6 Cheap Gibson Guitars Plus 13 Cheap Alternatives

You are currently viewing 6 Cheap Gibson Guitars Plus 13 Cheap Alternatives

I bet there’s no guitarist who would say no to a real Gibson if there’s an opportunity to get one for free or for pennies…sadly, this kind of once in lifetime stuff doesn’t happen much, and we guitarists have to spend a hefty sum in order to get our hands onto Gibson. But is this always necessary…

Well, I wouldn’t consider any new Gibson to be really cheap, but there for sure are Gibsons out there which are much cheaper than the average. And by the way, I’m about to reveal these gems to you! I was happy to put together this article listing the top-notch cheap & affordable & budget Gibson guitars. I also listed some cool and cheap Gibson alternatives. After all this goodness I reveal which 3 are the best ones.

If you have any questions, just check the FAQ section or leave a comment. Let’s get started!

photo reveals owner of guitaristnextdoor.com

Author: Teemu Suomala

I first grabbed the guitar in 2009. I started this website in January 2020 because I couldn’t do window installation anymore due to my health problems. I also noticed that most guitar websites don’t do a really good job, so I decided to just go for it! I got lucky and managed to get awesome people to help me with my website. I also got lucky because I have you visiting my website right now. Thank you. I do all this for you guys. If you have any recommendations, tips, or feedback, just leave a comment, I would love to chat with you. I have been fortunate to produce content for several large guitar websites, such as Songsterr, Musicnotes, GuitarGuitar, and Ultimate Guitar. I spend my spare time exercising and hanging out with my wife and crazy dog(I guess that went the right way…).

6 Cheap Gibson Guitars

Gibson Les Paul Special Tribute P-90 is one of the most affordable Gibsons. It features Gibsons P-90 Single-coils, Mahogany body, and compensated wraparound bridge. While I prefer Gibson with humbuckers, this Special Tribue P90 is a great option if you are after something a bit different in terms of sound.

Price Range Icon Meanings:

$$$= $999-1099

$$$$= $1100-1199

$$$$$= $1200-1299

*Consider all links in this post to be affiliate links. If you purchase, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission. It helps us to keep the lights on, thanks! 🙂

ModelPickupsNeck ShapePrice RangeCheck Current Price (affiliate links)
Gibson Les Paul Special Tribute P-902 x P-90 Single-coilRounded$$$Sweetwater*
Gibson Les Paul Special Tribute Humbucker2 x Modern Classic humbuckersRounded$$$Sweetwater
Gibson Les Paul Junior Tribute Doublecut Bass1 x BassBuckerRounded$$$Sweetwater
Gibson SG Standard Tribute490R Humbucker & 490T HumbuckerRounded$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Gibson Acoustic G-45 – Best Overall Cheap Gibson AcousticNo electronicsAdvanced Response$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Gibson Les Paul Tribute – Best Overall Cheap Gibson Electric490R Humbucker & 490T HumbuckerRounded$$$$$SweetwaterThomann

13 Cheap Alternatives to Gibson Guitars

epiphone les paul special vintage edition displayed for readers

Epiphone Les Paul Special Vintage Edition is one of the cheapest Gibson alternatives. It reminds a Gibson Les Paul Standard Tribute (has only 1 volume and 1 tone knob tho), and it has a good set of pickups. But of course, this Epiphone loses to real deals a lot in terms of playability, sound, and quality. It’s still a good option for beginners.

Price Range Icon Meanings:

$= $150-250

$$= $251-499

$$$= $500-699

$$$$= $700-799

$$$$$= $800-950

ModelAlternative toPickupsBody StylePrice RangeCheck Current Price (affiliate links)
Epiphone Les Paul Special Vintage Edition(VE) – Read the full in-depth reviewGibson Les Paul Standard Tribute650R Ceramic-8 Humbucker & 700T Ceramic-8 HumbuckerSingle-cut$SweetwaterThomann
Epiphone SG SpecialGibson SG Standard Tribute650R Ceramic-8 Humbucker & 700T Ceramic-8 HumbuckerSG$SweetwaterThomann
Epiphone SG Standard – Best Alternative to Gibson SGGibson SG Standard2 x Alnico Classic PRO HumbuckerSG$$SweetwaterThomann
Epiphone Hummingbird StudioGibson Hummingbird StudioNo electronicsDreadnought$$SweetwaterThomann
Epiphone J-200ECGibson J-185 EC & Gibson SJ-200No electronicsJumbo$$$SweetwaterThomann
ESP LTD EC-256FMGibson Les Paul Standard – Heavy Metal TwistESP LH-150N Humbucker & ESP LH-150B HumbuckerSingle-cut$$$SweetwaterThomann
Epiphone ES-335Gibson ES-3352 x Alnico Classic PRO HumbuckerSemi-Hollowbody$$$SweetwaterThomann
Epiphone Les Paul Standard ’60s – Best Budget – Best Alternative to Gibson Les PaulGibson Les Paul StandardProBucker-2 Humbucker & ProBucker-3 HumbuckerSingle-cut$$$SweetwaterThomann
Epiphone Flying VGibson Flying VProBucker-2 Humbucker & ProBucker-3 HumbuckerFlying V$$$SweetwaterThomann
Epiphone ExplorerGibson ExplorerProBucker-2 Humbucker & ProBucker-3 HumbuckerExplorer$$$SweetwaterThomann
Epiphone Thunderbird 60s BassGibson Gene Simmons G2 Thunderbird BassProBucker 760 Humbucker & ProBucker 760 HumbuckerThunderbird $$$$SweetwaterThomann
D’Angelico Premier DC Gibson ES-335Seymour Duncan Designed HB-102N Humbucker & Seymour Duncan Designed HB-101B HumbuckerSemi-Hollowbody$$$$$SweetwaterThomann
Epiphone Slash Les Paul StandardGibson Slash Les Paul Standard2 x Custom Pro HumbuckerSingle-cut$$$$$SweetwaterThomann

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3 Best Cheap Gibson Guitars & Alternatives– My Favorites

Best Budget – Epiphone Les Paul Standard ’60s

What I like

  • Graph Tech NuBone nut increases sustain and is a rare find in budget guitars
  • ProBucker humbuckers offer thick, warm, and versatile sound
  • Finish quality is usually spot-on
  • Comfortable & lot of fun to play
  • High value

What I don’t like

  • Metalheads might prefer a more aggressive sound

Who is it for?

If you are after a high-value Les Paul, and getting an original Gibson is not a must, Epiphone Les Paul Standard ’60s is one of the best options. It offers Gibson vibes, versatile and thick sound, and both the hardware and finish are spot-on. The best budget alternative to Gibson Les Pauls.

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Best Overall – Gibson Les Paul Tribute

What I like

  • 490R & 490T Humbuckers offer iconic Gibson Les Paul sound
  • Stunning looks
  • The rounded neck feels comfortable to play
  • Vintage Deluxe tuners hold the tune well
  • Usually comes with a Softshell Case

What I don’t like

  • Although rare, sometimes finish issues happen

Check how this “Cheap” Gibson Les Paul Tribute sounds like:

YouTube video

Who is it for?

If you are willing to go a bit over $1k to get a Les Paul that plays like more expensive ones, Gibson Les Paul Tribute is a great choice. It offers a tone that’s really sweet, warm, mellow, and meaty, plus the finish is stunning. And it’s one of the cheapest Gibson Les Pauls with 490R & 490T Humbuckers.

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Best Acoustic – Gibson Acoustic G-45

What I like

  • TUSQ nut & saddle provide a nice sustain
  • Solid Sitka Spruce
  • Comfortable to play
  • Solid all-around quality
  • Looks great

What I don’t like

  • Some players do prefer real bone nut & saddle
  • Sounds dull

Who is it for?

If you are after an affordable Gibson acoustic guitar, G-45 is probably your only choice. And while some players really give it a ton of hate, I do not hate it. It’s comfortable to play, has a good overall build quality, and looks great. But I can’t deny it…it’s not the best-sounding guitar for this money. It doesn’t sound terrible, but it lacks brightness and that “spark” for me. But it’s still a good and affordable Gibson acoustic.

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If you are after the best acoustic guitars, check these articles GND’s acoustic guitar experts put together:


How to Find Really Cheap Gibson Guitars?

You won’t usually find really cheap Gibsons from music stores. You have to go the “used-guitar” route.

Here are the top 3 places to look for:

  1. Reverb
  2. eBay
  3. Craiglist

Usually Reverb has the highest prices, but the best quality items too. Go to Reverb and just

  1. Search for “Gibson”
  2. “Sort by Price Low to High”
  3. You can also set the max price from filters

I bet you find some affordable Gibsons this way.

eBay has an ok selection when it comes to guitars.

  1. Search for “Gibson guitars”
  2. Sort by “Price + Shipping Lowest First”
  3. You can also set the max price from filters

One cool thing with eBay is that you can check the sold items by using filters. This can give you an idea of the current status and prices of used Gibson guitars.

Craiglist has the worst guitar selection, but there is a chance that you find a really good local deal by using it. So at least it’s worth a try.

  1. Just go to Craiglist
  2. Search for “Gibson guitars”
  3. Sort from low to high (usually there are only a couple of guitars for sale in your local area tho)

It’s definitely possible to find a real steal from these second-hand markets or at least a good deal. If you decide to go this route, good luck, and please use the trusted providers and take someone with you when going after items found on Craiglist.

Are All Gibson Guitars Expensive?

Of course, “expensive” is a relative thing. But there are no really cheap beginner Gibson guitars out there, but at the same time, not all Gibsons are really Expensive. You can find Gibsons for under and around $1k. It’s not a small sum, but I wouldn’t consider a guitar costing $1k being really expensive.

Are Cheap Gibson Guitars Worth It?

Absolutely. You usually don’t get the premium pickups with cheaper Gibsons. For example pair of Burstbuckers can be only found from Gibson costing close to $2k or more. But still, cheaper Gibsons can sound really good.

Also, the finish of the cheaper Gibsons might not be so ultra-detailed as with premium Gibson. This doesn’t mean cheap Gibson are hastily assembled from junk wood and full of finish issues. But the finish is not on the same level with more expensive Gibsons.

Are Cheap Gibson Alternatives Worth It?

Most of them are. Of course, they are not real Gibson, so you won’t get the feel (mostly psychological) coming with a real Gibson or the pride of owning one. But the hardware, playability, and sound with a Gibson alternative can get really close to the original Gibson.

What Is The Average Price of A Gibson Guitar?

Based on my research, the average price of a Gibson guitar is around $2324-2699.


One thing is for sure…I would happily own one of these “cheap” Gibson guitars. Or any of the alternatives. I mean, who wouldn’t like the thick and warm tones, smooth playability, and vintage looks. This article had some really good guitars in it. I hope this article helped you out, and maybe you even decided to get one of the guitars featured. If you have any questions, leave a comment, I and the GND team are here for you.

Now go, my son, and Rock!

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