Guitarsite Forums Guitar Discussion Guitar First Electric Guitar–Advice needed

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  • #21900
    mjw1948
    Participant

    Hello,

    I will be purchasing my soon to be 14 year old son his first electric guitar. I have looked at a Squier Strat Pak for 80 and have been told it is a decent beginners package. However, someone suggested it would be better to purchase a used guitar and a new amp as this would be an upgrade to the guitar in the Strat Pak. My budget is around 50 and there is a local music store chain that sells used equipment with extened warranties. I don’t know which way to go and any advice concerning new/used and brand would be appreciated.

    Thank you
    MJW

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    Replies
    • #67718
      lee_UK
      Participant

      As guitar packages go, i think the best option is to make up your own package, as mjw1948 has demonstrated you can get a great deal from your local guitar shop by mixing old and new equipment and taking advice from your guitar shop salesman. But then of course he/she checked on here to make sure the deal he/she was getting was a good one, which indeed it was.
      Thanks for everyone who made a constructive contribution to this thread.

    • #67714
      youngwasp
      Member

      The advice had been acknowledged as complete. I did not step in ‘mid-thread’, so there was no aspect of rudeness implemented. So I do not acknowledge your point

      It is strange and extremely contradictory that someone can pad a thread out for days with information that throws easily influenced people into turmoil – you yourself replied to one such person. This is then laughed off as a joke – I make a joke and it is deleted – yes DELETED.

      I stand by my double standards comment.

    • #67710
      youngwasp
      Member

      More changes to save face?

    • #67763
      youngwasp
      Member

      And I’m accused of having no sense of humour?

      Egg’s run riot here.

    • #67737
      youngwasp
      Member

      [quote=”lee_UK”]Great package, Alder body and maple neck are first rate woods, bubinga fingerbed?? fingerboards sre usualy rosewood, but on that guitar rosewood will have little effect on the tone and i suppose bubinga is a cheap local alternative, i still would cough up more than $10 on a cable, get a short 12ft one too. if you want to see some reviews by people who have bought the 120SD have a look here

      http//www.harmony-central.com/Guitar/Data4/Yamaha/Pacifica_120SD-01.html

      good luck.[/quote]

    • #67744
      mjw1948
      Participant

      Well, Graduation Day came and we gave my son the guitar. He really likes it and wants lessons right away. We gave him a beginners instruction book that came with a DVD and he has already picked up a few chords.

      He likes the versatality of the Roland amp but already wants more volume than the amp can give, only 15 watts. Earplugs on the way.

      In addition to the original purchase, had to buy a padded strap, padded gig bag, ended up with a Monster cable as it was only $5. more than a cheaper cable, wires and adaptors to attach a CD player to the amp and some other odds and ends as well as a two year warranty(used guitar) but on the special sale, only came to $347 for all. They also re-strung the guitar.

      I think it was a decent purchase and I am looking forward to his lessons and future purchases! So many of his friends are into guitar, drums and keyboard it should be interesting to see what develops.

      Thank you all for your help and advice.

      MJW

    • #67700
      1bassleft
      Participant

      Bubinga is just a version of rosewood found in Africa, Lee. No worse than Indian rosewood found on most modern guitars. Brazilian rosewood costs a bomb nowadays (with good reason, I am actually a tree-hugger in this case).

      MJ, I take the salesperson’s point about ‘starter’ cables. They are pretty awful, but if they stay in the bedroom between a guitar and an amp, they’re OK for that job. Monster cables are a good few leaps in price for the pro player. A $10 guitarstore lead will be fine but, if you’ve already paid for the Monster; it’s not wasted. It’s a good cable, just not what I’d spend the money on right now. If you do have a few bucks left over MJ, can I suggest a nice set of fresh strings? Well under $10, much more likely to make an immediate impact, and something I’d do to a used guitar unless I had written guarantees that it’d already been done.

      Over to the proper guitarists about their favourite brand of egg-slicer 🙂

      (ps, the ‘earplugs’ for you is one of Lee’s jokes. He does good, deadpan jokes. Save the earplugs for when your son wants a big, beasty Marshall amp with two speaker cabinets. Unless you don’t like his playing already 😉 )

    • #67746
      mjw1948
      Participant

      Thank you for the great link! The Roland Amp user ratings are very good, too.

      MJ

    • #67738
      lee_UK
      Participant

      Great package, Alder body and maple neck are first rate woods, bubinga fingerbed?? fingerboards sre usualy rosewood, but on that guitar rosewood will have little effect on the tone and i suppose bubinga is a cheap local alternative, i still would cough up more than $10 on a cable, get a short 12ft one too. if you want to see some reviews by people who have bought the 120SD have a look here:

      http://www.harmony-central.com/Guitar/Data4/Yamaha/Pacifica_120SD-01.html

      good luck.

    • #67704
      mjw1948
      Participant

      Thanks for the info on the cable. The salesperson told me that the cables that come with the Starter Packs are terrible and as long as I am purchasing individual pieces, I should upgrade to a good cable. I’ll check out other cables when I pick up the guitar and maybe get some earplugs.

      A little detail on the guitar, it is a Pacifica 120 SD, black Alder body, maple neck, bubinga fingerbed. 2 Humbuckers, 3 position pickup selector, master volume, master tone, chrome hardware. This model was manufactured between 1994–1998 and is the equivalent or better than anything in the current Pacifica Yamaha line except for Signature Series according to a Yamaha support person. Final cost after the June 10 th special sale will be $122.

      MJW

    • #67762
      lee_UK
      Participant

      I misread the earlier post and thought the salesman was throwing in a monster cable, i echo what Bass is saying, this is an unnesersary addition, and like Bass says the money can be better spent in other areas, a cheap $10 cable will be fine. Maybe you could spend the other $20 you saved on some ar plugs, i think over the next few weeks you are going to need them. 😆

    • #67730
      1bassleft
      Participant

      The Yam Pacifica is a fine guitar for its price range. The only thing I would say is “hold on the Monster Cable”. Absolutely no need, MJW, really. They cost a fair amount of money and are well-made, sturdy things. They are also totally unnecessary for starting out. A reasonable cable is fine, even if the one coming your way has a nasty, moulded plastic plug.

      A bad cable crackles, a useful cable doesn’t, and an expensive cable doesn’t crackle even when run over by a drummer carting his gear onstage. A cable that ‘sounds better’ is a different point; it may take a dog’s ears to hear it. Before I get beaten to death, most would hopefully agree that the money is better saved for (eg) replacing the pickups at some later date. There are solid, theory-stuff, reasons why the guitar-amp lead is one of the worst places to blow $30 on improving a starter pack.

    • #67741
      lee_UK
      Participant

      At least you had the insight not to buy him a Sunburst six string accoustic with the legend ‘The olde Roy Rogers Trailblazer’ blazened across the front of the body with a picture of trigger doing his 2 hoofs in the air thing.
      I bet there are a few dads that have bought totaly uncool guitars for their sons/daughters for presents.
      Im sure he’ll be ok with the shape.

    • #67736
      mjw1948
      Participant

      Lee UK,

      Thanks for your insight. The only concern I have about the guitar is the looks, it is solid black and maple. Not the cool looking black/white or red/white he wanted but again, the salesperson assured me for the price I paid for the used gear available, there was not a better choice. I just hope my son realizes the value and can get buy the looks which I think is pretty cool but I’m “old”.

      MJW

    • #67758
      lee_UK
      Participant

      Excellent choice, you had some good sales advice there, you will indeed get a good representation of the metal sound on that package, the Pacifica has won awards for being an excellent entry level instrument, value for money, and to get a used one is an inspired choice, hope your son likes the look of it too cos for a beginner that is important too, the amp is another brilliant buy, and a great price too, over here (UK) a new one will set you back £70 ($125) and it has all the features needed for a young beginner, i know a few people that use them as practice amps too, you also have some distortion effects on the amp by Boss (sister company of Roland) so you realy cant go wrong for the money, one thing i would suggest is forget about the $20 insurance, guitars dont breakdown, they go wrong through abuse and age, it has passive components and is 99% fail proof. The amp should be bullet proof too.
      Great buys, i hope he enjoys it.

    • #67698
      mjw1948
      Participant

      Went to Daddy’s and purchased a used Yamaha Pacifica with a new Roland Cube 15 AMP for $210. A two year extended warranty is available on the guitar for $20. The saleperson said that both the amp and guitar are good for playing the Metallica sound. Also, that this model Yamaha is better than the guitars included in both the Squier Strat Pak and Ibanez starter packages. I will have to add a Monster cable that is also better than the cable included with the packs.

      These items are on lay away and won’t be picked up until June 11. They can both be changed so any comments, postive or negative are welcome

      Thanks again
      MJW

    • #67765
      rayc
      Participant

      Let us know what you got and how he liked it.

    • #67761
      lee_UK
      Participant

      No risk with the speaker MJW, they are usualy rated above the output of the amp so there is no risk (only to your eardrums).
      Guitar wise he sounds like a metal head, Kirk from Metallica has been known to use a Les Paul, so maybe a black Epiphone Les paul would be good for him? but i think the best guitar that Epiphone do for the money is the SG, have a look at this Gothic model
      http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=33037&item=7323421478&rd=1
      its on budget and new as well, it has a set neck and the newer Epiphones have potted pickups which gives the guitar a far better sound, 2 humbucker pickups and it looks so Metal too. Ask him what he thinks, it would also be a good guitar to learn on too, its nicely weighted and has a slimish neck. If not then search ebay for ‘Epiphone SG’ but try and go for one with 2 pickups (humbuckers) a set neck, and try and get one later than 2003, which is when they upgraded their pickups and hardware. you might want to consider a multiFX unit as well at a later date.
      Good luck.

    • #67716
      mjw1948
      Participant

      My son will be learning guitar on this instrument. He is musically inclined, has played piano for 7 years and loves the bands Metallica and Slayer. I know he wants a red/white or black/white guitar with a smallish amp that will be used in our house.

      I was planning on purchasing this at Daddy’s in Dedham which is a short distance from my house and will certainly look at the guitars mentioned.

      As far as a used amp goes, I know the electronics are reliable but isn’t there a risk with the speaker?

      Thanks MJW

    • #67726
      lee_UK
      Participant

      I would certainly go for the used guitar option, amplifiers are pretty reliable these days, so i would buy a used amp too, you will get a lot more for your money, go for a guitar he likes the look of, nothing like being a metal head and your dad gives you a paisley telecaster for christmas, find out what he likes and go for a used model in the most popular colour and model, if he gives up playing you will find it easier getting rid of a cherry sunburst epiphone les paul, than a sparkly purple one with a chrome look headstock. Epiphone and fender squier do very good starter guitars, and yamaha and Ibanez too, but for the price of a brand new chinese squire, you may be able to get a used mexican one, the mexican is a lot better player than the chinese. Also you wont lose large amounts of cash on a good used Fender/Epihone/Yamaha should you sell it. Amplifiers? well a used Marshall, this:
      http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=38075&item=7323307703&rd=1
      is a great little amp for the money, or something like it, they good reliability and great tone and features, Guitars?? how about these?
      http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=33037&item=7323937361&rd=1
      if you need more advice post back to us.
      good luck.

    • #67742
      rayc
      Participant

      What will he be using the guitar and amp for? How big is the amp?

      I would say that a used instrument is usually a better choice if you know what you are looking for. A used mex Fender guitar or a used Epiphone can be pretty good instruments and can be bought pretty cheap.

      Where are you in MA? I am in Boston. Daddy’s in Dedham has a used Mex Strat for $249 and a used Mex Tele for $249. They won’t have cases. I am not sure whether they’ll throw in a gig bag. You should be able to cop a decent practice amp for $100. I’m planning to sell my Epiphone LP Special (not the special II that is currently available but the original Special from the mid 1990s) with HS case for ~$200. So you should be able to get an Epiphone LP used for a decent price as well.

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