This article gives a list of 100 best guitar brands all over the world! From this list, you’re guaranteed to find a guitar that fits your style, as well as your budget.
Top 10 Electric Guitar Brands
Electric guitar come in diverse shapes and forms. In this article we review the 10 best electric guitar brands that are known and used by guitar players world wide. Then, we will follow with even more electric guitar brands that didn’t make into the top 10, but are still very high quality instruments.
Fender is definitely the best know brand for electrical guitars. It is the 800 pound gorilla in the field.
This is probably the most iconic brand of electric guitars, created by Leo Fender. The well known models include Stratocaster and Telecaster.
Among the many guitars created by Fender, you’ll find the classic Stratocaster, which is in my opinion the very definition of electric guitar.
The Fender company has also introduced the Telecaster, the Jaguar, the Jazzmaster, and several other lesser known guitar models.
Closely following Fender, Gibson is also another classic electric guitar maker that is instantly recognizable by any guitar fan.
This is another iconic guitar maker. Their signature model is the Les Paul guitar.
The Gibson company started more than 100 years ago, and it has created some iconic guitar models that are used by many of the best guitar players.
The best known model of Gibson guitar is the Les Paul, which has been used and copied throughout the industry.
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Gretsch is a classic brand that has delivered great instruments to generations of guitar players.
The company was started still in 19th century in New York. The founder was a German immigrant. In the beginning the company produced several instruments, like banjos, drums, etc.
Since then, Gretsch has become one of the top American manufacturers of guitar and other musical instruments. They currently produce electric and acoustic guitars, as well as basses and ukuleles.
Some of the models produced by Gretch include the following.
- Gretsch G2622 Streamliner Center Block (picture).
- Gretsch G5260T Electromatic Jet Guitar (Amazon Link)
Ibanez is a Japanese maker of electric guitars. They started becoming famous in the 80s, with several successful models.
The Ibanez electric guitar are very well know for the quality, yet at fairly cheap prices.
It is probably the best known guitar produced in Japan, and it is also a great quality product, for an excellent price.
Their guitars have very precise fretboards and scales, making it very easy to setup the instrument. It is a preferred guitar for hard rock and metal players and other guitar players that value speed.
Yamaha is another Japanese company that has been very successful in developing musical instruments.
The Yamaha electric guitars are well build and fairly priced. The lines of electric guitars are similar to other well known guitars such as Fender Stratocaster and Gibson.
Yamaha is well known for creating great instruments for cost conscious consumers. You will find several models produced by Yamaha that have excellent craftsmanship, usually for a very reasonable cost.
Yamaha is constantly developing new models and technologies that are easy to use. For this reason, it has remained as a preferred source for new and experience guitar players.
Rickenbacker is one of the most traditional electric guitar brands. In fact, it can be considered as the brand that started and created the first electrical guitar, back in the 1930s.
The first electric guitar produced was nicknamed the “fry-pan”, because it was made of metal.
In the initial creation of the A-22 Fry-Pan, the founds of the Rickenbacker company made experiments with several models. This included Spanish guitars (of wood), as well as some solid body prototypes/
These experiments resulted in the creation of a few early models of electric guitars. It must be remembered that the early electric guitars were nothing more than acoustic guitars equipped with ancient pickups.
The best early model developed by Rickenbacker was the Electro-Spanish Ken Roberts. This guitar went to production as a full-scale (25-1/2″) electrified guitar.
Nowadays, Rickenbacker continues to create and commercialize electric guitars.
The Squier brand is nowadays a subsidiary of Fender. They specialize in creating Fender-styled guitars for entry level pricing.
Thus, their instruments are mainly targeted at people who want an entry-level instrument. The typical buyers are students, amateurs, and price in general who want a cheap guitar for practice and fun.
Despite this, Squier instruments have good quality, and can be used even by professionals.
Epiphone is the cheap brand of Gibson. They have a business model similar to Squier and Fender.
The Epiphone guitars are similar to Gibson guitars, but with cheaper prices and less expensive construction. This means that it will use cheaper materials.
The Epiphone brand has developed good electrical guitars that are usually well received.
Schecter is an American company based in California. They started developing parts for other brands like Fender and Gibson.
Nowadays, Schecter has its own line of electric guitars. They continue to develop new models and produce their guitars, which are manufactured both in the US and other countries.
Also, see Synyster Gates Guitar, a well known Schecter model.
Washburn is a well-known American guitar brand that has been producing instruments for over 135 years. Founded in Chicago in 1883, Washburn has a long and rich history in the music industry. The company is known for manufacturing a wide range of guitars, including electric guitars, acoustic guitars, bass guitars, and folk instruments.
Washburn guitars have been played by many notable musicians throughout the years, spanning various genres such as blues, rock, metal, country, and folk. The brand has built a reputation for producing instruments that offer quality craftsmanship, excellent playability, and good value for money.
Washburn offers a diverse lineup of guitar models to cater to different playing styles and preferences. Their electric guitar range includes solid-body models designed for rock and metal, as well as semi-hollow and hollow-body guitars for jazz, blues, and vintage tones. Washburn acoustic guitars feature a variety of body shapes and tonewood combinations, delivering a broad spectrum of acoustic sounds.
One notable series from Washburn is the “Parallaxe” line, which focuses on guitars specifically designed for heavy rock and metal genres. These guitars typically feature high-output pickups, extended scale lengths, ergonomic designs, and advanced hardware to meet the demands of modern guitarists.
Washburn is also recognized for their commitment to innovation. They have introduced unique features and technologies in their instruments, such as the “Buzz Feiten Tuning System” for improved intonation and the “Stage-Aid” guitar stand system for enhanced stability during live performances.
While Washburn guitars are often associated with their more affordable and mid-range models, the brand has also produced high-end instruments in collaboration with renowned artists. These signature models bear the name and specifications of notable guitarists, adding to the appeal and credibility of the Washburn brand.
The Steinberger guitar brand has created a series of well crafted guitar and related instruments. They specialized in producing electric guitar and basses.
The company was created by Ned Steinberger, who envisioned a company dedicated to innovative guitars and other instruments.
The design of Steinberger instruments is associated to a minimalist look and feel. This is represented specially by headless guitars and basses.
Other than this, the Steinberger company has been successful in created a whole line of guitars and is used by several professional players.
The Silvertone Guitar brand is a traditional brand that has made several popular guitars.
Silvertone was created by Sears to commercialize low budget guitars. Nonetheless, many of these models are high quality products that have been around for many years.
At one time, the Silvertone brand was bough by Samick, to form another guitar corporation. Since then, new models of Silvertone guitars have been released, with worldwide distribution.
The Silvertone classic is still a popular model. Other instruments have also been produced under the Silverton brand, including organs, harmonicas, amps, etc.
Giannini is a traditional guitar brand from Brazil. For more than 100 years, they have produced some of the best acoustic and electric guitars in Brazil and sold all over the world.
Founded in the industrial state of São Paulo, Giannini was founded by immigrants who decided to recreate some of their best instruments in their new Brazilian home.
Gianni instruments include both traditional and classical guitars, as well as electric guitar and basses. One of the popular instruments they produce is the Giannini telecaster model, that has been reviewed as a great instrument by many guitar players.
14. ESP Guitars
The ESP brand started as “Electric Sound Products”, and it was founded in 1975 in Tokyo, Japan. It was initially just a music and equipment store, with a parts and services offer. With time, however, the company started to build its own instruments.
They started making custom replacement parts for guitars and basses. The diversification came pretty quickly.
Some of the available models under the ESP brand are:
- ESP’s Custom Shop,
- ESP Original Series,
- E-II Model,
- Signature Model, and
- LTD brands.
In summary, they currently make guitars, basses, and cases for every musical style. The company operates now in more than 100 countries.
ESP is a company known of the high quality standards used in their instruments. The guitars are made with meticulous craftsmanship that has made the brand famous.
Every ESP instrument is inspected thoroughly by a group of quality control technicians. They are shipped only after passing stringent tests that guarantee the quality and playability of the instrument.
15. IYV or Inyen Vina
The Inyen Vina corporation, also known as IYV, is a Vietnamese company that designes and manufactures quality guitars. They started operating since 1994.
The IYV guitar are made in HoChiMinh City, Vietnam, where the production process happens. The instruments are designed and marketed in collaboration with Korean companies.
According to the company, their differential is to use an electrostatic paint system for their guitars. They use if for middle and top coating, which make the paint more durable.
Another particularity of their production is that the products are made using a CNC automatic process.
Many of the IYV guitars are made with Mahogany, specially the pink Mahogany variety.
The IYV company also produces guitar for other known brands in OEM, so their guitars may be also around with a better recognized name.
16. D’Angelico Guitars
The D’Angelico brand is a traditional guitar maker, that has created several well known electric guitars.
The D’Angelico company was started in New York City. The founder decided to open a guitar business in the 30s. Since then, the number of guitar models has increased greatly.
The electric guitars produced by D’Angelico have ben used by several renowned players, including George Benson. In general, D’Angelico guitars are well regarded by Jazz players, due to the high quality and sturdy construction.
In the last few years, D’Angelico has increased the number of models commercialized by the company. It still produces many high quality vintage models, but there has been a lot of experimentation to create modern guitars that are suitable to new audiences and guitar players.
The following types of guitars are produced by D’Angelico:
- Hollow Bodies
- Solid Bodies
- Acoustic instruments.
17. Godin Guitars
The Godin brand is a traditional Canadian company that that creates high quality guitar and other instruments. They have been in the market for more than 50 years.
The company was found in Quebec, and since the beginning they designed excellent instruments for the Canadian and international markets.
The Godin company is the owner of five brands, which include the following: Seagull, Simon & Patrick, Norman, Art & Lutherie and Godin.
One of the main products made by Godin are the TRIC guitar cases, which are well known for offering great quality and a high level of protection for instruments.
An example of high quality guitar is the Havana Hollow Body, which is a great option for R&B, Blues, and Jazz stiles. It comes with wild cherry back and sides, an exclusive “Seymour Duncan” ’59 bridge pickup. This models also comes with a Bigsby Tremolo tailpiece, which complements the instrument quite well.
18. Harmony Guitars
Harmony is an American brand of musical instruments that was established in 1892. It was primarily known for producing guitars and ukuleles, as well as other stringed instruments such as mandolins, banjos, and violins.
The company was one of the largest manufacturers of musical instruments in the United States, and was known for producing budget-friendly instruments for student and amateur musicians.
Although the brand is no longer in business, its instruments have become popular among vintage guitar collectors and are prized for their unique sound and vintage aesthetic.
Harmony guitar brand was sold multiple times over the course of its history.
The company went through several ownership changes and changes in direction, with various entities acquiring the brand and using it to produce a range of musical instruments.
The brand was eventually discontinued, and the exact date of its sale is unclear. However, it is known that the company stopped producing instruments in the 1970s and has not been in business since.
19. Ashton Music
Ashton Music is an Australian musical instrument brand that offers a range of guitars, including acoustic, electric, and bass guitars. They have been producing instruments since the late 1990s and are known for offering affordable options for beginner and intermediate players.
Ashton guitars are designed with the goal of providing quality instruments at accessible price points, making them a popular choice for those who are starting their musical journey or looking for a reliable instrument without breaking the bank. While Ashton guitars may not have the same level of recognition or prestige as some high-end brands, they strive to offer decent build quality and playability for their target market.
The Ashton guitar lineup includes a variety of models to suit different playing styles and preferences. Their acoustic guitars often feature laminated wood construction for durability and affordability, while their electric guitars may feature solid wood bodies and a range of pickup configurations to cater to different genres and tones.
While Ashton guitars may not be as widely recognized or sought after as some other established brands, they can still serve as reliable instruments for beginners or players on a budget. It’s important to keep in mind that Ashton guitars may not offer the same level of craftsmanship, tonal complexity, or advanced features as higher-end instruments. However, for those who are just starting out or looking for an affordable option, Ashton guitars can provide a suitable entry point into the world of guitar playing.
Acoustic Guitar Brands
20. Alvarez Guitars
Alvarez is a company that tries to craft instruments with creativity in mind. It is owned and operated by St Louis Music.
They have distinguished themselves by acutely understanding the relationship musicians have with the instrument.
In the 1980s Mr. Yairi, one of the founders of the company, developed the inovative Direct Coupled Bridge. He wanted to raise the string tension of the guitar and take the vibration created at the bridge into the top. The bridge design drops the bridge pins much lower than the saddle, and that creates a more acute string angle which increases the downforce on the saddle.
As a result, this technology heightened string tension. This really impacts the achievable response and projection. Something you will notice with Alvarez is the immediate response, no matter how soft you play.
Standard Alvarez guitars are fitted with a one-piece bi-level bridge that is based on Yairi’s direct coupled design. This also heightens the string tension and improves response. Alvarez bi-level bridges have become part of DNA and together with the Alvarez logo make these guitars instantly recognizable.
The Ovation company produces acoustic guitars that use synthetic materials, with excellent sound. The format of the instrument is also different, with a signature round back made of carbon fiber.
Ovation is a brand of acoustic guitars known for their unique design and construction. The company was founded in the mid-1960s by Charles Kaman, who was also the founder of Kaman Aerospace.
Ovation guitars feature a distinctive bowl-shaped back made from a composite material, such as fiberglass or carbon fiber. The bowl design helps to enhance the guitar’s projection and sustain, and also makes it lighter and more comfortable to play.
In addition to their unique construction, Ovation guitars are known for their high-quality sound and playability. They are often used by professional musicians in a variety of genres, including rock, folk, and country.
Ovation offers a wide range of acoustic guitar models, from entry-level instruments to high-end, custom-made guitars. They also offer a range of electric-acoustic guitars that feature pickups and preamps, making them ideal for live performance and recording.
Overall, Ovation guitars are a unique and innovative option for musicians looking for a high-quality acoustic guitar with a distinctive look and sound.
22. C.F. Martin Guitars
C.F. Martin & Company, commonly referred to as Martin Guitars, is one of the oldest and most prestigious American guitar manufacturers. The company was founded in 1833 by Christian Frederick Martin Sr. and has been family-owned for six generations, with headquarters based in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.
Martin Guitars is renowned for its exceptional craftsmanship, attention to detail, and dedication to producing high-quality acoustic guitars. They have earned a reputation for creating instruments that deliver outstanding tone, playability, and durability.
Martin guitars are known for their iconic dreadnought shape, which has become a standard design for acoustic guitars worldwide. They also offer a wide range of body shapes and sizes, including concert, auditorium, grand auditorium, and jumbo, to cater to different playing styles and tonal preferences.
One of the defining features of Martin guitars is their choice of tonewoods. The company carefully selects premium tonewoods such as Sitka spruce, mahogany, rosewood, and others, which contribute to the instrument’s tone, resonance, and projection. Martin guitars are known for their warm, balanced sound with rich lows, clear mids, and sparkling highs.
In addition to their traditional acoustic guitars, Martin also produces electric-acoustic guitars, archtop guitars, and custom instruments. They have collaborated with renowned musicians and artists to create signature models, including guitars for iconic artists like Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, and many more.
Martin Guitars has a strong commitment to sustainability and responsible sourcing of materials. They actively participate in initiatives aimed at preserving and protecting endangered species of tonewoods, such as their involvement in the CITES regulations and support for responsible forestry practices.
Over the years, Martin guitars have been favored by countless professional musicians, including folk, country, blues, and rock artists. Their instruments have been used in recording studios, live performances, and intimate gatherings, earning them a place in music history.
Owning a Martin guitar is often considered a symbol of prestige and quality within the guitar community. They are highly sought after by players of all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned professionals, who appreciate the craftsmanship, tone, and legacy associated with the Martin name.
Whether you’re a fingerstyle guitarist, a strummer, or a singer-songwriter, Martin Guitars offers a wide range of models to suit different musical styles and preferences. From their entry-level X Series to their flagship Standard Series and limited-edition models, Martin Guitars continues to uphold their tradition of excellence and innovation in the world of acoustic guitars.
What Makes a Popular Guitar Brand?
Several factors contribute to making a guitar brand popular among musicians. Here are some key aspects that can contribute to the popularity of a guitar brand:
- Quality Craftsmanship: A popular guitar brand is known for its high-quality craftsmanship. The brand consistently produces guitars that are well-built, durable, and capable of producing great sound. Attention to detail, precision in construction, and the use of quality materials all contribute to the overall craftsmanship of the instruments.
- Sound and Tone: The sound and tone of the guitars produced by a brand play a significant role in its popularity. Guitarists often look for instruments that can deliver a specific sound or tone they desire for their music genre or playing style. A popular guitar brand is capable of producing guitars that offer a wide range of tones and can cater to various musical preferences.
- Innovation and Technology: Staying at the forefront of innovation and incorporating new technologies in guitar design and manufacturing can make a brand stand out. Whether it’s the introduction of new pickup designs, advanced electronics, or unique features, a popular guitar brand is often associated with pushing boundaries and bringing fresh ideas to the market.
- Artist Endorsements: Collaborations and endorsements from renowned and influential musicians can significantly impact the popularity of a guitar brand. When respected artists choose to play and endorse a particular brand, it enhances the brand’s reputation and credibility. Their association with the brand can attract attention from other musicians and fans alike.
- Reputation and Legacy: A long-standing reputation and a rich heritage can contribute to a brand’s popularity. Guitars that have withstood the test of time and have been played by legendary musicians often carry a sense of prestige and desirability. The reputation of consistently producing quality instruments over the years can establish a brand as a trusted and respected name in the industry.
- Versatility: Popular guitar brands often offer a wide range of models that cater to different playing styles and genres. From entry-level instruments to professional-grade guitars, providing options for players at various skill levels and musical preferences can help a brand gain popularity and reach a broader audience.
- Customer Support and Service: A brand’s commitment to customer satisfaction, excellent customer support, and after-sales service can contribute to its popularity. Providing assistance with repairs, warranty coverage, and responsive communication helps build trust and loyalty among guitarists.
- Pricing and Value: While high-end, expensive guitars can be sought after by collectors and professional musicians, a popular brand also caters to a wide range of budgets. Offering affordable options without compromising on quality and value can attract beginners and intermediate players, expanding the brand’s reach.
- Marketing and Branding: Effective marketing and branding strategies play a significant role in building brand awareness and popularity. Engaging promotional campaigns, endorsements, social media presence, and showcasing the brand’s unique selling points can create a buzz and attract attention.
Classic Guitar Brands
Here is a list of other classical guitar brands:
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Paul Reed Smith
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Lesser Known Guitar Brands
Here are some lesser known guitar brands that also produce quality instruments. We’ll add more information about these brands and we learn more about them.