Discover the best Strat copies for replicating the famous Fender tone without breaking the bank in our guide to the best budget Stratocaster alternatives
The Fender Stratocaster is undoubtedly one of the most iconic guitars in the history of popular music.
In the years since it was first released in 1954, the Stratocaster has inspired an array of copycat Strat-style guitars from other manufacturers keen to capitalise on the ingenious design and sought-after sound of the instrument.
In this guide we’ll be looking at the best Strat copies and budget alternatives that allow you to get as close to the real thing as possible – including picks from some of our favourite brands such as Antiquity, Encore, and Yamaha.
We’ve picked these guitars based on their ability to replicate the sound and feel of the Stratocaster, whilst also opting for guitars that we think are top-of-the-range in terms of versatility, playability, and value.
Keep reading to find out more on the best Strat-style guitars for Fender tones on a budget!
Best Stratocaster Style Copy Guitars
Stratocasters and Strat-style guitars are a mainstay across almost every genre imaginable. Whether you’re seeking out the bluesy tones of Jimi Hendrix and John Mayer, the pop-punk growl of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, or the funky chops of Nile Rodgers and Cory Wong – these guitars are all perfect options for nailing the sound.
We’re kicking things off with one of our most popular picks, and a favourite with the guitar aficionados amongst the PMT Experts...
Antiquity ST1 Guitars
We’ve spoken at great length about each of the Antiquity models available at PMT – and with good reason.
The ST1 is our top pick for the best budget Stratocaster due to the sound and feel it provides at an unbeatable value.
Featuring a trio of sparkling single coils and a vintage-style vibrato system, this tribute to the Stratocaster is perfect for beginners or those seeking a reliable and versatile back-up guitar for gigging.
Available in a stunning array of finishes that recall some of the most famous Strats from years gone by, you’re bound to be inspired to play every time you pick up an Antiquity ST1.
Find each ST1 below, and check out the Starter Packs available at PMT if you need an amp and cables to complete the budget Strat set-up:
Squier Stratocaster Guitars
A tried-and-tested favourite of guitar players around the world, the Squier Strat is many musicians first foray into the world of the Stratocaster.
Officially licensed by Fender to recreate the iconic silhouette, Squier Strats offer all of the same design quality and heritage without the price tag you’d expect from an actual Fender model.
Despite their place as a ‘cheaper’ brand which remakes Fender guitars, many guitarists have fallen in love with Squier models and have continued to use them throughout their careers. Although the prices are less expensive, Squier guarantees the same rigorous quality-control and attention to detail you get from premium guitars.
Squier Stratocasters are also an awesome place to start customising your instrument – many people create ‘Frankenstrats’ that they build-up and add to over time, tweaking the pickups, the nut, and the switching systems to create something totally unique and perfect for you.
Find our favourites here:
Another budget Strat copy that has gathered plenty of fans at PMT – the Encore E6.
These guitars prioritise comfort and ergonomics in order to make learning as simple as possible, with a range of ¾-sized models for kids and those with smaller hands.
These instruments stay true to the SSS configuration of the Stratocaster, with a classic 5-way switch for the complete range of tones that have made the original guitars such mainstays in music.
We recommend checking out some of the beginner packages and finding the perfect size and shape for you – check them out below:
Yamaha Pacifica Guitars
Whilst the design is slightly unique compared to the others on this list, the Pacifica is certainly indebted to the Stratocaster in a multitude of ways, with a double-cut body, bolt-on neck, and vibrato system at the heart of the design.
Although there are some different pickup configurations across the Pacifica models, we particularly like the HSS set-up which is a perfect option for metal and heavier genres. With features such as push-pull pots in addition to the classic switching system, you have complete versatility with the Pacifica.
The hardware is premium, the components are reliable, and they’re built to last – perfect for gigging and touring. Find each and every Pacifica model available at PMT here:
Whether you’re searching for a cheap alternative to a Stratocaster or looking for a slightly different take on the classic design, there are lots of great options available.
A true icon, the unmistakeable double-cutaway shape will never go out of style – and it’s equally suitable for complete beginners and guitar veterans.
At PMT we always recommend trying a guitar out and finding the one that feels best for you. Our stores are fully-stocked with an array of different kinds of Stratocasters and Strat-style guitars for all budgets.
Find all of our favourite S-style guitars here: