#1
After taking about 4 years off playing guitar, I've gotten back into it in the last few months and decided I need to invest in a better guitar.  I'm currently playing a cheap Chinese made guitar I bought from Rondo Music about 7 years ago, and despite a number of efforts to upgrade it, it still just doesn't play very well in my opinion.  So, that said, here are my criteria in a new guitar:

  1. Playability - I want a guitar that I can get nice, low action and a nice smooth and thin neck.  Two of my biggest complaints with my guitar are that the neck is fairly thick and glossy, and I can't get the action very low at all without getting ass-tons of fret-buzz. 
  2. Fixed Bridge - I'm just a hack with no intention or desire to be anything more, so I don't want to deal with a trem.  I tried it for a while years ago and learned my lesson.  I don't want to have to take hours re-setting up the guitar just to change tunings.
  3. Quality Build/Components - As much as I enjoy playing luthier; I'd like this guitar to be something I don't feel like I need to upgrade.  I'll probably keep my old guitar for projects anyhow.


Some other important details to help with any advice-giving:

  • Willing to spend up to $1000 US
  • Okay with buying used if I can find a seller that seems reputable.
  • Live in a city where I can probably get to a guitar store and try most brands/models
  • As mentioned, I'm just a play-at-home hack, so the "get an amp instead" suggestion won't get very far with me.  I play on a Yamaha THR10X with headphones 99% of the time, and I can get tones that I like out of it without a lot of trouble.  
  • Mostly play metal in Drop C and D Standard, but some E standard and Drop D stuff too.


All that said, here are the models I have been considering; sort of my "top pick" from the main brands.  Not necessarily looking for opinions on them specifically as I've already read a ton, but won't turn them down either.  Mainly, what I"m interested in hearing are recommendations of other models that may not be on my radar.  Especially ones that are discontinued or a bit above the price range I'm considering.


My tendency amongst these is towards the Ibanez Prestige (perhaps for obvious reasons).  I've seen Open Box/Blemished ones online for $800, which seems like a steal for a Prestige, and all the reviews I've read and watched (for it and its siblings like the RG655).  The various "artist" models I'm considering throw me off a bit, because I know I'd be paying a premium for the person's name on the guitar, but they all also seem like genuinely good guitars too, so I could look past that (plus I am a Periphery and The Haunted fan, so that helps a little).  

Anyhow, any other suggestions would be appreciated greatly, and opinions on my selections will definitely be taken into consideration.  My goal is to narrow it down to maybe 2 or 3 that I could go try out in a store (although the idea of doing so makes me a little ill; the Guitar Center crowd is not my cup of tea).  

Thanks in advance!
#2
in case u havent had an ebony board, u may or may not like the quick attack.
couple of the guitars are satin so the finish may show some inconsistencies after a while. Despite owning one I'd say it's something to think about, although without a good wipe down gloss looks like poo
i have a prestige myself and an erodyne bass with a Ibanez fixed bridge which feels good. Ibanez definately does things well but may be the delicate one.
The Jackson is also basswood so it'll be super light compared to the ash on the solar however it's the only one without branded pups which I'm sure Jackson made it up somehow probably in nicer neck woods
the SE is kinda the odd ball with the nice paint job. Although I'm sure it'll hold up well, I've heard their imports are underwhelming especially the hardware. (hopefully the Duncan upgrade makes up for it). if u plan on refretting, plz note its bound fretboard 
solar looks dope! Washburns sound great. Can't say much beyond that from lack of exp.
Schecter imports are definitely the hit or miss outta those makes IMO so if u do see one that's awesome make sure it's fine. Also they probably tie the prs in neck fat.
lastly if ur a little bitxh like me then side dot only guitars are not even considered
27mMoV31II7.a2
#3
In that price range, I'd also look at Fernandes.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#4
Antimage27
Good point on the side dots only. Hadn't thought about that, but I'm sure it would take getting used to. Thanks for the input on the Schecter being the most hit or miss too. It's ​the one I'm the most sketchy about for reading opinions like that. I'm not super concerned about long-term looks of the guitar, as long as it plays well, but thanks for noting that on the Ibanez.

dannyalcatraz
I haven't heard of that brand, but will definitely check it out, so thank you!
#5
A few suggestions to think about

1.If you are going for the Washburn Ola series for a bit more money you could get the version with the Evertune birdge if it appeals to you, not great it you want to be changing tunings all the time.


2. A used Jackson SLSMG would be a good fit (they aren't in production anymore), japanese made, great specs used for around the $500 mark.


3. A used Jackson DKMGT would be a good fit (they aren't in production anymore), japanese made, similar to the SLSMG but not quite as nicely spec'd and has a bolt on neck. used probably in the $300 range


4. You might also be interested in the LTD MH-1000 with evertune bridge or MH-1001 with hardtail



5.Schecter has a Banshee model that is pretty killer, the Elite model has a neck through, there is another model, which I don't think is in production anymore, same specs but with a bolt on neck so goes for cheaper but that model would have to be used.

#6
guitarsngear
Thanks! I will look into all of them (had checked out the ESP a bit; can't remember what made me take it out of my list or if I just forgot about it).
#7
prestige all the way for me. i have five of them and they are all excellent instruments. 
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#9
Quote by jarodmerle
trashedlostfdup
That's definitely where I am leaning. Any older, discontinued models you might recommend on the used market?


there were MIJ ibanez' before the prestige. i have played a few. i like my Prestiges. a lot. 

the next thing even close is the jackson pro series. or a good older MIJ jackson. i have owned three MIJ nice jacksons. they got sold after i bought my second prestige.

also the LTD1000 is nice (i have owned an EC1000, EC400, EC401) but the prestiges are up a level in terms of quality.

you can usually find decent prestiges on reverb (dot com) used for $600 give or take.
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/
#11
Can anyone speak to how a used MIJ ESP (E-II or M-II , I guess, maybe some other models) would compare to the Ibanez Prestige? It appears there might be some in the price range I am looking at, so I figure they are worth considering.
#12
Quote by jarodmerle
Can anyone speak to how a used MIJ ESP (E-II or M-II , I guess, maybe some other models) would compare to the Ibanez Prestige? It appears there might be some in the price range I am looking at, so I figure they are worth considering.


I have played two E-II's and they are great guitars. as far as quality goes, they are right up there with ibanez prestigei. they are VERY different guitars when it comes to feel and tone.

To be honest, you could not go wrong either way.
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/
#13
I believe the esp have more of a slim C neck. Where the wizard range in flat D and V depending on year and team (guy)  both usually slimmer than the former esp 

how would u describe ur hand/ grip. 
no means to sound seductive here 

lastly yes they are different guitars and up here in Bc the Eiis didn't go swimmingly and are well over 2gs new  so check em out ! 
27mMoV31II7.a2
#14
Quote by Antimage27
I believe the esp have more of a slim C neck. Where the wizard range in flat D and V depending on year and team (guy)  both usually slimmer than the former esp 

how would u describe ur hand/ grip. 
no means to sound seductive here 

lastly yes they are different guitars and up here in Bc the Eiis didn't go swimmingly and are well over 2gs new  so check em out ! 


I actually have pretty big hands but somewhat short and thick proportionally fingers (not freakish or anything ). The neck doesn't need to be absurdly thin, but I don't want something chunky like my current guitar seems to be.