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Old 08-23-2012, 12:06 AM   #1
Kytokinesis
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Searching for a guitar suited for an intermediate-level player

I've reached a fairly intermediate level in my playing and as I continue to find myself musically I would like a guitar that better reflects my willingness to experiment with different genres, styles, tunings and so forth.

I'm currently using a Line-6 75-watt spiderIV amp.

My current "beginner" guitar I guess you would say is an Ibanez RG321mh (about two years ago) I researched and researched this thing before I made the final decision to buy it. It gets rave reviews and seems to be a very popular guitar. It has suited my needs thus far quite adequately, though I do have some issues with it: It is supposed to be made of mahogany - that I've read is a very good quality wood. Now I'm no expert on tone woods anyhow but the guitar just feels very light and insubstantial. It also has a very bad/shallow unplugged tone in my opinion. Notes just seem to die when they hit it. My old Series 10 strat clone, however is very heavy and is much more resonant. So I would like a heavier guitar with that kind of resonance as well as the distortion capabilities and tuning stability of the RG321mh. So here's my preferences:


-My favorite/ foremost guitarists I try to imitate are: Billy Corgan(smashing pumpkins), Timo Tolkki(stratovarius), Matt Heafy/Corey Baleau(trivium), David Gilmour(pink floyd)

-However, I have very spontaneous practice sessions. One minute I'm learning a Coldplay song and the next I'm detuning to play Amon Amarth, so I need a versatile guitar that I can change the tunings on easily (no floyds).

-Atleast 22 frets. Most of my favourite guitarist's signature models have 22 frets.

-More variety in tone than just the "smells like death" metal tone.

-Nice unplugged tone

-I like my action low.

-Price range of around $600-800$

-I'm looking for a guitar that will help me branch out more and explore new tones other than just metalmetalmetalmetal

-No active pickups! Pickups must be passive

-I like the feel of Strats

-I'm open to used guitars as long as they are in good condition and don't need fixing, as I have no technical expertise in guitar repair.

Thank you for reading my post and I'd appreciate your help/comments/suggestions!
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:08 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kytokinesis
It also has a very bad/shallow unplugged tone in my opinion. Notes just seem to die when they hit it.

When was the last time you restrung it?
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:11 AM   #3
Kytokinesis
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I restring every couple of months. Just restrung it here recently.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:12 AM   #4
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Hemm... Do you like your amp? Does it matter new or used?
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:14 AM   #5
Kytokinesis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassmastamitch
Hemm... Do you like your amp? Does it matter new or used?

Just bought the amp... For guitar I said I was open to used...
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kytokinesis
I'm currently using a Line-6 75-watt spiderIV amp.



Thou shall read the 1st and 2nd rule of the Guitar Ten commandments and know that one shall invest in a new amp too.

As for a guitar a used Fender MIM strat ~$300 and then invest in a used amp with the remaining money.

Edit: Actually almost forgot fender now do the blacktop strats which have 22 frets and humbuckers, not sure how great the humbuckers are but it may be what you are looking for and new it's a little more than a new standard strat.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:25 AM   #7
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Yeah, your amp is awful, but if you like it now, we shouldn't be the ones telling you it sucks. We'll let your future self tell you that.

As for the situation at hand, I think you want humbuckers (you can't really do Trivium on a MIM Strat), but it's going to be difficult to match the criteria given. A 22 fret Strat-style without actives or a Floyd is tough.

EDIT: However, an Epiphone Les Paul or an LTD EC-401VF fits, even though it's not Strat-style.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:44 AM   #8
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For what you're looking for in your price range it seems like a strat is the obvious choice.If you look hard enough,for $600-$800,you could probably find a used "closet classic" or similar higher end strat.Used music gear is selling at an all time low.I wouldn't split your money and buy another amp unless you want to start jamming with people.MIM stats are great for the money,but you can do way better for $600.Also,no matter what you buy,private party or music store,take it to a guitar tech and have it checked out and set-up,it's worth the extra $$$.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:44 AM   #9
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But you can't do Trivium on a Strat guys...
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kytokinesis
It is supposed to be made of mahogany - that I've read is a very good quality wood. Now I'm no expert on tone woods anyhow but the guitar just feels very light and insubstantial. It also has a very bad/shallow unplugged tone in my opinion. Notes just seem to die when they hit it.
That's because there are over twenty species of wood that can be called 'mahogany', and the 'mahogany' used on cheap guitars is not the same as the mahogany used on higher-end ones. Not only that but the bodies of cheaper guitars tend to be made of 4, 5, even as many as 11 pieces of wood glud together. On higher-end guitars the bodies tend to be made of just 2 or 3 pieces, or sometimes even just 1.
Not only that but it's an Ibanez. Ibanez guitars have very thin necks and a thin neck equals lower sustain and a thinner tone.

Quote:
-Nice unplugged tone
That's not what solid body electrics are for and there's no way to get a "nice" tone out of them unplugged. Semi-hollows improve it alittle, but nto much. Getting a hollow body archtop guitar will give the unplugged tone and almost acoustic guitar quality, but they also suffer from feedback issues when plugged in and have a very differnt tone to the sort of examples you've given.

[qupte]-I like my action low.[/quote]Has nothing to do with the type of guitar. Any guitar can have low action, any guitar can have high action. That's all just down to set up.

Quote:
-I'm looking for a guitar that will help me branch out more and explore new tones other than just metalmetalmetalmetal
Then bear in mind that Line 6 prioritise their metal tones first and foremost. Tone is in the amp, not the guitar. As such, you're probably going to find your blues, jazz, country, classic rock, funk and whatever other different tones a bit lacking. No one amp can be good for every kind of tone and no guitar can control your tone enough to override what the amp is doing, especially with a modelling amp like yours. If you really want to explore many styles of music then you'll want to get a second amp. Having the Line 6 amp and then a small, low-gain valve amp will allow you to achieve nearly every tone.



It sounds like either an SSS Strat with the bridge and neck pickups changed for single-size humbuckers with a series/parallel switch, or an HSS Strat, is going to be your best bet. You might be able to get a Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat in your price range if you buy one second hand; this will do everything you listed. Failing that, a Fender Classic Player 50s or 60s model will work well (the 50s has a V-neck with a maple board, the 60s has a C-neck with a rosewood board), so long as you change the bridge pickup at least, as those have an improved bridge system which will give you the option of using a stable vibrato.
A Deluxe Nashville or Blackout Telecaster will also have a similar feel and give you the same pickup arrangement, but as they're Teles they have a fixed bridge (no vibrato, but you nothign is more stable and easy to work with than a Tele bridge) and the extra body mass gives them a slightly thicker and more balanced tone. Stick a Seymour Duncan Hot Rails for Tele in them with a series/parallel switch for it and you can do anything. There's also the Modern Player Tele, which is made in China, but at least already has a humbucker at the bridge and uses a Strat-style pickup in the middle, so it offers greater variety of tones.

A second hand American Deluxe Strat will certainly be your overall best bet.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bassmastamitch
But you can't do Trivium on a Strat guys...

I really hope that's a poor attempt at a joke.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:15 AM   #11
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Your way ahead of most intermediate players by wanting a guitar that sounds good unplugged.That's the best way to test a guitar.Also one that seems kinda loud for being unplugged.If it sounds really good unplugged,it will sound really good plugged in.A shitty guitar is going to sound shitty through any amp,and pedals don't fix that problem.You won't be able to wipe the smile off your face for a year,and your playing will massively improve if you buy a nice used American strat.Your Line 6 amp will sound totally different,when the sounds were created for those things,the designers were not using cheap beaters I'm sure.Good luck,try out a bunch.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:29 AM   #12
Kytokinesis
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Thank you all so much for the advice! there is actually an american deluxe hot rodded HH style strat on my craigslist. It is used and has a few dings, the guy is asking $1000 on the add but because of the year and the suspicious but not-too noticable gouges on the right horn I was thinking of trying him at 700$...
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:30 AM   #13
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$300 off for just dings? Could you show us the link to the ad?
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:53 AM   #14
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Don't buy it if it's not exactly what you want.If you want a versatile guitar,go with three single coils,it gives you five different choices.Go to Guitar Center's web site and find the used gear section.If you see something interesting,they will ship it to the store nearest you.Remember,you're holding the gold.Be patient and careful and you'll get a good deal.Don't buy sight unseen,play it before you buy it.Guitar Center wants to sell you a new one,but they have tons of great used gear hidden away.Don't settle,you shouldn't have to.
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kytokinesis
Thank you all so much for the advice! there is actually an american deluxe hot rodded HH style strat on my craigslist. It is used and has a few dings, the guy is asking $1000 on the add but because of the year and the suspicious but not-too noticable gouges on the right horn I was thinking of trying him at 700$...


i doubt you will get that. IMO that's insulting to the seller.

maybe $800-$850 but i don't know.

again i haven't seen the guitar.

also on craigslist people buy as is. you can see the gouges in photos that you state and maybe he mentioned them. he will not likely take that much off for something that you have seen prior to coming over. you know its in that shape.

if it was advertised mint and you come there and see gouges that weren't there in the ad, thats when i would be more inclined to haggle a little more aggressively.

i don't like getting lowballed and don't like lowballing others.

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Old 08-23-2012, 02:36 AM   #16
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Your choices are pretty much limitless.
Try a bunch of guitars, compare their specs to your other guitars, and make sure they're good quality.


Quote:
One minute I'm learning a Coldplay song and the next I'm detuning to play Amon Amarth, so I need a versatile guitar that I can change the tunings on easily (no floyds).



A guitar with a scale like your Ibanez 25.5" is better for lower tunings.
Your better off having guitars set up with different strings for the appropiate tunings, you have 3 guitars so you can start doing this.
You can expect guitars to be able to go from Standard all the way down to C or B lower for stuff like Amon Amarth, usually only tune guitars down half a step or Drop D tuning then u'll need thicker strings
This can mess with the neck tension so
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:38 AM   #17
Kytokinesis
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Hmm... The guitar is gone off of craigslist all of a sudden. It's been there literally for months. It was a, american hot rodded double fat strat, which I believe were around $1000 brand new when they were making them... That's why I didn't think he should be selling it for $1000. He mentioned he never played it that it always just hangs on the wall so it immediatey occured to me it would probably need a full setup. I figured no one would ever buy it just because my area isn't all that musically inclined, at least not for a unique Fender.

But anyway it seems like I should be on the lookout for an American Deluxe with a humbucker in the bridge?

:EDIT: just found this:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Stor...761-i2440694.gc

It's in the higher end of my price range but This seems to meet all of my criteria and was recommended by multiple posters. I like the fact that is has locking tuners also. I even like the color! Comments?

Last edited by Kytokinesis : 08-23-2012 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:36 PM   #18
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^ link doesn't work. But on the bottom it says used Fender American deluxe strat HSS Olympic Pearl Rosewood.

If you're looking at that then the Fender American Standard HSS strat would be a much cheaper alternative. Plus, the noiseless single coils on the deluxe strats aren't well favored among reviews. Also, you can put really good locking tuners for ~$70.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:19 PM   #19
Kytokinesis
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Hey guys, yea I know this thread's a few months old. I've been busy and haven't been thinking too much about buying a guitar lately, but I'm still searching, looking for that perfect guitar.

This guitar caught my eye. From some place called "920D custom shop," it's basically a MIM strat, but modded with Billy Corgan's Dimarzio pickup set, Fender Locking tuners, etc. Pretty much everything you'd do yourself after buying a cheaper guitar, they've done it for you. With 10% off it's snug in the middle of my price range.

Please tell me what you guys think of it. They'res also other interesting ones on there, like one equipped with alumitone deathbuckers, but I've already got an HH guitar, want something a little different.

Just to recap, here's the preferences in my original post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kytokinesis
-My favorite/ foremost guitarists I try to imitate are: Billy Corgan(smashing pumpkins), Timo Tolkki(stratovarius), Matt Heafy/Corey Baleau(trivium), David Gilmour(pink floyd)

-However, I have very spontaneous practice sessions. One minute I'm learning a Coldplay song and the next I'm detuning to play Amon Amarth, so I need a versatile guitar that I can change the tunings on easily (no floyds).

-More variety in tone than just the "smells like death" metal tone.

-Nice unplugged tone

-I like my action low.

-Price range of around $600-800$

-I'm looking for a guitar that will help me branch out more and explore new tones other than just metalmetalmetalmetal

-No active pickups! Pickups must be passive

-I like the feel of Strats

-I'm open to used guitars as long as they are in good condition and don't need fixing, as I have no technical expertise in guitar repair.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:29 PM   #20
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a good bet might be to go with a superstrat of some sort. something like an ESP LTD H-1000NT (with SD pickups) might be a really good bet. It's got a little bit of a thinner neck (not an Ibanez wafer), and it definitely has the capacity to play all the metal and whatnot your heart desires. However, the pickup set is versatile enough and, frankly, good enough that it can do the cleaner sounds really easily. should be reasonably easy to find in your price range.

the other option would be to get yourself a fender strat with 2 humbuckers and swap them for a reasonably hot set (for me, fender humbuckers are always pretty weak sounding).
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