Guitar players often lust after expensive boutique and vintage gear. While a handmade guitar played through a pedalboard full of choice pedals and into a vintage amplifier may be the holy grail of tone there are plenty of budget friendly options to get your tone up to snuff. Here are some of my favorites:

Squier Classic Vibe

The Squier brand is often looked down on- and with good reason. Many of their instruments are cheaply made and are only good options for beginners. The Classic Vibe line on the other hand are incredibly well made and affordable. This line offers a 50s, Custom, and Thinline Telecasters, a 50s and a 60s Stratocaster, as well as a Jazz Bass and P Bass. Prices for the Classic Vibe line start at just $379.99.


Electro-Harmonix Soul Food

The Soul Food is Electro-Harmonix’s take on the coveted Klon Centaur overdrive pedal. While original Klons go for upwards of $3000 and many “Klon clones” go for around $300 the Soul Food costs a whopping $78.20.

Martin 000X1AE

The 000X1AE  features a smaller “000” sized body compared to a Dreadnought, while still producing a full sound. It is equally capable of handling the subtleties of finger style guitar as well as aggressive strumming. The top is solid Sitka spruce  with a mahogany-grained high pressure laminate (HPL) back and sides. This guitar is also equipped with Fishman electronics that sound fantastic. The 000X1AE goes for a moderate $569.

Peavy Classic 30

The Classic 30 is an all tube 30 watt combo amplifier sporting a 12″ speaker, three 12AX7 and four EL84 tubes, 3-band EQ, footswitchable dual channels, footswitchable boost and reverb, and an effects loop. While a new Classic 30 will run you $799.99 they often pop up on the used market for under $400.

Line 6 M9

The M9 is a compact multi-effects unit packing over 75 distortion, reverb, delay, and modulation effects, a 28-second looper, 1/4″ mono/stereo inputs and outputs, two expression pedal jacks, MIDI In/Out, and a bright backlit display. You can use up to three effects at once in six different “scenes” or pedalboard configurations. For $399.99 new this pedal covers lots of territory.


What are your favorite budget friendly pieces of gear?