As far as very cheap guitars go, we are often quite reluctant to make any recommendations simply because there’s a lot of unusable crap out there. However, one of the few products we can thoroughly recommend, and possibly even crown as the best cheap acoustic-electric guitar on the market is the Thinline series from Jameson Guitars.
This thing can be yours for as low as $100, yet it packs all the features, durability and sound quality a beginner needs. This is a great instrument to start your musical journey with and one of the top newbie items out there. We took it for a ride, here come the conclusions!
Body & Neck
We are looking at a nato sides and back combined with a spruce top, along a maple neck, and a classic rosewood fingerboard with 20 frets and white dot inlays. Cheap ingredients, but they work. The components secure a solid sound, packed with brighter and mid-range frequencies, along with a solid chunk of bass to round up the mix.
As for the neck, we’re looking at middle thickness, so it’s neither shred-friendly nor super chunky. Further on up the road, the guitar features a classic headstock, but what makes it stand out a bit is the aesthetic part. For a cheap guitar, this is a really pretty instrument, and that blue-to-black finish looks smooth a whistle!
The six-string comes with an onboard stock pickup and a built-in EQ that allows decent sonic variety. Perhaps more importantly for this price range, it allows you to dial in several audio settings that actually sound good. Once again, you get what you paid for, but it works!
Additionally, the instrument utilizes a set of six die-cast tuners distributed in groups of three around the headstock. They hold the tuning pretty nicely and you will have zero tuning issues as long as you don’t strum super hard.
Other notable features include a rosewood bridge and a black pick-guard. To make the deal even sweeter, a free gig bag and a set of guitar picks have also been included in the mix.
Now the time has come to address the crucial issue – what’s the sound like? Well, it’s not bad, and that’s a great start for this budget range. The guitar is free of certain issues cheap guitars have such as tendency to get out of tune easily or poor intonation that can’t be fixed.
Apart from that, we’re actually liking the treble frequencies produced by this fella, and the mid-range punch isn’t half bad either. The basses are present in the mix enough to make a well-rounded sonic image, and there’s generally not much room left for complaints.
The sound is more than good enough for beginners and can even be of use during the intermediate stage. Combine that with high playability and you’ve got yourself one of the best cheap beginner guitars on the market.
To draw a simple conclusion, this guitar might be cheap, but it offers possibly the best value for money on today’s market. We’re talking under $100, which is a ridiculously low sum for a genuine instrument you can use to kick off a musical journey of a lifetime. Good stuff!