PRS SE Custom 24 Review (2021 Review)

Within this review of the PRS Se Custom 24 we will be going over the guitars specs, special features of this guitar, as well as how this guitar performs in an assortment of genres.

prs se custom 24

Pros:

  • Great build quality
  • Extremely versatile
  • Exceptional guitar for rock and roll
  • Easy to play
  • Looks pretty

Cons:

  • Goes out of tune frequently
  • Not a great jazz guitar

PRS Se Custom 24 Specs

  • Mahogany body
  • Maple top
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Wide Thin Neck
  • 85/15 S humbucker pickups 
  • PRS nickel tremolo
  • PRS stock tuners 
  • Push pull switch on tone knob for coil tapping
  • 25" scale legnth
  • Three way selector switch
  • PRS SE 24 Weight: 8.5 LBS
The 85/15 pickups create a very natural and balanced sound that comes from the guitar.  It is a very natural EQ that can manipulated in any way someone would like to.  The balanced sound also makes it a very versatile guitar.  It can rip out lead lines, and it can take a back seat to sit in a groove.  As long as you have the know how to dial in a tone, this guitar can give you almost exactly what you want.  It is almost like a blank canvas for the player to make their own sonic mark on.  The neck shape is also something that is great for most players.  It is a very neutral neck shape meaning that it isn't a very strange neck shape.  If there is one thing to be noted about the PRS SE Custom 24's neck, it would be that it is a tad bit thinner than the average guitar neck.  Other than that though, I do not foresee anyone having issues with the neck shape.  It fits in most hands well and it makes the guitar easy to play.


This Guitar's brother the Se Custom 22 was mentioned in our "Best Guitar Under 1000" article Click Here to Read!

Coil Tapping - PRS SE Custom 24 Review

This guitar actually features what is called "Coil splitting", but most people just call it coil tapping, so that is what we will call it as well.  By pulling and pushing in the tone knob of the guitar, the player can switch between a humbucker pickup and a single coil pickup.  Since a humbucker is simply two single coil pickups put together, one set of coils just gets shut off, and then it creates a single coil sound.  

Single coils produce a much brighter and spankier tone than humbuckers.  Because of this single coils are often used for genres like funk, blues, and R&B.  The natural EQ of the coils favors those genres.  Also in these genres the guitar is often times an instrument that plays high pitched rhythm parts.  Guitarists like Nile Rodgers, Cory Wong, and Prince all used single coil style guitars to help craft their sounds.

Humbucker pickups offer a much fuller and richer sound than single coils do, and they sound great with a little overdrive.  Because of this they are often times used for genres like rock and metal.  Humbuckers can also be used for more delicate genres as well though.  Humbucking pickups are very common in the jazz guitar world.  Legendary jazz guitars like the Gibson super 400 and the Gretsch White Falcon use humbucker pickups.

Having both these pickup types on one guitar makes it an extremely versatile instrument.

Versatility - PRS SE Custom 24 Review

As mentioned before, this guitar performs extremely well in a whole assortment of genres.  Because of this we think it would be good to break down our personal experiences with this guitar in different genres after playing this guitar for a few years.  

Rock and Metal

This guitar can absolutely keep up with any other guitar in these genres.  They sound absolutely insane with a little bit of overdrive through a nice amp.  For rock and metal tones I like to run this amp through a Marshall DSL40.  The combination of this guitar and that amp can't really be beat in that price range.  This guitar sounds great when trying to replicate classic rock tones like Boston, or when trying to replicate new age metal tones like Avenged Sevenfold.  

If punk rock is more your thing thang classic rock or metal you can pull out the tone knob.  This will make the guitar use the single coil pickups instead of the humbuckers.  Throw on some overdrive, and you have a perfect punk rock sound.  From Blink-182 to Green Day, it'll all sound great on this guitar.

Country

This guitar is great for modern country.  Down in Nashville PRS guitars have been the hot new thing for the last 5 years or so.  If you are looking to replicate sounds you hear on Luke Combs or Morgan Wallen records you certainly can do that with this guitar.  

A small drawback with this guitar in country music is that it doesn't quite offer the twang of the legendary Telecaster.  

If the twang is something you would rather do without, but you want to play modern country music.  This could very well be the guitar for you.

Funk 

This guitar gets the job done in the funk realm.  Personally I prefer to play my strat when playing funk, but that doesn't mean this guitar still isn't great for it.  The PRS Se Custom 24 offers a pure straight ahead single coil tone that can absolutely be used for funk music. 

Whether you are tying to replicate legends like Nile Rodgers, or modern players like Cory Wong this guitar can certainly sit in a cut with the best of them.  

Jazz
This guitar can absolutely get by playing jazz.  However, I think there are many better options in the same price range.  Most times jazz guitars are semi hollow or fully hollow.  The hollowness of a guitar really effects the tone greatly.  This guitar being solid body does not quite have the right tone for Freddie Green style jazz.  It is not terrible by any means, but if jazz is purely what you were hoping to play with this guitar, I would like to point you in a different direction.  Maybe a D'Angelico Excel Ex-1 would suit your wants much better.
Conclusion

This guitar is a great jack of all trades guitar.  Not only that, but it shines in genres like rock, metal, and country.  I think this is a great guitar especially for intermediate guitarists.  It is a guitar they can consistently rely on that can get them through almost any genre or style of music.  The build quality of these instruments is tremendous.  PRS doesn't let anything leave their factories that isn't top notch.  

I really couldn't recommend this guitar enough.  It is a great all around guitar that can get you through almost any musical situation.  I personally have played it for jazz, country, rock, and funk gigs.  It has gotten me through all of them just fine. 

Thus concludes the PRS Custom 24 Review.  Let us know what you think about this guitar in the comments!

11 Best Guitars Under 1000 (2021 List)

Best Value

Roadhouse Strat

Best Acoustic

Taylor 110e

Best guitars under 1000?  Looking for a guitar under 1000 is a statement.  It means that you are out of the beginner stages, and ready to move on to bigger and better things.  Of course this doesn't mean you cannot be a great guitar player with a cheaper guitar.  However, a guitar that stays in tune, plays well, and most of all sounds good is essential to a players development.  

Finding the Best Guitar Under 1000

Playing on a quality instrument makes progressing tonnes easier.  Not only does it allow you to play better, it makes you want to play more.  An instrument that constantly fights you makes you not want to play it.  Playing a guitar that goes out of tune, or isn't intonated correctly is wildly frustrating.  It makes you sound worse, and makes you not want to pick the guitar up.  The less you pick the guitar up, the less you get better.  The best guitar under 1000 has to have a super high build quality.

Although It might seem like a good idea to opt for a lower quality instrument, I believe shooting for the highest quality instrument you can (within reason of course) is the best course of action.  If you buy a $350 guitar you are likely to replace it within a few years.  A $900 guitar though can last you your whole life.  You can gig with it, you can practice with it, and it will always be reliable for you.  

What is the Best Guitar for Me?

This question can be answered with another question.  How do you want to sound?  Every guitar has its own unique sound, and certain sounds lend themselves to sounding great in specific genres.  The best guitars under 1000 for one person might not be the best guitars under 1000 for another person.  That's why we break down all of these guitars by what genres suit them best.  We will tell you our own personal experiences with the instruments as well as what the online sentiment about the instrument, so you can find the instrument that fits you, and the music you want to create the best.

Also if these instruments are a little out of your price range we have an article about the best guitars under 300 as well.  Best guitar under 300

Best Guitars Under 1000 for Rock

In this section we are mostly speaking about guitars that will give you killer tones for classic rock.  If the sound you are looking for is similar to the sound of bands like Boston, Aerosmith, or Led Zeppelin, this is the category for you.  

The biggest thing that distinguishes a rock guitar from other types of guitars is the pickup type.  Rock music almost requires humbucker pickups.  You can also get away with P90 pickups, but P90 pickups are a little rare to find in a guitar, and the sound of them is not exactly for everyone.  Because of that we will be sticking to just humbucker pickups in this section.  

A quick explanation of humbucker pickups

Humbucker pickups are called humbuckers because they "buck" the "hum" meaning they eliminate the hum produced by single coils.  By putting two coils right next to each other, they eliminate the hum produced by the coils.  Humbucker pickups are known for producing big, warm, rich, or dark tones that are perfect for music genres like Rock and Metal.  They can do this because two coils right next to each other can put out a higher output signal that one coil.  This creates a much more powerful sound than single coil pickups.

Best Pick:  Prs Custom SE Series

Pros:

  • Extremely high build quality
  • Versatility 
  • Come in 22 and 24 fret varieties
  • Coil tapping
  • Looks pretty

Cons:

  • Only two pickups
  • Single coil pickups sound a little weak

I truly cannot recommend this guitar enough.  Not only is it an amazing rock guitar, but it is an extremely versatile guitar.  I have played jazz, funk, metal, R&B, and many other genres on this guitar.  The possibilities with this guitar are endless.  What makes this guitar so unique and versatile is its coil tap function.  Coil tapping is being able to switch back and forth between single coil pickups and humbucker pickups by pulling the tone knob out, or pushing it in.  

Another extremely notable thing about this guitar is the brand.  Normally I am not one to speak about the brand of a guitar, but Paul Reed Smith currently has one the best reputations of all guitar companies.  They consistently create great instruments, no matter the price.  PRS has quickly come to compete with companies like Fender and Gibson due to the build quality and reliability of their instruments.  

Players like Carlos Santana, John Mayer, and Zach Myers all trust PRS to create instruments that perform at the highest level for them day in and day out.  Because of all this I have to say this is the best electric guitar under 1000.

Epiphone Classic Les Paul

Pros:

  • Massive sound
  • Good build quality
  • Four dials for extra tone control

Cons:

  • Super big and bulky
  • No coil tapping ability like the PRS

A Les Paul is as classic rock of a guitar as you can get.  It is absolutely perfect for anyone who likes to throw on a little overdrive and go to town.  The ironic thing about the Les Paul was that it was intended to always be played clean by Les Paul himself, but now a days it is widely known for its sound when overdriven.  

Similar to the PRS Se, this guitar is equipped with two humbucker pickups, and a three way selector switch.  This guitar also comes with 22 frets, just like the PRS.

Although a Les Paul is a classic guitar, the reason many people like to stay away from them is that they are difficult to play.  They are super heavy and bulky guitars, and they do not fit very well with most peoples natural body shape. 

The sound a Les Paul produces however is so good that many people overlook the bulky and unnatural ways of this guitar.  There aren't many cooler feelings that busting out some rock and roll on a Les Paul with a little bit of overdrive.

Best Guitars Under 1000 for Metal

In a metal guitar you are looking for a guitar with humbucker pickups, a fast playing neck, and 24 frets.  Metal is one of the few genres where the 23rd and 24th fret are accessed regularly.  Because of that 24 frets are very desirable on a metal guitar.  Another thing that is often times desired for a metal guitar is jumbo frets.  This is because jumbo frets allow for the note to be fretted a lot easier.  this makes playing quick and light.

Let me give you a quick warning however.  Although things like an upgraded guitar with jumbo frets will help you play metal.  It won't make you a way better guitarist.  The biggest factor is who is playing the guitar, not what guitar it is.  This is true in all genres, but in metal especially because it is a genre that requires so much woodshedding, practice, and patience. 

Best Pick: ESP LTD EC-401

Pros:

  • Exactly what you want for metal
  • Great pickups 
  • Jumbo frets
  • 24 frets
  • Durable guitar

Cons:

  • Some quality control issues
  • Not very versatile

This guitar has 24 frets and is equipped with EMG 81/60 pickups.  EMG pickups are kinda standard for metal playing.  They are amongst the highest output pickups.  This makes them great for metal.  Within metal the higher the output, the better.  The higher output also allows them to pick up low frequencies better.  Meaning common metal drop tunings will come through a lot more clear.  

The frets on this guitar are LTD's "XJ" frets.  "XJ" stand for extra jumbo.  As we explained earlier jumbo frets are super desirable in metal because it allows for faster playing.  You can move from note to note a lot quicker when you don't have to press so hard to get the note to sound.  

This guitar does not offer a coil tapping function because you will almost never use a single coil in a metal setting.  They just do not put out the output level required for metal music like EMG humbucker pickups do.

For Heavy Genres this my personal best guitar under 1000.

Jackson X Series King V

Pros:

  • Jumbo frets
  • 24 frets
  • Tuning stability
  • Great pickups
  • Pointy

Cons:

  • Cumbersome bridge
  • Not very versatile
  • Some quality control issues
This guitar has all your bases covered for metal music.  It has jumbo frets, 24 frets, a fast playing neck, EMG pickups and most important of all it is pointy.  The pointier the guitar the more metal it is.  A universal truth.  Aside from looking super cool, this guitar also plays amazingly well.  The neck is silky smooth and plays crazy fast.  The guitar sounds exactly how you want it to sound.  It is just an all around great metal guitar.


This guitar comes with a Floyd Rose bridge.  Floyd Rose's are very controversial.  Some people love them, and some people hate them.  They are intended to keep the tuning of the guitar stable for longer, but along with that comes a whole lot of complexity.  They are very cumbersome to get used to.  However, in my personal experience, once you get used to them they aren't so bad.  For what it's worth they definitely do keep the guitar's tuning much more stable.  I could either take them or leave them.  I do not really care much whether a guitar has them or not.

Best Acoustic Guitars Under 1000

An acoustic guitar often accompanies a much more raw and genuine style of music.  Because of this you really want an acoustic guitar that represents you, and what sounds you like to hear.  Maybe it could also be that you need an acoustic guitar to accompany your voice.  Depending on your vocal range, and what you want to be accompanied with could impact what kind of acoustic guitar would fit you best.  The differences in acoustic guitars are subtle, but their impact is large.  A simple cutaway can effect the sound tonnes.  

The differences in sound from a dreadnought guitar to a dreadnought with a cutaway are massive.  When buying one of my first higher end acoustic guitars, I opted for a full dreadnought.  Instead of one with a cutaway.  Although playability should be a factor when selecting a guitar,  the sound was most important to me, and I really wanted a guitar with tonnes of bass. I loved the dreadnought sound.

The lesson here is that everyone has their own preferences, and that is totally okay.  What is important is that you find the sound that fits you.

Best Pick: Taylor 110e

Pros:

  • Massive sound
  • Plays super well
  • Great build quality
  • Stays in tune extremely well
  • Great for singer songwriter style

Cons:

  • Could have "too much bass"
  • String buzzing issues
  • No cutaway making it nearly impossible to play above 12th fret

If you are looking for an acoustic guitar with a lot of bass. This is the one for you.  I love the full sound of a dreadnought personally.  I think it is a guitar that eventually everyone should have in their arsenal.  It is particularly great for accompanying female vocalists because if all you have is a guitar and a vocalist, there is not much to fill up space sonically.  If the vocalist has the higher end of the sonic spectrum and the guitar emphasizes middle and low frequencies, just a guitar and a voice can feel like a full ensemble.  The only issue with this would be that often times dreadnoughts are not preferred by women because of their size.  Dreadnoughts are massive guitars.  That makes them very awkward to play when you are a small person.

This guitar is an electric acoustic.  This means it can plug into an amp via quarter inch cable.  This is great because it makes it a lot easier to gig with this instrument.  Setting up a microphone for an acoustic guitar is the worst.  Moving a few inches changes the sound drastically, the process is cumbersome, and it would be a lot easier to just plug a quarter inch cable into the back of the guitar and get going.

Aside from all that, this guitar is extremely well made, and wont let you down in terms of quality. You can't go wrong with a Taylor.

All of this and more is what makes the Taylor 110e the best acoustic under 1000, best Dreadnought under 1000 and best Taylor under 1000.

Martin 000 Road Series

Pros:

  • Balanced sound
  • Great build quality
  • Jack of all trades

Cons:

  • Cannot provide the bass many are looking for in an acoustic
  • No cutaway restricts the playability of the guitar

This guitar is a great jack of all trades acoustic guitar.  The biggest reason for this is the balanced sound the guitar produces.  This guitar produces a balanced sound because it is a little smaller than other guitars like the aforementioned Taylor dreadnought.  A smaller body means less bass, and a little more mids and treble.  That makes this a great guitar for almost everyone.  Nothing wrong with an acoustic guitar that can do it all.  This guitar is also an electric acoustic guitar meaning it can be plugged into an amp.

There really is not much else to say about this guitar.  It is just a straight ahead great guitar by a brand you can trust.  

Taylor 214ce-K

Pros:

  • Plays amazingly well
  • Balanced sound
  • High build quality

Cons:

  • String buzzing issues
  • Quite a large guitar

This guitar is similar to the last one in the fact that it has a much more balanced sound than a dreadnought.  Something about this guitar that is unique compared to the other acoustic guitars on this list is the fact that it has a cutaway.  This makes it tonnes easier to access the higher frets on the board.  Just like the other two guitars on this list, this guitar is also an electric acoustic guitar.

I personally became a big fan of this guitar when I was in college.  My guitar teacher had one of these, and it played like butter.  It felt so effortless and easy to play.  Some of that can be attributed to the fact that it was taken care of by a man who had played guitar for over 50 years and was quite an accomplished guitarist.  However, a lot of the playability just comes down to the guitar and its build quality.  Taylor has some of the best built guitars within this price range.  The feel great, sound great, and last long.  This guitar does not leave much to be desired.  As I said before, you can't go wrong with a Taylor.  Some would consider this to be the best Taylor under 1000.  It all comes down to personal preference.

Best Guitar Under 1000 for Funk

The biggest factor in a funk guitar is the pickup type.  Just like how humbuckers are pretty much standard for genres like rock and metal.  Single coil pickups are standard for funk.  The brighter and pokier sound of single coil pickups are perfect for funk.  The best of the best funk players like Prince, Nile Rogers, and Cory Wong all stick to single coil pickups almost exclusively.  Other than that there isn't much that goes into a funk guitar.  The rest of funk comes from the player.  How rhythmic they can play, and how well they can fit in the groove.

Best Pick: Fender Deluxe Roadhouse Stratocaster

Pros:

  • Classic strat with new features
  • Great price to quality ratio
  • Play exceptionally well
  • Great for gigging
  • Can last you a lifetime of playing

Cons:

  • I really cannot come up with a negative thing to say about this guitar.... whoopsies

The Fender Deluxe Roadhouse Stratocaster is one of the coolest innovations in guitar technology over recent years.  The Deluxe Roadhouse Stratocaster can give you all the classic strat sounds and then some.

The most unique thing about this guitar is the V6 switch it offers.  Essentially the V6 switch is a 6 way rotary selector switch that allows you to thicken up or thin out your sound at a moments notice.  This is particularly useful for gigging.  When playing lead lines you are likely going to want a thicker sound, but when playing rhythm not all that girth is needed.  Thinning out the sound gives room for the rest of the band to breathe.  

Aside from being a classic strat and the unique V6 switch, this guitar also offers Fender's vintage noiseless pickups, locking tuners, and a shaved heel.  The shaved heel allows for easier access to the higher frets of the guitar.  All of these cool new tools and tricks make this the best strat under 1000.

I am sure you can see now why this is one of the best electric guitars under 1000.

Best Guitar Under 1000 for Country

Electric guitars for country music have to have a very specific sound to them.  There is a certain twang that is needed in country music that can't be gotten from all guitars.  This twang comes from single coil pickups near the bridge of a guitar.  The tone cuts through a mix extraordinarily well, and is an absolute necessity in modern country music.

An easy way to figure out what guitars are best for country music would be to see what guitars are popular in Nashville.  My family recently took a trip to Nashville, and they reported back to me all about which guitars they saw and didn't see.  The biggest surprise to me was that they said they did not see a single Stratocaster in Nashville.  Which is very disappointing as a strat guy.  There seemed to be two types of guitars that dominate the Nashville country scene.  

Best Pick: Fender Telecaster

Pros:

  • Maximum country twang
  • Great for chicken pickin
  • Bridge pickup sounds great with a little overdrive

Cons:

  • Not very versatile
  • Some issues with crackling when switching pickups

The Telecaster is the one to rule them all when it comes to country guitar.  There is something magical about a telecaster's bridge pickup.  It is the perfect sound for country music.  The telecaster's specialty is the "twang" it offers.  It is a sound you cannot get out of almost any other guitar besides guitars that are simply trying to replicate a telecaster.  Listen to any modern country record, and you will hear a telecaster.  Luke Combs' main guitarist uses a tele, Brad Paisley is famous for using a tele, Morgan Wallen's main guitarist uses a tele.  They are every where you look in country music.

Even though a tele is mostly known for its twangy and pokey bridge pickup.  The neck pickup of a tele is still extremely useful.  It still keeps the pokiness, but the neck pickup brings a little more warmth and roundness into the playing.  Because of this the neck pickup can produce very dreamy sounding rhythm parts.  Strums that have a strong attack to them, but quickly settle into extremely full and lush chords.

For the country twang this tele is the best guitar under 1000.

PRS Custom SE Series

I know this guitar was already on the list in the rock category, but it makes it into two categories because it is such a great guitar.  Down in Nashville it seems that the scene is dominated by telecaster and PRS guitars like this one.  A lot of modern country is very derivative of rock and roll, and because of that this guitar works great for both.  Songs like Lovin' on You and 1, 2 Many by Luke Combs basically are rock songs.  Because of that it only makes sense that one guitar would be great for both rock and country.  I personally play country gigs with this exact guitar all the time.  If you want to read more about this guitar, more information it available in the "Best Guitars Under 1000 for Rock" section.

Best Guitar Under 1000 for Jazz

In jazz music there are a few different approaches to selecting a guitar that would be the best for you.  There is a big difference between the jazz guitar playing of Freddie Green and Nile Rodgers.  Freddie Green is a guitarist that every jazz cat knows.  He was famous for simplifying the dense jazz chords into their "color tones".  This typically means the 3rd and the 7th, or the 3rd and 9th.  He would take these two notes and just chunk out quarter notes.  Typically for this style of jazz music a hollow body guitar is used.  Other players like Nile Rodgers that play a lot of lead lines are much more likely to use a solid body guitar, so it all depends on what you are hoping to accomplish.

Best Pick: Gretsch G5655TG

Pros:

  • Amazing tone
  • Looks super cool
  • Player great

Cons:

  • Too big for some people

This guitar is the best of both worlds.  It is a semi hollow guitar.  That means it can do the Freddie Green style super well, and it can do lead lines super well too.  Not only that, but it an absolutely beautiful instrument.  It looks amazing, plays amazing, and sounds amazing.  You really cannot go wrong with this guitar if you are looking for a jazz guitar.  

The only drawback I see with this guitar is its size.  Smaller people might not like this guitar so much because it won't fit their body well.  Most semi-hollow or fully hollow jazz guitars are massive.  Compared to some others, this one isn't so bad, but it still is too big for some people to use.  If you are a smaller person looking for a different guitar for jazz may not be a bad idea.  For the average person though this absolutely is the best guitar under 1000 for jazz.

Most Versatile Guitar Under 1000

Looking for the best all around guitar under 1000 is pretty hard.  It is difficult to find a guitar that can get by in almost any genre.  Luckily guitar companies see this as a problem they can solve.  There are tonnes of players that want a guitar that can do it all.  Because of that the market for versatile guitars is huge.  If you are buying your first guitar in this price range it might be a good idea to look for a versatile guitar.  Having one quality instrument that can do whatever you need it to is so incredibly valuable.  

It is especially cool when you can show up to a gig with just one guitar.  Instead of 3 or 4.  Not having to lug around more gear is a massive plus.  The best guitar under 1000 for versatility is not even a question in my mind.  I know exactly what it is.

Best Pick: Fender HSS Stratocaster

Pros:

  • Extreme versatility
  • Great build quality
  • Play great

Cons:

  • Cannot quite pump out metal riffs like other guitars

This is for sure the best guitar under 1000 for versatility.  The Fender HSS Strats are awesome.  What makes them awesome is the humbucker in the bridge position.  Normally strats have three single coil pickups that all give off a bright and spanky tone.  Putting the humbucker in the bridge though allows this thing to rock out just as well as all the other guitars on this list.  Up front you still have that awesome Mayer, Clapton, Hendrix tone, but in the bridge you've got classic rock tones all day.  

The only real limitation with this guitar is in the metal realm.  The humbucker in the bridge still won't pump out the same sound level that something like an EMG pickup would.  That is really just being nit picky though.  You can absolutely get by playing metal on this thing.

I love using this guitar for gigs because I can play four or five rock songs in a row and then switch up to my middle and neck pickup for awesome clean funk tones.  It is super versatile and wont let you down in almost any genre.  

Conclusion

The best guitar under 1000 is subjective.  Not everyone has the same taste in music.  Not everyone has the same taste in guitars.  The sound you want is unique to you.  Get whatever guitar fits you the best.  I hope this helped you.  Good luck!

Best Guitar Under 1000 - Colin J

9 Best Amp for Stratocaster (2021 List)

The Stratocaster has many different legendary tones to offer.  From Clapton, to Hendrix, to Gilmour, to Mayer.  The list goes on and on.  Even after all these years players are still finding new ways to use this instrument.  Innovators like Cory Wong have recently opened up a whole to new world of Stratocaster sounds.  All of these legends have used a myriad of different amps, but what is the best amp for a Stratocaster?

The Real question is: What kind of sound do you want?  Each amp offers its own unique fingerprint of sound, and each person has their own unique preferences for what they want to hear.  Because of that we will be listing the best amps for a Stratocaster by a wide consensus.  The amps that have paired well with these instruments in many different genres for years, and will continue to do so.  

Stratocasters have been known to produce sounds in R&B, Rock, Country, Soul, Funk and many different genres.  They are extremely versatile instruments, and because of that we need to have a very diverse list that can cover all bases.

Without further ado, here are the best amps for Stratocasters.

Best Amp for Fender and Squier Strat

Some people wonder if there is a difference in the best amps for a Squier Strat vs. a Fender Strat.  In reality, there isn't an amp that is great for a squier that is bad for a fender.  What is good for one is good for the other.

Top Pick: Fender Twin Reverb

Pros:

  • Out of this world tone
  • Extreme control over your tone
  • Takes pedals extremely well
  • Top tier quality
  • Can last a lifetime of playing
Cons:
  • Price is out of reach for some players
  • Very heavy

This is the one amp to rule them all.  This is the best amp for a Stratocaster.  No doubt in my mind.  The biggest issue with this amp however is its price.  Because the price is not accessible for players of all tiers.  The only other negative thing about this amp is that it is very heavy at 64 lbs.  Making it not very easy to haul around.

Now that we have all the negative out of the way, let's tell you about how great this amp can be.  The first time I plugged into this amp, in the musty basement of my college guitar teacher's basement, it felt like magic.  The tone from my $500 Mexican made Stratocaster blew me away.  I had never heard a tone that crisp.  When my teacher, who had been a jazz guitarist for 55+ years, plugged in the magic reached a whole new level.

This amp allows for the small details that great players do to shine through.  The small things that great players do can get muffled out by other things in many other amps, but not this one.  It allows for every little bit of sound to come through.  

If there was any amp we would classify as the "Best Amp for Stratocasters" it would certainly be this one.  Pairing a Stratocaster with a Fender amp, who would've guessed?

This amp was also mentioned in our "Best Jazz Guitar Amp for you" article.  Click here to read!

Other Great Amps for a Stratocaster
Fender Hot Rod DeVille

Pros:

  • Great quality
  • Reasonable price
  • Classic Fender tube tone
  • Can put out massive volume
  • Takes pedals extremely well

Cons:

  • Very heavy (50 lbs)
  • Some issues with reverb tanks
  • Almost too loud

The Fender Hot Rod DeVille is a crazy value.  The quality of the amp you get for a medium level price is off the charts.  This has been personally one of my favorite amps for a long time because of its build quality and tone.  It can be used on the road, in the studio, or in the basement.  

One of the best things about this amp is its versatility.  It has an amazing breakup tone, and once there is a little overdrive on the signal, this amp really begins to shine.  Couple that with the fact that this amp offers great clean tones as well, and you have an amazingly versatile amp.  I, personally, have used this amp for jazz gigs, country gigs, funk gigs, and rock gigs.  This amp can do almost anything you need it to.  Slap on a very affordable price tag with a quality level that can last you a lifetime, and you have an amp that cannot disappoint.

For someone in the middle price range, this amp is absolutely killer.

Fender Blues Junior

Pros:

  • Great Price
  • Professional level tone
  • Portable tube amp
  • Compact size
  • Will last a lifetime

Cons:

  • Does not have the same volume as a Hot Rod DeVille
  • Not a lot of built in tone control

The Fender Blues Junior is a legendary amp.  It is a middle of the price range amp that has kept up with big name amps twice its price for decades.  Names like U2's Edge and Oasis' Noel Galligher have been seen using these amps for their whole careers.  These amps have a great reputation for a reason.

One of the best things about these amps is that they are not extremely heavy like most tube amps, but till put out killer tones.  Also the amp is a lot smaller than an amp like the Hot Rod DeVille or the Twin Reverb, so it is just all around a lot more portable.

If you are into Fender amps and are in the mid level price range the Blues Junior and Hot Rod DeVille are both great options for you to consider.  

Vox AC15C1

Pros:

  • Massive sound
  • Extreme clarity on clean signals
  • Can take two guitars at once

Cons:

  • A little pricier than similar Fender amps
  • Low quality control

Vox and Fender are the two biggest amp brands for clean tones.  Each has their own unique sound, but both consistently create great products.  The Vox AC15C1 is a 1 by 10, 15 watt, amplifier that can really pump out some massive sound.  I would say this amp is very comparable to a Fender Blues Junior.  They both offer great clean tones, can pump out similar volume levels, and offer a great clean slate for pedals to be put on top of.  

Something that sets it apart from a fender amp though is the classic Vox sound.  The Vox sound is a lot less in your face than the Fender sound.  It has a lot more of a laid back feel than Fender amps do.  I would prefer this amp for styles like Jazz and R&B over a Fender Blues Junior. 

Peavey Classic 30

Pros:

  • Can do clean and dirty very well
  • Super loud
  • Great "Fender style" tone
  • Extreme versatility

Cons:

  • Almost too loud for bedroom practice

This 30 watt amp is equipped with one 12 inch blue marvel speaker, 3 AX7 preamp tubes as well as 4 EL 84 power amp tubes.  To me these amps really have something special about them once the overdrive begins to kick in a little bit.  The natural overdriven tone of the amp is something really special.  It creates such a pure overdrive sound.  

Along with that this amp can also do super wet clean tones.  It can do genres like jazz and funk super well.  This amp really is all around killer.  I think especially if you are looking to have a little more grit on your playing this is the amp for you.  

Its price falls in the middle of the price spectrum, so it still isn't exactly cheap.  That's okay though because the difference between a low tier amp and a middle tier amp is extreme.  Middle tier amps are amps you can gig with, record with, or practice with for the rest of your life.  

Best amp under $400 for a Stratocaster
Fender Mustang

Pros: 

  • Tons of preinstalled tones
  • Can create your own presets and download others online
  • Is loud enough for coffee shops, musical pits, and other small to medium gigs
  • Super affordable
  • Great for any genre

Cons:

  • Tone is not as good as a tube amp
  • Some issues connecting the app to the amp

This is an amp we have a lot of experience with.  Many of us had used one model or another of a Fender Mustang.  This is because they are great for beginner and intermediate guitarists.  The versatility of a modeling amp is truly unmatched by any other amp on this list.  I've played gigs for musicals where I needed 7 or 8 different sounds, and I could flip back and forth between them instantly with no worry.  The price point is another thing about this amp that really makes it stand out.  You can get a crazy amount of different sounds out of this amp for a cheap price.

The biggest drawback with this amp is that to some guitar snobs, such as myself, the amp seems to be lacking in tone.  It is something that is almost not describable about how a tube amp just sounds better to our ears.  That being said, the vast majority of people will not be able to tell the difference.  Only a few guitar snobs here and there.  

My favorite part about this amp is its portability.  It only weighs about 17 lbs.  This makes it super easy to pick up and go to different gigs and shows.  Compare that to my 55 lbs Fender Hot Rod DeVille, and there is a world of difference.

For someone looking for an affordable amp this could very well be the best amp for a stratocaster.

Vox Adio Air GT 50W

Pros:

  • Extreme portability
  • Loud enough for small gigs
  • Modeling amp with tonnes of prebuilt tones

Cons:

  • Too small for medium sized gigs and up
  • A little pricey for the volume 

This is an extremely interesting little amp.  It is particularly strange because it is only a little bigger than small practice amps like the honey tone, but offers so much more in both volume and sound quality.  

Similar to the Fender Mustang, this Vox amplifier is a modeling amp.  This means that it has prebuilt in setting so that you can change the tone completely in a matter of seconds.  It is "modeling" the sound of other amps and pedals.  

I think although this amp is in the "Under $400" section, I believe this amp to be a little pricey because it would be pretty hard to play anywhere except a coffee shop with this amp. 

All that being said.  If you are looking for an amp purely for home use and maybe super small gigs.  This amp can surely get you by.

Frequently Asked Questions - Best Amp for Stratocaster
What amps did Jimi Hendrix use?

Hendrix was known mainly for playing two amps.  A Marshall Super 100, and a Fender Twin Reverb.  The Twin Reverb was already mentioned on this list as the best amp for a Stratocaster.  It offers an amazing canvas of sound for you to then make your own mark on.  

You can hear Jimi using the Marshall amp a lot towards the end of his career.  Many songs off of Electric Ladyland feature this amp.  

Fender Twin Reverb
Marshall Amplifier and Cab
What amp does John Mayer use?

All of the amps John Mayer uses are crazy expensive amps, that are super are to find.  The Blues Junior, Hot Rod DeVille, or Twin Reverb amps would all work great to get a John Mayer style sound.

Conclusion

The best amp for a Stratocaster is whatever amp is best for the sound you want and the budget you have.  The Twin Reverb is a crazy good amp, but spending that kind of money on an amp is quite a large investment.  

One of the most important things to remember is that tone is not just in the gear.  Tone is in the fingers.  The skills of the craftsman come through that amp as well.  Many people mistake things like vibrato, correct timing, and solid bending technique for tone.  So no matter what, make sure you practice.  

Getting better at your instrument is a life long journey that does not come easy.  Take your time and enjoy it.


Best Amp for Stratocaster - Dwane's Music

Best Amp for a Stratocaster - Colin J

7 Best Acoustic Guitar for Blues (2021 List)

Best For Slide

Gretsch Boxcar

Lowest Priced

Fender 60CC

Blues music on an acoustic guitar is a very raw art form.  That's why finding the best acoustic guitar for blues is a personal experience.  It is all based off of your sound, and what you want out if it.  Many times acoustic blues feels dirty, gritty, and most of all truthful.  Similar to a lot of country music, it is just three chords and the truth.  Often times it is just one person and their guitar telling you exactly what they're feeling. 

This makes it quite a challenging, but yet extremely rewarding art form.  

What Makes a Good Guitar for Blues?

Figuring out what the best acoustic guitar for blues is for your personal sound is a big challenge.  Because of that all of these guitars will be broken down, so you know the strengths and weaknesses of all these guitars.

The truth is that different people want different things.  Some people are searching for guitars that offer massive bass to really dig down into those chords on.  Others are looking for a guitar that will allow their melodies on the instrument to sing out, and have the guitar sound as one whole ensemble.  Finally some are simply looking for a balanced guitar sound that can pull off both.

Whatever the case is, we have got you covered here.  This list was created with both personal playing experience as well as research in to what hundreds of other players have experienced with these guitars, so you are not just getting one person's opinion.  Rather a whole overview of the upsides and downsides to each guitar.

Best Acoustic Guitar Body for Blues

Just like we said before, the best acoustic guitar body changes depending on what you're looking for.  If you want a lot of bass then a dreadnought is the guitar for you.  If you want a little more of a balanced sound, maybe a 00 is what you need.  It all depends on what you like to hear.

Top Pick: Taylor 110e

Pros:

  • Massive sound
  • Affordable for intermediate player
  • Electric-Acoustic with tone knobs
  • 2 Year warranty
  • Great quality control

Cons:

  • Body shape prevents playing on higher frets
  • Too much bass for some
  • Price is not accessible for many beginners

I am starting off this list with the guitar I personally use for acoustic blues.  The guitar is an absolute behemoth.  If you are into just one man and one guitar, this very well could be the guitar for you.  There is almost something magical about the richness you get out of this guitar in tunings like DADGAD or open D.  The sound is absolutely unbelievable.  

The sound you get when plugged into an amp is exactly the sound you would expect from a piezo pickup.  No surprises there.  When plugged in, you do not get as much bass as when the guitar is played purely acoustic.

The Taylor 110e is absolutely a guitar for the "3 chords and the truth" guy.  Just sit down and dig in is all you gotta do.  I personally love having a guitar like this in my arsenal.  Because you cannot get the same richness out of many other body shapes.  For a rich and full bass sound the dreadnought might be the only way to go.  That is why this is the best acoustic for blues.

Taylor GS Mini-e

Pros:

  • Small body allows higher notes to sing out
  • Compact and portable
  • Body shape is comfortable and easy to play

Cons:

  • Cannot push out a lot of bass
  • No cutaway/ playing above the 14th fret can be difficult

A guitar like this would be best utilized in a finger style arrangement.  The small body of the guitar allows for the higher frequencies to ring out.  If you want to lay down beautiful melodic blues lines, this guitar will allow you to do that.  

Here is an example of how a smaller body guitar and finger style go together: Video Example

Although the lack of a cutaway can be slightly annoying, I rarely find myself needing to play way up there anyway.  Most prefer the sound of the guitar without the cutaway.  The cutaway cuts out even more bass, and that is not worth it to many.  I think it is better to like how the guitar sounds all the time, rather than be able to access those high notes once in a blue moon when needed.  Certainly a worthy trade off to me.

Another nice thing about this guitar is that it is great for performing.  Bigger guitars often make the players bend in strange ways to play the instrument efficiently.  This little guitar does none of that.  It fits super well in the hands of almost everyone.  Especially those with smaller hands.

If you have smaller hands this may be the guitar for you to consider.

Martin 000-15M

Pros:

  • Exceptionally high quality instrument
  • Extremely versatile
  • Very balanced guitar

Cons:

  • High price tag is not fit for all people's budgets
  • No cutaway making playing above the 14th fret difficult

This is an all around exceptional guitar.  It only makes sense though.  Martin has been known for making wildly good guitars for decades.  They don't miss very often when it comes to acoustic guitars.  Martin has nearly mastered the craft.  

In terms of acoustic blues, this guitar could really do anything you want it to.  Its balanced sound lends itself to almost any type of playing.  You could sit down and chunk out some chords to sing along with, or you could create a delicate blues finger style piece with melodies that sing out on top.  Because of the exceptional build quality and balanced sound of this guitar, it can do almost anything you throw at it.

This is another guitar without a cutaway.  As I mentioned earlier, I wouldn't let that scare you away.  It is very rare to need to be able to play up there.  Especially on an acoustic guitar.  

If you are looking for a super high quality, all mahogany, blues guitar that has a super balanced sound that can be used for nearly anything.  This guitar could be perfect for you.

Gretsch 9200 Boxcar

Pros:

  • Unique resonater guitar sound
  • Super affordable
  • Great quality for the price
  • Does finger style super well
  • Super well reviewed

Cons:

  • Not very versatile
  • a little uncomfortable to play
  • Uncommon neck shape

This is the best acoustic guitar for slide blues.  It sounds amazing with a slide.  Perfect for deep delta style blues.  The tone is unlike anything you'll get out of a normal acoustic guitar.  For the low price tag it carries, the quality it delivers is out of this world.  It has a 95% 5 star rating on amazon.  In fact the only rating on it that was not 5 stars was 4 stars.  

All that being said this guitar will have a learning curve to it due to its difference from a normal acoustic guitar.  The action is a little higher, the strings are spaced a litter further apart, and the neck is a unique shape.  All that, and then add on the fact that these guitars are at their best when played with a slide.  That is another learning curve and skill to master.

But for the low price it is a unique guitar that every well rounded guitarist should have in their arsenal.  The unique sound is something you cannot get out of any other type of guitar.  They are in a class all by themselves.  

No matter where you are in your guitar journey, you will need a guitar like this eventually.  One thing I can say for sure, is that this is the best acoustic blues guitar under $500.

Cordoba C9 Crossover

Pros:

  • Unique sound
  • Extreme durability
  • Feels great in the hand
  • Has a sound that not many people have in their arsenals 
  • Balanced sound

Cons:

  • Not very versatile
  • Plays differently than a normal acoustic guitar

This is a guitar that can be used for a very specific sound.  Nylon string blues is not a very common sound.  If that is your jam though, this could very well be the guitar for you.  This another guitar that I see being used a lot for finger style arrangements.  That is how nylon strings sound the best.  Played with the fingers.  A pick kinda creates a corny sound to many peoples ears.  It just does not sound very musical on a nylon string guitar.

Other than all that though this is an extremely durable guitar.  It will last a lifetime.  This is another type of guitar that everyone will need eventually.  It is good for a guitarist to own every different type of guitar so that they can use all sorts of different sounds to figure out what their sound is.  

Nylon string guitars are not exactly a super cool or sexy guitar to own, but to me that is what makes them cool.  It is a sound that has not been fully explored yet.  There are so many ways that you could make a nylon string guitar a new and unique sound to you.  


Taylor 214ce
Pros:
  • Mid tier price, top tier quality
  • Great playability
  • Balanced sound
  • Beautiful melodies
  • Extremely versatile
Cons:
  • A few quality control issues.  D string has been known to buzz

This is a guitar I fell in love with when I was in college.  My guitar teacher owned one of these, and when I put it in my hands I was amazed at how well it played.  It is what made me into a big Taylor fan.  This guitar has a perfectly balanced sound that can do it all.  

In terms of blues this guitar has the potential to really do anything.  It would fit especially well into an ensemble.  Due to its balanced sound it fits super well in with other instrumentalists.  It won't impede on the bass player's territory, or on the territory of the piano's right hand.  That is the beauty of a balanced guitar.

All that said, I have read a few reviews about the D string buzzing on this guitar, and that is actually something I have noticed myself on some Taylor guitars I own.  It truly is not that big of a deal.  Just a little annoying.  

To me I think this is the best acoustic guitar for blues.

Best Budget Acoustic Guitar for Blues

Fender CC60

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Plays better than most guitars at the same price point
  • A trusted brand

Cons:

  • Will not last very long
  • Intonation is quite irregular
  • Doesn't stay in tune super well

I actually mentioned this guitar in my "Best Guitars under 300" article Click here to read article

This guitar is really just one of the all around best beginner acoustic guitar.  It is another guitar that can really do anything you ask of it.

The downside of this guitar is its low build quality.  Obviously at low price points you will get guitars that are not built as well.  This leads to guitars going out of tune faster, the intonation going wonky higher up the neck, and higher likelihood of things like strings breaking.

I do not want to sour your opinion of this guitar though.  For the price it is a great guitar.  I own a guitar that costs double the price of this guitar, and all day every day I would rather play this Fender guitar.

If you have a smaller budget this very well could be the best acoustic guitar for blues for you.

Final Thoughts

As with everything in music.  The best guitar for one person isn't the best for another.  Figure out what you want, and a price you are willing to pay, and from there you can find your perfect guitar.

9 Best Guitar Under 300 (2021 List)

Best For rock

Epiphone Les Paul

Best Acoustic

Fender CC-60S

Typically when someone is looking for a guitar under 300, they are often times a beginner guitarist.  That's perfect because that is exactly who this article is going to be geared towards.  The beginner!  

Playing an instrument that fights against you is one of the hardest things about beginning to play an instrument.  A lot of guitars under 300 fight against you, but none of these guitars will.  They are all made by reputable brands that are able to make a great product for a great price.  

Getting started with a quality instrument is going to make someone much more likely to enjoy learning and enjoy practicing.   This will ultimately get them to finding their sound, and what musicality they have to offer the world faster.

Something that is worth mentioning is that if the strings are old on a guitar, that guitar will not play as well.  That's why I recommend after buying a guitar, especially on the lower end of the price spectrum, to change the strings.

Changing the strings is not difficult.  A simple youtube tutorial can teach you all you need to know.

Because of this I am going to link to some string changing tutorials.

String change tutorials: Acoustic Click Here! Electric Click Here!

Best Electric Guitar Under 300

#1 Pick: Squier Stratocaster

There are tonnes of electric guitars under 300, but this one reigns supreme. This is my personal favorite guitar model of all time.  There is no way you can go wrong with a strat.  If you asked someone to draw you a guitar, they would draw a strat.  They are that iconic.

These guitars have a bright tone that is iconic.  Many amazing guitarists have crafted their legendary sounds around the tone of the stratocaster.  Players like Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, John Mayer, David Gilmour, and Cory Wong have all brought different sounds to the table to truly show off how much a strat can do.  

Overall these guitars are extremely versatile, but they truly shine in the R&B/Soul/Funk/Jazz realm.  Often times within these genres the guitar line can be thought of as a tenor line.  The tonality of the strat with its brighter sound put the guitar sonically in the perfect place to fulfill that role.

Best Rock Guitar Under 300

When looking for a guitar for rock music, the first thing to look for is the pickup type.  A pickup is a magnet underneath the strings that 'picks up' the sound you are creating on your guitar.  

Pickups come in three main types: single coil, P90, and humbucker.  

A humbucker is the type of pickup you want for rock music because it relays a more intense signal to the amp than the other types of pickups.  The higher intensity signal is part of why rock music sounds like rock music. 

Because of that here are two guitars that have humbuckers, and are models of super classic rock and roll guitars.

Epiphone Les Paul

Les Pauls are one of the most legendary guitar models ever made.  One staple characteristic of Les Pauls is the sustain they offer.  If you throw on a little gain with a Les Paul, the notes will ring out for years.

These guitars are perfect for tons of classic rock tunes.  If the sound you are looking for is a classic rock sound.  This could certainly be the guitar for you.  

Players of the Les Paul include: Slash, Jimmy Page, Randy Rhoades, and Pete Townshend.  

Along with rock the Les Pauls also offer a great tone for jazz.  This makes sense because Les Paul himself was a jazz guitarist.  

Fun Fact: Les Paul always intended for his instruments to be played cleanly without any gain, and now it is ironic that the Les Paul is known mostly for classic rock music.

Best Acoustic Guitar under 300

A lower priced acoustic guitar that plays well is hard to come by.  Thats why I recommend sticking with a well established brand that will not sell you absolute garbage for a guitar.  

Acoustic guitars come in many different shapes and sizes, and all of these different shapes and sizes have their own unique tone and sound.  Some people love the rich bass sound a dreadnought (the largest, loudest, and most bass heavy of acoustic guitars), and some people cannot stand how all that bass sounds.  Because of that they end up choosing a smaller body guitar, like a 00, that pushes out the high end a little more.

I think a good place to start is right in the middle.  A guitar that is not too big or too small.  

If a Dreadnought is papa bear and a 00 is baby bear. This guitar is momma bear.

Fender CC-60S

This acoustic guitar puts out a very balanced sound.  What I mean by that is it is big enough to push out the bass necessary, but not too big where the bass drowns out the rest of the sound.  The high end is still very clear and sings on this guitar.  Because of all of that this guitar is very good for solo finger style guitar.

Also due to the balanced sound this guitar produces it really can be used as a jack of all trades.  It cannot perfectly replicate the sound of a bigger guitar like a dreadnought, but it certainly gets the job done.

If you purchase this guitar on amazon it will come with a bag, strings, picks, a strap, a tuner, and fender's guitar course "Fender Play".   All that together makes this guitar a great deal for the price.  These addons add about $50 of value to the final package.

All of this certainly makes this guitar worthy of the title 'Best guitar under 300'.

This acoustic guitar puts out a very balanced sound.  What I mean by that is it is big enough to push out the bass necessary, but not too big where the bass drowns out the rest of the sound.  The high end is still very clear and sings on this guitar.  Because of all of that this guitar is very good for solo finger style guitar.

Also due to the balanced sound this guitar produces it really can be used as a jack of all trades.  It cannot perfectly replicate the sound of a bigger guitar like a dreadnought, but it certainly gets the job done.

If you purchase this guitar on amazon it will come with a bag, strings, picks, a strap, a tuner, and fender's guitar course "Fender Play".   All that together makes this guitar a great deal for the price.  These addons add about $50 of value to the final package.

All of this certainly makes this guitar worthy of the title 'Best guitar under 300'.

Best Metal Guitar under 300

Similar to rock music, in metal music, humbucker pickups are just kinda the standard.  That higher output sound is just the sound that has been established over the last 50-60 years or so.  

The pickups are not the only thing you want in a metal guitar though.  Some other things you'll want to know are how fast the neck plays, how many frets the guitar has, and of course how spooky does the guitar look.

Metal music often times involves a lot of jumping around the neck, and because of that is why you want a fast playing neck.  Metal music also has a lot of solos that go above the 21st fret.  Many guitars only have 21 frets, while many metal style guitars will have 24, so higher notes can be accessed. 

Jackson JS22

These Jackson guitars are really high quality guitars for their price.  I remember when I was buying one of my first guitars, I picked up a Jackson guitar very similar to this one.  The feeling of this guitar pleasantly surprised me.  This was strange because most of my guitar heroes come from the jazz, funk, soul, and R&B realm.

I know first hand how great these guitars can feel.  

These guitars are really exactly what you are looking for in a beginner metal guitar, they play fast, they have humbuckers, they have 24 frets, and they even look like a metal guitar.  Everything you could possibly want.

Ibanez GRX 6

Ibanez also makes great metal guitars.  Something nice about this guitar compared to the last one is that it has a single coil pickup in the middle.  This makes it the instrument more versatile because it can produce more tones than the Jackson guitar.

A drawback of this guitar compared to the Jackson is that it only has 22 frets instead of 24, so you are missing out on 2 extra notes.  

Overall the Ibanez GRX will absolutely get the job done.  It comes in just below $200, so this makes it the best electric guitar under 200.

Best R&B/Soul/Funk/Jazz Guitar under 300

The first thing I would like to make you aware of is that I just recently published a comprehensive list of the best 11 Jazz amplifiers, so if you are interested, here is is: 11 best Jazz amplifiers

I lumped all of these styles together because at the beginning stages one guitar can do all of these styles perfectly fine.  Also as someone who considers these to be their main genres, these guitars get the job done super well in all of these areas.

Typically in these genres you are looking for a single coil guitar.  Single coil guitars produce a brighter tone that is more desirable within these styles of music.  The vast majority of my musical heroes played on single coil guitars, and many modern day innovators of the instrument like John Mayer and Cory Wong play on single coil guitars.

Funny enough Cory Wong actually gigs full time with a guitar that costs about $300.  He's probably one of the first people to play a sold out show at Madison Square Garden with a guitar that cheap.  

Squier Stratocaster

This is my personal favorite guitar model of all time.  For me this is the best guitar under 300.  There is no way you can go wrong with a strat.  These are the guitars that if you asked someone to draw you a guitar they would draw.  

These guitars have a bright tone that is iconic.  Many amazing guitarists have crafted their legendary sounds around the tone of the stratocaster.  Players like Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, John Mayer, David Gilmour, and Cory Wong have all brought different sounds to the table to truly show off how much a strat can do.  

Overall these guitars are extremely versatile, but they truly shine in the R&B/Soul/Funk/Jazz realm.  Often times within these genres the guitar line can be thought of as a tenor line.  The tonality of the strat with its brighter sound put the guitar sonically in the perfect place to fulfill that role.

Squier Jazzmaster

Personally I had never even considered purchasing a Jazzmaster until I saw Chris Stapleton using them.  I didn't realize how awesome of guitars these were until I heard his live performance of "I Was Wrong' on Austin City Limits.  (Here is the link to that performance: Chris Stapleton Performance ).  

With a little bit of overdrive and the right EQ settings these guitars give a warm and fuzzy breakup tone that is jaw dropping.  These guitars are incredibly under appreciated for what they can do.

Fender and their squire line are the absolute kings of the single coil guitar game.  The kill it every time, and this guitar is no exception.  Just a flat out great guitar for a great price.  

Best Country guitar under $300

Electric country guitar has a very specific sound that isn't often times replicated throughout other genres.  This genre another one where the preferred type of pickup is single coil.  Because of this, country guitar has a signature bright and twangy sound.  

You can hear this bright and twangy sound on tons of modern country records.  Brad Paisley songs, Luke Combs songs, and Jon Pardi songs all have guitar parts with that signature Nashville twang.

Honestly there is really only one guitar that comes to mind when most guitarists think of country music, and that is the...

Squier Telecaster

There isn't much to say about a tele that hasn't been said before.  For electric country guitar this is THE guitar.  It never fails to pump out that signature twang sound.  There is something magical about the bridge pickup of a telecaster that is totally unique to telecasters only.

In Nashville, 50% of the guitars you see are telecasters, and then a bunch more are telecaster copies.  It is the absolute king of country music.  

Even though this guitar is certainly the king of country music, it has been used to great effect in other genres as well.  Guitarists like Prince, Keith Richards, and Albert Collins were known to regularly play a telecaster. Because of that if country is one of your favorite genres, and blues is also something you dig this very well could be the best guitar under 300 for you. 

This also is another guitar that comes with a few extra accessories including a strap, a gig bag, some picks, and access to Fender play.

Best Jack of all Trades Guitar under $300

The perfect all around guitar doesn't exactly exist, but there are guitars built that are certainly more versatile than others.  To earn the title of best jack of all trades guitar under 300, the guitar must be able to rock hard and be able to play punchy funk lines.  Its gotta be able to bust out super dark metal riffs as well as smooth jazz lines.

There aren't many guitars that can do all of these, but a few special guitars can do it.  Here is one that is perfect for a beginner. 

HSS Squier Stratocaster

What makes this guitar specifically versatile is the humbucker in the bridge position.  This is great because most of the time you are playing music that requires a humbucker you will be playing it in the bridge position, and when you play songs that require the sound of a single coil often times you will be using the middle or the neck position pickup.  

So this guitar can do super heavy things like metal very well, but it also can do things like super bright funk guitar super well.  That is not something you can find all over.  This guitar is specifically unique that it can do both of those types of music extremely well.

A normal strat is already super versatile, but once the humbucker is added in the bridge position, this guitar becomes a jack of all trades.  It can do handle almost anything you want to throw at it.

Another very nice thing about these guitars is that you can always count on the low end squire guitars to play oddly well for a lower priced guitar.  Almost everything Fender is a part of is quality.  

Final Note

In the end of the day this is all up to your needs as a musician.  If you need something that pump out some hard rock, then go for that Les Paul.  If you need something that can do it all, go for the HSS strat.  I think I described all these guitars well enough that someone can get the jist of what they are all about.  

Also if you are looking for the best amp under 300 we have a list! Click here to read!

11 Best Jazz Guitar Amps (2021 List)

Tone is important in all genres of music, but for those who choose to play clean guitar it is a lot more difficult to come by.  You cannot simply load the signal chain up with distortion pedals and go rip.  Because of this choosing the best jazz guitar amp can be difficult.  No need to worry though because this list will get you away from cheesy jazz tone, and bring you ever closer to that tasty tone that makes your face scrunch up.

What is the Best Jazz Amp?

Surveys and polls show that Fender amps are the most popular jazz guitar amps, so there will be plenty to choose from here. 

Other popular brands for the best jazz guitar amp include: Vox, Peavy, and Roland.

Don't be scared away by brand names like Roland and Peavy.  Although they are brands that are traditionally used for Rock, metal, and any thing besides jazz, these amps can deliver the right tone for a Pat Metheny or Nile Rodgers line.

Without further ado, here are the best jazz guitar amps.

Best Fender Amp for Jazz

Fender Twin Reverb

85 Watts

2 by 12 

64 lbs

Tube amp

Pros: Singing top end, "authentic sound heard on countless recordings", takes pedals flawlessly, great for single coils and humbuckers.

Cons: Very heavy, rattling on specific frequencies, some faulty reverb tanks.

I put this on the list because my guitar teacher throughout college had this amp.  We focused on mainly jazz rhythm playing, and I was constantly blown away by how good my $530 Mexican Strat sounded through it.  My teacher had a Martin Taylor signature guitar, and it absolutely sang though this amp.  It was one of the tastiest tones I have ever heard. 

If I had to choose one amp to play through the rest of my life, this is my pick because it is an absolute tone behemoth.  

It is a piece of gear that will last you a lifetime, and it delivers a classic tone that will never go out of style.  I think this amp is the number one best jazz guitar amp.

Fender Blues Junior

15 Watts

1 by 12

31 lbs

Tube amp

Pros: Massive tone in a small package, portable tube amp, very loud for small amp

Cons: Some quality control issues, input jack issues, not loud enough for some larger venues

This amp is an absolute tone monster for the price because it puts out the perfect fender tone you are expecting.  Also it takes pedals super well like most fender amps, and it is nice and portable for a tube amp.

This amp is super versatile because it can do all genres from rock to funk, to R&B, to blues and leaves nothing to be desired.  

This amp is used by many professionals and legends such as Noel Gallagher of Oasis, and The Edge of U2.  The Fender Blues Junior gives you professional sound for only a $599 price tag.

The compact nature of this amp makes it super easy to take from place to place.  It is a great small tube amp for jazz.

Overall this is a crazy versatile amp that does jazz very well.  If you are looking for an amp that can kill both jazz and blues.  This is the amp for you.  It is the best guitar amp for blues and jazz.


Best Vox Amp for Jazz

Vox AC15

15 Watts

1 by 10

56 lbs

Tube amp

Pros: Does jazz extremely well, simple but effective controls, takes pedals super well

Cons: Not as versatile as a fender, rattling noises with certain frequencies, low wattage does not allow for a lot of head room

Vox and Fender are the kings of clean tones.  You can count on both giving you great tone, but the real question is which one is for you?  

Tone is extremely subjective.  If you are a clean tone guitar player, but don't like the sound of Fender amps, a Vox amp could be the best jazz amplifier for you!

Vox amps are made in the U.K. and the company takes great pride in their quality department.  The only issues I have seen reported about this amp is that the tubes it shipped with caused a slight rattling noise at certain frequencies. 

That issue can be resolved by a quick switch of the tubes.  Nothing too complicated at all. 

I love using a Vox amp for jazz.  For the price it certainly is one of the best jazz guitar amps on the market. 

Vox Valvetronixs

20 Watts

1 by 8

19 lbs

Solid State amp

Pros: Wide selection of preset tones to choose from, extremely versatile, portable, low price,

Cons: The tone is not quite there, not loud enough for some gigs

The appeal to this amp is obvious.  It can replicate tones of tones by simply turning a dial.  I have used modeling amps while gigging to replicate tones that I needed, and it made it extremely easy.  

The portability of this amp is something extremely significant because although many much prefer the tone of a tube amp, almost no one prefers hauling around an amp that weighs 40-70 lbs. 

Many modeling amps can be controlled by your smartphone, and this one is no different.  An app connects to the amp, and allows you to download new tones created by others who use the same amp.  

If you are looking for an amp that is very versatile, light weight, and not very expensive.  This may be the perfect amp for you.  No pedals to buy, no dragging around super heavy amps.  Just plug in and play.

Best Jazz Guitar Amp - Other Options

Peavey Classic 30

30 Watts

1 by 12

40 lbs

Tube amp

Pros: Very versatile, built extremely sturdy, high volume, great reverb

Cons: almost too loud, hard to play at "bedroom level", does not come with a foot switch

I do not have as much experience with this amp, but I certainly do remember thinking "this thing is insanely loud".  It really pumps out the volume.  

Depending on who you are, that might be perfect for you.  I would not recommend this though for bedroom practice.  It is certainly a gigging/recording amp.  

All that being said, the tone is killer.  Very similar to a Fender Blues Junior.  It is really just a beefier blues junior.

Similar to the blues junior it is great for a whole array of genres.  Funk, blues, jazz, country, rock.  It almost do it all.

The build quality on this amp is also no joke.  I think you could drop this thing off a 3 story building and it would be fine.  It is built very very well.

Best Jazz Guitar Amp Under $500
Fender Superchamp

15 Watts

1 by 10

24 lbs

Tube amp

Pros: Portable, Classic tone, affordable, versatile

Cons:  kinda tiny

Something within the fender champion series is often times many different people's first amps.  This is for very good reason.  They are super versatile.  Just like all the other Fender amps above, this amp can do almost any genre, and do it well.  That includes jazz of course.

Fender specializes in killer clean tones.  This amp is no exception.  It absolutely delivers a killer clean tone.  Great for jazz, funk, R&B, soul, or even country music.  

For the price of this amp you really cannot go wrong.  You can go spend your money on an extremely cheap amp that you will soon need to upgrade, or spend just a little extra to get a piece of equipment that will last you your whole life.  

Fender builds their amps to last.  That being said there have been some quality control issues reported, but Fender offers a two year warranty, so the issues that arise in the first two years are totally covered.

You can also take this amp anywhere.  It is made for great tone on the go.  This makes it the best portable jazz amp.  Take it with you to a jam, or use it to practice at home.  It comes nice and light and can be taken anywhere.

With all that said, I think this is the best small jazz amp you can find for under $500.

Best budget Jazz Amp 

Fender Champion

40 Watts

1 by 8

6.6 lbs

Solid State amp

Pros: Great value, perfect for beginners, many tones to choose from.

Cons: Not very loud, not an amp to go gig with, quality control issues

There is not much to say about this amp that hasn't been said about all the other Fender amps. 

For the price, it delivers quite a lot of quality.  You really cannot go wrong with it.  

If you are a beginner, this amp can certainly help you find your tone without having to bust the bank because it offers 17 different prebuilt tones.

Best Jazz guitar amp: Honorable Mentions

Roland Cube

10 Watts 

1 by 8

6 lbs

Solid State amp

This is a super durable small jazz amp.  Perfect for bedroom practice and playing at low volume with others.

It is very nice for someone who just wants to dabble in jazz in their free time, but not someone who is going out and gigging.

Roland JC Jazz Chorus

40 Watts

2 by 10

35 lbs

Solid State

If you don't like the tube tone for a jazz amp.  This may be the amp for you.  It is a solid state jazz amp that has been used for the last 50 years. 

Something notable about this amp is its durability.  These amps are known for lasting a lifetime.  This is another amp that you knick up over and over again without having to worry.  Making it a great traveling amp.

Marshal MG30

30 Watts

1 by 10

24 lbs

Solid State amp

Another solid state amp that packs a punch for a reasonable price.  You can always count on a Marshall amp to pack a punch.  

These amps have a very articulate high end that allows lead lines to sing through.  

This is another practice style amp that could not be used too much for gigging, but for the price is hard to beat.

Line 6 Spider 30

30 Watts

1 by 8

11 lbs

Solid State amp

I have a lot of experience with this amp, and although Line 6 isn't exactly known for jazz, you can certainly get a nice jazz tone out of it.

I see this as more of a beginner practice amp than anything, but if you love jazz as well as rock this amp would be awesome for you to start on.