Help Me Choose a Guitar

I just found these guitars on pricehipster.

I've been playing for a while and would like to upgrade but still don't know much about what makes a good guitar. What are the pros and cons of each one? Also are these considered a good deal?

Any help would be much appreciated.


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JB Hi-Fi
JB Hi-Fi


  • +2 votes

    Try here as well.

    Pacifica is a good model in those.



      I've been playing for decades. Didn't own an electric for a little while and ended up buying a Pacifica a few years ago. Couldn't be happier with it. Well constructed, sounds great, looks great, versatile, stays in tune. Also, as others have said - buy from a proper guitar shop.


    OP Whats your current guitar?


      Not sure of the exact model but it's an Ashton.


    Also, what's your budget?


      Around $400

      • +4 votes

        The thing is, guitars can be quite subjective. As others have suggested, go into a store and play a bunch of different ones and see what feels right to you.

        For that price range, if you're looking for brand new ones, maybe look at the lower end models of:

        • Yamaha Pacifica (like trinkasharma suggested above)
        • Squier Stratocaster
        • Epiphone Les Paul
        • Epiphone SG

        If you don't mind preowned guitars, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace. Heaps of bargains to be had on there.

        In regards to this statement:

        still don't know much about what makes a good guitar.

        Pretty much everything from the construction, to the wood that is used, to the electronics that are in it. Cheaper guitars tend to use less expensive parts, but you can always swap out things like the pickups if the stock ones aren't to your liking.


          This is the way. Go into the shop, look at all the guitars you like the look of for your price range, then try them out. Go for the one that simply feels the nicest to you to play. Comfort while playing is very important.

          You can go real far with Squires and Epiphones. And it kind of depends what music you're playing, to some degree too. If you're aiming for Kurt, then a squire will get you there. If you're aiming for Dimebag or Hetfield, then you're going to want to look into pickup upgrades, good quality necks and fretboards etc. If you wanna doom, save money for amps.

          That's all assuming you're into heavy. If you're playing a lot of clean tones, reverb or just mildly distorted, you will eventually hear the difference between a $400 guitar and a $2000 one.

  • +10 votes

    I’m a hopeless guitarist, but I wouldn’t class anything jb sell as an upgrade.
    Probably time to visit a music shop and play a whole heap of different instruments. A legit music shop will expect you to spend an hour playing different guitars, and will be happy for you to try some $2000 guitars too.
    When you have tried a whole range, you’ll be able to answer personally what you find makes a good instrument.
    A local music shop is one of the bricks and mortar retailers it is worth supporting so you aren’t forced to waste money on stuff like jb hifi guitars when you want something better than cheap junk.

    • +4 votes

      This. Go spend some time in your local music shop

      1) They have probably struggled much more than JB over the last 12 months and deserve the support

      2) They can probably actually assist you with your next purchase and help suggest a suitable upgrade.


    This is a review

    They seem to be decent first upgrades.

  • +6 votes

    You have the major advantage that you can play already. Go to some guitar shops (not jb hifi), try a few across a wide price range. Try some more expensive ones too.

    Decide what you like.

    Then look for a second hand one and try before you buy. Or you may find one you like in a shop

    Also bear in mind that a cheap guitar can be made much better with some setup and tweaking. Read up about that as well

    Don't buy a guitar from jb hifi


    Air guitar


    All 4 of those are the same model with slight differences;

    All but one has a fixed bridge which means they're easier to tune (floating bridges / whammy bars / tremolos [eg floyd rose] take a lot more effort to get all the strings tuned, as tuning one string changes the tension which means the bridge position changes putting the other strings out of tune - it needs the right balance across all the strings which takes longer to tune, but you do get the benefits of a tremolo if you're into that)

    Two of them have a humbucker in the bridge position (looks like a double pickup) - which gives a heavier sound if you're into overdrive / distortion through your amp

    They're all pretty basic entry level guitars, also look at Squire by Fender or even better, upgrading your amp which will make a bigger difference than changing between entry level guitars. I recommend the Roland Cube, Positive Grid Spark, Boss Katana 50, Fender Champion 50XL for around the $350 mark


      I love my Blackstar ID code 40 V2 and you can get them dead cheap now as the V3 is out

  • +1 vote

    Can you afford a more expensive guitar? Look in the 2nd hand market also.

    Please don't buy from JB Hihi, go to a music store and try out some of the guitars in that price bracket.

    Try these.

    Decent reviews and cheap.

    Squier Affinity Telecaster Electric - $340
    Epiphone SG Special VE - $380
    Squier Stratocaster 10G - $360 - Comes with AMP and Case

    Also, check our Paul Davids on Youtube for all guitar related stuff. Pure Butter

  • +2 votes

    but still don't know much about what makes a good guitar.

    The person playing it makes the biggest different…


    i dont believe it's as important as people believe

    just find a guitar YOU like, dont worry about what other people think


      Don't know about Volins, but the guitar world is different, especially Acoustics.

      Electric - This shows that a decent amp and a quality player can make a cheap guitar hold its own against its bigger brother.


      Comparing an excellent quality violin to a historical violin isnt the same as comparing a really cheap guitar with an inexpensive guitar.

      Things like fret sprout / buzz, keeping in tune, radius of the neck and the sounds available from the guitar all can be issues. Yes, theres a lot of rubbish to do with tone woods and the like but the things I mentioned can make a big difference in playability and sound.

      Additionally, the types of guitar make a big difference in tones available.

      All in all a well chosen guitar thats under $500 can hold its own pretty well with a decent amp and is much better than the cheapest chinese guitars with a cheap amp.

      Above that, you really start to see diminishing returns.


    Those guitars are pretty good. Had the Ltd Bass. Quality of construction was good. Tone was average though. Price was also $250 couple years ago and have seen cheaper models at JB even. You can probably get a mid range Ibanez for $50 more at Music websites with free delivery. Or any other decent brand. Found these as a guide: Manny's Link You can also improve the output if you have a digital link behringer and use amp modelling on a pc or mac.


    Crime Converters have some good cheap units too.


    Another vote here for the Yamaha Pacifica range - my wife bought the Pacifica 112V (along with a Boss Katana 50 amp) a couple of years back when she started to learn how to play.
    She constantly recommends it as a good quality instrument that, for her, made learning so much easier and is not limiting her going ahead.

    Make sure to check quite a few stores once you decide on the model as the prices vary greatly from store to store.
    Pretty sure she bought hers from The Guitar Factory in Parramatta and they were pretty competitive at the time.


    I bought an OLP MM1F in 2006. Teamed it with a Zoom G2.1u, it's all the guitar I need.
    If you can find one, give it a play.


    You are much better off going to a music store. have you thought of that?

  • +1 vote

    You need to play each one to know what’s best. Guitars vary greatly in terms of the width/shape/slickness of the neck, which can be the different between a “perfect” guitar and a virtually unplayable one. Then you need to consider the type of pickups and their relation to your style of music. After that, scale length would be worth a consideration but makes a minimal difference unless you have small arms/hands.

    Would avoid JB for guitars, though. You’d be better off with an epiphone or squier in this price range. Even if you’re chasing a used model.