So I'm finally looking at upgrading to a real guitar from my Yamaha AES 620 after four solid years of practice. My price range is around $1000-$1500 and I'm open to any suggestions. I talked to my dad and he said there's a big difference between a $700 guitar and a say $1500 guitar. What exactly is there? Does it just feel and play nicer? I've been looking at some Jacksons and in particular, what exactly would I notice between these? They seem to have fairly similar specs



Anyhow, thanks for your two cents. Really excited about finally getting a real guitar, just want it to be the right one.
Typically the wood will just be of higher quality the higher the price. However overall quality sometimes is not guaranteed by price. I have a $400 Mexi-strat that plays oh-so-much better than any American standard I've played. And as for what guitars you'd like suggested, what styles do you play? What amp do you have?
Last edited by xStratcatx at Jul 20, 2010,
I play mostly rock and metal. Not like death metal screamo stuff, none of that is appealing to my ears. A few bands I like are Avenged Sevenfold, Evans Blue, Bullet for my Valentine, Framing Hanley, Chevelle, Breaking Benjamin. Pretty wide asortment, can't really list them all. But my amp is a tiny crapper Peavey Rage 258, never really use it though. I play through my Line6 UX1 for practicing, going through my computer hooked up with a car sound system. Sounds a lot better than my amp, but I plan on buying one after my guitar. So that'll be another thread in a few months :P
Well everyone and their brother here is going to tell you to upgrade your amp first as it's definitely where the majority of your tone is at, so they'll say something to the effect of split your budget and get a good amp and a mid-level guitar, however I don't think that's what you're after unless that is, you're trying to overall improve your sound, if that's the case I'd say get a new amp .

As for the styles you suggested you can't go wrong with a Jackson, however with your price range check out Charvel. Especially if you're into the strat-shape a Charvel blends the actual strat shape with the "metalness" (new word? haha) of a Jackson with the playability and feel of a strat perfectly. An HSS American Standard would also be worth a look-see as the pickup configuration will give you a "best of both worlds" kind of thing.

Hope some of this has helped
Best way to do it is just to try out a bunch of guitars you like on a couple of amps at whatever music store is has the biggest range where you live and go from there. I haven't spent more than £500 on a guitar as I pick mine by playing them not just by prices or brand name... but thats just me

So yeah have a go of a few you like and decide from there, thats my advice
My Guitars:
Epiphone Flying V
Westfield SG
Laney Lc15110 230 G Tube Combo 15W
Presonus Audiobox USB

check out http://soundcloud.com/
So if I did go for an amp first how much do I need to spend to get a decent one? As of right now I'm not playing out any shows yet so I figured it wasn't the most important thing and thought getting used to a new guitar would be a better choice. Would a $400 or $500 amp get the job done?
A $500 amp would do you nicely. I'd suggest a Blackstar HT-5 or an Egnater Tweaker (little closer to $600 but it is indeed a fine amp.) With the money left over (which should be close to $1,000 if my math is working at 8AM ) You'll still have enough for a good new guitar and you'll do it some justice by playing through a good amp.
Definatly amp first but if ur set on a guitar go to guitar center or wherever and just start trying them out....you know what u want,you know what feels good to you so just start searching for it....good luck
Fender 70s Ri Strats w/various Dimarzios
Modded 1982 Marshall JCM800 2203

Boss DS-1,Dunlop Crybaby,MXR Phase 90,Ibanez AD9,Boss CH-1

Check out randy dobsons underground ,tell me what you think
rbobson and xstratcatx are completely right, infact you should just go to the music store and kill 2 birds with one stone by finding a guitar that feels nice to play and an amp that sounds awesome with it and get them both at the same time

Jealous though as I could do with doing that lol
My Guitars:
Epiphone Flying V
Westfield SG
Laney Lc15110 230 G Tube Combo 15W
Presonus Audiobox USB

check out http://soundcloud.com/
I suggest Schecter. Active pickups may suit you well, and they have plenty of guitars with EMG and Duncan Blackouts. If you want passive, they got plenty of that too. Alot of their guitars come with duncans (or you can put them in after you buy them like I did) you can get an amazingly well playin. Sweet sounding, bad ass looking schecter for 1000
Schecter Blackjack SLS C-1 Active
Schecter Damien w/ Seymour Duncan Distortions
Peavey 6505+ 112
Blackstar HT-1RC
Visual Sound Double Trouble
Line 6 M-5
For some reason I can't open Guitar Center links, every one of them just comes up with a big banner telling me that they now ship to Canada. So I don't know what particular models you're talking about.

In general though with guitars you really do get what you pay for, in MOST cases, an expensive guitar will be made of higher quality components, it will sound, feel, play, look a lot nicer than a cheaper guitar, but this isn't the case 100% of the time.

As far as Jacksons go, I've played a few of them, not really my thing, they seem alright for metal though, a friend of mine has a Jackson Rhodes pro, with duncans in, sounded awsome for metal, but it's a stupid shape and therefore impossible to play sitting down haha.

Alot of Schecter stuff looks cheap to me to be honest, the only one that I've ever played and liked is my friends telecaster shape one, can't remember the model, but that's not really a metal guitar if that's what you're after.

As far as guitars for metal go, Charvel rock my world, they're expensive though.

But as has been mentioned before, if you are trying to improve your overall tone, a new amp will be a much wiser choice.
"In modern music, a lot of people are really stuck on the example, asif it were the idea. It takes millions of examples to articulate an idea, so don't get stuck on the f*cking example." - Joshua Homme, 2008.
I think you should do what Stratcat said. If you take $500 - $600 out of your budget and put it towards an amp there's plenty of options. There's tons of great used stuff in that price range, there's even some nice new amps for around the same price. You can't go wrong with a Tweaker and a MIM Strat.