Hey all,

I'm heading to Japan in a few months and am looking to pick up a new guitar while I'm over there (to replace the cheap starter guitar I'm practicing with atm). Australia's guitar market is ridiculously expensive as far as I can tell, so I figured this might be a good opportunity to save some money, or pick up something I can't get here.

So far I've come across the Jackson Stars, which AFAIK are the same as Japan-made Jacksons (or made in the same factory anyway), and very good quality. However, the prices compare very favourably. In particular I'm looking for something like this.


Basically my plan is to hit the guitar stores around Tokyo and see if I can find one of these for a similar price, as I'm not sure this website has a physical store. I don't want to spend much more than AUD$1000, or roughly 100000 yen.

I'm pretty sure I want a tune-o-matic, as I have little need for a trem bar, and I've heard that FR are much harder to restring. Additionally, the string-through body looks sexy. In fact, the Jackson I listed is pretty much what I'm looking for (obviously I need to find and test-play it, but on paper it looks right), but I just thought I'd ask for more opinions from more knowledgeable folk like you guys.

Aside from the Jackson Stars, what brands are cheaper or exclusive to Japan, and might be good to pick up while I'm over there? Any particular models you can point me towards? I'm looking to play metal, rock the usual. Current amp is a Roland Cube 30.

Lastly, can anyone give me some advice as to whether the stock pickups or the optional EMG option would be favourable on the Jackson? I don't really know the difference between passive and active pickups, and whether the EMGs are worth the extra money.

Thanks in advance!

you could go for the Ibanez Marty Friedman signature...
has a string-through body with a tune-o-matic, and some fancy extras...
it's Japan-only, but i'm not sure how much it is...
metal guitar brands I know are esp edwards, fernandes, ibanez, guite good and affordable

and I think you can even find cheaper deals actual stores in japan than that website, just try some big guitar chain stores when you are in japan, they usually have their guitar at a reasonable price
Fender Japan
... there're a bunch of them. I'm sure you will find one that you like in the store. Why not ask the sale person. They 'ought to know which one is made where and when.

ESP Standard Eclipse I CTM VW
ESP LTD Deluxe H-1001
ESP LTD Deluxe Viper-1000 STBC
ESP Edwards E-EX-100STD
Warmoth Paulcaster "Tiger"
Tanglewood TW170 AS
Vox Tonelab ST
Blackstar HT-1R