To most musicians, Stagg doesn’t ring as loud a bell as Fender, Gibson or Ibanez. But to newbies, or to those who are more price-conscious than brand-conscious, the Belgian company is a viable alternative to pricey guitars. While a good brand-name instrument can start at $300 for an entry-level piece and can go well over the thousands, Stagg guitars range in price from $200 to $500, a reasonable enough investment for young beginners or casual players.
Stagg Music Company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. Its product line includes acoustic, electric, and bass guitars, other string instruments (mandolins, banjos, ukuleles), drums and cymbals, wind instruments, and professional audio equipment. Percussion has come to be its most popular offering, however—its cymbals have had a growing fan base since the launch of its hand-hammered Furia and Myra series.
The company’s guitar line, although not its flagship product, offers a good price-to-quality ratio. This is especially true for those who don’t want to pour too much into a first instrument or spend thousands of dollars on a hobby. Both electric and acoustic ranges are handmade and built for excellent sound quality. The round-back models and the James Neligan series are especially popular and get good reviews on sound and craftsmanship. Most guitar teachers consider it a good learning guitar, although guitarists usually move to more expensive brands once they start playing more seriously.
Stagg also makes a wide range of children’s guitars, built to half or quarter sizes. There are classical wood designs, but some models have whimsical, child-friendly motifs such as dinosaurs (the 1/4 size Dino Guitar is ideal for children aged 3 to 5). These guitars are made with nylon strings, which are gentler on young fingers, and are comfortably light. Larger guitars also carry well (especially with Stagg’s line of artsy straps), although older models tend to be heavy, according to some experienced players.
Most musicians agree that Stagg guitars are well-made—some have compared it to more established brands like Yamaha and Epiphone. The sleek and often creative designs are also a plus. In terms of sound quality, it gets a little subjective. Some find the pitch ideal for metal and the strain perfect for blues and jazz, so it can do a little of everything. If you don’t have a specific musical style and just want a good practice guitar, Stagg is definitely worth a look.