#1
I would like some suggestions for a second guitar:

I'm currently playing on a Squire Strat and it's not that great. I would be looking fore a guitar around the £250-350 mark. I've got some ideas, possibly an Ibanez or Epiphone, but I'm not completely sure and would like suggestions.

I like to play blues and indie and a bit of everything really

Any help appreciated.

Burnsey
#4
If your Squier is a Standard or an Affinity it might better to just get some Fender/Schaller locking tuners, a graphite nut & string tee, a better bridge, pickups, switch, pots, & jack, and a professional setup. You can do that for the kind of money you're looking to spend and it will make a world of difference--It'll be much better than a Made in Mexico Strat or the other guitars you're thinking about in that range. If you said you played metal, then I'd recommend a used Ibanez RG370, but you probably don't really need the extra frets or the Floyd-Rose style trem.

As for Epi, most of them have a much shorter scale than you're used to. That could be good if you're finding yourself unable to stretch to play chords you want. But then again, you could get a Squier Jagmaster or a Duo-sonic, and that scale will be a half inch shorter than the Epis.

If you like the Strat config, don't mind 21 frets and don't want to mod a guitar, you might want to look into the Squier Classic Vibe Strats. IMHO they're nearly American quality, yet cheaper than the Made in Mexico since they're made in the Far East.
Last edited by jetwash69 at Apr 24, 2011,
#5
HAHA no, no, no, NO! don't get a second guitar, amp, pedals, mod, there's not really any point in buying another guitar with your budget basically it's not gonna be too much better than what you have.
Quote by Tyson2011
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Sfedf the First ...
or should it be the insane?
#6
Hmmm

I've made some adjustments to my guitar and it feels...better, but it doesn't feel like a guitar that suits. That's the main reason for wanting to change.

I'll look into some of the things you've mentioned. Thanks
#7
If your Squier is a Standard or an Afinity it might better to just get some Fender/Schaller locking tuners, a graphite nut & string tee, a better bridge, pickups, switch, pots, & jack, and a professional setup.


Any suggestions where to get these at?
#9
I would really suggest holding on to your money for a little bit. Give it another couple hundred pounds and a lot of used Fender Twins and Marshall JCM900's come into your view. A new amp will be a drastic improvement over your amp and a second guitar.
#10
I don't know where to get parts in the UK. I got my tuners from Musician's Friend, but I doubt they sell to UK. These should be extremely common, you can probably Google them if the local stores want too much for them. Same with pickups, although I got mine on ebay. The electronics I got from a shop in the Carolinas (online) that specializes in Fender spare parts, but I used hard-to-find stuff like the S-1 switch in the volume knob, a concentric tone control off a bass, and a 5-way super switch so I'd be able to get the full Stealth Switch functionality like on a $1,600 Fender MIA Deluxe Strat. The Mustang style knobs are a little hard to find too, especially with the S-1 button and the concentric, but since Fender has used those same components on some basses and a Jazzmaster or something this guy had them. You can keep your Squier knobs or go with regular Strat style--even the cheap copies are usually more attractive than the Squier ones.

Regular Fender 500K pots ought to be easy to find over there, along with a regular 5-way switch. I've seen the MIM bridges sold on ebay, but I just left my Squier bridge on. The graphite nuts should be really common in the UK.

A pro setup can make a huge difference. I hated my Squier until I had it set up by a luthier. Friends and guitar shop guys before him were just making it worse. He had to shim the neck--after that, playability-wise it was on-par with my MIA Strat (which he set up too). When I broke a couple of tuning machines I replaced them with the lockers and that made the Squier even more fun to play than the MIA--the humbuckers and electronics help, too, but the tuners really turned it into my favorite guitar to play (over the MIA Stat, a couple of upper-mid-end Ibanezes, and a good Schecter)

Other suppliers over here are Stewmac.com and Allparts. Certainly Allparts has a distributor in the UK. Their operation in Houston TX won't deal with you directly--they'll want you to go through their distributor which serves your region. I don't know about Stewmac, though.

Good luck finding the parts. By the way, JustRooster is definitely right that you'll get a lot out of a good tube amp. No offence, but if you still have a Spider IV, you could do a lot better. If you tweak it with a computer, a Fender Mustang II or better yet, a Mustang III would give you a much more dramatic difference than another guitar or any of the mods I mentioned. A proper Fender Twin or Marshall tube amp would be even better, but you'd also want a bunch of pedals too to get the tones you'd want, and before you know it you're talking several thousand Pounds.
#11
Epiphone SG's aren't too bad, there's one up at my band practice room.
But I can't really say much since I'm a complete metalhead lol.
METAL!
#12
Yeah, I was looking into getting a new amp. I have a Fender Frontman 15g which I prefer, but it's not alot better.
#13
OH, I'm not really into all the modding and stuff, so could you explain some of the parts for me please?
What are pots?
Are there any brand of pickups you reccomend?
How do you fit these?
What differnce does the graphite nut make?
And whats this S-1 switch?
#14
tokai gs100?
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#15
Quote by bigandy94
OH, I'm not really into all the modding and stuff, so could you explain some of the parts for me please?
What are pots?
Are there any brand of pickups you reccomend?
How do you fit these?
What differnce does the graphite nut make?
And whats this S-1 switch?


pots are basically the control. like the volume and tone. they control the levels of the guitar pickups and are a form of resistor
some good pickups brands are Dimarzio, Seymour duncan and on the cheap GFS
you put them in by de-soldering the old ones and soldering in new ones
graphite nut typically makes your guitar sound a little warmer and helps with tuning stability

but if i were you i would just save my money and get a better amp or guitar. be patient bro
#16
Quote by bigandy94
OH, I'm not really into all the modding and stuff, so could you explain some of the parts for me please?
What are pots?
Are there any brand of pickups you reccomend?
How do you fit these?
What differnce does the graphite nut make?
And whats this S-1 switch?


redandwhite12 did a pretty good job explaining some of this. Here's the rest:

Pot = potentiometer. Like in the volume control and the tone controls.

Pickup recommendations: My Ibanezes both came from the factory with DiMarzios; D-Activators in the Xiphos and custom ones in the RG770 re-issue. The D-Activators are about as close to an active pickup (like EMGs) you can get with a passive design. They sound great in that guitar, but it has a mahagony body, so they might sound too bright in something like a Squier. I replaced the Duncan Designed pickups in my Schecter with a real Seymour Duncan SH-8 in the bridge and a Sustainiac sustainer in the neck (Check that out on Youtube if you're not familiar). Happy with both of those. I had a custom pick guard made for the Squier to take it from 3 single coils (SSS) to 2 humbuckers (HH). I put the Duncan Designed pups in the Squire. It fit fine in the bridge, but I had to dig some wood out of the neck pup route (with a Dremel tool) to accomodate the mounting tabs (for depth) for the neck pup. Eventually I replaced the neck pickup with a Seymour Duncan Jazz. I wouldn't recommend Duncan Design pickups--I want to replace the bridge pup one of these days because it's gone somewhat microphonic--so it's not too practical on stage right now (too much feedback). I've heard mixed reviews on the GFS brand, but the price is right. Its not so much the brand of pickups that matters, but the model. Just listen to sound samples at the manufacturers site or check out demos on youtube. The reality is other than single coil vs humbucker, on lower end solid state amps like Spiders and Frontmen, you won't hear a significant difference between pickups. Not like you will on a tube amp.

redandwhite12 is right about soldering pickups, but if you're switching from single coils to humbuckers, then you should get a pickguard (scratch plate) made for them. I've seen people try to mod their pick guards, but I've never seen it look good. The problem with most Squiers is they aren't standardized well (except the "Standard" model) so normally you have to get new pick guards custom made. Also, you might have to carve out more space for humbuckers if the guitar came with single coils. There are some humbuckers that take the same space as a single coil, but in my humble opinion they're lame and that's just being lazy.

The only reason I'd use a graphite nut is for tuning stability. Perhaps some people can hear a difference in tone, but not me. Basically it's inherently slippery so the strings don't get stuck in it when you stretch them or when you bend/whammy.

Fender uses the "S-1 Stealth Switching" in their American Deluxe guitars. "Stealth" because the switch is hidden in the volume knob. Short answer on what it does is it gives you double the tonal options that the 5-way switch gives you. Long answer for my HH configuration is: With S-1 switch up, the 5-way gives me either pickup with the coils in series (hotter), 2 coils on 1 and 1 coil from the other (inside coils in parallel, series with the outside coil), or both pickups in series. With the S-1 switch down, I can get either pickup in parallel (smoother), 1 coil from either pickup (for a single-coil sound like I'd get from my MIA Strat), or just the outer coil from each pickup. Since I have 2 volume controls (like you'd find on a Gibson or on Kirk Hammet's ESPs) I can turn the volume down on one of them and use the 5-way switch as a kill switch.

Take care.
#17
Man, I am beyond confused now haha.
What I've got out of this so far is I need to buy a tube amp, after that no idea...
Thanks anyway, I might come back for some more help soon enough
#19
Quote by bigandy94
Also, would it be worth changing single coils to humbuckers?


Maybe not for you. It's crucial if you play a lot of nu-metal or thrash with lots of palm-muted "chugging". Otherwise its not so important. Live, I'm playing garage rock and punk (White Stripes, Sex Bobomb, Offspring, etc.) and I'm doing it with my SSS MIA Strat. I'm using a Digitech GNX4 for fuzz and noise gate, and a Marshall 100watt tube half-stack. It does just fine for that. All my other guitars have humbuckers, though, and are pretty much needed for Metallica, A7X, Black Sabbath, and stuff like that--but I'm not playing that stuff live.
#20
So, at the minute, I don't really need to get anything till i get a new amp?
#21
Quote by bigandy94
So, at the minute, I don't really need to get anything till i get a new amp?



Ding ding ding! We have a winner.
#23
that's a terrible description, lol, there are umpteen mistakes in it. That'd make me wary if nothing else.

Plus you can pick them up new for not much more.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#24
I've got a VOX DA5, which I chose over stuff like VT30s, etc. The VT15 would be an upgrade over your Spider, but not by much. The tube in the VT is on the power side, not the pre-amp side, so even though it has the wattage dial on the back, you're not going to get as much good tone as you would with an all tube amp, or with the current generation of modeling (Fender Mustangs, Line 6 POD HD, and a few--very few others). Peavey and VOX haven't gotten there yet, and Line 6 doesn't have it in any of there consumer level amps yet--not even the Spider Valve.

I recommend saving up for a Mustang III. The features it has over the Mustang I or II are well worth the wait, even if you have to wait a year.