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Indecency
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:15 pm
Posts: 618
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:21 am 
 

Hey guys. So one of the bigger music stores in my country (Canada) is having a $100 off all Jackson guitars sale and I've been thinking of picking one up. I have a few questions about what I'm going to pick. Keep in mind that I have a starter Ibanez guitar that I've been playing for 8 months, so I do know about guitars, though I'm still no experts.

Bridge
Should I consider a tremolo bridge? When I bought my current guitar, most people told me to go for a fixed bridge so I wouldn't have to deal with out-of-tune strings. I want to know if there is any benefit to a tremolo bridge other than fancy solos. I'm still not great at solos and won't be for a while, so I'm guessing I shouldn't even consider tremolo bridges?

String Feed from the headstock
Don't know what to call this. My guitar, along with most other cheap guitars, having the strings begin on the neck by simply having them tightly pressed against little slots for the strings to go through. When I did some window shopping a few months ago, I saw that all the moderate to high priced guitars had some sort of mechanism where the strings were fed through some little contraption thingy which kept the strings straight and made them a LOT easier to press down on the first fret. What is that that mechanism called? I want it and want to know how to see if a guitar has it just by an online description.

Guitar Body Shape
Of course, there's normal guitar shapes and all of those weird sharp, angled designs. My current guitar is the same shape as a stratocaster. Are there any differences between normal shapes and weird shapes? The weird ones look smaller; are they lighter? Less obtrusive to play? Easier to maneuver around? Or is it all for show and do they actually get in the way? Unfortunately I'm buying online and unless I can find a ride to the local music store in my current city (different store than the one I'm buying from), I won't be able to get a feel for it first hand.

That's all. Thanks for the help.

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kingnuuuur
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:35 pm
Posts: 2145
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:31 am 
 

Indecency wrote:
Bridge
Should I consider a tremolo bridge? When I bought my current guitar, most people told me to go for a fixed bridge so I wouldn't have to deal with out-of-tune strings. I want to know if there is any benefit to a tremolo bridge other than fancy solos. I'm still not great at solos and won't be for a while, so I'm guessing I shouldn't even consider tremolo bridges?

If you're into whammy wankery like divebombs and fluttering, then yeah a locking tremolo would help you stay in tune. If not, then there's absolutely no need to get one. A fixed bridge will save you a whole lot of time and headaches, and you can still shred your heart out.

Indecency wrote:
String Feed from the headstock
Don't know what to call this. My guitar, along with most other cheap guitars, having the strings begin on the neck by simply having them tightly pressed against little slots for the strings to go through. When I did some window shopping a few months ago, I saw that all the moderate to high priced guitars had some sort of mechanism where the strings were fed through some little contraption thingy which kept the strings straight and made them a LOT easier to press down on the first fret. What is that that mechanism called? I want it and want to know how to see if a guitar has it just by an online description.

Are you talking about the locking nut? That comes with a locking trem bridge and rarely ever by itself. See above. Sometimes it's substituted with locking tuners, but I can't recall if any Jackson guitars have those.

Indecency wrote:
Guitar Body Shape
Of course, there's normal guitar shapes and all of those weird sharp, angled designs. My current guitar is the same shape as a stratocaster. Are there any differences between normal shapes and weird shapes? The weird ones look smaller; are they lighter? Less obtrusive to play? Easier to maneuver around? Or is it all for show and do they actually get in the way? Unfortunately I'm buying online and unless I can find a ride to the local music store in my current city (different store than the one I'm buying from), I won't be able to get a feel for it first hand.

The fancy shapes are mostly just for show. Some of them like the B.C. Rich ones can be hell uncomfortable to play sitting down, so watch out. If in doubt, stick with standard designs like the stratocaster body. Nothing to go wrong there.

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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
Posts: 12179
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:32 am 
 

King pretty much covered everything above, I just want to re-emphasis about the body shape that you really shouldn't consider any odd body that you don't get to try first hand cause it's all dependent on comfort and like he said some are uncomfortable sitting down... now I don't play sitting down but also depending how low you sling that guitar you will have things resting uncomfortably and I know with every one I bought I had to place the strap nuts to different locations so it would sit correctly on my body and be balanced so the headstock doesn't go diving for the floor everytime I let it go.
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Indecency
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:15 pm
Posts: 618
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:32 pm 
 

Thanks for the helps guys. So, just to clarify.

Seems that I should still be sticking with a fixed bridge.

I don't know if the locking nut is what it was, but I think it is. That's the exact place on the guitar I was talking about, so I'm sure it is. You're saying fixed bridges don't have it? Is there a reason? So I really shouldn't expect to find one?

For fancy shapes, you guys suggest that I only get a non-standard shape if I can actually try out the shape or a similar shape, and otherwise stick to what I know?

Other than those couple follow ups, I think I'm clear. Should make I choice a lot easier. Thanks.

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CorpseFister
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:07 pm
Posts: 2008
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:42 pm 
 

Indecency wrote:
So one of the bigger music stores in my country (Canada)

L&M?

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kingnuuuur
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:35 pm
Posts: 2145
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:03 pm 
 

Indecency wrote:
I don't know if the locking nut is what it was, but I think it is. That's the exact place on the guitar I was talking about, so I'm sure it is. You're saying fixed bridges don't have it? Is there a reason? So I really shouldn't expect to find one?

99% of fixed bridge guitars won't have it, because it's not needed. It's just extra cost and hassle for a little tuning stability, which you can get anyway by properly winding the strings on the tuners. Don't worry too much about it, it's not a must-have or anything.

Indecency wrote:
For fancy shapes, you guys suggest that I only get a non-standard shape if I can actually try out the shape or a similar shape, and otherwise stick to what I know?

Absolutely. Also, not all fancy shapes are made equal. Many of them, like the Jackson Kelly, are neck-heavy because of the odd placement of the strap pins (what SLK described as a diving down of the guitar when you're standing up). Traditional bodies like the Strat and Les Paul styles are pretty much the safest bets if you're going to buy online. If you insist on odd shapes, then you should at least get a hold of one and see what it feels like before pulling the trigger.

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Indecency
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:15 pm
Posts: 618
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:09 pm 
 

CorpseFister wrote:
Indecency wrote:
So one of the bigger music stores in my country (Canada)

L&M?


Not that one. It's Axe Music, which is based only out of Edmonton and Calgary (I'm from Edmonton). I'm currently in Regina now for school and have been for a little over a year now. The only moderately sized music store in this city is L&M. I've been there once just to browse and to buy strings.

kingnuuuur wrote:
99% of fixed bridge guitars won't have it, because it's not needed. It's just extra cost and hassle for a little tuning stability, which you can get anyway by properly winding the strings on the tuners. Don't worry too much about it, it's not a must-have or anything.


So is there no benefit to it like I said? When I was getting the feel for some guitars a couple months back, the ones with the locking nut were much easier to fret on the first fret and it seemed like it was a more advanced way of pulling the strings on to the neck.

Absolutely. Also, not all fancy shapes are made equal. Many of them, like the Jackson Kelly, are neck-heavy because of the odd placement of the strap pins (what SLK described as a diving down of the guitar when you're standing up). Traditional bodies like the Strat and Les Paul styles are pretty much the safest bets if you're going to buy online. If you insist on odd shapes, then you should at least get a hold of one and see what it feels like before pulling the trigger.[/quote]

Ok. I think that pretty much seals the deal. I'm still in the learning phase and I think it would be a good idea to play on two similar shaped guitars so as not to throw me off. Also, while I might play with others sometimes, I play alone most of the time so I don't really have anyone to show off a fancy shape to.

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kingnuuuur
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:35 pm
Posts: 2145
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:49 pm 
 

Indecency wrote:
So is there no benefit to it like I said? When I was getting the feel for some guitars a couple months back, the ones with the locking nut were much easier to fret on the first fret and it seemed like it was a more advanced way of pulling the strings on to the neck.

The only thing the locking nut does is clamp down the strings against the neck. This is in conjunction with another locking mechanism at the bridge (hence the term "double-locking trem") and the result is better tuning stability, but it's far from a perfect system, because temperature changes will still alter your tuning, and wear-and-tear will reduce the system's effectiveness and eventually make it altogether useless. Plus, it makes changing tuning, action, intonation, etc... a tremendous pain in the ass. If you change tunings often, you should be avoiding it like the plague.

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CorpseFister
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:07 pm
Posts: 2008
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:59 pm 
 

Indecency wrote:
CorpseFister wrote:
L&M?

Not that one. It's Axe Music, which is based only out of Edmonton and Calgary (I'm from Edmonton). I'm currently in Regina now for school and have been for a little over a year now. The only moderately sized music store in this city is L&M. I've been there once just to browse and to buy strings.


Yeah, I'm from Edmonton too. I'm not a big fan of Axe personally- it really does depend on the particular store and the staff but I've had better experiences with L&M. I'm not sure if they have what you're looking for but they do an xmas sale this time of year, might be worth popping in.

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Indecency
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:15 pm
Posts: 618
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:52 pm 
 

kingnuuuur wrote:
Indecency wrote:
So is there no benefit to it like I said? When I was getting the feel for some guitars a couple months back, the ones with the locking nut were much easier to fret on the first fret and it seemed like it was a more advanced way of pulling the strings on to the neck.

The only thing the locking nut does is clamp down the strings against the neck. This is in conjunction with another locking mechanism at the bridge (hence the term "double-locking trem") and the result is better tuning stability, but it's far from a perfect system, because temperature changes will still alter your tuning, and wear-and-tear will reduce the system's effectiveness and eventually make it altogether useless. Plus, it makes changing tuning, action, intonation, etc... a tremendous pain in the ass. If you change tunings often, you should be avoiding it like the plague.


Thanks for the constant posts king, much appreciated!

CorpseFister wrote:
Yeah, I'm from Edmonton too. I'm not a big fan of Axe personally- it really does depend on the particular store and the staff but I've had better experiences with L&M. I'm not sure if they have what you're looking for but they do an xmas sale this time of year, might be worth popping in.


Oooh. What side of the city do you live in? I'm on the south side, close to southgate.

Also, for the stores. My first and only major order was from Axe. I got a $200 Ibanez, a Peavey Vypyr, a case, and some other stuff likes cables and picks. They have a much bigger selection than L&M does, and both my guitar and amp were not sold at L&M. For now, they have no sales. But Axe's $100 Jackson is too good for me to pass up. I'd like to have a guitar in Edmonton and I'd like it to be there before I get there this winter. And as of yet I've had no problems with Axe. I went there in store once to have my truss rod adjusted since I was getting a nasty fret buzz, and the tech there fixed it up no problem, for free.

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FenrirFangs
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:26 pm
Posts: 419
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:42 pm 
 

kingnuuuur wrote:
Indecency wrote:
Bridge
Should I consider a tremolo bridge? When I bought my current guitar, most people told me to go for a fixed bridge so I wouldn't have to deal with out-of-tune strings. I want to know if there is any benefit to a tremolo bridge other than fancy solos. I'm still not great at solos and won't be for a while, so I'm guessing I shouldn't even consider tremolo bridges?

If you're into whammy wankery like divebombs and fluttering, then yeah a locking tremolo would help you stay in tune. If not, then there's absolutely no need to get one. A fixed bridge will save you a whole lot of time and headaches, and you can still shred your heart out.

Indecency wrote:
String Feed from the headstock
Don't know what to call this. My guitar, along with most other cheap guitars, having the strings begin on the neck by simply having them tightly pressed against little slots for the strings to go through. When I did some window shopping a few months ago, I saw that all the moderate to high priced guitars had some sort of mechanism where the strings were fed through some little contraption thingy which kept the strings straight and made them a LOT easier to press down on the first fret. What is that that mechanism called? I want it and want to know how to see if a guitar has it just by an online description.

Are you talking about the locking nut? That comes with a locking trem bridge and rarely ever by itself. See above. Sometimes it's substituted with locking tuners, but I can't recall if any Jackson guitars have those.

Indecency wrote:
Guitar Body Shape
Of course, there's normal guitar shapes and all of those weird sharp, angled designs. My current guitar is the same shape as a stratocaster. Are there any differences between normal shapes and weird shapes? The weird ones look smaller; are they lighter? Less obtrusive to play? Easier to maneuver around? Or is it all for show and do they actually get in the way? Unfortunately I'm buying online and unless I can find a ride to the local music store in my current city (different store than the one I'm buying from), I won't be able to get a feel for it first hand.

The fancy shapes are mostly just for show. Some of them like the B.C. Rich ones can be hell uncomfortable to play sitting down, so watch out. If in doubt, stick with standard designs like the stratocaster body. Nothing to go wrong there.
\\


Just for shits, giggles, general info, and because I feel like inputting something because I'm an attention whore: My RR24 has a locking nut, so I'm assuming all high end Jacksons with tremolos do as well.

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soul_schizm
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:55 am
Posts: 659
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:28 am 
 

A locking nut certainly does not provide easier fretting on the lower neck positions. You get that from a nicely placed and fitted nut, which can be either locking or regular.

Locking nuts should only be used with tremelo bars, in my opinion. They are unnecessary on fixed bridge guitars. They help keep the guitar in tune because wanking on the bar can tug on the tuners, causing them to ever-so-slightly unwind, and hence go slightly out of tune. Although, a very nice non-locking tremelo with very solid tuners and a nice, non-locking nut will still generally perform well. I've seen guitars that use the old non-locking tremelos that still stay in tune fairly well. It's just more difficult to set up and adjust to.

Really, the advice on this thread is pretty good for someone looking to buy one of his first guitars. I definitely second the warnings against odd shapes. You should consider the ability to comfortably play in both standing and sitting positions.

Other than that, I can offer the advice of trying out guitars with different neck compositions. They can make a big difference in how a guitar plays. Neck-through construction has always felt different to me than bolt-on. Maple necks always felt far different than Rosewood. Same goes for ebony.

For some reason, I have always gravitated towards rosewood, bolt-on necks that have a relatively flat radius. But each guitar player is different, and finding what you really enjoy is part of what makes it so much fun.

Cheers, and good luck on your search.

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Iron1
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:04 am
Posts: 73
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:34 am 
 

Two simple things from a new board member/old metalhead:

1) Check the action on the guitar before you buy it. Just because it says Jackson doesn't mean you can't drive a hearse between the strings and fretboard. Compare the action on several of them before you land on the one you really dig.

2) Try to play it through an amp that is as close as possible to what you use at home. It might sound awesome in the store through their amps, but may not be as fat/thin sounding as you prefer once you get it home and run it through your pedal(s) or Line 6 or whatever...

And, I'll echo the odd shapes comment. The coolest looking guitars I've ever owned nose-dived the second you let go of the neck, which can wear your forearm out after an hour of jamming.
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