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Old 03-10-2009, 07:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Looking for electric guitar advice

I'm looking to upgrade my guitar, but I'm not even sure where to start. I'm new to this game, so when somebody starts throwing out different pickup names and the like- I get lost.

I currently have a Jackson electric, which was purchased 6 years ago solely because it was 50% off and I was told it was a nice entry guitar for beginners. I've played sporadically over that time, never really giving my ax the attention it deserved. I'd classify myself as entering into the world of intermediate guitar.

Anyway, I'm ready to spend some more time at this, and I'm ready for an upgrade. What do I like to play? I mostly enjoy classic rock, and modern blues rock - see: The Black Keys. What kinds of guitars suit these styles? What primary difference in sound am I going to hear from a hollow-body vs. solid?

My price range is under $1000. The cheaper the better, but I won't sacrifice quality just for the sake of cost.

I've been recommended:

-Gibson Dot (for bluesy stuff - $665 listed)
-Les Paul Standard ($832 listed)

I've also looked at these guys online: Gibson G-400, Ibanez AR300, Gibson ES-175, Fender Telecaster.... but, like I said, I don't know the difference and how each would apply to my style.

So, to cut this short.... please let me know your thoughts on any of the above guitars, and also any others you might recommend based off what I've said above. I'd really appreciate the insight and guidance. I'll use the information to go to a local guitar shop, pick up some models, and give them a try-- but I need a jumping off point. Thanks!
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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http://www.musicbanter.com/talk-inst...on-guitar.html

That should tell you enough to warn you away from Gibson (and fender to an extent)

THe primary difference in sound from hollow bodies to solid is that hollow bodies have a woolier lower end that isn't as defined. On the other hand, they generally have good clean tones and they have a nice percussive attack that suits some styles fantastically well.

From an 'all arounder' perspective, you'll want to go for a solid body. They're more ubiquitous and can generally do just about everything.

As for which guitar to go for, it sounds to me like Mr Dave may have more info for you than I do for now. Partially because right now I'm too tired to type up everything I know that might pertain to your choices, and partially because he works a lot more within your kind of style than I do. I can certainly add to his advice, but my approach to guitar has always been very shredding oriented.Partially because of my playing, partially because those instruments tend to be fantastically versatile overall.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the information. I do not care whether or not my guitar is name brand, so it's good to know about Gibson. I also don't want to drop $1000 for a fukin' beater. I may steer clear if there are good alternatives. I've heard a lot of praise for the Les Paul, though; it seems like there is a big split, like a love it or hate it type of feeling. Somebody also just threw out Paul Reed Smith guitars, and looking at their site I love the models I see- very clean... but again, don't know the technical information.

Look forward to hearing from Senor Dave, and any other insight you have to offer.
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Well if you play blues rock like you mentioned then a semi-hollow body would be perfect. THere tone is typically much warmer than that of say a Les Paul. Not only that but they sound great for pretty much any other style. The only downside is that usually there much heavier and if your playing a gig that will really bother you.

In the end though you have to decide, in that sound isnt EVERYTHING. You have to like how it looks ( I find the hollows are much more appealing), feels, plays and the most overlooked problem being the weight.

The dot is a great guitar, although there are many alternatives. And it I were you and I was going for a solid body Id stick with a Telecaster Custom or even a Signature Strat if your budget will allow it. Both great blues guitars, yet sound fantastic with some overdrive.
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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i've been rocking a mexican strat for over a decade now and it was fantastic for getting old school hendrix style tone and action back in the day. hell you might even be able to score a little marshall combo amp to round out the package just under your budget.

quite frankly i wouldn't bother with gibson at your price point. you might be able to find a few models for under a grand but it will likely be a limited selection with some sort of 'minor' defect. i'd look at higher end epiphones instead.

the epiphone dot guitars seem to have been gaining a lot of popularity lately. not really sure what the deal is with them, they're like a budget version of the gibson es-335. i would DEFINITELY try one out for your style.

epiphone also has a les paul model that would fit in your price range nicely that looks just as good as the real thing.

PRS guitars are really nice but the only one i've ever tried is my cousin's custom-22. let's put it this way, when he offered to sell it to me at the 'family price' of 2 grand last year i was seriously considering it until my job got outsourced to india. if their lower end models are made with the same quality and care as his, then you're laughing if you find one that sounds right to your ears.

ibanez has some nice hollowbodies too, haven't tried them but i really like the look of the artcore series. i'll let GB fill in the details on these.

and if those don't float your boat and you want something that looks pretty freaking unique take a look at eastwood guitars. Welcome to Eastwood® Guitars.com

one other thing to keep in mind is that hollow bodies have a reputation for causing the bad kind of feedback (as in the painful squealing kind) when pushed too far. you run into any issues like this rezz?
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i like any bc rich
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i like any bc rich


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Old 03-11-2009, 05:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I just buy Ibanez, but I don't play the same style as you, so I wouldn't recommend it.... Because honestly, apart from my acoustic, I couldn't imagine Blues anything coming out of an Ibanez.
My dad has a Mexican Strat. He's modded it a lot in the many years he's had it, but I do notice a sound to the Strat that lends itself more to Bluesy type stuff. The tone sounds at home in that area.

You might want to at least try out some Fender Strats in your local shop to see if you like the feel. Try them against any other guitars you have in mind. Let your ears and your hands do the deciding.

As far as pickups, you probably don't need actives, so just keep your sights in the passive department. (aka, no batteries in your pickups) Honestly, I can't recall ever seeing a Strat with active pickups anyway.
Seymore Duncan is usually pretty standard. If you get into EMG territory, you'll start paying.


Anyway, I hope I've helped a bit.
I'm not mainly an electric guitar player. Mostly acoustic. But I've thrown my dime in the pot so do with it what you will.

Good luck.
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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As far as pickups, you probably don't need actives, so just keep your sights in the passive department. (aka, no batteries in your pickups) Honestly, I can't recall ever seeing a Strat with active pickups anyway.
actually most higher end strats (especially signature series) have active pickups, usually lace sensors. i like the stock factory pickups though, they sound rawer and lend themselves towards bluesy styles better.
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Good Info, Dave.
As I said, I'm not an electric tar personality much. I learn something every day.
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