#1
I'm thinking of getting my third guitar. My first 2 are pretty crap, a Yamaha Pacifica and a second hand beat up Vintage VRS 100. I want something that's good for price, new rather than used, has a decent locking tremolo system and a rosewood/ebony fretboard.
I've got my eye on 2 guitars, 1 from ESP, 1 from Ibanez.

An Ibanez RG370FMZ. And an ESP LTD MH-330FM-FR

My budget is £400 ($650), I can go over by a little if I really like what I see, but not by much. I really like the 2 guitars I've lined up already, but any suggestions within my price range would help, any company, but please explain your reasoning.

Pickups don't have to be godly, as I can change them in a couple of months, but they do need to be decent-ish for the price I'm paying. Not huge on looks but there are some body shapes I cannot stand.
Last edited by xtinction at Oct 24, 2013,
#2
probably an s series ibanez, unless you just get lucky. at your budget there aren't too many options (new) which have good locking trems, unfortunately.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#3
If I was to go second hand, what would you suggest? The trem doesn't need to be OFR standard, I just want something that stays in tune and can handle a bit of whammy work, not to the extent of, oh I don't know, Steve Vai bouncing his guitar by the tremolo, but just regular use. I've heard a lot of stick against ESP when it comes to guitars under a grand, especially when compared to Ibanez guitars of the same price, is this trustworthy advice?
#5
Quote by xtinction
If I was to go second hand, what would you suggest? The trem doesn't need to be OFR standard, I just want something that stays in tune and can handle a bit of whammy work, not to the extent of, oh I don't know, Steve Vai bouncing his guitar by the tremolo, but just regular use. I've heard a lot of stick against ESP when it comes to guitars under a grand, especially when compared to Ibanez guitars of the same price, is this trustworthy advice?


if you're willing to go used, a prestige ibanez rg is a good call. Trem should be OFR standard, at least on the older ones with an edge pro, edge or lo-pro edge.

japanese charvel pro mods would likely be worth a look, too. they have a korean OFR, not quite as good as a schaller-made OFR, but usable.

Quote by xtinction
I've heard a lot of stick against ESP when it comes to guitars under a grand, especially when compared to Ibanez guitars of the same price, is this trustworthy advice?


it really depends on the exact model you're looking at
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#6
Second hand RG looks good from what I can see on ebay. I'm not going to get a second hand ESP for £400 am I? Not one that would compete with a second hand RG..
#7
You never know, but at current new prices, probably not a genuine (by that i mean "made in japan", not LTD) ESP, unless you get really lucky. whereas you can get genuine japanese-made Ibanez RGs (prestige or the older ones before they were called prestige, e.g. rg550 and 570 instead of prestige 1550 and 1570 which are more or less the same thing) for around that kind of money all the time.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#8
Quote by xtinction
I've heard a lot of stick against ESP when it comes to guitars under a grand, especially when compared to Ibanez guitars of the same price, is this trustworthy advice?

I haven't played an LTD in a while, but I always thought they where meant to be a decent guitar?

That being said, I really want an Ibanez RG. It's just such a classic metal axe.
#9
I got a lovely second hand esp/ltd m400 on ebay in January this year for only £270.Only minor point was it had a pick scuff on it above the pick up but the guitar is black so its not really that noticable.
#10
I own an ESP Horizon and an Ibanez Jem 555 so here's my take. I love both but didn't buy the ESP new because it would've been a waste of money since it was in mint condition anyway. Get the idea of new out of your head. Buying a mint condition 2nd hand guitar is much better value for money in my opinion. Ibanez mainly uses basswood which is a softer wood than say mahogany, so in terms of dents etc. it will probably be more fragile. I'm referring here to a guitar that really gets worked to the bone.

Ibanez guitars aren't always lookers but they are workhorses. They are known for having lightning fast necks and I really like them. Pickups aren't always the greatest, however stock ESP pickups vs Ibanez are probably the same, quality wise. Upgrading pickups, pots etc. you'll have a fast playing guitar that also sounds good.

ESP LTD's and Ibanez are both played professionally by countless musicians so it's probably tied. The LTD's have a bit more bling and the higher range LTD's generally have better pickups than an Ibanez of the same value. A note of caution: There's nothing worse than a shitty tremelo system, goes out of tune easily, loses intonation etc. Keep that in mind when looking for a tremelo equipped guitar on a budget.

Go out and play both. At the end of the day, it's what feels best in your hands that you will settle on.
#11
The only reason I prefer new is that I get a free full setup if I order new through my local guitar store. I asked a few of the more knowledgeable guitarists on my college course and they said ESP > Ibanez any day, but that's a minority.
For some reason I really, really like ESP's, and the reviews I found of the stock pickups for £400ish Ibanez's generally seemed to be a bit worse than the reviews for stock pickups for £400ish ESP's. What are the ESP tremolo systems like compared to Ibanez's of the same price?
The 2 I mentioned at the top for example? How do the 2 systems compare?
#12
Your price range is what I consider "the gap"...
Either you get a well made guitar with garbage specs
or you get a high spec chinese guitar.

Save up for a ltd m-300
emgs, neck thru.

The ESP branded EMGs on the 330 are pretty mushy. They resemble the emg passives - emg passives are pretty bad.

If you can find any "401" guitars they are older models but korean made, they are a steal.

My honest recommendation: used LTD deluxe or ibanez prestige
Gear:
ESP LTD MH-1000
ESP EDWARDS LP-92CD
Shchecter ATX Blackjack
Fender Deluxe Stratocaster (H-S-S)
Last edited by sehnomatic at Oct 24, 2013,
#13
Hmmm, well I can replace the stock pups with real deal EMG's if need be, I would do with any guitar I get that has active's that aren't EMG's.
I don't mean to disregard your suggestion at all, just, is it really worth it to fork out an extra £150 for a 300 when the 330 has very similar specs. And I've asked around about the merits of neck-thru vs bolt-on and I've been told it's all down to personal preference (and I haven't played enough different guitars to notice the differences between the two, and develop an affinity for either one)
Is the tremolo system considerably better on the 300 then on the 330? I notice the bridge is the same, but the tuners are different. Would I be right in saying ESP tuners > LTD tuners? Is there a huge quality difference between the two?
#14
Quote by xtinction
If I was to go second hand, what would you suggest? The trem doesn't need to be OFR standard, I just want something that stays in tune and can handle a bit of whammy work, not to the extent of, oh I don't know, Steve Vai bouncing his guitar by the tremolo, but just regular use. I've heard a lot of stick against ESP when it comes to guitars under a grand, especially when compared to Ibanez guitars of the same price, is this trustworthy advice?


The problem is that these things don't get marginally better with price. There's basically "things that will stay in tune" and "things that won't". You can't just say you don't need OFR quality but something decent, because there isn't really an in between when it comes to Floyd Roses.

As mentioned, Ibanez S guitars are pretty much THE bang for buck option for good trems on a budget.

That said, the new Edge Zero II bridges on the new RGs seem to be holding up alright too. But they haven't been out long enough for us to know if they hold up or not. So you'll be taking a risk if you go that route.

The FR Special that is on all non-deluxe LTDs is not great. It's not terrible, but it's not a wise investment either - it will eventually wear out. I say this from experience (I used to own an M-200).

Quote by sehnomatic

My honest recommendation: used LTD deluxe or ibanez prestige


+311, you can EASILY get a GREAT guitar in your budget if you go used.
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 Oct 24, 2013,
#15
Quote by xtinction
Hmmm, well I can replace the stock pups with real deal EMG's if need be, I would do with any guitar I get that has active's that aren't EMG's.
I don't mean to disregard your suggestion at all, just, is it really worth it to fork out an extra £150 for a 300 when the 330 has very similar specs. And I've asked around about the merits of neck-thru vs bolt-on and I've been told it's all down to personal preference (and I haven't played enough different guitars to notice the differences between the two, and develop an affinity for either one)
Is the tremolo system considerably better on the 300 then on the 330? I notice the bridge is the same, but the tuners are different. Would I be right in saying ESP tuners > LTD tuners? Is there a huge quality difference between the two?


Owned a m300, oil/satin necks (like on the 330) feel better. If the guitar takes a massive, neck breaking, hit, a m300 goes to the dumpster while the 330 gets a new neck.

The espguitars uk site needs to get their shit together. esp tuners are ltd tuners, just a mistake. The spec pages are messed up for both the north american and uk sites,

Yup all down to preference.
Gear:
ESP LTD MH-1000
ESP EDWARDS LP-92CD
Shchecter ATX Blackjack
Fender Deluxe Stratocaster (H-S-S)
#16
Quote by xtinction
(a) I asked a few of the more knowledgeable guitarists on my college course and they said ESP > Ibanez any day, but that's a minority.

(b) What are the ESP tremolo systems like compared to Ibanez's of the same price?
The 2 I mentioned at the top for example? How do the 2 systems compare?


(a) They're talking out of their asses, then, or confusing subjective personal preference with objective fact.

You can't compare brands like that. It just doesn't work. Any massive guitar company like ESP, Ibanez and the like has a wide range of models at a wide range of price points. They know what they're doing, and they know what quality level needs to go hand-in-hand with each price point to continue to sell.

I'd rather have a high-end ESP than a low-end Ibanez, and vice-versa, in other words. Anyone with any sense would.

Now- subjective things, like the neck profile etc., might mean you may not like any of a specific company's models- but it doesn't mean they're worse guitars, just you don't like them.

(b) I'd have said the older-style Gotoh-made Ibanez trems on the high-end models (Edge, Lo-pro edge and edge pro) were the equal of a German/Schaller-made OFR.

I'm not as well up on the newer, non-gotoh ibanez trems (i.e. i've never tried them), but I'm guessing the ones on the prestiges are at least as good as the FRT-x000s on the higher-end LTDs.

The frt-x000s should be better than the floyd rose specials on the cheaper LTDs.

The big advantage of those cheaper trems on the LTDs is that they should be (don't quote me) a direct swap for a schaller OFR, if you ever decide you want an OFR down the line. The ibanez trems use their own measurements and as such are normally a bit of a pain to swap for anything else.

Quote by Offworld92
The problem is that these things don't get marginally better with price. There's basically "things that will stay in tune" and "things that won't". You can't just say you don't need OFR quality but something decent, because there isn't really an in between when it comes to Floyd Roses.


agreed. the frt-x000 is about as cheap as i'd want to go, for a half-decent floyd. it's usable, and it should be an easy swap down the line.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Oct 24, 2013,
#17
Quote by sehnomatic

If you can find any "401" guitars they are older models but korean made, they are a steal.



Pretty sure my Viper 401 is made in indonesia. I also have a Korean made fairly rare LTD M-302 and it's pretty much the best LTD I have ever laid my hands on. I don't know what neck they used but it's far thinner and wider than my Viper's thin U.
#18
How long do the special bridges take to wear out?

Well I'm glad for all the advice I've got from this, I didn't know it would be so tough and time consuming just choosing a new guitar..

The S series Ibanez guitars look a bit too thin for my liking.. So right now I'm thinking a second hand RG, or an MH-330. For second hand ESP's I'm not sure what to go for that's still within my price range, so if I do go second hand, it will likely be an RG
#19
Quick advice on effort/skill/money needed to swap a same sized trem for an OFR?
#20
the rule with ibanez rgs is basically 5xx series or higher (if it's an older one pre-prestige), so 550 or 570 or something like that, or for the newer prestiges, 15xx or higher- so 1550, 1570 or something like that.

that's a little bit of a simplification as there are sometimes other random models which are ok, but as a rough rule of thumb that should be ok, it should get you a nice japanese-made model with a good trem.

getting the serial number is a good way to know what you're getting, too, it should start with "F" and the first few digits should tell you the year (it changed a bit at one point, there should be info on exactly how to date the thing if you google it... i think the info is on ibanezrules website, but don't quote me on that).

I would also say, though, if you would prefer to go new, that's your call. I prefer new, too. And you need to be careful with Ebay and the like. Plenty of people buy used fine, but you do need to keep your wits about you, and if you think it's a scam or a low-end model described as high-end, then err on the side of caution and walk away. the other thing is, a lot of the people who say you should always go used are used to buying used, and know what to look out for. Just because they know they won't get ripped doesn't necessarily mean you won't.

^ Schaller lockmeister (far as i'm aware, it's a schaller-branded OFR) is ~£135 on thomann. you'd need to be able to solder the ground wire to the bridge. You also would need to be able to do a full setup, intonation and the like.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Oct 24, 2013,
#21
If you're willing to go used, an RG1570 or RG1550 is the end of the discussion. Get one, and be happy. They're lifetime instruments. Leagues above the mid level crap you were initially considering. An LTD anything below the 1000 line cannot compete at all.

The stock pickups on the LTD might be better but that doesn't mean anything. Pickups are super easy to change. The actual guitar is what matters.
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
#22
I know what you mean, when I bought my Vintage, I paid £150, I thought it was a bargain at the time, but then, I knew bugger all about guitars then. So I'm just conscious about being ripped off again. And, I know this is shallow and unimportant, but I really like the look and finish on the ESP MH-330.
The ability to easily replace it's trem with an OFR works for me too, I wouldn't solder and setup myself, I've never done it before and wouldn't want to risk ****ing it up, it wouldn't cost me much to get my local guitar store to do it.