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New Guitar Advice - up to $1,400

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(@strangedata)
Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 39
Topic starter  

I'll get a chance to buy a new guitar in about a month for up to around $1,400, and I got tons of suggestions but no definitive answer.

The problem is that I don't have much chance to play them around where I live and I'll be in NY for just a little more than a week, so if I'll be buying it on-line I'll have to make a decision soon (possibly in the first 2-3 days I'm there, maybe sooner).

My current setup is an Aria Pro-II Strat guitar HSS going through a Line 6 Constrictor and an Ãœber Metal/Dr. Distorto (interchangeably) to a Fame GTA-15 all-tube amp.

I play a variety of styles (classic rock - The Who, Stones, AC/DC, Van Halen (some licks ;) ) -, some folk, some metal - Metallica -, and modern rock - Chris Cornell, Guns, Lenny Kravitz, Bon Jovi).

Since I got this opportunity, I'd like to buy something that's gonna last and have a nice tone... some guitar that I won't be craving for changing in a few years.

The suggestions I got are:
- Gibson Les Paul Studio ($1000 - $1,400)
- Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster HSS ($1,200)
- Music Man Luke Signature Model ($1500)
- Music Man Steve Morse Signature Model ($1400)
- Music Man Steve Morse Y2D Guitar with Floyd Rose Tremolo ($1,750)

The last one (MM Steve Morse Y2D) is a good deal out of my league, but if it's definitely worth it I could try selling something around here to get the extra cash to buy it.

I'm also open to new suggestions and please share your opinion on whether it's worth to pay this much on a guitar when it could be possible to buy a Fender American Standard for less (I mean, is the Deluxe really that much better?)

Thanks for helping!


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(@rahul)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2764
 

Play them, if you can.

I think the Mexican Fender Strat is also good for some folks (better then Amer).

Deluxe vs. Amer ?

Mercedes with 5 gears or 7 gears ? Nah, doesn't matter to me. Its a great car either way.

My suggestion would be to go with the American Standard.


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(@katmetal)
Honorable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 727
 

Well, you'll get a lot of varied opinions with this one - here's mine.

I am not really a big fan of "signature" guitars. Maybe it is because I feel you are paying extra for a "special" guitar with someone's name on it. Unless you are looking for something very specific. The Yngwie strat comes to mind; A beautiful guitar, signature special because of the scalloped fretboard. If I had an extra $1600 lying around, I would strongly consider it.

I have a guitar that I scalloped myself, & I absolutely love it, so I can image what a "pro" scalloped guitar must play like. Now for my choice...

I tend to play lots of different styles, including the ones you mentioned, lighter country stuff, & even into grinding metal. My fav. all- around guitar choice would be the Jackson SL3 Soloist. Around $1200 new, original Floyd Rose trem (you might want to double check, I don't think they changed it).

When I want to play varied styles, I simply rely on my amp/pedals to do the job. For example, I don't require a hollow body for country/jazz, or a tele for that county twang. I can get "close enough" with amp settings. I have a modeling amp that seems to "do it all".

I personally look for the following features;

* 24 frets
* Jumbo frets
* Narrow/Slim neck
* Quality trem system (Floyd Rose or similar)
* Double Locking trem (at nut)
* Lightweight, if possible

All that being said, a large part of it will be your personal preference & what you like, as far as feel goes. I am used to playing my slim neck Jacksons, & awhile back I picked up a buddy's old Ibanez, it felt like a baseball bat! Very "clubby" feeling neck.

if you feel you will not need a trem for example, that may be fine for you. For me, I have always preferred them.

The guitars you listed are good quality, I would say - I do like Music Man instruments; I played one recently at a local guitar shop that was absolutely incredible. It was more of a metal guitar, Floyd Rose trem, etc.

If you buy online as you mentioned, several of the big instrument retailers (Musicians' Friend) offer a full money back guarantee and free ship. I have purchased several from them & I do like their service.

Good Luck with your selection, & let us know what you decide to go with!


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3998
 

My advice: play as many guitars you can and select the best guitar for you. $1,400 is a good amount of money so you can find very good guitars. You can find very good guitars for a half. Not always the most expensive guitars are the best guitars for us. Let the guitars talk to you.

And shopping for guitars is always fun, don't be in a hurry, take your time!

Good luck!


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(@slejhamer)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3297
 

The suggestions I got are:
- Gibson Les Paul Studio ($1000 - $1,400)
- Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster HSS ($1,200)
- Music Man Luke Signature Model ($1500)
- Music Man Steve Morse Signature Model ($1400)
- Music Man Steve Morse Y2D Guitar with Floyd Rose Tremolo ($1,750)

Having owned one and noodled on several, I am a fan of the EB-MusicMan products. Top notch quality and excellent customer service. I wish they made a short-scale bass - I'd buy it in a heartbeat (as a backup for my Birdsong, of course.)

I voted Luke, just because I really like the v-neck on that particular guitar. But the advice to try before you buy is very good; a Luke neck is nothing like a Gibson LP '59 neck, which is nothing like a Gibby '60s neck which is nothing like ...

That's a cool-looking amp you've got, by the way.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


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(@crkt246)
Honorable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 596
 

American std Tele.


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 Bish
(@bish)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3765
 

Try a PRS Tremonti.

Sweet tone and sustain and a 1/3rd the price of what you've listed.

Bish

"I play live as playing dead is harder than it sounds!"


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(@strangedata)
Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 39
Topic starter  

Try a PRS Tremonti.

Sweet tone and sustain and a 1/3rd the price of what you've listed.

Can you tell me the difference between the PRS Tremonti SE ($499) and the PRS Tremonti Signature Model ($2604)? All I could find was some differences in finishing (mother-of-pearl bird inlays) and the locking system.

Should they sound the same?


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(@bgdaddy316)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 189
 

Unfortunately, I don't think there is one right answer, but I voted for the LP Studio. I have one that I've owned since July and I love it. I really like the sound of the Burstbucker pickups. Also, I got the faded cherry finish, which you can get well below the $1,400.


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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

Well, looking at your favorite groups you should go for a guitar with humbuckers. If you like the feel of the Strat, try the American Standard HSS.

The PRS might be just the guitar. They have always been known to be "inbetween" a Fender and Gibson. They are not as light and twangy as a Fender, not as dark and heavy as a Gibson. Many say "just right"

I can't say the differences between the lower end PRS and the higher end. The better guitars are usually made from better grades of wood and better quality hardware. Is it $1500 difference?? I dunno, I think a lot of the higher end guitars are overpriced myself. You can probably get very similar tones with the lower end model.

The most important features you should look for is tone and playability. Play a few guitars unplugged and listen to the tone. If a guitar sounds good unplugged, it will sound great amplified. If it sounds poor unplugged, it will not sound much better amplified. And actually play the guitar the way you play. Does it feel comfortable? Do you have easy access to higher frets if you do that?

Get a guitar that turns you on tone-wise and plays well, don't be worried about the brand.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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 Bish
(@bish)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3765
 

Try a PRS Tremonti.

Sweet tone and sustain and a 1/3rd the price of what you've listed.

Can you tell me the difference between the PRS Tremonti SE ($499) and the PRS Tremonti Signature Model ($2604)? All I could find was some differences in finishing (mother-of-pearl bird inlays) and the locking system.

Should they sound the same?

I think you answered your own question but one thing Wes hit on made me buy a PRS. When I played it unplugged the sustain and tone were there. It felt right, the resonance could be felt in my body and overall the fit and finish was perfect. A fancy paint job and higher end bridge did not matter to me. Having the floating trem is nice and better than an FR trem (in my experience) and locking tuners weren't critical to have. Dual humbuckers and great sustain is what sold me. Hard to beat at $500. ;)

Bish

"I play live as playing dead is harder than it sounds!"


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

I played a PRS single-cut of some sort while amp shopping last year. It was a single-cut $500 (approx) model. I was quite impressed. I think that if my Epi LP Custom got jacked or broke, I'd probably end up with one. I thought the playability and tone were quite good, but I don't play the hard stuff right now. I'm just kind of piping in on the PRS experience I had. Heck, you could get the PRS for $500 and the American Fender for $1,000 and talk the sales staff down the $100 easy enough and cover about everything you'd need for your $1,400. :)

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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 Bish
(@bish)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3765
 

Heck, you could get the PRS for $500 and the American Fender for $1,000 and talk the sales staff down the $100 easy enough and cover about everything you'd need for your $1,400. :)

And you're the guy with migraines?

I really like the way you think!!

Bish

"I play live as playing dead is harder than it sounds!"


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(@crkt246)
Honorable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 596
 

Heck, you could get the PRS for $500 and the American Fender for $1,000 and talk the sales staff down the $100 easy enough and cover about everything you'd need for your $1,400. :)

And you're the guy with migraines?

I really like the way you think!!

I second the motion!


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(@strangedata)
Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 39
Topic starter  

Heck, you could get the PRS for $500 and the American Fender for $1,000 and talk the sales staff down the $100 easy enough and cover about everything you'd need for your $1,400. :)

I wish I could... but I'll be bringing it with me on a plane, as hand-luggage, and I don't think they'll allow me to bring something the thickness of a two-guitars case.

Anyway, I am leaning towards either a PRS or a MusicMan, but I still got a couple of weeks to change my mind.
So please keep on sending me these good advices! :D

And thanks to all who answered so far!


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