When it comes to electric guitars, certain iconic brands often steal the spotlight. Fender, Gibson, and PRS are just a few names that immediately come to mind. However, the guitar world is full of hidden gems, underrated brands that offer exceptional craftsmanship, unique designs, and impressive tonal versatility. In this article, we’ll shine a light on some of the most underrated electric guitar brands that deserve more recognition from both beginners and seasoned players alike.
1. Reverend Guitars:
Reverend Guitars, based in Toledo, Ohio, has been quietly making waves in the guitar industry. Reverend instruments are known for their innovative designs, high-quality construction, and superb playability. They offer a wide range of models, from vintage-inspired classics to modern, cutting-edge designs. Reverend’s unique features, such as the Bass Contour control, make their guitars stand out, and artists like Billy Corgan and Reeves Gabrels have endorsed the brand.
2. G&L (George Fullerton and Leo Fender):
Founded by Leo Fender and George Fullerton, G&L (short for George and Leo) continues to be overlooked despite its rich history and impressive lineup. G&L guitars offer a blend of classic design and modern innovations. Their instruments are renowned for their build quality, versatile electronics, and outstanding value. Players like Jerry Cantrell and John Mayer have shown their appreciation for G&L guitars.
3. Eastman Guitars:
Eastman Guitars is a brand that has gained recognition for its outstanding acoustic instruments but is still relatively underrated in the electric guitar market. Hailing from China, Eastman has been crafting high-quality electric guitars that often rival those of more prominent brands. Their instruments showcase meticulous craftsmanship, premium tonewoods, and an impressive attention to detail, making them a fantastic choice for players seeking a balance of quality and affordability.
4. Godin Guitars:
Based in Canada, Godin Guitars has been producing innovative and versatile instruments for decades. While the brand enjoys a loyal following among jazz, fusion, and acoustic players, it’s often overlooked by those in the rock and metal communities. Godin guitars are known for their unique designs, high-quality pickups, and outstanding playability. The Godin Multiac series, with its blend of acoustic and electric features, is particularly noteworthy.
5. Hagstrom Guitars:
Hagstrom is a Swedish brand that has a rich history dating back to the 1950s. Despite its heritage, Hagstrom remains a bit of a hidden treasure in the guitar world. Known for their stylish designs and versatile electronics, Hagstrom guitars offer a great balance between quality and affordability. Artists like Frank Zappa and Dave Gregory have used Hagstrom instruments in their careers.
6. Suhr Guitars:
Suhr Guitars, founded by John Suhr, may be considered underrated compared to some high-profile brands, but it enjoys a dedicated fan base among players who appreciate meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail. Suhr guitars are handmade in the USA and known for their exceptional build quality, superb playability, and a wide range of customizable options. They cater to discerning musicians looking for precision and versatility in their instruments.
While it’s essential to recognize and appreciate the well-established guitar brands that have shaped the industry, it’s equally important to explore the world of underrated brands. These hidden gems often offer exceptional quality, unique designs, and remarkable value for both beginners and experienced players. So, if you’re in the market for a new electric guitar, consider venturing beyond the mainstream brands to discover the distinct qualities and character that these underrated brands bring to the table. You might just find your perfect match among these hidden treasures.