A new year means new gear. You’ve worked hard for 12 months and you deserve a shiny new axe, don’t you? So do we! We’ve reviewed dozens of guitars this year and we’ve decided to put together a list of some of our favorites.

In no particular order, here are Wired Guitarist’s Top 5 Guitars of 2016!

1. Schecter Banshee Elite 7

If you want a guitar with all the boutique luxuries and custom trimmings for the price of a production guitar, this is the 7-string for you.

We’ll cut right to the chase here: baritone scale length, Hipshot bridge, glow-in-the-dark side dots, Flamed Maple top, gorgeous binding, Swamp Ash body, Ebony fretboard, carbon fiber reinforced neck, Ernie Ball compensated nut, stainless steel frets…you get the point.

Every feature we’ve seen on quality, high-end guitars appears on this model at a fraction of the price. If you want a boutique 7-string, but are on a budget, save those thousands of dollars you’d need for a custom guitar and buy this instead.

2. PRS Mark Holcomb SE

Periphery guitarist Mark Holcomb signed on with PRS to craft a fantastic signature guitar, and while there was no doubt PRS could make a top notch instrument, what blew us away was how ridiculously affordable it is.

This is a handmade PRS, it has Mark’s exclusive signature pickups, and has almost identical specs to the ultra-expensive, custom shop model. How can you possibly turn that down? Whether you’re a fan of Periphery or not, this is by far the best value in an instrument we have ever seen.

The PRS Mark Holcomb SE is a professional instrument, with a budget price tag. How this miracle of a guitar came to be so cheap, we’ll never know… but we sure aren’t going to complain.

Mark Holcomb PRS SE
3. Ibanez JBM100 Jake Bowen Signature

We’re starting to see a trend of high quality signature instruments from the Periphery crew, and the JBM100 is no exception.

The best way to describe this guitar is to call it the marriage between two of Ibanez’s best instruments: the RGA121 and the RGD7UC. The RGA121 became a staple in all genres of model due to it’s affordability, quality, and extreme playability, while the RGD7UC came with stripped-down practicality, and incredible features like a reinforced neck, simply controls, and boutique, hand-wound pickups.

Take all of these elements and add a Jake Bowen twist, and you’ve got one powerhouse of an instrument. With gorgeous gold hardware, a phenomenal tremolo system, and signature DiMarzio pickups, it’s hard to find a reason NOT to buy this one.

4. Schecter KM7 MK-II Keith Merrow Signature

Accomplished guitarist and unashamed gear nerd Keith Merrow has brought us one of the best production 7-strings ever designed.

It’s easy to be fooled by the beautiful natural finish, but make no mistake, the tones that come out of this guitar are absolutely bone-crushing. With a 26.5’’ scale, glow-in-the-dark side dots, stainless steel frets and more, it’s no surprise that this instrument has gotten rave reviews time and time again.

If the Banshee Elite 7 doesn’t quite do it for you in the extended range instrument department, you can get all those awesome specs and more with the KM7 MK-II at a shockingly low price.


5. Ibanez RG652AHM Prestige

Finishing off the list is one of the most beautifully designed Ibanez guitars to date. The RG652AHM boasts a gorgeous ash body, bound with cream binding, and one of the sexiest finishes we’ve seen on a Prestige.

Coming in 6 and 7-string variants, the AHM Prestige features the super-reliable Lo-Pro Edge bridge, and versatile Dimarzio PAF pickups.

While it may not boast a bunch of fancy features like some of the other entries, the RG752AHM is hands down one of the most aesthetically pleasing guitars we’ve picked up this year.


We hope you enjoyed this article! If you did, make sure to check out more, because we upload new reviews, technical articles, lessons, and more daily!

Also, we are a dealer for many beloved brands such as PRS, Ibanez, Mayones, Schecter, ESP, and more! Feel free to stop by our shop and we can help you find the right guitar for you at the best price possible.

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