Best Electric Guitar for Intermediates and Pros

electric guitar

When many players learn how to play the guitar, they get an acoustic guitar. Then, if they are serious about playing the instrument, they may learn how to play an electric one. There are several brands of electric guitars favored by experienced and professional players, such as the eight listed below. Use this information to choose the best electric guitar for a player’s needs.

Electric Guitar Types

Electric guitars are available in three body types:

  • Solid Body
  • Hollow Body
  • Semi-Hollow Body

Solid Body Guitars

A solid body guitar is made from a solid piece of wood, and it is the most common style chosen by most players. They range from single-pickup models to multi-pickup models with several electronic options. Solid body electric guitars to be visually appealing to the player and audience. The wood that is with the guitar can influence how it sounds.

Hollow Body Guitars

The bodies of these guitars are hollow, which produces more resonance when played. Most instruments in this category have tops and often have issues with feedback. This guitar is a popular choice among jazz musicians as it produces fuller, richer tones and deeper bass responses.

Semi-Hollow Guitars

Semi-hollow guitars have a solid center block of the wood set inside hollow guitar body. This design helps produce more resonance than a solid body guitar, and it reduces feedback. The sound is also more sustained and stable than a hollow body guitar. This guitar is the choice for many blues players, jazz artists, and punk rockers.


Best Electric Guitar for Intermediates and Pros: A Quick Comparison 

Product

Image

Details

Rating

Price

1.Gibson Les Paul Studio 2016 T Electric Guitar  

electric guitar

Classic tone wood combination of carved maple top with mahogany back with modern weight relief delivers timeless Les Paul depth, clarity and sustain.

2.The Studio 2016 T Electric Guitar

electric guitar

The pickups are the 490R and 490T humbuckers and offer superbly rich vintage-inspired tones with the ability to grind out the highest-gain modern rock

3.ZENY Full Size Electric Guitar 

best electric guitar

Two Pure Vintage '62 single-coil Jaguar pickups; Lead/rhythm circuit; bass-cut "strangle" switch

4.ADM Cutaway Full Size Electric Guitar

best electric guitar

Standard Neck finish: Gloss Fretboard Material: Rosewood Radius: 13.75" Fret size: Jumbo Number of frets: 22

5. Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II Electric Guitar

electric guitar

Mahogany body
700T Humbucker pickups
Rosewood fretboard
24.75 Scale

6.Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V Electric Guitar

best electric guitar

genuine Les Paul Special-II LTD guitar featuring two classic hum bucker pickups and a 10-watt Electra guitar amp with a 10ft guitar cable.

7.Davidson Full Size Black Electric Guitar with Amp

best electric guitar

Rosewood fingerboard, Canadian maple neck, Solid wood body, S-S-S pickups, One-way tremolo, Pickup switch, Volume & tone controls

8.D'Angelico Premier EXL-1 Lefty Electric Guitar

best electric guitar

Rosewood fingerboard, Canadian maple neck, Solid wood body, S-S-S pickups, One-way tremolo, Pickup switch, Volume & tone controls

How We Choose Our Ratings

To provide an accurate, honest evaluation of each of the guitars in this guide, we find out how they are designed by the manufacturer. We also consider the reputation and experience of each manufacturer as guitars selected by expert players, including professionals, require certain sounds and looks.

Reviews and testimonials from customers are also considered and included in our rating system. Each guitar in the review receives one to five stars, with five being one of the best available instruments on this list of the top eight intermediate and professional electric guitars.


Full Reviews | The Best Electric Guitar for Intermediates and Pros 


1. Gibson Les Paul Studio 2016 T Electric Guitar

electric guitar

Gibson Les Paul guitars are legendary among professional musicians. Many rock artists have chosen to play this guitar, including musicians like:

  • Bob Marley
  • Eric Clapton
  • Jimmy Page
  • Joe Walsh
  • Ace Frehley

The designer of the guitar, Les Paul, was a professional musician who played country, jazz, and rock music. He was also an innovator who helped pioneer the solid body guitar.

Pros

  • consistent models
  • historic neck heel shape & standard high-quality manual tuners
  • ability to grind out the highest-gain modern rock

Cons

  • others have reported inconsistent setups straight from the factory

Quality

Price

Our Rating

$$

4/5


2. The Studio 2016 T Electric Guitar

electric guitar

Made by Gibson, it is a solid body guitar made with a carved maple top and mahogany bottom. The Les Paul Studio guitar was originally produced in 1983, and this modern version strives to deliver the clear, deep sound and sustainability of that model.

The traditionally designed guitar has a neck that is 1 11/16" wide at the nut with the traditional shape at the neck heel. It also features two standard manual tuners and a Graph Tech Nut. The two pickups on this model are the 490R and 490T humbuckers. They deliver vintage tones while playing modern music.

The guitar also has coil-split switching to create single-coil tones. A hard case is part of the purchase of this guitar.

Pros

  • coil splitting for authentic single-coil tones
  • a traditional Graph Tech nut
  • ability to grind out the highest-gain modern rock

Cons

  • others have reported inconsistent setups straight from the factory

Quality

Price

Our Rating

$$

4/5


3.ZENY Full Size Electric Guitar

best electric guitar

Fender guitars are among some of the most famous electric guitars ever made. Some of the professionals who play a Fender include:

  • Stevie Ray Vaughn
  • Eddie Van Halen
  • The Edge
  • Richie Sambora

The Fender Jaguar Guitar

The Fender Jaguar guitar was originally produced in 1962 and helped to create both the punk and alternative rock movements. This replica American Original ‘60s Jaguar was designed to help recreate the sound that the original produced.

Among some of the vintage features of this guitar are:

  • Solid Alder lacquered body
  • Maple C-shaped neck
  • A 9.5” radius rosewood fingerboard
  • Nickel and chrome hardware
  • Two single-coil pickups
  • A bass-cut strangle switch

The design and appointments of the guitar help to recreate the vintage sound of the Jaguar, but with the capability to play modern music. Along with the guitar, a nice hardshell case to help protect your instrument when going to gigs or jamming with friends.

Pros

  • Solid alder body with gloss nitrocellulose finish
  • Vintage-style nickel/chrome hardware
  • Two Pure Vintage '62 single-coil Jaguar pickups

Cons

  • bridge and saddles needs improvement

Quality

Price

Our Rating

$$

4/5


4.ADM Electric Cutaway Full Size Guitar

best electric guitar

This Yamaha electric guitar earned the nickname Rusty Rat because the original version was open found on the back of a Café Racer motorcycle in the 60s driven by a musician on the way to a gig. This solid body instrument is designed with two cutaways that provide easier access to the frets and a stylish appearance.

Revstar RSP20CR

The Revstar RSP20CR has 22 jumbo frets on its rosewood fretboard, which has a radius of 13.75.” The neck, which is made from mahogany, is 24.75” long. The body of the guitar is also made from mahogany, but with a maple top.

This solid body guitar features a dry switch that has the same versatility of a coil switch, but with a better tone. The dry switch acts to filter low frequencies, which can reduce the feedback for which humbucking pickups are popular.

Yamaha has been making guitars for over 50 years and some of the well-known musicians who play them include:

  • Carlos Santana
  • Mick Jones
  • Andy Taylor
  • Al McKay
  • Larry Carlton
  • Bill Nelson

Pros

  • good feel and tone
  • best for jamming and recording
  • superb quality and playability

Cons

  • minor nits but fantastic overall

Quality

Price

Our Rating

$$$

5/5


5. Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II Electric Guitar

electric guitar

The Les Paul Special-II solid body electric guitar is Epiphone’s bestselling LP model. This model, named after the legendary musician and inventor, is similar to the Gibson model, but then both companies are owned by CMI or the Chicago Musical Instrument Co.


About Epiphone

Epiphone has been making instruments, including guitars, for about 145 years. The company is now located in Nashville, TN after starting out in Greece and gradually making its way to New York City. This model provides the same sound and feel of a 1960s Les Paul guitar.

The body of the guitar is made from mahogany with a rosewood fretboard. The neck of the guitar bolts onto the body and has a scale length of 24.75.” It has two pickups with one at the neck, an Epiphone 650R humbucker, and one at the bridge, which is an Epiphone 700T humbucker. A gig bag is provided when you purchase this guitar. In addition, the company offers a limited lifetime warranty on it.


Some of the more famous Epiphone players include:

  • The Beatles
  • Dave Davies
  • Bob Dylan
  • John Lee Hooker
  • Brian Jones
  • Les Paul
  • Django Reinhardt

Pros

  • suits as a learning guitar
  • affordable price
  • lightweight but has all the features of a Les Paul guitar

Cons

  • not recommended for pro but fantastic for beginners and guitar learner

Quality

Price

Our Rating

$$

4.4/5


6. Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V Electric Guitar

best electric guitar

Although this Epiphone Les Paul electric guitar would be a great choice for an experienced player or professional musician, it could also be a good choice for someone transitioning from an acoustic guitar to an electric one. The solid body guitar has everything needed to start playing it right out of the box.

The body of the guitar is made from mahogany with a Vintage Sunburst design. The single cutaway gives the instrument the look and feel of a 1960s guitar, but with the ability to pay modern music. The neck is also mahogany with a bolt on joint and is 24.75” long.

The rosewood fretboard has 22 frets and a radius of 13.”

The player pack includes the guitar with:

  • Two humbucker pickups
  • 10-watt amp
  • Clip-on tuner
  • Gig bag
  • Medium picks
  • Guitar strap
 Beginning players can use the free lessons that are available with the pack.

Pros

  • perfect set up for beginner
  • affordable price
  • set up nicely from the factory

Cons

  • cheap accessories but would not affect the overall perfomance 

Quality

Price

Our Rating

$

4/5


7. Davidson Full Size Black Electric Guitar with Amp

best electric guitar

Not everyone can afford to shell out several hundred, or thousands, dollars for an electric guitar when they want to learn how to play one. Fortunately, there are budget-friendly choices on the market like the LyxPro Electric Guitar.

Whether you’re new to playing the guitar or adding to your skill set by transitioning from an acoustic to an electric guitar, this LyxPro pack may be a good option for beginners as well as experienced players. Everything that is needed to start playing an electric guitar is included, like:

  • 39” Electric Guitar
  • 20-watt amplifier
  • Digital tuner
  • Six strings
  • Two picks
  • Tremolo bar
  • Shoulder strap
  • Gig bag

It is a solid body guitar with a neck made from Canadian maple and a rosewood fingerboard. It also has S-S-S pickups that create the sound you hear coming out of the amplifier. If you’re looking for the best electric guitar for a beginner, the LyxPro may be a good option.

Squier by Fender Short Scale Stratocaster Pack

One of the best-known electric guitars in the world is the Fender Stratocaster. It first debuted in 1954 and quickly became popular with musicians creating rock-n-roll music. The Stratocaster is easily identified by its sound and its appearance.

The solid body guitar has a curvy shape topped by two cutaways that make it easier to get to the frets when playing. The Squier model is a 24” Strat made for those learning the play the electric guitar, especially children because it is for players with small hands.

The body is from poplar, while the C-shaped neck is maple. It has 22 medium jumbo frets with dot inlays and a curved headstock with metal encased tuning pegs. The fingerboard has a radius of 9.5,” three single-coil humbucking pickups, and a vintage-style tremolo bar, all of which are reminiscent of a classic Stratocaster.

This moderately-priced Fender includes accessories like:

  • 10G amplifier with cable.
  • Shoulder strap
  • Clip-on tuner
  • Three picks.
  • A set-up guide
  • Free online lessons

Some of the musicians who have played a Stratocaster include:

  • Buddy Holly
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Niles Rodgers
  • Buddy Guy

Pros

  • great choice for starters 
  • affordable price
  • good starting amp for the price

Cons

  • cheap guitar set

Quality

Price

Our Rating

$

4.1/5


8. D'Angelico Premier EXL-1 Electric Guitar

best electric guitar

The Eric Clapton Stratocaster by Fender is part of their Artist Series guitars that feature well-known musicians who have famously played a Strat. In fact, this guitar features a solid body made from Alder wood with a “soft V” neck that is slightly rounded to make it more user-friendly for players with large hands.

Features Of Fender Eric Clapton Stratocaster

The fingerboard has a radius of 9.5” that makes it easier for players to bend the strings to change the pitch of the note. Also, it is flatter than the traditional fingerboard, so it is more comfortable to play. The tremolo on this guitar has a wood block that keeps the tremolo bridge from moving, but it is removable.

It also features Vintage Noiseless single-coil pickups on the neck and bridge. Both the neck, which is 25.5” long, and fingerboard are from maple. Included with the guitar is a strap, amplifier cable, and a tweed case with a soft lining to protect the guitar’s finish.

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Pros

  • tune right out of the box
  • noiseless pick up 
  • clean tone control

Cons

  • average guitar quality and great for starter and intermmediate 

Quality

Price

Our Rating

$$

4.5/5


Buying Guide for Electric Guitars

When selecting an electric guitar, whether for yourself or as a gift, there are many things to consider. Two of the most important considerations is who will be playing the guitar and your budget.

Who Will Play It?

The experience of the player will often influence which guitar they play. However, if it is a young beginner, then you should look for a smaller guitar with a great sound that easy for them to handle. Also, some guitars include the accessories needed to play it, which is good for someone who has never played before.

Most adults that are expert players can handle full-sized guitars, which is heavier and longer, much easier than beginners. Also, since most players will have a favorite artist, you should find out who it is to try to get them the same time guitar. For instance, if they admire Jimi Hendrix, then they may want a Fender Stratocaster.

Your Budget

Electric guitars can be expensive, but you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to buy a good one. The eight solid body electric guitars in this review range in price from moderately priced guitars to those costing over $2,000.

By doing some research to find out which artist the player admires and by considering their skill level, you will able to buy the best electric guitar for their playing ability.

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