If you’re looking for a list of the best jazz guitars under $2000, you’ve come to the right post!
Let’s start with a cheaper variant. Epiphone’s take on Gibson’s classic ES-335 is a pretty simple choice. You get a semi-hollow-body instrument of awesome quality. And it’s all just for a fraction of the price of most instruments that fall into this category.
With its two Epiphone Alnico Classic Pro humbuckers, you can get some pretty smooth tones not to mention how versatile this instrument is with four knobs.
Another Epiphone that I think is worth mentioning is Broadway. Here, we’re looking at a completely hollow-body instrument. But this instrument is more than just two Classic Alnico humbuckers slapped onto a hollow body.
There are a few important traits that set it apart. Firstly, it comes with a wooden bridge. This gives it both tone and feel of those old-school archtops and even acoustic guitars. Then we have a Frequensator split-trapeze tailpiece that looks slick and impacts the tone and performance.
The guitar’s design serves both its performance and aesthetic qualities. The neck and body joint, as well as the cutaway, really feel vintage. And it’s all at a very reasonable price. In fact, I think it’s a steal.
Godin 5th Avenue Uptown Custom
Godin is one of the first brands that come to mind when considering competitively priced jazz guitars. Their 5th Avenue Uptown Custom is one very potent archtop. Its hollow body is all cherry, including back and sides. Paired with a silver-leaf maple neck in a set-neck joint, it makes for a great jazz instrument with solid resonance and sustain.
Its pickup combination is interesting. It has a Seymour Duncan ’59 in the bridge position and a Godin Kingpin P-90 in the neck. This allows for both mellow and rougher tones.
This is all accompanied by a tune-o-matic bridge, roller saddles, and a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece. On top of all that, we have a pretty flat fretboard radius of 16 inches.
It’s a relatively expensive instrument. However, it outperforms even some of the most high-end stuff out there.
PRS SE Hollowbody Standard
What’s really awesome about PRS guitars is that they’re super versatile. Their SE Hollowbody Standard is a relatively simple one. But it’s an awesome lead guitar for a bunch of genres.
Its PRS 58/15 S humbuckers give some incredible tones paired with a mahogany semi-hollow body. It would be great if the instrument had coil-split or coil-tap options. Nonetheless, it still has some awesome options for jazz.
I also love its stop bar bridge. It’s PRS’ own version of it with adjustable saddles.
With its set-neck construction and a great neck profile, it makes for a virtuosic instrument. If you’re having a hard time deciding what to get, this is a safe option.
Guild Starfire VI
Guild’s Starfire VI is a masterpiece of a guitar. And although you could say that about most of their guitars, this is really a special piece.
Here we have a semi-hollow-body guitar, kind of in the style of ES-335. But this one is a bit different. Firstly, we have a tune-o-matic bridge sitting on a rosewood base. Then there’s also Guild’s vibrato tailpiece, very similar to Bigsbys.
The instrument is equipped with two LB-1 humbuckers. These are so-called Little Buckers which trace their roots to the 1960s. Not exactly classic PAF-style humbuckers, they have some twang and jangle to them. Paired with the semi-hollow construction, you can get some pretty smooth tones with a slightly stronger attack.
In addition to all controls, we also have a master volume. So no matter how you set your knobs, you always have the main volume control for everything.
D’Angelico Excel EXL-1
For all those that need something for old-school kinds of tones, D’Angelico is your go-to brand. This is especially the case with a guitar like Excel EXL-1. It takes you right back to the golden era of arch-top jazz guitars.
The first thing that catches my eye on this one is the incredible tailpiece. It’s D’Angelico’s so-called Stairstep tailpiece, giving the guitar a unique look and improving its sustain.
Of course, a lot of the tone comes from its fully hollow maple body and a spruce top. Then there’s also a vintage ebony bridge on a wooden base. Pair that up with a genuine bone nut, and you’ve got yourself a guitar unlike any other on this list.
The instrument has only one pickup. This is Seymour Duncan’s Johnny Smith mini-humbucker. In all honesty, it’s all that you need. You can get some serious Joe Pass tones from this one. However, bear in mind that it requires a skilled player to work this one.
Gibson SG Standard
If you need something versatile for all jazz styles and beyond, just get an SG. Seriously, Gibson’s SG Standard can do a lot of things. You can even use this instrument for modern metal, and it would still sound good.
My favorite thing about SGs is the easy access to higher frets. The mahogany body is so thin and you can even set a very low string action with a buzz-free performance.
I’d also recommend an SG Special with two P90 pickups. But the regular SG Standard with humbuckers is a better option for smoother and darker tones.
Overall, SG is a great choice for a variety of genres. You’ll get a wide variety of tones and some very ergonomic features that even the most demanding shredders will love.
Ibanez George Benson GB10SEFM
Sure, when someone mentions Ibanez, you don’t exactly think of archtop guitars. But they actually have a pretty decent collection of those. One of their guitars we’d like to mention here is George Benson’s signature model, GB10SEFM.
The legendary jazz master has a few variants of his signature guitar. This one falls within the relevant price category. And aside from its impeccable qualities, it’s a real work of art.
Here we have an entirely maple hollow body, as well as a maple neck. Then there’s an ebony bridge along with a specially designed GB10 tailpiece. Along with this comes a half bone and half brass nut. You can only imagine how resonant this instrument sounds with all these features.
Finally, we have a pair of GB Special mini-humbucker pickups. They’re accompanied by a 3-way position switch and four knobs. It’s easily one of the best archtops on the market today.
Fender American Performer Telecaster Hum
If you’re a fan of Fender and need something for Jazz, look no further than this American Performer Telecaster Hum.
This instrument is fairly versatile and has some appealing vintage features. For instance, you’ll get a 3-saddle Tele bridge and a maple fretboard with a 9.5-inch radius.
However, my favorite thing about it is the pickup combination. It comes with a Yosemite Tele single-coil in the bridge. And we have Fender’s American Performer DoubleTap humbucker in the neck. This isn’t your standard combo.
The neck humbucker allows for classic dark, creamy, and smooth sounds. But with the single coil in the bridge, you can get those twangy and jangly tones.
Overall, you’d be surprised at what this instrument has to offer. It’s a really simple one, especially if you don’t feel like bothering with a bulky hollow-body guitar.
Best Jazz Guitars Under $2000: Conclusion
I hope this article has helped you think through some of the instrument options available for less expensive Jazz guitars.
And if you have more questions about this or another guitar-related topic, feel free to leave a message in the comments below!