As of now I play an epiphone lp 100, which sounds decent, out of a marshall jcm 900, but its time to upgrade to something else for better tone. My band uses distortion and clean settings, I haven't been able to get the clean tone I want out of my guitar.

My budget is about 1000 dollars, give or take.

First: I'm looking for a versatile guitar, I don't play anything too heavy, so I wont be playing anything crunchy and heavy any time soon. I've been seeking out double cut guitars that seem like they could put out a nice thick sound. I've been thinking about getting either a Gibson or a PRS. I want to stay away from single coils for this purchase, although I was thinking about possibly putting in a coil tap for versatitility... thats just a small thought at this point, i should probably find what i want before i do that. (Feel free to suggest anything else).

Second: I realize that I will need the right pickups, which is somewhere I really don't know where to start. I am definitely not looking for active pickups, I want something full sounding, that will clean up well with clean settings. Seymour duncan custom 5's were recommended to me not long ago... I've also been looking at Zhangbucker pickups which seem like they would be great for a coil tap.

Feel free to suggest ANYTHING else.
Well, with your requirements, you can't go wrong with either a LP or SG model.


This LP already comes with Burstbucker Pro pickups on both neck and bridge, which are cool, but then again, you can buy new ones to suit your style if needed since it should all be in your budget.


This SG comes with different pickups, though their are more or less same-genre-oriented as the LP.

I'm just giving examples, but both are very very versatile guitars. More info would be helpful, especially for advice for which pickups would be good for you.

What kind of music will you be playing? And if possible a few examples.
Essentially I play punk (please dont let that be a turn off), I use a lot of variations of thick rhythmy chords and octaves, the music is fast and driven. I do however play a good amount of leads (not solo's). I would compare the music my band plays to 90's alternative bands such as early jimmy eat world (up until bleed american), sunny day real estate, at the drive in, etc.

However, I don't just want the guitar for this band, I want to be able to switch from clean to distorted and sound good, like I said, I want to be able to have good, thick cleans, which may be hard to do, being my amp is a marshall, since this is the only amp I have available. Its a given that it has enough distortion, so I want to try to get the best possible cleans out of it.
Look at Carvins. I don't own one, but I know several who do- all happy. Now, your price range may limit your options, but IME, you get a lot of bang for your buck with them.

They offer a wide variety of models of fairly high quality, are customizable to many different specs, and have a good return policy.
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at May 23, 2011,
i would look at a Gibson SG faded, or used SG Standard
Gibson SG Standard with Bigsby
Gibson Custom ES-137
Gibson Custom 54' Les Paul VOS Goldtop
Gretsch G6129T Silver Jet
1968 Harmony Rocket H75

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe (modded)
1970 Fender Twin Reverb (blackfaced)

Well both the SG and LP would be good choices. Although the burstbuckers have a more brighter tone, while the pickups on the SG have a more thick and full sounding tone, and since it's a very solid guitar (hence the abbreviation of SG being solid guitar), you can't go wrong going for it.
I myself own a SG and I absolutly love it. I will admit that as any SG it's a bit neck heavy, but with a leather strap, you can leave it untouched without it diving. It worked for me.

When your looking for great cleans, a better bet would be a new amp, but since your asking for a guitar, I think your best bet now would be that SG I linked.
Well if you want a great guitar that is versatile, I'd get a PRS Custom 24 SE and load it with a set of Bare Knuckle pickups. Seymour Duncans and DiMarzio just sound incredibly poor when you compare them to Bare Knuckle.
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
I'd be remiss if I didn't suggest something I actually own that fits your criteria:


Plus others he makes in the same price range:


Jon's a nice guy who makes a very good guitar for a reasonable price. You might also check out luthiers in your area to see if you can find something you like with one of them- nothing like stimulating the local economy while getting EXACTLY what you want.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
For the guitar, you should get whatever looks and feels most comfortable to you. For pickups, any PAFs will do really. Personally one of my favorite combos is the SD Custom/ 59 set. Dimarzio Air Classics are also very nice.
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Fractured Instinct
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Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
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found a gibby lp studio with a wine red finish for $1000 at a local shop, played it for 10 minutes out of some peavey tube amp, and it sounded amazing. It has a custom seymour duncan humbucker in the bridge and another nickel plated humbucker the shop couldnt identify in the neck pickup. I think im gonna go with this one, not sure what to expect it to sound like out of my marshall, it seems like somewhat of a bassy guitar. Any opinions?
$1000? used with aftermarket parts? Try to knock AT LEAST $150 off of that...

It should sound like a les paul through a Marshall.
I would run Seymour Duncans Pearly gates for the neck, and a JB4 bridge sounds much sweeter ear candy than ESP.