#1
I have a thread over in the gear forum about getting a new effects unit, but I'm also looking at a new guitar. I play extreme black/death metal, but I also want a good clean tone (more on that in a second), and my budget runs about $1000. Here are the specs I want:

1) Twenty-four frets
2) Seven strings
3) Coil tap
4) Locking tremolo

Here's the thing: my old guitar is a Schecter C-1 Elite, and I love it to death. It has the generic Seymour Duncans ("Duncan Designed" or something like that). I really like how, when I activate the coil tap for a single-coil sound and switch to the neck pickup, it sounds almost like an acoustic. I'm basically looking for a guitar that sounds like my C-1 Elite, except with seven strings, a more metal-appropriate bridge pickup, and a locking tremolo. Versatility is key.

I don't need a super-fast neck, because, despite playing metal, I don't care to play flashy solos (I'm a riffcrafter, not a shredder). That being said, a fast neck certainly isn't a BAD thing. I just don't *need* it. The locking tremolo isn't really for leads either; I just want as much technical/dynamic versatility as possble.

As to the pickups, I'm looking for the most metal-sounding pickup possible (possibly an EMG? I know little about pickups) for the bridge. I need to be able to pull off heavy distortion while maintaining clarity so I can play those delightful heavy/technical metal riffs at high speed. For the neck, I'm looking for something more mellow; I want to be able to get both the nasally "clean electric guitar with a humbucker" sound and that super-clean semi-acoustic sound that you get from a single coil. So, a coil tap seems to be the best option.

Given that I usually record to a computer rather than using an amp or playing live although I do jam with friends sometimes), is an active pickup set worth it?

As I said, my budget is about $1000, but I'm willing to drop another $200 on pickups/installation if need be.
#2
If you like Schecters then they're definitely a great company to look into, two models that instantly come to my mind:
http://www.schecterguitars.com/guitars/hellraiser-hybrid/hellraiser-hybrid-c-7-fr-detail -> apparently a tiny bit over your budget (but that might depend on the store I guess?), from what I've heard the EMG 57/66 set is quite high output, but excels at clarity and has great cleans. (Jeff Loomis has been using those for a while, and his tone is awesome.)
http://www.schecterguitars.com/guitars/banshee-7-fr-passive-detail -> (I think there are other finish colours too but Schecter did something derp with their site) a model I've been looking at myself for a long time (only the fixed bridge version), fits your description perfectly. The Nazgul is generally a very hot pickup, but it's generally designed to sound bright and articulate, especially for low tunings, and I've loved every clip of it I've heard, it sounds aggressive and tight as fuck.

Both are pretty solid midrange Schecter models, so they should be very reliable and the hardware is great as usual in their case.

If you're in the US, I've heard nothing but absolute praise for Carvin and it seems their cheaper series are in your price range, and they have the most gorgeous finishes I've ever seen, but well, being half the planet away I can't say more than that.

I'm not a huge expert but I think these are good starting points, maybe the veterans can add more options.
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
There's no point in trying to convince a moron.
#3
What exactly don't you like about your Schecter that you feel this new guitar will fulfill? Aside from the Floyd and the 7 strings, of course.

What kind of body style are you looking for?
What kind of construction are you looking for?
What type of Floyd Rose Bridge?
Scale length?
Fretboard radius?
Fretwire size?
Woods?

Ask yourself these sorts of questions and then people can start making recommendations based on what you like, and not solely based on what other people like.
I don't need a super-fast neck, because, despite playing metal, I don't care to play flashy solos (I'm a riffcrafter, not a shredder). That being said, a fast neck certainly isn't a BAD thing. I just don't *need* it.

There's absolutely nothing stopping you from playing rhythm guitar on something with a very thin (I know you said 'fast', but generally, 'fast' necks are associated with being thin. But in reality this is entirely subjective and it depends on who you ask) neck. Your style of play doesn't dictate the neck profile of the guitar you're going to buy. The only thing dictating it is if you like how it feels in general, regardless of your musical style.
As to the pickups, I'm looking for the most metal-sounding pickup possible (possibly an EMG? I know little about pickups) for the bridge.

What kind of 'metal' style? What kind of metal guitar tones do you want to emulate? Be specific. Bear in mind that when it comes to electric guitar tone in general, your amp and how you're using it plays a far, far bigger role than your pickups (in relative terms, of course). A more relevant question may be what kind of amp may you may want, to emulate the sorts of tones you like.
I need to be able to pull off heavy distortion while maintaining clarity so I can play those delightful heavy/technical metal riffs at high speed.

This is really vague. Pretty much every metal guitar player is looking for these sorts of qualities in their tone. You need to be more specific.
For the neck, I'm looking for something more mellow; I want to be able to get both the nasally "clean electric guitar with a humbucker" sound and that super-clean semi-acoustic sound that you get from a single coil.

Again, this is too vague to tell anyone very much about your specific needs.
is an active pickup set worth it?

As yourself if its worth it. Nobody can make this decision for you.
Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend
Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Nov 18, 2015,
#4
Check out the Agile Interceptor Pro. They will come in well below budget.

Well regarded especially for what your $ gets you.

Go to RondoMusic.com and search for the model number you like. 725 is a 7 string 25" scale, 727 is a 7 string 27" scale etc.
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. . .
Last edited by metalmingee at Nov 18, 2015,
#5
@ T00DEEPBLUE: I think you're being quite nitpicky. This is one of the more specific "what guitar" threads I've encountered and the only thing that's missing - which he admits - is not much knowledge of pickups. There aren't many guitars fulfilling all the criteria he's provided to begin with (especially in this budget, if he had 3x that he could just get an EBMM JP and be done with it), at least I haven't seen more than a few FR 7-strings with a coil-split but still high-output pickups, and this is most definitely within my own field of interest.

Even more so if he adds clarity as a significant factor, which is not necessarily a priority for all metal - in stuff like doom, stoner or some death metal a huge tone for a massive wall of sound is much more of a priority usually.
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
There's no point in trying to convince a moron.
#6
Quote by TheLiberation
@ T00DEEPBLUE: I think you're being quite nitpicky. This is one of the more specific "what guitar" threads I've encountered and the only thing that's missing - which he admits - is not much knowledge of pickups. There aren't many guitars fulfilling all the criteria he's provided to begin with (especially in this budget, if he had 3x that he could just get an EBMM JP and be done with it), at least I haven't seen more than a few FR 7-strings with a coil-split but still high-output pickups, and this is most definitely within my own field of interest.

Even more so if he adds clarity as a significant factor, which is not necessarily a priority for all metal - in stuff like doom, stoner or some death metal a huge tone for a massive wall of sound is much more of a priority usually.

It is a bit nitpicky, but the fact still remains that if he isn't really sure what pickups he is looking for, then that is something he needs to research for himself.

7 string guitars with Floyds aren't all that uncommon. I don't really consider coil splitting too relevant to his search because any guitar that has pickups with 4 conductor wire (which the vast majority of guitars these days do) can have their pickups coil splittable. It isn't very much more difficult than simply replacing the pickups themselves, which is something TS has mentioned that he is willing to consider. It also allows one to choose how to control the coil splitting feature itself (Push/pull pots, selector switches etc.) which is something I see only as an advantage.

I suppose one might argue that not every guitar player wants a guitar tone that has a lot of clarity, but they're much more the exception than the rule; generally the vast majority do.
Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend
Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Nov 18, 2015,
#7
Yeah but I mean, if he knew all that stuff already he wouldn't need this thread and he'd just probably find what he wants all by himself or get a custom. I think he really provided enough information for a solid thread with a reasonable number of options that's far narrower than "every second 7-string out there". Schecter have very few models that fit the description other than the two I've given, and it's probably even less with other big brands like Ibanez or ESP (especially with their severe "EMG81 IN EVERYTHING" syndrome), and the issue of 7-strings designed for versatility rather than uber-brvtvlz only being fairly rare is something I'm very familiar with myself.

And I generally assume it's far better in such cases to look for a guitar that already has all these features stock. If there's a good guitar that can give you exactly what you want and another that needs modding, why not get the former? It may become almost insignificant in double this price range, but if you're looking at a guitar around $1000 or so, adding 200-300 for pickups and possibly their installation is quite a lot.
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
There's no point in trying to convince a moron.
#8
I don't want to get involved in the back and forth here but I should have stated the Agile is $600. You can split the passive version for a $10 pot?

Active versions come with EMG 707 or Duncan Blackouts. Research if you can or need to split those.

Assuming $100 each for whatever pickups you want you're up to $810.

The economics for what you want are pretty compelling.

Maybe spend the rest on a PLEK job?

That would be one hell of an axe.
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. . .
#9
Metalmingee: Thanks, dude. I think I'll stay with the Schecter recommendation from TheLiberation, but I'll definitely keep the Interceptor in my back pocket if I decide that the coil tap is less important. Damn good specs for the price, and I may look into one of these if I decide to get a third guitar for a different purpose.

TheLiberation: thanks for pointing me toward the Hellraiser Hybrid C-7 FR. However, by following the link to your page, I found a similar guitar with almost identical specs, also from Schecter, that does have a coil tap! Rather than a Hellraiser Hybrid C-7 FR, it's a Hellraiser C-7 FR (without the "hybrid" part), and it's even available in white, which is the color I wanted! This has pretty much all the features I wanted, so thanks for helping me find it. I think I've found my new guitar.

TDB: with all due respect, you're nitpicking. I scanned the last ten or so recommendation threads, and none of them mentioned the stuff you specified. No mentions of fretwire size, body style, fretboard radius, or smell given off when the guitar is burned. I don't think I need to specify the exact linear momentum of an object with mass equal to the sum of the masses of the guitar's tuners relative to the center of the Andromeda Galaxy at a distance of 17/pi kiloparsecs in order to ask for a recommendation here. I appreciate the time you took to respond to my thread but I was asking for recommendations, not a guitarist's life lesson.
Last edited by Mythopoeios at Nov 18, 2015,
#11
Quote by Ippon
I have 2, both with less than a day's use. Interested?



PM me and we'll see what we can work out.
#12
for 800 you can get a base keisel brand carvin that will probably destroy any other sub 1000 dollar guitar on the market.

for 1200 you can probably get a slightly upgraded base model keisel, or a nicer model, but base configuration keisel with good enough pickups you probably dont need to change (lithiums) which will still probably crush any 1200 dollar guitar on the market.

id be all over an aries or a base vader 7...vader coming in about 1250. aries about 950

http://www.carvinguitars.com/customshop/kieselguitars.php
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)
Last edited by ikey_ at Nov 18, 2015,
#13
I'm gonna go with Carvin for this one. $1000 will get you a very nice guitar, whether it be a DC700 (my choice) or an Aries.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#14
Quote by Mythopoeios
TheLiberation: thanks for pointing me toward the Hellraiser Hybrid C-7 FR. However, by following the link to your page, I found a similar guitar with almost identical specs, also from Schecter, that does have a coil tap! Rather than a Hellraiser Hybrid C-7 FR, it's a Hellraiser C-7 FR (without the "hybrid" part), and it's even available in white, which is the color I wanted! This has pretty much all the features I wanted, so thanks for helping me find it. I think I've found my new guitar.

^_^ nice! Although, while Hellraisers are generally very, very solid, I recommend taking a good look at how EMGs sound (these are 707s, which are slightly different than 81) - not everyone likes them, and they're definitely, well, unique. EMGs do generally excel at clarity with high gain, though.
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
There's no point in trying to convince a moron.
#15
Quote by metalmingee
I don't want to get involved in the back and forth here but I should have stated the Agile is $600. You can split the passive version for a $10 pot?


Sure.


Quote by metalmingee

Maybe spend the rest on a PLEK job?



I'm a proponent of PLEK jobs if you're playing a guitar with a pretty low action and if the fretwork requires work. Carvins/Kiesels, for example, come out of their box with outstanding fretwork. Ordering up something from Sweetwater that's already had a 7000 mile trip from Korea or indonesia, etc., will often give you something else entirely.

$1000 and below gives you one class of guitars. Pop above that number (and up to around $3K) and you'll find a different realm.
#16
Quote by Mythopoeios

TDB: with all due respect, you're nitpicking. I scanned the last ten or so recommendation threads, and none of them mentioned the stuff you specified. No mentions of fretwire size, body style, fretboard radius, or smell given off when the guitar is burned.


And so we see you getting a guitar like the one you already have (same brand and everything); a generic Asian import that's simply more of the same with 7 strings, and we wonder why you bothered to ask anyone here for advice at all.

I'm not knocking; we have a whole lot of people ask this same question who seem to simply want the forum to confirm what they've already decided, and who aren't really open to other choices.

Unfortunately, for those who ARE open and who DO want help, I'm increasingly bypassing the flood of "Help me pick new guitar" threads as a cry of wolf and a waste of time, and I'll guess that some others will as well. The result will be a generic recommendation of four brands that are easily found internationally or from the usual online shops, and the result will be a continuing mediocrity and the stuffing of the pockets of the folks who order up these guitars in container-loads.

There's no point in asking anyone here to find you a gem in the substrate, or an amazing guitar for your money and preferences. You have and retain generic tastes and your tastes in guitars will be based on generic values going forward, so that it's unlikely that you'll recognize a really good guitar when you come across one.
Last edited by dspellman at Nov 19, 2015,
#17
Sorry, but I'm with him on this one. I don't know what you guys are on about in this thread. I've seen countless threads far more vague than this without any high horse answers.

If people had perfect knowledge on every detail they need in the guitar and every company out there, they wouldn't need forums for recommendations.
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
There's no point in trying to convince a moron.
Last edited by TheLiberation at Nov 19, 2015,
#18
Quote by TheLiberation
Sorry, but I'm with him on this one. I don't know what you guys are on about in this thread. I've seen countless threads far more vague than this without any high horse answers.

If people had perfect knowledge on every detail they need in the guitar and every company out there, they wouldn't need forums for recommendations.


I think it's because I had the balls to say that the Tube Amp Emperor has no clothes in another thread. Some people stake all of their self-esteem on being pretentious about imaginary differences between overpriced pieces of wood with some metal in them, but I think this is more about feeling threatened that other people don't care about your instrumental ego trip.

Quote by dspellman
I'm increasingly bypassing the flood of "Help me pick new guitar" threads as a cry of wolf and a waste of time


It's nice to know that you intend to pass up threads like this one in the future, even if you couldn't help yourself this time.
Last edited by Mythopoeios at Nov 19, 2015,
#19
That's a bit self-important. I can tell you for sure that dspellman is the opposite of a tube amp apologist, and that whatever truth-to-power fantasies you have aren't at play here.

The response was a bit severe, but it is tiresome to see an endless parade of functionally identical threads, essentially just asking to be told which of a handful of readily available, nearly identical guitars they should buy. That's not your fault specifically, you only made one thread, but I think that's the reason this happened. It's certainly not because anybody cares what you said about tubes in another thread. That's just self-aggrandizing.

With that budget I'd be looking at a Carvin with a pickup swap, or stretching the budget a little bit for an Ibanez Prestige (might be able to get a used one within your budget? I'm not up on current prices). I'd also suggest, seriously, that you spend some more time playing and forming preferences beyond the very basic. If you really like your current guitar, it's probably not smart to just pay & pray that a higher end model is going to be better for you.
#20
Quote by Roc8995
That's a bit self-important. I can tell you for sure that dspellman is the opposite of a tube amp apologist, and that whatever truth-to-power fantasies you have aren't at play here.

The response was a bit severe, but it is tiresome to see an endless parade of functionally identical threads, essentially just asking to be told which of a handful of readily available, nearly identical guitars they should buy. That's not your fault specifically, you only made one thread, but I think that's the reason this happened. It's certainly not because anybody cares what you said about tubes in another thread. That's just self-aggrandizing.


"Truth to power?" Goodness, no! That would imply that the difference between pieces of musical equipment was a real thing that mattered. I just figured someone had to be staking their inflated and fragile ego on their all-important hobby of collecting overpriced chunks of wood with wires in them, and getting mad when someone else didn't care. Hence the condescending whining about "generic tastes."

That being said: I wanted a new guitar. I wanted certain features. So I listed the features I wanted and asked what a guitar would be in a particular price range. I only care about features that actually make a difference in what I can do with the thing. I'm not searching for the perfect "tone."

With that budget I'd be looking at a Carvin with a pickup swap, or stretching the budget a little bit for an Ibanez Prestige (might be able to get a used one within your budget? I'm not up on current prices). I'd also suggest, seriously, that you spend some more time playing and forming preferences beyond the very basic. If you really like your current guitar, it's probably not smart to just pay & pray that a higher end model is going to be better for you.


Thanks for the recommendations. Will chew on them.
#21
It wouldn't imply that at all. It just implies that you think your opinion is so controversial and important that people are offended by it to the point of harassing you in other threads, which of course you claimed directly. It also happens to be untrue.

Don't mean to derail, just pointing out that you're doing an awful lot of grandstanding, especially for someone so concerned with the allegedly fragile egos of others. It might make you look like less of an asshole to politely ignore or dismiss what doesn't agree with you. This is a tight community and taking swings at people you don't know very well might not end well for you. For better or for worse, newcomers with a bit of an abrasive streak tend not to last long around here.

In any case, I'll reiterate the Ibanez suggestion. You might want to look into which of the Prestige or even used J-Custom models you may be able to afford. Carvin specs are of course excellent, but I've never played one I really loved, despite all sorts of options and really excellent workmanship. Ibanez on the other hand gives you fewer options but I've been more blown away by some of their higher end stuff, which you should be able to reach with your budget, maybe stretched a tad depending on what specific model you want. Carvin has never done well in the pickup department, which closes the gap a bit; those Ibanez models will generally have pretty good pickups in them already, though of course you can always personalize and upgrade those down the road as your tastes and budget evolve. You can't go wrong with either, and lots of people really love Carvin, which is why I recommend them all the time, but Ibanez to me really has the lead in the 7 string realm.
#22
I still have no fucking clue how is this thread worse than the 10000 "looking for a guitar for heavy stuff, $300 budget" threads that never got 10% of the whining this one got despite having 10% of the description. And despite all the effort you all spent on complaining about how not detailed enough his description is, you've all come up with an incredibly fucking overwhelming number of ONE (Ibanez) suggestion other than my own, making it three altogether. Good job.

I give up, have fun.
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
There's no point in trying to convince a moron.
#23
It's not worse and nobody actually said it was. Someone complained, now we're moving past it and having a conversation, except for you complaining about the previous complaining. Please give up more quietly next time.

Threads that were worse got no complaints probably because they weren't worth the time. This one seems to have promise, given half a chance. Or maybe it was luck, who cares. We're here now.