Cheap, good playing guitar


Senior Member
I will shortly be loosing the guitar that I have been using, and I need a replacement fast.
I am looking for something cheap (under $500, if possible) that plays nicely, and has humbuckers so that I can throw in Fralin P92s.
What do you recommend?
Another Micah?! :eek: Never thought it would happen

Anyway, get either a epiphone sg or an epiphone anything really.

I am staying away from Ibanez because I don't really like the thin necks, and I haven't played a thick one (do they make them?)

Schecters were recommended to me - I am thinking a C-1, anybody have experience with these? Do they hold up?

I forgot about the PRS SEs... I'll go check those out some time this week.
here you go:

poplar Strat body:             $145
maple/maple strat neck:    $157
corian nut:                        $25
bottle of birchwood casey:  $6
minwax stain                     $9
is 342, which leaves about $158 for hardware and pickups from GFS

Oops, overlooked the 'fast' part..  get a nice used japanese 80's guitar from Ebay...
m4rk0 said:
here you go:

poplar Strat body:            $145
maple/maple strat neck:    $157
corian nut:                        $25
bottle of birchwood casey:  $6
minwax stain                    $9
is 342, which leaves about $158 for hardware and pickups from GFS

Oops, overlooked the 'fast' part..  get a nice used japanese 80's guitar from Ebay...
Wouldn't I have to get that neck finished, doesn't poplar look really bad without a solid finish, and what is birchwood casey?
Well a swamp ash bod isn't much more.

A budget Warmoth done well beats anything in its price range.

If you need a cheap  humbucker guitar the yamaha SG is the dogs bollox.
yes, you can finish the maple neck with bw casey (tru-oil) within a week
poplar can by ugly with a tranparent finish, so add $15 for Alder ;)

the truth is, you can buy a faily cheap warmoth with budget hardware that will still be better than what you can buy in the store for the same money.. and you can always upgrade the hardware/pickups later.
also, you can probably get even lower if you keep an eye on close-out deals in the showcase.
1. +1 on the PRS SE range. Especially check out the SE soapbar /soapbar II - the stock pickups are great sounding. They're discontinued, I think, and I saw one under $400 at GC. awesome cheap guitar.
2. Check ebay for an epiphone "elitist" SG - you may go $50 or so over your price range but it's likely to be a very nice instrument (made in Japan at the matsuwhatsit factory) and very resellable. Gibson pickups on those.
3. bare-bones warmoth tele. GFS pickups help keep the price down, go with no pickguard, finish it when you can afford to. a $5 can of deft spray will give you a very pro finish to a maple neck very easily and satisfy the warranty requirement.
That's $300. They'll rout it for two humbuckers no prob, just ask them.
$80 - two GFS buckers or some well-used things from ebay
$100 - random hardware, all quality from Warmoth
$20 - finishing supplies
If you go that rout, stay away from the junk GFS hardware - if it even fits, it's garbage in my experience. I've bought a garbage bridge, jack plate, and pots from them, and the tuners were good but no cheaper than the SG38 from warmoth.
Hamer Sunburst

I own one of these. they are unreal for $500! Set up at the Hamer factory in the US.

Strat style:  Schecter C1s seem reaaaally nice to me for the price.  The higher end ones have no heel, something you don't see very often on mid-range guitars.

LP style:  Ephiphone LPs are quite nice, just as good as Gibsons (shame on you, Gibson) except for the pickups.  They do vary in quality between specimens... if you're getting an Epiphone, go to a Guitar Center and find the one with the best neck.

ES335 style:  A friend of mine has a Brownsville semihollow... he asked me to guess how much it cost, I said $800, turns out he paid $250 for it new.  Or, iIf you can find a Schecter Jazz-6 (not Jazz-7, that's a 7-string) you can probably buy it for around $500.  Those are great guitars, I am sad they stopped making them.

F*ck Ibanez, but that's just one man's opinion.

Of course all of these are set-neck guitars so you can't Warmoth them up later.  If you want something you can put a Warmoth neck on, I guess a Squier is the way to go.
Micheal Kelly patriots, can't spell patriot without riot.

Micahbell said:
A maple neck with just a tru oil finish won't warp like mad?

Absolutely... I believe that Warmoth will even warranty a tru-oil finished maple neck!
Well, thank you for all the suggestions.
But, the best suggestion came in the forum of a PM instead of a reply here - it looks like soon I will be the proud owner of a nashville tele that was done up all pretty by a member here!