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Old 11-22-2009, 05:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Red face Guitar or amp purchase advice for mom

I need advice on a Christmas purchase for my 13 yr old son for Christmas.
He currently owns a Fender Starcaster guitar and an unknown $100 electric guitar. He also owns a Line 6 Spider III Amp. He has been playing for about 2 years and LOVES IT! He mostly likes playing rock (ie Guns and Roses, ACDC, Metallica, Ozzy, Nirvana) Between us...I wish he would soften up his preferences but....that's another post.
So... I am planning on spending between $300-$400 and leaning towards a new guitar or used.
Please advise whether you suggest upgraded guitar or upgraded amp for this money. also advice on which ones to look for.
He wrote a Christmas list asking for a Vox VT50 amp and an Ibaniz RGA32 guitar. any thoughts???
I will search for used too if it makes more sense.
He just started playing with a Christian rock band at local church. He is soooo excited-even though he had never played this music genre. It should be good for him. Want to get him a guitar that won't prohibit his growth as a musician.
Thanks so much for any help!!!!

Last edited by turbomama; 11-22-2009 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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you should be able to find an Ibanez RG series within that budget without any hassle. they're quite popular, especially with players who prefer a technical challenge to their playing.

it's an excellent choice for an intermediate instrument. it'll be enough to hold him over until he's ready to drop $1000+ into something special.
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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thank you Dave. I just noticed that they are $350. do you recommend that with his existing amp? Would we be smarter to get him a used guitar for $350 that might be worth $500 new?
thanks so much!
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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it wouldn't make a huge difference in quality at that point. besides, unless it's a really rare model type (which the RG isn't) a nice shiny new model as opposed to a worn in one also makes for a nicer gift.

i'd also recommend against going with a used guitar as a gift unless you play as well. too easy to end up with something that looks really nice but doesn't quite cut it regardless of the price tag.
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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that makes sense! thank you. is there any other $300-$400 guitar you recommend for his type of playing? sorry to ask so many questions. this is a difficult gift to purchase!
thanks!!!
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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there are plenty of other guitars but if he's specified this model there's no reason to deny it. the majority of the differences at that price point will be cosmetic anyway.

the difficult part should be deciding what finish to get haha
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Old 11-24-2009, 12:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi again! can you by chance tell me what you think of this guitar...
Schecter C1 Plus?
It comes recommended and it looks beautiful! thanks so much!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by turbomama View Post
Hi again! can you by chance tell me what you think of this guitar...
Schecter C1 Plus?
It comes recommended and it looks beautiful! thanks so much!!!!!!!!
I have played one, they aren't bad.
check out musiciansfriend.com they usually have amazing deals

in the price range 300-500 I would suggest an Epiphone SG, or Les Paul.
Slash plays a les paul, so he'd look cool! Or if he is not against having another guitar that looks like his "starcaster", I would suggest a fender stratocaster. They are very versatile, and the neck is something like 3/4 of an inch longer, to make it easier to play. These guitars are more bluesy though.

Good luck!
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I gave some slightly less long winded advice in the other thread on this subject, but I'll make some more detailed observations in here to help. Be warned, When I drop technical knowledge my posts tend to be long, so skip ahead and listen to Dave if you don't have a few minutes to read it!


Anyway, firstly - The RGA32 is a fantastic guitar for the money. This is for a few reasons.

1 - Bound Fretboard - Bound fretboards feel much nicer and look much nicer than their unbound brethren. They also usually indicate the guitar will come with at least passable fretwork, since it takes more effort to install binding than it does to just slot the frets in.

2 - The bridge - Ibanez bridges have a great reuptation, and with good reason. They integrate a lot of nice features in a convenient package. I've had a guitar with a Tune-O-Matic bridge like the Schecters, and believe me, while its not exctly a pain to work with, the ease of use is far behind the Ibanez bridge on that guitar.

3 - The neck on that guitar is much thinner than the schecters would be. This means it'll be easy to play! Thats a generalisation, and if your son likes thicker necks on guitars, then heed by his preference, but by and large, if someone wants a guitar that plays easily, the first thing they do is go for the one with the thinnest neck. Ibanez are KING in that category, because they've been doing it for years. They know what makes a comfortable neck.

4 - I agree with dave on the second hand thing. When it comes to second hand guitars, I have ten years of playing experience, and even I have been burned once, when I bought a guitar with a neck that shifted, and I didn't notice before I bought it. D'oh! Lesson learned! And that was with years of experience regarding how a guitar should feel and play! Don't go that route if you aren't sure.



Thats the guitar dealt with. As for the amp, thats a much simpler proposition - Those amps are GREAT amps. They're very cheap for what they are, they sound great, etc etc. As I mentioned in the other thread, there are only a couple weaknesses in them, and they're nothing deal breaking by any stretch of the imagination. If you have the choice between getting the amp or the guitar, GET THE AMP, and GET THAT ONE
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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hey Guitarbizarre! thanks so much for the detailed answer. i really appreciate it! okay--i'll go for the amp. IF I happen to find a screamin deal for the ibanez rga32 and the Vox amp...i'll get both--but doubt it. so ill get the amp first and i'll get that one.
one last question to you...do you think the ibanez rga32 (@$350) is a big enough jump in quality from the fender starcaster? He has another guitar too that looks cool (paulownia style body i think) but his grandparents only spent like $100-$150 on it, so it is a beginner guitar too.
i just want to make sure i am not waisting money on this step. should we wait till we can afford a more intermediate price ($600-800) or is the ibanez a smart in between step? sorry i am so unsure in all this. i really am grateful for your help!
happy turkey day!
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