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Best Electric Guitars For Under $300

Guitar Gear Reviews

Squier Standard Stratocaster
Three Single Coils of Sweetness

An official take on the classic Stratocaster design. They tend to play pretty well, and the slight price increase over the Affinity & Bullet series is made up for by the better hardware. The 3 single coil pickups are wired to a 5-way switch that gives you a diverse palette of tonal options.

You will notice a lot of Squiers in our budget recommendations - and that’s because in our experience, they have some of the best quality control among the lower priced guitars. You can also get this series of guitars with a humbucker in the bridge position.

Darrell Braun provides a great review and comparison between the Squier Standard and Deluxe models here:

Steve from Boston breaks down the differences between the different Squier models if you want to take a deeper dive:

Antique Burst Standard Stratocaster
Sweetwater | Thomann


Yamaha Pacifica 112J
All-Round Player 

A great feeling, sturdy, and reliable guitar. The fingerboard is flatter than that on the Squier, and the oiled neck feels wonderful to play. A more modern take on the classic Stratocaster guitar. Yamaha is also known for having great quality control. 

Mike Bradley takes his Yamaha Pacifica 112 for a spin:

Having trouble deciding between a Squier Strat and a Yamaha Pacifica? Check out this detailed comparison between a Squier Affinity Stratocaster and a Yamaha Pacifica 112J from Darrell Braun:


Old Violin Sunburst HSS Pacifica
Sweetwater | Thomann


Squier Affinity Jazzmaster
Double Humbucker Rock Machine

If you want two humbuckers, and you don’t have a lot of money, the Squier Jazzmaster is probably your best bet. This is a simple guitar with a 3-way switch, one knob each for volume and tone, and a stable hard-tail bridge. A great guitar for a player who wants something simple and easy to operate.

Lee Wrathe shows you what the Squier Jazzmaster is capable of here:


Black Affinity Jazzmaster
Sweetwater | Thomann