Reverb.com was founded with a simple mission: to create the best place for musicians to buy and sell the gear they use to create the music they love. It’s kind of like an online Craigslist marketplace, but without flaky sellers, long drives to the wrong address and no PayPal protection – and it’s all music gear! My credit card is in serious trouble.
One cool thing that Reverb.com does that you don’t get with eBay or Craigslist is curated lists of similarly endowed items. Because of the marketplace nature of the site, it’s possible you won’t always find exactly what you went there looking for – but check one of these lists, and you might find something better, for less.
This week we’re highlighting the Shredder Guitars Under $500 list. I think this is a great list, because I like my axes built for shred, and I’m a writer, so that says something about my budget. Plus, having a limitation like that makes for a thrift store-style pursuit – you wind up looking at a lot of stuff with character, history, battle damage – nothing shiny and new here. Take, for instance, this ’85 Ibanez Roadstar – definitely not a guitar I would typically go out of my way lusting after in general, but now that I’ve seen it, I’m jonezing hard. Damn thing’s almost as old as I am, and looks like it’s seen some gigs – but I’m kind of in love.
The description for this list is as follows, and I think it’s pretty true:
Eddie Van Halen proved that you don’t need a high-end guitar to melt faces. While the rest of the world is off on a tone quest trying to re-create the sounds of the ’60s, there is a treasure trove of quality, affordable guitars out there for those who prefer to shred. The pickups are hots, the necks are fast and the looks are mean in this set chock full of classic models from Ibanez, ESP, Kramer, Jackson, Schecter and more. The only thing you’ll be spending lots of with these guitars is time practicing with the volume turned up.
I think the description is apt because Van Halen wasn’t afraid to heavily mod his guitars, most likely because he didn’t spend all that much on them to begin with. I’m certainly not going to sand the finish off my $2000+ Music Man, but I would do all kinds of terrible things with no conscience pangs to this $200 15 year-old Kramer Baretta. Go ahead, ask me how many backup guitars I need. See how that goes.