#1
Budget $750 and not a penny more.

Location Tampa FL

Some bands I like:
Sum 41
Living Colour
Ratatat
Dream Theater
The Raconteurs
Aerosmith
Metallica
etc

The amp is a Krank Chadwick 212 combo

What I (think I) want in the instrument:
Designed for relatively low action.
24 frets(not mandatory but it would be nice 22 minimum)
7 strings maybe? Not mandatory but I'm strongly considering one.

I'm not to picky as far as styling is concerned (although I don't really care for PRS stuff). The name on the headstock ultimately isn't THAT important to me. But I do really want a guitar with a low action. I played a buddy's MIM Fender strat SSS, and the action was getting uncomfortably high by the 18 fret. The instrument was assuredly setup properly as the man that owns it knows his stuff

I'm totally up for upgrading. If I can get a good looking/playing base and upgrade it to sound like a $3000 guitar for a lot less than that, I'm all in.

That being said, I don't really know where to start, but here is what I have on the board so far:

Epiphone Les Paul Tribute Plus
[forbidden link]

ESP LTD MH-417
[forbidden link]

Not much, but it's a start of the nearly infinite amount of possibilities... Any additions/input is much appreciated!
Thank you!
Last edited by JGM258 at Nov 9, 2013,
#2
The Godin Freeway SA is a well made, very flexible guitar, and an be found in your price range in the secondary market.

http://www.ebay.com/bhp/godin-freeway-sa

Godin's Velocity is more geared towards the shredders.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/Guitar-/3858/i.html?Brand=Godin&_dmpt=Guitar&_nkw=Godin+Velocity

Neither is a 7-string, though.
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 Oct 23, 2013,
#3
You should check out the Ibanez range of 7 string guitars, they are very popular and play well, with thin necks and passive pups.

If you want active pups, then check out the Schecter 7s
#4
TheSterling by music man JP70, it is a John Petrucci signature and it is seven strings, it goes around 550 bucks
#5
Ibanez RG or S models. It's the best all around guitar in my opinion, and would suit the sound for most of those bands you mentioned. You could get a used Prestige model for around 600, which is what I like. But the cheaper ones are good also.

Don't worry about the stock pickups, they aren't that bad and you can change them later if you want.
#6
Quote by JGM258
Budget $750 and not a penny more.

Amp to be used: not sure yet, I will go to guitar center, talk to a guy I know (reputable, been in the industry for 25 years) and see what I can with $500. Don't worry to much about the low budget amp, I'm finishing highshcool this year and I will take off next year to work and put money towards music gear/edu and college.

What I (think I) want in the instrument:
Designed for relatively low action.
Good resonance.
24 frets (not mandatory but it would be nice 22 minimum)
7 string, not mandatory but I'm strongly considering one.

I'm not to picky as far as styling is concerned (although I don't really care for PRS stuff). The name on the headstock ultimately isn't THAT important to me. But I do really want a guitar with a low action. I played a buddy's MIM Fender strat SSS, and the action was getting uncomfortably high by the 18 fret. The instrument was assuredly setup properly as the man that owns it knows his stuff

I'm totally up for upgrading. If I can get a good looking/playing base and upgrade it to sound like a $3000 guitar for a lot less than that, I'm all in.


1. Guitars aren't really "designed for low action." If your buddy's strat's action was too high by the 18th fret, it was most assuredly NOT set up properly. Virtually every guitar on the market, assuming that it has level frets and a straight neck, can be set up for low action. Just to define what I'm talking about when I say "low action:" Carvin, in the late 80's, guaranteed action "as low as 1/16th" at the 24th fret with no buzzing frets, and they delivered. I've handed off an under $200 B stock Agile with a cheap Floyd Rose to Gary Brawer in San Francisco. He put the thing on his PLEK machine and did a complete fret level and setup, and three years later that thing still plays with very low action.

2. "Resonance" in an unplugged electric guitar has never been satisfactorily defined and should never be used as a criterion for evaluating the guitar's projected performance electrically. I look for a guitar that doesn't have dead frets (tap the fret with a screwdriver tip, for example, and it sounds dull or has a dead thunk). I want one where the bridge and nut make very solid contact with the body. If all of that is in order, it's likely that the cork sniffers' "resonance" will be just fine, but I still will make the determination of guitar suitability plugged in.

3. 24 frets IMHO is a good thing not so much because I'm going to be using 24 frets all that often (though I do get up there), but because it often means that the guitar has been designed for better upper fret access. Don't let some idiot tell you that you "can bend up there from the 22nd fret." What you're looking for is 24 frets clear of the body. If the last six frets are buried in the body, it just doesn't make a bit of difference how many there are.

Fret access, and more importantly, *comfortable* fret access is what's most important.

For me, a stock LP doesn't have comfortable upper fret access. The first issue is the clunky neck heel in the back of the guitar. There's a 90 degree turn in the body at the 16th fret that puts that point right into your palm when you go for the higher frets, you've suddenly added the thickness of the body to the size of the neck, and that completely changes your fretting hand shape. The Gibson LP Axcess has a completely redesigned neck heel (thank you Neal Schon) that fixes that. But it's a $3K guitar. Here's mine:



Carvins, particularly their DC series, have notoriously great upper fret access, in part because they're neck-through guitars and have no neck heel to speak of (this is the back of a Carvin DC 727 seven-string, BTW):



The Carvin 7-string, however, is out of your price range (new). It is IN your price range used, but you won't find one at Guitar Denter.

The Agile AL-3200 is a neck-through Les Paul type guitar with a smooth neck heel like the Gibson Axcess and great upper fret access and stock versions are within your price range, but you won't find one at Guitar Splinter. Order only from Rondo Music dot com. Worth noting that you can get some Agile LP-type guitars with 24 frets clear of the body.



There are several Agile seven-strings (including neck-throughs) that have 24 frets and great upper fret access that are within your price range. Online orders only through Rondo.



Be very careful, however, even with guitars that seem to have otherwise good upper fret access. One of the "gotchas" can be the lower bout (fretting hand) cutaway *horn.* I have large (okay, XXL) hands. An SG lower bout cutaway horn will stab me in the side of the hand. Ditto a standard LP horn. I have to rotate my hand in order to play the upper fret notes. This is an accommodation that a lot of players make to play those guitars, but it's not a necessary one. There are nearly identical guitars with either stubby horns (Trussart, Agile, etc.) or wider horns (Gibson LS6) or shorter horns (ESP).

Look for a flatter radius. Some Fenders come with a 7.25" radius. I can't bend on the upper frets with those guitars because the strings fret out (due to the radius). A 12" radius is good, a 14" is better (and more common among Asian-sourced guitars) and a 16" tickles my fancy like crazy.

Beware of neck-heavy guitars. Sevens and eights and SGs are notorious in this regard. If you find yourself supporting the neck with the palm of your fretting hand, you'll never develop technique and playing will become a chore, and you may not even be aware of the cause. If you have a big thick strap and you find the back of your shirt being pulled up while playing, you have a neck-heavy guitar. Don't evaluate a guitar for neck-heaviness sitting down. Put it on a strap and stand up.

A guitar with a tummy (rib) cut and a forearm contour are more comfortable to play, period. Standard LPs have neither.

If you don't have a locking trem on the guitar, look carefully at the headstock. Straight-pull headstocks are far less likely to have tuning issues than a headstock like a standard LP, which is notorious for them. There ARE 3+3 headstocks that ARE straight pull. If you do buy an LP, make sure that the top of the headstock does NOT touch the bottom/back of the case. That's a recipe for the most common neck break there is. Avoid "tilted" pointy headstocks ala Jackson. They're the second most common neck break there is.

Locking tuners really don't do much for tuning issues (contrary to some opinions, sorry), but they DO make it easier to string your guitar.

IMHO (ahem on this one), while flat black guitars are a current fashion trend, they tend to look pretty tatty in short order. Greasy fingerprints are always an issue, but with time and wear, some areas on the guitar will actually gloss up a bit. Just...weird.

A cheap Gibson in your price range is not a better guitar than an expensive asian guitar in your price range. No matter what the fan boys say.

Set aside money for a PROPER initial setup by a good (ahem) tech. If you can afford it, consider getting your guitar PLEK'd (expensive). And consider having your frets superglued (if your tech has to go look up what that means, don't let him touch your guitar). You'll only have to have this done once. Consider stainless frets if they're available. They'll slow down fret wear dramatically. I much prefer ebony fretboards (they wear better than rosewood and maple can look really ...uh... "mojo-ie" after the finish wears through). If you can get REAL MOP or abalone inlays, do so. The plastic ones shrink, discolor and curl over time, real shell can last 5000 years (ask the pharoahs). Avoid nitrocellulose lacquer. Ignore the cork sniffery. It's a crap finish that exists today only due to baby boomer traditionalism, it does not "breathe" and it can actually contribute to corrosion on your guitar as it outgases nitric and sulfuric acids over time. And it happens to be toxic, carcinogenic and contributes VOC's to the atmosphere.
#7
Nice post!
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!
#9
Thanks for the enormous contribution dspellman, all of that will be kept in mind.
I honestly dislike the black look alot of the 7 strings have right know, I will try to go for another color. But if I can get a used prestige in my price range, I will.

Any more thoughts on Epiphone LP's?
Mainly these models:
Epi LP Ultra III
Epi LP Ultra pro

Thanks
Last edited by JGM258 at Oct 25, 2013,
#10
I think that you would be better off going for a higher level AL series from Agile. I have owned a couple of them over the years. They are great guitars, I think that they, spec for spec are of better quality than the epiphones. The only epi that really interests me is the one with the Gibson 57 classics in it.
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, PRS S2 Custom 24, MIA Standard Strat, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Orange TV50H 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13