#1
Okay, so this is my first post so bear with me. Sorry for the kind of long post.

I'm a beginner and have been playing the acoustic for a couple of months now.
I don't really have an idea on what to look for in an electric guitar since I don't have a style or anything.

I mostly listen to a lot of classic rock and some modern rock as well. My favorite bands include Led Zeppelin, Cream, The Doors, (some of) Rush, System of a Down, The Who, and I have a new found love for Pixies.

I noticed that a lot of the musicians I like play either Gibsons of Fenders.

Would it be worth it to get an Epiphone Les Paul or a standard Fender Stratocaster?

I originally wanted to keep my budget around 500 USD but I'm willing to go over to get a guitar I know I would like. Or should I go for something cheaper? I feel like I rather have something good now instead of saving up more money and upgrading later since I'm 17 and don't have this much money very often.

I also read that there are guitars that are HH, HSS, etc. Yeah, I'm still not entirely sure what the difference is.

I don't think I want to buy used just because I wouldn't know what to look for and probably wouldn't be able to tell if something is broken or "off" about the guitar.

Would you consider those good choices? Any recommendations?

I'm also completely lost when it comes to amps, if anyone could help with that too it would be very much appreciated.

Thanks!
#2
try out as many guitars n your price range as you can. i'd reconsider used as your money will go further. as for checking out a guitar that is used just look for signs of damage. a guitar that is well taken care of isn't likely to have missing parts etc (not foolproof but a good indicator). what works for you is the best choice and while you can get a bunch of recommendations they may or may not be best for you.
#3
So for now I'd suggest you play both a Mexican Fender Standard Strat HSS (you will want the humbucker in the bridge) and the Epi Les Paul and go whichever one feels better.

If you are in the USA going used from Guitar Center online gets you a 30 day return policy. Then get the strings changed and a complete setup.

For the amp try a Peavey Vypyr Modeling amp. A used Tube 60 would be awesome but really anything with a 12" speaker will work.

This is a good starting setup and going used will reduce the budget greatly.
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. . .
#4
Get a reissued 1984 Epiphone Explorer, it has really good pickups, made from mahogany with a rosewood fretboard, the frets are a good size for a beginner, etc. You can get one new for $600. Or there's always a Les Paul Custom.

As for amps, I love my Bugera 333 half stack. You could probably find the 333 combo amp for $250, more or less. It's got a nice tone for metal and hard rock, even classic rock plus it's got a built in reverb!
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#5
I have a Gibson SGJ, its a cheaper Gibson but still plays great for its price range. I payed $600 Canadian for it. Should be cheaper elsewhere.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/gibson-sgj-electric-guitar

It isnt available currently from that site but you can get the specs.


UG REVIEW PAGE http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/electric_guitars/gibson/sgj/index.html
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Last edited by thrashster at Oct 29, 2015,
#6
From the bands you listed I'd recommend a double humbucker guitar, like an Epiphone Les Paul. Although if you are willing to look used you can get an actual Gibson Les Paul Studio Faded or SG Faded for around $500 - $600.

Single coil pickups sound thinner and will not give you the punch you want for most of those styles of music. Humbuckers sound warmer and fatter and they typically push your amp a little harder.

When you see something listed as "SSS" that means it has three single coils. "HSS" means it has a humbucker in the bridge, and single coils in the middle and neck. "HH" means it has two humbuckers. "HSH" means it has a humbucker, single coil, and a humbucker.

To muddy the waters even more, there are also P90 pickups. These are very fat sounding single coils that give you more grind than a traditional Stratocaster or Telecaster single coil. Tone-wise they're kind of in between single coils and humbuckers. They have a unique tone but they can do most kinds of music short of all-out metal.

Does your $500 budget include an amp, or is that just for the guitar?
Current Gear:
2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard
'57 AVRI Fender Stratocaster
MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH
Marshall JVM410
Vox AC15 C2
#7
The budget is for only the guitar. I wouldn't want to spend more than a couple hundred on the amp.
#8
Quote by 57Goldtop

When you see something listed as "SSS" that means it has three single coils. "HSS" means it has a humbucker in the bridge, and single coils in the middle and neck. "HH" means it has two humbuckers. "HSH" means it has a humbucker, single coil, and a humbucker.


Would my best bet be to go for either a HSS or a HSH since it has the ability to play with both single coil and humbuckers?
#9
I bought my first electric guitar this spring, an Epiphone Les Paul Standard PRO http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Les-Paul/Les-Paul-Standard-Plustop-PRO.aspx

It's a great guitar for the the price (aprox 450$ for the Honey Burst colour, somehow cheaper to produce. Other colours are aprox 500$). Besides great sound and sustain it really is a beauty which atleast for me is quite important. Check it out on Youtube, many vidoes about this guitar.

I'd recommend getting a proper set up from a pro that also can check how the nut slots are cut. The slot for the G string was poorly cut on mine which resulted in some tuning issues, but to fix the nut slots is easy peesy for a pro.

You didn't ask for amp suggestions but check out the ID series from Blackstar. Great starting amp that you can gig on small venues if you get the 30 watt or stronger versions. You can also hook it up to your PC with an included USB cable and have free acess to a Blackstar software which lets you save sounds, slow down your favourite songs to a speed that you can play along with, record sounds etc. So much great value from the amps this series. Check it out, you wont be dissapointed! I have an ID30TVP myself and it really is great for playing at home or using at band rehearsals or smaller gigs.

Best of luck to you with getting your electric gear! Rock on
#10
Quote by lzbd
The budget is for only the guitar. I wouldn't want to spend more than a couple hundred on the amp.


You should spend more on the amp than on the guitar if you're on a budget. The amp will be the most important piece of gear to shape your tone.

A 1000$ guitar will sound like shit on a 100$ amp. But a 100$ guitar can sound good on a 1000$ amp.

This is just an example, I'm not telling you to spend 1000 dollars on an amp obviously.

And you can find very nice guitars at low prices, specially if you go used. Same with amps, but you should spend more on the amp.

Since you have no idea of what you like in terms of electric guitars, go to a guitar store and try as many as you can. That is the best way to see which kind of guitar suits you best. Your favourite artists may use LPs and Strats, but that doesn't means you'll like how either of them feel in your hands. I know that it's good to have as a reference the gear that our favourite artists use when we are starting out, but never buy something just because your idol uses it without trying it out first
Last edited by DanyFS at Oct 29, 2015,
#11
I would recommend you get a new, or as mint condition as possible guitar as a starter. You would normally have a hard time coping with the issues associated with old beat up guitars.

Most of the suggestions here from other members seem to be quite refined choices. You can get a very nice LP copy from ESP LTD, which is widely acclaimed for their pretty decent quality.

My first electric guitar was an LTD M-10: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/esp-ltd-m-10-electric-guitar-with-gig-bag Which was AMAZING. Furthermore, all of the LTD line, along with Ibanez Gio, has got those "gracefully" thin neck profile which suits beginners.

Check this one out, I haven't tried it in flesh but it looks awesome and I'm pretty sure it plays heavenly, and it's on sale too:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/esp-ltd-ec-256-electric-guitar/h96672
#12
Quote by DanyFS
You should spend more on the amp than on the guitar if you're on a budget. The amp will be the most important piece of gear to shape your tone.

A 1000$ guitar will sound like shit on a 100$ amp. But a 100$ guitar can sound good on a 1000$ amp.

This is just an example, I'm not telling you to spend 1000 dollars on an amp obviously.

Sooooo much this.

If your sound were an ice cream sundae, the amp would be the ice cream, the pedals the chocolate syrup, and the guitar would be the nuts & cherries.


Heh-heh-heh...nuts & cherries.
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!
#13
Ok, I would have to agree with dannyfs. The amp is the most important part. Spend the 500 on an amp then look for a 2 humbucker guitar. Have it set up........ there are plenty of options for both but nothing beats trying them out. If you are not comfortable playing, have someone from the store play. Remember, your amp is the ice cream.
96 MIJ Jackson
Charvel DC 1 FR
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#14
Quote by lzbd
Would my best bet be to go for either a HSS or a HSH since it has the ability to play with both single coil and humbuckers?

At this point you might want to check out a few guitars in a local store to hear with your own ears. Single coils will sound thinner and brighter, humbuckers will sound thicker and warmer. You don't necessarily need both kinds of pickups in one guitar. It all depends what kinds of tones you want. I think you'd be fine with an HH guitar. But if you want more versatility you can check out HSS and HSH guitars too. But you should play them in a store before you buy one. Use the same amp settings for each guitar you try and it will really highlight the differences between them. Buy the one that speaks to you

I also agree 100% with DanyFS and dannyalcatraz - a cheap amp can make a nice guitar sound cheap... but a nice amp can make a cheap guitar sound nice.
Current Gear:
2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard
'57 AVRI Fender Stratocaster
MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH
Marshall JVM410
Vox AC15 C2
#15
en pei les paul for 400ish is a great place to start for a starter and will carry you for years.

also in that price range - PRS SE models
Carvin CT624
Walden G630ce Acoustic
Carvin V3M, Avatar 2x12 WGS Reaper, vet 30
(crybaby, Fairfield circuitry Comp, GFS tuner, Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head, Xotic AC booster, lovepedal trem, TC Flashback, PGS Trinity Reverb, Walrus Audio Aetos power)
#16
I would have never thought that the amp would be the ice cream. Thank you all. Hopefully guitar center stocks most of the stuff you all recommended so I could try it out
#17
Alright so I really like that you are getting into electric guitar, and really like the bands you are fond of too. Anyway, Epiphone's are great guitars (for the price) the quality of the amount of money you spend is great. You can really get great sounds out of epiphone guitars if you switch out the pups or pickups and tuners. My rig includes the following: an epiphone 1966 SG with maybe a blues driver pedal with a VS100 Marshall amplifier. Great rig for the money I put into it. So you can do some research on what you think of the fender strat. Personally I'm not to fond of fenders mainly Gibson and ibanez but ya. I hope this helps. Good luck mate. CHEERS!
#18
The amp comes first as the folks recommended... good luck in your choice
'12 Gibson '58 Re-issue
'14 Fender American Special Stratocaster
'14 Squier Classic Vibe 50's Telecaster
'05 Ibanez RG320FM (With Upgrades)
Laney IRT Studio (IRT112 Cab)
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BOSS GT-8