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If you're lucky enough to find the £1,000/$1,500+ required to play with the more serious electric toys, you'll find the extra investment will, with a little care, buy you a guitar that should serve you faithfully for a lifetime.
In this £1,000 to £2,000* - or approx. $1,500 to $3,000 - section of the market, Fender still rules the roost and you'll see a sizeable chunk of the Big F's big hitters in the following pages.
However, the times they are a-changing. While Gibson's 2015 Les Paul Studio offers excellent value for money in the sub £1,000/$,1500 range, the pricier 2015 Les Paul Deluxe we tested recently didn't quite make the 4.5+ star rating to warrant inclusion.
Elsewhere, premium builds with clever, cost-saving design tweaks are increasingly common - and for good reason. PRS' US-made S2 guitars consistently impress. While Schecter, with its USA Production Series, ESP with it's Japanese-made E-II range and smaller, reputable UK-based luthiers like Manson and Sabre are all challenging the status quo - making some stunning custom-style instruments at home for reasonable prices.
In fact, browse the gallery and you'll see there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful.
*Those of you after the bank-bothering £2,000+ instruments, rest assured they'll be covered in our new luxury guitars round-up.