Best Electric Guitar Under 500 Reviews: Your Guide in Choosing

The world is different without music. In fact, the world is somehow dead without music. The music industry may not be one of the most sought professions by many, but it is one of the industries that create a huge impact and give color to the world.

Majority of the successful current musical artists are bands. A solo artist could not make it on top without a musical band. Current musical bands are usually composed of a drummer, a bassist, a keyboardist, and a guitar player. It is usually incomplete if one is missing. With this, you just cannot discount or ignore the contribution of a guitar player, specifically an electric guitar player.

An electric guitar is one of the most in demand musical instruments by many generations and in countries today. There are different considerations in selecting electric guitars, but there are only a few, high-quality ones that can be qualified as best electric guitar under 500 dollars.

As you can see, the criteria in selecting an electric guitar are different from choosing an acoustic guitar. There are many factors to consider.

First, you must be well versed with the basic electric components of an electric guitar and how to use them. Second, your selected electric guitar should work well with your amplifier. Third, you must know the kind of places in which you are going to use your guitar. Is it in an auditorium or an open area?

Fourth, you must know the effects that your chosen electric guitar can produce. Fifth, you must make sure that the sound quality is appropriate for your purpose. Will you use it in a church setting, in a rock concert, or at a bar gig? Lastly, you must consider the price, span of time, and usage frequency of your selected electric guitar.

Here is a list of the top ten considered as best electric guitar under 500 dollars:

Epiphone G-400 PRO

The Epiphone G-400 PRO falls on the category of the best electric guitar under 500. It is one of the pioneer rock guitars with a push/pull coil tapping and Alnico Classic PRO pickups. This electric guitar has a neck made of mahogany and has a scale length of 24.75 inches with 24 frets. The body is also made of mahogany. Its fingerboard has a radius of 12 inches and is made of rosewood with inlays in trapezoid form.

If you are searching for the best electric guitar under 500, Epiphone G-400 PRO also has its special feature of LockTone tune-o-matic (TOM) bridge and stopbar. It comes in cherry red color, which makes it perfect for metal, hard rock, and rock music.

Pros

It produces a real SG sound with an affordable price of less than $400. Its tune-o-matic bridge enables guitar players to adjust each string length easily without compromising accurate intonation and helps produce better bass and treble string tone and vibration. It also produces stable tune because of the stopbar.

The adjustable stopbar height is helpful to achieve greater sustain and guitar tones. There are available left-handed versions of the guitar.

Cons

You are limited to playing rock, metallic, and hard rock genres. It has a medium to heavy weight of 12 pounds that can cause body discomfort if used for a long time.

ESP LTD EC-256

Considered also as the best electric guitar under 500, ESP LTD EC-256 has a body made of mahogany and neck of three-piece mahogany having a Thin-U contour. It has a scale length of 24.75 inches and 22 extra-large frets. Its fingerboard has a 350 mm radius and is made of rosewood. Its nut is molded and has a width of 42 mm. It has a tailpiece and a TOM bridge.

ESP LTD EC-256 has ESP-designed LH-150 pickups, together with LTD tuners. The controls have a three-way toggle switch or Vol/Vol/Tone(P/P). Without a doubt, this guitar is qualified to be called the best electric guitar under 500.

This electric guitar is available in metallic gold and black colors.

Pros

It is a medium-cost, high-quality guitar, producing high-quality sound. It can produce wide variations of music styles, friendly to both professional and amateur electric guitar players. It is lightweight of only 8 pounds.

ESP is a credible producer of electric guitars, covered by a lifetime warranty. Also available are left-handed guitar versions. It is made of durable materials, which protect the electrical components from accidental falls and bumps.

Cons

It has a not too comfortable form and design. It has poor pickup, having problems with frets, especially on the lower E and A string.

Ibanez S520

Being deemed also as the best electric guitar under 500, this electric guitar has a Wizard III neck made of maple. Its body is made of mahogany. Its fretboard is made of rosewood with dot inlays in offset white color. The size of its frets is large.

Ibanez S520 has Edge Zero II tremolo bridge. It has quantum pickups accompanied by a five-way switch.

The available color of this guitar is blackberry sunburst, which helps it to qualify for the best electric guitar under 500. Overall, Ibanez S520 weighs 14.9 pounds.

Pros

It produces high-quality tones, having different tone textures because of quantum pickups along with five-way switch. It is able to sustain the produced sounds without compromising the quality. Its Wizard III neck makes the guitar players comfortable to change their chords easily and quickly

It has flawless tuning because of its Edge Zero II tremolo bridge. It is also made of sturdy materials, which make it durable even if it falls (maple neck and mahogany body).

Cons

Blackberry sunburst is the only available color. Electric guitar players with small hands will become uncomfortable with jumbo frets. The guitar case is not part of the package when bought as it is sold separately.

Epiphone Dot

Epiphone Dot is also the best electric guitar under 500 that features a laminated, semi-hollow body and top made of maple. Its neck is made of mahogany, with a SlimTaper “D” profile neck joint. It has a Sloped Dovewing headstock.

It also has a fretboard made of rosewood. Its nut has a length of 1.68 inches. It has Alnico Classic humbucker pickups, where top hat-style knobs are in charge of volume and tone control.

Epiphone Dot has a scale length of 24.75 inches. This guitar has chrome hardware.  It is available in cherry red color.

Pros

The best electric guitar under 500, it produces a classic sound for an affordable price of less than $450. It can produce sound for a wide variety of genres, such as pop, country, rock, and blues, and a combination of colorful tones.

It uses reliable electronic parts, such as 1” 500 K-Ohm potentiometers, output jack that can withstand heavy-duty functions, and pickup selector switch made of metal. It is available in different colors, such as vintage sunburst, natural, ebony, and cherry red. It creates great sustain because of the stopbar tailpiece and LockTone locking tune-o-matic bridge.

Cons

Left-handed guitar version is only available in cherry red color. It is not advisable for long-standing use because of its heavy weight of 12 pounds.

Fender Modern Player Telecaster

The Fender Modern Player Telecaster has a neck in C shape and made of maple. This best electric guitar under 500 has a fretboard radius of 9.5 inches with 22 large frets. It has a three-ply pick guard and three chrome-dome control knobs. Its Stratocaster six-saddle hard-tail bridge with string-through-body design and its tuners are both vintage in style. It has hardware made from nickel or chrome.

The Fender Modern Player Telecaster also features a single-coil neck pickup and a Modern Player Stratocaster middle pickup. It has a five-way pickup switching feature.

This best electric guitar under 500 comes in different colors such as charcoal transparent and honey burst. It weighs a total of 12.9 pounds.

Pros

It is a good choice for players who wish to balance quality, style, and price. It produces great sounds for solid performances. It projects a  classic look that can go well with any event or occasion. Materials used for electric components are durable.

Cons

Compared to other electric guitars in the list, this is one of the most expensive electric guitars. Also, there is no left-handed version available of the guitar. Electric guitar players with small hands and fingers will be uncomfortable with jumbo frets.

Fender Standard Stratocaster

Fender Standard Stratocaster has an ash body that makes it to be deemed the best electric guitar under 500. Its neck is made of maple and in C shape. Its fretboard has a radius of 9.5 inches and is made of rosewood. Its fret size ranges from medium to large with a total of 21 frets. It has a scale length of 25 ½ inches and a nut width of 1.65 inches.

This best electric guitar under 500 has single-coil ceramic pickups, for a total of three. Its pickup switching is also five way. Its tremolo bridge is synchronized and vintage in style which is accompanied by a high-mass bridge block. Its tuning keys are die-cast.

Overall, the Fender Standard Stratocaster has a weight of 11.6 pounds

Pros

It produces a brighter tone and is able to sustain and maintain tuning settings. One of the best Fender guitars, it produces good-quality sounds for a lower price compared to other electric guitars. It is made of durable wood and electronic components.

Cons

Tangerine color is only a limited edition. There is no left-handed version available. Electric guitar players with small hands and fingers find it uncomfortable to use this guitar with medium- to large-sized frets.

Schecter Demon-7

This best electric guitar under 500 comes from Indonesia. Schecter Demon 7’s body, with an arched top, is made of basswood. Its neck is made of maple and has a thin C shape, with a thickness of 20 mm at the first fret and 22 mm at the twelfth fret. Its fretboard is made of rosewood and has a radius of 16 inches. Its scale length is 26.5 inches, covering 24 extra-large frets.

It has black TUSQ XL nut from Graph Tech Guitar Labs with a width of 1.889 inches. It has a two-way truss rod, which is adjustable.

Schecter Demon-7 pickups are Duncan Designed HB-105/7B for the bridge and Duncan Designed HB-105/7N for the neck. It has a three-way switch for the controls. It has a 9-volt clip-in compartment for the battery. Its inlays are gothic pearloid crosses in gray color.

The knobs of this best electric guitar under 500 are made of metal. It has a chrome bridge. It uses Ernie Ball strings, particularly the Regular Slinky 7 #2621 strings.

Pros

It has good built-in electronics and produces good tones. It has high-quality pickup. It can be used in different occasions and events such as practicing, jamming, recording, school bands, concerts, and small venues.

Cons

Medium- to large-sized frets cause difficulty to guitar players with small hands. There is no left-handed version available.

Epiphone Les Paul Custom PRO

The Epiphone Les Paul Custom PRO is the best electric guitar under 500 that features a body in single cutaway shape and made of a solid mahogany material with a gloss finish. The top is made of solid maple. The SlimTaper D neck is made of mahogany with a satin finish. It has a scale length of 24.75 inches. It has a standard truss rod.

The fretboard, with a total of 22 medium to jumbo frets, is made of rosewood with a radius of 12 inches. Its nut is 1.68 inches. It has ProBucker humbucker pickups featuring coil tapping by push/pull control. Its hardware is made of gold.

Pros

Epiphone Les Paul Custom PRO looks classy with its black and white colors appropriate for formal occasion use. It has high-quality pickup and produces a wide range of good tones. It has good built-in electronics. It is made of durable hardware with its gold stopbar tailpiece and LockTone locking tune-o-matic bridge, qualifying it to be the best electric guitar under 500.

Cons

It is not advisable for longstanding use because it heavily weighs of 14.3 pounds. Medium- to large-sized frets cause difficulty to guitar players with small hands. It is available at a slightly higher price, more expensive than the other electric guitars in the list.

Yamaha TRBX305

Yamaha TRBX305 is the only bass guitar that qualified to be the best electric guitar under 500.  It has a body made of mahogany. Its neck is made of five-piece maple.

Its performance equalizer comes with five EQ curves which are performance tuned and full spectrum. This feature enables the guitar to produce the fundamental sounds of a bass guitar. In order to define and shape your tone into a powerful one, it uses a two-band master equalization.

Yamaha TRBX305 has a scale length of 34 inches. It has a nut width of 43 mm and a bridge of 18 mm. It has dies-cast tuners. It is considered to be the best electric guitar under 500 with five strings. It comes with the color white.

Its pickups have enormous ceramic magnets and pole pieces that produce powerful tones. It weighs a total of 13.2 pounds.

Pros

It has a solid foundation of tones because of the mahogany body. It produces good sound quality and is compatible with different sound systems, with easy-to-setup effects and tones. It has great sound control as string vibrations are controlled by the die-cast bridge.

Cons

Bass guitar players need some time to adjust when playing a five-string bass guitar. There is no left-hand version available. It is not advisable for long-standing use because it has a heavy weight.

Epiphone ES-339

The Epiphone ES-339 is smaller compared to other electric guitars, but it still produces the signature tone of a bell of an ES Series guitar. It is one of the smallest, but still considered the best electric guitar under 500. It creates the traditional tone usually produced by a semi-hollow-bodied guitar. Its hardware is made from nickel.

Epiphone ES-339 has Alnico Classic PRO humbucker pickups. It has a three-way pickup selector with each volume control featuring a push/pull coil tap. It also has a ¼-inch output jack made of heavy-duty metal.

Pros

It is perfect fit for smaller guitar players as it retains the tone and quality of an ES-335 electric guitar, but comes with a smaller body. It has sturdy materials for the body. It provides a wide variety of sound options with the Alnico Classic PRO humbucker pickups, having smooth transition of sounds with the help of the push/pull coil tap.

Qualified to be the best electric guitar under 500, it has nickel stopbar tailpiece and LockTone locking tune-o-matic bridge. It is lightweight of 8.5 pounds. It is available in different colors such as cherry red, ebony, natural, and vintage sunburst.

Cons

There is no left-handed version available. It produces fret buzz and flat sounds when volume is lowered gradually.

Conclusion

Selecting the best electric guitar under 500 seems risky. If you go in detail and study the features well, you will arrive at the right choice. Right choices depend on your preferences and purposes of using the guitar. Please take note that low-priced guitars do not equate for lower quality. Sometimes, the high prices are just caused by some high-end or expensive material used.

However, you must focus carefully at the overall performance of your chosen best electric guitar under 500, especially when the negative feedback pertains only to features that are easily negotiable and can be compromised or fixed.