Started with one of those Ibanez starter packs, ordered it online (I know better now). It came with an Ibanez GIO, which sounded terrible when I got it, so I got it set up. I noticed the action was a bit high, and the guy used 10's on it. So I played, and got a little better (slowly). When I switched out the strings, I used 9's.

The other day I measured the action at the 14th fret of the low E string using picks. It is way more than 2mm, probably 2.8mm or so. That seems rather high, especially for a beginner. If I play a Fm the D string doesn't ring because it is nearly impossible to fret at fret 1 at that point in my finger. Also, when I play something like Iron Man, the slide from 5 to 7 makes the low E string vibrate, which really sucks for trying to play just about anything. I'm thinking the string change from 10 to 9 and the way I did it (took all strings off at once) caused it to lose the tension needed to keep the low E quiet.

Is it worth getting this set up again? Guitar Center wants 65 to set it up, which I think is ridiculous. I tried out a Schecter Elite and a SZ520 last night at GC, but wasn't blown away by either. Definitely liked the better pickups, but the SZ520 felt like a toy it was so small. The Schecter was nice but the neck felt thicker than what I was used to. I want to play alternative rock: Muse, Radiohead, etc. Or should I just start looking for a new guitar?
^ Buy a good guitar repair/maintenance book and learn how to do it yourself. It's something you should learn, and there's nothing better to learn on than a cheap guitar.
Hi, I'm Peter
Last edited by Dirk Gently at Jan 10, 2007,
$65 for a full set up is about right, whether or not I'd use GC....

It's really not that hard to set up a guitar yourself. www.projectguitar.com has full online tutorials about what to do. You aren't going to hurt anything, plus it's a great learner guitar because it's not valuable.

Take time to learn to do it yourself and play that axe. Save up for a better one anyway.
It's a fine line between clever and stupid.
I agree ^^^^ and a starter-pack guitar is a good one on which to learn how to do such maintenance, ...... or ...... you could marry a girl like Becky or Jenny
deffinately start looking for a new guitar. In my experiance with the Ibanez GIO it isnt that great to begin with, and you probably paid alot more than its worth. I got a Yamaha EG-112C starter set from walmart (sam's club) for 200. granate it isnt the best guitar in the world. but it was a good starter guitar. one of my students has the GIO and i told him that he needs to get a new one.

I dont really think that it is even worth 65 bucks to set up. but if you can get it for less then 20 then do it. keep it for memories.
Normally I'm a do-it-yourselfer, but I've been only been playing for about a year, so I'm more concerned with feeling proficient on the instrument than keeping it up. Better use of time, you know?

I'll start looking for a new guitar and keep the other one around to screw around with. Any recommendations? Been going off of the stickied thread, but some of the models are hard to find. Guess I'll just try a bunch of them and check up later on whether they're legit. How much do I need to put out to get a decent instrument?
^ As much as you can afford. You can find a quality instrument at almost any price range, it's just that with cheaper guitars it takes more looking. Squier guitars can be good, but they can also be horrible. Same thing with cheap Ibanez, Epiphones, etc.
Hi, I'm Peter
I would plan on around $450 for a long term quality guitar. You could easily find something used for less than that though. Ibanez RG550, 565, 570, Charvel Model 3 or 4, Schecter C-1 or S-1, any of these are excellent axes in that price range used.
It's a fine line between clever and stupid.