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Old 10-04-2012, 06:06 AM   #1
kemingt
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Unhappy Need a decent budget guitar

I've been trying to find a new guitar around the 200-300 dollar price range. I usually play hard rock, metal and occasionally blues & jazz, so naturally I'm looking for a guitar with humbuckers. I absolutely love Randy Rhoads', EVH and (occasionally) Slash's tone. After browsing the net, I've narrowed down my choices to the Ibanez GRG170DX or the Epiphone Special II. I generally prefer the look and versatility of the GRG170DX, but after reading several reviews, I read that Ibanez guitars in the GRG range are crap, and also heard that the GRG's PSND pickups are terrible. I would have gotten the Epiphone Special II but I like having a tremolo bridge to use...and I heard the Special II is bloody uncomfortable to use compared to a Strat

Do the pickups/overall tone of the guitar really sound as bad as I've been told on many forums?

If they really are that bad, could you suggest some guitars that are suitable for me that are in the same price range?

I live in Singapore (southeast asia). I use a nUX Mighty 15 and a Modtone Extreme Metal pedal.

Apologies if I have pissed any of you expert players with my n00bishness. First post on this forum
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Last edited by kemingt : 10-04-2012 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:25 AM   #2
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:23 AM   #3
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Find an used Ibanez RG350DX, very gd for its price and will play hard rock and metal
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:18 PM   #4
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For the variety of music that you're looking to play, I would also consider P-90 pickups. That will at least give you a broader view of your options, plus the Epiphone P-90's aren't bad at all. I've got a '97 Gold Top Epi with the P-90's, and I can get it to sound pretty much perfect for whatever I'm looking to play. The '61 SG anniversary reissues with P-90's can be had at around your price range and are getting rave reviews. I've actually got one coming in so I'll be able to give you my for-sure impression of it after playing around with it. If you're strictly looking for humbuckers you could look into a used Epi Les Paul Custom and install a tremolo on it later on. These are just some options to consider, though the Ibanez suggested by miio seems a suitable guitar for your needs.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveHOC
For the variety of music that you're looking to play, I would also consider P-90 pickups. That will at least give you a broader view of your options, plus the Epiphone P-90's aren't bad at all. I've got a '97 Gold Top Epi with the P-90's, and I can get it to sound pretty much perfect for whatever I'm looking to play. The '61 SG anniversary reissues with P-90's can be had at around your price range and are getting rave reviews. I've actually got one coming in so I'll be able to give you my for-sure impression of it after playing around with it. If you're strictly looking for humbuckers you could look into a used Epi Les Paul Custom and install a tremolo on it later on. These are just some options to consider, though the Ibanez suggested by miio seems a suitable guitar for your needs.

What? If he likes RR, Slash and EVH, he'll definitely want humbuckers. They all used humbuckers. Also, you won't find that cheap guitars with P90s that easily. And also installing a hardtail guitar with a tremolo is not that clever. It's just better to buy a new guitar with a tremolo and not ruin the old guitar. And if you really want to do that whammy stuff, you need a Floyd Rose. You can install a Bigsby style tremolo on LP style without that much hassle but it won't do that crazy whammy stuff. Of course you can install a Floyd but I think you should have some experience of gear modding before doing it. And a new Floyd bridge costs over $200. You could save that money and buy a new and better guitar. What kind of guitar do you have at the moment?

If you sometimes play blues and jazz, humbuckers will do fine. Lots of blues and jazz guitarists use humbuckers. And if you also want single coil sound, Ibanez RG series usually has middle single coil pickups.

But for that price I wouldn't look at whammy equipped guitars. They will most likely go out of tune when you touch the bar. Try to look at used guitars.

I could suggest Epiphone Les Paul Standard. I think it's a decent guitar (it doesn't have a whammy). But really, are you going to do that crazy whammy stuff or just light vibrato? It's great fun until you get fed up with the divebombs etc. I use my Floyd Rose almost only for light vibrato which is cool IMO. But my next guitar will not have a whammy bar. Or if it has, it's not going to be a Floyd. They are a bit too sensitive to my taste.

If you really really want a whammy, then a used RG350 should do the job.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
What? If he likes RR, Slash and EVH, he'll definitely want humbuckers. They all used humbuckers. Also, you won't find that cheap guitars with P90s that easily. And also installing a hardtail guitar with a tremolo is not that clever. It's just better to buy a new guitar with a tremolo and not ruin the old guitar. And if you really want to do that whammy stuff, you need a Floyd Rose. You can install a Bigsby style tremolo on LP style without that much hassle but it won't do that crazy whammy stuff. Of course you can install a Floyd but I think you should have some experience of gear modding before doing it. And a new Floyd bridge costs over $200. You could save that money and buy a new and better guitar. What kind of guitar do you have at the moment?

If you sometimes play blues and jazz, humbuckers will do fine. Lots of blues and jazz guitarists use humbuckers. And if you also want single coil sound, Ibanez RG series usually has middle single coil pickups.

But for that price I wouldn't look at whammy equipped guitars. They will most likely go out of tune when you touch the bar. Try to look at used guitars.

I could suggest Epiphone Les Paul Standard. I think it's a decent guitar (it doesn't have a whammy). But really, are you going to do that crazy whammy stuff or just light vibrato? It's great fun until you get fed up with the divebombs etc. I use my Floyd Rose almost only for light vibrato which is cool IMO. But my next guitar will not have a whammy bar. Or if it has, it's not going to be a Floyd. They are a bit too sensitive to my taste.

If you really really want a whammy, then a used RG350 should do the job.


I've nailed chunky tones out of P-90's - I was simply suggesting that he look at other options to open things up a bit. They have all used humbuckers, but not all humbuckers sound the same. I have also picked up two guitars with P-90's for under $300 - so yes, they can be had within his price range. You are suggesting essentially the same thing at the bottom of your post that I had suggested in my response.

If you are looking to get a bit of tremolo, and not the big dives, the Bigsby style trem is easy enough to install (and easy enough to remove should you get sick of it). There are some that require nothing more than a screwdriver to install, and you don't have to do any drilling on your guitar to mount them.

You have many options for the styles of music you enjoy, and if you can play a guitar with P-90's, I'd do it just to see if you like them. Humbuckers are excellent too, I have a Les Paul with them that gets chunky tone, but I probably wouldn't use it for Jazz. The semi-hollows, on the other hand, are great for Jazz when they have humbuckers, but maybe not so great for metal.
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:01 PM   #7
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Not sure what you have available to you in Singapore, you might want to check out some LTD's. I'd take a M-100 or a MH-50 over both of the guitars you listed and they are both 300 USD or less. I own a couple LTD's and they are good guitars for the price. Mine are a little higher end though.
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:53 PM   #8
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Thanks, guys. The RG350DX looks good, so does the LTD M-100. I'll look into getting em used cos I don't think I can afford them brand new :/
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kemingt
Thanks, guys. The RG350DX looks good, so does the LTD M-100. I'll look into getting em used cos I don't think I can afford them brand new :/

I've played the Ibanez, and its a heck of a guitar. Nice and crunchy humbuckers with the straty 2 3 and 4 pickup positions. Now, the pickups won't be the best pickups, but don't listen to the "they sound like crap" people. Will they be the best pickups ever? No. Will they be good pickups? Yes. I've gotten great tones with those pickups, and you can just put in new ones if you want a different sound.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ckhgator
I've played the Ibanez, and its a heck of a guitar. Nice and crunchy humbuckers with the straty 2 3 and 4 pickup positions. Now, the pickups won't be the best pickups, but don't listen to the "they sound like crap" people. Will they be the best pickups ever? No. Will they be good pickups? Yes. I've gotten great tones with those pickups, and you can just put in new ones if you want a different sound.


were you referring to the GRG170DX or the RG350DX?
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:23 PM   #11
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To play real Van Halen shit, you need a tremolo (floyd or not), used Ibanez RG would be good
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heideck
To play real Van Halen shit, you need a tremolo (floyd or not), used Ibanez RG would be good


i generally don't play that much Van Halen stuff, i just like EVH's "brown sound". most of the stuff i play is RR
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:43 PM   #13
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I once had a Special II.
Once.

On topic:
Get something used.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:00 AM   #14
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quick update...the guy at the local store recommended this to me. Said it was a better alternative to the Ibanez GRG170DX (I may not have the cash to get the RG350DX ) What do you think of it?
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kemingt
I've been trying to find a new guitar around the 200-300 dollar price range. I usually play hard rock, metal and occasionally blues & jazz, so naturally I'm looking for a guitar with humbuckers. I absolutely love Randy Rhoads', EVH and (occasionally) Slash's tone. After browsing the net, I've narrowed down my choices to the Ibanez GRG170DX or the Epiphone Special II. I generally prefer the look and versatility of the GRG170DX, but after reading several reviews, I read that Ibanez guitars in the GRG range are crap, and also heard that the GRG's PSND pickups are terrible. I would have gotten the Epiphone Special II but I like having a tremolo bridge to use...and I heard the Special II is bloody uncomfortable to use compared to a Strat

Do the pickups/overall tone of the guitar really sound as bad as I've been told on many forums?

If they really are that bad, could you suggest some guitars that are suitable for me that are in the same price range?

I live in Singapore (southeast asia). I use a nUX Mighty 15 and a Modtone Extreme Metal pedal.

Apologies if I have pissed any of you expert players with my n00bishness. First post on this forum



Don't worry about pickups just yet. I'd hone your skills further until you: start worrying about the nuance of pickup selection. Most important is finding what neck profile you like. For example, I like flat, broad necks with 24 frets. Also important is action and your preference between a tremolo or fixed bridge. Go to the store and try a variety of models to see what works best for you.

As for tone, amp shapes the tone immensely. Walk before you run. Good luck!
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