Guitar Amplifiers
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Posted 7/18/09 , edited 7/18/09

I'm a [noob] guitarist and I just ignorantly used all my money on a Fender strat, yes, I forgot about the ampli....
So to veteran guitarists out there, please share me a piece of relevant experienced-based advice on which amplifier to buy, what I specifically want is something that excels in distortion and gives decent drive, the one that would make canon rock sound LIKE canon rock lol..... and please, if possible add some info about the price

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Discuss amps in general in here as well.

~edited by animoo_x
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22 / M / Massachusetts
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Posted 7/18/09
I really have no idea what amp I have and I can't check because it's at my brother's friend's house. I think it is this one
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fender-FM-212DSP-100-Watt-2x12-Frontman-Combo-Amp-with-DSP-Effects?sku=483720
Only playing for 7 months, I think how your guitar sounds depend on the strings, effects, and the settings on the amp.

Note: I only used the amp less than 10 times.
Posted 7/18/09
I'm allowing this thread to remain open for general discussion of amps.

~moved to Music
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Left Coast - サンヂエゴ
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Posted 7/30/09

gunmyle

I'm a [noob] guitarist and I just ignorantly used all my money on a Fender strat, yes, I forgot about the ampli....
So to veteran guitarists out there, please share me a piece of relevant experienced-based advice on which amplifier to buy, what I specifically want is something that excels in distortion and gives decent drive, the one that would make canon rock sound LIKE canon rock lol..... and please, if possible add some info about the price

____________________________

Discuss amps in general in here as well.

~edited by animoo_x


You gotta be more specific. I have lots of technical knowledge on this subject but you need to provide more info. Keep in mind you probably know most of this info but it's there just in case. If you are going to end up spending over $100USD I recommend buying a higher quality amp at a used price--if anything you can sell it for little to no loss. Some can even be resold at a higher price for a small profit. Below $100USD a new amp with a warranty is probably your best bet.

Another thing to remember is that like all musical instruments marginal gains in sound quality often cost a lot. A $600USD tube amp is going to sound better than a $200USD solid state, but that sonic difference in tone quality usually isn't worth the extra $400USD unless you play actively in a band and gig around. Definitely not worth it for the normal bedroom jammer or the guy that plays with his friends on the weekends.

1) Whats your budget? - Are we taking $50USD? $100USD? $200USD?

2)Pickups used? - I assume your Strat is either mid the mid-level MiM or mid-level MiJ, and if so are you using the stock pickups? Is it a SSS configuration or is it a HSS Fat Strat?

3) Gain stage used most? - Distortion and Drive are kind of similar but at the same time uniquely different. Gain (drive) stages in general are divided into 4 categories: Clean Boost / Overdrive / Distortion / Fuzz. Which are going to use the most? Solid states are sufficient for higher gain stages like metal and heavy rock, but do not sound that great in clean or low gain settings. Opposite for tube amps.

4) How loud do you want it / can it be? - No use playing a half-stack at low volumes. A little 5watt combo can't be heard over a loud drummer without having to be mic'ed up. Do not use wattage to determine volume. Rather use the stock speaker's RMS rating.

I come from a blues / contemporary rock / indie rock background and play live frequently so I'm not fond of super high gain from the amp. I always get my high gain from effects pedals as they are easier to work with and generally sound better than on board counterparts. That's only opinion of course.

My recommendations based on my experience:

Amp Model [Speaker set-up] (Transistor/Tube) - Prices in USD.

Best Long Term Starters:

Peavey Classic 30 [1 x 12] (Tube) - Great low-mid gain sounds and has plenty of headroom to cover pretty much every gig short of a full auditorium. Some tubes can be removed for great tones even at lower volumes. Easily mic'ed up thanks to only one speaker but sounds great through a 2 x 12 extension cabinet as well. Goes used anyway from $150-300 depending on the condition. If you can spare the cash, just buy it and not have to worry about needing another amp until much much later in your guitar career. And I mean much much later.

Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus [2 x 12] (Transistor/SS) - One of the best clean amps ever. Still used by many Jazz guitarists even today. Not much on-board gain since it was meant to be a jazz amp but it handles effects pedals really well and can even make a mostly horrible Boss HM-1 Heavy Metal pedal sound good. Goes around $200-300 used and you will need an external gain pedal to supply your gain needs but in the long run is one of the best amps you can buy as a novice.

Great Bedroom Jammers:

Fender Champion 600 RI [1 x 6] (Tube) - 5 watt amp that is all tone at lower volumes. Will need to be mic'ed but if your not going to play in a band anytime soon is one of the better practice amps you can buy. $150 new and $100-$80 used. Will need to upgrade / get a separate amp for gigging needs but for bedroom jamming this is the one I recommend most.

Vox Pathfinder 15R [1 x 8] (Transistor/SS) - Meat and potatoes amp. Can handle high gain playing by itself just fine. Sounds actually rather good for a tiny non-tube amp and it relatively cheap at $120 new and $80-$40 used. Not quite the Champ 600RI but it gets good sounds at a low price.

Also note that while a Marshall amplifier is ideally the tone your looking for, they are very expensive whether it's entry-level, mid-level, or professional-level and most of them priced below $200 suck compared to what you can get from other brands for the same price. It's best to grab a different amp and use a good dirt pedal in front of it.

Another thing is don't get sucked into buying brand name cables as a beginner. Most Monster cables outside of the gold tipped $60 ones are overpriced are not worth your money. Fender California series cables are decent for starters but you should really look at buying cables from your local electronics supply store where they are dirt cheap and easy to find.

Also don't buy from GuitarCenter. They usually charge you 20% more of the market price. I recommend Best Buy and Musiciansfriend well before GC.
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21 / M / Jendell
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Posted 7/30/09
This is some of my gear. Brian May RS Signature w/ Vox VT50. A few pedals in the back


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26 / M / who knows?
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Posted 8/3/09 , edited 8/3/09

gunmyle wrote:


I'm a [noob] guitarist and I just ignorantly used all my money on a Fender strat, yes, I forgot about the ampli....
So to veteran guitarists out there, please share me a piece of relevant experienced-based advice on which amplifier to buy, what I specifically want is something that excels in distortion and gives decent drive, the one that would make canon rock sound LIKE canon rock lol..... and please, if possible add some info about the price

____________________________

Discuss amps in general in here as well.

~edited by animoo_x

Hmmm..... HAHAHA CANON ROCK? USE DELAY AND PLUNGER!!! ITS NOT THE AMPLI U will be PROBLEMing ABOUT THE CAnON ROCK.... its THE PEDALs[MORE PARTICULARLY DELAY AND PLUNGER!!] 1st buy a amp then buy a distortion then buy a delay... DELAY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT EFFECT!!
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Posted 8/3/09

genoxide wrote:
Hmmm..... HAHAHA CANON ROCK? USE DELAY AND PLUNGER!!! ITS NOT THE AMPLI U will be PROBLEMing ABOUT THE CAnON ROCK.... its THE PEDALs[MORE PARTICULARLY DELAY AND PLUNGER!!] 1st buy a amp then buy a distortion then buy a delay... DELAY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT EFFECT!!


Totally disagree. Plunger? You mean Flanger? Canon Rock doesn't use a flanger.

JerryC's version uses a classic distortion, an analog type delay and a subtle phaser for the tone, but you can sound good without any of those as long as you have a good guitar with passable pickups though a good amp. You can get all the gain you need for Canon Rock from decent pickups and a decent amp. From experience a good dirt pedal is always number one, but delay is the second most important effect--the problem is a good amp is much more important than either of them.

40% of sounding good comes from your hands, 50% from the guitar and amp, and the last 10% from your room ambiance and effects pedals. A good guitar/amp >>>>> great effects pedals.
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