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Old 02-14-2014, 05:24 PM   #1
1938
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Question Help me to select 1st guitar for metal

I'm going to buy my first electric guitar and start learning to play.

Requirements
Pickups: H-H
Bridge: fixed
Genres: heavy metal, rock, hardcore, Oi!
Max price: 400 EUR, 600 USD
Security: high

I have no guitar experience. I will learn from scratch. What guitar to buy? I visited some shops and consider the following models:

Shop A. Many Fender Squier copies. The shop assistant didn't offer to help.
Shop B. I tested Marathone KJ and WR. They cost $405. Poor amp for testing.
Shop C. They presented Ibanez SA160, Ibanez GRG270B and Jolana Delta.
Shop D. They always recommend Cort KX5 BK to beginners for $250.
Shop E. I consider also Flame SG or EXG-6. Only online so I cannot test them.

I want to play mostly heavy music (heavy metal, thrash metal, black metal, pagan metal, hardcore, Oi!) but sometimes rock/metal ballads. First I need to learn playing the guitar.

The second issue is sound output. There are 2 solutions:

1) Guitar -> (interface) -> PC -> speakers
2) Guitar -> (effects) -> amp

I prefer solution (1) because of many software effects but it depends on price and sound quality. Are stereo speakers suitable for guitar output? Do they interfere it so much? I want high sound quality but it doesn't have to be perfectly mapped. Passive or active pickups in case of connecting to PC?

I tested some guitars mentioned above.

Marathone KJ (strat shape)
- H-H, ash and maple body, maple fingerboard, scale 646, radius 12, bolt-on
- handmade but construction defects are possible
- mostly high frequencies and overdrived sound fits to rock/blues than metal
- Corean pickups but I don't know their model
- last time middle strings started to twang and I couldn't find the reason
- one fret didn't fit properly, others possibly weren't installed so precisely too
- noise from amp but it can be cable or amp problem (I will test it)

Marathone WR (warlock shape)
- German H-H pickups, alder and maple body, tremolo, other properties as in KJ
- may be inconvenient because its neck is heavy and goes down
- sound quite heavier than KJ and more metal on overdrive

Cort KX5 BK
- H-H, fixed bridge, there are more versions with different wood, I'm not sure
- sounds nicely on different effects but too weakly on overdrive (not for metal)
- seems solid without flaws
- playing is too hard and needs more precision

Flame SG silver dragon
- ash, active Schaller HOT/2in1 H-H, Schaller M6, 3+3, 628mm, rosewood neck
- cannot test it because it's online (SG shaped)

Flame EXG-6
- alder, Bartolini V-92/V-94 H-H, 647mm, rosewood neck
- cannot test it because it's online (strat shaped)

Ibanez (one of mentioned above)
- H-S-S, I tested it for a while but didn't have any distinct feature

I can test also many other guitars but how?

No one will help me test guitars. One classmade found some free time but he isn't an expert and he only stated his experience in shops A,B. I must test them myself. I can perform basic tests (12th fret, neck straightness, look), play some chords but it's not enough. 20-minute employee's concert gives you only overall sound timbre info. You should play your favorite songs and test a lot of playing styles yourself. What to play with no guitar experience? I can play the beginning of Nothing Else Matters. Not enough. Remember I want to play metal.

Perhaps, the important issue about buying 1st guitar is... Buy a good one for years or buy a cheap one first then buy better? What are pros and cons of buying more expensive 1st guitar?
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:50 PM   #2
ltdguy27
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Nothing wrong with starting out with a more expensive guitar. I can't answer some of your questions regarding the PC software, but if you look in the used market you can try to score a LTD MH-1000 Duncan. It fits what you're looking for you just have to find one at the right price.
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...CFUhgMgodAV8AKA
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Old 02-14-2014, 06:25 PM   #3
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the con of getting a more expensive guitar is that you don't know what you like yet. and the pro is you get a better guitar.

personally i think if you have the money you might as well get the better guitar, as long as you've done some research or got some advice from people who know what they're talking about just to make sure you don't buy something silly.

i haven't tried marathone or flame, i'm guessing they must be local brands?
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:02 PM   #4
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Considering your music preferences, have you tried BCRich, LTD, Jackson, Epiphone? There should be plenty of models in your price range.
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:04 PM   #5
eoj02
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Would say, if you buy a decent jackson or Ibanez RG, and a decent amp, youwould be able to get a good sound and still be able to keep the guitar even if you want to upgrade later. I have had around 100 different guitars and if the guitar feels and looks like the music your playing, with a decent amp, you will have the tools to learn. I recently bought a $129 jackson and I love it. Most of the sound comes from the player and whatever you have after the guitar.
One thought is, do you want to play rhythm or the fast leads. Hammett actually used a Tele on a couple songs, but the wizard neck on an Ibanez or the fast feeling Jackson's tend to lend themselves better to the shredding leads.
I have to say, your post sounds like someone who either knows what they want or someone who has studied the subject. There are reviews on you tube for most guitars.
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:09 PM   #6
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ibanez prestige or ltd 400,1000 something special. go used.
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:07 PM   #7
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If you think you are gonna stick to playing and can afford it, get a better than beginner guitar. And even if you quit you could sell it and get most of your money back anyway.

Dunno about good interfaces/software, I use a Line 6 Pod X3 and am satisfied with it, but it is probably not the best bang for the buck.

But I can tell you that ordinary PC speakers are not gonna cut it. You'd need some sort of studio monitors or decent headphones. Headphones can be had for pretty cheap.
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1938
I'm going to buy my first electric guitar and start learning to play.

Requirements
Pickups: H-H
Bridge: fixed
Genres: heavy metal, rock, hardcore, Oi!
Max price: 400 EUR, 600 USD
Security: high

I have no guitar experience. I will learn from scratch. What guitar to buy?

(Edit)

Perhaps, the important issue about buying 1st guitar is... Buy a good one for years or buy a cheap one first then buy better? What are pros and cons of buying more expensive 1st guitar?


I personally advise you buy as good a quality guitar as you can find/afford. You might not be able to tell the difference at first, but a quality instrument will impact your desire to play, the comfort of the physical act of playing, and the development of your "ear."

If I were starting out on electric today with your budget and with an eye towards playing harder rock genres, I'd start looking for:

Godin Redline HB- It's made in Canada, has relatively high output pickups, a slender 24 fret neck, and is a hardtail, so you don't have to worry about tuning stability issues.
http://godinguitars.com/godinredlinehbp.htm


Something from the Fernandes direct sales website- they're having a clearance sale, and prices are as much as 60% off. Fernandes guitars are aimed at the harder rock genres, so their pickups are hot, their necks are slender. Again, I'd choose something without a tremolo, like the Dragonfly, most of the Montereys & Ravelles, or maybe even one of the SHIN guitars. But supplies are limited:
http://www.fernandesguitarshop.com/


Quote:
The second issue is sound output. There are 2 solutions:

1) Guitar -> (interface) -> PC -> speakers
2) Guitar -> (effects) -> amp

I prefer solution (1) because of many software effects but it depends on price and sound quality. Are stereo speakers suitable for guitar output? Do they interfere it so much? I want high sound quality but it doesn't have to be perfectly mapped. Passive or active pickups in case of connecting to PC?


If you're only planning on playing through headphones and/or interfacing with your PC for the forseeable future, consider a portable digital modeling device like one of these (some are discontinued, can still be easily found):

Boss Micro-BR 4 track
http://www.guitarcenter.com/-i1169092.gc

Boss Micro-BR 80
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BR80/

Pocket POD
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Line-6-...875-i1173933.gc

Tascam GT-R1
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-...306-i1401677.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-...473-i1402140.gc

Korg Pandora Mini
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pa...754-i1746466.gc

Korg Px4
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pa...554-i1124641.gc

Korg Pandora Stomp
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PandoraSTOr/

Korg Px5
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pa...715-i1387080.gc

Here is a visual comparison of (left to right) Tascam, my PX-5 and one of my Px4s to my old Aiwa cassette player:



Only the Tascam has decent acoustic recording capacity. All DO have features like tuners, metronomes, drum synthesizers, and digital amp & pedal modeling.

So with decent headphones, you can rock out like you were playing Texas Stadium. And yes, they are all about the size of an old Walkman.

The ones I own: the Tascam has the external mics, a phrase trainer (loop & slow down stuff for practicing), and takes SD cards. Both it and the PX5 can connect directly to your computer via a USB port. It is less powerful than the PX5, but, oddly, the PX5 does not have a belt/strap hook.

The ones I don't own: The Line6 PocketPOD is, I believe, the most popular device like this; the Boss might be the most powerful (and priciest); the Pandora Mini is the smallest (its about the size of a stack of business cards), cheapest, and least powerful.
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz : 02-15-2014 at 03:46 PM.
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