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Aku.  Soku.  Zan.Saito Hajime
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Monday, May 28 2007, 04:42PM

New Guitar!

Well, as I've mentioned in the past I was looking to buy a new guitar.
In search for this guitar I visited many guitar stores in various cities in The Netherlands (sometimes joined by Carl, Ralph, Ed, Michel and/or Mick).

I didn't just want any guitar, I set out to find a guitar according to certain specifications/demands.
It had to…

…have 24 frets.
I want to be able to play everything I want to play without a shortage of frets (I want to play things by John Petrucci and Michael Romeo which have licks/riffs/songs which go that far up the neck).
…have a floyd rose tremolo (double locking, of course).
I felt it is needed for the guitar I want so I can utilize it.
…have a thin U-neck.
I hate very thick necks, I feel limited playing on one because I feel I can perform faster on a very thin one (Ed lent me his Ibanez a while back which has a very thin wizard neck which I really liked).  I also don't want a V-neck or a flat back because they feel awkward to me.
…have a smooth neck (not a woody/slow feel).
I love polished necks, they make me play faster and smoother as I go up/down the neck.
…have a good/soft inlay (i.e. unlike a Les Paul model).
This is an important demand; I play better when my hand is rested properly which I cannot achieve that on a sharp edge.
…be within a 300-700 EUR price range.
Everything below 300 is a waste of money, in my opinion (I've had a cheap Ibanez before and it sucked), and I don't have the patience to save up beyond the 700 EUR price range. :P

Of all the stores I've been to, and of all the guitars I've tested (and they are countless), I found myself with only two choices which adhered to the required specifications:

  1. The Ibanez RG1570 Prestige.
  2. The ESP LTD M-200FM.

The only difference being that the Ibanez is a little more expensive (780 EUR) and that it also has a very woody unpolished (and cheap feeling) neck.

After giving both guitars some serious thought (I'm talking weeks of continuous weighing of the two choices and visiting stores to play them) I eventually decided that the Ibanez' (though be it a wizard neck) woody and unpolished feel was just not doing it for me.
My specifications were clear and I didn't base them on nothing; a polished neck just plays a lot better!
Let alone the fact it's 200 EUR more expensive than the ESP.

So I finally decided on the ESP LTD M-200FM (in red — STBC)! :D
An added feature to this guitar is that due to the push/pull Coil Split on Tone Control I can even play with (albeit simulated) single coils. :D

After that, I placed the order for the ESP (which is 500 EUR) and the matching case (which is 120 EUR) a few weeks ago at laenenmusic.nl where the guitar is 70 EUR cheaper than other stores I've seen it.
I was told it would take some time for it to arrive and a week ago he let me know (via e-mail) that the guitar had arrived!

Saturday I went to the store with Michel and picked up my brand new guitar, which is really fucking beautiful!
Not only that but Michel bought a Musicman (SUB) bass guitar for only 800 EUR (price on the paper said "999 EUR" but he cut him a deal because it was 800 EUR at another store elsewhere)!

I really love my new guitar, it plays like a dream and I really feel improvement in my play already (I can do things which I previously couldn't because I was prevented by certain things like the neck).

The things I notice most are that pinch harmonics are done so easily and harmonics come through so clean and well and on placed I couldn't even dream of doing them on previous guitars (on the second fret or on the third fret on 3.3, 3.7)!

There are two things which irk me, though:

  1. The Floyd Rose needs lots of force to pull up (increase pitch).
  2. The metals of the frets are really high (which may result, at times, in unclean notes as I press down too hard).

The Flody Rose can be fixed in a guitar shop for some 30 EUR (which I plan on doing if I can't do it myself) and as far as the metals in the frets are concerned I'll just need to adjust my play accordingly (use less force pushing down). :P

Anyway, that's about it for now.
Need to get back to playing, I've been typing this entry for far too long. :P


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