Most Underrated Guitar Brands

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

The Top Ten

1 Epiphone

Great guitar for the price.

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

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

I have a Washbrun chicago series a resonator and a Lyon. Id put the Chicago series super stat against any guitar. With the floyd rose double lock doens its almost impossible to throw it out of tune and I'm a heavy hand with the whammy bar.. very underrated guitars.

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

Ibanez isn't underrated. - zxm

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.

5 Dean

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

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

6 Martin

Best acoustics on the planet...

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

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.

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 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

I have a 1958 Alvarez acoustic that has been passed down in my family since the early 70’s. It has had a cracked neck...twice...and still outperforms the 2009 Ibanez Exotic Wood series guitar I bought for $700. The tone is sublime. By about week 2, the strings settle and the tonality is absolutely brilliant. It’s not Martin or Taylor, but it’s not far behind.

9 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.

10 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

Great bang on the buck! Top solid woods are used for these guitars.


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 B.C. RICH

Because rich jr v pro splattered maple
Made in China
Would not swap for anything
Build quality is outstanding

13 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.

14 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

15 Michael Kelly

Plays better than my American Tele,

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

16 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.

17 Tanglewood

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

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

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

18 Godin

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.

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!

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!

Without a doubt, Seagull are the best value for money acoustics out there. I am not saying that they compare to premium brands like Martin, Taylor or Collings, although some would argue that they do. For me, they play like butter, sound great and affordable to the man in the street.

19 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!

20 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

21 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!

22 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.

I have never played a guitar that felt better than the Ernie Ball Music Man, and no one ever plays them or talks about them because everyone automatically goes to a Gibson or Fender, seriously try something new, these guitars are great!

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 Hagström

I have had one for 2 years, has a great clean sound for a LP.

Great quality guitar. I own 2. Best bang for your buck!

They are great guitars I think they are better than gibson

25 Samick

You guys got all the biggest gtr names in your top 10, except Gibson & Fender for Christ Sakes!? That doesn't make any sense people! The best electric/acustic guitars, for the $, build quality, looks, features, everything, is Samick. Especially the Greg Bennett Series. Don't believe it? Check all the online reviews, or take the leap and spend $199 on a Avion (neck thru model) and see for yourself. The higher end Avion's are better, by miles, than any Epiphone, Squire, Dean, etc. Of course, I hope nobody sees this, so I can keep gettin'em cheap!

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

Superb build quality and tones.

26 Mayones

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.

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

Completely wrong write up, this company has been around for over 30 year. If you are a current Mayones owner or have been playing them for a few years, you will see all the major guitar companies copying there finish tops, neck wood and colors. They make amazing multi scale guitars also. I have been play PRS for 20 years. After I bought a Mayones Regius core 7 I haven’t picked up my $5000 PRS wood library. Matter of fact I purchased a Mayones Duvell multi scale 7 that was at 2019 NAMM for around $2900. Then I purchased a Duvell Baritone 27 scale.

I purchased all 3 online, 1 from Red Dragon Guitars (this dealer was awful to buy from) Pitbull was a little more professional of a dealer. 3 rd was from private party out of Canada

I’m still a major PRS fan but if your thinking of buying a Mayones you won’t be disappointed. Always buy high end guitars- gear it’s way easier to move if you don’t care for it. The market is flooded with cheap crap. Let’s not even ...more

27 Peavey

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

Great guitars. Underrated as heck

28 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've got an LTD PB-401FM, an American Standard Strat., a Custum Shop Les Paul, and a top of the line PRS Santana.

The LTD is my favorite.

1 Comment
29 Gordon-Smith

Fab and lesser known British brand.Had mine since number 1...

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

30 G&L

Best deck I've ever played. Well except for my Warmoth neck

Great guitars for the money.

So underrated it wasn't even on the list

31 Oscar Schmidt

Better than people think.

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.

32 Levinson Blade

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

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 Prestige

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

35 Stagg Music

Can you tell me how you would rate it

36 Grosmann
37 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.

38 Ashton

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

Economical with a sound unmmatched

39 Faith

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

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

40 Chibson

€�Make Chibson Great Again”

41 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.

42 Lucero

Purchased classical bubinga exotic wood for 200.00 with hard shell case last year. My friend has a bubinga Manuel Rodriguez 1000.00 plus ( Guess What. They both sound the same. Still my friend insists his is better Just so he can justify to himself the 1000.00 price tag he paid 😸🎼🎸

43 Hoyer

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

44 Tom Anderson

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

45 Caparison Guitars

Japanese brand. Beautiful instruments. They need more recognition.

46 Case Guitars

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

47 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,

48 Gibson

Ha ha, Gibson is underrated! - zxm

49 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!

50 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!

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