What should I buy?
Hi to all- My son and I started to play guitars after I found several at yard sales, all of them electric. He bought an acoustic at a flea market in Manhattan and liked to play whenever he was feeling lazy. It is an Epiphone by Gibson and I guess a beginning instrument. Now he would like to upgrade to something more intermediate and I would like to surprise him for his birthday with an acoustic/electric guitar. I'm more than a little overwhelmed by the huge selection out there. I would like to stay under $350, but want something that we would both enjoy (I pick out tunes and he rocks). Thanks for any suggestions!
Welcome to GN!
An accoustic/electric guitar would probably not give any rock tones: the electric part is to amplify the accoustic sound, not to create the rock sounds of an electric guitar. Epiphone is a fairly big brand with instruments of all quality levels and there;s a fair chance that the guitar you bought would benefit from a simple setup massively. I'd suggest brining it to a luthier and ask him if it's worth a setup. If it is you'll have plenty of money left to get a nice electric guitar, that would give you two both a good electric and accoustic guitar.
Thanks for the welcome, Arjen. I went to a local shop yesterday and was told that the action is as low as it can go. The guitar is an Epiphone PR200(not available anymore). It's too big for me and really too hard to play. I had seen an Ibanez that was completely made of ash (acoustic/electric) at another store and was told that it was the choice of music teachers and was selling for $389. My son confided that he was planning to buy me a guitar for Christmas and I informed him that I was planning to buy one for his birthday on Dec. 15th. We already have electrics - a Fender Stratocaster and a yard sale find, a D'Agostino that looks like a machine gun - really cool and easy to play, the one I choose.
If you are still looking the Blueridge series are great for the money.
How about getting a Hollowbody by Ibanez. With the right strings, unplugged it sounds great "as an Acoustic", then plugged in it can rock. I have one and love it. I put flatwound strings on mine.
It is a small world for metal fanatics. I welcome you fellow musicians, especially the metalheads!
Thanks for the advice. I'l check out the Ibanez hollowbody and also the Blueridge line. I'm in no rush at this point. I'd rather not be impulsive in this kind of purchase.
I was a little confused about your acoustic/electric statement. Are you in the market for an acoustic/electric guitar (which is just an acoustic guitar that you can plug into an amp to "amplify" the sound) or an electric guitar? As for acoustic guitars (acoustic/electric) I would check out any seagull acoustic/electric guitars in that price range. They are fantastic guitars for the price. As for electric guitars, your idea about ash is a good one. Ash guitars are very warm sounding (in my experience). I would definitely just play as many guitars as possible and see which ones feel and sound the best to you.
Playing a few is definitely the best idea. I'll have to look around for that seagull that was recommended. Again, thanks to all those who responded. You're a great bunch!
I second the suggestion of a semi-hollow electric guitar. You can get "some" acoustic playing out of it, and then rock the house. Most people like the Ibanez Artcore series for the money, but the one that I played around with wouldn't intonate to save its life (it didn't). I suggest looking at a mid-level epi Dot, or even an ESP Corsair (they look cool and have great hardware).
Keep in mind, I'm an electric guy so I am biased.
"If the moon were made of ribs, would you eat it?"
Try this one. I have a natural (there's also one on Ebay) and it's fantastic value for money. $329 including hardshell case!
I noticed you live here in (or around) Manhattan. There is a great local shop with an interesting selection on 23rd St. near 6th or 7th avenue known as Chelsea Guitars. Check it out :)
I understand you want to surprise your son, but you should also consider taking him to a music shop and letting him play a bunch of different guitars until he finds one that has a good feel and sound for him. We can make tons of suggestions but nothing beats trying different guitars out until you find one you really like.
I'm reading all your posts and am very grateful for the suggestions. I wanted to answer individual posts, but so far have not figured out how to do that. I live in East Moriches, on the south shore of Long Island, although I did live in Manhattan for 25 years (still miss it!). I was thinking of going into the Sam Ash store after the holiday rush and trying out a few of your suggestions. Now I'm really going to confuse the issue! Can anyone tell me what makes a guitar a jazz guitar? I love playing songs from the 40's and even 30's and Tim(my son) tells me that I sound awful on my electric D'Agostino and thinks that I would be happier with an acoustic/electric that we could share. Again, thanks for your input.
For the Jazz I'd suggest something along the lines of a hollow body electric with a tube amp similar to the Epiphone Valve Junior or a modeling solid state amp to achieve thos mellower tones of the era you like. I study with a Jazz guitarist, and that much I've picked up from him.