First Electric for 11-year old

I've done some web research (lots of Googling), visited some local stores, asked questions, and ended up even more confused.

This 11-yeard old is now pretty "decent" with a reular guitar .... started with Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water, Nirvana's Teen Spirit, etc. and I guess is ready for an electric guitar, something he wanted in the first place.

What would be your recommendation? I don't want to buy something very expensive, but at the same time, buying a "cheap" one might not be a good idea ... outgrow fast, etc.

I guess I'm looking for an "inexpensive" set-up, instead of "cheap", that he can use until his teens.

Thanks gents!

Be more specific about budget,please. Under $300? $600?

There are a LOT of good guitars in the under $600 range. But tell me what you want to spend. A few good brands that have guitars under $400 might be Fender(mexican made) Schecter(korean),ESP LTD series(korean).

I like the Fenders for a few reasons. Decent quality of construction and hardware. Familiar shape(Tele or Strat) that has been cool for 50 years. Lots of colors and options. Good warrenty.

Thanks Racer X. Would $500 be enough for a decent set-up? Guitar and amp or am I nuts? I'm looking to spend no more than $750 ... and hope it'll be good until his teens. If going to $1000 would be better, it's something to consider.

Brand names and model numbers will be great. Best place to buy them would be even better. BTW, awesome guitar you made!


zulrik, are you a student of Ralph's? In the San Jose area? Just curious.Wow, three price ranges. Cool.Under $500:Fender Standard Strat Fender Frontman 25 amp.Mexican made Strat is good quality and the Frontman 25 has a bit bigger speaker,more power and reverb over most competitors.Under $750:ESP LTD series Kirk Hammet modelLine6 Spider II 112 combo ampUnder $1000:Schecter C-1 classic guitarMarshall AVT50 combo ampThese are all cool combinations. What kind of sound are we looking for? The next SRV EVH? K.K.Downing? C.C. DeVille? Narrow down the sound you're looking for, or if versatility is the priority.*edited for my maladroit HTML skills*

Thanks Racer X! He likes Rammstein, Hendrix, AC/DC, etc. ... sorry but I don't recognize SRV EVH, etc. I imagine versatility would be appropriate since he's a beginner.

The ESP LTD and Line 6 Spider II combo looks sweet.

I go to Ralph's academy in Antioch ... BB instructor is Ricardo Barros. Ralph usually drops by to train us once a week. Once in a while, Kurt teaches if Ricardo is unavailable.

BTW, can you recommend a store in the Bay Area or should i just shop around for the best price? Thanks again.

Closest store I know of would be Guitar Center in Concord. They will have most of the gear above(except maybe the LTD). Good place to check out different gear, and the 30 day guarantee is great. Buy it, if you don't dig it, return it for what you paid for it, cash, credit, whatever.Honestly, for a first electric, I would not go with a guitar that has the clamping bridge of the Kirk Hammett. That may have been a bad sugestion on my partThey stay in tune through lots of abuse, but are higher maintenance and very sensitive to string gauge. There are guitars in that price range with either a non-vibrato type bridge(like the Schecters) or a non-clamping vibrato bridge.Get this instead if he can live without the "whammy bar" bridge.

Man, you're the best dad ever!

I'll have to disagree on a couple points there rustypenny. The C-1 semi hollow is a lot more money than he is talking about.I have a C-1 Elite and it is one fine guitar.

I am also not a huge fan of used amps. I canm tell if a guitar has problems, amps are tougher! You have to be very careful that if you buy used that there is product support for non warrenty issues or you could end up spending more money just to keep your amp running. If you're going to buy used, Fender,Line6,maybe Crate would be OK. Considering you are not too far from Petaluma what the hell, buy a small Mesa Boogie combo and if anything goes wrong, take to the factory! ;)

I'm not shooting down used amps completely, but Caveat Emptor, baby. (that's roughly Buyer Beware for the Latin challenged)

Thanks for the feedback gents!

D'oh! Not sure how I missed the earlier thread