Ok, I have been playing guitar for over 10 years, mostly for stress relief rather than forming a band, although I have played lead in two bands and bass in another. Mostly back in high school, nothing serious. I like metal/rock/alternative rock. Bands like - Metallica - Foo Fighters - Dethklok - Lamb of God - Linkin Park (not really known for amazing guitar riffs though) - Led Zepplin - and a little bit of AC/DC.

As far as guitars that I've owned;
1st - squire (generic, I don't know the model number, it's been so long ago)
2nd - Global acoustic ( yeah, I've never heard of them either, I found it under a friends parents bed and they sold it to me for 20 bucks, can't complain about that price!)
3rd - Samick Artist series 7-string ( not sure about the model number, but it cost me ~$800 at the guitar store in the mall. And yes I know I got ripped off hard, anyone who buys from a guitar store, especially in a mall, will get over-charged every time.)
4th- Peavy Bass ( ~$450 at that same store in the local mall )
5th - Ibanez RG 5-string bass (~traded in the Peavy Bass and paid ~$550 ) It was a kick ASS bass, wish I never would have pawned it.... oh well.
6th Ibanez RG370DX ( ~traded my Samick Artist series 7-string in and got the Ibanez and a little Beringer practice amp ~ 15w. The amp retailed for $99.99)

I had two other guitars but I can't remember what they were. I had a very nice collection going until I got hooked on oxycotin.... All my guitars went away quickly, It was a VERY LOW POINT in my life. 5 years clean now YaY.

My current Ibanez RG370DX, well, I took it into a Pied Piper store and the guitar guy who loves Ibanez as well, took one look at it and the expression on his face pretty much said it. The expression out of his mouth was " Aww, Your guitar is all {insert F-word here} up man." It was my first double locking trem. The guitar has progressively gotten worse over the past 18 months. The reason for that is that there is a twist in the neck. If you hold the guitar headstock pointing at you and look down it, it twists counter clockwise. So now when I play it, I get fret buzz like crazy if I'm trying to play a chord or anything 4th fret and lower it just sounds like ass.
I HAVE TO GET A NEW GUITAR AND I WANT THIS ONE TO BE A KEEPER. I don't have a lot of money. I'm looking to spend at least $600 but no more than ~$800 at an online retailer such as Musiciansfriend.com, not guitar store prices. I live in Charleston, West Virginia. So my choices on guitar stores a very limited. No one within a few hundred miles even carries Gibson. {Although I have heard that stuff like Gibson and Dean, just because they are made in America ( or mostly MIA) doesn't mean that they are better than something made in Japan or Korea. I know to stay away from Mexico or china. Indonesia is where my current Ibanez RG370DX was made.

I want to improve my "Metal" playing abilities
I want the ability to play fast
I want the flexibility to play clean with good tone, then make the solo SCREAM. I really want that Scream out of it.
I do NOT want a trem. at all. I hate this trem on the Ibanez. It is quite frankly a pain in the ass most of the time, so I'm looking for a straight through design.

From my research, I believe a guitar will have good tone with a mahogany body with maple on top. Any suggestions on the guitar body wood would be nice. I played a Jackson DK2T at my local store and it stood out from any others that I played. I immediately notice the very low action on it which is a decisive factor for me. Especially since how I had to do my Ibanez to get it to play at all.... I had to raise the trem mount studs up so now i'm sitting ~3mm off the fret board down at the 24th fret. (not the frets) By the time the string gets to the fret board it's hitting the note a little sharp.

After two months of research, I keep coming back to two guitars;
Jackson DK2T
Ibanez SZR720
( The reviews for this guitar are all 5 out of 5 stars and everyone strongly recommends it. )
The only things that bugs me is the fact that I have nowhere to go and play the Ibanez SZR720, but at least Musiciansfriend.com has the 45-day return policy, But I bet shipping on it is a bitch. From the Tonal Characteristics off the Ibanez website, The guitar sounds pretty nice in the hands of the Stevie Via guitarist.

My friend just bought a Dean, he was upgrading from a Wal-mart special. He was trying to tell me that the guitar retailed for over $1000 and he bought it for ~$400. He doesn't even know the model of it. I'm pretty sure he bought it because of how it looks. Like people who buy B.C. Rich guitars, Most of them are crap, but the kiddies like the look. I suppose they think it makes 'em look "cool" or "hardcore". Anyways, Upon playing his dean ( split tail model I'm pretty sure ) I notices that the fret board was silky smooth to the point in which it through me off when I was playing it. Also the neck was slimmer than my Ibanez and I've got some big hands. He was also getting some horrid feedback from his stock pickups. I read that when a company puts a lacquer ( I don't know how it's spelled ) finish on the fret board, that it's not a good sign. I would imagine that after a while it would start to wear off. It feels like they spray painted the fret board with the same clear coat that was on the rest of the guitar. (GOOD or BAD????)

I keep coming back to the two guitars mentioned above. They are the same price basically, but the Jackson comes with a molded case by SKB while the Ibanez has no case. I figure your getting the extra money in the guitar and if I can get a better guitar for the same price, well, I would be more than happy to use my old Squire hardshell case that I've had for years.

I think i'm making this too long. I will check this once a day so if you need more info just ask.

Thanks Everyone!!
jacksons , well the more intermediate on jackson are stellar, i have a jackonson rr1 and its the best guitar i have ever played

ibanez is alos great but i feel the lack quality pickups are a downside, but you can always change em up, im jsut a jackson nut, so i say jackyson, but that ibanez is mighty fine, i like the neck and overall body shape
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I played a friends jackson a little bit. I can't remember the model number, but i'm pretty sure it was close to the Ibanez rg370DX I have. He said it cost around $400 to the best of his recolection.

At the pied piper I played the jackson dk2t (those crazy SOBs want $1000 for it LMFAO ) and I was immediately impressed with it and the low action which made pick-tapping much easier than the twisted neck on my current Ibanez. ( Does Ibanez have a lot of issues with twisted necks? I'm pretty sure it's just continuously changing weather environment it was in. Humidity is killer and it's at the point that I can tell when the humidity is up because that twist gets ever so slightly worse. ) I think I just got a lemon.

I have to say the Ibanez SZR720, I can't find a bad review on it. And the way people keep raving about it, well... My only concern is that I can't play it until after I buy it online. I need the action to be low, the closer the better right? On Ibanez's website, I have to say I like the sound of the pickups from the Ibanez Xiphilos a little better for metal playing. I've always been a little bias towards seymour duncan's. I just love the sound that comes out of em. That's one nice thing about the Jackson dk2t, It comes with Seymour Duncan JB TB4 bridge humbuckers & Seymour Duncan Jazz SH2N neck humbucker. I can always change out the pickups. It's probably the next easiest thing to do on a guitar next to changing the strings lol.
Last edited by Sorlark at Oct 3, 2009,
Get the Jackson.. you pretty much can't go wrong with Jackson.

I'd recommend you the following:
Schecter BlackJack ATX C-1 (shecter necks feel odd to must people, i find them comfortable. This guitar has SD blackouts which are active pickups)
Schecter Hellraiser C-1 (it has a coil splittable pickup for major versatility)
ESP LTD Deluxe EC-1000 (LP shape, get the version with SD pickups if EMGs aren't for you)
I must say that the sustain on the Ibanez SZR720 is monterous. I'm sure the Neodinium rare earth mangnets used in the new NEO-N pickups have a lot to do with it. Being an electrical engineer. I can see how using a stronger mangnet, espeically Neodinium, would make the pickups much more sensitive. I just don't know If I have the money to be replacing batteries every weeks for an active pickup.

I have never played a schecter guitar but i'm coming across a lot of them with good reviews and recommendations.

I'm definately a seymour duncan lover, ever since the samick I had.

I definately want best wood possible for the neck of the guitar, which is why i'm trying to stick to mahogany or maple. It would be nice to find a guitar with an ebony fretboard, I hear that it's a nice mixture of the rosewood and maple.
the jackson is the better choice because of the quality and playability.
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Jackson for sure, Intermediate Jacksons tend to be the gods of quality in their price range.
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My main guitar is a DK2T Dinky special from what i remember. It's got a Floyd Rose, two single coils and a humbucker. After i got it properly set up it's been brilliant. I appreciate what you mean about how frustrating it is having a locked trem, but when you predominantly playing lead in a single tuning it's great.

In terms of the guitar, the fretboard is fast and the action is very low without any buzz. Sustain could be better but the tone is really nice for any music really. Definitely prefer it to any other guitar in the same range i've played on.
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I think the Jackson DK2T with Seymour Duncans is actually made in Japan, which is just as good as made in America, if not better in some cases. It's kinda hard not to want that beautiful vine inlay that comes with the Ibanez SZR720. Plus the Quilted Maple top on the body is very nice. All of this is nice for looking, but looks aren't what it's all about. Playability is the key factor.
Check out the Ibanez SZR720 here... http://www.ibanez.com/ElectricGuitars/model-SZR720
You can click on the images to get a larger view and at the bottom, you can hear the guitarist from Stevie Via play the instrument. It has some CRAZY ASS sustain.