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Old 10-08-2012, 12:51 PM   #1
streak12
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entry level recommendations

Newbie to the forum, have been learning the basics on an entry level acoustic, would appreciate comments and suggestions for an entry level electric guitar, amp, and cable. Just for home use as a hobby.

Budget - Been thinking $300 to $400 may be sufficient.
Favorite artists - Mike Bloomfield. David Gilmour. Bill Frisell.
Preferences - Partial to the look of Les Paul style, Strat style is fine. Don't care for most of the unusual shapes on the market. For an amp, been thinking a small, versatile modeling amp would be appropriate for me. Don't know what quality cable I need to focus on, fairly short length will be fine.
Pickups - Not sure what quality level I need to get to. Versatile set up desired.
New or used - Thinking new because I'm not able to evaluate used quality.
Location - Southeast Wisconsin.
Current gear - Yamaha FG700S acoustic. Not too happy with the action on mine, may be looking to trade in on an electric.

So far I've been considering a Yamaha Pacifica 112J or a Sterling by Musicman Sub Silo 3, a Fender Mustang 1 amp, maybe just a $10 Fender cable is appropriate. Thanks for any comments about these products or suggestions that I should look into.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:11 PM   #2
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either of those guitars would be more than appropriate (play them before you buy them!!!). they're both excellent value for money. most people start off with a squire stratocaster (not an affinity please!), and they're usually pretty decent too.

given that you know how to play though, I would check out your local used classifieds and see if anything peaks your interest. you'll get more value going used.

as for the amp, the mustang isn't bad, but its probably on of the weaker choices for your budget. I would aim for either a Vox VT or a Peavey Vypyr. Just get the biggest one you can afford. again, because you have some playing knowledge, you can try before you buy and pick the one that better suits your playing.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:12 PM   #3
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I honestly would not worry about a cruddy little practice amp if you have a decent computer. Just get a copy of Reaper and find some VST's that you like to use reaper as a amp/cab/fx sim. And a $20 USB to 1/4" guitar cable and focus on just getting a solid electric guitar. If you have a iPhone/iPod/iPad *tomany iThings* then maybe guitar a amplitube cable and use the free app if you need something mobile to practice with.

Here some some decent guitars to look at.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guit...electric-guitar
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guit...electric-guitar
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guit...electric-guitar
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guit...517231000847000

Also check out Agiles over at rondomusic.com those are pretty good as well.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:16 PM   #4
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Depending on what your aims are (playing live, etc...), I'd look at used Line 6 PODs instead of a regular amp. If you're not worried yet about playing live you'd have a blast with one of those... Or I'd go with a small 5W amp. Look for quality over wattage.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:50 PM   #5
streak12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krehzeekid
either of those guitars would be more than appropriate (play them before you buy them!!!). they're both excellent value for money. most people start off with a squire stratocaster (not an affinity please!), and they're usually pretty decent too.

given that you know how to play though, I would check out your local used classifieds and see if anything peaks your interest. you'll get more value going used.

as for the amp, the mustang isn't bad, but its probably on of the weaker choices for your budget. I would aim for either a Vox VT or a Peavey Vypyr. Just get the biggest one you can afford. again, because you have some playing knowledge, you can try before you buy and pick the one that better suits your playing.


What features or performance advantages for the Vox VT or Peavey Vypyr over the Mustang 1? The capabilities of a modeling amp are a little overwhelming for a newbie. I like the idea of the Fender Fuse software, not sure whether I'd really use it though. Mainly looking for a small amp for home use only that is versatile and will allow me to explore different sounds. As far as sound goals, I'd like to be able to emulate sounds like Bloomfield's Albert's Shuffle or Gilmour's Comfortably Numb or the range of Frisell's sounds. Thanks.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:08 PM   #6
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The vypyr can pretty much do nearly any sound you want decently.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streak12
What features or performance advantages for the Vox VT or Peavey Vypyr over the Mustang 1? The capabilities of a modeling amp are a little overwhelming for a newbie. I like the idea of the Fender Fuse software, not sure whether I'd really use it though. Mainly looking for a small amp for home use only that is versatile and will allow me to explore different sounds. As far as sound goals, I'd like to be able to emulate sounds like Bloomfield's Albert's Shuffle or Gilmour's Comfortably Numb or the range of Frisell's sounds. Thanks.


it's not so much a particular feature that differentiates the amp so much as the general sound. the mustang just doesn't sound as good as the other 2- not even close to my ears.

given the sounds that you want, the VT would probably sound much better to your ears. the beauty of a modelling amp is that it can adapt and change with your tastes (which will inevitably change- particularly as you're new to guitar). they seem a little overwhelming at first, but they're very easy to come to grips with (they wouldn't sell any if they were hard to use!)
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:09 PM   #8
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Being in a similar situation as OP I've been lookknb into and pretty much settled on Rondo guitars. They make mkst styles and are rather inexpensive with good-decent reviews. For amps, a Roland micro cube is small, portable, powerful and sports yplenty modeling and effects options.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:16 PM   #9
streak12
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Thanks for all for the replies. I think I'd like to stick with getting a small amp that I can move around my house rather than going to software or a processor, I'll look into the Vox VT20+ and the Peavey Vypyr 15, I don't need much volume output. I'm pretty uncomfortable looking at used guitars given my relative ignorance although if a local guitar shop steers me to a model they have on hand that they'll warranty I might be persuaded. So I probably don't want to spend more than $200-$250 on a new guitar, in addition to the models I mentioned previously I think the Agile AL-2000 from Rondo looks interesting and might be the top end of my budget. Any other guitar suggestions for me to look at? I should mention that the quality and stability of the action up and down and across the fretboard is quite a concern for me, I have enough problems training my fingers without having to fight the action. Thanks again.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:25 PM   #10
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Also dont forget guitarfetish.com they have some really nice LP copies that I think are better than the AL-2000 and 2500 for about the same price.

Ive been GASing for this one myself.
http://www.guitarfetish.com/XV-599-...ng-_p_4342.html
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:14 AM   #11
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It really is kind of hard to get versatility for a cheap price unless you are going with used guitars. Well, in my experience haha.

Here is what I would suggest starting with the amplifier. Get the VOX Valvetronix VT20+ or the VT40+. It is a fantastic modelling amplifier which you can achieve so many versatile sounds with. I prefer the VOX VT over all other modelling amplifiers especially for the price. I use a VT40+ for my basic home practice amplifier and for when I go to jam with new bands. It is more than loud enough. Get the VT20+ if you just want something for your bedroom that could also get pretty loud and get the VT40+ if you want to also jam with bands without worrying if you will be loud enough. If you want to see prices and features you can see the VT40+ HERE and the VT20+ HERE.

Now for the guitar since you are partial to the Les Paul style I would actually suggest the ESP LTD EC-50 you can see HERE. Generally all of the ESP LTD guitars in the "50" range or near there will sound similar because they are all made with the same woods and same pickups. If you want more versatility with the same shape with ESP you could try the ESP LTD EC-256 which you can see HERE. It has a coil tap which means you can get single coil and humbucker tones which is a great idea if you want versatility. Last guitar I may suggest is the ESP LTD MH-53 which I think is another guitar that has great versatility for the price. You can see that guitar HERE.

When it comes to cables the way I look at it is the better the cable the less cables you will have to buy. Its a good idea to just get like a 10 foot to 20 foot nice Fender cable or whatever you want really. But cheaper cables don't always last and a lot of people tend to replace them often enough that its cheaper to buy one that is more expensive haha. But the ones that are generally good and last a nice amount of time for a decent price you can click HERE to see.

Out of it all, I personally suggest the ESP LTD EC-256 with the VOX Valvetronix VT40+ with the cable I suggested. With this setup you could easily achieve a Hard Rock and Metal sound and even some nice bluesy tones with it all the way to some country tones. This has the best versatility for the price and quality that I could think of.

I own an ESP LTD F-50 guitar and it was a great beginner guitar and I could do what I wanted with it and now that I have more experience with guitar I simply switched out the pickups in the guitar and now it sounds great and I still use it every day even though I have some higher end guitars. This just tells me that ESP put a lot of care into an affordable guitar.

The ESP LTD EC-256 is $300 and the VOX Valvetronix VT40+ is $250 and the cable is $20 dollars so all in all this would run you $570. If you get the cheapest things I said that would be the ESP LTD EC-50 for $200 and the VT20+ for $170 and the same cable so your total would be $390 approximately. The more expensive option is DOUBLE the versatility and uses and only $180 dollars more instead of double the price.

I hope I was helpful. I have a kind of biased opinion because I am an ESP guy but this is just what I would do knowing all that I know now.

Last edited by Triton1079 : 10-09-2012 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:03 AM   #12
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For your type of guitarist, a VT would not be a bad choice. I really disliked the amp, but I'm more into higher gain stuff. I feel the VT (like the Mustang) is really lacking in that department. However, if you're just into lowish gain bluesy stuff, that will work for ya.

If you don't want to go used, I think buying and Agile AL-2000 is probably the best bang for your buck. The 3000 or 3100 is big step up in terms of wood, pickups, electronics, hardware etc... but the 2000 is no slouch. To me, it has higher quality parts than that linked Xaviere and roughly the same price.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:57 AM   #13
streak12
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Thanks all. I looked at the Xavieres and ESPs and they look good, at the moment I'm smitten with the Agile AL-2000, Root Beer Flame is beautiful to my eye ....
http://www.rondomusic.com/al2000rootbeerflmwide.html
.... I accept the wisdom of having something you love to look at sitting on the stand beckoning you to play it. The AL-2000 has a "wide" neck version, 1/8" wider at the neck, 1 3/4" overall, I'm not sure if this would be better or worse for me, my hands are average size at best, my little finger is more than an inch shorter than my ring finger and it wants to bend more inwards toward the center area of my palm, as a novice I have problems with stretching the little finger across the neck but also with all fingers sometimes muting adjacent strings so I'm thinking the "wide" neck would be more playable over the entire fretboard for me ... ? I'm giving the Vox VT+ 20 serious consideration also, several have recommended it, would I be correct that it's primarily for the quality of the sound output rather than significantly more features than the Fender Mustang 1 or the Peavey Vypyr 15 ... ? Again, I'll be playing at fairly low volume output, having higher capacity volume output is not something I'll need at this time. For the near term I'll be concentrating on trying to learn some slower blues like ....

.... and down the road maybe some of Gilmour's stuff like ....

Thanks for all the help to a newbie.
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:46 AM   #14
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As to learning and playing, scale shapes are good. They are even better when in context to the chord shapes they are built around. But then these chords are built around their root notes. Logically then, notes are the best starting point. Learn where all your notes are on the fretboard and build chords around them based on the scale shape for the position. Best thing I've found to really learn where all the notes are is a small iPhone app called GuitarDrills.

https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/gui...d579194059?mt=8
http://www.facebook.com/GuitarDrills
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