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> Advice On A Good, Affordable Axe For D-tuning
Southern Gent
post Jun 10 2012, 07:42 PM
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Hey,

I'm in the market for a new guitar, one that would be used mostly for playing Mastodon songs, and some other alternate tuning stuff. I'm looking to spend $150-$350(US). Not looking for extraordinary quality, just something that is well-built and will sound good and stay in tune at the lower tunings Mastodon songs require. I believe that you can find really decent guitars at a decent price, especially when its use is destined for higher distortion. If I find a decently built guitar, I can upgrade the tuners and pickups later for a fraction of the price of buying a top of the line Gibson or PRS or whatever, and will sound pretty good for my purposes.

Most Mastodon songs are in D-standard (DGCFAD), but many are also in drop-C (CGCFAD) and drop-A (AGCFAD) tunings. I would think a longer scale would help with the guitar not sounding too muddy with the lower string tensions, especially when talking about drop-C and drop-A. Correct me if I am wrong in that assumption. I'm tall too (6'6"), so the longer scale wouldn't bother me.

Any suggestions for brands/specific models that would be a good match for what I need? Something that is decent quality, relatively cheap, and will sound good and stay in tune with lower, aggressive tones?

Thanks

This post has been edited by Southern Gent: Jun 10 2012, 07:43 PM
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Mudbone
post Jun 10 2012, 08:26 PM
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Any guitar can be drop tuned. Technically speaking, aside from the pickups, there really is no such thing as a "metal guitar" per se. Throw a hot pickup in a tame Telecaster and will become a metal beast. Check out the Jim Root Telecaster. Metal guitars are more about the aesthetics than anything else. Of course many metal guitars have floyds and a flatter fretboard radius, but you don't need that to play metal.

Save your money. If the pickup in your guitar can't get the tones you want, change it. There are plenty of great pickups available for less than $100. Also, get a set of strings that have heavier gauge bass strings, that way the strings won't get all floppy when you detune.


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jstcrsn
post Jun 10 2012, 09:24 PM
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QUOTE (Mudbone @ Jun 10 2012, 08:26 PM) *
Any guitar can be drop tuned. Technically speaking, aside from the pickups, there really is no such thing as a "metal guitar" per se. Throw a hot pickup in a tame Telecaster and will become a metal beast. Check out the Jim Root Telecaster. Metal guitars are more about the aesthetics than anything else. Of course many metal guitars have floyds and a flatter fretboard radius, but you don't need that to play metal.

Save your money. If the pickup in your guitar can't get the tones you want, change it. There are plenty of great pickups available for less than $100. Also, get a set of strings that have heavier gauge bass strings, that way the strings won't get all floppy when you detune.

with a coiltap to still get the sweet tones and you will be set
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Southern Gent
post Jun 10 2012, 09:36 PM
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QUOTE (Mudbone @ Jun 10 2012, 07:26 PM) *
Any guitar can be drop tuned. Technically speaking, aside from the pickups, there really is no such thing as a "metal guitar" per se. Throw a hot pickup in a tame Telecaster and will become a metal beast. Check out the Jim Root Telecaster. Metal guitars are more about the aesthetics than anything else. Of course many metal guitars have floyds and a flatter fretboard radius, but you don't need that to play metal.

Save your money. If the pickup in your guitar can't get the tones you want, change it. There are plenty of great pickups available for less than $100. Also, get a set of strings that have heavier gauge bass strings, that way the strings won't get all floppy when you detune.


I realize that any guitar can be drop tuned, I don't want to constantly be changing the tuning of my guitar. Especially when talking about going from standard tuning all the down to drop-A. That isn't good for the guitar and it would sound like crap. I'd rather buy a new guitar and keep it in DGCFAD so the action and intonation will be right.

I'm not looking for a "metal" guitar per se; I don't care about the looks. I care about it being a good quality, affordable guitar that will sound decent from the factory and will stay in tune. I don't care about a floyd rose either, the type of heavy rock/metal I like isn't about dive bombing and that kind of stuff.

I see lots of guitars in the price range I am looking for, Epiphone, LTD, Dean, Laguna, etc. But I don't want to try a thousand guitars; I would rather know a few models that aren't going to be pieces of junk before I waste my time on them.
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jstcrsn
post Jun 10 2012, 09:44 PM
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QUOTE (Southern Gent @ Jun 10 2012, 09:36 PM) *
I realize that any guitar can be drop tuned, I don't want to constantly be changing the tuning of my guitar. Especially when talking about going from standard tuning all the down to drop-A. That isn't good for the guitar and it would sound like crap. I'd rather buy a new guitar and keep it in DGCFAD so the action and intonation will be right.

I'm not looking for a "metal" guitar per se; I don't care about the looks. I care about it being a good quality, affordable guitar that will sound decent from the factory and will stay in tune. I don't care about a floyd rose either, the type of heavy rock/metal I like isn't about dive bombing and that kind of stuff.

I see lots of guitars in the price range I am looking for, Epiphone, LTD, Dean, Laguna, etc. But I don't want to try a thousand guitars; I would rather know a few models that aren't going to be pieces of junk before I waste my time on them.

you should be able to get a jackson dnky for that, maybe even one with a decent pup
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Mudbone
post Jun 10 2012, 09:57 PM
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See if you can find a used Schecter Damien hard tail. They're pretty good guitars.


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"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens


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Guitars: Uncle Rufus' Twanger Classic
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Mojo: Hammer of Odin and a pair of Ox gonads
Inspiration: Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Zero to Hero: 1,387/10,000

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 10 2012, 10:12 PM
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I have heard that Cort has good guitars at very cheap prices. They use to have guitars that include top level pick ups and the prices are very low. Check out their site for models:

http://www.cortguitars.com/en/



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The Uncreator
post Jun 11 2012, 01:51 AM
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http://www.samash.com/p/ESP_H101FM%20LTD%2...burst_-49968648

And put this in the bridge:

http://www.samash.com/p/DiMarzio_DP228%20C...ickup_-49946337
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SpaseMoonkey
post Jun 11 2012, 03:20 AM
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Since your taller, if you don't want something that looks like a toy maybe look at a Dean ML, they stand a few inches taller due to the larger body. I had a Dime-O-Flame (pretty much an ML), it was mainly tuned to D standard, never had an issue.


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Todd Simpson
post Jun 11 2012, 03:52 AM
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Any guitar from the top 10 vendors (You can pretty much guess who they are as most are mentioned and all are played by pros we know and love) in that price range, brand new, will be medium to fare overall in that each bit will be mid grade to help keep the price down. You'll probably end up wanting to swap out the pickups.

Bottom line, the best guitar under $350 IMHO, is USED (paying for the new car/axe smell doubles the price for no good reason and it drops as soon as you leave the lot/store) and the one that feels best in your hand from one of reputable builders, and depends on whatever a store close to you (so you can play it) has in stock.


Of course, there are examples of really good guitars here and there that people, here and there, love, that are brand new and around that price. The part you are wanting to avoid, "trying 1000" guitars, is sadly the BEST way to find your new instrument. Advice will only get you so far as each player is different and the guitar that is PERFECT for one player may be FAR from perfect for another.

As you might imagine, as an instructor I've answered this very question for several years and it's taken me a while to figure out what the real answer is. I know what it's like to want a 'NEW" guitar/car/etc. But I have found over time that NEW just means pricey. Being able to find a good guitar in good shape is a skill in itself and just like playing guitar takes time, effort, and practice. But just like playing guitar, it's a good skill to have smile.gif

Todd

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jun 11 2012, 03:57 AM


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Mudbone
post Jun 11 2012, 05:28 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jun 10 2012, 10:52 PM) *
Any guitar from the top 10 vendors (You can pretty much guess who they are as most are mentioned and all are played by pros we know and love) in that price range, brand new, will be medium to fare overall in that each bit will be mid grade to help keep the price down. You'll probably end up wanting to swap out the pickups.

Bottom line, the best guitar under $350 IMHO, is USED (paying for the new car/axe smell doubles the price for no good reason and it drops as soon as you leave the lot/store) and the one that feels best in your hand from one of reputable builders, and depends on whatever a store close to you (so you can play it) has in stock.


Of course, there are examples of really good guitars here and there that people, here and there, love, that are brand new and around that price. The part you are wanting to avoid, "trying 1000" guitars, is sadly the BEST way to find your new instrument. Advice will only get you so far as each player is different and the guitar that is PERFECT for one player may be FAR from perfect for another.

As you might imagine, as an instructor I've answered this very question for several years and it's taken me a while to figure out what the real answer is. I know what it's like to want a 'NEW" guitar/car/etc. But I have found over time that NEW just means pricey. Being able to find a good guitar in good shape is a skill in itself and just like playing guitar takes time, effort, and practice. But just like playing guitar, it's a good skill to have smile.gif

Todd


Sage advice wink.gif

This post has been edited by Mudbone: Jun 11 2012, 05:29 AM


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He who laughs last thinks slowest.

"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens


Gear:

Guitars: Uncle Rufus' Twanger Classic
Amps: Mississippi Boom Box
Mojo: Hammer of Odin and a pair of Ox gonads
Inspiration: Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Zero to Hero: 1,387/10,000

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PosterBoy
post Jun 12 2012, 06:27 AM
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When it comes to sounding decent in drop tunings, it will be the pickups and amp that determine that more than anything. You'll need them to keep the low end tight.



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Todd Simpson
post Jun 12 2012, 07:54 AM
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QUOTE (Mudbone @ Jun 11 2012, 12:28 AM) *
Sage advice wink.gif


Thanks much smile.gif It's hard won believe me. I had to buy several really bad guitars on the way to being able to figure out which guitars were a good bargain and which were just cheap junk. I really wish there was an easy way, sadly there isn't. It's one of those those you have to earn, about like playing guitar smile.gif

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jun 12 2012, 07:54 AM


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 12 2012, 08:51 AM
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I have a friend owning a 280 bucks Ibanez baritone bought on eBay - he slapped in a Bareknuckle Cold Sweat pickup and it sounds KILLER!


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