Let's Talk Guitars...

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Let's Talk Guitars...

Postby FallenHero96 on Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:47 am

Ok so ive messed around on my hand me down guitar for a few years now, and while I am still not very good, I want to get a new electric guitar. Just something fairly cheap until I become a rock star and im able to afford a Paul Reed Smith (drool).

So what should I buy? I think I want a strat style, and I'm looking to spend not much, like maybe up to $250 or $300 max. Whats your favorite brand? Whats a good place to order online from?

Oh and Mark Tremonti, and Billy Corgan are my favorite guitarists... and two of the best ever. Thx. 8)
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I've had a few and it depends on your style and preference

Postby rasbatch on Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:07 pm

I have a Gibson 335, a PRS, a epiphone les paul, martin acoustic, and now I got a fender telecaster. Just take your time and play a lot of different ones, don't buy the first mexican fender you see, their junk. I'm a big proponent of used guitars if you know what your looking for, and what to look for. Just because it's got some time on it doesn't mean it's not a good instrument, but you have to check em out look at the neck, the frets, listen to the electronics. Back to new ones their making some good guitars for pretty cheap these days, so think about how you like to sound, and the players you'd like to sound like. Gibson's generally have thicker necks compared to Fenders and a chunkier sound as a result so think about how big your hands are and the feel of the instrument. If your in the burgh Piano's and stuff in Blawnox is a great store, with some good deals and wait for sales if you can hold out that long. Also you might want to think about saving your money and spending more like $500-$700 I know that a lot, but I've never regretted spending money on guitar or musical gear, I spent more than I planned to on my Martin, but you know what it doesn't matter it's a beautiful guitar that brings me great joy everytime I touch it. The extra bucks really do make a difference when it comes to guitars. If your serious about playing and learning nothing beats a new guitar that you spent a bunch on cause after all that you'll really want to play it. Finally, first impressions matter, the feel of the instrument in your hands and the sounds you can wrench from it are all that matter, unless you go for the paisley or glittery guitar thing. I think this must be the longest post I've ever made, can you tell I LOVE GUITARS!! Good luck, and rock on.
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Postby Stoosh on Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:15 pm

It's been about five years since I've played. I had an Epiphone SG that I got when I was in high school. This was around 1991 or so. I taught myself to play and messed around on, but I sold it about five years ago. I've regretted it ever since I sold it.

So just a few weeks ago, I stopped by the Guitar Center store out in Robinson Towne Center. WOW. I can't believe how much stuff has changed since the last time I was in a guitar shop. I walked in to look around and ended up being there for more than an hour messing around with different guitars.

I grew up a HUGE Guns N' Roses fan (just ask Spoon), and my two favorite guitartists were Izzy Stradlin and Slash. I've always wanted a Les Paul but obviously price was an issue, and it still is. I'd love to get an authentic Les, but I just can't justify spending upwards of $1000 on a guitar that I'm just going to play when I'm kicking around the house.

Fortunately, for those of us who probably never find themselves on a large stage but still would like to hear the quality of a decent guitar, Epiphone has begun making Les Pauls. Guitar Center had a beeeeeautiful Les Paul Standard made by Epiphone for about $400 or something like that.

http://www.epiphone.com/default.asp?Pro ... ectionID=6

I plugged it in and played it. A more accomplished musician would've definitely detected differences in the sound quality as opposed to an authentic, but honestly, I'm not that good that it mattered to me. I fell in love with the thing.

So now comes the conundrum. I've always wanted a Telecaster, too. I taught myself mostly the rhythm parts of songs, and Telecasters make fantastic rhythm guitars. They're also more affordable than the Epiphone Les Paul that I was looking at, and I love the sound, too. So now I'm stuck.

I'm definitely going to get one of them. I'm just not sure which and I don't know when. My wife and I have some other things that we'd like to do to the house, but I'd like to get one before the end of the year.
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Postby Lunchman on Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:32 pm

Agree on the idea of looking at used stuff. You'll get more bang for the buck...as long as the instrument is in good shape. I like checking out the vintage/used section at Elderly Instruments (www.elderly.com) from time to time. It can give you a good idea of what is typically "out there" and what sort of prices certain things command. Looks like there are a few lower-end strats there right now. I've purchased several used things from Elderly, including a Guild acoustic and a Deering banjo and they always seem to do a great job. Bought a used '93 American Tele at a local (Harrisburg, PA) store for $450. Check out the big sites as well for ideas/prices on new stuff (like musiciansfriend.com and zzounds.com).

Good luck with your "GAS" (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). Hmmm...maybe I need a strat.
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Postby Bring Back KC on Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:57 pm

I play a Washburn X Series. Its a strat-design, and really well made. It has decent tone quality as well. You can find these new for $150-$200. I've seen people perform on these guitars...don't know if I'd record though.
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Postby Bring Back KC on Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:58 pm

Also, beware of Guitar Center! None of their instruments are shop adjusted, so most of the time they take it out of the box and stick it on the wall. They are notorious for selling defective guitars.
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Postby Ben Klingston on Tue Feb 14, 2006 1:43 pm

I started with a cheap $100 acoustic to make sure I was going to stick with playing (self taught). If you can play it on an acoustic, going to electric is much easier, most of the time.

Once I knew I was going to stick with it, I looked for electric. Some good points made on here about Gibsons vs. Fenders. You have to play them in the store to get a feel for the neck and action (distance you push the strings down onto the frets). I'm with stoosh, I'm probably more of a rhythm guy. So I went with an Fender american tele (sunburst). (Some will say the 'mexican' teles - about 2-300 cheaper - are kind of rickety... I've never heard of any problems... I think it's how much you play and how much wear and tear you put on it). Telecasters are very versatile. My favorite players are Mike Campbell (Tom Petty & HB) and probably Rob James (Clarks - excellent guitarist, regardless of whether you like their music or not). They are both Telecaster-heavy players. Plus, with effects pedals these days, you can get so many different kinds of sounds out of ANY electric guitar. Pick up a cheap Digitech multi-effects pedal. I have the RP200, and it suits my amateur abilities.

Also, don't neglect your amp choice. If you're going to be playing around, trying to rock out along with your stereo (like me), you probably only need 10-20 W. (Otherwise, you'll end up playing on volume 0.5 out of 10.... UNLESS IT GOES TO ELEVEN!!! - sorry, spinal tap moment). You can pick up a cheap solid-state amp for 80-150 bucks. However, if you're into the old-school, retro, true-american-roots-rock sound, you'll want to pick yourself up a nice vintage (or new) tube amp. I really can hear the difference. I just got a Fender Pro Junior... about the smallest tube amp you can find. I love it. So cool to see the vacuum tubes glowing while playing.

I've never had a problem with Guitar Center, but I'm not sinking thousands into a PRS, either. If I was spending that much, I'd probably go to a 'custom' mom and pop shop where they will set it up specifically for your playing. Guitar Center deals in quantity... you usually won't find a better price, but you might not get the catered service and setup... unless you ask. I bought my Tele from a mom and pop store outside of Philly one summer, but got my upgraded acoustic at Guitar Center. Another good thing about Guitar Center is that they have a 30 day satisfaction policy. I spent a LOT of money buying my new acoustic (money counts more in an acoustic buy, in my opinion... you can get quality electric for fairly cheap). Guitar Center has a sound-proof booth to try out different acoustics in.. I originally went back and forth and finally settled on a basic Martin, which sounded AWESOME in their soundproof room. However, when I got it home, it just didn't give me the same 'ring' and high end that I was getting at the store. Spending that much, I wanted complete satisfaction, so I took it back the next week and exchanged it for a Gibson Songbird Deluxe, which had the exact sound I was looking for when I got it home. Some mom and pops give that option, some don't. Guitar Center has its pros and cons.

Good luck... buying a guitar should be fun. Enjoy the process.
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