Best circa $1000 or less guitars in Australia
You can get pretty much anything if you live in the States, from an American Fender Stratocaster through to PRS S2ex and others, but due to transport costs, duties, exchange rate and tax (as well as the fact that shops have to make a profit) we get considerably less bang for our buck here. So what are the options for someone who wants to buy a mid-range guitar with plenty of adaptability? We have tried to look at the offerings of some of the bigger brands as they come with a lot of history, reliability and often warranty repairs should they be needed. So without further ado here is our list of best under $1000 guitars for Australia (some of these are maybe $50 more than the $1000, but make sure you haggle, guitar stores are awesome for this and if you look after them with repeat custom, they will look after you)
PRS SE Custom
These Korean made beauties are some of the best and most versatile that you can get on the market at the moment. They feature coil tapping which means that you can get more sounds out of the dual humbucker setup, not to mention that they come in a great range of colours such as Whale Blue. The above video from Anderton’s really shows the versatility of these guitars, especially the jam at around 22min. The retail for around $1300, however you can often find sales on for very close to the $1000 mark.
Fender Standard or Fender Japan Stratocaster
OK, so this is a bit of a cheat..you can easily get a Fender Standard Made in Mexico here in Australia for around the $1000 mark. The good thing is that you will get a good quality instrument at a good price with the for real ‘Fender’ logo on the headstock. You can also pick between the Strat or the Tele version and have the utility for a couple of different styles. But…for around the same price and if you are willing to shop online, you can get yourself a quality Made in Japan strat (they aren’t making them anymore). These are seen as a step up from the MIM models and generally have a bit better workmanship as well. Only problem is that you probably won’t find one locally at the price, so you will probably be looking at having to look at Japanese websites to order, while you can get one for around $750-800 you will also be paying customs fees, postage and potentially getting stuck with CITES issues (if it has a rosewood neck)
Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster
I’m a big fan of the Vintage Modified Squier Jaguar, but I think that the J Mascis knocks it out of the park. It has a great feel in the hand, although while it looks like it is rocking dual P90s, they are actually single coils. Also, the general look of this guitar is pretty awesome, with the white offset by anodised gold. Great for anything from pop/classic rock through to jazz/blues this is such a versatile guitar and will take anything that you throw at it. You can pick this one up from major music stores for around $800.
Ibanez S – Series
I have always had something against the Ibanez guitars, they just have a look that doesn’t appeal to me and seem to be aimed towards the shredders market, which I am not a part of..But..I was recently browsing in store and found an Ibanez S6570Q Prestige (they don’t make remembering their products easy with names like that), I had a play with it and it is a great guitar at around this price range. The neck is super quick (for aforementioned shredding) and the pickup configuration HSH allows for a massive variety of tones and styles. If you are looking for something different, then I would highly recommend this one. Again, you can pick these up for just on the $1000 mark.
If you are looking at lower priced guitars than this, which come highly recommended, definitely Check out Artist Guitars, we have previously reviewed their Stratocaster and their 335 replica and both are awesome for the price.
So what are your recommendations, anything that stands out at this price point?