So, I'm in the market for a new guitar. I currently have:
- An ESP LTD MH-400 (mahogany body, quilted maple veneer, natural binding, rosewood fretboard, neckthru maple neck, EMG 81/85, licensed floyd rose...ugh)
- A Fender Highway 1 HSS Stratocaster (I'm sure we all know what strats are like)
The reason I'm looking, is because I'm recording (sort of progressive/electronic metal). I've experimented with some friends guitars in addition to my own, and have decided that to get a nice rhythm tone, combining my MH with something Ibanez-ish (in this case, my friend's EBMM Petrucci) yielded results I'm very happy with. I'll be using the Strat for another part of a song, with the neck single coil. But, the rest of it doesn't quite do what I want it to in the mix.
So, I'm looking for a guitar with the following features:
- Less dark sounding tone wood, basswood would work nicely. My theory here is that the mahogany in my MH will cover the low mids nicely, while a brighter sounding guitar will cover the upper mids, yielding a sonically "full" rhythm sound. And, well, basswood is sooo much lighter
- Passive pickups. I really like my EMGs, but I think they sound best mixed with some passive pickups. Ideally not Duncans, though. For whatever reason, I don't like that JB/59 combo that seems to be so popular. I had a chance to try it through my recording setup, and it just didn't do anything for me. I prefer the EMGs, and definitely the Dimarzios in my friend's Musicman.
- A low profile, hard tail bridge, ideally string through body. I blocked the floyd in my MH, but I don't want to have to do that again. If I ever want another guitar with a tremolo, those Edge Zero designs look great. But, right now, I just want some simplicity.
- A fast, thin, lightly finished neck with a flat fretboard radius.
So, literally the only guitar I could find that satisfied all those points was the RG1451. I've had a chance to try a used version out so far. The neck is about as comfortable is it gets for me, and the build quality is about what I'd expect from a guitar labelled "Prestige". But, it being used, I feel like I'm not getting the best impression of what it's capable of. The strings were totally dead, and the pickup heights were totally messed up. Also, playing through whatever little practice amp was at the store gave me absolutely no idea how it would sound through my recording setup. Additionally, it was in black, and I'd be more interested in the white version.
Does anyone own one? Any general thoughts on it? I figure if I don't like the pickups, I'll stick a crunch lab and liquefire in the bridge and neck respectively. But, I'd rather just be satisfied with the stock pickups.
Also, this guitar store had a used PGM sitting around there. I love those things, so I jumped on it immediately. It was one of the versions with a tremolo, though. And, annoyingly, the original tremolo was swapped for a licensed washburn floyd rose for some reason. The guitar played and looked great otherwise, but that tremolo is very off-putting. And the price is suspiciously low...700 bucks. Thoughts on that? Would it be difficult to put a "stockier" bridge back in it?