How I chose my future electric

Early in January over on Shutterclicks I wrote that I’d promised myself an electric guitar if I kept up practicing with my acoustic. Well, I’ve been hitting the strings fairly actively lately.

So I’ve spent the spring window shopping for guitars. And amps. And drooling – a lot.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about what I want from an electric. Of course budgetary issues are a great concern, but I had enough leeway that almost any type of guitar is feasible – at least the cheaper versions.

Way back when, when I first started playing, I got an Ibanez electric (a very cheap EX-170). Back then my reasons were quite simple: I idolized Steve Vai and I’d had a chance to play the guitar quite a bit during lessons. What can I say, I liked the neck.

Window shopping online meant I looked at various models, but the problem is you never know what the guitar will feel like. A visit to both of our local music stores had me mainly playing around with various ESP and Ibanez models. My end conclusion was that I still like Ibanez-style neck the most.

So, looking at prices and models for one that I’d like led me to a RG350DX WH. I was in love. It looked close enough to my dream guitar that I was in love. The only problem was the termolo. From everything I’ve read, a Floyd Rose style trem isn’t exactly easy for a beginner.

This is where the differences in our two stores started to show themselves. In the first one I visited, the only comment I got on the trem was that all non-original Floyd Rose’s are crap. In the second store I was able to discuss my doubts and get some good perspective. So I settled down – I’d made my choice.

Hah. While waiting for my vacation pay to arrive (=the budget for the guitar) I was then looking for an amp (more on selecting an amp later). And then I saw it. A real beauty. A weathered black with the classic Ibanez headstock: the S320 WK. But…

The guitar has a tremolo system that I’d never heard of or seen in action. And the body is unbeliavable thin. So, again I marched into the second shop and asked them if they had any experiences in the S-series (the first store is our main Ibanez shop – not this one). This is when I really decided where I’m buying the guitar from. Since they had no knowledge of the S-series and the 320 isn’t that expensive a model they offered to get one from the importer for me to try. Now that is the kind of customer service that allows brick and mortar shops to really compete with online shops.

Two weeks ago I got the call that they’d gotten the guitar. I went in and tried it out. And liked it. I’m still not exactly sure if a floating trem is a good solution, but I want a trem and couldn’t find a Ibanez with a traditional trem that I’d like otherwise (yes, looks matter).

But now I’ve got two workdays left before I can pick up the guitar and amp.

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