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> Semi-newb With Cash To Burn, $4000
Chief Brody
post Apr 9 2008, 07:39 AM
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Yes indeed, yet another "help me decide what to buy" topic!

I hope you more knowledgeable folks will help me out.

Anyhoo, i've got $4000 to burn and primarily i'm interested in putting that towards a new guitar but i'm also willing to throw some of that money towards amp/effects if required.

I'll try to be as informative as possible as to what direction leaning towards. I'm here for guidance and ideas as i understand that ultimately i'm going to need to go out and get a feel for any potential buys first hand (all i lack is direction! unsure.gif ).

I started playing only a few months ago but thanks to GMC and a pretty rigid scehdule i'm progressing nicely. Unfortunately i'm not completely happy with the guitar i have. I was vastly inexperienced and relied on one of the store guys in aiding my purchase and for the price range i was looking for he pointed me in the direction of a Fender Jaguar.

Now i like the guitar don't get me wrong, but i feel i was misguided as i find it to be (IMO) not very newbie friendly as it's rather fiddly. I like playing it but it feels more like an interesting piece for the occassional play and not really what i want in my "primary" guitar.

So after a bit of saving, i'm ready to splash some more cash and set things right.

Here's the situation:

Music style(s) i like and want to play

I'm interested primarily in All forms of Rock, Blues and a little bit of Funk. I'm into metal too but nothing too extreme, just the standard stuff - which is to say shredding isn't really a style i'm going to play and i'm not going to be doing any neoclassical craziness (although i am interested in using exercises/techniques from that genre to improve my overall playing ability).

I'd ideally like a guitar that would be able to handle anything from Tool to John Mayer and everything inbetween, if possible.

Guitars

I really dig Les Pauls, SG's and Stratocasters but i'm open to other quality names too and i'm willing to admit that whilst i want a guitar that sounds great (for the music i wanna play) - i also want some that looks great too.

Examples of guitars i love the look of include SG Diablo's, SG/Les Paul Robot (and that crazy HD.6-X Pro Digital), Les Paul Studio, Pretty much any Stratocaster.

I'm open to all suggestions on this front.

Maintenance/Reliability

Obviously i'm more than willing to get my hands dirty and make some adjustments if need be, i'd really prefer a guitar that is set-up well from the start and won't require me to replace things (other than perhaps the strings). Somethings that's hardy and can take care of itself, although obviously i'm gonna take very good care of it - i'm not exactly gonna be throwing it off any bridges and hoping it still plays well laugh.gif

Misc

I play for personal satisfaction and like nothing more than being able to belt out some great licks and play songs that i initially didn't have a clue how to play. I do like a good bit of volume (as i have no neighbours at all wink.gif ) but i'm not gonna be doing any gigging and if i do play for people it would only be small scale. Obviously i'd like something that complements the quality of the guitar and can help acheive the sounds i want so once again i'm very open to suggestions on this front (same goes for effects and such).


Phew, I know that's a lot to wade through but i'd rather give you lots of info because my next purchase is going to be the guitar that takes me from eager novice to all the levels above that (of which there are quite a lot!).

I appreciate any and all suggestions and guidance that you all can offer me!

Chief B.


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MickeM
post Apr 9 2008, 08:37 AM
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If you really want to spend I could only recommend a few guitars I'd like for myself.
Nothing in specific but try out a few PRS high end guitars, I prefer the double cut myself and look for one with a coil tap.

Or rather, which is cheaper than the PRS, the Musicman Stever Morse signature. Never played one but I just know it's made for me. Definitly one you should try out! wink.gif


Regarding amps. I think the Mesa Boogie 5:50 could suit yoy well. 5W for home usage. Ask JVM! smile.gif


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UMPHREAK
post Apr 9 2008, 08:57 AM
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QUOTE (MickeM @ Apr 9 2008, 03:37 AM) *
If you really want to spend I could only recommend a few guitars I'd like for myself.
Nothing in specific but try out a few PRS high end guitars, I prefer the double cut myself and look for one with a coil tap.

Or rather, which is cheaper than the PRS, the Musicman Stever Morse signature. Never played one but I just know it's made for me. Definitly one you should try out! wink.gif


Regarding amps. I think the Mesa Boogie 5:50 could suit yoy well. 5W for home usage. Ask JVM! smile.gif


G&L Legacy (Strat model)
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Gus
post Apr 9 2008, 08:58 AM
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Hey, with that money and motivation you should definitely look for stuff on high end.

I think guitar is most important, specially because you are not satisfied with your own now. So decide which guitar to buy and then with the rest of the money think of amp (maybe even save for a better amp later).

It seems you like some guitars which are really different characters: SG/Les Pauls and Stratocaster. I actually happen to own mid-range strat and a Les Paul. The conclusions I had from playing them for some time (that's personal taste)
1: I can't live without humbucker on the bridge. That's the one thing I like to hear through a nicely distorted. That's first option for my solos
2: Middle + neck in strats is really sweet.
3: Neck humbucker is also nice for some solos.
4: Middle + bridge (strat) is very interesting for blues and funky stuff

I went into shops testing high end Les Pauls and strats, just o discover one thing: The one guitar that has the 4 characteristics I mentioned all together is actually an Ibanez blink.gif
If you happen to have any similar taste for the sounds I mentioned, I would suggest you to try some very high end prestige Ibanez. I happen to own one and I can say it is an amazing guitar. I tried some other Ibanez (mid range) and does not feel the same.
The signature ones (like JEMs) are really good, but you are really paying extra money for the name there. Mine has neck-thru and Mahogany body, which to me are better specs than JEMs, and yet is a little cheaper.

This post has been edited by Gus: Apr 9 2008, 08:59 AM


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botoxfox
post Apr 9 2008, 09:27 AM
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You live in Japan right? Then perhaps you could check out some cool Japanese guitars, like Caparison, ESP and Ibanez J-Customs.

This post has been edited by botoxfox: Apr 9 2008, 09:28 AM


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Chief Brody
post Apr 9 2008, 09:32 AM
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Thanks for your advice so far everyone, it's really great and useful.

Yeah i live in Japan and probably will be for at least another couple of years. I'll look into some Japanese guitars, i think something a little bit different would be quite cool.

I'm headed into Tokyo to see a gig on May 1st and i'm intending to stay for about 5 days so i'm gonna have access to a lot of good music stores, might be worth shopping around whilst i'm there.

Signature models are a bit of a grey area for me really. Of course they are good quality and the often look pretty sweet, but i want my money to go into quality and not particularly into a name, so thanks for that advice Gus.

*EDIT*

Been checking out some of the suggestions and i must say it's making things a lot more difficult - but in a good way! Sometimes being spoilt for choice is rough haha.

The Caparison Horus and Ibanez J-custom RG8470 look great, but i worry a little about their shred-inclined sensibilities (although the Ibanez from what i've seen does seem to be VERY versatile so that might not be much of a problem).

The Caparison Horus seems like an interesting "different" guitar. Plus the relatively high production values are always a bonus. But it's a bit of an unknown quantity for me - more investigating is required!

Despite my reservations about signature models i am finding some of the signature Strats to be quite appealing, although i figure i could probably find Strats that are a bit better for the price - If anyone has any Strat guidance i'd be happy to hear it.

Les Pauls i keep hearing have that Unique fat and heavy sound but i worry that going for one might be limiting in comparison to say the Ibanez buuuuuut some say that LP's have more "character".....

As for SG's, i just like the design of them hehe.

Oh well seems like i've got a lot to think about so any more advice is welcome! I really am gonna have to dedicate some serious time in Tokyo for seeking out these types of Guitars. But i'm sure it'll be worth it.

Like the look of the Mesa amp too - looks like i might get that depending on the guitar i get!

This post has been edited by Chief Brody: Apr 9 2008, 02:30 PM
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Gus
post Apr 9 2008, 02:48 PM
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I would definitely test a J-custom if I had the chance.

To me:
Gibson Les Paul Custom - Ultimate sound ever. I will buy one some day (when I get rich tongue.gif )
High end Ibanez - Amazing sound (but not exactly the LP one - second best thing maybe) . Cheaper, more easy to play, handle and more flexible than LP custom (because it can also have some single coil sounds and tremolo). Ultimate decision for this compared to the LP was price to me.

About signature strats, I would take a look at signature richie sambora (which has a humbucker) and signature Steve Ray Vaughan.

This post has been edited by Gus: Apr 9 2008, 02:49 PM


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OrganisedConfusi...
post Apr 9 2008, 03:06 PM
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If it was me I'd get another Caparison guitar. I love the Caparison TAT2 and I'd advise you look at that one as it isn't just designed for shredding. I'd steer clear of Les Paul guitars as they are over expensive, ugly, huge pieces of junk. SG's are great whether you get the Special or Standard. I went for the Special as I like the look more. Sound is the same to me. I'd look at the SG and play one and try out a few Caparisons but just go into a music shop and try out as many guitars as possible until you make a decision on what works for you.


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Nobody
post Apr 9 2008, 03:22 PM
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Wooow wow wow! OrganisedConfusion, you just can't say that a Legend such as Gibson Les Paul is a piece of junk! Don't confuse the guy! You can't just say that a guitar that has a major impact on the modern music's sounding with so unique sounding is a piece of junk! You can say "I don't like it" or something else but here you are lying a person who wants help. This just isn't right....

Chief Brody, for the styles you play some American Strat or a Les Paul is the best thing if you ask me. I mean the styles you like were created with these 2 guitars.. So they should suit you perfectly.

Cheers,
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PolackHax0r
post Apr 9 2008, 03:37 PM
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I agree with Hristian. To say the Gibson LP is a piece of junk is CRAZY!
If you think it's ugly, that's fine, but she's not a piece of junk!
I also think a Strat or LP would work great for the type of music you're in to.

Good Luck in your search!

-Justin
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OrganisedConfusi...
post Apr 9 2008, 03:43 PM
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They were just my opinions yes but I also said it's wise going into a shop and trying out lots until you find one that you're happy with. I did that to find the Caparison. I tried out about 20 guitars in total and that got knocked down to 5. All of which I'd have been happy with. It was just a case of which one was I happiest playing.


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PolackHax0r
post Apr 9 2008, 03:50 PM
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yeah, I def. agree too. Go try out every guitar you're interested in and they narrow it down from there.

You and I clearly have dif. taste in guitars... but, to each their own wink.gif
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OrganisedConfusi...
post Apr 9 2008, 06:00 PM
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QUOTE (PolackHax0r @ Apr 9 2008, 03:50 PM) *
yeah, I def. agree too. Go try out every guitar you're interested in and they narrow it down from there.

You and I clearly have dif. taste in guitars... but, to each their own wink.gif

If everybody had the same taste the world would be a dull place lol. A load of people walking down the street wearing the same clothes,playing the same guitar and listening to the same music. Sounds like hell lol biggrin.gif


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rokchik
post Apr 9 2008, 06:01 PM
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I'm no expert here but I think PRS, an American Strat or a LP would probably suit your needs best going by the type of music you like to play.

I can't speak on Strats or PRS as not very familiar with them but I have an LP standard and LOVE it. (I pretty much play the same stuff as you) With the money you have to play with you could actually get a standard LP and a pretty decent amp if you get the right deal, but I'd also check out the LP studio. Less expensive but still a great guitar....plus a bit more money for a great amp and some other toys to go with your new purchases smile.gif I believe Gabriels guitar is a LP studio and I think he proves it's a very versatile instrument smile.gif

Just my 2 cents. Happy shopping smile.gif

rok

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Unleash-The-Shre...
post Apr 9 2008, 06:07 PM
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Try out some PRS' they are amazing.
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PolackHax0r
post Apr 9 2008, 06:19 PM
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QUOTE (OrganisedConfusion @ Apr 9 2008, 01:00 PM) *
If everybody had the same taste the world would be a dull place lol. A load of people walking down the street wearing the same clothes,playing the same guitar and listening to the same music. Sounds like hell lol biggrin.gif


lol yeah, not my idea of a good time either! laugh.gif
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Apr 9 2008, 09:37 PM
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wow, 4000$ congratulations man. smile.gif

now let's seeee..... lot's of cool options for the bucks, but as you prefer funk, blues and rock, I would definitely lean towards PRS and Fender. As for the model, don't really know, lots of cool options, with Fender it is best to check some nice reissues or deluxe models. I'm talking about Tele and Strat. Try Tele first it is a very simple guitar and has a lot of character. If you find it too sharp and twangy go for some fat bell like strat sound.
If you are a "humbucker man" try PRS, can't think of anything more simpler are better quality made at this hour. smile.gif


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Kevin98497
post Apr 9 2008, 10:00 PM
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you should get one of those Vai Legacy amps if you got lots of money to spend tongue.gif or Peavey JSX sposed to be good.
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Bogdan Radovic
post Apr 10 2008, 01:03 AM
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Definitely with PRS and Fender Strat you can't go wrong smile.gif
I suggest going to a big store and trying out these hi end guitars...After you settle with the guitar , you'll look for amp that sounds good with that guitar you bought smile.gif


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Chief Brody
post Apr 10 2008, 02:12 AM
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Wow, i went to sleep and then when i returned i had all this to read through - fantastic! Thanks for the opinions.

I must admit that upon further research i'm beginning to feel some serious love for the PRS guitars, especially the Chris Henderson and Mark Tremonti models *drools*. Luckily i have a music store about 25 minutes from my place that pretty much specialises in high-end PRS guitars so i think i'll go and pay them a visit once i've finished work.

Anyhoo I'm definitely going to check out a J-custom Ibanez and when it comes to Les Pauls i am just gonna try as many as i can get my hands on.

Fenders i'm sorta cool on at the moment. I'm thinking that maybe a fender will be the guitar i get after i get this one (because i definitely want to own one!).

My wallet will never forgive me haha. I'm not loaded, i just happen to be living in quite a rural area of Japan (albeit one with good connections to music stores wink.gif ) and so living costs are ridiculously cheap. So basically i'm in a savers paradise - hence all this expensive guitar talk hehe.

You only live once right!

As for amps, i already have a POD X3 but i'll be the first to admit i'm still trying to get my head around it sad.gif. But really if i have that, and eventually figure out how to use it properly, do you think i could do without purchasing one? Or maybe an atomic amp would be better?

*head explodes* blink.gif

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