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#1
Hey everyone, I've been following these threads for ages, so thanks everyone for their wisdom. I'm looking for a new dream guitar to end a search for a perfect guitar and since I just got a pretty sizable bonus. I've been tempted by stuff like the schecter masterworks or some smaller custom luthiers around the world, but I'm trying to get some outside opinions or ideas since I don't have much experience with high end guitars.

Budget? - I'd prefer between 2-4 thousand dollars, but if there's something incredible above that I could probably wait another couple months

Favorite Artists? - I love the James Hetfield rhythm guitar tone and the cleans from something like Opeth, but overall my favorite tone is Petrucci's from Dream Theater. I almost exclusively play metal and rock, though cleans are important to me.

Preferences? - I've played mainly thin necks from Ibanez, but I also love my Schecter neck. I must have 24 frets. I'm looking at a floating bridge, preferably a floyd rose, but I'd be open to other suggestions. I must be able to play both standing and sitting.

Pickups? - I'm looking for HH or HSH, preferably pretty hot dimarzios or bareknuckles, but I'd be open to anything (and willing to change them out)

New or Used? - I would be very happy if I could get a better guitar used than new.

Location? - SF, Bay Area, US.

Current Gear? - I have the Ibanez RG1XXV and a MIJ 62 reissue strat I usually change up between. I play through a Mesa Boogie Mark V.
#2
Any preferred shapes?

I'd look at a USA Jackson. Or a custom Carvin.
#3
I'm kind of a sucker for a strat-ish shape, but no shape in particular. If it's too spiky for me to sit down and play, I'd pass. And awesome, thanks for the input.
#4
If you've got 4 grand to spend, go to a custom builder.
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#5
There are tons of options in that price range, certainly when you go near the four thousand mark.
I'd suggest you find some nice shops that stock a variety of high end guitars and try out what you like.

I'd check out a MusicMan JP of some sorts and then Suhr and Tom Anderson guitars. You sound like a super strat would be your thing.

Mayones, Siggi Braun, Caparison, ESP, Carvin, Jackson Custom Shop, etc.
Maybe find a good luthier in your area and get something custom built.
#6
With that much to spend i would look at custom builds. Some options for getting guitars built in that price range are skervesen, et guitars, sabre, ormsby, jillard, bowes off the top of my head.

If your not looking for a 6 month build time mayones and suhr are the two I would look at first.
#7
Well, I've definitely been looking at custom shops, it's just very hard to determine quality from that. And I've had a difficult time finding reputable, quality luthiers in northern california (but if you have any experience, I'd love to know).

And thanks, I looked at the MusicMan JP and Petrucci's majesty guitar, and they're definitely on my list to try out. I completely forgot to check out Mayones but they have some really gorgeous guitars. Suhr's fantastic but it seems like a lot of their stuff is geared towards competing with strats. But I'll definitely look at their modern stuff; thanks for the leads.
#9
Get in contact with the Suhr guitar company and they'll make your dream guitar for you.
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#10
I believe John Suhr worked for Fender specifically in the custom shop department making guitars. Probably the main reason he's geared toward modernized strat and tele shaped guitars.
Godin Passion RG-3
Gibson SG Standard
Egnater Tourmaster 4100
Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue
Marshall JVM215C
JHS Sweet Tea V2
Guyatone WRM5
TC Flashback Delay
#11
if there is a good luthiers around your area try talking with him give him ideas and let him add some
please ignore my username
#12
Quote by tfizzle20
Hey everyone, I've been following these threads for ages, so thanks everyone for their wisdom. I'm looking for a new dream guitar to end a search for a perfect guitar and since I just got a pretty sizable bonus. I've been tempted by stuff like the schecter masterworks or some smaller custom luthiers around the world, but I'm trying to get some outside opinions or ideas since I don't have much experience with high end guitars.

Budget? - I'd prefer between 2-4 thousand dollars, but if there's something incredible above that I could probably wait another couple months

Favorite Artists? - I love the James Hetfield rhythm guitar tone and the cleans from something like Opeth, but overall my favorite tone is Petrucci's from Dream Theater. I almost exclusively play metal and rock, though cleans are important to me.

Preferences? - I've played mainly thin necks from Ibanez, but I also love my Schecter neck. I must have 24 frets. I'm looking at a floating bridge, preferably a floyd rose, but I'd be open to other suggestions. I must be able to play both standing and sitting.

Pickups? - I'm looking for HH or HSH, preferably pretty hot dimarzios or bareknuckles, but I'd be open to anything (and willing to change them out)

New or Used? - I would be very happy if I could get a better guitar used than new.

Location? - SF, Bay Area, US.

Current Gear? - I have the Ibanez RG1XXV and a MIJ 62 reissue strat I usually change up between. I play through a Mesa Boogie Mark V.


Given where you are, a Carvin would be the first thing I'd look at. They're just down the road in San Diego, so you might even be able to go to the factory.
http://www.carvinguitars.com

I'd also look VERY hard at Vigier.
http://www.vigierguitars.com

Crimson could be a good option.
http://crimsonguitars.com

For full custom work, here are some North American luthiers:

Bowes
http://bowesguitars.com/wordpress/

Rice
http://www.ricecustomguitars.com/

Hi-Tone
http://hitoneguitars.com/

Driskill
http://driskillguitars.com/

Jon Kammerer
http://jonkammerercustoms.com/index.html
http://jonkammerercustoms.com/9-4-14website_002.htm
http://jonkammerercustoms.com/9-4-14website_003.htm

Rock Beach
http://www.angelfire.com/ny5/boggs.com/

JET
http://jetguitars.com

Moonstone
http://www.moonstoneguitars.com

Myka
http://www.mykaguitars.com
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 Jul 8, 2015,
#13
Vigier...that's really impressive using carbon fiber for the truss rod. If that works well, that's a fantastic improvement. And above that, their stuff looks fantastic. Yeah, I might be down in LA in a few months and I'll definitely try to check out some of their stuff in person at one of their dealers down there.

Thanks for the lead.
#14
LA? You should be able to find damn near anything in some of those stores.
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!
#15
you want your dream guitar, and want to go custom, but do you know the specs you want? IMO there isn't much of a point on a one-off unless you are getting the exact specs you want.

i could be wrong, but i am not sure you know what exactly what you want to justify a one-off.

i would go to some higher end shops and see what you like.
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nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


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#17
Quote by trashedlostfdup
you want your dream guitar, and want to go custom, but do you know the specs you want? IMO there isn't much of a point on a one-off unless you are getting the exact specs you want.

i could be wrong, but i am not sure you know what exactly what you want to justify a one-off.

i would go to some higher end shops and see what you like.


agree. in order for it to be a "dream" guitar you have to know exactly what you want. ofr that kind of money i'd be damn sure to know.
#18
Quote by tfizzle20
Yeah, I might be down in LA in a few months and I'll definitely try to check out some of their stuff in person at one of their dealers down there.


I'm currently in LA, but will be up in SF this weekend. I'm dropping off another guitar at Gary Brawer's on 15 Lafayette (just south of Market over next to the 101N) and visiting relatives. Gary's going to be doing a PLEK and a fret superglue on an LP-alike. You never know who you're going to run into standing at the counter at Gary's hole-in-the-wall shop in the back of a rather ratty vintage (different business altogether) store. Neal Schon double-parks one of his Lamborghinis on the street outside (or pulls one of the Harleys up onto the sidewalk), etc.

If you're coming to LA, I have an itinerary for you that starts with pancakes at the Griddle Cafe next to the Director's Guild on Sunset.

But if you're looking for guitars, I might direct you a bit further south -- it will be a stunning day trip. Both Taylor and Carvin factories are in the San Diego area (Escondido and El Cajon). Both Taylor and Carvin have factory stores there. At the Taylor store I've had folks walk out of the back with guitars (both acoustic and electric) that are not in the catalogs or on the websites. They're one-off or tiny series (five, six examples tops) of guitars, sometimes just things that the employees put together to go seriously top-end with. And they will sell them to you at stunning prices. The Carvin store has a decent selection of guitars, and while you can certainly purchase any of them (usually at a discount), they're more examples of what you can get through the ordering process. The new Keisel series guitars you see on the website are production examples, but Jeff has done very short series guitars that are stunning in their execution, and the folks that have opted in just rave about them. One or two are always hanging in the store, and if Jeff is hanging around, you can get him to build one for you. Both Taylor and Carvin have factory tours. Quite interesting to compare their higher-tech approach to, say, the Gibson factory. You'll see instantly why Gibson has all the quality control issues that they do.

A bit farther back up toward LA is the Suhr factory (Lake Elsinore). I don't know if they have formal tours, but it's worth an email to ask. As you come back up the 15, you need to stop at Buffalo Brothers (Oceanside?) and then at Wild West Guitars in Riverside. Wild Westj is in a light industrial complex has a tiny sign (it just says Wild West with no hint that guitars are inside), no showroom window, the door is locked, and you'll want to call ahead. Inside are top of the line guitars (no junk) from Fender, Suhr and others. You will NOT find people practicing Eruption there. No picks, etc. -- just high end mostly strat-style guitars in several carpeted rooms with a few higher-end amps to play through. *Ask to see the Voodoo Lounge*. It's a full-on rock club (full bar, VIP rooms, stage, rain forest decor) that's available to members only and occasionally to a select bunch of customers for PRS demos and the like.

Email Trussart and see if you can visit him in Silverlake. Trussart and Arcane pickups (Arcane is Rob, the guy who supplies all the Trussart pickups and aged pickup covers to match the metal bodied guitars Trussart builds). If you've got $4K - $5500, you'll probably leave with one of his guitars. I have a serious jones for a Rust and Cream Snakeskin finish on a Steelphonic.

In LA proper, the Griddle Cafe has a huge menu of pancake specialties, they're open for breakfast and lunch only (closed by 4 pm) and there are always lines of people with hangovers and sunglasses bailing out of their Lambos and Range Rovers. The pancakes are HUGE, the breakfasts are amazing and you'll need a gurney ride to get out of the place. Fairfax and Sunset. Just down the street is the flagship Guitar Center with the really cool vintage shop in the back. If it ever existed they have one (and if it's not on the wall, it's because you have to ask about the really good ones). There's a major Sam Ash half a block away. The Carvin and Peavey stores have closed, sadly, but I think the Mesa Boogie factory store is still there on the corner across from the GC.

Further out, Santa Monica has McCabes (still has the stage in back and small but regular concerts that sometimes features surprise "guest" appearances by huge names) and Truetone and there's something good (I"ve forgotten which one) in the NoHo (North Hollywood) area. Line 6 is in Calabasas (the name Line 6 comes from the announcement the receptionist made when VIPs were going to tour the back rooms. "Call for Blah Blah on Line 6" over the intercom meant to cover up anything sensitive until they left). They have a walk-in Faraday cage (all copper) that will absolutely cut off all iPhone contact with the outside world.

Worth noting that while there are about seven GCs in LA, most of them don't have stock of anything these days. That organization is on the brink of going under.
#19
Quote by trashedlostfdup
you want your dream guitar, and want to go custom, but do you know the specs you want? IMO there isn't much of a point on a one-off unless you are getting the exact specs you want.

i could be wrong, but i am not sure you know what exactly what you want to justify a one-off..


Seconded. You can easily end up with a guitar that *seemed* like a good idea when you were checking off the boxes, but that no one (including you) wants to play.
#20
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!
#21
the most bad*ss custom carvin / Kiesel model you can possibly design to your hearts desire. or heck, for more than 2000 you can probably call them and get extra special super custom stuff...but 2k should get you just about as amazing as it gets and a 2K carvin will rival most custom 4000 dollar guitars. easily.
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#22
Quote by tfizzle20
Vigier...that's really impressive using carbon fiber for the truss rod. If that works well, that's a fantastic improvement.


Really? As an engineer I'd like to know why. Have you considered de-lamination if moisture gets in there?

I think that's just sales hype.
#23
Quote by SpiderM
Really? As an engineer I'd like to know why. Have you considered de-lamination if moisture gets in there?

I think that's just sales hype.


i have raced cars with carbon fiber driveshafts. i don't think a truss rod would be a problem, at least if you are talking about strength.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#24
Quote by trashedlostfdup
i have raced cars with carbon fiber driveshafts. i don't think a truss rod would be a problem, at least if you are talking about strength.


I've flown airplanes with carbon fiber everywhere (Lancair IV), including wings and fuselage. If I were worried about issues with the carbon fiber material itself, my tail would not be at altitude in a plane made of it.
#25
Quote by dspellman
I've flown airplanes with carbon fiber everywhere (Lancair IV), including wings and fuselage. If I were worried about issues with the carbon fiber material itself, my tail would not be at altitude in a plane made of it.


yea, carbon fiber is one hell of a material. its only going to get more use and become more common as time passes.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#26
Alright, so first off thanks for the tour of LA dspellman; I'll be sure to use it when I head down there.

Second....another engineer reporting in. So, apparently this is one of their things; they use 10% carbon fiber in their necks as well as the wood, with the carbon fiber being the primary support. So, in direct response to your question, delamination would depend on the orientation of the fibers. And outside of the warping of the wood, I don't see a significant amount of oscillation (I'm ignoring the sound vibrations because they're very small and at high frequencies). So...yeah, I guess if you were to freeze it and reheat it repeatedly, I'd put my money on the neck eventually breaking, but then, I'd vote that way for most normal guitars.

And if you go through to their website, they don't even have a truss rod; they don't allow adjustments because the carbon fiber doesn't warp significantly in temperature/humidity changes. It's definitely sales hype, but from what I've heard from people on forums, it's also true. And that allows one to build their specification tighter, bringing several advantages.
#27
Quote by dspellman
I've flown airplanes with carbon fiber everywhere (Lancair IV), including wings and fuselage. If I were worried about issues with the carbon fiber material itself, my tail would not be at altitude in a plane made of it.


And I've designed parts of plane wings and fuselages made from carbon fibre (which will have to have regular inspections which are difficult as there can be damage to internal fibres which are not visible and be sealed well to avoid moisture ingress...I digress). My point is not how good it is but what advantage it is to have it as a truss rod in a guitar. A drive shaft on a F1 car and panels on a plane are a very different application requiring strength in very specific directions at minimal weight. For a truss rod it would just marketing which appears to be working on some people

EDIT: Just saw a reply stating that it doesn't even have a truss rod.
Last edited by SpiderM at Jul 9, 2015,
#28
Quote by SpiderM

EDIT: Just saw a reply stating that it doesn't even have a truss rod.


This from the Vigier website: This exclusive advanced concept of 10% carbon and 90% wood replaces the traditional metal truss rod with a dense carbon strip to reinforce the neck.

You're correct; they believe that the carbon strip running down the center of the neck renders the truss rod unnecessary. Those necks that are fully carbon fiber (or some other polymer) generally don't require adjustment...
#29
Quote by dspellman
This from the Vigier website: This exclusive advanced concept of 10% carbon and 90% wood replaces the traditional metal truss rod with a dense carbon strip to reinforce the neck.

You're correct; they believe that the carbon strip running down the center of the neck renders the truss rod unnecessary. Those necks that are fully carbon fiber (or some other polymer) generally don't require adjustment...


No worries. It did seem very strange to me to make a carbon fibre truss rod. As mentioned, you use carbon to give strength in specific areas/directions and that is how they must have engineered the neck with it.

Hope you still have confidence to fly those planes even though I might have worked on them.....if it makes you feel better, I have been doing that a lot longer than playing the guitar and may be a little better at that sort of stuff
#30
I have only played one carbon fiber guitar and it was a full carbon fiber neck and body acoustic with a wood fretboard. I was very suprized by how good it sounded. It did not have a truss rod in it.

The biggest drawback to this type of neck is he only seemed to be able to make them with a very glossy feeling neck. That said I it was a local guy making them at home I'm not sure if others are the same.

Quote by SpiderM

Hope you still have confidence to fly those planes even though I might have worked on them.....if it makes you feel better, I have been doing that a lot longer than playing the guitar and may be a little better at that sort of stuff


I also make planes, no carbon fiber mostly aluminum parts but flying scares the hell out of me now after seeing them made.
#31
Quote by tfizzle20
Vigier...that's really impressive using carbon fiber for the truss rod. If that works well, that's a fantastic improvement. And above that, their stuff looks fantastic. Yeah, I might be down in LA in a few months and I'll definitely try to check out some of their stuff in person at one of their dealers down there.

Thanks for the lead.


I have a Vigier Excalbur and it´s a fantastic guitar. It´s certainly among the top ten best guitars I´ve ever laid my paws on.

But, considering your budget and the fact that you like Petricci´s tone, I´d definitely second the advice to seriously consider the MusicMan.
#32
One thing I was worried about his stuff was whether the music man floating bridge had as much range as a floyd rose. Anyone have an opinion on that? (I'm definitely going to try to play before I buy, but just if anyone has a strong opinion It's be nice to know)
#33
Quote by tfizzle20
One thing I was worried about his stuff was whether the music man floating bridge had as much range as a floyd rose. Anyone have an opinion on that? (I'm definitely going to try to play before I buy, but just if anyone has a strong opinion It's be nice to know)


the range is less but not a ton less. john seems to manage just fine with it. i liked it when i tried a couple of his sig guitars. i'm a fender guy so that may have some bearing on my liking it. how much range do you realistically need?
#34
Eh, I don't need a ton; right now my guitar has an edge zero II and it can occasionally feel a bit restricted compared to my floyd rose. But not enough that I realize it often. Thanks for the opinion.
#35
Quote by tfizzle20
Eh, I don't need a ton; right now my guitar has an edge zero II and it can occasionally feel a bit restricted compared to my floyd rose. But not enough that I realize it often. Thanks for the opinion.


keep in mind tha the feel will be different and it won't necessarily behave the same.
#36
Quote by SpiderM


Hope you still have confidence to fly those planes even though I might have worked on them.....if it makes you feel better, I have been doing that a lot longer than playing the guitar and may be a little better at that sort of stuff


The Lancair's a kit plane. I helped build it.
And because I had my hands on assembling it, my sphincter is so tight the whole trip I think any flatulence would be in C above High C.
#37
I have a JP6 and it sounds like it fits exactly what you are looking for. As for your question on the tremolo, it is fine, I actually prefer it over my the Floyd (granted, it is a licensed Floyd). While it may not have quite the range of motion, I have never noticed it being an issue.

I don't listen to dream theater, but the crunch lab/liquifire pickups are outstanding and work great for all kinds of music. It is the only guitar I play anymore (besides my acoustics). Quality is superb.

I should note that EBMM changed the pickups in the recent models and I don't have experience with those pickups.
Last edited by MAChiefs at Jul 11, 2015,
#38
You can make a custom Schecter on their website. Also you can do the same thing for Fender. With Schecter though you can send them specific specs and they will quote you.
#39
Quote by dspellman
The Lancair's a kit plane. I helped build it.
And because I had my hands on assembling it, my sphincter is so tight the whole trip I think any flatulence would be in C above High C.


Ha Ha, yeah my list of planes I'd like to fly on is getting smaller after seeing them put together.
#40
Hey everyone,

Just picked up an open box EBMM Majesty for 1700. Will NGD on arrival.

That said, I'm definitely going to LA in about 6-7 months, so I'll be sure to check out all the places around there when I'm there.

Thanks for everyone's help.
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