#1
As you might guess, I need one for covering certain Rage Against the Machine songs that require both a whammy bar capable of yanking the pitch up as well as down and some kind of toggle switch capability (eg, a guitar with two pickups and separate volume knobs for each). A Jazzmaster comes close to fitting the bill, but the toggling mechanism on that (the stubby black switch at the top of the body) is pretty unwieldy.

Anyone out there have any recommendations for a particular make and model of guitar that might fit the bill?
#2
Any guitar can be modded to have a killswitch very easily.

You might be better off getting a Digitech Whammy pedal and using one of your guitars.

If you don't want to do that, we're going to need way more info, because your requirements can be met by hundreds of options. The pool is way too vast to give you any good suggestions, you'll just get people throwing crap they like at you, instead of suggesting something that would be good for you.

Answer these questions here, and we'll be able to narrow down the options and find something that really works for you. https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1497696
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
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Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#3
a MIM strat would be a good candidate. The Killswitch can be wired in to replace the second tone knob without any real loss and the trem is ok with some upgrades.
Quote by BlackVoid
Every guitar and bass forum I've visited has some people chasing some magical tone that will shoot jizzing unicorns riding on a rainbow out of their amp.
#4
Thank you both. In the interest of narrowing things down:

- Budget limit of $800;
- No preference re: new and used;
- Located in Cambridge, MA;
- 22 frets ideally, though 24 would be OK as well; Strat body shape ideally; single coils ideally; rosewood neck ideally;
- Currently playing a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe with a Digitech Whammy, Vox Clyde McCoy Wah, Electro Harmonix Q-Tron, Boss DD-3 Delay Pedal.

For a few of the songs, the Digitech Whammy must be locked into a particular harmonization or pitch shift setting BEFORE the tremolo arm is manipulated, so a Whammy alone won't do, unfortunately.

Having given it a little bit more thought, I realize that an installed kill switch might not accomplish everything I'll need to do (some of the songs I'll be playing require rapid toggling between pickups whose volumes are both actually set to 10).

If I may add one more related preference, it would be that the toggle switch on the guitar is not located too close by the volume knobs (eg, the toggle switch on a Telecaster -- I've tried getting the rapid "Volume 10 - Volume 10" pickup toggling going on my Tele, but I've noticed that it's very hard to keep my toggling hand from inadvertently colliding with the volume knob and lowering the guitar's volume).

Advance thanks for any additional advice you might be able to provide!
#5
Awesome, now we're cooking.

I'm assuming you mean rosewood fretboard and not rosewood neck, right?

Do you need to change tunings with this guitar? I'm very inclined to recommend a guitar with a Floyd Rose, but that won't work if you need to change tunings.

Other than that, why not just a Strat? You can get a used MIA Strat very easily in your budget. The great thing about Strats is that they are some of the most popular guitars in the world - along with that comes flexibility. You can get a Strat pickguard routed however you want relatively easily. Or you can even drill into one yourself. Probably the easiest guitars to do mods on.

This is a great deal. Comes with a case. http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/msg/3892601820.html
Ditto. http://boston.craigslist.org/bmw/msg/3890596561.html
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
Last edited by Offworld92 at Jun 26, 2013,
#6
Great!

I do mean a rosewood fret board, though I think maple or ebony would do almost as well, too.

Unfortunately, I would need to be switching back and forth between Standard and Dropped-D tuning on the guitar -- where this is a matter of simply changing a single string's tuning by a step, would this still throw things radically out of whack with a Floyd Rose? I ask because I anticipate having a guitar-savvy friend handy at the show to whom I might be able to hand the guitar off for adjustment during the span of a song (while I momentarily switch to a different guitar).
#7
Some people claim they can do that. That has not been possible in my experience. Either the fine tuners simply do not have enough range to change a full step, or the range is so limited that if you can change a full step, you can't fine tune it any more to account for natural tension fluctuations.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#8
Fair enough. I'm curious, though, wasn't the "D-Tuna" accessory created to address this very issue? Perhaps it could be applied to the guitar you have in mind?
#9
I think the D-Tuna was created for non-recessed Floyd Roses... which don't really exist anymore, that was kind of an 80's thing. I don't think they'd fit on recessed Floyd Roses.

But yeah, their function is to drop a single string a full step.

Also I'm not sure exactly what you mean, but I don't really have anything in mind, as far as a suggestion with a Floyd Rose goes. The single coil requirement kind of threw me off there.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
Last edited by Offworld92 at Jun 26, 2013,
#10
Let's ditch the single coil requirement, then -- does doing so lead to any other viable options?
#11
The problem you're going to run in to is making anything with a floating trem go to Drop D without throwing all of the other strings out of tune. This can be resolved by either not floating the trem, or getting a Tremsetter or Tremolo-no installed and locking the bridge down, unlocking the nut (if it's a FR style system) and retuning. This is a hassle, and takes away use of the trem for Drop D songs. This leaves you two options:

1. Drop the floating trem. This makes nearly any trem equipped guitar viable, but sacrifices versatility

2. Get another floating trem guitar and leave it in Drop D.
#12
Consider these Maldens:

Karma
http://maldenguitars.com/karma.htm

Bad Karma
http://maldenguitars.com/badkarma.htm

Pros: Both have 2 volume and 2 tone controls. The BK has hotter pickups than the Karma. I know the BK has individual coil-splitting; don't know about the Karma. My BK has a nice feel with its matte finish, and it is definitely made for R&R.

Cons: the BK is a limited edition, so they could be unavailable at any time. They are slightly broader in the body than a standard LP design so they don't fit in any standard LP case- they used to come with a custom case, but that business partnership broke up (mine is in a Gretsch HSC).
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!
#13
OffWorld92 -- I realize now that I blew past your recommendations re: Strats on your second reply when I initially read it (sorry, was writing at work and was a little distracted). Thank you running those down. I guess my concern with either of those is whether it would possible to have a Strat modded (as Zenbone seemed to suggest) so that the tremolo bar call pull the pitch up as well as down? This sort of hedges on a more general question that I've also had a difficulty handling on my own (Wikipedia is uncharacteristically indecipherable on the subject, at least to my eyes): are Floyd Rose/floating vibrato systems the only ones that allow for you to pull a pitch sharp with the whammy bar?

4FunandProphet: Thank you for your reply. It's looking like number 2 might end up being the best option.
#14
Thanks for the recommendations, dannyalcatraz. Those are some fine-looking instruments, but while they nail my 2 volume knobs criterion (not too mention that the toggle switch is very conveniently located), they don't look whammy bar-ready …
#15
This is true- I was thinking in terms of all the discussion of trem blocking, etc.
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!
#16
Amusingly (to me, at least), Dean's DCR #6 Cadillac is a FR equipped guitar with the dual volume controls...but its EMG equipped.
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!
#17
If you can run down an MIA Strat with a Floyd I think it would suit you. Most that I've seen use a non recessed Floyd, but you can float it a bit if you shim the neck, and then all you would have to do is swap in an SSS pickguard rewired for dual volume control and with a kill switch added in and you would be golden. Only problem is that I don't know how far you want to pull the notes up.
#18
Great suggestion dannyalcatraz! Don't mind the EMG so much, but the price might be slightly out of the range I'm willing to spend.

4FaP: I believe that the most I would need to pull the notes up would be a full step.
#19
Yeah, unfortunately, a new one in Natural is $999 on Dean's site.

http://shop.deanguitars.com/p/dean-custom-run-6-cadi-floyd-gn-w-c/electric_cadillac-series?pp=12

And since it is a limited edition, the only way you'll find it cheaper is used. You might have better luck finding unicorns.
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!
#20
You could get a pair of Ibanez S320s or S420s, one for each tuning. I bought my S420 for a bit over $250. They're very cheap, and really they have the best value for a double locking trem guitar that I know of. You're not going to get anything nearly as good as the ZR for that price anywhere else.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#21
Thanks again, Offworld. These are some very nice-looking instruments, though it looks like I would need to have a killswitch installed (my ideal guitar would have two pickups with separate volume knobs and a three way pickup switch for toggling).

Allow me to throw this out there: I use a Polytune polyphonic tuner, which allows for VERY quick tuning. I get that Floyd Roses create tremendous headaches when it comes to tuning all strings relative to one another, but realistically, would switching between Standard and Dropped D throw the tuning on a Floyd Rose-equipped guitar so far out of whack that it couldn't be retuned in a reasonable amount of time (say, 1-2 minutes between songs, during which our vocalist could thank the other bands on the bill, plug upcoming shows, etc.) using a polyphonic tuner? I'm not asking rhetorically -- I have practically zero experience with Floyd Roses, so I don't have much sense of how capably a polyphonic tuner could assist in retuning a guitar equipped with one.

Many thanks for bearing with me.
#22
As in, unlocking the nut and tuning it that way? That won't work at all. The entire concept of the fully floating tremolo is based on balance. Changing the tension of any string at all will cause the other strings' tensions to change as well. They must maintain the balance, as per the basic laws of physics.

If you're talking about tuning with the fine tuners, all I can say is that it may be posible. In my experience, with the trems I've owned, it is not. But maybe with an OFR or an original Edge you can. I've owned an FR Special, a Lo-TRS II, an original Floyd Rose II, and a ZR.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#23
Thanks again, Offworld. Sorry if I seem obstinate on the question of retuning -- your points are well-taken (and if anything, I'm certainly learning something new from this thread).

Having given this a little more thought, I do think I can actually get away with keeping the guitar I'm looking for in Standard tuning -- I should be able to do the Dropped D songs on a Les Paul, as none seem to require a whammy bar.

With that in mind, do you have any suggestions for a FR-equipped guitar for under $800 (new or used) that has two pickups with two separate volume knobs and a three-way toggle switch? I think the description of the "Mongrel" guitar provided at the top of this link neatly sums up what I'm hoping to approximate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Morello#Guitars
#26
Off the top of my head, the LTD EC-1000FR. They go used for about $600.

http://www.espguitars.com/guitars/ltd-guitar/ec-1000fr.html

I know that's probably not exactly what you're looking for visually, I'm gonna do some more hunting.

EDIT: This looks sweet. C-1 Custom FR http://www.schecterguitars.com/Products/Guitar/C-1-Custom-FR.aspx


The problem with Strats with Floyd Roses is that to the extent of my knowledge, none of them come with good trems. All the ones I've seen come with some form of an LFR.

Granted, if you wanted, you could totally get a Strat with an FR Special, and swap it out for an OFR yourself. I'm pretty sure they're direct swaps. So that is an option if that aesthetic is what you're going for.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
Last edited by Offworld92 at Jun 27, 2013,
#27
DA - It looks like that guitar would definitely fit the bill. It appears that the official site is sold out of them, though, and I'm having trouble finding it any other trace of it online.

4FaP - I really like the look of this guitar. As far as modding it might go, my preference (if possible) would be to convert the tone knob into a volume knob, convert the pickup selector to a 3-way, and move the pickup toggle switch (or create a new one altogether?) to somewhere away from the knobs (where I'd be able to toggle happily without having to worrying about inadvertently lowering the volume). Does that sound doable? If so, does that sound like it could be a crazy-expensive operation?
#28
Everything you mentioned can be done by you if you have a soldering iron and some basic wiring skills, with the possible exception of moving the toggle switch. I'm unfamiliar with the body cavity routing on the Blacktop Strats, so I don't know what your options will be for moving the switch without some extra routing of the body. The best place I can think of putting the switch to accommodate your needs is on the lower horn, which could be accomplished with some masking tape and a router in a few minutes. The pickguard will cover the extra routing, so it won't be visible when the guitar is assembled. I can't see a luthier charging a whole lot of money for such a simple operation, but if you have to pay somebody to do all of the work I can see it adding up rather quickly.

As far as the trem goes, it's a Floyd Rose Special, which is of much better quality than your run of the mill licensed copy. Moat folks are hard pressed to tell the different between the Special and OFR functionally or tonally, though there are some that swear they can. I only have German OFR's in my herd, and couldn't tell a difference in playability between my OFR's and the Special's I've played. It will be just fine for your purposes, and is a direct swap for an OFR should your desire one.
#29
Offworld - The ESP looks like a great fit. I'm not too worried about aesthetics - something with a Strat body would be icing on the cake, but I don't consider a visual match a prerequisite. As long as I can get the guitar to do what I need it to do, I'll be happy! I think we might have a winner ...
#30
DA - It looks like that guitar would definitely fit the bill. It appears that the official site is sold out of them, though, and I'm having trouble finding it any other trace of it online.


Unfortunate...but there ARE very similar Epiphone SGs G400s out there with a similar setup. Not a FR, true, but...

And of course, as a limited edition, most of the ones I've seen that are still for sale are in olaces like Bogota.

My thought is that there should be some SG style guitar that has what you're looking for, mor or less.
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!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jun 27, 2013,
#31
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Try looking for this (or something like it):

http://www.spearguitarusa.com/2012/s100m.html


I really wouldn't suggest a Maestro type trem for any sort of tremolo tricks. AFAIK that's more like a Bigsby deal, good for vibrato, yeah? It doesn't look like the kind of thing that's designed for heavy use.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#32
4FaP - Thanks for fielding my question and elaborating. I'll pop into one of the local luthiers over the weekend and see if he can estimate how much a job like that might cost.

DA - I think an SG-style with a floating trem could definitely fit the bill -- thanks for that recommendation.

Many thanks to everyone for the thoughtful responses -- have an excellent weekend!
#33
Offworld has a point about the Maestro.
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!
#34
Gotcha. I thought that the Maestro tremolo was unique to the Spear guitar, but I see now that it appears to be the standard for SG-style guitars.
#35
Maybe you could find a hardtail you like and retrofit it with a Trem-King? (Or other vibrato system.)

http://www.tremking.com/
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!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jun 28, 2013,
#36
Another contender emerges (I was reminded of this in another thread):


Yes- certain dual-HB Teles like this 72 Deluxe are out there with the control configuration you want. While that one doesn't have a trem, there are plenty that do. And, of course, modding is always an option.
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!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jun 30, 2013,