Hi, I'm new to this forum and new to guitars. I'm looking to buy a new beginner's guitar, and willing to spend up to $550AUD on an electric guitar, amp, and essentials(picks etc)

I live in Melbourne, Australia so I will only buy from shops within Victoria, not willing to order online. (I am 16)

I had my eye on the Special II Pack, but I've heard that it isn't very good.

Help is appreciated. Thanks!
epiphone les paul are good beginners guitars that sound great for theyre price tag, i dont no AUS to USD conversion but im pretty sure its close enough that u can afford it, also i think u can afford a strat too, but i dont no much bout them
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hey dude, orrite thats a pretty decent ammount of money for a beginners kit, i'm from perth but guitar prices are pretty standard in aus.

I'd tell you not to buy a kit if u can - you often get pretty low grade stuff.

You gotta tell us what you wanna play, but i think you need a Yamaha Pacifica 012/112 - these guitars are superstrats, meaning that they have the best of both worlds, a humbucker and single coils, they're awesome quality, they have decent classy looks, and so on. the only thing is that that might cost you up to 400 dollars already :S. picks are 50c each so don't worry about them.

ok so after the 400 dollar guitar you're looking at 150 for the amp, simple practice amp that'll do you well in versatility is the vox valvetronix (the smallest one, 5 watts, still pretty loud, lots of different sounds) or the roland cube (preferably a microcube or the 30 watt, the 15 watt doesn't have the amp modelling that makes cubes so great). 179 for the microcube is street price.

so i ok i gave you a 579 dollar estimate there but surely you can bargain if you're getting both.

My suggestion: Yamaha Pacifica 012 coupled with Roland Microcube - diverse, great tones, perfect to start of with - you can literally play anything pretty well on this combo.
I'm mainly looking to play to Punk Rock. Thanks for the suggestions, I'll have a look into it.
ooo punk rock eh. hmm, i wouldn't recommend the cube then. I'd still be recommending the Pacifica - because it's the best quality guitar for the price, however it might not have teh attitude you want so wack some stickers on it or something. hell you can even take the pickguard off and paint it or something.

i don't know what i'd be recommending as an amp, the cube would work for your more new hybrid punk like offspring that contains more metal tones in it, but for old school punk you might want somethin different. Play aroudn at the shop.
Roland Cube and guitar well you probably could get a pacifica with that. sorry but there arent that many good low end guitars with that type of money. you could get a squier but it must be real good