#1
Hi all,
I'm new to this site and want to learn how to play guitar. I have no gear, so I'm looking for advice and recommendations on everything I will need.

BUDGET: $2000

LOCATION / CLOSEST CITY : Sunnyvale, CA

NEW or USED and ARE YOU WILLING TO ORDER ONLINE? I prefer NEW and I am willing to order online

Some of my favorite artists with songs I will want to learn how to play:
Metallica
Trivium
System of a Down
Avenged Sevenfold
Amon Amarth
As I Lay Dying
Bullet For My Valentine
Disturbed
Disarmonia Mundi
Five Finger Death Punch
In Flames
Pantera
Killswitch Engage
Escape the Fate
Children of Bodom
Linkin Park
Rage Against The Machine
Rob Zombie
Shadows Fall
Slayer
Tyr

I should note that I live an apartment with many neighbors, so I can't play loud. I'm assuming I can hook headphones in and hardly produce any external noise correct?

I was eyeing this guitar because it has good reviews, but obviously I want to get some advice before I just start buying stuff.
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Schecter-Guitar-Research/Hellraiser-C-1-Electric-Guitar-Black-Cherry-1274115040506.gc
Last edited by audiguy87 at Feb 13, 2017,
#2
What preferences do you have in terms of your guitar and the rest of your gear?

You have thousands of options available, especially when you take where you live into account.

If you don't know what your preferences are, then you need to go down to a guitar store and try out as many guitars and amps as possible. You're in a US state where your opportunities to be able to do that are more numerous than anywhere else in the world.
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#3
That's quite a budget for a beginner. Plenty of choices all around.

You may want to look into guitar with a Floyd Rose. Not that you'll use it right away but it's nice to have once you're ready.

Here's an example of a setup for metal:

- Jackson Pro Soloist SL2 (or any other Pro Series if you're ok with metal shapes)
- Peavey Vypyr VIP1 amp. Has a headphone jack.
- Studio or Monitor Headphones of your choice
- TC Electronics PolyTune Clip tuner
- Planet Waves American Stage instrument cable
- Sampler pack of picks from Dunlop or Planet Waves
- Planet Waves Microfiber Polish Cloth
- Packs of strings
- Wire cutter
- String winder
- Metronome or metronome app
- Guitar lessons
Last edited by dthmtl3 at Feb 13, 2017,
#4
IMO steer clear of a floyd rose or any locking tremelo. it's a lot to deal with for a new player. It's a lot easier to restring and tune standard guitars. FR's aren't overly complicated but for just owning one guitar it seems like a bad idea to me. Plus if you want to try to cover many songs you'll need to be able to change tunnings, FR's aren't good for that.

The Hellraiser is an awesome guitar, I love them. You'll find mixed reviews here but you get a ton of bang for buck. Especially if you buy used. I own two of them.

As far as gear goes I'd buy whatever brand you think is cool! It'll be a long time before you have the skill to match tones. Right now you need something to inspire you to play as much as possible. Also, be open to buying used from a reputable vendor. Steer clear of Craigslist/ebay just because you don't know what to look for in regards to possible problems.


With your budget I'd buy the below, spending roughly $1000 and getting a ton of options to learn what you like. Then in a couple of years buy a tube amp after you know the sound you want and also if you need it to jam with others.


Hellraiser c-1 (used for 400$)
boss GT-100 (or something similar, amp/cab/effects modeler with headphone jack) Used for 350$

Small bedroom monitors (best for low volume bedroom play)
or
1x12" powered speaker. (Alto truesonic for 300$, great for hooking up for parties or whatever, multipurpose)
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#5
Congrats on picking an amazing hobbie, your about to get info overload, but just remember that this hobby is supposed to be fun!

Guitars:

Get down to a store and get your hands on as many as you can, all shapes, all brands. Personally I own 2 schecters(a black jack SLS and a hell raiser solo in, and I love them) but what I like in feel and tone might not be for you.

As far as a Floyd rose, or whammy bar. I don't personally own a guitar with one, and I know that opinions vary on thes wildly. I see it often recommended that you don't get one for your first guitar as they can be a bit more challenging to change strings and be maintained. ( hopefully someone with a Floyd can chime in on this)

Amps: I'm in a similar situation in a town house with close neighbors, so I ended up with a Yamaha thr10x for my amp it sounds great without having to be cranked and if I want to really crank it I put my headphones on(once the kids are in bed). It has a line in for my iPod/iPhone/iPad so I can jam along to my favourite songs, metronome or drum beats.

I know a bunch of guys here use there computers with amp sims and such instead of using any kind of traditional amp. So someone might be able to give you more info on those.

Accessories : tuner is a must, you can get little tool kits with string winders, side cutters and other little things that are helpful to have.

While you are looking might I also suggest taking a look at Justinguitar.com s beginner course. His first videos can answer a lot of your questions about starting playing guitar.


https://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-000-BeginnersCourse.php


Welcome to the fold!
#6
Hey there, a great budget - three things that are going to limit that - experience, headphones and buying new.

For $2000 you could grab get a killer rig but at your skill level I wouldn't necessarily want to spend that much as you aren't sure what you are looking for yet, nor do you have the ability to really test out the gear thoroughly, or appreciate the differences as your skill and your ear won't be there yet.

The go to for the bands you have suggested would be a MESA rectifier, roadster or Mark amp, or a Peavey 6505 amp. These will get you the tones for those bands, the problem is that these amps won't have headphone jacks, and most of the top level amps that you can get in your budget aren't going to have headphones. To get headphone you are probably looking at solid state amps, which is fine as I mentioned earlier I wouldn't spend your budget on an amp as you currently are a beginner.

Your budget is great and can get a great rig, but if you buy used you could get a killer rig for your budget. If you wait until your skill and ear develop enough that you can knowledgeably test out used gear and save a lot of your money you could get some really great deals used.

Based on all this I would suggest a modeling amp like a Peavey Vypr - peavey's tend to be the go to for metal modeling, get a model with a 12" speaker for when you aren't using headphones or a Yamaha THR10. Or something like a POD HD500X (again used would get you a better deal) will allow you to get decent tones through headphones, are versatile and can also be used with a better amp later.

(for later down the road look for a used MESA dual rectifier roadster and a good overdrive pedal)

As far as guitar goes the model you picked is great, for where you are at skill wise I would echo that a fixed bridge is what you want - not a floyd. Again with your budget I would steer you towards a better model as it will be more playable and have better pickups - even if you don't/can't fully appreciate the difference of your guitar over a $300 one. I would suggest any LTD, Jackson, Schecter guitar that has similar specs here are a few examples in the same price range.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Washburn/Parallaxe-Series-PX-SOLAR16TBLM-Ola-Englund-Siganture-Model-Electric-Guitar.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Jackson/SLATHXMG3-6-Electric-Guitar.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Jackson/SLATHXMGQ3-6-Soloist-Electric-Guitar.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/ESP/LTD-MH1001NT-Electric-Guitar.gc

I would suggest a guitar with an Evertune bridge but again at this stage in the game it would likely be more of a hindrance than a help to you but here is one for reference.
http://www.guitarcenter.com/ESP/LTD-MH-1000-with-Evertune-Electric-Guitar.gc

If you were willing to go used I would suggest looking for a Jackson SLSMG - its basically the specs you are looking for (same as guitars above) main difference is that is has an Ebony fretboard which is much smoother than a rosewood board.

here is one on craigslist
https://sacramento.craigslist.org/msg/5992774625.html

here is a craigslist for the hellraiser
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/msg/6002145441.html

good luck
#7
One thing I do notice about the list of bands in the OP is there's a huge range of tunings used by those bands.

So I'd put some money aside for something like a Digitech Drop, to minimise the fuss if you want to play Seek & Destroy(E standard) one minute and Superbeast(drop B) the next.
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#8
As a north bay dweller myself I have to inform you your in a hot spot for some really nice used gear, Many of the techie types buy this stuff and discover its harder than it looks and off to Craig's List it goes barely played and at a discount. So don't rule out used, especially in your area,
So with that said, It would appear your into more of a Metal type genre, Which would rule out an acoustic for your learning adventure, As the guitar needs to inspire you to play it, Kind of like a hot girlfriend, You just cant wait to get your hands on her even if she does have the disposition of an jacked off house cat, But this is part of your education, as eventually you'll develop preferences as to what your looking for in a guitar, But for now the guitar needs to appeal to you so you'll want to play it. Or in your case at least try,
In which case I like to use the KISS rule, as in Keep It Simple Stupid, So lets stay away from the tremolos, or whammy bars as most newbs like to call them and anything with the word locking in it, be it tuners, bridges, nuts or whatever, Just more distractions and moving parts and if something is going to piss in your cheerios its likely to be one of those things, As to active pickups such as the EMG's all the little head bangers rave about? Not needed in your case, You'll get better results with a cheap iPhone app and a laptop you most likely already have. So just a simple stop or hard tail bridge with no fancy anything except maybe looks, Remember it has to appeal to you , Metal? Stick with passive humbucker pickups and all should be well,
Now here's where it gets tricky, The Amp, And you living in an apartment within close quarters without pissing anyone off, Hell I can piss off all my neighbors within a 3 block radius, if not more, But that's not to say I have or do, Which brings us back to that iPhone app and laptop thing. Meaning in your case you don't really need an amp, Just a powered monitor and an interface hooked up to your laptop. Don't want to disturb anyone, Plug in the head phones. Get on the web and saddle up for a few interactive online lessons , Yea that's the world we live in now,
$2k on gear? wanna drive 45 minutes on a really good day traffic wise up to V Town I can give you some pointers and perhaps even part with some gear, Although I don't have any amps that are suitable for apartment use, Oh wait there is that old Marshall practice amp, But its probably 20 years older than you are, Still has its Rola Celestion speaker though so it may be hard to part with.
Last edited by nastytroll at Feb 13, 2017,
#9
With that budget, I'd get a Gibson LP Studio and a Bogner Shiva combo, both used. GC in the Bay Area (I'm in Atherton and Orinda) have these in stock all the time. Check out the Diezel Einstein, too.

I'd pass on the headphone and just use the amp's Master volume since these 2 sound really nice even at TV volume.
#10
id get two ltd 400 series guitars for different tunings and a 5150 or 6505.
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#11
I agree with Ippon - I have a Gibson LP Studio RAW Power and I love it. It's been my only electric for 8 years. I'm actually getting a PRS custom tomorrow and really excited. I also really rate my Hughes and Kettner 18W Tubemeister amp. You might want to hear the advice from my own excellent teacher on this topic if you're interested? https://soundcloud.com/tunein-toneup/guitar-lesson-6a-advice-on-buying-a-new-guitar (it's an episode from our podcast).
#12
As pointed out, there's a wide range of tunings: E standard (Metallica, RAtM), Drop D (A7X, Trivium, Pantera), Drop C (Killswitch Engage, Trivium, SOAD), Drop B (Linkin Park, In Flames) , and who knows what else. That's a lot of territory to cover, and not necessarily complete. I would suggest having two guitars to start: one at either E Standard or D Standard, and a second in Drop X. If I used one drop tuning to be a happy medium, I'd probably go with Drop C. The string gauges between E standard is commonly 9-42 while Drop B may use 12-60.
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#14
Wow thanks for all of the feedback! It will take me some time to digest all of this. I see a lot of people have mentioned I should buy used to save money. I will consider it, but my only concern is I won't know the condition of gear that I'm buying. I'm usually pretty busy during the week so I'll probably reply back this weekend when I have some free time. Again, thank you for the input!
#15
Quote by diabolical
I'd say new 6505 combo or Marshall DSL40C, or even a Mesa 5:25 and some kind of LTD guitar, M-1000 if it can fit in the budget. Maybe a Maxon OD or some other tubescreamer clone.


I have a DSL5C and it is LOUD. If he is just starting out, he doesn't need to be destroying his ears on a 40 watt amp.

+1 for recommending Marshall though. I fucking love mine. Even at low volumes it sounds great.
Some see the glass half full, others see the glass half empty. Me? I see that the glass is refillable.
#16
^ I started on a 100 watt Marshall stack and it had a master volume knob, it could get loud but didn't have to. I also lived in an apartment at that time. I cranked it maybe for about an hour 4-5 PM but could also practice at lower volumes.

Talking about Marshalls there are a few things that the DSL5C saves money on that I am unwilling for the price to recommend as the bigger 40 watter can also get as quiet. Not a bad amp, but the DSL5C cuts some corners that negate the price for me.
#17
Quote by diabolical
^ I started on a 100 watt Marshall stack and it had a master volume knob, it could get loud but didn't have to. I also lived in an apartment at that time. I cranked it maybe for about an hour 4-5 PM but could also practice at lower volumes.

Talking about Marshalls there are a few things that the DSL5C saves money on that I am unwilling for the price to recommend as the bigger 40 watter can also get as quiet. Not a bad amp, but the DSL5C cuts some corners that negate the price for me.


Neighbors have told me that they can hear me play at 3AM on my Marshall master volume halfway at 1 watt power. I owned a DSL40c & it did not sound great at low volumes. It was heavy, took up a lot of space as well. From a guy that has owned both, the 5c just sounds better.
Some see the glass half full, others see the glass half empty. Me? I see that the glass is refillable.
#18
I went to a Guitarcenter today and looked at some of the guitars which were on sale. They had a Hellraiser for $600 which I almost got, but I bailed on it when I noticed some damage. I went in there with a guitar in mind but not an amp, so I wasted a lot of time just looking at amps.

Does anyone have experience with the Line 6 Pod Studio UX1? http://www.guitarcenter.com/Line-6/Pod-Studio-UX1-with-Pod-Farm-1274034483185.gc
How would it compare to something like a POD HD500X which is 3x the price?

I also found a youtube video of a guy playing master of puppets with a hellraiser and hd500 and it sounds sick:

Quote by slapsymcdougal
One thing I do notice about the list of bands in the OP is there's a huge range of tunings used by those bands.

So I'd put some money aside for something like a Digitech Drop, to minimise the fuss if you want to play Seek & Destroy(E standard) one minute and Superbeast(drop B) the next.


I agree that is a great idea. Would I still need a digitech drop if I used a modeling amp though?
Last edited by audiguy87 at Feb 20, 2017,
#19
Quote by audiguy87
I agree that is a great idea. Would I still need a digitech drop if I used a modeling amp though?
Generally, yes. I don't know of a modelling amp that includes that functionality.
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#20
Quote by K33nbl4d3
Generally, yes. I don't know of a modelling amp that includes that functionality.


Ok good to know, I'll add it to the list of stuff to buy
#21
If you like to keep it silent and already have a capable computer, why not try an audio interface and an amp plugin like amplitube or bias amp. I have played through amplitube and bias for 4 years and I couldn't be happier. If I want to be completely silent I just plug in my headphones and I want to make some decent noise I crank up my monitors. With an interface you already have your recording rig and can record your exercises and songs to progress faster by hearing how you actually manage them.

For a good interface you spend around 150 bucks and for the software around the same. The downside is that it might be clunky to use a gig rig, but I assure you that this is the way to practice in 2017!

The internet is full of vst plugins that offer you various effects like delay, chorus and even some not-so-common and weird effects that you might not even have heard of FOR FREE!
Last edited by blacknex at Feb 21, 2017,
#22
If I was starting out on guitar I don't think I would blow the $2000 budget right away.. I would probably get a small fender practice amp. Definitely something with headphone capability.. A smaller amp will give you better tones at low volume. Then for the guitar buying used could save you lots of money.. I know around here for $100-150 I could buy a used starter guitar. If you know someone to help you test it out would be helpful. The nice thing about starting with a beginner guitar you can get used to setting up all the hardware withoUT fear of breaking a $1000 instrument . You can get used to adjusting the truss rod, setting the bridge and intonation. Your first time trying out guitars it's going to be difficult to know what you really like the sound of. The main thing is to get a guitar in your hands and start learning.
#23
2 grand will get you all kinds of cool gear. Lots of good advice in the thread as well. My 2 cents, spend a few weekends at various local stores and see if any guitar just seems to click with you. When I was in high school and about to buy my first new guitar, I practically lived at my local shop.

For another 2 cents, couple ways I would approach this:

1. Go with a modeling amp and a decent guitar. Then you have all kinds of room to grow. I'd really suggest a peavey vypyr (VIP2??) for metal tones.

2. With all the great high end modeling gear, just go for it and get a Fractal AX8 or Line 6 Helix, decent midrange priced hard tail guitar and FRFR speaker(s).
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#24
Quote by dthmtl3
That's quite a budget for a beginner. Plenty of choices all around.

You may want to look into guitar with a Floyd Rose. Not that you'll use it right away but it's nice to have once you're ready.

Here's an example of a setup for metal:

- Jackson Pro Soloist SL2 (or any other Pro Series if you're ok with metal shapes)
- Peavey Vypyr VIP1 amp. Has a headphone jack.
- Studio or Monitor Headphones of your choice
- TC Electronics PolyTune Clip tuner
- Planet Waves American Stage instrument cable
- Sampler pack of picks from Dunlop or Planet Waves
- Planet Waves Microfiber Polish Cloth
- Packs of strings
- Wire cutter
- String winder
- Metronome or metronome app
- Guitar lessons


^^^ The best advice! ^^^

The 'heaviest' metal I've ever played is Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Metallica, so I'm out of any of the gear discussion specific to the sounds of Trivium, but as pointed out here, there's more than gear when it comes to playing guitar - as you'll see as you go on. Doesn't matter what kind of music you plan on playing.
#26
For $2000 if you buy used you can get one helluva rig, much better than what you will get buying new.

You should have endless choices in your locale for used gear that is in like new condition and is way cheaper and just as good.

A used Mesa Roadster 2X12 combo can be had for $1200 buck give or take a couple of hundred and for $600 too $700 you should be able to score a nice used Jackson Pro with money to spare or an Ibanez Prestige for that matter, I'm sure there is no lack og them in Cali!
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Last edited by Evilnine at Feb 23, 2017,
#27
Quote by blacknex
If you like to keep it silent and already have a capable computer, why not try an audio interface and an amp plugin like amplitube or bias amp. I have played through amplitube and bias for 4 years and I couldn't be happier. If I want to be completely silent I just plug in my headphones and I want to make some decent noise I crank up my monitors. With an interface you already have your recording rig and can record your exercises and songs to progress faster by hearing how you actually manage them.

For a good interface you spend around 150 bucks and for the software around the same. The downside is that it might be clunky to use a gig rig, but I assure you that this is the way to practice in 2017!

The internet is full of vst plugins that offer you various effects like delay, chorus and even some not-so-common and weird effects that you might not even have heard of FOR FREE!


Like this? http://www.guitarcenter.com/Line-6/Pod-Studio-UX1-with-Pod-Farm-1274034483185.gc
Have any other suggestions?

Quote by alistairdunne1994
$2000 is an insane budget for a beginner! haha. You certain you're going to stick with it?


Yeah I need a new hobby and I've always wanted to learn


This is what my gear buy list looks like so far:

schecter hellraiser c1 $450 (used)
TC Electronic Polytune Mini 2 Pedal Tuner $70 (new)
digitech drop $180 (new)
Peavey VYPYR VIP 1 $130 (new)
picks $5
strings $15
string winder $10
cables & power supplies $30
case $100 (new)

Total is $990 without tax

The Peavey amp has usb out and recording software, but I've been reading the software isn't too great.
I might be able to save about $50 if I get a used digitech drop which is in good condition.

I have sennheiser hd 280 pro headphones already, I just have to find the large jack for it. If I can't find the jack I'll probably buy a new set of headphones because the current set has seen better days.
Last edited by audiguy87 at Feb 24, 2017,
#28
I recommend not buying POD since it's a guitar focused interface and can't really be used to anything else. If you buy a real interface, you can record and play any instrument you like with no problems. I have heard a lot good stuff from Focusrite Scarlett and is certainly a good go: https://www.amazon.com/Focusrite-Scarlett-Audio-Interface-Tools/dp/B01E6T56EA

I personally use a 4-year-old M-Audio Fast Track C400 and it works like a charm still.
#29
I recommend not buying POD since it's a guitar focused interface and can't really be used to anything else. QUOTE]

I have no idea what that means.
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#30
you could go for a better amp tbh.
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#31
If you're going to be using headphones, not playing live and also have regular access to a PC then you might as well just get a USB audio interface and some guitar modelling software. For just casual headphone practicing I have a Presonus Firestudio into Waves GTR3.5 and have been getting great results with that for years, but there is also Guitar Rig, Bias and a bunch of others. If you get a Line 6 audio interface (The Toneport UX2 used to be very popular) that has its own modelling software, and you can also use it with other software.

I'm not sure I see the point in you getting an amp to take up space when you're gonna be running headphones. Try to keep it simple, and don't get a floyd rose (locking trem) on your first guitar.
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Last edited by Bigbazz at Feb 25, 2017,
#32
*DISCLAIMER* I am a NOOB myself, about 9 months now.

I would say get an acoustic and learn your chords & scales, especially if you like Metallica, James' God Gifted right hand & Kirks (meth fueled) mastery of the pentatonic and other scales will challenge you. I am a hillbilly at heart and love country & blues so I tend to favor rhythm , Things I have to have 1) Guitar (duh) 2) Metronome 3) Phone/ Tablet with UG handy 4) YouTube (so much content, check out "Andy Guitar" for beginner guitar or Marty Schwartz or Sean Daniel. More than anything, you have to have DESIRE! You will hurt, you will fail, you will try & try, & you will ultimately become the guitarist you are destined to be. Dont give up
#33
Quote by Bigbazz
If you're going to be using headphones, not playing live and also have regular access to a PC then you might as well just get a USB audio interface and some guitar modelling software. For just casual headphone practicing I have a Presonus Firestudio into Waves GTR3.5 and have been getting great results with that for years, but there is also Guitar Rig, Bias and a bunch of others. If you get a Line 6 audio interface (The Toneport UX2 used to be very popular) that has its own modelling software, and you can also use it with other software.

I'm not sure I see the point in you getting an amp to take up space when you're gonna be running headphones. Try to keep it simple, and don't get a floyd rose (locking trem) on your first guitar.


Yea I was debating whether it was worth getting an amp or not since 99% of the time I'll be using headphones. What you suggest makes sense, so I'm going to go that route and get an amp later on. The interface would allow me to try out some training software as well.

Quote by blacknex
I recommend not buying POD since it's a guitar focused interface and can't really be used to anything else. If you buy a real interface, you can record and play any instrument you like with no problems. I have heard a lot good stuff from Focusrite Scarlett and is certainly a good go: https://www.amazon.com/Focusrite-Scarlett-Audio-Interface-Tools/dp/B01E6T56EA

I personally use a 4-year-old M-Audio Fast Track C400 and it works like a charm still.


I'm only using a guitar, so even the solo model of the Focusrite-Scarlett would work for me.

Quote by jmack107
*DISCLAIMER* I am a NOOB myself, about 9 months now.

I would say get an acoustic and learn your chords & scales, especially if you like Metallica, James' God Gifted right hand & Kirks (meth fueled) mastery of the pentatonic and other scales will challenge you. I am a hillbilly at heart and love country & blues so I tend to favor rhythm , Things I have to have 1) Guitar (duh) 2) Metronome 3) Phone/ Tablet with UG handy 4) YouTube (so much content, check out "Andy Guitar" for beginner guitar or Marty Schwartz or Sean Daniel. More than anything, you have to have DESIRE! You will hurt, you will fail, you will try & try, & you will ultimately become the guitarist you are destined to be. Dont give up


I actually had an acoustic when I was in my early teens, but I rarely played it because I wanted the electric tones.
Last edited by audiguy87 at Feb 25, 2017,
#34
Quote by audiguy87
Like this? http://www.guitarcenter.com/Line-6/Pod-Studio-UX1-with-Pod-Farm-1274034483185.gc
Have any other suggestions?


Yeah I need a new hobby and I've always wanted to learn


This is what my gear buy list looks like so far:

schecter hellraiser c1 $450 (used)
TC Electronic Polytune Mini 2 Pedal Tuner $70 (new)
digitech drop $180 (new)
Peavey VYPYR VIP 1 $130 (new)
picks $5
strings $15
string winder $10
cables & power supplies $30
case $100 (new)

Total is $990 without tax

The Peavey amp has usb out and recording software, but I've been reading the software isn't too great.
I might be able to save about $50 if I get a used digitech drop which is in good condition.

I have sennheiser hd 280 pro headphones already, I just have to find the large jack for it. If I can't find the jack I'll probably buy a new set of headphones because the current set has seen better days.


Do yourself a huge favor and not buy an amp with an 8" speaker. Pay the extra $70 and get the Vip2.
Fleet of MiJ Ibanez
Couple of Balls
Peavey & EVH Wolfgangs
Eclipse
Fender HM Strat
Kemper KPA
5150 III 50w & cabs
#35
You just need to buy what you think is best so eventually you'll learn what you like and dislike. Every one is different, So I'd suggest you ask your local music shop guy. But I'd also suggest you just grab a cheap electric guitar and amp package. There is no point you spending $2000 if you haven't even reached the intermediate stage of you're playing. To start. you need no effects pedals or anything because they will cover up your mistakes which is bad for learning. You need 100% amp and guitar sound.
Last edited by phil22au at Feb 27, 2017,
#36
Warning: MASSIVE post inc, sorry about that:

Cheap and used Guitars:
Fully agree $2000 is high for a beginner. I can't tell you the amount of people who, after finding out I play, mention they spent hundreds on a guitar/amp/etc, only to give up after months, weeks, or even days. They all thought they'd stick with it when they dropped that money! And while I love tremolos, I agree that they're not for beginners, but you shouldn't be afraid to look into getting one as a second guitar if the music you want to play calls for it.

I do think it's important to not get a super cheapo guitar because as some have pointed out, you need to be motivated to play, and that means you need to enjoy it, and it's hard to enjoy a crappy guitar. That said, there are some really solid cheap guitars out there.

The best cheap guitar I've ever played was a $180 Schecter, "SGR C-1" (which doesn't seem to be available at the moment) and frankly, I wouldn't see a need for a beginner to have a better guitar than that. But if you're really looking to drop $2,000, of course more money will *usually* get you something better. The guitar you linked to in your first post seems to be a great guitar (it's actually what I was going to recommend), *having not actually played it*.

The reason I'd personally still recommend you go fairly cheap is that most cheap guitars' problems are in the hardware, which can be replaced later as you learn more, and have a better idea of what you want.

Example:
A good aftermarket bridge (like the one that comes with the $800 C-1) is $60-$150
String saver saddles (which I love) are $30-40
Good pickups are $70-$110 apiece
Good tuners are ~$100
A good nut is less than $20 (but paying somebody to shape it properly is significantly more)

- point here being: a cheap guitar can be made into a pretty sweet thing for ~500 depending on your tastes, and you can do it in steps as you get more invested and get a better idea for what you want. And if you decide its not for you, or you want a completely different guitar because body shapes, or whatever, you've only put a few hundred in.

One thing I want to point out. There's one thing you can't really change about a given guitar: its scale length. If you don't know what that is: it's the measurement between the nut and the bridge saddles, and the frets are spaced accordingly. Some say it affects the tone of the strings, but what it deffinitely affects is the how far the frets are from one another. If you have small hands, a large scale length will be harder to accomodate. I have medium hands and 25.5" is noticably harder to do long stretches on than 24.75". Most metal oriented guitars (Schecter, Jackson, usually ESPs) are 25.5" with jumbo frets. This can make them a bit "slower" to play than a guitar that's 24.75 with medium frets. Frets act like speed bumps when sliding around the neck, the bigger they are, the more that hinders you (this can be overcome, by how you slide). On the other hand, most say taller, beefier frets give a cleaner sound with more sustain. The difference in sound will be undetectable to a beginner. I'm not saying don't buy a guitar with 25.5" or jumbo frets, just understand why it may feel different than, say, a Gibson/Epiphone (which are typically ~24.75" with medium frets).

In all likelihood, if you stick with this, you WILL end up buying more guitars, more amps, pedals, and so on. What you buy first is almost irrelevant in this regard (another reason I recommend being fairly conservative). What I mean is, no matter what you buy first, if you get into guitar, you're going to want to try more.
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Buying a good-condition used is, of course, always going to net more bang for the buck but in general it does, as you mentioned, require a bit more understanding to make sure you're not getting ripped off. (for instance the "C-1" branding on Schecters is a pretty generic title used across many lines, years, and price points, knowing exactly what type of C-1 the used guy is selling is important)

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Good Amp vs Good Guitar:
From my experience, and I know many will disagree, (skill aside): 70% of a guitars sound is the amp, 30% is the guitar (barring the fairly large difference between single coils and humbuckers). This is to say that I've heard "low end" guitars sound excellent when properly played through a good amp. But a crappy amp sounds crappy no matter what guitar you plug in. -spend more on your amp than the guitar.

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Digital Amps
I want to weigh in on the whole "digital" amp thing as an option considering you can't make much use of a real amp right now anyway, but since I've rambled so much already I'll try to keep this short. Digital amps, or VSTs or whatever you want to call them are 100% an option and, with fiddling, can sound pretty good. There ARE free stuff you can cobble together that can sound solid, but it does take a good bit of effort and, obviously, willingness to work with computers. I've used Amplitube fairly extensively and can say that you can get a decent sound out of it while also being pretty user friendly. I can also say my real amps sound a lot better (but are less flexible). For late night practicing, Amplitube is totally fine for me.

As others have said, if you are interested in this route, you'll need a good interface to plug into your computer, I use the Steinberg UR22 and I like it, but I haven't used any others so...

(if you're looking for a really ghetto setup, a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter on your guitar cable going straight into the mic jack on your comp and a program called ASIO4all will work with amplitube and most any DAW)

Since you mentioned Pantera in your list, I have a cover of Domination I recorded entirely with Amplitube to give you an idea:

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What really matters:
By far the most important thing you need to have is motivation and enjoyment for the instrument in the first place. Your struggle will not be gear, but the drive to push through the first few months (and years) before you can even play a song, learning your first solo, and on. - Learning to enjoy the process. Finding satisfaction without perfection, if you focus too much on the proper way to do this or that, and get stressed out when you miss a note, this will be a long and stressful road, and you'll quit (and you should if you're not having fun!).

You can look at all the "greats" (depending on your preferences) and find that their backgrounds vary wildly: some started with great gear and strict lessons, some started with terrible gear and learned alone, and everything in between. What they had in common is not the tools, but the drive. A LOT of people find out that they simply enjoy listening more than playing and there's nothing wrong with that. Some people think it'll make them rich, or get them girls, these are usually not going to work as motivators, as neither are much comfort when you're practicing, which is 99% of playing an instrument. For me the reward was in learning songs I love; I simply enjoy emulating the artists, the same way most people enjoy singing along (even if they can't sing!) I don't think I'd have stuck with it if I had gotten lessons where it was just learning musical terminology, and this scale and that chord, blahblahblah.


Also - I may have misunderstood what the issue with your Sennheisers is, but you can buy 1/4" to 1/8" or vice versa adapters (the same one in my ghetto line-in rig I mentioned earlier) for seriously cheap (like $2) and use 'em for just about whatever you want.

Sorry again for the offensively long post, but I think most of what I said was relevant....I hope! I understand plenty of peeps won't agree with all/any of what I said, but that should be a lesson in-and-of itself: this whole scene is hugely subjective!

TL;DR: Buy fairly cheap, but respectable gear, get Guitar Pro 6, and learn some songs! Upgrade as you see fit.
Last edited by RestinPeaceDime at Feb 28, 2017,
#37
Another recommendation for the " Peavey Vypyr VIP amp." Modelling amps will give you lots of options that will help you figure out what kind of pro amp you will want down the track. I also recommend buying second hand for the amp. Test it out first to make sure it s working well, but save the cash for down the track when you want something for band practice and gigging.