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Old 05-08-2015, 10:23 PM   #1
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Help Me Decide Which Guitar to Buy!

Hey guys. I'm currently in the process of saving up for my next big gear purchase, which includes a new amp setup, new pedals, and of course: a new guitar.

Originally, I was looking into getting something in the $600-700 price range, but then when I locked in what I'm going for in terms of an amp, I realized I'd be spending about $1000-1200 on the amp and cab I want. In my opinion, it's kind of odd to spend more on an amp than a guitar, so I've upped my budget. The original guitars I was looking for at my $600-700 range were these specifically: (note all these are in CAD as I live in alberta)

Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plustop Pro, $639
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plain Top, $529
Fender Standard Strat, $629
Epiphone Dot, $549

I've recently taken notice of the Gibson Les Paul tribute models, the 60's one specifically looks really tempting for about $900-1100 including shipping charges (I'd likely be buying online since it's discontinued and the local used market in my city is a joke.) But I feel like I'm looking too much into the big 2 brands (I'm counting epiphone as part of gibson here) of guitars and was wondering what else you guys would recommend to look at. My father says I should also check out Ibanez and Yamaha for that price range, but I have no idea what models to consider. I'm looking to play anything and everything but the more specific tones I want seem to be all covered by Les Pauls and Strats so that's why I've been mainly looking at those thus far. Anything you guys recommend I'd be willing to check out. The absolute highest I'm willing to pay is $1200 CAD, but I'm still considering going cheaper with something around $500-700 if there's a really good bang for the buck guitar I haven't heard of yet.
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Last edited by FinderofNemo : 05-08-2015 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:03 AM   #2
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a little different, but equally awesome are Peavey Wolfgangs (EVH sig, not current fender EVH sig). ~$500USD will get you a USA wolfgang special hard tail. the stock pickups are great IMO (and i am a hard critic sometimes), ad it plays and feels great.

most ibanez models are way different than a gibson or epiphone les paul. different animal.

i think if you want a LP, you want a LP, although there are dozens of different models from a lot of different companies.

personally i like my gibsons (i have seven) but YMMV.
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Old 05-09-2015, 04:17 AM   #3
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Well; since you are already in Canada, for those prices, I think you should take a look at Godin's Redline series:

For a few more bucks, check out the Godin Session Custom:

While the guitars you listed are fine instruments in their own right, I think that for the price, the offerings from Godin definitely surpass them. They are very underrated instruments, reasonably priced, and you should be able to find them in Alberta.
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Old 05-09-2015, 03:42 PM   #4
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Fender Strat is so different from Les Paul, I think it's kind of odd that you have both on your list. If you are on the fence as to what tone you want, then I'd say you probably should go with something more versatile, like an HSS or HSH, or humbuckers that are coil split.

At your price point, I like used guitars, there's some great bang-for-the-buck at $500 on Reverb, Ebay, Craigslist.

If you are committed to new, then at your price point I'd probably look into Korean-made guitars like the Agile line up or PRS SE. I've had a couple Chinese-made Epiphones that disappointed me in build quality, but have a Korean-made Agile (les paul clone) that is one of my favorite guitars.

A Fender Strat is a safe bet in the $600-800 price range, but I think you could get something as good for less if you broaden your search.

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Old 05-10-2015, 10:51 AM   #5
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My humble opinion; go with an ESP Eclipse with coil taps. They'll get you both of the tones you seem to want. My next suggestions would be either a Dean Hardtail (which you can only get used these days, but I personally love them) or PRS SE.
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Old 05-10-2015, 12:09 PM   #6
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If you're looking at Epiphone you should consider the Tribute +, I understand it's their top model.
For LP like guitars the PRS SE has the Bernie Marsden and 245 (the Tremonti is too thin IMO). AXE Music is the best place to get PRS, L&M is overly priced and don't deal normally. Guitar Works is expensive but will match prices if you've got proof (on paper).
For Epis it's Guitar Works or L&M. AXE doesn't carry them.
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Old 05-10-2015, 05:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by FinderofNemo
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plustop Pro, $639
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plain Top, $529
Fender Standard Strat, $629
Epiphone Dot, $549

I've recently taken notice of the Gibson Les Paul tribute models, the 60's one specifically looks really tempting for about $900-1100 including shipping charges

I'd say Absolutely Not on the Gibson Tribute models. While the brand is upscale from the Epiphones, those particular guitars are not, and you'll find better value in the $1000 and under range elsewhere.

The Epiphone LP Standard P-Top Pro should be great.
Since you're in CanYahDah, I'd definitely check out the Godins.
And if you're moving toward an LP, I'd definitely check out the Agile AL-3200 (neck-through construction, great specs beyond that) from Rondo Music. Note that the neck heel is shaved (like the Gibson Axcess) and that there's a tummy cut.

If you're working with a Strat as part of the equation, note that this is really a completely different guitar (but excellent) in a lot of ways.
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Old 05-10-2015, 05:59 PM   #8
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well what style of music will you be playing? hard rock? metal? blues? if you're going to go with more of a harder rock/metal sound I wouldn't go with epiphones right away. I would consider other brands, maybe ibanez', schecters, esp..
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Old 05-11-2015, 03:40 AM   #9
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In the meantime, I'll second checking out the Godins. They make good guitars. In addition to the Redlines, the Icons would also be worth looking at. Used, Freeway SAs or xtSAs would be worth a look.

If you can find them, Electra Omegas and some of the Reverend guitar lines would be worth your time to investigate.
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