When I stated to play guitar four years ago I got a Fender Squire as my first electric guitar. I wasn't sure if I would keep playing, so I didn't want to spend too much money. Plus, I couldn't really tell the difference between a good guitar and a bad guitar anyway. Now, four years later, I decided it was time for an upgrade. I started to look for my next electric guitar, focusing on two of the major brands; Fender and Gibson. I planned to buy either a Fender Stratocaster or a Gibson Les Paul.
They both look great and sound great too. The more I learned about guitars however, the more I started to pull towards a slightly less common brand of guitars- Paul Reed Smith. These guitars are a perfect comprise between a Strat and a Les Paul. Strats are usually pretty long, and Les Pauls are shorter. PRS guitars, are right in the middle. Fenders have single coil pickups, and Gibsons have humbuckers. These each produce a very distinct and valuable sound, but PRS has both!
CE24. These get a little more expensive, but I got mine for a great price at Guitars Etc. in Longmont. I went to a lot of different stores, and everyone here was really helpful and knowledgeable. I bought it used, well at least for a used price, even though it doesn't have a scratch on it. This was really nice, because it let me get a much better guitar than I would have ever gotten for the money I was willing to spend. It's light and easy to move around with. It looks great and it sounds even better.
So if you're buying a new guitar, I say that a used PRS is the way to go. And that's Dustin's View.