Top Ten Worst Guitar Brands

The top ten worst guitar brands made. Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

1
First Act
Who the heck put Fender and Gibson on this list?

Barlek

Like 39% of the people said, they are simply the worst. The first guitar I owned was the Ibanez Gio, I thought it was amazing. I play it every now and then, but not too much anymore. For its price, I think it is the best starter guitar, 10 times better than any first act. I owned a first act, it was the worst guitar of all time. Me finger killed after playing it because the strings are so hard to push down, the frets don't even stay attached to the guitar. All beginner guitarist, don't get first act.
First Act is a very peculiar guitar company. They have guitars that sell at Toys R Us that will literally fall apart in your hands. They sell pedals that are a complete joke, leaving you with the impression that they must be a bad, bad joke. Then something strange happened, I did a little research and found some info that was stunning. First Act has a couple of guitar lines that are some of the finest guitars I have ever seen, heard, or even read about. They have guitars that go for $3000 plus and are better guitars than any person commenting on this board will ever have the opportunity of even being in the same room with (including myself) Who would have thought?! Go figure.
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2Squier
Fender is already skating on the name alone. Nothing really quality about them. They made it big when there was no competition, so therefore they are a relic, which can always fool people into thinking it also means interchangeable with 'quality'. Squier is the poor persons, Mexican made edition of Fender. Do the math.
Three levels of Squier. The top levels the make are great!
Trying to do anything on a squire is hard why bother carrying on with production
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3SX
I realize this list is for the worst, uyt being a musician for the past 40 years, I don't look for the worst or cheapest... Every guitar manufacturer, from Gibson to First Act, have variations in their instrumentsa that can be tweaked to suit the playability of a particular instrument... I have an early model SX guitar, that has a great action and the electronics and quality of wood, make this my back-up on stage and the one I always practice with... !
No one guitar is going to sound, OR play, exactly like another of the same model, and I'm sure the newer/cheaper manufactured SX guitars will not compare to the vintage instrument I own...
SX guitars are made from good tone woods, have a good feel and sound. They do need some tweaking for the best playability, however they have good quality for the price. I've played Fenders and Gibsons that aren't worth 1/4 of what they cost.
SX still is my main stage and recording guitar. Its great when you pimp it up...
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4Applause
I disagree totally, I had a applause about 20 years ago and I wish I never had to sell it. It was a great guitar for the price and it sounded great hooked up to a decent amp.
I own an '80s Applause Strat and when played clean, sounds better than a MIM strat. Dirty sounds a little muddy but that might be because I have a crappy 60 watt Peavey amp.
Low cost version of the Ovation, not too bad.
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5Yamaha
Unbelievable how people are ignorant. Yamaha makes number of products but the origin and set up are totally different. Its music division was used to be specialized manufacturer called "Nippon Music Instrument". Yamaha took over and still maintains the specialty.
The Fact That Taylor, Gretsch, Gibson, Fender Are On The List. Is Blasphemy

Chizzy123

If you don't know what brand to buy, buy Yamaha. There's a reason this brand is chosen by almost every music education establishment, they are the best available. The only downside is a lack of style, which I personally prefer, fashion is for sheep.
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6Essex
This is the worst guitar in the world

hooddle


7Taylor
False, the only acoustics that might come close to as sweet a sound as taylor is martin, and there are only a handful that may make the list. I have never been disappointed with any taylor I have picked up.
I think they wanted to say the ELECTRIC TAYLORS!
Okay sounding, not that nice playing, horrible resale. The market is completely flooded because of mass production. Don't ever consider one as an investment.
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8ESP
I only voted ESP so I could tell everyone that this brand is the King. Gibson is only good because heaps of people use it. Its like facebook. Once someone gets a Gibson everyone follows, like a sheep. ESP uses the best materials, they sound incredible, good variety, good reputation, and half the price of a Gibson standard. Gibson overpriced, ESP priced perfectly. With ESP YOU REALLY GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. Esp IS NOT IN THE TOP 100 WORST GUITAR BRANDS. I am a pro guitarist and use ESP, Ibanez and PRS
GREAT NECK ACTION THE BEST FOR THE Eddie Van Halen FEEL AND ACTION
Sound is very good

9Washburn
Excellent sound and eaasy fretting! Well made, attractive and improves with age.
I LOVE MY CHICAGO SERIES DOES IMPROVE WITH AGE
I've had a Washburn Lyon for years, and it's seen my first live concert. Fairly reliable, but not so as others.
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10Switch
I have had some dog bad guitars! You and every one passes up Rickenbacker. I just dumped mine, I had two in my life they are bad out dated guitars. I saw people come in a store to buy one, they play one with a great Fender amp and walk out with some other brand. You do not see and of the greats play them. The sounds of the 60's is not a Ricky. Look for them and you will only see old photo of Lennon play one, no solos!
I just watched a PBS special of Hulabaloo. Of the more than thirty groups and least 20 were using Rics. This is not even including Suzanna Hoffs, Steppenwolf, Roger McGuinn and a host of others. The fact that there is a waiting list for them would suggest that no nothing about Rickenbackers, the guitars or their history.

The Contenders

11Spectrum
The reason I hate this brand is because, they advertise like there toys are a real instruments. The fret board feels like ass, the whammy bar does nothing be put the guitar out of tune. It should be a lil Wayne signature guitar, then they would have an excuse to make a Horrible guitar.
This is like a starter guitar worse than Squier or First Act. They can't hold a tune, they can't play without feedback/buzzing, and they are worth about as much as a guitar pick.
I bought a spectrum for 40$ and it comes out of tune like nothing else... Cheep feel and just isn't solid... Thow the body is full withth..

12Ashton
I made the mistake of buying a cheap Ashton acoustic just for practice, big mistake my god they are awful
I have nothing really important to say but Ashton guitars should be on the top list..
Makes awful sounds and they false advertise
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13Mitchell

14Ovation
Unique sounds, especially the ones with the tuned sound holes. Good guitar if you stand up and use a strap.
Plastic crap made for pennies and dumbed down for an ape to work on.

15Epiphone
Honestly, this is a pretty good brand. If you're looking for a Gibson sound on a budget, Epiphone does a really good job of replicating that Gibson tone. Granted, it's not going to be perfect, but it's one of the best in the price range.
Not even good to prop a window open.. biggest POS on the market I saw a guy smash a Les Paul once on stage... I was young, I asked the dude why he did that, he said who cares it was an Epiphone.. Now I know why
Epiphone is amazing. It doesn't come perfect out of the box, but after some work it sounds just like a Gibson.
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16Daisy Rock

17Ibanez
These guitars use very cheap materials. I bought a washburn WM24v PROE for $300 and it come with Mahogany body & neck, phenolic fretboard, emg81/85 and original floyd rose... Ibanez RG costs $400 and comes with basswood body, bolt on maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, shoddy pickups and a licensed floyd that WILL NOT stay in tune. Poor quality for money, if you get a Ibanez go for a fixed bridge/string-thru because their trems are HORRIBLE! Original floyd is the only way to go!
The best guitar money can buy! The best guitar there is. Gibson is like the nostalgic VW van with a fresh coat of poorly chosen, environmentally disastrous paint and the Ibanez is the Nissan GTR, bristling with the best in technology for a reasonable price.
Great value for money!
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18Givson
That's the coolest guitar
They r d best guitars...
Just lve thm for me they are on no. 2

19Dean
Junky guitars made for hyperactive children who think ugly graphics are cool. I mean seriously, have you seen the garbage Dean puts out at Guitar Center? The one thing even more immature is the Dean Forum.
Crummy guitars made in sweatshops in China and Indonesia. Top that off with the absolute worst Guitar Forum on the internet full of immature trolls and you have a brand to be ashamed of. Really sad as the original Dean Zelinsky guitars were amazing.
Agree with the original post and an exclamation point on how horrible the Dean Internet Forum is, a complete douchefest. It's trolled to death by people that don't even own Dean guitars.
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20Fender
What fender isn't bad, who the hell said it was top 8 of the worst?
Fender is NOT bad. I'm not saying they are the best but they are definitely not bad. I have a strat and its great, I really like the feel of it. However says that fender is bad obviously doesn't know a lot about guitars
Fender is one of the best brands by the worst
That is one of the reasons it is so expensive!
You get what you pay for!
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21Stagg
Worst guitar ever... I have a Stagg Stratocaster copy and an Ibanez RG321MH. I never use my Stagg it keeps on distuning and it have a buzz sound that comes even with you put the channel on clean, and when it is overdrive... It is just for beginners, but still awful.
Worst guitars ever. Bought one last year. I'd rather wipe my arse withe a grater then buy another
It's just for beginners but it's still awful, I would rather buy an ibanez..
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22Granada

23Jackson
My old original Jackson PS-2 is one of my favorite guitars, even though it's now almost completely worn out. I've heard the Fender versions are not on a par with the originals.
Jackson is owned by Fender now and are a very good guitar for starters.
Made in China and India Jacksons: Yes, absolute junk.
Made in USA Jacksons: God himself couldn't build a better guitar.

24Greg Bennett
Your mom has no nipples
I bought a Greg bennet avion 2 for 80 bucks at a second hand store and it's great. Sounds awesome for cleans and rock the action is low no fret buzz/choke and unplugged it's sounds very accoustic like not to to mention they come stock with Grover tuners and they stay intune after hours of bending

25Elevation
Good for newbies but seriously the worst guitar I've ever owned! Why the hell is Gibson on this list? My favourit brand by miles, expensive yes but the quality you get is amazing!

26McCurdy
Made by the worst factory in the Philippines, ripped off the MC CURDY guitar in New York. Pickups rust in 10 days, half sized guitar, thick neck, priced almost as a Squier guitar and a 10watt amplifier and uses the worst painting that fades. Not even a starter guitar but a toy. I won't recommend this.
I hate this guitar brand!

27Pyle
More like Pyle o' crap.
Sucko! Cheap pieces of excrement. Built from cardboard by idiots. Sound worse than a cat fight. Gag me with a stick!

28Rocker
Totally disappointed in the workmanship.. No quality control.. the fret bars raised off the neck are so sharp that they almost cause lacarations in your fingers, they Pickups are the Cheapest you can get and I am very disappointed in the quality control and what product exactly they are trying to put out the door... maybe revamp your product and put out least worth getting a good review over...

29Rogue
All the Rogue's that I have are made in China. With a little bit of nut and bridge (saddle) work, they sound just as good as guitars costing 5 times the price.

30Kapok
The sound quality made by the strings are great.
The materials used for the guitar isn't bad. Great for beginners. However, one will soon discover that its not easy to press the string on the fret board. Many chords can't be pressed easily. So, I will probably give it a 6/10 for this brand.

31Kona
These guitars sound horrible. It was the worst guitar purchase I have ever made.
These guitars aren't that good. In my opinion, even Tokai is better. Don't be fooled. They may look great, but the sound, rediculous.

32Econau

33Cort
Honestly. Worst sounding things. You'd have to get a stupidly expensive one to get a sound that doesn't sound like a crappy $200 starter Epiphone lpj.
It's a Coolest Guitar.. Xcort
It should be World Best Guitar List no. 3 or 4

34Stadium
My Stadium Jazz guitar, Johnny Smith style, is magnificent. Sold one to a friend and bought another. Good luck trying to find one.

35Alice

36Arena

37Jay Jr

38Tonante
Hello, kiddies. Here comes me, the storyteller of the holy craps. Once upon a time there was here in Brazil a brand called as above - it translates into "Soundly King" but the only soundly thing about it was its crapiness. It wouldn't fall apart, for it wqas made of one single piece of scrap wood and just about everything on it was kept in place with - cheap - glue. It came standard with stripped steel cable wire strings and doorbell coil pickups. As it couldn't get any worse, it featured an inline set of two acoustic guitar bar tuning machines and its frets were made of copperwire clippings. One great day, this Manufacturing Empire of Evil went bankrupt - as expected - and crumbled upon itself as an imploded rotten card castle, and everyone was happy ever after. The end.

39Burns Guitars
Had 3 burns cobra's every one has had poor fret work. I'm not talking about the 60's models. Just the parts bin thrown together cobra they are f#%$ing awful

40Supreme

41Carlo Robelli
I'm sorry, but all you guys don't know what a bad guitar is. This guitar is the worst piece of crap I've ever used, and I'll never use one again. DO NOT GET IT...it's fake...I mean, plastic. Yeah. It's pretty awful. And not to mention the horrible sound it makes, and how hard it is to play.

42B.C. Rich
OH COME ON.B.C. Rich sucks. Favorites:
Gibson
Gretsch
PRS
Fender

43Merida
Great quality guitars. Their classical guitars are among the best I have ever played at any price. I am the proud owner of a T25. It cost $899 and sounds every bit as good as a $4000. custom classical I had hand built in Spain in early 1992.
The Solid Cedar top resonates very well, the fit and finish are astoundingly beautiful. I would strongly recommend anyone looking for a really great value and a terrific overall guitar look at a Merida!
CAN'T find anything on these guitars!

44Greco

45Jaxville
I've played better guitars in the Early Learning Centre

46Hondo
My Hondo got its tires stuck in my grandmothers snatch...

47Charvel
Earlier models weren't bad. I have two and the play well and sound good.

48Gibson
Gibson is the greatest guitar company ever. The only other comparable brand is Ruokangas in Finland. People who don't like gibson hate gibson cause they want one of their guitars and can't afford one.
It is the increasing price of Gibson guitars coupled with loss of quality control I.E. Your buying the name now, not the guitar. Not your fathers guitar, not even close. Unless you want to shell out five figures. Yes, Gibson sucks because I can't afford one. But I can afford a used one.
I have no idea why Gibson is even on this list. This is quite possibly the greatest guitar brand of all time, people. Say what you want about the hefty prices, the tone is great and I haven't seen a bad looking Gibson.
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49Legend
This fender Chinese copy sucks I mean seriously

50Freshman
These guitars are the worst I've ever played. Their web site is very misleading as it states that they have a uk factory...no they don't...they have a storage unit in the uk. They claim that they have expert luthiers working there...no they don't. Pretty much everything about this company is bull...I bought a 12 string and had it appraised by a member of the guitar makers guild after finding a few problems with it, after e-mailing them to resolve the problems I was sent the same guitar not a replacement but the same faulty one with a new nut..jokers...
Agreed. Over-priced Chinese crap. I work in a guitar shop that used to sell them, we had so many problems with them we no longer deal with freshman. Avoid them.

511979 Cort Classic.
Beautifully made and very solid. The neck never moves and I'd love to see if anyone could tell the difference between this guitar and a Gibson Les Paul Custom in a blind test. Cort make more electric guitars than anyone else and dry store the timber for two years prior to manufacture. In the end it all comes down to personal preferences surely?

52Java
I HAVE A JAVA GUITAR... THAT SUCKS

53Mahar

54Schecter
Schecters are great, I'm just being a dick by putting in on the list.

55Kingston
My first electric guitar was a white single pickup with a tortiseshell pickgaurd. Paid $30.00 for it new. Learned on it, still have it in original box. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would say it's a 7. I will hand it down to my granddaughter one day.
GREAT 60'S SOUND FOR A GREAT PRICE MADE WITH NICE PARTS AND LOOKS BEAUTIFUL PS GIBSON SUCKS

56Kramer

57Suzuki

58K Tone
Good as a beginner guitar not much else

59Lakland

60Eleca

61Johnson
I could watch the bridge rise as I attempted to tune the acoustics. Sales-weasel stated that it was a one-off- did the same thing with all of the acoustics- every one.
The bracing is a joke; so is the glue that holds the wood to the binding- first humid day? Whoops- guitar fell apart!

62Aria
One of the most over looked and shockingly good guitars I have ever played in my 23 years of chopping wood. In their rich history there have been little misses, but over all Aria guitars are supreme to their competitor especially at the price point. My 1977 Aria les paul copy has at leased twice the balls as my buddy's 6 year old Gibson and tons more playability. Forget about comparing to epiphone, seriously. eBay yourself a Aria electric and you WILL be pleasantly surprised. Aria acoustics; If your reaching for a nylon, Aria makes some of the best classical guitars with a history of employing some of the most well noted artisans of the craft, such as Ryoji Matsuoka. Fine craftsmanship all around, built with quality woods and have a tendency to get better with age, laminated or not. As for steal strings, I've only played one to be honest, but this Martin 'lawsuit' was a work of art. Thank you.

63Esteban
Guitars fall apart quickly- black on the fretboard is painted in, the little fret markers can be removed just by pushing down one side. The amp blows chunks as well... I do have a bit of a positive, though: maybe the instrument cable wasn't too bad

64Heartz
Come on, it's bad, for the begineers too
Way bad for the ametuer, sticky tremolo

65Esoterik
Some douche named Lemming plays one.

66Enya

67Gretsch Guitars
Eat it... Gretsch Rocks! Make list that means something
Nice fast necks, great tone.
I have a couple of Gresch's and they are great Guitars.

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This list was created 6 years, 99 days ago and has been voted on over 1,000 times. This top ten list has been remixed 2 times.

Updated Tuesday, September 02, 2014


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