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Known for its classic design, versatile sound, and timeless appeal, the Fender Stratocaster is an iconic electric guitar that has been popular among musicians for years. However, not everyone has the budget for a Fender Stratocaster, especially the American models!
Fortunately, there are plenty of cheap Fender Stratocaster alternatives on the market that offer similar features and benefits at a reasonable price.
In this article, you’ll discover some of the top cheap Fender Stratocaster alternatives on the market and what makes them ideal for different types of guitar players. If you want more options for styling, pickups, hardware, specs, and electronics, one of these alternatives might be a good choice for you.
1. Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster Series
The Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster is worth considering if you’re searching for a budget-friendly alternative to the original Fender Stratocaster. It’s made with the same classic design elements but with inexpensive materials and construction methods. It’s a guitar that looks and feels similar to the original Fender Stratocaster but at a lower price.
The Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster is available in various colors and finishes, including sunburst, natural and black. It has a basswood body, maple neck, and rosewood fingerboard, similar to the materials used in the original Fender Stratocaster. It has three single-coil pickups, a vintage tremolo bridge, and a classic headstock shape.
It’s a solid option for beginners or players on a budget.
- Classic Fender tone
- High-quality components
- Quality control issues
- Limited upgradability
- Lower build quality
On average, the Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster retails for between $400 and $600, though prices can be higher or lower depending on the specific model and where it’s purchased.
2. Ibanez RG450DX
The Ibanez RG450DX is a solid-body electric guitar designed for heavy metal and hard rock players. Though it has a similar shape and design to the Stratocaster, some key differences make it better suited for high-gain playing styles.
The Ibanez RG450DX has a thin and fast Wizard III neck, suitable for shredding and playing fast solos. It has two powerful humbucker pickups that provide a high-output sound that’s perfect for metal and hard rock. The pickups are controlled by a five-way selector switch, giving you access to a wide range of tonal options.
The Ibanez RG450DX has a basswood body. It’s lightweight and comfortable to play with. It’s finished in a range of eye-catching colors, including blue, red, and black.
- Fast neck
- Versatile sound
- Durable construction
- It may require a setup
On average, you can find the Ibanez RG450DX around the $400 to $500 price range, depending on the retailer and specific model.
3. G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy
The G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy is a semi-hollow electric guitar made for blues, country, and jazz players.
It has a semi-hollow ash body, providing a warm and resonant sound that’s perfect for blues, country, and jazz. The body is finished in a range of classic colors, including natural, sunburst, and black, which give it a timeless appeal. It’s equipped with two single-coil pickups that produce a bright and articulate tone, making it perfect for fingerpicking and soloing. The pickups are controlled by a three-way selector switch and a master volume and tone knob, which allows you to shape your sound to your requirements.
The G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy has a fast-playing maple neck and fingerboard. The neck is like the Stratocaster but with a flatter radius, suitable for lead lines and soloing. The fingerboard is made from rosewood, providing a smooth playing experience.
- Classic tone
- Excellent playability
- High-quality components
- Limited Versatility
- It may require a setup
The price of the G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy can vary based on the model, location, currency exchange rates, and any special promotions or discounts that might be available. On average, this guitar can be purchased for around $500 to $700.
4. Yamaha Pacifica 112V
The Yamaha Pacifica 112V is an electric guitar that’s known for its versatility and affordability. It has an HSS pickup configuration, which means it has two single-coil pickups and a humbucker pickup in the bridge position. The pickups can be controlled by a five-way selector switch and a master volume and tone knob. The combination of single-coil and humbucker pickups means you can choose from a range of tonal options, from bright and articulate to warm and punchy.
The body of the Yamaha Pacifica 112V is made of alder, which is the most lightweight, balanced-sounding Tonewoods available. It’s finished in a range of eye-catching colors, including red, black, and natural. Its contoured shape makes it easy to hold for a long time.
The Yamaha Pacifica 112V has a comfortable maple neck but with a slightly flatter radius than the Stratocaster. The fingerboard of the guitar is made of rosewood.
Due to its versatility, the Yamaha Pacifica 112V can handle a wide range of playing styles and sounds.
- Versatile sound options due to the HSS pickup configuration
- Easy to play
- Solid construction
- Available in a range of finishes
- The tremolo system can be difficult to keep in tune
- Traditional design (may not be for those seeking a modern look)
The average price for a new Pacifica 112V is around $300 to $400. For that price range, it’s worth buying if you’re just starting.
5. Epiphone Les Paul Standard
The Epiphone Les Paul Standard guitar is modeled after the iconic Gibson Les Paul. It has a single-cutaway solid mahogany body with a carved maple top, a set mahogany neck with a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard, and a tune-o-matic bridge with a stop bar tailpiece. The guitar features two humbucking pickups, typically controlled by separate volume and tone knobs for each pickup, and a 3-way pickup selector switch.
The Standard model is available in various finishes, including Ebony, Heritage Cherry Sunburst, and Honeyburst, among others.
It’s known for its versatile sound, classic Les Paul tone, and comfortable and playable neck.
- Classic Les Paul design with various finishes to choose from
- Durable build
- Comfortable & smooth neck and fingerboard
- It may require additional setup or adjustment to play optimally
- Stock pickups lack clarity
A brand-new Epiphone Les Paul Standard can be around $500 to $600 but prices may vary based on the region and retailer, taxes, and shipping. The price of a used Epiphone Les Paul Standard depends on the condition and age of the guitar.
Whether you’re looking for a more affordable guitar or one with different pickups and a different body style, there are plenty of alternatives to choose from.
The G&L Tribute ASAT Classic Bluesboy, Yamaha Pacifica 112V, and Epiphone Les Paul Standard are just a few examples of the many Stratocaster alternatives available on the market.
Ultimately, the best guitar for you depends on your playing style, budget, and personal preferences. So, take your time and try out some of these guitars to find the one that’s right for you.
A bonus tip, it’s always a good idea to shop around and compare prices from multiple retailers to make sure you get the best deal possible.
I have been playing guitar for the past 15 years, and my knowledge and passion for guitars prompted me to start Guitaresque to share my knowledge, tips, and tricks with other guitar players. The sole purpose of this website is to help and inspire guitar players worldwide, to improve their playing and their love for guitars.