Best Electric Guitars under $2000 of 2020 – Reviews and Top Picks

Best Electric Guitars under $2000

There are a lot of signature guitars available out there, with perfected hardware for everyone – from seasoned shredders to twangy Americana players. And this is where expensive electric guitars excel. You get versatility for resulting sonic palette, nice pickup configuration, sensitive volume, synth and tone controls, and a lot more.

We’ve examined the current high-end market for the best electric guitar under $2000 and selected the top three. These are top-of-the-line classics that might have escaped your notice. They are a unique blend of epic tone, quality craftsmanship, and just about any sonic vibe you might need.

Fender Eric Johnson Stratocaster
  • Fender Eric Johnson Stratocaster
  • Rating:
  • Body Shape: Stratocaster
  • Body Material: Alder
  • Radius: 12″
  • Frets: 21
  • Controls: 1 x Volume, 2 x Tone, 5-way switch
  • Tuners: Staggered Vintage Style
  • Neck Pickup: Specially Voiced Eric Johnson Single-coil
  • Bridge Pickup: Specially Voiced Eric Johnson Single-coil
Gibson USA SG Standard '61 Vintage Cherry
  • Gibson USA SG Standard ’61 Vintage Cherry
  • Rating:
  • Body Shape: SG Standard ’61
  • Body Material: Mahogany
  • Radius: 12″
  • Frets: 22
  • Controls: 2 x volume, 2 x tone, 3-way toggle pickup switch
  • Tuners: Vintage Deluxe
  • Neck Pickup: Burstbucker 61R Humbucker
  • Bridge Pickup: Burstbucker 61T Humbucker
PRS CE 24 - Dark Cherry Sunburst
  • PRS CE 24 – Dark Cherry Sunburst
  • Rating:
  • Body Shape: CE 24 Doublecut
  • Body Material: Mahogany
  • Radius: 10″
  • Frets: 24
  • Controls: 1 x master volume, 1 x master tone (push-pull coil tap), 3-way toggle switch
  • Tuners: PRS Low Mass Locking
  • Neck Pickup: 85/15 Bass Humbucker
  • Bridge Pickup: 85/15 Treble Humbucker
Name
Body Shape:
Body Material:
Radius:
Frets:
Controls:
Price
Name
Body Shape:
Body Material:
Radius:
Frets:
Controls:
Price
№1
Stratocaster
Alder
12″
21
1 x Volume, 2 x Tone, 5-way switch
№2
SG Standard ’61
Mahogany
12″
22
2 x volume, 2 x tone, 3-way toggle pickup switchShow More
№3
CE 24 Doublecut
Mahogany
10″
24
1 x master volume, 1 x master tone (push-pull coil tap), 3-way toggle switchShow More
Fender Eric Johnson Stratocaster

The mind behind this retro-looking instrument is one of the most talented guitarists, Eric Johnson. To design the best electric guitar for $2000, he practically hand-picked specifications based on his favorite 1957 Stratocaster. The guitar is currently one of the most popular artist models Fender makes.

The guitar is an exceptionally lightweight instrument and has a two-piece alder body with very thin nitrocellulose lacquer. The EJ’s neck can be described as a chunky ‘C’ meets ‘V,’ and this design is meant to bring more tone. An interesting detail is that the new model comes with a rosewood fretboard because of requests from players.

Body Shape:
Stratocaster
Body Material:
Alder
Radius:
12″
Frets:
21
Controls:
1 x Volume, 2 x Tone, 5-way switch
Tuners:
Staggered Vintage Style
Neck Pickup:
Specially Voiced Eric Johnson Single-coil
Bridge Pickup:
Specially Voiced Eric Johnson Single-coil
PROS

Sharp vintage looks

Tonal perfection

Exceptionally lightweight

High-grade materials and components

Smooth fretboard with medium jumbo frets

Cons

Slightly loose neck joint

Gibson USA SG Standard '61 Vintage Cherry

This guitar is an homage to the 60s aiming to re-create the sound of original 1961 humbuckers to perfection. The difference is that the modern version has a more lightweight design and a slimmer neck. Other newer additions include enhanced tuners and locking system.

The instrument is equipped with nickel-plated hardware, ABR-1 Tune-o-Matic bridge, and aluminum stop bar tailpiece and Vintage Keystone tuners. Frets are made with pinpoint precision, which is typically reserved for top-dollar custom guitars. SGs are still in the bracket of expensive electric guitars, but for a guitar with a certain personality about it, it’s a good deal. The sound is supposed to sustain long-term use and only improve with age.

Body Shape:
SG Standard ’61
Body Material:
Mahogany
Radius:
12″
Frets:
22
Controls:
2 x volume, 2 x tone, 3-way toggle pickup switch
Tuners:
Vintage Deluxe
Neck Pickup:
Burstbucker 61R Humbucker
Bridge Pickup:
Burstbucker 61T Humbucker
PROS

Effortless playability

Iconic doubled-horned shape

Slim taper profile

High-quality hardware

Coveted PAF sounds with additional power

Cons

Purely cosmetic changes

PRS CE 24 - Dark Cherry Sunburst

The last on our list of 2000 bucks electric guitars is CE 24. The most defining characteristics of this model are the snap of a bolt-on neck with PRS features and craftsmanship. The iconic bolt-on neck captures what was good in the original introduced in 1988. Many other parts, including the set of pickups, output, and articulation, have been preserved yet updated for the modern player.

Further maximizing the guitar’s inherent tone and clarity, the guitar embraces PRS 85/15 pickups. These are clear, articulate, and crisp with slightly better output than the original’s 58/15’s. With 6 different settings to mess around with, there is a great tonal diversity to explore.

Body Shape:
CE 24 Doublecut
Body Material:
Mahogany
Radius:
10″
Frets:
24
Controls:
1 x master volume, 1 x master tone (push-pull coil tap), 3-way toggle switch
Tuners:
PRS Low Mass Locking
Neck Pickup:
85/15 Bass Humbucker
Bridge Pickup:
85/15 Treble Humbucker
PROS

Time-tested PRS appeal

Professional build

Tonal clarity and sustain

Bolt-on, Fender-like vibe

Collectible item

Cons

Uncomfortable neck

How to choose an electric guitar under $2000 – Buyer’s Guide

New vs. Used Guitars

Before you begin shopping, you should ask yourself whether you’re investing or experimenting. Used guitars mostly suit beginners that are only finding their way in this new hobby. The exceptions, of course, are rare pre-owned vintage guitars. But if you know you will continue jamming for years to come, the brand new, fresh-out-of-the-box guitar might be the best option for you.

Pros of buying new are the ability to get the look you want with no wear and tear, a warranty and protection plan, and potentially, still a good deal. The benefit of buying used is that you can get a great model at a fraction of the cost. Or you can stumble across extremely rare or even discontinued models for sale.

Are They Only for Professionals?

Perhaps an expensive guitar will not be the first instrument you purchase. However, as you practice and make progress, you may eventually get to point where you simply outgrow your first guitar. This is where you can start looking for higher-end models.

You don’t have to be a professional musician; you just need to be comfortable enough in your playing abilities. So, the guitars featured are for those looking for an instrument with more, more tone, more style, and more features than regular budget-friendly models.

What to Look for that Price?

The pricing options for guitars are very broad, and generally speaking, you can find a decent model in any price range. But once you’re set on buying the best electric guitar for $2000, certain criteria apply. Overall, these guitars are easily differentiated from beginner guitars by how they are constructed and the sophistication of the components.

Looking at the hardware, you may want a range of pickups and controls. For example, it can be two humbuckers with coil-splitting capabilities, as well as individual volume and tone controls for each pickup. Also, look for premium woods, finishes, strings, action, and setup.

Are They Different from Cheap Ones?

The best electric guitar under $2000 will feature meticulously thought-out design made of the finest materials. Also, you will most likely find that the best guitars aren’t only suited for one purpose. Whether you’re a metal shredder or an instrumental surf-extraordinaire, it should offer you exactly what’s needed.

Simply put, everything is crafted slightly better – wood, electronics, hardware, paint job. When you invest in a good-quality guitar, you get peace of mind knowing that the instrument will provide a lifetime of musical enjoyment.

Do I Need Any Accessories?

The four accessories you’ll need for any guitar right away are picks, straps, strings, and tuners. The other four things you need as an electric guitar player are cables, amps, and pedals. Other than that, there are no essential you absolutely need. You can out several accessories in the ‘maybe’ pile: stands, capos, pickups, and slides.

Conclusion

When you purchase a high-end guitar, you won’t have many hassles with it both in terms of setup and maintenance. With only a few adjustments to the instrument, you can make it sound exactly how you want. So, 2000 bucks electric guitars are well worth the money, and they will serve you for many years to come.

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By Max Hudson
    about author

    My name is Max Hudson, born and raised in Chicago. I'm 30 years old and like many other people, I discovered guitar in my teens and have never looked back since. It has quickly evolved into a passion and has given me a creative outlet, something to redirect my time and unlimited energy toward. I want this website to be a handbook for players of all skill levels. It can become a starting point for your new hobby, where you can find the right instrument, get tips for playing effortlessly or anything else music related.

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    Fender Eric Johnson Stratocaster