I have been wanting to upgrade my equipment for quite some time.
I currently have:
-Schecter Damien FR
-Peavey Vypyr 75

I got so sick of modeling and care less and less for the effects every day. The next piece of gear I get is going to be a Mesa Mark Combo. Still haven't decided between the MK IV or the MK V, but thats another issue.

I am also getting weary of my current guitar. I wouldn't say that it is a bad guitar, it just isnt what I'm really into. I got it as an upgrade from the BC Rich Son of a Best (my first guitar and purely an asthetic choice ). I had been playing for a year or so and when I was in guitar center one day I decided to mess around with some stuff. When I played the Damien I fell in love with it. It was so much better in every way than my SOB. I have been plyaing for close to 5 years and feel uninspired and like I need something to spark my interest again. So now I'm here asking you guys for some advice.

I play predominantly metal. (examples would be: Lamb of God, Pantera, Tyr, Amon Amarth, Tool, John Petrucci's solo album).
I often dabble in rock (examples would be: Alice in Chains, Danzig, Godsmack, Rush, Pearl Jam).
Mostly metal but I like to dial back the gain and even play clean sometimes.

I dont want EMG pickups. I have the passive ones in my schecter but I'm really not looking for that sound anymore. I'm actually considering swapping the stock Pups of whatever I get with Bareknuckle Pups. I've heard they are pretty good for metal.

I'm not really picky on the wood. The damien has a basswood body and it seems kindof heavy, I wouldn't know if thats why though. I'm a noob.
Same with the neck. I will say that the neck on my Schecter is what drove it home when I first started but I don't care for it so much anymore. I play mostly rhythm stuff, while dabbling in lead work every so often but isnt my priority, so I don't know how I want my neck profile. Bolt on/Set is largely irrelevent to me.

I would like a Floyd Rose. I will probably keep my schecter locked in standard and this new one locked in either Drop D or C#.

Price is really flexible at the moment. I expect to spend Roughly $500-$700. I can maybe do more.
New or Used is okay, I somewhat feel like Used would be a better deal. I'll take what I can get.

My only other issue is this: I do not want an Ibanez. I expect to get flak for this but I am serious about this piece of gear and I really just don't want an Ibanez.

Thank you for sticking it through and reading all that. I apologize for the wall of text but like I said, I don't want to buy a guitar on a whim and regret it later so I am trying to make the best decicion possible. I am in La Mirada, Ca bu if you craigslist something I might not be on the ball so soon since the Mesa is my priority. I have access to 2 Guitar Centers roughly 15-20 minutes away. A Sam Ash Music 10-15 Minutes away and a small business music store 20 min away, so if you suggest something I will definitely head over and try it out if they have it.

Thanks again Guys,
Oh snap, no Ibanez? Damn, that's sort of my game! But, well... it seems like what you need is a versatile, good quality guitar (doesn't everyone?). I'd recommend a guitar with a H/S/H or a H/S/S pickup configuration - the singlecoils really make a guitar more versatile IMHO. Coil split is always good too...

As for what that would actually be, the market is wide. For the price range, I'd have to say that Ibanez offers the best choices IMO, but if that's out of the question, why not check some LTD's, Jacksons, Charvels? The Sterling John Petrucci is Music Man's affordable version of John's signature guitar, it doesn't have a floyd but is a pretty sweet guitar. The same goes for PRS SE Custom 24. Also, Suhr has launched a new branch which makes more affordable versions of Suhrs, though I think they may still be a bit above your price range... anyway, one of them has, IIRC, a floyd rose and a H/S/H pickup configuration, and they've gotten insanely positive reviews.

Hope any of this helps! Keep your eyes open, peruse the web, hope you'll find something that'll do for you.

Guitars: Ibanez SV5470F, Ibanez Xpt700, Fender MIM Standard Stratocaster ('04-'05), Jackson Ps-2
Ashton AG200,
Amps: ENGL E530, Bugera 6262-212,
FX: TC Electronics G-major 2, Behringer EQ700, Morley Volume / Wah
Any Jacksons in particular? I see those along with LTD in the big music stores. I think Sam Ash carries Music man stuff in store So I'll have to check those out. I haven't heard of Suhr, so looks like I get to do some research.
Thanks for the reply though.
Man, you type longer posts than me!

+1 on the recommendations above. Look at any Jacksons made in Japan or even USA if you can afford them? Should be awesome guitars. Also LTDs are pretty awesome too. Although they tend to come with EMGs for the higher range ones - they're numbered so M10, M50, M100, M300, etc. 2-300+ usually come with EMGs I think. I had an M100 which had stock ESP pickups but the previous owner had put EMGs in. It was a great guitar, and if you go for that you could then afford to get some deccent passives to chuck in there instead of the stock pickups.

Those are the more flat out metal options anyway. If you want to get something potentially more versatile (not that the Jackson/LTDs aren't) then yeah some of the PRS SE stuff could be cool, or Suhr. Never played a Suhr to be fair though, so don't have much of an opinion about them. I did play a Sterling JP sig and it was really awesome for a lower end model. Even the stock pickups were great, incredibly responsive and everything.

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Your serious about this piece if gear so no Ibanez?

Rule out the best value and quality range of guitars in your budget because your serious then lol

1977 Burny FLG70
2004 EBMM JP6
2016 SE Holcolmb
So are Jacksons and ESPs the only "metal" guitars of high/decent quality?

@tom: Me not wanting an Ibanez isnt a result of being genuinely serious about this purchase. Also, this isn't just about getting "the best value and quality range of guitars in your budget". I actually have to enjoy playing the guitar too. I hav efound that I am not partial to Ibanez, so it rule them out.
Used LTD H-1000/M-1000/MH-1000
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
I checked out some of the jacksons and they were pretty cool. There wasn't anything that blew me away like when I first got my damien. I did like the Jackson RR3. It was probably the best one of the 3 I played (the other two were a Dinky and a King V) but I'm still not that thrilled.
Didnt get a chance to grab any LTD's. That will be for next time.

I did some research online and was wondering if anyone has played the Schecter hellraiser C-1? Is it any good?

Also, If I get a guitar with active pickups and want to swap them out for Bare Knuckle PUPs (which are, to my knowledge, Passive) is that possible?
Yeah it's possible but you usually have to replace most of the electronics to do it. Especially pots I think; actives tend to use different pots or something like that.
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That sounds like it would be more trouble than it's worth.
I'm pretty sure the C-1 has a coil tap too. I don't know if that would make a difference but I think it would.
The new x series EMGs are supposed to be quite good. Much nicer tones than their predecessors; so if you do end up getting actives and you're not quite happy with the standard 81/60/85/etc tone, then maybe look into getting the X versions of them.

I say supposed to be good because I've never used them, but the general consensus seems to be they are better.

As an aside (from reading your first post again): you say you have passive EMGs in your schecter at the moment? I can tell you now that passive EMGs are pretty much cr*p and don't sound much like active EMGs at all. But still, if you can it would probably worth trying to find something with passive pups so you can then swap in bareknuckles if you're set on them.
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I went to a guitar center again today and tried a few more guitars out.
I did the Schecter C-1 Hellraiser (which I didnt like. It felt like a beautified version of my guitar.)
I tried an LTD standard series M-300 (I didn't like this one either but the neck was interesting. It was flat like a plateau on theback).
I tried a jackson JS32 (which was fairly uncomfortable and I didnt like the neck. I felt like I was going to break it.)
Then I tried a Schecter Hellraiser V (which for some reason I like the most out of all these guitars. I'm not sold on it but I might have to consider it.)

How would it affect my current Schecter if I swapped the passive EMG's for Bare Knuckles? Does anyone see a major issue with doing this?

@VVolverine: I will check them out but I have to wait to hear them in person. the XEMG's I mean.
Last edited by zilant at Nov 22, 2011,
Well assuming you pick a good set of BKs then you should see a massive improvement in tone.
I swapped out some passive EMGs on an old guitar of mine for a DiMarzio D-Sonic/Air Norton combo and it sounded about 20 times better.

I'm not really the person to ask about schecter though. I've never really played one that I liked. Just personal preference really - although some of them do look pretty cool.
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Quote by VVolverin3
Well assuming you pick a good set of BKs then you should see a massive improvement in tone.
I swapped out some passive EMGs on an old guitar of mine for a DiMarzio D-Sonic/Air Norton combo and it sounded about 20 times better.

I'm not really the person to ask about schecter though. I've never really played one that I liked. Just personal preference really - although some of them do look pretty cool.

And what would a "good set" of BK's be? Or do you know a thread/site that can point me in the right direction?

Since I've been looking, I was thinking I could just swap my damiens pickups and get a new guitar with actives. If I end up enjoying the BKs enough I might not even feel the need to get a new guitar...
I've never used any BKs myself (although I do intend to in the future). So I can't give you a proper answer to that.

But my suggestion would be jump on their website. They have sound clips for everything (although they won't be incredibly accurate given you'd be playing with a different guitar/amp/etc, but still). And more importantly give them an email, explaining your current rig and your guitar and what kind of sound you want and they usually give good feedback (from what I've heard).
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