3 Guitars That Never Caught On (But Should Have)

Why didn’t these three guitars sell more or show up on more stages, videos, and pages?

Fender Lead III – Grab your own on Reverb or Sweetwater

I loved this guitar and was devastated when the loan period on it ended. It was so comfortable, simple, and fun to play. Especially for the punk and garage rock tones I was exploring at the time, it was hard for me to put it down. These guitars have basically disappeared since their initial launch, I haven’t seen them anywhere. Both the Lead II and Lead III had great colors, a nice mid-range price tag, and had a nice quirk to them that helped them stick out.

Maybe I got an outlier from the bunch, and the rest sucked or did not impress? But mine was awesome and quite frankly should have proliferated the market the way that a lot of other Mexican Fender products have in recent years. Fender has a habit of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks, so clearly these did not stick the way Paranormal, Vintera, or Noventa guitars seem to have.

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Schechter Ultra III – grab your own on Reverb or Sweetwater

I have been writing about this guitar for years now and still struggle to find them in use anywhere. The guitar is a work of out, the old version just as much as the newer version which has gold foil pickups instead. In terms of sonic versatility, few guitars can compare to the three pickup (each with coil split) configuration. You can get as many as 27 different pickup combinations out of this thing. Add in the German carve, the Bigsby with roller bridge, and nice color options, and I struggle to find guitars that can compete aesthetically as well. The Ultra III is a sure fire gem that any guitarist could use. Why is no one playing them??

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Yamaha SA2200 – grab your own on Reverb or Amazon

Last but not least we probably have my favorite guitar out of this entire list. It’s the most expensive and premium sure, but it was also one of the most amazing playing experiences from my 2020 guitar reviews. The Yamaha SA2200 is everything I want to experience when I pick up a Gibson ES-335. Rich, sustaining pickups with coil splits, classic build quality and looks, and most importantly, stable tuning.

I get it to some degree, Yamaha is not the biggest player in the guitar space. But everything they release seems to receive universal praise from the Revstars to the Pacificas. It seems that the latest batch of Revstars has done wonders for their reputation, and I hope that will draw more eyes to their other guitar models. I would buy this before any Gibson ES-335 I have played in my life to date. This is probably the best, most authentic of all ES-style guitars I’ve ever reviewed or will likely review.

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Published by Matt Dunn

Guitar and music journalist for Ultimate-Guitar.com and Guitarsforidiots.com as well as a contributor for Guitarniche.com and Stringjoy.com. Reach out to talk about guitars, commission a partscaster, or ask for a review.

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