MI Pro brings together a selection of models from the entry-level to mid-range electric guitar market.
Constant innovation and shoe-horning as much added-value as possible into mid-priced electrics is what makes it such an interesting and competitive part of the market. And of course, its bread and butter for so many MI retailers. Ronnie Dungan had a browse through what’s currently available for under £500….
Jackson X Series models feature humbucking pickups, bound compound-radius fingerboards with shark-fin inlays, tremolos and hard-tail bridges and a selection of striking finishes.
There are 16 new guitars in total available in the following body shapes – Rhoads, King V, Dinky, Soloist and Warrior, prices range from £406.80.
Fender’s Modern Player series features new versions of its most famous models, all retailing at £442.80.
The Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe has a pair of single-coil MP-90 pickups. Other features include a mahogany body, C-shaped maple neck, maple fretboard with 9.5” radius and 22 medium jumbo frets. The Marauder is a new body style, with a Jazzmaster neck pickup and three-coil Fender Triplebucker bridge pickup. Other features include a koto body, C-shaped maple neck and rosewood fretboard with 22 jumbo frets.
The Modern Player Jaguar is a stripped-down version of the classic Fender model, with a pair of single-coil Modern Player MP-90 pickups on a sans-pickguard mahogany body.
Telecaster Plus HSS is a triple-pickup model with a pine body and mini-toggle coil-split switch for the humbucking bridge pickup. Other features include C-shaped maple neck, maple fretboard with 9.5” radius and 22 jumbo frets.
Höfner (Barnes & Mullins)
Höfner’s latest solid-body model once again gives a nod to its past. Based upon the classic Club body, the new Club Solid single-cut has a spruce top and Mahogany body and Schaller-made, Höfner Hi-Power Diamond humbuckers. Available in Dark Cherry, Honeyburst and Black, it retails at £420.
As with all Jet Club models the Electromatic G5425 Jet Club features arched maple top with chambered basswood body and bolt-on maple neck with rosewood fingerboard.
Features include Gretsch dual-coil humbucking pickups, 22 medium jumbo frets, anchored Adjusto-Matic bridge and stop tailpiece that ensure vibrant sustain, Neo-Classic ‘thumbnail’ fingerboard inlays, ‘G’ arrow knobs and white pearloid Gretsch-logo pickguard. It retails around £274.80.
Cort (HC Distribution)
Priced between £229 and £379, Cort’s new Classic Rock Series of solid bodied electric guitars – the CR100, CR200 and CR250 – offer a wide range of tones from solid mahogany bodies, maple bolt-on, or mahogany set-necks with a vintage C profile, 22-fret rosewood fingerboards and high output humbuckers.
Although better known as an acoustic specialist, Tanglewood has a line of solid-bodies and semis under the £500 mark as well.
The TSB 58 pictured is a Les Paul-shaped solid body. It comes with a mahogany set neck, rosewood fingerboard, two Entwistle Alnico HV58 pickups and retails for £419.95. A custom ebony version is £449 and there’s a Custom Limited with gold hardware and walnut top is £499. A left-handed model in Cherry Sunburst retails at around £429.
The semi-acoustic TSB59 has an all-maple body with a rosewood fingerboard, retailing at £359.95. A Deluxe Honey Burst version, with a mahogany neck is £399.
Vox (Korg UK)
The Vox Series 22 double-cutaway models borrow production techniques, styling cues and use many of the same components found in the premium Vox Virage and solid body guitars.
Available in four finishes – red, black, white and sunburst – the range is built using 3D carving methods to create a contoured body and retails for £479.99.
Vintage and Danelectro (JHS)
The Vintage guitars range includes reliced Icon models and the ReIssued line, including a number of signature models afforded to artists like founding Saxon member Graham Oliver and German virtuoso Thomas Blug.
Highlights of the Vintage range include the Icon Lemon Drop (£429), which is inspired by a guitar that belonged to Peter Green and Gary Moore; the V100AFD singlecut mahogany Paradise model (£369) and the Vintage VV60 (available in trans-amber and black finishes, £349) and the VXP6BK (also £349).
JHS is also the exclusive UK and Ireland distributor for Danelectro, with prices between £299 and £429. Lastly, beginners’ brand, Encore, is a range of models from £129 to £255.
The RG Tremolo series includes many models with a variety of different features and finishes. The one constant factor in all of them is the Edge Zero II tremolo with Zero Point System, which allows for a range of trem effects, as well as tuning stability.
The Edge-Zero II, Ibanez's newest generation of knife edge tremolos, deploys all of the unique features of the ZR trem. Locking studs contribute to tuning stability.
The RG-350MP, a maple neck version of the best selling RG350DXZ-WH has a Wizard neck, flat fingerboard and jumbo frets. It retails at £359.
The seven-string RGA archtop retails for £499 and has a lightweight body for greater freedom when playing live, plus an archtop design for hitting power chords and heavy riffs without hitting the guitar body.
SX electric guitars – from the same stable as its popular Valencia and Mahalo brands – are designed as starter instruments. Features include maple necks, rosewood fingerboards and quality pickups.
The range includes SC, TC, LP and SG models as well as PB bass guitars. These are also available as kits with amps at affordable prices. RRPs start at £97.10 for the alder body SX TC (which comes with a DVD and gig bag) up to £195 for the SX LP guitar kit.
The Strat Guitar Kit includes: SX SC model guitar, GA-1065 ten-Watt guitar amp, cable, tuner, strap, six picks, gig bag and tutor DVD in either a black or sunburst finish for £138.
Based on the classic ‘70s Swede model, the £393 Swedie features a slightly thinner body and more conventionalised features. Employing Hagstrom’s Custom ‘62 open coil pickups, and a three-way tone filter switch, the Swedie produces an aggressive and accented tone, which will cut through the mix. It is offered in a multitude of all new vibrant Hagstrom colours.
All Hagstrom guitars are equipped with Hagstrom’s H-Expander truss rod and Resinator fret board to not only provide added strength and stability to the neck, but also enhance the instrument’s sonic qualities.
The Burns Marquee offers a taste of retro sound and styling without moving too far away from mainstream guitar design. It has a trademark Burns scrolled headstock atop a bolt-on maple neck, as well as a three-piece pick-guard. Powered by three single-coil alnico Rez-o-Matik pickups, the Marquee has a versatile set of controls, including a push-pull selector. With chrome hardware throughout, the Marquee is available in shadows white, guards red and greenburst polyester finishes. It retails at £449.99.
The Eko MIA semi-acoustic ST is £399.95 with a maple neck, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard, Tune-o-Matic bridge, two humbuckers and a three-way selector switch. It features a thin body design and low-profile neck with a sleek ‘M’ hole on the body.
The Charvel Desolation series offers three shapes – double cutaway, single cutaway and skatecaster – with prices starting at £238.80. The Desolation range introduces entirely new designs not previously seen in Charvel’s 30-year history, offering more tonal and stylistic options.
Washburn (Sound Technology)
Washburn’s new XM series feature a sleek double cutaway, premium basswood or mahogany carved top bodies, 25.5” scale maple or mahogany necks, 24-fret rosewood or ebony fingerboards, D’addario strings, Nubone nuts and Seymour Duncan designed pickups.
Available in three variations – STD, DLX and PRO, with various finish options (including tangerine) – the Washburn XM Series costs between £222 and £288.
Retailing at £259.99, the Ravelle X is fitted with a pair of high output humbucker pickups and a hardtail Tune-o-Matic bridge. Finished in a choice of black, snow white or dark metallic grey, with a colour matched headstock, it is based around a lightweight alder body.
Schecter’s Omen range (from £249) features a basswood body, bolt-on maple neck with rosewood board and Schecter’s own pickups and hardware. The Omen is available in two shapes, the C-1 and Solo 6, four different colours and there are Floyd Rose, seven-string options and also the cheapest eight-string on the market at £349. The Omen Extreme range adds a highly-figured maple top with prices starting at £329.
Also available is the Damien Elite range in multiple finishes and shapes with or without Floyd rose and with seven and eight-string options, from £499.