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Big dose of GAS-EX at the store...


jaygNY

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So - My wife graciously gave me a $1000 budget on some new gear. Before she changed her mind, I ran as fast as I could to a couple of the local music stores! I was determined to buy either a guitar or amp (or both).

 

For years, I wanted a Les Paul, so I went and tried a bunch. I hate to say it, but they just didn't click with me. Many of my favorite artists (Tool/Perfect Circle/GnR/Ozzy) use LPs, and I do believe they are the most beautiful guitar out there. The stores did not have the guitars setup well (action was high, majorly out of tune, and the strings could have used a changing), which probably contributed to my disappointment. I did enjoy playing 1 of em, but it was $1500+. :mad:

 

My next possibility for new gear was a good combo tube amp. I was looking for something small, since I have no intention of ever playing outside the house. I tried a Fender Pro Jr amp, but it just didn't have the sound I was looking for. The Marshall I tried sounded good (forget which model), but it was $750! The last thing I played thru was a 5150 head. The sound on that thing was awesome, but I could only turn it up to .5 before the thing was shaking the room! Turning that thing up to 11 would be rediculously loud. I see no point in paying 1k for an amp that I can't turn up to 1. :D

 

So - I struck out on both targets... *bummer*

 

I will say this. Since I was disappointed with the LPs, I played a couple Fender Strats. I hate to admit it, but they are a very comfortable guitar to play. I had been avoiding them since I got burned on my first guitar. (Cheap mexican strat whose neck wouldn't stay straight and whose electronics always buzzed). Any tips you guys could offer on buying a good strat would be much appreciated.

 

The other guitar that I was very impressed with was the ESP EC-1000. I played with that guitar for about an hour and really liked it. Since I hadn't done any research on it and the price tag was $750, I decided not to impulsively buy it. Anyone have an opinion on this guitar?

cheap, fast, good.

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First off, most places will discount brand new items at least a bit off the list price. DId you ask about prices on the items or did you look at the stickers prices? Go to www.musiciansfreind.com, check out the prices, and don't pay more than they ask for any item there.

 

Next, have you considered looking into used equipment? A decent used Les Paul ought to available for under s grand somewhere, and I have seen used 5150 combos for well under a grand.

 

and, if a Les Paul is really what you just GOTTA have, check out the EPiphone Les Pauls. They are very good, and very affordable. The best stuff the make, the Elitist series, are going for $949 in Musician's Friend.

 

As far as Strats go, the standard pickups on them ALWAYS buzz. That, I am afraid, is the natuer of the single-coil beast. ON the other hand, they are a very versatile guitar with lotsa tones. IF you can live with a little 60-cycle hum, look into the Highway One Strats. They are American made, with a sort of matte finish in solid colors, and they list for about $700, so they end up selling for about $600. Also, you might check out some of the Showmaster Fenders. Nice stuff, made offshore but good quality, and they go for about $600. Some of them have humbucking pickups too.

 

I can't say much about ESP guitars, I just haven't done much with them myself. I can tell you that the Deluxe EC-1000 (amber sunburst, rosewood fretboard, abalone inlays, flame maple top) is going for $700 in Musician's Friend (the see-thru Black Cherry finish is $100 more, solid black is $70 more. Go figure...).

 

IF you are not gonna play out, you don't need a 5150 or anything approaching that much output. I have two recommendations for you;

1. the Roland Cube amps are extremely versatile, and have lots of very usable effects built into them. You could have fun for days just playing around with the combinations of amp models and effects. I believe it even has a headphone out, so your wife doesn't start regretting she let you buy the thing. Musician's Friend has the Cube 30 for $199. That's small enough to be contollable, and large enough that it will be okay if you ever do decide you want to jam with some guys.

2. Behringer amps are extemely low-cost, and have some nice features. The jury is still out on how durable they are, but if you aren't going to be hauling them around a lot, they would probably last a long time for you. Their 2X12 combo is going for $250 in Musician's Friend, and the smaller models go for for less. I have played the 2X12, and it is a versatile, good-sounding amp.

 

You definitely ought to be able to find a great playing and sounding rig for close to a grand, if you do a little more shopping. Have fun.

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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you may want to check out Godin, the LG sp90/hmb, exit 22 and Freeway classic are nicely priced and very nice guitars.

traynor makes some nice tube combos at great prices.

i second the motion on the elitest epiphones.

there are tons of great deals out there.

what gear do you have now? this may help determine what you should be looking at.

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I played the Epiphone LP and it did play well. The only thing that made me shy away from the Epiphones is the quality comments I have heard on this board. I got burned once by cheap guitars, and I don't want to repeat that!

 

I would love to try the 5150 combo amp! Unfortunately, they didn't have any in stock. I see them going for about 1k on musiciansfriend. DOes anyone on this board own one? Im curious if they sound good at reasonable volumes...

 

The prices I quoted were the prices they were selling the stuff for. They did seem to have some room for negotiating the price btw. I have no problem at all buying used equiptment. However, the local stores don't have much used inventory.

 

As far as gear I own, I don't have a whole lot. I have an Ovation Celebrity, a BC Rich electric, and a small Peavey Rage 158 amp. I also have some pedals that I toy with...

 

I have always gotten by with as little equiptment as I could. Now that I am more settled and I have the $$, I wanted to start building my inventory of toys .. :)

cheap, fast, good.

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Originally posted by Guitarzan:

http://www.elderly.com/fmic/items/FSMSEQB.htm

 

now there is a nice deal.

Yeah, and they are good guitars, too. I have a small bit of dissatisfaction with the shape of the neck (it feels vaguely squarish), but it's not unliveable. They look, play, and sound good too.

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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Originally posted by picker:

Originally posted by Guitarzan:

[qb] http://www.elderly.com/fmic/items/FSMSEQB.htm

 

now there is a nice deal.

Yeah, and they are good guitars, too. I have a small bit of dissatisfaction with the shape of the neck (it feels vaguely squarish), but it's not unliveable. They look, play, and sound good too. By the way, Jay, where are you located at? If it's a small town, maybe you could find more selection in a larger town if one is close enough for a day trip.

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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I have plenty of access to guitar shops in the area .. I'm only a 1.5 hour train ride to NYC, which is wear I bought my first guitar :mad: . The real thing that worries me is that many new guitars feel and sound good when you first buy them, but a few months/years later, you realize that they weren't what you expected in terms of quality. When I spend the kind of money we are talking about on an instrument, I expect said instrument to perform well for many years to come!

 

Perhaps my expectations are tripping me up. I hate to think about the fish that got away when I bought the lemon...

cheap, fast, good.

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i know what your saying, i have owned too many different guitars over the years, 14 since my first son was born (he's 9 now)!! anyway for some reason i always lost the love for whatever guitar i had. it was a search for something that i could always grab and be satisfied. well i finally found that guitar.

my Godin Lg sp90. its been one year and i am 100% sure this baby is mine for good. i have recently bought a yamaha aes 620 and it is nice but my LG is my fave.

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Thanks Picker for the suggestion of the PRS. The specs on that guitar look pretty sweet!

 

From samash.com:

 

Paul Reed Smith - Tremonti SE Electric

Features:

Solid mahogany body

Single cutaway design

One-piece mahogany neck

Bound body and fingerboard

Rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays

Two volume and two tone controls

Two custom humbucker pickups

3-way switch

Stop-Tail bridge

Chrome hardware

Gigbag included

 

The price on it is $470. A local shop is a PRS retailer, so I'll try to sneak over tomorrow and give it a shot. While Im there, Ill also give the epiphones another look.

cheap, fast, good.

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you might want to compare the tremonti se to the Yamaha AES 620,

single cutaway

set neck

abalone dot inlays

dual volume single tone

flame maple veneer top

grover tuners

nato neck and mahogany body

rosewood fretboard

recessed output jack at rear of body

string through / tuneomatic bridge combo

seymour duncan JB in bridge

yamaha alnico 5 neck pickup

three way switch

contoured top and waist cut for comfort

big fat neck

$ 499.00 at sam ash

 

Guitar Player magazine editors pick award winner.

 

just thought you may want to try this as well as the tremonti se. (no offense Picker)

i have one and though my godin is my fave its still a real nice axe.

 

http://www.samash.com/catalog/showitem.asp?itemid=29619

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heres what i would do, but this is me and im not always the best desicionist...

buy a higher end Epiphone LP and SG

the LP standard(i think standards are the better bang for the buck models) run abou $450, you could probably talk em down.

then get an SG G-400 which run about $350

 

both play and sound pretty sweet in my opinion, and that brings you to $800 bucks which means if you wanted to you could probably get new humbuckers for both axes...two guitars at once...oooohhh yeeaaaa

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Originally posted by Guitarzan:

you might want to compare the tremonti se to the Yamaha AES 620...just thought you may want to try this as well as the tremonti se. (no offense Picker)

None taken. :thu: I ought to mention that the PRS SE necks are pretty substantial, I mean big, which is somthing I personally like, but isn't everybody's cup of tea. The Yamaha neck are a bit smaller, and that might be more to your liking. SO try 'em both out.

I might also add that buying a guitar these days is really a crap shoot. You could pay a lot for an expensive guitar hoping to avoid quality issues, and still get a lemon. I have seen American-made Signature line Fenders that were crap, and even high and mighty Gibson turns out junk sometimes as well. Y'all pays yo' money and y'all takes yo' chance. Don't let a bad apple turn off to the whole barrel.

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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Have a look at the Ibanez Artcore line. I got the AF-75 ( <---- see avatar ) a little while back, and I absolutely love it. They have a few different models, so there might be something that suits your fancy. Right now the AF-75 is going for around $320 , and it's not the least expensive of the line.

I'm playing through a Fender HotRod Deluxe these days, and I'm very happy with it (especially with the AF-75). Those are around $550 (new). The two together would still keep you under $1,000.

May all your thoughts be random!

- Neil

www.McFaddenArts.com

www.MikesGarageRocks.com

 

 

 

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I'll second the PRS Tremonti SE idea. I have a Custom 22 and can tell you that the quality of a PRS is amazing. Something a lot of people are doing with the Tremonti SEs is to by the guitar, then go to PRS and buy a set of Tremonti signature pickups (cost you about $150). For about $520 you've pratically got the Tremonti signature model, just no bird inlays.

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