I'm a long time bass player who is getting into playing the regular 6-string guitar. I currently have a Squier bullet strat and a Jasmine by Takamine S34C acoustic. I'm pretty happy with the Jasmine, but I would like to get another electric in the intermediate range.

Budget: $300-$500

New or Used: Either

Amp: Roland Mini-Cube

Uses: rhythm in semi-acoustic coffee shop band, campfire strumming, learning rock, blues and swamp rock in the basement

Preferences: I like smaller, lighter guitars. The strat body is most comfortable and I like how they look, but I love the look of a semi-hollow. I like thinner necks in basses, but I don't know if I really have a preference in guitar neck shapes (not enough experience).

Location: Kansas City

Top choices (so far):
Ibanez AM73B
Fender Mexican Standard Strat HSS
Fender Blacktop HH

I have played all these guitars at my local Guitar Center, and like the feel of them all. The Ibanez is a smaller bodied semi-hollow that feels good, but I'm afraid I might be biased because I LOVE how it looks. It's a beautiful piece of woodwork and the satin tobacco finish is gorgeous.

I'm having trouble deciding which way to go. Should I go with the all-humbucker setup or the HSS combination? Should I really be after the semi-hollow tones? What other guitars should I be looking at?

Any advice or opinions would be appreciated.
I'd say the Mexican Strat based on quality, reliability and versatility but it seems you've already made your mind up. I can't say too much about the Ibanez as I haven't played it. But if you want rock and blues tones the best bet you have is the Strat, You wont be able to play round a campfire with it (unless you bring a portable amp) but the semi acoustic wont be loud enough either. You're much better off bringing your acoustic to that kind of thing.

You're biased because you like the guitar, if it felt like shit you'd hate it when you played it.

If you do choose the Strat I'd say go for the HSS combination.
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.

Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.

There are other guitars I could suggest in your budget, but I agree with Mephaphil: you liked the HSS Strat, and it IS a decent guitar, so buy it.
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!
Quote by Huffheinz
Top choices (so far):
Ibanez AM73B
Consider the Ibanez AM93 instead. Beautiful guitar. Another one to consider is the Epiphone 339 Pro.

Ibanez AM93

Last edited by ConcertShooter at Jan 19, 2013,