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Looking to buy a new guitar

syndalissyndalis Getting ClassyOn the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
edited June 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
I have been playing guitar on a strat knockoff (made by "Fernandes") for a while now, and I am looking to upgrade my sound and overall capability through a better instrument.

For someone who is a fan of acts such as megadeth, (old)metallica, At the Gates... what kind of instrument should I grab?

I have been looking at ESP and BC Rich as possible brands, but some opinions from fans of the metal would be appreciated.

One thing to keep in mind is that I do not have monstrous mitts. My hands are average sized to slightly below, so a guitar with a super-thick neck is fail for me.

I know that ultimately the best thing for me to do is to go down to a music store and play with the ones I am interested in until I find one that feels and sounds right to me, but I am so far out of the loop on hardware that I need to be pointed in the right direction, at least.

SW-4158-3990-6116
Let's play Mario Kart or something...
syndalis on

Posts

  • Monolithic_DomeMonolithic_Dome Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    In my experience the "metal" sound is more about the amp/effects than the guitar itself. You are going to want a solidbody with humbuckers and good sustain, but beyond that I wouldn't worry about getting an OMGMETAL brand like BC Rich unless you are more worried about looking metal than playing metal. Find something that feels right in your hands.

    As far as specific recommends, what's your price range? I like the SG, and you can find one of those in any price range (from the cheapo epiphones all the way up to the custom shop gibson sell your house models). They are all pretty solid.

    Ibanez also makes pretty damn good guitars for the purpose.

    Monolithic_Dome on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • A-RodA-Rod Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Ya the metal sound is definitely more from the amp - effects.

    I can just let you know that the 'Flying V' - youll see mustaine, and plenty of other metal guitarists use this - i found to be uncomfortable. I think the SG is good, maybe even a Les Paul. Some of these can be a little heavy though, go try them out for yourself.

    A-Rod on
  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    edited June 2008
    My price range is hard capped at around 500 right now... keep in mind the guitar I have been working off of cost about 120 used, so this is going to be a sizable upgrade.

    And I hear what you are saying about the amp/FX... I use w Line6 Toneport UX2 because of LOL apartment life, but having messed around with some other peoples' guitars on my setup, I know that the instrument itself can make a huge difference, especially if you are playing with super-cheap (like me).

    syndalis on
    SW-4158-3990-6116
    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
  • A-RodA-Rod Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    well at about 400 you should be able to get something decent, used or brand new.

    A-Rod on
  • Monolithic_DomeMonolithic_Dome Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Here's 3 to try, should give you some indication of where you want to go next:

    Epiphone G-400 SG. This guitar has a lot of balls for $350. linky

    Ibanez RG Series. My only beef with Ibanez is that they have a trillion different models all with stupid-long model numbers, so I think I've played something like this and liked it quite a bit.

    Paul Reed Smith. Lots of folks swear by these. This particular model is a signature model of Mark Tremonti, who is a total toolbag, but the Axe itself ain't that bad.

    Monolithic_Dome on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    b.c. rich is good and have some cool options in your price range. Dean is cool and is primarily viewed as a "metal" guitar and have some cool shapes - the ml, stealth, the razorback (not my favorite), razorback V which is awesome as hell - looks a lot like phil demmel's signature guitar, and Dave Mustaine is with them currently and they have several Mustaine sig models which look just like a Jackson King V since that was mustaine's design.

    Really, though, you can play anything. Slash plays a Les Paul. Tom Maxwell (from Hell Yeah) plays (or at least was playing - I hear it may have changed) a Dean Soltero, which is the same general shape as a Les Paul. For a long time James Hetfield played Explorers. Angus Young plays SGs.

    Kick ass deal on a razorback v

    Your sound is primarily going to be your pickups and amp more than the guitar itself, although the quality of wood in the guitar will of course have an effect. You may be able to get by with just upgrading your pickups - I believe James Hetfield used Seymour-Duncan Invader pickups on some of the early Metallica, Dave Mustaine used Seymour-Duncan JB bridge and Jazz neck pickups and now uses active pickups that are designed to sound like the JB and Jazz, so the Invader or JB pickups might be a good way to go instead of a whole new guitar if you want to save money. I've also been hearing a lot about the DiMarzio X2N for awhile now.

    Jimmy King on
  • flatlinegraphicsflatlinegraphics Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    bc rich's are not terrible guitars. atleast once you get out of the budget line.

    but, as noted, most metal is from the amp and effects. humbuckers are typical, but not required. a super strat (hum/single/single) may be something to look out for. hell, go play a telecaster. single coils through a high gain amp can be brutal. g&l asat special through a soldano is heavenly..

    basically, same advice i give everytime one of these threads comes up: go to a shop, play everything there. find the guitar that looks and feels the best. after that, you can make it sound like whatever you want.

    flatlinegraphics on
  • Jean Claude Van CalmJean Claude Van Calm 'sup? Awesome Possum.Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    basically, same advice i give everytime one of these threads comes up: go to a shop, play everything there. find the guitar that looks and feels the best. after that, you can make it sound like whatever you want.

    This. For the price you mentioned and the sound you're looking at I would go to section of your local music store that has Ibanez guitars. It's been said and I agree that the metal sound is gonna be an amp thing or an effect. But Ibanez guitars just feel metal and the neck plays pretty fast.

    Jean Claude Van Calm on
    PSN: Grimmsy- Xbox Live: Grimmsy
  • ArenowArenow Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Usually when you want to get your first guitar, you go to the guitar shop you get all the ones on your budget range in front of you. Epiphones, Squiers, Cort models. Then you start trying them, and you happen to fall in love with one.
    And then you can go to other stores and try other guitars, even the same model, but the fact is you're gonna compare each one of them with that guitar you fell in love with. Because that's the guitar you want to have. You liked it sound and the feel of it, also the looks of it. And that is all you need.

    And that's how it goes for most guitar players I know, and it works well because you love the instrument and this is what makes you want to play it for a long time. It's not until years later, with a bigger budget and a better technique, that you start to check important brands, custom models and specific pick-ups, maybe some vintage stuff, shit like that. But there's no need to start on the premier league.

    Arenow on
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  • ForgottenVariableForgottenVariable Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    In addition to the advice everyone else has given, I'd suggest looking at some mid range Schecters. I have a buddy that swears by the things, and after trying out his guitar, I find it hard to disagree. Of course, this means nothing if you don't like it, so make sure to go to a store and try everything out.

    I believe that this is the guitar he has: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Schecter-Tempest-Custom-Electric-Guitar?sku=515866

    Nice thing about this guitar, it has a coil tap preinstalled so you can switch between an hb and single coil tone quickly and easily. Real beautiful guitar to boot.

    ForgottenVariable on
  • TheGreat2ndTheGreat2nd Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Can I suggest an Ibanez model?
    Because, S520EX
    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Ibanez-S520EX-Electric-Guitar?sku=518873X
    So light. So soooooo light. And thin neck too.

    Maybe a nice amp, maybe some pedals or multi effects?
    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Toneworks-Pandora-PX4D-Personal-MultiEffect-Processor?sku=152176
    Give them a try at the music store when you're fiddling with a guitar

    TheGreat2nd on
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    I'm Jacob Wilson. | facebook | thegreat2nd | [url="aim:goim?screenname=TheGreatSecond&message=Hello+from+the+Penny+Arcade+Forums!"]aim[/url]
  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    edited June 2008
    Figured I would bump the thread to post the end result for me.

    ESP LTD F250
    403913.jpg
    lg_ef250blkx.jpg
    (the black model)

    It feels great in my hands, the Floyd Rose works great, I like the upgrade to 24 frets, the neck-thru gives me better sustain than the bolt on nonsense of my el cheapo, and damn if it isn't riding the line between traditional and metal in looks.

    syndalis on
    SW-4158-3990-6116
    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Cool, that guitar has caught my eye on several occasions.

    Jimmy King on
  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    edited June 2008
    Photo4-1.jpg

    Me tired due to lack of sleep. but this thing shreds. I am very happy with my new toy, thanks for the advice, guys.

    syndalis on
    SW-4158-3990-6116
    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
  • flatlinegraphicsflatlinegraphics Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    woo for following up. rock out.
    only thing i'd think about upgrading would be to swap in regular emg's, rather than the -hz's. but thats down the road, and only if you want to change the sound.

    flatlinegraphics on
  • BomanTheBearBomanTheBear Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Jimmy King wrote: »

    Your sound is primarily going to be your pickups and amp more than the guitar itself, although the quality of wood in the guitar will of course have an effect. You may be able to get by with just upgrading your pickups - I believe James Hetfield used Seymour-Duncan Invader pickups on some of the early Metallica, Dave Mustaine used Seymour-Duncan JB bridge and Jazz neck pickups and now uses active pickups that are designed to sound like the JB and Jazz, so the Invader or JB pickups might be a good way to go instead of a whole new guitar if you want to save money. I've also been hearing a lot about the DiMarzio X2N for awhile now.

    I used to build guitars, and I can tell you firsthand that just swapping the pickups on a shitty model to good pickups will make the guitar sound like it's worth about triple what it actually is. If you're concentrated on a specific sound, it'll help to focus on pickups that match that sound. For instance, if you want to tune really low and sound like Slayer, you need pickups that have a good bass/mid response (humbuckers set really low). If you want to sound like Dave Mustaine from Megadeth, you need mid/treb (humbuckers set really high). Early Metallica, a good single coil will do nicely. Don't cut corners on the pickups or the string quality. I used to be able to take a Fender Squier ($120), soup it up with three good pickups ($75 each), a good set of elixers, and resolder some of the connections, and it would ring with the clarity of a $2k model of your choice. So find someone in a store who knows a good bit about pickups and you'll be golden.

    Edit: Just saw you picked yourself up something already. That's a fucking sick instrument, dude.

    BomanTheBear on
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