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> Caught Between A Rock And A $1200 Budget, the search for versatility continues!
Andrew Cockburn
post Oct 13 2007, 02:18 AM
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QUOTE (Spiderusalem @ Oct 12 2007, 08:14 PM) *
I've been doing some research, and It almost seems to good to be true. surely you need some special cable or you need to install software into the guitar or something right? I mean, can it just plug into any amp or does line 6 make you use one of theirs?


You can plug it into any amp. It needs a battery, or they provide a powered switch box. When you use it with a Vetta amp or Pod XT Live you can change guitar patches along with your effects patches which is really cool, but even without a Line 6 amp it is pretty good.

Guitar simulations aren't perfect, but for instance you can switch from a convincing strat to a nice warm LP at the flick of a switch. It even does Banjo and Sitar smile.gif, and yuo can flick a switch to get alternate tunings smile.gif


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Oct 13 2007, 08:07 AM
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Minor bit - as MickeyM says you may be able to get an Epi 335 (Sheraton) for your budget. As far as I know the big difference between a Gibson and an Epi - apart from the name on the headstock - is that the Epi is made from a pressed laminate. Still a nice semi but the tone arguably may not be as warm. As Botoxfox says Ibanez have made semis for decades. There is a George Benson (GB10 and GB 20) and I think a Pat Metheny signature. Yamaha also have made some nice semis in the past.

New quality semis and jazz guitars however are NOT cheap. 1200USD/500-600 UK sterling is nowadays about the entry level for one. Seriously a GOOD semi from a major name like Gibson will set you back easily double your budget or more. A Gibson L5CES or Gibson Byrdland (ie what many good jazz players would look at) would cost upwards from 4000USD, and maybe more like up from 6-7000USD. A good used one is NOT necessarily cheaper as these tend to age really well, are consequently really sought after and cost accordingly. If someone offers you a used Gibson quality semi cheap be CAREFUL as it may well need considerable attention. Having said all that it is possible to get a used Gibson 175/135/125 etc for a lot less then a used 335 - similarly ifyou go away from Gibson to less 'revered' names like Ibanez, Yamaha, Epiphone, Guild, D'Angelico etc you may again be able to get a really good one. They aren't necessarily bad nor is there necessarily anything wrong with them. They lack the kudos and in some instance build quality but still play ok. The main thing is what ever you are offered here go in with your eyes open and check the guitar out properly.

Apart from jazz semis - along with the Line 6 Variax there is now also a Fender/Roland modeling guitar - if that's the way you wish to go. Line 6 is however a lot less money. You may also want to have a look at the numerous electrics that have an acoustic chamber. Tyler, PRS, Taylor all make some very good example and you may well be able to find one new or more likely second hand in your budget.

Minor thing -as has been suggested already - you can play jazz, blues etc on any guitar - the guitar adds to what is already there but can't make up for what isn't. The guitar is say 20 per cent of the equation, your fingers, feel etc the other 80%. Have a look at Les Paul playing jazz on an LP; Chet Atkins playing anything; Larry Carlton playing blues on a 335; Ted Greene playing jazz on a tele; Frank Gambale playing fusion on an Ibanez prestige. The list goes on... That's not meant in a negative way, get a guitar that you want and like because what you play is largely really down to you.

Cheers,
Tony


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Zephyr
post Oct 13 2007, 08:44 AM
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I would recommend just trying out guitars until you find one that really fits you. When I was shopping for a guitar, I had no intention of buying a Schecter. I assumed that they were good for heavy metal and the like, and that was it, just because that was what I had heard about them. After trying out several guitars that I had been excited about and planning to buy (and then being disappointed by them...), I saw a Schecter hanging up as I was leaving a store, and decided to try it out just for the heck of it. As soon as I sat down with it and started playing, I knew that was the guitar that I wanted. It was beautiful, had the lowest action I had ever played, and an amazing warm clean tone, and a nice clear distorted sound. And it was half the price of the others that I was trying out! Anyways, my point it, don't just go on other people's words, just find all the guitar shops you can and try as many different kinds of guitars that you can. I think that you'll find the one for you.
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Spiderusalem
post Oct 13 2007, 08:54 AM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Oct 13 2007, 12:07 AM) *
Minor thing -as has been suggested already - you can play jazz, blues etc on any guitar - the guitar adds to what is already there but can't make up for what isn't. The guitar is say 20 per cent of the equation, your fingers, feel etc the other 80%. Have a look at Les Paul playing jazz on an LP; Chet Atkins playing anything; Larry Carlton playing blues on a 335; Ted Greene playing jazz on a tele; Frank Gambale playing fusion on an Ibanez prestige. The list goes on... That's not meant in a negative way, get a guitar that you want and like because what you play is largely really down to you.

Cheers,
Tony


Wow, when I read that it felt like the labyrinth fell apart around me and the exit was clear. Your right. You're totally right.

Thanks to everyone who posted with your suggestions. Now I'm gonna go and find my instrument. The search may take a few days/weeks so I'm probably not gonna have a picture of my baby for a while

This post has been edited by Spiderusalem: Oct 13 2007, 08:58 AM


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fkalich
post Oct 13 2007, 09:07 AM
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QUOTE (Zephyr @ Oct 13 2007, 02:44 AM) *
started playing, I knew that was the guitar that I wanted. It was beautiful, had the lowest action I had ever


This always kills me. Like there is something magical that any guitar maker can do to have "lower action". Pretty much saying that they have a magic wand that allows them to bypass physical reality (the space a string needs to avoid collision with a fret).

Now there is the issue of neck radius. the 9.5 radius necks on most Fenders could come into play limiting how low you can set your action, as buzz will occur on bends earlier with that round of a neck. Bu most people would not set it that low anyway.

And typically the nut height has added distance to it. The clearance on an open string is generally much higher than that of one fretted at the first fret. You could cut that down to the minimum (maybe some of these brands do that at the factory, I don't know. Gibson and Fender cut the nut high, you can cut it down if you want on your own). But that would make bending more difficult.

Other than that, saying any particular guitar has inherently low action is silly. If the frets are dressed properly, the laws of mechanics apply even in the shred guitar spectrum of the universe.

edit: typo. But this is your opportunity Andrew to disagree with me, twice in a row agreeing with me, that would be scary.

edit2: ok there is a theoretical possibility. those guitars set the string in a vibration that puts so much energy into the harmonic vibrating parts, and less into the base vibrating part, that since these of course have less amplitude, less fret clearance space is needed. That being said in theory, I HIGHLY DOUBT IT is the case in reality in any significant level on various solid body guitars. However, you might find something here comparing say an acoustic guitar to a solid body, that seems very possible to me.

edit3: then again, even if the harmonics of a particular type of guitar had a larger share of the vibrating energy, that could cause them to need actually more clearance, as they would reach their maximum wave closer to the stop you fretted the note, where there is inherently less space. I will leave further discussion on this issue to any mechanical Engineers in the forum.

This post has been edited by fkalich: Oct 13 2007, 09:21 AM
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Saoirse O'Shea
post Oct 13 2007, 09:15 AM
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QUOTE (fkalich @ Oct 13 2007, 02:07 AM) *
But this is your opportunity Andrew to disagree with me, twice in a row agreeing with me, that would be scary.


Be scared fkalich - think the second 'agree' is coming up here wink.gif smile.gif . (At any rate I largely agree with you fwtw.)

Cheers,
Tony


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fkalich
post Oct 13 2007, 09:16 AM
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QUOTE (tonymiro @ Oct 13 2007, 03:15 AM) *
Be scared fkalich - think the second 'agree' is coming up here wink.gif smile.gif . (At any rate I largely agree with you fwtw.)

Cheers,
Tony


note my theoretical edit above, just to cover myself even on the theoretical side.
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Saoirse O'Shea
post Oct 13 2007, 09:19 AM
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laugh.gif . With you there smile.gif .
Now be scared.

Cheers,
Tony


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Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

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Andrew Cockburn
post Oct 13 2007, 09:29 AM
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Ok, here it comes - I believe there is a fallacy in your logic.

Whilst you are correct about the laws of physics applying even to Schecters, I think you have assumed a best possible case scenario. Just because in the limit, any guitar should be able to have an equivalently low action set (I agree), there is many a slip twixt cup and lip. Some variables might be:

o The quality of the luthiers/monkeys that set up the guitar at the factory
o The amount of abuse the guitar has had in the shop
o The perception of the person playing.

Also, just because a guitar action can be set low, doesn't mean that it is set low - I would guess that you are more likely to get a more expensive guitar well setup out of the factory than a cheap one which may well add to the perception that certain guitars have a lower action. You play a Squier with undressed frets, set up by a factory monkey to have an action of about 3 inches, then pick up an Ibanez Prestige, setup by a decent tech in Japan, and blow me if there isn't a huge difference. With work, the squier could be set as low as the prestige of course. My basic point is that in the wild these things will vary, and I contend that more expensive guitars will get a better chance of being setup well.

EDIT: Actually I do agree with your main point but twice in a day is a little much ...

This post has been edited by Andrew Cockburn: Oct 13 2007, 09:30 AM


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NightFlight
post Oct 13 2007, 10:22 AM
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Way back in 1982, I played my friend's LP Custom -- then in 1983 I purchased one, and I play this same guitar to this very day. Maybe I'm a little biased, who knows. However, what I do know is that in 24 years, I am yet to pick up any guitar anywhere that plays as well as my LP. And like you, I have a myriad of musical interests. Blues, rock, jazz, metal -- and I can easily cover any of these sounds with my LP Custom. It's quite the versatile instrument. As for mine, this guitar is most assuredly 'til death do us part. If anything ever happened to my LP, you can bet your life that I'd get another one.

There is one guitar that ran a very close second in playability vs. my LP, and that was a Fender Strat that I used to own. It was a 1982 and I sold it in 1991 because I was in desperate need of cash. I still regret it too. In retrospect, I should have let the power company turn off my electricity and kept my guitar. biggrin.gif Like you, I'm also looking for a new guitar, mainly to add another dimension of sound. And I can tell you, fact certain, that I'm going to get another Strat. It's a one of a kind, vintage sound -- immitated by many, but only accomplished by one.

With the musical genres you are interested in, playability and tone should be at the top of the priority list. As for playability, that's totally dependent on how the guitar feels to you. In a matter of minutes (or even seconds) you'll know if a guitar feels right or not. As for tone, to fit your stated taste in music, you may need to look toward something with a fatter sound (like a LP or 335). Regardless of the make and model, when you sit down to take it for a spin, (and this may sound elementary) make sure you are plugged into a clean channel on the amp -- you want to hear the guitar itself without any enhancements that may hide something undesireable. Sustain is also something you will want to look for as well. Like everyone here has said, play lots of guitars. And when you find one that you can't put down, that's the one to take home.

With that said, when I bought my LP 24 years ago, I went to a huge music store outside Washington DC. Even though I knew I wanted an LP Custom, what I quickly learned is that not all guitars of the same make and model are created equal. Each one can have slight variations in feel and tone since they are made from different lots of wood. So even when you find something that feels and/or sounds right for you, play a few more of the same just to be sure you get the best of the best.

Best of luck to you in your search. It can be painstaking, but it's worth it.


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Kevin98497
post Oct 15 2007, 06:09 AM
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you know what, put the money ii the bank and a year later u got bout 100 dollars more, leave it there for a few years, and u can get sommit amazing
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Spiderusalem
post Oct 15 2007, 05:03 PM
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QUOTE (kevin-riff-after-riff @ Oct 14 2007, 10:09 PM) *
you know what, put the money ii the bank and a year later u got bout 100 dollars more, leave it there for a few years, and u can get sommit amazing


thats an option. unfortunately I'm not that patient.

I've narrowed it down to either a les paul or a telecaster, this may change though.


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muntahunta
post Oct 15 2007, 05:51 PM
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if you dont want to pay the massive prices for a gibson, try an epiphone les paul. ive played both epiphone and gibson LP's and my epiphone is amazing for the price. just change the pickups and your set for life. i play mostly metal so i went for EMG's in mine but Dimarzios and SD's are brilliant in les pauls.


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MickeM
post Oct 15 2007, 06:25 PM
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QUOTE (kevin-riff-after-riff @ Oct 15 2007, 07:09 AM) *
you know what, put the money ii the bank and a year later u got bout 100 dollars more, leave it there for a few years, and u can get sommit amazing

I want the name of that bank, please!


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Spiderusalem
post Oct 18 2007, 04:58 PM
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I'd like to thank everyone who had input for me over the past week. I've finally settled on what I wanna get.


The Yamaha RGX-A2



Demo

Style, Innovation, Versatility, L.E.D. Lights!

I went into the store thinking I was just gonna try the lot of strats, teles, LP's, and 335's. Then I saw this on the wall by its lonesome. Soon, its gonna make me a very happy young man.


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MickeM
post Oct 18 2007, 06:09 PM
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Nice guitar, but where are the inlays, on the side?


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fkalich
post Oct 18 2007, 06:51 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Oct 13 2007, 03:29 AM) *
Ok, here it comes - I believe there is a fallacy in your logic.

Whilst you are correct about the laws of physics applying even to Schecters, I think you have assumed a best possible case scenario. Just because in the limit, any guitar should be able to have an equivalently low action set (I agree), there is many a slip twixt cup and lip. Some variables might be:

o The quality of the luthiers/monkeys that set up the guitar at the factory
o The amount of abuse the guitar has had in the shop
o The perception of the person playing.

Also, just because a guitar action can be set low, doesn't mean that it is set low - I would guess that you are more likely to get a more expensive guitar well setup out of the factory than a cheap one which may well add to the perception that certain guitars have a lower action. You play a Squier with undressed frets, set up by a factory monkey to have an action of about 3 inches, then pick up an Ibanez Prestige, setup by a decent tech in Japan, and blow me if there isn't a huge difference. With work, the squier could be set as low as the prestige of course. My basic point is that in the wild these things will vary, and I contend that more expensive guitars will get a better chance of being setup well.

EDIT: Actually I do agree with your main point but twice in a day is a little much ...


I guess you missed that I said properly dressed frets, implying a good guitar. Gibson does a fine job here in my experience. I have learned to set mine up myself, I can set them quite low if I want, and on all of them, as you set to extreme low, the buzzing comes into play at the same time on all frets. Which is as good as you can make it, at Gibson, in Japan, on Pluto. I like a straight neck, more straight than spec, just a hair of bow. I think that makes sense for a shed type player. I can set it incredibly low on all of my Gibsons if I want. On a Fender with a 9.5 radius, there is a limit there due to bending strings. But none on the Gibson 12 radius. The 17 is overkill. One reason I prefer Gibson, don't want that flat radius, and I don't see any advantage to it, just a disadvantage.

Fender American product also does well, and they support their product. My Telecaster had a truss rod that was maxed out. That happens sometimes. The neck was straight. So really there was not problem. But I took it to the Fender Authorized Luthier, and they replaced the neck for me anyway. Even though I had purchased it slightly over a year prior. Another reason I like Gibson and Fender, they support their product, at least the American product. Good luthiers are in demand, so you may have to wait for warranty service, but they support it. My understanding is that Fender is not so good in supporting the imports.

So there!

edit: typo

This post has been edited by fkalich: Oct 18 2007, 06:53 PM
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