Off-brand, Inexpensive Guitars You Love To Play

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by Oldguitarguy, Nov 12, 2021.

  1. Oldguitarguy

    Oldguitarguy Squier-holic

    Mar 2, 2019
    I bought this SSH Crate Electra Strat style (full body) guitar a while back for peanuts as a sticker caster, cleaned it up and put a GM 57 Special in the bridge which sounds great. I hadn’t played it for a while because other guitars caught my attention/time. I picked it up and played it tonight for a while and forgot how well and easy it played and how good the action is. I really like it and will give it more attention going forward. Does anyone have an off-brand, inexpensive guitar that they really like? Let’s see’em. FWIW, yes I have and love Squiers too.

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  2. Powerstroke

    Powerstroke Squier-holic

    Feb 18, 2021
    Looks like a Cort
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  3. mkgearhead

    mkgearhead Dr. Squier

    Dec 18, 2009
    Fort Morgan, CO
    This Grote set neck Tele is one of my favorites. I think I paid $125 for it new.

  4. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Dr. Squier

    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    I put a ton of work into this one to make it a guitar I really like, but my Huntington Tele with Seymour Duncan Hot Rails is one of my favorites to play. Brand new it was just over $100 from Amazon.

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  5. Michael7

    Michael7 Dr. Squier

    Jan 12, 2010
    Virginia Beach, VA USA
    My Sawtooth Tele, originally $63 new from a Walmart clearance. Reshaped the head stock, added Dragonfire Fat Tele alnico pickups, a 4-way switch and full size pots after a bit of Dremeling. Also brass compensated saddles. Very nice full neck on this one and great sounding. It sits year round near my chair in the living room.

    IMG_20181228_102912496_HDR.jpg IMG_20181228_104028358_HDR.jpg IMG_20181228_103947753.jpg
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  6. HighwayStar106

    HighwayStar106 Squier Talker

    May 16, 2021
    This was my first proper guitar - a Legend LST-06. It’s had a few different pickup combinations in it, but it’s now back to the standard HSS. I’m currently keeping it tuned to E flat just for the variety.


    I liked it so much, I bought another one, which actually plays better but lacks some of the tonal magic of my first one.

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  7. Oldguitarguy

    Oldguitarguy Squier-holic

    Mar 2, 2019
    Nice guitar. Sometimes putting in a little elbow grease increases one’s affinity towards a guitar. I know that is true for me. I like the SG in the back too!
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  8. yoga

    yoga Squier Talker

    Nov 7, 2021
    I had a Stagg Strat copy years ago , after a bit of TLC & some new PU`s & tuners she was a decent guitar . Often wish i had kept her .
    Lanaka, Robb, grizzlewulf and 2 others like this.
  9. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert

    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    I look at a thread like this with true wonder! There are several truly gorgeous guitar here. And if S-T regulars sing their praises as to feel and sound I bet they are just as good as they look.

    Such guitars for so few bucks! It is absolutely astounding!

    I don't have any electrics that fall into this camp (although I would if I was just starting out today!). But my Horse dreadnaught acoustic falls into this category. No, not truly "equal" to a Martin or Yairi, but so "all but." Amazing!


    Horse HAG-1.jpg
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  10. radiotech

    radiotech Squier-Axpert

    Apr 23, 2014
    Sawtooth Tele, 690A6803-2A9E-4CE0-BEA6-AADE548A12D6.jpeg C&G Tele (both before and after mods),
    0F54F60C-F048-4AF2-A782-14DDB5734D93.jpeg Harley Benton GuitarBass,
    245D4AC1-40EA-49CA-8825-0F36BDFA7022.jpeg Grote 335 P90 and Jazzbox,
    8C6DBCB4-254E-486D-B93F-05B13BFE0955.jpeg lastly the Idyllwild acoustic.
    This acoustic is good for rehearsal at home, but just doesn’t fill a space acoustically the same as the MIM Martins for a live gig in a small place (coffee house, small club).
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  11. duceditor

    duceditor Squier-Axpert

    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    As mentioned in my earlier post to this thread, I am thrilled for the 'just starting out' today because of what is available at such a reasonable (or should that read "unreasonably inexpensive!"?) price tag. But for myself it has little meaning because so much of it is 'same old, same old.' Another Tele. Another Strat. Another sharp-horned metal beast.

    One can play on a familiar theme, but still be fresh and new to at least a small degree. (And no, to me at least, having a funky shaped headstock doesn't do it.)

    I think the best examples of this are guitars that actually tempted me into making a purchase... Gibson's own Les Paul CM. A bargain if ever there was one. And one done right. Supro, too, made some really good efforts there. (Though they were, initially anyhow, overpriced.) The reissue White Holiday was just that -- a reissue. And as such, while a welcome departure from the 'just another Start/Tele?'Paul' thing, it was to me at least their Black Holiday that cut thru the best. And the now virtually obtainable Silverwood series.

    Screen Shot 2021-11-12 at 9.39.29 AM.png

    That's one I'd still want to own! And it being Indonesian made there is no reason such a guitar couldn't fall into the (relatively) "inexpensive" category.

    Still, again, if I was just starting out... ;)

  12. Angry Possum

    Angry Possum A Psychotic 6 String Collector

    Oct 30, 2019
    Squier Town NY
    AIO Wolf W400.
    This guitar is most definitely giggable. The Seymour Duncans make it even better. Purchased it for $350 slightly used on eBay, about 2 years ago.

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  13. Angry Possum

    Angry Possum A Psychotic 6 String Collector

    Oct 30, 2019
    Squier Town NY
    Doug that's a sweet Guitar. Wow.
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  14. late2guitar

    late2guitar Squier-holic Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2016
    Middle Tennessee
    I have a few, but my current favorite has been an Indio (Monoprice brand) OS40 offset Jazzmaster clone made from Alder. It's a sweet player. I did a bit of setup work with the bridge and a slight truss rod adjustment, but it was pretty fine out of the box. This stands in STARK contrast to an OS20 (which is a JM design with strat controls) which I think had spent a month in water followed by a year in a desert based on the fret sprout. But I digress. Here is my "off brand" favorite of the moment:
    1112210848.jpg 1112210848b.jpg 1112210848d.jpg
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  15. Caddy

    Caddy Dr. Squier

    Nov 29, 2010
    I have two that I bought in the very early 200's for low $$'s. Both play and sound great. Both keepers.

    An SX STL-50, alder body, nice fairly chunky neck. Reshaped the headstock, removed the really orange tint from the neck using Citri-Strip over ten years ago. Now has Grover tuners, upgraded pots, switch, etc., Grover tuners, Fender Original Vintage pickups and Graphtech nut. Guitar cost $109 and I probably have less than $300 in it. It is a very solid guitar and a keeper.

    Jay Turser JT-133 bought also in the very early 2000's. Cost $225 new if I remember correctly (may have been a bit less). Bound neck and F-holes. Now has G.M. Classic '57 A2 pickups, Graphtech nut, Grover bridge, Gotoh tuners and upgraded electronics. Like this better than any of the Epi Dots I have tried.
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  16. Martin Klein

    Martin Klein Squier Talker

    Nov 12, 2021
    united kingdom
    I have this nice Dillion Telecaster and a Samick SAN450, both cheap ebay finds I've fixed up with quality electrics and I love them. The Vandalism strat was a pig to play but I enjoyed making it - sold it on now - it was just a Chord CAL63 I picked up for £25. IMG_E0514.JPG IMG_E0456.JPG IMG_9923.JPG
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  17. Eddie

    Eddie My Squier is on Fire !!!

    Nov 5, 2016
    New York
    This guy is scratching the itch nicely. Not a heavy chug, but not bad for Asian import pups. I like it better than my former Epi Goth Explorer and HB Explorers. Actually, much better than both the Epi and HB Explorers.

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  18. dtsreiuqs

    dtsreiuqs Squier-Nut

    Oct 18, 2015
    not here anymore
    "Inexpensive to buy because 2nd hand unused mint sold for cheap on craiglist" would be more correct for my personal situation. None of the Harley-Benton below cost me more than 100 Euro shipped :


    BUT of course I modded, setup'ed thses guitars and worked on them to transform them in flawless players, and this cost me evidently more than if I had bought them new...


    This is even more obvious on those ones below :



    That said, yes - at the start - they were off-brand, inexpensive instruments... ;)

    Last edited: Nov 12, 2021
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  19. BarnyardShark1979

    BarnyardShark1979 Squier-Nut

    Jul 9, 2020
    Baltimore Maryland
    I dunno if these exactly count as "off-brand", with Oscar Schmidt by Washburn being a sub-brand of, well, Washburn and DeArmond being the Squier of the owned-by-Fender-at-the-time Guild, but they were inexpensive.

    Oscar Schmidt OE-20 Goldtop (with a bunch of gold-chrome replacement parts for maximum gaudiness), I think it was $165 new from Amazon:
    And my 2 DeArmond Jetstar Specials, red one (in the process of being de-stickered) bought new for $85 in 2000, black one purchased for $170 about a month ago:
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  20. SoundDesign

    SoundDesign Squier-holic

    My S101 brand 335 copy. Not a black guitar guy but liked it so much I didn't care. Installed a set of Grovers, Parsons Street pups (StewMac) and completely rewired it. The top hats made a big difference.

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