#1
Hey guys! This is my first post on this forum, so I'll give a little intro first. My name's Charlie, 18 years old, and a cadet at The United States Air Force Academy. I've been playing guitar for about 8 years now on a daily basis, from just being a bedroom player to playing live with a few different acts of different genres. My gear as of now consists of a Bandmaster VM head and cab, 80's model Gibson SG, MIM Tele, Epi LP standard, Alvarez Artist 12-string jumbo body, and a Martin D15M.

I am about to splurge on what I consider my first true shred/metal guitar. When it comes to heavier music, I play mainly Maiden, Sabbath, Metallica, and Pantera. The only newer metal band I listen to is Avenged Sevenfold, mainly due to the fact that Sounding the Seventh trumpet was the first rock album I was ever exposed to, coming from a long line of country music (which I also love). The criteria for the new axe has boiled down to the following:

-Slimmer profile neck

-Locking Tremolo (must have)

-Preferrably Set-neck or neck-thru construction

-preferrably ebony fretboard

As for pickups, I would like to stay passive, as I think It will pair better with my amp. If EMG's will work out well, correct me if I'm wrong, but I've always been the guy to group them with dual rect's and 5150's. Also, this wont be a dedicated metal guitar, so I don't want a limiting tone. I'd much rather have a more do-it-all tone than the hottest, most overdriven one in the shop. I would like it to be slightly hotter than my SG though, which has 490t's. I understand most people are going to reccomend me to go out and try for myself, but being in the military, I don't often get off base. The models I'm currently looking at are:

1. Jackson RR1/SL2H If I go this route, I will be buying used. Rhoads have always been iconic to me.

2. Gibson Limited Run Explorer With Floyd Rose I love Gibsons, and I could buy this new

3.ESP LTD EC-1000FR

4. Dean Dixie Rebel (Not sure if I really want to spend $1k for what little Dean seems to offer) Love the design though.

Budget is right around $1400, so If you know of a better model, throw it out! I really appreciate the help, and I apologize for such a general, beginner-esque question. This is the first time in my history though that I honestly haven't been able to try out before I buy, so I'm trying to formulate the best oppinion by picking yall's brains in combination with my research. Thanks again!
#2
the jacksons are probably the best of those if you're ok with going used
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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?
#3
I've heard some bad things about the new Gibson Explorer stuff. Crappy quality control and bad hardware...

But, if you are looking for a new through or set neck guitar with a floyd, Jackson are about the best you can get. ESP and Schecter are up there too but the Jackson Soloist is really the standard for that type of guitar, assuming you can afford one. Ibanez has some RG models an X models that are neck through as well. I believe the RG is a prestige series Arch-top and the X series one is that Warrior shaped one. Korean made I believe.
Quote by strat0blaster
This is terrible advice. Even worse than the useless dry, sarcastic comment I made.

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I'm too old for the Jim Morrison look now. When I was gigging I had a fine arse.
#4
Try them all out?
Quote by JD Close
Piano dick had some good parts, but should have said "As the business man slowly gets boned", would have accented the whole dick feeling of the album
#5
Might wanna try the Rhoads before you would get it. I love his playing and the look of the guitar, but it's oddly balanced and pretty much unplayable for me. Lots of people have no complaints though, just saying.
NOW PART OF THE

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#6
Quote by Most_Triumphant
Try them all out?

see
Quote by charliemeyen
I understand most people are going to reccomend me to go out and try for myself, but being in the military, I don't often get off base. The models I'm currently looking at are:

and
Quote by charliemeyen
This is the first time in my history though that I honestly haven't been able to try out before I buy, so I'm trying to formulate the best oppinion by picking yall's brains in combination with my research


Anyways, I would personally go with the Jackson. I used to have one and loved the neck, it was awesome
Guitars
Godin Velocity w/ Schaller locking tuners
Ibanez RG7321 w/ Dimarzio Crunchlab & Liquifire
Seagull Coastline S6 Burst GT QI
Random Ibanez Bass

Gear
Blackstar HT-5 Head
Avatar Contemporary 212 Cab
Peavey Valveking 112
Last edited by stevo_92 at Oct 31, 2011,
#7
Quote by Most_Triumphant
Try them all out?


This. Always give a guitar a try and spend as much trying it as the store dood will let you. If you have any friends with "shred" guitars, try them out too.

I personally don't like signatures, I would suggest trying a different Jackson.
You may also want to try something from Ibanez.

Edit: In light of further reading; I would suggest a Jackson or ESP LTD.
Perhaps try that black Les Paul-ish one...
On playing the Paul Gilbert signature at the guitar store extensively, my missus sighed:
"Put it down now, It's like you love that guitar more than me!"
In Which I replied.
"Well it has got two F-Holes!"
Last edited by Nameless742 at Oct 31, 2011,
#8
^Jackson RR1 isn't really a signature guitar...
Gear pics

Quote by Cathbard
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#9
The EC 1000 and SL2 are great guitars and like an earlier post said, the RR1 is very oddly balanced, so if you haven't played one, you might want to before buying (and yes I know this goes against your original post, but it is a hit or miss type thing). I've seen an Ibanez suggestion, and while it will have most of what you're looking for, do be warned that any Ibanez is likely to need a PUP swap. IMO, I'd stay clear of the Dean, it's not worth it (and that cool looking graphic is less impressive in person unfortunately).

Outside of that, you appear to be on the right track, so I wish you luck.
Current Rig:
Gibson Firebird Studio
Limited Edition Schecter 35th Anniversary C-1
Schecter Jeff Loomis Signature 7 FR
Ashdown Fallen Angel
Custom 7 Firebird from Ignition Custom Guitars (check them out)
ESP Phoenix
#10
Quote by Sakke
^Jackson RR1 isn't really a signature guitar...


Ah, it's just adopting the shape of Randy's guitar but not overpriced cause of someone's name.
Then I do supprt this decision!
On playing the Paul Gilbert signature at the guitar store extensively, my missus sighed:
"Put it down now, It's like you love that guitar more than me!"
In Which I replied.
"Well it has got two F-Holes!"
#11
I played one of those Gibsons yesterday. Really sloppily done finishing, pots were scratchy... All in all not that great.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#13
Quote by Tom 1.0
Carvin ST300.

Fixed that for you.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#15
Na.

He wants ebony and neck through. Not happening with ibanez.

1977 Burny FLG70
2004 EBMM JP6
2016 SE Holcolmb
#17
As a huge Ibby fan, I would tend to agree, but neck thru and ebony give a unique feel and its awesome when you play a nice neck through with an ebony board.

In this case its got to be a nice classy Carvin or similar.

1977 Burny FLG70
2004 EBMM JP6
2016 SE Holcolmb
#18
Very true, ibanez dosent stray far from the bolt on rosewood.
I still think you should look into one to play.
The guitar I traded was neck thru ebony.
I'd take my prestige any day.
#19
Well you can get the RGT Prestige guitars but they are still rosewood and mightily overpriced IMO.

I love Ibanez but they aren't the be all and end all, especially if you want certain specs, which is a shame really.

1977 Burny FLG70
2004 EBMM JP6
2016 SE Holcolmb
#20
I don't think Ibanez does any guitars with ebony fingerboards. I remember seeing in an interview somewhere Chris Broderick had his rosewood fingerboards dyed black because Ibanez wouldn't give him one with ebony.
#21
Thats weird.
1.Pay a luthier to make one
2. Bolt on.
Broderick had a neck thru maybe?

George benson has a sig ibby with ebony board, but its not quite shred worthy.
#22
Quote by DCshoes
Thats weird.
1.Pay a luthier to make one
2. Bolt on.
Broderick had a neck thru maybe?

George benson has a sig ibby with ebony board, but its not quite shred worthy.


Not sure, to be honest. I just know I heard him say that in some interview I saw on YouTube, then I thought I can't remember any recent Ibanez guitar I've seen with an ebony fingerboard. I know some old JEMs had them, but that wasn't anytime recently.
#23
Quote by griffin888
I don't think Ibanez does any guitars with ebony fingerboards. I remember seeing in an interview somewhere Chris Broderick had his rosewood fingerboards dyed black because Ibanez wouldn't give him one with ebony.


Well a lot of ebony isn't the deep black that people seem to associate with it. It tends to be streaked with dark brown, so I'd guess that even a lot of ebony boards are dyed black to get the look that customers expect to see.

TS, I love Jacksons and a USA Jackson is a fantastic instrument. The stock Seymour Duncan pickups can handle just about anything you throw at them, so that shouldn't be a problem.

If it's a choice between an RR and a Soloist, remember that the RR will have 22 frets and the Soloist 24, and that it may take you a while to get used to playing an RR shape if you haven't before.
#24
Quote by Confuse-a-Cat
Well a lot of ebony isn't the deep black that people seem to associate with it. It tends to be streaked with dark brown, so I'd guess that even a lot of ebony boards are dyed black to get the look that customers expect to see.

TS, I love Jacksons and a USA Jackson is a fantastic instrument. The stock Seymour Duncan pickups can handle just about anything you throw at them, so that shouldn't be a problem.

If it's a choice between an RR and a Soloist, remember that the RR will have 22 frets and the Soloist 24, and that it may take you a while to get used to playing an RR shape if you haven't before.


Yeah, I know that about ebony. I play pool, and ebony is a popular wood in cues. I like the deep grain a nice piece has. I don't like it jet back, it doesn't look real.
#25
Rhoades are sex. Seriously, it meets all of your requirements and you already think its iconic. Whats the hold up?.
#26
1. Walk into store with opinions.
2. Play Charvel So-Cal or San Dimas
3. Have opinions shattered.


Those are just my thoughts on what people should try when they think they "know" great shred guitars.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#27
You may not be able to play the exact guitar you wish to buy, but if you get a day off base then I'd highly recommend you take some time to visit a guitar store with a large range and try everything they have. It will help narrow down your choices and avoid potentially large purchasing mistakes.

I did exactly that last weekend and my opinions were:
Prestige Ibanez RGs (multiple different models) - Very easy and comfortable to play fast, but as has been pointed out don't have the exact specs you are looking for.

Ibanez Jem - Potentially even better, but again not the specs you want.

ESP M-II - Equal to the Ibanez Prestige models in my hands plus better pickups. Not quite what you were after in specs. (One model has neck through + ebony fretboard, but only a single EMG pu)

Godin ? (can't remember) - Also a very nice playing guitar, but again not to your specs.

The Jacksons and Charvel San Dimas I played were nice, but for me were not the equal of the guitars listed above.

By the end of the day my opinions of certain guitars were completely the opposite of what they were at the start of the day!


For some actual suggestions based on your specifications:
The current ESP Horizon models appear to be a pretty close fit to what you want, though they are probably out of your price range new.
The Horizon NT-II is neck through body, with SD pickups, an ebony fretboard and is string through body.
Horizon FR-II is neck through, ebony fretboard, original floyd rose and EMG 81/85 pickups.

Neither are *exactly* what you are after, but are well worth considering if they come up in used listings imo.
#28
First off, thanks a lot for the responses! I appreciate it tremendously. Right now its looking like its going to be a toss-up between a SL1/SL2H and an RR1, depending on what I can find a better deal on.

However, I'm about to throw out a question of a completely different nature.

I'm starting to second guess my original dismissal of the lower priced MIJ Jacksons. Reason being, I highly doubt this new guitar will take the place of my SG as my main weapon. I am unreasonably in love with that guitar. However, it will be my main shred guitar/ trem-novelty instrument. I'm wondering if it wouldn't be a bad idea and forget about the ebony and neck through and go for a bolt-on RR3, seeing as the electronics are virtually the same. Also, the new X-series has caught my eye, except for the basswood. If only the RR24 came with two duncans instead of the one 81.... Anyway, a few final oppinions on this option?
#29
the new x-series guitars aren't mij, as far as i'm aware.

the japanese jacksons are pretty nice- apart from sub-par (IMO) trems on the bolt-on models, sometimes low quality anaemic-looking rosewood for the fretboards, and the fact that some of the models (v, rhoads, kelly) seem a bit weird with a bolt-on neck. Ive heard some people say that the frets can be a little soft, too.

oh and the fact the prices have shot way up I mean, the neck-thru mijs are now little less than the cheapest MIA jacksons used to be.

but they're definitely nice guitars if you can find them at a decent price (and if you avoid the jt-580lp trem).
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?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Nov 3, 2011,
#30
As many people above me said, check out ESPs decked out with passives (most popular combo with ESP/LTD guitars is 59/JB IIRC). If you hunt around maybe you can find one of the discontinued models like the 500 f.ex.
Gear:
Electric
2008 Epiphone G400 Heritage CherryFUBAR
2008 Ibanez GRG 170 DX
2009 Cort KX1Q
2011 LTD H 351 NT
Randall RG 50 TC
Ernie Ball 11-54
Acoustic
Dean Markley
Dunlop 10's
#31
Looking at the fact that you seem to like LP shaped guitars, I'd suggest you an ESP. My first choice would've been an M-II but looking at an Lp shape, it would be the Eclipse. Might be harder to find one with an FR... But if shape isn't a problem, take a look at the M-II.