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Suggestions for a good all-purpose guitar?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Nfp01, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. Now, I'm not huge on what-should-I-buy threads, but when it comes to guitar, I'm clueless.

    The Squier Strat's starting to fall apart after seeing many owners, myself being the latest of them. Both straplocks ripped out, the knobs are falling off, tuners rattle, and it generally refuses to stay in tune at all anymore - don't touch that trem. Or whatever it's called, I wouldn't know.

    In school, the band director has decided that with our two guitarists soon to be departing at the end of the year, I (finally) can put down my trumpet and play a stringed intrument. And since we already have a bassist, I get the guitar. The guitar that's at school right now - a 60-something reissue MIM Strat, sounds like genuine crap. No one can coax a decent tone out of it.

    And whoamygod, we're gonna play some Trans-Siberian Orchestra stuff. It's like a dream come true.

    Thus my current situation: I need a guitar. I'm looking at the $400 range, give or take a little since I'll have a summer job. Requirements are 22 frets (at least) and...uh, not pointy, please. Kinda hurts to sit down with those things. I honestly don't know what else to look for...I've heard the locking tremolos are a pain, so I'd probably rather not get one of those. I've been looking at getting something from Rondo, considering the good things said about the Agile Les Paul copies. I'm liking the looks of the rootbeer colored bodies and the ebony fretboards.

    Also, if someone could suggest a good pedal or two, I'd greatly appreciate it. I like effects a lot; I play experimental and ambient stuff on solo bass (Shameless plug: look me up on myspace. www.myspace.com/fearofpancakes). In this case, though, I don't think I'll be needing the horrid amounts of delay and reverb or wah pedals I use there. I currently have a Digitech RP100, but I'm not too fond of half the distortions on it. I think I'd prefer overdrive...I'm sure everyone's familiar with the cranked Marshall half-stack sound. That's the effect I'd like to achieve, preferrably without having to shell out another $600 on a half stack. I'll be playing lead parts like what's on TSO's Christmas Canon Rock and Carol of the Bells (hah, not that I can actually cleanly play those yet...)

    I'll be playing a lot of other stuff with it, too, though, so it can't just be a metal guitar. We do jazz, improv over blues stuff, and have recently gotten into funk with The Chicken (one song I do get to play bass on ^_^).

    Any help is appreciated - I want to have as much input as possible before I start to shop around. I can't get to music stores very often, and even then only for an hour or so at a time, so I need to make that time as effective as I can.

  2. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    The Strat is the best all around guitar. You can get a MIM strat for $400 pretty easily and it's a good, new guitar. If you don't like strats, another good guitar with Seymour Duncan designed humbucking pickups and a comfortable body is a Schecter Diamond series elite (made in Korea, but good) -around $400.00 on eBay. The most popular overdrive pedal is an Ibanez tube screamer -you'd like that I'm sure.

  3. Look at Yamaha or Ibanez. I have a Yamaha Bass that I bought new in 1988.I still play it as my main bass. I bought a MIM Fender Jazz in 2000 and I recently sold the Jazz to buy a new amp and I can honestly tell you the Yamaha was better made and better sounding then the Jazz. I also own a Yamaha acoustic guitar and I get alot of compliments about how it plays.
    I went to musicians friend and these might be to your liking.
    Yamaha AES 420 $396.99 (Les Paul Like)
    Yamaha RGX A2 $499.99 (Strat Like)
    Ibanez SA 260FMAMB $449.99 ( Sort of Strat Like)
    Ibanez SZ 320 $434.98 ( Sort of Strat Like)
    I agree with a comment posted earlier a Strat or Strat copy will give you more versatility.
    Also you might want to check out second hand or e-bay and if you can try before you buy. And spend the most you can to get the best possible instument I would try to make it over the $500 hump.
  4. CrazyArcher


    Aug 5, 2004
    I don't think if you're into the style, but I have to advise hollow-body Ibanez Artcore. It's the most versatile guitar I've ever seen. It suits anything from jazz to extreme forms of metal.
    My friend has this: http://www.ibanez.com/guitars/guitar.asp?model=AFS75T
    It's not expensive at all. I believe you can get it for $400 in the US.
  5. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    +1 on going for a hollow body. I just got a Tanglewood semi acoustic for recording at home, I can get a huge range of sounds out of it in conjunction with my bass V-Amp pro. Versatility was my main requirement, as I'm only ever going to have the one guitar, and it does everything I need for my home recording. I'm happy.
  6. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Go with an Ibanez. The Artcores are a good deal for the money, and play and sound pretty decent.
    Get a painted rather than finished Ibby, and you have money left over for a Rat pedal, which may suit someone playing Trans-Siberian Orchestra material better than the low-key tube screamer.
    I love my Ibanez S series, and lots of jazz and metal players do, too, but I've never tried one of the cheaper S models. Your mileage may vary.
  7. LarryO


    Apr 4, 2004
    IMHO the most vesitle guitars are strats and Jacksons. I love the look and sound of les pauls and sgs but they are so uncomfortable to me. I currently use a california strat and love it

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