TOP 5: Best Metal Guitars Under £500

Posted on 11th February 2020 by

Whilst of course you CAN use any guitar to play anything you want, there are certain designs that lend themselves to the dark side. This Top 5 focuses on metal guitars designed for fast fretwork, crushing tones and outrageous dive-bombs. For the budget-conscious, we’ve stuck to those available for under £500 and believe these give you a whole lot of bang-for-buck value!

Jackson X Series Soloist


Jackson X Series Soloist Neon Yellow

As one of the oldest and most-respected metal guitar manufacturers, Jackson were always going to feature in this list. If you like pointy, well-built guitars and making a statement then Jackson is a great option. We’ve highlighted the X-Series SL3X Soloist for its feature-laden design. Its Thru-Neck construction, usually reserved for premium guitars, gives you a solid, ergonomic playing platform. It’s an HSS configuration, but Hot-Rails humbuckers occupy the single-coil spots. A double-locking Floyd Rose tremolo completes the shred-worthy appointments. Finished in Neon Yellow, this is for the guitarist who revels in the limelight.

Jackson X Series SL3X Soloist: Neon Yellow

Epiphone Les Paul Custom


Epiphone Les Paul Custom

If you prefer your metal classic, heavy or black, then perhaps the Epiphone Les Paul Custom is for you. Its split diamond headstock, bound body and gold hardware grant an iconic look. Epiphone’s highly-acclaimed ProBucker pickups give a clear, articulate tone with a hot output. This is an older model with a rosewood fingerboard; there is an updated 2020 edition that uses ebony but it’s priced over our £500 budget! Get the last of the rosewood models at a tidy price now, available in Ebony or Alpine White.

Epiphone Les Paul Custom (Rosewood): Ebony | Alpine White

EVH Wolfgang Standard QM


EVH Wolfgang Standard QM trio

New for 2020, the EVH Wolfgang Standard is the brainchild of metal maestro Eddie Van Halen. Once again, this series puts features found on much more expensive instruments into an affordable package. This guitar is an absolute dream to play, with a comfortably smooth neck and great balance overall. EVH Wolfgang pickups mount directly to the body at Eddie’s personal preference, for increased sustain, resonance and generally more oomph! A Floyd Rose tremolo fitted, some of the most mouth-watering finishes available today, and a quilted maple top. Check them out on the Guitar Gallery, absolute beauties. What more could you ask for?

EVH Wolfgang Standard QM: Tri-Fade | Tahiti Night | Chlorine Burst

Schecter Omen Extreme


Schecter Omen Extreme trio

If there’s ever a guitar that gives you maximum value it’s Schecter’s Omen Extreme series. Towards the bottom end of Schecter’s offering, this is a guitar that will put a big smile on your face every time you pick it up. Schecter remain one of the dark horses of the guitar world, creating a huge variety of superb guitars suitable for all types of player. Their heavier-styled instruments are by far the most popular ranges. For a modest price, you’ll be treated to a solid mahogany body with a quilt maple top, a pair of Schecter’s brilliant Diamond Series pickups with coil split, and a maple neck that just feels right in your hands. A versatile, solidly built guitar that doesn’t pull any punches. We’d recommend the fixed bridge version as it strings through the body, and much less hassle than the Floyd Rose version. This series also contains the only 7-string on our list too!

Schecter Omen Extreme: Browse The Range

Epiphone 1984 Explorer


Epiphone 1984 Explorer EX

Okay we’ve nudged the budget a little here – but for good reason! The all-black Explorer is about as metal as they come. We’re talking Big Four-era thrash, black metal and practically whatever else you can throw at it. Not only does this guitar look the nuts, it’s got a pair of EMG 81/85 active pickups. These are the go-to choice for metallers seeking a high-output, saturated tone and this is one of the few guitars in this price range that features them as standard.

Epiphone 1984 Explorer EX (EMG 81/85): Ebony

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