#1
regards,

I want to start playing the guitar, I've spent many hours researching about guitar materials and technologies, but still, information I can gain from internet is very vague.

I hope you can help me pick a guitar.

I've considered the following guitars, budget around 500usd:

Ibanez S420
25.5", 24 fret
Wizard III 3pc Maple neck
Mahogany body
Rosewood fretboard w/Off-set dot inlay on 12th fret
Jumbo frets
ZR bridge w/ZPS2
INF1 (H) neck pu, INF2 (H) bridge pu

Ibanez RG470FM
25.5", 24 fret
Wizard III 3pc Maple neck
Flamed Maple top/Basswood body
Bound rosewood fretboard w/Sharktooth inlay
Jumbo frets
Edge-Zero II bridge
INF3 (H) neck pu, INF3S (S) middle pu INF4 (H) bridge pu

Even pushing to an Ibanez RG920QM, knowing RG470 lacks of ZPS and thinking it will make a diference
25.5", 24 fret
Wizard 5pc Maple/Walnut neck
Quilted Maple top/American Basswood body
Bound rosewood fretboard w/Off-set Pearl dot inlay
Jumbo frets w/Premium fret edge treatment
Edge-Zero II bridge w/ZPS3Fe
DiMarzio® IBZ neck (H) neck pu, DiMarzio® IBZ bridge (H) bridge pu

I'm aiming at lead guitarist, my favorite lead guitarists are:
Joe Satriani, Slash, EVH

My favorite songs are:
Summer Song, Crystal Planet, The Extremist, Satch Boogie
Sweet Child O' Mine, The Godfather Theme
Beat It, Panama
The Trooper, The Evil That men do

Solos I like besides the ones of my favorite songs:
The Final Countdown, Don't Stop Me Now, Rock You Like A Hurricane, Round & Round, Hot Blooded, Vampire (Xandria), Hysteria.

My main doubt is body wood: S series are mahogany, RG series are basswood, I think basswood better matches my requirements, but I also think the S420 has a better bridge and pickups at the same price point. I want to know your thoughts about this and any other suggestion/advice you want to give me (pickups, etc.).

PS. I want to pick up the guitar first and get a cheap solid state/modeling amp, and change it later along with the pickups. if you want to suggest me a budget tube amp under or around 600usd that fits my needs, your suggestion is welcome.
Last edited by VDrusus at Jun 4, 2013,
#2
The first thing you're going to hear from everybody is to make sure you buy a guitar you feel comfortable playing. If you can, go to a guitar shop and check out these guitars. Play them for a while. After that you'll mostly hear about what kind of amp/effects you have to create the sound/tone you want. Then it might come down to pickups.

I had the bottom end RG-120 and now I'm getting an S421 soon (it's the same as the S you listed just with a fixed bridge instead). I decided don't like tremolos anymore because of how difficult it could get to stay in tune day to day. But then again, I had a cheapie tremolo so it's not like I have much right to complain.

I don't know about everyone else, but I have found the type of wood on an electric guitar means very little overall in your sound. For me the level of importance goes: amp/speakers, pickups, effects. I have found the pickups are a big factor when it comes to Ibanez guitars because of what the stock pickups are like compared to aftermarket pickups. My RG-120 had the INF 3+4 humbuckers on there and I really didn't care much for the bridge pickup. I ended up putting the DiMarzio Super Distortion on there and I was in love because of how much it broadened up my tone on my RG. I plan on installing it on my S421 once I get at the end of this week.

Also, there's plenty of reviews on these guitars, especially on this site. Check them out.

Well, that's just my two cents at least.
Gear:
Ibanez RG2EX1 Gravity Storm(neck)/X2N(bridge) Drop Db
Ibanez S421 Air Norton(neck)/Super Distortion(bridge) Drop D
7th Heaven->ML-2->Dr. Boogie->Zoom G3->GE-7->NS-2->Mute
Line 6 Spider II HD150+foot pedal
Some 4x12 cab

#3
Just throwing in my $0.02 here. If you are going to get S series play one for a while. They have a very unique body shape and are really thin. Some of them are very nice instruments. But they are not a one-size-fits-all.
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#4
thank you very much for your responses.

fox killa, i would like to know your thoughts after you get your new s421.

I wanted to get a setup that wouldn't require upgrades/changes in a long period. I've read that modeling amps like fender mustangs doesn't need pedals/effects. Would a mustang I be a good amp to begin with?
Last edited by VDrusus at Jun 5, 2013,
#5
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/electric_guitars/ibanez/s420/index.html?no_takeover Review for the S420 on this site.

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/electric_guitars/ibanez/rg920qm/index.html Review of the RG920QM.

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/electric_guitars/ibanez/rg470/index.html The closest review I could find on the RG470 model. I'm not sure of the differences.

You'll probably be seeing some kind of NGD post this weekend when I get my S421. I really want an S571DXQM but that's a little bit out of my budget and the S421 was much cheaper, though it's a used guitar.
Gear:
Ibanez RG2EX1 Gravity Storm(neck)/X2N(bridge) Drop Db
Ibanez S421 Air Norton(neck)/Super Distortion(bridge) Drop D
7th Heaven->ML-2->Dr. Boogie->Zoom G3->GE-7->NS-2->Mute
Line 6 Spider II HD150+foot pedal
Some 4x12 cab

#6
The S420 will be the best bang for the buck out of the ones you have listed. One big thing, sometimes starting out with a guitar with a trem is a bad idea. Even the very good ZR on the s420 can be a PITA when you want to change tunings (old Van Halen and GnR are tuned down a half step).

As for a starting amp, and for more metal & hard rock, I'd probably look at something like the Peavey Vyper 30 (or their newer models). Great metal tones, decent effects and when paired up with the sanpera II pedal, great flexibility. The vypyr 30 is only $199.
Fleet of MiJ Ibanez
Couple of Balls
Peavey & EVH Wolfgangs
Eclipse
Fender HM Strat
Kemper KPA
5150 III 50w & cabs
#7
thank you very much guys.

darthv, do you also think body wood won't make a difference trying to get those satriani's/evh's tones or maybe slash's in the other direction? what do you think about the bridge on the rg470fm?
I've look into the new Vypyrs VIP, they say they are the evolve of the first ones.
NAMM '13 - Peavey Vypyr VIP 2
Last edited by VDrusus at Jun 5, 2013,
#8
Think the big selling points on the new Vypyrs are bass & acoustic modeling. Not really sure if they have improved on the metal tones??

With the songs/bands you've listed, no single guitar will be able to do every one perfectly. Guessing that those recordings were done from ash, alder, mahogany and basswood (and probably more than that). Not to mention different pickups and multitrack recording :P

I haven't tried out the new Edge Zero II, so I can't say how it compares with the Prestige Edge Zero in my rg3570. Or how it compares to the ZR in the s420. I'm pretty sure it's much better than often maligned Edge III :P The difference in stock pickups between the s420 and the rg470 probably isn't very large.

Do you have any local shops that you can try out those guitars? Spec comparing is one thing, but having them in hand will give you a much better idea on which fits your hands better. My 3 S series necks definitely feel slightly more narrow than my RGs. Out of the 3, I'd probably pick the RG470 if the red flame maple top looks as good as the musiciansfriend stock photo, but I already have a large number of great playing guitars and could just pick a guitar for its looks =) Also a sucker for sharktooth inlays

Another thing to think about, putting your $500 budget into a used Ibanez Prestige or older MiJ RG550/RG570 guitars. You can find some great quality guitars if you're patient. I've picked up rg1570 (mint!), rg2550e, rg2570 and rg1527 for around $500 each. Actually, my S540 was around the same price as well.
Fleet of MiJ Ibanez
Couple of Balls
Peavey & EVH Wolfgangs
Eclipse
Fender HM Strat
Kemper KPA
5150 III 50w & cabs
#9
Whatever you do, do NOT buy a guitar with a floating Floyd Rose style tremolo bridge as a first guitar.

Regardless of the maintenance and increased time it takes to change strings they're a nightmare for a beginner to learn. They're incredibly sensitive to pressure and it's very easy to send the guitar out of tune when you're trying to learn to play.

Now, the ZR an Edge Zero bridges do feature a "zero point" system that allows you to increase the pressure required to move the bridge. That will make it easier to live with thatn a conventional Floyd but I'd still recommend against it. There's no reason to get a guitar with that kind of bridge at this stage, and even though the artists you want to play like use them it'll be a year or two down the line before you're in a position to start throwing whammy tricks into your playing.

I'd honestly spend less, I know you WANT to play the guitar but you still don't know if you're going to take to it.

Spend a couple of hundred on a Yamaha Pacifica 112, a great playing guitar which isn't going to break the bank and is easy to move on if you ultimately find guitar isn't for you. If you do take to it then brilliant, and after a year or two learning you can splash out on an expensive guitar when you have a much better idea of what you like and what's going to work for you. At that point the Pacifica becomes a very capable second guitar which will be a solid backup if you ever start gigging, great for impromptu jams or just handy to have around if you want to muck around with alternative tunings or maybe getting into modding. Because one thing is absolutely certain, if you do get along with the guitar just one guitar will never be enough,

Honestly, as a beginner there's little point worrying about things like pickups and body wood. You just want a decent, playable guitar that's going to be easy to learn on.
Actually called Mark!

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#10
thank you all very much.

you all have helped me alot with my hesitation, there is no all-in-one guitar that will make me fulfill my requests... also maybe I'm better with less expensive or used guitar to learn on. I'll also think about a fixed bridge, tremolo isn't that cool xD...
#11
You've got all the time in the world to buy all the guitars you want to

It's easy to get distracted and a little overwhelmed with all the information that's out there these days. Just remember that at this stage the only thing you really need to worry about is learning to play, because there's no point having a nice guitar if its just going to sit there unplayed. Playing the guitar is probably the hardest in the first 6 months, it's probably better to not have the added pressure of an expensive guitar "oh god I can't believe I've spent $500 on this thing and I still can't play anything on it!". Personally I could play sweet FA on my guitar after 6 months and I vividly remember sitting there looking at it thinking "what possessed me to buy that???", and that was just a squire tele I bought of a mate for £70.

Body wood and pickups aren't a concern and won't be for a while, to be honest I'm flabbergasted that a beginner is even talking about swapping pickups but that's the fault of the Internet. Aftermarket pickups are really an expensive luxury, nice to have if you can afford them but far from essential and in all honesty not even worth thinking about until you yourself are in a position to start making an objective judgement on them. I've been playing 25 years and I'm happy to admit that it was probably a year before I could even reliably hear the difference between single coils and humbuckers, let alone different models of pickup. Don't get too bogged down with stuff you've read on the Internet because truth is a lot of it is just people as inexperienced as you are parroting the opinions of other people...it is indeed possible to over-research the subject.

Getting a decent modelling amp is a very sensible option though. You'll get a wide variety of tones to play with and effects to experiment with, and that's going to help immensely when it comes to buying a more expensive amp. After a year or two you'll have a pretty good idea of the sounds you prefer so you'll know what to look for.

Like I said, there's only one certainty here, and that's if you DO learn to play - your first piece of gear won't be your last
Actually called Mark!

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#12
Quote by steven seagull


It's easy to get distracted and a little overwhelmed with all the information that's out there these days. Just remember that at this stage the only thing you really need to worry about is learning to play, because there's no point having a nice guitar if its just going to sit there unplayed. Playing the guitar is probably the hardest in the first 6 months, it's probably better to not have the added pressure of an expensive guitar "oh god I can't believe I've spent $500 on this thing and I still can't play anything on it!". Personally I could play sweet FA on my guitar after 6 months and I vividly remember sitting there looking at it thinking "what possessed me to buy that???", and that was just a squire tele I bought of a mate for £70.




While I totally see your point and I agree that one shall not over-spend on his first guitar, I also wanna point out that doing the opposit is just as bad !

I bought myself as a first guitar + amp an Epiphone LP special II and a Fender Frontman 15. Both the guitar and the amp (but especially the guitar) turned out to be that awful that I could actually tell already they were bad after only 3 month of playing (fret buzz even with relatively high action, sharp bridge inducing multiple string breaks, and very muddy sound).

While you don't want to feel the pressure of an expensive instrument, I think you also want to buy yourself a guitar you're somewhat "proud to own" and that makes you want to pick it up. With my personnal experience, I almost stopped playing until I got myself an upgrade on both the guitar and my amp. So what I'm saying is: get yourself a decent intermediate instrument, which you like for it feel, sound, and preferably even looks (it'll keep you playing). For the amp, modeling seems to be the way to go indeed.

Just my two cents.
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#13
Oh I wouldn't recommend either of those pieces of gear either, i've never heard a Frontman sound anything but awful and the Specials to tend to be pretty nasty - although having said that they're still light years ahead of what people had to learn on 40 years ago.
Actually called Mark!

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#14
A friend wanted to start learning guitar earlier this year, we ended up finding a used rg321mh (plus a mg 15w amp *shudder*) for much less than most of the start packs at a music store. So he ended up with a VERY playable guitar that he can use for years. He's also a tech geek like myself, so I told him when he gets tired of the MG, just go with something like amplitutde
Fleet of MiJ Ibanez
Couple of Balls
Peavey & EVH Wolfgangs
Eclipse
Fender HM Strat
Kemper KPA
5150 III 50w & cabs
#15
Quote by trashedlostfdup
Just throwing in my $0.02 here. If you are going to get S series play one for a while. They have a very unique body shape and are really thin. Some of them are very nice instruments. But they are not a one-size-fits-all.



This,

I too think they feel very "thin". Its no doubt a unique body.
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#16
No real reason NOT to get a floating trem as first guitar. Read up on how to set it up and it's all good. Problems with floating brigdes are very exaggerated. Learn to handle one from start or you will just miss it when you want to use it. If you don't like it, it's better to know from the start and not to find out when you buy your second guitar, that will probably cost more. And you can always block it if you want.

The ZR bridge is really good and the Ibanez S-models are very versatile.