Here are 5 Black Friday-beating deals from Guitar Center’s holiday sale that I rate as a pro guitar tester

A Fender Player Plus Tele and an Epiphone Les Paul Studio on a red gradient background
(Image credit: Fender/Epiphone)

Here at Guitar World, we’ve been preparing for the Black Friday sales madness for a while now, but we didn’t expect things to heat up quite this early. Pretty much as soon as the clock turned to move us into November, we started to see major sales go live and one of those was Guitar Center’s Holiday Deals with up to 35% off a huge range of guitar gear.

There are endless pages of discounted items available and having scrolled through the vast majority of them, I’ve picked out five items that I rate highly. Some of these I regularly use myself, whilst others I’ve come across in my work as a reviewer of guitar gear and creator of buyer's guides. Having tested them thoroughly, I’m happy to put my money where my mouth is and recommend them to other guitar players.

Epiphone Les Paul Studio: Was $599

Epiphone Les Paul Studio: Was $599, now $449
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much when I was asked to review the Epiphone Les Paul Studio, but I was happy to be proven completely wrong when I got my hands on it. The Alnico Classic humbuckers are fearsome when paired with a bunch of overdrive pedals and a tube amp, delivering searing tones with endless sustain. 

My favorite sound was drop-tuning the guitar and playing some low and slow doom riffs with buckets of fuzz, a recipe for the most potent ‘stank face’ you’ll ever see. You can check out my Epiphone Les Paul Studio review for a better overview of this brilliant instrument that’s got a hefty $150 discount in the Guitar Center holiday sale. 

Fender Player Plus Tele: $1,099.99

Fender Player Plus Tele: $1,099.99, now $999.99
For many years I considered myself a Strat player until I got my hands on a Fender Player Plus Telecaster. Not only was I completely blown away by the playability of this guitar with its rolled fingerboard edges, but the sound was so much more aggressive than I’d anticipated thanks to the series circuit built into the guitar.

Simply pull up the tone knob and your tone gets fed through both pickups, resulting in a ridiculously fat, humbucker-esque tone that takes this Tele from country bumpkin to proper rock and metal machine. The modern finishes are super cool (I got the Silver Smoke version), although you can get a traditional 3-Color Sunburst or Butterscotch Blonde if you want. It’s got a $100 discount at the moment, but you can bag an extra 10% by signing up for a GC account. 

Line 6 Catalyst 100: Was $399.99

Line 6 Catalyst 100: Was $399.99, now $329.99
Another amp that I’ve reviewed is the Line 6 Catalyst. Following in the footsteps of the ever-popular Boss Katana, the Catalyst also gives you that traditional amp feel with tactile knobs whilst harnessing the power of modeling to give you much more variety. Line 6 has a bit of an association with high gain, but it was the edge of overdrive models that caught my ear here.

The ‘Boutique’ setting is sumptuous and had us noodling endlessly. There are loads of great HX effects built into it too, so plenty of spacious reverbs and interesting delays to utilize in your guitar playing. Our only downside is that there are only two effects slots available at any one time, so don’t expect to be able to go full Mars Volta with it.

UAFX 1176 Compressor: Was $199

UAFX 1176 Compressor: Was $199, now $169
Okay so full disclosure, I don’t actually own the Universal Audio UAFX 11176 compressor pedal. What I do have however is the plugin this pedal is based upon, and I use it on pretty much all of my own productions for instant vibe. I don’t just use it on guitar either, it goes on vocals, bass, drums, and any other instrument you can think of.

There are many imitators to the ubiquitous 1176 compressor, but we love that the UAFX 1176 has all the versatility of the plugin and the same tone sculpting options we’d get when mixing in the box. Use it as a sustainer, a clean boost, or even an overdrive in dual mode, or just as an always-on tone sweetener for your rig.

Line 6 Relay G10S: Was $269.99

Line 6 Relay G10S: Was $269.99, now $229.99
Going wireless was one of those things I put off for ages but once I did it, I’ve never once wanted to go back. As the sole guitarist in my band, I have a lot of tap-dancing to do with my pedalboard alongside putting on a performance, which makes the Line 6 Relay G10S a key feature of my live rig.

Since going wireless I’ve not noticed any difference in my tone and it fits snugly on my ‘board. I switch between three guitars when I play live and the Relay G10S makes this a breeze too, allowing me to fully concentrate on a quick changeover instead of wondering where the end of my cable has gone. It even has a 9V power input so I can power it with my pedalboard power supply and keep things as ergonomic as possible. 

Throughout Black Friday we’ll be tracking the very best deals, so make sure you check out our Black Friday guitar deals page for all the latest and greatest savings from all the big retailers and manufacturers.

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Matt McCracken
Junior Deals Writer

Matt is a Junior Deals Writer at Guitar World and has been playing guitar as his main instrument for well over 20 years. He also plays drums, bass, and keys producing out of his home studio in Manchester, UK. He has previously worked for Dawsons Music, Northwest Guitars, and freelanced for various magazines and blogs, writing reviews, how-to's, and features. When he's not downloading the latest VSTs or justifying yet another guitar pedal purchase, you'll find him making a racket with Northern noise hounds JACKALS