Want new guitar - cant decide what to get
New here, just found this forum yesterday. Not sure if this is the right place for this post.
After about a decade away from my guitar, I really want to improve my playing, so I'm looking for a new guitar with features that my old guitar lacks. Things high up on my list include 24 frets, fast neck, easy access to all frets, and a tremolo. I would like to find a HH or HSH pickup configuration. Basically, I want to start shredding, even though I like playing all types of music. I also noticed that I seem to like the mahogany/maple combination, although this is not a requirement since I also love lightweight guitars. I have some money burning a hole in my pocket right now, although I can't imagine spending more than $1,500 - $2,000, and I am not opposed to spending less!
So after going to 7 guitar stores, here are the guitars that made an impression:
Jackson SLSMG (no tremolo)
Ibanez Rga121 (no tremolo)
Carvin California carve top
I still haven't found a SL3 or RG1550 to try yet. And I'm pretty sure I won't go with the Musicman Luke because it sounds a bit thin. And I'm a bit weary of Carvin building a custom guitar since I like to try the exact guitar I'm buying before I buy. The problem with the remaining candidates is that I like them all - they are all different in their own ways but each are very good, both in playability and sound. Also frustrating is the fact that the rga121 is probably my favorite of the bunch for its sustain and finish, but lacks a tremolo which I really want.
Also, I'm wondering if a new guitar is really what I need. After looking through the forum archives, I found a video of a chinese guy shredding on a strat, which makes me think I should just fix my disemboweled strat copy and practice like a bat out of hell. Too bad I can't stand the heel on a strat.
I'm not sure what to do now. I've been going around to any guitar stores within driving distance. The more stores I go to, the more guitars I find that make an impression, and the harder it is to decide. Any suggestions or recommendations?