I'm starting to think about what I'd buy to upgrade my Ibanez RGT42. I like a lot about my existing guitar like the shape, woods and especially the thru-neck but I'm not sure what to get next. The obvious answer is a Prestige RGT but at £2200 it's just too expensive. Other alternatives are:

ESP Horizon FR-II
This looks good, has the right woods and gthe thru-neck so it sounds perfect. I'm not so struck on having active EMG pups and I'm not sure how the neck compares to my Ibanez. I love playing a Wizard II neck. What's more, at about £1300 it isn't too expensive.

Ibanez S5470F

This also looks good, has the right woods, a very good trem system and a Wizard II neck. Pickups would have to be changed to my liking and it doesn't have a thru-neck, though it may be very slim anyway. I've also heard some concerns about its inability to sustain at all. Also, is there any advantage to getting the model with the flame maple top or is the straight mahogany better? At about £1100 it's again reasonably priced.

The only other guitar that crossed my mind was some sort of Jackson Soloist but I'm guessing an SL1 is very expensive and I'm unsure about quality and spec on the other Soloists in the range.

Is there anything I've missed as a possibility at this kind of price and which would be best?
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
Last edited by Doadman at Dec 3, 2009,
The S5470 is a great guitar, the rhythm guitarist (or second lead guitarist as he likes to be called) uses one. I use an RGA121 and if you're used to full bodied RG's and other guitars, i'd go with the ESP or get a good RG Prestige over the S5470.

EDIT: ^ that's a good idea too, all my guitars (with the exception of the strat) were bought used for about 40% of what they normally sell for, have been in near perfect condition with only a few flaws that i've been able to fix myself for 20-50 bucks.

Ibanez RG7621
Ibanez RG121
Last edited by SPBY at Dec 3, 2009,
Can't say I'm too experienced with either model, but there are a few general things you should consider.

Firstly, neck-through really isn't as big a deal as ESP and Ibanez make it out to be. In fact in the majority of guitars it will actually give you worse sustain and response than set neck or bolt-on construction. Neck-through only gives any benefits at all if the guitar is made to the very, very highest quality using the very, very highest quality rock maple - anything else and it'll be at best no better than a set neck and most likely considerably inferior. So I wouldn't worry so much about that if I were you. Getting a neck size and shape that is comfortable for you is the most important thing, then the general build quality and types of wood the guitar is made from, then the hardware and stock electronics. The neck joint/construction really isn't something you need to worry about at all, or if anything neck-through should be avoided more than it should be sought after unless you are paying out for a really flaless, master-crafted instrument (which frankly, any guitar in the sub-£3000 range isn't going to be unless you go to a private luthier who might do such an instrument for £2000+. Both sound far out of your price range anyway).

Secondly, the ESP neck is most certainly different to the Wizard II neck. It is ever so slightly thicker (I believe the official measurements are less than 1mm thicker) but most importantly it's slightly more rounded. Ibanez's necks are a flattened D/U shape while ESP's are more of a slimmed C. I personally find Ibanez necks too hand-cripplingly painful to play on while I find ESP necks to be very comfortable, and a lot of this isn't the thickness, it's the contour. If you're used to Wizard II necks then perhaps the ESP neck wouldn't be for you, but it's most certainly worth trying out before you decide anything.
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Ellis Mantis 2. That will get you noticed in any company. As the base price is £750 you can specify whatever pups, hardware and electronics you like and still be well in.
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The appeal of thru-neck guitars is more to do with upper fret access than the sustain and that's why I'm looking at the ESP, though active EMG pups do put me off as I think it may become more of a one trick pony. Slight differences in the neck won't bother me as the other guitar I'm looking at buying is a Deluxe Players Stratocaster. I've always liked the look of an 'S' series Ibanez and as I already play an Ibanez it's more of a known quantity to me and I know Prestige Ibanez guitars are superb build quality. Can the ESP guitars match that quality? I'm guessing that the body on an 'S' series is so thin that access to the upper frets won't be that different to the RGT, or at least, not the major problem I find it to be on things like a Gibson Les Paul or standard Fender Stratocaster.
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1