If you’re a beginner looking to purchase a new guitar, then you’ve probably seen some Oscar Schmidt Guitar Reviews floating around Amazon and other guitar forums.
But are Oscar Schmidt Guitars actually good?
Overall, Oscar Schmidt Guitars are very good budget-friendly guitars suitable for beginner to intermediate levels of play. They have a good fit and finish, decent specifications, and affordable price, making them an excellent value.
While they’re relatively unknown compared to the bigger budget guitar manufacturers, such as Epiphone, Squier, and Yamaha, Oscar Schmidt guitars have started gaining some attention in recent years.
They’re known for a wide variety of high quality string instruments at an affordable price including electric and acoustic guitars, ukuleles, bass guitars, banjos, mandolins and more.
In this post, we’re going to be looking at 6 of the top reviewed Oscar Schmidt guitars on Amazon to see if they’re actually a good option for beginners.
The 6 Best Oscar Schmidt Guitars
Don’t have time to read the full guide? Here are the best Oscar Schmidt electric and acoustic guitars:
- Oscar Schmidt OE30 Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar
- Oscar Schmidt OE20 Single Cutaway Electric Guitar
- Oscar Schmidt 6 String Double Cutaway SSS Electric Guitar
- Oscar Schmidt OG2TBL-A-U Acoustic Guitar
- Oscar Schmidt OD312 12 String Acoustic Guitar
- Oscar Schmidt OG1TR-A-U 3/4 Size Acoustic Guitar
Oscar Schmidt Electric Guitar Reviews
The Oscar Schmidt OE30 is probably the closest alternative to to the Firefly on this list. It features a nearly identical design at an affordable price, which is the primary selling point the Firefly FF338.
For the price, this is one of the best semi-hollow body guitars you can find. I was very impressed with the attention to detail, craftsmanship, and overall performance.
The finish is stunning. There are several different color options available including purple, cherry red, and tobacco sunburst. While a guitar at this pricepoint definitely uses a thin veneer rather than a full maple cap, the finish still looks good with few imperfections.
In terms of sound, I definitely think this guitar is a winner. The pickups are versatile, handling low gain and high gain well.
The Washburn pickups have very good clarity, especially at low gain. While this guitar can definitely handle some overdriven crunch tones, I would still stay away from the high gain metal tones with this guitar.
The Oscar Schmidt clearly excels in lower gain styles of music, such as blues, jazz, and country.
Check out this sound sample of the
Overall, for the price, the
One of the only other popular ones out there is the Epiphone ES-335 Pro. I would say that the
If you’re in the market for a Gibson ES-335 style semi-hollow body guitar, but don’t want to break the bank, then I would definitely suggest checking out the
The Oscar Schmidt OE20 is a budget Gibson Les Paul Style guitar.
It features everything you would expect from a Les Paul guitar including a single-cutaway mahogany body, 22 frets, Tune-O-Matic bridge, maple set neck, and 2 humbucking pickups.
It does a really good job of capturing the essence of a real Gibson Les Paul tone. The humbuckers along with the thick mahogany body help produce the thick and punchy tone of a Les Paul.
In terms of sound, the Oscar Schmidt OE20 is very versatile. As you would expect from a Les Paul style guitar, it obviously handles high-gain like a champion. If you’re looking for a guitar that is suitable for powerful hard rock or metal styles of music, then the Oscar Schmidt OE20 is definitely a solid pick.
This guitar is actually very good for jazz and blues as well, as the pickups have good clarity at low gain. The tone will definitely be darker than, say, a Stratocaster, but is still a great option depending on your preferences.
In terms of aesthetics, this guitar comes in 5 different finish options. Many of these options match some of the most popular Gibson Les Paul finishes out there including the Gold Top and Tobacco sunburst finishes. Overall, I think these guitars are stunning considering their price point.
Regarding playability…well, it’s a Les Paul shape. You should already know what you’re getting. It’s a heavy, chunky guitar that’s not very ergonomic. And that’s what makes it great!
Here’s the deal.
You don’t pick up a guitar like this for the playability. That’s not a knock at this guitar in particular, but that’s just the nature of playing a Les Paul Style Guitar. You trade playability for the beefy tone from a giant slab of mahogany.
My only actual gripe with this guitar is the fingerboard, which uses an “engineered alternative” wood material. That’s just a way of saying, “cheap rosewood knockoff.” It feels gritty and almost like plastic. I much would have preferred a real rosewood or ebony fingerboard. But, this is by no means a deal-breaker. It just gets some time to get used to it.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this guitar. There are hundreds of budget Les Paul alternatives to choose from, but the Oscar Schmidt still stands out as one of my favorites. I think it’s an excellent value and would be an excellent choice for beginner and intermediate level guitar players.
To complete the trio of Oscar Schmidt electric guitars, this one is a budget Stratocaster style electric guitar.
It features a double-cutaway maple body with a 3 single-coil pickup layout and 5-way selector switch.
For a budget Stratocaster clone, it does a surprisingly good job of replicating the Stratocaster tone.
The single-coil pickups sound bright and punchy. Keep in mind that single-coil pickups are meant for low gain clean tones because they can be noisy once you crank up the gain.
As a result, this guitar is good for blues, country, and jazz styles of music.
In terms of playability, I think this guitar is excellent. It’s very comfortable and ergonomic, which is important for a beginner level guitar.
Since this guitar is priced so low, there are definitely some compromises that affect the overall quality and experience, such as the cheap wood for the neck and fingerboard, but that’s to be expected.
If you’re a beginner interested in picking up a budget strat style guitar, I think this Oscar Schmidt guitar is a good value and on par with anything that you will find from Squier in the same price range.
Oscar Schmidt Acoustic Guitar Reviews
The Oscar Schmidt OG2TBL is a budget beginner level acoustic guitar.
It features a Spruce top, catalpa sides and back, and a mahogany neck. For the fretboard, you have the choice between either Rosewood or their “engineered wood.” The rosewood definitely feels better, but it does cost slightly more.
Other than that, this guitar is just a solid entry-level guitar that offers a consistent playing experience. Nothing outstanding, but not many negative points either.
That’s probably one of the best compliments you can give a beginner guitar. Many budget level acoustic guitars like to boast that they have all the fancy bells and whistles, but lack in the fundamentals and consistency, such as tuning stability, setup, and playability.
This guitar checks all of the right boxes, which is all you should expect from a guitar at this price point. For $150, if you can get a guitar that sounds decent, stays in tune, and is easy to play, then you’ve got yourself a winner.
In addition, you also have some pretty nice options for different finishes. They have a nice transparent blue, natural wood, black, white, and transparent red. It’s actually quite uncommon for guitars at this price point to have that many finish options. In most cases, you’d be stuck with a natural wood finish. But if you really want to stand out, you have the option to pick a color that really stands out in a crowd.
If you’re a beginner looking to pick up your first acoustic guitar, I would definitely suggest checking out this Oscar Schmidt Acoustic guitar.
If you’re looking for an excellent budget acoustic-electric guitar, then I would definitely suggest checking out this Oscar Schmidt guitar.
It’s actually pretty rare to see acoustic-electric guitars at this price point due to the extra components that need to be added to amplify an acoustic guitar. However, Oscar Schmidt has done a good job of keeping the price low, as you would expect with this brand.
This particular model features a dreadnought style Spruce Wood body with catalpa wood for the sides and back.
It does use their alternative engineered wood for the fingerboard instead of Rosewood, which was likely a compromise they needed to make to keep the price so low.
This guitar also features a cutaway, which is a nice touch because it gives you greater accessibility to the higher frets. Dreadnought body guitars are notoriously known for being harder to play for beginners since they’re so big, so any improves to the playability of the guitar definitely helps.
In terms of sound quality, this guitar sounds excellent for the price. The dreadnought style body is resonant and clear. The electronics work exactly as expected. You can plug the guitar into any amplifier and access the sound controls on the top of the guitar body. This makes the guitar versatile for performing live gigs. No need for microphones as you can just plug into any amplifier or PA system.
Regarding build quality, this guitar feels like it is built to last. It is solid and put together very well. I did notice some rough fret edges, but that’s to be expected from any guitar at this price range. This can be fixed in minutes with just a little bit of filing. Other than that, this guitar is excellent build quality and construction.
12 string acoustic guitars are definitely aimed at more niche styles of music.
And since they aren’t nearly as common as a normal 6 string guitar, they tend to be a bit more pricey.
However, as with most Oscar Schmidt guitars, the OD312 is a budget 12 string acoustic guitar that is more accessible to a wide audience.
In terms of specs and build quality, it is very similar to the other acoustic guitars on this list. Despite being made in China, I’ve noticed the quality of Oscar Schmidt guitars to be consistent across the board.
If you’re interested in a 12 string guitar but don’t want to break the bank, then this one is a good choice. Since 12 string guitars aren’t the most versatile and probably won’t end up being your main guitar, I’d probably just suggest getting an inexpensive one by Oscar Schmidt rather than a higher end one that you’ll hardly use.
They create a very resonant and full tone due to the octaves being played at the same time, but are not the easiest to control for beginners. Since you need to press down 2 strings at once, most beginner players don’t have the finger strength and dexterity to make the notes ring out completely.
Also, maintenance on these types of guitars can be an absolute nightmare…Just imagine having to change 12 strings on a guitar instead of 6…No fun.
That said, if you want the unique tones that only a 12 string can produce, then I would definitely recommend the Oscar Schmidt OD312.
If you’re a guitar player with small hands, then you might want to consider playing with a ¾ size guitar.
You’ll find it a lot easier to hold the guitar and maneuver around the fretboard.
One of the best budget guitars for small hands that I’ve used is the Oscar Schmidt OG1TR.
It is a short-scale ¾ size acoustic guitar that is suitable for beginner guitar players with small hands or kids.
In terms of specifications, it is very similar to the other Oscar Schmidt acoustic guitar offerings; just in a small package.
It features a Spruce Wood top, Catalpa sides and neck, and mahogany body.
Where this guitar excels is the playability. Due to the small form factor, it is much easier to play than a typical dreadnought style acoustic guitar. If you’re a small individual, then you’ll have no problems holding the guitar in a comfortable position.
Also, due to the shorter scale length, there will be less tension on the strings, making them easier to press down. In addition, since the neck is shorter, you’ll find that the frets are closer together, meaning you won’t need to stretch as far to play the right notes.
The only downside to a smaller guitar is that it won’t sound as full and powerful as a full-sized guitar. Since the body is smaller, the sound won’t be able to resonate quite as much, so you might notice that ¾ size guitars don’t pack as much of a punch.
That said, the most important factor to consider for new guitarists is playability. If you’re a player with small hands, I would definitely consider this guitar because it’ll make your overall playing experience easier.
Where Are Oscar Schmidt Guitars Made?
One of the most common questions that I have received regarding these guitars is “Where are Oscar Schmidt Guitars Made?”
Oscar Schmidt guitars are made in China. They are mass-produced in factories to cut costs but are inspected and adjusted in the United States by skilled technicians prior to being shipped out to consumers.
As with most budget guitar manufacturers, their guitars are mass-produced overseas where labor costs are much cheaper. Some common countries where these guitars are made include China, Indonesia, and South Korea.
Of the bunch, China is typically the cheapest, which is likely why Oscar Schmidt guitars are made there.
Since Oscar Schmidt guitars are known for having the most competitive prices, they manufacture their guitars in China where the labor costs are lowest and pass those savings onto the consumer.
Are Oscar Schmidt Guitars Good?
So, we’ve reviewed some of the best Oscar Schmidt guitars available today.
But are Oscar Schmidt guitars actually good or should you just buy a more well-known brand instead?
In short, Oscar Schmidt guitars are definitely good guitars overall. For the price, they’re an excellent value.
If you’re a beginner or intermediate player on a budget, I would certainly consider checking these guitars out. They have a ton of options for every style of play, so you’ll certainly find something that fits your particular tastes.
That said, it’s important to set proper expectations when buying Oscar Schmidt guitars. For the most part, the entire brand specializes in budget guitars. They are all mass-produced overseas in China using lower-quality materials than other high-end manufacturers in the United States, Japan, or even South Korea.
Don’t expect a $200 Oscar Schmidt OE300 to compare to a $3,000 Gibson ES-335. These guitars are obviously not going to be as good, but still offer a similar feel and sound without breaking the bank.
To wrap up this Oscar Schmidt guitar review, I think the brand overall creates some pretty decent guitars for an affordable price. If you’re a beginner or intermediate level player, then definitely consider Oscar Schmidt guitars. They are an excellent value and offer a whole slew different types of guitars suited for all different styles of play.
I hope you found this review of Oscar Schimdt guitars helpful. Good luck playing!