#1
I don't know what happened to my old UG account, but ah well. Yet another noob looking for help, so any thoughts would be appreciated!

The short version: I've recently moved to the US and am looking to buy a guitar to use here, but I'll also be living in studio apartments most of the time, and can't really make much noise. What guitar / setup would work for playing on lowish volumes or headphones?

The detailed version:
Requirements: I've played on and off for ~5 years, so I can do the basics, but I'm still a beginner. I have zero gear here so would need a guitar+amp set or something. Due to where I'll be living, I think most of the time I'd either be playing on terribly low volume (i.e. the level of listening to music on the computer), or on headphones. I don't want a terrible guitar, but I don't want to get a great one then sit there unable to crank up the volume, as I have a pretty good Gibson Les Paul studio back in New Zealand.

Budget: I'd be willing to go up to 1000USD for everything, if I'm getting something that's great for the money. But again, I wouldn't want to spend more than I can utilize in my environment. I'd prefer new rather than used.

Style Preferences: I don't know much about guitars, but from trying some out I know I love Les Pauls and I tend to like humbuckers over single coil. As for artists, instead of saying what artists I want my guitar to sound like (because, well, it doesn't quite work that way ), I'll say what I'd eventually like to be able to play. Some well known names in order of priority: Porcupine Tree, Radiohead (Bends/OKC), early Muse, early Metallica, Incubus.

Technical Preferences: This is the area I know least about, so I'm open to suggestions. I'm a small guy so wouldn't be too comfortable with huge frets or bodies, and... well, I'm not even sure what to say for this.

Other Details: I'm currently in Philadelphia, university city area. (So playing loudly = not wise.) Back in New Zealand, I have a Gibson Les Paul custom, but a terrible starter Marshall amp and an equally terrible multi-effects. I'm currently looking at Agile ALs (2000 or 3000), the good old Roland 20x, etc., but as I say, I don't mind spending $1000 on a good set; I don't want to do that and find I can only get 20% of that out on low volume/headphones.
#3
you could get something like a Line 6 POD, or a small modeling amp : Peavey vypyr, Vox VT,Fender Mustang, Roland Cube that has a headphone out.
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#4
Since you'll be wanting to play quietly, how about one of these or at least something similarly low wattage?
#5
My suggestion would be to get a cheapish Fender or a middle of the road Ibanez. I have a Digitech RP250 and it has a headphone jack. The thing makes some great sounds if you don't mind spending a little time customizing. For an amp, maybe a low end tube amp? I have a Pignose, but there are options in the area. Shop Sweetwater Sound for a deal if Guitar Center doesn't have what you want.
#6
Quote by ayreon37
My suggestion would be to get a cheapish Fender or a middle of the road Ibanez. I have a Digitech RP250 and it has a headphone jack. The thing makes some great sounds if you don't mind spending a little time customizing. For an amp, maybe a low end tube amp? I have a Pignose, but there are options in the area. Shop Sweetwater Sound for a deal if Guitar Center doesn't have what you want.


In all seriousness, Plus 1000 on Sweetwater. Call them up and ask for Ryan Sloan. He'll hook you up. I'm quite satisfied with the advice he gave for the most bang for the buck in recording gear.
#7
Quote by jetwash69
Air guitar.

/thread


Got one several months ago, terrible tone. Am disappoint.

Thanks for the tips. I could get something relatively self-contained like Digitech RP255 and pair that up with a small amp. The Blackwater thing looks interesting, if just weird enough to make me hesitate a little.

Any thoughts on the guitar itself? I haven't found Fenders particularly exciting when I tried them in shops, and I don't intend to get into customizing for a good while yet. The reason I was looking at the Agile AL was because the UG threads here make it sound like an excellent Gibson copy, but it wouldn't hurt to diversify as long as I'm getting a second guitar.
#8
Hmm......for an amp, the blackstar ht1 would be good. Maybe that and a pod hd?

Since you like lps how about a used gibson faded/epi lp/agile/prs se?

And a nice set of headphones for the pod.
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#9
Quote by arcaliea
I don't know what happened to my old UG account, but ah well.



On another note, Check out an Epi. Les paul ultra III.
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#10
You could grab an Agile AL3100, a blackstar HT5, and a serious pair of studio headphones on that budget.
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#11
Quote by arcaliea
Got one several months ago, terrible tone. Am disappoint.

Thanks for the tips. I could get something relatively self-contained like Digitech RP255 and pair that up with a small amp. The Blackwater thing looks interesting, if just weird enough to make me hesitate a little.

Any thoughts on the guitar itself? I haven't found Fenders particularly exciting when I tried them in shops, and I don't intend to get into customizing for a good while yet. The reason I was looking at the Agile AL was because the UG threads here make it sound like an excellent Gibson copy, but it wouldn't hurt to diversify as long as I'm getting a second guitar.


IF you're going w/Digitech, I'd recoommend the RP355 over the 255. That one more button makes it much more useful. And an RP1000 would be much, much more useful.

If I were in the market, with your budget, and your situation, I'd probably just get a Line 6 HD500 and play it through the computer. Another option in a couple of months when it comes out (for much less $) is the Fender Mustang Floor: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MustangFLR/

As for guitars, if you like LP and are not ready to diversify, then the Agile you're thinking about would be a great choice. But if you do want to grow a bit, Schecter has some guitars that merge the best of Gibson with the best of Fender. They're HH and mahogany construcion. Some have bolt-on necks, others set; IMHO the bolt-ons are better. You can get them with or without trems, but if you only have one guitar, then I recommend against Floyd Rose trems unless everything you want to play is in the same tuning. Every tuning change on an FR requires a setup to remain ideal. Schecters aren't the best guitars in the world, but they have some decent offerings within your budget, if you consider the cost. Especially used. Ibanez, Jackson, and LTD also might have something that trips your trigger, too. Dean Vendettas are also possible candidates over the short term, although you better be selective as quality control on those is not consistent.

Some of the best new Fenders are the Blacktop Series. They are a great value, and have 22 frets and HH configurations (for the most part) so that might be more up your alley.

Most of the options I listed have 25.5" scales. If you like shorter scales, Mustangs and Jaguars have a 24" scale. You'd have to go with Squier to stay in your price range on those, or maybe something from the Modern Player series.
#12
If you don't want to play through computer speakers, you might want to see if you can find one of these that hasn't been sold yet:

VOX DA5. I use that with my RP355 for quiet practice, with the volume on 1 and on the .5 watt setting. Other settings are 1 watt and 5 watts. It's loud enough to be heard over drums, at close range; can be mic'd if you need it louder. Great for jamming with friends, even outdoors as it can be powered with 6 C batteries. I chose it over all the Roland Cubes and Micro Cubes, as well as all the other battery powered amps out there.

The DA5 is discontinued, and the replacement has a smaller speaker. I haven't tried it, but it's hard to imagine it having as much low end with the smaller speaker.
#13
Thanks for all the advice! (Although, of course, the more I know, the wider the net gets...)

I've liked the Line 6 stuff I've tried but I'm not so keen on playing through computer speakers. The Blackstar HT1 or Vox DA5 (if I can find it) plus Digitech RP355 could work well.

As you say I'll probably go Agile AL if LP, 2k or 3k. If I did want to diversify from LP, though, what's the consensus on hollow-body guitars? I don't know them at all, but e.g. http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ibanez-Artcore-AF75-Hollowbody-Electric-Guitar-102004884-i1150602.gc sounds fairly versatile. Do they actually sound OK unplugged, and are they a good idea generally? Or should I just go with something like the Schecter Hellraiser? I wouldn't mind going a little less rock/metal as part of my learning.
#14
I play with headphones every night so I don't disturb my room mates. I play an Epi LP 100 through a Peavey Vypyr and I love it. It's not perfect, but it does the job and sounds good.
#15
Hollowbodies have their place. Ideal for rockabilly, blues, and jazz. Not bad for hard rock (think early Rush and Arctic Monkeys).

Kinda fragile and prone to feedback, though. Feedback might be a good thing, if you're going for that on/past the edge of control sound. I get that with a slightly microphonic pup on one of my solidbodies. Don't have a hollowbody yet; don't know that I'll get one. If I did, an old Kay might be cool (but would be a horrible value), or maybe a Godin. Ibanez makes great guitars in general, but at that pricepoint you might want to replace pups. Gretsch is the king of hollowbodies, but way out of your price range, as are the Gibsons. Maybe consider Epis? If price weren't an object, then an old Fender Starcaster (not Starcaster by Fender) would be cool, too--but I have yet to see one for sale under $4K