Review of the 15 Best Guitar Brands of 2023 - MusicCritic (2023)

by ibanez

Review of the 15 Best Guitar Brands of 2023 - MusicCritic (1)


Founded just over sixty years ago, Ibanez has come a long way in its time and currently has over 130 acoustic models, over 300 electric models and close to 160 bass models in its legacy.

They are another Japanese company that has left a significant mark on the instrument import industry.

They started making Spanish-style guitars under the name Ibáñez Salvador. Their modern guitars came out in the late 1950s and Ibanez faced a series of lawsuits because they initially appeared to be copying Gibson, Fender and Rickenbacker designs.

They soon rose to fame with their Iceman and Roadstar series and thrived into the late 70's. The company had close ties with Steve Vai, which also contributed significantly.

They offer 2 main solid body styles, the RG (standard 24 frets, thicker body) and the S (22 frets, thinner). Other styles include shell tops.

Most of their guitars have floating tremolo, but there are some fixed bridge options. They have a variety of pickup combinations. They also produce many unique series lines, the JS series by Joe Satriani, JEM and Universe with Steve Vai, the K7 with Head and Munky to name a few.

The Ibanez brand is divided into the Custom, Prestige, Premium and Gio lines, its economic series.

His basses are also highly prized instruments.

+ Epic action palette.
+ solid/hollow body.
+ Your high end guitars are absolutely amazing.
+ Great skill.
+ They have a range of reasonably priced basic instruments.

- The best models will make you want to come back.
- Some people believe that exclusive models are misleading.

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Pablo Reed-Smith

Review of the 15 Best Guitar Brands of 2023 - MusicCritic (2)


PRS Guitars has operated in Maryland for three decades and was founded by master luthier Paul Reed Smith, who started building guitars while in college. Smith's big break came in the form of none other than Carlos Santana. The high quality custom guitars produced by them had little competition, so they had a good niche in the market. They feature unique fretboard inlays (crescent and birds), use ten select maples, and some are still handcrafted today.

They design and wind their pickups internally, producing a spectrum of tonal qualities, from a resonant Fender single-coil Stratocaster to humbucking Gibson tones.

They produce an affordable line and an exclusive line imported from Korea. They also have limited edition guitars like their Dragon models, as well as their private custom stock line, which makes one-of-a-kind pieces for upwards of $10,000.

They've accomplished a lot in a short amount of time and are one of the few high end custom brands to break into the mainstream industry.

+ Great consistency.
+ Superior quality on top of the range models.
+ Ultimate boutique customization.

- Very expensive.
- Only your private actions have real value.
- There are better guitars in your comparable price range.


Review of the 15 Best Guitar Brands of 2023 - MusicCritic (3)


Martin is more than twice the age of some of the previous marks. They produce a variety of acoustic stringed as well as electro-acoustic instruments. Their guitars have evolved and changed form many times in their long history. Modern Martin products are generally affordable, their old models can go for 5-6 thousand.

They were among the first designers to move away from the traditional Spanish fan-bracket style and opted for X-brackets on their guitars.

Martins are great entry-level guitars and are great for beginners. They won't cost you much, they use decent materials in their construction. Their Cheaper DX series offer laminates, but again, you get what you pay for and they are great cheap guitars. They are ideal for fingerstyle playing and classical styles. They offer a range of models including someexciting electric travel opportunities.

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His older models are in great demand after a D-28 Elvis played in his graduation show sold for over $100,000 at auction. They also produced a line of solid body electronics modeled after Fender, which is quite rare.

+ Affordable.
+ Easy to play (good for beginners).
+ Consistent quality.

- Quality is consistent but not spectacular.
- Low cost models can be disappointing for a more experienced player.
- Laminated panels in economic models.


Review of the 15 Best Guitar Brands of 2023 - MusicCritic (4)


Taylor is America's premier seller of acoustic guitars and has been in production for over forty years.

Taylor himself was very innovative with design concepts. Schemmer was a luthier with skills that eclipsed most other luthiers around the world. Together with Listug's business leaders, they began their adventure.

They produce a lot of affordable models, but they really aren't much better than the basic models. However, high-quality Taylors produce fantastic tone, have great intonation and fret accuracy, are durable, and are expertly crafted from quality woods, but they obviously cost a little more.

Taylor strives to ensure their guitars are of the highest quality for their budgets.

+ Smartly built.
+ Designed by experts.
+ Accessible lines.
+ Exceptional high-end guitars.

- Cheap guitars don't shine.
- May be on the thin side.
- Although their high-end guitars are better made and sound good, some think they are too expensive.


Review of the 15 Best Guitar Brands of 2023 - MusicCritic (5)


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Early Rickenbacker lap steel guitars were affectionately referred to as frying pans in reference to the brand's iconic round bodies and long necks.

They specialized in steel guitars well into the 1950s, but quickly adapted their approach to the explosive rock 'n' roll scene. They made several popular sheer necklines, most notably the Capri series. John Lennon pioneered the Capri series when The Beatles made their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show and the Rickenbacker brand quickly became intertwined with the Beatles' image.

The Rickenbackers are favored for their distinctive "noise and chime". Their guitars feature dual truss rods and the Deluxe models are Rick-O-Sound compatible. This means they come with 2 output jacks, one for standard use and one for stereo boost effects for exciting sonic possibilities.

Rickenbacker guitars are associated with pop, pop-rock, rock and progressive rock, and are also coveted for their smaller necks.

Its basses have a differentiated timbre and in turn can be signaled with a split output for effects.

In addition to Paul McCartney, rock's first Rickenbacker basses were played by Roger Waters and John Entwistle and became a staple of progressive rock. They were also popular during the punk and new wave eras with bands like The Clash, Sex Pistols and The Jam.

They are an incredibly versatile instrument, especially with the dual output that hard rock enthusiasts love, just like Lemmy Kilmister with a signature 4004LK.

+ Incredibly versatile sounding guitars and basses.
+ Ideal for a variety of genres.
+ Narrow neck.
+ Great custom options.
+ Premium components.

- Slightly more expensive, no budget product options.
- Some people don't like their bigger bodies.

Guitar Brand Buyer's Guide

What to look for in a guitar brand?

It depends on whether you're looking for a brand that makes budget guitars or high-quality guitars, or if you want the best of both.

The use of premium components (as per the price tag) is desirable for durability and tonal optimization.

Consistency between the various series lines is also crucial. It's never promising when a new line comes out when the company's history is all over it.

Important questions to think about are:

Are you releasing something new? Do they have unique patented features? ... Are these features a gimmick or true genius? Are they worth the investment? Importantly, they listen to their customers, push boundaries, and strive to continually improve and innovate in their industry.

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What is the best guitar brand?

From our list, the Epiphone and Seagull offer some incredibly good high-end models, but the Martins and Taylors are quite decent, great for beginners and unbeatable value for money.

What is the best brand for electric guitars?

ESP or Ibanez are good for metal and heavier genres, but we think Epiphone Fender and Yamaha make some of the best electric guitars out there.

What is the best bass brand?

It depends on what you want, for lower budgets ESP and Yamaha produce great bass for under $500, the Epiphone Thunderbird is a great option too. Fender Jazz basses are great for everyone. If you are on a better budget then you might want to check out the Ibanez Thundercat or some of these

Yamaha exclusive series. We also love Aria, who is not on our list.

What is the best budget guitar brand?

For acoustics, the Taylor series is definitely and cheerful for electricwe recommend one of Yamaha's staples, a Les Paul Epi or a Fender for that recognizable tone.

What is the most expensive guitar brand?

Many well known brands will offer a more affordable range for low budget access to their products as well as a higher end. High-end classical guitars can cost a lot of money, like PRS private stock. High-end Ibanez guitars and basses can run anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000 for a high-end Gibson 8-12.


Most of the time, each brand offers both high and low quality models to choose from. Traditional guitar making doesn't differ much in skill until it reaches much higher prices in terms of design concepts and components, but some brands benefit from more know-how, better facilities or access to resources and even experience. Another difference that can affect products is whether they manufacture each part within their own confines or are outsourced. The most valuable quality a company can have is the relationship with its customers.

The best brand depends a lot on how much you like their products, which ultimately comes down to individual needs and personal preferences.

expert tip

Try trying out a friend's guitars and see what they like and don't like, or visit a shop if possible.

did you know

The most expensive guitar sold was aFender 'Come to Asia' StratocasterAuctioned to support charity, it was autographed by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Jimmy Page and Brian May.

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