The Hunt For A New Guitar Is A Pain

After a long time not playing, I’ve picked up the guitar again. I grew up playing, played in high school, played in bands in college. My speed was Angus Young (AC/DC) and Eric Clapton speed. Used to love cranking out Cream’s Crossroads. Faster stuff I could mostly fake it. But, I got canned when I had no intention of “touring” around in Virginia and Maryland, when we weren’t even writing our own stuff. And were pretty much a college party band. I kinda stopped playing after that.

I picked it up again about 12 years ago, but didn’t stick with it that much because I wasn’t practicing, just playing songs, so, not getting really better. I did get a Squier Stratocaster, but, while it has great action (front and back of the neck are great), it has fret buzz. Not a ton, but, it comes through the pickups, which are not that great.

I do have decent acoustic, and, sadly, a really good JB Player Telecaster that has a dead Kahler tremolo ($350 to replace, not happening, and since it is routed, hard to put something else) and something is wrong with the electrics (not the cable input), so, I’m discounting that.

I picked it up again, practicing fingering and scales and chords, rather than just playing songs, and working out much better. I want a new guitar, upwards of $400, but, not finding much. Tried Ibanez and Jackson, do not like the necks, and every one has too much fret buzz. Same with most Epiphone (the low cost Gibson). They had good necks, but, buzz buzz buzz. Didn’t even bother pluging in to hear the pickups. The cheapo SG model wasn’t too bad, but, not really comfortable for sitting on couch. And I’m not paying for one and getting it set up on the hope it works well.

Next up I’ll try some Squier’s (low cost Fender), maybe I can find something. Either that, or save some and get something $500+. Any ideas?

BTW, my first good guitar was like the picture, except it had a custom paintjob in camouflage. Unbelievably great guitar, sounded great, heavy as hell.

Update: went back over to Guitar Center, I think I really like the “Schecter Guitar Research Omen Extreme-6 Electric Guitar.” Plays well, good weight, you can turn a knob and make the humbucker into a single pickup. Going to bring my Rockman Guitar Ace, portable amp for headphones, over and try it out, it gives perfect pure sound, can hear what pickups sound like, if there’s buzz, etc.

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8 Responses to “The Hunt For A New Guitar Is A Pain”

  1. gitarcarver says:

    A Strat is hard to beat. Played one for years and enjoyed it. The Telecaster has different pickups and a different sound, but still a solid feel.

    Was never a Peavey guitar fan, but many people like them.

    I have an Ovation 12 string acoustic / electric that is my go to guitar now. With different effects boxes or effect racks, it will do anything that I want it to and more. (I even played with a multi effects box which attached to the strap that would do whatever I wanted.) Nice thing about an acoustic electric is that you don’t need an amp to be heard and to have fun in your home.

    I played a Rickenbacker for a couple gigs and loved it. Absolutely loved it. They are very pricey but if I had to do it again, I would save for the Rick instead of going for the Strat.

    Check Craig’s list as there are always good deals there. You can get some great deals. (Pawn shops too.) Have the guitar checked by a tech before buying and get the neck, frets, etc “tuned.”

    But you can get Strats for under $500 that are great models.

  2. Hi William,

    Love your website; great job. I’ve been playing and teaching guitar and other instruments for over 40 years. My opinion is that most people spend $500 or less on their guitar because they have to buy an amp, too. The thing is, the quality, intonation and playability of guitars are better in the next higher price range. If you can save up for a $650 to $750 axe you won’t regret it. It’s best to play it and check it out before you buy it; I normally don’t order something like that online or buy it sight unseen. Something like an Ibanez RG 250 Series guitar is very versatile (24 frets, Floyd Rose whammy-bar system, 2 humbucker and 1 single-coil pickups) and cost me about $650 brand new when I bought it 15 years ago.

    Also, if you like music history and nostalgia, check out my website — although it is about ukulele it has lots of free arrangements that include guitar chords and tab. The most popular stuff has been the TV and movie themes and also commercial jingles. If you’re over 40 you’ll appreciate a lot of the content.

    Keep up the good work.

    Michael Monfils
    Green Bay Ukulele Club

  3. taminator013 says:

    Like you, I played in a band back in high school. This was back in the Stone Age of the late sixties into the early seventies. Cars and girls and life in general lead me to give it up, so I sold the old, beat up Strat and amp. Years later I got my midlife crisis. Instead of buying a sports car or getting a mistress I decided that I wanted to start playing again at 42 years old. I just happened to wake up one Saturday morning with the idea that today was the day that I’d find my perfect guitar. Drove to Hollowood Music Store as soon as they opened that day. This place has a giant wall of guitars. I was immediately drawn to a Fender Squire Pro Tone on the wall and just knew that it was the one I wanted all my life. I plugged that baby in and put it through its paces. Sing choirs of angels. It was like heaven. And yes, I tried a number of others, but none even came close to that one. I have trouble playing nowadays with my hands being slightly arthritic, so I gave it to my son-in-law who inherited a sixties Fender Twin Reverb and a couple other guitars from an uncle. My Squire is his favorite………

    Found the exact model and finish on eBay……

  4. GC: A strat is probably what I’m leaning to at this point, even though I have one. Get a better one. Might consider a pre-owned one. I got the amp with the last one. Bought one strat, returned to get the package deal, should have kept the first, because it was great even though around $250.

    Hi, Michael, thanks for the input. I might well think about jumping up into that cost category. I’m playing just casual, but, good sound quality will keep me playing. And I’ll check your site.

    That’s just about exactly the model I’m thinking of, Taminator013. I actually prefer the sound of a Strat to a Les Paul type. Plus, the weight, and easier to just chill with.

  5. Liljeffyatemypuppy says:

    So you’re an Eric Clapton fan are ya?

  6. Doom and Gloom says:

    I stayed at a holiday express inn last night and requested my money back this morning. It didnt teach me a thing about guitars. Therefore I now feel like a box of rocks when it comes to discussing guitars and music.

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