#1
Dear valued guitar connoisseur community,

I've decided to betray the legendary 4 string master-race bass gods and opted devolve to buying a new 6 string e-guitar, for shred and for the babes

I don't want to buy a high-end as a first purchase, neither do I want a cheap-ass toy guitar to throw away after a week. Just a decent low-end guitar worth keeping where I can proudly shred to some Metallica for a price preferably under say $450.

Anyone have decent recommendations? or maybe your input on the following:

- Ibanez RG421 [RG Series]
- Jackson JS32 Rhoads and/or Dinky [JS32s]
- ESP LTD (V50 and F-10) [LTDs]

Thank you!
#2
Well... look to the used market. You may well find you'll get a medium-end(is that even a thing?) guitar for the same money.
#3
How about the Epiphone Les Paul Special II? Cheap guitar, $169 on Amazon, but pretty good. I have one and it's a much better guitar than my MIM Fender Stratocaster (which I paid $400 used complete with case).

I've always liked the inlays on Jackson's guitars.
#4
OP, you should check out SpectreSoundStudios channel on Youtube, he sells a T-shirt on there that you might like.
#5
Quote by TobusRex
How about the Epiphone Les Paul Special II? Cheap guitar, $169 on Amazon, but pretty good. I have one and it's a much better guitar than my MIM Fender Stratocaster (which I paid $400 used complete with case).

I've always liked the inlays on Jackson's guitars.

They're hit and miss. Spotty QC, cheap parts... they're basically the kind of toy guitar he's looking to avoid.
#6
Quote by TobusRex
How about the Epiphone Les Paul Special II? Cheap guitar, $169 on Amazon, but pretty good. I have one and it's a much better guitar than my MIM Fender Stratocaster (which I paid $400 used complete with case).

I've always liked the inlays on Jackson's guitars.

No, just no

That is a cheap toy

get your strat set-up properly and then tell us the special II is better

Agile guitars are worth a look
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#7
Quote by arvarna at #33512439

Anyone have decent recommendations? or maybe your input on the following:

- Ibanez RG421 [RG Series]
- Jackson JS32 Rhoads and/or Dinky [JS32s]
- ESP LTD (V50 and F-10) [LTDs]

Thank you!

The Ibanez by far out of those 3 because unlike the other 2 it's actually not a bad guitar. I love Jacksons but I do think the JS guitars are a bit mediocre. Same with the LTD 50 guitars.

Avoid the Epiphone LP Special II. It's an absolute boat anchor. Universally hated here and for good reason.

If you go used, you can easily get a guitar that'll absolutely shit on anything you can buy new for $450.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Jul 22, 2015,
#8
I've heard stories that the quality control on the Epiphone LP Special II is spotty...you'd probably get a good one, but sometimes bad ones get sold. Mine has no problems. I hardly think it's "universally hated" here since it has decent reviews on this site. On the other hand I've never had an expensive electric guitar so maybe I don't know quality on electrics. But I know this much...my Epi blows the doors off the MIM Stratocaster. Better pickups (by a country mile) and better knobs (the ones on the MIM felt cheap). The tuners aren't nearly as good as the Strat has though.

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/electric_guitars/epiphone/les_paul_special_ii/index.html
#9
Quote by Robbgnarly
No, just no

That is a cheap toy

get your strat set-up properly and then tell us the special II is better

Agile guitars are worth a look
www.rondomusic.com


I disagree. The Epiphone is not a toy. It is cheap though. It's generally rated as one of the best "starter" electrics out there and I've been very happy with mine. Handles like a dream and has great pickups.

Regarding the MIM Stratocaster....you think the reason mine is so disappointing is because the setup is bad? Thanks for bringing that possibility to my attention. I never considered even for a second that the setup could be bad (I don't know jack shit about setting up guitars and never think about it unless I get fret buzz or something). I wonder if I have to replace the pickups or if their positioning needs changed? Those pickups sound weak as hell. One thing for sure...I'd be a lot happier playing the thing than having it sit in it's case. Looks like a $400 waste of money right now, lol.
#10
Quote by TobusRex
I disagree. The Epiphone is not a toy. It is cheap though. It's generally rated as one of the best "starter" electrics out there and I've been very happy with mine. Handles like a dream and has great pickups.

Regarding the MIM Stratocaster....you think the reason mine is so disappointing is because the setup is bad? Thanks for bringing that possibility to my attention. I never considered even for a second that the setup could be bad (I don't know jack shit about setting up guitars and never think about it unless I get fret buzz or something). I wonder if I have to replace the pickups or if their positioning needs changed? Those pickups sound weak as hell. One thing for sure...I'd be a lot happier playing the thing than having it sit in it's case. Looks like a $400 waste of money right now, lol.

It's cheap because the parts are cheap, the wood is cheap, and the QC process is basically "Is it Les Paul shaped? Near enough. NEXT!"

Have you read the reviews? One claims the Special II is a USA made guitar, and another that it has 23 frets. How trustworthy do you really think those reviews are?
#12
Quote by TobusRex
Never had any problems with mine. Do you have one slapsy? Have you played one?

I've played one or two. They were woeful. Fret ends rough, or overhanging the edge of the neck. Crackly pots.

The only people I'd advise to buy them would be those looking to break a guitar on stage.
#13
Go try some schecters. I've never played the Low-end models, but I expect them to be as great value for money as the more expensive ones. As far as LTD goes, don't even considered something that isn't the 1000-series. I don't like the feel of LTD's generally but the cheaper ones are just horrible.
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#14
Definitely look at used Schecters (millions of them on GC's website). I bought my Blackjack V1 for around $350 shipped and it was in excellent condition. It's definitely not a low-end guitar -- it plays and sounds as good as most $1000+ guitars I've picked up.
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#15
i almost always go used. you can get more guitar for your buck. the usual suspects, jackson, ibanez, schecter, charvel, etc....

the epi les paul. imo what a turd. i happen to own a 44 year old gibson les paul and was looking to get a cheap les paul like guitar to bang around on. they're not even the same species. sort of like a cracked bat with a mop attached. not even their "hotter" pickups could capture the string energy that went away almost immediately after picking. fortunately gc had like 30 of them in a row on the wall. i tried six of them through the same amp playing the same thing and they all sounded awful. i bought a jackson rr instead.

yes i know they are cheap, but couldn't they at least try? over the years i've played an epi or two and the only ones that i though were decent were an korina explorer and that silly thunderhorse. the horse has potential (and burstbuckers) and the korina explorer has well, korina - a pretty awesome tonewood imo. downtuned and equipped with some actives, the korina explorer would break the sidewalk with a good amp.
Last edited by ad_works at Jul 22, 2015,
#16
Low end guitars are around $300. Anything cheaper than that, I wouldn't seriously consider. The Jackson JS are decent guitars. I'd also consider a BC Rich Villain Plot.

Mid-range guitars I would say start around $500, say a BC Rich Villain Veil or a NJ Warlock. Jackson mid-range start at $550 for an SLX. It's a considerable step up in quality from the low end to the mid range. If you are going to dedicate yourself to guitar then I wouldn't bother with the low end stuff and try and go for one of the midranges mentioned above. Oh and also in-stock Agiles, which are below $500.
Last edited by dthmtl3 at Jul 22, 2015,
#17
used ltd 400/1000 series would be an amazing first metal guitar.
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#18
I defiantly agree that used is the way to go, I just picked up a mint condition Washburn Parallaxe for $500 and it is absolutely loaded with premium features! Grover 18:1 tuners, Buzz Feiten tuning system, ebony fretboard, Stevens Extended Cutaway neck joint, mahogany body with quilted maple veneer, Duncan Distortion\Jazz pickups Floyd Rose original with 36mm brass big block and spring silencers not bad for $500 out the door! They also had a nice Jackson DKMG for $299 I'd grab it in a heart beat but I already have one plus a DKMGT both of which I paid only $300. There are some decent used guitars out there for great prices you just have to look!

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#19
I really appreciate the input thanks guys!

I've read all your messages and I guess it's worth finding a good deal on a used one, however I'm kind of inexperienced with buying used guitars online.

The guitars I listed, to my uninitiated eye seemed like decent mid-ranges, but judging from your input if it just costs an extra $50-$100 for a better guitar I can proudly invest years on playing then I might as well save up a little more. I've heard good things from Schecters so I'll give those a look, for a Les Paul however I'd only consider going for a high-end one. I mean it's a Les Paul with a price tag that doesn't make me want to cut my balls off..there's gotta be something wrong with that.

I'm not used to buying used (hahaa ), can anyone with experience give me a little input on what websites you've found good and reliable and if there's anything I should avoid/look out for? I've read some bad reviews about certain websites on a thread I can't remember which..
Last edited by arvarna at Jul 22, 2015,
#20
Well a piece of advice I can give you on buying used is to make sure you listen to the axe through an amp. Common sense really, but I'm an electric noob who broke that rule and ended up unhappy. When I bought my MIM Strat I met the guy at a convenience store after following up his Craigslist ad. Anyway the guitar was beautiful and felt great. The case was pretty nice. I handled the guitar and picked on it for a few minutes (unplugged) and it all seemed good. Soon as I got home and plugged it into the amp...I was disappointed. The pickups are weak/thin sounding. I hate the tone even though I like the way the guitar feels/handles. A guy in this thread mentioned that if I had it properly set up that I'd like it more than my Epiphone. That might be true...but how much will I have to spend to make it better? $100? $200? That MIM Strat may well end up costing me $600 or more by the time I'm done.

Just saying....be careful. Maybe take along one of those portable headphone amps.

Moral..if you are buying an electric used make sure to play it through an amp first. Don't let your lust for the guitar interfere with your good judgement.
#21
Quote by ad_works
i almost always go used. you can get more guitar for your buck. the usual suspects, jackson, ibanez, schecter, charvel, etc....

the epi les paul. imo what a turd. i happen to own a 44 year old gibson les paul and was looking to get a cheap les paul like guitar to bang around on. they're not even the same species. sort of like a cracked bat with a mop attached. not even their "hotter" pickups could capture the string energy that went away almost immediately after picking. fortunately gc had like 30 of them in a row on the wall. i tried six of them through the same amp playing the same thing and they all sounded awful. i bought a jackson rr instead.

yes i know they are cheap, but couldn't they at least try? over the years i've played an epi or two and the only ones that i though were decent were an korina explorer and that silly thunderhorse. the horse has potential (and burstbuckers) and the korina explorer has well, korina - a pretty awesome tonewood imo. downtuned and equipped with some actives, the korina explorer would break the sidewalk with a good amp.


Sounds like you are lumping ALL Epiphone Les Pauls in together. They have cheap ones starting around $109 (EPI LP Special) running up to $800+ for some Epi LP Custom models. They have at least half a dozen different LP models at various pricepoints. You can't tell me every one of those guitars is trash. Every account I've heard about the EPI LP Custom models has been glowing.

Regarding MY cheap Epiphone...the frets don't "overhang", the fretboard is smooth and easy on my hands, there are no rough edges anywhere on the fingerboard. The pots don't "crackle" (and are better than they are on my Fender, along with better pickups). Maybe I got lucky and got a good one, but looking at the reviews on Amazon and on this site I don't think that is the case since most users have been very happy with their guitars.

My experience with electrics is limited but I can certainly tell if a guitar has good action, feels good in my hands, and is easy/fun to play. What some guys don't seem to get is this: not everybody who plays guitar does it professionally. Most of us don't need a guitar that can stand up to the stresses of touring and playing professionally...we just need an honest guitar that can stand up to an hour or two a day. Don't need to spend $1,000 for a guitar that can do that. If I get so good that I feel the need to play professionally I'll go buy a guitar that can handle the stresses of the road but until then I'll be quite content with my cheap, dutiful guitar.
#22
epiphone are too heavy imo and i really dont like the les paul shape and most likely the pickups wont be good enough unless you get one of those prophecys or something. i will say id love to have that 84 explorer though.
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#23
Sorry to hear about that man that's a shame.. at least you're happy with your Epiphone though. That's my only problem with buying online is that I can't test the goods, so unless there's a money-back return policy I'm gonna stick with local dealers in my area and plug it before I buy it. I've got a couple portable 15-20W amps I would bring along if the dealer doesn't have one.
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#24
Have a look at PixxxyLixx's youtube page, his criteria for a guitar purchase is A) less than $300, B) Must be playable and desirable, C) refer to A. He's got some awesome axes, more Ibanezs than is legally allowed under one roof and I would dare to say that there is not one dog amongst them. He buys pretty smart though, almost always second hand.
#25
PixxyLixx is a dead ringer for a guy at work.

@arvarna: don't sweat it bro. I'm taking the MIM Strat to a shop for setup as soon as I get a day off. Maybe I'll love it afterward.
#26
Quote by dazza027 at #33513808
Have a look at PixxxyLixx's youtube page, his criteria for a guitar purchase is A) less than $300, B) Must be playable and desirable, C) refer to A. He's got some awesome axes, more Ibanezs than is legally allowed under one roof and I would dare to say that there is not one dog amongst them. He buys pretty smart though, almost always second hand.

Isn't he that guy who buys loads of counterfeit guitars?

He is a cool guy though.
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#27
Quote by TobusRex
Well a piece of advice I can give you on buying used is to make sure you listen to the axe through an amp. Common sense really, but I'm an electric noob who broke that rule and ended up unhappy. When I bought my MIM Strat I met the guy at a convenience store after following up his Craigslist ad. Anyway the guitar was beautiful and felt great. The case was pretty nice. I handled the guitar and picked on it for a few minutes (unplugged) and it all seemed good. Soon as I got home and plugged it into the amp...I was disappointed. The pickups are weak/thin sounding. I hate the tone even though I like the way the guitar feels/handles. A guy in this thread mentioned that if I had it properly set up that I'd like it more than my Epiphone. That might be true...but how much will I have to spend to make it better? $100? $200? That MIM Strat may well end up costing me $600 or more by the time I'm done.

Just saying....be careful. Maybe take along one of those portable headphone amps.

Moral..if you are buying an electric used make sure to play it through an amp first. Don't let your lust for the guitar interfere with your good judgement.

a good shop should charge you no more than $60-$70 for a set-up (this should include a set of strings also).

A set-up should consist of checking/setting intonation, setting the action and cleaning the guitar.
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#28
It sounds like u are going for the cheapest guitar ever. From my memory i remember those go for 100-300? Just go to guitar fetish and pick a humbucker guilt i suggest the les paul style with the floyd rose....called xaviere guitars. Come with upgraded pickups. Quilt top, and good wood. They are like 280 with case. Itll be way better than those choices.
#29
Old thread.
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