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demonx

If You Were To Buy A Guitar...

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I know everyone here is a builder and if you are anything like me simply do not buy guitars anymore as you would just make something similar, however:

If you were not a builder and knowing everything you know now would buy a guitar, what would you get?

For me, I'd probably look at -

DAEMONESS

RAN

Years ago I'd have simply said BC Rich or MCS, but my tastes have changed a fair bit since being influenced by those brands.

Daemoness seems to be building some great looking instruments and every time I see one of the new Ran "Crusher" builds it blows me away.

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Gibson.A real one,not the cheap faded crap meant to entice newbs.The Explorers and Vs are some of my favorite guitars,and they come with the best bridge pickups on a production guitar IMO.

Most importantly,should you ever need to sell they have the easiest resale on Ebay.You rarely lose more than $200...ever.

If they were not an option USA Jacksons are fine guitars..the resale value sucks though.

At one time I was also a BC Rich fan,until I played a few.The most awkward guitars on earth except for the Speed V,and I am not impressed with the neck profile at all.

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Probably that which I would love to build if I had the ability....

Guitar: Ibanez through-neck custom Sabre, antique violin burst

I know that Ibanez don't do custom shop work for the unwashed such as myself but we're not putting bounds on this are we? I'd have a hand-picked piece of old stash Mahogany topped with a cap of flamed Eastern Maple. Fixed hardtail of sorts with piezos and pre-amp. Dual output jacks, one mono electric out one stereo with both signals. 5-piece QS hard Maple neck with 2x Bubinga laminates. Ziricote fingerboard and matched headcap.

Bass: Antique violin burst 5-string Warwick Vampyre, gold hardware, Delano pickups. Mostly stock apart from the electronics.

Yeah, I do have a thing about my "perfect burst". Kind of like a Gibson "honeyburst" but with a darker maroon-ish edge....like my Ibanez Sabre but with an antique fade which I don't think mine will actually achieve....!

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but we're not putting bounds on this are we?

If we are then I'm out cause I cannot afford ****!

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That's exactly why I posted my choices. I have a list of guitars I would love to own or build though. Not all of them are expensive models either. Things like a Frankenstrat, modded Gibson V a la Jim Martin, etc. If I get chance to do more of my own work instead of study I'll pick some of these vanity builds up.

More than anything my number one has to be my Sabre. Not played anything as good as an consistent as it, plus never had an instrument as stable and reliable either. Played hundreds of guitars in shops and still not found one that matches the feel, even other Ibanez instruments across the price range. I doubt modern Prestige models are a patch on the original line when they came out.

If I were to name two instruments I would "collect" on my current budget it would be an 80s Aria Pro II PE-R60/R80 and maybe an Ibanez Roadstar bass, however money is too tight to mention.

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More than anything my number one has to be my Sabre. Not played anything as good as an consistent as it, plus never had an instrument as stable and reliable either. Played hundreds of guitars in shops and still not found one that matches the feel, even other Ibanez instruments across the price range. I doubt modern Prestige models are a patch on the original line when they came out.

No the modern prestige are not as good as the originals.I have played prestige models and My original Japan Saber is hands down better.I just wish it was neck through with a sculpted heel,but even as a square heeled bolt on it is almost perfect.

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Price being no object, it would probably be an acoustic guitar by a master luthier like Somogyi. Or maybe one of David Myka's guitars. I can't ever see myself buying an acoustic guitar from a factory again, but if I were to buy a mass-produced guitar, I know which one I'd pick.

http://www.voxamps.com/us/guitars/virageII/

The Vox Virage II. It gives me GAS.

I also really want one of those Fender Pawn Shop Bass VI's they just came out with. But then I think, why wouldn't I just build that?

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I'd have to agree with demonx and say Daemoness Guitars, Dylan has a fantastic way of making each guitar he builds very personal, beyond the normal customer choosing the woods/specs/design aspects of custom guitars. And the inlays he does...

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A little tip...the old "try it first" rule only applies any more when talking about cheap ass guitars.Or as much anyway...Matter of fact,that rule is the bane of the internet resale market.

That puts you at the mercy of guitar shops you can drive to,and limits your ownership to whatever crap the local guys stock.If you buy a USA Jackson,ESP Japan,or Ibanez Japan (for example),you can feel confident there is an extremely high probability that it will be top quality..and your EQ can dial in a tone that will suit you,and your ears will adapt over time any way.

Buying off Ebay can really be a fun sport,and I have bought many guitars at local shops only to find they were not as cool at home.

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I would say fender and gibson both, the koreans and japanese seem to have a handle on making guitars that feel consistent.

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Japanese all the way. I gave a good friend a MIJ Jackson Professional Rhoads which at the time of build were surpassing US produced Jacksons and were cheaper. Jackson soon put pay to that and withdrew to US-only production....that Japanese factory became Caparison....

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A little tip...the old "try it first" rule only applies any more when talking about cheap ass guitars.Or as much anyway...Matter of fact,that rule is the bane of the internet resale market.

True enough. Even so, having bought guitars in the past that I liked the look of without playing them first, and after using them for a while and finding no faults other than they just didn't feel right from the moment I pulled it out of the packing, I would now much rather try the guitar of my dreams first before purchasing.

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Having said that, (somewhat ironically) my current favourite guitar was one I purchased without playing - an early 90s Artist series PRS Custom 22, which despite its dings, rust and flaking gold plating I love to bits.

I've always had a soft spot for the look of the Ibanez S. When I was a kid I'd spend a lot of time flicking through copies of Guitar World magazines, marvelling at the full-page Ibanez adverts and wishing I could get my hands on some of the instruments featured in them.

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Wes, it's kind of true for Gibson though too, wouldn't you say?

Unfortunately yes.Almost always fretwork though,which can be remedied.Stay away from the faded and special models.

The Gibson example was in my mind the entire time I was posting.But I have never bought or played a "bad" Gibson(Except the faded and special junk)...They just needed a little TLC,which is still bad enough at the prices they ask.

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Japanese all the way. I gave a good friend a MIJ Jackson Professional Rhoads which at the time of build were surpassing US produced Jacksons and were cheaper.

I owned a USA Soloist and a Japanese Soloist at the same time a few years ago...The Japanese one was hands down more well built,but the poplar body was toneless and dead(not Japan's fault,Jackson gave them the specs)...the USA Soloist was a joy to play because it was lighter for some reason(thinner finish maybe?) and the alder body sounded great.

USA Jacksons are like stripped down hot rods...all go and very little show...the Japanese ones are beautiful,but not quite as "in your face" to play...

The first thing that struck me on playing my Japanese Soloist was how similar it was to a Japan RG.

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I just picked up a "previously enjoyed" '74 Gibson SG. Got it for $400 and it definitely needed some work Those old buggers are DEFINITELY worth the trouble and expense to fix. It originally came with mini-humbuckers, someone hogged wood out of the bridge position for a full sized HB, looked like they might have done the job w/ a sharpened spoon. I had to make a custom "hybrid" pickguard and made a new truss rod cover. levelled, crowned and polished the frets and rewired with a 4-wire Dimarzio SD w/ a series/parallel switch. This is an awesome guitar and is now my number one. ANY older Gibson if you can get your hands on one. I originally thought the guitar was one of the original walnuts but after taking hardware off i saw the cherry stain, so its totally faded back to clear mahogany...cooooolll :D

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More often than not the reason they feel bad out of the packaging is because they haven't had the finessing or tweaking a good setup requires. I spent four weeks working in a music shop doing repairs last year and because I was bored I set up something like 30-40 guitars and basses. The shop floor stock turned over from a bunch of box fresh instruments ranging from slow heavy and clunky to reasonable but inconsistent to a comfortable and inviting range that you can pick up, play and feel instantly in connection with. The only instruments there that didn't need setting up were a couple of low-mid Washburn electrics, some customs and the G&Ls. Even the "custom shop" Washburn needed some love.

I guess what I mean to say is that it is a lottery buying factory as to whether the fundamentals are done right in the first place. More often than not they are but still require that special tweak to get 100%. Kind of like Pete tweaking Mr Eddie's 450SEL-6.9?

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I love PRS guitars, so either a P22 or a Santana. Of course, if it were a bass, it would be a Dingwall Prima Artist. There are a couple other custom builders out there that I would love to get one from as well.

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More often than not the reason they feel bad out of the packaging is because they haven't had the finessing or tweaking a good setup requires.

Yup.A little TLC can turn a well built guitar into a world class workhorse.The USA Jackson I had I bought for $1000 brand new at GC because the salesman said it was "made wrong" and the action was high even though they set it as low as they could.I held it up and looked under the Floyd and saw one of the black inserts was standing proud of the black surface of the trem cavity...so I bought it,took it home,removed the trem and the offending insert and cleaned the dust out,then added a bit of wood glue around the insert before pushing it back in(the alder had a soft spot there and wasn't gripping the insert hard enough),then reassembled it and had a brand new Soloist for cheap.

After I did a setup it turned into a great guitar,which I sold and wish now I still had it.

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+1 to everything Wes said. I have owned a ton of 80s- early 90s Ibanez and Jacksons. Early USA Jacksons are worth every penny. Pre 1993 Fujijen Ibanez are my favorite guitar (I have owned over 20 of them).

I am pretty sure I can build anything I want to build at this stage in my life ( see http://guitarlogisti...-destroyer.html and http://guitarlogisti...sun-yellow.html) but there are still some guitars I would spend my cash on.

Ok my list is very specific. It is specific for a reason... I have played these guitars or they are historically significant.

Money no object.

58 Burst (Never be able to find one)

50s Gold Top LP

58 Explorer

58 V

57 ES-175

I am rich

Late 73 Strat in Olympic White (Ritchie Blackmore)

71 Medallion Flying V

83 Korina V, Explorer, Modern reissue

I have some cash to burn...

1978-83 Charvel San Dimas

One of Dave Mustiane's actual King Vs from his collection.

A first run Y2KV

Late 80s RR V

87 JEM777LNG or JEM777DY

Vintage ES175

Vintage LP Standard (80 I guess)

80s Steinberger

Money is not tight but not flowing

Late 80s 6 string Desert Sun Yellow Jem, RG, Frank Gamble (I own a 91 Road Flare Red RG 550 and an 87 RG 560)

Any of the early 80s Ibanez Destroyer II and RocknRoll V (I own an 81 DT-50 Destroyer II like the one I believe Mustaine used early on and an 84 Safari X series) Specifically the DT-300 Adrian Smith used. A DT-400 like the one Dave Murray used...

Any 1981 MIJ Squier. I have owned a MIJ Squier Strat, Tele, and JBass and have kicked myself for selling them.

Any USA BC Rich pre 1982

Money is tight.

Any Fujigen Ibanez (including Roadstars)

Any Japanese Jackson (I currently own a PS6 Kelly and have owned several other models in past)

Matsumoku guitars

Any Arai Pro II U or XX or ZZ (really need to buy one)

Takamine GX100

Top of the line Westone Pantera

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I miss my pre lawsuit, Ibanez signature Artist double cut. Damn that was one fine guitar :) Or my 69 strat. All kidding aside the Ibanez played much better than the Strat.

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