Balaguer Standard Series Espada review

This tricked-out electric from Balaguer rewrites the offset formula for the modern era

Balaguer Standard Series Espada review
(Image: © Future / Olly Curtis)

Guitar World Verdict

The Espada is a thoroughly modern and supremely playable offset that excels at high-gain, but has a whole lot more going on once you engage the coil-splits.


  • +

    Excellent high-gain tones and contemporary offset voicings.

  • +

    Coil-tap adds versatility.

  • +

    A high-quality instrument at a very fair price.

  • +

    A very shreddable 16” radius fingerboard and contoured neck.


  • -

    Neck pickup is a little wooly.

  • -

    Clean tones in full-humbucking mode are not super-inspiring.

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It may have taken six decades, but offset guitars have finally come of age. From global awards ceremonies to your local pub, there are just as many Jazzmasters and Mustangs hitting the stage as Strats and Teles

But offsets were never exactly designed for more technically-demanding playing styles... Enter Balaguer Guitars. The Pennsylvania, USA firm has spent the past six years equipping familiar outlines with ergonomic tweaks and contemporary features at attractive price points. 

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.