How Much Electric Guitars Cost (With 30 Examples)


If you’re looking to purchase your first electric guitar, or are looking to upgrade, you’re probably wondering how much you realistically need to spend. In this article, I’ll be talking about exactly how much electric guitars cost, popular models and why some guitars are super expensive compared to beginner models.

The Quick Answer

Electric guitars cost upwards of $150 and can cost several thousands for custom shop professional models. Most entry-level electric guitars tailored towards beginners cost roughly $150-300. Intermediate-level guitars usually cost between $500-1000, whilst high-end models will cost upwards of $1500.

Cost of Popular Electric Guitars

There are many different models and makes of electric guitar which vary in price drastically. Here is a table showing the average price and features of some popular electric guitar models.

Entry-Level Electric Guitar Cost

Electric GuitarAverage PriceRegion of ManufactureNeck Construction
Ibanez GRX20$150AsiaBolt-On
Epiphone Les Paul Special$170ChinaBolt-On
Epiphone SG Special$180ChinaBolt-On
Jackson Dinky JS12$180ChinaBolt-On
Mitchell MD200$200ChinaBolt-On
Squier Affinity Stratocaster$230ChinaBolt-On
Epiphone Les Paul Studio$250ChinaBolt-On
Squier Affinity Telecaster$250ChinaBolt-On
Average cost of entry level electric guitars.

Low-Mid Range Electric Guitar Cost

Electric GuitarAverage PriceRegion of ManufactureNeck Construction
Jackson Kelly JS32T$300ChinaBolt-On
Dean ZX$400IndiaBolt-On
Ibanez RGA42FM$400AsiaBolt-On
Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster$430IndonesiaBolt-On
Epiphone Les Paul Traditional$450ChinaSet-Neck
ESP LTD EC-256$500IndonesiaSet-Neck
Chapman ML3$500IndonesiaBolt-On
PRS SE Standard 24$580IndonesiaSet-Neck
Average cost of low-mid range electric guitars.

Mid-High End Electric Guitar Cost

Electric GuitarAverage PriceRegion of ManufactureNeck Construction
Epiphone Les Paul Standard$600ChinaSet-Neck
Epiphone Les Paul Custom$680ChinaSet-Neck
Fender Player Stratocaster$750MexicoBolt-On
PRS SE Custom 24$790IndonesiaSet-Neck
Jackson Pro Series HT6$850USANeck-through
Chapman ML3 Pro$900South KoreaBolt-On
Fender Deluxe Stratocaster$950MexicoBolt-On
EVH Wolfgang Special$1000MexicoBolt-On
Average cost of mid-high range electric guitars.

High-End Electric Guitar Cost

Electric GuitarAverage PriceRegion of ManufactureNeck Construction
Gibson SG Tribute$1100USASet-Neck
Fender American Professional$1500USABolt-On
Gibson Les Paul Traditional$1900USASet-Neck
Fender American Ultra$1900USABolt-On
Gibson Les Paul Standard$2500USASet-Neck
PRS Custom 24$3600USASet-Neck
Average cost of high-end electric guitars.

What Affects Guitar Price?

So why do some guitars cost $150, and others cost $3500?

The main features that affect the price of an electric guitar include: the region of manufacture, wood quality, body finish, hardware quality (pickups, tuners, strings) and neck construction. Very high quality guitars often cost 5-10 times more than entry level electric guitars for these reasons.

  • Region of manufacture: entry-level guitars are often mass produced in China and are less stringently checked for defects whilst high-end guitars are often made in the USA individually, where they are carefully crafted and checked. This level of detail and attention commands a higher price.
  • Wood quality: usually more expensive guitars will be made out of either rarer or higher quality wood types.
  • Body finish: cheap electric guitars usually have a flat, gloss finish, whilst mid-high end guitars may have maple tops which have unique patterns e.g. flame maple or quilted maple.
  • Hardware quality: more expensive guitars will feature higher quality hardware and electronics leading to better tonal quality and durability.
  • Neck construction: there are three main neck constructions: bolt-on, set-neck and neck-through. Bolt-on constructions are the cheapest whilst the other two neck types require more care to manufacture and often produce a better tone. Take a look at my article on neck constructions to learn more about the topic.

Looking to learn more? Check out my article on 6 Reasons Why Some Guitars are So Expensive.

expensive guitar
Flame maple cap body finish on an expensive guitar
electric guitar tone
Flat-solid gloss finish

How Much Should I Spend on an Electric Guitar?

A lot of new and intermediate players often wonder how much they should be spending on an electric guitar and if very expensive models are worth the additional price.

If you are a complete beginner, there is no need to spend more than $250 on an electric guitar. Only once you have practiced more and become a better player, will you hear the difference between a cheaper and more expensive model.

If you are an intermediate player looking for your second guitar, you should be able to find a good model for around $500-750 that will be good enough for recording and live performances. There is often not much benefit in buying a very expensive model unless you can really afford it.

But it’s your money at the end of the day! If you want to splash the cash on a $2000 guitar, there’s nothing wrong with it at all! Equally, if you don’t want to spend a crazy amount, then you don’t have to in order to sound great either. Remember, it’s the player that makes the difference, it’s not just the guitar. Give a complete beginner a $5000 guitar, and they won’t sound like a pro yet!

What Else Do I Need?

There are a few more things you’ll need to play the electric guitar, in addition to the guitar itself, which should also be factored into your budget.

  • Amplifier (beginner practice guitar amps often cost around $75-125)
  • Cable to connect your guitar and amp (approximately $10)
  • Gig bag/ case if you need to transport your guitar often (these start at around $20)

This brings the total cost of the necessary extras to approximately $125. So make sure you factor this in if you are buying an electric guitar for the first time.

There are also some more useful accessories listed in my article here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some quick queries you might still have.

How much is the cheapest electric guitar?

One of the cheapest electric guitars is the Rogue RR100 Rocketeer which costs around $120. It has a double-cutaway solid paulownia wood body and a maple neck with 22 frets. It has a humbucker pickup in the bridge, and two single coils and also features a tremolo bar.

How much does an electric guitar with an amp cost?

A good quality electric guitar and amplifier costs around $200 when purchased as a pair from most guitar stores. Beginner amps alone cost around $75-125, whilst beginner electric guitars cost between $150-200 meaning it is often cheaper to buy them in a bundle.

Can a cheap electric guitar sound good?

It is possible to make a cheap electric guitar good by ensuring that it is “set up” properly, has fresh strings, and is played through an amplifier which has been set up properly.

Here is an article on 6 ways to make a cheap electric guitar sound good to give you some more ideas.

Here are some more articles you might find useful.

Heather

Hey, I'm Heather. I started playing an electric guitar when I was given a Squier Strat for my birthday around 15 years ago. I now own an acoustic guitar and several electric guitars including my personal favourite, a PRS SE Custom 24.

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