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Old 12-14-2012, 09:37 PM   #1
keks_
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Question Which to buy: Les Paul Special II or Squier Standard Strat?

Beginner here, as you can tell form the guitar selection. I don't want to spend a lot of money, but I have a burning desire to start playing. If I get hooked I'll spend a few thousand on my next guitar but for now this will just be something to play around with.

Which would you buy and why:

Squier Standard Stratocaster Left-Handed Electric Guitar Antique Burst ($225)

or

Epiphone Les Paul Special II Left-Handed Electric Guitar Heritage Cherry Sunburst ($185)

or what else would you recommend?

Music I love, and will try to learn: My Chemical Romance, John Mayer, Boys Like Girls, Oasis, Metallica.

Also, what is the best software to connect the guitar to a computer and play around with effects? Is it possible to get close to the John Mayer sound using software?

Thanks for helping a lefty. I am not looking to buy an amp, I just want to plug into a computer and listen through headphones or record.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:53 PM   #2
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I am pretty sure Ibanez make some left handed gio models. Some people will tell you they aren't as good but as long as you get a hard tail bridge (no wammy bar) they are amazing guitars for the price. Yamaha Pacificas also get amazing reviews around here
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:09 PM   #3
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Thanks!

What about those two guitars I posted? How do they compare?
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:14 PM   #4
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Standard series squires are pretty solid... step up from the affinity series and that les paul your looking at
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:14 PM   #5
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Neither of those are good quality at all. Epiphone makes some nice guitars but the special ii is of poor quality. The squiers are cheap as well really only playing off the fender name, although I have heard the vintage modified ones are not bad. Haven't played one myself
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:32 PM   #6
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If you're just beginning, I'd suggest not to play lefty. Not a wide selection, and what you do have, the right hand counterpart is less expensive (eg; the Squire you listed is just over the $200 mark for the right handed one).

Because you have a good variety of music you'd like to play, I'd say go for the Squire, but get an HSS version if possible, or like above, a hard tail Ibanez Gio that also has a HSS pickup configuration.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:46 PM   #7
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So I'd buy a righty guitar and play it inverted? Wouldn't that make things difficult if I look at tabs etc? Wouldn't everything be reversed?
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racertj5
Neither of those are good quality at all. Epiphone makes some nice guitars but the special ii is of poor quality. The squiers are cheap as well really only playing off the fender name, although I have heard the vintage modified ones are not bad. Haven't played one myself
When you're say they're not good quality what does that mean? They sound bad/inaccurate?
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:50 PM   #9
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you could just play right handed.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:02 PM   #10
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I'd sound like a lefty playing right-handed. Same way I can't write right-handed, or do anything else righty. I've held a righty guitar right-handed before, it felt so...unnatural.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keks_
So I'd buy a righty guitar and play it inverted? Wouldn't that make things difficult if I look at tabs etc? Wouldn't everything be reversed?



No, learn how to play right handed. Just because you're left handed doesn't mean that you have to play guitar so. I have a friend who's left handed when it comes to writing and everything else, but plays guitar righty. Learning to do so will open more options for future guitars should you stick with it.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:17 PM   #12
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Unfortunately I don't see that as an option. Without going into a long explanation, imagine how you'd feel playing tennis with your left arm. There's a certain amount of dexterity you acquire in your dominant hand/arm, so playing lefty is the only way to go for me.

Looking at reviews the Les Paul Special II got a 4.1 out of 5 on musician's friend, based on 33 reviews. Doesn't that seem decent, at least for a beginner?

Should I buy different strings than the factory ones? If so can I string and tune it myself based on online tutorials? Thanks!
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:24 PM   #13
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You forget that the people reviewing are beginers, no offence they don't know any better. Also if it helps at all, I am a lefty that plays righty but it is up to you. As far as the lp and the squire. Badly put together bad sounding hardware etc. Also anything without a hard tail at that low of a price will be a nightmare to keep in tune
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:36 PM   #14
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Thank you I really appreciate your honest feedback. I'm still thinking and researching, considering getting a decent USED guitar, which I could always sell and get a better one later.

Can anyone answer my q about strings? Do you re-string a guitar when you buy it? Anything else I should know about setting up a guitar for first-time use?
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:38 PM   #15
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What's your budget? $200? Go used! You can definitely get something better than those two for $200, check Craig's List. I recently got an Epi Les Paul Studio with hard case for $200.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keks_
Thank you I really appreciate your honest feedback. I'm still thinking and researching, considering getting a decent USED guitar, which I could always sell and get a better one later.

Can anyone answer my q about strings? Do you re-string a guitar when you buy it? Anything else I should know about setting up a guitar for first-time use?


Yes, restring it. Who knows how old the strings are. New strings are about $4 and it's not hard to do.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:39 PM   #17
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http://www.rondomusic.com/electricguitarleft.html The Agile AL-2000's are really nice for the money, i would really advise you too look into them. They are way better than your two choices.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:40 PM   #18
racertj5
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If buying used deff. restring. If new it should be ok. Also as far as setup, I personally would buy one that is set up the way you like, If not, make them fix it for you if they want the sale
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:40 PM   #19
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Do you have any mom and pops music shops? I'm sure if you'd talk to them, explain your a first timer that they would be more then happy to show you first hand how to string and tune a guitar and no just use the strings on it for awhile unless you go used or get a display modle
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:40 PM   #20
thebestjoe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keks_
Unfortunately I don't see that as an option. Without going into a long explanation, imagine how you'd feel playing tennis with your left arm. There's a certain amount of dexterity you acquire in your dominant hand/arm, so playing lefty is the only way to go for me.

Looking at reviews the Les Paul Special II got a 4.1 out of 5 on musician's friend, based on 33 reviews. Doesn't that seem decent, at least for a beginner?

Should I buy different strings than the factory ones? If so can I string and tune it myself based on online tutorials? Thanks!


I know what you're trying to get at with your analogy. To counter, I suppose, either you have to pick from a limited range of tennis rackets and buy them for >$50 more with the same features as others, or you'd have to train to gain a similar amount of dexterity in the non dominant arm. If you're dead set to play left handed, by all means, do it, but just understand the lack of availability and inflation for things that you may want later on.

As a general rule, I don't go by anything that a review says online.
With beginner guitars, I believe that anything is decent, so long as you can learn properly on it. I'd still say to go for the Squire with an HSS pickup configuration based on influences and for sake of learning what you like. Then when you think it's time to upgrade, pay attention to reviews (But with a grain of salt), test them out before buying, and pick what you like best.

With strings, that's up to you in my opinion. If you get a wall model, definitely get new strings if they aren't shiny in luster. But instead of watching tutorials, have a sales rep or teacher show you how to restring it and tune as opposed to online lessons.
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