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cgar18

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Yeah I know who owns just one guitar,I think a few might so my question is do you have a go to guitar that does everything for you? Yes I envy the guys on you tube who own multiple great looking guitars but I can only afford to buy one good all around guitar.Looking to stay close to 2000 if possible maybe a little more.I like Classic rock Blues but sometimes I like it a bit heavy like EVH 80's metal sound.I prefer strat body or tele body type to be main guitar.Thanks

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25 minutes ago, cgar18 said:

Yeah I know who owns just one guitar,I think a few might so my question is do you have a go to guitar that does everything for you? Yes I envy the guys on you tube who own multiple great looking guitars but I can only afford to buy one good all around guitar.Looking to stay close to 2000 if possible maybe a little more.I like Classic rock Blues but sometimes I like it a bit heavy like EVH 80's metal sound.I prefer strat body or tele body type to be main guitar.Thanks

 

An HSS Strat is about as versatile as it gets. I've just recently acquired my first Tele (30 years in, and never owned one... lol), and fell in love with it for certain things, but for clean tones you'll never get rid of the "twang"... and that just doesn't work for some stuff. So if you're looking for a "Swiss Army Knife" guitar for the various genres you listed, an HSS Strat is as close as you're ever gonna get. 

 

Stand by for 8143 wildly different opinions...;)

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I was kind of in the same boat as you. I own a Les Paul, an Ibanez Prestige, and four different acoustics and found myself craving a Strat. I never had money for gear because I'd blow it on a new guitar (not that I would have a lot anyway, but still).  

 

Finally I heard about the Line 6 Variax, and it intrigued me. I've met people who claim that the modelling sounds nothing like the real guitars - I happen to disagree quite a bit there, but I also don't care.  There isn't another guitar on the planet with the tonal possibilities of a Variax, regardless of how close it gets to the real guitars it's modelled on.

 

So that's always my rec for a swiss army knife guitar. I bought one a few years ago and while I'm sometimes tempted to buy a new guitar just because it's fun, I have largely been able to stay out of the fray and focus on things like buying the HX Stomp.

 

So that's my two bits. 

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Variax is an option, too. I like mine... but they have their quirks and limitations, and not everybody warms up to them. Definitely takes a little getting used to, same as an amp modeler. And while they are quite versatile, it's still not my workhorse. But definitely a useful tool in the arsenal.

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Les paul, flying v, bc rich kerry king, a silverstar with dimarzio, washburn hb30 and 3 variax. Still prefer my jtv 69 with my custom models over anything else. 

 

Strat body with all the other guitars i need. And more.

 

P.s. could wait for the summer namm to see if a new variax arrives.

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22 minutes ago, arislaf said:

 

 

P.s. could wait for the summer namm to see if a new variax arrives.

 

You do realize what you've just started, right? lol...

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If I had to make a choice and own just one guitar.... it would be a Variax Standard (I'm a single coil guy) or a Variax JTV in a pickup configuration I like. IMO, the flexibility of the magnetic pickups along with modeling when you need it is a perfect combination. 

 

Since this question is posted int he Helix forum.... is it safe to assume there is a Helix in the gear list? If so, all the more reason to get a Variax! 

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I had a guitar with two humbuckers. I wired it so each humbucker's coils could be series-in phase, series out-of-phase, coil one alone, coil two alone, parallel in-phase, parallel out-of-phase. This was accomplished with a 4 pole 6 throw switch for each pickup. I then set up one more switch that could do the same thing with both pickups. That amounted to (if my math is right) 216 different sounds/configurations. I was about to add a piezo bridge for acoustic simulation when the first Variax came out. I have barely touched my other guitar since and never put the piezo bridge in. For the most different sounds, noise free I might add, try a Variax. As stated before, it has it's quirks so it may not be for you. But if it does work for you, as it did for me.....Yahooooo. Get a JTV with pickups so you'll still have that option. The JTV's can also mix the modeled guitar with the magnetic pickups.

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I use a Variax JTV-69S that I added SVL Daytona SSS pickups and a real nice Warmoth neck. That’s my goto guitar for almost everything. I also use a 67 Les Paul Deluxe that has Tom Holmes split coil humbuckers. This is also a pretty versatile guitar as it gets the Les Paul and Tele sounds pretty well. But for flexible tones, its hard to be a Strat and a JTV-69S can be a nice Strat and have usable models for other things too.

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One that you may want to take a look at that really intrigues me is the Yamaha Revstar RS820CR.  This comes with a set of humbuckers but has a push/pull dry switch for getting a single coil sound.  I know Jason Sadites uses these a lot in his YouTube videos and he raves about them.  If I didn't already have a Les Paul and a Strat I'd probably be interested in one of these.  Worth checking out I think...

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Down to one guitar now - a Les Paul standard (with coil tapping features). Have my eye on a PRS DGT model, though...maybe a Christmas present to myself!

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10 hours ago, arislaf said:

Still prefer my jtv 69 with my custom models over anything else. 

 

Amen to that! While I appreciated my old Variax because of it's functionality, when I began modifying my JTV-69s, I fell in love with them. I have solid rosewood necks on both of my JTVs - one from Brazil (I bought it in the early 90's) and one from India with stainless steel frets and an Earvana nut. I absolutely love playing it.

 

I have two Gibsons - a Les Paul and an ES335 that are longtime companions and are gorgeous. Both worth $$$. It's not worth gigging with them because they are irreplaceable. I can get the tones I need from the JTV for gigging. So much so, I sold 10 of my guitars (2 Strats, Tele, 2nd Les Paul and 2nd ES335, Danelectro, 12 string, electric dobro and others).

 

I have kept my main acoustics (6, 12 and dobro) plus the 2 JTVs for gigging and recording. The 2 gibbons are just for recording now and personal use.

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You say you have a $2,000+ budget. That covers a lot of potential ground. I know it is all is all relative and for some players nothing less than a $5,000+ custom guitar will fill the bill but for the rest of us I would say you have enough money to easily buy one, two or even three great guitars if you look around. Particularly if you are willing to buy used. Although I love USA made guitars there are so many relatively inexpensive high quality guitars coming from other locales, particularly out of Korea now, e.g. some of the PRS models.  There is an embarrassment of riches out there.The Variax is incredibly flexible and does everything from banjo, Strat, Les Paul to twelve string, however with your budget, that would be my second or third guitar unless you prefer the way the Variax plays.

 

From your original post it sounds like you like Classic Rock and Blues. There are a couple of ways you can go with this. If you want everything in one guitar and find yourself consistently preferring a strat type guitar and only occasionally wanting that thicker more metal humbucker sound I think cruisinon2 nailed it, find yourself a great HSS Strat like a Fender, ESP or other, and be done with it.  Suhr makes some great flexible strat type models, but they tend to list closer to $3000 than $2000 brand new.

 

Another way to go would be to buy two guitars, a single coil model and a humucker model, the classic examples of that being a Strat and a Les Paul but there are infinite variations and so many great copycats and innovative alternatives now.  Certain kinds of body types and hardware seem to me to just get a better sound with single or dual coil pickups and no amount of mixed pickup configurations on one guitar will get you the best of both worlds although some guitars come close. I have an old USA made PRS that does a pretty respectable job of covering most bases and spares me having to carry both a single and dual coil guitar but I find that particularly when it comes to single coil sounds nothing but a legit Strat or Tele type guitar quite nails that sound.  I am shallow enough to care about the name on my headstock but the truth is you can find great and inexpensive Mexican made Strats and fantastic Epiphone Pauls if you look. Players like Jack White managed to have a successful career with some of the cheapest axes ever made. Another option would be to spend most of your budget on a great HSS or single coil that nails the lion share of your songs and a cheaper guitar with humbuckers for your occasional forays into other material . Whatever you get just make sure it sounds and plays great. Your options are many and your budget gives you a fair degree of flexibility.

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One guit only

 

As a long term strat/tele player - Variax standard, custom patches, through Helix via VDMI - or, if I enjoyed LP type guitars, back my modified Variax 59

 

Sold 6 other guitars that weren't being used since moving to 2 standards, one a green limited edition one tobacco sunbust.  Got them both plek'ed, and not going back to collecting, except for ruthlessly commercial reasons.

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8 hours ago, HonestOpinion said:

You say you have a $2,000+ budget. That covers a lot of potential ground.

 

8 hours ago, HonestOpinion said:

Another way to go would be to buy two guitars, a single coil model and a humucker model, the classic examples of that being a Strat and a Les Paul but there are infinite variations and so many great copycats and innovative alternatives now. 

 

I fully agree with both of those statements...

FWIW... I have about $2K tied up in 4 primary electrics. I have a Strat, a Tele, a Les Paul and a Variax 300 with a Fender Tele neck. But in fairness I don't know that I could replace them for that. That's why I would hunt down a Variax Standard or JTV to cover the ground.

 

IMO... if you live in healthy used market, don't disregard that option. 

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On 4/30/2019 at 10:41 AM, cruisinon2 said:

 

An HSS Strat is about as versatile as it gets. I've just recently acquired my first Tele (30 years in, and never owned one... lol), and fell in love with it for certain things, but for clean tones you'll never get rid of the "twang"... and that just doesn't work for some stuff. So if you're looking for a "Swiss Army Knife" guitar for the various genres you listed, an HSS Strat is as close as you're ever gonna get. 

 

Stand by for 8143 wildly different opinions...;)

 

I'd second that.  Probably the best "all-around" option if you are only gonna go with one.

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thanks guys alot to think about the HSS strat is an option I was thinking about or if I could fine a good humbuker tele with push pull know for single coil.Im going hunting to see what I can get.

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Have you considered building your own?

I really don’t believe in spending too much money on a bolt-on body. The neck and electronics are where I prioritize. Although, it would be nice to be able to go to a place like Warmoth and tap on a few bodies to see how they ring. 

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44 minutes ago, hideout said:

Have you considered building your own?

I really do t believe in spending too much money on a bolt-on body. The neck and electronics are where I prioritize. Although, it would be nice to be able to go to a place like Warmoth and tap on a few bodies to see how they ring. 

Yeah I looked into that also, but Im not sure if I have the patience to build it.

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44 minutes ago, cgar18 said:

Yeah I looked into that also, but Im not sure if I have the patience to build it.

 

I have two Warmoth parts-casters... and you're not really "building" anything in the strictest sense of the word. It's really just assembling fully finished parts. There's no sanding, staining, or finishing... unless you want to. You can buy unfinished parts, but most of their stuff is done and ready to go, so aside from wiring up the electronics, there's really not a whole helluva lot to it. They'll tap and drill all the necessary holes. If you can turn a screwdriver, you're eminently qualified.

 

And quite frankly, imho Warmoth "out-Fenders" Fender...and at a half to two-thirds of the price. They're two of the nicer guitars I own, and they won't be the last ones I "build". Already mapping out the next one...

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Ibanez AZ2204

 

The pickup selections/tones are much more diverse and sound killer, and this is coming from a strat guy.

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4 hours ago, spikey said:

Ibanez AZ2204

 

The pickup selections/tones are much more diverse and sound killer, and this is coming from a strat guy.

 

The only problem I've got with this is the pricetag... most of the bigger guitar manufacturers comically over-value their products. I've owned several Ibanez guitars, and I'm sure it's a nice axe, but $2K for a bolt-on Strat clone? Can't do it.

 

You can build yourself the exact same thing from Warmoth for $1200, maybe less depending on how pretty you want it...but for a solid color, opaque paint job, we're not talking premium figured wood anyway, so the body wouldn't be terribly expensive. And, as far as I'm concerned you'd be sacrificing nothing in terms of build quality. Plus, all the little details are yours to choose...neck radius and profile, nut width, fret size and material, etc etc. Buying off the rack,  you're stuck with what they give you.

 

And not for nothing, but that mini toggle switch could be dropped into any HSS Strat on earth, and give you the same # of pickup combinations. The way these companies price stuff is highway robbery sometimes...

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Some years ago I bought the Warmoth body/neck pre-built and routed to house the Variax 300 electronics. I installed Graphtec piezos, Earvana nut, and standard tuners. It remains one of the smoothest playing and most comfortable guitars I've ever owned. I still use it a lot even thought I now have a JTV-59. A great value for a very nice guitar imho.

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2 hours ago, spikey said:

Ibanez AZ2204

 

The pickup selections/tones are much more diverse and sound killer, and this is coming from a strat guy.

Yes this was something I will go look at once it hits the local store near me,thanks.

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Over the years I have collected a few guitars and still have most of them but my go to is my JTV89F, so i am in he Variax boat (I have 4, VAX700, VAC700, JTV59 and the JTV89F)

 

Others - Gibson The Paul (First good guitar I owned going on 39 years), Kramer Pacer Custom, Parker Nitefly, Epiphone Flying V, Epiphone Les Paul

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On 4/30/2019 at 9:41 AM, cruisinon2 said:

 

An HSS Strat is about as versatile as it gets. I've just recently acquired my first Tele (30 years in, and never owned one... lol), and fell in love with it for certain things, but for clean tones you'll never get rid of the "twang"... and that just doesn't work for some stuff. So if you're looking for a "Swiss Army Knife" guitar for the various genres you listed, an HSS Strat is as close as you're ever gonna get. 

 

Stand by for 8143 wildly different opinions...;)

 

Agreed! The guitar I use most is a Suhr Pro Series; it's an HSS Strat. John Suhr worked for the Fender Custom Shop for a few years before starting his own company and I think he learned as much about what not to do as what to do. For example, he moved the volume knob about an inch away from the bridge pu. On Fenders, I always accidentally turn the volume down because I tend to pick around that area and the knob is practically touching the pu. Mine has their Silent Single Coil Backplate System; the only "noiseless" single coil I've heard that has all of the tone of a great normal single coil pu. I can use a single coil with hi gain amps without the buzz! I got mine about 15 years ago and the price has gone up significantly since then; it's a couple hundred more now, but well worth the price.

 

I also put a Lindy Fralin "Unbucker" in the neck position of my recently acquired Epiphone Les Paul. It's a 'bucker with mismatched coils and when you coil tap it, it's got more volume and tone than other 'buckers when coil tapped. I guess I'm always looking for the perfect "Stratopaul;" gotta have a 'bucker and a single coil. But the Suhr is still my favorite.

 

Happy hunting!

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1 hour ago, Leftzilla said:

Over the years I have collected a few guitars and still have most of them but my go to is my JTV89F, so i am in he Variax boat (I have 4, VAX700, VAC700, JTV59 and the JTV89F)

 

Others - Gibson The Paul (First good guitar I owned going on 39 years), Kramer Pacer Custom, Parker Nitefly, Epiphone Flying V, Epiphone Les Paul

Vac 700... i envy you. But can envy my i have vab705 lol

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#1 - Buy something you will enjoy playing.  The more you play the better you will get.

#2 - Buy for purpose.  If you are going to be gigging out I highly recommend buying two guitars so you have a back up.  I have not had a string break live in 4 years but I did have an input jack come unattached. Trying to diagnose that at a gig and then solder it would have been a nightmare.  Having a second guitar was less stressful.  Your needs may be different if you are just playing at home, doing session work, recording for your own pleasure, etc..

#3 - Learn to take care of it yourself. I do all my own work except for frets.  If there ever is a problem I can solve it.

 

I have 4 good guitars that are very similar.  I keep two tuned to E and two tuned to Eb.  I always take two guitars to gigs.

 

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Unless a guitar is custom built for you, I simply cannot justify spending more than $1k for it.  Pretty guitars are fine but it only goes so far. 

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17 minutes ago, hideout said:

Unless a guitar is custom built for you, I simply cannot justify spending more than $1k for it.  Pretty guitars are fine but it only goes so far. 

 

In my experience, there can be a significant difference between a $1K and $2K guitar... really depends on the 2 specimens in question. But past 2 grand, for any factory produced instrument, it's rapidly diminishing returns.... and I agree, once you're in that price tier, you may as well start looking at a one-off boutique pieces. Otherwise all you're paying for is the logo on the headstock. 

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but $2K for a bolt-on Strat clone? Can't do it.

 

Play one Cru, and I bet you change yer mind just like I did. ; ) It is really "not" a strat clone, even if the curves are familiar... It doesn't even sound like a Strat should sound, but it does sound good in "many" different pickup configurations/ways. Watch the multiple videos on YT and see what I mean. As I said, I played Strats for decades and Gibsons for longer. I still have them, play them and love them, but this model AZ2204 and the Jem 7V have opened my eyes and ears, and attitude. They sound and feel amazing! There really is another major player out there I too have ignored for years, having kinda the same mindset you have, and I was flat wrong. The Ibanez models I mentioned are the new kid on the block for me, and they are dead serious about feel and tone. 

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15 hours ago, spikey said:

 

Play one Cru, and I bet you change yer mind just like I did. ; ) It is really "not" a strat clone, even if the curves are familiar... It doesn't even sound like a Strat should sound, but it does sound good in "many" different pickup configurations/ways. Watch the multiple videos on YT and see what I mean. As I said, I played Strats for decades and Gibsons for longer. I still have them, play them and love them, but this model AZ2204 and the Jem 7V have opened my eyes and ears, and attitude. They sound and feel amazing! There really is another major player out there I too have ignored for years, having kinda the same mindset you have, and I was flat wrong. The Ibanez models I mentioned are the new kid on the block for me, and they are dead serious about feel and tone. 

 

As I said, I'm sure it's a nice instrument. And it's entirely plausible that I'd like it. But the issue for me is whether or not it's genuinely worth $2K...I realize that's largely subjective, but having been at this for 3 decades, having owned at least 2 dozen guitars over that time, and test-driving countless others, I've come to the conclusion that precious few "premium" instruments are actually worth the asking price. And as long as I can find and/or assemble an axe in the $1K-$1500 range that does what I need, and that I like just as much as something that's twice the price, I'm never gonna dump all the extra cash just so I can say "I've got one of these". As always, ymmv.

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I'm never gonna dump all the extra cash just so I can say "I've got one of these". As always, ymmv.

 

My mileage on this is I don't think any talented guitar player should buy a guitar just to brag that they had one of those (pocketbook envy), but OTOH I also believe with certain things like nice playing and sounding guitars you usually get what you pay for. Using 45+ years of "it feels right" when I pick it up", tells me Im mostly right about that so I guess we disagree on the costs and its worth a little, but that's ok. Id like to get a nice Taylor acoustic, but I don't expect I'll find the one I want for a grand. But that said, the cheaper variations have their place. For example, some really like the Variax. I have two of um, and unless there's something I'm fixing on one of my other guitars I just won't pick them up.  Why? They just don't feel or sound right compared to a LP, nice Fender or even an Ibanez to me, yet many other folks swear by them. I get the concept and understand why they are popular, however. Another ymmv I guess. The bottom line for me is if we are happy with the plank we spank, then its all good ; ) 

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1 hour ago, spikey said:

 

They just don't feel or sound right compared to a LP, nice Fender or even an Ibanez to me, yet many other folks swear by them.

Dis you try my realistic bundle? All who tried it loved it.

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Some money (about 700-800 bucks) could also be invested in this Guitar Profiler.  Then you have all Guitars and many money is left for some other gear ;-)

I know it only from corresponding Vids, but have heard fron some professionals, that it should be very good.

 

I'm waiting for a vendor who offer a money back guarantie to try.

 

 

 

 

 

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Nice guitar, box and playing!

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15 hours ago, schuha_at said:

Some money (about 700-800 bucks) could also be invested in this Guitar Profiler.  Then you have all Guitars and many money is left for some other gear ;-)

I know it only from corresponding Vids, but have heard fron some professionals, that it should be very good.

 

I'm waiting for a vendor who offer a money back guarantie to try.

 

 

 

 

 

Cool!!!Ok Line 6 I can see you incorporating your varix guitar sound into the next Helix.

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On 5/4/2019 at 7:37 AM, spikey said:

have two of um, and unless there's something I'm fixing on one of my other guitars I just won't pick them up.  Why? They just don't feel or sound right compared to a LP, nice Fender or even an Ibanez to me, yet many other folks swear by them. I get the concept and understand why they are popular, however.

 

I had a Variax JTV 69 . With the normal PU's it was a nice guitar - good enough for all of my GIGs.

I used it with the Line 6 XT3 live and this was very was very comfortable.

The sound of the models never really convinced me, but in the band mix it sounded quite good and saved me from wearing an acoustic guitar.
Then I switched to Kemper and I really noticed the difference in sound quality, although the ease of use with the XT-Live was no longer there.

 

It's like it is, a good modeler only deliver a good sound with a good guitar (I do not mean an expensive guitar), so I want to try the guitar profiler first before I decide to buy it. 
 

 

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Both Helix and my KPA sounds good with my Ibanez, Fender and Gibson guitars. Convienance wise the Variax wins. The difference for me  is when I play back a guitar track I usually can't hear convienance but I tend to notice good tone. Where the Variax shines for me is alt turnings, and that was one of those things perfected after the 1st Variax's were released. In fact one of the "early" L6 guys was saying he didn't think it would ever work correctly and wouldn't be included on Variiax until it did. Thank goodness it worked! 

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