Best Guitars From Brands You May Not Have Heard Of
It may be time for you to switch brand
There’s a huge range of different guitars on the market, each brand having their own style and loyal following. If you’re a Gibson loyalist, a Fender enthusiast or an Ibanez fan for instance, it’s fairly commonplace to stick to the brands you love, which is of course understandable. But the world of guitars is a huge place full of amazing models and beautifully crafted instruments, some of which that you may not even know about.
The Merida guitars story started out, according to their official website, with a trip to Spain. Taking inspiration from the 2,000-year-old historical Roman village of Mérida as well as the ancient arched Puente Romano Bridge which resulted in the design of the Mérida Extrema’s TwoWoodtone Bridge. With this inspiration in mind, it’s no surprise that they absolutely excel when it comes to creating classical acoustic guitars.
The stunning run of guitars, which are all handmade, includes three particularly impressive models – the Merida Trajan T-5CES Electro Classical Guitar, Trajan T-35CJCES and the Cardenas C-35-OMCEH Electro Acoustic Guitar – all of which could be used professionally.
At the more modest end of the pricing spectrum, you have the T-5CES, which is fitted with Fishman OEM ISY-201 electronics – so you know they won’t let you down. The cutaway body allows you to get closer to the upper frets and the combination of spruce top and mahogany back and sides are a joy to play, whilst providing the tonal clarity and resonance you need. For beginners or those who need an extra guitar for stage and studio, the T-5CES is the perfect option. But don’t let the small price tag fool you, this is definitely not a toy, but a beautifully designed guitar that stands up to its peers.
The Merida Trajan T-35CJCES includes an arm scarf to make the guitar that little bit more comfortable to play (and a nice little flair too) whilst the self-lubricating Graphtech Black Tusq XL nut ensures tuning stability as well a richer resonance. The Fishman OEM ISY-201 electronics coupled with a solid spruce and solid mahogany body ensures the sound carries perfectly when connected to an amp. Ideal for professionals and those who want to take their classical playing to the next level.
The Merida Cardenas C35-OMCEH is a delightfully vibrant model that resides at the loftier end of the spectrum in terms of build quality and appointments, yet still manages to retain an affordable price tag that others can only dream of. Employing solid tonewoods throughout with mahogany for the body and Sitka spruce making up the soundboard, the highly resonant character of the C35-OMCEH is truly remarkable for the diminuitive orchestra body shape. With premium features such as the built-in armrest and single-cutaway for improved stability and upper fret access, playing this gorgeous guitar is a breeze. The Merida/Fishman-designed preamp with built-in tuner allows you to take to the stage in ready fashion, whilst the mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard partnership promote a sumptuous feel throughout. This is truly a guitar to be proud of.
Let’s not forget the electric guitars though…
As for electric guitars, Redwood are a little-known brand that craft cool renditions of recognisable models at affordable prices for beginners to get their teeth stuck into.
The RS2 beginner’s electric guitar is a cool double-cutaway with ergonomically shaped contours that establish a figure-hugging feel that is perfect for newcomers to get to grips with. A trio of single-coils and a five-way pickup selector switch unlocks a vast tonal arsenal to play with. Available in a range of finishes including Black, Sunburst, and White, there is something for everyone in the RS2 range.
The G1 Goth electric guitar stays within the affordable range but is geared more towards those who prefer an edgier character when they perform. The super slender arched body shape with deep double-cutaways is built for speed, whilst the lightning fast neck design rewards precision playing. For those who lean towards hard rock and heavy metal in their musical tastes, the G1 is a must-have model. A trio of pickups consist of two searing single-coils and a chunky-sounding humbucker in the bridge, which is perfect for laying down beefy palm-muted riffs. The tremolo bridge allows you to dive and wail to your heart’s content, giving you total mastery over your performance – and the matt black finish doesn’t look too shabby either!
To view the full range of electric and acoustic guitars, visit the Dawsons website.