#1
Hey guys! Hope all is well. So, I've been playing guitar for 5-6 years now and it's really quickly become something I love to do and think I want to invest in. I currently have a MiM fender strat which is okay, and a Fender frontman 25R amp, but to be honest, in terms of tone, it just isn't the best to me. I had heard good things about MiM, but mine is super quick to fall out of tune, and even after a professional setup is not as full sounding as I'd imagine on the high notes, they just don't sustain at all. If I make some trade ins and scrape together some cash, I think I could operate on a ~$1200 budget to get a nice setup that I enjoy practicing on and to use for fun recording with friends.

Influences/tastes/most appreciated tones :
-Mateus Asato - great guitarist (potentially looking at a wet reverb pedal! Those things sound amazing to me!)
-John Mayer - I could listen to his Live in LA solos for ages
-SRV "Lenny" type tones- one of my all time favorite clean tones

I know it's not the biggest budget in the world, but I value what you all have to say, so, if you could recommend a guitar, and an amp that sounds nice, with maybe a pedal or two, I would really appreciate it! I'm not a gigging guitarist by any means, I sometimes fill in at a local church though so I value a lot of pretty, clean-ish tones with maybe some very low gain stuff, but I also like John Mayers blues-ier style as well. I like PRS and Fender a lot, definitely can't afford a Suhr like Mateus. :/

Thanks so much guys I look forward to what you've got to say!
#2
I would focus on the amp right now. That amp is your weakest spot at the moment. With a $1200 budget you could get a new amp and guitar.
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, PRS S2 Custom 24, MIA Standard Strat, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Orange TV50H 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#3
Quote by bobafettacheese
I would focus on the amp right now. That amp is your weakest spot at the moment. With a $1200 budget you could get a new amp and guitar.

Any recommendation ?
#4
I would recommend a used fender drri or if on more of a budget a HRD and a pair of od pedals.

or look at used mesa combos. f30/50, express, caliber, etc.

I have an old mim strat that will stay in tune for a week with heavy playing.

What are you looking for regarding guitars?
WTLT 2014 GG&A

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alright "king of the guitar forum"


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nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


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youre just being a jerk man.



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2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
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#5
New or used? combo or head/cab? Budget for just amp?
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, PRS S2 Custom 24, MIA Standard Strat, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Orange TV50H 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#6
Um. It depends. truthfully I've always had bad amps, and this mim is my first decent guitar.  What's the recommended amp/guitar ratio ? I looked at maybe a used American special strat or something in the SE prs line or maybe the zach Myers one, the PRS SE's would leave more for the amp, but I've heard mixed things. 
#7
look into the 'fender mid boost 25db preamp' $50,and it will wake the fuck out of the strat.

I still say a fender drri
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#8
skysmusic  Most of your dissatisfaction with the guitar's sound is probably more so the fault of the amp, not the guitar. The tuning bit I am not sure about, though. Of course, be sure you are not using the tremolo for dive bombs, and make sure you change your strings fairly often. Get it checked up again, you should be able to get a professionally playing and sounding guitar from a MIM offering.

The amp however screams Fender Tube. DRRI, HRD, Blues Deluxe, Deville, etc. You may want to look at their higher-wattage models (30w and up) if you think you will have unmic'd gigs in the future. You could also look into the Bluesbreaker amps which will give you a bit of British flavoring when they are turned up. If you go used on any of these models you will get the same amp for less $.

The last bit is an OD pedal. Get a TS9 or similar pedal and be done with it. You could try something like the Fulldrive 2 or 3, which will give you similar flavors, but will also give you an extra gain stage for higher-gain tones or solo tones if/when you need them.
#9
Quote by trashedlostfdup
look into the 'fender mid boost 25db preamp' $50,and it will wake the fuck out of the strat.

I still say a fender drri

Thats two for fender drr,  truthfully I think that's what I was plugged into when I bought the strat in the first place. as for the pre amp  Is that what is on the Eric Clapton models? Noticeable difference? 
#10
Quote by Will Lane
skysmusic  Most of your dissatisfaction with the guitar's sound is probably more so the fault of the amp, not the guitar. The tuning bit I am not sure about, though. Of course, be sure you are not using the tremolo for dive bombs, and make sure you change your strings fairly often. Get it checked up again, you should be able to get a professionally playing and sounding guitar from a MIM offering.

The amp however screams Fender Tube. DRRI, HRD, Blues Deluxe, Deville, etc. You may want to look at their higher-wattage models (30w and up) if you think you will have unmic'd gigs in the future. You could also look into the Bluesbreaker amps which will give you a bit of British flavoring when they are turned up. If you go used on any of these models you will get the same amp for less $.

The last bit is an OD pedal. Get a TS9 or similar pedal and be done with it. You could try something like the Fulldrive 2 or 3, which will give you similar flavors, but will also give you an extra gain stage for higher-gain tones or solo tones if/when you need them.

Thanks for the reply! It seems to be a consensus it's more amp that guitar. I'll get it set up again and see what they've got to say and try some of those amps while I'm at it. I'm not sure what's going on with the tuners, I really do like the strat, you think I can get a solid tone with the right pedal/amp?
#11
Quote by skysmusic
Thanks for the reply! It seems to be a consensus it's more amp that guitar. I'll get it set up again and see what they've got to say and try some of those amps while I'm at it. I'm not sure what's going on with the tuners, I really do like the strat, you think I can get a solid tone with the right pedal/amp?

It's probably not the tuners(though if you have spare cash, I'd consider swapping them out for a locking set - it's more a convenience thing that tunign stability of tone IMO).

The strings might be binding in the nut, so lubricate with a little graphite(there are specific products, but ground up pencil lead works just fine), and consider replacing the string trees with rollers.

As for tone and sustain, some people do swear by replacing the trem block with a high-mass aftermarket, so that's a possibility to look at, but after the amp. That's really the foundation you build tone on.
Quote by Diemon Dave
Don't go ninjerin nobody don't need ninjerin'
#12
Quote by skysmusic
Thats two for fender drr,  truthfully I think that's what I was plugged into when I bought the strat in the first place. as for the pre amp  Is that what is on the Eric Clapton models? Noticeable difference? 


Yeah on the same as Clapton strats. I love it. i will get some demos out on it when I have time. best $50 spent in a long time.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#14
Quote by skysmusic
trashedlostfdup please do! installed yourself or did you have a tech do it?


I did it myself. lets just say that fender could have probably included better instructions.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#15
On the amp side I agree with trashedlostfdup - look into a used Mesa F30 or F50. 
Guitars:
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

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#16
Late to the party as usual- let me see...

My usual amp suspects for that tone in that price range (no particular order):

Peavey Delta Blues 115
Carvin Nomad, Belair, V3M, V3
Fender HRD, Bassbreaker
Quilter 101, 201, MicroPro Mach2, Aviator
Mesa Transatlantic 15, Transatlantic 30
Vox AC15, AC30

Some are discontinued or may be a tad above your price range new, so you'd have to go used.

(Of those, I own a HRD.)
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!
#17
On the guitar, your MIM should be up to the task with some professional TLC.  If it isn't for some reason like worn/defective/damaged parts, consider:

Another MiM 
Godin Session, Session LTD, SD series
G&L Tribute Comanche, Tribute Legacy, Tribute S-500
Reverend Six Gun
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!
#18
Overdrive Pedals:

Keeley Katana Blues
Magnetic Effects Satellite
ThorpyFX Peacekeeper 
TrueTone VS-XO
Dr No Drive O Matic
T-Rex MAB


Reverb/Echo Pedals:

Keeley Aurora
Boss RE-20
Catalinbread Topanga, Adineko, Montavillian, Belle Epoch, Echorec
Earthquaker Devices Ghost Echo, Levitation
Mr Black Supermoon
MXR Carbon Copy
Line 6 Verbzilla, Echo Park
Visual Sound/TrueTone H2O V2 or V3
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
SRV's cleans will be handled nicely by the DRRI. If you're interested in getting the rest of his tones, though, you'll want a Tubescreamer or clone thereof to put all the mids back in that very scooped sound. I imagine that goes for Mayer too, but I'm not so familiar with him. As for guitar, tuning stability doesn't get much better than a Telecaster
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#20
i'd suggest perhaps a Peavey Classic 30 for an amp. put some money into your guitar as well. perhaps better pickups would help something like Texas Specials. locking tuners with staggered poles and a better nut will help a great deal with tuning issues the staggered tuners also eliminate the need for string trees which is a place strings get hung up on. an overdrive is recommended as well. 
#21
an overlooked fender tube amp..the Blues Jr. with the Jensen 12' speaker..you can find them used $300 +/-  IIRC it has reverb and some type of overdrive pedal built in it..great for small clubs / rehersals .. the Jensen is a surprise..!!

what guage strings are you using on the strat..?? 9's seem to go out fairly quick if your bending/wammy..10's seem to hold longer...
play well

wolf
#22
Another vote for the amp. Make your choice, take it home and try the guitar through it. Listen critically for shortcomings in the tone, and think about pickup swapping if you can identify anything you think could be improved. A good strategy, and something I have done, is take my guitar down to the shop and try it through some different amps if feasible.

EDIT. Guitars and pickups are interactive, not additive. You choose an amp, then choose pickups that suit it, or choose pickups, then find an amp that they work well with.
Last edited by Tony Done at Mar 10, 2017,
#23
Yeah, I think I might head down and try a few amps. It would be great if I could get by with upgrades for the MiM and just worry about an amp. I really like the locking tuner and mid boost idea. I have 9's on so maybe going up to some new 10s will be the trick. I think I have a grounding issue that needs to be ressolved too. I get buzz if I don't have the guitar turned all the way up and on certain pickup settings which is kind of weird/annoying but I'm sure I could take care of that and upgrades for less than a new guitar with trade in 
#24
Figure out what the actual issues are and total the parts & labor costs.  If it's more than a couple hundred, it may be new axe time.
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
skysmusic IMO locking tuners are a waste of money. unless your tuners are slipping they are fine.

I cannot tell you how much I love the mid boost. $50 is less than the cost of one pickup, and the mid boost will wake up some demons in all positions.

also get some graphtech saddles, $20ish and you will never again break a string at the bridge, and may stabilize your tuning a bit too.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#26
Quote by trashedlostfdup
IMO locking tuners are a waste of money. unless your tuners are slipping they are fine.
Agreed Even very cheap tuners rarely fail to do their job. The most likely cause of tuning issues is almost always friction at the nut and/or string trees, followed by winding the strings too many times or unevenly around the tuning post. Sometimes the bridge can be the issue too on Strats. The tuners themselves, almost never.
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Youre officially uber shit now.

Quote by StewieSwan
3d9310rd is far more upset than i 

Quote by Bladez22
I'm a moron tho apparently and everyone should listen to you oh wise pretentious one