I've been playing an ESP M-50 for a couple of years now, enough to be able to tell that it's making some things harder than they could be. I've settled on getting a new guitar. Any recommendations? I'm playing straightforward rock, rhythm guitar, practicing by myself, every other week with the band. I'm looking to spend around $500.
Things I like about my current guitar: small, round neck. Body shape.
Things I don't like about my current guitar: the neck isn't very straight, resulting in quite a bit of variance on string height, which makes playing harder across the board. There is all too frequent buzzing and rattling at the high end.
My favorite music store stocks mostly ESPs and Tokais. Any words on those?
I also want a new amplifier to replace the Roland Microcube I have (I have two, so still have that carry-on flavor available). I'm not going to spend more than $500 - can I even get anything decent and powerful enough for band practice in that price range? Would a virtual amp actually be a better bet? We have amps at the rehearsal space anyway.