I'm shopping for a new electric but only have about $500 to spend. I'm torn between two options. One option is just to get the best guitar I can for $500 (I'm looking at a PRS SE, Sterling JP50, or Peavey HP Signature). The other option I'm thinking about is getting a guitar in the $300 range (Ibanez ART100, or Schecter Guitar Research Omen 6) and then using the rest of my budget to upgrade the pickups. Should I blow the whole budget on the guitar, or get something cheaper and have money left over to modify it?
Last edited by hcguitar; 02-21-2011 at 03:28 PM.
Urban Hills Church @ Irving, TX
I've heard GREAT things about the quality of the PRS SE from my electric guitar players. I know this sounds ridiculous, but the only reason I haven't gotten one yet is because I don't really like the look of the headstock. (I'm mainly an acoustic player that occasionally plays some electric.)
Buying "used" is the other good idea. If you're patient and do a lot of research, you can get a great deal. I bought a used Taylor acoustic on ebay after I tried it out at GC, researched the seller and chose a seller that offered a money back guaranty if I tried it and wasn't satisfied.
Good luck. Let us know what you end up getting.
I have bought several relatively inexpensive guitars. I always make sure the neck feels right and that the fretting is true. THEN I buy some good pickups and make it sing. Changing out pickups is not that big of a deal.
But I currently play a Yamaha that came with the Seymour Duncan pickups I would chosen anyway - and I got it all for around $500. It is my #1 worship guitar.
I concur on the Yamahas. I have a Yamaha Pacifica 604w (discontinued) that I purchased for $400 CA. Right out of the box it had sperzel locking tuners and a Wilkinson vs100 bridge. One of the best guitars I own. I installed a LR Baggs Xbridge system into it that allows me to get authentic acoustic/electric tones.
With your choices though, I would go with the PRS. The SE may be a budget model but it is well made.
POD X3 Live - Fender American Standard Tele - Fender SRV Strat - Yamaha Pacifica 604w with LR Baggs X-Bridge (ask me about this guitar) - Ibanez AS73 semi hollow - Yamaha FG730s with Fishman Matrix Infinity
To answer the OP if I was limited to your budget I'd go with the upgrading the cheaper guitar. Everything I've heard of the $500 guitars you listed (SE etc.) was "Great guitar after upgrading the electronics." With knew I think anything under $750ish you'll want to modify at least a little so you may as well get something you can afford to modify.