Good entry-level electric guitar?

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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:07 am
  • I need another copy of Rocksmith, was pretty fun actually. I found that is got my fingers moving, you learn to flow with the song, very cool and fun!

    But it along with my old xbox got stolen!! :?
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:53 pm
  • Loving this thread as well. I too, want to pick up an axe again. I was self taught and messed around with a guitar for several years. I never really advanced my playing but I had fun trying to learn songs from Guitar World's tabs. Now with this new found Rock Smith I'm wanting to give it another shot. Had a pawn shop hollow body electric with a radio shack amp and a Samick acoustic that was given as a gift. I love guitars. The look, the shape etc. Each and everyone is like its own piece of art.

    None the less, I was looking at an Epiphone Dot Studio. From the reviews I've read from various sites, it seems to be a good start up semi hollow body. Blues has been a genre I've always wanted to learn to play.

    Insight/opinions from the guitar heads here about the Epiphone Dot Studio?
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:16 am
  • Don't know much about this Epi-Dot...but the original, the Gibson ES-335 Dot-neck, is as fine a guitar as one could ask for. Especially for blues, rockabilly etc. It's a rather large bodied guitar but plays comfortably, standing or seated.

    You would likely want to tear everything off, and out, then start over using quality components. The tuners for sure. ...100% certain they will be crap. You will hate life if you don't replace them instantly.

    These are assembly line guitars but I imagine some are better than others. The inspector, likely some disgruntled fat chick known at the factory as Norma #116. And just like with Norma...anything can happen. If you find one you like...that's all that matters. Good luck and have fun.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:01 am
  • HawkWow wrote:Don't know much about this Epi-Dot...but the original, the Gibson ES-335 Dot-neck, is as fine a guitar as one could ask for. Especially for blues, rockabilly etc. It's a rather large bodied guitar but plays comfortably, standing or seated.

    You would likely want to tear everything off, and out, then start over using quality components. The tuners for sure. ...100% certain they will be crap. You will hate life if you don't replace them instantly.

    These are assembly line guitars but I imagine some are better than others. The inspector, likely some disgruntled fat chick known at the factory as Norma #116. And just like with Norma...anything can happen. If you find one you like...that's all that matters. Good luck and have fun.


    Funny, you are correct about the tuners. Some of the reviews I read said the same thing about replacing them. Also, talks about replacing the pick-ups was discussed. Some seem to be happy with the pick-ups it comes with while others say to switch them out. For what I want it for, I believe the standard set-up would suffice for now.
    Believe me, I'm a research fiend when it comes to spending my money on a product. I want to know as much about an item before I even get it.

    http://www.epiphone.com/News/Features/News/2005/Guitar-Player-Magazine-Reviews-The-Epiphone-Dot-St.aspx

    Here's a review video if you wanna take a look.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:27 pm
  • I am astonished by the low quality tuners some companies to continue to install on their guitars, GH. Frustrating for beginners, infuriating for the more experienced. I prefer the Schaller M6 (locking) tuners, under $100, but some may prefer the Grovers, etc. I don't consider myself an expert on such things, but we do have experts in this thread. I'd put their opinions above mine (just tryin' to help).

    The pick-ups? You know, you may be fine with the stock ones. As a beginner, as long as they don't buzz and stuff, you may not feel compelled to upgrade. I'm a guy that has his head up his ass about stereo equipment, guitars etc. I probably don't even actually hear the subtle differences someone like Sad Happy (etc) would hear, but I always feel like I have to have everything as close to perfect as possible. I don't wish this on anyone.

    IMO...grab the guitar and if you like the action, enjoy playing it and the pick-ups are putting out acceptable sound, I'd buy it and replace the tuners. A great thing about this guitar is you will get enough sound out of it's F-holes to not always have to plug it in to play it.

    I'm sure someone here has something to add (or subtract from) to what I'm saying, so I will shut up and hope they do so. Aloha.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:00 pm
  • You don't need to spend $600+ on an entry level guitar, however if you want to shell out that kind of dough I'd shoot for a Gibson melody maker or a LP pro. I'd avoid guitarcenter and their pocked faced pretentious guitar-wizards and look for some of the more reputable mom&pop shops (Northwest Guitars in bellevue is pretty decent). Craigslist is also very good (especially in this area) if you're looking for gear.

    As for an amp I'd recommend getting a modeling practice amp, something like Vox or Line6 that offers a variety of tones and effects for a reasonable price. The most important thing is that you try a bunch of different guitars and pinpoint what you do/don't like and find something comfortable.

    My first axe was an early 90's Jackson-RR (neck-thru) made in Japan for 250$, it had some character but it played like a dream.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:21 pm
  • HawkWow wrote:I am astonished by the low quality tuners some companies to continue to install on their guitars, GH. Frustrating for beginners, infuriating for the more experienced. I prefer the Schaller M6 (locking) tuners, under $100, but some may prefer the Grovers, etc. I don't consider myself an expert on such things, but we do have experts in this thread. I'd put their opinions above mine (just tryin' to help).

    The pick-ups? You know, you may be fine with the stock ones. As a beginner, as long as they don't buzz and stuff, you may not feel compelled to upgrade. I'm a guy that has his head up his ass about stereo equipment, guitars etc. I probably don't even actually hear the subtle differences someone like Sad Happy (etc) would hear, but I always feel like I have to have everything as close to perfect as possible. I don't wish this on anyone.

    IMO...grab the guitar and if you like the action, enjoy playing it and the pick-ups are putting out acceptable sound, I'd buy it and replace the tuners. A great thing about this guitar is you will get enough sound out of it's F-holes to not always have to plug it in to play it.

    I'm sure someone here has something to add (or subtract from) to what I'm saying, so I will shut up and hope they do so. Aloha.


    Appreciate the insight HW. I see it like this. Upgrading parts and equipment on a guitar is like what I'd do to a car or motorcycle. It's great stock, for the most part, but we'll always wanna make it custom to our likes and style.

    Did you watch the video? Read the review? If so, curious what your opinion is on this guitar? Tone? Sound? I always like to hear opinions of others especially a much more experienced player.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:18 am
  • weird from what I have read it comes with grover tuners, http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Archtop/Dot.aspx unless this is the wrong guitar?

    I liked this quote also: along with that of finely honed budget models from other manufacturers---should have high end instruments watching their backsides. After all, if you can grab a damn fine guitar for little more than two hundred big ones, those expensive babies had better be absolutely fabulous and completely glitch free.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:45 pm
  • m0ng0 wrote:weird from what I have read it comes with grover tuners, http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Archtop/Dot.aspx unless this is the wrong guitar?

    I liked this quote also: along with that of finely honed budget models from other manufacturers---should have high end instruments watching their backsides. After all, if you can grab a damn fine guitar for little more than two hundred big ones, those expensive babies had better be absolutely fabulous and completely glitch free.


    You are correct. An oversight on my part.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:05 pm
  • well with the combination of a tune-o-matic bridge and grovers you should be golden where tuning is concerned. Thats a nice guitar imo.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:29 pm
  • m0ng0 wrote:well with the combination of a tune-o-matic bridge and grovers you should be golden where tuning is concerned. Thats a nice guitar imo.


    :th2thumbs:
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:06 pm
  • @Happy: I'm definitely a value shopper, not a budget shopper. After reading more stuff online and the knowledge I've gained in this thread, I'm definitely spending north of $600, but I'd really like to keep it in the triple-digit price range, including tax. (So $900 max price, preferably.) Selling what I buy now and upgrading to something that costs $2,000 a couple of years from now or whatever, I've got no problem with.

    I have another question. I have shorter-than-average fingers. (Not by a significant amount, but around half of an inch shorter than the average male my height.) Should I be trying to find a guitar with a thinner neck, or something? If there's anything I should be looking for because of this, I obviously want to know before I buy. I'm not sure if it's even relevant or makes a difference, it's just something that occurred to me as a possibility, is all.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:54 pm
  • A thinner neck and slightly narrower fretboard might do you better, also the actual fretboard wood makes a difference with sound and playability. I like a slick maple, others prefer rosewood or ebony

    I have an Ibanez that has a real thin neck and from what I have read most are that way, also all the Strats or copies I have or have played are nice and thin. I like it because I can mute the top strings with my thumb if I so chose.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:43 am
  • Roland, once you actually get one, can you give us your thoughts on Rocksmith?
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:46 am
  • I certainly will, London. I'll make a new thread when the time comes. Of course, they'll be thoughts from a total noob perspective, though. However, the game itself looks amazing. Read the answers to their frequently asked questions here to see what I mean: http://rocksmith.ubi.com/rocksmith/en-us/faq/
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:59 pm
  • Happy wrote:Fender american standard stratocaster gets my vote. Versatile, easy to play/learn on, will hold it's value if taken care of (no belt buckle scratches etc).

    This gets my vote as well. I recently bought a Les Paul, and it's my favorite guitar that I own hands down, but it's not something I would recommend learning on. I first learned on an Epiphone and later on bought a Strat when I could still be considered a beginner. Fenders are easier to play for beginners, in my experience. You couldn't go wrong with a Strat or a Tele.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:05 pm
  • I just put Rocksmith on my Christmas list :)

    I'll weigh in too, but I'm a total amateur. I got a cheapo Epiphone, for like $150, but knew a guy who works on guitars when I was working down in Tacoma. He did a complete setup on it, replaced tuners, new output jack, new strings, and really set it up so the action was great, stays in tune. Think it was another $100?

    I think it was a good value, plays pretty nice from what I've been told from some experienced guitarist for $250 total. :Dunno:
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:10 pm
  • Yep, if you can't do it yourself a setup from someone who knows what they are doing makes a world of difference!
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:30 pm
  • I just checked out the Rocksmith site. I totally thought it was instructional software (which it is) but it's also a video game? Kinda cool. As soon as I look into getting an axe I'll be getting Rocksmith. Excited about it.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:14 am
  • m0ng0 wrote:Yep, if you can't do it yourself a setup from someone who knows what they are doing makes a world of difference!

    ^^This^^^^^^^^^^^^
    And buy a "440 A" tuning fork. One of the toughest thangs, for beginners, is to keep the damn thing in tune. You could buy an electronic tuner BUT, the tuning fork will help train your ear. Eventually, you will know immediately when something's not quite right.
    Have fun, man.

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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:38 am
  • Ok - I finally got around to spending a couple hours in a guitar store. (Guitar Center in Kirkland. Not the only store I plan to visit, just the first.) I handled a lot of different guitars ranging in price from $129 (for comparison purposes, I am absolutely not buying anything even close to that cheap, but it did help me identify more what I liked in higher price ranges) to $3,000 or so. I was kind of surprised at the selection they had, it was more than I would have thought.

    I spoke with three different guys there, and the first two obviously weren't experts. The 3rd guy I spoke with was an older one who after just a couple of minutes of chatting with, I could tell he really knew his stuff. He didn't just answer questions, he answered them and explained the answers, knowing (since I told him flat-out) that I was a complete novice. Obviously, that doesn't indicate in any way whether his recommendations are based on honesty and trying to help or commission, but in my approximate price range he did say that he thought the best bang for the buck were the PRS Carlos Santana models. They had several in the $700ish price range. He explained that while they're made in Korea, Carlos Santana wanted a more budget/beginner offering for his brand name of guitars and worked with them to come up with a number of them, and that they put their own people in quality assurance in the Korean manufacturing plant to oversee everything. I have no idea how true this is, and I'm hoping someone can confirm/deny the quality aspect.

    One of them in particular, I really liked the feel of. The feel, width, and length of the neck, the body itself, etc. It's this one: http://www.guitarcenter.com/PRS-SE-Cust ... 1697790.gc I also found out that, sound aside, I liked the feel of the Fenders more than the Les Pauls overall.

    I have not made any decisions whatsoever, but does anybody know if the Korean-made $700-$1,000 PRS Carlos Santana guitars are good quality, or do they qualify as the junk mentioned by several people earlier in this thread?
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:51 pm
  • RolandDeschain wrote:I have not made any decisions whatsoever, but does anybody know if the Korean-made $700-$1,000 PRS Carlos Santana guitars are good quality, or do they qualify as the junk mentioned by several people earlier in this thread?


    I don't have any personal experience but it appears to be getting great reviews on Harmony Central.

    http://www.harmonycentral.com/t5/forums ... 2Clocation
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:19 am

Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:12 am
  • My buddy played a Santana Signature, and it sound amazing. He was using it mainly for Metal/Punk music, and it still sounded awesome. I never heard him play it clean, but it's friggin' Santana's guitar...it probably sounded great.

    That's a solid choice.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:05 pm
  • I know way more about guitars than football. I currently own 30+ guitars. Buying, selling, trading has been a hobby for a long time. I have owned hundreds of guitars.

    I always recommend the Epiphone Les Paul Custom to people just starting out. For $400 you should be able to find a used one with a hard case. They are rock solid. I currently own 3 Gibson Les Pauls and I've sold at least ten others. The Epiphone is very, very close in quality, and generally $2 grand less. The Epiphone Les Paul standards are a great deal also. I would avoid most other Epis.

    Good luck!
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:57 pm
  • Green13 wrote:I know way more about guitars than football. I currently own 30+ guitars. Buying, selling, trading has been a hobby for a long time. I have owned hundreds of guitars.

    I always recommend the Epiphone Les Paul Custom to people just starting out. For $400 you should be able to find a used one with a hard case. They are rock solid. I currently own 3 Gibson Les Pauls and I've sold at least ten others. The Epiphone is very, very close in quality, and generally $2 grand less. The Epiphone Les Paul standards are a great deal also. I would avoid most other Epis.

    Good luck!


    Your opinion on the Epiphone Dot Royale? I'm very interested in buying this guitar.
    http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Archtop/Dot-Royale.aspx
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:23 am
  • No experience with the Dot Royale, but I have played Epihone Dots. I think they're great guitars. I have a Gibson 335, basically the same guitar with a significantly higher price tag, but if you want to save 2 grand, the Epiphones are a really good buy.

    Semi hollow guitars have the best tone in my opinion. Especially if you what to play it through an amp with the gain cranked to 10. There is no substitute! The downside is they are big, a little uncomfortable, and slightly delicate. But I would bet that lots of your favorite guitar players, regardless of what they endorse and play live use 335s in the studio. They just sound BIG, resonate, and awesome.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:11 am
  • Green13 wrote:No experience with the Dot Royale, but I have played Epihone Dots. I think they're great guitars. I have a Gibson 335, basically the same guitar with a significantly higher price tag, but if you want to save 2 grand, the Epiphones are a really good buy.

    Semi hollow guitars have the best tone in my opinion. Especially if you what to play it through an amp with the gain cranked to 10. There is no substitute! The downside is they are big, a little uncomfortable, and slightly delicate. But I would bet that lots of your favorite guitar players, regardless of what they endorse and play live use 335s in the studio. They just sound BIG, resonate, and awesome.


    Thanks for the input and stamp of approval. Not a lot of difference in the royale from the dot. Same coils and hardware and from what I've read hardly comes out of tune. I've always loved the semi-hollow bodies and your comment about the great sounding tone resonates right along with other online reviews I've read. This guitar seems fantastic right out of the box. I'm looking to learn some blues and some rock/metal. This guitar seems to be the most bang for the buck and I'm excited to get one in my hands.

    How's the neck feel? Thicker or thinner neck? Action?
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:39 am
  • Double post.
    Last edited by Green13 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:41 am
  • The stats on the Royale say it has a Slim Taper neck. That's my favorite profile for Gibson guitars, but that a matter of personal preference. Some people love larger necks and think their left hand gets less tired.

    There are so many variables when it comes to necks. Nut width, finger board radius, finger board material, profile, the list goes on. The most important thing is that it feels comfortable to you, and you really have to hold it to know. In fact, you probably have to spend some time with it to really know. They vary. I've hd several Les Paul Classics that all have Slim Taper necks, but some were thiner than others. One important thing to consider is that bigger necks have bigger tone.

    This may be more info than you want, and we're just scratching the surface! Check out warmoth.com for some good information. They build necks and bodies and their website is really helpful in learning about necks (and other stuff).

    As far as the action is concerned, it's easy to adjust and probably should be adjusted to your liking.

    Be careful, man. Guitars can get really addictive. But if you learn a little, make smart buys (USED!) you can generally sell them for what you paid, or even a little more, and then you can buy another one!
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:11 am
  • RolandDeschain wrote:@Happy: I'm definitely a value shopper, not a budget shopper. After reading more stuff online and the knowledge I've gained in this thread, I'm definitely spending north of $600, but I'd really like to keep it in the triple-digit price range, including tax. (So $900 max price, preferably.) Selling what I buy now and upgrading to something that costs $2,000 a couple of years from now or whatever, I've got no problem with.

    I have another question. I have shorter-than-average fingers. (Not by a significant amount, but around half of an inch shorter than the average male my height.) Should I be trying to find a guitar with a thinner neck, or something? If there's anything I should be looking for because of this, I obviously want to know before I buy. I'm not sure if it's even relevant or makes a difference, it's just something that occurred to me as a possibility, is all.


    With shorter fingers comes the option of a shorter scale on the fingerboard. It's an option, but would might necessitate a custom build. But if you search hard enough you may find something online that would fit the bill. Here is something I found online:

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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:06 pm
  • Green13 wrote:The stats on the Royale say it has a Slim Taper neck. That's my favorite profile for Gibson guitars, but that a matter of personal preference. Some people love larger necks and think their left hand gets less tired.

    There are so many variables when it comes to necks. Nut width, finger board radius, finger board material, profile, the list goes on. The most important thing is that it feels comfortable to you, and you really have to hold it to know. In fact, you probably have to spend some time with it to really know. They vary. I've hd several Les Paul Classics that all have Slim Taper necks, but some were thiner than others. One important thing to consider is that bigger necks have bigger tone.

    This may be more info than you want, and we're just scratching the surface! Check out warmoth.com for some good information. They build necks and bodies and their website is really helpful in learning about necks (and other stuff).

    As far as the action is concerned, it's easy to adjust and probably should be adjusted to your liking.

    Be careful, man. Guitars can get really addictive. But if you learn a little, make smart buys (USED!) you can generally sell them for what you paid, or even a little more, and then you can buy another one!


    Oh I hear ya on the addictive part. Just like anything else. To me, they're not only instruments but works of art. And I really appreciate all the detailed info. I'm details kinda guy. We got bad weather this weekend but I plan to make it to my local guitar shop to get my hands on the dot and royale models. I've been browsing Craigslist and eBay for a deal.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:15 pm
  • Good luck, man! Tell me what you find and what you think.

    What are you going to do for an amp?
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:23 pm
  • Green13 wrote:Good luck, man! Tell me what you find and what you think.

    What are you going to do for an amp?


    To get the rust off ill probably go with Rocksmith software and I'll check out that practice amp Peavey Vypyr VIP 1 that I think, Blue Thunder suggested. You have any recommendations on a practice amp?
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:45 pm
  • I picked up a Vox Valvetronix ad15vt recently for 50$ with an el cheapo Behringer Strat copy guitar AND a stand :D Turns out the amp kicks COMPLETE ASS, the guitar (with a little tune up by myself) plays quite well and the stand......holds things.

    http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/ ... ox/ad15vt/

    I love Vox amps and this one blew away my expectations. something to check out I suppose.
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    m0ng0
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:28 pm
  • That's a great buy! My brother has a Vox Valvetronix. Cool amp. I have a Roland Cube 40XL for a little practice amp. I like it.

    Nothing beats tubes, and the good news is they are making some really great small amps. Fender Hot Rod 40 is damn near an industry standard these days. Small and loud enough for any room. Same with the Peavey Vintage 30 and 40. I recently got a Hughes and Kettner Tubemiester 18 and it is incrdredible. They also make a 5 watt version that I'm sure is still very loud.

    Bring on the Saints!
    Green13
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:14 am
  • m0ng0 wrote:I picked up a Vox Valvetronix ad15vt recently for 50$ with an el cheapo Behringer Strat copy guitar AND a stand :D Turns out the amp kicks COMPLETE ASS, the guitar (with a little tune up by myself) plays quite well and the stand......holds things.

    http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/ ... ox/ad15vt/

    I love Vox amps and this one blew away my expectations. something to check out I suppose.


    From the prices I'm seeing, you stole that amp.
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    Greenhell
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:47 am
  • Greenhell wrote:From the prices I'm seeing, you stole that amp.

    It fell off the back of a truck. No worries.
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    RolandDeschain
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:51 am
  • I got a guitar and stand too :-) It was an older hippy couple, they were nice enough to number all the frets in sharpie :P The way the guitar was set up I can see why they got frustrated and quit. But an hour of magic in my garage it plays so well it might be a candidate for some real pickups. Anybody ever used Fenders Lace sensor pickups?

    Craigslist is awesome !
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    m0ng0
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:40 am
  • m0ng0 wrote:Craigslist is awesome !


    Truth!
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    Greenhell
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