Best Electric Guitars Under 200

When finding the best electric guitars for under 200 dollars, it’s important to understand the details. You are not going to sound like John Mayer (or whoever you like) if you don’t at least have a good understanding of the sound that you are looking for. For this reason, I believe there are two areas of focus that needs to be considered when getting..
Sidekick Pick
Fender Affinity Telecaster
Runner Up #1
Ibanez Black Sunburst
Runner Up #2
Epiphone Special II

Finding a great sounding electric guitar doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg.  If you are in the $200 price range, then you are probably either just getting into playing yourself or looking to purchase a guitar for someone.  Today, our aim is to help you make the best choice possible by providing you some of our own hard-learned recommendations. 

Let’s face it, playing electric guitar is amazing.  When listening to the clip above of John Mayer’s “Good Love Is On The Way”, who in their right mind wouldn’t get a little jazzed about playing, or learning how to?  That’s a good thing.  

What To Look For When Purchasing An Electric Guitar Under 200

When finding the best electric guitars for under 200 dollars, it’s important to understand the details.  You are not going to sound like John Mayer (or whoever you like) if you don’t at least have a good understanding of the sound that you are looking for.  For this reason, I believe there are two areas of focus that needs to be considered when getting a new guitar: 

  1. Playability 
  2. Sound

The way the guitar plays is crucial.  If your guitar is not easy to play, and if you don’t like the feeling of the strings when you pick it up, you are not going to be as motivated to play or practice.  

I remember earlier in my playing days receiving a guitar that had really high action on it.  Although I loved the shape and sound of the guitar, I never practiced it because of how difficult it was to chord.  

The times I did play it, I would receive compliments from people saying how much they liked my guitar.  In the back of my head, all I could think of was how hard it hurt my fingers to play it.  

When I did decide to take it into the local shop to get the action fixed on it, it nearly costs me as much as the guitar did.  I was really disappointed and felt like I had been taken advantage of a little bit.  

That’s the part of buying guitars that I really hated at the beginning.  I knew just enough about guitars to get me into buying trouble, and I didn’t have enough experience to know the “sound” I really was looking for. 

This is one of the reasons I believe playability is so important when purchasing a new eclectic guitar.  When you are looking into pulling the trigger, consider the action on the neck board, the cutaways, the tuning knobs, and the electronics.  All of these are important factors to look into before you give up your hard-earned money.  If you are comfortable with the playability of the guitar, then you will be more confident in purchasing it. 

The second thing you should consider when buying a new electric guitar is the sound.  Sound, after all, is the most important element of guitar playing.  The whole point is to make amazing sounds, and this only comes from the guitar players’ ability and the ability of the guitar. 

Now, how does an electric guitar make a good sound, or produce a nice tone?  Many believe the first place to start is the effects and invest a lot of their financial resources into buying the best pedals.  This is not the place to start. 

Actually, the best place is start by considering the makeup of the guitar.  In other words, the tonewoods.  Different wood types produce different sound.  Since wood is something that is authentic and organic, it can appreciate or depreciate over time.  So it’s important to invest in the right one.  

Higher quality woods are reserved for higher-priced guitars, but it’s very important to look at the type of wood an electric guitar is made out of, because that will tell you how much the guitar is worth essentially.  

There are several different types of body wood for electric guitars.  The most popular are alder, ash, basswood, mahogany, maple, and Korina.  Each type of wood falls in different tonal spaces, ranging from bright to warm.  Maple wood is more on the bright side, while mahogany has more of a warmer sound.  

On the electric guitar, not only do you consider the wood of the body, but also the fretboard.  The most common tonewoods used for the fretboard are rosewood, ebony, maple, pau ferro and richlite. 

Now that we have uncovered the two main elements of what you should be looking for, let’s check out some guitars!

Sidekick Spotlight

Squier by Fender Affinity Telecaster, Butterscotch Blonde

4.5 Stars
Amazon Rating
884
# of Good Reviews
22
# of Bad Reviews

Squier by Fender Affinity Telecaster, Butterscotch Blonde

The Fender Squier features the classic telecaster body style.  This makes for easier chording and fretting on the guitar.  It has a slim and comfortable “C” shaped neck makes it easy to play.  It is loaded with a dual Squier single-coil Tele pickup with a 3-way switch for different types of tone.  

The body is made of Alder wood, which produces a well-balanced tone.  The fretboard is made of Maple and produces a very bright resonance.  It has a satin neck finish and is also available for left-handed players. 

This guitar is Amazon’s choice, with a four and a half star rating with over 884 good reviews. 


Sidekick Spotlight

Epiphone Les Paul Special II Electric Guitar, Heritage Cherry Sunburst

4.5 Stars
Amazon Score
132
# of Good Reviews
2
# of Bad Reviews

Epiphone Les Paul Special II Electric Guitar, Heritage Cherry Sunburst

The Epiphone Special II has a Les Paul body shape, which is optimal for chord shaping in the higher fret levels.  The body is made of mahogany.  This produces a nice warm sound is a very durable type of wood.  Many of the Beatles’ earliest recordings are on Gibson mahogany guitars.  

The fretboard is made of Rosewood, which falls somewhere in the middle of the bright and warm tone spectrum. The guitar is hooked up to a 700T humbucker pick up and has a very good response time. 

It has a four and a half star rating on Amazon, with over 132 good reviews. 


Other Great Products Below..

Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, Right, Transparent Black Sunburst

The Ibanez 6 String Sunburst Electric Guitar comes from a long history of good guitar making.  Painted with a transparent black sunburst, it really shines the way a good electric guitar should.  The tone is pretty nice as well.  The body is made of a softer hardwood called Poplar, which sounds has a well-balanced tone like Aldar wood.

The fretboard is made of Rosewood which also has a good well-balanced tone between warm and bright.  Overall, this construction will lend itself to a flexible guitar sound that is suitable for various types of music.  

This guitar is also Amazons Choice and has a four and a half star rating with over 297 positive reviews.  


Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012DLX Electric Guitar; Old Violin Sunburst

The Yamaha Pacifica Series features a Agathis body style that increases overall playability.  It is loaded with a 5 switch position switch that helps hone different types of playing tones.  

The body is made of maple wood, which has a very nice bright sound, perfect separating itself for soloing in the rest of the mix.  This brightness is complemented by the Rosewood of the fretboard, which naturally produces a well-balanced tone.  Overall, a very nice sounding guitar.  

It is also Amazons Choice and has a four and a half star rating with over 300 good reviews. 


Ibanez AX 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, Right, Baltic Blue Metallic, Full

The Ibanez AX Blue Metallic is a beautiful looking guitar with a beveled body.  It has a 2 tone/ 2 volume humbucker pickup that creates a very reliable electronic response time.  The body of the guitar is made out of basswood, which produces a warmer balanced tone.  The fretboard is made of maple and has a full bright sound.  

This guitar currently has a four and a half star rating with just over 30 good reviews.

 

My Recommendation 

My recommendation for the best electric guitar under $200 has to be the Fender Affinity Telecaster.  For me, the combination of the alder wood and maple really helps the guitar sound bright and vibrant, especially for the price.  Also, you can’t help but love the Telecaster look, and it makes for easier playing.  All in all, I would highly recommend this to anyone who is just getting into electric playing or is buying one for a friend.