If your’e looking for the best beginner electric guitar or are just starting out your in the right place. Finding the best beginner electric guitar can be somewhat challenging, the process of picking and separating the good from the bad can be tiresome and littered with pitfalls. Fear not , I’m about to share with you an affordable electric guitar that will not break your bank.
Some of you maybe maybe familiar with the Donner musical equipment company from their affordable range of Miniature Effects. Well they also make guitars ,both acoustic and electric models starting at some very surprising price points.
Today I am going to be unboxing and reviewing the Donner DST100 electric guitar starter pack which comes with everything a beginner needs to begin playing guitar.
The big question when buying a cheap starter electric guitar is will it be any good or will it just fall apart. As you are about to read, their are some very solid options that offer superb playability, clear and toneful sounds, and good craftsmanship, even in the lowest price range.
Best Beginner Electric Guitar
There’s no reason more advanced players couldn’t enjoy using this guitar especially with the the overall performance the Donner DST100 has to offer. As they are so affordable, even more experienced players would enjoy adding this to their collections. Having said that, the guitars in the under $200 market are targeted more towards beginners.
In this budget price range, the woods, finishes, hardware, and electrics all tend to be pretty basic.
Not necessarily bad, but basic.
The DST-102S features a solid basswood body, Tuning Pegs are made of Steel for easy tuning and keeping the tuned strings held in position.
Soft Gig bag for easy transportation around town.
Chromatic Guitar Tuner For Easy Tuning
Comes with guitar cable to plug into mini amp or other amplification
Guitar strap for standing position
Toggle Looper and drum machine to work independently or simultaneously. Hold to delete recorded tracks.
Unboxing The Guitar
As you can see, if you are an absolute beginner starting from nothing, donner have ensured that you will have everything you need to move forward.
I’m left handed so I had only 2 choices in terms of finish – so I decided to go with Sunburst.
If your right handed you will have more options in terms of colour. The instrument looks to be flawlessly finished and very well put together. The fretboard edges are rounded over, which is a pleasant surprise and the frets are nice and smooth there’s, no sharp edges or rough points anywhere.
There is one very minor issue right out of the box, which is pretty common with inexpensive, beginner guitars, and that’s the action ( string height needs some tweaking) Fortunately, this is a very straight forward fix and donner even include the allen key wrenches needed to make adjustments to the string height to get these lowered down to a much more comfortable playing position.
The tuners move smoothly when tuning up and the strings can move freely through the nut and don’t snag. These are all great signs that, despite the low price, the instrument is put together extremely well.
The pickups are of your most basic low-cost variety iron slugs, with a ceramic magnet glued to the back. I really thought I would discover some weakness here but i do believe they sound good enough to give a beginner guitarist a full palette of tones. More seasoned guitarists will probably want to upgrade the pickups at some point, but considering a good set of pickups will cost you as much, if not more than the entire guitar. Now you maybe able to find some 2nd hand pickups online if you want to hunt about for that.
Unlike a conventional Stratocaster this guitar has a hum bucker in the back position – which gives it some extra versatility. If your’e wondering what a humbucker pickup will provide – it’s more powerful and will give you more of a rock sound. As much as I liked the Donner telecaster as a great beginners option this stratocaster copy is probably a little more versatile
THE INCLUDED PRACTICE AMPLIFIER
This is a rechargeable 3 watt, amplifier with up to 5 hours of battery life on a single charge, a headphone output for silent practice and an auxiliary end. So you can connect your phone to play music or backing tracks through this now taking into consideration that all of the sounds are coming from two tiny speakers in here, and it doesn’t get all that loud.
It is genuinely quite surprising how good this sounds for a tiny, portable amplifier donner have done something pretty clever here. Donner are well known for their miniature effects, pedals and i would put money on them. Perhaps they have repurposed one of the distortion pedal circuits to work in this amplifier. It kinda reminded me of the pig nose.
Now I know there’s a lot of battery powered amps like this on the market so leave a comment below and let ,me know your experience with them.
Now its only 3 watts but I certainly think you can have some fun with this but I wouldn’t consider it a serious piece of gear for a pro guitarist. Having said that you would be surprised how good these things can sound with a good mic and DAW to work with. Travelling, camping , backstage warming up before a show Im sure you could find some use for this amp.
Like the pig nose you get no reverb – but then again you may have a reverb pedal.
As far as a beginner amplifier goes why would you need anything else. Certainly enough to get started.
You have 2 sounds based on switching between the clean and distortion sounds of the amp.
The the first thing that players upgrade as they progress with learning guitar is upgrading the amplifier to something better and this will become a portable amplifier to take around with you traveling, especially since it’s battery powered.
So, okay, let’s recap the positives of this donor guitar, it’s very well constructed flawlessly finished and the fretboard is prepared very nicely after a little bit of setup, it’s comfortable to play. It stays in tune incredibly well, and there are no frustrating niggles about the performance either. The sounds from this are all pretty decent, considering the price, especially the humbucker and the bridge position.
All of that sounds like a winner. So what are the complaints? In all honesty very very little at this price point: you’d almost expect it to be a critical flaw that would take down the integrity of the entire instrument, but i’ll be damned if i can find anything to really complain about. A fender Stratocaster around the $1500 dollar mark will of course have much higher quality, better engineered parts. You would of course expect that. The donner xt100 is a functioning guitar that works well. In Terms of being the best beginner guitar on the market – I woudl say at this price point it would go dam close!
CONCLUSION BONUS 15% OFF
Donner has an excellent R&D team and always seem to have glowing reviews( which are all posted with photos. Unlike Amazon where a lot of reviews are fake, Donner have a high standard in this regard. Overall, Donner products are definitely worth giving a shot and the donner DST100 is no exception. They have warehouses all around the world and provide speedy delivery. Grab a coupon code only available to my readers at Learn Guitar Cafe.
RIGHT HANDED MODELS
LEFT HANDED MODELS
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