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10 Guitars for your Consideration

Chapman GuitarsErnie Ball Music ManGodin GuitarsGuitar Gear RetailGuitarsIbanezLine 6 VariaxLP-Style and Single-Cut GuitarsPaul Reed SmithPRSSchecter Guitar ResearchS-Style and Double-Cut GuitarsT-Style Guitars+-

It has already been established that I’m a huge Paul Reed Smith fan - I love the look, quality, playability and sound of these guitars, and providing they have a satin neck - I’m game. That does not mean I’m not a fan of other guitar manufacturers though - there’s much to recommend several of these. I tend to stay clear of the usual suspects though as I consider them slightly old-fashioned and somewhat over-exposed - although there are a myriad of Les Pauls, Teles and Strats that look and sound fantastic in their own way too - they’re just not for me.


My preference is for the modern S-type / Double-cut shape, and I always look for versatility in my instruments. The 7 manufacturers represented in this list - Chapman, Godin, Ibanez, Line 6, Music Man, PRS and Schecter all have something to recommend them, and are all pioneers in their own fashion.


My first ever guitar was a Japanese-made Ibanez, which means I will always have a fondness for that brand. At that time, PRS was not in circulation in the UK yet, but regardless I was generally happy with my choice. Some of the guitars in this list are on my wishlist, some are pie-in-the-sky, and some are there just because of what they represent - they are listed in ascending price order.


My two guitars are quite enough for a while - I need to get used to playing them and exploring their varied tonescapes and abilities. Next year though I may be looking to add either the Chapman or the Line 6 - depending on where my explorations take me - the Line 6 Variax has some amazing abilities that no other guitar is currently capable of...


Chapman ML1 RS Rob Scallon

The most beautiful of the Chapman guitars, first headstock shape and configuration I’ve genuinely loved - nothing wrong at this price bar maybe the quality of some of the internal electronics.

  • Price: £649
  • Includes: Locking Tuners, Strap Lock Buttons
  • Woods / Neck: Swamp Ash Body with Mahogany Neck-Through Stripe
  • Fretboard: Rosewood, 13.8" Radius
  • Frets: 24 extra jumbo
  • Bridge: Hardtail
  • Pickups: 2 x Chapman Humbuckers
  • Controls: 1 Volume, 1 Tone with Push/Pull Coil Split, 3-way blade switch
  • Scale Length: 25.5"
  • Finish: Natural oiled woods throughout
  • Availability: Andertons

Line 6 Variax Emerald Ltd Edition

I really like the idea of the Variax models, they have two special knobs - one of which allows you to change guitar tuning - so you just rotate the dial to hit Drop D etc., the other is a guitar modelling function which gives your guitar different voicings - of well known models - e.g. various Telecasters, Stratocasters, Les Pauls, Martins, Gretschs, Rickenbackers etc.

  • Price: £655 ($800) (Note - discounted from $1,200)
  • Includes: Unfortunately no Locking Tuners here, and no Strap Lock Buttons, but amazing onboard switching system
  • Woods / Neck: Alder Body with bolt-on Maple Neck
  • Fretboard: Rosewood, 13 1/4" Radius
  • Frets: 22
  • Bridge: Proprietary Tremolo
  • Pickups: 3 x Line 6 Single Coils
  • Controls: 1 Volume, 1 Tone, 1 Model selection knob, 1 Alternate Tuning knob, 5-Way blade switch
  • Scale Length: 25.5"
  • Finish: Gloss Poly body, natural satin neck
  • Availability: US Line 6 Store only so far

Schecter DJ Ashba Signature Edition

Schecter are cruelly underrated as a major force in guitar manufacture - they have excellent quality throughout their range, and are so much more than their signature Sustaniac-loaded guitars. If you thought only PRS had bird inlays, the DJ Ashba model combines Birds with 2 types of active pickups - the aforementioned Sustaniac, and an EMG 81 at the bridge

  • Price: £1,270
  • Includes: No locking tuners, but Floyd Rose Locking Nut, Strap Lock compatible buttons
  • Woods / Neck: Alder body, Bolt-on Mable Neck
  • Fretboard: Ebony, 14" Radius
  • Frets: Jescar Premium German Silver Frets
  • Bridge: Floyd Rose 1500 Series, some come with EVH D-Tuna
  • Pickups: Sustaniac in Neck, EMG 81 at bridge
  • Controls: 1 Volume, 3-way pickup toggle, Killswitch, 2 mini Sustaniac Mode Function Toggles
  • Scale Length: 25.5"
  • Finish: Satin body finish (Nitrocellulose?), natural neck
  • Availability: Guitar Guitar

Ibanez Prestige S5470F

Nita Strauss has, or at least used to have one of these (Dark Shadow colourway) - beautiful, elegant and lightweight instrument - incredibly versatile - in her configuration with DiMarzio Gravity Storm Humbuckers at Neck and Bridge, and DiMarzio True Velvet Single Coil in Middle - she occasionally also rocks Air Norton, Evolution, LiquiFire and Tone Zone. Note this is the older S5470 model rather than the current S5570 - the older version often came with better pickups and better Edge-Zero Tremolo. (The DiMarzio pickups are aftermarket swap-outs, Ibanez wiring can be complex - so you are best off leaving this to an experienced guitar tech).

  • Price: £1,500+ (For a decent fairly pristine version - typically used)
  • Includes: Tremolo Locking Nut
  • Woods / Neck: Mahogany Body with Flamed Maple Top, Bolt-on 5pc Maple/Walnut ’Wizard Prestige’ Neck
  • Fretboard: Rosewood, 16" Radius
  • Frets: 24 Jumbo frets
  • Pickups: Ideal configuration as above: all DiMarzio - Gravity Storm Humbuckers and True Velvet Single Coil
  • Bridge: Edge Zero ZR2 Tremolo with ZPS3
  • Controls: 1 Volume, 1 Tone, 5-way blade switch
  • Scale Length: 25.5"
  • Finish: Gloss Poly body, natural satin neck
  • Availability: Discontinued since end of 2013 - various examples pop up occasionally on Ebay and Reverb etc.

Godin LGXT

Ingenious instrument which combines tradtional pickups with Midi synth output and Acoustic magnetic sensors - amazingly versatile, and as used by Steve Stevens!

  • Price: £1,700 (Note - discounted from £1,903)
  • Includes: Locking Tuners, Strap Lock Buttons
  • Woods / Neck: Maple Centre with Poplar wings and Figured Maple Cap, Bolt-on Maple neck
  • Fretboard: Ebony, 16" Radius
  • Frets: 22 Medium Nickel
  • Pickups: Seymour Duncan SH II Jazz Humbucker in Neck and Custom II Humbucker in Bridge
  • Bridge: Proprietary Tremolo - Hexophonic Transducers with Custom Godin pre-amp
  • Controls: 1 Pickup Volume, 1 Pickup Tone, 5-way pickup blade switch, 3-way mode toggle, 1 Synth Volume, Momentary S1/S2 toggle, 4-band equalizer
  • Scale Length: 25"
  • Finish: Gloss Poly body, natural satin neck
  • Availability: Richards Guitars

PRS CE 24 Ltd Satin Purpleburst Edition

Very rare Nitrocellulose Satin version of CE 24, not to be confused with the all-Mahagony body CE 24 Standard Satin! I have a gloss body CE 24 and it’s an amazing guitar - may well have got this one if it was available at the time, although I really like my almost equally rare Whale Blue Smokeburst version. A PRS Custom 24-alike at near enough half the price!

  • Price: £1,800
  • Includes: PRS Phase 2 Locking Tuners
  • Woods / Neck: Mahogany body with figured Maple Cap, Bolt-on Maple Neck
  • Fretboard: Rosewood, 10" Radius
  • Frets: 24 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Pickups: 2 x PRS 85/15 Humbuckers
  • Bridge: Korean-made Standard PRS Tremolo
  • Controls: 1 Volume, 1 Tone with Push/Pull Coil Split, 3-way toggle switch
  • Scale Length: 25"
  • Finish: Satin Nitrocellulose body, Satin black Nitrocellulose neck
  • Availability: Guitar and Keyboard Centre

Music Man Reflex HSH Game Changer

Another ingenious guitar in similar company to the Variax and Godin - this one comes in a variety of configurations including Piezo bridge saddles - its key wonder though it the ability to instantly electronically rewire the pickups any which way, with variable coil-tap / coil-split, in or out of phase and in any sequence. You simply plug your guitar via USB lead into the Game Changer App - Laptop / PC - and then start playing around with how the various pickups are set up and activated - in series or parallel and exactly what % of the windings your are using etc. The possibilities are endless - and you need never buy another pickup, as you can tune each of the five coils to work together to produce whatever sound you need!

  • Price: £2934
  • Includes: Schaller M6 Locking Tuners, Strap Lock compatible Buttons
  • Woods / Neck: Chambered basswood body with maple top and mahogany Tone Block, Bolt-on Maple Neck
  • Fretboard: Rosewood, 12" Radius
  • Frets: 22 High profile, medium width
  • Pickups: 2 x Custom DiMarzio Humbuckers, 1 x custom DiMarzio Single Coil
  • Bridge: Music Man Vintage Tremolo
  • Controls: Dual function Volume and Tone Pots / Push for Bank A/B select, 5-way pickup blade switch, +/- Prest selector toggle near neck, Piezo Volume and On/Off Push button function near output jack
  • Scale Length: 25.5"
  • Finish: Gloss Poly body, natural oiled neck
  • Availability:

PRS Mark Holcomb Limited Edition in Satin Jade

You already know I have the Holcomb SE. This is its original full-fat forebear - with full custom specs and in this particular variation absolutely gorgeous. Usual PRS versatility in Coil-tap Push/Pull on Tone button. I totally missed this one, not that I had the cash ready at the time - order window was limited to January 6, 2015 through March 6, 2015. There is the occasional Mark Holcomb Edition spotted in the wild, but this is the only Jade one I have seen

  • Price: £3,110
  • Includes: PRS Phase 3 Locking Tuners
  • Woods / Neck: Mahogany body with figured Maple Cap, Set Maple Neck
  • Fretboard: Ebony, 20" Radius
  • Frets: 24 Jumbo frets
  • Pickups: 1 x Seymour Duncan Signature Holcomb Alpha Humbucker at Neck, Signature Omega Humbucker at Bridge
  • Controls: 1 x Volume, 1 x Tone, 5-way blade switch
  • Scale Length: 25.5"
  • Finish: Satin Nitrocellulose body, Sating black Nitrocellulose neck
  • Availability: Orders closed on March 6th 2015, there is the very pricey PRS Private Stock (Bespoke) route, or you just pray this gets revived again some day, the Holcomb SEs are doing roaring trade by the sounds of it, and this Jade one is the only one I’ve seen in the wild - sold way earlier this year I believe

PRS 2016 Experience Custom 24 with Solid Rosewood Neck in Peacock Blue Satin

The signature PRS guitar is the Custom 24, unfortunately 99.9% have gloss necks - until this year where there are a few limited editions in the wild featuring solid natural Rosewood necks like this one!

  • Price: £3,800
  • Includes: PRS Phase 3 Locking Tuners
  • Woods / Neck: Mahogany body with figured Maple Cap, Solid natural Rosewood Set-Neck
  • Fretboard: Ebony, 10" Radius
  • Frets: 24 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Pickups: 2 x PRS 85/15 Humbuckers
  • Controls: 1 Volume, 1 Tone, 5-way blade switch
  • Scale Length: 25"
  • Finish: Satin Nitrocellulose body, natural neck
  • Availability: Guitar and Keyboard Centre

PRS Private Stock / Guitar of the Month - DGT Birds of a Feather Semi-Hollow

This is just a truly gorgeous art-house PRS - too precious really to be taken on the road, but something to be revealed and enjoyed on special occasions, or just an art piece, investment or family heirloom! Guitar of the month in April 2016, and a number available for sale mostly below or around the £10,000 mark - there are 3 on Reverb currently, 2 at £9,608 and one at £12,349 - all brand new!

  • Price: £9,608
  • Includes: Phase 3 Locking Tuners
  • Woods / Neck: Ziricote Top with Curly Maple Binding, African Ribbon Mahogany Back and Backplates, Mahogany Set-Neck,
  • Curly Maple Headstock Veneer with Curly Maple Purfling
  • Fretboard: Ziricote, Curly Maple Purfling and Mother of Pearl Sidedots, Ziricote and Maple “Birds of a Feather” Inlays and Ziricote “Birds of a Feather” Private Stock Eagle with a Mother of Pearl “April” Engraved “New” Banner,
  • Frets: 22 Jumbo frets
  • Pickups: 2 x PRS DGT Humbuckers
  • Controls: 2 x Volume, 1 x Tone with Push/Pull Coil Tap, 3-way Toggle Pickup Selector
  • Scale Length: 25"
  • Finish: Satin Nitrocellulose body, Natural Satin Nitrocellulose neck
  • Availability: Reverb


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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
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