Ok I've just been re inspired to start playing seriously again. For a while i have been finding guitar playing as a whole very stale, but new styles of music have made me want to get better. My guitar, however, is just not cutting it for me.

As everyone says, I need an extremely versatile instrument. I play everything from John Mayer and SRV to Zeppelin and Hendrix to Paul Gilbert and Buckethead all the way back to Worship music at church. I have a Peavey Valveking 112.

I know nothing is going to be perfect, but i want this guitar to be able to get a decent clean tone and still be able to sound good with distortion.
So i'm thinking maybe a HH or HSH would be great. My budget is about $300 + whatever i can sell my Telecaster for. (on Craig's List or Ebay) It doesn't matter if it has a trem or not. I will upgrade the pickups later on.

I currently am thinking about an Epiphone Les Paul or an Ibanez RG5EX1 and buying a new trem or making it a hardtail like Paul Gilbert. Excuse the long post and Thanks in Advance!
I would actually almost prefer an HSH or just an HH. =/

Are the neck pockets of the MIMs routed for a Humbucker?
Ironically enough me and my roommates each have a guitar from the 3 brands you were thinking.
I have a Les Paul, I changed the pickups (SD Pearly Gates in the neck and Invaders in the bridge) and it sounds real sweet on blues and metal music but I'll be the first to admit that it does have a "muddy" tone even before I changed the pickups so if you like the real clean stuff I'd recommend against it.

My roommate has a Ibanez RG-something with the Zakk Wylde EMG pickups in it. Personally I don't really like the tone of this guitar although it's great for metal, and the guitar itself is one of the most "playable" guitars I've ever played; the clean sounds very odd to me, like no identity if you catch my drift, just a dead tone. Truth be told I don't know if it's the pickups or just the guitar but I'd still recommend against it.

My other roommate just got a fender american strat (can't remember the model) and we were all checking it out yesterday. It sounds beautiful clean and it sounds like it would suit you the best depending on your playing styles. Personally for me I feel like it lacks "punch" in its tone but then again I'm a metal head so I dunno but the fender seems like your best bet

EDIT: I dunno where I saw Fender in your original post lol....I guess I just have it on my mind and subconsciously put it in there
Last edited by LightxGrenade at Aug 10, 2008,
^^ That was a lot of help.

I'm not expecting like pristine crazy cleans. Just something to work with a little bit you know? If i got the Ibanez i wouldn't put emgs in it i just don't like them that much. I'll just go play these three at GC and come back and ask questions tomorrow haha.

Thanks a lot guys.
So i couldn't get to Guitar Center Today, but i did get to play some of my friends guitars.
First i tried my friend's brand new Epiphone Les Paul. I found it rather muddy with my amp, and i just wasn't digging the neck.

But i played my friend's Ibanez. I think it's an SZ series. He bought it off of ebay so he doesn't know for sure what it is... Anyway, it has a set in neck, mahogany body, and 2 humbuckers. The Cleans weren't amazing (he had emg's in it) but i think with decent pickups it would be awesome. I loved the feel of the guitar though. It looks like this


but with this color


His has a Quilted Maple Top, but I'm not too worried about one of those. Does anyone have any opinions on one of these?