Hello everyone,

This is my first post on this forum (although I've been reading through it for quite a while now)

I just recently bought my first e-guitar (an Ibanez grg170dx about 4 month ago). However, being the nitpicker that I am, I'm starting to become quite bothered by some design particularities of my current guitar and I have a quite extensive check-list that I hope my next guitar will cover:

  • fixed bridge with individual string height adjustment (i.e. some Ibanez Gibraltar Bridges) EDIT: I can reluctantly abandon the string height feature if needed, but it must be fixed since I plan to switch tunnings a lot.
  • active pickups (EMGs preferably)
  • same placement of the output jack like on the Gibson SGs (and if not Fender Strat style is also acceptable)
  • killswitch
  • body: doesn't really matter but I'd kinda want to stay away from flying V's since many people complain they're not comfortable for practicing while sitting down (unless you use the classical position)
  • nice to have: 24 frets
  • nice to have: natural wood finish
  • nice to have: cheap'ish ...

I have not found such a guitar yet and it's quite difficult to search for one since most of the websites that sell them don't have any filtering capabilities quite as detailed as I would want them to be. So I decided to rely on the extensive know-how of the UG community in my quest for this dream guitar.

I am fully aware that at my current skill level I should not be impacted by any of these design details but I really enjoy playing guitar and I have a very limited amount of time for practicing and I'm willing to throw money away needlessly just to increase my chances of making faster progress and I think being fully satisfied with your guitar can make a difference in the long run.

Last edited by fmmirel1 at May 6, 2016,
First up, answer the questions found here and we'll be able to give you some actual help.

I will say right now a killswitch in a 'cheap-ish' guitar is kind of like looking for chicken's teeth. However, you can install one pretty cheaply.
@slapsymcdougal - heh, I would have thought that the active EMG's are the ones that push the price up. I saw that cheap models like the Epiphone SG Special have a killswitch feature and I figured it's not that pricey but it's probably one of the few guitars that fit this description.

Here are the answers(and thanks for your reply):

Budget? - What is practical for you and what is your limit?
Practical: 500$, Absolute limit: 1000$

Favorite Artists? - Are there any guitarists whose tone that you'd like to get close to?
Top 3 in no particular order: Pantera, Megadeth, Slayer
I also enjoy the occasional Frank Zappa but that's for a future setup

Preferences? - What body shapes, neck profiles, brands, and number of frets do you like/want?
No hard preferences here except that i'd like to avoid flying V's and it would be nice if the guitar had 24 frets

Pickups? - Do you want actives, passives, humbuckers, single coils? What configuration are you looking for?
active humbuckers (preferably EMGs)

New or Used?
Preferably new since the used guitar market is not so active in my area. I'm also not that experienced to venture out and but old guitars since I might overlook big flaws that they might have.


Current Gear?
Ibanez grg170dx
Peavey Vypyr Vip 1
The one that's closest to my needs:

It almost hits every important checkmark except for #3 (the output jack placement). It's the same as the one on my current guitar and it really bothers me for multiple reasons. I know it's the most common placement on e-guitars but I keep banging the jack on my chair for some reason and I'm going to break something eventually. Plus, it's impossible to play with it in the classical position. I know that an L shaped jack could help but I spend a lot of time in Rocksmith and there's no L shaped option for the proprietary cable.

And the one that I'd really like (even if it misses a few of the items on my list)
Unfortunately it's no longer available and I can't find other sellers that have something similar.
OK, the Ibanez you're linking to is a baritone. Might want to rethink that as a choice, because it'll feel nothing like your current guitar(factory set up will be drop B, strings you could just about moor a ship with, scale length is 2 1/2" longer than your Gio).

The jack placement is the real killer, because changing that is gong to be a big job(unless you're happy to leave a big hole in the guitar).

Ibanez have 2 lines of guitars with front mounted jacks, the Talman(which is pretty much the opposite of everything else you want) and the S series(actually promising).

While none of the S series come with active pickups or killswitches, they do have front mounted jacks. The basic one(here) is about 400 Euros. An EMG 81/85 set will run you maybe 170 Euros, and the control cavity has space for the battery(it may get cramped if you want to run the 18V mod though), and the EMG solderless system will make putting a killpot in(the pot itself will run about 30 Euros) a little awkward, but it's still doable.

Alternatively, the Iron label S series will run you closer to 900 Euros - and doesn't have active pickups - but the stock pickups on it are pretty solid(OK, I have a guitar with the Tone Zone/Air Norton combo, and I like it). And with a Wizard 3 neck, it's shreddy as fuck, too.
Ha, and I was so close to go for that RG Iron Label. Thanks for saving me from making (yet another) guitar picking mistake.

That S series looks cool as HELL. And it does check almost every item on my list except the pickups and the killswitch.

"the EMG solderless system will make putting a killpot in(the pot itself will run about 30 Euros) a little awkward, but it's still doable."

Hmm, so if I stick to passives, the killpot installation will probably become much easier. Are the Quantum pickups any better than the Infinity ones I have on my current Ibanez? (they sound muddy as hell to me)

Thanks again for the replies,
Much appreciated
The Quantum ones are a step up from INF, IMO. I wouldn't call them outstanding, but I do think you'd hear a difference.

The issue with the electronics and the killpot aren't insurmountable by any means, but I hate soldering, which can influence my opinions a bit.