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SGK531

Beginner looking for first guitar, needs advice.

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SGK531    0

I'm just starting to look at some guitars and do a little research, because I have wanted to start learning for a long time. I've finally worked up the guts to try it, and now all I need is a good guitar for a beginner. I'm pretty young and I want to earn the money to buy it myself, so my price range is only about $150-$250, as I have other expenses to worry about. I've been looking at starter packages, because it seems to take some of the guesswork out of buying all the items individually. The one I'm looking at is a package with a Squier SE-100, with a Squier SP-10 practice amp for only about $150. I was lucky enough to get a chance to try out the SE-100 that my friend owns, and it seemed okay to me. I'm nervous though because I haven't tried any other electrics to compare it to! I definitly don't need a giant, powerful amp, as I am just going to be practicing at home for now. Thank you for your time, this all seems really complicated! :brickwall:

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P-90    1

From what I can gather, most people find the Squier strat copy to be fairly easy to play (once it's adjusted), and quite durable. The negatives are hum (which can be greatly reduced with metal shielding or special paint inside the areas which hold electronics), iffy tuners, and electronics (pots, switches, pickups) which aren't on a par with Fenders. Overall, my impression is that they're adequate for getting started, but that the corners they cut to keep costs down may become a bit annoying over time. If you find one which plays really well, it might be worth upgrading any parts that you're less than happy with as you get more money.

The stuff that comes along with it, like the gig bag and amp, sound like they are less than exciting, but that's going to be true of pretty much all starter pack deals. If you want to buy a starter pack, I have heard that the Epiphone SG one isn't too bad -- the extra stuff doesn't seem significantly better, but the guitar itself is supposed to be somewhat better once it's set up correctly. And pricewise, it's the usually same as the Squier one. A lot depends on whether you have any special fondness for the look and sound of an SG versus a Strat -- many players could be equally happy with either one, but I don't know anything about your personal preferences.

You might also consider the route of picking up things seperately. If you look at someplace like Musician's Freind, they have some Dean guitars, for example, that look pretty spiffy for $99, and practice amps that are markedly better than the starter pack kind for as little as $39. It's more bother picking out the pieces seperately, but I think you might end up happier with each of them that way.

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allthumbs    8

I'm not a fan of starter packs. They usually include really poor quality amps. The members here will be able to give you some advice about their experiences. 51 squires can be good but, like all squires, the quality is all over the place so it is best to try an handfull in a store to get the best one.

Take a look at this Fullerton copy strat. It would leave you with enough bucks to get a better amp or upgrade the pickups. Not a bad starter guitar.

http://www.dolphinstreet.com/video_clips/video-39.php

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Stratrat    0

Allthumbs made two very excellent suggestions. The Squier '51 is a sweet guitar - MUCH better than any of the starter-pack guitars. They're not high-end by any stretch of the imagination, but they're a far cry from the junk you usually get in their price range.

Fly135 just bought one of the Fullerton Strats, and his report on it has been very positive so far: http://www.guitarforbeginners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11710&highlight=Fullerton

You'd probably be better off in the long run buying something along the lines of one of those guitars and one of the solid-state "modeling" amps (Roland, Vox, Line 6). The amps that come with starter packs don't include any effects (including overdrive/distortion), and buyers are often disappointed that their new electric guitar sounds a lot like an amplified acoustic rather than the "rawk" sound they're looking for. You should be able to fit both the guitar and amp into your budget, and you'd probably be a lot happier than you would with a "starter pack".

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P-90    1

The Fullerton strats are all sold out in right-handed models except for the ($59 in black, $99 in blue) deluxe starter pack, and there's only a few of those left. Better get on it if you want one!

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picassov7    0

i purchased a black fullerton several weeks ago. they give a further discount for purchasing online. so, in all it came to $59 including shipping. i wish that i could give you a little more info on it but i have yet to play it. i will be going back to the u.s. next week and am excited about givin it a go.

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clefless    0

I saw this deal and couldn't believe it. I picked up the left handed starter pack for 56$ shipped to Canada. I'm really not expecting much, but, even if it is poor, I can use it to practise repairing / replacing the electronics. Thanks for the heads up.

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knight46    2

I will agree with AT and Stratrat. I just bought a '51 and one of the Fullerton's a couple of weeks ago and am very pleased with both. The '51 was $99 at GC and the Fullerton was $59 from MF.

I was able to play a couple of '51's at GC and picked the best one on the rack. The Fullerton came with a few sharp frets but not bad and the intonation was spot on out of the box.

As I am still a rank beginner in electric this is just MVHO.

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P-90    1

The Squier '51 deal is, sadly, no more. You can get a new one in black from themusicden.com for $175, and there's a sunburst one on ebay for $130, but everyone else (in the top 100 google matches, anyhow) seems to be out of them. They were discontinued at the start of the year.

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knight46    2

You might check with the GC in Mobile, Alabama. They had two left about two weeks ago for $99.00. Not sure if they are still there but it might be worth a phone call.

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Stratrat    0

My local GC also had a few in stock last time I was in there (that was a couple weeks ago, though). Neither the MF or GC websites list them anymore. Sad to see they were discontinued. If anybody's looking for one, there's a thread on the Squier 51 Modders' Forum where people have chipped in about local availability: http://www.instituteofnoise.com/squier51/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1398

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hmmmm maybe you should try a epipi les paul standard,squire strat or if you wanna spend the money get a Gibson melody maker or a Gibson SG faded series it depends on what style of guitar you like and the price range

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clefless    0

I found some video / audio clips of both the Squier '51 and the Fullerton standard guitars. I can't post links yet, but if you google "squier 51 review", it should come up as the first or second link. The site is dolphin street and you can get to the clips at the bottom of each short review.

The '51 is really impressive for a sub 100$ guitar.

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knight46    2

Not to be an expert by any strech of the imagination, the Fullertons seem to be a pretty decent axe and at $30.00 including shipping from 123 a good deal.

Clefless, where did you see the video on the Fullerton?

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clefless    0

edit: This is regarding knight's question about where to find the Fullerton video.

If you click the link that D-Dawn posted for the Squier '51 you will be on the correct site. On the left menu, under guitars, Squier 51 is white and underlined. Below that in the same list (the last entry) is the Fullerton Stratocaster. If you want to compare how the two guitars sound, they are both played through the same Reverend Hellhound amp. Just look at the second video for the Squier and the video for the Fullterton. He isn't playing the same tune, but you can get an idea of how the Fullerton stands up. Listen for the clean tone sections on each, and not through the blues pedal.

HTH. I am still a couple of posts away from posting a direct link.

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SGK531    0

wow, thank you all for your advice. I'm looking at the fullerton, and it seems awesome! Another quick, stupid question; can you use any headphones with guitar amps? alot of them have headphone jacks, and I own a high quality pair of Bose headphones. Do you have to use specific ones? THANK YOU.

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Stratrat    0

Yep, any headphones will work. If they don't have the right jack, it's as simple as buying an adapter jack (1/8" to 1/4", or whatever you need) for a couple bucks at an electronics store.

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clefless    0

Well, I seem to have the worst luck. I called today because my order from music123 still hadn't shipped. I found out they they didn't actually have stock so they are shipping it international and it is going to take another 4 to 6 weeks before it shows up. I would say that if anyone is ordering the Fullerton on sale from there that they should call to verify the stock location first.

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clefless    0

I ordered the sunburst starter pack (left handed) because I wanted the sunburst over black and the sunburst was only available in the pack. It was the same 49.95$ price tag as well so I figured it was worth it for the extras. The link is no longer good for it. I must have been the very last person to get an order through for it.

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P-90    1

There are still some blue Fullertons available in starter packs for $99, as well as a couple of left-handed models, and I got black starter pack today, so I figured I'd do a mini-review of them in case anyone is still considering it.

Starter pack with blue guitar: http://www.music123.com/Fullerton-Deluxe--Pack--Solid-Body-Electric-Guitar-(Closeout)-i228736.music

The neck is very skinny, reminiscent of my '60s Fender. It has a matte finish, which looks and feels almost like an oil finish, no gloss whatsoever. Paint on the body is fine. The pegs are faux-Schallers, and while definitely not as good as the real thing, are distinctly better than the tuners on most inexpensive guitars -- they're about halfway between the junk sort of tuners you'd find on a $100 guitar and the Grovers or Gotohs you'd find on a $500 one. I won't rush to replace them. The bridge/bar assembly looks and works as it should, but it only comes with 3 springs, so expect to have to hunt for more if you want to use it with heavy strings. One volume and two tone controls, featuring rather cheap-looking knobs. 3-layer pickguard, 21 frets.

The pickups sound passable, and there is virtually zero hum in the 2nd and 4th switch positions, so the middle one has to be RWRP.

It doesn't really look like a strat, to my eye -- the body shape is a bit off, and the jack is mounted on the side of the body, rather than on the front. It doesn't bother me any, but I thought that it warranted mention. The jack placement might be slightly annoying if you like to play sitting down a lot.

The bridge adjustment was far enough off to seriously screw up both the action and the intonation, but they include a dinky allen wrench to fix that.

The amp is your typical 10-watt solid state unit with an open-back 6" speaker. Treble, bass, volume and gain knobs, and a boost button. Headphone jack. Nothing to write home about, but if you were really broke, it would be better than nothing. Same for the cord.

The gig bag is very unexciting, but is also probably better than nothing. It has a satiny lining, so at least it shouldn't actively damage the finish. The strap is black nylon, but the ends are made of fake leather stuff which I don't really trust without locks. It's also on the short side, which would be fine for some players but unacceptable for others.

It comes with a little electronic tuner which seems OK, but I can't say much more than that, as I'm out of 9-volt batteries at the moment. A guitar stand is also included, which doesn't seem too bad, I'd be willing to use it.

It came strung, with the usual blah strings, and they threw in a couple of picks and an allen wrench for adjusting the neck. Also a DVD, entitled "Beginning Electric Guitar with Joe Dalton." Haven't looked it all over yet, but it appears to have been designed to go with a booklet which isn't included.

Overall, I'm delighted to have gotten this guitar for $65, delivered. The stuff that came with it is mostly pretty mediocre. I will use the stand, the allen wrenches. I may use the gig bag, at least in the short term. I may use the tuner. The other stuff will be in the "emergency backup" or "give to a starving student" category.

I can't tell from the pictures whether the blue model has some sort of fancy finish, or is simply painted blue, but at $105 delivered, it might still be a good deal.

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