Electronic drum set or electric guitar under $200?
November 25, 2012 5:29 PM   Subscribe

Anyone have any recommendations for either an electronic drum set or an electric guitar under $200?
posted by zinegurl to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Go to Guitar Center on 14th St. in Manhattan. They should have some electric guitars for less than $200. Ask a staff member if you could try playing one through an amp. You could also ask in the drum section about electronic drum kits.
posted by John Cohen at 5:41 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've heard a lot of good things about those Xaviere guitars you can get from Guitarfetish.com. Personally, I want one of the thinline Tele knockoffs but I haven't decided which color or pickups yet. They are like $170.
posted by jeb at 5:53 PM on November 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

Rondo Music has a good amount of electric guitars under $200 that have decent hardware and are well regarded in the music community (even closer to $100). Otherwise, a good entry level electric guitar is the Fender-made Squier line, particularly the Vintage Modified line, which have unusually good hardware for Squiers. Ebay is often a good source for these, or Musician's Friend. It really depends on the sound you want and the neck you like, though; Gibson's entry level Epiphone line has an entry level SG guitar for under $200 (I owned one of these!) too. You might do the best going to a local music store (Guitar Center's prices tend to be inflated in my experience; I'd go any place else) and then going online.
posted by sweltering at 8:21 PM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Came here to say Squier.

I don't recommend buying one online, though. At the low end of electric guitars, one of the big issues is inconsistent manufacturing. You should look at a lot of them and pick one out in person. Preferably with somebody who knows how to play, if you don't.

A couple things I've seen before on Squiers: frets overhanging the neck (sharp/pokey), buzzing strings, blemishes in the finish.

If you find the right one, though, they can be as nice as much more expensive guitars. I've owned a Mexican-made Fender (upper-mid range in their line, $550) that I started out with, and a Chinese-made Squier ($120ish?) that I bought on a lark while traveling after I actually knew a little something about guitars, and I kind of liked the Squier better.

I've also really liked the entry-level Yamahas I've gotten my hands on.
posted by zjacreman at 10:20 PM on November 25, 2012

Echoing what zjacreman said, inconsistency is really an issue at the low end. If you don't play yourself, bring someone who does with you. And don't be afraid to try more than one, no matter what the salesman says.
posted by tommasz at 6:31 AM on November 26, 2012

One thing you should keep in mind is that beginner guitars often play badly because they haven't been set up properly. Many stores include a set up fee in new purchases, but you're lucky if it's more than putting on a new set of strings.

My wife wanted to learn to play, so she got a Fender Hello Kitty strat (which is a Squier, more or less). It played OK for her, a novice, but for me, the action was a little high and the bridge felt lousy. And no surprise - it looked like this (not my picture). I took it to a competent luthier and he lowered the action and properly set up the bridge so that none of the screws stuck up higher than the saddles - he did this by screwing each one in an equal amount (which raises the action) and then by shimming the neck to match. In the end, it felt so much better to play. The luthier himself was surprised that the pickup on it actually doesn't stink.

That cost me $60. This is a worthwhile investment - an instrument that doesn't feel good is an instrument with a built-in incentive to not play it.
posted by plinth at 7:12 AM on November 26, 2012

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