by Jef | Approximate reading time: 5 Minutes
Best Electric Guitars 2021 Gearnews Top 10

Best Electric Guitars 2021: The Gearnews Top 10  ·  Source: Fender, Ibanez, Epiphone, Duesenberg

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Time to look back to the last 12 months and share our favourite guitars from 2021. Our list contains all the top guitars from all price points and contains the models that impressed us the most – these guitars stood out from the crowd and offered something a bit off the beaten path (well, mostly)…

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Ibanez Paul Gilbert PGM FRM300

This purple incarnation of an Ibanez signature model was a great way to kick off 2021 – the Paul Gilbert PGM FRM300 just had to be on this list. Loaded with three DiMarzio PG-13 mini humbuckers in chrome covers, this hardtail model looks like a weapon, and if you want something that stands out from the crowd, this purple beast is it!

Ibanez Paul Gilbert PGM FRM300 a luscious purple shredder with style

Ibanez Paul Gilbert PGM FRM300 a luscious purple shredder with style

Ibanez FRM300-PR Paul Gilbert

Ibanez FRM300-PR Paul Gilbert

Customer rating:

Gretsch Vintage Select ’89 Jet

A beautiful looking guitar! With this stunning finish it’s certainly no wallflower. The Gretsch Vintage Select ’89 Jet was based on the guitar used by the late Chris Cornell and is available in three colours, Gold Sparkle, Silver Sparkle or Black. This model comes loaded with a TV Jones Classic Plus in the bridge and a Classic in the neck position. Visually stunning, all told, and judging by the demos we’ve heard, tonally as well.

Gretsch Vintage Select ’89 Jet

Gretsch Vintage Select ’89 Jet

Gretsch G6129T-89VS 89 SJ Bgsby SSP

Gretsch G6129T-89VS 89 SJ Bgsby SSP

Eastman Romeo LA

This semi-hollow Eastman Romeo LA caught my eye earlier in 2021. It’s got a spruce laminate top with mahogany laminate back and sides, and is paired with a set maple neck with a 22-fret ebony fretboard. I really love the stunning nitrocellulose Celestine Blue finish as well.

A pair of Seymour Duncan Radiator Gold Foil P-90 pickups look perfect against that sumptuous blue finish, and they should also sound as good as they look. Then the nickel-plated Göldo TLT2N vibrato tailpiece and Göldo three-point Vario bridge with stainless steel saddles is paired with a set of Göldo locking tuners for ability – you should be able to shimmer your chords nicely whilst staying in tune!

Eastman Romeo LA thinline semi-hollow

Eastman Romeo LA thinline semi-hollow

Duesenberg The Falken

Much like the Eastman above,  Duesenberg’s The Falken stood out to be through a combination of stunning looks and an interesting body shape. I feel this one’s a real winner. All that brushed aluminium against a black finish gives it a touch  of class.

Plus, it has a pair of  Split/King pickups capable of producing real single-coil and humbucker tones. So you get the best of both worlds with this model. Available as either a hardtail or with a vibrato, you get some nice choices as well.

Duesenberg The Falken

Duesenberg Falken Tremolo BK

Duesenberg Falken Tremolo BK

Customer rating:

Epiphone Emily Wolfe Sheraton Stealth

This Epiphone Emily Wolfe Sheraton Stealth offers some great features, and also looks pretty amazing. And all for well under a grand!

This model comes fitted with a pair of Epiphone Alnico Classic ProBuckers 1 and 2 humbuckers, and I’m really liking the gold/black vibe of the guitar, plus those diamond shape f-holes look great, too.

Epiphone Emily Wolfe Sheraton Stealth

Epiphone Emily Wolfe Sheraton Stealth

Epiphone Emily Wolfe Sheraton Stealth

Epiphone Emily Wolfe Sheraton Stealth

Customer rating:

Ivison Guitars The Dakota

The Dakota from Ivison Guitars was a standout model for me. This UK builder is making some absolutely killer hand-made instruments, and is fast gaining a worldwide reputation for his work. This guitar features a a three-piece Premium African Mahogany body with a raised centre block and ‘wings’, plus a one piece Honduran mahogany neck, with a bound Indian rosewood fingerboard.

You also get a pair hand wound Sunbear Sunbird pickups, so it will sound as good as it looks.

Ivison Guitars announces The Dakota

Ivison Guitars The Dakota

Epiphone Jared James Nichols Gold Glory

At the other end of the price scale, this single P90 tone machine is a winner. I think the Epiphone Jared James Nichols Gold Glory deserves to be played by everyone at some point in their lifetime. It’s a great guitar – do not be fooled by that single Seymour Duncan P90. This beast is full of awesome tones!

Epiphone Jared James Nichols Gold Glory

Epiphone Jared James Nichols Gold Glory

Epiphone Jared James Nichols Gold Glory

Epiphone Jared James Nichols Gold Glory

Customer rating:

Fender J Mascis Telecaster

The Fender J Mascis Telecaster signature model is based on the Dinosaur Jr. frontman’s own refinished ’58 Telecaster he acquired from a recording studio. It features a Road Worn maple neck, top-loader bridge, mirrored chrome pickguard and a pair of custom wound J Mascis Telecaster pickups. I love how that Bottle Rocket Blue Flake finish and mirror pickguard take this Telecaster to another level visually. And I love top loader Teles!

Fender J Mascis Telecaster

Fender J Mascis Telecaster

Ibanez AZES

Why did Ibanez not make guitars this good when I was a kid? I think Ibanez has hit a home run with these new AZES models, and the price is spot on. Based on the more expensive Premium and Prestige ranges, I think these are pretty stunning guitars given the price.

The AZES40 HSS model is available in Purist Blue, Black, and Mint Green, while the AZES31 SSS models are available in Vermilion and Ivory.

 

Ibanez AZES40 in Purist Blue

Ibanez AZES40 in Purist Blue

Ibanez AZES40-MGR

Ibanez AZES40-MGR

Customer rating:

Squier CV Late 50s Jazzmaster

Another great affordable model in 2021 was the new Squier CV Late 50s Jazzmaster – and it looks great, as well. Available in a  2-tone sunburst or a white blonde finish, this offset model is based on the original Jazzmasters of the late 1950s.

Loaded with a pair of Fender Designed Alnico single-coils, it should get you close to those classic Jazzmaster tones without breaking the bank. I’m a big fan of the Squier Classic Vibe models and this one should be on your list of budget guitars to check out.

Squier CV Late 50s Jazzmaster a quality budget offset?

Squier CV Late 50s Jazzmaster

What were your favourite new guitars this year? Let us know in the comments below.

Image Sources:
  • Ibanez Paul Gilbert PGM FRM300 a luscious purple shredder with style: Ibanez
  • Gretsch Vintage Select ’89 Jet: Gretsch
  • Eastman Romeo LA thinline semi-hollow: Eastman
  • Duesenberg The Falken: Duesenberg
  • Epiphone Emily Wolfe Sheraton Stealth: Thomann
  • Ivison Guitars announces The Dakota: Ivison Guitars
  • Epiphone Jared James Nichols Gold Glory: Facebook/Jared James Nichols
  • Fender J Mascis Telecaster: Fender
  • Ibanez AZES40 in Purist Blue: Ibanez
  • Squier CV Late 50s Jazzmaster a quality budget offset?: Thomann
Best Electric Guitars 2021 Gearnews Top 10

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