Best & Worst Guitar Brand 2020 (with Ranking)

So you have been playing guitar for a while. You are listening to your favorite band and wondering what guitar your favorite artist might be using. Are they using the best guitar brand? Or are they using a guitar that’s suitable for them?  We all love guitar, but this article focuses on the best of the best. Today we will compare the best guitar brands and find out the best of best brands in 2020. Remember, guys, just because your favorite guitar brand is below, it does not mean it is not good enough. It simply means the other brands had a small edge over it.

Best & worst guitar brand

Best & Worst Guitar Brand 2020 Details

1. Gibson (89/100):

Gibson Brands, Inc. is an American instrument manufacturer. This hundred-year-old company took over the household name for electric guitars during the ’50s by their legendary design Gibson Les Paul. Gibson also made the first hollow body electric guitars. But even in this era, Gibson is still rocking in the guitar industry with their modern models like Flying V, J-200, The Gibson SG, and ES-335.

Gibson makes the high-end electric guitar used by a number of bands like Guns N Roses, Metallica, Steve Clarke, Bob Marley, AC/DC and Black Sabbath, etc. Gibson guitars can be the key to an outstanding guitar performance at any rock concert. Gibson guitars are famous for being flexible when it comes to genre. Gibson ES-355 and Les Paul go perfectly with electric blues, rock, and R&B. The flying V and Gibson Explorer are absolutely favorite for some heavy metal fans.

Gibson fabricated itself with an outstanding reputation. Their zero-compromise instruments are partnered with many world-class musicians, artists, and bands. Truly they outstand every brand that stood in their way.

2. C.F. Martin & Company (88/100):

C.F Martin and Company were established in 1833 by Christian Frederick Martin. Martin is almost a 200-year-old company. Martin produced high-end acoustic guitar, which is to become one of the biggest names in the industry. The secret ingredient to its innovation in acoustic guitars was moving away from the commonly used Spanish flavor.

Many world-class musicians prefer the unique sound created by Martin & Co. But most notably, Ed Sheeran, The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, and The Lumineers use martin guitar to create their brilliant melodies.

Martin guitars are not so expensive. It is the perfect choice for beginners and intermediate players because of their inexpensiveness yet high-quality built. But Martin does make top-of-the-line costly models which can cost more than $2,000. You absolutely must try Martin’s new 17 series.

Martin guitars always come with the best in-stock selection. Martin is also famous for its exclusive and custom models. They use a hand selection of materials for the custom instrument. You can surely get the product you expect from a 200-year-old brand.

3. Fender (87/100):

Fender is a 74-year-old brand that’s started with making amps and stringed instruments. To many Musicians, Fender is the first name that comes to mind when they hear the word guitar. Fender is among the top-dogs in the industry. They have drawn immense popularity all over the world because of their charismatic models.

The game-changer from Fender was their super popular model from the Stratocaster and Telecaster series. Multiple guitar brands outshine Fender when it comes to playability. But it’s their groundbreaking original and authentic rock tones that keep Fender top of the list. Because of its elasticity in creativity yet authentic rocky sound led many world-class musicians like Eric Clapton, Ritchie Blackmore, David Gilmour, George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, etc. to use Stratocaster in their music. Many iconic guitar solos and riffs were played on the Fender; it really shows how fantastic the brand is.

Like I said before, Fender is very elastic when it comes to music tone. The Telecaster and Stratocaster sound perfect for the country, Electric blues, Heavy metal, Rock, and even R & B.

4. Yamaha (80/100):

Yamaha is a 130-year-old Japanese brand that started with making piano. After gaining immense popularity, they shifted their direction to guitars. Yamaha’s first guitar was constructed in the 1940s. Yamaha produces fantastic quality yet affordable beginner instruments. Yes, Yamaha does make high-end guitars, but they are famous for their consumer-grade guitars.

Yamaha started constructing solid-body guitars in 1966, which was named Solid Guitar or SG for short. That same guitar was followed by two successions in the following decade.

The absolute game changer for Yamaha guitars was the RGZ and the RGX series. The top competitor for Yamaha was another Japanese brand called the Ibanez. The competition resulted in three-decade of top-rated guitars.

Because of Yamaha’s musical education involvement, Yamaha became one of the most successful acoustic bands for learners.

5. Taylor (79/100):

Taylor is a 40-year-old guitar brand. Taylor specializes in manufacturing world-class quality acoustic guitars. It is the number one seller for acoustic guitars in America. Taylor makes the best mid-priced brand available in the market.

Taylors do make electric guitars. But they are mostly famous for their innovative, premium-grade acoustic guitars. They use exotic tonewoods and aims for zero compromises when it comes to building quality. They always maintain their traditional craftsmanship that led the brand to produce many. Many and many signature models.

Taylor claims its new V-Class bracing system is a crucial advancement in the design of the acoustic guitar. The original method gives their guitar more sustain, volume and tuning stability.

Even with everything, not the priciest, the expensive high-end acoustic guitar comes close to Taylor. Taylor is the definition of a low-budget high-end instrument.  Taylor guitars come with professional design and are very sturdy.

6. Epiphone (77/100):

Epiphone is an American brand, established in 1873. This 140-year-old guitar brand makes one of the top-graded instruments in the music industry. Epiphones are the leaders of innovation. They will never give a second thought when it comes to taking risks while pursuing excellence.

As Epiphone is now owned by Gibson, they can use Gibson’s design to make a lower-priced version of high-end Gibson guitars. So if you cannot spend thousands of dollars on a Gibson, you can pick one of the Epiphones version of that guitar for a fraction of the price.

Epiphone guitars are reasonably priced, have professional and amateur qualities, and have some influences from the Gibson. Some of their best models are Casino, Sheraton and Sheraton II, and Les Paul. Epiphones, despite being cheap they can rival higher-priced guitars.

7. Ibanez (76/100):

Ibanez is a Japanese guitar brand founded in 1957 by Hoshino Gakki. Ibanez has more than 300 electric guitars, 130 acoustic guitars, and 165 models of bass guitars. During their initial period, they faced some problems with the Fender and the Gibson for making copies of their design. But they started their own project shortly while, with the iceman and Roadstar series.

Ibanez offers 2 main series. The Rg and S series. The RG guitars have 24fret, and the S series comes in thinner size but 22 frets. Ibanez is very famous for its floating tremolo. Ibanez also produces many signature guitars like JEM and Universe with Steve Vai, Joe Satriani JS series, and the K7 with Head and Munky.

Ibanez offers an epic range of stock, excellent craftsmanship, low-priced instruments, Solid and hollow-bodied guitars. Their high-end guitars are just fantastic and perfect, to say the least.  

8. Paul Reed Smith (76/100):

Paul Reed Smith or PRS was founded in 1985 in Annapolis, Maryland, by master luthier Paul Reed Smith.  PRS broke the barrier when Carlos Santana joined with them. Their high-end guitars had little competition in the market.

 PRS always tries to stay exclusive and original. One of the small details is their fretboard inlays, The crescent moon, and birds. They always try to use top quality tonewoods and create exceptional designs. They use bleeding edge technology when it comes to pickups.

PRS also makes the most professional looking guitar with unmatched tremolos, nuts, tail bridges, and machine heads. By all these details, you can already tell, PRS does not compromise quality for value.

9. Dean (73/100):

Dean Guitars was founded in 1977 in Florida. Dean’s primary focus was Latin bands, which required stable but low-spec guitars. But later on, they started supplying famous bands like Triumph, Heart, and Kansas with a high-quality electric guitar.

Dean was purchased by Elliott Rubinson in 1955, which completely changed the brand’s blueprint. The company’s main focus was building heavy sounding, aggressive and progressive guitars. Slowly, big names like Dave Mustaine from Megadeth and Dimebag Darell from Pantera started to make deals with Dean.

Dean guitars are more specialized in metal guitars than your traditional guitar. It is the perfect choice for someone who is into the metal genre. Dean’s Ml classical guitar holds a sinister nature that fits ultra-high gain and loud basses. Dean has undoubtedly made some of the best guitars.

10. Jackson (70/100):

Jackson was founded in California by Grover Jackson in 1980. It is one of the brands that competed against Fender’s best guitar brand for the rocking title. But now, Jackson is owned by the same company. Jackson produces electric guitars and basses. They are highly famous with metal bands and players.

Jackson owned Charvel guitars in 1978, but in 1980 Randy Rhoads proposed creating his signature model. Then they created the super popular Flying V that skyrocketed the sales.

Many musicians use Jackson, including some big names like Gojira’s Christian Andreu, Hatebreed’s Chris Beattie, Machine Head’s Phil Demmel Marty Friedman, Megadeth’s David Ellefson, and Def Leppard’s Phil Collen, and others.

There are six complete Jackson series, including JS, X, Pro, Artist, USA, and Custom. They are all unique with different shapes, hardware, and specs.

Brand Vs Skill level

Even though guitar brands aim to make guitars for all types of players, some brands are the perfect fit for a particular skill group. The best guitar brands for beginners are Yamaha, Ibanez, Fender, Taylor, and Epiphone. The rest of the brands are more suitable for intermediate and professional players. 

So now you might have a question in your mind, Why are these brands suitable for beginners? I am here to answer that question. You see, Yamaha, Ibanez, Jackson, and Epiphone make budget and student-friendly guitars. They try to aim for the best quality with the cheapest budget.

For example, Epiphone is owned by Gibson. Gibson makes high-end, not so cheap guitars. Their Les Paul model is one of the best guitars out there. Since Gibson owns Epiphone, Epiphone can make the same model but at a significantly cheaper rate than the Gibson Les Paul. On the other hand, Paul Reed Smith is best known for its elegant and high-end custom signature guitars. Fender legendary models like the Stratocaster and the Telecaster are expensive, yet they can pull out an excellent performance.

Learn more about Best Yamaha Acoustic Guitar.

How do we rate brands? 

So you might ask, how did we rate the guitar brands? The answer is straightforward. We assigned a score based on a 100-scale point. Points were awarded in 7 categories, Woods, Neck, pickup, Body, Frets, visual, and reviews. With no further ado, let get right into it.

Wood

Tonewood makes the most difference when it comes to sound. Some tonewoods sound brighter, fuller, and darker than others. Factors like how dense the wood is, how hard the wood is, and how much wood affects the tone. There is nothing special about tonewood in the construction of a solid-bodied guitar. But it is significantly crucial to an acoustic guitar. We will award points based on the quality and purpose of their tonewoods. It is almost impossible to compare one tonewood with another. So we will focus on the delivery, and it’s the best fit.

Neck

What determines the best neck for a guitar? It is the shape, durability, neck joint, and wood. Again we will provide points based on the purpose. Wider necks allow more exaggerated vibrato without colliding with other strings, where a thin neck allows fast playing. The best neck will be considered, which is balanced yet compatible with multiple genres.

Pickups

Pickups allow your guitar to be heard. It is as essential as the guitar wood when it comes to electric guitar. There are three main types of pickups, single-coil, humbucker, and p90 pickups. All pickups fall under two classifications—active and passive pickup. We will focus on the architecture and their output reviews for awarding points.

Body

 A guitar body affects a lot when it comes to guitar tone. Though the two-dimensional figure does not affect the flavor, it is essential for high-note reachability. A guitar with a good cutaway can let you reach the highest notes, but it can change the guitar’s tone. Unusually the change is not very significant. So fair points would be awarded to a guitar brand that made the high-note accessible yet tone sounds perfect.

Frets

Fret is an integral part of the guitar. Fret determines scale length and accuracy. Some guitars have more frets, and some have less. More frets, the better. But it also has to be accessible and perfect. One of the important factors when it comes to the fretboard is the material used in a fretboard. The right fretboard wood plays a part in the feel and playability of the instrument.

Visual

You are paying a lot for an instrument. So you want your guitar to look good. There are a lot of guitars that sound nice but fail in the visual factor. When you are buying a guitar, your guitar should match your genre. Only the guitar that looks visually stunning will get the perfect score. Visual factors consist of color, shape, design, the headstock shape, and inlay.

Reviews

Our last factor is the reviews. However, a guitar can sound perfect in theory, but it really might not work in the real world. What matters are the reviews! A considerable portion of the score will be awarded based on the consumer’s review. Consumers also include artists and their worth. It means guitar brands that cost more than the output will lose points. This factor was added to stay on the right track and remove any sort of biased intel.

Guitar BrandWood (20)Neck(10)Pickups(15)Body(20)Frets(10)Visual(5)Review(20)Total(100)
Gibson16715161052089
Martin20101218841688
Fender19101315931887
Yamaha1771216931680
Taylor186919831679
Epiphone1961214731677
Ibanez1881215731376
PRS1891313641376
Dean1781312641373
Jackson1781210651270

Conclusion

That is all, folks! These are the top brands from best to worst. But as I said before, this is not absolute. Some Jackson guitars are better than some Ibanez, and some Ibanez guitars are better than some Gibson guitar. But we listed the brands based on their overall statistics and instruments. Do not get upset if our article did not favor your taste. It is merely an estimate of the overall performance. I hope our list of the best and worst guitar will help you in your adventure! Have fun, and keep rocking!

Further Reading

Different Parts of an Acoustic Guitar

The most common and widely reputed Acoustic Guitar is an essential musical instrument that produces music via its vibrating steel strings just above the hollow

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