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Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 122
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What would you suggest as a very versatile elec guitar?

I'm an acoustic player that is on the prowl for an electric. I've got a voxAD30 VT modeling amp that offers some versatility in tone, but I am looking for a very versatile electric in that it will probably be the only one i own. I will want to play classic rock, newer rock (eg. foo fighters, STP), blues, and country. I'm an electric newb, so bear with me...

I was thinking tele, with maybe some modding options like a p90 in the neck, or something else. Maybe a Nashville Tele, but where would I get some crunch?

Was also thinking maybe an es-335 style semi-hollow, possibly coil tapping one or both humbuckers?

What would you electric players suggest as a very versatile rig?

I think the tele option is probably more aligned with my budget ($600-700ish). I also think I'd prefer to buy something used that will maintain value, so if I run across my dream acoustic, I can offload the electric and replace it later.


Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5038

Pretty much same advice as given here before: versatile = Fat Strat ('bucker in bridge position). Teles also are very versatile, though you are correct, a P90 or (mini) 'bucker in the neck position will make it more so. 335 has the rep as versatile; but only because it it does not really have a very distinct distinct voice of its own. It's a good, but somewhat generic humbucker. Tapping the 335's 'buckers for single coil sounds is really a half-measure. I think you'd be better off with the Tele or Strat suggested above for single and 'bucker sounds.

Above all, get a guitar you enjoy playing -- otherwise it won't sound like much of anything!

-=tension & release=-

Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2241

The Tele is always a good choice, but you might wanna check out Les Pauls as well, they'll have most of the above styles covered and some of the Epiphone Les Pauls are of a really high standard (I've known some really well established legend-type pro's who say mine plays as well as many Gibson LPs they've tried) so if you find one that plays well, the price is a bargain, the retail value has held static pretty much for around a decade now, and you can always upgrade the pups if you want to.

Another guitar to consider is the little known but increasingly popular Spear Tomcat ( ) which retails at 429 UK pounds, which directly converted is around us$860. But knowing how most guitars compare price for price UK and US, its probably available for around us$250. It has Seymous Duncan Jazz and Jeff Beck pups and some excellent reviews. The company will also send one to your local guitar store for you to try before you purchase. Mine is arriving in a couple of weeks, so I'll let you know if I buy it and how well it plays.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 6348

Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 65

I'm kind of new to electric guitars but i got a chance to try out a PRS guitar (i'm not sure about the exect model it's my friend's) i played on it for about two hours and heard my friend play it (and he's far better then me).... it does anything... amazing guitar, really.

Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4113

nothing is more versitile than a strat.



Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1247

Hi :D

Well, I'm going to give the same responses as I did on CFB's 'only one' thread....
My first suggestion - TELE.

IMO, the pups don't need to be modded.
I LOVE that stock chrome covered neck pup!
And I never had any problems getting any crunch out of a Tele if I wanted it.
(I know lots of players who think Teles are only clean & twangy)

As far as your budget price goes - The Ash Lite (or is it Lite Ash????) Tele is around $600.00 US.
It has an ash body and Seymour Duncan AlNiCo II pups. (At least in the Bridge pos.)
AlNiCo II magnets are weaker, and have less string pull and a sweet tone.
PAF HB's use AlNiCo IIs.
To get the best sound, they need to be close to the strings.

I've recently played one, and thought it was a really nice guitar.
Played well (needed a setup of course), sounded good, looked great.

Or there's the 72 Tele Custom RI - It has two Fender style HB's.
Has the usual Gibson set up of 3 position pup selector and seperate vol/tone controls for each one,
and a blendable mid pos.
That would afford you some diversity/versatility.
And probably get you more into that crunch zone you were askin' about.
They also go for around $600.00 US

And I've recently played one of those as well.
A gorgeous walnut finished one.
Surprisingly, for a MIM Fender - It had some heft to it.
The weight, and 'look' of the alder grain thru the transparent finish made me think it was actually solid
(Like a MIA Fender body).

And - I played it thru a Vox AC-15.
A completely different animal than the AD-30VT (sorry*).... Still; A Vox :wink:
I rather liked it.
(Love that Vox 8) )

If you are used to playing acoustics, perhaps you are used to longer scale lengths. (My acoustic has a long scale)
If you prefer a long scale, then Fender is the way to go.

I was also thinking that you may like a nice hollow body Jazz Box.
It would be close to the feel of an acoustic.
They come in long and short scales depending on the model.

I recently tried an Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor II.... Nice guitar.
It's a short scale guitar. A dream to play.
Has two Gibbo style HB's.

Of course, nails that smooth Jazz tone....
It is also able to be pushed into a nice gritty blues zone :twisted:

It has that distinct hollow body tone though.... Not undesireable by any means.

The Emperor II goes for about $600.00 US also.

There is an Epiphone ES-175 out there that goes for $500.00 US.
I haven't played one/seen one.
And I don't know the specs on it.
Might be worth looking into if you decided to go hollow body.

Good luck,


"The man who has begun to live more seriously within
begins to live more simply without"
-Ernest Hemingway

"A genuine individual is an outright nuisance in a factory"
-Orson Welles

Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 10264

I usually play my Tele (MIM - single coil p/u's) through a 30W cube amp, but I have played it through an AD30VT as well. There's not much to choose between the amps - I find the AD30VT slightly less warm than the Cube - but with either amp and a Tele, you should be able to achieve any combination of tones from an acoustic guitar thru clean jazzy tones to any classic rock/metal setting.

Your best bet would be to actually try a Tele in-store through the AD30VT - most places carry a couple. That way you'd know what it sounds like through your amp!

:D :D :D


"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)