Epiphone Les Paul Special II (HH)

Best Budget Les Paul

Epiphone Les Paul Special II (HH)

GEARANK

88 out of 100. Incorporating 3450+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price:

$199

Les Paul created an early solid-body electric guitar in his spare time after work at the Epiphone factory in the early 1940’s famously known as “The Log”. It is believed that this was the first solid-body ‘Spanish guitar’ every built. He went on to develop the idea further until he took it to managers at Gibson sometime in 1945 or 1946 who immediately.. did nothing.

Luckily another guitar innovator, Leo Fender, began having some sales success with his solid-body electric in 1950 (initially named the Esquire, then Broadcaster, and now it’s called the Telecaster), so Gibson about-faced and one of the most iconic instruments in music history went into production.

The Epiphone Les Paul Special II is today’s entry-level version and is itself incredibly popular as evidenced by more than 4,100 reviews, critiques and recommendations. Epiphone says this is their best selling electric guitar.

Specifications

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Finish: Vintage Sunburst (pictured), Ebony or Heritage Cherry Sunburst
  • Bridge: Tune-o-matic
  • Pickups: Bridge – Epiphone 700T Humbucker, Neck – Epiphone 650R Humbucker
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Scale Length: 24.75”
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Fingerboard Radius: 12”
  • Number of Frets:
  • Nut Width: 1.68”
  • Controls: 1-volume, 1-tone
  • Pickup Selector: 3-way Epiphone toggle

Pros

Many users describe it by phrases like “great value for the money”, “great beginner guitar”, and “great quality for the price”. And while most of the raves are from beginners, there were experienced guitarists who shared their positive sentiments, specifically pointing to its build quality and playability. The Epiphone Les Paul Special II gets a lot of kudos from users who found that it plays nicely right out of the box.

Cons

This guitar would’ve rated better if not for some users who rate it lower because of unfair comparisons to more expensive models. Still, there are valid complaints, including the quality of the tuners and minor cosmetic blemishes.

Overall

The vast majority of people who bought this guitar are very happy with it.

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Epiphone SG Special (HH)

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Epiphone SG Special (HH)

GEARANK

85 out of 100. Incorporating 2200+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price:

$200
Epiphone SG Special (HH)

The SG (Solid Guitar) was originally meant to be a re-design of the Gibson Les Paul and Gibson gave it the same name. Les Paul wasn’t involved in the redesign and asked that his name be removed and so Gibson obliged and renamed it the SG.

The new design was meant to boost sales because the original was fading in the market, and it worked with more than 6,000 units sold during the first 3 years after the 1961 launch – more than 3 times the number of the original Les Paul Standards sold from 1958 to 1960.

Gibson said in 2009 that the SG Standard was their highest selling guitar of all time.

Legendary SG players include Angus Young from AC/DC and Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath.

Specifications

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Finish: Cherry (pictured), also comes in Ebony
  • Bridge: LockTone Tune-O-Matic
  • Pickups: Bridge 700T humbucker, Neck 650R humbucker
  • Neck: Hard maple
  • Scale Length: 24.75”
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Fingerboard Radius: 12”
  • Number of Frets: 22
  • Nut Width: 1.68″
  • Controls: 1-master volume, 1 master-tone with KillPot
  • Pickup Selector: 3-way

Pros

Students and expert alike describe this guitar as a fun instrument, and goes further by commenting that it has exceeded their expectations. From its fast action playability to the quality of the finish, the Epiphone SGSpecial continues to rake in compliments. Several people even said that it comes surprisingly close to the feel and sound of a Gibson SG.

Cons

There were complaints about the quality and sound of the pickups – generally the same types of complaints found about most types of budget guitars. Some have gotten really good results by merely swapping out the pickups.

Overall

If you’re a fan or classic rock and metal, then this is the budget guitar for you.

$199.oo at Amazon

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Squier Affinity Stratocaster (HSS)

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Squier Affinity Strat (HSS)

Street Price:
$200
Manufacturer:
Fender

The Stratocaster, AKA ‘The Strat’, is almost certainly the highest selling electric guitar design of all time having first been released in 1954.

Specifications:
  • Alder body with gloss polyurethane finish
  • Maple neck with 9.5 in radius maple fingerboard with 21 medium jumbo frets
  • 2 Single-Coil Pickups and 1 Humbucking Pickup
  • Synchronous Tremolo Bridge
  • Master volume with 2 tone controls with 5 position pickup selector switch
Pros

This guitar is still consistently commended for its excellent value. Its inherent versatility allows for 5 different tones via the pickup selector. It continues to get recommendations from experienced players, including those who want to try guitar modifications.

Cons

The tremolo bar (aka whammy bar) and tuners got some criticism from users who reported having tuning stability issues, but this happens with most guitars in this price range. Because this particular Strat is cheap and popular, there are some users who unfairly compare this guitar to more expensive models.

Overall

This is one of the most inexpensive versions of the Strat that you can buy, and it will continue to be popular for many years.

$199.99 at Amazon

Click here to purchase or learn more..

 

 

 

 

ammoon BIYANG Double Chip Analog Delay Guitar Effect Pedal AD-12 Classic Series True Bypass Full Metal Shell

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BIYANG Double Chip Analog Delay Guitar Effect Pedal AD-12 Classic Series True Bypass Full Metal Shell ammoon

Features:

  • Delay guitar effect pedal with full metal shell, durable and sturdy.
  • Analog circuitry design, simulating the old and pure analog sound that many guitarists look for.
  • Adopts 2 groups of chipsets to create the delay effect, greatly improve the delay fidelity and the realism of delay time.
  • BLEND, TIME and REPEAT control knobs; 600ms/1100ms delay time toggle switch.
  • True bypass footswitch and LED light for switching and indicating effects and bypass status.

Specifications:

Material: Metal
Inputs: 1/4″Jack
Outputs: 1/4″Jack
Power Supply: DC 9V 200mA adapter (positive outside and negative inside)(not included)
Item Size: 9.5 * 12.5 * 4cm / 3.7 * 4.9 * 1.6in
Item Weight: 465g / 1lb
Package Size: 14 * 11 * 7cm / 5.5 * 4.3 * 2.8in
Package Weight: 525g / 1.2lbs

Note:
The power adapter is not included.
Please use the power adapter whose polarity is positive pole outside and negative pole inside. Otherwise, the product may not work properly.

   $55.99  at Amazon                              Click here to purchase or learn more..

Orange Amplifiers Crush12

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Orange Amplifiers Crush12 – Proven Performance In An Orange Box

Orange Amplifiers has become a name synonymous with quality. When you buy an amp, you expect nothing but the best. But does this reputation extend to Orange Amplifiers’ most affordable products? Let’s take a closer look at the Orange Crush12. All things considered, this little box promises to be one of the best choices when it comes to budget amps.

Controls

Dialing up a great tone on Crush12 is pretty easy. The simple and basic control interface we see is that same type of approach used on the larger models. Controls are located on the top portion of the amp and feature a three-band EQ section, a volume knob, an overdrive knob and a gain knob. This is a single channel amp, and that overdrive knob is the only thing you will have available if you want to get some growl. Just like it is the case with other Orange amps, using the controls is pretty intuitive, with everything marked clearly and with unique labels that make sense.

Features

One glance at the Crush12 small form factor will let you know exactly what this amp was designed for- too perfect for home and practice use. Now, the 6-inch speaker you get with this combo is nothing to joke about, especially since Orange jazzed it up with their CabSim tech. This technology modifies the speaker so it simulates their 4×12 cabs. The fact that you can’t hook this amp up to a cabinet is what really prevents it from being anything but a practice amp. Aside from that little flaw, this thing is built pretty well.

Performance

The whole single channel thing is a bit misleading. Sure, you can’t switch from clean to overdrive with a push of a footswitch, but you still get a pretty great sounding dirty tone. As usual, when everything is set for a clean tone, you get that decent Orange performance. Their cleans are definitely not what this brand is known for, especially in the affordable range. On the other hand, once you start increasing the overdrive levels, things get pretty wild. Whether you are going for that bluesy growl or a full on rock overdrive, this little amp will deliver. With 12 Watts of power, there is a lot more volume available than you would expect. Not enough for gigging necessarily, (but you can always mike the amp)..

Conclusion

While it does bring a fair amount of compromises, Orange Crush12 is definitely a great little practice amp. On top of that, it is priced more than reasonably well, which makes it a serious contender for all the other budget models on the market. One great thing about Crush12 is that you’re not only getting a good performance for your money, but you also get that Orange tone and reliability as well.

   $99.00 at Amazon                               Click here to purchase or learn more

Biyang AD-8 Analog Delay Pedal True Bypass Tonefancier

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Biyang AD-8 Electric Guitar Effect Pedal – Double Chip Analog Delay 

Analog circuitry is used in the  AD-8 to simulate the pure analog sound that many are looking for. We combine 2 groups of chipsets to create the delay, greatly improving the delay fidelity and increasing the realism of delay time. With the same millisecond settings, you will get a high fidelity audio sound that will fatten and enrich your tone.

Features:

Model Number: AD-8
German-Made “Wima” Capacitor
Heavy Duty Footswitch
TRUE BYPASS Circuitry
Powered by 9v or a regular “Boss” style DC 9v adaptor
Standard Size Aluminium-Cast Enclosure (Coloured Powder Coated Chassis, Smart Compact circuit design)
Technical Description:
Connectors: Input×1,Output×1,DC9V in×1
Current: 7mA
Input Impedance: 1M

Package includes:
1 x Guitar effect pedal

$64.99 at Amazon                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Click here to purchase or learn more..

Line 6 Spider Classic 15 Review – An Affordable Spider

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Line 6 Spider Classic 15 Review – An Affordable Spider with Good Bite!

Many beginner amps can be very basic in terms of controls and effects, but Line 6 is taking a different approach. We’re looking at the reinvention of an old favorite, the Spider Classic 15, which proves to be one off the most versatile budget amps on the market.

 

Controls

At first glance, the controls of the Spider Classic 15 may look confusing, but as you get used to them, they are actually pretty simple to understand.

On a the control panel, working from left to right, we find rotary controls for drive, bass, middle, treble and volume, before two Smart FX dials and a master volume on the right-hand side. The Smart FX controls are the highlight of this amp, w, giving you options for six of the best-known guitar effects including reverb, tape or sweep echo, and tremolo.

 

Features

The amp is an all-black, well-built, rugged little box that retains the modern style that all Spiders feature. It has a single 8” speaker that offers 15 watts of power, with four amp models ranging from an ultra-clear clean mode to a heavily distorted model that’s perfect for the heaviest rock and even djent styles.

You can also create, save and then recall four of your own unique user-created amp settings, which is handy for finding your favorite tones at the push of a button. The Spider Classic 15 also comes with a built-in digital tuner and a headphone jack. It’s worth noting that the Spider Classic 15 is compatible with both FBV Express MkII and FBV2 foot controllers, although these aren’t included.

Performance

For stock tones, the sound is fantastic – the high-gain model in particular is very gnarly for the size of this amp. The controls are simple to use, while the inclusion of two Smart FX controls allows you to use two different effects at once (for example, tremolo and reverb). The main flaw is the responsiveness of the controls, which are a little too sensitive – even a small touch can change the volume from low to incredibly loud.

Conclusion

While it won’t blow you away with power, the Line 6 Spider Classic 15 is a great little amp. For both beginners and experienced players who fancy a smaller amp with plenty of flexibility in tone, this is a very good call.

$99.99 at Amazon
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Squier Affinity Series Telecaster (SS) GEARANK 91 out of 100.

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BEST BUDGET TELECASTER

Squier Affinity Series Telecaster (SS)

GEARANK:   91 out of 100. Incorporating 1650+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: $200

Manufacturer: Fender

 

The Telecaster is the guitar that effectively started the solid-body electric guitar revolution.

During the 1930s and 1940s several companies tried to produce a solid-body electric but none of them were commercially successful. Then Leo Fender released his design in 1950 with a single pickup under the name Esquire, then added a second pickup and sold it under the name Broadcaster but soon had to change it due to a lawsuit from Gretsch who were already selling a drum kit using that name. Thus the “Tele” as we know it today was born.

Its popularity continues and as of today the Squier Affinity Series Telecaster is the highest rated solid-body electric guitar that sells for less than $200.

Specifications:
  • Body: Alder
  • Finish: Lake Placid Blue / Polyurethane (pictured), also comes in Brown Sunburst, Gun Metal Gray, 2-Color Sunburst, Black and Arctic White
  • Bridge: 6-Saddle Top-Load Tele
  • Pickups: 2 x Vintage-Style Single-Coil Tele
  • Neck: Maple
  • Scale Length: 25.5″ (648 mm)
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Fingerboard Radius: 9.5″ (241 mm)
  • Number of Frets: 21
  • Nut Width: 1.6” (40.6 mm)
  • Controls: Master Volume, Master Tone
  • Pickup Selector: 3-Position Blade: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups, Position 3. Neck Pickup
Pros

It’s hard to overstate how well liked this version of the Tele is by people who have bought and played it – something which is evidenced by its very high Gearank score. Most commendations point to its playability, tone and overall build quality.

Cons

For something that’s continues to sell well, there are relatively very few complaints. Most of which are from people who encountered setup and cosmetic issues out of the box.

Overall

You can’t go far wrong with the highest rated guitar under $200.

$199.99 at Amazon

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Monoprice 611705 5-Watt 1×8 Guitar Combo Tube Amplifier

Tan/Beige with Celestion Super 8 Inch Speaker, 12AX7 Preamp

As the title indicates, this guitar amplifier features a 5-watt tube power amplifier and a Celestion brand speaker.

It uses a ECC83/12AX7 preamplification tube and a 6V6GT power tube for the amplifier section, plus a Celestion Super 8 GBA-15 speaker.

The amplifier handles frequencies between 80Hz and 10kHz, with hum and noise -75dB below the rated power and 0.5% total harmonic distortion.

It includes a Low input and a High input, with the former attenuating the signal by approximately 50% and the latter being easier to overdrive.

While tone is always debatable, the increased dynamic range and even-order harmonic distortion of tubes produces the better sound.

       $136.45 at Amazon                                   Click here

Hricane Guitar Effects True Bypass Head Room Vintage Distortion Pedal CP-34

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  • The Vintage Distortion effects pedal has 3 knobs: Vol, filter and dist. It has 3 models: Solo.R, Turbo.R and Normal.R
  • It’s a true bypass pedal with standard in and out, switch on/off with 3 knobs to control level, gain and tone.
  • True bypass provide transparent tone, LED indicator shows the working state.
  • Whole Aluminium alloy housing, stable and strong
  • Mini size, lightweight, compact and space-saving
  • $34.99 at Amazon                          Click here to purchase