Top 10 Guitars for your Christmas Wishlist

Christmas is the perfect time to get a new guitar... even if it is a present to yourself!

If you’re struggling to narrow down the perfect contenders for your wishlist, we hope that our top 10 will help to steer you (or Santa!) in the right direction.

Written by

Elliot Stent

2019 has been a brilliant year for guitars. Loads of exciting new releases, a return to form for some of the giants in the industry and plenty of new entries too. The likes of Sire, Alvarez, EastCoast and G&L have also surprised us with just how good guitars can be at an affordable price.

Here are the top electric, acoustic and bass guitars that we think you should consider if you're interested in getting a new instrument in time for Christmas. We've included as wide a variety of guitars as possible, because we know that you guys love to experiment with different musical styles!

EastCoast may boast an incredible range of electric guitars, but it's acoustic offerings are equally diverse. With a few models available for under £100, these instruments are simply perfect for beginners who are looking for affordable acoustic guitars that feel and sound great!

The EastCoast D1 models follow a traditional dreadnought body shape, making them great all-rounders with fantastic projection. The G1's have a slightly more modern design, akin to a shape made famous by a large American brand. The Mini acoustic guitars are best-sellers for a reason; they're not only great-value but they're also incredibly portable - making them perfect travel acoustics for the road.

Selected EastCoast acoustic guitars come equipped with built-in electronics, allowing you to plug into dedicated acoustic amplifiers or PA systems. This eliminates the need to mic these acoustics in live or recording scenarios, so that you can plug-in and play hassle-free!

Eastcoast Acoustic Guitars on Andertons T.V.

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In late October, Chapman Guitars unveiled five stunning new finishes for its flagship ML1 Modern Standard models. With Abyss, Mallow, Tyrian, Jolokia and Black Blood colour options now available, these vibrant finishes add even more character to these great-value guitars that are designed solely for contemporary players.

Keeping the original specs intact, these ML1 Standard models still boast Chapman’s powerful Sonorous Zero pickups, which guarantee punchy mids and ultra-clear highs. Direct-mounted into their rich-sounding Mahogany bodies, you can expect singing sustain and hefty lows too.

Other noteworthy features include rolled fingerboard edges and satin-finished Maple necks, meaning that Chapman ML1 Modern Standard guitars offer a fast, smooth and extremely playable feel. Trust us, these instruments feel akin to guitars that cost double and even triple their prices!

Chapman hasn’t left its extended range players in the dark. That’s because these new finishes have been applied to their Baritone models too! If you’re new to the Baritone game, these instruments feel just like normal electric guitars but have a slightly longer scale length; enabling you to tune them much lower. If you want something new and inspiring this Christmas - we can’t think of anything better!

Chapman V2 Guitars on Andertons T.V.

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Ukuleles count as guitars, right? Well, to us they do! And if you’re looking for a great stocking filler for the guitarist in your life, or you simply want to take it up for yourself; a ukulele makes plenty of sense. With many affordable options available from the likes of Mahalo and Fender, you could also stretch to something more premium from Alvarez or Gretsch.

Simply put - ukuleles are just lots of fun! There are four common varieties: soprano, concert, tenor and baritone. These vary in terms of size, scale length and tuning, but nowadays some manufacturers even produce guitar/ukulele and bass/ukulele hybrids, designed to be more accessible to musicians that already play guitar or bass.

But if you’re a complete beginner to stringed instruments, ukuleles are great for starting your musical journey with. Not only are they super-portable, but their soft nylon strings are far more forgiving on the fingertips compared to the metal strings you’ll typically find on electric guitars and basses.

'Battle of the Ukuleles' on Andertons T.V.

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Andertons Music Co. introduced G&L Guitars back in 2018, and they’ve become one of our most popular guitar brands! With US-made Fullerton Deluxe, CLF Research and Custom Shop models available, G&L’s Tribute series is far more accessible as it encompasses a diverse range of mid-priced guitars and basses.

Still boasting the same beauty and elegance, most of G&L’s Tribute series instruments come fitted with the Fullerton-made electronics and hardware found on their full-fat American counterparts. This includes powerful ‘MFD’ pickups, smooth ‘Dual-Fulcrum’ tremolos, high-mass ‘Saddle-Lock’ bridges and flexible ‘PTB’ tone systems! This means that these guitars and basses feel and sound far better than what their modest price-points indicate!

G&L Tribute Guitars on Andertons T.V.

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If you regularly peruse our website, Sire may be a familiar name. Renowned for their incredibly popular range of bass guitars designed collaboratively with the legendary Marcus Miller, Sire recently took a leap into the world of acoustic guitars; applying the same winning formula. Their R3 acoustic guitars truly strike the perfect balance between affordability and versatility, while offering top-notch performance too.

These somewhat understated acoustics may have simple finishes and conventional curves, but as with Sire’s bass models; the brand’s aim is to offer streamlined playability and superb tones. Solid Spruce tops and Mahogany laminate are used throughout, ensuring rich sonics and excellent projection.

Sire R3 acoustic guitars come in both traditional dreadnought and more modern grand auditorium configurations, with the latter boasting lower cutaways that allow you to access their higher frets. With either onboard (Zebra SIB) or outboard (Zebra 7) electronics, these electro-acoustic guitars can be easily hooked up to acoustic guitar amps or PA systems without the need for a mic! There are very few guitars at this price-point with so much to offer.

Sire Acoustic Guitars on Andertons T.V.

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D’Angelico is another new guitar brand that joined the Andertons catalogue in 2019. With a rich history, D’Angelico pioneered the classic archtop guitar for decades in its original home of Little Italy, Manhattan. Officially relaunched in 2011, the company now produces a diverse range of striking hollow-body and solid-body models, which perfectly blend stylish retro design with modern functionality.

The brand’s stunning Premier line encompasses a bunch of classy mid-priced instruments, while D’Angelico’s Deluxe series features guitars aimed more at professional, working musicians; with their high-quality tonewoods and tasteful binding. The Excel range sits in between, with these instruments sporting genuine USA Seymour Duncan pickups and luxurious hardware.

A popular D’Angelico model is the DC (Doublecut), which is a versatile semi-hollow guitar that captures the spirit of a popular Gibson model - without costing nearly as much! D’Angelico’s Atlantic and Brighton solid-body models are definitely worthy of note with their classic looks and powerful humbucking tones. But if you’re after something really unique, try their offset Bedford or the audacious Ludlow!

D'Angelico Guitars on Andertons T.V.

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EastCoast are one of the best brands to look at if you're a beginner guitarist looking to get started. These instruments are some of the best low-cost guitars we've come across, especially when compared to others in similar price brackets.

Want to play rock, metal, indie, blues or even folk music? We believe beginners shouldn't be lumped with any old piece of wood - you deserve better than that! EastCoast's sweeping range of electric guitars and basses are built for all playing styles.

"Having played a lot of budget instruments in recent months, I can confidently say that the EastCoast guitars are by far the best bang for buck I've tried. They all had a "low action" (which means the strings are easier to press down) which is perfect for beginners and means less finger pain and a lot more fun!" - YouTube guitar teacher JustinGuitar

You can also save £££s when you buy EastCoast guitars in a bundle with accessories - everything you'll need to get started!

Eastcoast Electric Guitars on Andertons T.V.

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In the summer, Andertons Music Co. got its hands on a bunch of super-cool limited edition Epiphone electric guitars. With various models still available, including Les Pauls, SGs and hollow-bodies, these somewhat niche instruments feature beautiful finishes and premium upgrades that set them apart from their standard Epiphone counterparts.

The Les Paul Custom Lite is a noteworthy model. Giving you authentic LP style and performance, this instrument features a heavily-chambered body that makes it extremely lightweight. Also boasting a set of Epiphone's versatile Alnico Classic humbuckers, the Les Paul Custom Lite is an excellent live performance workhorse.

If you’re after something with a little more flair, the SG G-400 Deluxe Pro models sport luxurious AAA Flamed Maple veneer tops that offer a gorgeous, high-end look. And with the electronics and hardware to match, including powerful ClassicPRO pickups, LockTone bridges and Wilkinson tuners; these guitars are perfect for modern players!

Epiphone Limited Edition Guitars on Andertons T.V.

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Alvarez Guitars was established in 1965 by major US instrument distributor St. Louis Music. Teaming up with master Japanese guitar luthier Kazuo Yairi, together their aim was to produce the finest guitars in the world. The success of Alvarez-Yairi guitars helped put the brand on the market, and in the decades that followed, Alvarez significantly expanded its operation. It now produces one of the most extensive and diverse range of acoustic instruments we’ve ever seen!

Here at Andertons, our Alvarez range starts with entry-level models like the AF30 and AD30. Featuring solid Sitka Spruce tops, mahogany backs/sides and Alvarez’s acclaimed FST2 X-bracing, these affordable instruments ensure excellent projection and clarity, offering a high-end feel and sound that you really can’t argue with!

If you’re looking for something fancier, anything from Alvarez’s Artist Elite or Masterworks series’ will suit you. Featuring more exotic tonewoods, elegant armrest bevels and high-end electronics from LR Baggs; these instruments are truly professional-grade.

Alvarez Guitars on Andertons T.V.

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The Sire M2 is an ultra-modern bass that offers contemporary style, superb playability and powerful tones - all in an extremely affordable package! Featuring an ergonomic body design, the Sire M2 is very comfortable to play in sitting or standing positions, with its rolled fingerboard edges and matte-finished neck further adding to a smooth playing experience. This makes it an excellent bass for beginners!

At the heart of the Sire M2 is a rich-sounding Mahogany body. Ensuring a balanced sound across the frequency spectrum, the M2 get most of its thunderous tone from a pair of direct-mounted ‘Marcus Blue’ humbuckers. Projecting a thick and modern bass tone, the Sire M2’s onboard 3-band EQ also lets you sculpt the perfect sound with direct control over the lows, mids and highs.

The Sire M2 isn’t just limited to a standard 4-string model either. With 5-string versions also available, extended range players can get in on the action and take advantage of the extra low B string. Considering the high-end features found on Sire M2 basses, you can’t really ask for more!

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PRS Guitars went into overdrive in October this year, unveiling a bunch of exciting new models to form its huge 2020 lineup. Taking the wraps off a number of gorgeous 35th Anniversary Custom 24 models to mark the birthday of their flagship guitar design, the brand also unveiled a raft of satin-finished, US-made S2 guitars to bolster its popular mid-tier guitar range.

However, the affordable SE series featured arguably the largest amount of new guitars. Highlights included new 7-string Mark Holcomb signature guitars, fresh finishes for a number of best-selling models, and of course - the return of the P90-loaded SE One!

It's fair to say that the most significant additions to the SE range were the Hollowbody and Hollowbody II models. As part of PRS' Core and Private Stock ranges for a long time, PRS decided to bring these iconic instruments to the inexpensive SE series to give fans convincing recreations that cost just a mere fraction of the price of their US-made counterparts. PRS introduced its elegant Starla and Mira guitars to the SE line too; making the catalogue more diverse than ever before!

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