#1
--TLDR: Getting rid of a 100$ guitar because i feel i've finally earned the right to something better. How much difference will i notice with a "higher end" guitar. Will i be loving life after years of playing a kit axe or quickly grow accustom to it and not notice much difference? Thoughts? Suggestions?--


So, i'm a decent shredder who has been working really hard the last year or so and i'm starting to see the fruits of my labor. I made a commitment to stop trying to play entirely by feel and instinct, tackle some of my bad habits and take the time to learn some theory and actual scales etc.

And what do you know... I've improved. A lot.

I currently play a junk guitar by most standards. I guess it's always been a masochist sort of thing where i never felt like i deserved anything else until i improved. Which is probably mostly true.

It's an old Dean Playmate that a family member gave me years ago.It couldn't have been more than 100$ guitar. It's full sized guitar. Some of the frets on the top end are really starting to go flat. No pitting really, just no crown to speak of. It has a few spots that seem to be semi dead but i can usually get the action up to remedy a lot of it.

The crazy part. It still sounds really decent with high gain and the stock pups. And above all it never seems to need intonating or ever goes out of tune despite brutal bends, Drop C, neck trems etc. I've never once in all the years of playing had a string slip and can't even recall breaking a string.

I'm looking at a major upgrade to possibly a high end Schecter, PRS S2, or something in the 1 to 1.5k range. Can i expect it to take my playing to yet another level?
#2
Quote by drop1337
Can i expect it to take my playing to yet another level?

nope.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#4
Quote by Blackfire.
I heard this can take your playing to the next level. Let me know if it works...

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Clayton-Movie-Replica-Pick-of-Destiny-104155932-i1170482.gc


"He starts shredding licks way beyond his capabilities. Like shit it had to be coming from somewhere else. It was the Pick, it wasn't him. He didn't know what he had, though. So at the end of the show he just flicks it back into the audience. Some kid catches it. Kid named Eddie van Halen."

Seriously though a nice piece of gear will have better playability but it won't take you're playing to the next level only practice can do that. Most of the improvements will be in the quality of build and sound.
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#5
Quote by gregs1020
nope.


Not even a small level?


Quote by Blackfire.
I heard this can take your playing to the next level. Let me know if it works...

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Clayton-Movie-Replica-Pick-of-Destiny-104155932-i1170482.gc



You're the best. Saved me a ton of cash. I'm gonna go ahead and start making space on the bathroom wall for that gold record while i wait on shipping.
#6
Buying and using a new guitar won't take your playing to the next level.

If you do toy around with numerous guitars within your price range, you will notice how different they can feel. It's all about finding the one that you feel most comfortable playing. It can inspire you to play frequently than you do, but a new instrument won't make you an infinitely better player overnight.
Skip the username, call me Billy
#7
The only way a guitar will make you "play better" is if it's just better suited to your preferences (read: more comfortable). You've only been doing yourself a disservice by not getting out to stores and playing everything you can to find out what works for you.

Do not view guitars so objectively. The entire scope of playing guitar is a very very subjective thing.

Get out, play shit, find out what exactly you like in a guitar, and then after you've done that, find out what is out there with those specs and build quality at whatever price you want to pay.

In other words, DO NOT get a really expensive and expect it to be a wonderful thing. Because if the specs are all wrong (read: it doesn't feel good to your hands), then you're going to be very very underwhelmed/disappointed.

And if you go used, you can get an excellent, professional quality for under $500 if you know what to look for. It's not necessarily all about price. See my RG520 NGD.


EDIT: ^ Ninja'd in much fewer words.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

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

Ibanez RGA42E
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#8


Seriously though. A high quality axe will make you want to play more which will make you a better player. You'll enjoy playing it a lot more than your current, that's for sure.

Quote by ltdguy27
"He starts shredding licks way beyond his capabilities. Like shit it had to be coming from somewhere else. It was the Pick, it wasn't him. He didn't know what he had, though. So at the end of the show he just flicks it back into the audience. Some kid catches it. Kid named Eddie van Halen.


I can see you're a fan of the movie also...lol
[..BLACKFIRE..]
Last edited by Blackfire. at Jan 4, 2014,
#9
I'm looking at a major upgrade to possibly a high end Schecter, PRS S2, or something in the 1 to 1.5k range. Can i expect it to take my playing to yet another level?


Only YOU can take your playing to the next level.

Ideally, what you get with a higher-end guitar is better electronics & pickups (so hopefully, better sound), better parts (tuners, bridge, nut for better tuning stability), better QC/assembly, better comfort and maybe better aesthetics. But there are no guarantees of any of that- anyone can make a gem or a lemon.
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!
#10
The electronics thing is kind of a moot argument IMO. Pretty much every brand out there breaks out of OEM pups at $600. Not exactly high end.

Everybody gets good bridges and hardware at about $900.

QC and comfort are variables.
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
#11
Quote by drop1337
Not even a small level?

there is no magical power in the guitar. so no.

if you like the guitar and practice more, then yes. but that's not the guitar, it's your practice.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#12
Pretty much every brand out there breaks out of OEM pups at $600.


Not in my experience. Just looking at the 6 non-custom guitars I purchased in 2013 (none under $600), covering 5 differnt brands, the only one that didn't have OEM pickups was a Fernandes Ravelle Goldtop LE with SDs in it.

Some of those guitars' OEM pickups are good enough that I won't even be entertaining the idea of swapping them out.

(And, FWIW, several of the $600+ guitars on 2014's G.A.S. list are likewise using OEM pups.)

It really depends on the company. Some I can think of ONLY use their own, or only use non-OEMs on certain models.
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
i disagree entirely.

yes, you, the player must play. fact. however, a good instrument that is well setup can allow you to play better literally. every try to play on somebody else axe and it just doesnt feel like home?

i think that everything, weight, body style, contours, the action, the sight / plane of view from your eyes down on teh guitar, the feel, the frets, the bridge, controls, everything contribute to how well you play a guitar.

more specifically, a high end guitar has much better parts like bridges, pickups, locking tuners, is most likely made better and will sustain better, hold tube better, etc.

most of all, if the action is right you will literally be able to play better on it. a perfect fret job and setup means all your notes ring out, and the action is as good as possible. for a shredder, this means accuracy, tone and speed with ease. and yeah, you will want to play more.

but its not only about buying a nice guitar, its about knowing your preferences and picking a guitar that meets most or all of them. i just bought a custom carvin, which has about 90% of everything i want in a guitar. i picked everything on it based on years of testing other guitars and trying to pick one that removed all of my complaints. woods, fret size, fret materials, scale length, bridge options, body shape, # of frets, finish, upper fret access, construction type, etc etc all went into my decision.

________

in terms of a guitar, yes i highly recommend carvin. for about 800 you will get a DARN nice guitar, the DC series can be a more agressive style i might say. CT is good as well, but you will be paying a lot more for a carved top than for raw performance features.

for 1500, the DC series will be maxed out, top notch. would give you an incredible guitar built to your specs.

_____

if i was into some hard rock and like to "shred scales" perhaps want a versatile guitar with still like anything from pop to metal, i would DEFINITELY look into a used music man axis or silouhette. they can be obtained right around 1500 and are literally some of the best mass produced guitars made today. incredible.

over 1000 opens a lot of doors, but honestly, i think a tricked out carvin or a used music man will put to shame most other options. shame. as in, take gasoline and a lighter to a shcechter..... forget it.
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#14
Quote by ikey_


most of all, if the action is right you will literally be able to play better on it. a perfect fret job and setup means all your notes ring out, and the action is as good as possible. for a shredder, this means accuracy, tone and speed with ease. and yeah, you will want to play more.


I feel like I got 100% better when I got a guitar like this, my Squire compared to my Prestige, my playing immediately went to another level, but mostly because it was inspiring so I played much more and enjoyed it way more too.
#15
There is a difference between a bad tool- here, a cheaply made guitar- holding you back and a good tool making you better. The first is a definite possibility. The latter would be MAGIC.

in terms of a guitar, yes i highly recommend carvin. for about 800 you will get a DARN nice guitar, the DC series can be a more agressive style i might say. CT is good as well, but you will be paying a lot more for a carved top than for raw performance features.

for 1500, the DC series will be maxed out, top notch. would give you an incredible guitar built to your specs.


Carvin is an excellent suggestion.
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
Sure going from a low end guitar to a higher end guitar will make playing a little more easier on you, but it taking you to the next level without learning the fretboard more and practicing is a farce. No guitar will give you the knowledge and dexterity needed for being a better player.
[..BLACKFIRE..]
#17
Exactly, all it does is get out of the way.
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!
#18
ok. good point. good tool. not magic. but the PM says his frets are terrible.

but all this assumes that your techniques are good and are living up to the guitar. if you cant play, the best guitar wont help.

heres an example though of a good guitar wanting to make you play more:

my carvin has a birdseye maple fretboard. i did this because birdseye has always been appealing to me, and is such a rare feature. had to have it. as a guitar player, what are we staring at most of the time? the fretboard. i would gladly trade my grade AAAA flame maple top instead of my fretboard. when i play, in my periferal vision around the strings and my fingers, i can see the fretboard which is friggin awesome. and i love playing the guitar.

this all comes secondary to the fact that the guitar plays like a dream, but the icing on the cake is me getting exactly what i wanted both tonally, feel wise, and aesthetically.
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
#19
I started on a Amp starter pack and then Got a Pro Series Jackson (RR3) after 5 months of playing.

At the time it was a huge step up feel wise and I remember telling people playing it was like "Shredding on a cloud". This was because the RR3 came out the box set up a lot better than the starter. Back then I didn't know anything about setting up a guitar. The action was much lower which made playing easier. Back then it felt amazing but if I played it right now as it was set up back then I wouldn't like how it felt.

It's all relative though, if you've only drank one type of OJ how do you know if it is good or bad OJ?

As far as taking you to the next level I doubt it, there are people on youtube absolutely letting it rip with stuff like Ibanez Gios.
#20
Quote by gregs1020
there is no magical power in the guitar. so no.

if you like the guitar and practice more, then yes. but that's not the guitar, it's your practice.


hey my guitars have all been sprinkled with eye of yngwie to massively improve my shredding abilities. seriously all guitars have a magic power but it's up to you to unlock it. practice makes perfect etc. getting a new guitar can inspire you to play more and so you may improve a bit but eventually when the novelty wears off it's up to you to keep motivated. personally I found that despite wanting to be a shred king that that really wasn't my true voice on guitar no matter how much I practiced. after I started to realize what music came naturally playing wise I was a happier and more productive player.
#21
You look at those expensive $3000 guitars, then you look at Eddie Van Halen's cheaply assembled kit guitar with crapped out solder and one pup and your mind begins to wonder. Yet the bonds of prejudice aren't easily broken, and people take you more seriously if you play an expensive guitar. Even if you play like Yngwie.

I admire a man with a cheap customized guitar who gets on the stage and flattens the audience.
#22
What's important to me is how the guitar plays and sounds.

I have an Agile AL-2000 Floyd B-Stock (finish issues). Under $200 with case, shipped.

I handed it to Gary Brawer in San Francisco. He superglued the frets, put the guitar on his PLEK machine, knocked down any rough edges and gave it an amazing setup. Usual price on that is more than the guitar cost. Everything else was left absolutely stock.

That guitar will give you every bit (and in some cases, more) of the playing experience that you get from a $4K guitar (I've got a Gibson Axcess Custom for comparison).

There are all kinds of reasons to buy more expensive guitars, including aesthetics, pride of ownership, etc., but you can often get all of the playability of the very best instrument at a very low expense level.
#23
i disagree with the van halen comment.

he did exactly what i described. he built a guitar from years of tuning his preferences, and aparently no off the shelf model could give him what he wanted.

he took quality parts from companies like charvel and piece parted them together. i suppose he used an original PAF from gibson, probably something you can hardly find these days.

sure it may look wierd, but i think the completed product probably played and sounded better than any guitar on the markey at the time, ansd suited his style better. it just wasnt a very clean finished product.
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
#24
Quote by ikey_
i disagree with the van halen comment.

he did exactly what i described. he built a guitar from years of tuning his preferences, and aparently no off the shelf model could give him what he wanted.

he took quality parts from companies like charvel and piece parted them together. i suppose he used an original PAF from gibson, probably something you can hardly find these days.

sure it may look wierd, but i think the completed product probably played and sounded better than any guitar on the markey at the time, ansd suited his style better. it just wasnt a very clean finished product.


many don't seem to realize that the guitar pictured on the 1stVH album is the same axe as the red one that is being discussed. eddie beat on that guitar through many gigs and continued to experiment with it until it was in such rough shape that it had to be retired. it was made from quality parts and as mentioned an original PAF humbucker isn't exactly low end.
#25
Quote by monwobobbo
it was made from quality parts and as mentioned an original PAF humbucker isn't exactly low end.

it was in 1977.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#26
Quote by ikey_
i disagree with the van halen comment.

he did exactly what i described. he built a guitar from years of tuning his preferences, and aparently no off the shelf model could give him what he wanted.

he took quality parts from companies like charvel and piece parted them together. i suppose he used an original PAF from gibson, probably something you can hardly find these days.

sure it may look wierd, but i think the completed product probably played and sounded better than any guitar on the markey at the time, ansd suited his style better. it just wasnt a very clean finished product.


True, but from what I understand it took him awhile to get there changing parts. He did what anyone should do, just get the guitar to sound the way you want it to. It also didn't cost him very much money.
Last edited by Ampghost at Jan 6, 2014,
#27
Thanks so much, guys. You've given me much to ponder...

I guess i already knew the answer to most of my questions. It's a lot like the golf world. You have players who are hopeless with the best of gear and players who could seemingly shoot lights out with only a broomstick.

It's not really bad, per say, for a hacker to have a 2k set of clubs to learn on...Just as it's not bad for a new guitar player to start on 2k guitar... Both will benefit marginally in the long run. But it's the upper level player who will likely get the most mileage and benefit from the premium gear.