I am a leftie guitarist, been playing for about 2 years, and I am buying my first electric sometime soon. These are my choices at the moment:

-Fender Strat
-Squier Strat/Tele
-Epiphone G400
-Epiphone LP Special II

I have been looking up reviews on this website and many others and tried watching videos of reviews but to no avail. I am mainly into rock and am keen on using a lot of effects in making music in the future. Once I buy an electric, I will definitely not be able to buy another guitar for the next 5 years at least, so I am fine on making an investment of not more than 300 pounds.

Any guidance in terms of sound, durability, versatility etc. will be greatly appreciated.

What's your total budget for a guitar and amp as I'm assuming you'll be needing to purchase one of those too, and likewise assumng you'll want something that'll last as long as possible.

You should also widen your search a bit, those are some very obvious choices and to be honest there's not a lot to tie them together - a Fender Strat is a no-brainer, a great guitar but not within your budget new. However the Epi LP Special II is, by comparison, atrocious.
Actually called Mark!

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You should go and try them out if you can. But, out of the ones you listed the Fender strat would be the obvious choice. The lower end Epis can be hit and miss, their quality control is not so good and the hardware they use is on the cheap side. Squier has some decent models.

Have fun looking
My complete budget is 300 pounds at the most. As you said, a true Fender is out of the question, so my choices in that avenue come down to a Squier Strat or Tele. Also, what other brands would you suggest to widen my choice? As of now, I only know three brands- Ibanez, Gibson and Fender. Not to keen on Ibanez, I heard its better for metal players.
I have heard of other brands such as Gretsch, but have no idea whether they are good or not. Can you advice me on other good brands that offer reliable, versatile and long lasting instruments?
For amps, I have no clue on what to choose. At uni, where I will be about 6 months a year, I have full access to the music room's amp collection. I am planning to get a virtual amp, but for home usage I have no amp. Is there any budget amp that offers simple, no-frills functionality? Not really well versed about amp makers, apart from Marshall.
And thanks a lot for your help!

What kind of music do you like? For Country/Blues/Funk I'd go with a Strat of some sort. For all things rock (classic/modern/grunge) you'd probably want something with humbuckers.

You probably need to spend your whole budget to get a decent guitar. Going far below $300 is dangerous.

My suggestions: Epiphone G-400 for rock, Yamaha PAC 112V for versatile strat, or Squier Classic Vibe if you can swing it, or used MIM standard strat.
Since you don't have an amp at home, I would suggest buying something cheap that you can use at home to practice with, unless you're going to be spending hours upon hours practicing at school every day.

The Epiphone g400 can be a very good guitar, but there's definitely some lemons out there too. Same goes with the Pacifica. To me, the Classic Vibe Tele is the most consistently good guitar in that price range. I haven't picked one up where I didn't like it, though some are still better than others. It will do rock music fine and you won't outgrow the guitar.

The Classic Vibe will probably use all of your money up, however. The other models listed can be had for cheaper.

Squier Strat
Epiphone Explorer
Agile AL-3100

Last edited by evmac at Nov 19, 2013,
Thanks a lot for the inputs.

Based on all this, I am most probably thinking of either the G-400, or a Squier Tele or Strat. Another question was, will the lack of a trem bar make a huge difference? I am mainly into rock (as demonhellcat said), and out of my 3 choices, only the Strat comes with a pre-installed trem bar. Even more specifically, I am going to use my guitar mainly for alternative/grunge. Also, why is the humbucker so important for rock?

As for amps, I think I will be able to stretch myself just a bit and get a small but quality one.
Quote by piezoelectron
Thanks a lot for the inputs.

Also, why is the humbucker so important for rock?

Typically humbuckers have a warmer sound and higher output (overdrives amp faster) with more bass and mid-range than single coils. Single coils usually have more treble and are lower output but have more note clarity.

Humbuckers: Think AC/DC, Foo Fighters, Black Sabbath, Guns N Roses, and every metal band out there.

Single Coils: Think Brad Paisely (Tele), Dire Straits (strat), Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lincoln Brewster.

Play them both and decide, one isn't better than the other but they are different.
^ Actually early Black Sabbath was single coils, not humbuckers. Tony Iommi's SG had P90 pickups.

But yeah, single coils sound thinner than humbuckers. And usually you don't want a thin sound for heavier genres. But single coils are used a lot in rock.

And the whammy bar... It isn't necessary. It's a cool feature to have if you can use it well. But many people don't touch their whammy bars. I like whammy bars, but some people don't want guitars with one because they don't really use it that much and it gets out of tune easier. Also fixed bridge requires less adjustment and stays in tune pretty well.
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Bach Stradivarius 37G
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Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
For a total budget of £300 it's a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned.



The Pacificas are great playing guitars, light with comfortable necks, also the humbucker in the bridge is nice to have for rockier stuff. Most of the sounds people associate with the stratocaster come from the in-between positions anyway which you still have on the pacifica. It's a great beginner guitar but also perfectly good enough to gig with, it's not something you'll outgrow.

You'll not find a gigabble amp with that budget so might as well get something that's perfectly suited for practicing. The Cube sounds great considering its size, is simple to use and has a few effects for you to experiment with. It's extremely portable and also runs on batteries. That also means it doesn't automatically become redundant if you ever decide to buy a bigger amp and they also hold their resale value fairly well.
Actually called Mark!

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