#1
Hello! I know someone posted practically the same thread earlier but I do have different specs for mine. Currently I have a fender blacktop HH Strat with the stock hot vintage alnico humbucking pickups, no modifications whatsoever. Really a great guitar for the price, but I'm looking to save up and upgrade. I don't have a set budget really because I don't plan to get a new guitar for awhile actually, but I want to get an idea of an axe to reach for in the (hopefully not too far) future.

Ideally, I'd like something with:

-24 frets and a Strat style body. I really want something with good access to the higher frets, as it's harder to play up to the 22nd fret on my current Strat.
-good, vocal pickups that aren't muddy; for the bridge I'm not totally sure but I'd like something that allows me to get satch/vai/govan-esque tones (I know those aren't totally similar), nice tight rhythm tone even when I turn the volume or gain down, and something that gets good harmonics. For the neck I'd like a PAF type pickup, something chunky that retains clarity with higher gain and has a nice clean sound. I'd also really like to be able to turn down the volume on my guitar and maintain a tight chunky tone with this pickup.
-a floyd rose or floyd rose style trem. Something with plenty of range down and up that has good tuning stability. I regret not ordering the floyd rose version of my current guitar and I would definitely want one in my next guitar.

I'm not totally sure about the neck size. My current Strat has a bigger neck than normal strats because it's a two humbucker beast built for rock :P I'm not sure if it would be uncomfortable or helpful to have a super thin neck, but I'm totally open to it. I would also prefer fret inlays, without might screw with me lol.

That might sound like a $3000 guitar... But hopefully there's something sort of like this out there. Any suggestions? Thanks! Phew, that was long...
#2
Got some in mind, most under $3k. But I and other UGers can help you more if you answer these questions:

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

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

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

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

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

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).

Current Gear? - Also good for us to know.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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#3
Sounds like you need yourself a washburn n4 my friend. Hasnt got the 24 frets though but a brilliant neck joint.
#4
Here's one option:

http://www.fernandesguitars.com/revolver/764-revolver-jp-std.html

Also, Carvin, US Masters, and small luthiers like Jon Kammerer* or Rice guitars could build you a guitar to those specs starting around $1500. Going with a luthier gives you the advantage of controlling most aspects of the build- finish, colors, woods, and pickups.

http://www.carvinguitars.com/customshop/

www.usmasters.com/allmodels.htm

http://jonkammerercustoms.com/help-template_012.htm
http://jonkammerercustoms.com/help-template_003.htm

http://www.ricecustomguitars.com


* as it so happens, he's running a 30% off sale right now...
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 May 16, 2014,
#6
Yeah, I've never met an unhappy Carvin owner- and I know several- one of the reasons they're on my G.A.S. list. Those guys and gals put together some well-made, good looking axes.

The only knock I hear on them is some people- usually those seeking high-output tones- think the pickups are a little vanilla.
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
Schecter and LTD’s various superstrat guitars with set necks would work well.
#8
I'd also go with a Carvin. If the tone isn't high output enough, replace the pickups. For a guitar of that value, I'd say it's worth it.
#9
this is what i would do with $3k. http://www.suhr.com/guitars/custom-guitars-by-suhr/
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#10
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Yeah, I've never met an unhappy Carvin owner- and I know several- one of the reasons they're on my G.A.S. list. Those guys and gals put together some well-made, good looking axes.

The only knock I hear on them is some people- usually those seeking high-output tones- think the pickups are a little vanilla.


Seven Carvins here, including several from the late '80's. Their fretwork is always great, neck profiles vary but are always comfortable. I don't get the "paint with a broad brush" comments about pickups, especially given the wide variety they have. I think this is something left over from the mid-80s. They don't pander to the high-output folks; you'll have to swap to the EMGs, etc. But the 13 kohm M22SD is a properly raucous rock bridge pickup (and splits to single coil beautifully), the H22s are sublime, and the C22s are great all-rounders. The active preamp they have available is very cool if you're picking a 2-humbucker guitar. It makes far more sense than the standard LP quad.

The neck-through 24-fret superstrats are outstanding in terms of playability and build quality. I'm not a fan of the "rounded body sides" (I like the straighter body sides), since the former tend to slide off my leg when seated <G>. If you're going with a fancy top, have them hand pick it and send you photos before you okay it. They do an amazing job with woods as it is, but since you have the option of hand-picking, why not? Ebony fretboards are stock (I *love* ebony), and inlays are real MOP or abalone. Stainless frets are available.
#11
Honestly I'd look for a ibanez prestige if i were in your position..
Ibanez make awesome superstats
Guitars:
Esp Ec-1000 VB with Emg 81/60
Esp ec-1000 Snow White with SD Jb/Jazz
Esp ltd f-50
Amp:
Randall rd-20h
Randall rd112-v30
Pedals:
Digitech rp-1000
#12
^ yeah prestige ibanezes are normally pretty good value. if it does what you want for $1000, not much point in going to $3000.

I've heard good things about carvins but never seen one, let alone tried one.
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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?
#13
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Got some in mind, most under $3k. But I and other UGers can help you more if you answer these questions:


Right now my budget is hopefully I can get something under $1000, though if I need a little more dough I can keep saving up and work toward it for the future. Ideally I'm just looking for something that's a big step better than what I have now but isn't insanely expensive. Honestly with all the specs I gave I doubt under $1000 is very realistic though.

Favorite artists - van halen (basically what got me seriously into guitar), joe satriani (got me into instrumental stuff, love his ability with melody and his soul and bluesiness), steve vai (love his uniqueness and note choice), guthrie govan (got me to expand my musical vocabulary, I love his ability to be very melodic and musical while being fast and he's so versatile), Jason Becker (one of the most brilliant guitarists I've ever heard, incredible compositions and technique), buckethead (strange but an amazing musician). I tend to gravitate toward hard rock bands like GNR and I love most classic rock too.

Other influences include yngwie malmsteen (yeah he can be a jerk, but somehow he's so undeniably good I can't totally hate him) paul gilbert (big influence on my alternate picking and really cool guy too), Eric Johnson (I love his attention to detail, I'm meticulous myself, he plays so cleanly too), Stevie Ray Vaughan (favorite blues player, he's so skilled but has such great feeling too), and Andy Timmons (awesome energetic player with great clear tone). Honestly everyone influences me in one way or another though.

For pickups I gave a lot of details in my initial post (but TL;DR right? :P). I like tight vocal tone, something that sings and doesn't get mushy.
-bridge: good harmonics, not muddy but not too harsh either, I want to be able to get tight rhythm sounds, and for leads something similar to Vai/Satriani/Govan (even though they all have distinct tones)
Neck: similar to PAF, chunky tone with clarity even when I crank up the gain. I'd like to be able to roll off the volume and get still tight tone with less gain.

I'm open to different pickup configurations but I definitely want a bridge humbucker and probably a humbucker for the neck so long as it's defined and chunky.

Ill take new or used, whatever works, so long as the used isnt a destroyed piece of crap and it will last

Location - CA, United States, I'm near a guitar center (no Sam ash over here). Lol do you really need more specific? :P I guess that's just to clarify I'm not in Iceland or something.

Current gear: fender blacktop hh strat (MIM), have a squier bullet strat, mustang II amp, a delta lab overdrive and delay pedals (OD is broken and only works with gain all the way down lol, I know it's a cheap*ss pedal but those two together somehow gives me awesome tone through the mustang with the high gain channel (orange American 90s)), Dunlop crybaby classic, Digitech jam man looper, fender hot rod deluxe III amp, and an mxr superbadass distortion pedal (I'm having a hard time getting good tight tone out of this through the hot rod for some reason).


Damn, that's a long post.... Tried to answer all those questions though.

Edit: I want passive pickups, not EMGs. I'm not a death metal player or anything like that lol. Plus I want to get fairly good dynamics out of my pickups.
Last edited by evhledzep5150 at May 17, 2014,
#14
you sound like my long lost twin (from all the influences, I mean- i don't much like buckethead but all the rest are like I'd be listing my own influences )

yeah country is close enough for the location, i suppose the state helps if you're in the USA since it's so big.

I reckon HSH would be nice for what you listed there- i reckon you need the bridge, and probably the neck, humbuckers for most of that stuff, but enough guys you listed there also use strats (malmsteen, EJ and SRV) that having some access to even vaguely-strat-sounding tones would be pretty useful, IMO. Assuming you don't find the middle pickup gets in the way of your picking (some players find that, some don't).

As I said, I'd be tempted to try an ibanez prestige on the basis that they basically do what you want out of the box and are orientated towards most of what you play there. some players find the necks very thin and flat, though, so you'd want to try it first just in case you hate it (should be possible if you have a GC nearby).

don't worry about swapping the pickups until you get the guitar- the stock pickups may well be fine for what you want. and if not, if you've had the guitar for a while you'll know exactly what you want to change about them.
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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?
#15
The discontinued Godin Velocity could make you happy. NOS versions retail for around $900, and used ones in good conditions can be found for as low as $500.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Godin-Performance-Velocity-Electric-Guitar-Amber-Finish-030835-/251526387493?pt=Guitar&hash=item3a90241725
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
Does anyone have any suggestions for prestige models? Can you tell me what's unique about each one, generally the pros and cons of each? I definitely want a Strat style body btw, pretty sure there are non Strat style prestige models out there. And definitely want a trem, not hardtail.
#17
Quote by Dave_Mc
you sound like my long lost twin (from all the influences, I mean- i don't much like buckethead but all the rest are like I'd be listing my own influences )

yeah country is close enough for the location, i suppose the state helps if you're in the USA since it's so big.

I reckon HSH would be nice for what you listed there- i reckon you need the bridge, and probably the neck, humbuckers for most of that stuff, but enough guys you listed there also use strats (malmsteen, EJ and SRV) that having some access to even vaguely-strat-sounding tones would be pretty useful, IMO. Assuming you don't find the middle pickup gets in the way of your picking (some players find that, some don't).

As I said, I'd be tempted to try an ibanez prestige on the basis that they basically do what you want out of the box and are orientated towards most of what you play there. some players find the necks very thin and flat, though, so you'd want to try it first just in case you hate it (should be possible if you have a GC nearby).

don't worry about swapping the pickups until you get the guitar- the stock pickups may well be fine for what you want. and if not, if you've had the guitar for a while you'll know exactly what you want to change about them.

Hahah, high five brother

Lol buckethead intrigues me mostly, and I like his slow stuff. But yeah, these dudes inspire the hell outta me

Yeah I'd definitely like to get some Strat-esque tones, kinda why I want chunky neck pickup tone, I just like the sound of Strat neck pickup but fatter and chunkier while being defined still. The one thing about ibanezes and middle pickup combos is I notice they sound very thin sometimes. The neck and middle combo of a Strat sounds perfect to me for that kind of tone. And so far the middle pickup hasn't gotten in my way in my experience.

I definitely have been tempted to try a prestige model, I should go to GC and check them out sometime to see how they sound and feel. Hope they're as good as they're said to be. yeah, if necessary I'll just swap pups after I've bonded with it for awhile (assuming I get one).
#18
^ yeah. there could be a couple of reasons for that. next to the humbuckers (especially if you have the amp dialled in for them), the single coils will sound thin. On a strat you have the amp dialled in for the singles. also a split humbucker normally doesn't sound as good as a "real" single coil, so you also have that working against you.

if the single coil tones are really important, HSS might be a better plan, or even looking into humbuckers which use alnico magnets for polepieces rather than a bar magnet, since when split they're more like "real" single coils (e.g. duncan stag mags). I haven't tried them, though, so how close they get, I dunno. You also would have the same problem from the opposite angle- the humbucker tones probably won't sound as good.

Quote by evhledzep5150
Does anyone have any suggestions for prestige models? Can you tell me what's unique about each one, generally the pros and cons of each? I definitely want a Strat style body btw, pretty sure there are non Strat style prestige models out there. And definitely want a trem, not hardtail.


There's not a ton of difference. The more expensive ones often have mahogany bodies with maple tops; most of them have basswood bodies. Other than that the only difference is normally either cosmetics or pickups (some may have different neck profiles so that's also worth checking on the ibanez website where it lists all the neck measurements).

for example an rg1570 has a basswood body and the mediocre ibanez v-series pickups.

a 2570 has a basswood body and ibz/dimarzio pickups (pretty decent)

a 3570 has basswood body and dimarzio tone zone/true velvet/air norton pickups

a 3770 has mahogany/maple top body and same pickups as 3570.

if you don't mind basswood and are willing to swap the pickups yourself the 1570 is the best value, in other words. the rest of the guitar is normally pretty similar.
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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?
#19
Look at the ibanez RG920QMHVV,

Marco Sfogli uses one of these, and very beautiful in purple too.
#20
I'd always suggest looking at the prestiges rather than the premiums. made in japan, better trems (normally). Never actually tried a premium, maybe they're amazing, but when you can go with the proven option or the one which "might be as good"... i know which option I'm taking, assuming prices are similar.

EDIT: also i thought marco sfogli had a signature rash?
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?