2021 - High End shred guitar recommendations!

Hey all! Figure since this site/programs/community is helping me along with my technique, I’d ask here: Looking for a high end shred machine. LOVE the feel of my Ernie Ball music man majesty, Like really love, but tonally not what I want. Anything feel similar with a nice thin small neck? Let me know if you have something similar thanks!

What don’t you like about the tone and what kind of tone are you looking for?

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Pre 2006 JP6 with the original pickups before the dsonic/crunchlab etc

If you can find a Kiesel/Carvin Jason Becker 200, just go for it.
I own different high end guitars (YJM strat, LP Axcess, Skervesen) and the Kiesel one is just built for speed. The neck is slim and extremely comfortable, locking mechanics, neck through build. And for the bridge pickup if you want moderate output, the Seymour JB Perpetual Burn is amazing. If you prefer really high output/modern feel, the stock pickup is also great. And lot of possibilities with the 3 switches (split neck, bridge and phase).

Only downside is that it can be tricky to get one outside North America and pricey to import one.

But that’s my go to guitar for shredding :slight_smile:

[quote=“SvartAske, post:4, topic:45940”]
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[/quote] Thank you all! The tone live just seems to be super mid-rangey on the thin side for my applications. At home its amazing, live i go direct its another story.

I have an early-ish JP Its the Majesty artisan but I don’t know the evolution of the pickups

Kiesel Jason becker huh? hmmm.

@Prlgmnr For a second I thought you were referring to the Ibanez JPM. I have a 2004 JP6 that I would trade for an Ibanez JPM100 P2 in a heartbeat lol

I don’t know the audiophile terms like “thin,” but can’t that be fixed with appropriate EQ? For example, if you have a pedalboard, perhaps the following would help. And if you have DSP (Axe-FX, BOSS GT-100, …), then it’s turning a software “knob.” What am I missing? :thinking:

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Thank you kgk, I have had a bunch of petrucci’s over the years, through various rigs etc, and I just didn’t do it for me sonically. Its definitely more than the eq, its the whole body of the guitar. I have a les paul which i love for lead tones, but if I can get something that sounds drastically different for straight up shredding i would be into it. Hence my desire to shop!

Do you have a specific tone in mind? Any songs / artists you can reference?

There’s some wild tones out there, just depends on your desires and frame of reference.

I had a guitar I “really loved”, but tonally wasn’t what I wanted, the first thing I’d do is decide if I was really happy with my amp or not. If I decided my amp wasn’t the heart of the issue, I’d look into replacement pickups.

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I love the sounds of the 80s- all the shredders of the 80s, Satch, Vai, and all the new guys. Surprised no one is mentioned any Ibanez models actually!

Thanks! My rig(s)are not the issue as I’m very happy with the tones with my les paul. As for pickup replacement, the Majesty guitars are really complex wiring wise, and I’m not prepared to deal with the hassle or lose its value by modding it.

To be clear, I’m more interested in hearing what you guys are shredding on happily, as I’ve been a member for a year and I figure we’re all looking for similar goals on this forum! I don’t NEED only one guitar, as my LP and Suhr standards are my main gigging axes, but I don’t mind selling the Petrucci and trying something new for shredding purposes!

Main has been an LTD EC-1000 (their LP shape) with some EMGs: mini humbucker voiced alnico in the bridge, single coil voiced alnico in the neck. My 2nd most played is a Baja Tele with the most low output Seymour Duncans I could find: true single coil in the bridge, mini humbucker in the neck.

Super happy with my Suhr custom modern. It’s in the same ballpark as a Music Man Majesty, price wise, depending on how you spec it out. You can get whatever neck profile you want. You can also pick any sort of tone woods you prefer. If you email / call Suhr CS they’ll answer any questions about tone wood combinations and try to steer you in the right direction.

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If you believe in tone woods and the like—and I am not a believer—do take a look at Warmoth and assembling a guitar. A parts guitar’s resale value is low, but the build and materials can be exactly what you need, even to microscopic details. I’m thinking of building another soon; at this moment, it would be something like this:

  • HSH pickups from DiMarzio, perhaps something Steve Vai
  • Floyd Rose tremolo with tungsten block (because I love W)
  • Sperzel tuning machines
  • Freeway 3-position switch with six wiring options
  • One knob, volume
  • “Arcade” neck, scalloped, unfinished ebony, stainless frets
  • “King V” body, “black limba/korina,” painted transparent yellow

You might not agree with anything above, but you get the idea! Look around there for a while, it is interesting. It’s definitely not for everybody, but I love it.


I would trade my soul for a P1 :upside_down_face:

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What’s a “high end shred guitar”? The techniques don’t really require a particular type of instrument. And you already have a Les Paul and a couple fancy modern guitars in the Suhr and the Ernie Ball. It sounds like you have all bases covered in terms of both sound and playability.

I would guess ergonomic access to 24 frets, a whammy bar that dive-bombs, excellent tuning stability, and high-output pickups that work well on analog amps to sound “metal?”

All of the above is absolute truth but… the man wants a new guitar so who are we to disuade him? :rofl:

I figured this thread would turn into either a
a) Show and tell
b) Tonewood discussion/debate/arguement
c) Aftermarket pickup discussion

I am a recovering addict of all of the above and what helps me is reminding myself that Jason Becker recorded the first Cacophony album with a cheap Japanese strat copy with no name stock pickups.

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