Which Elec guitar?

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  • Which Elec guitar?
  • bikemonkey

    I used to have a guitar and amp, and sold them last year for a pittance when I needed some money for my car.

    As it was a Gibson Epiphone SG and a Park (by Marshall) amp, they didn’t keep their value too well although both were fine for my (limited) standard of playing.

    I miss having a guitar and amp around and I’m looking to buy again. I guess it’s always possible I may end up selling them both in the future, so my question is this:

    If I’m looking to spend £350 – £400 on an electric guitar from either Fender or Gibson, which models will be best for a beginner, and which are most likely to keep their value? Shall I buy a new guitar that’s in perfect condition, or a used one where I’m not sure what I’m looking out for in terms of wear and tear.

    Obviously I’ll try anything out before I buy but wondered whether, say, a Mexican Fender ends up being worth the same as a Squier Fender if I were to sell it in 10yrs.

    Premier Icon nickc

    2nd hand squire? You can generally get a decent one for £250-£300, and a wee practice amp?


    Not sure how much they cost right now – but the Mexican fender “classic players” are worth a look – they usually have custom shop pick-ups. I have the 60s strat in sonic blue and it’s a lovely guitar for the money

    Premier Icon seosamh77

    no idea of value of guitars, never been much interested, but I’ve always prefered tele’s over strats.


    Steel city guitars in sheffield have these cheapo chinese made strats and tele’s. There are some really good ones in there and are way below your budget. Jarvis Cocker / Richard Hawley both have one and signed ones in the shop saying.

    You could get a budget modelling amp then and have a good practice setup within budget.

    I have a butterscotch tele from them for about £140 and it’s my “pick up” guitar. Over a Gretsch and a Gibson!

    Premier Icon uberscott

    Sadly most guitars don’t keep their value. The ones that do are either vintage or rare and collectible. I would say that the bigger brands like Fender & Gibson will hold their value better due to resale desirability.

    You can get some really great playing guitars for £350-400 – Yamaha Pacificas are excellent Strat-based guitars which are generally heads & shoulders above similarly priced Squiers. I haven’t played a Steel City guitar but I’ve heard lots of good things about them.

    However, I think you should be able to get a second-hand Fender ‘Classic Player’ Strat or Tele for that kind of money, they are superb guitars. While they won’t hold their value, they have a good reputation so shouldn’t lose as much as, say, a new Squier. I had a ‘Baja’ Tele from the ‘Classic Player’ line, and it was an absolute belter – wish I hadn’t sold it!

    Premier Icon chipps

    The new Squiers (and Epiphones too) are generally great guitars. Something like a Squier Vintage Modified Tele or Strat – or one of the Cabronita Teles – they’re all around £250 or less and they play and sound great. I’ve had a few Squiers and they’ve all been good. An Epiphone Les Paul should also only be around £250 or so secondhand and they’re fantastic too.

    Lots of choice. It’s a great time to be a poor guitarist.


    Get a 2nd hand Gordon Smith you wont regret it


    Yamaha Pacificas are excellent Strat-based guitars which are generally heads & shoulders above similarly priced Squiers.

    Definitely, for new guitars in that price bracket Pacificas are nothing special but I’ve never played one that was duff. Epiphones very greatly in quality, when they’re good it’s hard to tell them from the Gibson model they’re replicating, when they’re bad they can be beyond repair – never buy an Epi online, play first.

    Edit: Having said that, it very much depends what you want to be playing on said guitar.


    What sort of playing floats your boat?

    What sort of next profile do you like? skinny – like an ibanez wizard or something to hold onto like a gibson 50s neck?
    What scale length do you prefer?

    Was your previous guitar similar to this one – http://www.epiphone.com/Products/SG/G-400-PRO.aspx?

    Did you like it a lot?

    I’d recommend 2nd hand, scour the forum classified.

    If you let us know what your after, we may even be able to throw some links at you but need to know what your looking for in a guitar…

    Edit – and your approx location..

    Its alright recommending yammys n squires etc but his old guitar was 24.75 and he may want to stay with that scale


    My advice is usually go into a shop (or better yet, shops) and play everything under your price range. Pick the one that feels right.

    Sometimes the cheapest guitars have been put together perfectly (usually by accident) and play amazingly, other times expensive guitars just don’t quite seem right.

    Either that, or pick the one you like the look of most.


    Yamaha. Fantastic value, great sound, easy action and you’ll probably find a deal where they’re bundled with a little practice amp.


    Captain Slow – that’s the one.

    I liked it well enough. I’m really not that good on the guitar, very much a learner.

    Most of my playing will be playing along with the chords to a song, picking out solos by copying tab I find online, trying to learn a bit of technique. I’ve no desire to ever play for anyone other than myself.

    I suppose I’m after something that’s not going to be difficult to play, but where if I decide I shouldn’t have bothered this time next year, I’ll still be able to sell it and get most of my money back, like this one here:

    Gibson SG

    I’m in Manchester, not keen on the Strat shape (sorry), and am fully aware that this level of guitar is overkill for what I need!

    Premier Icon brassneck

    Its alright recommending yammys n squires etc but his old guitar was 24.75 and he may want to stay with that scale

    Yamaha used to be half way between Gibson and fender (at least my 80’s SG2000 is) so a jump either way isn’t mind blowing.

    I have a Japan Fender Jag 62 re issue I really need to move on, but no idea how much it’s worth, I’ll do some research….

    am fully aware that this level of guitar is overkill for what I need!

    Won’t be in a few years though. Get a keeper 🙂

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner

    The Custom Vibe Squier models are superb, well up there with the Mexican guitars, but they all vary.

    A secondhand Gordon-Smith will be a keeper – won’t loose value, assembled in Manchester and built like a bloody tank.
    Forsythes on Deansgate sometimes have a few in, well worth a pop.

    The PRS SE’s are lovely and are excellent quality. Will have more of a Gibbo feel too.

    The little Fender Champion 600 amps are simple but sound fantastic.
    Nice s/h ones are less than a ton and stupid vfm.

    Tom B

    Plenty about at that price. Mexican Tele if you don’t like the strat shape. Epiphone Les Paul maybe? Two students of mine have bought them this year and they are very nice.

    Mexican Fender stuff will hold more value than Squire ime. Best guitar that I’ve played this year bar my own was a 2004 Mexican strat….played better than 10 usa strats that I’ve tried.

    have a scout round for GandL (use the [SHIFT][7] symbol for “and”). L is Leo fender, he founded the conpany after leaving Fender.
    see here


    I have an 1985 Japanese squier telecaster in almost new condition.

    probably the best telecaster you will get for that sort of money

    Email me if you are interested



    Any thing from the classic vibe range though my preference would be 50s vibe telecaster, the stratocasters have poor bridges. Mexican strat plus top is 500 that’s my next purchase. You can pick up a second hand tokai ls Japanese les paul for that price and it will be better than the gibson (moan all you want its true). Prs se are well made but the pickups suck. The Santana model is probably the best of the range.
    If your a beginner I’d buy a guitar with a neck radius and set up that feels good to you and spend the money left over to buy a boss me50 or line6 pocket pod, this will make your playing much more enjoyable than the variation in pickups. Both those will make a 100quid guitar sound the same a 2grand guitar until your plugged in at a concert.
    So my choice … 2nd hand butterscotch 50svibe telecaster 220quid
    Pocket pod 50quid
    Small fender, peavy or Orange amp. Solid state.


    Slight hijack if i may be so cheeky…

    Anyone used Rocksmith ?

    I was thinking it looks good for keeping a beginner interested in practicing / learning


    IF we’ve moved onto amps, I’ve owned and tried a few modellers. My vote goes to the Roland Cube range – checkout the 15 or 20, its about £150 new. Sounds very good for what it is.

    I wouldn’t bother with a pocket pod, playing with headphones isn’t much fun and the pocket pod is starting to sound very dated. (pocket pod owner (must ebay it)).


    Can vouch for the mexican fender classics, got a tele and a strat and theyre both very good, paid 300 each off ebay secondhand and neither had any playing wear at all.


    These are on eBay for about 400quid

    Beautiful. Flamed top


    But look just above the puny single coil pickups and you’ll see what you really need: A jackson Randy Rhoads V in white with gold hardware!


    Oh, and I’d get a future proof guitar and keep it forever.
    I have an early 90’s Gibson Flying V, plus a a Jackson Dinky and an Epi Les Paul custom. Still not exactly amazing but I can play a bit.
    All brilliant for different reasons, if I had to sell one I genuinely don’t know which one I’d choose!

    Premier Icon piedi di formaggio

    What Stoatsbrother said

    PRS make lovely guitars

    Beware of buying a new guitar for a bargain price on ebay – there’s a lot of shocking fakes about by all accounts

    Tom B

    Agreed with the PRS SE recommendations….I bought one of the very first ones back in 2002….they were about 650 then. Awesome guitars….mine is played for about 6 hours most days and is still going strong. One of my most successful students bought one and has since played a few concerts in America with an orchestra premiering a new guitar concerto.

    Premier Icon drewd

    If you want to buy new and can get over to Blackburn, Reidys has a huge selection of guitars and some amps if you want to get a feel for different models. You should be able to play a few and get a feel for what works for you.


    PRS make lovely guitars

    up til 92 yes

    now they are absolutely shocking

    Better off with a second hand eggle off ebay – around £650 when they pop up


    +1 for Epiphones, but not bought unseen from the internet.

    I’ve got an Epiphone Les Paul that is all the guitar I will ever want or need and it’s been with me for about 15 years and I love it. It was bought after visiting dozens of shops and playing dozens and dozens of similar guitars, some of which were really, really shockingly bad though. Seek and ye will find…

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