1) Squier Fat Stratocaster
This are one of several Squier models available that offer a pretty good product for a reasonably low price. The pick-ups and hardware are sometimes suspect, and the workmanship varies from instrument to instrument, but for the price, these are a very good beginner guitar choice. The look of the instrument is appealling – Squier Fat Strats are similar in appearance to the much more expensive Fender Stratocasters.
2) Epiphone G-310 SG
Modeled after the much more expensive Gibson SG guitars, the Epiphone SG G310 keeps it’s cost low by using cheaper hardware and lower quality humbucking pick-ups. The G-310 features an alder body, a mahogany neck, and a dot-inlayed rosewood fingerboard. The buzz on this guitar is it’s a very good value for the money.
3) Yamaha PAC012DLX Pacifica Series HSS Deluxe
Here’s another guitar many people feel is a great value. This Pacifica features an agathis body, maple neck, and rosewood fretboard, with two single coil pick-ups, and one humbucker. The consensus is the guitar is reasonably well made, and the quality of the wood tends to be high. Those who go on to become serious guitarists might want to consider upgrading the electronics of the Pacifica HSS.
4) Squier Affinity Series Telecaster
Guitarists like Keith Richards, Steve Cropper, Albert Lee, and Danny Gatton favor the look and sound of the Telecaster. If you’re a fan of any of those guitarists, this beginner guitar may be for you. The Affinity Telecaster features an alder body, with a maple neck and fretboard.
5) Epiphone Les Paul Special II
The Les Paul is perhaps the most famous guitar in rock and roll. Epiphone has done a good job of visually re-creating the Les Paul in this lower-cost guitar marketed towards beginners. The Special II features a laminated alder/maple body, a magogany neck, rosewood fingerboard, and two open-coil humbucking pick-ups.