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#1
I made this because of the influx of kids whos parents are going out and asking them what they want at guitar center.

I'd like this to be stickied, because I think that it would decrease the overall amount of threads that make people just place their palm on their foreheads and sigh.

I use the TL;DR to indicate my main talking part that you should keep with you.


The Marshall MG series.



Has been ranted and raved upon by every single UG user worth half his/her salt. While the hate is somewhat merited; I can say that it'd be better to stay away from this amp series. Just because it says Marshall on it and Zakk Wylde says the Distortion is crushing doesn't mean its a good amp series.

They are practice amps. They do that job well. But if you ever want to perform on stage however, I think it would be better to look at other brands.

Why so much hate? Well personally I hate any company that pulls this kind of name brand bait and switch scam that gets you to think that somethings good because of the name of the brand.

Not enough to convince you? The effects aren't really that good, the FDD switch is a complete marketing gag that tries to emulate the sound of an overdriven tube amp and falls right on its face. The Distortion is flat and dead with no mid life and crappy low end response.

The higher wattage models are even worse. I mean if the lower end model isn't that good to start with, what makes you think that making something louder makes it better.

TL;DR
Having the words "Marshall" on anything doesn't instantly make it good.



The Line 6 Spider II and III series


First off let me say this, if you got a combo setup for your first guitar and amp and you just started out playing there could be better amps for you. BUT the line 6 spider amps are a good place to start out if you just got into the game of playing guitar and you want to experiment with your sound.

That being said I would never recommend this series of amps (excluding the valve series) to anybody looking to upgrade. If anything, it follows down the road of the mg series in that its a wonderful amp if you wish to practice at home. But in a band situation the sound starts to get stretched too thin, this is the case with almost all beginner level solid state amps.

The presets on the lower wattage spiders are basically just different amounts of fizzy distortion. The only real thing worth it on the lower wattage spiders are the effects. Which, while they are completely digital, aren't really that bad. And I say that with complete confidence.

I believe the first level of spider's that have the pod interface (the led with the directional pad) starts from the 75 watt version. And yes, I'm really not going to lie. If money is tight and you want to get a better amp then yes, the 75 watt spider is a good way to expand your musical pallet. The presets are alright, I personally thought the KSE and the whole 90's folder of presets were pretty spot on, however the rest of them were just passable. Nothing insanely good. Its not really a pod, since I KNOW for a fact that a real POD can make a very small practice amp sound VERY good. Its similar, but not exact.

After the 75 watt version I feel that anything higher is just silly. The amps become very expensive, very heavy, and very pointless. 75 watts is pretty damn loud even for solid state. And the head versions are just silly, for the price of them plus the cab included you could have bought a nicer quality tube amp with more potential for better quality sound.

TL;DR
The spider series is alright, but if you already have a solid state practice amp, I'd suggest saving up more money.


Fender Frontman Series


Ahh the frontman series, the amp I grew up on. Along with marshall and line 6, fender decided to take its shot at the small practice amp market.

And wow. Looking back, I'm kinda torn. On the one hand, I've never really heard nicer cleans out of a solid state amp then I did out of that small 15 watt FM.

But then again I think, wow, compared to what I have now the distortion is just plain fizzy and weird. Out of the three I'd say that what fender set out to do is something I can respect. They made an amp that followed along with their companies reputation on making some of the best clean channels of any amps.

Ask any old blues dude with skilled hands what they like using, I'd say that most of the time that guy would say a fender. Why? Well, they built up their reputation with good quality amps that simply reproduced a nice clean tone from their guitars. These were folks that didn't like distortion and thought overdrive had something to do with cars.

But again, these are practice amps and thus they should be treated as such. Are fender frontmans horrible? No. Is the distortion great? No. Are they a good way to learn guitar? Yes.

As far as gigging goes, if you keep the volumes at decent levels or you play in a subway or on a corner then these amps are pretty ok. Just keep it clean and use minimal effects and reverb and I think that other people will like what you play more than if you just zeroed the mids and turned the treble all the way up with the distortion on (I wouldn't recommend this)

TL;DR
If you own a frontman now and you like the cleans, upgrade to a cheap tube fender. Its the next logical progression.



Now for what you probably want to read. What you should invest your time and money into buying.

The idea here is that we have a budget of 400 dollars or so. And in most cases even less. This is a REALISTIC number for a good quality beginner- intermediate players amp. A player who understands that the need of good playing will never be overshadowed by effects and cheap sound gags, and a player who likes playing to the point where he/she actually wants to go out and sound good with other players of similar or dissimilar skill levels.

TL;DR Buy this stuff. IT ARE GOOD!

Vox Valvetronix Series

Prices range from 200 to 580

I personally have gone to guitar center and sat down, and couldn't believe my ears when I heard these little guys. Vox, knows what they are doing. They take pretty damn good modeling technology (read: pod level quality) and shove all that pretty modeling into a tube for a bit more oomf, some more quality, and more volume and quality.

The models are quite varied. It starts out with the homegrown vox models that have a good clean that go to a nice crunch sound. There's a whole set of marshall based "british" models that are quite nice. There's I believe there's 2 fender based "FEND" models. And of course there is the crazy distorted "nu-metal".

The amazing thing is that it really doesn't sound bad at all. I really thought that this thing couldn't hold a torch to any other amp. But no joke it just plain sounds nice. And not only that, the effects are quality.

This amp should go to the player starting to do gigs and starting to out grow their practice level amps that are restricting their ability to sound as good as their playing. It is just a plain ole' fact, if the sound coming out of the amp is nice, and the amp sucks, imagine what it sounds like if the amp was equal to the skill.


TL;DR
Vox, is certainly getting their stuff together and understanding the inbetween market a bit better. The valvetronix series is worth a look.
Pain is an illusion.
Schecter Hellraiser C-1 w/ Seymour Duncan JB/Jazz Combo
Pitchblack | Bad Horsie 2 | DS-1 | BF-2 | ISP Decimator | DD6
YouTube Channel
#2
Peavey Vypyr Seires

Prices range from 99 to 299

If you could make one of the cheapest, yet highest quality modeling amp in the world. You would probably make alot of money. And I'm sure that although the vypyr series isn't the best in the world, that its making peavey plenty of money.

I spent about an hour with this bad boy simply messing around with it. I won't lie, its effect ridden, and there are tons of quality effects to choose from.

Yet it didn't feel like the effects were the main point of the amp. I felt that the amp models were pretty damn good. Since the 6505 was right next to me, I compared it to the 6505 model on the vypyr.

And holy crap. It was pretty damn close. Sure, you can tell which ones the 100+ watt tube amp and which ones the solid state amp. But, it didn't take away from the fact that the vypyr held its own against its bigger brother and didn't fare that badly.

That may have been foolish to do, but I'm glad I did. It told me that Peavey likes selling amps that sound damn good. Everything on the amp was responsive. The eq dials (although a little odd to get used to) changed the sound dramatically and allowed me to customize my tone the way I liked it.

The delay and the tuner were the two things I thought were the best two features of the amp. The tuner was spot on and easy to use and understand, and the delay sounded just as good as a dd-6 (which I OWN so I think I'd know). The reverb was alright, a bit much at times but I felt that if kept to a minimum it wouldn't get in the way.

Otherwise, the ability to have two "stomp boxes" was a cool feature. And best of all the stomp boxes that the amp emulated were pretty good. The TBSCRMR box sounded very similar to a tube screamer being run into a pretty good solid state amp. The fuzz was hilarious, it reminded me of a chainsaw lol. The other effects were just as good, but they just weren't as memorable to me since they just did the job they were meant to do.

TL;DR
Its a solid state modeling amp that does a good job emulating the tone of big bad ass brass balls tube amps. And its effects aren't half bad at all.


Thats so far on what to buy for the beginner to intermediate levels, hopefully tomorrow I'll have some time to write some more. But only if you guys like what I write

TOODLES xD
Pain is an illusion.
Schecter Hellraiser C-1 w/ Seymour Duncan JB/Jazz Combo
Pitchblack | Bad Horsie 2 | DS-1 | BF-2 | ISP Decimator | DD6
YouTube Channel
#3
Quote by sesstreets
Peavey Vypyr Seires

Prices range from 99 to 299

If you could make one of the cheapest, yet highest quality modeling amp in the world. You would probably make alot of money. And I'm sure that although the vypyr series isn't the best in the world, that its making peavey plenty of money.

I spent about an hour with this bad boy simply messing around with it. I won't lie, its effect ridden, and there are tons of quality effects to choose from.

Yet it didn't feel like the effects were the main point of the amp. I felt that the amp models were pretty damn good. Since the 6505 was right next to me, I compared it to the 6505 model on the vypyr.

And holy crap. It was pretty damn close. Sure, you can tell which ones the 100+ watt tube amp and which ones the solid state amp. But, it didn't take away from the fact that the vypyr held its own against its bigger brother and didn't fare that badly.

That may have been foolish to do, but I'm glad I did. It told me that Peavey likes selling amps that sound damn good. Everything on the amp was responsive. The eq dials (although a little odd to get used to) changed the sound dramatically and allowed me to customize my tone the way I liked it.

The delay and the tuner were the two things I thought were the best two features of the amp. The tuner was spot on and easy to use and understand, and the delay sounded just as good as a dd-6 (which I OWN so I think I'd know). The reverb was alright, a bit much at times but I felt that if kept to a minimum it wouldn't get in the way.

Otherwise, the ability to have two "stomp boxes" was a cool feature. And best of all the stomp boxes that the amp emulated were pretty good. The TBSCRMR box sounded very similar to a tube screamer being run into a pretty good solid state amp. The fuzz was hilarious, it reminded me of a chainsaw lol. The other effects were just as good, but they just weren't as memorable to me since they just did the job they were meant to do.

TL;DR
Its a solid state modeling amp that does a good job emulating the tone of big bad ass brass balls tube amps. And its effects aren't half bad at all.


Thats so far on what to buy for the beginner to intermediate levels, hopefully tomorrow I'll have some time to write some more. But only if you guys like what I write

TOODLES xD


#4
This is very good.

Sticky this thread.

i've seen a few threads recently about MG's and Line 6's that get tiresome.

EDIT: @ Clownocaster#1, Because we know it's the end of the world if TS spells "series" wrong
Last edited by Hendrix_fan_14 at Dec 26, 2008,
#5
hmm. posting in an epic thread. good luck.
"The future's uncertain, and The End is always near."
-Jim Morrison
#6
sticky

burn the MG series straight to hell
B-52 OWNERZ LINK!!!

GUITAR
Gibson SG Special Faded Brown w/ Duncan Blackouts
AMP
B-52 At-112 60 Wat All Tube Combo
PEDALS
MXR 108 10 Band EQ
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SETUP
SG --> MXR --> ISP --> B-52
#7
i liked it i agree with your reviews , but i dont think it'd be stickied. as much as i agree with you, tone is all preference.
Schecter Hellraiser C-1
schecter Damian 6 string
Jackson Dinky Dk2
Peavey 6505+
B-52 At212
#9
yea..im a much a beginner to intermediate and i have been playing the vox valvetronix and its really good to experiment with different tones and effects.. what i like about it is that it doesnt the amp doesnt have a toyish feel..iono if thats the best adjective but thats how i feel. this is a practice amp but i feel that i could hold up in a jam with it.
#10
well..... of course the MG series doesn't have a crushing distortion - the have KILLING OVERDRIVE!
#12
IMO

MG > Line 6

had em both

not great but there are worse
"Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo."
#14
Nice guide, what about telling the newbies about SS Laneys and Crates?
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#15
I'm a kid with money to buy guitar equipment but I'm getting a Yamaha Pacifica 812v
#17
This thread is useless.. noob domination is inevitable.

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#19
I'd rather have an MG than a Vox Valvetronix. Cheaper and actually doesn't sound fake as hell. The Vox is terribly overrated.
#20
I have an mg 30 watt. I think its good for practice, and it has a nice sound for the type of music I play.
#21
Doesn't need a sticky, it won't cut down on the threads made, and it doesn't have any info that's not already present in any of the other threads. They're supposed to read the stickies and search before making a thread, it doesn't happen. They'll still ask the same questions.

For instance, the only 'which amp thread' which has been there since '04, hasn't really done much to stop the threads about which amp should i get.

Good try
#22
my MG halfstack is so much better then a mesa boogie roadking.
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#23
^ I think sound is very subjective, I have yet to hear the vox but I have heard the rest of the amps mentioned. Personally I disliked the line 6 the most. The bottom line is everyone should make an effort to see what THEY like.
#25
Quote by Retro Rocker
Vox VTs, Peavey Vypyrs and Roland Cubes are the only modelling amps worth the money.

Oh really?
Hughes and Kettner Zentera
Line 6 Vetta
Line 6 HD147

All better than the crappy ones you mentioned.
#26
Forgot the Cuuuuube!
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Way to show everybody up jackass.

Guitar: _______________ Amp:
_ Ibanez SZ320 _________Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

V-Picks!
#27
Peavey Vypyr all the way. The sound is AMAAZING. and it pwns for all us tube haters.
It even makes my ****ty X guitar sound sweet!
Quote by hell_monkey
Lmao pantera? you'd think obama listened to some tupac or something
#28
Quote by xwearesinking
This thread is useless.. noob domination is inevitable.


And I guess you where a master from the start then? Never went through the noob phase?
#29
Quote by Horlicks
Oh really?
Hughes and Kettner Zentera
Line 6 Vetta
Line 6 HD147

All better than the crappy ones you mentioned.

And all ridiculously overpriced.
#30
Quote by Retro Rocker
And all ridiculously overpriced.


Not if you only spend the money once instead of constant upgrading to the next "less crappy" amp.
Dean Icon PZ
Line 6 Variax 700
Dean V-Wing
Dean ML 79 SilverBurst
MXR M 108
H2O Chorus/Echo
Valve Junior (V3 Head/Cab and Combo)
VHT Special 6
Phonic 620 Power Pod PA
Wampler Super Plextortion
Line 6 Pod HD
#31
Quote by scott58
Not if you only spend the money once instead of constant upgrading to the next "less crappy" amp.

Considering this is a thread about kids who are generally looking for their first bit of gear, what are the chances?
#32
Quote by Retro Rocker
Considering this is a thread about kids who are generally looking for their first bit of gear, what are the chances?



exactly
Quote by hell_monkey
Lmao pantera? you'd think obama listened to some tupac or something
#33
Quote by Retro Rocker
And all ridiculously overpriced.

No they aren't.
Expensive=/=Overpriced.
#35
Lol I guess you guys like my writing xD

I'll write more later I just got home from working out.
Pain is an illusion.
Schecter Hellraiser C-1 w/ Seymour Duncan JB/Jazz Combo
Pitchblack | Bad Horsie 2 | DS-1 | BF-2 | ISP Decimator | DD6
YouTube Channel
#36
And the Fender Champion 600. It's 5 watts all tube, and it's $200! Fender Super Champ and Vibro CHamp, great tone.
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#37
Quote by Horlicks
I'd rather have an MG than a Vox Valvetronix. Cheaper and actually doesn't sound fake as hell. The Vox is terribly overrated.


The new VT series isn't bad.
To each their own, though.

This thread is informative, not necessarily useful. Tone is subjective, people like different things.

You didn't mention QC of any, include that it'll help. Also, where are the Ravens?

From my understanding this thread is only of concern for those looking for a practice amp...
#38
Quote by BackDoorEntry
Peavey Vypyr all the way. The sound is AMAAZING. and it pwns for all us tube haters.
It even makes my ****ty X guitar sound sweet!

Quote by alkalineweeman
If by "clean" you mean "get a finger right up in there and do a good bit of spelunking" then i guess "at any given opportunity" is my answer.


mah hardcore band
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#39
Dunno Horlicks, my Da5 is pretty good at TV type volume, which is all I ever use it for. I pretty much only use one of the clean channels tho and some reverb. I agree the gain channels are very meh.

Good thread sess, but like exo said, no cube? It would be nice if people actually read the stickies but we all know they won't.

And there are tube haters? WTF is that about? "Lose the bitterness and be free", says the old hippie.
#40
Obvious troll is obvious.
Peavey 5150 combo
1989 Ibanez RG750
MXR 10 Band EQ
Dean MLX
Spider III 15W
Yamaha FG700S

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