Electric Guitars/Buying a guitar


QUESTION: Hello Dr. Moore,

I wanna buy an electric guitar but my budget is low.
I'm confused between the Dean Vendetta XMT,  Dean Vendetta 1, Dean MAB3,  Epiphone Les Paul 100 and Jackson JS22R Dinky.

Which one do you think I should get?

I play all kind of music but I play rock the most.


ANSWER: Hi Issa thanks for the fun question. Fun because I get to play a couple guitars that are new to me. You must know guitar fairly well to put a list like this together.
I have the Dean XMT it is not the best on your list. It is a good second or third guitar. It is light and distorts easy. The palomino is a fair tone wood. dean are not in my top 10 guitars, My Dean was a gift I would not buy one. The same with the Dean MAB 84, you are paying more for the art work, I would put that money in to tuners.
I am a big fan of Jackson Dinky guitars, they are very good and do have some wild dimensions. The J22R will keep you happy for a few years. I would pick it if you would not have a Les Paul on your list.
The Epiphone Les Paul 100 is my pick. I like what you get for the money. Real wood great pick ups and true les Paul tone and a guitar you will never get sick of. A real Les Paul for a sensible amount of money.
They call guitars that are affordable beginner guitars. I have been playing a long time and never put a stupid amount of money in to a guitar. Wood and wires name it after some dead dude and ask $3,000.00 for it? NO, not on my watch.
The guitar you pick is one you need to live with, the tone how it fits you. The look and color.
Go and play as many guitars as you can. You may walk out with a guitar not even on you list.
Write back I want to know what you buy and how you feel about what I said?

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The answer is simply one of the best I've ever heard.

The problem is that I live in a country were the les paul 100 costs about 700 $ instead of about 250 $ in the states, and so is the Jackson.
So my friend is gonna bring me one from the states with her.
So I just can't go and try guitars here.

I like the shape of the dinky,  it's so flexible and with the compound radius neck I think its gonna be easier to play.
But I don't know if it's versatile and I can play all kind of music on it.

The dean xmt comes with 2 humbuckers and 1 single coil while the dinky and the les paul 100 both come with 2 humbuckers.

So which one sounds better and can do what I want?


ANSWER: My very smart friend bought a Dean XMT a year or so ago and loves it. The Asian hard wood does produce great tones. The single coil does toss an extra dimension to the guitar. I like the humbuckers for the range they give. I have a Brian Moore that has two humbuckers. It came with a coil tap or coil split. It shuts off  one of the coils and gives a single coil sound. I did this years ago to a guitar to make it fun. I was bored, diagrams are easy to get if you ever want to do this. The Dinky is a great guitar and very playable. I never had one, just played them and used a friends when my Ibanez was lost by an airliner. I liked it and could get along fine with it. My Dean is a good little guitar and was used on stage recording and fun. The reviews are all good and it is a cool looking guitar. I like the distortion at mid volume. I am keeping mine and played it last night after I wrote to you. I did not replace my lost Ibanez but I but I would buy another Dean if it was stolen or lost. Hands down the Dean has the best sound and you can do more with it. Things you may want to do with the Dean at a point, would be put some better tuners on it. The bridge pickup is weak to some people I read. I took note of this last night and will put a high out put humbucker on it. I will see if that is true, I was pleased with the sound. I never leave stuff alone.
That is terrible that things cost more than the true value in parts of the world, guess things will never be fair Issa. Thanks for the high ratings that helps. Keep it touch with what all you do and if I may be of more service to. I wish you good luck, Kev.  

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: So at the end which one should I get?
The XMT, Les Paul 100 or the Dinky?

Because of the single coil go with the Dean, yes I play one. Best deal for the money and the sound is great. read some reviews at Ultimate Guitar Forum and see what others say.
I would get the Les Paul but not realistic so do with the Dean. I can 't tell you what you will like. I guess on a Dean for sound and value.

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DR Kevin P Moore


Guitars and cats make life so much better. Playing the guitar is a wonderful thing, fixing you guitar is not that hard. I have played since I was a kid and started to fix guitars and the other things that needed repair. I still repair guitars for friends and myself and do enjoy it. I rebuild old guitars to their former condition, all amps and music gear. That the mystery out of where and when a guitar was made. The value of it and the difference between junk and a guitar you can grow old with. Ask me things and have some fun.


The fascination with electric guitars is the top for me. I fix amps, wiring and put the things that fall off back on. The way to really set a guitar up and make it a player. Buying a guitar is an art, and good amps that will get out that tone we all look for, Zen guitar and amplifier is a way to approach it. Better is no worry ask an expert.

Library of congress, five patients. I write on several guitar forums and many essays on guitar health.

PhD, MS, BA and a BS all from CMU. I have a BA from Mercyhurst College.

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