Hey guys!

It is my 40th birthday in a week and I have decided to get a guitar. I just started playing again about a month ago after not touching a guitar for about 20 years. I would say my level is skilled beginner.

So far I have been leaning towards the metal from when I was playing before (Pantera, Metalica, Skid Row, etc..) and Blue (SRV, Jimmy, etc..). Right now I have a rented Les Paul Studio 2013 here which I think sounds great but it is not that super comfortable to play for me. I like (attempting) to play fast. I have played some fender strats (american special) that I really loved the feel of, but they could not really do the Chugga Chugga I want for rock/metal. The les Paul can chug no problem, but even coil tapped it seems off for blues type riffs. I REALLY enjoy the Ibanez necks, but I am a bit hesitant about their complicated locking bridge systems, or how diverse the tone can be.

My budget is about $1500 CAN (assuming the birthday gods are predictable). As for amps, right now I just have a Fender Mustang I V.2 figured I will spend most of teh money on the guitar since I am basically just learning again,or more like remembering.

Main questions, but also looking for suggestions of guitars to try,

I have yet to be able to try an HSS strat, but would they typically be better at the CHugga Chugga sound? Or would putting something like the DiMarzio Super Distortion S in the bridge handle that (no stores in my area Toronto, have the HSS in stock)?

Are Ibanez just metal machines? Or are there models which would handle the blues types I mentioned? A friend has a RGT330q for sale that seems interesting, have not had a chnce to play it yet.

Thanx for any info!

Last edited by phaddie at Oct 7, 2016,
Your amp & pedals will do more of the heavy lifting when it comes to defining your available tones. The guitar is your tonal "fine tuning". If you know how to dial your amp & pedals well, you can play almost any genre on almost any guitar. (That said, it will be easier to "chugga-chugga" on a guitar with humbuckers.)

Where the guitar is utterly key is personal preferences in visual aesthetics and ergonomics; in the comfort & ease of use in manipulating your entire gear chain. You've stated you prefer a relatively slender neck for comfort & speed. Most guitars marketed towards metal guitarists will have such necks to some degree. Ibanez has infamously slender necks, but also see Fernandes, Shechter, BC Rich, ESP/LTD, Dean, Jackson, Charvel, Fernandes, and so forth for more options. If you plan on trying different tunings but only want to buy a single guitar, a hardtail will be less frustrating to deal with than a tremolo in the long run.

Since you're in Canada, I'd suggest you look for a used Bowes or something new/used from Godin (both Canadian companies). In the Godins, your best bet is probably a Velocity or Redline (both discontinued) or their Freeway. You might also find affordable options from Agile and Carvin/Kiesel.
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!
Thank you very much. What I have been doing it trying to play and get a feel for as many guitars as I can. So far ibanez and fender have been the guitars that feel the best. There are a few on your list that I have not tried yet.
Check out more Ibanez guitars.

I'd recommend the S series. This prestige has a fixed bridge, a fast and thin neck, and you can play anything on this. Comes in less aggressive colors too Ibanez S5511q http://www.ibanez.com/products/u_eg_detail.php?year=2016&cat_id=1&series_id=4&data_id=356&color=CL01

You might also look into the PRS CE22 and CE24 series. I have a special mahogany bodied CE22 that I feel like can really do any of the things you listed. The neck is NOT thin at all though. Very comfortable guitar in my opinion.

Also wanted to mention that if you buy used, both of these guitars are within your price range.
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Last edited by yellowshirtguy at Oct 8, 2016,
If you like the skinnier necks I suggest you try a Jackson or Charvel - always sister companies and both owned by Fender now. Their necks are compound radius and flatten out as you get higher up the neck - super comfortable. The upper end Fenders use the same compound radius.

They both have several models with HSS setups that will give you some tonal options.

For Jacksons the Pro Series are the way to go and have a nice oiled neck. The X series are less expensive and have painted necks. Both are available with a Floyd and hard tail versions.

If you go used look into the Made in Japan (MIJ) options.
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

Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
I have an American Special HSS and it's decent for Chugga Chugga, but not as metal as my 2 Ibanez guitars. Don't be intimidated by the locking bridge of an Ibanez, it's pretty easy to understand. My Ibanez guitars are also very versatile and can go from metal to pop/blues/jazz with no problems. Ibanez pickups are extremely versatile with their multiple settings. Another thing is the Floyd Rose tremolo arm is much better suited for fast/shred style play than the tremolo arm of a Fender. You may want to look at the Dave Murray (Iron Maiden) Strat model if you want to combine that Strat feel with Chugga-Chugga aspects.
Sayonara6String Thanks for the info. From playing a bunch of RG and S over the last 2 days I think I am happy with the versatility of sound I can get from the Ibanez. And like I said I really love the necks. Now I just need to figure out new or used. There are a few prestige units for sale used here in Toronto that are all in decent shape but 7-10 years old. Or maybe I get something like the RG721 which are on sale for 800 new here right now.