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.
[Newest]Worst. You know first act won 20 million dollars for using a music company that told parents not to buy first act instruments for their kids at school
More comments about First Act

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!
Squier's are good. I have one. Strong sound

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...
[Newest]Not a bad guitar for the price, Mine has Floyd Rose (kind of a Bonus)... If you can find one cheap scoop it up.

4Yamaha
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.

5Applause
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.

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!
Top wood is too thin. This makes them sound resonant in a retail environment, but makes them sound thin in a mix. They are really designed for the retail environment. Some I have played with solid cedar tops are okay because that makes for a mellower sound. But so many other product lines offer much better value. Have to hand it to Taylor for their marketing chops, though.
[Newest]Extremely hard to beat a Taylor. They are excellent guitars.

8ESP
What the Hell ESP Shouldn't be here Since they're on the other list for best guitar brands!
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?
[Newest]I got one I love it

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.
[Newest]My 80's Hawk sounds wicked and plays like a dream. it's a usa MODEL SO THAT'S MAYBE WHY. WOULDN'T SWAP IT

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..
Worst guitars ever! Cheap as dirt, gets broken so much and it generally sucks!

eel1330


13Mitchell
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!

14Ovation
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.
Plastic crap made for pennies and dumbed down for an ape to work on.

15Daisy Rock
Worst. Guitar. I've. Ever. Used.
Daisy rock is terrible

16Epiphone
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.
Seriously Epiphone is way better than a "Daisy Rock". That is not a good name. Epiphone should not even be in the top 20
Epiphone is amazing. It doesn't come perfect out of the box, but after some work it sounds just like a Gibson.

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!
[Newest]They lack soul big time.

18Givson
YUCK. looks good, but bad quality. great for beginners. but don't stick with it for more than a month.
It's Givson, an Indian ripoff the Original brand... Sucks!
That's the coolest guitar

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.
Cheap balsa wood junk

20Granada
Granada is quite a good guitar. Actually it is amazing
. I have one and I haven't changed its original strings since 5 years it also has good quality of wood because I have dropped it many times but it still sounds perfect who the hell put it in the worst list

21Stagg
Worst guitars ever. Bought one last year. I'd rather wipe my arse withe a grater then buy another
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.
It's just for beginners but it's still awful, I would rather buy an ibanez..
[Newest]Low quality, poor sound

22Fender
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!
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
[Newest]What fender us the best!

23Jackson
Jackson is owned by Fender now and are a very good guitar for starters.
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.
Made in China and India Jacksons: Yes, absolute junk.
Made in USA Jacksons: God himself couldn't build a better guitar.

24Greg Bennett
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
Your mom has no nipples

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
Called pyle for a reason. because they are a pyle of crap.

28Econau

29Rocker
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...

30Rogue
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.

31Kapok
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.

32Kona
I have a Kona Signature Acoustic with beautiful inlays in the wood. I believe the body is mahogany, decent resonant tone, and once I shimmed up the saddle bridge (which technically should have been replaced all together due to notching), sounds better than my Martin in many ways, where it better distributes the low, high, and mid-range tones. The Martin is too bassy sounding, but have ordered new bone bridge saddle, which hope it improves the cheap plastic one it came with...
I just bought a kona dakota and it looks good and sounds great. You do know what they say about opinions yes right that everyone has one. Just saying!
These guitars sound horrible. It was the worst guitar purchase I have ever made.

33Alice

34Cort
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

35Stadium
My Stadium Jazz guitar, Johnny Smith style, is magnificent. Sold one to a friend and bought another. Good luck trying to find one.

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

40B.C. Rich
OH COME ON.B.C. Rich sucks. Favorites:
Gibson
Gretsch
PRS
Fender

41Supreme

42Carlo 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.

431979 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?

44Mahar

45Merida
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!

46Greco

47Jaxville
I've played better guitars in the Early Learning Centre

48Hondo
My Hondo got its tires stuck in my grandmothers snatch...

49Charvel
Earlier models weren't bad. I have two and the play well and sound good.

50Legend
This fender Chinese copy sucks I mean seriously

51Freshman
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.

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

53Schecter
Schecters are great, I'm just being a dick by putting in on the list.
Laugh out loud to the "Shecters are great, I'm just being a dick by putting this on the list." guy.

54Kingston
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

55Kramer

56Suzuki
Just bought a Grand suzuki electric. Great guitar. Fender strat and gibson in one guitar. Sounds super!
One of the finest! And originall sound possibilities.
Great guitars made by pro's

57K Tone
Good as a beginner guitar not much else

58Lakland

59Eleca

60Johnson
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!

61Aria
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.
I have a 35 year old Aria mahagoni western which I got it back about 2 years ago. And this "cheap" guitar sounds amazing! It plays in the same league like my beloved guilt. a friend plays a top notch 3,5k martin and also loves it.

62Esteban
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
Crap shaped like a guitar! They should market esteban's hat and glasses, now that's cool!

63Heartz
Come on, it's bad, for the begineers too
Way bad for the ametuer, sticky tremolo

64Esoterik
Some douche named Lemming plays one.

65Enya

66Thomson

67Axl

68Gibson
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!
Sorry to Gibson fans but gibson sucks just in case someone says this is because I cannot afford one I own a $3000 steve vai 77v by Ibanez so I can easily afford one Gibson actually is good for clean songs but SUCKS for metal
[Newest]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.
More comments about Gibson

69Gretsch 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.

Comments About This List

Featured Lists
Popular Lists
New Lists

Top Remixes of This List

Chizzy123

Visualtic

Posts About This List

List Info

This list was created 6 years, 206 days ago and has been voted on over 1,000 times. This top ten list has been remixed 2 times.

Updated Thursday, December 18, 2014


List Error Reporting

See an item on this list that's misspelled, duplicated, or doesn't belong? Let us know. Click here to report the error.