#1
Thank you in advance for any suggestions. I have been doing a lot of research and am getting overwhelmed. I went to the Music and Arts, but they clearly marked me as clueless and work on commission. They sold me an Epiphone LP Standard. I liked the sound, but it was not really comfortable to me, more below on that. My answers are in YellowGreen too.


Budget? - What is practical for you and what is your limit?

$300 is my limit. I could go a little higher if I had to.

Favorite Artists? - Are there any guitarists whose tone that you'd like to get close to?

Today it is Eric Clapton with Cream and Randy Bachman with The Guess Who. I also love Slash Solos and anything Metallica. I also like the guitar in Dragon Force. I really like Tom Morello and Jack White too. I really like classic rock and metal(along with most of its sub-genres).

Preferences? - What body shapes, neck profiles, brands, and number of frets do you like/want?

I did not like the Les Paul Body, it felt too thick in the neck(small hands) and the body. I prefer the double cutaway types. I do not care for the V shape or the X shaped guitars. It doesn't need to be a standard Strat shape I am open to larger/longer points(not sure if this is the correct term) and such, just not anything to extreme for my first.

Pickups? - Do you want actives, passives, humbuckers, single coils? What configuration are you looking for?

HH, HSH, or HSS...I guess?

New or Used? - Lots of great guitars out there used, and a guaranteed way to get the most bang for your buck.

I would be scared to buy a used guitar, but it is not out of the question.

Location? - Where are you located? The more detail you can give us, the more we can help you. We aren't here to stalk you but we need to know where you are in the world roughly, because prices and markets fluctuate throughout the world, and we can help further if we know what city you are in to see what used gear is available near you (ie craigslist, local shops, Guitar Center used section, etc).

I am in Maryland, close to Baltimore unfortunately.

Current Gear? - Also good for us to know.

I have access to a Fender Mustang II V.2 for the time being until I can afford my own.
Last edited by Noobur at Jan 17, 2014,
#2
You might want to look at the Tagliare from Dean Zelinsky. It's a new brand from a veteran maker, made in Indonesia and shipped directly to the consumer.

http://deanzelinsky.com/collections/tagliare

The Yamaha Pacificas are also good entry-level guitars. Definitely worth a look.
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!
#3
you are making progess - you don't like the LP.
The 'big' alternative to gibsons are fenders. Try a squire strat or one of the other strat knockoffs out there.

If you buy a good instrument it will (should) sound better, play better and last longer - and have better resale value should you want to upgrade/change in the future.

Buying used need not be scary - guitar centers will take it back if you bought it there. If you don't like a used guitar you can often get your money back out of it - if you buy new and sell used you will always lose money in the deal.

Just go and play every instrument you can, into an amp like yours if you can. Play with the guitar, how does it feel, sound, etc. when you find the right one it will 'speak' to you. AKA, you'll know it when you find it.

Played a fender mustang special the other week in the store - I loved it, my son not so much. He's shopping, slowly, for a guitar. He wanted a mustang..but the special didn't do it for him. there are other models (diff pickups) that maybe he'd like better.
He wanted a LP at one point but not so sure now.
Got his sister a strat copy and thought he'd like that - SSS with tremolo vs his washburn wirh HH...but nope, he's not interested in a strat at all. Who knows what he'll end up with.
#4
Today it is Eric Clapton with Cream and Randy Bachman with The Guess Who. I also love Slash Solos and anything Metallica. I also like the guitar in Dragon Force. I really like Tom Morello and Jack White too. I really like classic rock and metal(along with most of its sub-genres).

I feel you, that's some great tone, there.

I definitely recommend a more strat or telecaster style of guitar. Ruling out Gibson is good. You may come back to them later, but it's good to know what you already don't care for. If you can do used, I highly, highly recommend Made In Japan Fender knock-offs from Tokai and Fernandes. You can also go straight for Fender MIJ. Squier MIJ strats can be had all day every day on Ebay for $300. I haven't played one, but I hear good things. You can find Tokai strats for between $300 and $450 online.

The Squier Classic Vibe and Vintage Modified series get good reviews. Haven't played, but many people prefer Classic Vibe to actual Fender guitars.

Make sure that whatever you buy, you have some idea what the neck profile will be and that you like how it feels. I got lucky and stumbled into v-necks with my MIJ guitars, but there's no point buying a modern Fender if you don't care for the neck profiles Fender is using these days.
#5
If you're a total noob then why not just go super cheap?

I'm not too far from being a total noob myself and I'm only just now starting to get an appreciation for certain aspects of guitar quality that I can remember being warned about. As a matter of fact I went looking for strats for my first guitar because of the same reasons that you don't like your epiphone, but after trying all of the used guitars I pulled down an Epiphone LP Standard on a whim and for some reason that guitar clicked with me. I bought the opposite of what I thought I was going to buy. I think I'll probably end up looking for a higher quality strat when my playing skills are good enough to warrant a higher quality guitar but I do like my Epiphone.

It took me 2 months before I figured out that there was a dead spot on the fret board, but fortunately it only took me 10 seconds of light tapping with a rubber mallet to get that settled.
4 months in and I'm only just now starting to recognize some of the limitations of my pickups and pots. They're not unusable, they just don't sound quite as good as the ones on my brother-in-laws MIA strat.

I think if I had it to do all over again I'd go straight to the guitar store and just start picking up cheap things until I found one that made me feel good. Try to spend under 200. It won't be a great guitar but you're probably not going to be able to appreciate the difference at first, and you won't really know what you like until you've been playing for a while. I think that I like the neck and fretboard of my LP but I think I'd like to have an HSS with a countoured body. I'm not sure if Fender does anything like that but I like that I'm starting to get an idea about what I like. Maybe I'll custom order a Carvin someday?
#6
Thanks for the comments all. I did try the Epi LP Standard for about two weeks and it just did not feel good to me. I returned it after the two weeks and told them I needed some time to think.

I cannot play at all, I am only decent at two chords at this time. The main things that bothered me about the LP was the neck and body. They both felt really thick to me.

I had been looking at the Ibanez GRG line, but was told to stick to hard tails because their cheap tremolos suck. I also looked at the cheap Schecters and ESPs, but I heard mixed things about their cheaper lines. I also heard that the Squire Bullet HSS sounds good, but the vintage tremolo is bad.

Is it hard to change out a tremolo later on or is it not worth the additional cost and effort? Does anyone have any experience that can relate?
#7
Also, I am not looking for a magic bullet here. Just some focus to get me looking in the right direction and to keep me from the truly bad "deals".
#8
Well, don't buy any starter packs, that's for sure!
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
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Well, don't buy any starter packs, that's for sure!


Yeah, I am all over that. Thanks for the information though.

Side note, is an Epi LP STD considered a "big necked" guitar or is it on the slim side or in between?

I went to a shop today, but all they had were a bunch of Fenders, Squires, and Epi LPs. The did have one Epi SG which felt ok, the neck was a bit slimmer than the LP. The Strats were all over the place as far as pickup configurations, but most of them had the cheap vintage tremolo, which I heard was junk. I really want to get my hands on some Ibanez, Schecter, ESP, Jackson guitars. I would love to hear folks comment on their lower end models. Thanks!
#10
Im a beginner too and one of the first things I came across is to avoid tremelos for now. If you have tuning issues, it can be a big part of the problem.
#11
Quote by BluesPowered
Im a beginner too and one of the first things I came across is to avoid tremelos for now. If you have tuning issues, it can be a big part of the problem.


Yeah I have read quite a bit about avoiding these on your first guitar unless you can afford a really nice one. Anything under $300 US with a tremolo is going to be more trouble than it is worth from what I have heard.
#12
I'd am end that: I personally wouldn't touch anything with a trem under $300 used. My gut feeling is that trems start being dependable on new guitars @$600.
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
You can easily find some fixed bridge Ibanez's on eBay (search for either "RG321", "RG421" or "S421", anything where the model number ends in "1" denotes a fixed bridge) but they will most likely be at your $300 limit. Or maybe not. Either way, I wouldn't bother with anything that has the 'Gio' label attached to it.
Gear:
Ibanez RG2EX1 Gravity Storm(neck)/X2N(bridge) Drop Db
Ibanez S421 Air Norton(neck)/Super Distortion(bridge) Drop D
7th Heaven->ML-2->Dr. Boogie->Zoom G3->GE-7->NS-2->Mute
Line 6 Spider II HD150+foot pedal
Some 4x12 cab

Last edited by FoX KiLLa at Jan 18, 2014,
#14
I noticed that today when i was shopping. I was looking at a cheap used guitar with a tremelo. It felt way too floppy. I didn't bother to tune it or test it. Picked up a mia strat to get a better idea of how they ought to be. You can really tell the difference.

Some have talked about "blocking" the trem. I understand that as putting a piece of wood in the mechanism to prevent it from moving but i could be a little off on that. If that's effective then you may still be able to look at guitars that have a cheap tremelo but i'd get input from someone who's done it first.
#15
Quote by FoX KiLLa
You can easily find some fixed bridge Ibanez's on eBay (search for either "RG321", "RG421" or "S421", anything where the model number ends in "1" denotes a fixed bridge) but they will most likely be at your $300 limit. Or maybe not. Either way, I wouldn't bother with anything that has the 'Gio' label attached to it.


Thanks for the advice I checked some out and they have a few used and new ones around me in my range.

What about the RG321 or RG421 quilted maple tops? What is the significance of the quilted maple top? Does it affect the sound or is it just for looks?
#16
Just for looks.
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!
#17
I started off playing with the RG-120 I have in my sig. I really didn't think twice about it because I got it brand new for a steal. I'll wholeheartedly admit that the tremolo on this thing is a PITA because it doesn't really keep the guitar in tune. I kept going flat on my tuning and having to tune up until I noticed that it was pulling my bridge way up. That's why I invested in my fixed bridge S series. But I think the one thing this tremolo is absolutely rubbish for is any kind of lowered tunings aside from drop D possibly. The tremolo just laid way too flat for drop C and the string felt lifeless (in my opinion). With all that said, I actually plan on using my RG-120 more (since nobody wants to offer me a respectable price on it) but just trying to use for more standard E/drop D stuff.

Quote by paul.housley.7
Some have talked about "blocking" the trem. I understand that as putting a piece of wood in the mechanism to prevent it from moving but i could be a little off on that. If that's effective then you may still be able to look at guitars that have a cheap tremelo but i'd get input from someone who's done it first.


I tried this a while ago, but not with wood. I just shoved some thick instruction manual in there that I had lying around. It helps to keep it from pulling up so much on the bridge at least. Not sure how, if at all, the tone was affected. I don't think my ears are that sensitive that kind of stuff. I plan on trying to block the tremolo again but with wood this time. I just gotta cut the pieces to the proper measurements.
Gear:
Ibanez RG2EX1 Gravity Storm(neck)/X2N(bridge) Drop Db
Ibanez S421 Air Norton(neck)/Super Distortion(bridge) Drop D
7th Heaven->ML-2->Dr. Boogie->Zoom G3->GE-7->NS-2->Mute
Line 6 Spider II HD150+foot pedal
Some 4x12 cab

#18
How about the tremolo on the ESP LTD M-100FM or M-300FM? It is called a Floyd Rose Special. Is it any good? How does it compare to the Edge-Zero II on the Ibanez RG470FM?

Also, how are the ESP LTD M-series at the lower end of the price range?

Remember I cannot play at all, except two chords, I like the feel of the Ibanez and ESP in my hands. That is about the best I can do at this point since I cannot play.

Right now I am looking at the ESP LTD M-100FM or the Ibanez RG421QM. I would also like to know any thoughts on the value of buying a higher proce range guitar for a noob like myself. Would it be worth my while to go for a an ESP LTD M-300FM or Ibanez RG470FM instead of the above two or would it better to learn to play and know myself better and save for a really good guitar and why?
#19
The Edge Zero is probably somewhat superior to the Floyd special in that it has a roller to more easily adjust spring tension. For maintenance though you might just want to put more stock in the hard tail RG for now.
#20
Since you are so new to playing in the first place I would still do everything to avoid anything with a tremolo. It just adds one more thing to have problems with and have to learn about. When you feel more comfortable and experienced, then you can figure out if you want to move on to using a tremolo.
Gear:
Ibanez RG2EX1 Gravity Storm(neck)/X2N(bridge) Drop Db
Ibanez S421 Air Norton(neck)/Super Distortion(bridge) Drop D
7th Heaven->ML-2->Dr. Boogie->Zoom G3->GE-7->NS-2->Mute
Line 6 Spider II HD150+foot pedal
Some 4x12 cab

#21
I'd probably try some form of superstrat (not necessarily Fender) with humbuckers.
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?
#22
Quote by Dave_Mc
I'd probably try some form of superstrat (not necessarily Fender) with humbuckers.


Thanks Dave. That is pretty much what I have been looking at. Do you have any opinions about the things that I have mentioned or your own thoughts?
#23
Just a word of warning that Pacificas have quite wide necks - not ideal for someone with small hands. Ibanez's have notoriously thin necks. A hardtail RG would be my suggestion so an RG321 or similar would be ideal.
Guitars & Gear:
Parker Nitefly M
Sumer Metal Driver
Ibanez RGD2120Z
AMT SS-11B
Two Notes Torpedo CAB
#24
Quote by Emperor's Child
Just a word of warning that Pacificas have quite wide necks - not ideal for someone with small hands. Ibanez's have notoriously thin necks. A hardtail RG would be my suggestion so an RG321 or similar would be ideal.


Thanks for the word of warning about the Pacifica Necks and the RG recommendation.

Nobody has had much to say about the lower end ESPs so far. Is there no love here for ESPs or are their lower end guitars not that great? IE: the ESP LTD M-100FM or the M-330R?
#25
Quote by Noobur
Thanks Dave. That is pretty much what I have been looking at. Do you have any opinions about the things that I have mentioned or your own thoughts?


Not really You could probably make a case for either HSH, HSS or HH for the tones you listed, it's really a matter of trying those different pickup layouts if you can at all to see which you prefer.

Godins can be pretty nice if you can find one, but they might be over budget. The yamaha pacifica 112v is hard to go wrong with on a limited budget, but that's not to say you can't sometimes do better if you come across a good deal.

Quote by Emperor's Child
Just a word of warning that Pacificas have quite wide necks - not ideal for someone with small hands. Ibanez's have notoriously thin necks. A hardtail RG would be my suggestion so an RG321 or similar would be ideal.


I was going to disagree with you, but I think I know what you mean. Pacificas normally have very narrow necks in terms of the nut width, but I think you mean the thickness of the neck. Whereas Ibanezes have thin necks but wider nut widths.

Gets confusing
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?
#26
Quote by Dave_Mc
I was going to disagree with you, but I think I know what you mean. Pacificas normally have very narrow necks in terms of the nut width, but I think you mean the thickness of the neck. Whereas Ibanezes have thin necks but wider nut widths.

Gets confusing
I genuinely meant width not thickness but after looking it up, the 112v has very similar specs to my current guitar so unless it's because I had an older 112, who knows? Either way, it's reasons like this that it's always a good idea to try before you buy!
Quote by Noobur
Nobody has had much to say about the lower end ESPs so far. Is there no love here for ESPs or are their lower end guitars not that great? IE: the ESP LTD M-100FM or the M-330R?
Unfortunately, I'm not very knowledgeable of ESPs.
Guitars & Gear:
Parker Nitefly M
Sumer Metal Driver
Ibanez RGD2120Z
AMT SS-11B
Two Notes Torpedo CAB
Last edited by Emperor's Child at Jan 20, 2014,
#27
Quote by Emperor's Child
I genuinely meant width not thickness but after looking it up, the 112v has very similar specs to my current guitar so unless it's because I had an older 112, who knows? Either way, it's reasons like this that it's always a good idea to try before you buy!


I have no idea Any time I've been looking at them the nut has been quite narrow, but they have been out for ages before I started looking at them so maybe the older ones did have wider necks
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?
#28
Cheap LTD's (not ESP) are nothing to write home about.
Quote by Axelfox
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#29
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Cheap LTD's (not ESP) are nothing to write home about.


How would you rate them versus the low end Ibanez RGs?
#30
Quote by Noobur
How would you rate them versus the low end Ibanez RGs?

They're quite significantly different guitars, but I just wouldn't bother buying either of them. Just save up your money and get something used. It's often a false economy to buy cheap guitars.

You did mention that you tried an Epiphone LP Standard though. That guitar is a lot better than an Ibanez GIO or an LTD 50 series imo.
Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Jan 21, 2014,
#31
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
They're quite significantly different guitars, but I just wouldn't bother buying either of them. Just save up your money and get something used. It's often a false economy to buy cheap guitars.

You did mention that you tried an Epiphone LP Standard though. That guitar is a lot better than an Ibanez GIO or an LTD 50 series imo.


Buying used scares me because I do not know what to look for. I am not experienced at all and do not have a knowledgeable friend to take along.

I was not looking that low, I was thinking about the RG421QM, LTD M-100FM, or LTD M-330R.
#32
Quote by Noobur
Right now I am looking at the ESP LTD M-100FM or the Ibanez RG421QM.


My step dad has a LTD M-155 with a FR on it. That's easily one of my favorite guitars I have ever played.

Honestly though, man, if your a noob, like has been said many times before, try out guitars. If you have the time, and are okay with being a PITA, play guitars out of your price range, and make notes in a note book of what you like/didnt like. then, when your actually buying the lower quality guitar that works with your price range, you have an idea of what to look forward to. Having something to look forward to helped me out tremendously when i first started.

I got a BC Rich Warlock, which i love, but at the same time, when i wasnt reading my "teach yourself guitar" books, i was nose deep in musicians friend or carvin magazines.

thats my advice anyway.
Gear:

Guitars:
BC Rich Warlock
Dean 88
ME682-In Progress
Amps:
Carvin SX300
Etc:
Clayton 1.0mm picks
Planet Waves cables.
#33
Quote by Noobur
I do not know what to look for.

Then why are you considering these guitars?

Why not go out and find what you want in a guitar store first, so that you know what to get before making this thread? Nobody on this thread can really help you if you don't know what you want.
Quote by Axelfox
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#34
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Then why are you considering these guitars?

Why not go out and find what you want in a guitar store first, so that you know what to get before making this thread? Nobody on this thread can really help you if you don't know what you want.


I meant as far as potential problems with a used guitar.
#35
Quote by Noobur
I meant as far as potential problems with a used guitar.

http://www.blguitar.com/lesson/beginner/buying_used_guitars.html

This guide isn't too bad. Although it points out that a guitar with corroded parts should not be bought. I disagree to an extent.

It also says that a guitar with high action and poor intonation and if the neck doesn't have the correct degree of relief, it should be taken to a tech to set up. I also disagree. You should learn how to set up your own guitar.
Quote by Axelfox
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Jan 22, 2014,