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All Fender, PRS & Gibson guitars are good and worth the money – they are the most popular guitar brands in the market. 

Generally, Fender has simpler design and is suitable for bright tones. Whereas PRS & Gibson have better design and are more suitable for warmer tones or when playing with high gain and distortion. 

In this article, I am going to compare the 3 big guitar brands in their tones, aesthetics and playability. 

Do note that some of the comparisons are based on my opinion and I am trying to generalize things as much as I can – so you get the idea of what each brand typically offers from their product. 

I have used the base model for each guitar brand when comparing. But I will also talk about what is offered by the more expensive models (if applicable). Here are the base models I use for this comparison:

  1. Fender Player Stratocaster
  2. PRS SE Custom 22
  3. Gibson Les Paul

PRS Vs Fender Vs Gibson

Fender PRS Gibson
Aesthetics Basic Great Great
Tone Bright Warm Warm
Pickup  3 Single Coils 2 Humbuckers 2 Humbuckers
Comfort Great Great Less comfortable
Weight Light Light Slightly heavier
Price $1000+ $900+ $1000+
Relicing  Great No No
Suitable For Low Gain High Gain Highest Gain

Aesthetics: Fender Vs PRS Vs Gibson

Fender guitars typically offer a basic aesthetic design, without too much gloss or patterns on the body and fretboard. 

But it’s a very popular design and is the most popular electric guitar design right now. Every knock-off electric guitar usually copies the design of Fender guitars – I am sure you are also familiar with the design. 

Fender guitars typically come with a white pickguard and knobs that can turn yellow over time. Some people even like this effect because they give the ‘aged’ and vintage look. 

Fender Player Strat

Fender player Stratocaster


PRS guitars offer great design with glossy look (even the neck) and can come with a great looking flame or maple top – depending on the model and price. 

I personally like PRS guitars the most. The birds used on the fretboards are unique and the top of PRS guitars are designed with an elevation effect – I absolutely love it. 

PRS Se Custom 22

PRS Se Custom 22


Gibson guitars also look great – with unique design aesthetics rivaling those of PRS guitars. Gibson guitars have the look of Jazz or Blues guitarists – it’s a matter of personal preference.

Gibson guitars also have a slightly unique body shape – that are less comfortable in my opinion. More on this later. 

Point is, both Gibson and PRS guitars look great. If you care about aesthetics, keep Gibson and PRS guitars in your mind. 

Though, Gibson guitars can go up in price significantly depending on the model. The higher you go, the better you look. Browse through the Gibson site and check out their guitars – you will be impressed by the look.

Gibson Les Paul Standard

Gibson Les Paul Standard


Tone: Fender Vs PRS Vs Gibson

Fender guitars typically use 3 single coil pickups. Thus, they produce bright and sharper tones. 

Due to the single coil pickups, you will need to crank up the volume higher on your fender guitars to achieve the same output on other guitars like PRS & Gibson. 

PRS and Gibson guitars typically use 2 humbucker coil pickups. Thus, they produce warmer tones – suitable for distortion and high gain usage. 

Due to the humbucker pickups, the volume output will be louder and distortion and other effects on the guitar will sound great. 

That said, Gibson guitars are usually even more warmer and louder than the PRS. So I would put the PRS in the middle between Fender and Gibson for sound. 

Fender being the brightest and sharpest, followed by PRS and Gibson guitars. 

Comfort: Fender Vs PRS Vs Gibson

Fender guitars are the most comfortable guitars with great ergonomic design. This is why they are the most versatile guitar and are extremely popular. 

You can play a long time with your Fender guitars while standing (or sitting) – without feeling uncomfortable. The edges of the body are not sharp and you can reach the highest frets without issues.

PRS guitars and Gibson can be slightly uncomfortable over long guitar sessions. 

On PRS, the center of the body is elevated for design – this can be felt when you rest your arm on the edges.

On Gibson, the body shape is a little bigger – preventing you from reaching the higher frets easily. It’s also the heaviest when compared to PRS and Fender. 

Of course, these are just pointing out the tiniest flaws. All 3 guitar brands are comfortable in normal usage if you are not picky. 

PRS SE Hollowbody 2

The center body of PRS guitars are elevated – the edges can be annoying when you rest your arm.


Weight: Fender Vs PRS Vs Gibson

Generally, Fender and PRS guitars are the lightest, followed by the Gibsons. For example, the base model guitars PRS SE is 7 lbs (3.2kg), Fender Strat is 8 pounds (3.6kg), and Gibson Les Paul 12 lbs (5.4kg).

PRS and Fender guitars are generally lightest and most comfortable to play. Whereas the Gibsons are heavier but they look the best. 


Price: Fender Vs PRS Vs Gibson

Generally, Fender and PRS guitars are cheaper, followed by the Gibsons. This of course depends on the model. All 3 brands have base models starting at below $1,000 and high end models that can go above $3,000.

For their base models (used as comparison in this article) the prices are below

If you want to go higher, Gibson guitars can go as expensive as $7,999. But what you get is an absolutely gorgeous guitar with great sound. 

Relicing: Fender Vs PRS Vs Gibson

If you like aged, reliced guitars, then Fender is the best brand for that. Fender guitars look great when reliced – their maple necks and white guards turn dark yellow and there are plenty of tutorials on how to relic them.

PRS and Gibsons do not look great when reliced. In my opinion, they look best when glossy and shiny – which means you need to take care of them properly.

You can get aged PRS / Gibson guitars but they can get extremely expensive. Starting from $6,000 to even $10,000. It’s quite hard to relic a PRS / Gibson and still make them look good.

Most Fender guitars come in Nitro or Poly finish and you can attempt to relic them yourself. For the best relic process, get the Fender guitars with a Nitro finish.

Nitro finishes are less durable – allowing them to peel off and get reliced easier. Here are some related articles about relicing guitars. 

relic poly guitar

Reliced fender guitar looks great


Suitable For: Fender Vs PRS Vs Gibson

Fender guitars are suitable for rock and countries where clean and bright sounds are required. Whereas PRS and Gibsons are more suitable for genres like hard rock, metal and blues.

PRS and Gibsons use humbuckers and they produce warm sound with lots of gain. If you need to play dirty with lots of effects or gains, PRS or Gibsons are great.

You can of course switch out the pickups on your guitars to Humbucker or Single Coils depending on your preferences – what I said above is just a generalization. 

In fact, all 3 guitar brands can be used to play any genre. For Fender, I recommend getting a  HSS pickup configuration to be more versatile. 

HSS means Humbucker pickup on the bridge, Single Coil on the middle and Single Coil on the neck. This allows you to switch around and produce different ones as you need. 

Related Article: Does Guitar Pickup Matter? Sound Difference On Type & Price

Most Value For Money (Fender Vs PRS Vs Gibson)

I personally recommend PRS guitars. They look amazing, sound amazing and are not so expensive (when compared to Gibson’s high end models).

PRS is like the middle between Fender and Gibson in terms of sound – it’s not too bright or too warm. It’s suitable for many music genres.

And did I tell you how amazing a PRS looks? Yeah.

Beautiful PRS guitar

Ifandi S.

About Ifandi S.

Ifandi started Strumming Bars to answer all the questions of a guitarist. As a self-learned guitarist, he remembered how frustrating it was to not find answers to his many questions in the journey. With Strumming Bars, that's no longer the case!

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