Some of you may have seen my post from earlier this week where I asked if I should go for a new electric over repairing my old one. I've decided to go for a new one because it makes no sense shelling out the same amount of money I used to buy my first electric to repair it.

So here are the details/requirements

New/Used: Doesn't matter (If it's a used one, it of course has to play well, I'll obviously try it out first)

Genres: Garage rock, Blues, Punk (Old punk, like The Clash and The Stooges), and I listen to indie as well, though not as much.

Location: Mumbai/Bombay, India

Budget Rs. 16000 (around $300 - I don't think it's a lot, but in the Indian market, I've heard you can get good guitars for this kind of a budget)

Preferences: I want a reliable brand, where I don't have to run around every three months for a repair. My other preference is a Single-coil and Humbucker setup, HSS, HS.

My old guitar was a Java EG-11, and I have a Vox Mini3 Ac modeling amp which I'll upgrade next year after I've saved a bit of money.

I've also heard about Greg Bennett guitars being a good choice. Still, I'd rather hear out every possible suggestion.

See if you can find a used Fender, G&L, or Godin. All good, quality manufacturers, offering guitars in HSS, SSS, HSH and other configurations.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
How's the hunt going?

Here's some India-specific advice. First of all, the actual price of a $300 guitar in India is over INR 22000 in most shops, because of duties and taxes, and each shop's profit margin. Be prepared to spend more for a better piece, and seriously, we need something above that INR 5500 level here. Avoid anything that costs less than INR 16000. You'll get GIOs, LTD-50s and a few Squiers.

There's a website from Germany, thomann.de, who ship to India, and can be configured to give you prices with shipping to India, in Indian Rupees. I tried working out a quote for some Gibson Les Pauls, and found the same models to cost at least Rs 9000 less than what Furtado's (they also quote a lot less than the other big shops) quotes, even with their current discounts. Of course, you need some help if you're not experienced with overseas imports.

In which case, SB Music in Malad will be most helpful. Mention any instrument, and its MRP, and they'll work out a very delicious deal for you. They'll also offer you hints on what gear is right for you, and how you can get more out of it. This shop also operates online, so you can buy your gear wherever you are in the city, when you know that this is exactly what you want- try them out at other shops, then buy from SB. Even the taxi fares to and from that place are just a fraction of the money saved when you buy from that shop. Since our city's used market has next to nothing useful (only Squiers, GIOs, LTD-10s, LTD-50s and of course, Java and GBA), we may have to tap the overseas used market, and this shop can help here too.

A good choice is a Mexican Fender, as it's better suited for blues or punk, and is also affordable, and will hold up well in India. It's got the best woodwork, and while you can change electronics, hardware and pickups, the wood cannot be changed. Just keep enough cash ready and buy from the dealer who offers the best price.
Solid, usable info from a guy on the front lines of the problem. Good post!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
@Arjun_M firstly, thank you so much for the advice. Highly, highly appreciated.

Secondly, I've almost zeroed in on a Greg Bennett Avion AV6, but I will be going to Alberto's and SB in Malad tomorrow to see if there's anything else/solidify my current choice.

Personally, I'd like a guitar before the end of next week, seeing as it's a huge week for any one in India, but More so because I miss playing like hell. But online research can only get me so far, yes.

So I went to Furtado's at VT on Saturday and found that they weren't for me at all. Not helping me out, quoting wrong prices, I'm almost sold on NOT buying my guitar from them, no matter how big they are.

Which is why I'lll be traveling to Malad tomorrow, and I'll take a look at the guitar and websites you suggested. Also, do you have any opinion on the AV6? Whatever I've read and researched has shown it to be a strong guitar in its price range, which thankfully falls within my budget. (And your INR 16000 mark, I believe, give or take a few hundred rupees)

Once again, thank you!
@Narinder - Furtado's at VT/Kalbadevi are a really disappointing place now. They have plenty of lemons to test out, so you get the feeling the EC-200QM, the PRS SE Tremonti and Epi LP Studio are poor quality. I too was very, very disappointed when they didn't help out with the Gibson models they had in stock, and they always try to push Gibson sales. Wrong prices? Now that's news. If customer service is so poor, avoid them altogether.

I don't know much about Alberto's, I hear they are good for repairs and custom builds, but SB is one place you'll definitely save money with. The stock is always as good (or even better), but they spend less on running their shop, so you save.

The Avion AV6 is slightly better than average, and very popular here in India due to the price and features, but you can also consider buying the Malibu MB-50 because it's built like a Strat and has HSS. You'll also save a lot of money. If you would like something more extreme, try the Interceptor or Concorde, both superstrats by Greg Bennett. However, I'm not entirely convinced about the wood they use- so an upgrade within a year should be kept in mind. You can also try out Washburn guitars, if they interest you.

Oh well, you must be at the shops as I type. Any updates on the hunt? The owner of SB will help you out, definitely.
Last edited by Arjun_M at Nov 12, 2012,
@Arjun_M I agree. Half the guitars I went to try out had a string missing, or the input jack loose and ready to fall off, I even saw one with a missing pickup (A Java, but it was in their front row, so points get knocked off). They are very commission driven, yes, they were selling PRS and Epiphone mid-level stuff to beginner players, I was very disappointed with them.

By the way, I say wrong prices when compared to their online store. For example, an employee there told me that the Epiphone LP100 was for 17k but online, its not more than 13k.

Alberto's is good, yes, they have a good variety of guitars and their repairs are really, really good. Do go to them if you face any problem with any of your guitars.

And yes, the owner of SB was really helpful, showed me a lot of guitars that were attuned to my style, and event told me the pros and cons of each. A much, much better experience than Furtados.

The AV6 uses a Mahogany body and neck with a rosewood fingerboard, at least, that's what the website says. Washburn guitars are impressive, but not for me, in the end. I think I'm going to go for an AV6. Reviews on this site and others show its a pretty reliable guitar and a couple of people who've been playing professionally have recommended it to me as well.

Again, thank you for all the help!
There are huge discounts on Greg Bennett guitars at Furtado's right now. Maybe you can pick one up and get someone reliable to set it up. Since you've thought of the AV6, but mentioned HSS earlier and have played a Strat-style guitar before, the MB-50 would be more useful for you. What did you finally get? And what discounts are being offered at SB?
I'm checking prices everywhere, but I don't think I'll buy the AV6 from SB because they didn't stock it. Furtado's has a discount, yeah, I'll take it from there, most probably unless SB in Goregaon has a better price.

I asked about a HSS setup, but while trying out the guitars, it felt better using an HH setup than an HSS.