Off-brand, Inexpensive Guitars You Love To Play

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

  1. gcvsa

    gcvsa Squier Talker

    Mar 30, 2015
    Probably make some people mad, but for me, Ibanez is and remains an off-brand, decidedly second-tier, at best.

    But the 1985 Ibanez Roadstar II RS110BK my dad left behind as one of his flea market finds is actually really comfortable to play, although the electronics are crap, the no-fretboard maple neck screams "we cut corners", and the flimsy pickguard feels like it will snap in half if you press the coil tap pot too hard while rockin' out.

    I'll say this, though: I've always thought the Roadstar II was aesthetically better designed than the Stratocaster. The body has a more beautiful shape, and so does the headstock.

    I would love to replace the pickguard with anodised aluminium, replace the neck with a rosewood example, and replace all the electronics with better, maybe put in Lace Alumitones.


    If you're going to make a 1-pickup guitar, the pickup should be in the neck position.
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  2. Oldguitarguy

    Oldguitarguy Squier-holic

    Mar 2, 2019
    I agree that Ibanez makes great guitars. I have several that are awesome.
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  3. Brn2run

    Brn2run Squier Talker

    May 24, 2015
    Not mad but definitely disagree. If you want to call them an off brand just because they don't have a "made in America" option that is your right I suppose but when they have more than 30 models that retail for north of $2,000 I'd say that makes them a quality manufacturer. The semi-hollow body that I own is spectacular. Materials, fit and finish as good as anything I've personally played from Gibson.
    Lanaka, dbrian66, Robb and 1 other person like this.
  4. yoga

    yoga Squier Talker

    Nov 7, 2021

    I will be buying a Ibanez AM53 Artcore either before or just after Christmas , heard nothing but really good things about this guitar .
  5. I had a Spectrum AIL 94FM that I thought was an absolutely great guitar.
    dbrian66, Loin Lover and Robb like this.
  6. yettoblaster

    yettoblaster Squier Talker

    Nov 18, 2021
    My no name partsocaster I screwed together was my #1 for all kinds of gigging for a dozen years.
    Went through three necks: Fernandez; Fender; and finally Warmouth (that doubled its cost):

    Squittolo, Lanaka, Shine and 6 others like this.
  7. RoyalWe

    RoyalWe Squier-holic

    Sep 5, 2012
    Western Oregon
    Gotta give some love for my Firefly 338 and my Grote BB-2! Both were bought new for under $200 off Amazon, both have been pretty trouble free in terms of their build quality. A little light sanding of the fret ends, and ran a file a few times through the nut slots on the bass to lower the action, otherwise all work done to them was purely out of preference and or boredom.
    66455927-2043-4239-9974-4A5FC7424786.jpeg 07E9ADD0-71DA-4553-99CB-F77D3293E5F6.jpeg
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  8. blackspider57

    blackspider57 Squier-holic

    Mar 11, 2017
    Somewhere east of the rockies
    I'll cast another vote for Grote. Screen Shot 2021-06-02 at 9.24.40 AM.png Screen Shot 2020-12-13 at 3.28.34 PM.png Screen Shot 2021-11-20 at 2.54.49 PM.png
    Still think it's an odd name but hey a great (cheap/inexpensive) off-brand product.
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  9. Oldguitarguy

    Oldguitarguy Squier-holic

    Mar 2, 2019
    The Artcore’s are awesome. I have an
    Ibanez Artcore Model # AF75 that I use exclusively for jamming with my buddies - mostly blues, some jazz influence, some rock. Great guitar. I had to take off for a month and it was still in tune when I resumed.
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  10. miket1117

    miket1117 Squier-holic Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    Kansas City
    ditto on Grote. came across these maybe a year after they were introduced, so mine came in $189. i suffered through the work-in period, but did absolutely nothing to it. still could use some better tuning gears and a better nut, but right now she's capo'ed on the second fret, minus the 1st E and rocks and chimes like a mother, esp with some dirt thrown in.

    it is probably my favorite guitar.

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  11. JohnnyMac

    JohnnyMac Squier-holic

    Mar 5, 2018
    Front range Colorado
    This one fits all criteria. Off-brand, inexpensive and I love to play it!

    Says G Holiday on the headstock.

    Last edited: Nov 20, 2021
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  12. miket1117

    miket1117 Squier-holic Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    Kansas City
    oooh... vibrato and slide! gotta hear some samples of that @JohnnyMac!
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  13. miket1117

    miket1117 Squier-holic Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2018
    Kansas City
    btw, for those who may have noticed, the pic of the Grote was taken after i rec'vd an Epi Century case. it was nearly an inch too narrow across the lower bout. it actually fit better in one one on my Epi "335" cases, but really tight and the curves didnt line up quite.
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  14. otma

    otma Squier-holic

    Nov 4, 2012
    Owen, Wisconsin
    The Hadean bass ukulele in this picture was about $150 with a hard case when I bought it on sale in 2020. It's got dense rubber strings that give it the same tuning as a regular bass, but a lot smaller.

  15. five teles

    five teles Squier-holic

    Oct 27, 2014
    shoals alabama
    I have a pair of Austin AU962 tele style guitars I love. They are a couple of decades old but very underrated. Also my Jay Turser . I have about $125 in each Austin and $100 in the Turser without pickups ( I had a set of tonerider alnico 2 in my parts drawer). It needed a little tlc.. Lots of great guitars on this thread!

    Attached Files:

  16. five teles

    five teles Squier-holic

    Oct 27, 2014
    shoals alabama
    And I just remembered my xaviere. ( gfs) . Not sure what model it is or what I paid, it's been a long time. But I put strings on it last weekend and I've been playing it a bit. It's not too bad.. 16374729457307461242141387749638.jpg
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  17. beagle

    beagle Squier-holic

    Nov 19, 2017
    Off brand? I don't even know what that means, but this was cheap and is great fun to play.

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  18. mkgearhead

    mkgearhead Dr. Squier

    Dec 18, 2009
    Fort Morgan, CO
    I picked up this Xaviere LP from the GFS clearance section for $180. The only defect is a scratch on the back of the neck near the heel. It plays and sounds fantastic. It’s completely stock and I see no need to change anything on it.
    8FD7E164-CF7D-4326-8397-C819F0CA148B.jpeg D4108BD2-3E1F-4613-8BC1-FB60C21AA6F1.jpeg
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  19. mkgearhead

    mkgearhead Dr. Squier

    Dec 18, 2009
    Fort Morgan, CO
    I can’t say enough about the quality of Harley Benton. I’ve had 4 of them and still have 2. Even with the increased shipping cost they’re a great value.
    EE3F14FC-8580-45A8-A60F-B997B78DBFB1.jpeg 4CF6CEE6-69FB-43A6-A35C-8D73EC497A21.jpeg
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  20. yoga

    yoga Squier Talker

    Nov 7, 2021
    I am looking at an Aria STG locally , the fella only wants 40 notes for it . Hoping to learn more about pots & wiring , might even strip the paintwork & learn some nitro painting skills . It will be my guitar for learning & improving my guitar maintenance skills & trying things out .