This is causing me more stress than I'd like, but I don't take new guitar purchases lightly. Right now I'm looking for a fairly specific sort of guitar, and it's been almost impossible to find something that fits the bill. Here are my ideal specs:

24.75" Neck-thru (prefer quarter-sawn mahogany)
Double-locking tremolo (prefer Floyd Rose Original)
Active pickups (prefer EMG 81s or 81/85)
Coil tap would be nice, but not necessary as I can wire it myself if needed.

I'm not sure why, but apparently this is the impossible guitar to find. The closest thing I've found is the ESP KH-603, but I've heard they aren't as good as they should be, they're maple, and they're discontinued.

Right now, I'm thinking I'd like to get an ESP LTD F-2E, and if I don't like the pickups/bridge, I can replace them with the real deal. My primary concern here is that it might be difficult to fit the active pickup electronics into a body routed for passive pickups. It's also not mahogany, but it's inexpensive, so I'll let it slide.

Does anybody know of any good guitars that fit more closely to what I'm looking for? I've checked out the Xiphos, some B.C. Riches, and some Jacksons, but the aren't suiting me as much as the F-2E.
thats extremely specific..

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I guess I should qualify this a bit. I have a nice Fender American Strat that I love, but it's not so well suited for heavier stuff. I'm aiming for a guitar with more sustain, more guts, and more power. I'm trying to find something that will make some irresponsible sounds that won't come from a strat. Not sure if that helps...

edit: I know it's very specific, but those are the ideal specs. I'm pretty flexible on most of that, especially since I don't want to go broke on this. The neck-thru and tremolo are a must, but I'm willing to part with some of the more specific requirements, so if people know of guitars that approximate what I have here, that would be very helpful.
Last edited by CtrlBurn at Feb 27, 2008,
why dont you jjust get new pickups for the startocaster, throw some seymour duncans in
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The LTD looks decent but the build quality probably isn't great, it has an LFR and the pickups aren't anything special.
I'm thing ESP or Jackson would be your best bet but keep looking around and trying out other brands. I used to really be into ESP but then I tried out a Gibson V and fell in love with it.
Definitely try out some different stuff, what others think is good won't always be right for you.
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This is the closest I've got for you. It's an Agathis body, but it has EMG's with a coil-split, 24 frets, and I'm pretty sure it's a 24.75 scale neck.
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I don't want to customize my strat, because I've already customized it and I like it the way it is. I just need a second guitar to cover the territory the strat isn't built for.

The F-250 is something I was looking at. The F-2E is more appealing to me based on the woods used, and the appearance of it, so I'd probably go that route. It's basically the same as the F-250 in many respects.
that's pretty difficult, to be honest. most superstrats don't have 24 3/4" scale lengths. and the odd one which i know of which does (e.g. caparison horus) has a bolt-on neck.

are there some schecters with those specs? hellraiser maybe? or is it a set-in neck?
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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no one said shecter yet

my hellraiser fr has a ****load of sustain and gutty sound

schecter makes sweet ass metal guitars
i was going to get an esp too
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perhaps i have a superb epiphone. the japanese man must have gotten laid and won the lottery right before he made my guitar. whatever.
I'd rather not go much over $1000, but for the right guitar my budget goes up...

I kinda want to get something that doesn't look like a strat, but the appearance is not as important as how it sounds, and how it plays. I've seen other talk of "Comparison" guitars on here, but I can't find a site for them to check them out.
For the price of the guitars you're looking at it'd be cheaper for you to get the raw material and build it yourself. That way you get exactly what you want.
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I'd say the schecter hellraiser FR. It has everything you want EXCEPT the neck thru, but that's as close as you'll get to what you want under $1000.
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You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
Thanks, everyone. Very good suggestions. I think I'll just have to go to some guitar stores this weekend, play the mess out of some ESPs and Schecters, and see which one feels/sounds better.
If you put hot rails in that strat, it would be more than suited for heavier stuff and the sustain would greatly improve. Strats can be great guitars for heavy stuff.
I'm not touching my strat. I've spent a lot of time getting it how I want it, and I still like it a lot. What I'm looking for is a second guitar that will pick up where the strat leaves off. That strat has a lot of crazy wiring that wasn't terribly easy, so I don't want to undo all of my work.
Warmoth doesn't do neck-thru

I thought about building it myself, but I don't have any experience with finishing, or routing, so I'd hate to shell out the necessary cash for a guitar that might not ever come together. That will probably be a project down the road, though.

I checked out the ESP custom shop, but the website estimated $5200, which I don't have lying around right now. Also, there's an 8-month wait on the guitar being built.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I always thought only the EMG 89's had coil tapping?
Apparently there's also an "81TW" model that is like the 81, with a single coil inside that can be accessed via push-pull. Good point, though. I didn't realize that most of the EMG pickups can't be tapped. Thanks for the heads-up.
Go to your local shop and try a Schecter, for the "HeIIriaser of it"... Oh I had to... Good luck.
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Calm down... I've checked it out. Now I'm just waiting for them to e-mail me a quote. I'm willing to bet it will be more than I have budgeted for this venture, but they look like crispy-ass guitars.