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#1
I see a lot of posts about best guitars to start out, or best guitars under $500, so I figure I will post my top 8 based on my research and Guitar Player magazine more or less agreed with these too. Please keep in mind that these guitars are all made in China and Indonesia.

The first and number one guitar, it has to be Charvel Desolation DS-2 ST

This one is beautiful. The body is Mahogany with flame-maple top. very different for Charvel because this is a Les Paul style. It sounds and plays just as good as it looks and for around $300 - $400, you can't beat it.

#2
#2 AXL USA SR0
This guitar is made in China, but interestingly, it is assembled and set up in California. A lot of guitar for the money, for sure. I love the natural wood look too. Body is Ash and the neck is maple.

#3
#3 - Dean Angel of Deth II
The graphic is not my style, but this is good stuff for the price if you are into that. Also, the guitar just sounds GREAT. Mahogany for both body and neck. Rose wood 25.5" fingerboard with two Dave Mustaine designed humbuckers. Can't beat it for $400 - $450.

#4
#4 G&L Deluxe Carved Top
That is right!! A CARVED top guitar for under $500! and Leo Fender's company!!
Maple neck with rosewood board, Mahogany with flame maple top. Excellent workmanship.

#5
#5 Music Man - Sterling AX30
If you want a Wolfgang but can't afford a Wolfgang, what do you do? Look no further, a Wolfgang-like guitar for under $500 and by Music Man!!
Basswood body and that just rocks. I prefer Basswood the best, and maple neck with rosewood fingerboard.

#7
#6 - ESP LTD EC-330
The ESP LTD seems to be really popular on this forum, and especially this one here. There is a reason for it. Just a very beautiful guitar at a killer price.
Mahogany body with mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard (24.75")

#8
Quote by sonnyrocker
#4 G&L Deluxe Carved Top
That is right!! A CARVED top guitar for under $500! and Leo Fender's company!!
Maple neck with rosewood board, Mahogany with flame maple top. Excellent workmanship.

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Care to share where you're finding it under $500?
#9
#7 - Peavey Session
Another Basswood body. I personally like basswood over mahogany for body. This one has a Rock maple neck with rosewood fingerboard 25.5 scale. This one shreds!!

#10
The charvel is great if your a rhythm player but utterly useless if you plan on playing any lead at all.
My Gear:
BC Rich Gunslinger Retro Blade
Vintage V100 Paradise + SD Alnico Pro Slash APH-2's
1963 Burns Short Scale Jazz Guitar
Dean Performer Florentine
Bugera 6260
Orange Micro Terror + cab
Digitech Bad Monkey
Zoom G2G
#11
So what about blues? Not everyone plays metal?
Quote by JD Close
Piano dick had some good parts, but should have said "As the business man slowly gets boned", would have accented the whole dick feeling of the album
#12
I picked up a PRS SE 25th anithersary 24 fret for 500 bucks
It was new but I didnt get it from a shop haha
just give me a fender and let me rip
#13
#8 Jay Turser JT-LT-RW
It looks like a Tele, plays and sounds like a Tele, but NOT the price of a Tele. Nuff said. LOL
Rosewood body with maple neck and rosewood fingerboard. 25.5 scale.

#15
Quote by Most_Triumphant
So what about blues? Not everyone plays metal?

The AXL with single coil or the Jay Turser will be good ones.
#16
Quote by sk8board3r
I picked up a PRS SE 25th anithersary 24 fret for 500 bucks
It was new but I didnt get it from a shop haha


Nice!! I was thinking about that one too but I wanted to limit to only 8. There are A LOT more, I am sure.
#18
Quote by cemges
Your search style is definitely wrong.

and how is your search? What would you recommend? Buying guitars is subjective, everyone has their own preference. Your choice might be different than mine, but I try to cover playability, workmanship, sound, look and value and try to fit most people's tastes, and that is subjective in itself.
#19
I think buying Used is still the way to go. The market is really saturated with used guitars and you can get great deals for undervalued guitars like Carvin or Washburn.
#20
i own one of the jt lt rosewoods. great guitar. the bridge pickup is alittle too trebly for my tastes, but setting the heights on the pickups fixed that right up.
#22
Quote by Ashe_Mc
i own one of the jt lt rosewoods. great guitar. the bridge pickup is alittle too trebly for my tastes, but setting the heights on the pickups fixed that right up.


Awesome! Thanks for sharing!
#25
Quote by StonedColdCrazy
Some crappy dean and an ltd but no Ibanez?

-1.


Nope, because Ibanez does not make guitars like they used to. If I buy an Ibanez, I would get a used RG from the 90s. This is why I didn't include any on the list. I love RG from the 90s, BTW. I own a RG550, 91'
#26
I also LOVE Washburn guitars. I should also include Washburn WIN DLX, Mahogany with flame maple veneer top, two duncan USM humbuckers and mahogany neck with rosewood ringerboard, 24.75 scale.

#29
Quote by Wisthekiller
Are you going to add an Agile in here somewhere?


Are you talking about the Agile Hawker Pro 625? That is a nice guitar, but I only wanted to include 8 of the best. Personally, I think the Agile is lacking in sound, but plays GREAT nevertheless. I don't really like the shape either. With that being said, it easily goes in the category of Top 50 guitars under $500.
#30
I'd tell you to go with the G&L. I'd also tell you that brand new guitars are overrated, and you can get a proven solid guitar with a much better sound and feel used.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#31
Quote by JustRooster
I'd tell you to go with the G&L. I'd also tell you that brand new guitars are overrated, and you can get a proven solid guitar with a much better sound and feel used.


Hi JustRooster, I totally agree with that. I did say that used, undervalued guitars made in the 90s are the way to go. Carvin, Washburn, even Ibanez RG series from the 90s...those are all great guitars. And with the used guitar market so saturated right now and economy is tanking, you can steal some GREAT deals out there.

BUT, I wanted to just focus on NEW guitars on this thread since I see so many people who are asking about buying new guitars.
#32
Quote by sonnyrocker
Thanks, but sorry. I deliberately left out Epiphone. I just don't like them. May be because I have a real Les Paul Custom so I am bias.

The reason why i chose this one is because it sounds and feels very un Epiphone-like
Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
#33
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
The reason why i chose this one is because it sounds and feels very un Epiphone-like
It does look very nice. I'd like to compare this to the Charvel.
#34
I'd say it was my guitar £200-250:


Not the best picture in the world but it's an obscure Korean made guitar with 3 mini humbuckers, mahogany body, maple neck, beautifully contoured body and heel etc...
Guitars & Gear:
Parker Nitefly M
Sumer Metal Driver
Ibanez RGD2120Z
AMT SS-11B
Two Notes Torpedo CAB
#35
Wheres the PRS SE One? Agile? Squier CV/VM? Epi G-400?

And I thought you were going value for the $$ but you have stated you left out certain guitars because "YOU" do not like them?

Did you write the "Rock music makes you racest" article, because there was bad calls in that to?
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#36
Quote by Robbgnarly
Wheres the PRS SE One? Agile? Squier CV/VM? Epi G-400?

And I thought you were going value for the $$ but you have stated you left out certain guitars because "YOU" do not like them?

Did you write the "Rock music makes you racest" article, because there was bad calls in that to?



Ew, the G-400 even smells bad.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#37
Quote by JustRooster
Ew, the G-400 even smells bad.

Actualy I have one I payed $299 for new, and it is an extremely good guitar. I'd take it over many guitars 2x or 3x the price.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#39
yeah they are pretty good guitars for the money.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
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