Best Value Singlecut Guitars – The ’50s blues, rock & metal workhorse
The five best value Singlecut guitars across all budgets
This Best Value Singlecut Guitars list gives you our top 5 models that you should check out. Covering something for all budgets and concentrating on the guitars that offer the best bang for your buck.
Best Value Singlecut Guitars
The Singlecut guitar design is used by many companies and is a popular style of electric guitar. What are the defining features of a Singlecut guitar? Well, you’ll usually find glued-in or thru-neck construction along with hardtail bridges and three-a-side headstocks. Typically, you’ll also find either P90 or humbucking pickups.
You’ll find variations on the basic design these days, including locking tremolo systems and odd headstock layouts, but the basic design is still recognisable as that created in Kalamazoo all those years ago.
This list cannot possibly cover every single Singelcut design; Instead, we’re concentrating on five of the best value models you can buy today. We’ve looked at build quality, budget and flexibility, along with overall playability. Here’s our pick of five models that should definitely be on your list to check out!
Gibson Les Paul Custom
We start our list of best value singlecut guitars with one of the most expensive models out there, but also one of the tried and tested designs that many players adore. The Gibson Les Paul Custom is a guitar that will last you a lifetime.
Sure, you can opt for Standards, Classics and various reissues and signature models, but a Les Paul Custom is an iconic design and one that will be worth every single penny.
The Versatile Dream Guitar
The Les Paul Custom can cover a lot of ground from clean jazz chords to alternative hard rock and everything in between. The amount of famous guitarists that have played one is a mile long:
Randy Rhoads, Jerry Cantrell, Peter Frampton, Billy Duffy, Adam Jones, Keith Richards, Paul Kossoff, Jimmy Page, The Edge, Robert Fripp, Kirk Hammett, Justin Hawkins, James Dean Bradfield, and many more have all relied on the Les Paul Custom at some point in their career.
Available in a variety of colours (not just black) and pickup combinations (including both P90 and humbuckers), these guitars have appeared on countless famous records for a reason.
Yeah, they aren’t cheap, but set against a lifetime of ownership and playing they offer great value for money. You would have to rip my own Les Paul Custom from my cold dead hands!
RRP – EUR 4495.00 *
Harley Benton SC-1000 SBK Progressive Line
At the opposite end of the price scale, we have this Harley Benton SC-1000 SBK Progressive Line. Clearly inspired by a classic design with a modern twist!
The Harley Benton SC-1000 SBK comes equipped with a pair of Active HBZ Hi-Gain humbuckers and is a favourite with owners according to the reviews on Thomann. It has a modern simplified control layout that includes two volume controls and one tone control, plus a three-way selector switch.
Perfect for rocking out with and a fraction of the price of the Gibson above; equally a great guitar for musicians of all abilities.
RRP – EUR 199 *
PRS SE 245
These PRS SE 245 models offer great value for money and feature many of Paul Reed Smith’s revisions to the classic Singlecut design. Offering great playability and tones straight out of the box.
Treble and Bass
The PRS SE245 comes fitted with a set of PRS 245 “S” treble and bass pickups and a PRS Adjustable Stoptail bridge. All are designed to make the guitar a rock-solid instrument for guitarists of all skill levels.
RRP – EUR 825 *
ESP LTD EC-1000
The ESP LTD EC-1000 is another modern-day take on the design and comes in a variety of finishes. They have plenty of great benefits including a really easy access neck/heel join and high-quality Tone Pros T3B-T and T1Z locking bridge
This model has a set of active EMG 81 and EMG 60 humbuckers, making it perfect for noisy stages and recording studios. If you aren’t a fan of active pickups then LTD do models with a set of Seymour Duncan JB and ’59 passive humbuckers as well. A great option for players of all types of music, looking for a modern take on the traditional singelcut design.
RRP – EUR 1069.00 *
Gretsch G5425 Jet Club Black
The Gretsch G5425 Jet Club Black offers vintage style and tones, making it perfect for blues, rock and beyond. This model is one of many in the Gretsch lineup; the Jet Club Black here offers great value for money and is one of the more affordable guitars on this list.
You’ll find twin Gretsch Dual Coil pickups powering this model, topping off that fantastic vintage style of the Gretsch Electromatic Series. The Jet Club Black is a great sounding and looking instrument, that won’t break the bank.
Prefer a different colour? Well, the Jet Club is also available in Firebird Red and Silver finishes; I’d just choose black (again) as it looks the classiest to my eye.
RRP – EUR 349 *
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- Les Paul Custom the iconic Singlecut: Thomann
- Active HBZ Hi-Gain humbuckers: Thomann
- Paul Reed Smith: Thomann
- ESP LTD EC-1000 Vintage Black: Thomann
- Gretsch G5425 Jet Club Black: Thomann
I had a les paul Gibson but the head broke off. I used some glue on it but I did work. It broke again and fell on my butt cigarettes burnt my foot fell off. How do I fix it
Just gluing a Headstock back on doesn’t usually work. It’s often necessary to drill into the Headstock and reinforce across the break with material that reinforces the break. This is usually done with materials like Carbon Fibre Rods or Truss Rod steel. on one 12 string break I repaired, I used tool steel. It take a long Jobber drill bit to drill from the end of the Headstock down passed the break seam on both sides. Then I filled the remainder of the holes with a mahogany dowel. After staining and revarnishing the area, you had to look very closely to see the plugs.
Les Paul Jr.
At the time, I think Epiphone has real good value guitars, and the Epiphone Les Paul 1959 Standard model ticks all the boxes (besides of having Gibso writte on the headstock. These feature quality electronics (switch, pots, jack), American made Burstbuckers 2/3 – at least at this all the cheap offerings have a massive lack, and you have to change these parts at some point (better sooner than later)
I agree. Dimensionally, the Epi Les Paul’s are pretty much exact copies of the Gibson models, at significant savings. The Bolt on neck version, LP Special II, is best avoided. Too cheap, and doesn’t sound or play like a Paul.
the Les Paul design was taken to Epiphone before it landed at Gibson I’d say in the modern era Gibson oh the headstock means little anymore Gibson’s golden days price value and quality it seems it’s long behind them and I have owned old and new guitars from both to judge the Epiphone 59 Les Paul with a few small changes is a cracker right out the box
I have a 2016 Les Paul Traditional for sale . Please advise subject to viewing. Immaculate condition
basically all you have shown me is Les Paul style guitars aren’t there any other ones as well or those are the only ones?
Yeah, we only had 5 on the list and ‘Singlecut’ is a generic term for a ‘Les Paul-style’ guitar. Though, I would also suggest a Telecaster falls into that bracket as well. I already wrote a Best T-Style guitar for those and so did not want to double up. https://www.gearnews.com/the-best-value-t-style-guitars-buying-the-50s-workhorse/
great info on the best guitars that we all love. I started playing in 64′ in Santa Ana orig home of Fender. Leo was second only to the late great Les Paul.