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Music Guitar Advice

Discussion in 'General' started by October, 28 May 2012.

  1. October

    October Mariachi Style

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    I need some help guitarists of BT. For years now the only guitars I've owned are my trusty original Squier Strat and a ~£150 Washburn Dan Donegan signature. I love the strat to bits, the Washburn was bought mainly for cheap access to humbuckers and can be a bit of a dose, very squeely and not all that nice to play really, it doesn't get out much these days.

    Anyway, I joined a band about a year and a half ago and since I've been mostly playing borrowed guitars as neither of mine hold up all that well under live conditions. I haven't been 100% happy with either of the ones I've been using though and as we're about to start recording some new demos I'm feeling the need to finally get myself a new guitar. I have an awesome amp and plenty of tasty effects, I've just never got round to spending the money on a good guitar.

    My current live mainstay is our singers Mexican Jaguar. Lovely guitar, beautiful tone and immensely playable but the electronics are damn annoying. A couple of times on stage I've hit one of the switches with a stray pick and killed the output dead. Perhaps there's a way to make this not happen, but I've not had the quality time to really get to know it. However, the recent line of Blacktop Jags have done away with all this, same playability and tone with none of the hassle. Add to that a friendly Fender rep who can (hopefully) let me have one at a third off, all good.

    My other option is a PRS Tremonti SE. This one is a little trickier. No-one in NI stocks PRS, apparently PRS won't sell few enough at once for it to be worth the risk for the few retailers we have here. So I've never picked one up. I'm pretty sure it would be perfectly playable being a PRS after all, and I've watched plenty of Youtube reviews etc so I know it can sound good but still, never touched one. My only real option is to buy one online, probably from the states as they seem to be available for a third the price in America, even counting for postage it's still lots cheaper than from mainland UK. My want for one is based mainly on me having always wanted a PRS, since the first time I saw Marcos in the Alive video, right around the time I started playing. I've liked a lot of bands that use them, Alter Bridge being possibly the most epic use I'm aware of. It seems to have a beefier tone than the Jag too which I like. Also the Tremonti is damn sexy:

    [​IMG]

    So, my choices are; a guitar I know I enjoy playing - or one I really really want. Maybe this is just a stupid question in the first place... I just wish someone here sold PRS stuff, then it probably wouldn't even be an issue. I bought a Fender Toronado (another lovely guitar, damn shame it was discontinued) on behalf of a friend on the bay once, worked out just fine, I'd just worry slightly about it coming from America. I know I know, I could just buy it from the UK but I'd pay around £150 extra, I'm too broke for that kind of extravagance :worried:

    So I guess what I'm looking for is anyone who's bought a guitar without having played it beforehand, or anyone who lives here and owns a Tremonti... Or just general advice. I'm pretty sure I'd be happy with either, but if I bought a Tremonti (providing all was well with it) I know I wouldn't worry about not owning a Jag, whereas if I go Jag, I reckon I'll still feel that need for a PRS... Also, not that it counts for anything, but when I mentioned to the other guitarist in the band that I was thinking of getting a Jag he said he always saw me as a PRS style player.

    That's quite the wall of writing...but this is gonna be a pretty major decision I guess, whatever I buy now will be my guitar for a pretty long time, I don't have the spare cash to get a new guitar every year or two (unless something awesome happens on the job front) so this one needs to count. I'm pretty sure it's gotta be one of the afore mentioned two so kindly try to refrain from suggesting more to look at, I know it'll be hard :lol:




    TL;DR Better the guitar I know, but don't love deep in my heart, or the unknown temptress from lands afar?
     
    Last edited: 28 May 2012
  2. lysaer

    lysaer Suck my unit! Kirk lazarus (2008)

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    What kind of music do you play? I am a fan of Ibanez of which I own 2, charvel, Gibson sg, bc rich and Jackson. But they are all for playing rock or metal.

    So depends what you play really. If you are in London, go to Denmark street and just try them all out, or go to Chandler guitars in Kew, I buy all my equipment there, they will let you play anything all day for hours

    Also if you buy from the states you will need to pay VAT and import tax, which will hike the price up.

    Sent from my HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio using Tapatalk 2
     
  3. Throbbi

    Throbbi What's a Dremel?

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    I can only comment on the Tremonti as I have haven't played a Jaguar since 1995 :lol: The Tremonti is a tricky one to be honest. PRS make excellent guitars, we all know that, but the issue I personally found with the Tremonti is that it just doesn't seem to feel right when compared to the more popular double cut bodies (305, 513, Custom 24 etc. etc.). The Trem just doesn't seem to have the feeling of being a living thing in your hands; almost the same way cheap versions do (a-la Squier v Frender, Gibson v Epiphone) and yet they, the PRS's, are both made to the same high standards.

    Now, of course, this is just how I found them to be, you might be completely different but it's a fairly large chunk to throw out without actually trying one first. I'm not sure I could do that.

    In my opinion I would see about throwing some requests out on facebook and through friends and acquaintances to see if you can get in touch with someone who does have one since the shops there don't. I just couldn't ***** all that on a guitar with the potential of not liking it.

    P.S. You are also a git as when I went to have a nosey at some of the PRS Trem models (I couldn't figure out which one I've played though, it wasn't a custom I know that much) I made the stupid mistake of looking at the Single-cut Hollowbody II and I'm now considering kidneys and black markets :lol:
     
  4. October

    October Mariachi Style

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    There's a few tracks on here, I recommend Waiting Games or I Fall Down. It hasn't been updated for a while but you'll get the idea. All the stuff on there was recorded before my time but we still play it all live and the new stuff isn't a million miles away from that kind of sound.

    I would definitely hate to buy a Tremonti and then not absolutely love it, that would be a bad day. I've been reading too much Harmony Central! It's such an absolute pain in the ass no-one here stocks them. Maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part, best saved for when I'm rich enough to fly to America on a guitar buying holiday... I think I knew rightly it'd be madness to blind-buy, it's just so pretty!

    Lysaer I was in London before Christmas, really wanted to get to a guitar shop but we were only over for the weekend and my compatriots were more interested in being tourists :lol: If I get the chance to go back I'll definitely be hunting somewhere down though!

    Perhaps a Blacktop Jag is the way to go, or maybe the Jaguarillo...

    [​IMG]

    On a side note, I have a Washburn N-something in the house atm (signed by Bettencourt :rock:), restrung it for some downtuned dirt in a new song (it's had an EMG fitted) and it is a beast... Might hafta look into adding an EMG to whatever I buy, ridiculous lack of power in the Jag when I switch back to it :hehe:

    Also Throbbi; DO IT!

    Also also: good idea about FB and the like!
     
  5. BentAnat

    BentAnat Software Dev

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    OW!
    Tough one.
    Fender and the PRS are a bit Apples and Oranges, IMO (not having played either model specifically, but Fenders in general and varying prcie brackets of PRSes).

    My problem with Fender had always been the lack of power. They're nice to play, some REALLY nice to play (i am STILL haunting a mate of mine for a '74 -i think- Telecaster of his), but most of them (the exception being the noise-demon that is said Tele) are a bit "thin" sound wise...sortof "iron-maiden-and-no-louder".

    My problem with the PRSes is that the cheaper ones (most of the SE's) are just not that nice to play... I have played a custom, and that's ORGASMIC to play, with perfect tone. At the price tag, they better bet, though.

    Good options to look into would be a Gibson Studio Les Paul, various Ibanez's as well as some of the more "organic" (i.e. less metal) ESPs (a Horizon, for example).
     
  6. Ending Credits

    Ending Credits Bunned

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    I was in the same situation as you almost. Had a Squier Strat, really wanted a PRS.

    In the end I ended up getting a Telecaster from my uncle. Great guitar in sounds and looks although I still love my Squier (honestly, all you're missing from the Squiers are the finishing touches). My brother then started to want to learn to play so he got a Vintage (the brand) PRS100 which is a pretty good PRS copy and I have to say, it's not a guitar I particularly like playing.
     
  7. Landy_Ed

    Landy_Ed Combat Novice

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    I have a CE22 (similar to custom 22 but with bolt on neck), and I tried out one of the PRS SE singlecut guitars & hated it. while everything is supposedly similar, it's just not true, they are not finished to the same level & everything felt pretty ropey to me, certainly not a lifelong guitar. I reckon there are much better guitars out there for the £450 bracket. Hand on heart, I'd say to take a close look at the Telecaster HH models, or look to the 2nd hand market for the real PRS experience.

    Can you not find the time/money to make a ferry trip to Glasgow from NI? there are a few well stocked guitar stores here that have everything you could want - guitarguitar in particular have enough to spoil you for choice, and Merchant City music are a great bunch again with a good varied stock.
     
  8. Guest-23315

    Guest-23315 Guest

    Try a mid/high-end Epiphone Les Paul? Lovely to play and lovely tone, if you can find one with EMG's I'd give that a go too.. Once you play them you never go back to passives.
     
  9. Wozzname

    Wozzname Some random guy

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    Depends on what you're wanting to play mostly, I'll try and narrow down the thought process (that or make things even more confusing!).

    From personal experience, most guitars with humbuckers tend to offer a beefier tone that's more suited to rock/metal (I find single coils work better for classic rock, ymmv), but I find the biggest variable for these then depends on the thickness of the body: how beefy do you want that tone?

    For a guitar with humbuckers, I'd advocate looking at both Gibson/Epiphone and ESP/LTD. I can't comment on Jackson or PRS however - I have limited experience with both. The ones I have heard have been good however. I've played a few Ibanez (and owned two), but I don't think Ibanez really cut it. They're decent value for money, but I wouldn't say incredible tone.

    In regards to Fender, find a shop with a lot (Strats/Teles/Jaguars/Mustangs/Jagstangs/whatever). Then play ALL of them. Acoustically first should help you weed out the bad ones that'll inevitably there. What you have left after that should then be played against each other through an amp. You'll likely come across two that have a sound that outshines the rest. I had to do the same for when I was chasing a Strat - I ended up with two that I was torn between because they both had different tonal properties that I loved. One handled being "dirty" exceptionally well, whereas the other had a much purer clean tone. I may well buy the other one if I ever have spare funds to do so. xD

    I actually bought my ESP KH2-NTB without playing one - I played an LTD that had a roughly similar setup (but not EMG-81 pickups or a neck-thru body), and decided it was worth the risk given the good tone I got from it. The risk was well worth it (for me) in that outcome, as it was unlikely going to be worse than that LTD. It's among the best as guitars go for me.

    Further thought: don't buy into a name, or a specific make. Relating back to my Strat hunt, I came across a number of American Standards that I felt were no better (or worse in one instance!) than the Mexican Strats.
     
  10. Ending Credits

    Ending Credits Bunned

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    It's horrible going from a Fender to a Gibson though, going to a PRS is bad enough.
     
  11. Guest-23315

    Guest-23315 Guest

    Man up and stretch those hands out.. If the neck isn't the size of a baseball bat you're doing it wrong..

    I went from a Gibson to an Ibanez... now that was horrible.
     
  12. Ending Credits

    Ending Credits Bunned

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    More because the neck is so short, it's like fingering a churchmouse!

    That said, the telecaster is one huge guitar.
     
  13. Guest-23315

    Guest-23315 Guest

    Wait.. wut?

    Really? Mine is teeny-weeny and fast as hell

    [​IMG]

    I'll take any excuse to post my baby :p
     
  14. BentAnat

    BentAnat Software Dev

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    Well, the musical flavour you plan on p[laying kinda does define what you're after. For good undistorted tone, for example, a Fender Strat might be your thing, or a Gibson LP with passive pickups. Or an Ernie Ball with Piezos...
    It boils down to what you want to play, and what qualities you like in a guitar.

    I used to have issues with neck sizes, until I played bass for a while... no more...
     
  15. Quavr

    Quavr Minimodder

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    Think about where you will be playing on the guitar also, being a lead guitarist I find a 24 fret guitar far better since it is much easier to play the higher notes and it tends to have a bigger cutaway so access to them is easy. Also the PRS has a higher scale length, and depending on what sort of music you play you might find this better as it won't go out of tune as easily, which is especially useful if you are drop tuning at all.
     
    Last edited: 29 May 2012
  16. BentAnat

    BentAnat Software Dev

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    Bigger scale length means better tension on strings, which means you can detune lower.
    That being said, there are PLENTY of musos that detune 24.75" axes to C#, which is REASOABLY as low as you'd go... maybe C still... anything lower, and you are in 7-string range...
     
  17. KayinBlack

    KayinBlack Unrepentant Savage

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    Man, I thought i was pedantic about guitars. But then again, I play classical, so I'm of little help to you. That and bass, Marfan's won't let me build p a callus so I stick to them instead of the razor wires of acoustic or electric.

    That said, I'd prefer the PRS. I just generally like the sound better.
     
  18. Guest-23315

    Guest-23315 Guest

    I play in Drop B on a tele.

    Stupid, but hell, I can. :rock:
     
  19. BentAnat

    BentAnat Software Dev

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    hahaha... if I want drop-b, I'll pick up a 7-string... ;)
    but yes, it IS possible with the right strings...
    is that DROP-B or full-B, though?
    full-B would be the strings still tuned in 4ths... drop B would be the bass string tuned to B and the rest tuned to C/C# ost likely (for those that don't speak detuning-lingo)
     
  20. Guest-23315

    Guest-23315 Guest

    B-F♯-B-E-G♯-C♯ but ever so slightly sharper than that, and I'm on .010 - .052 Ernie Ball Top Heavy Bottom Nickles

    I'd love to pick up a 7 string, but I would only ever want an Explorer.. I don't know why, but it just makes sense.. It'd also need an 81-7 and a 60-7
     

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