Top Ten Worst Guitar Brands

The Top TenXW

1First 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.

Super cheap guitar. Cheap wood, neck, pickups, plastic, plastic nut. Knobs are plastic but made to look metal. Unbelievably cheap guitar and to make things worse it neck heavy. If I took my hands on it the neck almost touched the ground. Shame on you First Act.

V55 Comments

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.

Three levels of Squier. The top levels the make are great!

These can be great guitars. After viewing what Fender wants for some of their American models with their questionable quality control I'll look elsewhere thank you. And most often that leads me to the Squier brand. Great guitars in my opinion.

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.

V26 Comments

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.

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.

The Fact That Taylor, Gretsch, Gibson, Fender Are On The List. Is Blasphemy - Chizzy123

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

V18 Comments

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.

Washburn was the brand of guitar I chose when I decided to start playing guitar after 20 years of inactivity and I was not disappointed. My electric experience been great and I didn't have to break the bank!

V11 Comments

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

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

Absolute garbage... As is everything sold on Rondo Music.

V11 Comments

This is the worst guitar in the world - hooddle


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.

I've played an applause 12 string and it's not bad it has a smooth feeling to it. I'm 13!

V5 Comments

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!

A great guitar for its price


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

While Taylor guitars are popular I find them to be very overrated. They aren't bad guitars, but there is nothing special about them. The best acoustic guitars for my money are made by Guild. Their electrics are very good as well. Brands like Taylor and Gibson benefit from good marketing and brand recognition, but in terms of quality and tone they fall a little short to me.

I'm sorry, but you are incredibly misinformed. Taylor, Gibson, and Martin make the greatest acoustic guitars that one's hands could ever grace. Brands are popular for a reason... They are quality products. No one will ever hear of "guild guitars" cause they suck compared to Taylor, Gibson, or Martin. End of story

I think they wanted to say the ELECTRIC TAYLORS!

Embarrassed to say I spent $1,850 on a 2006 Fall Limited Edition 414. I HATED that guitar. No volume, no bass, no mid. I sold it for $1,000 six months after I bought it. Was happy to be rid of the thing.

V23 Comments

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 bought a esp e150 years ago used for the money esp got it together wont buy nothing else a year ago bought a esp vyper 400 one dude said it is a poor mans guitar well to each his own its for metal most of the tone is in your fingers but it helps to have decent geer esp does it rite I'm not promoting I just can't find anything wrong with it in my opinion peace

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

I have esp and it sounds and feels beautiful!

V13 Comments

The Newcomers

?Carlos Luna

Looked average, good sounding pickups. Would advise against buying one.

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The Contenders


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

I like a nice Gibson. An Epiphone is just a cheaper version of a Gibson. Same 13 year old speaking.

V16 Comments

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.


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 guitars are terrible, in my opinion. Their guitars are NOT versatile whatsoever (If you buy a Gibson, you're either gonna play classic rock, blues, or jazz), their quality control has gone off a cliff, their prices are outrageous, the tone is mediocre, and they just make re-hash after re-hash of the same bloody guitar.
Gibson was great back in the day.

I'm afraid that's the sad truth. Gibson guitars used to be great guitars. They still generally make a basically good guitar, but I won't forgive them for deliberately selling a custom guitar that had fading stain on the binding, (binding is plastic too - like what kind of big deal is that), and a neck they FULL WELL KNEW would warp in a couple years. Original owner paid probably $3500. I bought it used for $2800 and took 4 years and $400 to get it to tune. But still it isn't right - lots of fret buzz. What can I say, Gibson really sucks. - RickNPHX

Remember the slave labour wood raid of 2008? That's why my vote goes to Gibson.

V36 Comments

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)

Anyone that thinks Fender is a bad guitar has probably never owner or played one. It is one of the best guitars for staying in tune. Obviously an uneducated person that believes Ovation is/was a part of Fender! NOT... Nor ever was a part of Fender.

V24 Comments

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.

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.

I own a spectrum and they're not that bad. They play just like a stratocaster I may be 13 but I know what a good guitar is because I am the best guitar player in my school.

V6 Comments
16Gretsch 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.

Gretsch guitars are amazing - LizardKing99

Nice fast necks, great tone.

V5 Comments

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 Ashton acoustic just for practice, big mistake my god they are awful" YES YOU DID MAKE A MISTAKE by bying a CHEAP Ashton, because come on, if it's a cheap one then of course it won't have the best quality so quit whining, you chose to get a cheap one. I mean didn't you ever stop to ask why it might be that cheap?

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..

V7 Comments

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.


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.

I have a Ibanez bass it not really that bad besides the fact you haft to tune it down a half a step to play it

They lack soul big time.

V16 Comments
20Daisy Rock

This guitar is absolutely terrible.

Perfect for girl beginners... Not good.

Worst. Guitar. I've. Ever. Used.

Daisy rock is terrible

V4 Comments
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List StatsUpdated 7 Oct 2015

1,000 votes
76 listings
7 years, 134 days old

Top Remixes (4)

1. SX
2. Squier
3. Yamaha
1. First Act
2. Squier
3. Applause
1. Squier
2. First Act
3. Washburn

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