finding the perfect guitar. Let’s dive in and have some fun!
Table of Contents
Top Guitar brands
Fender is an iconic American guitar manufacturer founded in 1946 by Leo Fender. Fender offers various guitar models, with its flagship products being the Telecaster and Stratocaster electric guitars. Squier is Fender’s subsidiary, established in 1982, primarily offering budget-friendly alternatives to Fender’s classic models.
The price range for Fender guitars varies from $150 (Squier Bullet series) to $5,000+ for Fender’s Custom Shop models. Fender is loved for its distinctive sound and versatile guitars, which are suitable for various music genres, from rock and blues to jazz and country. Famous artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and David Gilmour have played Fender guitars, contributing to the brand’s popularity and image.
Squier provides an affordable option for beginners and intermediate players who aspire to have a guitar-playing experience similar to Fender’s iconic models.
2. Gibson / Epiphone
Gibson is another legendary American guitar brand founded in 1902. Gibson’s signature guitars are known for their rich and warm tones, including the Les Paul and SG. Epiphone guitars, purchased by Gibson in 1957, offer budget-friendly Gibson models. Prices for Gibson guitars range from $500 (for low-end models) up to $10,000+ for Custom Shop models, while Epiphone guitar prices typically range from $200 to $1,000.
Gibson’s popularity stems from its iconic history and association with famous guitar players like Slash, Jimmy Page, and Angus Young. The brand’s quality craftsmanship and top-notch materials create a warm and powerful sound that defines numerous genres, mainly rock, blues, and jazz.
The accessible Epiphone line allows players on a budget to experience similar Gibson plays and sounds, making the brand loved by a wide range of music enthusiasts.
3. Taylor / Martin & Co.
Taylor and Martin & Co. are both renowned for their high-quality acoustic guitars made in the USA. Founded in 1974, Taylor is known for its modern design and technology, while Martin, established in 1833, is celebrated for its traditional craftsmanship.
Taylor acoustic guitar prices range from $400 to $7,000+, whereas Martin guitars range from $500 (the X Series) up to $15,000+ for Custom Shop models. Taylor and Martin are loved for their unique sound and exceptional build quality.
Taylor’s forward-thinking approach to guitar design and building and responsiveness to customer feedback has made the brand popular among modern guitarists. Conversely, Martin’s rich history and commitment to crafting traditional, high-quality instruments appeal to those seeking a classic, time-tested sound.
Established in 1908 in Japan, Ibanez rose to fame in the 1980s with sleek and modern designs targeting the rock and metal markets. Ibanez offers a broad range of guitars, from budget-friendly options to high-quality professional models, with prices ranging from $200 to $10,000+.
Ibanez is famous for its innovative guitar designs, fast necks, and excellent playability, making it well-suited for rock and metal genres. Endorsements and collaborations with legendary guitarists such as Steve Vai and Joe Satriani have cemented Ibanez’s reputation as a go-to brand for top-notch performance and distinctive style.
5. PRS/PRS SE (Paul Reed Smith)
PRS Guitars, founded in 1985 by Paul Reed Smith, has become a significant player in the guitar world within a relatively short time. PRS offers electric and acoustic guitars featuring a unique blend of classic and modern design elements. The PRS SE line, created in 2001, offers budget-friendly options.
Prices for PRS guitars range from $500 (for PRS SE models) to $12,000+ for Custom Shop models. Guitar heroes love PRS guitars for their impeccable craftsmanship, stunning aesthetics, and versatile sound suitable for various music genres.
The harmonious blend of classic and modern design elements creates a unique playing experience for guitarists. PRS guitars have gained endorsements from iconic players like Carlos Santana, John Mayer, and Mark Tremonti, contributing to the brand’s popularity in the guitar world.
Yamaha is a diversified corporation based in Japan. It was founded in 1887 and has expanded its range of products to various industries. Known for producing high-quality musical instruments, Yamaha offers guitars that cater to all skill levels. Yamaha ranges from $100 for entry-level guitars to $3,000+ for high-end models.
Yamaha is famous for its guitars’ consistency, quality, and reliability, which appeal to beginners and professional guitarists alike. The wide range of models and designs ensures that musicians of all genres and playing styles can find a suitable instrument. Yamaha’s long-lasting reputation for innovation and excellence in the music industry has contributed to the brand’s success and loyal fan base.
Rickenbacker is an American guitar manufacturer known for its distinctive semi-hollow and solid-body electric guitars. Founded in 1931, Rickenbacker has a rich heritage and reputation for unique designs and innovations, such as the 12-string electric guitar. The price range for Rickenbacker guitars starts at around $1,500 and goes up to $5,000+ for premium models.
Rickenbacker’s popularity can be attributed to its unique design, bright and jangly tone, and association with iconic musicians like George Harrison, Pete Townshend, and Tom Petty. Rickenbacker guitars have become synonymous with classic rock and are loved for their distinctive appearance, playability, and ability to produce a sound that sets them apart from other brands.
Gretsch is a well-regarded American guitar brand that has existed since 1883. Known for its hollow and semi-hollow body electric guitars, Gretsch offers a variety of models with a vintage aesthetic. The price range for Gretsch guitars starts at around $300 for budget models and exceeds $5,000 for premium Custom Shop guitars.
Gretsch guitars have gained popularity for their vintage looks, rich sound, and association with famous guitarists like Chet Atkins, Brian Setzer, and George Harrison. The brand’s dedication to producing high-quality instruments with a timeless design and a unique, versatile sound that suits various music genres makes Gretsch a sought-after brand for guitar enthusiasts.
9. Ernie Ball Music Man / Music Man
Ernie Ball Music Man is an American guitar and bass manufacturer established in 1974. The brand is known for innovative designs, such as the electric guitar brands, the StingRay bass, and the John Petrucci signature guitar models. Price-wise, Ernie Ball Music Man’s guitars range from $500 (Sterling by Music Man) to $3,000+ for premium models.
Ernie Ball Music Man’s popularity stems from its solid craftsmanship, playability, and innovative designs that make their instruments stand out. Collaborations with renowned artists like John Petrucci, Steve Lukather, and James Valentine have created signature models and iconic guitars that appeal to musicians seeking unique and highly playable guitars.
ESP (Electric Sound Products) is a Japanese guitar manufacturer founded in 1975. Initially focused on making custom replacement parts for guitars, ESP expanded its offerings to include complete instruments and established the LTD brand in 1996 to provide more affordable guitar options. ESP’s price range spans from $200 for budget LTD models to $10,000+ for ESP Custom Shop creations.
ESP has earned its popularity through its commitment to high-quality craftsmanship, aggressive designs, and powerful sound tailored to rock and metal genres. The brand has fostered many endorsements from well-known artists such as James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, and George Lynch, solidifying its reputation as a go-to brand for rock and heavy metal musicians.
The affordable LTD line offers a more accessible option for players who desire ESP’s quality and aesthetic at a lower price point.
Jackson is an American guitar manufacturer established in 1980. Known for its high-quality, metal-oriented guitars, distinctive body shapes, and fast-playing necks, Jackson caters to guitarists who prefer aggressive music styles. The price range for Jackson guitars varies from $200 for entry-level JS models to $4,000+ for custom USA models.
Jackson’s rise in popularity can be attributed to their dedication to producing guitars tailored for heavy metal and hard rock musicians. The boutique guitar brand has attracted renowned endorsers like Randy Rhoads, Phil Collen, and Adrian Smith, further solidifying its reputation. Jackson’s guitars’ distinctive design and exceptional playability have made them a fan-favorite among the hard rock and metal community.
Guild is an American guitar company founded in 1952. It is highly revered for producing top-notch acoustic and electric guitars. Known for their craftsmanship and warm, rich sound, Guild guitars cater to a broad spectrum of musicians.
Prices for Guild guitars range from $400 for entry-level models to $4,000+ for premium Custom Shop creations. Guild’s popularity stems from its commitment to producing high-quality instruments with unparalleled attention to detail and craftsmanship.
Their guitars have found fans among various music genres, from rock and folk to jazz and blues. Guild has also been endorsed by renowned musicians like Tom Petty, Brian May, and Duane Eddy, significantly contributing to the brand’s enduring popularity.
G&L Guitars is an American guitar manufacturer established in 1980 by Leo Fender, George Fullerton, and Dale Hyatt. The brand carries Leo Fender’s innovative spirit, producing a range of electric guitars and basses with modern design updates. G&L prices range from $600 for the Tribute Series to $4,000+ for Custom Shop models.
G&L has gained popularity due to its connection to Leo Fender, innovative technologies, and superior playability. Focusing on constant improvement and embracing new design ideas, G&L has found its niche in offering instruments that combine classic Fender-style with updated features. The brand is also endorsed by artists like Jerry Cantrell, resulting in a strong reputation and a loyal fan base.
Vox is a British company founded in 1957. It is widely recognized for its amplifiers, notably the legendary Vox AC30. While primarily known for their iconic amps, Vox also produces a range of electric guitars with eclectic design features, such as the Phantom and Teardrop shapes.
Vox electric guitar prices typically range from $400 for entry-level models to $2,000+ for premium models. Vox’s popularity can be traced back to its association with groundbreaking British Invasion bands such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Kinks, who all used Vox amplifiers extensively.
Vox guitars’ unique and eye-catching design, history, and reputable sound have attracted musicians seeking something different from mainstream offerings.
Parker Guitars is an American guitar manufacturer founded in 1993 by Ken Parker. The brand is known for its futuristic and innovative designs, notably the Parker Fly. The price range for Parker guitars starts at around $1,000 for more affordable models and can reach up to $9,000+ for Custom Shop creations.
Parker’s popularity is due to its commitment to innovation, use of advanced materials, and unique design features that set the brand apart from other guitar manufacturers. Parker guitars’ lightweight and excellent ergonomics have made them a sought-after choice for musicians who value playability and comfort.
Despite the brand’s niche appeal, it has captured the interest of guitarists looking for something truly distinctive and cutting-edge.
Strandberg Guitars, established in 2007 by Ola Strandberg, is a Swedish guitar company known for its innovative, headless guitars with ergonomic designs. Targeting the progressive rock and metal market, Strandberg offers a range of customizable guitars in various price points, from $1,800 for the Standard Series up to $5,000+ for Custom Shop creations.
Strandberg has rapidly gained popularity among guitarists for its groundbreaking designs, commitment to ergonomics, sound quality, and excellent playability. The unique headless guitars are lightweight, versatile, and visually striking, capturing the attention of musicians seeking a fresh approach to the conventional guitar.
Strandberg’s focus on innovation and quality craftsmanship has fostered a vibrant community of fans and players, ensuring the brand’s continued success.
As we’ve journeyed through the diverse world of guitar brands, we’ve uncovered the unique stories, craftsmanship, and musical magic behind each name. Each brand offers a distinct pathway to musical expression, from the timeless elegance of classic models to the innovative edge of modern designs. We hope this exploration has struck a chord with you, inspiring your next melody or rekindling your passion for the six strings.
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