I have been looking for a new guitar for about 6 months now and I have narrowed it down to 3 guitars. I currently own a Squier Stratocaster and I had a Fender Starcaster (bought at Target) and stripped the paint repainted it and put new pick ups in it. I like the sound of Stratocasters but I would like to explore something different.

I play mainly blues based music. Mainly Blues, Rock, Alternative. The Bands and Musicians I play the most are White Stripes/Jack White, The Black Keys, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, SRV, Pearl Jam, GNR,Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Eric Clapton, Foo Fighters, Kenny Wayne Shephard Oasis and Joe Bonnamassa.

I know that is a lot but I need something that will play everything. I was looking at Telecasters. Either a MIM or a Squier Classic Vibe Custom, an Epiphone Les Paul, or a Epiphone 335(Dot). As you can see I am keeping it under $500.

I am open to any other suggestions but please keep it under $500. I play into a Fender Frontman and have a Boss DS-1, BD-2 and a Big Muff Pi USA.
If you like Telecasters, then by all means take a look at Fender's Modern Player and Blacktop Telecasters. I believe they both sell for just under US$500.00. You might also find a higher-grade Telecaster in your budget if you go used.
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If you like Teles, look at G&L ASAT

Also you can afford a used Gibson LP studio for <$500 look here www.guitarcenter.com/usedgear
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I know you want to keep it under 500, but for a little bit more you can get a G&L legacy Stratocaster, and their mid range is the same sort of quality as most companies high end. I mean, you get a swamp ash body on their 500 dollar guitar. That is nanners.

I personally think you can't go wrong with a stratocaster type guitar, but you might check out some ibanez guitars also. With ibanez you aren't paying for the name nearly as much as you would with a fender or gibson. Also, they make a good guitar.

Above all, make sure you play the guitar and you really like the way it plays and sounds. Don't get caught up in names or badges. A good guitar is a good guitar, no matter who made it.
Just watched the Dunlop video of the Swollen Pickle and that does not even come close to the big muff. The swollen pickle is amazing so mush more versatile.
If you're interested in used gear, 1980s Japanese Stratocasters can be had for $500 or less and they're very high quality. There are also Japanese Telecasters, but in my experience they go for a bit more than $500.
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