Where do you start when you own NO guitars?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Sammy Sands, May 8, 2008.

  1. Sammy Sands

    Sammy Sands Member

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    I'm probably the only one here with no guitars. I want to play seriously again after taking several years off, and I'm looking for a good quality guitar to inspire me. The trouble is that I like both single-coil and humbucker tones, and I don't know of one guitar being able to cover most of them well....I suppose that's why the majority of you here own several. :)

    I think I'd like to get one quality guitar rather than several cheaper ones at this point. Budget is around $2,000 or so.

    That said, any suggestions for somewhat versatile guitars that make me want to start really playing again?

    Where would you start if you owned nothing?

    Thank you!
     
  2. 67super

    67super Supporting Member

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    I have a Fender American Deluxe Strat with humbucker and single coils that covers a lot of groud for gigging. We within your budget.
     
  3. uberpict

    uberpict Member

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    What type of music do you want to play? Classic rock, country, indie pop, metal, jazz, etc.; each have their own signature amps and guitars. That said you can't go wrong with an American Standard Telecaster and a Rivera amp; which is what I'm working with today. :D IMHO, you're doing the right thing by getting higher end equipment to begin with so take your time, do some homework and make a choice appropriate to what you'll be playing.
     
  4. jhumber

    jhumber Member

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    Great question.....hopefully you'll get some well thought-out responses.

    My 2 cents....

    I have 2 main guitars. One is a Warmoth hollow Strat that I made. The other is a PRS Singlecut trem.

    To this day, the versatility of the Strat continues to amaze me. It has 3 low output single coils, is hardtail, and is made from alder/maple. Despite this, I seem to keep finding areas where it excels.

    So perhaps a guitar which on the face of things shouldn't be able to do it all, can really surprise you if you bond with it enough.

    The PRS is relatively new to the stable, but it has everything the Strat doesn't. Trem, humbuckers (coil-tapped), mahogany body, rosewood neck etc.....I'm finding this guitar a little harder to bond with, although this could be due to the fact that it weighs almost twice what my Strat does!

    So, on the face of things the PRS is a far more versatile guitar, yet if I had to grab one to rush out the door with, it'd be the strat.

    If there's a lesson here in the waffling, it's that what looks good on paper doesn't always equate to a guitar you'll want to play again and again. My best advice would be to go out to a good guitar store, and spend as long as it takes playing as many guitars as you can.

    Good luck with the search - let us know what you end up with!
     
  5. doobiebrother

    doobiebrother Member

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    My first guitar after some time out was a Les Paul, but I'd hankered after one for a while and really wanted the humbucker thing. In your position I'd consider a 339? Humbuckers yes but a very versatile guitar, pretty well put together and inspiring to play.
    Enjoy getting back into it :BEER
     
  6. Blueser

    Blueser Member

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    I always go back to the Strat as the core of my lineup. Add a good Les Paul later, and perhaps a Tele (though I am not a Tele guy), and you can cover just about any musical style.
     
  7. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    If I owned nothing...

    I'd find a nice used PRS. High quality guitars, amazing playability and tone. My favorite model is the McCarty Rosewood, but a standard McCarty would be great too.

    Next choice would be a good American Tele. Can never go wrong with a Tele, IMO. The Tele police will make you get one with 21 frets and the ashtray, 3 saddle bridge... But I'm a fan of the American Standard. I took one and made it perfect for me, with Dimarzio noiseless pickups and Graphtech saddles.
     
  8. Sammy Sands

    Sammy Sands Member

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    Thanks for all of the helpful responses so far!

    To answer some questions, favorite styles include classic rock, funk, blues, and a little jazz. I love vintage tones and tend to gravitate towards reissues, but that is by no means a requirement. I do appreciate classic Strat and LP tones, though. :D

    I've thought of a Tele, but I've never owned one and never really been drawn towards one. Yet, as I've lurked a bit around here, many simply rave about the tones and versatility of a good Tele. I think I'd miss those 2 & 4 position quack tones of a Strat, however. And can you really get a thick humbucker tone from a Tele?

    I know I need to hit the stores and play some guitars, but the last couple I went to I couldn't hear myself play due to all of the other folks testing out gear.
     
  9. JamesHealey

    JamesHealey Member

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    HSS Strat would surely cover 99% of your tonal needs.
     
  10. Deacon

    Deacon Member

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    What about an EBMM Silhouette?

    [​IMG]
     
  11. neil99

    neil99 Member

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    If you have 2K to spend just on guitars, why limit yourself to one. Pick yourself up a nice used american standard strat for 800 or so, and something with humbuckers Les Paulish like a Heritage.
    Not one guitar as you mentioned but neither of these options would be considered "Cheapie" IMO
    Best of both worlds and have a few bucks left to develop a pedal obsession.

    Or just get a Nocaster.

    See you in the Emporium
     
  12. Sammy Sands

    Sammy Sands Member

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    See, here's a perfect example of what I'm talking about. I've heard this before where a Tele can be the most versatile guitar out there, and I just can't see it with just two pickups and three settings.

    Is it really all that?

    I'm going to have to track one down and give it a spin . . . I just wish I was more into the Tele thing.
     
  13. Noah

    Noah Member

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    Get a tele with 22 frets and a humbucker in the bridge position. Problem solved.
     
  14. JPF

    JPF Member

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    Unless you're of the vintage-or-nothing mindset (nothing wrong with that, mind you) you might consider buying a new or used Stratocaster that you really bond with for $1000 or so, and replace the electronics with an EMG DG20 set up. It has a mid boost that gets very, very close to humbucker territory, yet the quack and stratiness isn't lost. Mine is still the most versatile guitar I own. Here's a description of the EMG kit, which is a pre-wired scratchplate/pick guard that you connect by soldering two wires. The guitar and kit should leave you with enough change from your $2000 to buy a second-hand tube amp:

    "Gilmour, Guitars & Gear by Richard Mahon
    Issue #12 - June 2002 David Gilmour Endorsements


    "Around 1985, Gilmour switched from vintage guitars with passive pickups to EMG battery powered active pickups. If you’re looking for a tone from the classic Pink Floyd albums of the 1970’s then a standard Stratocaster will do fine. But if you’re looking for a tone similar to those achieved on the tour for A Momentary Lapse of Reason or the album and tour for The Division Bell then the EMG DG-20 setup could be right for you.

    The EMG DG-20 setup comes complete with three SA single coil pickups, a five-way selector switch, master volume knob, EXG Guitar Expander circuit, and an SPC Presence Control circuit all mounted on a white pearl pickguard. A battery clip with a switching output jack is also included. A minimum amount of soldering (from the pickguard to the output jack) makes it easy to install.

    The combination of tones available in the DG-20 is almost endless. The EXG, located just below the volume knob, acts as a treble/bass boost. What this will do is shape the signal in a “V” on a graphic equalizer. This cuts the mids and raises the treble and bass portions of the signal. With this control set upwards of 6–10, it creates a crisp, clean, tone that you will mainly hear while Gilmour plays clean rhythm parts. “Brain Damage” is an excellent example. Through the main riff of the song, setting the EXG on a high setting through the main riff will give you a clean bright tone. The tone is thinner and cuts through the mix, adding clarity. The song “Signs of Life” is another good example of the EXG at work. Here the EXG is set high, while the SPC is rolled back. In certain circumstances, it is possible to use the EXG to get a Telecaster type of sound. You can use the bridge pickup, set the EXG around 8 and the SPC around 2 and it will give you a somewhat “twangy” Telecaster sound while the addition of the SPC gives the signal a little boost. This works well on a song such as “Run Like Hell.”

    The SPC effectively cuts the treble and bass while raising the mid portion of the signal (an inverted “V” on a graphic equalizer is another example.) It will give a single coil pickup a warm, humbucker-like tone. Keeping the SPC on zero will yield a flat response. As you turn up the tone, you begin to notice the warm, rich tone associated with Gilmour’s recent work. Take the song “Sorrow;” the SPC is on 10 when the opening riff is performed live. The SPC also effectively boosts the signal, which is essential for any lead.

    In essence, the EXG is used to tighten up the tone for clarity and crispness for rhythms while the SPC is boosted to give a thicker tone for lead.

    With the complexity of Gilmour’s Pink Floyd performances, with extensive lighting and effects, the EMG setup eliminates unwanted buzz. The setup also drives the enormous amounts of pedals that Gilmour has at his disposal. This in itself is important, there is no tone loss, or signal degradation. In comparison, the signal with on standard Strat with passive pickups would probably seem flat and in need of a volume adjustment. There is no loss of signal or frequency drop off when the volume is turned down on the EMG set up, where you may get frequencies cut in the standard Strat set up. An excellent example would be the recent solo performances (Meltdown and the January London & Paris shows.) Gilmour used guitars without EMG pickups, the tone was good, but it lacked the punch and presence that you come to expect from a Pink Floyd performance. The Delicate Sound Of Thunder and Pulse live videos and CD releases provide an excellent example of Gilmour’s EMG setup at work."


    Special thanks to John Roscoe for his contributions to the information detailing the EMG DG-20 pickup set."

     
  15. froglord

    froglord Member

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    Couldn't agree more. Try out a Suhr Pro Series.
     
  16. gerryguitar

    gerryguitar Member

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    get a tele reisssue and a good acoustic..... I've played some MIM tele reissues that were fantastic.... $2000 could get you a nice little rig if you're smart about what you buy...
     
  17. JPB2

    JPB2 Member

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    Find a nice Les Paul, install pick-ups that can be coil split (tapped?).
     
  18. Caretaker

    Caretaker Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Get a GOOD Les Paul and work your way back. All kidding aside, the most versatile guitar I own is a mahoghany body/maple top Telecaster with 2 humbuckers that are coil tapped. I always go back to my Les Paul, but that tele does things my Paul and strat just don`t do, as well as what they can do. The body is the same woods as a Paul and the neck is a tele/strat maple/rosewood. Think about getting something a little different.Just a thought.
     
  19. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    I didn't really figure it out until recently but I now view the Tele as somewhat of a cross between a strat and an LP. I don't mean to make a blanket statement but I feel the Tele can do cleans like a strat and also be dialed in to sound very heavy and thick, like an LP. (think Jimmy Page) In my experience, A Tele makes you work hard and are very honest guitars. That might be part of the magic associated with them.

    The thing is, no guitar can cover all the bases IMO. I'd grab up a Tele and fit it with some aftermarket pickups of choice depending on your style and then work from there.

    At any rate, I think every player should have a Tele in the stable!!
     
  20. m@2

    m@2 Member

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    two pickups? nah, just get an esquire. It can be very liberating to have such a simple, yet expressive guitar
     

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