#1
So, this is my first post here, and hopefully I'm in the right section, so here goes...

I've been learning how to play guitar relentlessly over the past year and a half, since I was given a new acoustic as a graduation present. I love my guitar to death, but as I've watched my somewhat musically gifted/challenged (depending on what they're playing) get their electric guitars and basses, I've started to feel a little left out. Mostly, this is because I'm kind of drowned out by the roar of the amps. So, in the interest of being heard among the jam sessions, AND blowing out our neighbors with the sounds of righteous rock, I've committed to finding an electric guitar so I can join the chaos.

I've messed around with a few of my friends' guitars, notably strat and LP copies, and I've screwed around with a few SGs and Teles at my local music stores. I'm a little cash strapped, but I'm also kind of picky, so I was hoping for a little help from everyone here.

Okay, I'll start off by trying to clarify what I'm looking for. I'm more of a rhythm guitarist than anything else, and I'm a big fan of the styles of Keith Richards, Pete Townshend, and Malcolm Young. I accidentally replaced my acoustic strings with a thicker gauge, but I liked the tone so much that I've kept them ever since, and would like to keep that up with whatever electric I get. I really like playing gritty blues rock and Social D style punk, but sometimes I like to act like a wannabe lead guitarist with some slow blues. I'm partial to late 60s to 70s Stones, 70s AC/DC (with Bon Scott), and Social D, so I tend to enjoy playing those types the most. I'm partial to lighter guitars, and I really love the feel and sound of semi-hollows. However, I'm a little too cash-strapped at the moment to invest in a really good one.

So, to wrap this all up in TL;DR form (because I might have lost track of where I was), I'm trying to find a guitar that:
  • Is fairly lightweight - I may be a bigger guy, but I generally prefer a lighter feel.
  • Preferably has Humbuckers in it - I'm particularly partial to SGs, Les Pauls, and Explorers, but I'm still learning the specifics of different pick-ups.
  • Is versatile - I may concentrate more on rock rhythm, but I'd like something that CAN be used to good effect for lead, if I so choose.
  • Works well at half-step tuning with thicker strings - I've heard through friends that certain guitars aren't as friendly to thicker strings.
  • Is reasonably priced - I'm fine with guitars found through pawn shops or craigslist, but I would admittedly like to personally put all the dents and nicks in whatever guitar I buy, if at all possible.


So, any suggestions? I'm working on buying one fairly soon after the next paycheck or two, so I'd love any feedback offered.
Last edited by b_80_h at Oct 20, 2011,
#2
Epi SG would be my recommendation. It's lighter than a Les Paul, has humbuckers, and would do what you need it to do musically. Down the road you'll either want to upgrade (most likely) or do a pickup swap. There are SGs at every price range. Gibson even makes an SG Special for $699, and it's actually very nice for that price. Might be out of your range, but it's worth noting.
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#3
I've had a lot of people suggest that, but most of them have pushed me towards an upper end Epi like the SG 310 or the G-400. If I got something along those lines (or possibly even cheaper), what sort of pick-ups should I drop into it down the road?
#4
Can't go wrong with an Epi LP Standard. I think they're still around the $500-$550 range. Though, I haven't looked in a while.

Though, LPs can be heavy and most are, they offer a solid tone for heavy chord-based rock and are also ideal for lead stuff as well.

I own an Epi Explorer and I've always been a fan of it. It's incredibly light-weight, but not so light that it feels as though it would shatter if dropped. (I have dropped mine a few times and it's held up just fine. Those things can take a beating.)

The bottom line is...if you want an SG, get an SG. If you want an LP, buy one. That goes for anything. The best thing you can do is go and try out some of these guitars for yourself and find out what suits you.

Honestly, there is no better advice than your own preferences. Just go check out some guitars that are in your price range. Heck, go look online for some sweet deals on something you wouldn't be able to afford at a music store. You'd be surprised at the gems you can find from other players.

That's all I've got. Good luck and we'll see you when you post for amp advice. Haha.
#5
Also, if you're looking for a sick Epi SG-400, check out the Tony Iommi sig. <33333333

Tony Iommi, man. You cannot go wrong.
#6
See, personally I'm stuck between three of them. Most of my heroes play Les Pauls, SGs, or Teles. I really like the SG from a feel standpoint, but I also really like the Tele as well. That seems to be a bit more of a conundrum of singles versus humbuckers.

As far as tone goes, I'm not extraordinarily picky. As long as I can toss on some overdrive for when I'm jamming and "serving" as a rhythm guy, I'll be pretty happy. To me, having a thick, muscular rhythm tone comes first, then I worry about all that lead nonsense.

So, it really comes down to SG vs Tele for me...

I mean sure, I'd snap up a gold top LP (with the Orange County decal on it for full Mike Ness effect) in the blink of an eye, but I really favor the two above.
Last edited by b_80_h at Oct 20, 2011,
#7
You might want to look into a Thinline Tele.
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#8
Alright, then. Tele vs SG.

You can get a Fender Tele Standard for around $500.

And as 3074326 mentioned, you can get a decent SG for around the same price.

I'm not sure what your budget is looking like, but, as I said before, it's all a matter of preference.

If you want to play primarily blues, get the Tele. If you need some heavy rhythms, the SG would be better.

I'd say, though, for punk stuff, go for the SG. It would probably serve you better in the long run. That's just my humble opinion, though.
Last edited by p_a_morgan at Oct 20, 2011,
#9
If you end up checking out some Teles, check out Fender's Blacktop series. They're Teles with two humbuckers. Made in Mexico. Very nice guitars for the price.

I'd personally prefer a Blacktop Tele over any Epi for the same price. I think they feel and sound better. But the decision is ultimately yours, obviously. Both an SG and a Tele with two humbuckers will get the job done. Find the one that feels the best and go with that one.

(If you decide to get a Blacktop Tele, I highly recommend candy apple red with a mint green pickguard. One of the prettiest color combinations I've ever seen on person)
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#10
If you like the semi-hollow sound you can get a decent instrument in a Yamaha AEX 520 for $300 american. The Yamaha comes stock with mini humbuckers that do a good job. It can't handle huge amounts of distortion but a rhythm overdrive or light lead sounds great. Nuts are always cut to a specific string guage and increasing that just involves widening the nut slots a bit - no biggie. It's smaller than a les paul, made from light wood and is a true hollow body, not just chambered, so it doesn't weight anything at all. And the middle position on the pickup selector is absolutely sublime with a little ovedrive!
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#12
I second the thinline Tele suggestion. If you can find the style with the 2 humbuckers, that might work better for you. You can always swap out the neck humbucker for a P90, and throw a custom pickguard on it later on.
#13
Now, if I was looking for a guitar to do some work on, are there any good knock-off offbrands of Teles or SGs?
#14
If you live in the states, Agile is a good knock-off brand that some consider to make better guitars than Epiphone (and sometimes Gibson), for the money.
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#15
Quote by AWACS
If you live in the states, Agile is a good knock-off brand that some consider to make better guitars than Epiphone (and sometimes Gibson), for the money.


This, but if you're looking at a $500 or so price range then you should easily be able to get a Gibson faded sg. Before I get flamed, its probably the best SG in your budget and will hold a resale value. The pups on those (490/498?) are decent too.

Epi G-400 is pretty good too. There aren't many SGs around within your price range.
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#16
Quote by AWACS
If you live in the states, Agile is a good knock-off brand that some consider to make better guitars than Epiphone (and sometimes Gibson), for the money.

I agree although with the hole gibson agile comparison I would say they make better only due to the fact that people on a budget can actually afford a Agile. But they are deffinately better than Epiphone in my opinion.

Heres an Agile destroyer style guitar *Explorer* that would be great for rhythm and lead. Ive heard this guitar and the cleans on the stock pups are really nice.
http://www.rondomusic.com/ghostiiiwhite.html
#18
i dont like the upper fretboard access a whole lot on an explorer. i love them and will most get one in the next few months, but mainly for rythm and lower leads, as i would in certainly not buy one if you are planning to shred...
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#19
Quote by Papabear505
Nothin wrong with accoustic guitar..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaBruqqH1Wo&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PL36EC7E87888DBBB1

of course, I do understand the reasons behind your wanting one..


Oh, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it!
I love my acoustic, but I'm learning that as I dink around with recording, I've been looking for different tones, especially grittier rock tones, and an acoustic doesn't provide that.

I baby my little Yamaha... lol
#20
Quote by b_80_h
Oh, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it!
I love my acoustic, but I'm learning that as I dink around with recording, I've been looking for different tones, especially grittier rock tones, and an acoustic doesn't provide that.

I baby my little Yamaha... lol



Well, I don't have any experience with SG's, so I'll through my hat in with a Telecaster HHS.. the Squier series isn't bad, but I'd play the one you want to buy first.. I've found some of the squiers that I thought played better than the USA Tele's... few and far between but every once in a while, you get lucky..
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#21
Quote by W4RP1G
I second the thinline Tele suggestion. If you can find the style with the 2 humbuckers, that might work better for you. You can always swap out the neck humbucker for a P90, and throw a custom pickguard on it later on.


About how much does that run for usually? I'm happy to do part-swaps myself, unless it involves actually messing with the body itself...

Because I'm heavily leaning towards a Tele at this point. My Rolling Stones bender (bender ON the Stones, not LIKE the Stones. I'm not like Keef, as I couldn't survive a nuclear blast) lately has been making it hard to ignore, and I really enjoy the sound of p90s.


Also, for the sake of asking, how would go about setting up an open-tuned, five string tele?
Last edited by b_80_h at Oct 27, 2011,
#22
In a bit of a shameless bump, I've been looking at a modestly priced Telecaster for the last few days, and I'm thinking about buying it and sticking a p90 in the neck. Any particular pick-up brands to recommend? I figured I could just get a Gibson Dog-ear p90, but I'm not sure if that would sound good on it.
#23
Assuming you've already eyeballed all the goodies at Rondomusic.com...Here's another one you might be interested in. An SG style, made by Shine (I hear they make the Epiphones, but who knows). I bought the same guitar WT-240 (out of stock now?) from this sight without the Bigsby for $149 and I love it. Would swear it was $400 guitar. I love the satin finish, mainly on the back of the neck. It is very slick so your hand doesn't want to "stick" to it.

http://www.the-guitar-deal-store.com/index.php/shine-wt240-bigsby-custom.html

Youtube review of the same guitar (different finish) rebadged by Stadium Guitars.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMrmMjQFwVk

...and an MP3 of my first little test recording with mine + Revalver amp modeling. All "3" guitars are the same WT240, drums done with Addictive Drums.
http://home.comcast.net/~clayton_hill/CHill-Lost_In_The_Mist.mp3
Last edited by Elvin Presler at Oct 31, 2011,
#24
I have both an Epi LP Custom and the Epi Korina Explorer. I modified the latter with DiMarzio Super Distortions and upgraded the electronics. The LP is kinda heavy, but is great for doing Stones stuff and melodic punk rock. The Explorer is lighter and you could definitely do bluesy stuff on it (in fact, it's great for southern rock ala Gary Rossington), but the stock pickups and electronics are crap and will have to be replaced ((which will set you back around $250, including parts and labor). It is not a punk rock guitar (although the guy in No Doubt plays a Gibson Explorer, so YMMV) imho.

I think your best bet is the SG myself. I'm not sure that the Tele's sound is weighty enough for punk.

As for the Agile Ghost, from what I have seen on You Tube, they aren't what you're looking for (albeit with the caveat that using You Tube to judge guitar tone is a dicey proposition). They just don't have enough beef (they sound kinda hollow to me) or the right kind of tone to be useful for you. it's too bad because that hybrid Explorer/Iceman shape they have looks uber cool.

You might look into the Fender Blacktop series, too.They're $499 and are good alternative rock guitars, but I don't know how they would fare for punk. Maybe a change of bridge pickup would put things in the ballpark you're looking for. I can see them working fine for the Stones mid-1960's stuff (Satisfaction, It's All Over Now, etc).