#1
Sorry to be pulling one of these threads. It is fairly specific so I will understand if most can't be bothered!

I've been searching for a new guitar for about 2 years. I'm pretty sure on what I want nowadays. I'm just having trouble finding a guitar that has the things I need. I play Satriani/Vai type music so I'm looking for a nice guitar for lead playing. My budget is around $650 - $1100 US but i'm open to more expensive guitars if they fit my specs.

1. Strat/superstrat shape.

2. Smooth finished necks (satin etc)! I dislike the glossy necks (sticky) eg. lots of schecters.

3. Good upperfret access. I can't stand a large or sharp-edged joint block on some bolt on guitars eg. Charvel so-cal.

4. Fixed bridge or tremelo (as long as the tremelo is reputable, no licensed floyds)

5. 1 Volume, 1 Tone.

6. Passive pickups - Probably will swap them anyway

7. Neck thickness: As long as it isn't as thin as an Ibanez prestige or thick like a les paul neck.
-Ibanez wizard II would be as thin as I would go.
-Something inbetween a wizard II and a schecter neck would be great.

8. Humbucker in neck position. (I know a lot of jackson guitars have a single coil in the neck position)

Here are some guitars that have felt good, but I didn't buy because of small things that bugged me.

Charvel So-cal - large/sharp joint block
ESP horizons - gloss neck
Ibanez prestige RG's - neck too thin
Ibanez prestige S's - neck too thin, lack of sustain
Ibanez S470dxqm - lacked a bit of sustain but it had really bad strings so not sure.
Ibanez JS's - sharp block joint
Jackson dinky's - sharp joint block
Schecter c-1 classic - gloss neck, individual string height can't be adjusted (still an amazing guitar!)

And a bunch of others that I had no connection with. I know the best thing to do is just to go to stores and playing everything. I've been doing that for the last 2 years and I think the store owners are sick of me. There just isn't a huge selection where I am. So I figure If i find a guitar online that matches my specs that isn't sold where I live, I'm willing to risk it.

Thanks very much for reading.
#4
ibanez rga? just swap the eq switch for a tone pot when you change pickups. although i think it has a glossy neck but supposedly you can use some steel wool to rub the finish back to get a satin feel.
#5
Check out music man guitars if your stores sell them.
Originally posted by arrrgg
When my grandpa comes over to visit, after his shower, he walks around naked to dry off
#7
Used Jackson Soloist. Meets all of your criteria.

1. Strat/superstrat shape. Yes

2. Smooth finished necks (satin etc)! I dislike the glossy necks (sticky) eg. lots of schecters. Varies from model to model.

3. Good upperfret access. I can't stand a large or sharp-edged joint block on some bolt on guitars eg. Charvel so-cal. Neck thru

4. Fixed bridge or tremelo (as long as the tremelo is reputable, no licensed floyds). You can get them with OFR's or TOM's

5. 1 Volume, 1 Tone. I think that's standard for almost all models

6. Passive pickups - Probably will swap them anyway. Some come with Seymour Duncans, some with passive EMG's, some with active EMG's. Like you said, go ahead and swap em out anyways.

7. Neck thickness: As long as it isn't as thin as an Ibanez prestige or thick like a les paul neck.
-Ibanez wizard II would be as thin as I would go.
-Something inbetween a wizard II and a schecter neck would be great. This is exactly where most Jackson necks lie. They still have that rounded shape like a Schecter but feel thin.

8. Humbucker in neck position. (I know a lot of jackson guitars have a single coil in the neck position). Probably have to get an HH Soloist.
#8
Quote by luyano
Ibanez JEM?

I always assumed they had wizard prestige necks, but from looking at dimensions I guess they are a bit thicker. It's fairly rare to find a good JEM for cheap though isn't it? besides the cheaper JEMs with Edge III's etc. I'll definitely keep an eye out on ebay though.

Quote by azn_guitarist25
ibanez rga? just swap the eq switch for a tone pot when you change pickups. although i think it has a glossy neck but supposedly you can use some steel wool to rub the finish back to get a satin feel.

Which RGA do you mean? From what I remember the prestige RGA's had thin wizard prestige necks. I know theres a cheap one (RGA42FM) with a wizard II neck, but it might be a little too cheap ($500, Indonesian made). I don't know any older models which you are probably referring to.

Quote by fenderholic65
hav u looked at da Nuno washburns

The cheaper ones look like they have a licensed floyd. The expensive ones have an original floyd rose but a bit too pricey for me I think. I've never actually heard of these "nuno" ones before, I'll definitely look more into them.

Quote by Led man32
Check out music man guitars if your stores sell them.

I don't think any stores near me have those, I've never seen them around here anyway. Some of them definitely have my specs though, maybe a bit out of my price range but I'll keep an eye on ebay. I don't suppose you have a specific model to suggest/recommend.

Quote by Shabadoo
Have you looked at Carvins?

I couldn't find any stores that sold Carvins here, but I definitely search for them on ebay daily. Most of them seem to be neck through, so the necks are usually painted and I find it hard to tell if the neck would be smooth or not. They are definitely guitars I'd take the risk on. I haven't found one in my price range with my specs yet on ebay but I'm still looking everyday.

Quote by MarcoWasRight
Used Jackson Soloist. Meets all of your criteria.

The solution to the block joint that jackson uses is the neck-through like you mentioned, but aren't the necks always painted when its a neck-through?


Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated.
#9
yeah i was talking about the RGA42FM. now that i think about also Michael Kelly Hex Deluxe although you most likely have to buy it from america. and it comes with actives.
#10
I own a JP signature Music man and love it. A used one would probably be in your range. I have also played the steve Morse model and it was great as well. I also agree with whoever said Carvin. You can customize with them and I know several people with them who really like them.
Originally posted by arrrgg
When my grandpa comes over to visit, after his shower, he walks around naked to dry off
#11
Quote by robert_says
I always assumed they had wizard prestige necks, but from looking at dimensions I guess they are a bit thicker. It's fairly rare to find a good JEM for cheap though isn't it? besides the cheaper JEMs with Edge III's etc. I'll definitely keep an eye out on ebay though.


The cheaper ones look like they have a licensed floyd. The expensive ones have an original floyd rose but a bit too pricey for me I think. I've never actually heard of these "nuno" ones before, I'll definitely look more into them.



I couldn't find any stores that sold Carvins here, but I definitely search for them on ebay daily. Most of them seem to be neck through, so the necks are usually painted and I find it hard to tell if the neck would be smooth or not. They are definitely guitars I'd take the risk on. I haven't found one in my price range with my specs yet on ebay but I'm still looking everyday.
.


+ 10000000000000001 to a Jem,

you need to order carvin`s normally, well you do in the uk. and then wait weeks to get yours shipped.
#12
BC Rich ASM Pro? I really want one of those, but would have to order online, which means no testing before I buy to see if it is really what I want.*

*I want someone to give it a proper review before I buy :P


EDIT: It has active pickups, not what you want, sorry.
02 MiM Telecaster-----\__Digitech Whammy__TS-10__535q__DE-7__6505+ 112
91 Heartfield Talon II-/
#13
Quote by robert_says

The solution to the block joint that jackson uses is the neck-through like you mentioned, but aren't the necks always painted when its a neck-through?


Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated.


Did a little looking around on Ebay and it looks like you are right. It appears all the production Soloists have the neck painted.

I could have sworn I saw a neck thru Jackson recently that had a natural finish on the neck. Might have been custom shop though.

I see you're in Australia too so it might be difficult to find a used one. It's probably not too hard to remove the paint from the neck but you'd have to look into it (and probably get it professionally done, too nice of an axe). I think this may be your best shot at meeting all your criteria though unless you can flex on one or two things.
#14
Quote by robert_says

I couldn't find any stores that sold Carvins here, but I definitely search for them on ebay daily. Most of them seem to be neck through, so the necks are usually painted and I find it hard to tell if the neck would be smooth or not. They are definitely guitars I'd take the risk on. I haven't found one in my price range with my specs yet on ebay but I'm still looking everyday.


You should go to their site and try pricing one out, there super strat models start at about $750US and the only expense you need on top of that is the case which is $84US (and shipping of course). You can also check and see what they have instock.

The necks can come unpainted, if you order one you can get it for sure in a satin finish or you can rummage through their stock and see if their is one to your specs.
#15
You said the Classics neck was too sticky and I understand that. There are products you can put onto the neck to make it more to your liking though. It just seems like it fits your needs pretty well.

I second Carvin guitars though, I have yet to hear something bad about a Carvin and you get them completely custom and setup straight from the shop.
Schecter C-1 Classic Raven RG20 + Digitech RP50


Man, I could go for a 7 right now...
#17
+1 on the Ernie Ball Music Man guitars....

You'll LOVE the Necks. And I mean LOVE them.
They're unfinished, sanded to a Silk like smoothness and treated with Gunstock Oil and Wax. Unbelieveably smooth and comfortable. And the Bolt On Neck joint is contoured nicely for easy access to upper frets.

I have an Axis Super Sport.
It meets all your requirements except the body shape. It's shaped more like a Les Paul. Shape only, the body is nowhere near as thick and heavey as a Les Paul. The wieght and thickness is comperable to a Strat.
It's actually the mother of Eddie Van Halen's WolfGang guitars.

If you can find one at a pawn shop, try it out, you'll like it.

Also, the Music Man Silouette will likely suit you as well...It's shaped more like a Strat.

Both the Axis and Silouette can be had for about 1000 on Ebay.

2001 Ernie Ball Music Man Axis Super Sport
2001 MIM Standard Strat
Peavey Classic 30 112 Combo.
My Gear
Last edited by jonmo1 at Jul 16, 2009,
#18
I played a Steve Morse sig recently - I liked it a lot. The neck is about the same as a regular strat 'C' shape (possibly slightly shallower). I wasn't completely sold on the natural finish but preference I guess. The purple burst and pickups is a bit of a marmite thing.

Another vote for MusicMan then.
American Deluxe maple board Strat
Hot Rod Deluxe
Fulltone Fulldrive II mosfet
#19
Quote by MarcoWasRight
Used Jackson Soloist. Meets all of your criteria.


^what he said. i have one and I got it for $650. my model has a single coil (actually stacked so its a humbucker) in the neck and a glossy neck, but this varies from model to model so you can find what youre looking for. these are excellent guitars that you can get for a great price
Stay thirsty my friends...


Jackson DXMG Dinky
Bugera 333XL
ISP Decimator


Quote by thewho68
This thread is as of much use as Anne Frank's drumset.
#20
Checkout the Godin line,they have several that may suit your needs.
My Gear-
Godin LG-SP90
Godin Freeway Classic
Fender MIJ Squire Strat Waynes World edition
Seagull Entourage Mini Jumbo Rustic
Samick P copy Bass
Fiesta Classical

Peavey ValveKing 112
Peavey Audition 30
Traynor TVM10
Fender Frontman 25R
#21
Another vote for Carvin. Fits your requirements perfectly and you can get any finish you want on the neck.
#24
Quote by Shabadoo
You should go to their site and try pricing one out, there super strat models start at about $750US and the only expense you need on top of that is the case which is $84US (and shipping of course). You can also check and see what they have instock.

Hey mate, couldn't seem to find one starting at $750. Cheapest start price I found was $1,205 US for a Boltplus. I'll definitely have to stick to second hand for a Carvin I think.

Quote by TripleR26
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/...itar?sku=518619 I always thought tht this was a nice guitar, and it fits all of your criteria!

Hi there, thanks for the suggestion. Wouldn't those have a painted gloss neck? A smooth neck is probably the most important thing for me.

Quote by 1010011010
Jackson SLS3 if you can find one/afford it. The Satin Black model will have a satin finish neck, btw.

Great! The satin black version definitely covers everything I want. They don't seem extremely expensive either. I'll defintely do some price shopping on one of those. Thanks very much!

I'll keep an eye out for some second hand Carvin and music man guitars on ebay aswell, but the jackson is looking pretty good at the moment. Thanks to everyone for the replies/suggestions. Much appreciated.

Cheers.