It’s been hard for many over the past 12 months. Thinking of getting the electric guitar of your dreams? Here are a dozen of our favorites.
The electric guitar has seen many iterations since it became commercially available in the 1930s – and it has certainly come a long way since Rickenbacker’s original “frying pan” design. Unlike the automotive industry, enthusiasts love retro and vintage-inspired reissues as much as new content!
Were you saving for a new electric in 2020? Well, the world turned around and you had to spend that money elsewhere. Now that touring is back on the agenda and new musical ideas are springing from the seams, we’ll bring you a fine selection of beauties, both old (aesthetically speaking) and new for 2021.
SA Fender Stratocaster
HIS just won “Best Original Song” at the Oscars with fight for you. But did you know that the multi-award-winning artist collaborated with Fender? At the end of 2020, the renowned instrument maker delivered the first signature electric guitar for a woman of color, the HER Fender Stratocaster.
The signature HER Strat has a stunning “chrome glow” finish that sets it apart from other Strat models. It’s part of a concerted effort by Fender to release more signature guitars with female artists, like the recently released Billie Eilish signature ukulele.
Notable features include a mid-’60s C-shaped neck for a thinner feel at the first fret and thicker at the twelfth and Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups, perfect for clean, slightly gritty tones.
Visit Fender to learn more.
Gibson Hendrix Signature Electric Guitars
Although God of the guitar jimi hendrix is unmistakably synonymous with the Fender Stratocaster, he also used Gibson electric guitars from time to time. In 2020, Gibson announced a signature collection of the two Gibson models that Hendrix preferred to use live: the Flying V and the SG Custom.
Both guitars feature mahogany bodies and necks, with aged gold hardware. As Hendrix was left-handed, the Flying V will also come out with a left-handed model. Only 25 of these left-handers have been made, and they’re exclusively handcrafted in Nashville by expert luthiers.
Visit Gibson for more details on the Flying V and SG.
Ben Gibbard Mustang fender
You know Ben Gibbard from bands like Death Taxi for Cutie and The postal service. His iconic modified ’70s Mustang has now been reinvented as a signature model by Fender.
The old school controls have been removed and a rotary switch for a pickup selector has been installed. It features a chambered ash body for more resonance and less weight, custom vintage-inspired pickups. Also features an innovative re-inspired hard bridge for improved stability, intonation and sustain.
Visit Fender for more information.
Epiphone Uptown Kat ES
The Epiphone Uptown Kat ES Electric Guitar was released in 2020 but has recently undergone a few updates including flashy new colors. In an affordable price range, Epiphone gives you access to the closest thing to a Gibson archtop.
Featuring the newly designed ProBucker, this ax is crafted with a delicate blend of vintage and modern specs. It features a vintage sound that can fool even the most prized purists while giving you a transparent and crisp output. Other features include an ebony fingerboard, Graph Tech nut and Grover tuners. It is also available in a range of shiny metallic colors.
Visit Epiphone to learn more.
Squier Classic Vibe Starcaster
The original Starcaster electric guitars of the 70s were something of a flop, but this was one of two models designed by Fender to break into the semi-hollow market. Gibson dominated this market at the time with the 335 and similar models. But it continued to attract consistent underground popularity, with the good people spending big bucks on the originals.
The Classic Vibe Starcaster hits the right notes: a semi-hollow guitar at an affordable price and a faithful recreation of the original design. The Classic Vibe Starcaster features wide-range humbuckers, a vintage-tinted gloss neck, beautiful headstock contour, and it’s all 100% designed by Fender.
Learn more about Fender.
Jared James Nichols Epiphone Gold Glory
Jared James Nichols, the blues-rock guitar maestro known for his searing tone and pickle-free playing, has teamed up with Gibson again to release the Epiphone ‘Gold Glory’. This is a limited gold version of his signature Epiphone Les Paul Custom, “Old Glory”.
Built around an all-mahogany body, the “Gold Glory” is a very simple guitar, featuring a single Seymour Duncan P90 dog-eared, ebony fingerboard with traditional block inlays, Grover Rotomatic tuners and case rigid EpiLite, all beautifully brought together with its aged double gold finish.
Visit Epiphone for full details.
Gibson Adam Jones 1979 Les Paul Custom
Late last year, Gibson confirmed months of online speculation by announcing the release of the Adam Jones 1979 Les Paul Custom. the Tool The Guitarist’s Custom Electric Guitar comes in two variations. The first is an identical replica of Jones’ own touring guitar, with all the exact flaws recreated.
Including a Custombucker reverser mounted in the neck and a custom-wound Seymour Duncan DDJ in the bridge, for maximum Tool tone. Also includes Jones artwork on the back of the guitar, in the case, and that famous headstock mirror as an accessory.
A seven-minute video and song titled The witness were released to accompany the launch of the guitar. Jones’ Tool bandmates Justin Chancellor and Danny Carey contributed to the project, so this is the closest thing to new Tool music we’ve seen in a while.
Visit Gibson for details.
Danelectro sells the 64XT with the legend “Bthe best sounding of any 6-string we’ve ever made.” Like many other popular Danelectro electric guitars, the 64XT features an offset double-cut reversed horn shape. You could say it’s a Mosrite copy at first sight.
The 64XT has the very distinct pair of Dual Lipstick Humbuckers, a pickup in the bridge and a larger single coil pickup in the neck. Other features include a spool tap for the bridge and a Wilkinson tremolo.
This is another unique and retro release from an ever quirky guitar maker, visit Danelectro for more.
Fender American II Professional Jazzmaster
The Jazzmaster has been made famous by artists like My dear love, Elvis Costelloand lively youth Just to name a few. Its dashing (quirky) look won over indie gamers looking for something different in the 90s.
This deluxe version of a Fender classic has all the signature elements of the Jazzmaster. Notable features include a satin collar and a new neck heel for improved comfort. The new V-Mod II pickups are more articulate than ever and still retain that sparkle and chime. Tone knob in the lead circuit and you have access to two bridge pickup voicings, from new and warm to vintage and bubbly.
With the American Professional II, Fender has found a way to improve upon a sixty-year-old model while remaining true to its original character.
Visit Fender to learn more.
Gretsch G2210 Streamliner Junior Jet Club
Gretsch is world famous for some of the most striking electric guitars of the 20th century. The latest addition to Gretsch’s Streamline collection, the Junior Jet Club is a stripped down, stripped down guitar that packs a punch. It has the simple, classic Gretsch shape and sound, powered by Broad ‘Tron humbucking pickups.
The Streamliner is available in several stylish finishes, including Imperial Stain, Gold Dust, and Gold Metal. It’s also worth noting that the Streamliner comes at a very affordable price, bringing the glamor of Gretsch to a new audience.
Visit Gretsch to learn more.
Fender Parallel Universe Vol II Troublemaker Telecaster Deluxe
Fender Parallel Universe Vol II Troublemaker Telecaster Deluxe lives up to its name. A solid mahogany body gives the Troublemaker a serious amount of mid-range growl. I look forward to its 12 inch radius mahogany neck. A superb 22 medium-jumbo frets on an ebony fingerboard ensure a smooth playing experience.
Featuring a set of custom calibrated double tap pickups, Adjust-o-matic bridge and custom neck plate. It comes in a bold Olympic white finish with sleek gold hardware. This guitar is the perfect combination of rowdy and refined.
Visit Fender to learn more.
D’Angelico Grateful Dead SS
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of The Grateful Deadthe classic folk-rock album by american beauty, D’Angelico unveiled the Prime Grateful Dead SS. Like all instruments from the New York boutique, it is of exceptional quality.
It features amazing custom floral artwork on the guitar stock as well as the back. It has a 15-inch semi-hollow body with a satin walnut finish for acoustic warmth. Attached to Seymour Duncan, this limited edition instrument has surely excited The Grateful Dead’s incredibly dedicated fan base.
Visit D’Angelico to learn more.