Are Glarry Guitars Any Good? (And why are they so cheap?!)

Are Glarry guitars worth your money? Are they good? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but based on my experience and the experiences of others, the answer to both questions is probably no. I spent a lot of time with the Glarry GTL that I reviewed and I would not recommend it to beginners unless you also want to learn guitar repair or how to do guitar mods.

Glarry GTL body photo
The Glarry GTL we reviewed here at ArtOfShred

But it’s not as simple as saying Glarry guitars aren’t good. Things are never simple, are they? haha

You could also make the argument that making a determination based on one guitar isn’t enough and I would agree with you. I do plan to review more Glarry guitars here and on the ArtOfShred YouTube channel. But I’m not based my thoughts on just one guitar. I have watched dozens of YouTube videos reviewing Glarry guitars. They were all sponsored. Mine? I bought the Glarry myself.

Glarry GTL receipt
ArtOfShred’s Glarry GTL receipt

You should also know that my goal is not to sell you a guitar. My goal is to help you make an informed purchase decision, and if you use one of the links on this page to purchase a guitar I might get a small commission that helps support future unbiased guitar reviews. Thank you for that!

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Why Are Glarry Guitars So Cheap?

Close up of the Glarry GTL bridge and pickup
Close up of the Glarry GTL bridge, saddles, and bridge pickup

It’s simple: they are made in China, not sold at regular retailers, and they use the absolute cheapest components you can find. Add all of that together and you can reduce your costs to likely under $50 per guitar, which means there is room for profit if you’re selling them for $100, even with free shipping. (These are ballpark figures, of course, because I don’t know their costs.)

So the components are cheap and the guitars feel cheap. I actually needed to sand the neck of the Glarry GTL just so it didn’t feel like playing an unfinished piece of neck wood. And their pickups are amongst the worst I’ve heard, even compared to other budget guitar brands.

Basically, I’ve played and reviewed enough budget guitars to know they’re not all created equal, and the Glarry GTL really was just not something I can recommend to you.

Where Are Glarry Guitars Sold?

You can buy Glarry guitars in primarily 3 places.

I personally purchased from Glarry’s website because I wanted to know what that experience was like. They shipped quickly and the buying experience was just fine, no complaints. (And, btw, I also bought a guitar rack from them more recently. More on that in a moment.)

Are you just being negative about Glarry for no reason?

No. My goal is to help you make informed decisions and I lose money on every guitar I purchase for review. I’m willing to do that to help you with your guitar purchase decisions.

Close up of the Glarry GTL bolt on neck joint / cavity
Close up of the Glarry GTL bolt on neck joint / cavity

I not only spent a lot of time with the Glarry GTL, but basically every YouTube video I’ve watched about Glarry the guitars needed a guitar tech out of the box. That includes the sponsored videos. Some YouTubers unfortunately don’t make it clear that they got free guitars or cash payment for their reviews, but if you read between the lines on those positive videos it’s glaringly (see what I did there?!) obvious.

I am completely willing to change my tune about Glarry guitars if they fix their quality control issues, of course, and I will update this article if my thoughts change.

And I do want to state: I am not anti-Glarry. I even purchased one of their 9 guitar racks recently and am completely happy with. (It’s flimsy and cheap, but I use it for the budget guitars I review so I’m fine with all of that.)

Is there anything good about Glarry guitars?

Yes, of course! My “secret” goal with ArtOfShred is to get more people playing guitar and any brand that helps fulfill that purpose is okay in my book. So even if I don’t personally think Glarry makes a good guitar that doesn’t mean I don’t like what they’re doing. If a Glarry guitar speaks to you it’s still worth it, even if you have to pay $50-100 for a guitar tech to set it up for you.

That said, if you’re looking for a ultra-low budget Telecaster style guitar I prefer the Indio Retro Classic.

A few reasons you might want to buy a Glarry guitar

Despite everything I’ve told you so far, you might want to still buy a Glarry for one of the following reasons:

  • You found one at a great price. (I’ve seen the Glarry GTL for $70 on Amazon before.)
  • You want a cheap guitar to learn how to fix or mod guitars. This is a great idea, and I highly encourage it!
  • You like one of the odd shaped Glarry guitars. Yup, another good reason! If you like the way it looks you’ll be more likely to play it.
  • You don’t play guitar but you want playable guitar wall art. Guitars make great decorations, just ask the Hard Rock Cafe!

Like I said, it’s not all bad and I appreciate any guitar brand that gets more people playing the instrument.

Final Thoughts On Glarry Guitars

It boils down to this: Glarry makes ultra low budget instruments (not just guitars) for beginners or decoration. They have their flaws, but that doesn’t mean they are necessarily bad. I would just say they are not ideal guitars for beginners and I don’t believe they are generally worth the money.

But if you end up purchasing a Glarry after reading this article I think you’ll be happy with it because you’ll be well informed about what to expect. Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

4 thoughts on “Are Glarry Guitars Any Good? (And why are they so cheap?!)”

  1. Another great, spot on review! I own two Glarrys, a strat type and a Mustang bass copy. The bass is actually impressive, I have a vintage style P bass pickup I’ve been meaning to install. I have no other issues with it. Although I’ve owned the strat type far longer, so maybe other issues will surface.

    I literally paid nothing for the strat type, used gift cards from work. I think it was @ $90, shipped. It has a zebra finish that I like. Everything else about it, not so much. Worst.Pickups.Ever. Not just uninspiring; I had no idea pickups could sound so bad. So I got my money’s worth. And I was planning on changing pickups anyway. Out with the three single coils, in with a pair if GFS Crunchy Rails, bought on clearance for $30. I think this was the first strat style guitar I put humbuckers in. Liked the Crunchy Rails so much I bought a second set. So I’d have an excuse to acquire another guitar, to put them in. Big, full, fat and loud (like me). These ain’t your daddy’s PAFs. If you like clean tones these are not for you. GFS, guitarmadness make some really good sounding pickups for not a lot of money. You won’t find Crunchy Rails for $30 a set any more though.

    So, the Glarry strat doesn’t play terrible. I tightened the tremolo springs pretty much all the way so it stays in tune fairly well. And with the Crunchy Rails I can, and do, get inspired.

    1. Looks like Crunchy Rails are $33 each nowadays. If they’re as good as you say then that’s still a good price. Happy you got your Glarry strat working for you. I’ll need to give them another shot at some point to see if quality control has improved. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I purchased a Glarry Fretless P Bass, and it was a great deal. I had been looking for an affordable fretless J bass for quite a while when i stumbled across the P bass for under $100 dollars ( I already own 2 fretted P basses) so I ordered it from the company.It came pretty much as I expected, cheap strings and extras (bag, cord, strap, etc) which were pretty much throw aways. But the bass seemed pretty solid although a bit lighter than my fenders, which i kind of liked anyway. After putting on a set of Fender flatwound strings and a couple of slight adjustments to the intonation on the bridge, it plays smother than butter and sounds just great. The pup’s seem to work just fine. I may eventually modify it into a p/j by adding the jazz pickup, but for now it does what I need it to do so i’m pleased with it.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Jeff! I actually do need to buy a cheap bass, so I might check out one of the Glarrys (except with frets). Happy to know it’s pretty good!

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