#1
Hey all, as the title says, Im an absolute beginner...no experience with guitars really. I love the Blues and over the past couple of years, I've been slowly inspired to just get a good starter electric guitar and small amp to play around with. I'm not trying to be the next superstar :-).

I'm 47 and really don't have a budget decided yet, but cheaper would be better!

I've been reading the forum here and have seen some suggestions for guitars. I like the Epiphone Les Paul Special II LTD I saw recommended, a Yamaha etc. I guess one of my main concerns is where to go to buy one? I live in San Antonio, Texas and we are the armpit of the state. I have no problems traveling to Austin if need be to find a reputable store. I'm afraid of being ripped off as an absolute newbie

I like the fact that the Epiphone LP is around $200. Is it a quality guitar and will it hold its tuning or will I be fighting that constantly?

Also, just to increase the difficulty level, I'm fairly certain that Im a lefty. Ive picked up guitars before and it simply does not feel right to me, but if I flip it over, It feels more natural. If I cannot find a LH guitar, can I assume that they can string it 'backwards'?

Everyone always asks what to get....how about what to avoid? Thanks!

BP
Last edited by BluesPowered at Jan 4, 2014,
#2
Moved to Electric Guitar
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#3
Quote by BluesPowered
Hey all, as the title says, Im an absolute beginner...no experience with guitars really. I love the Blues and over the past couple of years, I've been slowly inspired to just get a good starter electric guitar and small amp to play around with. I'm not trying to be the next superstar :-).

I'm 47 and really don't have a budget decided yet, but cheaper would be better!

I've been reading the forum here and have seen some suggestions for guitars. I like the Epiphone Les Paul Special II LTD I saw recommended, a Yamaha etc. I guess one of my main concerns is where to go to buy one? I live in San Antonio, Texas and we are the armpit of the state. I have no problems traveling to Austin if need be to find a reputable store. I'm afraid of being ripped off as an absolute newbie

I like the fact that the Epiphone LP is around $200. Is it a quality guitar and will it hold its tuning or will I be fighting that constantly?

Also, just to increase the difficulty level, I'm fairly certain that Im a lefty. Ive picked up guitars before and it simply does not feel right to me, but if I flip it over, It feels more natural. If I cannot find a LH guitar, can I assume that they can string it 'backwards'?

Everyone always asks what to get....how about what to avoid? Thanks!

BP


Your best bet is going the the local Guitar Center and actually picking up and playing the guitars in your price range so you can get a feel for what you like.
[..BLACKFIRE..]
#4
Ah, San Antonio- the biggest small town in the USA. Lived there as a littlr tyke and as a college student.

The population there is big enough that you should be able to find a decent store. If nothing else, I know that Guitar Center is there. Austin is a gold mine of music stores, but you'd need to be experienced to find a deal worth traveling that far for.

1) you're in Texas. Therefore, you will see a LOT of Squier, Fender, Gibson, Epiphone, Ibanez, PRS, Gretsch, Shechter, Dean and BC Rich in the stores. But the brand is the least important thing about a guitar, so shop with your hands and your ears, not your eyes. There are literally hundred if not thousands of guitar makers out there, who are just as good/bad as the companies I listed.

So if the guitar doesn't feel right in your hands, don't buy it- you won't play it. Ditto if it doesn't sound right. You want comfort, nice tones, and tuning stability more than anything else. (Don't start off with a tremolo, get a fixed bridge guitar- fewer hassles.)

2) what you play through matters as much as what you play on. Plan on spending a couple hundered on either a portable digital modeler & headphones or a small modeling amp. You don't need a whole bunch of power- 15-40w for an amp is PLENTY unless you really want to scare the neighbors.

3) to avoid getting ripped off, always ask about the return policy. A good one will give you weeks, not days, to decide.

4) even though you are a newbie, don't be afraid to shop online, especially if you find a guitar you really like. If nothing else, it can give you a price comparison to help you gauge whether you're being gouged. Again, GC is a good place to look, but I also shop with Sweetwater and even the some of the guitar makers's sites themselves. Ignore MSRP, though- its just as inflated on guitars as it is on cars, if not moreso.

5) if you are a lefty, you're going to do a lot better finding stuff online. That is because there are sellers that cater to lefties. Check them out. Again, if nothing else, you'll be able to find out if a particular guitar has a left-handed version. Here are some resources that may be of use to you:
http://leftyfretz.com/
http://www.southpawguitars.com/
http://www.adirondackguitar.com/lefty/LHMenu.htm
http://www.jerrysleftyguitars.com/
http://leftyguitarsonly.com/
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jan 5, 2014,
#5
Quote by BluesPowered
Hey all, as the title says, Im an absolute beginner...no experience with guitars really. I love the Blues and over the past couple of years, I've been slowly inspired to just get a good starter electric guitar and small amp to play around with. I'm not trying to be the next superstar :-).

I'm 47 and really don't have a budget decided yet, but cheaper would be better!

I've been reading the forum here and have seen some suggestions for guitars. I like the Epiphone Les Paul Special II LTD I saw recommended, a Yamaha etc. I guess one of my main concerns is where to go to buy one? I live in San Antonio, Texas and we are the armpit of the state. I have no problems traveling to Austin if need be to find a reputable store. I'm afraid of being ripped off as an absolute newbie

I like the fact that the Epiphone LP is around $200. Is it a quality guitar and will it hold its tuning or will I be fighting that constantly?

Also, just to increase the difficulty level, I'm fairly certain that Im a lefty. Ive picked up guitars before and it simply does not feel right to me, but if I flip it over, It feels more natural. If I cannot find a LH guitar, can I assume that they can string it 'backwards'?

Everyone always asks what to get....how about what to avoid? Thanks!

BP


FWIW, my first guitar was an Epi LP Special II. It was a part of one of those starter kits. It is also the worst of the three electric guitars I own by a country mile. For $200 or under I would go with a Yamaha Pacifica 112J, or a used 112V.
#6
Yamaha Pacificas are nice starter guitars. Agiles are also highly regarded here on UG, but because they're sold mainly online, you would be best trying to find one of those that matched the specifications of a guitar you know you like. As I recall, they're not too bad on lefty pricing, either.
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!
#7
Quote by Blackfire.
Your best bet is going the the local Guitar Center and actually picking up and playing the guitars in your price range so you can get a feel for what you like.


Yep, I plan to do this when my money comes in (yay tax return!).
#8
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Yamaha Pacificas are nice starter guitars. Agiles are also highly regarded here on UG, but because they're sold mainly online, you would be best trying to find one of those that matched the specifications of a guitar you know you like. As I recall, they're not too bad on lefty pricing, either.


Thanks for the info! I was reading about the Yamahas and I just visited the Agile website. Being made in South Korea, is this a plus or a minus? I plan to visit a reputable guitar store and find what I like and then try to find it online for cheaper :-)
#9
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Ah, San Antonio- the biggest small town in the USA. Lived there as a littlr tyke and as a college student.

The population there is big enough that you should be able to find a decent store. If nothing else, I know that Guitar Center is there. Austin is a gold mine of music stores, but you'd need to be experienced to find a deal worth traveling that far for.

1) you're in Texas. Therefore, you will see a LOT of Squier, Fender, Gibson, Epiphone, Ibanez, PRS, Gretsch, Shechter, Dean and BC Rich in the stores. But the brand is the least important thing about a guitar, so shop with your hands and your ears, not your eyes. There are literally hundred if not thousands of guitar makers out there, who are just as good/bad as the companies I listed.

So if the guitar doesn't feel right in your hands, don't buy it- you won't play it. Ditto if it doesn't sound right. You want comfort, nice tones, and tuning stability more than anything else. (Don't start off with a tremolo, get a fixed bridge guitar- fewer hassles.)

2) what you play through matters as much as what you play on. Plan on spending a couple hundered on either a portable digital modeler & headphones or a small modeling amp. You don't need a whole bunch of power- 15-40w for an amp is PLENTY unless you really want to scare the neighbors.

3) to avoid getting ripped off, always ask about the return policy. A good one will give you weeks, not days, to decide.

4) even though you are a newbie, don't be afraid to shop online, especially if you find a guitar you really like. If nothing else, it can give you a price comparison to help you gauge whether you're being gouged. Again, GC is a good place to look, but I also shop with Sweetwater and even the some of the guitar makers's sites themselves. Ignore MSRP, though- its just as inflated on guitars as it is on cars, if not moreso.

5) if you are a lefty, you're going to do a lot better finding stuff online. That is because there are sellers that cater to lefties. Check them out. Again, if nothing else, you'll be able to find out if a particular guitar has a left-handed version. Here are some resources that may be of use to you:
http://leftyfretz.com/
http://www.southpawguitars.com/
http://www.adirondackguitar.com/lefty/LHMenu.htm
http://www.jerrysleftyguitars.com/
http://leftyguitarsonly.com/


Thank you so much for the resources! Ill be visiting GC or Sam Ash maybe Monday just for kicks. As far as amps go, I just want something for me to be able to hear, nothing fancy. I also plan to get a fixed bridge....less to go wrong for now. I love your suggestion to ignore brand and worry more about feel and sound....wise advice. Again, thanks for your help.
#10
Quote by BluesPowered
Thanks for the info! I was reading about the Yamahas and I just visited the Agile website. Being made in South Korea, is this a plus or a minus? I plan to visit a reputable guitar store and find what I like and then try to find it online for cheaper :-)

Most top-tier guitars are made in the USA, Canada, Japan, and Europe.

In the second tier, you'll find that South Korea is one of the major manufacturing hubs for guitar companies. Most companies have at least a few models made there, and some companies have outsourced their entire production there. Mexico is another country important at this level. Guitars made in these countries are still very well made, even professional grade.

Just down from Mexico and South Korea are a lot of other Asian nations, some of which are definitely trying to move up in the world. Indonesia is one that has several brands that are trying to prove they can hang with the big boys, quality wise, like Swing and Radix, and- just like with South Korea, some American brands are using Indonesian factories for some or all of their production, like Dean Zelinsky Private Label.

The rest of the Asian manufacturing centers- like China- are hit or miss, though.

As for finding it online for cheaper, there's nothing wrong with that. However, if you do find what you want locally, consider buying it there, even if it is slightly more expensive. You build up a relationship with a local music store, and they may just cut you some deals down the road. Especially on things like repairs, maintenance...or even scouting out deals you may not find out about otherwise.
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 Jan 5, 2014,
#11
As far as amps go, I just want something for me to be able to hear, nothing fancy.


I personally prefer tube combo amps, which means I need to buy pedals for all the funky effects I like. I think they sound better, overall.

Modeling amps and portable digital modelers, OTOH, have digital programs that let them "model" a variety of effects. Either is cheaper than going with tubes. They don't necessarily sound great, though. I have a few portable digital modelers- a Tascam GT-R1, 2 Korg Px4s and a Korg Px5- and each one has a bunch of nifty features- tuners, metronomes, etc. But each one ALSO has some models I don't care for.

And remember, you don't need a lot of power, and use your ears!
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!
#12
Here's some info on the portable digital modelers:

Boss Micro-BR 4 track
http://www.guitarcenter.com/-i1169092.gc

Boss Micro-BR 80
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BR80/

Pocket POD
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Line-6-Pocket-POD-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-104391875-i1173933.gc

Tascam GT-R1
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-GT-R1-Portable-Guitar-Bass-Recorder-105125306-i1401677.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-DR-1-GT-R1-Accessory-Kit-105020473-i1402140.gc

Korg Pandora Mini
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pandora-Mini-PXMINI-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-H70754-i1746466.gc

Korg Px4
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pandora-PX4D-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-103381554-i1124641.gc

Korg Pandora Stomp
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PandoraSTOr/

Korg Px5
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pandora-PX5D-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-104821715-i1387080.gc

Here is a visual comparison of (left to right) Tascam, my PX-5 and one of my Px4s to my old Aiwa cassette player:



Only the Tascam has decent acoustic recording capacity. All DO have features like tuners, metronomes, drum synthesizers, and digital amp & pedal modeling.

So with decent headphones, you can rock out like you were playing Texas Stadium. And yes, they are all about the size of an old Walkman.

The ones I own: the Tascam has the external mics, a phrase trainer (loop & slow down stuff for practicing), and takes SD cards. Both it and the PX5 can connect directly to your computer via a USB port. The PX4 is discontinued, but it can still be easily found. It is less powerful than the PX5, but, oddly, the PX5 does not have a belt/strap hook.

The ones I don't own: The Line6 PocketPOD is, I believe, the most popular device like this; the Boss might be the most powerful (and priciest); the Pandora Mini is the smallest (its about the size of a stack of business cards), cheapest, and least powerful.
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
Except for being a southpaw I'm in the same boat as you. 44 and decided to learn guitar. I had scanned the internet and thought about the Player Pack. After getting out to the music shops to see what was out there locally I ran across a new Charvel DC-3 I fell in love with. I know its not a great guitar but the price was right and I love the feel. Good enough to get me started. Shop sold me a $50 used 10w amp, cord, strap, tuner, gig bag and threw in some free picks. $320 out the door. Little more than I'd planned but I feel it was worth it for a guitar I really like.
Check out whats out there first. You'll probably be glad you did.
#15
Quote by dannyalcatraz


As for finding it online for cheaper, there's nothing wrong with that. However, if you do find what you want locally, consider buying it there, even if it is slightly more expensive. You build up a relationship with a local music store, and they may just cut you some deals down the road. Especially on things like repairs, maintenance...or even scouting out deals you may not find out about otherwise.


I visited a local mom and pop shop today and was pleasantly surprised. We talked for about an hour and he showed me some stuff and answered a bunch of my newbie questions. On the plus side, I pretty much made up my mind as to what I will get... Fender Squire Bullet Strat but I want the hard tail, no tremelo. For about $300 Ill get the guitar, a Peavey 20w Vyper amp, stand, elec. tuner and strap. The guy is a luthier and will set up the guitar before it leaves his shop. He played the guitar through the amp that comes with the package and it sounded really nice to me. The only downside is I have to wait a bit for my money :-( Overall, I feel pretty positive about this experience.

The one 'odd' thing though is that when I told him I was probably left handed, he explained that I need to be right handed and learn that way. I figured regardless of which hand you play, you go with what feels natural to you rather than against the 'feel'.
#16
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I personally prefer tube combo amps, which means I need to buy pedals for all the funky effects I like. I think they sound better, overall.

Modeling amps and portable digital modelers, OTOH, have digital programs that let them "model" a variety of effects. Either is cheaper than going with tubes. They don't necessarily sound great, though. I have a few portable digital modelers- a Tascam GT-R1, 2 Korg Px4s and a Korg Px5- and each one has a bunch of nifty features- tuners, metronomes, etc. But each one ALSO has some models I don't care for.

And remember, you don't need a lot of power, and use your ears!


Here is the one that comes with the 'deal' from the local shop I visited...

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/peavey-vypyr-vip-1-20w-1x8-guitar-modeling-combo-amp#productDetail
#17
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Here's some info on the portable digital modelers:


.......holy cow. I had no idea these things would do all that lol.

Only the Tascam has decent acoustic recording capacity. All DO have features like tuners, metronomes, drum synthesizers, and digital amp & pedal modeling.

So with decent headphones, you can rock out like you were playing Texas Stadium. And yes, they are all about the size of an old Walkman.

The ones I own: the Tascam has the external mics, a phrase trainer (loop & slow down stuff for practicing), and takes SD cards. Both it and the PX5 can connect directly to your computer via a USB port. The PX4 is discontinued, but it can still be easily found. It is less powerful than the PX5, but, oddly, the PX5 does not have a belt/strap hook.

The ones I don't own: The Line6 PocketPOD is, I believe, the most popular device like this; the Boss might be the most powerful (and priciest); the Pandora Mini is the smallest (its about the size of a stack of business cards), cheapest, and least powerful.


Im sure as I progress, Ill be getting into this level of equipment. I'm a computer gear head anyway and anything I can do to merge the two is something that definitely appeals to me. Thank you for your time in putting this together!
#18
Quote by BluesPowered


I've been reading the forum here and have seen some suggestions for guitars. I like the Epiphone Les Paul Special II LTD I saw recommended, a Yamaha etc.
I like the fact that the Epiphone LP is around $200. Is it a quality guitar and will it hold its tuning or will I be fighting that constantly?

Also, just to increase the difficulty level, I'm fairly certain that Im a lefty. Ive picked up guitars before and it simply does not feel right to me, but if I flip it over, It feels more natural. If I cannot find a LH guitar, can I assume that they can string it 'backwards'?


The first thing to avoid is playing lefty. Learn to play righthanded guitars and don't go flipping it over. I know I'm going to be the subject of some pile-ons by lefties, but here's the thing:

Virtually every other instrument in the known universe plays one way, and there's no designation regarding whether it's a left or right-handed instrument. This includes other string instruments, everything from double bass down to violins. Every musician learns to play an instrument correctly, including people who write and throw baseballs lefty.

It is amazingly difficult to find left-handed guitars, and usually the ones you want...aren't. Stringing a regular (right-handed) guitar backwards puts the controls in the wrong place, puts the cutaways (that allow you to get to the upper frets) in the wrong place, puts the strap buttons in the wrong place. You also need to flip the nut and the bridge saddles. It's not just a case of restringing.

Finally, there are a surprising number of guitarists who do everything else lefthanded dominant (writing, throwing, etc.), but who play righty. Neal Schon of Journey seems to have done pretty well this way, getting offers from both Eric Clapton and Santana when still a teenager. Many of them will tell you it's not only possible, but preferable.
#19
Quote by BluesPowered
Thanks for the info! I was reading about the Yamahas and I just visited the Agile website. Being made in South Korea, is this a plus or a minus? I plan to visit a reputable guitar store and find what I like and then try to find it online for cheaper :-)


South Korea is a plus, these days. Most of these guitars are at the high end of the Asian contingent, and Asian guitars own the under-$1000 market in terms of quality for the money. Gibson actually has some guitars under $1000, but I'll guarantee you they're not as good as the Asians (don't mean to start a war about this with the Gibson Aficionados).

Aside from Agile (the AL-2000 for $225 makes that $200 Epiphone look like a canoe paddle), many of the guitars in your price range are going to Chinese or Indonesian.

What you really want to decide on first is, surprisingly, looks. Les Paul, SG, strat, tele -- all have representatives in the low end. Most online stores have brick and mortar stores as well, so you're usually not going to get a MUCH better deal online unless you're buying direct from the importer or the factory (Agile, Carvin). But you want to narrow down the look you're after and then start from there.

Never buy a Gibson (or any other brand) guitar that looks like the price is just unbelievably low. There are a number of places selling Chinese copies of Gibson (and other) guitars, and these things are often marketed using photos of real Gibsons and what you get is something altogether different.
#20
Quote by BluesPowered
.......holy cow. I had no idea these things would do all that lol.


Im sure as I progress, Ill be getting into this level of equipment. I'm a computer gear head anyway and anything I can do to merge the two is something that definitely appeals to me. Thank you for your time in putting this together!


Honestly, they're a great tool for anyone at any level of play. I bought and used mine for 3 years before buying an amp, and I still use them all the time.

The fact that you can fit one in a guitar case- though you'll have to stash the headphones elsewhere, probably- makes the entire world into your practice room. I often find myself jamming away in the courtyard of my Church by the statue of St Francis, experiencing the sunset as it dips below the horizon created by the fountain. When I take the odd course at my local community college, I'll take an axe along for pre-class relaxation sessions. And when I travel? Yep yep!

Plus, as a bonus, you can use one like a cheapie MFX pedal that has been hooked to your belt or shoulder strap. Just use a guitar cable out to your amp instead of plugging in headphones.
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!
#21
Im sincerely excited at the prospects of this new world. Ive loved music all of my life but Ive never tried to really learn an instrument before...I was satisfied to listen to those that I love to hear, but over the past couple of years, Ive started feeling more of a drive to try and learn to play guitar. I will never be the next Warren Haynes or B.B. King, but I don't want to be, either. I want to be whatever I end up sounding like and if it frees my heart and touches my soul, then I have accomplished what I set out to do. Im starting this as a hobby, but I hope I have the drive and commitment to stick with it as its not easy, but I think it will give me something past the serenity and joy I get from just listening to the music I love.
#22
Congratulations and good luck on your journey. I was in pretty much the same situation as you. I started 3 years ago at 39. I've also always loved music and never knew how obsessed I'd become. Wow, it's really taken over. I'm not very good yet, but reasonable expectations make me realize I'm doing well for the time I've put in. There are so many great resources (like this site) available to you to learn and get info on gear, online lessons, etc. Reading and learning ahead of time can save you time, money and aggravation. Have a blast, I know I do.
#23
Hi Bluespowered.

I'm not that far down the road from you on my guitar journey and here's a few things I have learned from my mistakes:

A bundle deal (guitar, amp, accessories etc) is normally not worth the effort. Unless it is an indie shop putting it together for you, the components are not normally decent enough to last. I bought a bundle and within months, my amp, lead and gigbag had all failed.

I personally wouldn't recommend a Squier (it's by Fender!)* or anything really cheap. High actions, poor build quality and components are a recipe for frustration and act as real buffers to your learning.

I personally have a Yamaha Pacifica 012 and it is miles better than a lot of budget guitars I have tried. It's well put together and holds it's tuning. However, the pickups are not Alnico and it lacks some of the options of it's big brother, the Pacifica 112, so I would wholeheartedly recommend that one, as you won't outgrow it as quickly as the 012.

I use a Marshall MG15 amp and it is great. Has an overdrive channel and an input for an ipod, so that you can play along with your favourite tunes and it sounds warm and mellow.

*I am aware that there are some good guitars by Squier, but the ones around £100 ($150) are not them.
Last edited by Nemesis44UK at Jan 15, 2014,
#24
I used to live there and there are some shops that you need to check out. While the guitar center downtown is nice. I would also check out House of Guitars, at 6025 Tezel Road. Robert, the guy that owns the store is great, a real down to earth guy that won't steer you wrong. Another shop that i always checked out was Spacetone Music, great place to cruise for used gear and also a good tech to get work done. I would visit GC every now and then, but always liked to visit these guys when i could. Hope that helps.
#25
Quote by BluesPowered
Thanks for the info! I was reading about the Yamahas and I just visited the Agile website. Being made in South Korea, is this a plus or a minus? I plan to visit a reputable guitar store and find what I like and then try to find it online for cheaper :-)


I stand by the fact that my $250 Agile Les Paul sounds better than any Ephiphone. I wish I knew about it when I started so I wouldn't have bought my Les Paul Special I I.
Quote by chip46
"I'm discontinuing production on the Timmy now as well. It might come back into production at some point down the road, but probably not because people will just clone it anyway cause they're stupid jerk face doo doo heads. -Paul C."
#26
Quote by grim1
I used to live there and there are some shops that you need to check out. While the guitar center downtown is nice. I would also check out House of Guitars, at 6025 Tezel Road. Robert, the guy that owns the store is great, a real down to earth guy that won't steer you wrong. Another shop that i always checked out was Spacetone Music, great place to cruise for used gear and also a good tech to get work done. I would visit GC every now and then, but always liked to visit these guys when i could. Hope that helps.


Awesome...thanks! I went to Sam Ash yesterday and just looked around. They had a ton of guitars but very few of what I was looking to handle and try (Eipiphone SG model and Telecaster) in my pricerange. Ill definitely check out House of Guitars and Spacetone. Guitar Center has actually been the better experience for me so far. I went to Mojo Guitar Works and that was also a good experience, but he is kind of small and the only package deal they seemed to have was a Fender deal with a Squire Bullet, which after having done a bunch of reading and looking, doesnt seem like such a great deal after all.
#27
Quote by Nemesis44UK
Hi Bluespowered.

I'm not that far down the road from you on my guitar journey and here's a few things I have learned from my mistakes:

A bundle deal (guitar, amp, accessories etc) is normally not worth the effort. Unless it is an indie shop putting it together for you, the components are not normally decent enough to last. I bought a bundle and within months, my amp, lead and gigbag had all failed.

I personally wouldn't recommend a Squier (it's by Fender!)* or anything really cheap. High actions, poor build quality and components are a recipe for frustration and act as real buffers to your learning.


I totally agree with you... to be fair to the guy who proposed a Squire package to me was responding to my stated budget, which at the time was less than it is now :-)

I personally have a Yamaha Pacifica 012 and it is miles better than a lot of budget guitars I have tried. It's well put together and holds it's tuning. However, the pickups are not Alnico and it lacks some of the options of it's big brother, the Pacifica 112, so I would wholeheartedly recommend that one, as you won't outgrow it as quickly as the 012.

I use a Marshall MG15 amp and it is great. Has an overdrive channel and an input for an ipod, so that you can play along with your favourite tunes and it sounds warm and mellow.

*I am aware that there are some good guitars by Squier, but the ones around £100 ($150) are not them.


Thanks for your info! Right now, Ive pretty much given up on the Squier and any package I don't have control in putting together. Im looking really hard at the Epiphone guitars and I really liked the Vyper 1 amp from Peavey. To me, it sounded really nice. My main issue is starting to become where to buy my guitar...I can purchase it online through AmericanMusical.com and have it come out in 5 or 8 payments, which is a pretty good deal for me and it lets me have a little more room in my budget.
#28
If your a beginner buy used.. chances are that its already been set up. I would buy the best feeling used hardtail guitar center has and keep going back after your purchase and see if anything better comes in because they have a 30 day guarantee so you can trade it back within that time if you find a better feeling guitar and you probably could extend your budget within that time.
#29
Hey grim1, I went to House of Guitars today and.... its simply not there anymore even though their website is still up. Their phone is also disconnected so they didn't move.

Off I went to Spacetone and what a great little store! James and I talked for a bit and he showed me a used Epiphone LP 100 and I fell in love with it...not sure why, but it spoke to me and it sounded really nice on an inexpensive amp. I got it for $159 with a soft case and I also picked up a Fender Frontman 25R amp to go with it. It sounds really nice and clean. I had originally planned on getting a Peavey Vyper 1 modeling amp, but after looking at the Mustang 1 and comparing it to the Frontman, the Frontman quality appeared to be much better. Any effects I want to add, I can run through the 25R. The 100 was also set up just right in my opinion...and I had no trouble running through the strings and picking here and there. No buzzing or anything. The finish is ebony with creme pickguard and it looks spectacular. Not a scratch on it.