I've narrowed my search for a new guitar to these models. I'd like to know which one is the most reliable and best value-for-money

Poll: Which one of these guitars:
Poll Options
View poll results: Which one of these guitars:
Gibson Les Paul Tribute 2017 High Performance
3 21%
ESP LTD-1000 Piezo Model
4 29%
Parker PDF85
0 0%
EVH Wolfgang Special TOM
2 14%
PRS SE Custom 24
4 29%
Schecter C-1 Custom
0 0%
Schecter Hellraiser C-1 Hybrid
1 7%
Voters: 14.
Page 1 of 2
#1
I've been playing guitar for over 13 years now, so I know what I need from one and why I need it. After several weeks of searching, I've narrowed myself down to the these bad boys.

Gibson Les Paul Tribute 2017 High Performance
ESP LTD EC-1000 Piezo Model
Parker PDF85
EVH Wolfgang Special TOM
PRS SE Custom 24
Schecter C-1 Custom
Schecter Hellraiser C-1 Hybrid

Basically, the price range is around the $1000-1300 mark. Yes, these are all fairly different guitars, and they all do different things. I've tested them all out (so please don't say "play and choose"), and there's something I like about each and something I dislike about each as well, which is why I can't seem to choose out of these. Here's a few details to give you guys an idea of what I'm looking for:

Genre
I play practically everything; blues, rock, hard rock of the 80s, classical, metal (80s and 90s, not the modern djent stuff at heavily dropped tuning). I need a guitar that can do it all. Versatility and ability to play anything and everything is an extremely important factor.

Hardware
I do not want active pickups. Yes, the C-1 Hybrid has them, but it has the newer versions (66/57) that have better dynamics and are closer to passives. I'm not interested in a tremolo either, especially not a Floyd Rose. I can give a pass to the PRS and Parker tremolos though because they're relatively stable. I don't want single coils, but having coil-tap would be a bonus for added versatility. Two humbuckers should do it (I hate middle pickups with a burning passion). I don't like the Fender necks or fretboards at all, so they're not an option either.

The EC-1000 Pieze Model is a great contender because of the Piezo, but I'm not sure of LTD as I don't have much experience with it. Same goes for Parker. I know some of the higher end Parkers are great, but the bolt-on construction and inexperience in extensively playing a Parker puts me in doubt.

So far, the LP Tribute 2017 HP is the running favorite, but it's also the most expensive. I wouldn't mind saving money if one of the other guitars are better overall. I've generally kept myself away from Gibson of late because of the alleged QC issues the past few years (I might have to order it), but I've played one Tribute HP and it seemed great. I don't like the traditional spec one (despite it being cheaper) because of difficulty in reaching higher frets, the questionable tuners, and neck profile. I love the HP one though for its modern bells and whistles.

PRS SE is an attractive choice because everyone says there's no such thing as a bad PRS guitar. I've played one and I loved it, but I'm not sure whether its style suits me. Wolfgang because I absolutely love Eddie's music and because the one I played seemed dependable.

Then there are the two Schecters that seem to do it all, but the neck profile is questionable, plus it seems Schecters are dependable yet nothing special.

I currently own an Ibanez and owned a Strat before, and I like neither (Strats are great but they're not my style in-terms of looks and build). 

This indecisiveness is killing me. Any help would be appreciated. Recommendations outside of these 7 would also be appreciated (as long as they're in this price range). 
#2
narrowed your search down from what....a millionity guitars?

but get a holcomb se.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#3
AcousticMirror I've heard great things about the Holcomb, but Mark in an interview talked about the fret radius, and it's something crazy like 16 to 21. I don't know about that. Will have to try it out.

And well, 7 options from 100s of guitars in that price range is pretty narrowed down.
#4
Quote by haidexter
AcousticMirror I've heard great things about the Holcomb, but Mark in an interview talked about the fret radius, and it's something crazy like 16 to 21. I don't know about that. Will have to try it out.

And well, 7 options from 100s of guitars in that price range is pretty narrowed down.


It feels fine. It's flat but paired with the thicker prs neck shape it plays very well.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#5
I don't know if it would be the best but the Les Paul would certainly be the coolest. 
#6
a better idea of what you actually play and look for in a guitar would help. saying i want one that does everything won't work, no guitar does it all equally well. knowing what trade offs would work better for you would help. those all have different necks which doesn't help much. for me i need to love the neck on a guitar to even think about buying it. while my guitars all have different necks they all work for me. sadly this is one thing only you can know so give it some thought. 
#7
monwobobbo Well, I did write that I play everything. As for neck, as long as it's not overly chunky, it's fine. I have pretty big hands. I love the new neck profile of the LP Tribute HP and also the U shape of the LTD. The PRS is manageable because it doesn't take much time for me to adapt to neck profiles.

What I need is good fret work, high-performance, and good enough sound. I can forgive a guitar for not having ultra-high pups (because that can always be offset with a high-gain amp) but I can't forgive it for lacking dynamics. I don't really care for materials either. I also need to be able to switch around tuning because I go back and forth between flat and regular tuning on a very frequent basis, and prefer to do it with one guitar.
Last edited by haidexter at May 19, 2017,
#8
Quote by haidexter
monwobobbo Well, I did write that I play everything. As for neck, as long as it's not overly chunky, it's fine. I have pretty big hands. I love the new neck profile of the LP Tribute HP and also the U shape of the LTD. The PRS is manageable because it doesn't take much time for me to adapt to neck profiles.

What I need is good fret work, high-performance, and good enough sound. I can forgive a guitar for not having ultra-high pups (because that can always be offset with a high-gain amp) but I can't forgive it for lacking dynamics. I don't really care for materials either. I also need to be able to switch around tuning because I go back and forth between flat and regular tuning on a very frequent basis, and prefer to do it with one guitar.

dude no one plays everything (not really) surely you have some fav bands, songs or guitar players. i play a variety of stuff but mainly hard rock / classic metal and blues rock. i'm guessing you have some styles that take precedence as well. help us help you. otherwise your just going to get responses based on what they like and not necessarily what you like. dynamcs is more about the amp than the guitar and you haven't mentioned what amp you use. 

how bout this. list the pros and cons you found for each guitar
#10
monwobobbo By dynamics I mean pick response, articulation, and response to volume/tone change on good pots.

Now if you want me to prioritize specific genres (which I hate doing), I'd say pretty much what you listed (hard rock/classic metal, blues rock) in addition to a bit of classical music.

The amps I'm using are mainly Friedman Smallbox combo and EVH 5150III. The Smallbox can cover just about any style of music, so I want a guitar that would compliment it.

Pros and Cons? Okay, here goes:
Gibson LP Tribute HP
Pros: It's a LP, with the satin neck finish (which I love), great fret access (for a LP), and modern hardware (tuners, titanium zero-fret nut, etc). The pickups are perfect because they can do just about everything. Love the thinner neck.

Cons: It's the most expensive guitar I've listed. The HP model is especially hard to find so I'd have to order online, which makes me skeptical given Gibson's QC reputation. Also not having coil-split is a bummer.

ESP LTD EC-1000 Piezo
Pros: It has a friggin' Piezo. Looks great, feels great.

Cons: Les Paul Tribute HP is only a couple of hundred bucks more expensive, and offers everything this does except the Piezo. And the Piezo alone is not enough for me to get a Korean made guitar over a LP Tribute, unless someone here seriously endorses and recommends it (in which case this would be the one). Also not a huge fan of the Seymour Duncan JB. It's versatile, but it's kind of a jack-of-all-trades - doesn't do any one thing particularly well, which makes it sound generic to me.

Parker PDF85
Pros: Parker guitars are so classy looking. Love the ebony fretboard & headstock. Piezo is a nice little bonus.

Cons: Bolt-on construction and the pick-ups are the Duncan-Design USMs. Not sure of either of those.

EVH Wolfgang Special TOM
Pros: Great price on offer for the quality. EVH Wolfgang pups are amazing.

Cons: Not a real looker (not a fan of the Wolfgang design), and it's not the most versatile either, from the bit I've played.

PRS SE Custom 24
Pros: It's a PRS.

Cons: I've heard of a lot of PRS SE Custom 24s going out of tune. I'm also not completely sure if it'll do classic metal.

Schecter C-1 Custom
Pros: Probably the most versatile guitar on the list (talking about this one)

Cons: The neck isn't as great as the others. I've heard a lot of complaints about Schecter guitars build quality as well for the non-Hellraiser series (though the one I tried was fine).

Schecter Hellraiser C-1 Hybrid
Pros: Sexy as hell, and premium build quality & design.

Cons: The neck again. Plus, it has EMG 57/66s, and I'm not too fond of actives.

Hope that makes things clearer 
Last edited by haidexter at May 19, 2017,
#11
You need to specify what you're looking for in terms of feel.. Neck profile, neck shape, fretboard radius fret size, neck construction etc.

Saying you want a guitar that 'has good fretwork and good sound' is meaningless. Literally everybody wants both of those things. What are your preferences?

Saying that you play everything is lazy and very likely untrue. You have favorite bands, list them.

Also, you're considering getting a Gibson with G-force tuners? Those things are absolute garbage. You see so many G'-Force and minitune sets being sold on ebay for a reason. People buy these guitars, rip them out, thrown on a property pair of tuners and dump the original tuners on ebay, because they suck.

Also, the quality control on Gibsons is a total crapshoot and Gibsons in general are just flat-out overpriced across the board. And I say this as a Gibson owner. If you like the smooth neck heel and the zero fret (for some bizarre reason), then get one and dump the tuners and put on proper ones. But me, you can get much higher quality guitars from Japan. Burny, Tokai, FGN, Edwards, Greco, Orville etc.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
Shindeiru



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#12
edited, hadn't refreshed to see the update.
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Last edited by ec kenny at May 19, 2017,
#13
Quote by haidexter
monwobobbo By dynamics I mean pick response, articulation, and response to volume/tone change on good pots.

Now if you want me to prioritize specific genres (which I hate doing), I'd say pretty much what you listed (hard rock/classic metal, blues rock) in addition to a bit of classical music.

The amps I'm using are mainly Friedman Smallbox combo and EVH 5150III. The Smallbox can cover just about any style of music, so I want a guitar that would compliment it.

Pros and Cons? Okay, here goes:
Gibson LP Tribute HP
Pros: It's a LP, with the satin neck finish (which I love), great fret access (for a LP), and modern hardware (tuners, titanium zero-fret nut, etc). The pickups are perfect because they can do just about everything. Love the thinner neck.

Cons: It's the most expensive guitar I've listed. The HP model is especially hard to find so I'd have to order online, which makes me skeptical given Gibson's QC reputation. Also not having coil-split is a bummer.

ESP LTD EC-1000 Piezo
Pros: It has a friggin' Piezo. Looks great, feels great.

Cons: Les Paul Tribute HP is only a couple of hundred bucks more expensive, and offers everything this does except the Piezo. And the Piezo alone is not enough for me to get a Korean made guitar over a LP Tribute, unless someone here seriously endorses and recommends it (in which case this would be the one). Also not a huge fan of the Seymour Duncan JB. It's versatile, but it's kind of a jack-of-all-trades - doesn't do any one thing particularly well, which makes it sound generic to me.

Parker PDF85
Pros: Parker guitars are so classy looking. Love the ebony fretboard & headstock. Piezo is a nice little bonus.

Cons: Bolt-on construction and the pick-ups are the Duncan-Design USMs. Not sure of either of those.

EVH Wolfgang Special TOM
Pros: Great price on offer for the quality. EVH Wolfgang pups are amazing.

Cons: Not a real looker (not a fan of the Wolfgang design), and it's not the most versatile either, from the bit I've played.

PRS SE Custom 24
Pros: It's a PRS.

Cons: I've heard of a lot of PRS SE Custom 24s going out of tune. I'm also not completely sure if it'll do classic metal.

Schecter C-1 Custom
Pros: Probably the most versatile guitar on the list (talking about this one)

Cons: The neck isn't as great as the others. I've heard a lot of complaints about Schecter guitars build quality as well for the non-Hellraiser series (though the one I tried was fine).

Schecter Hellraiser C-1 Hybrid
Pros: Sexy as hell, and premium build quality & design.

Cons: The neck again. Plus, it has EMG 57/66s, and I'm not too fond of actives.

Hope that makes things clearer 

yeah i'm aware of the definition of dynamics and it's still in the amp more than anything else. you seem to be good in that dept. 

now lets look at your comments. 

LP con is price but that really isn't a con per se if that is in your budget.  you said you played all the guitars mentioned but would have to order the LP? 

LTD Korea makes some pretty nice guitars that can rival Gibson especially their lower end models which is what you are looking at. those are really nice guitars. you confuse me on the JB as you say jack of all trades which is exactly what you say you want. told you no guitar does it all perfectly so compromises have to be made. pickups can be swapped out easy enough. 

Parker well didn't care for the one i tried a while back but the same could be said of the high end US made models to so no comment. 

EVH tthey are really nice guitars. ok maybe not the prettiest but guitar ain't about how pretty it is it's about how good it sounds when you play it. no less versatile than anything on the list really.

PRS its a PRS isn't a pro unless you love PRS so that doesn't make much sense.  they'll do classic metal just fine (i play a lot of that ) as for tuning issues a good setup should cure that. 

Schecter i hate the necks on most of their models which makes them a no go for me. they aren't any more versatile than anything on the list . 

look hard at your actual pros and cons (in terms of playing and sound) which should help you narrow things down.  personally i look for guitars that "speak" to me. if i pick up a guitar and play it the ones i truly need to own will tell me. sometimes it may not be what i had ever even thought about. my main Humbucker guitar is a BC Rich Eagle. not a model i'd ever gave any thought to or had even played. saw one tried it and knew i had to have it. 
#14
monwobobbo I played a Tribute HP that a friend's friend owned and it impressed me. Haven't seen many in stores (plenty of traditionals, which I don't like) around here and the ones who do sell them have 'em stuck in some distant warehouse for some reason. So I'd have to order it, and that's a deal-breaker if Gibson is still suffering from quality inconsistencies.

By PRS I obviously meant the high-level of QC on those guitars. PRS is a brand that has become renowned with high quality, even with their SE models. Almost all PRS owners that I know have done nothing but sung praises on the build of the guitars, and I can testify to that given the 3-4 different PRS guitars I've played. Tuning stability has been an issue on the Custom 24 specifically, though I don't know if it's been resolved in the newer models. 

So from your comment, I take it you're suggesting between LTD EC-1000P and EVH?
#15
T00DEEPBLUE Well yes the QC on Gibsons is what I'm most worried about. If it's still not up to the mark, then I guess I'll dump the idea. Don't want to be spending $1400 on something that may or may not be good. The tuners were mainly for convenience because I've played several Les Pauls but all of the ones with the standard tuners tend to go out of tune rather quickly. 
#16
Quote by haidexter
monwobobbo I played a Tribute HP that a friend's friend owned and it impressed me. Haven't seen many in stores (plenty of traditionals, which I don't like) around here and the ones who do sell them have 'em stuck in some distant warehouse for some reason. So I'd have to order it, and that's a deal-breaker if Gibson is still suffering from quality inconsistencies.

By PRS I obviously meant the high-level of QC on those guitars. PRS is a brand that has become renowned with high quality, even with their SE models. Almost all PRS owners that I know have done nothing but sung praises on the build of the guitars, and I can testify to that given the 3-4 different PRS guitars I've played. Tuning stability has been an issue on the Custom 24 specifically, though I don't know if it's been resolved in the newer models. 

So from your comment, I take it you're suggesting between LTD EC-1000P and EVH?

throw in the PRS as well. 
#17
Quote by haidexter
T00DEEPBLUE Well yes the QC on Gibsons is what I'm most worried about. If it's still not up to the mark, then I guess I'll dump the idea. Don't want to be spending $1400 on something that may or may not be good. The tuners were mainly for convenience because I've played several Les Pauls but all of the ones with the standard tuners tend to go out of tune rather quickly. 

Tuners are almost never the cause of poor tuning stability. The nut and the way the guitar is strung is.
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#19
haidexter True enough, but that's somewhat mitigated by having a properly cut nut.

At least a properly cut nut is something that can easily be done. Unlike snapping the headstock off the guitar to reattach it at a shallower angle.
Roses are red
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#20
T00DEEPBLUE Anyway, that's a digression.

WIth Gibson out of the question, which guitar would you suggest? monwob suggested anything between EVH, PRS SE, and LTD-EC1000P. I'm leaning toward the EVH, but I hate Floyd Roses, and don't really have any experience with the hard-tail version. 
#21
haidexter Well if you hate Floyds and you don't like the body shape, why is getting the EVH even being considered in the first place?

There are thousands of doublecut guitars like the EVH out there. Why don't you tell us your preferences in terms of feel and maybe you'll get a more constructive answer, no?

You want passive pickups
You want a fixed bridge

But that's all I know about what you like. Gotta be more specific than that buddy. Otherwise I can't help you. The guitars you're considering are so different to one another that its impossible to recommend one over the other because they're all so fundamentally different.

Does the guitar have to be brand new? Having $1400 to spend on a used guitar makes the world pretty much your oyster.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
Shindeiru



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#22
T00DEEPBLUE In-terms of feel.

Preferably satin finished neck (I can live with a lacquered, but satin is ideal).
Either a compound radius neck or something that is around 16". The Holcomb SE is a great guitar but its 20" radius is a bit too flat. The standard 20-22mm neck thickness is fine.
Don't really care about fretboard wood. Ebony is nice, so is Rosewood, so is Maple, as long as it's good quality.
A set-neck is preferable, but I'd take a bolt-on if it offered overall high quality (like for example an EVH or a Musicman, though the latter don't come cheap).
Frets: medium or jumbo. Nothing too obnoxiously tall.
I've mostly played double-cuts but I'd welcome the change if the rest of the guitar is good enough.
HH setup only.
Something with a top. I don't like the flat look of the Jacksons or Ibanez RG series.

And yes, brand new. I've had my share of used guitars. It's time I got a shiny new toy right out of the box.
#23
haidexter See what Carvin/Kiesel can build for you for $1400.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
Shindeiru



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#24
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
haidexter Well if you hate Floyds and you don't like the body shape, why is getting the EVH even being considered in the first place?

There are thousands of doublecut guitars like the EVH out there. Why don't you tell us your preferences in terms of feel and maybe you'll get a more constructive answer, no?

You want passive pickups
You want a fixed bridge

But that's all I know about what you like. Gotta be more specific than that buddy. Otherwise I can't help you. The guitars you're considering are so different to one another that its impossible to recommend one over the other because they're all so fundamentally different.

Does the guitar have to be brand new? Having $1400 to spend on a used guitar makes the world pretty much your oyster.

EVH makes a hardtail version of that guitar which is what he is talking about
#25
I voted for the LTD since it is the less expensive version of ESP guitars. The  ones I have seen for 300-400 dollars are quite nice and a very good value. Likely the higher end ones have a feel and tone to cover a lot of ground. To me , they feel refined and sturdy and always look nice. That matters at resale time. 
#26
Quote by haidexter


This indecisiveness is killing me. Any help would be appreciated. Recommendations outside of these 7 would also be appreciated (as long as they're in this price range). 

I think the decision is tougher because you have very strange criteria for choosing any of these guitars ("not a real looker..."). 
#27
Looking at your list and how you feel about each, I would buy the Gibson from somewhere with a good return policy. Return it if the QC isn't up to par.
#28
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!
#29
I'd agree with AM on the PRS SE Holcomb signature, to be honest. It's the best you can buy at that price-point in my opinion. The radius is fine, the satin neck feels good, the pickups are amazing (and it has coil-split). The only thing I have against it is the finish, but I'd happily live with that.
#30
I'd like to know which one is the most reliable and best value-for-money    


There's really no way to quantify that. Reliability isn't determined by brand names; most of these have virtually the same hardware, and I've got guitars from 1939 and 1948 that still work just fine. Value for the money is about the same in most cases, unless you're buying from a company that has a completely different marketing model, such as Carvin or Rondo Music. In Carvin's case, there's no brick and mortar store adding 50% to the wholesale price to produce your buy price. You pick your own woods, finishes, etc., and your guitar arrives at your home, usually perfectly set up and in tune. If you're buying a guitar "off the wall" at a GC, it's likely there will be dings and defects and sometimes things terribly wrong with the setup, and you should put the cost of a setup into your budget. Rondo Music is the importer, so you're getting a brand new off-the-boat guitar, but one that probably hasn't had any setup love since it made the 6500 mile trip from Korea (et al.) and then from New Hampshire to your house. In my experience, they still arrive in amazing shape, but you'll probably want to add the cost of a good initial setup to your budget there as well. In theory, US-sold Schecters have had a side trip to a setup shop in Burbank before they're sent along to the various GCs, but as soon as they hit the wall, all bets are off. 
#31
One last thing -- I'm not a fan of Gibsons at price points below, say, the Traditional series. I just don't think they're at their best in the lower price ranges, and I think that the Korean and Indonesian guitars far surpass them in value for the dollar. 

Compared to the Gibson you're looking at ($1400 with a gig bag), for example, I think that the Agile AL3200MCC is a far better guitar (my opinion) and a better value for the dollar spent (IMO, again). 

You get neck-through construction, a headstock that's FAR harder to break, a carved neck heel, a tummy cut, SOLID mahogany body wings, a solid maple cap, a real ebony fretboard, multi-layer binding on body and headstock, single layer binding on the neck, real MOP or Abalone inlays, jumbo frets (hand filed), a 14" radius fretboard, a TUSQ nut, string saver saddles in the bridge, good A5 pickups and pretty good pots/wiring. And a $500 price tag (plus hard shell case, plus shipping). All up, at your door, perhaps $600 total. I don't remember if they come with the coil split feature, but that's available with almost any four-wire pickup and the addition of a push-pull pot or miniswitch. IOW, cheap. 

In other news: Here in LA, the sell price of a Gibson gets about 10% sales tax added, so figure that in if you're in one of those states. Not so the Agile. 
Last edited by dspellman at May 20, 2017,
#32
Couple of things to note about the PRS Holcomb; It ships tuned to Drop C. Fairly obvious what its intended market is. It's a 25.5" scale guitar with a 20" (pretty flat) radius fretboard. It ships with Holcomb signature Seymour Duncan "Alpha and Omega" pickups. I'd definitely check on what those are intended for before you get too excited about this guitar given the genres you're talking about playing. 
Last edited by dspellman at May 20, 2017,
#33
Gibson has the highest resale value, most generally.
#35
dspellman The 20" radius is my main concern with the Holcomb. Alpha & Omega are high-output pickups but they have incredible clarity and mids that make them viable for bluesy rock. They also coil-split incredibly well from what I've heard in YouTube reviews. 

It's just the 20" neck radius that is keeping me from locking that down.
#36
haidexter

Then my response is always try before you buy, and don't restrict yourself to any one brand or model. Know what look and feel you like and buy from there (that is the only correct answer, by the way, even if it's not the one you want to hear.) If the economics of the purchase are of low priority, then all that matters is how you bond with the instrument.

If you're gonna spend a G on a guitar, play the fucking thing first. You might end up finding a diamond in the rough. (frankly, after 13 years of playing, you should know this.)
#37
imgooley And I'll repeat what I said: I've played the ones I've listed, and apart from the Schecters (mainly due to the neck), all of them have really appealed to me. 

I can't own them all (for now), so I have to pick one. The downside with the Gibson is I'll have to order. The others are available for pick up right there and then. That's the entire point of the poll.
#38
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Get a custom-made Kiesel.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
Shindeiru



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#40
Quote by monwobobbo
yeah i'm aware of the definition of dynamics and it's still in the amp more than anything else. you seem to be good in that dept. 

now lets look at your comments. 

LP con is price but that really isn't a con per se if that is in your budget.  you said you played all the guitars mentioned but would have to order the LP? 

LTD Korea makes some pretty nice guitars that can rival Gibson especially their lower end models which is what you are looking at. those are really nice guitars. you confuse me on the JB as you say jack of all trades which is exactly what you say you want. told you no guitar does it all perfectly so compromises have to be made. pickups can be swapped out easy enough. 

Parker well didn't care for the one i tried a while back but the same could be said of the high end US made models to so no comment. 

EVH tthey are really nice guitars. ok maybe not the prettiest but guitar ain't about how pretty it is it's about how good it sounds when you play it. no less versatile than anything on the list really.

PRS its a PRS isn't a pro unless you love PRS so that doesn't make much sense.  they'll do classic metal just fine (i play a lot of that ) as for tuning issues a good setup should cure that. 

Schecter i hate the necks on most of their models which makes them a no go for me. they aren't any more versatile than anything on the list . 

look hard at your actual pros and cons (in terms of playing and sound) which should help you narrow things down.  personally i look for guitars that "speak" to me. if i pick up a guitar and play it the ones i truly need to own will tell me. sometimes it may not be what i had ever even thought about. my main Humbucker guitar is a BC Rich Eagle. not a model i'd ever gave any thought to or had even played. saw one tried it and knew i had to have it. 

  
Quite an interesting dilemma you have!
Why do you pick guitars that have cons you don't like? None of these guitars is the dream regardless of how you get it or the price or whatever. 
Sure now with time you got experience in what you like in a guitar but no guitar can do it all and you have to get deeper into narrow it down as 7 is still 6 too much and in this case none stand out being the one to kill for!

You must keep up the search until the one that stands out turns up to hunt you forever!

Still picking one of the 7 here will feel ok to a point but the cons will get to you and kill it slowly over time in the interest department.

I went through the same thing but 1 guitar at the time until something or other got too much then traded in for the next. Though 3 years into playing electric and already inspired by videos of my favorite artist I finally got a catalog and found my what became the dream. Price was not the issue though at first I brushed it of as an excuse for not doing it besides Jackson US guitars are not really present in Denmark at all.

Never the less I needed it and wanted it being down to a partscaster strat I had yet to bond with so by the summer of 1996 I put the order in for my Jackson dream and it came by December. Love at first sight and it still feels right despite the $5000 price tag it cost me.
Yeah I fought of going to active but still I have yet to get around it. My Jackson Rhoads custom is still pretty stock. 

To balance the needs my partscaster grew on on me and years later I found the magic in it. That's a guitar that I have done 3 upgrades on to make it as I want it to. It still a higher quality guitar though as the parts were Schecter when they were awesome (early '80s) to US Fender including the neck.

The guitar for you is out there you just need to be 100% clear on what you want for the right reasons and that is not looking on the cons or what you don't like. 
Some features like bolt on or locking tremolo, ugly pick guard that has to be there or even the color etc. is so basic non changeable that a choice on what is fine is not that hard just don't invest if it already feels bad. If it feels cheap or so. So many excuses.

Maybe one guitar is not it for you. That could be something to keep in mind.
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