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Old 01-19-2013, 05:34 AM   #1
Silver Hilton
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What's a good solid body guitar...

To serve as a parts foundation? I'm looking for a good solid body base to install aftermarket humbucker pickups into, similar to what I do with MIM strats. It should be relatively light, be comfortable to play sitting down, ideally have pretty wood, and be a solid playing platform.

I looked at PRS's, and they look pretty nice. But I can't get over their nonadjustable bridge on a lot of models. The upper end ones are pretty dear, too. I might have a hard time explaining them to my wife.

I am looking at Carvins, but my guitar tech kind of sneered when I mentioned them. The price and cosmetics are pretty appealing. I especially like the looks of this one: http://www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/cs6

I had a Les Paul, but just traded it, it was too heavy to be comfortable. The tone was great, though.

Right now, out of this guitar, I'm trying to get a Santana like tone, ala Moonflower. I play a wide variety of stuff: Creedence, Santana, country, blues. I have two nice strats already, and an Epiphone Sheraton in the shop, and I'm looking to complement them.

Price isn't too much a concern. I'd like to spend $600-$1200 new, or $300-600 used on a base guitar, and then upgrade as needed. I have a bonus coming up, so I can afford most anything, but the fun for me is in getting a nice solid base, and then swapping parts. I can spend more, if that's what it takes to get a good one, but I have to think that there is the solid body, humbucker equivalent of the Made in Mexico strat. A good, solid, affordable platform.

So, what are some good brands/models to look at?
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:53 AM   #2
DeanoM50810
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Yamaha's Pacifica 611HFM comes to mind, but it isn't for sale in America. It's got locking tuners and Seymor Duncan pickups by default and it fits all your requirements. Maybe you could check if Thomann could send you one? They're around €630 (around $800 I think)
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:34 AM   #3
pigeonmafia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Hilton
I am looking at Carvins, but my guitar tech kind of sneered when I mentioned them.


Get a new tech
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locking trems are annoying. id suggest only thinking about getting one after you've gone through puberty

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Old 01-19-2013, 08:37 AM   #4
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i'm not sure of the wisdom of buying something solely to upgrade it. different if you already have all the parts, or are using it as an educational aid (i.e. part of the fun and value is in learning how to do it), but if you're just doing it to get a good guitar and are buying everything from scratch it might be easier to just buy a better out of the box guitar. which'll likely be a better guitar too, and which will likely already have most of the upgrades you're thinking of buying.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:05 AM   #5
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Used PRS CE22/24 run about $900-$1200 used and are USA made PRS guitars. Then you wont have to upgrade anything it will all be top notch.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:21 AM   #6
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Why not visit stewmac. get a body and a neck and go from there?
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:43 PM   #7
MrFlibble
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This is a false economy. Pickup changes are for tweaking your tone once you've already got somethign that you're basically happy with; buy a guitar that feels right to you and has the features and look you want, and worry about modding later if, over time, you find yourself wanting a slightly different sound.

Dave_Mc is completely right, buying for the express purpose of modifying is pointless. Typically, an average guitar and a set of aftermarket pickups is going to cost no less—and often, more—than simply buying a more appropriate guitar right out of the gate.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:48 AM   #8
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:36 PM   #9
Silver Hilton
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I should have been more clear. I enjoy modding guitars, and experimenting with different guitars and pickups. I have a couple of guitars already that I love (see sig), and enjoy playing them. My American strat is very comfortable, and sounds great stock, and it won't be changing, though I may have the frets tuned up. I have a MIM strat that is currently getting tuned up that has some Seymour Duncan's in it, and that was fun getting a cheap guitar, and getting it tuned up to sound and play nice. I know it's not an economic proposition - it's about having some fun. I can afford it. I don't want to go spend $3000 on a PRS Custom 22, though that's what I want to get to - I want to find a model of guitar that I can mod to get to that level of playability. In Strats, you can get a MIM strat, and for a lot less money than an American Deluxe Strat you can tune it up to being a better guitar than an out of the box American Deluxe. I have to think there are other models of guitar in a solid body form for which that is true: the body and the neck are solid, but the hardware/appointments are less than top end.

I like the strat body form. It's very comfortable to play sitting down in my recliner. I didn't care for the Les Paul's shape and weight - it just wasn't as comfortable to play. So it went bye-bye. I'm looking for something that will be comfortable, be made for humbuckers, has nice looking wood, and is lighter than a Les Paul.

There was some love above for the Carvin. That might be a good approach, because a new Carvin is about where I want to be, price point wise, when I'm done. I also saw some used PRS guitars on CL. I'll look at them.

Any other comfortable solid bodies I should consider?
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Hilton
I should have been more clear. I enjoy modding guitars, and experimenting with different guitars and pickups. I have a couple of guitars already that I love (see sig), and enjoy playing them. My American strat is very comfortable, and sounds great stock, and it won't be changing, though I may have the frets tuned up. I have a MIM strat that is currently getting tuned up that has some Seymour Duncan's in it, and that was fun getting a cheap guitar, and getting it tuned up to sound and play nice. I know it's not an economic proposition - it's about having some fun. I can afford it. I don't want to go spend $3000 on a PRS Custom 22, though that's what I want to get to - I want to find a model of guitar that I can mod to get to that level of playability. In Strats, you can get a MIM strat, and for a lot less money than an American Deluxe Strat you can tune it up to being a better guitar than an out of the box American Deluxe. I have to think there are other models of guitar in a solid body form for which that is true: the body and the neck are solid, but the hardware/appointments are less than top end.

I like the strat body form. It's very comfortable to play sitting down in my recliner. I didn't care for the Les Paul's shape and weight - it just wasn't as comfortable to play. So it went bye-bye. I'm looking for something that will be comfortable, be made for humbuckers, has nice looking wood, and is lighter than a Les Paul.

There was some love above for the Carvin. That might be a good approach, because a new Carvin is about where I want to be, price point wise, when I'm done. I also saw some used PRS guitars on CL. I'll look at them.

Any other comfortable solid bodies I should consider?

Did you miss my first post?
You can get PRS CE22/24 guitars for $900-$1200. These are USA made PRS guitars built to the same specs with the same hardware as the Custom 22/24 are. The only diffrence is they have a Bolt-on Maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard instead of a set neck.
Then you have your PRS you want
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:52 PM   #11
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On the Guitar Center used site there is 1 CE24 for $999 and 5 other CE22/24 for <$1200
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:22 PM   #12
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You should check out a used Parker Nitefly M. There are two on guitarcenter.com right now for $700 and $800 (item #s 108337084 and 108507276, respectively). I had one of these for a long time and it was an amazingly well-built guitar. It's the bolt-on version of the Parker Fly (similar to how the CE22/24, which would also be a good choice, is the bolt-on version of the Custom 22/24). These were being produced when Parker was making much better guitars than they do now, especially if you can get one that's pre-Washburn. They're extremely light and ergonomic while still retaining the characteristic sound of a solid mahogany body.

Both of these also come with great quality pickups that don't really need changing unless you just want a significantly different tone, so you'd potentially save a lot of money on changing pickups.

EDIT: Just saw the "equivalent to an MIM strat" part. Hagstrom Swedes are a nice choice, and in my opinion probably a notch nicer than MIM Fender. Also, I had a Schecter C-1 Classic and I thought it played and felt great. You can get one for like $300-$400 on ebay or guitarcenter.com.

Last edited by mattrusso : 01-20-2013 at 06:35 PM.
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