Couple guitar purchases - small budget.

Dave Holmes

New member
I've been playing my acoustic a fair bit recently and would like to get more guitar into my recordings (I use a lot of samples and synths).
My oldest (12) has been having lessons and has a cheap strat copy (Shine) which I've borrowed and frankly - it sounds bloody horrible plugged in so I'm in the market for 2 electric guitars. One for him and one for me.
Working on a budget of around £500 (just under actually) for both...

Looked in store at an Ibanez GAX30 for him... Sounded at least as good to my ears than the Squire Affinity telecaster and possibly better than the Epiphone LP Special II. All 3 sounded much better than the Shine...
Shown him some pictures online and he likes the look of it... We're going to check it out together next weekend along with an Epiphone SG copy he likes the look of.

For myself - I'd quite like a hollow (or semi-hollow) bodied guitar... I'm unlikely to use any fx (distortion etc) other than reverb and wanting a nice jazzy type, clean tone.
The Epiphone Dot (was a 335 that I tried) is the obvious choice and it sounded nice in the shop...
However when I got home and checked their website I realised that I'd not tried any of the Ibanez hollow bodies... The AM53 (cheapest in the Artcore range) sits right in my budget and although I can't find many reviews of the model itself the Artcore range seems to be quite well thought of...

How do you think the Ibanez HB's compare to the Epi Dot?
Anything else in the £300ish price bracket I should check out?

I've always had acoustics in the house... More of a strummer than a player but I've improved since I took a load of Bass lessons a couple years back - so gonna book myself a chunk of Guitar lessons as well.

The boy's been having lessons for about a year now (and classical guitar lessons in his last school), the Shine was gifted to him by one of my mates and he has a little practice amp (Blackstar?).
I've got a really old 10w Yamaha amp but I'll probably go through a software amp-sim for the most part anyway.

I'd appreciate your thoughts.

Dave Holmes

New member
Also... Trying guitars out in store when you're not a confident player is really daunting... So lessons are gonna take place just because Saturday was embarrassing!


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I have an Ibanez Artcore semi-hollow and love it. AGS83BZ

Stock pickups sound good. Gerat feel. Easy to play. Very comfortable.

Similar to this one....
Ibanez Semi-Hollow.jpeg

I heard good things about the Epiphone hollow and semi-hollow guitars.

I don't know if Guitar Fetish delivers across the pond, but check them out, too.

Morning mate, what type of music does your son like? There's loads of options for him

Dave Holmes

New member
Morning mate, what type of music does your son like? There's loads of options for him

He's pretty eclectic TBH... Skepta, Book Theives, Coldplay, ACDC, Justin Beiber, Trance... We've pretty much always got something playing in the house. I play a lot of jazz and soul records (sample hunting for hip hop) and dance music (anything from acid trance to jungle TBH) in the house and hip hop in the car. My wife is a 80's pop/90's BritPop fan. If nothing is playing - someone is - baby plays the xylophone - got an acoustic in the livingroom, another acoustic and a bass in my attic studio (along with synths, drum machines, maschine, turntable etc) and he has a classical and the 'Shine' in his room. And there's shakey eggs and hand purcussion all over the house!
Playing wise he seems to dig the recognisable classic rock riffs and jangly Oasis numbers... He was asking his guitar teacher about Stone Roses last lesson.


Knows very little
Also the Epiphone DOT Studio. I dont know if they still make them but I see them used often for the same or more what they were for new. I dont know why though. Im partial to them because I have one. Some are shit though so if you can play one first.

In that case he won't think that something shreddy like an pointy ibanez metal guitar is cool at all!

Here's a couple of options for you:

I really like the Ibanez in Grey - I'm quite tempted by that myself!

And here's a few options for your boy: (he won't think this is cool, but its a decent guitar) (same with this, but its a great guitar for the money - coil tap too!) (he'll probably want a bridge hum-bucker) (this is quirky - only single coil pickups though) (I think this would be a cool first "decent" guitar)

There are loads of options on the Yamaha Pacifica - pretty much everyone has owned one or at least played one at some point. I know when I had my shitty Indian Strat copy (which I will fix up) I was well jealous of my mate's Pacifica.
Its important that he thinks it looks cool, but one thing to be a little wary of with the Epiphone SGs and Les Pauls is that he might not find them comfortable to play if he's gonna spend hours in his room practising. A Strat shaped guitar is probably better for that. Also, avoid anything with a locking nut and floating bridge. That'll just be a faff and a pain in the arse that he won't want to deal with - in fact you're probably better off getting him something with a fixed bridge.

Show him the short-list and let him make his own choice is your best bet!
If the amp is either the 1W or 5W Blackstar then that's a great amp as a first amp.
I had one of these:$_1.JPG and it was absolutely awful!
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New member
I have an Epi Dot (335 clone) which I think is a very decent guitar (I know someone who own a 335 but uses the Dot for gigs - since he does not want to expose his 335 to potential damage, theft, etc.

I have an Ibanez (clone of a 175) that was a very decent guitar. I traded it since I did not feel I needed two semi hollow bodies - but I can't say anything bad about the Ibanez.

Been looking at reviews for them Ibanez AS53s. They seem to be amazing for the price. I'm considering getting one and swapping out the pickups from my Washburn.

Dave Holmes

New member
Been looking at reviews for them Ibanez AS53s. They seem to be amazing for the price. I'm considering getting one and swapping out the pickups from my Washburn.

I'm looking at the AM53 - slightly smaller body. Apparently, the stock pups are really good with flatwound strings.

Dave Holmes

New member
Finally picked up a new axe for the kid.
He's made up with his Epiphone G400 (SG) in 'worn cherry'.

I got my own a couple days before Christmas, went with the Ibanez AS73-TBC in the end.