Guitar shopping time

Discussion in 'Guitar Gear Talk Forum' started by ultrabot90, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    I'm finally close enough, in all aspects, in buying an electric. This'll be my first, and I want it to fricking last atleast 5 years (or so). The rundown -

    1. What do I play - Classical, and interested in playing Opeth, Joe Satriani, Kamelot, old rock/blues rock and jazz. Yup, all of that. So that'll require...
    2. SSH configuration. Edit : Or will HH do the job? Maybe after future pickup replacements? I also have a processor, and plan on getting a better one next.
    3. Alder or basswood (no agathis -.-)
    4. 22/24 frets, 21 is ew. Bolt-on neck. (too insecure with the other types breaking)
    5. No tremolo. Unless it's good, I'd rather use a whammy pedal. Otherwise, string through/tune-o-matic etc.
    6. I'm a bit partial to [strike]Les Paul designs and[/strike] quilt/flame/natural finish guitars, as far as looks go. Edit : But it doesn't really matter if I get a good playing+sounding one which is better than the good looking ones.
    7. Budget - 25k or under.

    Earlier I was fixated on an Epiphone Les Paul Standard (but it skates over a few of my requirements, plus it's not readily available in India - no one sells them, I think). Now I dunno what to buy. I went to the shop today, and the owner recommended
    -Ibanez GRG220/270
    -ESP M 100 (but it's HH, and agathis)
    -ESP Viper series (why is nearly every ESP I see made of agathis?)
    Also, he advised against Yamaha (Pacifica 112) and Cort when I asked 'bout 'em.

    I also tried out the following
    -Greg Bennett Torino TR 3/TR
    -ESP H 101FM (this is the one, I think)

    Also in my mind is the Greg Bennett Avion AV-6...heard a lot about them, good wood too.

    I know I'm supposed to play to find out, but I'd like to check out 3-4 instruments of models recommended to me...this is gonna be a big, like megabig, thing...failure is not an option! :shock:
  2. angel_of_sin

    angel_of_sin bassist.....

    The Torino rocks..........i was in love with that guitar for quite some time when my friend bought it....the only fault keeping your requirements in mind is that it's shaped like an SG.........but it wasn't available when i had to buy the Avion AV3 though the AV6 is much better.............
  3. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    'Lo sin!
    The one Torino I played was pretty good, and now that I think of it, I don't really care about LP shape as much as a natural/flame/quilt finish. Even then, if you got a great playing and sounding guitar...then looks be damned.

    The AV6 and Torino are both in my checklist, but I'd need to know if I really need that HSS setup for the styles I intend to play*...and can set necks never be repaired**?! -.-'

    *In conjunction with a Digitech RP300A
    **In India, in a reliable manner?
  4. nandac

    nandac New Member

    a les paul normally has a mahogany back with a maple top. each wood compliments the other in producing the lp tone. so if you want to go beyond mere looks, you got to consider this.
  5. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    Hey nandac, thanks for replying.

    About the woods, the AV6 and Torino 3/TR both have mahogany back with maple top...I'd buy either of them, the only thing I need to know before buying is...
    -Can a humbucker come close to sounding like a single-coil with a processor (Digitech RP500A)
    -If a set neck breaks, can it really not be repaired? I want my guitar to last me a long while, can't have it break down (beyond repair) before like 4-5 years.
  6. angel_of_sin

    angel_of_sin bassist.....

    that depends if you are gonna be head banging hell of a lot..........keep in mind set necks combined with archtop increase the sustain by atleast 20%.............. i h've never had a problem with my AV3 .....But yes setnecks can be repaired............And if you take really good care of your guitar the chance of it's neck breaking is one in a thousand................

    Guitars don't effect your style of playing as much as the processors and amplifiers do..........
  7. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    Well, that clears it up. I'll post with a pic when I buy it. ^^
    And it's the processor or amplifier that I'm upgrading next. :)

    Thanks guys! :rock:
  8. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone New Member

    The Torino seems decent. Only it says mahogany in the description but alder in the specs.

    To get a single coil sound you can install a push-pull put for coil split. Or a coil tap, which will put the humbucker in parallel, a somewhat single coil sound albeit with hum cancelling.

    To take full advantage of your setup I suggest you invest in a good amp like the Vox ACTV4H or whatever it is, rather than buy another processor. I think the X3 is more expensive than this amp, right?
  9. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles


    Is coil split=coil tap? Sweet, I didn't know that can be installed, I thought it was a factory fitted thing.

    I'll see how the current processor stands up to the AV6/Torino (so far I've only experimented on a friends' crappy BC rich ASM), if I can get the tones I need, new amp. If not, new processor. That's my plan. But here on IGT, opinion is divided on whether to upgrade amps, or just duke it on a processor and let the (gig) PA handle the rest...
  10. angel_of_sin

    angel_of_sin bassist.....

    check out EMG 89.............and if you come to know of the price in Delhi please tell me..........i wanted to get new pickups for my Av3.................

    though it's an active pickup.........i dunno if you would like it...........
  11. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

  12. angel_of_sin

    angel_of_sin bassist.....

    the margins on bajaao and guitar shops are different.............
  13. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone New Member

    Coil split is just that. The coils are split and output is taken from one, giving you a single coil.

    Coil tapping is basically putting the humbucker's coils in parallel rather than series, it reduces the output, makes the sound slightly twangier like a single coil but retains the hum cancelling advantage.

    Guitarists are widely divided over this preference, some want the real single coil sound while some can't take the noise at higher gain levels.

    Active EMG's are going to give you as much variety as a ENGL Fireball. They are pre-amped and hence hotter than even Bareknuckle Warpigs and are meant for one thing - to push amps into higher gain levels. Try using a guitar with active pickups through a tube amp emulator and see at what level you'll be able to achieve a clean sound that you can play Wish You Were Here with. Through a solid state though, clean is clean, but only technically.

    If you're planning to play through any amp it should at least do a little justice to your guitar. A 10-15W is good for bedroom practice, but even then I personally don't like Marshall. You'll want at least a 10" speaker for band practice so a 30W amp would be needed, those being the smallest with 10" speakers.

    At the end of the day though, a digital processor is going to sound just like a digital processor. Especially if you don't take the time to sit down with it and tweak it. Just buying a better processor isn't going to magically take your sound to "the next level".
  14. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    I do tweak my processor loads. Only, so far it was a friends' guitar, so I didnt (and couldnt) go into extremely detailed patch mods. Which changes when my own electric comes...;)
  15. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone New Member

    An ENGL Fireball is a high gain amp.

    I mean that active pickups are pretty high output and you probably won't be able to use them well for low gain stuff. Their cleans are also pretty thin.

    That amp will be plenty loud, but I think you'll want to scrap the Digitech in front of that amp. If you're getting a tube amp then the next investment will be better spent on stompboxes. One thing to consider though (though it's still an awesome buy and you should probably go for it) - you may not hit the sweet spot of that amp at reasonable bedroom volumes :p
  16. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    In that case...What would you suggest? What pickups...and is it better to upgrade (said) pickups, amp (Vox AC4TV/Be3 Solution 18 live) or processor/pedals (POD X3/individual stomp boxes) first?

    (The interval between the upgrades will be some pretty long months, though. Financial constraints.)
  17. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone New Member

    Personally I feel you're lacking in the amp department. The Duncan Designed pickups are not bad by any means. Your RP300 will be a bit on the useless side with a tube amp though.

    Do you gig live often? If so then you will need to consider either a gig-worth MFX pedal or a DI box for your amp. It's your choice entirely, it depends on how much versatility you want and how fast you want it.
  18. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    It'll be a few (probably 6 at minimum) months before I buy a tube amp, if I do buy it

    I don't gig much as of now, but expect that to shoot up a lot when I get the electric...How does a DI box help? Wikipedia article = too complex. Which one is the more versatile and fast option?
  19. thehundredthone

    thehundredthone New Member

    A DI box brings your instrument levels to line levels. Basically it gives the sound man something much easier to work with. Instruments are generally HiZ meaning high impedance. Impedance is a concept similar to resistance. Hence plugging guitar directly into the mixer usually = noise or silence. Anyway, what the DI box does is, it converts this HiZ output from your processor's output or amp's speaker out (both 1/4" jack) to a LoZ XLR output, to be connected to a mixer. You'll need this if your amp doesn't have a line out (which AFAIK most tube amps don't) and if you can't mic your amp. But, this is something that is only really required when you gig regularly.

    The basic concept is given here

    Now as far as versatility is concerned, right off the bat, obviously the processor is going to give you versatility. This is not to say that the tube amp cannot. But effects like distortion and modulation are all there on the processor and you can go through various presets. I guess the choice would be based on whether you need a rig that can give you that versatility on stage; and how much patience you have. Because if you're going to need a lot of different tones in one gig then it would make more sense to buy a good processor. However if you're going to have a single tone of your liking for each kind of sound, meaning your own metal, rock, blues, jazz, etc. tone then a you can really find some great sounds with a tube amp and a few pedals.

    GAS can strike hard when you have the budget. You shouldn't be too disappointed either way. It'll help to be realistic about your budget and goals.
  20. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    Lol, GAS...But, hey, thanks for that great site. It's really useful! (home studio info)

    I think the current proc and amp could last me till I'm ready and experienced enough to buy the next thing (I could wish for a better wah, a harmonizer and an individual control over wah and whammy pedal, but that's for later, I guess). I need to sit down with a guitar of my own and realize the processor's strengths and weakness before deciding to upgrade. Amp and proc upgrades for now = purely speculative. Thanks for all your help, I'll update after the buy (prolly a week, can't wait!). :rock:

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