Do you need to spend a ton on a gig-worthy axe? Probably not.
There has never been a better time to get your hands on a gig-ready guitar without breaking the bank. Sure, we’ve all lusted after the high-end models, but these 10 guitars balance affordability, features, and construction.
Squier J Mascis Signature Jazzmaster
This affordable signature Jazzmaster fromDinosaur Jr.’s famed dealer of decibels offers the traditional lead and rhythm circuits à la vintage JMs, but pairs that with an Adjusto-Matic bridge and a slightly wider nut.
Jackson Dinky Arch Top JS32Q DKA
This sleek shred machine builds on Jackson’s Super-Strat lineage with a 24-fret compound radius neck that’s smooth and fast. It’s loaded with a pair of the company’s high-output humbuckers. One twist: This particular model comes as a hardtail. Dive bombers need not apply.
Epiphone Nancy Wilson Fanatic Outfit
Heart’s lead axe-wielder brought back her classic signature model this past year. The mahogany body is based on the NightHawk and has a figured maple veneer top. Other highlights include a pair of ProBucker pickups (FB720 and 3 Slant), through-body construction, and twin parallelogram inlays.
ESP LTD SN-200HT
Although this is definitely a modern speed demon, the traditional styling shines through with a basswood body and maple neck. It’s outfitted with a charcoal metallic finish, thin neck, and a push/pull tone knob. The guitar comes loaded with ESP LH-150 pickups and a fixed bridge.
Kramer Assault 220
The classic lines in this Les Paul-shaped body are tried and true, but Kramer has updated it to create a modern-rock marvel. A mahogany body and licensed Floyd Rose tremolo with locking nut are highlights, while other features include alnico V humbuckers, K-Speed SlimTaper “C” neck, and 24 medium jumbo frets.
Gretsch G2215-P90 Streamliner Junior Jet Club
A mix-and-match approach can always open up new creative pathways and this particular Gretsch solidbody combines a Broad’Tron BT-2S with a P-90 Soap Bar. The wraparound bridge is anchored to a nato body with an aged white binding.
Born out of the higher-end AZ series, this budget HSS guitar aims to cop the same vibe and feel of its more boutique counterparts. They are available in three colors, each loaded with ceramic pickups, T106 bridges, and Jatoba fretboards.
Sire Larry Carlton S7
One of the newest models in Carlton’s line of signature models is this S-style setup featuring an HSS pickup array. Other highlights include a roasted maple neck, alder body, bone nut, and a 2-post tremolo bridge.
G&L Tribute ASAT Classic
Built upon the bones of Leo’s timeless T-style designs, this ASAT Classic offers bolt-on construction, sassafras or poplar body, and a hard rock maple neck. As the name suggests, even the pickups pay homage to Leo’s design with a pair of MFD single-coils.
Yamaha Revstar RS320
Inspired by the design style the company uses in their high-end motorcycles, this nato-bodied model comes in at the price of a high-end pedal. It features a pair of ceramic YGD humbuckers and a thin neck profile with a rosewood fretboard.
Which one do you prefer?
Rhett and Zach unpack the big news for secondhand guitar sellers and buyers: Sweetwater has launched their new Gear Exchange. How does it compare to Reverb, Craigslist, and Marketplace? To find out, Zach takes the site for a spin and buys a pedal. He calls the process both “very easy” and “normal.” They discuss the pros and cons of the various used-gear outlets and share tips for not getting got when buying gear. Plus, Zach grew a mustache, Mythos Pedals is moving, and he talks about his forthcoming line of Strat pickups inspired by Hendrix’s reverse-stagger setup.
Sweetwater vs. Reverb
Get 10% off from StewMac when you visit stewmac.com/dippedintone
A highly versatile sonic tool, the pedal can deliver a broad range of tones – everything from mild, wonderfully organic overdrive to medium-gain crunch with a richly satisfying midrange kick.
The pedal is a collaboration between Shnobel Tone and guitarist, songwriter, composer, and record producer Frank Simes. Based in Hollywood, Simes‘ long list of credits includes work with A-list artists such as Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, Warren Zevon, RodStewart, Roger Waters, Roger Daltrey, and Martha Davis from The Motels. Additionally, Simes was the musical director for The Who for many years.
Its touch sensitivity makes it a perfect choice for guitarists who rely on precise right-hand technique, and it cleans up nicely when you roll back your guitar's volume knob.
Frank Simes Overdrive features include:
- Three knobs: Volume, Gain, and Tone controls
- True bypass foot switch
- Top mounted power and in/out jacks
- Hand-built with through-hole components
- Crinkle-coated diecast aluminum enclosure, dimensions 4.7 x 3.7 Inches
- Standard 9v center negative power – no battery compartment
Frank Simes Signature Overdrive
Shnobel Tone’s Frank Simes Overdrive has a suggested retail price and MAP of $249.
For more information, please visit shnobeltone.com.
The Reference II Series 112 and new 115 feature a new look, ceramic magnets, and Poplar ply shells.
With gigging musicians in mind, portability was paramount to the design of these cabinets, which still feature all of the power that you expect from Bergantino. Using a lightweight Poplarply shell and Baltic Birch baffles to encase the ceramic-based speakers, these cabinets are extremely easy to transport, while still packing all of the low-end presence and warmth that is required for professional bassists in any genre of music. Covered with rugged tolex finishes and cloth grills, these cabinets look as good as they sound and provide long-term durability that is required for the wear and tear of touring and gigging musicians.
The Reference II Series utilize ceramic magnets with vented pole pieces for the fullest and roundest low-end possible. Along with their high-power handling capability, the Reference II Series cabinets boast versatility fit for players who utilize fingerstyle, pick, slapping, and tapping techniques. Their presence and punch matches their low-end output and produce an accurate, full-bodied, and authentic representation of your bass guitar in both live and studio settings.
Reference II Series 112
The Reference II Series 112 is new and improved, featuring the tone that bass purists love, but in a lighter package without sacrificing any of the full-bodied, robust properties that have made this a favorite. The 112 can achieve any sonic palette you desire while faithfully reproducing the natural tone that comes directly from your bass and your fingers. Many bassists love the Reference II Series 112 because of the “blank canvas” it provides the player seeking a solid, no-frills bass tone, and this updated edition upholds that, but with noticeable improvements. Seamless, tight, quick, and responsive, this cabinet is the right choice for players of all levels.
Reference II Series 115
After receiving many requests to bring back our 115 cabinets, lovers of rumbling low-end can rejoice, as the latest edition to our lineup is here to maximize your bottom end with a responsiveness second to none. We’ve taken everything our players loved about our previous15” offering, shaved some weight, and updated its design to fit our high standards of the Reference II Series. With our proprietary speaker curves, it can be made to sound full and modern or vintage and rolled off, but never dry. The 115 cabinet provides a massive sound in a lightweight, easily transportable package that is ready for small venues, arenas, and everything in between.
Reference II Series 112: $1059.00
Reference II Series 115: $1099.00
These Cabinets Currently Shipping in the USA. For more information, please visit bergantino.com.
The Royale was designed to deliver loud and vivid clean tone with a responsive, tactile low end.
Designed to offer massive headroom, the 50-watt Royale Head lets you indulge in smooth clean tones at even higher volumes on stage without any breakup. Select between class A and class AB modes, with its variable mode switch, so you can choose between gushing Supro tone or a punchier, tight midrange response.
Introducing the Royale Head & Extension Cabinet | Supro
The Royale 1x12 Extension Cabinet features the custom Supro BD12 high-power driver, offering the same mid-range punch and clean articulation as the Royale combo but with additional stage volume. More info: suprousa.com.
Royale Head | $1,499.99
Royale Cab | $669.99