Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

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lawman3966
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Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by lawman3966 »

I'm posting to get advice on the purchase of a mid-range epectric guitar. I was a novice to intermediate player decades ago, but have barely played since. I don't need a PRS, but am unlikely to enjoy the $100 cheapo units. I tried the cheap route (Harley Benton), and the action on the unit I bought hurts my fingers.

Another factor is that I want to avoid is excessive weight. I owned a Les Paul years ago, and want to avoid the back pain I experienced using that instrument.

Various online sources, including youtube videos, have led me to believe that I shouldn't have to part with $2,000 for a Gibson or Fender to get a reasonably playable guitar. However, people who feel otherwise are welcome to chime in.

My biggest priorities are comfortable action, so as to not shred my fingers, sturdy reliable tuning pegs, a small to medium guitar neck width, as noted above, reasonable weight. Great tone is nice, but lower on my priority list than the items mentioned above.

Looking forward to the sage advice I will no doubt receive on this forum.

EDIT: Proposed budget: $500 - $1000.
Last edited by lawman3966 on Fri Jun 18, 2021 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by Sandtrap »

Epiphone semi or full hollow body for versatility and light weight.
Ibanez ArtCore series.
Look for the sound you want in the pickups and design then also fit and weight and if it fits your style of playing.

Also focus on your amp combo to get the sound you want.
j🌺
Last edited by Sandtrap on Fri Jun 18, 2021 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Average Investor
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by Average Investor »

Check out Epihone hollowbodies, excellent build quality at reasonable prices. I have the Casino model and love it, made famous by a certain someone.

https://equipboard.com/pros/john-lennon/epiphone-casino
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Bokonon
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by Bokonon »

If you’re looking for a decent but cheap guitar I would recommend the Agile guitars from Rondo Music. Can’t beat the price and the quality is surprisingly good. Also look at the used market, you can get a great Mexican Stratocaster for a great price on Craigslist. I generally prefer the Fender style Stratocasters and Telecasters but that’s my personal preference. Look up the difference between single coil and humbucker pickups since that changes the sound quite a bit and may influence your decision (most Fenders use single coils and Gibson/ Epiphones tend to use humbuckers).

I wouldn’t be too concerned with the action out of the box. Take the guitar to a luthier or your local guitar shop and ask them for a “setup”. They’ll adjust the action for you and it generally runs $50 or so.
reader79
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by reader79 »

I get nearly all of my gear on Reverb (they were recently acquired by Etsy). It is a very safe and reputable place where most stores and individuals list their gear. If I were you, I would try to get an American Standard Fender Stratocaster. They last forever, are well made, and have a lot of tonal versatility. They're also about half the weight of a Les Paul. A great amp is the Fender Deluxe Tonemaster, which is super lightweight and has sound attenuation for when you need to jam late at night.

Keep on rocking!
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cacophony
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by cacophony »

Guitar preference is very subjective so my recommendation would be to go to some music stores and try a bunch of guitars.
Doctor Rhythm
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by Doctor Rhythm »

lawman3966 wrote: ↑Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:36 pm
My biggest priorities are comfortable action, so as to not shred my fingers, sturdy reliable tuning pegs, a small to medium guitar neck width, as noted above, reasonable weight. Great tone is nice, but lower on my priority list than the items mentioned above.

Looking forward to the sage advice I will no doubt receive on this forum.
If you’ve been out of the market for decades, I think the main things to know are that quality is more uniformly good across brands and that a brand-name is just that — a name that holds emotional resonance for some people who are willing to pay a premium for it. Nothing wrong with that - but don’t confuse it with a better guitar.

I also think you will get more useful advice if you say a bit about your musical tastes and aesthetics/style preference. The description you’ve posted might apply to a mid-priced semi-hollow or a shred-metal-death-axe, but I doubt someone interested in one would consider the other.

Finally, what does mid-priced mean to you? I sort of assumed you meant upper-hundreds to a bit over $1000, but a lot of the recommendations given so far cost less.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by oldcomputerguy »

This topic is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I used to build electric guitars, and know that a level fretboard and good setup are crucial to a good playing guitar. There are only a few brands who I trust to deliver a well set up new guitar and they're not the big guys. At two grand, you can get a really good guitar. You can find guitar weights on the manufacturers websites. Buying a guitar made of a lighter wood or chambered or hollow body can get you the lighter weight you're looking for. As with any guitar, go find one to play first. Some recommendations to look at:

Music Man: They make an Axis supersport semi hollow but even the regular Axis supersport is Basswood, which is light. Their Steve Morse model is made from poplar. Every model in this lineup is completely different from each other.....not just like strat signature models that have different pickups and colors.

PRS: The semi hollow models are fantastic and can do nearly everything. I have never bought one, but have played them. The Korean models will give you the weight you're looking for, but the US models are the ones that really play the best. I've found that because of their price, it pays to find one in a shop and watch over time as they drop that price.

Carvin. Each guitar has a weight listed. Not just the model...each individual guitar. I bought a used one from someone on the Carvin forum and it was a fantastic guitar for 1/3 your budget. I expect you could have it built for you at around two grand. Carvin mostly builds to order and you can spec it as you want. The one I bought was a single cut (les paul copy) in solid lightweight mahogany with mahogany set neck, ebony fingerboard, stainless frets, 2 humbuckers with coil splits by pulling the knobs. This came with locking tuners and was the lower end on the "fancy" scale with no binding and such. I think it originally spec'd out at 7 pounds and maybe $2100 to the original buyer, who returned it to Carvin. This became one of their "Guitars in stock" pieces, which they sell on their site with a return policy that's really good if you don't like the guitar. The next buyer was a metal player who had a dozen Carvin pointy headstock guitars and bought this because of the 7 pound weight.

These are good start places to look. If you find a good tech, they can transform a guitar if they do what I used to do. I've leveled and crowned the frets on every guitar I've bought. Then properly and fully setting up. It makes a difference. Expect to pay $125 to $150 for this to be done. If you want to know how the leveling is done, search for Ron Kirn's "book" on TDPRI. It's where I learned how to do it.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by Sandtrap »

Average Investor wrote: ↑Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:45 pm Check out Epihone hollowbodies, excellent build quality at reasonable prices. I have the Casino model and love it, made famous by a certain someone.

https://equipboard.com/pros/john-lennon/epiphone-casino
+1
This is an amazingly versatile guitar. Also the "Artcore Series" by Ibanez.

My Epiphone Casino has had the pickups changed and the action and neck tuned.
With thicker flat wound strings and the right amp and a tube preamp, there's warm "jazz" sound like butter.
(fingerpick IE: Joe Pass, Marty Knopfler, etc)
Then, with regular strings and gear, the sound can be tweaked up for far more all the way to edgy.
(other styles)

And, very durable and long lived solid construction that has lasted well through the years despite extreme climate changes from moving from state to state.

Price is a bargain compared to adding the name. . . "Les Paul". . .

OP: select your guitar like a tool, the right one for the job you need it for.
IE: 3 chord strumming. . .or George Benson jazz. . .or surf music instrumentals. . .or . rhythm. . or lead licks. . . or . . ?

j :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Fri Jun 18, 2021 7:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by Sandtrap »

OP: also, remember to get a really comfy wide guitar strap. As an electric is usually heavier than an acoustic. Also if you branch out and get a bass guitar as well.

These are great wide straps avail. on Amazon.
Leather.
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B08 ... UTF8&psc=1
Also, get strap locks because. . . shz happens.

Have fun!
j :D
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helwardman
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by helwardman »

In the dim and distant past I owned and played various electric guitars: Epiphone, Yamaha, Ibanez, Dean, no-name-off-brand.
I played semi-professionally in several bands.

The only guitar I own now is an Ibanez Prestige RG series.
Great sound, not too heavy, thin neck, low action, easy to play, stays in tune, comfortable when strapped on.

Ibanez make very good instruments.
GmanJeff
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by GmanJeff »

Action on most major brands should be good, since many manufacturers now use PLEK machines to ensure frets are dressed properly. Tuning machine quality is generally proportional to the cost of an instrument; most mid-priced or better guitars will have good quality hardware.

String gauge will affect how easy to play a guitar feels - .009s will be easier to play than .011s, for example, independent of the instrument itself.

Iconic lighter weight models include Fender's Stratocaster and Telecaster lines, which include models at a wide range of price points.

Much may depend on your tone goals. While you place a low priority on tone over playability, that may be a mistake in the long run, since a guitar which doesn't sounds good to you is not one you're likely to want to play as much. You ought to be able to find a guitar which both feels good to play and which sounds good to your ear, too. Well-known artists tend to be associated with certain makes and models of instrument which help them achieve their signature tones, although amplification and effects choices certainly play a role.

Perhaps the most versatile instrument is the Gibson ES-335, which suits everything from Chuck Berry tunes, to blues, to jazz-flavored material like Steely Dan, and classic rock a la Alvin Lee and Ten Years After. It's available in a slightly smaller version as the ES-356, a model which gets a little closer to the tone of the heavier solid-body Les Paul. Epiphone makes versions of the ES-335 at a lower price point.

https://www.musicradar.com/news/10-of-t ... f-all-time
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by dsb012 »

I think this is a super hard one to provide details on makes/models without knowing more about playing style, musical interests, etc. But as one who owns more than a handful of electrics in what I would call the mid-tier of pricing I over up the following.

In my opinion the best value for your dollar is in the $600-$1000 price range. I'm not saying there aren't great guitars for less than $600 but overall the following brands (and their county of manufacture) will provide a quality instrument in that range:

Fender and it's sub-brands Charvel, Jackson (Mexico), Epiphone (China), PRS SE (Indonesia), ESP (Korea), Ibanez (Japan), Schecter (Korea)

Many of these should be available at a local store to try.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by Mike Scott »

Define the the type of sound/tone you want for yourself and then look within the range of guitars that are sold in that space. There are a lot of great guitars out there and you probably need to play a bunch of different ones to see what you like. Any amps, electronics and effects should all fit together as a package with the guitar.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by lawman3966 »

dsb012 wrote: ↑Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:30 am Fender and it's sub-brands Charvel, Jackson (Mexico), Epiphone (China), PRS SE (Indonesia), ESP (Korea), Ibanez (Japan), Schecter (Korea)
Thanks for your recommendations. Would you include Squier among the recommended Fender sub-brands?
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by TinyElvis »

lawman3966 wrote: ↑Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:36 pm I tried the cheap route (Harley Benton), and the action on the unit I bought hurts my fingers.
Which model? I have a Harley Benton, and I am quite fond of mine.

If the action is too high, you should adjust it or take it to a local luthier for a set-up. The ability to adjust the action and do basic set-up on your instrument is a skill you should learn regardless.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by cacophony »

lawman3966 wrote: ↑Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:10 am
dsb012 wrote: ↑Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:30 am Fender and it's sub-brands Charvel, Jackson (Mexico), Epiphone (China), PRS SE (Indonesia), ESP (Korea), Ibanez (Japan), Schecter (Korea)
Thanks for your recommendations. Would you include Squier among the recommended Fender sub-brands?
I certainly wouldn't think so. Squier is the $200-$400 price range, and there's a noticeable increase in quality when you step up to the ~$600+ player series Stratocaster (Mexican made)
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by leehamster »

You didn't really give us a budget. >$100 and <$2000?

If you have some time to invest watching videos, Phil McNight gives good advice on quality and price, and you can find a good pick that resonates with you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYXiyV212ss
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65moTBLUsyI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0UWNtRswaA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGQqJKsgtPM
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by cjcerny »

I would give an Ibanez S series a try. Very light. Usually very fast and comfy neck. Finding a pro that can do a good setup can make any guitar play a lot better and faster.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by kl7 »

A Gibson SG would be a classic solid body guitar that is surprisingly light, around 6 pounds. One thing to note is that there could be some "neck dive" given that the body is light relative to the neck.

The list price for the Gibson SG Standard Tribute is $1,099, which I think is fair for a made in USA guitar with quality woods, nitrocellulose finish and USA made pickups. Some large online music stores (e.g. Sweetwater) list individual weights for the guitars they sell, so you can pick the lightest one. I found 3 of these SGs between 6lbs 2oz and 6lbs 6oz with a quick search.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by Tattarrattat »

Didn't give a budget, but recommend looking at G&L, another Leo Fender company, with great quality.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by Strummer »

Funny — there was just a thread here about acoustic guitars and now we've got one on electrics. Picking an acoustic is relatively simple: go to a store, try a bunch out, find one that's comfortable to play and has a sound you like, and you're home and dry.

Electrics, on the other hand, offer a ton of choices that don't exist on the acoustic side. Single coil pickups or humbuckers? This is where I'd start because which type of pickups are in the guitar will go a long way in determining how it will sound. From there, you can choose between solid body, semi-hollow, or hollow body, and of course what type of amp you're playing through (solid state? tube? if tube, what kind of power tubes?) and how it's set up (pre-amp, gain, etc.) will also play a key role in shaping your sound. Oh, and then we get into pedals, and by this point we're so far into the weeds that you may be rethinking your whole decision to play guitar in the first place.

I don't have a lot to add regarding specific brands — that's been covered here already — but I will say that the kind of music you want to play should be part of your consideration about what guitar to choose. Some genres really lend themselves to that Strat sound (single coil), and others require a beefier, Les Paul sound (humbuckers). If you think of a guitar as a tool you use to play music, then it's a matter of picking the right tool for the job.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by Tim_in_GA »

Mexican made Fenders are pretty good quality. And it gives you a good platform for upgrading pickups in the future.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by CommitmentDevice »

Tim_in_GA wrote: ↑Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:19 pm Mexican made Fenders are pretty good quality. And it gives you a good platform for upgrading pickups in the future.
+1
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by dsb012 »

lawman3966 wrote: ↑Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:10 am
dsb012 wrote: ↑Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:30 am Fender and it's sub-brands Charvel, Jackson (Mexico), Epiphone (China), PRS SE (Indonesia), ESP (Korea), Ibanez (Japan), Schecter (Korea)
Thanks for your recommendations. Would you include Squier among the recommended Fender sub-brands?
I've had a couple of Squier's and if that's the price range you want to stay in then those are a good value as well, as long as you are looking at the upper end of Squier's offerings (~$430). If you want to be in that area look at the lower end G&Ls as well.

And I'll refine my initial post, most of what I recommended are going to be $800+. The Fenders seem to come in around $750 and the Epiphones start a bit less but the rest are going to mid-800s up.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by whodidntante »

I second the prior poster. I would go with a player series, which is a decent Mexican strat. The quality is noticeably not high-end, but you won't regret it, either. You can get one new for ~$500 if you're patient. Monitor slickdeals. Or less than 500 used, at least through Craigslist or Facebook marketplace. Personally, I would just go new because you aren't buying a great guitar anyway. These are often used for gigs and practice and may get beaten up pretty quickly. Although plenty of people buy a guitar and then don't use it. It could still be damaged by improper storage, however.

I prefer a Telecaster or a Jaguar, and I do not own a strat. I think Les Pauls are overrated. But the strat, though not my favorite, is popular for a reason.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by diabelli »

I would absolutely get a Mexican-built Fender stratocaster.
Fender Player series is excellent playability in my opinion and high quality for price.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by cacophony »

The Fender (Player Series) Strat is a great choice. I ended up buying one after comparing it to pretty much everything in the $300-$800 range. From what I hear some of the hardware is shared with the American Strat, and I could never really tell much difference between the two in terms of playability.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by El Greco »

As many have stated, get your hands on a Mexican Strat. I know several really good players and this is usually their choice for a gigging guitar.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by lawman3966 »

whodidntante wrote: ↑Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:55 pm I prefer a Telecaster or a Jaguar, and I do not own a strat. I think Les Pauls are overrated. But the strat, though not my favorite, is popular for a reason.
Thanks. Does your comment about the telecaster mean that the positive comments about the Mexican Players series guitars in this thread apply equally to Players series Telecasters?

Separately, I'm interested in your reasons for preferring telecasters to stratocasters.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by patrick013 »

Epiphone used to be a cheap Gibson just made out of domestic wood.

Worth a look.

Fenders are a heavier guitar than Epiphone but popular anyway.

So see what you are more comfortable playing.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by whodidntante »

lawman3966 wrote: ↑Fri Jun 18, 2021 5:44 pm
whodidntante wrote: ↑Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:55 pm I prefer a Telecaster or a Jaguar, and I do not own a strat. I think Les Pauls are overrated. But the strat, though not my favorite, is popular for a reason.
Thanks. Does your comment about the telecaster mean that the positive comments about the Mexican Players series guitars in this thread apply equally to Players series Telecasters?

Separately, I'm interested in your reasons for preferring telecasters to stratocasters.
It's entirely subjective. I prefer the styling, feel, and sound of the telecaster. I can play the same music on a strat, but it just seems to pop better on a tele. That's why I've never brought a strat home. Yes, a Mexican tele is on par with a Mexican stat. Good enough that you won't regret it, but not great. Worth a spin if you've never played one.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by LinearRange »

Over time I've owned Made in Mexico (MIM) Fenders, Chinese Squiers, a Gibson ES-335 and a Gibson-like Les Paul Special. I sold off most of them and mainly play a MIM Fender Telecaster that I modded to make it a three pickup setup like a Stratocaster.

You have a ton of good choices in your price range. Pick something that you find visually appealing and has a neck that feels good to you (thick/thin neck, flat/rounded fretboard radius). Don't get hung up trying to find the perfect guitar. Assume your preferences will change over time as you have more experience.

I agree with the others that say to get a MIM Stratocaster. The three pickup configuration is versatile. They are comfortable to play. They are easy to work on and easy to get parts for. If the neck is damaged you can just bolt on a new one (unlike a Gibson). If you want to change the looks you can put on a different pick guard (harder to do for the more obscure brands). It is easy to experiment with different pickups. Plus Fenders in that price range are easy to sell when you want to upgrade or get a different guitar.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by scissorframe »

Many great responses in here already, but yeah going to try out several guitars and seeing what feels best to you ideally with your amp is the best way to find the guitar.

For example I knew I liked the tone range of a strat the most after playing it and several others side by side in my amp on typical settings. Then I played a squire, schecter, MIM fender and a fender american professional ii side by side. The American stood out and fit in my max budget so that’s what I went with, no regrets!
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by Armani »

Feel has a lot to do with the right guitar for you. For example, I'm a stratocaster guy. Especially hardtails. They help me get the sound I am seeking. I like Les Pauls, but they aren't balanced weight-wise. They're heavy and off-kilter, but sound amazing.
If you like strats, I'd go with a nice Mexican strat. They are every bit as good as the American make for much less money. I know professionals who use the Mexican strats. They feel no need to spend extra and these are people who literally make their living playing guitar.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by Slacker »

Clear up a half day and head over to a guitar center or equivalent.

I'm partial to Ibanez and USA Jacksons, but I have no idea if those are the guitars for you (well the USA Jackson is probably out of your price range anyway).

I also thought Les Paul's are way too heavy. Fender stratocaster is just not the sound for me though I do prefer the strat body style. Even though I recognize that fenders are great guitars... Same thing with the sound of a telecaster, you really need to play a few guitars for several hours. Maybe try a few different amps with each guitar too.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by Armani »

Slacker wrote: ↑Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:36 pm Clear up a half day and head over to a guitar center or equivalent.

I'm partial to Ibanez and USA Jacksons, but I have no idea if those are the guitars for you (well the USA Jackson is probably out of your price range anyway).

I also thought Les Paul's are way too heavy. Fender stratocaster is just not the sound for me though I do prefer the strat body style. Even though I recognize that fenders are great guitars... Same thing with the sound of a telecaster, you really need to play a few guitars for several hours. Maybe try a few different amps with each guitar too.
I should add, I've played around on some very nice Epiphone Les Pauls. This is the best advice, go to the store, play everything until you find "the one."
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by Lucien786 »

I've done extensive guitar shopping lately. You didn't say what type of guitar style you want, or anything about preferences. Single coil versus humbucker is a pretty big difference, and you won't necessarily be able to get the same sounds out of both.

That all said, I recommend you get an American made Fender Stratocaster. I think the Strat is probably the single greatest deal in all of electric guitars. It's extremely versatile, utterly classic, and wildly affordable. There's almost no point in paying much more for a "fancy" Strat; there's not really such a thing. There are always vintage models, and custom models, blah blah blah, but there's no point in buying that kind of stuff for the average player.

You can get a used American Strat for less than $1000 online. The fact that you didn't really express any preferences on the guitar makes the Strat recommendation stronger, because it's the best deal and really versatile. If you think more about whether you want single coils or humbuckers, you can get a Strat equipped with humbuckers too.

Enjoy!

Bogleheads recommendation threads are always really funny. A lot of really brainy, completely inconsistent suggestions that basically don't come together or resolve in any coherent way.
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by Sam Clemens »

PRS SE - you can find these used for $500-$600. Check reverb.com. I have one and it plays as well as my buddy's Les Paul and stays in tune better.
Also G&L guitars. Excellent strat and tell type guitars that are better than Fender's for the price (IMO).
Slacker
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 8:40 am

Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by Slacker »

Lucien786 wrote: ↑Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:47 pm ...
Bogleheads recommendation threads are always really funny. A lot of really brainy, completely inconsistent suggestions that basically don't come together or resolve in any coherent way.
Agreed. Other than Fender strat, the recommendations have been wildly varied.

It's be cautious about getting used guitars unless you are very familiar with guitars. Picked up one many years ago and never could get the action and intonation the way it should be no matter how much I fiddled with it. Very much annoyed me to have note to now tuning between strings okay, but cord running off or vice versa. Also, those frets can get really worn down by aggressive players who do a lot of string bends or excessive vibrato.
eddot98
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Location: The Berkshires

Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by eddot98 »

Lucien786 wrote: ↑Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:47 pm I've done extensive guitar shopping lately. You didn't say what type of guitar style you want, or anything about preferences. Single coil versus humbucker is a pretty big difference, and you won't necessarily be able to get the same sounds out of both.

That all said, I recommend you get an American made Fender Stratocaster. I think the Strat is probably the single greatest deal in all of electric guitars. It's extremely versatile, utterly classic, and wildly affordable. There's almost no point in paying much more for a "fancy" Strat; there's not really such a thing. There are always vintage models, and custom models, blah blah blah, but there's no point in buying that kind of stuff for the average player.

You can get a used American Strat for less than $1000 online. The fact that you didn't really express any preferences on the guitar makes the Strat recommendation stronger, because it's the best deal and really versatile. If you think more about whether you want single coils or humbuckers, you can get a Strat equipped with humbuckers too.

Enjoy!

Bogleheads recommendation threads are always really funny. A lot of really brainy, completely inconsistent suggestions that basically don't come together or resolve in any coherent way.
I kind of disagree with your last statement as, after reading the whole thread, it appears to me that the MIM Strat emerged as the most recommended guitar for value and playability. I do agree that the thread was entertaining. I’m no expert in playing guitar, but I’ve done a lot of listening and I know that I have heard and seen a lot of great sounding Strats, both in local bands and in popular bands. Jeff Beck is currently playing a Strat, probably a custom made, heavily modded Strat (he has switched to a left handed head stock, it supposedly makes string bending easier) with loads of amplification mods. I only mention Jeff because I have seen him several times in the past few years and he can play a whole 90+ minute show with the same guitar that he never has to adjust the tuning, even though he is constantly using the whammy bar and bending strings.

FWIW, this MIM Strat was $519 a week or two ago and it goes on and off sale frequently (it’s now $650):

https://www.adorama.com/fe0144570002.ht ... flaid62905
radiokurt
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Re: Guidance for Mid-Price Electric Guitar

Post by radiokurt »

I own a custom built strat, tele and LP. They are all great guitars. I just got a PRS SE and it can absolutely hold its own against any of them. I resisted PRS because I didn't love the shape but it is super playable with great tone.
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