#1
Looking to buy an electric guitar suitable for the beginner/intermediate level. I can play all basic open, 7th , sus chords, and switch between them at a rate of at least 60 changes/minute. I can also play 6th and 5th string power + bar chords, but now I'm practicing switching between them fast. Just letting you know so you can gauge my level (2 months playing). I'd like to buy a guitar that I can play comfortably for at least a year before having to move on to something better (or not move on to anything new at all) (~$550 max budget). ?Also interested in Shecters but they're very hard to come by in Canada. I will go to the store and try them all out,but I was hoping you might be able to provide some insight based on your experiences. I personally prefer more metal/hard rock type music (Ac/dc, metallica, deep purple, dream theater) but also softer stuff like (RHCP, Muse).

https://www.long-mcquade.com/47679/Guitars/Electric/ESP_Guitars/LTD_Single_Cut_Electric_Guitar_-_Black.htm​

https://www.long-mcquade.com/24770/Guitars/Electric/Gibson/SGJ_2014_-_Satin_Vintage_Sunburst.htm

https://www.long-mcquade.com/1250/Guitars/Electric/Epiphone/Les_Paul_Studio_-_Ebony.htm#Reviews-tab

https://www.long-mcquade.com/20784/Guitars/Electric/Epiphone/SG_Standard_Pro_Electric_Guitar_-_Cherry.htm#Reviews-tab

https://www.long-mcquade.com/48266/Guitars/Electric/Fender_Musical_Instruments/JS32T_Kelly_Electric_Guitar_-_Satin_Black.htm#Description-tab​
#2
Of that list I'd prefer the LTD the most but that's just me.

You really need to play these and the necks are going to have a very different feel between them. The LTD and Jackson should feel pretty close.

I own all of these shapes so play them all standing and sitting - you really need to use the classical position sitting with the Kelly with that big lower horn between your legs.

The SG and Kelly tend to neck dive - my SG is an Epiphone Special from the 90's but I hear it's common amongst them all.

I'd also look used - you can get a way better deal used.

As far as sound goes, the best pickups are probably in the Epiphones - I'm not too familiar with what's in the SGJ.

You can always change the pickups at a later date though so it's not that huge of a deal if you like the rest of the guitar.

If you had a Kelly X-Series model I'd say that. Kelly's are just freaking cool :-)
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#3
Thanks man. Everyone has been telling me to get used but the issue is that since I don't know much about playing, I really would not be able to adequately evaluate if everything in the guitar is working as it should. Buying new gives me that assurance.

Quote by metalmingee
Of that list I'd prefer the LTD the most but that's just me.

You really need to play these and the necks are going to have a very different feel between them. The LTD and Jackson should feel pretty close.

I own all of these shapes so play them all standing and sitting - you really need to use the classical position sitting with the Kelly with that big lower horn between your legs.

The SG and Kelly tend to neck dive - my SG is an Epiphone Special from the 90's but I hear it's common amongst them all.

I'd also look used - you can get a way better deal used.

As far as sound goes, the best pickups are probably in the Epiphones - I'm not too familiar with what's in the SGJ.

You can always change the pickups at a later date though so it's not that huge of a deal if you like the rest of the guitar.

If you had a Kelly X-Series model I'd say that. Kelly's are just freaking cool :-)
#4
I agree with metalmengee. LTD is probably your best bang for buck. There is a VERY different feel to these different bodies and necks. The Epi's and Gibsons in General have a fatter neck than Jackson or LTD. The Kelly is actually quite comfortable standing or sitting but the JS line is very entry level in terms of quality. I would get a used LTD EC1000 or Kelly X or MG series for that price.
P.S. I'm totally biased toward Jackson/Charvel as I own 3 already.
Also, check out fernandes.com I know it's hard to buy without playing but I recently got a Ravelle Shin Demon and it's one the best made most versitile guitars I've ever had. The Vertigo is very similar to the Kelly.
#5
Quote by thsc
Thanks man. Everyone has been telling me to get used but the issue is that since I don't know much about playing, I really would not be able to adequately evaluate if everything in the guitar is working as it should. Buying new gives me that assurance.


I can appreciate that. If you can buy from Guitar Center used online in Canada that's a great option. At least in the USA they offer a 30-day no questions asked return policy so you're protected from getting a lemon.

With any guitar - new or used - I highly recommend you get it setup by a respected local professional. If you can find an old guy at a local shop that's probably who you're looking for. If they obviously look jacked up or shake a lot keep looking. . . . Finding someone like this is way harder than you would imagine. Guitar Center techs are really hit or miss.

So if you can combine used with a return policy with a setup then that may easy your mind and wallet a bit - or get you a much better guitar for the same price.

Regardless start looking for a good tech ASAP until you learn to do it yourself.

What kind of amp are you considering?
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#6
Quote by metalmingee
I can appreciate that. If you can buy from Guitar Center used online in Canada that's a great option. At least in the USA they offer a 30-day no questions asked return policy so you're protected from getting a lemon.

With any guitar - new or used - I highly recommend you get it setup by a respected local professional. If you can find an old guy at a local shop that's probably who you're looking for. If they obviously look jacked up or shake a lot keep looking. . . . Finding someone like this is way harder than you would imagine. Guitar Center techs are really hit or miss.

So if you can combine used with a return policy with a setup then that may easy your mind and wallet a bit - or get you a much better guitar for the same price.

Regardless start looking for a good tech ASAP until you learn to do it yourself.

What kind of amp are you considering?


The setup is the other question I had. What exactly goes into the setup process? I can probably get one of my experienced guitar friends to do it, so that shouldn't be too much of an issue. With respect to guitar center, how exactly does it work? They collect and sell used guitars? Finally, the amp that I use is a FEnder Mustang 1. I got it used for only $65, so I plan to stick to it for another 6 months or so before considering anything substantial.
#7
Quote by thsc
The setup is the other question I had. What exactly goes into the setup process? I can probably get one of my experienced guitar friends to do it, so that shouldn't be too much of an issue. With respect to guitar center, how exactly does it work? They collect and sell used guitars? Finally, the amp that I use is a FEnder Mustang 1. I got it used for only $65, so I plan to stick to it for another 6 months or so before considering anything substantial.


There are some great stickies on this forum and really all over the internet to help you with setups. It's basically pick your tuning, pick your strings (gauge - I recommend 9's for starters), set the neck relief (curvature of the neck adjusted via the truss rod), set the action/bridge, set the intonation, and adjust the pickup height.

Lot's of folks are really intimidated by the truss rod since you can actually RUIN your guitar if you're careless.

If you do buy used, have your experienced friends check it over for you. They'll spot anything obvious right away. It's not about shredding it up, it's about making sure all of the electronics, tuners, pickups and switches work. Also that every note rings loud and clear at every fret. Checking for a guitar in good shape is very unmusical! If they just play something fast to impress you and say its' fine they're being very ignorant.

When I look at a guitar (new or used) the first thing I do is put the headstock on my ear and pluck the strings. If it doesn't resonate then pass on it.

Guitar Center is a great place for used gear - the used section is HUGE and the prices are typically very good. I understand selling to Guitar Center sucks for you but that's how they keep the prices so low reselling.

Stick with the Mustang for a while. I'm not sure how well it will pull of Metallica or if you're talking about Pre or Post Cliff Burton Metallica. . . . Modelers like that are great for beginners. When or if you outgrow it just do some research and create a new thread if you can't find what you're looking for. A Line6 POD into the front of a modeler is always an option to change things up if you don't want to swap the modeler completely.
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#8
Quote by metalmingee
There are some great stickies on this forum and really all over the internet to help you with setups. It's basically pick your tuning, pick your strings (gauge - I recommend 9's for starters), set the neck relief (curvature of the neck adjusted via the truss rod), set the action/bridge, set the intonation, and adjust the pickup height.

Lot's of folks are really intimidated by the truss rod since you can actually RUIN your guitar if you're careless.

If you do buy used, have your experienced friends check it over for you. They'll spot anything obvious right away. It's not about shredding it up, it's about making sure all of the electronics, tuners, pickups and switches work. Also that every note rings loud and clear at every fret. Checking for a guitar in good shape is very unmusical! If they just play something fast to impress you and say its' fine they're being very ignorant.

When I look at a guitar (new or used) the first thing I do is put the headstock on my ear and pluck the strings. If it doesn't resonate then pass on it.

Guitar Center is a great place for used gear - the used section is HUGE and the prices are typically very good. I understand selling to Guitar Center sucks for you but that's how they keep the prices so low reselling.

Stick with the Mustang for a while. I'm not sure how well it will pull of Metallica or if you're talking about Pre or Post Cliff Burton Metallica. . . . Modelers like that are great for beginners. When or if you outgrow it just do some research and create a new thread if you can't find what you're looking for. A Line6 POD into the front of a modeler is always an option to change things up if you don't want to swap the modeler completely.


I looked at guitar center but it doesn't look like there's an option to buy the used guitars online. It looks like I'd have to go to that specific store. If I do buy used, I was thinking of getting a schecter omen6 or hellraiser OR PRS SE under $500. What do you think would be the best bet?
#9
Quote by thsc
I looked at guitar center but it doesn't look like there's an option to buy the used guitars online. It looks like I'd have to go to that specific store. If I do buy used, I was thinking of getting a schecter omen6 or hellraiser OR PRS SE under $500. What do you think would be the best bet?

The PRS.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#10
GC does sell used stuff online, and it is covered by the same return policy. However, the selection may be different. I see that all the time- stuff sold online is a separate pool. Prymaxe does this, 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!
#11
I have purchased several used guitars from Guitar Center, kept them for a few weeks and returned them, its a pretty good way to test drive.

One of them, a 30th Anniversary Dean V, I bought used online and it came clear across the country it was in great shape but a week later I found a Jackson RR3 in mint condition with the original hard shell case at the GC across town.

Needless to say I was able to swap the Dean for the Jackson with no questions asked, and the Jackson did not get returned!

Jackson Rhoads RR3 Eerie Dess Swirl Seymour Duncan JB/JM



Guitar Center is a great place to buy used guitars, even online with 30 days to chicken out if you have buyers remorse, you can even buy one when you are out of town, take it home, then return it to your local GC!

By the way I'd get the Jackson, but then again I am partial to them!
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
- Bill Lawrence

Come and be with me
Live my twisted dream
Pro devoted pledge
Time for primal concrete sledge

Last edited by Evilnine at Dec 11, 2014,
#12
Would someone be kind enough to list the things that I should systematically check in a used guitar to make sure everything is up to par and I'm not getting a lemon? I'd be extremely grateful if you could be as detailed as possible.

Btw, I also don't see anything in the used section here: http://www.guitarcenter.com/Guitar,Used-Gear.gc
Last edited by thsc at Dec 11, 2014,
#13
The first thing I do is give the neck a good onceover, if it has a twist when you look down it just put it back on the rack and back away slowly

However if the action is a bit high because the neck has too much relief that is an easy fix with a quick tweek of the truss rod, conversely if the neck is too flat (not enough relief) the same fix applies. If it looks like you could shoot an arrow with it just walk away!

Check the frets for wear, some light wear is to be expected but stay away from noticeable groves which will normally appear on the frets near the headstock esp. on the big strings.

Look for cracks near where the neck and headstock join (front and back) which could be a sign of a repaired break or a break that is yet to come also where the neck joint on the body is. minor cracks in the paint on the body here are common just use your judgment.

Make sure the tuning machines feel good not too tight or really loose they should feel like they have precision to them and turn smoothly, also look for cracks across the headstock, (front and back) at the tuners which could be another sign of a repaired break.

Check the electronics make sure the pickup selector switch does not feel sketchy and the volume and tone controls feel solid and not too hard or too easy to turn they should feel nice and smooth, then plug into an amp and systematically test all the controls to be sure they are working and the pickups are working as they should. If the volume and tone controls sound a bit scratchy when you turn them a quick shot of electric cleaner will probably take care of it, as long as you don't here any crazy humming or buzzing or strange random loud popping then the electronics are probably good.

Once you check everything out and play it for a bit you might find the action is not to your liking but if you like the guitar don't be afraid to ask the salesperson if they can have their tech make some adjustment's for you I have found that most shops will.

If you are buying a used guitar with a Floyd it gets more complicated, often used guitars hang on the rack with the floating tremolo out of whack, the base plate of the tremolo should be parallel to the guitar body, this means it is properly adjusted, however you may find that it is either raised from the body (making the strings high off the neck) or sunken into it (making the strings low to or maybe on the neck) but that doesn't necessarily bad but in need of adjustment. Make sure the tremolo operates smoothly and don't feel any catches or clicks when you move it the same applies to the fine tuners they should move smoothly with no catch and have a little resistance but not too loose or tight. If the fine tuners are so out of whack that the guitar can't be tuned without loosening the lock nut this is a great opportunity to ask that salesman about the tech giving the guitar a bit of a tweek!
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
- Bill Lawrence

Come and be with me
Live my twisted dream
Pro devoted pledge
Time for primal concrete sledge

#15
Quote by thsc
Thanks man. Everyone has been telling me to get used but the issue is that since I don't know much about playing, I really would not be able to adequately evaluate if everything in the guitar is working as it should. Buying new gives me that assurance.


No, it doesn't, unfortunately. With a few exceptions, even new guitars seem to be coming as "kits," that require careful checking even before the setup process begins. Schecter here in the US, at least, has its guitars run through its Burbank office, where they're given a quick setup as soon as they come off the boat and before they head to the stores. And PRS SE guitars seem to arrive with fewer issues than some. Cheaper Gibsons (the discontinued "J" series in particular) can be variable in their "as purchased" condition, with some of them downright horrible and some just fine.

The setup is the other question I had. What exactly goes into the setup process? I can probably get one of my experienced guitar friends to do it, so that shouldn't be too much of an issue.


I would be one of those experienced guitar friends, and I routinely do ordinary setup changes to my guitars. With only a few exceptions*, I've lately been taking guitars that are new to me to a really good tech to have a Good Initial Setup done. In some cases, I've budgeted $200 to have a PLEK job done. But after that, the ordinary setups are a piece of cake, because the guitar is in excellent rig to begin with. You need to know this stuff, so it's a good time to start adding some knowledge. YouTube and internet forums can be variable in the advice they give, so I recommend a book called "How to make your electric guitar play great" by Dan Erlewine. Maybe the best $20 you'll ever spend on your guitar. You need this knowledge if for no other reason than to be able to identify issues and tell your tech what's up.

*FWIW, the exceptions have been any new Carvin -- they come out of the box with outstanding fretwork -- and one surprising Variax JTV-89F, that I absolutely did NOT expect to be set up as well as it can be.
Last edited by dspellman at Dec 19, 2014,
#16
Find a friend who plays well, has guitars you like and go shopping. Most of us guitar heads love spending other people's money. Get them to help you narrow it to 3 guitars that will work and you make the final choice.

+1 on having a nice pro setup done after purchase.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Dec 19, 2014,
#17
Don't bother psising around with the US Vendors right now. Our dollar is way too weak and you'd be looking at an easy 15% loss. Then you add shipping and brokers fees.
I see from your list you've an interest in LP like guitars. If you go to Axe Music you can get a PRS SE245, Bernie Marsden, Tremonti etc for in that price range 600-700 CAD.
I have two Gibson CS Re-Issues (R7 & R8 purchased in the US when our dollar was par!) and I own the SE 245 as well. I think it's a hard guitar to beat in that price range. I hear the Bernie Marsden is even better but haven't tried it.
Moving on.....
Last edited by KenG at Dec 19, 2014,
#20
Quote by metalmingee


As far as sound goes, the best pickups are probably in the Epiphones - I'm not too familiar with what's in the SGJ.


Have to disagree with that. I'm not familiar with newer models, maybe they're better, but my Epiphones of late 90s/early 00's had dreadful pickups. Muddy, mushy, no articulation, no anything. My SG-400 shone after I upgraded it with Seymour Duncans, but before that it was rather poor.

That said, I have no experience with entry-level guitars of other manufacturers, so I don't know if they're better. I did play a cheap Ibanez once, which frankly sounded even worse, but I never liked any Ibanez I ever played tbh.

I'm going to test a few current entry-level guitars next time I'm going to my local shop, but so far I found Epiphones pretty good guitars but with shit pickups.
#21
And to the OP: I think it's pretty important to think about what you're going to play. A Les Paul is something completely different to a Kelly. If you want to play some blues or some mellow leads, the Les Paul is much better than a Jackson. If you want to shred or go nuts on the upper frets, the Les Paul is much worse than a Jackson. Of course, some do that (Zakk Wylde, most notably), but a Les Paul is not really a shredding guitar, as much as a Jackson is not really a blues guitar.

edit: only my personal experience. I'm always up for debate.
Last edited by Knarrenheino at Dec 20, 2014,