Indonesian made guitars have had a bad reputation in the past for their poor quality control and build quality.
However, over the past decade, the quality of Indonesian made guitars has risen astronomically to the point where they can even compete against guitars made in South Korea and Japan despite costing significantly less to produce.
In fact, many top electric guitar brands including Paul Reed Smith and ESP, have moved production of their higher-end import models over to Indonesia from South Korea.
If you’re in the market for a guitar, but don’t want to break the bank, then you should definitely consider guitars made in Indonesia because they deliver an excellent value for the price.
In this review, we’ll take a look at our picks for the best Indonesian made guitars, and also answer some questions about Indonesian vs Chinese and Mexican-made guitars. Hopefully, after reading this guide, you’ll have a much better idea of which guitar is the right fit for you.
The Best Indonesian Made Guitars
- PRS SE Custom 24 – Best Overall
- Yamaha Pacifica PAC612VIIFM – Best Value
- Schecter Omen Extreme-6 – Best Under $500
- ESP LTD EC-1000 – Best for Metal
- Sterling by Music Man Majesty – Premium Pick
- Ibanez Premium S1070PBZ – Best Playability
- Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster – Best for Country
- Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster – Best for Blues
- Gretsch G2622 Streamliner – Best for Jazz
PRS SE Custom 24 – Overall Best Indonesian Made Guitar
For more information, read my full review of the Best PRS Guitars
Our top pick for the best overall Indonesian-made guitar has to be the PRS SE Custom 24.
Every time I pick up a PRS I have an amazing playing experience, and this guitar is certainly no different.
If you’re looking for a professional quality guitar with excellent craftsmanship and playability, but don’t want to break the bank, this guitar is perfect for you.
This guitar is modeled after the PRS Custom 24 – the iconic flagship PRS guitar made in the USA.
While the SE Custom 24 is manufactured in Indonesia, you’re not sacrificing too much in the way of quality and still get a magnificent guitar for the money.
As far as the tone woods used, the SE Custom 24 features a mahogany body and a maple top.
Under the hood you get the PRS designed 85/15 S pickups, which are just a redesigned version of the 85/15 pickups used on the American made models and offer similar tones at a lower price point.
Coming in at under the $1,000 mark, this guitar really can’t be beat for the money you spend. For about 1/3rd the price of the American made equivalent, you get a fantastically versatile guitar that plays like a dream and sounds so close to the American version it’ll be hard to tell the difference.
- Great sounding, tonally diverse pickups that will get you in and out of different genres seamlessly
- Incredible value for the price
- Beautiful flame maple for a stunning finish
- Edges of the fretboard aren’t as rounded and smooth as the Custom 24
Yamaha Pacifica PAC 612 IIFM – Best Value Indonesian Made Guitar
The Yamaha Pacifica line is known for producing great-quality, super-affordable Strat style guitars.
With this Pacifica PAC612IIFM model, Yamaha has produced a brilliant mid-range offering with great pickups, electronics, and hardware.
It has a lightweight alder body, a laminated flamed maple top, and a maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard.
One of the best parts of this guitar is the pickups included.
In the bridge position is a Seymour Duncan Custom TB-14 humbucker for higher-gain playing, while the middle and neck positions have Seymour Duncan SSL-1 pickups for great crisp and clear single-coil tone.
And for a final touch, you get a push-pull switch that lets you split the humbucker and dial in all sorts of tones.
Seymour Duncan produces excellent quality pickups, and having them included standard on an instrument at this price level is a real treat.
This guitar is perfect for a guitarist who has been playing for a year or so, gotten a lot of the basics under their belt, and wants to step up to a versatile mid-range instrument.
It’s also a great choice for more seasoned players who want an HSS super strat style guitar that won’t break their budget.
Coming in at a solid mid-level price range, this guitar packs a lot of punch for a very reasonable price tag.
- Versatility with the HSS configuration and coil taps
- Seymour Duncan pickups have excellent tone
- Craftsmanship is lacking in a few places like the edges of the neck
Schecter Omen Extreme-6 – Best Indonesian Made Guitar Under $500
For more information, read my full review of the Best Schecter Guitars
Looking for a stunningly beautiful, affordable, no-nonsense guitar built to shred?
Schecter could be your brand, and the Omen Extreme-6 could be the direction you’ll want to go in.
This guitar features a comfortable double-cutaway body that gives you full access to all 24 frets.
Aesthetically, the Omen Extreme-6 is simply stunning. With its figured carved quilted maple top and mahogany body, it has the look of a guitar way above this price range.
Sound wise, this guitar is perfect for high-gain shredding and also sounds great for some clean chording.
The Dual Schecter Diamond Plus high-output alnico humbuckers are very responsive and sound great for the price range.
You also get push/pull coil-splitting and a 3-way toggle switch for even more tonal options.
And if you like your guitars to sustain for days, the Omen Extreme-6’s string-thru bridge design will do the job.
So whether you’re a new player who wants a great guitar under the $500 mark, or a seasoned pro looking to expand your stable of guitars, the Schecter Omen Extreme-6 will be a great choice for you.
- Stunning quilted maple top
- Coil tap gives you ultimate tonal flexibility
- Fast neck for shredding
- No case or bag included
- Will need to be set up out of the box
ESP LTD EC-1000 – Best Indonesian Made Guitar for Metal
If you’re looking for a bad-ass Les Paul Style guitar that’s designed for metal, you can’t go wrong with the EC-1000 from ESP LTD.
ESP guitars are magnificent, high-end guitars produced in Japan. They can also cost upwards of $8,000…
To make their guitars more accessible to the average player, the ESP LTD line of guitars has come to be known for making more affordable versions of ESP guitars.
But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on the quality.
The entire ESP LTD line of instruments features premium tonewoods, quality pickups, and solid hardware for a lifetime of use
The EC-1000 has a mahogany body and neck, an ebony fingerboard, and 24 extra-jumbo frets for easier playing.
You get eternal sustain from the Eclipse’s set-neck design, which keeps it resonating longer than bolt-on designs. So if you like to hold your bends and have them ring out for minutes on end, the EC-1000 could be the perfect guitar for you.
What really sets this guitar apart is the pickups – an EMG 60 in the neck and an EMG 81 in the bridge
You get a powerful, articulate tone thanks to these EMG dual humbuckers. From crystal-clear cleans to searing high-gain tones, EMGs will not leave you disappointed.
- Dual EMG humbuckers deliver excellent heavy tone
- High-quality materials and craftsmanship
- Body shape makes it comfortable to play
- Not as versatile as other offerings
- EMG pickups require batteries
Check out my guide on the Best Electric Guitars for Metal
Sterling by Music Man Majesty – Best Premium Indonesian Made Guitar
Fans of the legendary guitarist John Petrucci will know all about his devotion to Music Man guitars. While his signature models can be quite pricey, the Sterling line was designed in collaboration with him to be a more affordable alternative.
There are so many things to love about the Sterling Majesty.
Starting with its looks, the Majesty is graced with a flame maple top available in three gorgeous finishes – Cerulean Paradise, Royal Red, and Majestic Purple.
Moving on to the wood choices – the body is made of maple, the neck uses mahogany, and the fingerboard is made of ebony with stainless steel frets for maximum playability.
Speaking of the neck, the set-in design provides a lot of stability and sustain that you won’t get from a bolt-on style neck.
This guitar will truly sustain for what seems like hours on end thanks to this design.
Tonally, the Majesty is powered by some awe-inspiring pickups from DiMarzio – the LiquiFire in the neck and Crunch Lab in the bridge.
These pickups are true to the tones that define John Petrucci’s style of music, and they were the exact ones that he used in his guitars for a long time. They give thick lead tones and melodic rhythm tones that characterize the progressive metal style.
The real jewel in the crown of this guitar is a feature that you won’t get on a lot of guitars – the 12db boost you get built into the push/push volume pot.
This boost will really give your amp a nice kick in the ass when you engage it, and is great for punching lead lines through when you need that extra little bite. I think every guitar should have one of these babies.
The Sterling by Music Man Majesty is perfect for serious players who are passionate about tearing up the neck with melodic progressive metal tones.
- DiMarzio pickups
- Light-weight design makes it comfortable to play in all positions
- Neck design is built for comfort and speed
- Only a bag included
- Bridge pickup a bit dark for some tastes
Ibanez Premium S1070PBZ – Best for Indonesian Made Guitar for Shredding
For more information, read my full review of the Best Ibanez Guitars
Fans of Ibanez love the super-fast necks built for speed shredding, versatile pickup combinations and floating tremolo systems.
With this Premium line S1070PBZ model, Ibanez delivered a truly remarkable guitar with so many things to love at a price that’s still manageable for most people.
Starting with the wood choices, the Premium S1070PBZ is a smorgasbord of premium tone woods.
The body is made of African mahogany with a poplar, burl, walnut, curly maple, and panga panga top. The neck is a 5-piece combination of poplar, burl, walnut, and curly maple.
Moving onto the neck, The Ibanez Premium S1070PBZ sports the Wizard-7, one of Ibanez’s fastest necks to date.
Made from a combination of panga panga, maple, walnut, and purpleheart, this 11-piece neck is slim and super-comfortable, letting you pull off lightning-fast runs and arpeggios with no problem.
As soon as you pick this guitar up, it simply oozes performance and attention to detail.
With an HSH pickup combination, the S1070PBZ delivers a massive array of tonal options and ways to dial in your preferred sounds.
Ibanez doesn’t disappoint with their choice of pickups in this axe, either.
In the neck position you’ll find a DiMarzio Air Norton humbucker. The Air Norton is known for putting out deep, warm tones while not getting muddy when driven hard like other neck humbuckers tend to.
Kick the 5-way selector to the bridge and you’ll engage the DiMarzio Tone Zone, a humbucker that delivers crystal-clear and defined high-output perfect for searing solos and lead lines.
Finally, a single-coil DiMarzio True Velvet sits in the middle position, a pickup that nails the classic single-coil, bell-like sound.
- Range of exotic tonewoods gives it a unique voice
- Eye-catching, unique finish
- Tonal variety with excellent pickups
- No hard case included – a bit disappointing at this price range
- Price range puts it out of reach for a lot of players
Check out my guide on the Best Electric Guitars for Shredding
Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster – Best Indonesian Made Guitar for Country
For more information read my full review of the Best Fender and Squier Guitars
Most of us guitarists have seen/played the cheap $150 Squiers at some point – uncomfortable neck and fretboard that sticks, pickups with loud feedback, etc.
The Classic Vibe line is NOT that kind of Squier. They’ve really stepped up the level of quality in these guitars in recent years.
For the classic Nashville Twang on a budget, look no further than the Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster.
In this Tele, Squier uses a lot of the same woods that Fender uses in their Player series. You’ll find a pine body paired with a maple neck and fretboard for those classic twangy Fender sounds.
Tonally, this guitar stays true to the sounds that first made the Telecaster famous back in the 1950s.
The pickups are Fender-designed alnico single-coil pickups, designed to be as true to the original sound of the telecaster as possible.
These pickups give you the clear, punchy sounds you want in a Telecaster. They’re perfect for playing country, blues, jazz, rock, or pop.
The Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster not only sounds great but also plays great. With a thin C-shaped neck, you can really take control of the neck and move around with precision for solos, while still having enough to hold onto while laying down rhythm chords.
- Great vintage sounding pickups designed by Fender
- Authentic vintage look with a choice of two colors
- So similar to the Fender you may rule Fender out
- Higher price point than most Squiers may scare off beginners looking for a first guitar
- Craftsmanship leaves a bit to be desired in some areas
Check out my guide on the Best Fender Telecaster Alternatives
Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster – Best Indonesian Made Guitar for Blues
The blues – from legends like Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson to more modern players of the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton- this style of music is characterized by its soulful melodies and microtonal solos.
If there’s one guitar that really characterizes the classic Blues tones, it’s gotta be the Fender strat.
Originally released in 1954, the ‘50s era Fender Stratocasters were incredibly innovative guitars at the time and have been copied ever since.
With the Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster, you get a guitar based on the classic ‘50s era Stratocaster that won’t require a second mortgage on your house.
If you want to hammer out tasty blues licks in style, the Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster could be right for you.
With a nato body, maple neck, and maple fingerboard, there’s no doubt that the woods used on this guitar are high-quality for the money you’re paying.
As far as playability, the Squier Classic Vibe ‘50s Stratocaster also has a lot going for it.
The fretboard features 21 Narrow Tall frets, which are comfortable and easy to plan on.
The neck is a C-shaped neck with a 9.5” radius fretboard, which gives great playability and ease of grasping the fretboard.
Also included on this guitar is a 1.65” bone nut – a great addition that provides a level of sustain and performance that isn’t often found on guitars in this price range.
Other notable features include a Vintage-Style Synchronized tremolo system – keeping it true to the ‘50s style and adding an extra level of smooth playability.
Also, this guitar just looks cool! The Fiesta Red color in particular is a stunning and unique color not found on many Stratocasters that is sure to turn heads.
Coming in at under the $500 mark, the Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster is perfect for players with some experience under their belt looking to step up their game to the next level.
This guitar would also be a great pick for players coming from a dual humbucker guitar who are interested in delving into the world of single-coil pickups.
For those that crave the crunchy, warm, bluesy goodness of a Stratocaster neck single-coil and are into vintage looks, the Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster will not disappoint.
- Vintage Fender look and tone on a budget
- Features not found on other Squiers like the 1.65” bone nut
- 3 stunning color choices
- Gloss polyurethane finish can feel a bit sticky
- Tones a bit too bright for some players tastes
Check out my guide on the Best Electric Guitars for Blues
Gretsch G2622 Streamliner – Best Indonesian Made Guitar for Jazz
Ahh Jazz… it’s not the notes you play, it’s the ones you don’t.
When it comes to the choice of guitar for playing jazz, most jazz players choose to play on hollowbody and semi-hollowbody guitars for their rich sound and thick clean tones.
Gretsch has been putting out archtop and hollow-body guitars mainly aimed at jazz players since the early 1900s, so they know a thing or two about producing great-sounding jazz guitars.
The hollow-body tone is undeniably suited for playing jazz. The beautiful thick, melodic tones ooze smoky basement jazz bar vibes.
Starting with the wood choices, Gretsch has chosen everything on this guitar carefully to get you the tones you want.
Maple is one of the most lively, bright, and colorful tonewoods out there, which is exactly why Gretsch chose to make this G2622 Streamliner almost entirely out of this great wood.
This semi-hollowbody has a 5-ply arched laminated body that delivers a snappy, open tone.
Sound wise, this guitar is surprisingly versatile, not only suitable for jazz but also sounding great with some higher-gain settings.
The G2622 Streamliner features Gretsch’s Broad’Tron pickups, a bold set of humbuckers that are able to cut through and sound great in any situation.
One great feature of the
This center block allows the otherwise fully hollowed out body to resist frequency feedback, allowing you to dial in higher-gain sounds at louder volumes without worrying about your amplifier squealing.
One thing that always pleasantly surprises me when I plug in a Gretsch is just how much control you have over your tones due to the way they set up the controls.
With a volume control knob for each pickup, you can create a perfect balance between warmth, bite, and brilliance when playing in the middle position.
Then the master tone control lets you fine-tune your sound once you’ve got the individual tones you want dialed in.
- Those who want to really delve deep into jazz and take advantage of the smooth tones this guitar has to offer
- Those that like a fuller, richer sound for blues than the Stratocaster offers
- Seasoned players who want to own a semi hollowbody on a budget
- Deep, rich clean tones perfect for jazz
- Unique tones with a bit of gain added
- A lot of tone options with the individual volume controls
- Can’t handle too much gain
- U-shaped neck takes time to get used to for some
Check out my guide on the Best Hollowbody Guitars Under $500
How to Choose The Best Indonesian Made Guitar – Buyer’s Guide
Although they’re all made in Indonesia, clearly not all of the guitars discussed above are created equally.
So how do you tell which Indonesian made guitars are worth the buy and which ones are not worth your time?
Let’s take a look.
Materials & Build Quality
Materials and build quality is one of the things that will most directly affect not only how much you pay for a guitar, but also your enjoyment while playing it.
Brands that have their guitars manufactured in Indonesia are able to take advantage of cheaper labor costs and mass-production techniques that keep costs down.
One easy way to tell the quality of a guitar is to look at what woods it’s made from.
Top brands often use maple for the neck and body, as it gives a nice bright tone. An alternative with a richer sound is rosewood. Brands like Gibson use mahogany, and Fender uses Alder.
If you see any of these woods you should be in good shape.
As far as build quality – check spots on the guitar like the neck joint, input jack, and the sound/tone knobs to make sure everything feels solid.
As we all know, the sky’s the limit in terms of price tags for a new guitar.
If you’re looking at Indonesian made guitars, you most likely fall into the camp of players who’re looking for good quality and affordability.
I firmly believe that you can pick up a great guitar in the $400 range that will play and sound similar to a $4,000 guitar.
A solid Indonesian-made guitar will get the job done for you at an affordable price point.
The pickups are where the majority of your tone is going to come from – so make sure you do your research on what kind of pickups are in the guitar you buy.
Many guitars at lower price points will use pickups manufactured in-house designed to be cheap and might be lacking the tonal qualities you’re looking for.
If that’s the case, you can always switch out the pickups later on, and still end up spending less and have a more unique instrument than if you had bought a premium brand guitar.
Body style really comes down to personal preference.
Some people really dig the Hollowbody look, while others like pointy Ibanez-style shred machines.
Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, so make sure you know what you’re looking for before you go out and buy.
This is the most important thing! Playability is also subjective, and every players’ tastes are different.
Be sure to test out the guitar in both sitting and standing positions before making a decision – you wouldn’t want to buy a guitar without realizing it’ll kill your back during a show.
Genre of Music
Different genres of music require different guitars.
If you’re in a prog metal band, the Gretsch Streamliner is probably not going to be your go-to guitar.
As a general rule of thumb, the faster the music you want to play, the thinner the neck should be.
For blues, you want something with a thicker neck you can really grab a hold of while you pull off those mournful bends.
Make sure to evaluate all of these things before making your choice.
Are Indonesian made guitars good?
In general, Yes, Indonesian made guitars are good nowadays in terms of quality and are continuing to get better each year.
While import guitars made in Indonesia are typically seen as lower quality than guitars made in the USA, they offer incredible value for the price.
As you can see from the list above, there are a handful of very high-quality instruments on that list that would cost thousands more $$$ if they were made in the USA.
Make sure to check the woods used and for basic quality control and you can’t go wrong with most Indonesian guitars.
Are Indonesian made guitars better than Chinese
In general, Yes, Indonesian made guitars are better than Chinese made guitars. The prevailing thought among many guitarists is that Chinese-made guitars are on the bottom of the pile, with Indonesian-made instruments being a step up on the ladder.
Are Indonesian made guitars better than Mexican made?
Indonesia and Mexico both produce excellent quality guitars. Just as brands like Ibanez and Gretsch produce some of their budget-friendly offerings in Indonesia, so does Fender produce their Player Series in Mexico.
You can’t go wrong with a guitar produced in either country.
Make sure you stick to the advice in this guide, and you can’t go wrong picking up a great Indonesian-made guitar.