Quality, Playable Versatile Guitar at or Below $1K

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Bordcla, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. Bordcla

    Bordcla Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2019
    Hi,

    I'm a beginner guitarist. I had bought a new Player Series Stratocaster on recommendation that it was pretty much unbeatable value. It is high quality, but I find the action a bit high, the neck a bit narrow (I have large hands), and the single coil sounds are not my favorite. Not a quack guy.

    I'm looking for something highly playable, versatile enough to be at home playing metal (good humbuckers?) and still sounding rich when playing soft chordy jazzy stuff.

    Been looking at an Ibanez Genesis RG550, a PRS SE Custom 24 Floyd, or something like an Ibanez Fireman, even though it seems expensive for a Chinese Ibanez.

    What would be the best value and most playable, versatile among these?

    PRS would be the cheapest at around $750. The RG is around $1K. The Fireman is the same price but MIC, not MIJ like the RG.

    Should I expect good rebates on these with Black Friday coming up? Any other comments or suggestions?
     
  2. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    2,976
    Likes Received:
    2,738
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    china
    so many options these days.

    Although high action is something fixable with a setup...
    and if you don't like the single coil bridge that's fixable on your guitar too...

    I'd suggest a the genesis. or the se Floyd.
     
  3. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

    Messages:
    24,045
    Likes Received:
    4,412
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    London ONT
    Ibanez necks probably wont help in the "feels small" department.

    Go play a les paul and an SG and see how the neck feels to you.

    Most guitars $499 new and up meet your criteria.
     
  4. Promit

    Promit SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,364
    Likes Received:
    143
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2013
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Schecter all day long IMO, but I also have a Les Paul Tribute that ran around $750 that I'm very fond of.
     
  5. gunch

    gunch chungus

    Messages:
    4,662
    Likes Received:
    1,253
    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    Brewster, OH
    Probably would like something with wider string spacing like an Ibanez or PRS SE

    Ibanez RG 521 is going for around 800 bucks rn
     
  6. efiltsohg

    efiltsohg SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    464
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2019
    take your pick of major brand name made in Korea or made in Indonesia guitars

    +1
     
  7. Bordcla

    Bordcla Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2019
    If the guitars I mentioned are no better than any $499 new ones I guess I would be silly to spend more.

    That said, some assistance on deciding which of "any" of those I should check out would be helpful. Surely there are enough differences in sound, feel and playability to not just make any two guitars 100% interchangeable?
     
  8. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

    Messages:
    24,045
    Likes Received:
    4,412
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    London ONT
    You need to play a bunch of guitars with a bunch of different specifications to narrow down what you like. Then we can help with brands and models.

    Body shape: Les paul (single cutaway), stratocaster (double cutaway), telecaster, SG, explorer, superstrat, semi-hollow (comes in most shapes) and hollowbody (similar to acoustic guitars, can be singlecut or doublecut) (prs custom 24/ibanez RG/schecter C-6/etc)

    bridge type: tune-o-matic (TOM), floyd rose, vintage style tremolo, hardtail (similar to vintage trem)

    scale length: 25.5" (most superstrats, commonly called the "Fender" scale as strats and teles are usually 25.5"), 24.75" (Gibson scale), 25" (PRS scale), baritone (26.5+)

    Pickups and configuration: single coil, P90, humbucker and how many of each (ex. HH, HSS, SSS, H/P90, dual P90, single hum, single P90, HSH)

    # frets: 21, 22, 24 (27)

    Neck profile shape: Thin U, Thick U, D, C, soft V - all depicts shoulder type

    Fret size: Medium to extra jumbo (XJ)

    Once you know what specs you like, we can help narrow it down. Yes, you can play any style of music on any guitar. Metal is commonly related to humbuckers in just about any body style.
     
    XPT707FX and Koloss85 like this.
  9. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

    Messages:
    1,537
    Likes Received:
    1,214
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Location:
    Arizona
    With Warmoth you can get custom parts and either assemble or have a luthier assemble for you. They have lot's of different body and neck types and wood types.
     
  10. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,812
    Likes Received:
    816
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    RG570 with EMGs
     
    budda likes this.
  11. Bordcla

    Bordcla Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2019
    Went to a store today. They didn't have any RG550s, but I played a couple Ibanez Prestige guitars with 5-piece necks said to be similar to the Genesis RG's (all of those made in Japan).

    I have to say that felt pretty good. Not sure I would require something so thin/flat in the back, but it was still super playable with very easy and low action. The width and flatness in the front were great. The satin finish on the back felt awesome.

    I tried a PRS SE Custom 24. I like the neck too. Roughly similar width in the front, and a bit rounder in the back. Action a little higher. Probably could be adjusted lower. The gloss finish in the back is not as nice to me as a satin finish, but probably not a showstopper.

    For shits and giggles, the salesman had me try a new Les Paul Standard with the 50s neck. That was my favorite to hold by far, but I would have preferred more width on the board at the top, and a lower action. And there's no way I'm paying this much for a guitar until I am much better and good enough to extensively test several samples to find "mine".

    The sad part was that everything I tried felt better to me than my Strat. :(

    So, at this point, I think I liked the MIJ Prestige Ibanez the best, for playability. Any reason to think a Genesis RG550DX wouldn't be as good? For that kind of money (about US$1100), would there be a better buy?

    It looks like the PRS SE would be the value buy here. Also quite the allrounder. Just not sure it excites me as much.

    Thoughts?

    Should I expect significant Black Friday or year-end rebates on any of these from major retailers? Any tips on how to score a Genesis RG550DX at a better price?
     
  12. skmanga

    skmanga SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    66
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2016
    Location:
    Bridgeport CT
    Schecter Km7 mk2 with a duncan distortion.
    Im selling one for 900 or best offer. Comes with a case.

    Neck is thin but not as thin or flat as ibanez.
    Comfy stuff.
     
  13. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

    Messages:
    24,045
    Likes Received:
    4,412
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    London ONT
    Buy used and save 30% unless you need to buy new.

    RG550 or any SE are going to be fine. They are solid guitars.
     
    danpintos likes this.
  14. MaxAidingAres

    MaxAidingAres SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    118
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Location:
    Reseda, CA
    I’d go with the 550. In my opinion Japanese guitars are built exceptionally well being just a bit better than the prs Korean made, not that they are bad. For what it comes down to is the Ibanez having a better trem, better tuners and better overall craftsmanship. Sure the PRS looks a bit nicer and has a Floyd albeit a Floyd special. The PRS may have better pickups but not by much. Ibanez pickups will be better for metal than the PRS ones though...
     
    Russian Robot likes this.
  15. danpintos

    danpintos SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    44
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2019
    I have to chime in and say buy used as well. If you like Ibanez, try and look for a used Made in Japan (MIJ) RG470/550/570 made in Japan. You can tell because the serial numbers on the headstock start with F. There is a sweet spot of years before Ibanez introduced the Prestige (expensive line). They can be found incredibly cheap used, as in less than $500, and they have exceptional craftsmanship.
     
  16. Spicypickles

    Spicypickles Sweeps & Mops

    Messages:
    2,139
    Likes Received:
    637
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    Absolutely go used, and if you’re into the wide neck thing check out some Jackson’s. I got a very playable USA SL-1 for just over 1k off of reverb. The best part is that you would be learning on a super high quality instrument, and if it doesn’t work out and you want to sell off the gear you should be able to break even, maybe even make a buck or two off it.
     
  17. Bordcla

    Bordcla Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2019
    Not sure how you managed to score a Jackson USA for just over 1k, as all the ones on Reverb are over double that.
     
    I play music likes this.
  18. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    611
    Likes Received:
    315
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2014
    Location:
    Midwestern USA
    Take a look at the used PRS S2 line. I am not into the PRS SE lines. Had an SE. Didn't like it at all.

    I love my PRS S2 Standard 22. They have a US body and assembly in the US. Here's my demo:


    It is undergoing mods right now with a Dimarzio D Activator X set. I will be trying out parallel switching rather than splits. I never liked the split sounds. It will also have premium electronics.

    With all my mods, I still didn't go beyond your budget. Something for you to consider.
     
    InCasinoOut likes this.
  19. Bordcla

    Bordcla Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2019
    Decided to go with a Genesis RG570 from a reputable Ibanez vendor.Had

    tested a similar guitar locally and I was surprised how much easier to play it was compared to my Strat. I expected a subtle difference at best, but it was more like night and day. Very low action, no pressure needed to play notes and chords, basically half the energy needed to play.

    Would have bought that one but was a floor model with a few dents, missing plastic bits and they wouldn't budge on price. I think I'll be satisfied with a better set up guitar for less money!

    Looking forward to receiving it now!
     
  20. Crash Dandicoot

    Crash Dandicoot » Supra-ise!

    Messages:
    779
    Likes Received:
    912
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB
    An older Japan-made Ibanez would suit just about anybody's needs - my nephew has been renting a guitar and learning for around half a year and I opted to get him a '93 SV470 as his 'first' guitar for Christmas. It was hilariously inexpensive and the quality is leaps and bounds over plenty of contemporary options. The neck is thicker than the Wizard profile of that era as well, so it's fairly comfortable for most - not that there's anything uncomfortable about Wizard necks, mind you, I think they're great. Your mileage may vary.
     
    c7spheres likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.