If you’re looking for the best guitars for clean tones, you’ve come to the right review! in today’s article, I’m going to highlight 8 of the best and most affordable models available on the market right now.
Of course, the crystal clean tone is also a result of a good amp. The truth is that even the most expensive guitar may not sound ideal when you plug it in into a cheap amplifier. Still, the guitars listed above can definitely be considered as some of the best for playing clean riffs and melodies.
Here’s the list of 8 guitars that you should definitely check out. If you’d like to hear how they all sound, scroll down to the next section – I included all the sound demos and specs below. Hopefully, today’s article will help you to find the guitar of your dreams that won’t break your budget!
8 Best Guitars For Clean Tones – List
|Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster||See on Amazon||See on Thomann|
|Gretsch G5622T Electromatic||See on Amazon||See on Thomann|
|Fender Player Telecaster||See on Amazon||See on Thomann|
|Squier 40th Anniversary Jazzmaster||See on Amazon||See on Thomann|
|Ibanez AS-53||See on Amazon||See on Thomann|
|Fender Vintera ’60s Jaguar||See on Amazon||See on Thomann|
|Squier Affinity Stratocaster||See on Amazon||See on Thomann|
|Fender American Professional II Stratocaster||See on Amazon||See on Thomann|
1. Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster
Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster is a really cool and great sounding guitar. To be honest, any Strat will be a good choice for playing clean tones. This particular model works very well for cleans sounds, but it’s also great if you like playing with a bit of overdrive.
There is a few versions of this Strat and they are all a bit different, so if you’d like to check them all out, here’s my article about these Stratocasters. I think that any lover of clean tones will really enjoy the Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster.
Here’s the sound demo.
2. Gretsch G5622T Electromatic
Gretsch G5622T Electromatic is an incredible semi-hollow guitar suitable for a lot of guitar players. Although it’s not a cheap guitar, it’s definitely one of the best guitars for clean tones.
What makes it so good? Well, the quality of Gretsch guitars never fails. The guitar has a maple top, a comfortable maple neck, two humbuckers and a legendary Bigsby B70 tailpiece. Surely, even the most demanding guitarists are going to love it.
Whether you’re into blues, rock, jazz or indie, I’m sure that you’ll truly enjoy the G5622T model.
Here’s the sound demo. Sounds pretty good, right?
3. Fender Player Telecaster
Fender Player Telecaster is an another example of a really good and versatile guitar. Although this Mexican-made model isn’t that cheap, it definitely deserves to be called as one of the best guitars for clean tones.
This particular Tele has an alder body with a gloss finish and a very comfortable Modern C-shaped maple neck. In addition, Fender decided to equip this guitar with two high quality single-coil pickups.
If you like the sound of the iconic Telecaster twang, you should definitely consider getting this Telecaster. I highly recommend checking it out, especially if you like to play mainly clean tones and spice it up from time to time with a bit of overdrive.
Here’s the sound demo.
4. Squier 40th Anniversary Jazzmaster
Squier 40th Anniversary Jazzmaster is a brand new model announced by Fender in early 2022. I bought this guitar for myself and I have to admit that it quickly became one of my favorites. If you’re looking for a reliable guitar for clean tones, it will be an excellent choice!
Feel free to check out my in-depth review of this guitar – I described all of the advantages and disadvantages of that great looking guitar. Although it’s not perfect, I’m sure that a lot of guitarists are going to love it.
Here’s my video review and sound demo.
5. Ibanez AS-53
Ibanez AS-53 is an another example of a really affordable guitar that’s perfect for both clean tones and more distorted sounds. This semi-hollow guitar is equipped with two humbuckers, which give you a lot of versatility when it comes to tone.
I’m a proud owner of that guitar and I can totally confirm that it sounds awesome on the clean channel. In addition, since it’s a semi-hollow body guitar, it also sounds very good without using the amp. Undoubtedly, a lot of guitarists are going to love it!
Personally, I think that it’s one of the best cheap semi-hollow body guitars out there. It’s definitely a great choice for clean tones, so feel free to check it out.
Here’s my video review and sound demo.
6. Fender Vintera ’60s Jaguar
Fender Vintera ’60s Jaguar is a high quality guitar suitable for both beginners and more advanced guitarists. To be honest, all guitars from the Vintera Series are awesome. This particular offset model is great for playing clean tones!
The manufacturer decided to equip this guitar with two really good single-coil pickups, which offer a lot of versatility when it comes to tone. Jaguars are particularly loved by indie and alternative rock musicians, so if you like these genres, you’ll definitely enjoy using that Jag.
I have no hesitation in recommending this guitar for every guitarist who’s looking for a reliable guitar for gigging and studio recordings. In addition, that matching headstock looks just stunning!
Here’s the sound demo – feel free to check it out.
7. Squier Affinity Stratocaster
Squier Affinity Stratocaster is one of the cheapest guitars on today’s list, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth it. In fact, I had the pleasure to test out this guitar and it made a really good impression on me.
Although it’s not the best guitar in the world, it does the job very well and it sounds great on the clean channel. The pickups in that model are pretty basic, but they’re still more than enough for amateur players.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly guitar that offers really nice clean tones, you should definitely give the Affinity Strat a chance. I’m sure that you’re going to love it!
I recently reviewed this guitar on my YouTube channel, so feel free to check it out below.
8. Fender American Professional II Stratocaster
Fender American Professional II Stratocaster is one of the best and most expensive guitars on today’s list. Why is it so good? Well, it’s an American-made Fender Stratocaster, so it’s one of the best Strats available in Fender’s offering.
I think that this model will be ideal for intermediate and professional musicians who are looking for a reliable guitar suitable for gigging and studio recordings. This guitar is from the top shelf, so it genuinely sounds and looks fantastic.
Three high quality single-coil pickups make this Strat one of the best guitar for clean tones on today’s list. I’m sure that the American Professional II Stratocaster is a dream guitar for a lot of guitar players.
If you’re interested to hear how it sounds, here’s the sound demo.
What is a clean tone?
Clean tone is a natural guitar tone without any additional effects such as overdrive and distortion.
How do I get a clean tone?
Once you plug the guitar into your amp, turn off all the guitar effects and keep the gain on the low level. If your amp has a 3-band EQ, adjust the bass, mid and treble to be on the same level (ideally five out of ten). Now you’re ready to enjoy the clean tone of your guitar!
How can you improve your clean tone?
If you want to improve your clean tone, you can try using a good EQ pedal to keep your tone very tight and balanced.
How do you change your tone from clean to distorted?
If you want to change your tone from clean to distorted, you have to increase the level of gain on your amp. Of course, it all depends on the amp that you’re using. Sometimes the amp won’t be good enough to give you a good distorted tone, so in that case you’ll have to use a distortion pedal (such as BOSS DS1 or BOSS DS2).
As you can see, there are a lot of great guitars that are made for playing clean tones. Of course, most of them are really versatile, so they also sound good with a bit of overdrive. But most importantly, almost all of the models above are really affordable!
Which guitar would you choose for playing clean tones? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think, I’m really interested to hear your thoughts!
Thanks for checking out today’s review, hopefully it was helpful. If you enjoyed this article, you may also like: