Whether you are seeking your first guitar or just wish to upgrade, finding the perfect guitar for your unique needs can be quite tricky. Breathe easy; Dunia Ka Gyan has ways to make it easier for you. Join us as we look at the best guitar brands available globally. From high-end to affordable options, let us help you with the process.
You have a wide range of options with varied prices, makes, and intended purposes. And there’s always a choice between the staple brands or new upcoming manufacturers. Depending on your budget, there’s always a jazz guitar available for you.
Besides walking you through the guitar brands, we also suggest a model from each brand to broaden your choices. The idea is to allow you to choose the perfect instrument for your musical journeys. Just read on to be in the know.
10 Best Guitar Brands
As the leading brand in instrumental music, Ibanez deals in varied effects, pedals, amplifiers, and instruments. Recognized for the solid-body instruments used by artists like Paul Gilbert, Steve Vai, etc, the brand also produces beautiful hollow and semi-hollow guitars. A lot of jazz musicians flaunt these guitars as they come in varied sizes, prices, and styles.
The Ibanez John Scofield (JSM) models are the most versatile in the Ibanez armory. You can use them to switch between varied genres with ease while maintaining the classic jazz tone. The series include semi-hollow body instruments that are highly liked because of their sound block within the instruments and a nice sturdy top. Ibanez has a classic half-brass and bone nut that provides perfect harmony between lows and highs.
The JSM100 model from the Scofield series sits at a higher price point. However, the JSM10 and JSM20 models are apt for entry-level artists, as they are relatively cheaper. The George Benson GB10 is the best guitar by Ibanez and one of its best-selling models of all time. It was sculpted and customized to his specifications with levitating special pickups that rest on the top of the guitar body. The pickups help create a beautiful and warm tone with a gorgeous ebony neck. The instrument is a perfect jazz guitar and can sustain for quite some time. Benson’s model is a well-sculpted instrument, with the best quality wood and a large archtop.
You can also check out the Ibanez JSM100VT John Scofield Signature Electric Guitar, which has a maple base structure, medium-sized frets, and a JSM Prestige neck.
One of the top guitar brands, Gibson is credited with many iconic instruments. It boasts of a 100-year history of sculpting staple jazz guitars. The brand remains the first choice among jazz musicians with varied abilities who seek the quintessential tone. The guitars have been used by various famous artists over time, such as, but not limited to, Barney Kessel and Johnny Smith.
Gibson produces a huge variety of guitars with many models and influential instruments. We have handpicked two of the best models, the Gibson ES-175 and Gibson L-5, for your unique musical journey. The ES-175 was introduced in 1949 and has a 16-inches laminated body with humbucker pickups and a sharp cutaway. Since the guitar produces a clear and warm tone due to its comparatively smaller stature, it is comfortable to handle.
You associate the ES-175 with musicians like Jim Hall and Joe Pass. The L-5 model is an archtop guitar, introduced in 1922 and became popular because of Wes Montgomery in the 1960s. This instrument, despite its heavy price, is a dream for many artists. It is a premium piece with a beautiful 17-inch body and produces a gorgeous warm tone at par with its looks.
3. Trenier Guitars
Trenier Guitars is a vision of Bryant Trenier, an arch-top guitar sculptor based in southern France. Inspired by James D’Aquisto and John D’Angelico, two great luthiers in the 20th century, Bryant restores, maintains as well as crafts gorgeous, one-of-a-kind traditional archtops that are strikingly similar to the ones crafted by the two famous luthiers.
Trenier believes in creating gorgeous-sounding instruments, rather than focusing on the looks. He procures perfectly honed instruments since he is an amazing musician himself. Despite his focus on sculpting perfect-sounding instruments, his guitars are still a sight to behold.
His ‘Modello Pasquale Grasso’ is one of the masterpieces, sculpted with the specifications of a jazz guitarist, Pasquale Grasso. The instrument ensures easy access to the higher reaches and creates a tonal balance among the fretted notes and open strings. There is also an additional zero fret with a single-coil pickup reminiscent of the Charlie Christian style.
Because of the quality and craftsmanship of his guitars, they come with a hefty price tag and a long waiting list. In fact, you might have to wait quite sometime before getting your hands on your Trenier masterpiece.
4. Eastman Guitars
Using traditional techniques like precision tap-tuning and hand-scalloped bracing, Eastman makes a huge variety of instruments for an equally varied range of genres, including jazz. The Eastman guitars come in a vast range of finishes to suit every need. They are not just visually stunning but deliver a great musical as well. With a tradition of craftsmanship, Eastman Guitars is one of the top 10 guitar brands globally.
The brand is endorsed by famous jazz guitarists like Frank Vignola and John Pisano. Their archtop guitars are almost at par in look and feel, as well as the quintessential jazz tones. Also, these guitars are available at a relatively low price tag.
Even though the brand produces a vast range of guitar models, their AR910CE model is one of the most beautiful instruments with a floating pickup and a fully carved archtop. Another one of their popular instruments is the AR372CE model, which is reminiscent of the Gibson ES-175. With a low guitar price, both are easy on your pocket.
Since 1873, the brand has been one of the oldest instrument sculptors in America, popular for instruments sculpted for the big band swing. The huge acoustic archtop guitars helped Epiphone achieve popularity. The brand has been under Gibson since the 1950s and is currently a sister company under the brand.
The arrangement allows Epiphone to provide a variety of economical versions of the staple Gibson guitars, as well as assimilate their range of beautiful and affordable range of archtops and semi-hollow instruments. Epiphone is the perfect brand for new musicians seeking a classic and vintage feel.
The Epiphone Casino is a semi-hollow, thin-line instrument ideal for an entry-level musician and is reminiscent of Gibson’s ES-330. The model suits jazz and blues musicians and is quite comfortable to work with due to its smaller dimensions. Another notable model is the Broadway model, which was first issued in 1931. It is legendary for its huge hollow body, and classic feel, and is perfect as a first archtop purchase.
Next on the list of the top 10 guitar brands is Heritage. The brand was introduced by Gibson employees in 1985. The founders wanted to continue with the tradition of sculpting high-quality instruments by hand. This decision was taken in light of Gibson moving out of its original factory.
The brand specializes in the amalgamation of innovative features with varied traditional sculpting techniques to create beautiful and sturdy instruments. The brand is famous for providing a classic jazz feel, yet staying different from Gibson. Even though the brand is not as popular as Gibson, these best guitars are exquisitely crafted. They are sturdy instruments perfect for any musician who intends to pursue the art. That’s why they consider Heritage one of the high-end instrument manufacturers.
The Eagle Classic model of Heritage is one of its popular models featuring a carved top with a modern construction while retaining the traditional feel. This beautifully harmonized instrument consists of mounted humbuckers like the 1960 models of Gibson.
D’Angelico was reinstated in the 2000s, and the brand primarily focuses on crafting gorgeous instruments that are inspired by the original pieces. John D’Angelico and James D’Aquisto were some of the best luthiers in the 20th century, and the brand intends to provide authentic pieces with perfect quality at economical prices.
The brand is equally popular among entry-level musicians and popular artists. That’s because of its quality and its similarity to the vintage D’Angelico guitars, which makes it historically relevant.
One of the popular models currently being produced by the brand is The D’Angelico Premier EXL-1. It features John D’Angelico’s authentic design with his staple headstock and the “infamous” stairstep tailpiece. The model showcases a gorgeously balanced tone and a floating mini-humbucker to enhance the overall vintage wood theme.
Since 1968, Benedetto has been a US-based brand specializing in arch-top jazz guitars. The brand operates from Savannah, Georgia, and boasts of its premium craftsmen and the absolute quality of instruments. It provides striking instruments for professional customers and also caters to entry-level musicians.
The brand was a vision of Robert Benedetto, one of the best luthiers to ever exist, after D’Angelico and D’Aquisto. The founder is one of the first people to specialize in crafting archtop guitars. Due to the historic relevance of the brand, it also manufactures collectibles and the world’s most expensive and best guitars. Currently maintained by Damon Mailand, who himself is a master luthier, the brand prides itself on having a reputation as one of the 10 guitar brands in the world.
The most popular Benedetto model has to be Manhattan, a masterpiece in terms of design and quality. The model is an archtop guitar featuring a 17-inch body with a floating pickup. As one of the finest handcrafted instruments, it also comes with a hefty price tag. If you are willing to pay a higher guitar price, this could be an ideal option.
Peerless also specializes in archtops, but at an economical price range. The brand initially was a sculpting brand, busy providing Epiphone and Ibanez archtops in Korea. Eventually, it separated itself and started to craft instruments under its original name.
The brand is the best option for students given its wallet-friendly prices in comparison to other brands. Peerless provides beautifully crafted archtops that are at par with the other brands when it comes to quality.
The most popular model by the brand is Cremona, which comes with a 17-inch carved maple top, and features a mounted humbucker pickup. Built similarly to the Gibson L-5, this model is one of the best guitars in its category. It’s affordable and provides the same premium feel without compromising on quality and tone.
Roger Sadowsky is one of the best craftsmen when it comes to making industry-level professional instruments. He specializes in not only creating jazz guitars but also is proficient in sculpting electric basses. An array of famous artists, such as John Abercrombie, Jim Hall, and Pat Metheny relied on Sadowsky’s archtop instruments. Sadowsky has special abilities in creating high-performance, sturdy and economical instruments. The best guitars provide amazing quality, making them apt for onstage performances with amplified tones.
The most popular Sadowsky model is the Jim Hall. They customized the model to the specifications of the master guitarist, Jim Hall. It was optimized by precise prototyping over the years to create a perfect model. The model comes with a 16-inches body while featuring a vintage PAF style pickup and was perfectly sculpted to meet the requirements of Jim Hall.
There are various other brands available globally that can provide superior yet cost-effective instruments. But if you want the best guitars on the market, then our list of top 10 guitar brands in the world could help your cause. These brands have some historical relevance and exceptional craftsmanship gained over years of toil.
Many brands like Seagull, PRS, and Jackson are also amazing options to look into. While the above-mentioned guitar brands are apt for acoustic and instrumental music, there are still a huge variety of genres that can be explored through other brands and models.
So, that was our take on the best guitar brands out there.
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