#1
Hello all,

I have been playing guitar on and off for the last 11 years. Unfortunetly, for the two years or so, it has been more of an "off" period than an "on" one I guess you could say. Anyway, I really want to pick it up again as I have begun to miss the feeling of getting lost for hours as I just play whatever comes to mind. Only problem is, I sold my guitar to help fund the college expenses. Luckily, I have saved up enough to purchase another one, but I need help as I haven't purchased a guitar in probably nine years.

So, basically I am looking for an electric guitar in the $400-500 price range. My last guitar (and only electric for that matter) was a Fender Strat (Mexico). Also, I had a multi-effects pedal (Zoom GFX-707) that I loved to mess around with and would be looking for another good multi-effects pedal to pair with the new guitar. Preferably one that falls within the $100-200 range.

A couple of things to note; since I live in a college apartment, I will be playing through headphones almost always. As far as music preference goes, I definitely have a large variety of stuff I love to play. Favorites include songs by Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against the Machine, Led Zeppelin, The Who, and RHCP. However, that's really only the tip of the iceberg. I guess it would be more accurate to say I like to play everything but heavy metal (but hey, that could change as well). So a guitar that is flexible and can still manage to sound equally as good clean as it does with some gain is key to me.

Thank you so much to anyone who can guide me in the right direction. I apologize if this has been answered a million times before. As you can tell I am a noob to this forum, but I did read the stickies/searched, and still felt my situation may be a little unique due to noise restraints and sheer variety.
#2
MIM Fat strat and a microcube.
[IMG]http://img398.imageshack.us/img398/9148/dawhip005jf4.jpg[/IMG]

Quote by SuperSamuraiGuy
Thanks for answering all my question ssguitar



JCM900 FOR SELL!
#3
Yeah you can get Fender Strats Mexicans for about $550....their new series.
If you are lucky you can find one with a humbucker in the bridge.
As for multi-fx try the boss ME-50...sweet and only $250.
Ibanez RGA 8 (Dimarzio D Activator 8)->Rocktron Hush->Engl E530 preamp->Marshall 9200 poweramp->Marshall 4x12 closed back cab w/ G12t75's
#4
Why not try a Ibanez S470 out?
If Fender strat is versatile on the clean side then Ibanez S470 is versatile on the distorted side.

And since you mentioned headphone playing then a Line 6 POD XT or X3 would be a perfect fit (or even a Pocket POD would do just fine).
The thing is that I've never seen an amp which gives me it's true sound via headphone jack. Most of them are too much distorted giving me headaches.

There's a amp company called Atomic Amplifier which make amp for multiprocessors so if you want to crank up some volume for giging it's the place to look at.
#5
Chipless,

First of all, welcome back to the world of guitar playing!!!

I'm probably going to catch a little bit of grief here because my advice differs from the above two posts. I'm not saying anyone's wrong....I just happen to lean in a different direction.

I've played many, many MIM Strats. You can get them all day long at Guitar Center for $349.00. They're a decent alternative to the American models, BUT...they only have 21 frets (I prefer 22)...and the neck is the older style "fat" neck. I personally prefer a thinner neck, and my playing style requires 22 frets.

About 7 years ago, I bought a cheap "throwaway" Fernandes Strat copy for $179.00. I wanted something cheap to keep at the office for those late night breaks. I didn't care if it got stolen or knocked over by the janitor. It was only $179.00, y'know?? And I wasn't about to bring my Les Paul Goldtop to the office. Heavens no! That was my precious baby! LOL!

Well, a funny thing happened! That cheap Strat copy is now my FAVORITE guitar to play, and I'd match it against ANY Strat-styled guitar!! The only thing I've done to it is replaced the bridge pickup with a Duncan Hot Rails pickup.

But Fernandes guitars are hard to come by nowadays, as their dealer base seems to be dwindling. As a result, there are two other guitar options I'd look into. Here's where I'm going to get myself into trouble. LOL!!

I would go one of two routes.

Squier just introduced the Deluxe Hot Rails Strat: Click here for more info It's based on the Fender American Standard, but has three Duncan designed Hot Rails pickups, 22 frets, a twin-pivot tremolo versus the standard trem, and a thinner, more playable neck than the MIM's. The fit and finish is amazing, and you can get them at Guitar Center for only $229.00!! Of course, since everyone's concerned about owning a "lowly" Squier...and you might get teased a lot (personally, I could care less about the name on the headstock, and I play well enough to silence most crowds that gather to throw rocks at me whenever I say I like cheaper brands. Hell, just remove the decal on the headstock and tell everyone it's a custom. They'll LOVE it then!! LOL!

Either that, or visit www.rondomusic.com They carry two Korean-made brands called Agile and SX. Both brands offer astonishing quality at unbelievably low prices. For less than $200.00, you can have virtually any style guitar you want, with return policies and customer service that are second to none. You can also see demos all over YouTube by doing a search on "Agile Guitars" or "SX Guitars". They offer a ton of Strat models...along with beautiful Les Paul copies, Ibanez copies, etc. Incredible!

Okay....so let's say you spend $250 on a guitar.

You mentioned you used to have a Zoom GFX707. So did I!!! It was great, except the input jack got squirrely on it, so I upgraded to the Zoom GFX5. However, that little 707 was a great pedal! The replacement for the 707 is the Zoom G2.1u which has a built-in USB port for home recording. There's also a headphone jack so your college apartment neighbors won't teepee your car. It runs $140.00 (check MusiciansFriend.com or Zzounds.com).

So far, you're at less than $400.00, which leaves you room to buy a small practice amp. I'd recommend a VOX Valvetronix, as they're absolutely amazing amps for the money!!!

SOUND SAMPLES
If you want to hear what my $179.00 Strat through my old GFX707 sounds like, click here: Samples of my playing


You might agree that it's not necessarily the name that's on the headstock that matters, but what the player can do with WHATEVER guitar it is they're playing.

Regardless of your decision, I wish you the best of luck in your "guitar playing comeback"!!! Have fun...and play your heart out!!

Good luck!

Dave
#6
You've already had some some good advice there Chipless, but I'd like to throw a few more suggestions into the mix.

If you're going to be playing 'through headphones almost always', pick up a copy of Guitar Rig. I use it to practise at home and it sounds far better than any amp could for the purpose. There's a vast amount of effects and amps to play with too. The third version came out recently so have a look for 'Guitar Rig 2 (Software Edition)' - I think you can get it for as cheap as $150 now. If that's too pricey there's a cut-down one called Guitar Combos which sounds great but isn't nearly as effects-laden.

As for the guitar, a hardtail Ibanez S-series will usually be better built than a MIM Fender, although it's all down to personal preference. The best value guitars I can think of are the Yamaha Pacifica 412 and the Ibanez SA260, though I suggest just trying out everything you can, see what feels best.

Good luck, stick with it this time!
#7
Wow, thanks so much for all the great advice! I am pumped to start researching all the suggestions that were laid out! If anyone else has something to add, please do. Thanks again everyone.
#8
Well I have done a fair bit of research, and plan to go test some of the guitars that were recommended. Only question I have is about Guitar Rig/Guitar Combos. The software looks really cool, but it's super expensive unless you get the Guitar Combos version (which still has plenty of features IMO). However, does anyone know if it comes with a floor pedal to manipulate FX like "wah" for example? If not, how would I set this up? Thanks again everyone. Feel free to suggest any more guitars to go test out as well.
#9
my friend has a jackson warrior x series and i think its great and im gonna get one after i learn to play semi good. im not sure if its really good for red hot chili peppers or led zepplin music but it should be great for rage against the machines and smashing pumpkins
#10
For the guy with the clips nice playing. A little too effected to get a real feel for the sound of the guitar tho.
Tom Anderson Hollow Classic
72 thin line tele

Barber trifecta fuzz
Mi audio Crunch Box
Clyde Wah
Barber Burn Unit
Ocean efx Texas deuce
Boomerang chorus delay
Barber ltd


1971 Pro reverb
Fender acoustasonic
Fender super champ xd
#11
Quote by Chipless
Well I have done a fair bit of research, and plan to go test some of the guitars that were recommended. Only question I have is about Guitar Rig/Guitar Combos. The software looks really cool, but it's super expensive unless you get the Guitar Combos version (which still has plenty of features IMO). However, does anyone know if it comes with a floor pedal to manipulate FX like "wah" for example? If not, how would I set this up? I know you can get a foot controller with Guitar Rig but it's like $250 (too pricey IMO). Thanks again everyone. Feel free to suggest any more guitars to go test out as well.


Still looking for info on these subjects. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!