15 Best Guitars Brands in 2022 Review - MusicCritic (2023)

Ibanez

15 Best Guitars Brands in 2022 Review - MusicCritic (1)

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Created a little over sixty years ago Ibanez has achieved a lot already in their span and currently have left more than 130 acoustic models, 300 + electric and around 160 bass models in their legacy.

They are another Japanese company which significantly shaped the instrument import industry.

They began making Spanish style acoustic guitars under the Ibanez Salvador name their modern era guitars came in the late '50s. Ibanez faced a few lawsuits because initially, they appeared to be making copies of Gibson, Fender, and Rickenbacker designs.

They soon came into their own with their Iceman and Roadstar series and were flourishing by the time the '70s ended. The company had close ties with Steve Vai which also helped considerably.

They offer 2 main solid body styles the RG (24 fret standard, thicker body) and the S (22 frets, thinner. ) Other styles incorporate arched tops.

The majority of their guitars are floating tremolo but there are some fixed bridge options. They have a range of pickup combinations. They also produce many signature series lines Joe Satriani JS series, JEM and Universe with Steve Vai, the K7 with Head and Munky to name a few.

The Ibanez brand is subdivided into Custom, Prestige, Premium, and Gio their budget series line.

Their basses are also highly regarded instruments.

Pros:
+ Epic range of stock.
+ Solid/hollow bodied.
+ Their high-end guitars are absolutely unbelievable.
+ Great craftsmanship.
+ They have a range of low priced entry level instruments.

Cons:
- Better models will set you back.
- Some people feel the signature models are gimmicky.

Paul Reed Smith

15 Best Guitars Brands in 2022 Review - MusicCritic (2)

(Video) Best Acoustic Electric Guitar In 2022 - Top 10 Acoustic Electric Guitars Review

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PRS guitars have operated out of Maryland for the last 3 decades, founded by master luthier Paul Reed Smith who began building guitars during his college years. The big break came for Smith in the shape of none other than Carlos Santana. The high-end bespoke guitars they were producing had little competition so they had a good niche in the market. They feature signature fretboard inlays (crescent moons and birds) they use top ten selected maple and some are still hand made today.

They design and wind their pickups in-house and produce a spectrum of tonal qualities from a chiming Fender single coil Strat, to humbucking Gibson sounds.

They produce an affordable line and signature line imported from Korea. They also have limited series guitars such as their Dragon models as well as their private stock customized line which produces one-off pieces fetching upwards of $10,000.

They have achieved plenty in a short space of time and are one of the few high-end bespoke brands to break into the mainstream industry.

Pros:
+ Great consistency.
+ Superior quality in high-end models.
+ Ultimate boutique customization.

Cons:
- Very expensive.
- Only their private stock is of any real value.
- There are better guitars in their comparative price range.

Martin

15 Best Guitars Brands in 2022 Review - MusicCritic (3)

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Martin is more than twice the age of some of the previous brands they produce a range of acoustic stringed instruments as well as electric-acoustics. Their guitars have evolved and changed shape many times in their lengthy history. Modern Martin products are, generally speaking, affordable their vintage models can fetch 5-6 thousand.

They were one of the first designers to move away from traditional Spanish style fan bracing opting for the X-bracing their guitars feature.

Martins make great sounding entry level guitars and are ideal for beginners. They won't set you back too much they employ decent materials in their construction. Their Cheaper DX series features laminates but again you get what you pay for and they make fantastic sounding budget guitars. They are great for fingerpicking and classic styles. They offer a range of models including a few interesting electric travel options.

Their older models are well sought after one D-28 played by Elvis in his final concert fetched over 100,000 bucks at auction. They also produced a line of solid-bodied electric modeled after Fender which is fairly rare.

Pros:
+ Affordable.
+ Easy to play (good for beginners).
+ Consistent quality.

(Video) This guitar BLEW MY MIND (dreamed about it for 15 years)

Cons:
- The quality though consistent isn't spectacular.
- Low-end models can be disappointing to a more seasoned player.
- Laminate tops on inexpensive models.

Taylor

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Taylor is the number one seller for acoustic guitars in America and has been running production for over forty years.

Taylor himself was very innovative with design concepts Schemmer was a luthier with skills which outshone the majority of other luthiers worldwide together with the business brains of Listug they began their venture.

They produce a lot of affordable models however they really aren't much better than beginner quality. High-end Taylors, however, produce a fantastic tone have great intonation and fret accuracy and are durable and expertly crafted with high-quality woods but obviously cost a little more.

Taylor go the extra mile to make sure their guitars are top-level quality in their respective budgets.

Pros:
+ Proficiently built.
+ Expertly designed.
+ Affordable lines.
+ Exceptional high-end guitars.

Cons:
- Cheapguitars aren't brilliant.
- Can be on the thin side.
- Whilst their high-end guitars are better made and sound great some think they are overpriced.

Rickenbacker

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Early lap steel Rickenbacker guitars are affectionately nick-named Fry-Pans/ Frying-Pans in reference to the brands' iconic circular bodies and long necks.

They specialized in Steel guitars well into the fifties but then quickly re-adjusted their focus in light of the explosive Rock and Roll scene. They made several popular neck-through models notably their Capri series. John Lennon propelled the Capri range when The Beatles played their debut appearance on the Ed Sullivan show and the Rickenbacker brand became quickly intertwined with the Beatles image.

Rickenbackers are favored for their distinctive 'Jangle and Chime'. Their guitars feature double truss rods and deluxe models are Rick-O-Sound compatible. This means they are equipped with 2 output jacks one for standard use and one for stereo amplifier effects for interesting tonal capabilities.

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Rickenbacker guitars are associated with pop, pop rock, rock, and progressive rock music they are also sought after for their smaller necks.

Their basses have a distinctive tone and can again be split output signaled for effects.

As well as Paul McCartney early Rickenbacker rock basses have been played by Roger Waters and John Entwistle and became a prog rock staple. They also continued to prove popular throughout the punk and new-wave eras with bands such as The Clash, Sex Pistols, and The Jam.

They are an incredibly versatile instrument especially with the dual output they are loved by heavy rock enthusiast as well with Lemmy Kilmister sporting a signature 4004LK.

Pros:
+ Incredibly versatile sounding guitars and basses.
+ Ideal for a host of genres.
+ Narrow necked.
+ Great custom options.
+ Premium components.

Cons:
- Somewhat pricier no lower budget product options.
- Some people don't like their bigger bodies.

High-End Guitars - Paul Reed Smith guitars are often considered the creme-de-la-creme. With luxurious colorful finishes and spectacular hardware, some custom models cost over $10,000. If you're looking for a high-end guitar with an incredible tone, stunning looks, and pristine hardware right out-of-the-box, PRS is tough to beat.

15 Best Guitars Brands in 2022 Review - MusicCritic (6)

Sam Jeans

Sam Jeans FOR MUSIC CRITIC

Guitar Brands Buyers Guide

What to look for in a Guitar Brand?

It depends if you are looking for brand producing low budget guitars or best quality guitars or want that middle ground best of both options.

The use of premium components (in accordance with the price tag) is desirable for durability and tonal optimization.

Consistency throughout their different series lines is also key. It's never promising when a new line comes out if the companies track record is all over the place.

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Important questions to think about are;

Do they add anything new to the market? Have they got unique patented features?... Are those features a gimmick or genuinely genius? Are they worth the investment? Importantly do they listen to their clients, push boundaries and seek continual improvement and innovation in their industry?

What is the best acoustic guitar brand?

From our list, Epiphone and Seagull offer some unbelievably good high-end models, but Martins and Taylors are pretty decent, great for beginners and unbeatable value for the money.

What is the best electric guitar brand?

ESP or Ibanez are good for metal and heavier genres but we think Epiphone Fender and Yamaha make some of the best electric guitars all in all.

What is the best bass guitar brand?

It depends on what you want for it, for lower budgets ESP and Yamaha make some great Basses under $500 the Epiphone Thunderbird is also a great choice. The Fender Jazz basses are pretty great all-rounders. If you have a better budget you might want to check out the Ibanez Thundercat or some of

Yamahas signature series. We also love Aria who didn't make our list.

What is the best budget guitar brand?

For acoustic, the Taylor range are definitely cheap and cheerful for electric we suggest one of Yamaha's entry-level products a Les Paul Epi or a Fender for that recognizable tone.

What is the most expensive guitar brand?

Many well-known brands will offer a more affordable range for low budget access to their products as well as a higher end range. High-end Classical guitars can cost a pretty penny such as the PRS private stocks. High-end Ibanez guitars and basses can set you back between 5-8 thousand a high end Gibson 8-12.

Conclusion

For the most part, each brand will offer both high and low-end models to choose from. Traditional guitar manufacture doesn't differ too much in capability until you hit much higher price ranges in terms of design concepts and components but some brands benefit from more experience, better facilities or access to resources, and even expertise. Another difference that can impact products is whether they make each part within their own confines or whether they outsource. The most valuable quality a company can have is it's customer relationships.

Which brand is best boils largely down to how much you like their products which at the end of the day is dependent on individual needs and personal preference.

Expert Tip

See if you can try out a friend's guitars and see what you like and dislike, or visit a store if it is possible.

Did You Know?

The most expensive guitar sold was a Fender 'Reach Out to Asia' Stratocaster auctioned to support worthy causes it was signed by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Jimmy Page, and Brian May.

If you've enjoyed this review by Music Critic, please leave a positive rating:

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FAQs

Who makes high quality guitars? ›

To sum it all up, the best guitar brands are Ibanez, Fender, and Gibson. The best overall option would be the Ibanez JSM100, based on its overall quality and versatility. The Fender Telecaster is our number one Fender recommendation, while from the Gibson range we would single out the ES-175.

What guitar does Ed Sheeran use? ›

THE W & S Series guitars now on sale

Our S and W Series acoustic guitars are the instruments Ed Sheeran plays at home, in the studio, and on stages worldwide. Both series feature compact dimensions, player-friendly necks, and uncompromising tone while offering their own take on Ed's favourite formula.

What's the most popular guitar? ›

Fender Stratocaster

The Fender Stratocaster has been around since 1954 and countless guitar players have used it in every genre of music. The Strat is easy to modify and relatively simple to work on. Because of that, and because of its iconic sound, it is probably the most popular guitar in the world.

Why Ibanez is the best? ›

Fast, thin necks, excellent in-house hardware, and innovative extended range designs have become to hallmarks of Ibanez. Along the way, they have become one of the best guitar brands for metal and hard rock.

What guitar does Taylor Swift play? ›

Taylor Swift is known for her broad catalog of Taylor acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars. As for electric guitars, she's known for her Red Sparkle Gibson Les Paul and, in more recent years, she has also adopted the Johnny Marr Fender Signature Jaguar model as one of her primary guitars.

What guitar does John Mayer play? ›

John Mayer has used a Martin OM28-JM as his main acoustic guitar for almost 20 years. As the JM initials at the end of the model number indicate, it is a signature model made by Martin Guitars for John Mayer.

Is it better to play guitar with a pick or fingers? ›

Using a pick gives you a brighter and more consistent tone than using your fingers, because the pick is made of the same material throughout, while plucking strings with different parts of your fingers produces different sounds.

What guitar should I buy in 2022? ›

The Epiphone Les Paul Standard has been the go-to guitar for thousands of players over the years, and for good reason. Put simply, this guitar ticks a lot of boxes. We found it to be exceptionally well-made, sounds great and, importantly, it won't break the bank.

What makes a high end guitar? ›

High quality guitars are made with better materials and are built with smaller error tolerances, with the action of the guitar aligned optimally to avoid buzzing or any other unwanted sound artifacts. Quality electric guitars have higher quality electronics.

What acoustic guitar do most musicians use? ›

Most musicians who play acoustic guitar use a dreadnought guitar. This type of guitar has a large body and a powerful sound. It is the most popular type of acoustic guitar for both beginners and experienced players.

What is the biggest guitar brand? ›

Fender. Boasting the title of the “world's largest guitar manufacturer,” Fender is responsible for the creation and production of a number of the most iconic guitars ever conceived.

What is the best guitar solo ever? ›

  1. Pink Floyd | “Comfortably Numb” GUITARIST: David Gilmour (1979)
  2. Van Halen | “Eruption” ...
  3. Led Zeppelin | “Stairway To Heaven” ...
  4. Queen | “Bohemian Rhapsody” ...
  5. Eagles | “Hotel California” ...
  6. The Jimi Hendrix Experience | “All Along The Watchtower” ...
  7. Dire Straits | “Sultans Of Swing” ...
  8. Lynyrd Skynyrd | “Free Bird” ...
25 Dec 2021

What are the 2 main types of guitars available? ›

How many types of guitars are there? There are two main types of guitars: acoustic and electric. When you look at each of these types of guitars, they can be split into many different sub-types based on body shapes, hardware features, and the number of strings.

Which guitar is better Martin or Gibson? ›

The Quick Answer. Gibson acoustic guitars often sound fuller than Martin's which usually sound more delicate. Martin offers guitars for all price ranges whilst Gibson only make high end guitars. Gibson mainly make dreadnought and jumbo guitars whereas Martin mainly make dreadnoughts, mid-sized and smaller shapes.

How much does a decent acoustic guitar cost? ›

Acoustic guitars cost approximately $100-200 for an entry-level model. Intermediate-level acoustic guitars cost around $300-800, whilst professional-level acoustic guitars often cost several thousands of dollars. The price is mainly dictated by the country of origin, brand, body and wood type.

What guitar do famous people use? ›

Famous Artists and Their Guitars
Gibson Les Paul and SGFender Stratocaster and TelecasterEpiphone
Bob MarleyJimmy HendrixJohn Lennon
Jimmy PageJeff BeckThe Edge
SlashEric ClaptonTrent Reznor
AC/DCBilly CorganPete Townshend
9 Nov 2021

How many guitars should I own? ›

Generally, one electric guitar, one acoustic guitar, and one classical guitar are enough to satisfy your needs and cover all styles of music. If you have varied interests, you may want to add new guitars to experiment with different types of pickups configurations, body shapes, and different necks.

What guitars does a guitarist need? ›

A guitarist only needs one guitar to be a guitarist; however, it would be prudent to own at least one acoustic, electric, and nylon string guitar that way you can perform in a variety of contexts, and you have access to what are the most common guitars to be included on a popular music recording.

What are the 3 guitars? ›

There are 3 basic types of guitar. Classical, Acoustic and Electric.

How many guitars do most people own? ›

Research suggests the average player now owns between seven and eight guitars (though the figures referenced here are, at best, anecdotal), meaning the guitarist with one good amp and electric is increasingly an anomaly.

Which guitar is most versatile? ›

Question: What is the Most Versatile Electric Guitar? Answer: The answer to this question is subjective, but many people consider the Gibson Les Paul to be the most versatile electric guitar in history due to its neutral body design and flexible tone.

Is Ibanez better than Gibson? ›

A Gibson Les Paul will hold it's value better than most Ibanez guitars and DEFINITELY all "off" brand guitars, like Schecter, Dean, ESP, etc. The LP will hold better than even an SG, but the SG I'd say is still a bit ahead of the curve on other brands.

Why do people like Ibanez guitars? ›

Ibanez have produced good quality electric guitars for many years, and are revered for their thin fast playing necks, precise hot sound, and comfortable lightweight body designs. They are a good choice for beginners through to advanced players, providing electric guitar models in various price ranges.

Who plays Ibanez? ›

Ten of the most iconic Ibanez players worldwide
  • Paul Gilbert. Let's start with arguably the most well-known guitarist to ever hold an Ibanez in his large hands, Paul Gilbert. ...
  • Jennifer Batten. ...
  • Steve Vai. ...
  • Joe Satriani. ...
  • Nili Brosh. ...
  • Kiko Loureiro. ...
  • Nita Strauss. ...
  • George Benson.
28 Jun 2022

Is Gibson better than Fender? ›

Fender vs Gibson: The Verdict

It really depends on what you're looking for in a guitar. If you want something that's easy to play with great tone options, and the ability to customize, then Fender is the way to go. If you're looking for a heavier sound with great looks, then Gibson might be a better choice.

Why Ibanez is the best? ›

Fast, thin necks, excellent in-house hardware, and innovative extended range designs have become to hallmarks of Ibanez. Along the way, they have become one of the best guitar brands for metal and hard rock.

Why did Clapton stop using Gibsons? ›

In 1970, Clapton switched from Gibson electric guitars to Fender Stratocasters, largely due to the influences of Jimi Hendrix and Blind Faith bandmate Steve Winwood.

Why do Gibson guitars sound so good? ›

The Gibson Les Paul is known for amazing sustain. There are a few reasons for this, and it's all about design. These guitars have set necks, meaning they are set into a pocket in the guitar body and glued in place. That means rock-solid contact between the guitar neck and the body.

Why do Les Pauls sound so good? ›

Tone: The sound of a Les Paul can cover many, many styles of music. Jazz, Pop, Metal, Rock, Country, Blues… etc. It has a girthy tone, with a hint of air, which makes it very unique, primarily due to the thick mahogany, w/ maple Cap (on certain models). There's very few guitars which sound like one.

What guitar do famous people use? ›

Famous Artists and Their Guitars
Gibson Les Paul and SGFender Stratocaster and TelecasterEpiphone
Bob MarleyJimmy HendrixJohn Lennon
Jimmy PageJeff BeckThe Edge
SlashEric ClaptonTrent Reznor
AC/DCBilly CorganPete Townshend
9 Nov 2021

How many guitars should I own? ›

Generally, one electric guitar, one acoustic guitar, and one classical guitar are enough to satisfy your needs and cover all styles of music. If you have varied interests, you may want to add new guitars to experiment with different types of pickups configurations, body shapes, and different necks.

Which guitars are easiest to play? ›

Electric guitars are generally the easiest to play: the strings are usually thinner, the 'action' is lower and therefore the strings are easier to press down.

What is the easiest guitar to learn to play? ›

The best beginner guitar is a steel-stringed acoustic guitar (because it's the easiest guitar to learn with). The body shape of your ideal guitar is due to your personal preference.

Which guitar is best in low price? ›

  1. Yamaha F335. Yamaha shows you that cheap doesn't have to mean poor quality. ...
  2. Epiphone Songmaker DR-100. Epiphone's best selling acoustic guitar. ...
  3. D'Angelico Premier Gramercy LS. ...
  4. Fender California Newporter Player Acoustic. ...
  5. Tanglewood Blackbird Super Folk. ...
  6. Takamine GN11M-NS. ...
  7. Alvarez RG260CE Regent Series.
29 Apr 2022

Is Ibanez better than Gibson? ›

A Gibson Les Paul will hold it's value better than most Ibanez guitars and DEFINITELY all "off" brand guitars, like Schecter, Dean, ESP, etc. The LP will hold better than even an SG, but the SG I'd say is still a bit ahead of the curve on other brands.

Why do people like Ibanez guitars? ›

Ibanez have produced good quality electric guitars for many years, and are revered for their thin fast playing necks, precise hot sound, and comfortable lightweight body designs. They are a good choice for beginners through to advanced players, providing electric guitar models in various price ranges.

Who plays Ibanez? ›

Ten of the most iconic Ibanez players worldwide
  • Paul Gilbert. Let's start with arguably the most well-known guitarist to ever hold an Ibanez in his large hands, Paul Gilbert. ...
  • Jennifer Batten. ...
  • Steve Vai. ...
  • Joe Satriani. ...
  • Nili Brosh. ...
  • Kiko Loureiro. ...
  • Nita Strauss. ...
  • George Benson.
28 Jun 2022

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