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Top 10 Best Electric Guitars for Christmas 2016

best electric guitar, electric guitars for christmas, high end electric guitars

There’s no way around it: guitar players want more guitars. Yes, even more than that. It doesn’t matter how many rooms or garages or storage facilities they’ve filled with them. The next guitar is the most interesting one. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a favorite or a Number One, but rest assured, they can always use more.

Even though any sufficiently talented guitarist can make it happen with just one borrowed guitar, getting to know a new guitar is half the fun of playing. It’s almost as addictive as buying pedals. Each one is just a little bit different and can inspire a new way of playing or introduce a slightly different tone.

Aside from that, there are so many configurations of guitars out there. Single coils, humbuckers, hardtails, Bigsby trems, alder bodies, maple necks, the list goes on. Each of those choices makes a big difference to the overall sound and contribute to how the guitar is played. Studio musicians use several guitars to record a single track, layering them on top of each other and choosing the exact guitar that performs the job best. Some are best for shredding solos, while some are better for clear, chiming chords.

While almost every guitarist has played a Fender or a Gibson at some point, there are plenty of other brands to explore, each offering something slightly different, even if they appear the same on the surface. And don’t forget, too, that what a guitarist plays during practice is often very different from what is played on stage, which is again different from what is used in the studio. In short: you can never have too many guitars, so they always make great gifts.

You may wish to do a little bit of research before you buy a guitar for someone else. If you get a look at their current collection, you might be able to identify something missing, or perhaps learn their preferences so you can choose a new variation on something they already love. If you notice they have a bunch of Les Pauls, you might want to steer away from Fenders. But not necessarily — a guitarist might discover they love a guitar they received as a gift even if they’d never have considered buying it themselves.

If you’re looking to give a guitar this year, here’s our list of the top ten best electric guitars for Christmas.


1. Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster

best electric guitar, electric guitars for christmas, high end electric guitars

(Fender)

To begin with, the Fender Telecaster is the king of versatility. No matter what genre, someone in the band is (or could be) playing a Tele. They’re surprisingly adept at metal, but provide all the range needed for virtually any style. They’re widely seen in country and “indie” music, of course, with their chiming cut perfect for just-overdriven sounds.

This model adds something unusual to the mix: a Strat pickup in the middle position. This means that in addition to the Tele’s already masterful ability to play anything, you also get the Strat’s legendary strength thrown in for good measure. This means, too, that this Tele has a five-way switch, granting access to those invaluable in-between settings that often provide the perfect voice. Aside from that, it’s the recognizable Tele format and controls, and adds in locking tuners for good measure. If you need a guitar that does everything, this might just be the one.

Need more options? Browse more Fender products here.

Price: $799

Buy the Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster here.



Specs:

  • Construction: Bolt-on
  • Neck shape: Modern C
  • Body wood: Alder
  • Neck wood: Maple/Maple
  • Bridge: String-through-body with block saddles
  • Pickups: Fender Vintage Noiseless Tele (neck and bridge); Vintage Noiseless Strat (middle)

Find more Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster information and reviews here.


Top 10 Best Acoustic Guitars to Give for Xmas 2016

If you're looking to give the guitarist in your life something to strum this year, consider our list of the best acoustic guitars to give for Christmas.

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2. Reverend Billy Corgan Signature BC1

best electric guitar, electric guitars for christmas, high end electric guitars

(Reverend)

Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Billy Corgan is obsessed with tone. He’s thought more about tone than you and I have thought about what we’re going to eat or drink during the whole course of our lifetimes. So, when he teamed up with Reverend, a company known for pairing a little bit of useful innovation with consistent reliability, the result was likely to be excellent.

This guitar, like the Tele above, is utterly fixated on extreme versatility. The pickups steal the show in that respect, being designed from the ground up with Corgan’s obsessive guidance by Reverend’s Joe Naylor to pin the exact middle point between a Stratocaster and a Gibson SG. The low strings are dark and heavy, but the high strings have excellent clarity, marrying two tones that are popular but somewhat hard to get in one instrument. The effect is essentially a Strat-voiced P-90 with no hum whatsoever.

Behind the aluminum pickguards on the front horns are hollowed chambers, which in conjunction with the thinned wings cut the weight of the guitar significantly and produce better resonance. Other features include locking tuners and Reverend’s unique bass contour, which is a passive bass roll-off that makes it easier to cut through the mix. The guitar also comes in purple.

Need more options? Browse more Reverend guitars here.

Price: $999

Buy the Reverend Billy Corgan Signature BC1 here.



Specs:

  • Construction: Bolt-on
  • Neck shape: Medium Oval
  • Body wood: Korina
  • Neck wood: Maple/Maple
  • Bridge: String-through-body Strat-style
  • Pickups: Railhammer Billy Corgan Signature Humbuckers

Find more Reverend Billy Corgan Signature BC1 information and reviews here.


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3. Eastwood Airline Bighorn

best electric guitar, electric guitars for christmas, high end electric guitars

(Eastwood)

Eastwood Guitars are doing some pretty interesting things these days. For one thing, when they introduce new guitar designs, they do it in a Kickstarter format, where people pre-order and when they reach enough money to do the production run, they produce the guitar and send them to the backers. They’ve also taken up the mantle of Airline guitars, the funky student guitars of the 60s.

Definitely big on vibe, this guitar updates that 60s classic with an adjustable bridge and truss rod, while keeping in tact all the charming styling. The Vintage Argyle Diamond pickups provide straight twang, which is a little thin sounding for being your main instrument, but makes a fantastic special-use option. It only has 19 frets, but that won’t be a problem because you’ll be too busy having fun to notice.

Need more options? Browse more Eastwood guitars here.

Price: $499

Buy the Eastwood Airline Bighorn here.



Specs:

  • Construction: Bolt-on
  • Neck shape: C
  • Body wood: Basswood
  • Neck wood: Maple/Rosewood
  • Bridge: String-through-body Tele-style
  • Pickups: Vintage Argyle Diamond single coil

Find more Eastwood Airline Bighorn information and reviews here.


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4. Gibson USA HLPS17HSCH1 Les Paul Standard HP 2017 Electric Guitar, Heritage Cherry Sunburst

best electric guitar, electric guitars for christmas, high end electric guitars

(Gibson)

To many, the Les Paul is the end-all, be-all. Like Teles, they make their way into just about any style, but are famed the world over for their heavy, hard rock and searing lead presence. Gibson are smart enough to capitalize on their enormous fame by offering a Les Paul in each price level with varying features. In order of increasing cost and feature set, the model levels are: Studio, Classic, Traditional, and Standard.

This, then, is the latest version of Gibson USA’s top-of-the-line Standard Les Paul. If you wanted the definitive modern take on this venerable guitar, you’d go here. Updates on this classic machine include a “Fast-Access” heel, cut away to ensure speedier access to the high frets. New wiring means that you have access to a claimed 150 sonic options via four push-pull knobs and a five-position DIP switch that determines their function. They’ve also extended their efforts to chamber the body, resulting in an even lighter version of this notoriously heavy guitar.

To top it all off, this instrument ships with a stamped aluminum case, leather strap, multi-tool, and polishing cloth. With all the chrome, steel, and titanium appointments and details, this will definitely come across as the ultimate player’s piece. Oh, one last thing: it’s nitro finished, not polyurethane.

Need more options? Browse more Gibson USA guitars here.

Price: $3,199

Buy the Gibson USA HLPS17HSCH1 Les Paul Standard HP 2017 Electric Guitar, Heritage Cherry Sunburst here.



Specs:

  • Construction: Set neck
  • Neck shape: Soloist asymmetrical slim-taper
  • Body wood: Mahogany
  • Neck wood: Mahogany/Rosewood
  • Bridge: Tune-O-Matic
  • Pickups: Burstbucker Rhythm Pro (neck) and Lead Pro+ (bridge)

Find more Gibson USA HLPS17HSCH1 Les Paul Standard HP 2017 Electric Guitar, Heritage Cherry Sunburst information and reviews here.


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5. Charvel Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 1 HH FR

best electric guitar, electric guitars for christmas, high end electric guitars

(Charvel)

Charvel is something of an underdog. They’ve been around and people have heard of them, but they don’t always get their due. They tend to make guitars aimed at shredders, and as this one indicates, doing so via tried-and-true classic shapes.

This Strat-style guitar is actually pretty straightforward. One knob each for volume and tone, both of which have added functionality. The volume knob is a push-pull coil tap, while the tone knob, when set at 10, is completely removed from the circuit. This lets you dial in a range of sounds even as it preserves the underlying guitar sound when you need it. Obviously the Floyd Rose is invaluable for stable tuning even during bends, while the licensed Seymour Duncan pickups produce high output with plenty of overtones. This guitar comes in a range of colors, including neon pink, white, transparent black and more.

Need more options? Browse more Charvel products here.

Price: $869.99

Buy the Charvel Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 1 HH FR here.



Specs:

  • Construction: Bolt-on
  • Neck shape: Speed neck
  • Body wood: Alder
  • Neck wood: Maple/Maple
  • Bridge: Floyd Rose
  • Pickups: Seymour Duncan JB (bridge) and Seymour Duncan ’59 (neck)

Find more Charvel Pro-Mod San Dimas Style 1 HH FR information and reviews here.


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6. Gretsch G2622T Streamliner

best electric guitar, electric guitars for christmas, high end electric guitars

(Gretsch)

If something hollowbody is required, you’d almost certainly want to peek at a Gretsch. They’ve been pairing big-box hollowbodies with Filter’Tron-style pickups and slapping a Bigsby on the top for years, so this is an iconic, vibey machine.

Introduced last winter, the Streamliner was meant as an affordable player’s guitar, while offering a full complement of features and retro styling. This one does have the spruce center block to reduce feedback and increase sustain. It tends to be a little on the darker side, as the highs don’t quite sing as they might on a more expensive guitar. The controls are pretty interesting, though, providing a volume knob for each pickup, in addition to a master volume and master tone. If you want, you can save about $100 by foregoing the Bigsby on the G2622 standard model.

Need more options? Browse more Gretsch guitars here.

Price: $549.99

Buy the Gretsch G2622T Streamliner here.



Specs:

  • Construction: Set neck
  • Neck shape: Thin U
  • Body wood: Maple with Spruce center block
  • Neck wood: Maple/Rosewood
  • Bridge: Bigsby Adjusto-Matic
  • Pickups: Broad’Tron

Find more Gretsch G2622T Streamliner information and reviews here.


Christmas Gift Ideas: Top 10 Best Gigging Guitar Amps

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7. Yamaha RevStar RS820CR

best electric guitar, electric guitars for christmas, high end electric guitars

(Yamaha)

As we discussed previously, Yamaha make a fine instrument. They’re not as well-regarded as the bigger names in the industry, and that’s kind of a shame, because often for the price, they’re making something just a little bit better. All of their guitars are above-average all-arounders good for any playing level.

Consider in particular their newest model, the RevStar. They spent many years developing a new model with a focus on playability and versatility for the working musician. This one, with the “CR” designation, stands for Cafe Racer, styled with pinstirpes, copper pickguard, and aluminum finishes. The pickups took 50 different prototypes before they settled on these vintage-voiced alnico humbuckers, which are controlled with a volume and a tone knob. The tone knob has a further enhancement, called a Dry Switch, which is meant as a coil tap, but works as a passive filter to keep noise and hum from coloring the signal. The body itself is contoured for easy, comfortable playing. This one is the absolute top of the range, but you could also opt for the RS320, which is only $399.99.

Need more options? Browse more Yamaha products here.

Price: $999.99

Buy the Yamaha RevStar RS820CR here.



Specs:

  • Construction: Set neck
  • Neck shape: Medium
  • Body wood: Mahogany with Maple top
  • Neck wood: Mahogany/Rosewood
  • Bridge: TonePros AVT-II
  • Pickups: VH5+ Vintage Alnico humbuckers

Find more Yamaha RevStar RS820CR information and reviews here.


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8. Guild S-200 T-Bird

best electric guitar, electric guitars for christmas, high end electric guitars

(Guild)

Want to give a more out-there guitar? Sure you do. The Guild T-Bird was originally produced between 1964 and 1968 and was designed to be jet-age cool. They reissued this strange bird in May of this year to bring some interest to their line. Without a doubt, whoever you give this to is very likely to be the only person who owns it on their street, maybe even their town.

The mini humbuckers are designed as remakes of the original pickups that came with it in the 60s. The uniqueness extends beyond the body design to the interesting switching configuration. There’s a switch for rhythm or lead mode, as well as individual on-off switches for each pickup. The unique bridge is from a 60s Hagstrom and offers hardtail stability in tremolo form. For colors, you can choose between black and this antique burst.

Need more options? Browse more Guild guitars here.

Price: $799

Buy the Guild S-200 T-Bird here.



Specs:

  • Construction: Set neck
  • Neck shape: Vintage C
  • Body wood: Mahogany
  • Neck wood: Mahogany/Rosewood
  • Bridge: Tune-O-Matic bridge with Hagstrom Vintage Tremar vibrato
  • Pickups: Guild LB-1 Little Buckers

Find more Guild S-200 T-Bird information and reviews here.


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9. G&L Tribute Fallout

best electric guitar, electric guitars for christmas, high end electric guitars

(G & L)

After starting the company that carries his name and completely redefining the guitar market, Leo Fender sold his company to CBS in 1965. In 1979, with friends George Fullerton and Dale Hyatt, he founded G&L (George & Leo) and began producing guitars that looked a lot like Fender models, but included numerous innovations and improvements.

This simple Fallout model recalls a Strat-style guitar, but with some interesting configuration choices. Namely, the pickups more closely resemble a Tele-style, with a P-90 in the neck position and a humbucker in the bridge position. These are controlled with a single volume and tone, which has a push-pull coil tap for the humbucker. Both the body and pickguard design set this apart from other guitars, while the versatile pickup layout offers a good range of sounds, especially for the money. You can also find this guitar in Fullerton Red, Gloss Black, and limited edition Clear Orange.

Need more options? Browse more G&L guitars here.

Price: $429.99

Buy the G&L Tribute Fallout here.



Specs:

  • Construction: Bolt-on
  • Neck shape: Medium C
  • Body wood: Mahogany
  • Neck wood: Maple/Rosewood
  • Bridge: G&L Saddle Lock
  • Pickups: G&L AP4285B P-90 (neck) and G&L AW4470B humbucker (bridge)

Find more G&L Tribute Fallout information and reviews here.


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10. Loog Electric Guitar 3-String Solid-Body Electric Guitar

best electric guitar, electric guitars for christmas, high end electric guitars

(Loog)

If you happen to be guitar shopping for absolute beginners, you might consider this adorable option. Launched this summer, the Loog electric is a follow-up on the original Loog acoustic and focuses all of its attention on learning how to play.

When you first receive this guitar, it comes in a ready-to-assemble kit. No special tools are required, and 15 minutes later, you’ll be playing. There are only three strings, but with real guitar materials including a bone nut, it’s pretty much the real deal. This thing comes in five colors: blue, green, white, yellow, and lucite. If I know guitarists at all (and I do), you could easily get even a professional one of these and they would delight in the limitation and simplicity.

Need more options? Browse more Amazon Launchpad products here.

Price: $199

Buy the Loog Electric Guitar 3-String Solid-Body Electric Guitar here.



Specs:

  • Construction: Bolt-on
  • Neck shape: Narrow beginner
  • Body wood: Basswood
  • Neck wood: Maple/Rosewood
  • Bridge: Rosewood Tune-o-Matic
  • Pickups: Lipstick-style

Find more Loog Electric Guitar 3-String Solid-Body Electric Guitar information and reviews here.


Looking for more gift ideas? Consider our list of the top 20 best coffee gift baskets or top 30 best handmade gifts. If it’s a musician you’re shopping for, we also have a list of the best gifts for musicians.


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Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.

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