My Future Guitar

The event which I’m looking forward the most in 2008 is the purchase of my new Electric guitar. I have the option of buying it locally or from the U.S.A. A friend of mine from the U.S agreed to buy a guitar for me, because he will be back to Mauritius in June/July.

So after visiting the musical instrument shops here there were a limited range of models. But on the internet they got everything even the girly guitars πŸ˜› I still don’t know which guitar I’ll buy. So I’m going to list all the possible guitars I may end up with this year together with their specifications. I’ll be starting from the cheapest guitars to the more expensive ones. So here we go:

Aria (Strat Copy)

This Aria guitar is on sale at Damoo Music shop. Its got an alder body, rosewood fingerboard, Maple bolt on neck, 25-1/2 scale, 3 single coil pickups, vintage tremolo, 1 volume, 2 tone selectors & pickup switch. Its available in black finish. Its price is Rs.7000. This guitar is my last resort πŸ˜› Even if I buy it, I’ll change its pickups to HSH configuration, with 2 stacked Seymour Duncan humbuckers.

Those kinds of strat copies are reputed for their crappy hardwares. After some months of use, you might find the pickup selector switch loose and causing noise when switching positions, the tone & volume knobs might (will) come out. And my best personal experience with those types of guitars, is having the trem out of the guitar’s body and having it in you hand πŸ˜› After a year or so, the guitar may even fall apart LOL

Godin – SD

The Godin SD is available at Kawai Music Shop. I tried this guitar for countless number of hours at Kawai. Whenever passing by this music shop I’ll go in and try all their guitars πŸ˜› This guitar costs Rs.19,000. Its got a maple body, maple neck, maple/redwood fretboard, HSS pickup configuration, 5-way switch, 1 tone & volume knob, 24-3/4 scale & a classic trem. With this one too I’ll change the pickups later to HSH configuration with one Stacked Duncan on neck position & the best Duncan pickup I can find on the bridge.

The single pickups are quite noisy, actually there’s nothing wrong because most single pickups are noisy when playing with distortion. The hardwares are perfect, and the short scale of this guitar makes string bending much more easier. The guitar’s finish is perfect, the neck is thin enough for sweep picking, but not ideal for shred. The upper frets are a little too small for my fingers, causing some difficulties to play with ease. If ever I buy this one, I’ll never mess with the trem due to my bad experience with it πŸ˜› The bolt on neck is better compared to Fender Strats, as it is flatter hence allowing better access to upper frets. The Godin SD beats the hell out of the standard Fender Stratocasters in terms of quality, sound & price. By the way the Godins are manufactured in the U.S, but the wood comes from Canada.

Michael Kelly – Patriot Phoenix

The Michael Kelly Patriot Phoenix electric guitar is a striking instrument. It features a flame maple top and an intricate flame-inspired inlay. A locking wrap-around bridge improves resonance and performance. Sculpted-in knob recesses and pickup cavities look great. Includes set-neck construction, Grover tuners and specially designed chrome covered pickups.

  • Neck: set mahogany
  • Body: solid mahogany
  • Fingerboard: rosewood
  • Frets: 22 jumbo
  • Scale length: 24-3/4″
  • Binding: white triple bound plastic
  • Inlay: abalone block
  • Bridge: TonePros locking
  • Tuning machines: Grover
  • Pickups: dual PAF plus
  • Controls: 2 volume, 2 tone, coil tapped
  • Strings: D’Addario
  • Hardware: chrome

This guitar costs Around Rs.15,000 + Rs.5,000 (freight) = Rs.20,000. This one is way ahead the Godin SD. Michael Kelly is not a so well known brand, but it is owned by Bc Rich meaning American Brand. But Michael Kelly’s are manufactured in Korea. However we can see that the hardwares & materials used are of really good quality, and its based on the famous ‘Gibson Les Paul’. Its even coil tapped hence increasing the tonal range of the guitar πŸ˜€

Dean – Cadillac Select

Originally designed with elegance in mind, the Dean Cadillac Select Electric Guitar has only improved with age. It’s offered with its original 1980 specifications including the select mahogany body and neck. Other appointmets include: multi-ply binding, ebony fingerboard, block inlays and gold hardware. In addition, the new Cadillac is now available with a “carved,” highly figured flame or quilted maple top.

Like the Dean ML, the Caddy has appeared both onstage and in videos of many top artists over the past two decades. The Cadillac’s biggest moment might have been the night it appeared on stage as the Dean endorsee walked away with five Grammy Awards.

  • Arched Figured Maple Top
  • Mahogany Body
  • 24-3/4″ Scale & 1-11/16″ Nut
  • Grover Tuners
  • Gold Hardware
  • Zebra Pickups
  • Tune-O-Matic Bridge
  • Set Mahogany Neck
  • Rosewood Fingerboard
  • Block Inlays
  • 22 Frets

This dean too got all attributes of a Gibson Les Paul, though the body shape is different. The Cadillac too costs around Rs.15,000 + Rs. 5000 (freight) = Rs.20,000. The name Dean assures you of the quality of this instrument. And it is 100% American built (though I’m not sure where the pickups come from), just as Jevin once told me, its a “Pur Sang” πŸ˜› Most of the reviews I found on this guitar rated it 5/5. But the awkward body shape and the absence of a double locking trem are making me doubt whether to buy it or not 😐

Ibanez – S520EX

The S520EX electric guitar from Ibanez is an axe any player can love-cool looking, terrifically equipped, and possessed of a dynamically smooth sound that can stoke up big time. The Wizard II neck plays fast. The Infinity pickup at the neck combines a warm, classic tone with high output, while the bridge pickup accentuates the mids, has great dynamics and string clarity. Locking nut and ZR tremolo keep you in tune through the wild times, and jumbo frets enhance playability.

  • Wizard II neck
  • 3-piece maple neck
  • Mahogany body
  • 22 jumbo frets
  • Bound rosewood fingerboard
  • ZR bridge
  • IBZ INF1 humbucking neck pickup
  • IBZ INF2 humbucking bridge pickup
  • S Special 12th-fret inlay
  • Black hardware

This Ibanez is the one I probably want th most & the most expensive one of the lot. It costs Rs.20,000 + Rs. 5,000 (freight). Its Japanese made, and most reviews are rating it positively (4&5 over 5). This is the only guitar with a double locking trem that I’m satisfied with because of its quality & price. But my favorite guitar with double locking trem is the Steve Vai’s JEM πŸ˜› However the JEM’s price is too hot for me 😦

But this Ibanez S-series guitar is among the best. After some research I found that the ZR (Zero Point System) Bridge on this guitar is the best double locking trem on the market. Even the EDGE used by Steve Vai & Joe Satriani, are being modified to ‘EDGE ZR’. I was always afraid to buy guitars with double locking trem because many of them are cheaply made, specially the Licensed Floyd Rose. Many users also complain about the Original Floyd Rose too. But it seems its not the case with the ZR bridge πŸ˜€

Herman Li of Dragonforce is a notable user of the ZR bridge. He takes the bridge to extreme limits by lifting the guitar in the air by only holding the tremolo bar. Tom Morello of ‘Rage Against The Machines’ too put the ZR bridge in his non-Ibanez guitars.

I’ll certainly buy one of those 5 guitars, maybe if I find a better one I may give up the idea of buying one of them πŸ˜› I’ve always been a fan of Gibson Les Paul, hence my fondness for Mahogany bodies with Maple tops.