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Best Cheap Guitars for Metal 2024: Top Picks for Budget Shredders

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Best Cheap Guitars for Metal: Quick List

Here’s a quick overview of our top 20 picks for the best cheap guitars for metal:

  1. Best Overall Budget Metal GuitarESP LTD EC-1000
  2. Best for VersatilityIbanez GRX70QASB Genesis
  3. Best 7-String Budget Option – PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN
  4. Best 8-String Budget OptionJackson X Series Soloist SLAT8
  5. Best Baritone Budget OptionChapman ML1 Baritone
  6. Best for ShreddingIbanez Standard RGA42FM
  7. Best Value for MoneyHarley Benton EX-84 Modern EMG
  8. Best for BeginnersJackson JS22 Dinky
  9. Best for Rock and MetalPRS SE Standard 24
  10. Best with P-90sEpiphone SG Special P-90
  11. Best Offset Budget GuitarSquier Classic Vibe ’60s Jazzmaster
  12. Best Single-Cut Budget GuitarGretsch G5220 Electromatic Jet BT
  13. Best for Heavy TonesSchecter C-7 Deluxe
  14. Best Budget BaritoneSquier Paranormal Baritone Cabronita Telecaster
  15. Best Signature ModelESP LTD Stephen Carpenter Signature SC-607 Baritone
  16. Best Flying VJackson JS Series King V
  17. Best for Classic MetalJackson X Series Rhoads RRX24
  18. Best for High-Gain TonesEVH Wolfgang Standard
  19. Best Budget Telecaster for MetalCharvel Pro-Mod Joe Duplantier San Dimas Style 2
  20. Best for SustainIbanez Iron Label RGA42FM

Best Overall Budget Metal Guitar

Having played the ESP LTD EC-1000, I can attest to its exceptional build quality and sound. The EMG pickups deliver a powerful and clear tone, perfect for heavy riffs and solos. The neck is smooth and fast, making it ideal for shredding. However, its weight might be a downside for some players, and the active pickups mean you’ll need to keep spare batteries on hand.

Specifications

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Pickups: EMG 81/60 Active Humbuckers
  • Bridge: TonePros Locking TOM

Reasons to Buy

  • High-quality active pickups perfect for metal
  • Comfortable neck for fast playing
  • Excellent build quality

Reasons to Avoid

  • Heavier than some other models
  • Active pickups require a battery

Best for Versatility

The Ibanez GRX70QASB Genesis stands out for its versatility. The combination of humbuckers and a single-coil pickup offers a wide range of tones, making it suitable for various metal subgenres. The Edge Tremolo system is reliable and stays in tune even with heavy use. While the basswood body might not provide the same resonance as mahogany, it’s still a solid choice for metal.

Specifications

  • Body: Basswood
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Maple
  • Pickups: V7/V8 humbuckers, S1 single-coil
  • Bridge: Edge Tremolo

Reasons to Buy

  • Versatile pickup configuration
  • Reliable tremolo system
  • Slim neck profile for fast playing

Reasons to Avoid

  • Basswood body may not be as resonant as other woods
  • Middle single-coil can be noisy

Best 7-String Budget Option

The PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN is a fantastic 7-string guitar for metal players on a budget. The additional string allows for lower tunings and a wider range. The Seymour Duncan pickups provide a clear and aggressive tone, and the neck is comfortable for fast playing. Its weight can be a drawback, but the sound and playability make it worth considering.

Specifications

  • Body: Mahogany with maple veneer
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Pickups: Seymour Duncan Alpha/Omega humbuckers
  • Bridge: PRS Plate Style

Reasons to Buy

  • Extra string for extended range
  • High-quality pickups
  • Comfortable neck profile

Reasons to Avoid

  • Heavier than standard guitars
  • Limited color options

Best 8-String Budget Option

For those looking to venture into 8-string territory, the Jackson X Series Soloist SLAT8 is an excellent budget option. It’s well-constructed and the pickups deliver a robust sound suitable for metal. While the basswood body may not be as resonant as other materials, and the fixed bridge could be a limitation, it remains a solid choice for expanding your range.

Specifications

  • Body: Basswood
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Pickups: Duncan Designed HB-108B humbuckers
  • Bridge: Fixed

Reasons to Buy

  • Extra strings for a broader range
  • Solid construction
  • Affordable for an 8-string guitar

Reasons to Avoid

  • Basswood body might lack resonance
  • Fixed bridge limits some playing styles

Best Baritone Budget Option

5. Chapman ML1 Baritone

The Chapman ML1 Baritone is designed for lower tunings, making it ideal for metal. The longer scale length ensures tight and clear low notes. The Chapman Sonorous pickups provide a powerful tone, and the neck is comfortable for extended playing sessions. Its weight and specific design might not suit everyone, but it’s perfect for those looking to delve into baritone guitars.

Specifications

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Pickups: Chapman Sonorous humbuckers
  • Bridge: Hipshot

Reasons to Buy

  • Longer scale length for lower tunings
  • High-quality pickups
  • Comfortable neck

Reasons to Avoid

  • Heavier than standard guitars
  • Limited to specific playing styles

Best for Shredding

The Ibanez Standard RGA42FM is a shredder’s dream. Its slim neck profile allows for quick and smooth playing, and the Quantum pickups provide a high-output sound perfect for metal. The fixed bridge ensures tuning stability, though it might not be ideal for those who prefer tremolo systems. Its flame maple top gives it a visually stunning finish.

Specifications

  • Body: Mahogany with flame maple top
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Jatoba
  • Pickups: Quantum humbuckers
  • Bridge: Fixed

Reasons to Buy

  • Slim neck profile for fast playing
  • High-output pickups
  • Attractive finish

Reasons to Avoid

  • Fixed bridge might not suit all players
  • Jatoba fingerboard may not appeal to everyone

Best Value for Money

7. Harley Benton EX-84 Modern EMG

The Harley Benton EX-84 Modern EMG offers outstanding value for money. It features high-quality EMG pickups that deliver a powerful metal tone. The mahogany body and maple neck provide solid construction, making it a durable choice. The need for a battery for the active pickups is a minor inconvenience, but overall, it’s a great buy for the price.

Specifications

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Pickups: EMG 81/60 Active Humbuckers
  • Bridge: Tune-O-Matic

Reasons to Buy

  • Exceptional value for the price
  • High-quality active pickups
  • Solid construction

Reasons to Avoid

  • Active pickups require a battery
  • Limited color options

Best for Beginners

The Jackson JS22 Dinky is perfect for beginners. It’s lightweight and comfortable, making it easy to play for extended periods. The high-output humbuckers provide a decent metal tone, and the two-point tremolo bridge offers additional playing versatility. While the poplar body and basic hardware might not be the best, it’s an excellent starter guitar.

Specifications

  • Body: Poplar
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Amaranth
  • Pickups: Jackson High-Output Humbuckers
  • Bridge: Two-Point Fulcrum Tremolo

Reasons to Buy

  • Affordable price
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Easy to play

Reasons to Avoid

  • Poplar body may not provide the best tone
  • Basic hardware

Best for Rock and Metal

This one holds a special place in my heart as it’s the guitar that I gig with EVERY weekend and it has never let me down. The PRS SE Standard 24 is versatile enough for both rock and metal. The 85/15 “S” humbuckers provide a range of tones, from clean to high-gain. The guitar’s build quality is excellent, and the neck is comfortable for various playing styles. Though it’s a bit pricier, its versatility and quality make it worth the investment.

Specifications

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Pickups: 85/15 “S” humbuckers
  • Bridge: PRS Patented Tremolo

Reasons to Buy

  • Versatile sound for both rock and metal
  • High-quality construction
  • Comfortable neck

Reasons to Avoid

  • Slightly more expensive than other options
  • May require setup adjustments

Best with P-90s

The Epiphone SG Special P-90 offers a unique tone with its P-90 pickups. The mahogany body and neck provide a warm and resonant sound. It’s lightweight and comfortable to play, and the classic SG design is timeless. However, the single-coil pickups can be a bit noisy, and they don’t offer the same output as humbuckers, but they still produce a great sound for metal.

Specifications

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Indian Laurel
  • Pickups: P-90 PRO Single-Coil
  • Bridge: LockTone Tune-O-Matic

Reasons to Buy

  • Unique P-90 tone
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Classic design

Reasons to Avoid

  • Single-coil pickups can be noisy
  • Not as high-output as humbuckers

Best Offset Budget Guitar

The Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Jazzmaster is a great offset guitar for metal. Its unique design sets it apart, and the Fender-designed pickups provide a versatile range of tones. It’s comfortable to play, though the single-coil pickups can be noisy, and the vintage tremolo system might require some tweaking. Overall, it’s a fantastic option for those looking for something different.

Specifications

  • Body: Poplar
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Indian Laurel
  • Pickups: Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil
  • Bridge: Vintage-Style Floating Tremolo

Reasons to Buy

  • Unique offset design
  • Versatile pickups
  • Comfortable to play

Reasons to Avoid

  • Single-coil pickups can be noisy
  • Vintage tremolo system may need adjustment

Best Single-Cut Budget Guitar

The Gretsch G5220 Electromatic Jet BT is an excellent single-cut guitar for metal. The mahogany body and neck offer solid construction, and the Broad’Tron humbuckers deliver a powerful tone. Its classic design is both attractive and functional, though it’s heavier than some other models and may have limited tonal versatility. Still, it’s a great choice for single-cut fans.

Specifications

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Black Walnut
  • Pickups: Black Top Broad’Tron Humbuckers
  • Bridge: Anchored Adjusto-Matic

Reasons to Buy

  • Solid construction
  • Great tone from Broad’Tron pickups
  • Classic single-cut design

Reasons to Avoid

  • Heavier than other models
  • Limited tonal versatility

Best for Heavy Tones

The Schecter C-7 Deluxe is perfect for heavy tones. Its 7-string configuration allows for lower tunings, and the Schecter Diamond Plus pickups provide a powerful and aggressive sound. The build quality is reliable, though the basswood body may lack some resonance, and the fixed bridge might not suit all players. It’s still an excellent choice for heavy metal.

Specifications

  • Body: Basswood
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Pickups: Schecter Diamond Plus humbuckers
  • Bridge: Fixed

Reasons to Buy

  • Powerful tone suitable for heavy metal
  • 7-string for extended range
  • Reliable build quality

Reasons to Avoid

  • Basswood body might lack resonance
  • Fixed bridge limits some playing styles

Best Budget Baritone

The Squier Paranormal Baritone Cabronita Telecaster is a great budget baritone guitar. Its unique design and solid construction make it a standout choice. The Fender-designed pickups provide a decent tone, though they can be noisy, and the tonal versatility is limited. Despite these drawbacks, it’s an excellent option for those looking to explore baritone guitars.

Specifications

  • Body: Poplar
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Maple
  • Pickups: Fender Designed Alnico Single-Coil
  • Bridge: Hardtail

Reasons to Buy

  • Affordable baritone option
  • Unique Telecaster design
  • Solid construction

Reasons to Avoid

  • Single-coil pickups can be noisy
  • Limited tonal versatility

Best Signature Model

The ESP LTD Stephen Carpenter Signature SC-607 Baritone is a high-quality signature model. Its unique pickup configuration offers a range of tones, and the guitar is comfortable to play. While it’s more expensive than other budget options and heavier, the quality and versatility make it worth considering.

Specifications

  • Body: Alder
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Pickups: Fishman Fluence SRC Signature
  • Bridge: TonePros Locking TOM

Reasons to Buy

  • High-quality signature model
  • Unique pickup configuration
  • Comfortable to play

Reasons to Avoid

  • More expensive than other models
  • Heavier than standard guitars

Best Flying V

The Jackson JS Series King V is a fantastic choice for those looking for a classic Flying V design. The Fishman Fluence pickups provide a powerful and clear tone, and the neck is comfortable for fast playing. Its unique shape might not be for everyone, but it’s perfect for those who love the Flying V style.

Specifications

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Pickups: Fishman Fluence Modern
  • Bridge: LockTone Tune-O-Matic

Reasons to Buy

  • Classic Flying V design
  • High-quality pickups
  • Comfortable neck

Reasons to Avoid

  • Unique shape may not suit everyone
  • Limited color options

Best for Classic Metal

Before we start… how effing cool does this guitar look! The Jackson X Series Rhoads RRX24 is perfect for classic metal. Its iconic Rhoads design stands out, and the high-output pickups deliver a powerful tone. The Floyd Rose Special bridge is reliable, though it requires regular maintenance. The basswood body might not provide the best resonance, but it’s still a solid choice for classic metal fans.

Specifications

  • Body: Basswood
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Laurel
  • Pickups: Jackson High-Output Humbuckers
  • Bridge: Floyd Rose Special

Reasons to Buy

Classic Rhoads design
• High-output pickups
• Reliable Floyd Rose tremolo

Reasons to Avoid

  • Basic Design: The design is somewhat plain.
  • Neck Width: The neck might be a bit wide for some players.

Best for High-Gain Tones

This list wouldn’t be complete without something from the god himself… Eddie Van Halen. The EVH Wolfgang Standard is designed for high-gain tones. The EVH Wolfgang humbuckers provide a powerful and clear sound, perfect for metal. The neck is comfortable, and the Floyd Rose Special bridge ensures tuning stability, though it requires maintenance. The basswood body might not be as resonant as other woods, but it’s still a great choice for high-gain tones.

Specifications

  • Body: Basswood
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Maple
  • Pickups: EVH Wolfgang humbuckers
  • Bridge: Floyd Rose Special

Reasons to Buy

  • High-output pickups for high-gain tones
  • Comfortable neck
  • Reliable Floyd Rose bridge

Reasons to Avoid

  • Basswood body may lack resonance
  • Floyd Rose requires maintenance

Best Budget Telecaster for Metal

The Charvel Pro-Mod Joe Duplantier San Dimas Style 2 is a unique Telecaster designed for metal. The DiMarzio pickups provide a powerful tone, and the guitar is comfortable to play. While it’s pricier than other budget options and has limited color choices, its quality and unique design make it worth considering.

Specifications

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Pickups: DiMarzio humbuckers
  • Bridge: Hardtail

Reasons to Buy

  • Unique Telecaster design for metal
  • High-quality pickups
  • Comfortable to play

Reasons to Avoid

  • More expensive than other options
  • Limited color options

Best for Sustain

The Ibanez Iron Label RGA42FM is known for its sustain. The DiMarzio Fusion Edge pickups provide a powerful and clear tone, and the guitar’s construction ensures excellent sustain. The flame maple top gives it a beautiful finish. While the fixed bridge might not be for everyone and it’s slightly heavier, it’s a great option for those looking for sustain.

Specifications

  • Body: Mahogany with flame maple top
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Pickups: DiMarzio Fusion Edge humbuckers
  • Bridge: Fixed

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent sustain
  • High-quality pickups
  • Attractive finish

Reasons to Avoid

  • Fixed bridge might not suit all players
  • Slightly heavier than other models

Ever wondered what goes into making an electric guitar? Check out our step-by-step guitar-building post.

Good Cheap Guitars for Metal

Finding good cheap guitars for metal involves considering key factors like sound quality, build, playability, and price. All the guitars listed here meet these criteria, offering excellent value for their cost.

Best Cheap Electric Guitars for Metal

When it comes to finding the best cheap electric guitars for metal, there are a few key factors to consider. A good metal guitar should have high-output pickups, often humbuckers, that deliver powerful, aggressive tones perfect for heavy riffs and solos.

Build quality is crucial; guitars made from solid woods like mahogany or maple provide better resonance and durability. Additionally, a slim neck profile is ideal for fast playing, allowing for smooth shredding and quick fretboard navigation.

Playability is also important, with features like a comfortable neck and reliable hardware ensuring a great playing experience. Some players might prefer a fixed bridge for stability, while others may opt for a tremolo system for added versatility. Ultimately, the best cheap electric guitars for metal combine these elements to provide excellent sound, build quality, and playability at an affordable price.

What is the Best Guitar Brand for Metal?

What is the best guitar brand for metal? Brands like ESP, Ibanez, and Jackson consistently deliver high-quality instruments tailored for metal music. Their guitars are known for powerful pickups, solid build quality, and excellent playability, making them top choices for metal players.

Conclusion: Finding Best Cheap Guitars for Metal

Choosing the best cheap guitars for metal doesn’t mean compromising on quality or performance. Our top picks for 2024 showcase a diverse range of options, each tailored to meet the specific needs of metal enthusiasts.

Whether you’re drawn to the versatile Ibanez RG550 Genesis, the extended range of the PRS SE Mark Holcomb SVN, or the shredding capabilities of the Ibanez Standard RGA42FM, there’s a budget-friendly guitar here for every style and preference.

Investing in a quality guitar within your budget ensures that you can achieve the powerful, aggressive tones essential for metal music without breaking the bank. Each guitar on this list has been carefully selected based on sound quality, build, playability, and value for money, ensuring that you get the best performance possible.

Remember, the best guitar is the one that feels right in your hands and inspires you to play. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, the right instrument can make all the difference in your musical journey. Explore our recommendations, consider your needs, and get ready to unleash your inner shredder with the best cheap guitars for metal.

Stay tuned for more reviews and tips on finding the best gear for your musical endeavors. Happy shredding!