Top Ten Worst Guitar Brands

The Top TenXW

1First Act

Who the heck put Fender and Gibson on this list? - Barlek

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.

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.

Even if you pick up a guitar of theirs, how would you made that guitar sound like a regular licensed one?

V62 Comments
2Squier

I love squire guitars because they are cheap and affordable. I love the fact that I now have a stratocaster so if you think that they suck think again. I can play under the bridge and scar tissue etc on my squire stratocaster honestly for those that can't afford a fender this is the best thing that has ever happened to me because I can now play an electric guitar which is not only good but it is brilliant

Personally, I don't like the fender and gibson knockoffs, and squire's aren't the best brand, but I have a squire telecaster, which is actually great quality, better than I expected, and it has a slightly more drier, shaky tone that an actual tele, which is a nice feature. My friend has a squire precision bass, and upon hearing it, I honestly thought it was an actual precision bass at first, so, if you must get squire, than consider either the tele or the precision.

Are people retarded!? There's no better cheap guitar brand then a squier. They're made to be cheaper and even then they still sound amazing.

They're amazing for learning guitar. Who doesn't love squire?

V29 Comments
3Yamaha

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.

This is also on the list of best guitar brands so I don't know what's going on here.

V16 Comments
4Washburn

Washburn is an EXCELLENT brand. I have owned an N4, 2 N2's, and their latest, cheapest Nuno model for my daughter. My daughter's guitar is amazing for the price I wish I had such quality for my starter guitar. I would put my N4 up against ANY guitar- period. Plus, whenever I have contacted the company, they have top notch customer service. I know this isn't about amps, but I wrote them about an issue I had with my Randall amp ( a division of Washburn). Without me asking, they mailed me an amp part with an apology. Top notch.

Excellent sound and eaasy fretting! Well made, attractive and improves with age.

I've played on the same old Washburn dreadnought for over 30 years and it is still in top shape, still great sound, and still plays nice and smooth. Used it in my band for almost as many years and only ever got compliments on how great sounding the guitar was/is!

I do believe that Washburn is a quality guitar. A good and excellent sound, super easy fretting and its affordable one. By the way, I own an Oscar Schmidt by Washburn guitar, and I hope it will last long to me :D

Don't Buy Fernando Guitars.

V8 Comments
5SX

I strongly disagree with anyone who says SX are bad. I play a Gypsy Rose, which is an SX guitar, and I absolutely love it. I've had it for years and nothing has ever gone wrong with it. Easy to tune, the strings won't kill your fingers and none of the strings have broken. And It sounds amazing. - Cheshirecat

SX still is my main stage and recording guitar. Its great when you pimp it up...

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.

It is not a bad guitar

V10 Comments
6Essex

This is the worst guitar in the world - hooddle

V1 Comment
7Applause

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.

Absolutely shocking and I would rather have cancer.

V3 Comments
8Taylor

Over-priced, under featured.

Simple answer is, if you have money for the higher end of Taylor, buy a Collings. I've been working as a repair tech in a store that stocks Taylor for around 5 years. Went to lutherie school under one of the best guitar builders in the country. I've played dozens of examples from nearly every model range Taylor has to offer, as well as a few of the more limited edition high $$$$ range. I will give credit where it is due, on the USA made models fit and finish is above many other brands.

However, regardless of price range in normal models you will never get a solid neck (Martin puts solid Mahogany necks even on the 00-15M for ~$1,100. You won't get a lacquer finish but a UV cured poly finish, unacceptable in high end guitars in my opinion.

I read another comment mentioning the bright & dull tone of Taylor. Without boring you with the science behind it, take a look inside and see how tall the braces are on the top, what they do is ...more

Taylors are okay as guitars go, but... I've owned three, sold them all in mint condition and lost considerable coin in doing so. I think they belong on this list because they charge hand made prices for MASS PRODUCED guitars. Don't believe me? Take the Taylor that you own and do a search for it on eBay. That's right, at this very moment there are hundreds of guitars just like yours for sale on eBay. And that's only checking this one sales venue! These guitars are worth half of what you paid because the market is saturated with them. Taylor cranks out hundreds of them per day and 100's of thousands per year. If you're shopping and seriously considering a Taylor, you can get comparable quality and far better value elsewhere. Choose carefully and you'll see your investment go up in value. Aside from some special, collectable models of Taylor, you will loose money on this brand.

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.

Taylor Guitars are the gold standard and to just see them on this list proves how worthless this list really is

Taylor's are great guitars, they are overpriced but they are still great guitars.

V29 Comments
9Mitchell

I love my Mitchell! It's my second acoustic and my favorite by far! It does sound a little too bright acoustically but over an amp it sounds GREAT especially for the price!

I bought one off of my friend David Shalala for 30 bucks, worth 135 new. It is my first guitar and sounds great. I would recommend this to all beginners like me.
Matt Krause

I just got a Mitchell acoustic it's great.the worst I have tried is a rogue now that is junck.

V1 Comment
10ESP

Switching to ESP was the best decision I ever made? Who put this here?

ESP LTDs are a ripoff. All the money goes into the finish and nothing else. Cheap hardware and poor electronics. All of the LTDs I've ever owned couldn't stay in tune worth a damn, have noisy, pop-y switches and crappy pots. I have the Viper 400, and it's an overrated turd. Luckily I got it for a steal. Thing can't stay in tune AT ALL. I will be replacing the alleged Grover tuners with real Grover lockers. That still doesn't solve the issues with the soft finish and ultra-noisy electronics. Plus it has a humpy neck, a cracking neck joint (like all of my LTD set-necks) and the frets were likely leveled by a monkey considering the quality.

Basically I will be tearing it down and rebuilding it. Imagine if a luthier did it? We're talking $600+ worth of work. Any company that puts their name on this deserves to be on this list.

I have esp and it sounds and feels beautiful!

I got one I love it

V10 Comments

The Contenders

11Gibson

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.

Gibson is a Great Brand... But Martin Guitars Blow Gibsons out of the water for sound... Sorry but it is so true

A friend of mine had a Gibson Acoustic Guitar. It was solid maple. It was a beautiful guitar. but it had the worst sound you could have in a guitar. We had a bluegrass band and he tried playing that piece of junk with us. No volume, no character, no bass and no boom. the only thing that guitar was good for was to look at it!

Gibson lost its high quality edge and tradition. It became a mass market guitar producer, adding all sorts of electronics, increasing the price, without considering to keep what the company was famous for: high quality, tradition and craftsmanship.

Quality control issues (why many have switched to ESP and Epiphone), yet they're not that bad actually.

V45 Comments
12Epiphone

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.

I bought an Epiphone Les Paul Special for my son. It has great sound and is fun to play. Tuning pegs aren't the best, but it's a fantastic guitar. Yes, someday he will upgrade to a Gibson but an Epiphone is a million times better than the Les Paul copies we used to play back when I was a kid.

Seriously Epiphone is way better than a "Daisy Rock". That is not a good name. Epiphone should not even be in the top 20

What how is epiphone on here switching to them was the best decision I have ever made in my entire life!

V16 Comments
13Switch

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( picked one up in a pawn shop, totally ignorant of the brand, quality, string action, etc. I'm actually very pleased with the guitar. It has tremendous tone and sustanibility. String action is terriffic top to bottom. For a brand that I understand is no longer in production, I am glad to have it in my collection.

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.

V1 Comment
14Spectrum

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.

The guitar brand Spectrum isn't even that horrible. It sells great starting guitars, electric and acoustic, and are full sized. Some of the electric guitar kits even come with a mini amp. Although this brand is great, I would not recommend it for professionals.

Spectrum isn't really even that bad. For price, they are super worth it. I have a Spectrum, and it is pretty good. Not the best brand in the world, but good for cheap guitars.

My first guitar was a spectrum and it's total trash It's fine as a starter for people who don't know if they really want to learn but the whammy does nothing at all and it falls apart

V5 Comments
15Gretsch Guitars

Eat it... Gretsch Rocks! Make list that means something

Gretsch guitars are the best guitars ever made. Just ask Chet Atkins. He was the best guitar picker/player of all time.

V3 Comments
16Ashton

I myself own an Ashton and I think that they are overall really great guitars. I own an Ashton SL29CEQLTSB Acoustic Electric and it is simply amazing. It comes with a built in tuner and the strings last for quite a very long time. I have owned a couple guitars in my time and I am happy to say that the sound is impressing. So all of the other people who put down this guitar either know nothing about guitars, are super spoiled and want the best of the best, or just had bad luck with them.

The person who said "I have a friend who plays an ashton, and he actually thinks it's a good guitar, while he constantly has to put paper under the strings because otherwise everything above the 3th fret is literally unplayable. Poor guy" MAY I POINT OUT that they just stated how the guitar was in a poor condition but said nothing about why or how long the guitar has been played and all these essential details.

The person who said "I made the mistake of buying a cheap ...more

I have a friend who plays an ashton, and he actually thinks it's a good guitar, while he constantly has to put paper under the strings because otherwise everything above the 3th fret is literally unplayable. Poor guy

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..

V3 Comments
17Fender

What fender isn't bad, who the hell said it was top 8 of the worst?

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!

So you hate Fender because its overpriced?

Fender makes high quality guitars, of course its expensive. If you think price is the problem with this brand then just buy a cheap $20 First Act acoustic (because that thing ain't gonna last) instead of a $2000 Fender Stratocaster (which I assume might last forever)

Fender should be in the top 5 best brands. This list is hilarious

V29 Comments
18Ovation

Unique sounds, especially the ones with the tuned sound holes. Good guitar if you stand up and use a strap.

I have a deep dish acoustic electric cutaway Ovation Legend that has been my main (and favorite) guitar for the last 20 years - excellent, deep sound - has onboard eq & never goes out of tune, even in the winter, by a bonfire - sturdy as an ox. I agree that the shallow body ovations don't have as nice a sound.

Ovation is the best these people above me are wrong

Plastic crap made for pennies and dumbed down for an ape to work on.

19Ibanez

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!

Ibanez make some of the best guitars I have ever had the pleasure of playing.

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.

My two best guitars have been ibanez. Good quality. Just need proper set up.

V18 Comments
20Daisy Rock

This guitar is absolutely terrible.

I have one from a long time ago, it's sounds like a farting crap

Perfect for girl beginners... Not good.

V2 Comments
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List StatsUpdated 24 Aug 2016

2,000 votes
81 listings
8 years, 91 days old

Top Remixes (5)

1. SX
2. Squier
3. Yamaha
Chizzy123
1. First Act
2. Squier
3. Applause
Visualtic
1. First Act
2. Yamaha
3. Squier
cosmo

WRemix
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