Well, it's time for a new 6 string (My LTD Viper 50 sucks, the neck gives me cramps, and the hardware is just so low end), and this time it will be my first decent quality guitar. I've came up with a few options, but would like some outside input.

1. Ibanez RG920MQM: Always loved the looks of these guitars, but i'm not so sure on how comfy the premium wizard neck will be compared to the Thin-U, as even my RG8 and RG7421 are more comfy than my Thin U'd Viper 50. Decent trem, nice top.

2. Sterling by MM JP100D: Very comfy neck, great looks, decent trem, great stock pickups, etc....

3. Carvin DC600/ST300: I'm a little iffy on deciding if I want to go the Carvin route, as I haven't heard much about the stock pickups and the neck profiles. However, this would definitly have the best quality out of any of these, and Carvin has a great return policy.

I will mainly (Almost exclusively) be playing progressive metal on these guitars, with some ambient thrown in.

TLDR; Which guitar: Ibanez RG920MQM (Lowest price), Sterling JP100D (Best stock pickups?), Carvin DC600/ST300 (Best quality for the price, USA made)
Quote by Tom 1.0
Budget & location?

Around $850 or less. NC, USA.
Normally, I'd recommend the Carvin of those 3 options. They're extremely well made, and inherent quality is always a strong selling point IMHO.

However, with your budget and your concerns about neck comfort, the clear winner is the JP100D. That you like the way it looks & sounds is a bonus. Having a comfortable neck is KING: that not only relaxes the hand, but the mind as well. It should free your mind away from concerns about pain and towards perfecting techniques.
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Sep 9, 2014,
I've heard some very hit or miss things about Carvin's pickups. Personally speaking, I've never tried any Carvins before before, but I do have a friend who swears by them. Conveniently enough, he also plays progressive metal, stock pickups and all. But buying a Carvin without customizing much (unless you can stretch your budget a bit) does seem to defeat the purpose of a new Carvin.

With all that being said, I would still recommend the Carvin. You can pick the neck radius (not sure how much of an extra charge different ones might be), so you can go either relatively flat or relatively "thick" with the neck, and the build quality is always a plus. I have yet to really hear anything bad about their necks. Pickups can be swapped, so they're not much of an issue either.
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