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Old 11-04-2012, 11:04 PM   #1
Firehawk2410
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Advice on my potential third guitar

So I started out with a Squier Stratocaster that came in a bundle with an amp for $200.00 USD, and the guitar pretty much sounds like crap and the amp doesn't work anymore. About a year after that I bought an Epiphone Les Paul 100 for $300. I first used my guitars for taking guitar classes in school and practice but I play them a lot more now, and I notice the tone quality just isn't that great, and because I'm devoting more time to playing them I'm looking to upgrade. I've bought a new amp and an effects pedal and realized the guitar still doesn't sound that good.. I need some advice as to what would be a great new guitar for me, if any.
I'm kind of at a crossroads as to if I should buy a real Fender Strat, a real Gibson Les Paul, a different model or brand entirely, or if I should just invest in new pickups. The problem I see with new pickups is that I'm putting them in a "low-end, not-Gibson Les Paul" and that just doesn't seem right. However, that would be cheaper than buying "a real guitar." I really like the Les Paul because my two favorite guitarists use it a lot, and their guitars have always sounded great live even though they don't use any effects. I'm kind of hesitant to go outside of the old-school standby guitars just because I get the impression that everything else outside of that is meant for hardcore metal players.
What should I do?
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:12 PM   #2
JAHellraiser
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What amp are you using? The only mention of that, that I see is the broken one that your first guitar came with..

also, who are your two favorite guitarists that you mentioned?
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAHellraiser
What amp are you using? The only mention of that, that I see is the broken one that your first guitar came with..

also, who are your two favorite guitarists that you mentioned?

Sorry, I took that out by accident. I have a newer Line 6 Spider IV 30 amp that I use most of the time with a Digitech RP255 pedal.

My two favorite guitarists are Ace Frehley (KISS) and Joe Perry (Aerosmith), but Eddie Van Halen is a close third. The only problem is that Eddie uses his Frankenstrat and his own models of guitars and amps which are ungodly expensive, so I usually don't go off his inventory. Another reason I like Les Pauls is because of Slash, also.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:30 PM   #4
Huge Guy
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How much do you want to spend? You could go with a higher end Epi LP like a Studio or Standard.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:31 PM   #5
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1) I bet a lot of people here will suggest you use some of your budget on a better- read tube- amp of some kind. (I don't know your amp, but I see a lot of dislike for Line6 Spiders around here.)

2) what kind of budget do you have?

3) where are you?

4) are you willing to buy used?

As to the rest...there are loads of guitar makers out there, some aimed at metal almost exclusively, but most are aiming at the whole market. And some of them offer more bang for the buck than do the big name companies.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:47 PM   #6
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http://www.rondomusic.com/

Since you like the classic rock tones, here's a company that makes a lot of Fender/Gibson copies for cheap. I hear a lot of good things about the 3000 series Agiles. They're LP copies with a lot of really nice features (ebony fretboard, grover tuners) in a somewhat inexpensive guitar.

You can also get a lot of good deals shopping used. A lot of MIJ fender and gibson copies from the '80s sell online for pretty cheap prices. I'm looking at some myself.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:59 PM   #7
Firehawk2410
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyalcatraz
1) I bet a lot of people here will suggest you use some of your budget on a better- read tube- amp of some kind. (I don't know your amp, but I see a lot of dislike for Line6 Spiders around here.)

2) what kind of budget do you have?

3) where are you?

4) are you willing to buy used?

As to the rest...there are loads of guitar makers out there, some aimed at metal almost exclusively, but most are aiming at the whole market. And some of them offer more bang for the buck than do the big name companies.


1. Dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit...should have researched some more before buying that thing. The volume controls are annoying as heck.

2. This whole thing is sort of hypothetical. I'm a senior in high school and I'm looking to get a job soon so I can put a little dough aside for guitar gear and what not.

3. I'm in Ohio in the U.S.

4. I guess so but I've never really looked into it. I'm just afraid whatever the used item it is will go bad, much like a used amp I bought for practice when I started playing.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyalcatraz
I bet a lot of people here will suggest you use some of your budget on a better- read tube- amp of some kind. (I don't know your amp, but I see a lot of dislike for Line6 Spiders around here.)


I'll be that guy. I wouldn't get a better guitar until you get a better amp. I did that, and it was a mistake.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:36 AM   #9
Huge Guy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firehawk2410
1. Dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit...should have researched some more before buying that thing. The volume controls are annoying as heck.


You must still have it at the factory settings. If you adjust it properly you won't have the volume issues.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
This whole thing is sort of hypothetical. I'm a senior in high school and I'm looking to get a job soon so I can put a little dough aside for guitar gear and what not.


OK, then the answer is that you have time, but little patience or money.

Step #1: sort out what kind of music you're most interested in playing. That will help you figure out your gear needs. If its one genre, like metal, you might be able to get a very focused rig. If it is a couple of closely related genres, you might be able to get nearly the same setup, but go for a more flexible guitar or amp (or both). If you want to play a wide variety of genres (or tunings!), ultimately, you're going to want multiple guitars and/or amps.

But you have to start somewhere, so focus on your favorites.

Step #2: while you're sorting that out, how are you going to use your gear? If you're not planning on playing with other people right away, try one of these:



That's the route I took- I bought my first electric guitars 3 years before I bought an amp. But by that time, I knew what kind of amp I was looking for.

3) after you figure out your gear desires, you'll be able to sort out your budgetary needs. Rule o thumb, though, at least initially, you should probably spend more on your amp than your axe and effects. I usually think of it as 15% effects, 40% axe, 45% amp unless you're using a modeling amp.

4) guitars don't really "go bad" so much as start that way! They just have variable rates at which they reveal their flaws. But the peeps around here can definitely help you stretch your budget by highlighting better used models and ones you should steer away from.
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz : 11-05-2012 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:05 AM   #11
Huge Guy
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The Micro BR is awesome. You can play with headphones and also record music. I got mine for about a hundred bucks on ebay. I have a couple of songs I recorded with it saved in my profile, if you want to hear what it can sound like.

Last edited by Huge Guy : 11-05-2012 at 01:07 AM.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:18 AM   #12
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I personally have the Tascam and the last 2 Korgs.

Each of those devices brings different things to the table- tuners, recording, amp & pedal models, metronomes, recording, computer interface...

In short, each is pretty damn cool as a practice device!
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:10 AM   #13
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I'm not going to suggest a new amp. While your amp isn't the best, it isn't the weakest part of your rig. That would be your guitars. However, I don't think the Gibson route is the best way to go.

My suggestion would be a good mid-range guitar (give us more info in regards to feel, musical style and sounds for better info) such as an Epi LP standard, MIM fender, certain Godin models, 400/1000 series LTD's and whatnot (there is a tremendous variety of mid-range guitars for any type of player!). The LP-100, and the strat pack guitar, are pretty much junk as far as guitars go, and a decent mid-range guitar would do wonders for your playing experience.

I would stick to getting the most basic version of a good guitar though. That way, you have some money left over either for pickups (swapping pickups in most mid-range guitars will give you way better sound- not quite top quality, but definitely better than stock) or to put towards a better amp. The spider 30 isn't great, but it certainly isn't the piece of crap it's made out to be. It's a modelling amp and it has it's limitations- it'll never pass for a pro rig, but it does it's job decently well. you would certainly benefit from upgrading the amp, I'm just not convinced it's your biggest issue at the moment.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:14 AM   #14
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I'd definitely forget about changing pickups after seeing your amp. Not because it's stupid to put money into a lower end guitar like you were asking about, but because it'll make practically no difference on an amp like the spider.

What kinda of music do you majorly play though? Give us lots of examples and such and that'll help.
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:24 AM   #15
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Dude, just go play some guitars at your local music shop. Seriously, just go play every guitar that catches your eye, or that a person who works there recommends to you. And don't worry about an amp. I've been in your situation before and you need a guitar that is great to practice on, both amped up and acoustically, don't go and get gear crazy and spend your money in ridiculous ways.

Oh and try PRS guitars, they'll most likely be the best things you've ever put hands on.
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:14 AM   #16
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Rewire your Squier with whatever pickup setup you want, personally I'd recommend you turn it into an HSS for good versatility. Get some Seymours, CTS 500k pots etc, learn how to set up a Strat to your liking (Fender have a really good Strat setup guide on their support page on their site) and you'll have a guitar that isn't as good as a Fender, but it'll be a lot better than stock for a fraction of the price of a Fender/Gibson. Spend the cash you save on an acoustic
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:35 AM   #17
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While your amp is crap, it's not the weakest link right now.
That'd be your guitar, so you are technically correct in upgrading that.

I'd reccommend getting something like a higher-end Epiphone Les Paul or, as reccommended elsewhere in the thread, an Agile. Getting new pickups for your existing guitars is kind of a waste, not only because the actual guitars are sub-par but also because with your amplifier it won't make a difference anyway.

Because you'll be setting aside money anyway, I'm going to reccommend you save up for a second-hand Marshall DSL combo or similar. Just because your amp isn't the weakest link now doesn't mean it doesn't need replacing.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:14 AM   #18
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Pick the Les Paul.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:30 AM   #19
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Don't look for a guitar just because of the people who use them, they might get them to sound great live, doesn't necessarily mean you can get them to sound as good, because tone is influenced by everything. Honestly, if you want a great guitar for a great price, look online for an old Ibanez rg550, it's different than a Fender Strat or Gibson Les Paul, but sounds and plays a heck of a lot better
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:10 AM   #20
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get another amp man. you'll thank me later
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