#1
Hi everyone,

after relocating in Japan last March I decided to restart playing. Technically I never really stopped, but the free time was practically nonexistent during the last ten years due to study and work duties. Months passed by, during which I didn't even touch my guitar.

Anyway, things now start to look better. Unfortunately there was no room for my guitar during the relocation process so I gotta get myself a new one! Since I'm at it I might as well buy something that will help me get the tone I'm looking for as I never heard what I was looking for from any of my guitars.

My current gear (some 10000 km away at the moment):

Guitar: Bought in 2001, ESP M-III. Ash body, bolt-on neck, Maple/rosewood fingerboard, original Floyd rose, 24 XJ frets, EMG 81 on the bridge, 60 on the neck and SA in the middle (originally ESP stock pickups).
Effect: Boss GT-8
Amp: Mackie active speaker. Don't remember the model

A few days ago I managed to get my hands on a dirt cheap used GT-10 so the effect problem is solved.

Now for the guitar...

I like massive distorted sound for rhythm guitar with crunch that makes the ground tremble! Examples: Michael Romeo, Dimebag Darrell, Jeff Loomis, James Hetfield (Black album sound). I also dig more modern metalcore guitar sounds in the likes of Killswitch Engage, Devildriver etc.

For the leads i like the sweet "clean" distorted tone of Vai and Satriani and also the "fatter" sound of Romeo and Loomis.

As regards the manufacturer: Ibanez, ESP, Jackson and Dean. Being in Japan it would probably make sense to get ESP of Ibanez as they are made in here.

Shape: I am not insisting on particular body shapes but I do dig the pointy guitars! However, tone comes first!!!! If I can hear what I want, I would settle for a sparkly pink hello kitty guitar with "I SUCK" engraved all over it.

Bridge: I like messing around with the tremolo but many people claim that a fixed bridge works in favor of a thicker/fuller tone. In case that's really true, I could skip the floyd rose.

Pickups: I require HSH or HH. Here I am really confused. Surprisingly, I am not really fond of EMG's. I find their tone really "round" (dunno how to describe it better). However, everybody else says that the 81 is probably the best pickup for what I'm looking for... I never got the ultra heavy crunch from it... I could probably consider Bill Lawrence or the SD dimebucker but in various online reviews (with sound samples) I found them to be lacking mids, meaning that the crunch was indeed good but not "fat". Leads were also weak.
The seymour duncan active line looks interesting. I don't insist on active though. From passive PUPS I liked the invader and the full shred for the bridge. Duncan distortion or JB will be probably good for the neck. Also what about dimarzios?

Body wood: Alder, Mahogany or Basswood? Another confusing point. Different people suggest different things. Many also bash the basswood as cheap option, but the best rhythm tone I ever got from a guitar I played was out of a JEM7DBK (basswood) which btw has the low output Di Marzio breeds instead of the standard evos!!!

Fretboard: Rosewood or Ebony?

Neck: No preference. I like the thin Ibanez necks, and also the thicker of the several ESPs and Jacksons I have tried

Budget: $2000 for USED guitar. This should be more than enough to get me almost anything. I'm of course looking for standard models. Not custom shop, limited editions etc.

Sorry for the excessively long post but I wanted to be as specific as possible to waste the minimum of free time from the good people that will bother to reply

Please suggest some appropriate guitar models. PUPS can be changed later if necessary.
Thanks a bunch in advance guys!

PS. What about a JEM? Can this be an option for the tone I'm looking for? Really dig the JEM7BSB's looks! And I could get one in excellent condition for about $1200!
#2
Looking to buy a new guitar. Can anyone help?


We do have a 12-step program that can help cure you of the urge...
#3
You're in Japan, you should be able to get a good deal on a Japanese guitar- maybe even one not usually available over here. Check out Ibanez, ESP, Fernandes/Burny, Killer, FGN, Jersey Girl...the list goes on.
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 Sep 20, 2014,
#4
Just gonna point out a few things.

Quote by Spiritcrusher99
Bridge: I like messing around with the tremolo but many people claim that a fixed bridge works in favor of a thicker/fuller tone. In case that's really true, I could skip the floyd rose.

I wouldn't say thicker/fuller tone, but it is true that FR bridges have less sustain (not significantly less, if you get a good quality one; but less) than fixed bridges.

It's a bit of a minor tradeoff.

The seymour duncan active line looks interesting.

I've really enjoyed my Seymour Duncan actives. (You can see pics of my guitar with Blackouts on my profile, if you wish.) They have a bit more clarity than EMGs, I think. Let me know if you want to know more.

Also what about dimarzios?

DiMarzio makes some very nice "hot" pickups. I've looked into them a bit, but I don't feel comfortable with recommending a specific model.

Body wood: Alder, Mahogany or Basswood? Another confusing point. Different people suggest different things. Many also bash the basswood as cheap option, but the best rhythm tone I ever got from a guitar I played was out of a JEM7DBK (basswood) which btw has the low output Di Marzio breeds instead of the standard evos!!!

Fretboard: Rosewood or Ebony?

This is all about tone. Different woods give different tone and feel. This Guitar Player article does a good job of explaining and comparing all of that.

PS. What about a JEM? Can this be an option for the tone I'm looking for? Really dig the JEM7BSB's looks! And I could get one in excellent condition for about $1200!

JEMs are solid guitars that should satisfy most of what you're looking for.
#5
Quote by crazysam23_Atax

Just gonna point out a few things.

Thanks a bunch! Really helpful advice.
I've really enjoyed my Seymour Duncan actives. (You can see pics of my guitar with Blackouts on my profile, if you wish.) They have a bit more clarity than EMGs, I think. Let me know if you want to know more.

Yeah I'd like to know more I cannot, however, see your gear as your profile is private!
#6
For guitar, look into the Jackson RRMG Rhoads model (or the RRTMG), alder body, ebony fingerboard, etc. Only about $900 new. Or the B.C. Rich Chuck Schuldiner Stealth, only about $1000. As far as pickups go, I would recommend the DiMarzio X2N or the Seymour Duncan SH-6.
#7
Quote by Spiritcrusher99
Thanks a bunch! Really helpful advice.

Yeah I'd like to know more I cannot, however, see your gear as your profile is private!

Oh, oops. Forgot I did that. lol

Here's a the pic:

(Note that the middle pickup is a dummy.)

So, Seymour Duncan Blackouts have better noise cancelling than EMGs. (They still buzz when you're not playing, of course, because they're actives.) There's less fizzle when you are playing. I find they are versatile enough that I can play anything, from Jazz to Metal on them, just have to mess a bit with the amp's EQ & adjust distortion.

If you want something with a lot of punch, the AHB-2 is an excellent bridge pickup. Good lows and lots of mid. If you want something with more high, the AHB-1 has more highs. (I use the AHB-2 in my bridge slot & the AHB-1 in my neck slot.) You could also check out the LiveWires, which are also active; I don't have any experience with them, though.