Most Underrated Guitar Brands

The guitars that are so great yet so ignored. It may be electric or acoustic.

The Top Ten

1 Epiphone

Best guitars for the price and of course they are not Gibson Squier. They have a larger history than Gibson and Fender.

The oldest and most underrated guitar brand. Les Paul build his first guitars in the epiphone factory.

Awesome guitars, people just thin thy are the squire if Gibson, and they are not

I have an AJ-100 & an AJ-220S. Both are great guitars. They swing way above their weight.

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2 Paul Reed Smith/PRS

PRS is so underrated that it's not even #1 in this list.

Down for 4 the Paul reeds. Only the customs though

I have a gisbson les paul standard, gibson herb ellis 165, fender clapton custom shop blackie, and a paul reed smith custom 22. Prs is definitely in the top 123 ranking

Sometimes is past les pauls in tonality

3 Washburn

Washburn is underrated. But not to be in top 4. Washburn acoustic is quite cheap comparing to other brands. That's why it gets quite a lot of sales. - zxm

I have a WASHBURN PRO SERIES and it's a beauty and sounds good! The only complaint is my right hand always seems to hit the control knobs!

Had an acousic washburn and it had the best tone I have ever heard, now I have an electric and after putting in some new pickups (the guitar was old and they weren't in usable condition) it sounds fantastic

4 Ibanez

Seriously!? Are you kidding me? Why is Ibanez even in this list? Which dumb illiterate voted for this? In case you didn't know amatures Ibanez is one of the world's most successful, widely used and best selling guitars second only to maybe Gibson and fender...
Underrated? Seriously? Go check a dictionary and learn what that word means first.

And whichever admin is gonna check this comment if you have ANY knowledge about music at all you'll know what I'm saying. It's like putting Freddie mercury in the world's top ten worst singers list. IBANEZ SHOULDN'T BE IN THIS LIST! REMOVE IT!... Enough said

Why would some people look pass this? Why, is it because it is Asian? Please... Asian guitars are better than you think. - aeromaxx777

I use Ibanez Artcore 95 as Jazz guitar. Plays well and sounds great and looks great. Fraction of Gibsons which are over-rated. Gibson ES 175 and Es 335 I passed on years ago. They don't beat the Ibanez.

Ibanez isn't underrated. - zxm

5 Dean

What I like about Dean is that regardless of which model I pick up, the quality and sound is consistently good given its price point. I don't get that with other brands -- even Gibson and Fender.

Sorry dean was my Istanbul acoustic guitar and felt it had no life. Just a dull sounding acoustic guitar.

I had about 7 dead acoustic guitars in my life and a dean 12 string. They are amazing - Sabbath

I have 2 Dean vn4f guitars, and they are AMAZING!

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6 Martin

Best acoustics on the planet...

It all depends on what kind of player u are I'm a lead guitarist. Personally I will take a Taylor over Martin. Martins are great and have excellent lineage and long... They just don't have that punch and powerful sound in my opinion.

My bother has an 60's D-28 that packs more punch than a 1970's era George Foreman!

7 Squier

I have a limited edition Squire Super Bullet, and it is so wonderful. Yes it is my first electric guitar, but it has done so much to help me understand more about the electric guitar before going and blowing big bucks. The instrument has good quality, as long as you set it up properly (If you don't know how to, ask a guitar technician at the guitar store), and has great value for the price.
This is especially good for people who want to try the electric guitar to see if they like it or not!

The Classic Vibe series are consistently better than most MIM Fenders

Squires are like volkswagon beetles millions were made, but only one in a hundred is any good and one in a thousand is great the love bug effect

8 Crafter

I have a crafter guitar.
Sound 10/10
Looks 9/10
Quality 9/10
They are fabulous, handmade guitars, I wouldn't trade mine for any other guitar, but still very underrated

I've been playing for 42 years now, I tried a Crafter and was amazed! It's as good as all the guitars I've played through the years!

Yep even my Martin playing friends rate mine

I bought a Crafter TCO35 and was surprised. Superb sound for its price. Easy to play. My advice, play a Crafter guitar first before buying the Taylors and Martins. Will save you a lot.

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9 Alvarez

Way underrated, the budget priced acoustics put out a sound equal to or better than most other budget priced acoustics from other brands, but as you go up in quality levels the cost of diminishing returns is not as extreme as other brands. Meaning a $200 Alvarez acoustic sounds like a $200 acoustic from other brands but a $800 Alvarez is on par with most $1000 - $1200 acoustics from other brands. Just my opinion!

Won't give you the best performance. But yeah, its underrated based on its performance. - zxm

10 Fernandes

Bought an acoustic great sound, reverb
And quite a good price.

I have owned and handled several Fernandes. They were made in Japan at one point in the 1980s-90s and were rivals to Fender. Fernandes were not cheaply made. they were real quality in every way. Get one from Japan or Korea and you are getting a real guitar, well made with good pickups.

The Contenders

11 Mitchell

I bought a Mitchell exotic wood and I love everything about from the way it sound to the way it plays. definitely not a bad brand and way underrated

12 Jackson

I bought a Jackson Model 6 and it is one of the easiest guitars to play! It is light and fast the tone wood is O.K. Nice electronics, Always smells new! I just don't like a floating bring, they are so temperamental for me I am always trying to find a balance between tuning and floating tremolo while staying in tune. The models after this one I have played uhh not so good, I don't even know If Jackson has anything to do with them anymore, I only had the one Model 6!

Jackson. USA Models are brilliant guitars.

13 Kramer

Duh? Should be number 2. Ibanez? Really? How are they underrated? They are very popular and most people like them. Kramer, however, isn't nearly as popular anymore, maybe they were in the 80s, but now, not so much. Seriously, they are great guitars, and super underrated.

It's better than u think

14 Rickenbacker

Why are these so low on the list? Some of the greatest guitars out there. The only downside is how much they cost

I'm a 12-string player. Own 3, Talamine, Washnurn, and a 660-12 Ric. I also play a couple 6-strings. The Ric is the closest thing to the feel and playability of the 6-strings. I can play for hours with less fatigue. Lots of sustain. And of course Ric "jangle". (Vox AC15c1 helps) Works well for what I play most, (Gospel/P&W in a church setting). Sweet guitar. Well worth what it cost.

15 B.C. RICH
16 Michael Kelly

Best guitars available in that price range

"I'll put them up against any US made Gibson. "

These guitrs seriously deserve a top 5 guitar brands along with PRS, Gibson, Fender and Chapman Guitars

Just a well made guitar at good price. Patriot Q, I love it.

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17 Godin

I'm talking electric guitars here. Originally entirely made in Canada (Quebec). Now assembled in the USA from Canadian made parts (to circumvent some trade restriction or something like that). These are beautiful, quality built instruments demonstrating craftsmanship and, for the money, exceptional tone. Even the Godin gig bag is one of the nicest on the market. Often overlooked, under rated and in my opinion way under priced. You owe it to yourself to check out the guitars your neighbours helped to build. You won't find a better value for your hard earned dollar!

Montreal Supreme has no peers. Seriously considering selling my " other guitars, Tak, Yamaha, Gibson, etc and going Canadian. Finally Canada will be known for more than producing hockey players and kick ass beers.

These are not only underrated, but they are the best in my opinion, the tone you will get with a godin is far greater than any Gibson or Fender!

Gibson, Fender, Taylor and Martin, names spoken loudly in any guitar conversation whether or not those involved have a clue. These names are spoken loudly, for they are Americana, Americana in one of it's purest forms. Like Chevy vs. Ford, Gibson vs. Fender and Taylor vs. Martin will always be argued by the clueless masses who are completely ignorant of anything outside of the USA's borders. However, there is now an interloper, one who snuck in and is hiding out in New Hampshire.
Spoken in the whispers of what are themselves whispers, names like Simon & Patrick, Art & Lutherie, Norman and Seagull. They dare not speak the Master's name for it evokes terror in the establishment. They've out-Fendered Fender and out-Gibsoned Gibson. With Gibson poised and ready to fall, soon the capital G of guitars will be... Godin.

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18 Tanglewood

They have the most beautiful acoustics I have ever seen and they sound better than any I've owned too.

Sounds equal or better than guitars twice the price. Value for money.

Got A 12 year old ns15 bought new best acoustic dreadnought For the money very solid and play. Classic tone needs nothing to make it better

19 Chapman

INCREDIBLE GUITARS, just Google the Chapman ghost fret and you can thank me later.

These guitars are the best ones that you can get at a really good price, their tonality is insane and you couldn't ask for anyrhing else, Google the ml-3 traditional in blue

20 Danelectro

One of the guitar brands out there. Not a bad price for punch and beauty they pack in every model. With a Danelectro its hard to go wrong.

Don't look past this brand because of the affordability. The simplicity of these underrated guitars makes them great and distinct.

Very underrated brand. Basses have been used on countless recordings. Unmistakable sound to anyone who has played it whether loved or hated. Good for when people are tired of the p-bass sound!

21 Music Man

This brand has some of the best Guitars I've ever set my hands on (Especially the Music Man Majesty). It's such a versatile guitar that plays extremely smooth with amazing tone. I was completely mind-blown when I first got to play a Music Man. When playing a Music Man you'll fall in love with it. It's unlike any guitar that I've played, I have an Ibanez Prestige and it doesn't even compare to a Music Man. Definitely one of the most underrated.

I am a large individual, 6'1" & 275lbs. My hands feel like grapefruits with sausages stuck in them. When I pick up my Music Man Axis they definitely don't feel that way. Most of the guys I have played with tell me that I make the axis look tiny. It feels so good to play and the sound is very well balanced. the first time I picked one up, I was in love. I also have a Music Man Bongo 5 string bass. Sure the body styling isn't for everyone but you can take it from punchy squeal to plushy thick and everything in between. Save up and get a Music Man!

If you ain't played a Music Man than you ain't played man! I mean lets get real a stock Music Man sounds better than any Fender or Custom Shop Fender that's been injected with steroids or any Gibson which I might add have lost all traditional sound and quality due to cost cutting in manufacturing. It's called profit margin at consumers expense. So get a MM and feel the music it'll drip from your hands.

Most underrated and not talked about guitar by a long shot! These guitars are amazing machines! I have owned fender strats and still own an epiphone les paul and my music man Luke 3 blows them away in feel, comfort versatility and tone! I don't understand why more people don't have to them, and once you play one you will understand my frustration haha

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22 Reverend Guitars

Great tone and plays great. They are high quality guitars for reasonable price.

They make some quality guitars with an even better price tag. You should check them out! I own a Bayonet W and it rocks.

Own 2 reverends. Both amazing. Necks are smooth and built quality is on point. Superb pickups and controll knobs. With unique to reverend “bass contore” controll. Make that changes the tone from single strat to a Humbucker sound. Very cool guitars!

23 Agile

I have a few of these. The stock pickups need to be changed. Most of the stock pickups in guitars are not good. But for the money, I promise you... You will not find a better guitar for the buck!

Cheaper than an epiphone, as good as a Gibson (some say even better). The line AL-2000 outclasses epiphone, and the AL-3000 is the one that is as good or better than the overpriced Gibson.

Just got my Legacy 727 with Bare Knuckle Aftermaths already installed for $550.00. It plays sooo good. The look of it a rip off of an Ibanez Iron Label I've played before that cost over $1,000.00 and the pickups of a different Iron Label that is $1200.00. Best of both guitars at half the price. I have no idea why more people don't give them a try.

Check out these guitars @
I have been buying and playing these guitars since 2006. The prices will make your mouth water!

24 Samick

Superb build quality and tones.

I have 2 JTR LN30's and would put them against any LP type anyday, way better than any Epiphone, also have an LTD EC1000 and these eat it for breakfast at a fraction of the LTD price. I also have Samick Rockwell, a Strat and they probably built the LTD and my Squier Stagemaster deluxe thru neck.
The upper end of their own guitars show all the best quality of things they build for numerous better known names at a fraction of the cost

25 Mayones

Amazing craftsmanship goes into every single guitar they make. Second to none...

I own a Set is and a Regius 7. Mayones pous high-end craftsmanship straight into these instruments. It's fairly new company, but I think when musicians catch on, there will be no more underratings.

26 LTD

I have an upscale Korean LTD model that plays and sounds fantastic. I would put it second only to Epiphone as far as being extremely underrated for its quality to price ratio

In terms of tonewood, electronics, looks, and playability, they are easily the nicest guitars in their price range and even compare quite well to their Japanese made ESP counterparts.

Love me a good ec-1000 w 61,80's great shredder & comfortable

I have a LTD MH-1000 NT and it is on par with my PRS and my les paul, as my LTD has Seymour Duncan 59/JBs and I got it for $700

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27 Hagström

They are great guitars I think they are better than gibson

28 Levinson Blade

The 90,s R4 and rh4 are by far the best strats on the market...for budget guitar prices...unbelievable

29 Peavey

I have a peavey zodiac that can go head to head with a fender any day

Great guitars. Underrated as heck

30 Grosmann
31 Breedlove

Great guitar brand! Try a breedlove

I own a AD25/SR Plus. I play live a couple times a month. This guitar plays and sounds amazing. I had the money to buy one of the higher end acoustics, but for the life of me I could not find one that could compete until you approached the $3k range. I am not paying that to replace a guitar I already love. Made in Korea but set up and QA'd in Oregon. Cannot be beat for the money.

32 Oscar Schmidt

Great sound, many colors and models to choose from. Solid woods, even comes in some spalted designs. Been in business since the late 1800's. An overlooked source of quality guitars.

Better than people think.

33 Larrivee

I bought a slightly used flying V, in 1986. It was built either in Victoria or Vancouver in '82-'83. Amazing guitar. "Rockstar red" MX-2 model solid body, with Floyd Rose and Larrivee pickups. Even being a local (Victoria) to where these gems were made, I almost never saw another electric.
Very good. Very underrated.

Larrivees are considered by their devoted fans to be the best acoustics made. They are the only guitar ever to go into outer space, and astronaut Chris Hadfield used one to make a video on the Space Station. Larrivee's bracing system gives it a balanced tone no other mass-produced guitar can match. Jean Larrivee recently opened a new facility in California, so they aren't all Canadian anymore. The first time I heard a Larrivee D-03R, I was shocked. I always own twenty or so guitars, but I had never heard anything that rang like that! They are nick-named D-28 killers, because they are Sitka spruce and rosewood, and sound better than a Martin D-28 at half the price. - TomJoad

34 Stagg Music

Can you tell me how you would rate it

35 L. Luthier

The design looks amazing and unique while it doesn't compromise the beauty of the sound it gives. Moreover, the price is quite affordable too.

36 Hoyer

Best bang on the buck. The Eagle Gold Top sounds better than a Les Paul Gold Top that is 4x the price.

37 Faith

Got my brother a faith eclipse guitar when he first started, and now I want one myself. They're incredibly good acoustic guitars!

Wonderful guitars, great tone, great build quality all solid woods priced great

38 Gordon-Smith

So I am told the last one in the world that has the body of the guitar out of one piece yeah that's right
I got 2 of them and man the tone unbelievebel why would you pay for gibsons you have 2 of gordon smith for it and the really play better

39 Prestige

Our of Vancouver because. Not the cheapest, but quite nice!

40 Caparison Guitars

Japanese brand. Beautiful instruments. They need more recognition.

41 G&L

So underrated it wasn't even on the list

Great guitars for the money.

42 Gitano

Just got one on eBay for 86.00, and my husband loves it, his favorites are ibanez, Taylor, schecter, and he couldn't believe how well it plays, the neck is a bit larger but the sound is incredible, definitely should be on most under rated or never rated list,

43 Lucero
44 Gibson

Ha ha, Gibson is underrated! - zxm

45 Fender

Fender is the second most popular brand. How come this is underrated? - zxm

Underrated guitar brands!?! Fender? Someone didn't even bother to read the title on the list!

46 Ashton

A great sounding Guitar with a built in tuner. I'm learning and just love it.

Economical with a sound unmmatched

47 Fulcher

Great guitar. String actionnis the best ever. The color choices are fabulous! Can be ordered with many pickup chpoces. definitely my favorite electric at this time. 2-20-15

Looks like Fender Strat but playes much better. Better sound and lower neck acton. An up and coming guitar!

48 Alegre
49 Tom Anderson

Not cheap guitars but high quality and some of them very unique. Check out Crowdster line.

50 Case Guitars

British luthier company. LP style guitars with unique touch. Absolutely fantastic handmade products.

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List Stats

400 votes
50 listings
7 years, 93 days old

Top Remixes

1. Martin
2. Alvarez
3. Mitchell
1. Washburn
2. Ibanez
3. Epiphone
1. Crafter
2. Squier
3. Ibanez


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