School me on "metal guitars"

ErictheRed

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So I'm looking for a "metal" style guitar, perhaps part "shred guitar," but don't really know where to start. I want something with more output than the Burstbuckers or Custombuckers in my Les Pauls, and preferably want a vibrato system. Six strings (not seven) and not too pointy/ridiculous looking, if you know what I mean.

The tones I'm looking for are kind of the heaviest of Porcupine Tree and pretty much all of Opeth, that kind of stuff. Not too extreme by the most modern standards, but pretty heavy.

I realize that Opeth and Steven Wilson use PRS guitars extensively, but what else should I check out? There are so many choices, Ernie Ball Music Man, Ibanez, Charvel, ESP Ltd (are those two different companies?), even Schecter, etc.

Any recommendations?
 

Ermghoti

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LTD is ESPs Epiphone. All of the brands you cite make good choices, an obvious omission is Jackson. All personal preference, GC is usually packed with entry to midrange examples, go play a bunch. Pickups are an easy swap, you're looking for high output passives or actives, although these days you can always pile more gain onto lower output pickups.
 

OldBenKenobi

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The easiest answer is a Charvel.

Metal performance without the metal look.
 

NotScott

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The old Model series Charvels from the late 80s can be had for a few hundred bucks and you will be very hard pressed to find something of comparable quality today for 3 times that price. For a few hundred more you could also look at the Jacksons from the same period.
 

filtersweep

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The two points to consider: if you want actives, buy them built in.


The vibrato system will be the weakest point on a lower- cost guitar. Many licensed Floyd Roses will start to suck over time.
 

CB91710

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+1 on Superstrat
For a "metal guitar" all you need is a moderately high to high output humbucker (or active) and a tremolo that will stay in tune for divebombs and allow "warbles"
H-H... no need for H-S-H or H-S-S.

Tony Iommi had no problem defining metal with a P90 SG.
Virtually anything can be a "metal" guitar.
 

Thundermtn

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Sorry guys, but playing metal on a superstrat is the weakest bulls#it ever. Yeah they're good, but they are NOT metal, they're a corporate accountant on a brand new Harley.

For a metal guitar that doesn't look like a satanist from Scandinavia go with V's, explorers, iceman, mockingbird. BC Rich is relaunching right now, those guitars are metal and sound like it, they really are built for being amazing metal guitars. I have two nice ones that are perfect for trem abuse and stay in tune with proper control layouts for what they are. It really should be downtuned for some songs so you may want a longer scale. 90% will be played on the bridge pickup so the bridge volume better be great and in the right spot. For sure if it needs active p/ups buy the guitar that has them factory, and get a nice trem instead of a entry level unit.

One more thing to consider on metal tone. Sometimes the clarity of vintage style p/ups with a series of pedals will sound better than the hot stuff. A drive with a fuzz set lower and cascaded can make some killer metal tones with feel and nuance on PAF's that most won't attempt.
 

ErictheRed

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Budget is about $2,000 used or so.

When people say "Superstrat," I don't know where to start, since there are just so many of them! I also don't get along with regular Strats very well, as much as I want to, so I probably won't go this route.

My current electrics are a R9 Les Paul, Wildwood Thin Skin '62 AVRI Telecaster, and Wildwood '57 AVRI Stratocaster. I want something different enough from those guitars, with nice vibrato/trem (whatever you want to call it), and higher output humbuckers than the R9.

My current Craigslist has a Paul Reed Smith DGT for a good price, but that seems like a more vintage sounding instrument than a Custom 24 from the online reviews I've seen.

I will need to head to the guitar store, but want to get an idea of what to look for. I know nothing about Ibanez, BC Rich, Jackson, Charvel, etc...

Thanks guys.
 

rabidhamster

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Any PRS is good. Lots of people don’t like the HFS in the bridge of the custom 24 but it is really hot. For metal I personally prefer the #7 pickups that come in the Singlecut, which is actually now called the sc250 and now probably has weight relief standard.

But I just like PRS - you can play metal on anything!! I mean people even call Yngwie metal.
 

CerebralGasket

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Metal is about the attitude.
Does not matter what guitar or pickups.

Early Flying V were used for Blues way before Metal was pioneered. I have seen Metal played on a Tele.

Play what feels right for YOU, not some stereotype.
 
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Gtarzan81

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Budget is about $2,000 used or so.

When people say "Superstrat," I don't know where to start, since there are just so many of them! I also don't get along with regular Strats very well, as much as I want to, so I probably won't go this route.

My current electrics are a R9 Les Paul, Wildwood Thin Skin '62 AVRI Telecaster, and Wildwood '57 AVRI Stratocaster. I want something different enough from those guitars, with nice vibrato/trem (whatever you want to call it), and higher output humbuckers than the R9.

My current Craigslist has a Paul Reed Smith DGT for a good price, but that seems like a more vintage sounding instrument than a Custom 24 from the online reviews I've seen.

I will need to head to the guitar store, but want to get an idea of what to look for. I know nothing about Ibanez, BC Rich, Jackson, Charvel, etc...

Thanks guys.
I have a DGT and a EBMM that would fit the bill. The DGT is more vintage voiced.
Look for a Steve Morse Y2D. Fantastic guitars.
IMG_20190507_193548_643.jpg
 

BKS

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Kiesel has not be named.... :laugh2:
 

Freddy G

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All aesthetic things aside...somebody called superstrats weak bullshit? ridiculous. It's a shape.

So yeah the main things important to a shredder guitar are hot humbuckers, a good, real Floyd (if you want a whammy bar) but most importantly, the set-up. SUPER low action. The kind that most "blues" player couldn't tolerate. That means a perfect fret level job. The guitar will be all buzzy everywhere acoustically, but plugged in to super high gain and played with a lightish touch...it will get you there.
 

Thundermtn

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Yeah prostitute's and preachers are the same shape too but people get a dramitically different user experience from them, that's why looks and output matter. That's part of what makes metal what it is, it's not a juiced up 50's axe.


This looks and sounds metal


This is an amazing legend that could sound however he wants but is most assuredly NOT METAL.
russian image hosting
 

Gtarzan81

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Budget is about $2,000 used or so.

When people say "Superstrat," I don't know where to start, since there are just so many of them! I also don't get along with regular Strats very well, as much as I want to, so I probably won't go this route.

My current electrics are a R9 Les Paul, Wildwood Thin Skin '62 AVRI Telecaster, and Wildwood '57 AVRI Stratocaster. I want something different enough from those guitars, with nice vibrato/trem (whatever you want to call it), and higher output humbuckers than the R9.

My current Craigslist has a Paul Reed Smith DGT for a good price, but that seems like a more vintage sounding instrument than a Custom 24 from the online reviews I've seen.

I will need to head to the guitar store, but want to get an idea of what to look for. I know nothing about Ibanez, BC Rich, Jackson, Charvel, etc...

Thanks guys.
Can you link to the DGT on your Craigslist?
Some folks pull the stock pickups in these, and they are not sold apart from the guitars.

DGT without stock pickups should be in the 2200 range. With... 2800 all day long.
 

OldBenKenobi

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Yeah prostitute's and preachers are the same shape too but people get a dramitically different user experience from them, that's why looks and output matter. That's part of what makes metal what it is, it's not a juiced up 50's axe.


This looks and sounds metal
It may look metal, it also looks ridiculous.

OP said he didn't want something pointy and ridiculous looking.

This is a good example of how a guitar can look metal without being over-the-top about it:



Here's another example of a traditional design successfully given a tasteful metal look:



I do have to concur with you on the Mockingbird though. They're just about the height of cool.

 




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