Among the countless instruments to be played by individuals and races all around the globe, in all this years since the dawn of music, guitar has somehow managed to emerge as the one unchallenged winner in the popular department. At any given time there are more guitar players in the world than any other. Piano is haunting, the flute is breezy, but the allure of guitar music is just something else. Whether it is the loud wailing of the electric guitar or the gentle plucking of the acoustic, guitar has always been the most romantic musical instrument.
Read on to find out about the most popular and the most expensive guitar brands in the world in these times. Even though these are world’s top expensive brands, all of these companies produce guitars that made available to the common man.
Table of Contents
- List of the world’s Top 10 most expensive guitar brands in 2018.
- 10. Paul Reed Smith (products worth up to $3750)
- 9. B.C. Rich (products worth up to $5000)
- 8. Taylor (net worth $70 million)
- 7. Yamaha (net income $209.87 million per year)
- 6. Ibanez (net worth unavailable)
- 5. Jackson (net worth unavailable)
- 4. Rickenbacker (net income approx. $ 264 million)
- 3. Epiphone (net income approx. $ 270 million)
- 2. Fender (net income approx. $ 280 million)
- 1. Gibson (net income approx. $4.8 billion per year)
List of the world’s Top 10 most expensive guitar brands in 2018.
10. Paul Reed Smith (products worth up to $3750)
Paul Reed Smith guitars, also known as PRS Guitars is a guitar company established by its eponym the Paul Reed Smith. It is famous for its electronic guitars and custom products. Most PRS guitars are made out of mahogany with a maple top on most models.
9. B.C. Rich (products worth up to $5000)
B.C. Rich was established in 1969 by Bernardo Chavez Rico in the United States. The musical company only manufactures guitars. They are famous for their atypical body shape. They are famous for their wacky designs and heavy metal promotions.
8. Taylor (net worth $70 million)
Taylor guitars were found by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug in 1974 in California. They produce only guitars namely acoustic, classical and electrical. They specialize in acoustic guitars, the hollow and the semi-hollow kind. The Taylor guitars are about innovations. Since the main focus was in acoustic wooden guitars, the manufacturers run a lot of tests with tone-woods. Their most famous product is the Pallet guitar which has an aluminium inlay and only 25 copies were made which were all sold to collectors.
7. Yamaha (net income $209.87 million per year)
Yamaha is a Japanese multinational corporation which makes products on a very wide spectrum. Along with the more famous motorcycles, power sports, and electronics, Yamaha also makes killer musical equipment’s. Infect Yamaha had started making other products only after tasting success on the musical market. Most of Yamaha guitars have peculiar body shapes and thus are very unique. Aside from guitars, Yamaha also produces pianos, amplifiers and other string instruments.
This is another one of the very few non-American companies to make the list. The company is based in Nagoya, Aichi in Japan owned by Hoshino Gakki. The company was one of the very first continental musical companies that got a strong foothold in the occidental market. It was also one of the very first brands to commercially produce the seven-string guitar and the eight-string guitar. In between very successful years, there were some down times too. Gibson and Fender accused Ibanez of stealing their models, and soon after the lawsuit was settled, Ibanez produced some designs that were definitely not copies of the Fender and Gibson products.
Jackson’s guitars are a product of the Charvel’s guitar repair in California. The company started manufacturing guitars for the first time when artist Randy Rhoads approached Grover Jackson with the idea of an individualized guitar in 1980. The Rhoads models were a departure from the Stratocaster based models. They were so popular that Jackson decided to name them on his own. Fender bought the Jackson Instruments in 2002 and incorporated them under their wing. After being a successful sub-contractor, Grover Jackson now also has a new guitar brand GJ2 Guitars.
4. Rickenbacker (net income approx. $ 264 million)
Found by Adolf Rickenbacker and George Beauchamp in 1931 the Rickenbacker is yet another American company. The guitars have a characteristic design. They have long necks and circular bodies. Rickenbacker was the first guitar company to have manufactured solid body guitars, although they were the lap-steel kind. They had just one pickup with steel covering which was arched over the strings. Later they had to stop the manufacture of these ‘frying pans’, but by then a lot of units had already been sold.
3. Epiphone (net income approx. $ 270 million)
“Performance is our passion” says its slogan. Although a subsidiary of Gibson, the Epiphone guitars hold their own against any other brand there is. It makes the best beginners guitars and pro-guitars at the same time. Prior to its acquisition by Gibson, it was the latter’s main rival. Epiphone’s arch tops rivalled those of Gibson’s. They included the Emperor, Deluxe, Broadway and Triumph. Aside from basses Epiphone also manufactures upright basses, banjos and other stringed instruments. Also the brand name is derives from combining the first name and the last name of the manufacturer. Apart from guitars this company also manufactures basses, Banjos, Mandolins, Amplifiers and effect units.
2. Fender (net income approx. $ 280 million)
Its and American musical instruments company that manufacture string equipment’s and amplifier. It’s most famous for making bass and solid body electric guitars. The fender Stratocaster is world famous. Four of the world’s most expensive guitar brands ever sold was Stratocasters. Also famous are its telecaster, Precision Bass and Jazz bass. It was found in 1946 by Leo Fender. Its brands include Squier, Gretsch, Jackson, Charvel and EVH.
1. Gibson (net income approx. $4.8 billion per year)
Formerly called Gibson Guitar Corporation the company shortened it to make it more market friendly in 2013. Three of the top 10 most expensive guitar brands include Gibson guitars. The company was founded by Orville Gibson way back in 1902 as The Gibson Mandolin Guitar Mfg. Co. Ltd. Gibson guitars have the signature arch top structure styled after violins. They also made the first commercially available hollow-body guitars, used and promoted by Charlie Christian.
Gibson changed hands multiple times, but it managed to maintain its standards. Gibson is more popular for its acoustic guitars than its electronic ones. Gibson sells guitars under many tags. Les Paul being is one of them. It is one of the very first solid body guitars to be manufactured by the brand. Its slogan screams, “Prestige-Quality-innovation” and that is indeed what they deliver…have been delivering for over a century.
Some of these brands are not independent in the legal sense, Fender owns Jackson guitars and Gibson own Epiphone, yet this brands are more famous for their own calibre than they are for the companies who have purchased them.