We live in a very interesting era for the electric guitar and its production, with companies being able to create instruments of a unprecedented build quality to price ratio that blow away instruments of a similar price decades ago. This surge of instruments has created a new demand and appreciation for the mid price point guitar, a demand that has become even more common in recent years due to the steady price increase of brands such as Gibson and Fender that have somewhat isolated and pushed away potential customers who can’t afford their product lines, a fact not ignored by some shrewd and innovative guitar companies. Tie that in with the questionable build quality and consistency of some of the larger standard instrument manufacturers and you have a catalyst waiting to happen.
The SE Maple Series certainly turned heads.
Two of these mid priced giants are currently the Gretsch Electromatics and PRS SE, both of which are sister companies of the more expensive Gretsch USA & PRS USA brands but lack none of the build quality you would expect from their siblings. One of the factors of their success is the genuine thought that goes into the models of the SE & Electromatics, creating limited edition models using exotic tone woods and sporting gorgeous finishes that really stir up excitement within their fan base. All of this competition and innovation of course means that the wise consumer can really get the deal of a century, picking up an instrument of incredible quality that is gig worthy and sounds inspiring for a price that is surprising and reassuring.
We put this awesome machine through paces:
In addition to the mid range giants emerging, the budget & entry level guitar market has also had a positive & dramatic surge in quality in the last 5 years. With brands such as Squier, Cort & Sigma cleaning up the competition within their bracket whilst making veteran 6 stringers think again about how they view guitars in this price range. There is of course no knowing how long this mid range quality period will last, but if you have been on the fence about modern guitars then the SE and Electromatics are certainly worth a second look, they are a great place to start looking for that elusive “dream axe”.