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Stuck between 3 guitar choices

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Freyjan
(@freyjan)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 4
Topic starter  

Greetings everyone, first time poster and newbie-to-guitar extraordinaire, here.

I've had a guitar for about 6 months now, but haven't gotten to play nearly as much as I would have liked to, due to work and school hogging 70% of my time (guitar, friends, games, and sleep are all fighting for the remaining 30%!).

In that regard, I'm very much a beginner, but know some of the basics and can play a few decent song segments here and there (parts from Come Clarity by In Flames, the opening to Master of Puppets, the guitar solo from More Than a Feeling, to name a few). Granted I cannot play these perfectly, but I can play them adequately. I'm starting to see improvements in my speed and alternate picking, as well, but I obviously strive to keep improving every chance I get.

Now, onto the crux of this post. I have a fairly lousy ibanez starter guitar. I'm unfamiliar with the model at the moment (since I'm at work and can't check), but it came with a 10 watt amp, bag, tuner, and a few other items. The whole package was $299, so maybe that price will ring a bell to someone. In any event, lately I feel as though I need to buy a shiny new guitar for myself. The ibanez has some string rattle on the low-E, lackluster pickups, poorly-finished frets that are sharp and stick out off the edge of the fretboard, and other little miscellaneous details that make it an annoyance to use. Also, I want to buy a present for myself, since I hardly ever buy anything for me!

Now, I mostly am into playing rock/metal, but also enjoy the clean acoustic-sounding parts that come with those genres. I've been eyeing up 3 guitars for a while now, and was hoping to get some opinions on them. They are as follows:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Epiphone-Limited-Edition-Les-Paul-Custom?sku=519391 (Epi Limited Edition Les Paul Custom)

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Epiphone-SG-CustomEX-with-EMG-8185-Pickups-Electric-Guitar?sku=515622 (Epi SG Prophecy EX, active 81/85 pickups)

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Schecter-C1-Hellraiser-Electric-Guitar?sku=518451 (Schecter C-1 Hellraiser)

Also of note on that Schecter, I notice it has XL-Jumbo frets. I've only ever seen one guitar that simply had Jumbo frets, and it didn't feel too awkward. However, I hear with XL-Jumbos that slides become a little more annoying to perform, and that notes could end up too sharp if I put too much pressure on the string. Are these concerns valid? Does anyone have experience with XL-Jumbo frets that they could share?

If anyone has any experience with the above listed guitars (or jumbo frets and active pickups, as I've heard actives sound wonderful for metal), I would love to hear from you. Thanks in advance for any advice that you guys/girls can offer.


   
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katmetal
(@katmetal)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 726
 

Welcome to the forum! :)

I know others will have different ideas, but for me, I would go a bit different route. I play a lot of the heavy metal genre of music, & I personally don't feel comfortable if my guitar doesn't have a whammy bar. (Floyds are great, don't let others tell you otherwise! :mrgreen:)

Even for a beginner, they are not really all that difficult, if you have a little patience to understand how they work. That being said, onto your choices that you have listed; The SG & the Schecter both have 24 frets, & that would probably sway me over from the Les Paul model. I really like the versatility of 2 full octaves.

Also, both of those guitars have active pickups, is that what you are looking for?

Back to the tremolo/whammy bar option. There are many nice choices in that price range for a guitar equipped with that. I have owned an Ibanez RG4EXQM1 for about 8 months now that I absolutely love! Smooth, thin neck, very low action, and a Tremolo sys. that stays in tune beautifully!

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Ibanez-RG4EXQM1-Quilted-Maple-Top-Electric-Guitar?sku=519785

One more point; I can say that the XJ frets can possibly cause you to push the strings sharp. I do find myself doing that sometimes, but then again, maybe I have a heavy touch. Also, I really only notice that I do that if I am chording on the first couple of frets or so.

I don't really find it to be a major problem. I believe if a fellow played that one guitar consistently, he would develop the feel for it. I jump back & forth between several guitars, all with different feeling actions, so I may tend to press too hard, as compared to others.

Hope that gives you a bit of insight! Keep in mind this is just my opinion, you should probably try out a few at your local guitar shop & see what feels good to you. :)


   
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Freyjan
(@freyjan)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 4
Topic starter  

Well, I was originally contemplating a schecter with tremolo, but the more I think about it the more I realize I'm too much of a beginner to really need, or fully make use of one.

Also, I'm unsure if I'm interested in active pickups. So far I've only heard their sound from videos online (and they've sounded wonderful). I was hoping to hear from someone who's tried them and could possibly weigh in the pros/cons for me.

Thank you for the response, though I'm hoping to hear from others as well :D


   
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Rune
 Rune
(@rune)
Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 69
 

Well, I was originally contemplating a schecter with tremolo, but the more I think about it the more I realize I'm too much of a beginner to really need, or fully make use of one.

You feel this way now, but in a few months... hmmm

You may have a good reason to go acquire another guitar! :D

It's a dry heat!


   
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DennisF6
(@dennisf6)
Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 74
 

I'm afraid I don't know much about those guitars but I wanted to comment on one thing -
The ibanez has some string rattle on the low-E, lackluster pickups, poorly-finished frets that are sharp and stick out off the edge of the fretboard, and other little miscellaneous details that make it an annoyance to use.

Have you had a professional setup done on it? That can make a big difference in everything but the "lackluster pickups". I am of the opinion that every guitar needs a setup - especially if the guitar is an inexpensive one.

One other comment, you may get a bigger bang for your buck upgrading your amp first. I don't know what you have now, but the amp that came with my starter package (a Starcaster package) was far worse than the guitar that came with it.

I want to play guitar very badly -
and I do!


   
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Nuno
 Nuno
(@nuno)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3995
 

Hope that gives you a bit of insight! Keep in mind this is just my opinion, you should probably try out a few at your local guitar shop & see what feels good to you. :)
+1

I'd also try these three guitars and a dozen more in a guitar shop. You have played for six months so you can decide if a guitar is better for you than the others. Sometimes we study the features and select our guitar just by comparing numbers or pictures. Get one, close your eyes and feel if you are comfortable with it.


   
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katmetal
(@katmetal)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 726
 

"lackluster pickups". A thought here; you could raise or lower the adjustment of them, might change the tone somewhat.


   
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desinet1
(@desinet1)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 9
 

"lackluster pickups". A thought here; you could raise or lower the adjustment of them, might change the tone somewhat.

Yes, it does make an effect.

Vintage Guitars


   
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spides
(@spides)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 157
 

I'm gonna come right out and say that Les pauls are the sexiest, toughest, coolest guitars on the planet. If it was me i'd get the les paul no question. But its not me and you seem to be more into the metal. Although i saw a guy at uni play for the love of god by steve vai on an LP the other day and it sounded great. Depends on whether or not you wanna do much divebombing.

Also definitely agree on the amp thing, if all you've got is a 10 watt starter amp that will be making your sound about 80% less good than it has to be.

Don't sweat it dude, just play!


   
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Rahul
(@rahul)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2736
 

I'm gonna come right out and say that Les pauls are the sexiest, toughest, coolest guitars on the planet.

I wish I had a sexy, tough and cool LP.


   
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jwmartin
(@jwmartin)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1435
 

I'd second whoever recommended going to a guitar shop and playing these 3 plus dozens more. I wanted an SG until I actually sat down and played one. They may be great standing up, but sitting down, the top "horn" was just uncomfortable. Personally, I'd vote for the Epi LP. I've got one of the Epi Special IIs (the LP Studio copy) and love it.

Bass player for Undercover


   
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