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Beginner Guitar and Amp Recommendations

Image by zapdelight via Flickr

Still don’t believe you can buy an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar and an amplifier for a beginning guitarist for approximately $300? Here are some specific suggestions which meet those criteria this 2010 holiday season.

Acoustic Guitars

All of the acoustic guitars listed here have solid tops. Most do not include a case or gig bag except for the Ami Parlor. The Ami Parlor and Epiphone EL-00 have small bodies which may be more comfortable for a smaller person. They all have full scale lengths which vary between 24.75 and 25.5 inches.

Make Model Top (all solid wood) Size/Style $ 1
Arts & Lutherie Ami Parlor Cedar or Spruce Parlor $299.00
Breedlove Passport C200/SMP Cedar (or Spruce S200) Medium $299.00
Epiphone EL-00 Spruce Small $299.00
Epiphone Humingbird Artist Spruce Dreadnought $249.99
Ibanez AW30NT ARTWOOD Spruce Dreadnought $249.99
Takamine GS430S G NEX Cedar Medium $299.00
Yamaha FS720S Folk Spruce Medium $279.00

Electric Guitars

These electric guitars do not include a case or gig bag.

Make Model Pickups Style Other Notes $ 2
Squier by Fender Bullet SSS Stratocaster Tremolo Slim Body $120
Squier by Fender Affinity Series Telecaster Special SS Telecaster $180
Squier by Fender Bullet Stratocaster HSS HSS Stratocaster Tremolo Slim Body $120
Squier by Fender Affinity Series Stratocaster SSS Stratocaster Tremolo $180
Epiphone Les Paul Special II HH Les Paul $180
Epiphone SG-Special HH SG $170
Yamaha PAC112J SSS Stratocaster Tremolo $200
Ibanez GART50QA HH Les Paul like $200

Electric guitar pickup configurations are frequently abbreviated as S or single coil and H for humbucker. Thus HSS indicates a triple pickup guitar where the bridge pickup is a humbucker and middle and neck pickups are single coil.

Electric Guitar Amplifiers

All of these combo amplifiers include digital effects (e.g., reverb) and digital modeling of famous amplifiers. They also all include a headphone jack for private listening.

Make Model Watts Speaker Batteries / AC Built in Tuner? aux in $ 3
Line 6 Spider IV 15W 1×8 AC only Yes Yes $100
Vox VT15 15W 1×8 AC only No ? $130
Peavey Vypyr 15 15W 1×8 AC only Yes Yes $100
Behringer V-Tone GM108 15W 1×8 AC only No Yes $88
Roland Micro Cube 2W 1×5 Batt or AC Digital Tuning Fork Yes $130
Vox DA5 5W 1×6.5 Batt or AC No Yes $140
Fender Mustang 20W 1×8 AC only No Yes $100

Speakers: All combo amplifiers in this price range include one speaker. The abbreviation 1×8 means one speaker which is 8 inches in diameter. Larger and more costly amplifiers can have up to four 12 inch speakers (4×12). Aux in: implies there is a jack where you can plug in an MP3 player or other music device so you can play along with your music.


  1. Prices found online Dec. 21, 2010
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