New to the forum,

So a little background, i have a Ibanez Acoustic that i bought 2 years ago (not sure the model # but it cost me about $200). My first year of playing i learned a little but then stopped playing completely once school and other things became involved needless to say the first year was moot and i forgot everything.

This past summer i picked it up again, used the internet, books, help from others who played and any resource i could to start learning again. Now its only been 6 months or so but i can at least do some basics (know most of the basic chords, can bar now, know a few songs but only a few that i can play all the way through). It's become a beloved hobby these past few months and one that i definately want to continue now, i don't want to be like that first year and lose focus just because other obligations come up.

Having said that, i'm ready to explore an electric guitar and what it has to offer. My brother is a much more experienced player (has been playing for 10 yrs or so) so i kind of look up to him as far as advice goes. We went to the shop the other day and i narrowed it down to three selections:

Yamaha Pacifica 012 ($169)
Ibanez SA120 ($299)
Paul Reed Smith SE Singlecut ($591)

We tried many other models and well to be honest it was a little intimidating because 1) i didn't really know what to play in the store and well i wasn't as good as my brother and my knowledge of what makes a guitar "good" was limited. My main idea was to start with a basic electric then in the future advance to a high end acoustic or electric depending on which i liked better.

My initial impression of electrics are great though, a lot easier to play, lots of flexibility, and much easier to hold and jump around the neck. I was generally happy with the 3 models i posted above but i have to say the PRS felt by far above the rest. I don't have much technical knowledge to justify it but it felt comfortable, sounded nice, and looked great. I did my share of research on all three and they all seem to be reviewed positively, the Pacifica seems to be an obvious starter but a good one to begin on considering the price, Ibanez seems to be more for hard rock metal?, and the PRS seems to be the highest and best reviewed and versatile.

My problem now is which one to go with. I love the PRS model the best but my brother has a good point in saying that since i can't tell too much between the high and low ends right now it might be better to buy a low end and decide on a high end as i get better. On the other hand the PRS seems to be versatile enough and durable enough to last and suit any style i think i become adapted to. The price difference is quite large and a little higher than initially i was expected to look for.

Stylistically im open to playing lots of different genres, since i began on acoustic i played more mellow softer tunes (which made it a little odd to play electrics in the store with those songs). Favorite artists would be John Mayer and Jason Mraz, but i like alternative, blues, and rock. Don't really care to play much metal.

Any thoughts would be helpful
If you enjoy the PRS that what I would probably buy if you can afford it.

Ask yourself what guitar is going to make you want to play every day?
If you start a reply with: I have never played one but I have heard good things about it! Your opinion is invalid.
That PRS is not a "high end" guitar, but it's definatly not a low end either. If you're definatly serious about learning/playing guitar, even as a hobby, you wouldn't be going wrong by going ahead and getting it.

The only question that remains is, what do you plan on doing for an amp?
I'd suggest a Peavey Vypyr or a Roland Cube as good starter amps.
When your ears get more trained on tone, and you decide what style and voicing you like best, UG will be here to help you cross that bridge to your first tube amp.
Till then, practice daily, lurk around the forums here from time to time, and don't be afraid to ask questions (try the search bar first though).
Last edited by _Sanitarium_ at Jan 21, 2009,
spend as much as you feel comfortable spending. if you are serious about guitar, go ahead and buy a slightly more expensive model
Hey it's cool your getting started up on guitar, I just started playing about a year ago myself. If you're planning on getting somewhat serious though I'd recomment getting an alright guitar, it will be alot eisier to learn on. I suggest the epiphone firebird. Check it out online, its won all kinds of awards for being a value guitar and it's ultra versitile. Definatly worth 4 or 500 more than what you'll pay for it, it should run around 400$. Here's a video of me using one if you wanna check it out, it's bad quality in the video but you can see how easy it is to menuever on. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WouJDUf0d4o
The PRS is going to make you want to play more often and it will be fine after 1 year or two away from buying it. If you buy the Yamaha then your going to want to upgrade very soon as you get better.

I think the PRS would be better in the long run.

Sounds like you've already fallen in love with the PRS, so if you've got the cash I'd go with that. If you get one of the others, you're not going to want to play it as much, so you won't enjoy it as much or progress as fast.
Thanks for all the responses, really good input so far.

One of the things i left out was that the guitar is going to be a gift. I have money saved on the side and i was planning on buying one in the next few months anyway but my 22nd birthday is right around the corner and my dad wanted to get me a guitar, we all went browsing together but i don't really want him to spend so much on the PRS. I wouldn't mind paying $200-$300 myself to pickup the extra cost but i doubt he would want me doing that.

I tend to agree with the advice though i think if i get the Pacifica im probably going to want the PRS or something better within the next year or so.

In general though all 3 seem to be reviewed well so i guess thats a positive.

Does anyone have input on the Ibanez? the guy in the store said that one is more suited towards hard rock and metal, and while i might play a few songs that fit that genre i think the majority of the time i would stick more towards basic rock, alternative, or bluesy john mayer types of tunes.

Epiphone les paul standard, $500


ESP LTD Kirk Hammet super strat $470

http://www.zzounds.com/item--SCEC1 $449

Schecter C-1

I'm a schecter fan boy, but those are all good choices. I tried to find guitars a little below the price range of the prs, but better than the other two.

In the 300 - 500 dollar range, you wind up with either name brand medium range guitars, or sub name brand (esp has ltd and gibson has epiphone) medium to high quality range guitars.

The problems you might face with these guitars are neck action and intonation, and pickups. But in all honesty, I think that you'll enjoy them regardless.

And as always try before you buy.
Pain is an illusion.
Schecter Hellraiser C-1 w/ Seymour Duncan JB/Jazz Combo
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