So I got a used schecter hellraiser (EMG 81/85 combo) and I while I like it, it's got some issues, so I'm taking it back. (besides, an 81/60 combo is SOOOO much better)

So I have about $500-$600 to lay on a guitar (or two).

No Gibsons/Fenders.

Fixed Bridges only (I already have a double locking)

Dual Humbuckers over Single Coils (Coil Taps are a plus).

I've been looking at the Schecter Damien and a LTD EC-500 AC (JB/59), but I'm wondering what else I should be checking out.

Also, stock pickups don't matter as I'll just swap them if they suck.

Last edited by rlheart at Feb 22, 2009,
Well, what kind(s) of music do you play? (metal I guess?) What amp are you using? What's the problem with Gibsons/Fenders for you? (There might be models that would work for you). Is going used an option?

Generally, the EC500 is a nice guitar. Plenty versatile and you wouldn't need to upgrade it. Schecters in that price range usually are good, too, though I haven't tried the Damien myself yet.
Last edited by TheQuailman at Feb 22, 2009,
Quote by TheQuailman
Well, what kind(s) of music do you play? (metal I guess?)

Metal and blues (lol)

Quote by TheQuailman

What amp are you using?

Waiting on the Peavey 6505 1x12 so for now, a Line6 toneport.

Quote by TheQuailman

What's the problem with Gibsons/Fenders for you? (There might be models that would work for you).

Gibsons = too heavy/expensive for what they are.
Fender = Mexican fenders have 21 frets (I'm used to having the 22nd) and the American ones are too expensive

It's not that I'm not open to them though if you'd like to suggest some.

Quote by TheQuailman

Is going used an option?

Definitely. The Schecter I'm taking back was used.
Last edited by rlheart at Feb 22, 2009,
As far as new guitars are concerned:
This one I liked the feel of, build quality and materials used were good. As (pretty much) always with Ibanez, the pups aren't too good - it'll sound great through the 6505 nevertheless, but there is still a lot of potential for improvement.

It's cheap, but better than you'd think. The pups are as bad as on the SZR, but because it's so cheap, you could afford a whole set of new pups for it. If I was to buy a guitar for blues and metal I'd go for that (That is just my taste though). If you don't like the trem you can block it, so that's not a big deal I think.

There is also a version with a flame top and a rosewood fretboard, but it's 100$ more, I don't think those features are worth the extra cash.

You could also go with a new Epiphone LP and replace the pups or get a Hagstrom Swede, Super Swede or Ultra Swede. You wouldn't even need to replace the pups on the Hagstroms I think, I liked them quite a lot. They are good blues and rock guitars and will do metal with a proper amp such as the 6505. The Swede and Super Swede might look a bit funny for metal, but the Ultra is quite elegant and could work for you:

If you want to get an Epi, make sure to only buy a guitar that you can try out prior. They vary a lot in quality and sound, so buying online is generally not a good idea. I recommend the LP Standard, the Customs just look prettier, but aren't better than the Standards.

Otherwise, and LTD EC400 or 500 should do the trick, without the need to upgrade anything. Same goes for Schecters in that price range.

If you can find one used, a Fender MIA Fat Strat should be 600$, maybe a little more. They're worth the money in most cases, you get better wood quality than on the other guitars I mentioned so far and the pups are nice. The trem can be blocked, like on the SA.
Consider getting a used Ibanez RGA121, too. The sparkly finishes aren't for everyone, but the guitar itself is very well made and very light and comfortable. The pups are okay, but could be better.

Getting a guitar that does blues and metal well is a bit difficult. I recommend you not to get one with active humbuckers, they'll do metal nicely with the 6505, but I find they sound poor for blues. It will be hard enough getting bluesy tones out of the Peavey because it is a dark and agressive sounding amp, and active pups will make it even harder.
I think that most HSS guitars should work for you, look out for those.
I'd look Dean. ML or Soltero.
Dean Icon PZ
Line 6 Variax 700
Dean V-Wing
Dean ML 79 SilverBurst
MXR M 108
H2O Chorus/Echo
Valve Junior (V3 Head/Cab and Combo)
VHT Special 6
Phonic 620 Power Pod PA
Wampler Super Plextortion
Line 6 Pod HD
Cort X Custom with 59/JB pups, or a bit more conventional Cort M600
Best bang for bucks going.
I pick up my guitar and play
Just like Yesterday

T C Ellis Series 2 LP w/Skatterbrane Quiescence pups
Cort EVL-K6
Yamaha RGX211 modded
H&S Electric 12-string
Shaftsbury Ricki 4001
'84 Fender Yale
Roland Cube 15x