#1
I live in a part of the world where buying a guitar is much more complicated than going into a store and trying the equipment out. Recently, I've found a dealer who will import the guitar I want (at a much higher price than most of you pay, though). Now here's the deal:

I want a standard series ESP Eclipse II and I need to decide between two versions: either an EMG equipped one (Vintage Black or Snow White model) or the Duncan equipped one (Aged Honey Burst model). I used to play a lot of metal, but the last few years I've been mostly playing mellow clean stuff/ballads in chords/etc. I will probably pick up on the high gain stuff again, now that I have a lot of free time after some busy years. But since I'm going to play a broad range of styles anyway, I figure the SD setup (JB/59) are better suited for me. On the other hand, the EMG set has its advantages. I'll list the pros and cons of these two options (for me, of course):

AHB:

pros:
  • SD pickups, more dynamic tone and better versatility
  • More of a classis LP look (though I don't care for the red finish on the backside)

cons:
  • I really don't care for the "distressed" finish, real turn off.
  • Rosewood fingerboard. I've always wanted an ebony fingerboard (my current rather low-end Ibanez RG has rosewood, not a fan of it really).


Now the VB/SW models have nice finish, have ebony fingerboard but are equipped with EMGs.

I have only one day to make the decision. What would you say is the bigger dealbreaker for me, distressed finish and rosewood fretboard or EMGs?

Appreciate any advice.

P.S. All models can be seen here: http://www.espguitars.com/guitars_eclipse.html

Close-up pics of the AHB can be found here: http://bbs.espguitars.com/showthread.php?t=40055 (although it's a European "full body thickness" model, I believe the nicks and blemishes are the same).

P.P.S. My rig consists of a JCM2000 TSL100 and a GMajor.
Last edited by AlanSokal at Jul 29, 2010,
#2
Pickups can be replaced, a distressed finish and rosewood FB can't. Go with the one with EMG's.
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#3
The rosewood fingerboard and distressed paintjob won't make nearly as much of a difference to your sound as the EMGs will and are essentially unchangeable. Changing out the EMGs is a pain since you have to switch out all of the pots and circuitry.
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#4
Quote by JagerSlushy
Pickups can be replaced, a distressed finish and rosewood FB can't. Go with the one with EMG's.


This. You can easily switch out the EMG's for their splittable models, it's really simple to swap EMGs for other EMG's.
Quote by metaldood91
Hi. Can someone tell me which guitars are real 24 fret guitars and which are just 22 fret guitars with 2 extra frets added on?


http://www.youtube.com/user/Joeseffel


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So very true...
#5
Quote by sk8boardbob2
The rosewood fingerboard and distressed paintjob won't make nearly as much of a difference to your sound as the EMGs will and are essentially unchangeable. Changing out the EMGs is a pain since you have to switch out all of the pots and circuitry.


EMG have pickups with splitable coils and they have the special connectors, all you need to do is buy 2 new pots.
Quote by metaldood91
Hi. Can someone tell me which guitars are real 24 fret guitars and which are just 22 fret guitars with 2 extra frets added on?


http://www.youtube.com/user/Joeseffel


Quote by smcstoronto1234

So very true...
#6
Quote by sk8boardbob2
The rosewood fingerboard and distressed paintjob won't make nearly as much of a difference to your sound as the EMGs will and are essentially unchangeable. Changing out the EMGs is a pain since you have to switch out all of the pots and circuitry.


swapping out pots and switches is really easy to do.

Changing a fretboard and refinishing a guitar isn't
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#7
Changing pickups would be impractical, since getting them here is very difficult and will cost a lot, not to mention the difficulty of finding someone who's able to do the replacement. So, let's assume I'll be pretty much stuck with what I get. Having described my preferences and the music styles I play (which pretty much translate into "I want good cleans as well as high-gain tones; although I play metal, I'm by no means an exclusive metal player"), which model is a better compromise in your opinion?

Or, let's rephrase my question: I have no doubt that the JB/59 is the better pickup choice than the 81/60 set, but how much better? In other words, is it worth giving up the ebony fingerboard, the overall better look and "unblemished" finish of the other models for it? Or is it the other way around? Which trade-off is more reasonable?