#1
Hey guys,

I am looking for a new main guitar to play. I play mostly Christian rock. Tone wise I'm going for Kutless, Hillsong, or third day type tones. So the ability to have beautiful almost acoustic tones and then to have heavier over driven or distorted abilities. PRS makes my favorite guitat but it comes in at about $5000 and I just don't have that to spend. My budget is $1500 max. I am looking for versatility. I own a DeArmond x155 that has some beautiful acoustic type cleans but it doesn't handle distortion very well.

What would you recommend? I'm playing thru amusic ac15.

Thanks,
Kevin
#2
Can you post some vids that showcase the tones you seek?
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!
#3
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!
#4
Yeah sorry about that! This is the guitar I would buy if I had the money. It's got the tone I'm after. So something similar in versatility. I'll check out the one you linked to in the mean time.



Thanks,
Kevin
#6
I also look for "acousticness" in electrics, and think that P90s - my favourites - are a good compromise if you also want OD sounds. Ibanez used to do a nice semihollow with P90s, but I couldn't find it in their recent line-up.

wolfen, I've tried covered humbuckers and acoustic FX, and didn't like either of them for clean sounds.
#7
wolflen Thanks for the reply, That epiphone actually sounds pretty sweet.

My shortlist right now is the following:
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/StarfireIVSTFN

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/JSM10VYS

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Epiphone/Sheraton-II-PRO-Electric-Guitar.gc

Any buddy have thoughts or opinions? I figure these options all save a few bucks so I could get a nice delay or some new fx too.

The closest guitar shop is about 45 mins and I don't drive so just trying to get an idea of what I'm looking for before I head up there to demo them.

Thanks,
Kevin
#9
Tony Done
Quote by Tony Done
If you're looking for "almost acoustic tones", be sure to try covered humbuckers before you commit to them. - or be prepared for pickup swapping.
Good tip - I didn't think of that.

I guess my ultimate goal is to make the biggest tonal difference I can for around $2000. I used to play a lot of gigs and carried tons of pedals but moved to almost all studio work where I did most of the stuff ITB now I'm back out on stage and prefer going back to a rig but I literally have to rebuild. I mean I may have a volume pedal and some misc stuff but for the most part I liquidated all of that stuff years back.

In that budget I need to get a new amp to gig with so that leaves me basically $1500 that I can use either to invest in a pedal board and use my DeArmond X155 which by no means is a bad guitar. It has the custom DeArmond USA pickups in it which make it a great studio guitar.

So what are the thoughts, which comes first? The chicken or the egg? The pedal board or the guitar? I can't even remember back to how I originally started. I think I bought an ESP with some p90s a distortion pedal a noise gate and said rock and roll haha.

Thanks,
Kevin
#10
That's a hard question, because it is a kind of evolutionary thing, the pickups, FX and amp develop together. I guess my take on this is that you have to decide on the key FX, and the amp. The choices will depend on things like whether your amp has reverb and/or a gain channel that you can use. In my case part of it is easy, because I don't like vintage-style humbuckers in most guitars, and I put a lot of importance on the amp. So I have an amp, a few pedals and pickups I like. - The lump of wood is fairly inconsequential as long as it feels and looks OK. I find it helps to think of the instrument as the whole package, lump of wood, pickups, FX and amp. I see the lump of wood as the least important, provided it looks and feels OK.
#11
Nobody has spoken on this yet, but I think that you are not going to great or even arguable "acousticness" through a semi-hollow, there's just not enough reverberation and I've never heard one that had particularly acousticy sound profile. Unless you're just referring to great cleans?

Anywho, I'm biased in this regard, because I bought this guitar a few months ago, but you can find Vox Virage's right at the top end of your price range, and they're fantastic.

Alternatively, I really enjoyed this when I played it:

https://www.eastmanguitars.com/thinline-t386
My God, it's full of stars!
#13
Quote by Tony Done
That's a hard question, because it is a kind of evolutionary thing, the pickups, FX and amp develop together. I guess my take on this is that you have to decide on the key FX, and the amp. The choices will depend on things like whether your amp has reverb and/or a gain channel that you can use. In my case part of it is easy, because I don't like vintage-style humbuckers in most guitars, and I put a lot of importance on the amp. So I have an amp, a few pedals and pickups I like. - The lump of wood is fairly inconsequential as long as it feels and looks OK. I find it helps to think of the instrument as the whole package, lump of wood, pickups, FX and amp. I see the lump of wood as the least important, provided it looks and feels OK.

Thanks for the feedback and I tend to agree that was the regret with my old board before I liquidated it. I bought pedals that sounded cool but didn't look at the big picture.

Ultimately I need a good reverb, a nice delay, a couple transparent OD pedals, and a tuner and I'm more or less set so I'm trying to think end game what does this rig look like and sound like. What are the key pedals what amp what guiatar pick ups etc. That video is the closest think to the sound I am after.

Quote by Dreadnought
Nobody has spoken on this yet, but I think that you are not going to great or even arguable "acousticness" through a semi-hollow, there's just not enough reverberation and I've never heard one that had particularly acousticy sound profile. Unless you're just referring to great cleans?

Anywho, I'm biased in this regard, because I bought this guitar a few months ago, but you can find Vox Virage's right at the top end of your price range, and they're fantastic.

Alternatively, I really enjoyed this when I played it:

https://www.eastmanguitars.com/thinline-t386


Yeah that's true I was looking into full hollowbody guitars but I'm a little worried about them being difficult during live shows.

Thank you for the suggestions going to read up on both.

Thanks,
Kevin
#14
Quote by theEmbark


I am looking for a new main guitar to play. I play mostly Christian rock. Tone wise I'm going for Kutless, Hillsong, or third day type tones. So the ability to have beautiful almost acoustic tones and then to have heavier over driven or distorted abilities. PRS makes my favorite guitat but it comes in at about $5000 and I just don't have that to spend. My budget is $1500 max. I am looking for versatility. I own a DeArmond x155 that has some beautiful acoustic type cleans but it doesn't handle distortion very well.


I apologize for sounding like a broken record, sometimes, but I've been using Variax guitars for so many things that when someone says, "Versatile" it's nearly automatic. I'm occasionally hornswoggled into playing with a couple of local P&W groups, and sometimes they want "acoustic" sounds, sometimes a 12-string, sometimes gainy stuff, sometimes strat-y things... And the Variax always delivers. I've even played bass with it.

The "acoustic" models will sound like crap through an AC15, but they're bang on if you run direct through a PA or through something like an HD500 or Helix. In the latter case, if you pick up some of the free IRs that were done of a miked 314 Taylor, the acoustic models on the Variax guitars end up sounding like that 314. Pretty amazing. The guitars I use the most these days are a pair of JTV-89Fs (with Floyds), because they have good magnetic pickups that are hot enough to do pretty representative metal and because you can use *models* of those same magnetic pickups for downtuned alternate tunings (up to an octave down). You have the opportunity to use P90 models without the noise, single coil models with out the RF interference, etc.

My second choice would be outside your budget -- the Taylor T5 does superb "acoustic" sounds and can switch to some pretty amazing rock and even gainy sounds. And because it's more or less hollow, you can actually practice with it as an acoustic guitar in an apartment, and it sounds great.

I don't recommend thin hollow bodies like a 335; those may almost be an LP, sonically, as six-strings. So why bother with the cumbersome body when it doesn't really help you much (I have a 335-12 and a 335, both from '67). I have an older PRS hollowbody that's actually got a pretty thick body (and some real acoustic sound as well), and that has a MIDI interface to boot.

Speaking of that, the Carvin SH 575 (along with several of their other models) has MIDI electronics/pickups built in -- if you pick up an old Axon 100 controller, you can have that thing doing anything from a wide variety of guitars to a piano, harp, etc. But you want to run into the PA, not into a standard amp. Again, out of your budget new, but well within it if you buy used. http://www.kieselguitars.com/catalog/guitars/sh575
#15
As your obviously not new to this I think you may be over looking the I really like this guitar equation. Be it hollow, semi or solid. Today there's just too many new fangled gismos and options that overcome that I want a guitar to sound this way or that way thing. Last I checked you can get away with a lightweight SS amp some fancy peddles, aps or plugins, an off the shelf cheap guitar is of no importance, As long as you like it and its playable your good to go. Within reason of course, And granted you as the player might hear the difference between a Matchless DC-30 compared to a Line 6 Spider and Gibson ES 335 to an Epi Dot I doubt anyone in the audience will notice, Or care for that matter, Only thing that really matters is you like it,
#16
you want actual acoustic sounds? that's going to depend on having a piezo or emulator pedal rather then the guitar type.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#17
Never heard a guitar sound good or convincing through an acoustic modelling pedal tbh
My God, it's full of stars!
#18
Many of those mid to high priced Parkers have piezos as well.

Other options are Godin's Acousticaster and A6 Ultra:
http://www.godinguitars.com/godinelectroacoustic.html
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!
#19
I've heard good things about the Epiphone Dot and Casino, but never played them.
#20
Not sure if it will suit your style or not, but the Jackson Pro series Dominion has a chambered body, with really nice smooth cleans on the neck pickup, and more of a southern rock type tightness on the bridge. Great for overdrive and distortion. Might be worth taking a look at.

#21
Quote by Dreadnought
Never heard a guitar sound good or convincing through an acoustic modelling pedal tbh


Neither have I. But it sounds more acoustic then a hollow body through a clean channel.

Acoustic tones depend on the quality of your piezos. Doesn't matter if the guitar is a solid body or not.

That being said a used Taylor t5 has some great piezos and is semihollow.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#23
Hey guys thank you all for the feedback! Lots of options to look into, I will do thathat today.

I think I know to the point where I need to just play some of these and get my hands on them. I'll hit up some of the local shops this week and see how they play and feel.

Thanks again for the help narrowing my search,
Kevin
#24
Happy hunting & good luck!
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!
#25
I hope you find a good one. I owned a cheap hollow body and it literally sucked bad enough to make me quit playing for several years, lol. But back then there was no internet to teach me how to check guitars out, lessons, stuff like that. Give us a shoutback and tell us what you got, how you like it.
#26
Significantly under budget, Gretsch has a relatively new Streamliner series that offers their semi-hollow center block stuff, and they have pickups in them that are specifically designed for high gain use. Most can be had for under $800.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#27
I was looking for a PRS-style semi-hollow and found that PRS's upper level SE models are pretty impressive.
#28
Thanks for guys,

I'm going to head up to GC this week with my DeArmond X155 and compare it. If I can't find anything I like more than the X155 I'm just going to continue on with that or one of my strats until I afford what I really want and put the money into the pedal board for now. I definitely know what I'm after guitar wise - this guy - https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/HBIIP10FWV7 just out of the price range this year but once I build my pedal board and rack gear back it may be possible next year. If you haven't played that PRS next time you're somewhere that has them check them out they sound SWEET. Beautiful cleans and nice and gritty too if you need it.

Thanks again,
Kevin
#29
I have that guitar. They sound great. They aren't semi hollow though. The piezo system is pretty good.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer