Noob SE advice...
Grabbed an SE 245 off the rack at GC and loved it. I never though a fatter neck would feel good. Now I am torn. I like the 245 but I also am intrigued by The Bernie Marsden and the Tremonti. The Tremonti is the least expensive I assume due to the plain black or red color. I play everything from blues to metal. It appears that the scale length is the same wit the 245 and Marsden with the main diffidence being the tuning pegs. Is there a significant difference in the Tremonti's scale length? Any thoughts would be appreciated. What would you buy?
I am partial to the 25" scale length of the 2012/13 SE Tremonti Custom over the 24.5" scale length.
I take it you played an older non tremolo Tremonti?
Thinner body than the new Custom.
Give that one a try too if you get a chance.
If you picked a guitar up and "loved it" - you have your answer. :D
Having a guitar that you love will cause you to play more.... That is WAY more important than any spec. ;)
The 245 and Bernie will have a fatter tone because of the thicker body compared to the regular Tremonti SE. Between the 245 and the Bernie, I don't think there would be much tonal difference (same pickups, woods, etc.). But all 3 are great axes. Lots of players here have become big fans of the Bernie.
I've been loving the 24.5 scale because I can use thicker strings without adding too much tension, so if you dig that feel the 24.5 may be the way to go. Plus all the 245-based SE's have a thick, rich tone. But if you want to shred some lighter strings, 25 is really nice. I have one guitar with a 24.5 scale and one with a 25, both feel great, but the 24.5 is my #1 because of the feel and tone.
I would probably go for the Marsden of the options you gave. But keep checking out some of the signature models. The SE 245 is great, but you can get some sweet upgrades on the sig's without paying extra. Bernie has the binding and tuners, and that sweet finish, Tremonti Custom has the up-route trem. And I'm going to give a shameless plug for the Akesson for it's jumbo frets, ebony board, and locking tonepros bridge.
Our own Mikegarveyblues did this great review and demo of the Bernie. Maybe we can get him to chime in a bit too.
Hey Nodean, welcome to the forum!
All the guitars mentioned are great instruments but I'm a big, big fan of the Marsden so I'm a little bias! :)
A lot of the differences between the Marsden and 245 are cosmetic such as the neck binding. However, there are two key differences...
The Marsden has a 3 control layout of two volume and a master tone. I'm happy with that as all my guitars have had a 3 knob layout by pure coincidence. If you feel you really need two volumes and two tones that may rule it out for you. The other main difference is that the Marsden has a slightly larger neck than the 245 and just feels a little more comfortable than the 245 To me it made all the difference in the world but your mileage may vary.
For me the Marsden just looks fantastic with the quality of the tops they're using, the classic tuners and the binding. It'll handle the music you like without any issues whatsoever!
I've never tried the Tremonti but I have no doubt it's a fantastic instrument. I'd pimp for the Tremonti Custom over the older one perhaps.
So, my vote is for the Marsden but I'd really recommend trying them all out if you can and go with the one that speaks to you. I guarantee one will! :)
If you can't try the Marsden and Tremonti out then go with the 245 as you already know you love it!
One thing that is VERY important...
Pics once you've bought it! :)
the scale length didnt affect me much when i tried the SE Santana and compared it to my SE Custom 24, but that's just me. Although for some other technical reasons such as if you play in drop tunings, the 25 inch scale length might have the upper hand over 24.5 inch. Not to forget, the pickups are different on them as well. the Tremonti model has the SE pickups with are hotter (based on general consensus) than the more vintage-tinged (also based on general consensus) SE 245 pickups fitted in the Bernie and the SE 245. As for the control knob layout, that'll be up to your personal taste. Also do take the colours into consideration, Bernie is limited to only one finish, which is the Vintage Sunburst while the SE 245 has a few more trans finishes, the Tremonti has Black and Trans Red to choose from. Also one thing to take into account is the Tremonti model has a thinner body, with no maple cap. On the other hand, the SE 245 and Bernie has a maple cap with flame maple veneer.
The difference of having a maple cap or not is not too drastic, although you'll find the maple-capped ones to be much better-looking to the eyes, or not (highly subjective). Tonewise, you'll never go wrong with all 3 of them. Maple-capped ones are brighter-sounding, though some people say they don't feel much difference to it. If you have decided to change pickups to suit your own tastes, you only have to pick out the one that plays best, the "stock" tone wouldn't matter anymore.
that said, all the differences are subtle and not game-changing, so play a few and see, then decide for yourself which guitar you'll choose and likewise, which guitar will choose you :)
"If you picked a guitar up and "loved it" - you have your answer. "
I haven't been able to try out an SE245, but the above quote pretty much sums up my experience with my Bernie. The fit, finish and - most especially the neck - on my Bernie are (gush alert) nothing short of spectacular. I'm still wrapping my mind around the three knobs, but I quickly forget about that when I start playing.
I added some nickel silver covers on the pups, but that's it, so far. It is one of the best guitars I have ever played. At any price.
If you can check them all out certainly do. If you can make a decision and move on without mental torture you already have your answer. It's hard to do I know all to well.