Grote Guitar have gained attention over the last few years thanks to their affordability, but are they just another cheap guitar with bad sound and low-quality hardware? Before you purchase one, here’s everything you need to know about this budget-friendly guitar brand.
Who Are Grote Guitars
Grote Guitar is a relatively new player in the guitar industry. The company takes pride in crafting reasonably priced, high-quality instruments that cater to guitarists of all skill levels. Their entire guitar line-up, which, as of this writing, only consists of electric guitars, is made in China.
Grote produces some of the most affordable guitars, typically priced between $79.99 and $399. Even more surprising is that they include several additional accessories in their starter kit. Along with the guitar, you might receive a gig bag, a guitar amplifier, a strap, picks, and a hexagon spanner.
Electric Guitar Bodies
Grote Guitar offers three electric guitar bodies – hollow, semi-hollow, and solid. Here is a closer look at each one:
Hollow Body Guitars
Grote offers several electric guitars with hollow bodies, which you might consider if you are searching for high-quality sound. There are three models from which to choose: Grote Vintage Sunburst, Grote Red, and Grote Natural to find a suitable one.
Semi-hollow Body Guitars
These guitars suit different music genres, perfectly balancing a hollow-body’s warmth and a solid-body guitar’s endurance. Grote has them in different colors and styles, including the popular 335-style guitar.
Solid Body Guitars
Unlike hollow bodies, solid-body guitars provide a brighter sound and less feedback, making them popular for high-gain settings and aggressive playing styles. Grote offers solid-body models, too; they currently have seven solid-body electric guitars in their line-up.
Left-Handed Body Guitars
For lefty guitarists, Grote also offers left-handed electric guitars. Unfortunately, you don’t have a lot of options; they only carry one model.
Grote Guitar also offers several guitar body styles. However, like most budget guitar brands, they’ve just imitated Fender’s Stratocaster and Telecaster and Gibson’s Les Paul and SG.
For instance, their 355 electric guitars directly copy the Gibson es-335.
Appearance and Build Quality
Being a budget-friendly guitar manufacturer, don’t expect Grote guitars to compete with Fender and Gibson. But that doesn’t mean their guitars are bad – they’re the perfect choice for beginners and intermediate players who want the perfect balance of playability and craftsmanship without exceeding the budget.
Appearance-wise, their guitars are beautiful, thanks to the high-end finish and smooth fretboards. Their semi-hollow and hollow body models, in particular, are visually stunning, boasting a matte finish on the body, neck, and headstock.
For build quality, Grote, in general, is decent. Depending on the model you choose, you can get rosewood or blackwood for the fretboard. For the body and back, you can get maple or basswood.
The tuning pegs or tuners and electronics are not the best, but again, they are sufficient.
Sound and Playability
Grote guitars produce a good sound, especially when paired with the right guitar setup. However, you might encounter intonation issues since, as mentioned earlier, the tuning pegs and electronics are not the highest quality, especially on their cheapest models.
Best Grote Guitars
If you’re keen on getting a Grote as your first guitar or for your child, here are some of the best models, including their standout features, pros and cons, and what makes them worth considering.
Grote Gtl-101 Tele Style Electric Guitar
The GTL-101 model is a semi-hollow electric guitar with a budget-friendly price tag. Appearance-wise, it has a Telecaster design with an F-hole, giving the guitar a classic twist. However, do know that the eye-catching quilted top is just a veneer. The good thing is that its fretboard is made from solid maple wood.
Regarding playability, you’ll need to adjust the truss rod first. If you don’t know how to, a visit to your nearest guitar shop is all you need. For its sound, adjustment is also needed as there is an intonation problem out of the box.
Grote Grs-001 Jazz Electric Guitar
The GRS-001 also has a semi-hollow body but rocks a different style. It also uses a tune-o-matic bridge for easier string intonation. Build-wise, you’ll get basswood for the body and back and rosewood for the fretboard.
How about the sound? Its humbucker pickup delivers powerful, high-gain tones, resulting in a thicker and fuller sound that provides remarkable versatility, especially for rock, jazz, and blues. Additionally, the rosewood fingerboard adds an elegant touch to the instrument’s sound and playability with its smooth surface and resonant tone.
One thing to keep in mind is that you might experience some buzzing sounds when hooked into the amp.
Grote Lps-003 Solid Body Electric Guitar
Another Grote model you should consider is the LPS-003. It costs three times more than the previous models, but you’ll get a solid-body electric guitar with a more premium build quality – the body, back, and neck are all maple! It also has coil-splitting for versatility and smooth transitioning from humbucker to single-coil.
The guitar’s choice of material and craftsmanship contribute to the overall sound production. You’ll enjoy its balanced and clear sound quality, which is rare to find at its price point.
Grote Guitar Alternatives
Whether you’re searching for a similar Grote guitar style, comparable features, or something entirely different but still within a budget-friendly price, here are great alternatives which provide excellent value, quality craftsmanship, and impressive sound.
In cases you didn’t know, Epiphone and Gibson are sister companies. Gibson bought Epiphone in 1957, and since then, Epiphone has been the go-to for well-crafted guitars that are still within a budget-friendly price range.
One of the things that make Ibanez a great alternative to Grote is its reputation for producing high-quality electric and acoustic guitars. Plus, there are more models to choose from versus Grote.
In summary, the Grote guitar is a relatively new player in the guitar industry. Their guitars are affordable and have unique designs to jumpstart your guitar-playing journey. While the sound quality may be second-fiddle to Gibson’s, Grote’s guitars are decent and playable.