The 24 Best Electric Guitar Brands 2022: What Our Data Shows

Here we show our results after analyzing 1663 mass-produced guitars from 24 different brands in 2022.

Each model went through our scoring algorithm that takes into account over 40 different criteria items, including —but not limited to— nut width, scale size, neck joint, country of origin, quality control, quality of materials, and a lot more.

This data is updated every time we add a new model to our database, so, unlike other resources, this post is updated in real-time as the brands featured in this article release new models .

Take into account that we only evaluate mass-produced models not coming from the custom shop. We decided to leave those out since custom jobs vary on a case-by-case basis.

Table of Contents

Brands With The Highest Average Scores in 2022

To find the brand that offers the highest-quality guitars, we analyze each model's specs. This let us score each guitar according to their playability, sound and build quality based on a scale from 1 to 100. After obtaining these three different scores, we calculate the average as the final score, which is the one we show in the data below.

According to our findings, without taking into account price, the highest scoring and best brand this year is ESP E-II. Here's our result. The maximum score possible is 100:

  1. 1. ESP E-II 80.3
  2. 2. ESP 79.8
  3. 3. Music Man 77.9
  4. 4. Charvel 76.9
  5. 5. Solar 76.5
  6. 6. Schecter 76.1
  7. 7. Jackson 75.4
  8. 8. ESP LTD 74.8
  9. 9. Reverend 74.8
  10. 10. Ibanez 74.2
  11. 11. Gibson 73
  12. 12. PRS 73
  13. 13. Dean 72.8
  14. 14. Washburn 72.1
  15. 15. Gretsch 72
  16. 16. Fender 71.9
  17. 17. Yamaha 71.4
  18. 18. Sterling 70.3
  19. 19. Kramer 70
  20. 20. Harley Benton 69.4
  21. 21. Cort 69.1
  22. 22. Epiphone 68.9
  23. 23. Sire 67.6
  24. 24. Fender Squier 67.3

How Did We Arrive to This Data?

To determine the build quality of each guitar, we take a look at things like the wood type —is it a proper wood piece for making a guitar?—, hardware quality —do they use branded tuning machines and bridges, or just aftermarket parts?—, building techniques —do they use the cheaper bolt-on neck or the more resistant and expensive neck-through build? We also give a higher score to guitars that are made in countries with a better reputation, although we don't give it too much importance as it's been shown that you can make good guitars from anywhere.

To score their sound quality, we take into account where and who makes their pickups. For example, if they come from a well-known brand, they will get a higher score. We also analyze the versatility of their pickup selector and additional switches.

Finally, for their playability, we take a look at the measurements, especially of the neck. For example, do they use a C or D profile, which makes guitars easier to play for most people, or do they use a baseball-like shape that some vintage players prefer? Is the neck thickness within an acceptable range for most people?

These aren't the only things we evaluate. As we said, we have over 40 different criteria items that our algorithm takes into account. We did this for all the 1663 guitars in our database and these were the results.

But that's not all we have. Below we will show more interesting data you might want to check out.

Why do Fender, Gibson and PRS Have Low Scores? Are They No Longer Good?

Something that might catch the attention of many guitarists is how low Gibson, PRS, and Fender tend to score compared to other brands. They are often considered the most prestigious and expensive brands, so why such low scores?

The reason is because they produce guitars that aim towards a mature market looking for more "vintage" style guitars. Since these brands tend to satisfy this part of the market, most of their guitars ignore modern features like multi-switching options, stainless steel frets, locking tuners, and more. Many are also more difficult to play because older necks are often thicker than modern necks.

Many vintage guitarists dislike modern features and are always looking for that old feeling, which leads to these brands building models that satisfy these needs. Even though they still can be high-quality instruments, they are at a disadvantage here. Our algorithm gives a lot of importance to modern features because we consider it the best way to score guitars objectively. We can't put a score to the "vintage tone" or the "vintage feel, but we can evaluate how up-to-date their technology is. So if you love old guitars, don't hesitate to buy a guitar from one of these brands. They're making instruments for your style.

Which Guitar Brand Offers The Best Value For The Money?

Only taking into account the best about a guitar is not fair enough if you don't take into account the price. That's why we developed a way of understanding how much you get for the money you pay.

For this, we've created another 1-to-100 scoring system called "value for the money". To calculate this, we take into account the overall score of a guitar and we add or reduce points according to how high the listing price is.

The highest the score, the more you get for your money. When it comes to value, the best scoring brand is Harley Benton.

  1. 1. Harley Benton 80.9
  2. 2. Schecter 77.8
  3. 3. Fender Squier 77.7
  4. 4. Cort 76.8
  5. 5. Solar 76.8
  6. 6. Kramer 76.4
  7. 7. ESP LTD 76.4
  8. 8. Jackson 75.4
  9. 9. Yamaha 75.3
  10. 10. Sterling 74.7
  11. 11. Epiphone 74.5
  12. 12. Ibanez 74.3
  13. 13. Charvel 74.2
  14. 14. Dean 73.7
  15. 15. Sire 72.6
  16. 16. Reverend 72.4
  17. 17. ESP E-II 71.2
  18. 18. Fender 70.5
  19. 19. PRS 69
  20. 20. Washburn 67.8
  21. 21. Gretsch 65.2
  22. 22. Gibson 65
  23. 23. ESP 64.8
  24. 24. Music Man 64.8

Best Value Guitar: Harley Benton Fusion-III HH FR EB

Harley Benton Fusion-III HH FR EB
Playability 77
Sound 80
Build quality 73
Value for money 87
Overall Score 77
  • From Harley Benton's 2021 Pro series
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Flame Maple Veneer top
  • Nyatoh body
  • Maple neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Roswell HAF-B Alnico-5 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Roswell HAF-N Alnico-5 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Floyd Rose bridge
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Harley Benton Modern C Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Medium Jumbo Stainless Steel frets
  • Grover GH305 6L tuners
  • Retainer bar
Array

What Brand is the Best for Beginners?

There are indeed some features that might make things harder for a beginner, while there are others that can make their learning process a lot easier. Because of this, we also take into account the beginner-friendly traits that each electric guitar has.

It's recommended for beginners to choose a guitar with a bridge that is easy to set up, a comfortable body and neck, good tuning stability, easy-to-press frets, short scale, and more. We take all of this into account to score the guitars from 1 to 100 in the beginner-friendliness department.

Even though these are the recommended brands for new guitar players, we still recommend you to look for the specific review of the guitar you want. We provide the beginner-friendliness score of every guitar in their dedicated review.

With all this data, we found that the most beginner-friendly brand is Sire.

  1. 1. Sire 85.7
  2. 2. Charvel 75.4
  3. 3. Fender Squier 72.5
  4. 4. Epiphone 72.2
  5. 5. Reverend 72
  6. 6. Fender 71
  7. 7. Yamaha 70.5
  8. 8. Gibson 68.8
  9. 9. Cort 68.2
  10. 10. Music Man 68.1
  11. 11. Sterling 67.6
  12. 12. Harley Benton 67
  13. 13. PRS 65.7
  14. 14. Schecter 64.7
  15. 15. Jackson 64
  16. 16. Ibanez 62.4
  17. 17. Solar 58.4
  18. 18. ESP E-II 54.9
  19. 19. Gretsch 54.4
  20. 20. Dean 54.1
  21. 21. ESP 53.8
  22. 22. ESP LTD 52.9
  23. 23. Kramer 52.1
  24. 24. Washburn 51.7

Best Guitar for Beginners: Schecter Solo-II SLS Elite Evil Twin

Schecter Solo-II SLS Elite Evil Twin
Playability 85
Sound 79
Build quality 81
Value for money 82
Overall Score 82
  • From Schecter's 2022 SLS Elite series
  • Made in South Korea
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 12" to 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Swamp Ash body
  • Maple/Walnut/Padauk Multi-ply w/ Carbon Fiber Reinforcement Rods neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fishman Fluence Modern Ceramic (Humbucker/Active)
  • Neck pickup: Fishman Fluence Modern Alnico (Humbucker/Active)
  • TonePros T3BT TOM & T1Z Tailpiece bridge
  • 2 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Ultra Thin C Neck-Through neck
  • 24 XL Jumbo Stainless Steel frets
  • Schecter Locking tuners
Array

Best Brands for Every Genre

If you're looking for a guitar to play a specific music genre, here are the brands we recommend. Bear in mind that you can still use almost any guitar to play any kind of music, but some models tend to be popular for different music. For example, SSS Stratocasters for Funk, Hollow-Bodies for Jazz, Active pickups for Heavy Metal, and so on. With this in mind, here are our results.

Note: You'll notice that some brands are missing for some genres. This is because they are not producing enough models for us to get a reliable average score for the genre, so we didn't include them.

Best Brands for Playing Hard Rock

  1. 1. ESP E-II 81
  2. 2. ESP 80.2
  3. 3. Music Man 78
  4. 4. Charvel 77
  5. 5. Solar 76.5
  6. 6. Schecter 75.8
  7. 7. Jackson 75
  8. 8. Ibanez 74.6
  9. 9. Reverend 74.5
  10. 10. Gibson 73.7
  11. 11. ESP LTD 73.4
  12. 12. PRS 73
  13. 13. Fender 72.5
  14. 14. Dean 72.5
  15. 15. Washburn 71.7
  16. 16. Gretsch 71.1
  17. 17. Yamaha 70.7
  18. 18. Harley Benton 70.4
  19. 19. Sterling 70.2
  20. 20. Kramer 70
  21. 21. Cort 69.5
  22. 22. Epiphone 68.8
  23. 23. Fender Squier 66.7

Best Hard Rock Guitar: Jackson USA Signature Chris Broderick Soloist 6

Jackson USA Signature Chris Broderick Soloist 6
Playability 83
Sound 78
Build quality 86
Value for money 67
Overall Score 82
  • From Jackson's 2016 Artist Signature series
  • Chris Broderick Signature
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • 1/8 Plain Maple top
  • Mahogany body
  • Quartersawn Maple neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Direct Mount Chris Broderick Designed Custom DiMarzio (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Direct Mount Chris Broderick Designed Custom DiMarzio (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Floyd Rose Pro (Recessed) bridge
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Jackson Standard Neck-Through neck
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Planet Waves Auto-Trim tuners
Array

Best Brands for Playing Heavy Metal

  1. 1. ESP E-II 80.1
  2. 2. ESP 79.4
  3. 3. Schecter 77
  4. 4. Solar 76.4
  5. 5. Jackson 76.3
  6. 6. Dean 76.3
  7. 7. ESP LTD 75.8
  8. 8. Ibanez 75.4
  9. 9. Sterling 71.4
  10. 10. Harley Benton 71.3

Best Heavy Metal Guitar: ESP E-II Horizon FR-II

ESP E-II Horizon FR-II
Playability 83
Sound 84
Build quality 86
Value for money 74
Overall Score 84
  • From ESP E-II's 2021 Horizon series
  • Made in Japan
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Quilted Maple top
  • Mahogany body
  • 3pc Maple neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: EMG 57TW (Humbucker/Active)
  • Neck pickup: EMG 66TW (Humbucker/Active)
  • Floyd Rose Original bridge
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Thin U Neck-Through neck
  • 24 XL Jumbo frets
  • Gotoh Locking tuners
  • Retainer bar
Array

Best Brands for Playing Jazz

  1. 1. PRS 72.8
  2. 2. Gretsch 72.3
  3. 3. Gibson 72.3
  4. 4. Fender 72.2
  5. 5. Epiphone 66.4
  6. 6. Harley Benton 66
  7. 7. Ibanez 65.5

Best Jazz Guitar: Gretsch G6120T-BSSMK Brian Setzer Signature Nashville

Gretsch G6120T-BSSMK Brian Setzer Signature Nashville
Playability 75
Sound 76
Build quality 85
Value for money 64
Overall Score 79
  • From Gretsch's 2019 Artist Signature Edition series
  • Brian Setzer Signature
  • Made in Japan
  • 6 strings
  • 24.6"'' scale
  • 9.5" to 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Arched Laminated Maple top
  • Laminated Maple body
  • Maple neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Gretsch TV Jones Ray Butts Ful-Fidelity (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Gretsch TV Jones Ray Butts Ful-Fidelity (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Bigsby B6CGH bridge
  • 3 volume Speed knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Vintage V Set neck
  • 22 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Gotoh Locking tuners
Array

Best Brands for Playing Blues

  1. 1. Ibanez 77
  2. 2. PRS 72.9
  3. 3. Gibson 71.8
  4. 4. Fender 71.4

Best Blues Guitar: Ibanez AZS2200Q Prestige

Ibanez AZS2200Q Prestige
Playability 77
Sound 80
Build quality 86
Value for money 71
Overall Score 81
  • From Ibanez's 2021 AZS series
  • Made in Japan
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Quilted Maple top
  • Alder body
  • Roasted Maple neck
  • Roasted Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro Custom (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Seymour Duncan Magic Touch-mini (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Gotoh T1802 Tremolo bridge
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • AZ Oval C Bolt-On neck
  • 22 Jumbo Stainless Steel frets
  • Gotoh Magnum Lock machine heads w/H.A.P. tuners
Array

Best Brands for Playing Funk

  1. 1. Fender 71.7
  2. 2. Fender Squier 67.1
  3. 3. Harley Benton 67.1

Best Funk Guitar: Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster

Fender American Ultra Luxe Stratocaster
Playability 73
Sound 80
Build quality 86
Value for money 70
Overall Score 80
  • From Fender's 2021 American Ultra series
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 10" to 14" Fretboard Radius
  • Ash body
  • Maple neck
  • Maple fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Middle pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Fender Ultra Noiseless Vintage Strat (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 2-Point Deluxe Synchronized Tremolo with Pop-In Arm bridge
  • 1 volume and 2 tone Bell knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • Augmented “D” Bolt-On neck
  • 22 Medium Jumbo Stainless Steel frets
  • Deluxe Cast/Sealed Locking tuners
Array

Best Brands for Playing Country Music

  1. 1. Fender 71.1
  2. 2. Fender Squier 68.1
  3. 3. Harley Benton 66.3

Best Country Guitar: Ibanez TQMS1

Ibanez TQMS1
Playability 77
Sound 80
Build quality 90
Value for money 72
Overall Score 82
  • From Ibanez's 2022 TQM series
  • Tom Quayle Signature
  • Made in Japan
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 9" to 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Maple(4mm) top
  • Alder body
  • 1pc Roasted Maple neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro Custom (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Seymour Duncan Magic Touch-mini (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Gotoh T1802 Tremolo bridge
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • AZ Oval C Bolt-On neck
  • 22 Jumbo Stainless Steel frets
  • Gotoh Magnum Lock machine heads w/H.A.P. tuners
Array

What Brand Makes the Best Extended Range Guitars?

Here are the top brands to choose from when looking for a baritone guitar (scale length longer than 25.5'') or with more than six strings.

  1. 1. ESP E-II 79.3
  2. 2. Jackson 76.3
  3. 3. Solar 75.6
  4. 4. Schecter 75.4
  5. 5. Ibanez 74.8
  6. 6. ESP LTD 74.4
  7. 7. Sterling 71.4
  8. 8. Harley Benton 69.3
  9. 9. Gretsch 68.4

Best Extended Range Guitar: Jackson USA Signature Chris Broderick Soloist 7

Jackson USA Signature Chris Broderick Soloist 7
Playability 80
Sound 78
Build quality 86
Value for money 66
Overall Score 81
  • From Jackson's 2016 Artist Signature series
  • Chris Broderick Signature
  • Made in United States
  • 7 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • 1/8 Quilt Maple top
  • Mahogany body
  • Quartersawn Maple neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Direct Mount Chris Broderick Designed Custom DiMarzio (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Direct Mount Chris Broderick Designed Custom DiMarzio (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Floyd Rose Pro (Recessed) bridge
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Jackson Standard Neck-Through neck
  • 24 Jumbo frets
  • Planet Waves Auto-Trim tuners
Array

What Countries Are Producing Most Guitars in 2022?

China was the most popular country for making guitars just a few years back. Our data shows that things have changed:

  1. 1. Indonesia 749
  2. 2. United States 229
  3. 3. China 208
  4. 4. South Korea 189
  5. 5. Japan 189
  6. 6. Mexico 105
  7. 7. India 21
  8. 8. Vietnam 8

The reason might be that Indonesia provides a better price/quality relationship. However, we also believe that this was a good way for brands to wash away the bad reputation of Chinese products. Even though they've proven for years that they can produce high-quality instruments, many people still believe Chinese products are of low quality.

Where Does Each Brand Produces its Electric Guitars?

Below we list each brand's countries of choice for manufacturing and how many of their models are produced there in 2022.

ESP E-II

  1. 1. Japan 33

ESP

  1. 1. Japan 36

Music Man

  1. 1. United States 30

Charvel

  1. 1. Mexico 35
  2. 2. United States 15

Solar

  1. 1. Indonesia 106

Schecter

  1. 1. South Korea 119
  2. 2. Indonesia 65
  3. 3. China 8
  4. 4. United States 7

Jackson

  1. 1. Indonesia 78
  2. 2. China 33
  3. 3. United States 28
  4. 4. South Korea 5

ESP LTD

  1. 1. Indonesia 161

Reverend

  1. 1. South Korea 50

Ibanez

  1. 1. Indonesia 96
  2. 2. Japan 52
  3. 3. China 23

Gibson

  1. 1. United States 44

PRS

  1. 1. United States 34
  2. 2. Indonesia 24

Dean

  1. 1. Indonesia 35
  2. 2. India 21
  3. 3. United States 14
  4. 4. South Korea 10
  5. 5. China 6

Washburn

  1. 1. United States 8
  2. 2. Indonesia 7

Gretsch

  1. 1. Japan 54
  2. 2. China 19
  3. 3. Indonesia 10

Fender

  1. 1. Mexico 69
  2. 2. United States 47
  3. 3. Japan 6

Yamaha

  1. 1. Indonesia 14

Sterling

  1. 1. Indonesia 32

Kramer

  1. 1. Indonesia 14

Harley Benton

  1. 1. China 51
  2. 2. Indonesia 48
  3. 3. Vietnam 8

Cort

  1. 1. Indonesia 28

Epiphone

  1. 1. China 40

Sire

  1. 1. Indonesia 7

Fender Squier

  1. 1. Indonesia 20
  2. 2. China 20

That's it for now. You might also like reading about the most popular pickups found in these guitars. Alternatively, you can explore all the 1663 guitars in our database. Or, you can go to our search page to find and compare specific models you're interested in.