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Top 10 Guitar Brands

Sept. 27, 2016 at midnight


Nothing beats the sight and sound of a great guitar. The beautiful blending of

aesthetic and acoustic qualities can make songs played solo or by a group an immersive, truly memorable experience. I believe this is true for everyone—whether you're Carlos Santana, an average player, simply someone who appreciates the instrument, or a teenager learning to strum his first heartache away.

The truly famous brands don't just make great guitars. They celebrate music by crafting instruments that almost come alive when played. So, when it comes to form, function, and other mythical qualities, these are my top 10, though in no particular order:

  1. Gibson
  2. The company’s craftsmanship and innovation remain unmatched. Aside from their traditional ranges, Gibson also offers seriously high-tech instruments. This Mashable review of one of the brand's most revered models lauded not only its full-bodied tone but also Gibson’s penchant for taking risks. Its modern-take-on-an-old-icon kind of thinking allows it to constantly raise the bar—and the prices too, unfortunately.

  3. Fender
  4. The brand boasts of a remarkable following. The famous Fender Stratocaster is deservedly regarded as the guitarist’s electric; it has a long lineup of musicians who used and still use it for studio recordings or live performances. A few names: Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, George Harrison of the Beatles, The Edge of U2, and Jeff Beck of the Yardbirds. The enduring popularity of this model is largely due to its incredible versatility; it bridges styles and genres with ease.

  5. Ibanez
  6. This brand also has quite a cult following and is known for its refined sound. Marketing-wise, the product line tends to confuse with models like the IEGS61MK and IEGS6. Huh? Still, it's easy to find an online community that will help demystify the numbers. One thing is for sure: Ibanez rocks.

  7. Paul Reed Smith
  8. PRS is known as the 'Apple' of electrics because the brand emphasizes such perfection. Paul Reed Smith himself is also quite a charismatic figure. About his company following trends Smith says: “We don’t really do pickups because they’re cool. [We] design them to fill a void…” Enough said.

  9. Epiphone
  10. Now owned by Gibson, former competitor Epiphone gets to keep its own line of archtop guitars. While it's a more entry-level brand, it's reliability still makes it hugely popular among guitarists of all ages, styles, and abilities.

  11. Martin
  12. When it comes to acoustics, Martin is the legend. Its distinct, balanced sound makes it the top choice of musicians like Bob Dylan, Thom Yorke, and Ed Sheeran as well as numerous country artists. It's also a true collector's instrument; some original pre-war Martin D-28s and 000-45s models are reported to fetch six figure sums at auction.

  13. Guild
  14. This brand gave the world its first dreadnought acoustic guitar. Today, however, no other maker has beaten Guild in manufacturing acoustic bass guitars. The vintage B-50 model continues to be as desirable as it was during the 70s.

  15. Mosrite
  16. A lesser known brand, Mosrite still got into the hands of the Beach Boys and Kurt Cobain, among others. Its most famous creation during its pre-electric days is the 1965 Mosrite Serenade.

  17. Taylor
  18. A younger, but very high-quality brand that's also a favorite among country artists, Taylor manufactures some truly investment-worthy acoustic guitars—with a sound that only improves over time. Its creator, Bob Taylor, tested the use of exotic tonewoods in excellent guitars, so he used oak recovered from pallet wood to craft the back, sides, and neck of the Pallet Guitar, an important model originally made in 1995. Taylor's roster of tonewoods also includes Indian Rosewood, African Ebony, Blackheart Sassafras, Blackwood, Cocobolo, Figured Walnut, Granadillo, Hawaiian Koa, Maple, Ovangkol, Sapele, Tropical Mahogany, and several others.

  19. Rickenbacker
  20. Last but not the least, Rickenbacker acoustics are rare today since the brand's focus is on electrics and bass. But it's a fine brand with a storied musical history; one well worth investigating!

Mundt Music of Longview, LLC is your one stop guitar shop. Located at 2312 Judson Road, we have everything that you need whether you’re buying your first guitar or adding to your growing collection. Make sure to join us in store on October 10, 2016 at 6:30pm, for our “Taylor Road Show” event. Guests will enjoy an evening of guitar talk and demos with Taylor factory staff and guitar makers from El Cajon, CA. It’s an event that any guitar enthusiast won’t want to miss.

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