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7 Best American Made Guitars

This article looks at the best American-made guitars – if you want an American instrument with a distinctive sound, read this guide!

America is known for making both amazing guitars and guitar amplifiers. There are several American guitar brands that are giants in the industry. 

Whilst many large companies outsource their factories to other countries, many still have workshops in America. This post looks at some of the finest offerings from American guitar manufacturers.

Fender American Ultra Stratocaster

I tested 7 products and found the Fender American Ultra Stratocaster to be the best American-made guitar.

These are truly beautiful instruments. Stratocasters are super versatile and flexible, working for most styles of music. They also have a well-refined feel and are one of the most comfortable guitars around. Pick one of these up and you’re sure to have a cracking tone. 

The Fender American Ultra guitar series has some of the finest quality Fender has to offer. These guitars are really one of a kind. Each one is partially handmade, and you can be assured the quality control is next level. These guitars are worthy of even the most exclusive stages and recording studios.

I’ve tried hundreds of guitars in my career. American-made guitars always have a special quality to them. You can feel the handmade nature and master craftsmanship coming through. I’ve always thought some of the best acoustic guitars come from America. They have some fantastic luthiers who have generations of knowledge and experience.

Electric guitars also have a long and intertwined history with the development of the USA.

There are many great guitars made in America. Each one is differently suited for types of playing styles. Generally, American guitars are more expensive, so they are more suitable for professional musicians and session musicians. All these brands offer a range of instruments, although generally, the American-made ones are much more expensive. 

This list includes both American-made electric guitars and acoustics. Some of the best acoustic guitars come from America, so we had to include a few on this list. You really can’t go wrong with an American-made acoustic guitar!

Keep reading for our full review of the best American-made guitars. 

Otherwise, check our other guide on the best beginner guitars or the best rhythm guitars

Best in our tests

7 American Made Guitars Reviewed in Detail

1. Fender American Ultra Stratocaster

Fender American Ultra Stratocaster

Description

If you’re looking to take your game to the next level, reach for the Fender USA Ultra Strat! This electric guitar features a vintage tone and modern playability. If you’re ready for a pro-level guitar without the pro-level price tag, this is it! 

The Fender USA Stratocaster Ultra is a Strat with a majority of its weight in the body, not the neck. 

The Ultra Strats are lighter, smaller, and designed to be played standing up. They come with a “tight-action” bolt-on neck that’s slimmer than most other models. There are also two-tone knobs that have been placed closer to the bridge pickup for easier access. The vintage deluxe tuners keep this guitar in tight tuning. 

The body is crafted from alder, a tonewood with a characteristically biting sound. It’s got a maple neck and fretboard, as well as a modern C-shaped profile that makes it super comfy to play. Throw in three Tex-Mex single-coil Strat pickups and five-way switching for a great sound and a versatile range.

There are many American Made fender strats around, but the Ultra series is supreme. These are really amazing guitars. This Fender guitar feels unreal. Whether you’re playing chords or shredding solos, the sound this guitar produces beats most other guitars. It has a smooth mid-range and a semi-retro style. Own a piece of music history with one of these beautiful guitars. 

Specifications

  • Material: Alder
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Pickups: 3 x Single Coil
  • Other Features: Includes Tremolo

Pros & Cons

  • Incredibly versatile tone
  • Fantastic pickups
  • Includes Tremolo Arm
  • Well refined neck design
  • Super Comfortable
  • Expensive

Summary

The Fender Stratocaster guitar is back and better than ever with the all-new Fender USA Strat. These Fender American-made instruments are the cream of the crop. These sound and feel much better than most guitars. They are versatile enough to work with any playing style, making this guitar suitable for a range of players. Leo Fender would be proud. 

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2. Fender American Ultra Telecaster

Fender American Ultra Telecaster

Description

The Fender American Ultra range is an advanced series of guitars and basses for discerning players who demand the ultimate in precision, performance, and tone. The Fender USA Ultra Telecaster is a solid body electric guitar that comes equipped with a plethora of features perfect for any guitarist. 

This Telecaster is easily one of the best guitars made in America. It makes playing guitar a whole lot of fun. These solid-body electric guitars are superior to many other models. It goes without saying that these high-quality electric guitars have been used in countless hit records! From the studio to the stage, these guitars can handle anything you throw at them.

With a 25.5″ scale length and 22 medium-jumbo frets, this guitar is a perfect balance of playability and comfort. You’ll also find a 9.5″ radius maple fingerboard which is great for performing chords and extended range soloing.

You know how versatile a Telecaster is. You can use it for anything from rock to country to jazz to metal. Well, with the new Fender USA Ultra Telecaster you can do even more! Any guitarist would love to play this beautiful guitar, made in the USA with a glass-infused polyester finish that is tough as nails.

This guitar features two-player Series single-coil Telecaster pickups, which produce a bright, articulate sound with a smooth midrange. Both the bridge and neck pickup share tone and volume controls. The pickup choice makes this a relatively versatile guitar, although a Stratocaster still has more range. 

The American Ultra Telecaster features a unique “Modern D” neck profile with Ultra rolled fingerboard edges for hours of playing. There are many fantastic guitars on the Fender American Ultra series, each of them with its own unique twist. This Telecaster is one of my favorites from the range and is a seriously great guitar. 

The Fender Telecaster Custom’s sculpted rear body contours make the guitar feel super comfortable on your body, without digging into your chest. This is the perfect guitar for all kinds of performances.

Specifications

  • Material: Alder
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Pickups: 2 x single-coil
  • Other Features: Classic Telecaster Hardtail Bridge

Pros & Cons

  • High-quality Telecaster sound
  • Renowned fender build quality
  • Fantastic single-coil pickups
  • Used across the music industry
  • Expensive and often hard to find

Summary

The Fender Telecaster Custom is truly a work of art. With its 3-ply white pickguard, shielded body cavities, and chrome pickup covers, the Fender Telecaster Custom is truly one of the most beautiful Telecasters ever made. This versatile, state-of-the-art instrument will inspire you to push your playing to the next level.

Fenders are known for building guitars with exceptional quality, and these American-made ones certainly are fantastic. The Fender Custom Shop guitars are also a great range to look at. Either way, these Fenders have been used across the music industry, covering all kinds of genres from rock music to jazz and punk.

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3. Fender Player Telecaster

Fender Player Telecaster

Description

The Fender Player range is another series of high-quality guitars. Whilst more affordable than the American Ultra series, many are still made in the USA, and always have a great sound and feel. I think these are some of the best guitars for those on a budget. The bass guitars on the range are also brilliant

With a more traditional feel than its predecessor, the Player Telecaster still stays true to the original design. It still maintains that familiar shorter scale length 

The maple-made neck provides a modern and comfortable feel and the new custom bridge gives stunning string-to-string balance. The modern C-shaped neck and narrow-tall frets make fretting and chording easier. With classic looks and investment-grade quality, this guitar will stand the test of time.

The Fender Player Telecaster is for players looking for a modern take on an iconic instrument. It has a gloss finish, refined, and maple fingerboard with dot position inlays. Features include two single-coil pickups with three-way switching, synchronous tremolo bridge, and more.

The Telecaster was the world’s first commercially successful solid-body electric guitar. These guitars are highly versatile, able to play many styles of music and genres. The Fender Player Telecaster is no exception, with its 2 Player Series single-coil Telecaster pickups, this iconic guitar has a jangly, bright tone that oozes personality.

With over 50 years of experience building iconic guitars without compromise, you can be confident this Fender will make the grade.

Specifications

  • Material: Alder
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Pickups: 2 x Single Coil
  • Other Features: Hardtail bridge

Pros & Cons

  • Affordable but high quality
  • Classic Telecaster feel and tone
  • Well designed, well finished
  • Slightly less versatile than a Stratocaster

Summary

The Fender Player Telecaster is a cutting edge electric guitar that’s made for today’s guitarist. With modern features but a classic styling, this guitar is as comfortable as it is easy to play. 

With the electronics and setup, you’ll have all the range of tones you need. These guitars are known to be played by greats such as Bob Dylan, which is all the proof you need these are some of the best guitars around.

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Description

PRS are known for their high-quality, classically styled guitars. The Custom 24 is a great introduction to the PRS world with an all-mahogany body and neck.

The PRS Custom 24 is one of the most versatile guitars we make. It sounds beautiful, it’s comfortable to play…it feels like an extension of your body! This is your guitar.

With PRS’s patented Gen III tremolo system, the PRS Custom 24 is packed with feel and tonality. A versatile 5-way blade switch offers 5 unique sounds with each pickup position. A volume and tone control provides added versatility to the already powerful sound of this guitar.

The PRS Custom 24 is one of the most popular guitars in rock and roll. This instrument has been used on countless records to achieve the rich, clean, and fluid sound that distinguishes a good guitar tone. 

The PRS Custom 24 features PRS’s patented PRS 85/15 pickups with volume and tone controls. 85/15 pickups were personally designed by Paul Reed Smith to offer remarkable clarity and extended tone.

PRS 85/15 pickups are a perfect fit for players looking for a more modern sound. They have a clear and extended high and low end, making them well-suited for rhythm playing. The pickups have a distinguished voice that is well-balanced with a strong midrange. I love the way they sound. They respond great to distortion and effects pedals too. 

The PRS Custom 24 is a guitar that reaches for extremes. The sound, playability, and innovative tremolo design set this instrument apart. The Custom 24 possesses an unmatched combination of power, clarity, and sustain.

Specifications

  • Material: Maple and Rosewood
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Pickups: 2 x Coil Splitting Humbuckers
  • Other Features: Tremolo fitted bridge

Pros & Cons

  • Renowned PRS guitar quality
  • Superior crafting
  • Best guitars for metal and distortion
  • Beautiful wooden finish
  • Heavier
  • Slightly longer scale length

Summary

These guitars from PRS are an industry favorite. PRS Guitars are known to be some of the best guitar manufacturers in the business. These guitars have a great sound and an even better feel. They are also one of the nicest looking guitars around too. I love PRS because its instruments have a unique and distinct design. They stand out from the crowd of Stratocasters and Telecasters with their sleek, sexy styling. 

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5. Gibson SG Standard

Description:

This guitar is one of the most iconic around. It was a spiritual successor to the Les Paul and completely changed the game. The most noticeable differences include the thinner body, double cutaway, and different wood choices. This makes the guitar much more resonant and increases the sustain. It also makes the guitar more prone to feeding back. Whilst you might see this as a disadvantage, many players of heavier genres flock to this guitar for its high gains.

The Gibson SG Standard looks, sounds, and plays like an American classic. Made up of some of the most classic Gibson pickups ever, this guitar is at its most iconic with a 490R Alnico II high-output humbucker in the neck position and a 498T ceramic high-output humbucker in the bridge position. The guitar has a thick, fat tone that’s perfect for rock, blues, or metal.

The SG Standard electric guitar features a classic look and a versatile sonic palette by combining a rounded profile mahogany neck, iconic beveled body shape, dual humbucker pickups, and long tenon neck joint for outstanding stability. It’s the perfect instrument for rock, blues, jazz, and fusion styles.

The SG Standard is an iconic American-made guitar with a slim body roaring sound. The SG Standard is known for its thick sound and iconic features, like its double-cutaway horn shape. It’s perfect for any guitarist, whether they’re just starting out or are a seasoned veteran.

The SG is a solid guitar with a very high-quality finish. It’s versatile enough for beginners to use, but also has the versatility to be used by intermediate-level players as well.

Specifications

  • Material: Mahogany
  • Neck Material: Mahogany
  • Pickups: 2 x Humbuckers
  • Other Features: Fixed or Floyd Rose Bridge

Pros & Cons

  • The king of rock n roll guitars
  • Fat, humbucker tone
  • Perfect for use with distortion and high gain amps
  • Not recommended for all genres
  • Originals are rare and expensive

Summary:

The SG is one of the most well-recognized guitars ever created. As one of the first solid-body guitars, it has achieved notoriety because of its power, sustain, and endless ability to rock. The SG Standard has a unique body shape that is instantly recognizable and has gained much notoriety because of its sound, ease of use, and versatility.

If you’ve been looking for a hard-rocking, practical, and affordable electric guitar that will play and sound good no matter what, an SG is a great choice. If you can get your hands on these, you will be very happy!

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6. Gibson Les Paul Studio

Description

The Gibson Studio gives you a classic Les Paul experience at an affordable price. It’s a modern model that has all you need for an awesome tone and awesome performance. 

You’ll enjoy the solid mahogany, maple top, and ebony fingerboard that provides a rich, full sound with some bite. The Gibson Studio is an amazing electric guitar for those who want the iconic Les Paul design.

The Gibson Les Paul Studio is a stripped-down version of the classic Les Paul. In terms of features, it leaves out the needless frills and focuses on what you really need from a modern electric guitar.

The guitar features a solid Mahogany body, set-neck construction, dual humbuckers and pairs of volume and tone controls. This guitar features the 490R/490T Humbucking pickups for an authentic vintage sound, as well as a ’70s-style headstock. It drops the figured Maple top and binding to leave a guitar that is elegant yet utilitarian in appearance.

Specifications

  • Material: Mahogany
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Pickups: 2 x Humbucker

Pros & Cons

  • Classic Les Paul tone at an affordable price
  • Punchy, raw humbuckers
  • Great with distortion and gain
  • Lacks some versatility

Summary:
The Gibson LP Studio is the epitome of rock & roll, with its perfect balance of weight, sustain, and punch. This is an affordable, high-quality electric guitar, perfect for beginners and pros alike. These also come from Epiphone, which make more affordable, mass-produced instruments.

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7. Martin D-28 Dreadnought

Martin D-28 Dreadnought

Description

If you know your acoustic guitars, you’ll have heard of martin. They are known to make some of the best American-made acoustic guitars around. This D-28 dreadnought is a great acoustic guitar, and definitely one of the best on the Marin lineup. These are widely regarded as some of the best acoustic guitars in the world.

Martin guitars are unparalleled in their ability to create iconic acoustic guitar sounds. One of the most traditional and cherished instruments, Martins are used by musicians across all genres. From George Harrison to John Mayer, Martin has become synonymous with greatness and skill.

Martin’s Standard Series Dreadnought guitars are made for the long haul. Made with care from the highest-quality materials, these acoustic guitars are built to stand up to late-night jams, long studio sessions, and plenty of picking. Thoughtful design touches like scalloped X bracing and updated V neck shapes make these guitars true classics that can be enjoyed for years to come. The solid Sitka spruce top offers a fantastic resonance. 

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, Martin has a guitar to suit your needs. Requiring less effort to play and with improved sound quality, these guitars are perfect for anyone from professionals to amateurs. 

Martin’s D-28 has been around for almost 80 years and has serenaded millions of players with their angelic sound. It’s an acoustic guitar that not only sounds great but is playable for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player.

Specifications

  • Material: Spruce and Rosewood
  • Neck Material: Mahogany
  • Pickups: Optional acoustic pickup

Pros & Cons

  • Classic Martin Acoustic tone
  • Clear, bright sound
  • Excellent quality
  • Studio-grade
  • Expensive and rare.

Summary

This American-made acoustic guitar is absolutely stunning. A Martin D-28 is the grand prize of any musical career. These guitars are definitely professional-grade instruments. Anything from Martin guitars is going to be fantastic, to be honest. There are some other great brands for American-made acoustic guitars including

 Gretsch Guitars, Ovation Guitars, and anything from Taylor guitar. Don’t forget to check out these other brands! Collings guitars and Guild guitars are also highly recommended.

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FAQs

What US Guitar Brand is Best?

The US guitar industry is not as large as it once was. The American guitar market has shrunk in the past few decades and it has been overtaken by Asian manufacturers.

It is difficult to say what the best US guitar brand is because there are so many different brands and models of guitars in the US. Some of the most popular brands in the US are Fender, Gibson, and Taylor Guitars, but there are plenty more to choose from such as Ibanez, Paul Reed Smith, and PRS Guitars.

Are all Martin Guitars made in the USA?

Many Martin instruments are made in the USA. There are some exceptions to this, but they are few and far between. Today, the company produces instruments at their Nazareth factory, as well as in Mexico and China.

The Martin Guitar Company has been making guitars in Nazareth, Pennsylvania since 1833. The company is currently owned by C.F. Martin & Co., which is an American guitar manufacturer that produces acoustic guitars, electric guitars, banjos, mandolins, ukuleles and dobros.

The company was founded in 1833 when Christian Frederick Martin decided to build guitars for his family and friends.

Is Washburn American made?

The Washburn guitar company is a manufacturer of guitars and other musical instruments. The company was founded in 1883 and is based in Chicago, Illinois. The company was originally called the Washburn & Moen Manufacturing Company and focused on producing accordions.

In the late 1800s, the company started to produce guitars as well as other instruments such as mandolins, banjos, ukuleles, and drums. In the early 1900s, Washburn’s son began managing the company and it became known as Washburn Incorporated. As time passed by they expanded their product lines to include violins, banjos, mandolins, ukuleles, and other stringed instruments.

Today they are one of America’s oldest still-operating manufacturers of guitars. Many Washburn guitars are American-made, particularly acoustic guitars. Although they do have factories around the world. 

Are all Gibsons made in the USA?

Gibson guitars are made in the USA, but not all of them.

When Gibson bought out Norlin, they also acquired the rights to make instruments under the Epiphone name. Epiphones are manufactured in China and other countries.

A few years ago, Gibson changed its production process and started making some guitars in factories overseas. The company also started using wood from different regions and countries.

The company has not explicitly stated that all of its guitars are made in the USA. However, they have said that they do manufacture most of their guitars in the US and many of them are made in the United States with U.S materials.

Conclusion

Fender American Ultra Stratocaster

Overall, I thought the best American-made guitar is the Fender American Ultra Stratocaster.

As far as guitars go, Stratocasters are one of the best out there. Mostly for their versatility, reliability, and classic sound. 

There are tons of Strat models around, but few come close to the sound of an authentic Fender American Ultra Strat. These guitars are truly next level. These handmade instruments have all the features you need and are built with only the purest manufacturing quality.

These guitars have been used across the industry, and perform super well in all kinds of genres. If you are looking for a superior electric guitar from America, you should check this one out!

Check out the Fender American Ultra Stratocaster today! Interested in finding out more about guitars? Check out my post about the best Japanese guitar brands.