#1
So, as the title says, I am in need of choosing another guitar. Brief history first. I started with a Mexican Fender Strat about 2 years ago, maybe a few months more then got it signed soon after by Yngwie Malmsteen, later Joe Satriani, and most recently, Eric Johnson. Needless to say, its hanging in my room right now.
So, then I got a red Jackson DKMG about a year and a half ago. I didn't really know much about guitars when I bought it, I just liked the Strat-style body and the color of the guitar.

Now to present times, I know a little bit more about guitars, but not enough to go about buying a guitar on my own. This guitar I'm looking for became more of a necessity once the group of people I play with wanted to start playing Dream Theater songs. I know I prefer Strat-style bodies, EMG pickups, and since I plan on using this guitar for multiple tunings, I do not want a Floyd Rose floating bridge. I generally play metal, but I do like to play some clean music.

So on to the choices. I've been looking around and at some of my favorite guitar players for some inspiration and I've found that most of them use ESPs. I went to Guitar Center today to test run some ESPs but found only LTDs, specifically the Les Paul style LTD (as far as models without the Floyd Rose). I played it for a bit and kind of liked it, but I've never really liked the Les Paul body nearly as much as the Strat body. So I saw another guitar I assumed was the LTD H1001 since I figured they didn't have any ESPs, but it was actually a Schecter Hellrasier. I felt about the same on both guitars, kind of liking them, but not enough to actually want to buy it.

My budget is pretty much anything below $1000, so unfortunately, that ESP horizon NT-II is out of the question . Is it worth it to get an LTD, rather than an ESP? If not what brand should I be looking into? I don't really want another Jackson, it would seem monotonous; Everybody and their cousin has a Dean for metal; Ibanezes are only good if you shell out a lot (so I've heard); and don't really know what more to look for.

TL;DR What is a good guitar that is easily drop tuned, good for metal, and under $1000?
#2
Have you tried anything other than a strat style guitar? I would broaden your horizons a bit. Who knows, you may surprise yourself. Go play a fender telecaster, gibson les paul, or sg, I've owned all 3 of these at some point or another including 2 strats, and I can honestly say I definitely don't like my strat better than my SG, my old LP's, or Tele.

Also take a loo at Ibanez. I honestly liked my old Ibanez RG2EX1 a lot better than my mexican strat. The RG, S, and Jem seem to be the most popular. I personally like the RGs. Check out an RG 1550 Prestige.


And all of said guitars will do just fine for metal. Also if you go ESP, make sure to get a real ESP and not ESP/LTD. Unless incase its the EC-1000 Deluxe, thats a pretty good guitar with EMG's and goes for around $850 new. I played one at Sam Ash recently and liked it a lot. Probably better than some Gibson LP studio's i've played.
Last edited by handbanana at Jul 5, 2010,
#3
i prefer my LTD over the ESPs i've played. yes they (ESP) are great, but i dont find the difference in price justifies the difference in any sort of quality there may be. also, LTD are "cheaper" ESP (like epiphone is to gibson), but are by no means bad guitars. when i was buying mine, i was ready to spend $2500+ but fell in love with the LTD.

anyway, i'll link you to some LTDs that fit your specs, but also look into schecter like you already said. they're great guitars.
http://www.espguitars.com/guitars_deluxe_h.html
http://www.espguitars.com/guitars_deluxe_mh.html
http://www.espguitars.com/guitars_h.html
http://www.espguitars.com/guitars_mhnt.html

the first two are around $800-1000 USD, the second two are cheaper versions of them.
#4
ibanez is good, but they don't usually have any in stock worth having that don't have a tremolo. LTD and Schecter are pretty much exactly the same in quality terms. I find LTD's and schecters to be the best bang for buck metal guitar out there. if you like ESP's so much, I recommend this

http://www.guitarcenter.com/ESP-LTD-Deluxe-H-1001FM-Electric-Guitar-584484-i1503610.gc

also, your jackson is already a very good fit for what you described. If you don't want the floyd rose, just block it and it'll be just like every other bridge. And you could use the money towards an amp if you needed to. just an idea.
#5
Quote by handbanana
Have you tried anything other than a strat style guitar? I would broaden your horizons a bit. Who knows, you may surprise yourself. Go play a telecaster, les paul, or sg, I've owned all 3 of these at some point or another including 2 strats, and I can honestly say I definitely don't like my strat better than my SG, my old LP's, or Tele.

Also take a loo at Ibanez. I honestly liked my old Ibanez RG2EX1 a lot better than my mexican strat.


I have played other style guitars. For instance, I play on my friend's Les Paul when I go to his house and don't feel like bringing my guitar over, and I play on a different friend's Dimebag signature when I go to his house. I just prefer to Strat style over what I've played so far.

Quote by User_Name336
i prefer my LTD over the ESPs i've played. yes they (ESP) are great, but i dont find the difference in price justifies the difference in any sort of quality there may be. also, LTD are "cheaper" ESP (like epiphone is to gibson), but are by no means bad guitars. when i was buying mine, i was ready to spend $2500+ but fell in love with the LTD.

anyway, i'll link you to some LTDs that fit your specs, but also look into schecter like you already said. they're great guitars.
http://www.espguitars.com/guitars_deluxe_h.html
http://www.espguitars.com/guitars_deluxe_mh.html
http://www.espguitars.com/guitars_h.html
http://www.espguitars.com/guitars_mhnt.html

the first two are around $800-1000 USD, the second two are cheaper versions of them.

Which ESPs have you played? Is the quality much closer to being equal or is it like Squier to Fender and Epiphone to Gibson?
Last edited by fishmoose345 at Jul 5, 2010,
#6
I would say the higher end LTD are much better quality than most epiphone and squier. So I wouldn't say its the same. LTD seems to make a lot of quality copy guitars of pretty much any style guitar you can think of. And they make some pretty good metal axes.

They are a good cheaper alternative to a number other brands
Last edited by handbanana at Jul 6, 2010,
#7
honestly, they're pretty much the exact quality. maybe 10% difference at most. I know some people that have shelled out for ESP's and have LTD's as well that think they're just as good.
#8
I'm not going to bother blocking the bridge on my Jackson to save money because I already have a nice 120 watt Valveking amp and it would be a birthday gift from my parents so I'm not actually paying for it
I think with what you've said, I'll probably narrow my search to either Schecter or one of those LTDs. Which brand would have better guitars for under $1000?
#9
i agree. esp and ltd are almost exactly the same to me. i've been playing guitar enough to recognize quality when i see it, and to be perfectly honest, the difference between the 1000 series ltds and the esps are not worth the difference to me. yes, you get better craftsmanship or whatever, but there's not a single flaw on my ltd. i would much rather have two ltds than one esp.

the difference between them is not really anything i can think of to compare it to. they're so close that its not worth thinking about. the price to have it say esp is not worth it to me.

EDIT: schecter and esp are owned by the same company are they not? they're very similar in price and specs for a reason. they're direct competition to eachother. you're going to have to play them to see which feels better to you (they play very differently). but honestly, you cant go wrong with any of them. they're all amazing guitars!
Last edited by User_Name336 at Jul 6, 2010,
#10
Quote by User_Name336
i agree. esp and ltd are almost exactly the same to me. i've been playing guitar enough to recognize quality when i see it, and to be perfectly honest, the difference between the 1000 series ltds and the esps are not worth the difference to me. yes, you get better craftsmanship or whatever, but there's not a single flaw on my ltd. i would much rather have two ltds than one esp.

the difference between them is not really anything i can think of to compare it to. they're so close that its not worth thinking about. the price to have it say esp is not worth it to me.

EDIT: schecter and esp are owned by the same company are they not? they're very similar in price and specs for a reason. they're direct competition to eachother. you're going to have to play them to see which feels better to you (they play very differently). but honestly, you cant go wrong with any of them. they're all amazing guitars!

Ok thanks, I think I'm going to go with either the Schecter C-1 Hellraiser, LTD H1001(FM), LTD MH-1000NT, or LTD H-351NT.
#11
I've got an ESP and I've had a lot of LTDs. I think you can notice the difference, but that said, I wouldn't be afraid to buy another LTD. They're solid guitars, far less of a difference than the Gibson to Epiphone jump. And Schecters, IMO, feel like clunky LTDs, or what I would expect an LTD to feel like compared to an Epiphone or Squier.
Just make sure you don't get bottom end stuff. I think anything 400 or 1000 series LTD is going to be solid (I guess 350 as well). Below that the woods are cheaper and hardware is less solid.
In most cases I would opt for a 400 series over a 1000 since almost all the 1000s have gnarly abalone binding that looks horrid. The main differences are with the hardware. Tonepros bridge and ESP locking tuners. I think the ESP tuners suck and for the price difference I buy a 400, switch to Sperzel tuners and a tone pros bridge with graphite saddles. The 2010 models only have Earvana nuts on the 1000 series, but old ones have it on the 400s as well. I switch that to graphite too when I have the chance.
Big ESP fan!
That said, I've got a mh400nt in my spam that's in really great condition with Sperzels on it in case you're interested.