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> An Idiots Guide To Buying An Electric Guitar
Mike Seddon
post Mar 28 2008, 09:20 PM
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Guys & Gals,

After over 20 years of just playing what I have I decided to pop my head up and buy a new guitar.

However as I read more my head spins faster.

Coil tapping - wow!

Single coil or double coil - wow!

Etc etc etc.

Somewhere on the web, the re must be an idiots guide to buying an electric guitar - anyone know where it is?

I know we all want something different, but there must be some basic advice about what you need depending on what you want.

Also some advice on how to really test a new guitar to make sure it performs.

Yes?

Can you good people post a link or suggest a book? Or maybe give some personal advice on how to test a new electric guitar.

Ta

Mike

This post has been edited by Mike Seddon: Mar 28 2008, 09:21 PM
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Trond Vold
post Mar 28 2008, 09:27 PM
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Not sure about a definitive guide on how to buy a guitar..
But tell us what styles you like to play and what price range you are in, and i'm sure you will get alot of good advice and tips from plenty of experienced players here.



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JVM
post Mar 28 2008, 09:30 PM
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QUOTE (Trond Vold @ Mar 28 2008, 04:27 PM) *
Not sure about a definitive guide on how to buy a guitar..
But tell us what styles you like to play and what price range you are in, and i'm sure you will get alot of good advice and tips from plenty of experienced players here.


Agree. We can definitely steer you in the right direction if you tell us your budget and what you want to do with it smile.gif


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Mike Seddon
post Mar 28 2008, 09:34 PM
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QUOTE (JVM @ Mar 28 2008, 08:30 PM) *
Agree. We can definitely steer you in the right direction if you tell us your budget and what you want to do with it smile.gif


OK - Budget is around £300 for now but for the absolute ultimate I could stretch to £500
Ta
Mike

However the advice was still about how to test a guitar.

I went into a shop today and this lad tied out a guitar with loads of distortion though a rather large amp and I just thought that surely he would be as well of testing it clean sounding through a basic amp...
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Smikey2006
post Mar 28 2008, 09:38 PM
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QUOTE (Mike Seddon @ Mar 28 2008, 04:34 PM) *
OK - Budget is around £300 for now but for the absolute ultimate I could stretch to £500
Ta
Mike

However the advice was still about how to test a guitar.

I went into a shop today and this lad tied out a guitar with loads of distortion though a rather large amp and I just thought that surely he would be as well of testing it clean sounding through a basic amp...


its all about how you want a guitar to perform and sound.. if what the lad is playing uses lots of distortion then perhaps he is testing the guitar to get that sound. smile.gif if you don't play clean.. well clean sound wont be as important therefore don't bother testing it.. when i buy new guitars i look for tone and playability.. its all about what feels good to you smile.gif


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Trond Vold
post Mar 28 2008, 09:47 PM
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Without knowing your style..

A safe bet in that price range is always an Epiphone, like the Epiphone Les Paul model. Good durable quality and good all-around sound.


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Guitars: Schecter Stiletto Classic, Jackson SLSMG, Ibanez RG-380 Japan, Gibson Les Paul Studio

Amp: Marshall JMP-1 -> Rocktron Velocity 100 -> Marshall JCM-900 Lead 4x12

FX and stomps: T.C Electronics G-Sharp, Korg SDD-1200, Emma Transmorgrifier, BYOC Tribooster, GGG Green Ringer, Dinosaur Overdrive, Voodoo Lab SuperFuzz, Sovtek Bassballs, Line6 Tap Tremolo, EHX Screaming Bird.


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JVM
post Mar 28 2008, 09:50 PM
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QUOTE (Mike Seddon @ Mar 28 2008, 04:34 PM) *
OK - Budget is around £300 for now but for the absolute ultimate I could stretch to £500
Ta
Mike

However the advice was still about how to test a guitar.

I went into a shop today and this lad tied out a guitar with loads of distortion though a rather large amp and I just thought that surely he would be as well of testing it clean sounding through a basic amp...


Like Smikey said, it's all about what feels good to you. You can buy a very very good guitar for 500 pounds, or 300 for that matter. Try out a few different ones and just go with what feels comfortable to you. Try it through a different amp or two and see if you like how it sounds compared to other guitars.

Try playing it without anything plugged in to see if it has a nice "natural" sound. Put your chin on the wood as you play if you want to hear it better. You'll look like a fool but it's okay tongue.gif

Check to make sure it doesn't go out of tune really easily. Also check that nothing is loose or feels flimsy or like it'd break.

Beyond that just whatever you like the most, kind of a gut feeling thing.

What kind of music do you play? I'm guessing nothing with a lot of distortion.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Mar 28 2008, 09:54 PM
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The best way to test a guitar is to know what type of sound you are really looking for. Now this is somewhat tricky because we - musicians only practice on limited equipment and only few (lucky ones) have the opportunity to hang out in the store and tryout all the amps and guitars imaginable. This is the problem you must overcome.

You need to know what sounds good to you. What sort of amp and guitar for starters. When you go to the shop you must be prepared to try exactly what you need, cause if you get lost in the combinations you will get nowhere. Before buying a guitar I recommend going to every shop in you area that you can. Usually the people will give you the equippment you want to try to play for a while. When taking the equippment you must concentrate on the equippments sound - NOT you playing. So when you try something don't play too many hard licks or anything, play something easy and well known to you. This way you can listen to the sound that is coming from the amp. Also if a shop guy stands over your head and you feel uncomfortable, ignore him or tell him you need some privacy - they will immediately step back.

RIght those are some rough directions that I can give you. Be aware that everybody test the gear differently, according to their wishes. So for example first you must know what type of music you're into. Spend some time on the net looking for guitars that your favorite band uses. Go to manufacturers site and check the prices on eBay. Be prepared when you come to the shop. When you come and you wanna let's say tryout a Epiphone Les Paul, give it a go on some amp that you like - NOT the one that the shop guy gives you. Ask him politely if you can use the Marshall instead of Fender for example. When plugged in don't be a drag, turn off the reverb and all the effects (shop guys usually color the sound so it may sound somewhat better), make the signal dry and leave all EQ on 5 and start from there. THen play some prepared stuff that you know how to repeat again and concentrate on the sound. Try to remember the sound. THen if you played an Epiphone take something similar like the real Les Paul and compare it. Also try some other brand but with the same configuration.

Also know that if you are good with the guys from the store you can learn a lot. They know exactly how every guitar sounds - they've tried them all believe me. Just ask them as many questions as you can think of: "what can you tell me about these guitars that you have?", "what is in your opinion the best buy in the store and why?". Don't pretend like you know everything or be afraid of them, they will not help you then.

Same thing goes when you go to another shop, there you tell the shop guy: "I need that and that, been there and there, what do you have similar?". Then check out the gear similar to those in the previous shop so you can compare it properly. For example there's no use playing a strat on fender in one store and playing a LP on marshall in another - this will get you nowhere. Sometimes shop guys will be not available and rood but you make your point and make a stand, don't treat them as servants or anything but treat yourself as a customer and him as a guy who knows better about the gear and it is paid to be there to help you.

This post has been edited by Milenkovic Ivan: Mar 28 2008, 09:58 PM


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SinoMan
post Mar 28 2008, 10:17 PM
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QUOTE (Milenkovic Ivan @ Mar 28 2008, 09:54 PM) *
Now this is somewhat tricky because we - musicians only practice on limited equipment and only few (lucky ones) have the opportunity to hang out in the store and tryout all the amps and guitars imaginable.


Why not hang out in the store for half a day and try everything out?

And then say you were just looking around happy.gif

This post has been edited by SinoMan: Mar 28 2008, 10:17 PM


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Mar 28 2008, 10:22 PM
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QUOTE (SinoMan @ Mar 28 2008, 10:17 PM) *
Why not hang out in the store for half a day and try everything out?

And then say you were just looking around happy.gif


If possible - why not. Generally if you know what you're looking for there's no need staying in a store more than 2-3 hours.

This post has been edited by Milenkovic Ivan: Mar 28 2008, 10:23 PM


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Mike Seddon
post Mar 28 2008, 11:13 PM
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Thanks guys for all the excellent advice.

For the record, I'm a big fan of Alex Lifeson and Steve Hackett. There's a couple of differnet styles for you!

I do like clean sound but I also like distortion as well. It depends on what I am playing.

I'm currently thinking of either a Cort M600 or a Gordon Smith GS2. I've not yet had my hands on either - this is just based on reviews I've read.

My guitar of the last 20+ years is a Les Paul copy from Yamato - you've probably never heard of them... I hadn't it just sounded good at the time.

Thanks again

Mike
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