Hey guys, I'm wondering if I could get some opinions on my current situation. Here's some background:

So I've been playing for a little over 2 years now with a really really low end Ibanez, I think it's like a G10 or GAX or something, and I'm about ready to get something new to suit me for hopefully a long time. I play a lot of metal, stuff like Metallica, Megadeth, Ozzy, Sabbath, as well as some newer stuff like Trivium. But I'd also like the guitar to do other genres as well, I enjoy my Zeppelin and AC/DC, RCHP, basically anything from clean funky stuff to nice slow melodic leads to juicy blues licks to brutal metal. Also, I currently use a Peavey Vypyr 15.

Some stuff I'd like to change from the guitar I have now is: color (it's like a solid red, people have told me they like how it looks but I personally think it's kind of lame), body shape (it's kind of more bulky in the back, I think I'd rather move over towards more of a strat shape), neck construction (it's ****ty bolt on and playing the high frets makes me wanna kill myself...).

BTW I think this is pretty close, if not the same: http://www.ibanez.com/ElectricGuitars/Series-gax

So I think I'm willing to spend around like $400-800. I've really liked the Schecter C-1 Classic, seems to be a "nice" guitar, the weighting felt comfortable, the neck through is sweet, and I think I like having 24 frets. But I feel like I should try a bunch of others to make sure I'm really getting what I want at this point. My friend really likes Jackson and active pups a lot and says I should check out some soloists next time I'm at Guitar Center, and I also think I should check out some ESP's, but overall I'm not very familiar. I've also enjoyed the Fender Strats I've played, but I kind of really want 24 frets...

Also do you think I should go for active pups or not? I don't really know too much about the subject but I feel like it's not worth the hassle for me and I'm not extremely picky about tone anyway.

Thanks in advance!
I don't think active pickups will sound good with solid state amps. I tried an Ibanez with active pickups on a Vypyr 15 (I have the amp too) and it sounded like garbage.
Thanks for the responses guys! Does anyone else have any opinions? What do people think in general about Schecters vs ESP's vs Jacksons? and vs strats? Or any other companies I should be considering?

Also more input on the active vs passive pups would be helpful, leaning towards passives so far though.

And lastly, I'm leaning towards no whammy bar. Correct me if I'm wrong, but whammy bar = FR; no whammy bar = fixed bridge........? And if my understanding is correct does having a floating bridge/whammy bar make it THAT annoying to retune/keep in tune? If so I'm probably gonna shy away from it because I don't really need the whammy.

Thanks again, and keep the responses coming!
Last edited by saw7988 at Oct 15, 2009,
Strats aren't that great for metal, the other 3 are good though. My vote goes to ESP but the others are good too.
Jackson guitars are great, especially with either seymore duncans or a sustainiac active pickup setup which would really suit your needs. I personally love my DK2M, it's extremely versatile and can produce all kinds of tones, from Lamb of God to RHCP to Joe Satriani.
My Rig:

Schecter C-1 Classic (Deep Sea Green)
Jackson DK2M Snow White Edition
BC Rich Mockingbird Special X

Mesa Boogie Express 5:50 212
Roland Microcube

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September 15 1991 - May 16 2008
I vote Jacksons, the Dinky models would be great for you.
Above post may or may not be true.
Quote by kurney
I vote Jacksons, the Dinky models would be great for you.

Thanks for the input. But what are your reasons? What is different about the Dinky's?
Well to me, I just love the look of Jacksons, which is a big reason. The licensed floyd rose on them is great. Both Metallica and Megadeth used Jacksons at some point, with the Seymour Duncan's in them, so they should get you that metal tone you're looking for. Also they're passive, which will be good for your solid state amp. They are also far more versatile than EMGs.

If you liked you could get an RR24 in that price range I think, which come's with just one EMG, but different looks and a better tremolo.

Or, if you look on eBay or Craigslist for used guitars, I'm pretty sure you could get a USA Select series guitar for that price. Which has the Seymour Duncans, Ebony fretboard, Original Floyd rose (or not, depending on what you want), and a through neck (or bolt-on if you prefer), in whatever body shape you want. V shaped, strat shaped, RR shaped, Warrior etc.

So if your on the internet have a look at some Dinkys etc, then on eBay have a look for some USA guitars. The USA models have a 2 or 1 in their name usually eg. KV2, SL1, RR1, SL2H.
Above post may or may not be true.
Tremolo or "Whammy" bars can be either FR or non floating. If they're non-floating, then they're okay, but they will most likely go out of tune if you use it too much. FR doesn't go out of tune, but yes, let me tell you right now, they ARE that annoying to re-tune and to re-string. FR tremolos are amazing if you what you're doing and have experience with them, but if not, they will make you want to shoot yourself. My favorite brand happens to be ESP, they make non FR trem guitars in the lower price ranges, but I think when the quality of them goes up it really just breaks down between fixed bridge and FR. Schecters are also nice. I don't like Fenders or Jacksons, I don't like the way they feel or look, but that's just me. I'd say try out different ESP's and Schecters to see what you like, though I will say that you will most likely get a much better ESP than a Schecter of the same price. But nearing the $800 price limit, both will probably have EMG actives and tons of other nice features such as set or through neck and coil tapping and all of that fun stuff.
The jackson guitars in the 8-1000 price range are really, really nice. I would have cost me aroudn $700 new (got it for $200), i love it, great neck.

Any ESP in that price range will be good to. Honestly, aslong as you play it first, you can't go THAT wrong.
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