#1
Hi people. I'm looking for a first electric guitar, and want to spend about $300. For now it will be just for practicing, but I want to get something as versatile as possible in case I need to use it for whatever reason. Models I'm considering:

Epiphone Les Paul 100 - http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/epiphone-les-paul-100-electric-guitar

Yamaha Pacifica PAC112v - http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/yamaha-pac112v-electric-guitar/583500000001000?cntry=us&source=3WWRWXGP&gclid=CjwKEAiA3qXBBRD4_b_V7ZLFsX4SJAB0AtEVfu1VE3erHFnRl1Cq_PDQWGSKBZ4LZ8UcpYHePFMQaRoC_5nw_wcB&kwid=productads-adid^156727059247-device^c-plaid^265927224406-sku^583500000001000@ADL4MF-adType^PLA

Squier Fat Strat - http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/squier-black-and-chrome-fat-strat-electric-guitar?cntry=us&source=3WWRWXGP&gclid=CjwKEAiA3qXBBRD4_b_V7ZLFsX4SJAB0AtEVYSJm5ZQPfOpQtnlY3BfBCQhrodR59tomP2ZNCc6-ohoCRYvw_wcB&kwid=productads-adid^156403583515-device^c-plaid^257596613515-sku^511944000001069@ADL4MF-adType^PLA

I like progressive rock, classic rock, and some metal. For that reason, I'm leaning toward the Les Paul. However, I believe an HSS setup would be more versatile overall (hence my other two considerations). Would an HSS setup handle heavy distortion well?

I'm open to other suggestions of course, and would consider spending a little more if it meant getting something significantly better.
#2
HSS is fine for heavy distortion, more often than not you're using the bridge humbucker for heavy stuff anyway and you have that with HSS (fwiw the pacifica 120 has two humbuckers if you're prefer that to the HSS setup). And you could make an argument that the longer scale length of most superstrats is actually (slightly) better for heavier stuff as it lends a slightly tighter tone which is useful when using heavy distortion (because it can get muddy quickly).

i've only tried the pacifica out of those 3 but i was under the impression that that LP 100 is generally considered to be very much beginner quality i.e. best avoided. personally (as long as you can get along with its quite narrow nut width) i'd probably take the pacifica out of those 3, but that's just me (plus as i said, i've only tried the pacifica).
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#4
Alright, looks like I'll go for the Pacifica. I've never tried a Yamaha electric, but I've tended to like Yamaha necks on other instruments.

I know for a fact though that I like the shape of Fender necks, so does anyone have an opinion on the Squier Fat Strat?

One other question: On a budget, I've had trouble in the past with fret buzz on cheaper acoustic guitars. Is this less of an issue with electrics?
#6
Yea, I also agree on the Pacifica. I've never owned one, but my buddy got one years ago. Actually sounded more then decent for an entry level guitar, was very impressed.
#7
Squier or Pacifica will be the best value. Be sure to get the guitar professionally setup - a well setup $300 guitar is better than a $5000 guitar with a poor setup.
#8
Alright, so I went to the store and was able to try a few guitars. I really liked the solid feel and sound of the Les Paul. And the neck, while not a shape I'm used to, I kinda liked. The Squier Fat Strat felt kinda cheap to me, but I feel like I could get along with it if I had to.

Here's the problem though: They didn't have the Pacifica, and I don't know anywhere I could try it out. Are there any chains that sell Yamaha electrics? If I can't try it, I have two options:
1) Just get the Les Paul (although someone mentioned it to be lowish quality)
2) Buy the Pacifica online and hope for the best. If I do this, does anyone happen to know how the neck feels in comparison to a stratocaster?

Quote by Tony Done
martianshark1Fret buzz is often a question of basic setup. - Which you should budget for as an essential part of the establishment cost.


You mean having someone do adjustments to the bridge and truss and stuff? What does setup normally cost?
#10
^^ yeah that's the dilemma that a lot of us end up in- can't try all the options. It's really up to you, it's very difficult to know what to do in that situation, especially if you don't have much experience with different guitars. I'd have thought the pacifica neck would be closeish to a strat neck, but i could be wrong.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#11
I think I'd rather try the Pacifica. However, as long as I'm ordering online, I might as well open myself to more options that can't normally be found locally.

So, are there any highly regarded lesser known budget guitars on the internet? Preferably something versatile that has at least one humbucker on it.
#12
If it helps any OP, I couldn't find the cheap electric I wanted locally so I bought it online. So there are people that do that. That said, I have budgeted for (Or I should say, the chain I am ordering from threw in) a set up. I spent a lot of years thinking I had a lemon of a MIJ Jackson, but it was setup bad, and I was never good enough to know it. Also, if going online, ensure that the store has a good return policy, and maybe spring for shipping insurance...
#13
^ I'm not sure how it works in the USA, but i know in the EU (or at least the UK) legally the retailer is responsible for the product until you get it. if it's smashed it's their problem, basically. that being said, it may well not be the same in the USA.

^^ Yeah that's a fair point. I'm not that well up on what's available in the USA, though. There may well be better options than the Pacifica
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#14
Just checking in. Although I'll likely go for the Pacifica, here's a list of topics I'd still appreciate feedback on:

-Opinions on the Fat Strat. (or really any of them)
-Comparisons between Strat necks and Pacifica necks
-Good budget online-exclusive guitars
-Average setup cost
#15
I would go with Pacifica, purely on reputation. Except for workmanship, I wouldn't get too hung up on neck qualities, you can get used to pretty much anything. It is especially easy if you are a beginner.