#1
Hello, everyone! I know that I'm a very infrequent poster, but I'm still a pretty active lurker. I was just looking for some advice on getting a new instrument. Sorry if it's a lengthy post; I tend to get carried away. Here's a little bit of a backstory:

I graduated college at the beginning of May for an Associates in Electronics, and starting Monday, I'll be starting as an Electronics Technician at a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray manufacturing plant. Since it's my first "adult job" (outside of my part-time job that I still have at a grocery store deli) that I'll be working, I thought I'd treat myself to a guitar as a gift to myself. Plus, I would like a "top-level" guitar.

Budget:

I have a decent amount saved up, but I don't want to go to crazy (like buying a $6k custom shop Fender) since I want to keep a savings and offer to help my parents out. A reasonable amount that I was looking to spend is in the $750-$1100USD range.

Favorite Artists:

I really love guitarists like Slash, Paul Gilbert, and Andy Summers. As for artists, I've been into The Birthday Massacre, GNR, The Police, Pearl Jam, and Living Colour as bands that I actively listen to. I'm really open to all kinds of music/artists, and I'm always into getting my "own" tone instead of being a pure copy.

Preferences:

Body shape doesn't really matter much to me, unless it's a pointy "br00talz" shape like a BC Warlock. For neck profiles, I like the feel of my Epi LP Standard, I absolutely love the neck on my Kramer Focus 3000 which is similar to the necks I've seen on an Ibanez Destroyer.

Brand-wise, I'm pretty much open to any brand, and I would want something at least 22 frets. I have considered getting a guitar with 24 frets, though. For bridges, I would prefer fixed. Then again, I might get one with a recessed Floyd so I could begin incorporating that in.

As for pickups, I don't really care about configurations. Well, the only configuration I care about is if it was a Tele with a single bridge and 'bucker neck. For a particular pickup company, I really dig DiMarzios. If you guys know of guitars that have them stock, that'll be great. If not, I'll just deal with Duncans or whatever come in the guitar.

Out of everything, I do have one preference that may seem very specific. Out of any guitar that I settle on, I want something that has color choices that aren't pure black. Lately, black guitars just annoy me with how frequent they are.

New Vs Used:

Personally, I wouldn't mind if I had to go used. At my price point, though, I'd still be getting a very decent guitar.

Location:

I actually live in Northeastern Pennsylvania (Scranton, specifically). There is a Guitar Center about 5-10 minutes (by car) from my house as well as local store (where I take lessons) that's 15-20 minutes from my house. I could go to either and try out the guitars there, or maybe have something ordered in to try out.

Current Gear/My Tone:

My amp is a Marshall Vintage Modern 2266H as well as a couple EHX modulation pedals and a Green Rhino boost. My guitars are listed on my profile. On that case, I'm pretty good with an amplifier. My amp is set so when it's on the "Low-Gain," it's on a breaking-up overdrive similar to something like Mama Kin by Aerosmith. When I switch it to the "High gain" with the same overdrive setting, it's roughly the same as a JCM800 that practically every '80s guitarist used.

As for when I cover songs (whether newer "Pop" hits or my favorite songs), I have my own flavor to them. If it's a song with just basic "cowboy" chords, I tend to take inspiration from Andy Summers and make them suspended or add 9/11 chords. For instance, when there's a D chord, I play it as a C chord shape to get the open G and E strings with it to make it sound prettier with some chorus.

Some Preliminary Considerations:

I was considering a Tele-style guitar (as I said, I want an S/H configuration). I would use this style of guitar in Open G tuning and use it as a Stones guitar and/or finally learn slide. The only problem is that most necks on Tele's seem a tad awkward for me. The other considerations would just be for a toss between E/Eb standard.

I was also thinking of an Ibanez Destroyer, Jackson Dinky/Soloist, and one of Fender's offset guitars. Preferably, either a Jazzmaster or Jaguar. These are just a few guitars that I was looking at, and I'm open to ideas.


Again, I'm sorry for the novel of a post that I wrote. I was just browsing around for a future guitar, and I thought I'd get some more recommendations from everyone here. I'll definitely do my homework, research, test, and do a lot of consideration before purchasing my first "professional level" guitar. Thank you to everyone posts!
Skip the username, call me Billy
#2
kinda think you have to narrow things down a bit to get any decent answers. you're kinda wishy washy so tough to recommend anything.

having said that perhaps a used US standard Strat or a Gibson LP Studio would work for you.
#3
first, congrats on landing your first decent job! work hard and enjoy life. As for guitars i would say at that budget you have a great many very nice guitars to choose from. I have a nice Japanese Jaguar HH Special that i love, but i must admit i am a bit of a Fender fanboy. In your range i would watch for a nice used Strat Deluxe. i got one at an $800 price and cannot say enough good about it. Take your time, when you see something you like do some research so you don't jump into a purchase that does you wrong.

My initial reply is check out a strat deluxe, a gretsch electromatic pro and a PRS starla but again these are just my opinions and there will be a million other options. I am only speaking of guitars i hold dear.
Quote by BlackVoid
Every guitar and bass forum I've visited has some people chasing some magical tone that will shoot jizzing unicorns riding on a rainbow out of their amp.
#4
I know. That's the thing, I'm more of in that thought process of a new guitar being nice, and I'm not completely sure what I really want out of guitar. I just thought I'd get more of a focused idea on what I'd look at purchasing.

And to Zenbone, I've actually been lusting Fender gear more and more. Do you know what the funniest thing about your PRS and Gretsch recommendation? Guitars of that body shape and being hollow/semi-hollow was a dream of mine when I was 15 or so.

Again, thanks! I'll definitely look into an American Strat as well as a Deluxe Strat and any other guitars that are thrown my way.
Skip the username, call me Billy
#5
Quote by aerosmithfan95
I know. That's the thing, I'm more of in that thought process of a new guitar being nice, and I'm not completely sure what I really want out of guitar. I just thought I'd get more of a focused idea on what I'd look at purchasing.

And to Zenbone, I've actually been lusting Fender gear more and more. Do you know what the funniest thing about your PRS and Gretsch recommendation? Guitars of that body shape and being hollow/semi-hollow was a dream of mine when I was 15 or so.

Again, thanks! I'll definitely look into an American Strat as well as a Deluxe Strat and any other guitars that are thrown my way.


take your time and take advantage of the big box store "take it down and play it" motto. I think as you tinker with a few of them one will just weed itself out from the pack as "the one". Then from there check around for new and used deals for that one awesome guitar.

I must admit i made a lot of mistakes as i bought and sold guitars. Until only recently i never seriously played guitar with a teacher and formal goals in mind. I just bought and noodled and sold. Although that gave (and still gives) me a great deal of fun and made me some money here and there i was never able to actually nail down what was good for me. that is the biggest missing detail in all the internet opinions... YOU.

as you play and look and research, i urge you to take your time. The ambiguity will become clarity as you put in the time and play the guitars. there is a whole huge field of wonderful guitars out there, play them and see which one tells you it is the right one. And hey, at the end of the search worst case is you say the hell with it and go get a nice American Strat... the guitar that can do it all.
Quote by BlackVoid
Every guitar and bass forum I've visited has some people chasing some magical tone that will shoot jizzing unicorns riding on a rainbow out of their amp.
#6
since you mentioned having a guitar Center near by perhaps just take a trip there when you have some time and just start playing guitars. check the used section first as that will get you more bang for the buck. keep an open mind and have at it.
#7
To Zenbone, I definitely know how you feel about the serious playing. All of 2014, I barely even played guitar (though, I did focus on some ear training). I did play quite a bit from 2008- March 2014, but it was more noodling due to have a teacher who was more of player rather than a teacher/mentor for the longest time. That actually hurt me in the long run, and know I'm taking formal lessons now with a goal of finding my voice and developing my improvisation to a more "musical" level.

To both of you guys, I'll definitely to the advice of checking out guitars at multiple stores to get a feeling for things. I know that back in 2013/early 2014, I did try a few guitars at my local GC for the hell of it. Now, I'll be sure to keep an eye out an really focus on finding "the one." I don't want to have another situation like my Epi Gothic Explorer. That guitar played amazing and sounded great, yet I was foolish enough to sell it years ago.
Skip the username, call me Billy
#8
Reverend- a Detroit-based company with production in S.Korea- has a lot of options that may appeal. They're affordable, well-made, have some unique features, and are tonally flexible. AFAIK, none have 24 frets. Because they are a small company, they can be hard to find. However, they recently got distribution rights in Sam Ash and Guitar Center.

http://www.reverendguitars.com/category/guitar/

Another company to look for would be Canadian based & manufactured Godin. They have good QC and some unique features. Their product line covers a fair bit of ground.

http://www.godinguitars.com/godinproductlistingp.html
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 aerosmithfan95
To Zenbone, I definitely know how you feel about the serious playing. All of 2014, I barely even played guitar (though, I did focus on some ear training). I did play quite a bit from 2008- March 2014, but it was more noodling due to have a teacher who was more of player rather than a teacher/mentor for the longest time. That actually hurt me in the long run, and know I'm taking formal lessons now with a goal of finding my voice and developing my improvisation to a more "musical" level.

To both of you guys, I'll definitely to the advice of checking out guitars at multiple stores to get a feeling for things. I know that back in 2013/early 2014, I did try a few guitars at my local GC for the hell of it. Now, I'll be sure to keep an eye out an really focus on finding "the one." I don't want to have another situation like my Epi Gothic Explorer. That guitar played amazing and sounded great, yet I was foolish enough to sell it years ago.


don't worry about getting "the one". worry about finding a guitar that works for you now. until you have a way better idea of what you want out of a guitar i'd do some exploring. keep an open mind and see what grabs you. i've stumbled on a couple of great guitars that way. try as many as you can and as i said keep an open mind.
#10
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 30, 2015,
#11
I've got a Godin with a H/S/S set up, and I love it. Though I love my Gibson SG Classic (two p90s) more.
Quote by JD Close
Piano dick had some good parts, but should have said "As the business man slowly gets boned", would have accented the whole dick feeling of the album
#13
Quote by zenbone
take your time and take advantage of the big box store "take it down and play it" motto. I think as you tinker with a few of them one will just weed itself out from the pack as "the one".


I've pretty much abandoned Guitar Denter for that. And I don't believe in that process any more anyway.

  • Most of the Guitar Splinters within driving distance of me (it's LA, so there are about seven) have VERY limited stock of good guitars. The bulk are cheapos.
  • Pulling down a wall guitar in search of a "the one" just seems stupid in those places. You fall in love with the only one that still has a decent setup
  • These days there are more decent guitars that GC does NOT have than what they do, because GC's vendors won't ship without payment.
  • I don't think you can evaluate the sound of a guitar at a GC. The amps are different, the room size is different, the ambient noise level is different and a guitar not set up to my specs will sound different when I get it worked over.


Over half of the guitars I own were used when I bought them. Most did not have a great setup when I bought them. Lots came from online sellers, either personal or retail.

Of the Agile LP-style guitars I own now, one was a semi-custom built to my spec (okay, I actually just ticked off boxes on an order sheet), one was a B-Stock, one was a Craigslist deal, one came from flippin' Canada via a user PSA on another forum.

I have seven Carvins. One was ordered custom. Two were purchased from a now-defunct Carvin store. One, a bass, walked in the door of a GC as a trade-in ("don't put that down; just hand it to me. It's mine"). Three were internet buys.

I have four Variax guitars. An Acoustic 700 was purchased on clearance from a GC that didn't even know they had it (and that spent two and a half hours looking for the bits and pieces that went with it). A 500-series electric came from the internet. Two JTV-89Fs were purchased through the same GC a year apart, but none of the GCs in town had any in stock. I got "new in the box" guitars untouched by GC hands.

A Nik Huber came from NAMM, purchased before the show officially opened, three Moonstones were built by the same guy, with the oldest and most recent built 30 years apart (I found the oldest ones hiding in tiny shops, with the owners having NO idea what they were).

And so on.

I personally think that buying "by feel" from a big box is an outdated blunder.
#14
Reverends, Fernandes, Godins are all great brands and examples of what's out there that you won't find in most brick and mortars.

In my view, $750-1000 isn't a "top level" guitar, but more low mid-range. But some great guitars live in that range.

You're at the bottom of the range of Carvins. But Carvin doesn't scrimp on quality the way Gibson does when you choose the bottom of their range; you still get a helluva guitar. 24 frets, neck-through construction, superb construction, great playability, awesome fretwork. If you're careful with how you choose options, you can stay within your budget and get a superb guitar.

The Line 6 Variax guitars are within your range (the JTV-89 F -- Floyd -- is just above it). Two of their models are traditional LP and strat-alikes, with the third a superstrat bolt neck that I'd discounted (the 89) as "just something pandering to the metal crowd." It was the least popular of the three, and at first I had little interest in it. Thing is, it may be the best of the three, and since I was really looking for one that had a Floyd, the "F" version made me look again. It's the only one with 24 frets, a satin-finish back of neck, a wide/flat neck profile with a 16" radius and jumbo frets, hotter than normal pickups, a surprisingly hefty solid mahogany body and perhaps the best control layout of the three. The guitar models give you amazing versatiliy in terms of sound and the alternate tuning setup allows you to set up a tuning like Open G or Blues A for slide, etc., and downtune/drop tune wherever you like within an octave (you can even play bass on the thing), including Baritone tuning, without ever touching the string tension. That makes playing down tuned guitar Floyd friendly. No other guitar does this. None.

Given your budget, you can order an Agile semi-custom. I was told I was nuts to spend $1160 (with case, shipped) on a $400 Agile, but I spec'd a neck-through shaved-heel Les Paul-alike (not part of the product line in 2009 when I ordered mine) with a one-piece body, figured maple cap ("tight flame, please"), 16" radius ebony fretboard with jumbo frets, a Floyd and more. The guitar turned out to be a spectacular piece and supplanted a $4,000 Gibson Axcess Custom on a specific project. That guitar was the granddaddy of Agile's AL-3200 (neck-through construction, Axcess-style neck heel and tummy cut), a $500 guitar (case, shipping extra) that makes anything Gibson has under $1500 look like a cheap Chinese christmas guitar. You still have to custom order if you want the Floyd, etc., but it's SO worth it.