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With a budget of around $2000, it’s possible to get an exceptional electric guitar. Most manufacturers offer a large number of guitars in this price range, which are often built using good quality materials and components.
The electric guitar industry is stronger than ever, which is beneficial in some ways, but the huge range of options that are available to guitarists can make it hard to find the perfect instrument.
We’ve searched far and wide to find the best electric guitars under $2000 and compiled them into this guide. You’ll find a variety of instruments to suit your budget, tonal requirements, and aesthetic taste.
In a Rush Roundup
How We Tested
To gauge the capabilities and attributes of these cheaper than $2000 electric guitars, we ran them through several tests. This included monitoring the specific aspects of the sound they produced when being used with a range of amps and pedals and taking note of the prominent or weak frequency bands.
Next, we analyzed the various components and hardware that the manufacturers installed on these instruments, assessing their quality and durability. Finally, we determined the comfort of the guitars by trying different playing styles that involved strumming, picking, and other popular techniques.
Best Guitar Under $2000 Reviews
Richie Kotzen is a prolific artist and a highly regarded guitarist, which is why Fender created this signature Telecaster to his specifications. Designed to maximize playing comfort, this axe has a large C-profile maple neck.
The slightly larger neck is very easy to grip and is beneficial when forming chord shapes with your fingers. Fender has made the body out of ash, with a slightly modified, contoured Tele shape. Flame maple has been used for the top, increasing the resonance of the guitar’s tone.
Telecasters are sometimes accused of being one-dimensional, but the Fender Richie Kotzen Telecaster is equally suited to playing jangly chord sequences as it is shredding a blues solo.
Rather than relying on a combination of the many Tele pickups they produce, Fender has employed a pair of high-output DiMarzio pickups to ramp up the energy of the guitar’s tone.
In the neck position, there’s a Twang King single-coil pickup, and in the bridge position, there’s a Chopper T humbucker. This pickup configuration provides the classic twang of a Tele, and the smoother tones you’d expect to hear from a Strat.
- Contoured ash body with maple top
- DiMarzio Chopper T and Twang King pickups
- C-profile maple neck
- Classic Tele “twang” with modern feel
- Great for combining rhythm and lead parts
- High notes are easy to access
- Treble frequencies sound harsh when combined with lots of gain
When discussing the best guitars under $2000, it would be unfair to leave out this exceptional solidbody by EVH. If you’re a fan of the late Eddie Van Halen, you’ll know that one of his favorite guitars to play was the famous red black and white Frankenstrat.
With its solid basswood body, the Frankenstein Relic packs a considerable punch. It can soak up all of the gain that you add to the signal and is the perfect companion for a heavy blues or metal guitarist.
Along with its excellent sonic qualities, the EVH Striped Series Frankenstein Relic also plays like a dream. This is largely down to the fact that the physical design of the guitar is totally in line with Van Halen’s specifications.
If you like to modulate your pitch and perform techniques like dive bombs when soloing, the inclusion of a Floyd Rose tremolo with a D-Tuna mechanism will provide you with countless hours of enjoyment.
Maple has been used for both the neck and the fingerboard, and EVH has opted for a Dummy Strat single-coil pickup in the neck position, with a Direct Mount Wolfgang humbucker pickup in the bridge position.
- Basswood body
- EVH Floyd Rose double-locking tremolo
- Dummy Strat single-coil and Direct Mount Wolfgang humbucker pickups
- Identical to Eddie Van Halen’s legendary Frankenstrat
- Energetic lead guitar tones
- Facilitates dive bombs and expressive bends
- Best suited to blues guitar
In the past seventy years, many electric guitars have faded away into the abyss but a select few remain as popular now as they were in the early days of rock n’ roll. One of these is the Gibson Les Paul.
Renowned for its warm tone, pristine cleans, and effortless playability, the Les Paul has been used by many of the world’s best-known rock guitarists. This Les Paul Studio includes all of the classic qualities that have made the guitar so popular for so long.
With coil-tapped Gibson 490R and 498T humbucking pickups, you get a wide range of tones from this guitar. Smooth humbucking tones can be easily accessed, or if you need to slice through the mix you can utilize the brighter single-coil sound.
The hardware and components included on the Gibson Les Paul give it an authentic, but modern appearance. For example, Gibson has used reliable Totomatic tuners by Grover to ensure maximum tuning stability, and a Nashville Tune-o-matic bridge.
The fingerboard is made from rosewood, which has been subjected to Plek treatment. This is rare on guitars that cost less than $2000 and are usually only found on high-end models. It adds more clarity to every note that is played and smoothens out the fret edges.
- SlimTaper mahogany neck
- Rosewood fingerboard
- Coil tapped Gibson 490R and 498T humbucker pickups
- Easy to play for long sessions
- Sounds excellent with overdrive or fuzz
- Promotes fast playing
- Coil tap pickups may not suit all styles
The first edition of the American Professional Stratocaster was hugely popular, but in typical Fender fashion, the company didn’t rest on its laurels. Instead, Fender went back to the drawing board and identified key areas where the instrument could be improved.
Firstly, this guitar is the embodiment of why millions of electric guitarists love the Strat. The lightweight, alder body is contoured and perfectly suited to energetic performances onstage,
The SSS pickup configuration, which consists of three Fender-designed V-Mod II single coils delivers the immersive tone that Strats are renowned for, and the combination of rosewood and maple for the fingerboard and neck improves sustain and clarity.
The upgrades made by Fender include a two-point tremolo bridge, with a steel block that increases the prominence of the guitar’s singing highs and upper midrange. With 22 narrow, tall frets, this American Professional Strat is ideal for expressive playing styles.
- Rosewood fingerboard
- Deep “C” profile maple neck
- Three Fender V-Mod II single-coil pickups
- Iconic Strat feel and tone
- Great for all subgenres of rock
- Glassy, clear-sounding highs
- Lacking power in the low-end
World-renowned manufacturers PRS teamed up with popular guitarist John Mayer to create the original Silver Sky solidbody electric guitar, but man guitarists were unable to afford the high-end price tag of that model.
When the company announced that it was releasing an SE version of the Silver Sky, the guitar-playing community rejoiced. This instrument is identical to the original but uses more cost-effective materials and components.
With its lightweight poplar body, fast-playing maple neck, and smooth, responsive rosewood fingerboard, the SE Silver Sky plays beautifully. It has three 635JM “S” pickups installed, which gives it a similar tone to the Fender Strat.
The main difference between this affordable electric guitar and the original model is that the former has an 8.5-inch neck radius, while the older version has a 7.25-inch radius.
- Maple neck with rosewood fingerboard
- Poplar body
- Three 635JM single-coil pickups
- Vintage-style solidbody
- Comfortable thin neck design
- Thick-sounding midrange
- Not ideal for heavy rhythm guitar playing
Schecter’s Hellraiser C-1 FR-S has become somewhat of a phenomenon in the world of metal guitar. Designed to create aggressive, powerful tones, this axe is perfectly suited to heavy styles of music.
Metal guitarists often use rapid fretting and strumming techniques, and Schecter has made the C1 FR-S comfortable enough to facilitate these. With a speed-enhancing, ultra-thin mahogany neck, you can transition through the octaves at a blistering pace.
Also, the rosewood fingerboard reduces the tension on your fretting hand when jumping from note to note.
In the neck position, Schecter has installed the high-energy Sustainiac pickup, which makes every note you play last for longer before decaying. In the bridge position, there’s an EMG 81 humbucker with refines the overall sound.
- Mahogany body with maple top
- Floyd Rose 1000 Series Tremolo bridge
- Sustaniac and EMG 81 humbucker pickups
- Fast playing neck is ideal for technical guitarists
- Holds tuning very well
- Ideal for gain-heavy styles of playing
- Less suitable for jazz, funk, or pop guitar playing
Best Electric Guitars Under $2000 Buyer's Guide
It’s never easy for a guitarist to choose a new axe because we know that we’re likely to spend a lot of time alone with this instrument, so we’d better enjoy how it sounds and feels to play.
There are several factors that impact the cost of an electric guitar, including the build quality, the types of materials used to construct it, and the choice of other components like pickups.
It’s a common misconception that you must fork out for one of the high-end, expensive models to get a high-quality tone or feel from a guitar. In reality, there are many exceptional guitars available for under $2000.
Manufacturers use innovative designs to improve upon previous models of their guitars and to keep the costs down so that their instruments are more accessible to a wider range of musicians.
Let’s take a closer look at the important things you need to be aware of when choosing an electric guitar for under $2000.
Things To Consider When Buying
Consider the pickup configuration
Pickups are an integral part of an electric guitar. Choosing humbuckers is a safe bet if you’d prefer a thicker, smoother tone. Alternatively, single coils are best for a brighter, sharper tone.
Think about the feel and comfort
Often, we guitarists focus too much on aesthetics and tone, forgetting the importance of how the instrument feels. It’s important to consider the tonewoods blends and designs that will allow you to play in your style comfortably.
Consider the neck profile
Another important thing to consider when choosing an electric guitar is the neck profile. C-profile necks are generally comfortable to play with, while other varieties like thin “U” necks make it easier to move around the fingerboard at pace.
Think about your amp and pedal setup
It’s easy to choose an electric guitar as a standalone instrument without considering how it will interact with the other devices in your rig – most importantly, your amplifier and pedals. The design, pickups, and materials of a guitar impact how it will sound when you amplify it or use effects.
Tonewoods & Pickups
When choosing an electric guitar for under $2000, it is extremely important to focus on two essential aspects – the pickups and the materials. These will largely determine the way the guitar sounds and feels.
Many electric guitar manufacturers, including the likes of Fender, Gibson, PRS and Ibanez, produce their own pickups, but you might also come across brands like Seymour Duncan and DiMarzio.
Humbucking pickups are great for producing creamy, well-rounded tones that can be used for lead or rhythm guitar playing.
Single coils are preferred by guitarists who require an energetic tone that has plenty of expression and character.
Once you’ve decided which type of pickups you’d prefer to have installed on your new guitar, you need to look closely at the quality of the materials used to construct it.
It’s not uncommon for guitar manufacturers to use the same high-quality materials on their mid-priced instruments as they do on their high-end models these days.
Rosewood, pau ferro, and ebony are excellent choices for the fingerboard, while maple and mahogany are considered the best woods for the neck of an electric guitar.
Maple and mahogany are also top choices for the body, but electric guitars with alder, ash, or basswood bodies are also likely to provide an outstanding tone.
Electric Guitar Neck Profiles
One of the aspects of an electric guitar that is often overlooked in terms of importance is the neck profile. This simply means the shape and size of the neck.
Electric guitars have different neck profiles depending on the playing styles they are designed for.
The most common neck profiles used for electric guitars are “U,” “C,” and “D.” These profiles have slightly different angles at the rear side of the neck.
A U profile guitar neck is the bulkiest variety and has a pronounced, rounded edge. The C profile is a thinner version of the U profile, and the D profile has a slightly flatter curve.
Fast-playing guitarists are likely to prefer the C profile, which makes it easy to wrap your hand around the neck and navigate the fretboard at pace.
For guitarists that predominantly play chords, the deeper U profile may be better suited as it can make applying the necessary tension to the notes easier.
Some other less common varieties of neck profiles are also used for electric guitars, including the hard and soft “V” profiles. These necks have a pointed design that is most commonly used by guitarists who like to shred in the styles of metal, heavy blues, and heavy rock.
Electric Guitars Under $2000 FAQs
Should I Spend More Than $2000 on an Electric Guitar?
The price tag of an electric guitar is not always indicative of its sound, feel, or overall performance. So much goes into a guitar tone that it would be wrong to assume that a mid-level model can’t sound as good as a high-end option.
The choice of pickups, along with the tonewood blend and all of the other important components, determine how a guitar sounds. Then you pair it with pedals and amplifiers, which are highly impactful on the tone and dynamics.
How Long Should I Practice Guitar Daily?
The amount of time you practice guitar each day is irrelevant – the quality of the practice matters the most. It’s better to have thirty minutes per day of quality practice than to noodle for 4 hours and not focus your time on developing.
Every guitarist has different commitments and time constraints that impact the amount of time they can practice for each day. Therefore, it’s important to figure out when is the best time for you to put aside 30-120 minutes and focus on using that time wisely.
Can You Replace Pickups on an Electric Guitar?
Replacing the pickups on an electric guitar is possible and, in most cases, is pretty straightforward. However, if you’ve never done it before, it is a good idea to ask someone experienced to help so that you can learn how to do it right.