Musicians - Best affordable guitar and bass?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by 63dot, Jun 25, 2010.

?

Best affordable versatile guitar and bass under $600?

  1. Fender Standard Stratocaster or used Highway 1 Stratocaster

    4 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. Gibson Melody Maker

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. PRS Custom 24 SE with trem

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
  4. Ibanez RG, mid-level model with trem

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Fender Standard P-Bass

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
  6. Fender Standard J-Bass

    2 vote(s)
    25.0%
  7. LTD/ESP F-Series bass, mid-level

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Takamine acoustic bass with electronics

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #1
    I have been like many and bought from the common companies in the past like Fender, Gibson, and Ibanez. I do like some more uncommon makes, too.

    I like everything from punk to classic rock to bebop. Pretty much these days I steer away from the Flying Vs, Explorers, and B.C. Rich models with a lot of sharp points. :)

    The guitar that veers from the rest is the Ibanez because it has high gain pickups and a double locking trem so it tends to favor the metal crowd but even with such a trem I wouldn't dive bomb all day long. As for bases, the Takamine is limited in how far I can turn it up but I don't plan on high volume playing anymore these days. So I consider all of these viable, as different as they all are from one another and I haven't decided if my next should be a guitar or bass. I do need the bass more though.
     
  2. Melrose Suspended

    Melrose

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #2
    I'd go for the Gibson, since you don't have a Martin listed. I much, much prefer Martin sound quality - it's warmer and more consistent from guitar to guitar. If you can afford $3.5k, get an Eric Clapton Signature Martin... that guitar will almost play itself it's so nice. I almost took out a second loan to pick one up a few years ago.

    The Gibson Melody Maker should be fine for an acoustic, but the sound is a bit tinny to me compared to Martin or Taylor.

    EDIT: I just realized the Melody Maker is an electric. I confused it with the Songbird or whatever it is. Sry. As you were. :eek: In that case, get an Ibanez JEM7. Very diverse range.
     
  3. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #3
    The JEM 7 and Clapton signature guitars are both very, very nice but way out of my price range. Best price I saw on them on the internet was about $1,600 dollars US for the Eric Clapton strat and $2,500 dollar US for the Steve Vai JEM 7 ... or far more than double my budget. ;)

    An affordable way to get to the JEM 7 sound would be the Ibanez RG (which the JEM is patterned after sans cut out handle) and later put some DiMarzio's in them or more notably in the bridge position (DiMarzio Evolution high gain ceramic pickup for bridge at $60, or three pickup H-S-H set for $170).

    An affordable way to get the Clapton sound would be to buy one of those midranged priced strats (like the Standard or Highway 1) and later put some DiMarzio or Duncan noiseless single coil sets most similar to what Clapton has in his signature strat, unless Fender themselves make a "Clapton" set (which I think should be like the Fender Samarium Cobalt noiseless set for $209). The noiseless single coil pickups give a little more midrange punch and pulls back on the tinniness that a traditional strat can get.

    EDIT: Fender does make an official Eric Clapton pickup set with pickguard, wiring, and knobs for $259 dollars. This would look great on most strats.
     

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  4. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #4
    How about this, for an acoustic, around $429 with case. It's the standard dreadnaught, solid top Seagull S-6 steel string acoustic but with cedar top (pictured second). The sides and back on the one I am looking at are laminated wild cherry.

    The higher end S-6 lines come with a solid spruce top, and more expensive with electronics (pictured first with electronic panel), and the best has the solid back and sides too, which I don't think makes too much of a difference when amplified if I go that route.
     

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  5. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    looking for trash files
    #5
    depends...

    are you playing at home, or is this going out on the road?

    i voted strat, because i have one and it can be very diverse depending on amp/pedal/setup and has been very solid over lots of years and miles.

    if you are going out anywhere with an acoustic, get an ovation. really. can't even remember how many regulars (non-ovation) i went through (destroyed:eek:) before ending up with a ovation. if you are just playing at home, the dreadnought you listed is fine, and should have a decent sound.

    bass, no idea. i play whatever is available, and with a decent amp, they all sound about the same to me... bow, da-da, bow-bow... :)

    best of luck.
     
  6. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #6
    ^^^^^

    just for home use

    I do like Ovations though in any setting. They are so versatile and can get almost any sound with todays DSP technologies out there right now.

    As for electrics, Strats and Teles are great because you don't have the issue of having the headstock break off as in Gibson or mahogany necked guitars which are brittle and also have the truss rod channel usually going through the headstock further weakening them.

    When I used bolt on maple neck guitars, such as Strats, I found them to be nearly indestructible.
     
  7. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    #7
    I have a preference for the Rogue Acoustic Electric AB304--out of their relatively ****** line of bass guitars the AB 304 is actually pretty decent for the price as an acoustic bass goes (great action, decent sustain, really nice rosette) I only wish I never pawned that one. At least I still have my old Washburn Force 4.
     
  8. NeuralControl macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    #8
    It's a bit odd that you have guitars and basses listed in the same poll. You should make two separate polls and see what people think of each instrument individually.

    Also, you make some really questionable statements in your posts. Mahogany is not a brittle wood. I have owned a mahogany neck-through body guitar for eight years now and I have never had a single issue with the neck, truss rod, or woods.

    It is fairly true that the neck/scarf joint on Gibson set neck guitars are prone to breaking if the guitar is dropped or falls from a stand. However, I wouldn't say that is an inherent issue of the guitars. Dropping any wooden instrument will cause some damage.

    Many people will dispute your claim that bolt on guitars are "indestructible" whereas set-necks and neck-throughs are of lesser durability. You really should compare guitars of equal quality and price, than just generalities.
     
  9. Funkatronic macrumors 6502

    Funkatronic

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Location:
    Pune, India
    #9
    Voted for the Standard Strat. Well, cause its the Standard Strat. Plus, if you want to upgrade it a little later, I see you're looking at the Clapton pickups, but I would also recommend the Fender Custom Shop Texas Specials, they sound good
     
  10. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #10
    Mostly I have probably just been lucky with bolt on maple neck guitars being pretty tough. I think, for anybody who takes care of their instrument (which I didn't do in my punk rock days :) ), they should all stand up pretty well whether the neck is maple or mahogany.

    I have to admit the people I know who broke off headstocks of SGs and Les Pauls were careless but under normal use, they usually don't break off. It's usually a common fix in my friend's luthier shop, but the broken headstocks come in from stupid antics. The truss rod channel, as taken from this Gibson photograph, shows where there could be an issue. That's why some models have extra wood (as in using a volute as shown in the other Gibson picture), and certainly why straplocks are a good idea. There are people who don't like the feel of a volute but either way, I like Gibson or Gibson copies (like my LTD Viper) for their warm sound and humbucker growl.

    I dropped a couple of Les Pauls and luckily I didn't break the headstock off. Only in very rare circumstances do I hear of a genuine accident with a solidbody guitar where there is damage as bad as a broken headstock when the person was being careful. The worst case I read about here on Macrumors was when a girl bought a new Gibson and dropped it on her first day and snapped her mahogany neck headstock. Luckily, this is a problem luthiers know how to fix and it doesn't spell the end of a guitar.

    I would have to say the worst thing I did as a drummer, before I played guitar, was hit a cymbal the wrong way and get a crack. Some of those cymbals could be very expensive and there's no fix I know of on that one. I changed the angle of the cymbals after that one and when I play I don't mount them on the flat angle like some drummers do. That whole '80s "show off" thing where people had their cymbals hanging flat coming off the top rafter from a drum cage was ridiculous. I would be cracking them left and right! :)
     

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  11. groovebuster macrumors 65816

    groovebuster

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2002
    Location:
    3rd rock from the sun...
    #11
    A broken headstock is exactly what happened to my Les Paul Custom 15 years ago. During a band practice somebody tripped over the cable and knocked over the guitar stand with the guitar in it. It fell directly on the nut and the headstock broke off...

    Fortunately my favorite luthier fixed it and actually the guitar was better than before. The wood glue made the transition between neck and headstock more rigid (mahogany is very heavy, but also relatively soft). This resulted in a better possible setup and also a more defined sound. I just just loved it even more afterwards. Sometimes you have to break things to get them right by repairing them it seems... ;)

    Today I don't play the Les Paul often anymore... Especially the weight keeps me from playing it on stage anymore. A 12 lbs guitar is just not what you need for a 2 hours gig... But since it was my first really good guitar I will never sell it. Too many memories connected to it...

    groovebuster
     
  12. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #12
    Groovebuster,

    Sorry to hear about your accident. But I am glad to hear all turned out OK.

    When I had my Les Paul Custom, I would be wearing it and the biggest fear was dropping it if the strap fell off the button on the body where it meets the neck on the 15th fret (left strap button for right handed player). All that weight and mass of a Les Paul Custom (or Standard) coming down from the height of a player standing with the weight bearing down on the headstock is scary. This could happen and be worse if the right strap button on the bottom of the body stays on and your guitar not only falls but gets swung towards the floor. Yes, I tried the Yngwie swing the guitar around the body trick more than once. :rolleyes: Hey, I thought it was cool. Also trying to move around like Paul Stanley of Kiss was not good for guitars.

    I had a Les Paul Jr. (what used to be called "The Paul" briefly in the 1970s/80s) and I had a hairline crack from the top of the headstock down past the G string tuner right where the screw held in the tuner. I knew if I dropped it again, that hairline crack could travel all the way down to the nut.

    Luckily, I never dropped that again and this particular guitar (relatively inexpensive at the time) had a walnut neck. Most models in this line use Honduras mahogany though which is more prone to cracking.

    I wish I kept my old Ibanez (Alan Holdsworth), Gibson (LPs), and Fender guitars since I had some really good ones back when I was younger and played a lot more. Right now, I have just used entry to mid level instruments (Ibanez artcore 335 copy and mid-level LTD SG copy) for the last ten years. They play as good as my ancient Gibson Les Paul Jr. and and (then new) Fender American standard strat I used the five years before that and I can't tell the difference onstage or at practice when I pump it through a JCM 800, 900, or 2000 since the amp tends to make all the instruments sound the same at a high volume/distortion regardless of whether it's a strat with single coils or an Ibanez RG with EMGs. I also had many, many other great guitars and I only wish I had some of them for nostalgia.
     

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