#1
Hi guys,

I have a budget of £1500 and I was looking into getting a new guitar or a new amp. I was looking into getting a Framus Cobra head or a Mesa Dual rec head ( currently have a Engl thunder 50).

Or

I was looking into getting a Caparison Dellinger or TAT (currently have an ESP Ltd M-1000 and Ibanez RG2550Z)

So any suggestions guys?

Thanks
#2
why are you getting rid of this stuff. its all high end gear. the gear swap would depend on what youre looking for. judging on the amp/guitars id say metal so the mesa boogie would be a sure bet. im not too sure about the other guitars tho
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#3
if you are gigging, no question, get the mesa. those things are amazing!
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#4
a) How loud do you want to be? Or can you be?

b) How good is your guitar right now?

A good amp/cheap guitar will always sound better than a good guitar/cheap amp. But your amp is already pretty decent. Are you playing out? Because otherwise the volume of a big expensive amp might be too much. I had a Mesa Boogie 50 cal+ for a long time - it's basically an older version of the Stiletto, minus the tube rectifier and some of the controls. With the volume at 2 I had no trouble playing over drums in a large (mostly empty) room. At about 2 1/2 it was a noise problem in my apartment, and it doesn't even get its best tone until 3! Live with a lot of people to absorb sound, I'd play it like 3-4 1/2.

If you go amp, make sure you get two things: speaker outputs of various impedences (so you can use an 8" or 10" speaker when at home), and either a switchable wattage or a power soak, so you can get that 'sweet spot' sound without having the police knock on your door. Or more importantly, damaging your hearing.

It's one thing to be stupid loud when you're at a show, but you really shouldn't make a habit of it.

Personally, I like to use lower-wattage amps, and put a mic in front of them when I need more volume. It's a lot more controllable that way, and easier to make sure that the band can hear everything on stage the same way they hear it during rehearsals.

I'd go better, not bigger. Invest in a really good speaker cabinet, loaded with a couple great speakers. Celestion Vintage 30s are my favourite, since they're so versatile. Those speakers are also much better than what most amps - even expensive ones - come with. I'd also shop around for the 8" version, and get a smaller cab for home use. You can also swap out the tubes for long plate versions, which have better headroom and definition - they're also a bit louder.

My Tiny Terror sounds much better at 'usable volume' than any $1000 amp, after buying good speakers and better tubes. Sure I need to use a mic if I'm playing a big place, but the fidelity of the sound is much better than my friend's, who uses a Soldano SLO-100 and can't turn it up unless we're playing outside or in a rural area. Or for a huge crowd. Which we never do.
#5
Oh, and if you're handy with a soldering iron, you can also upgrade the pickups on the guitar to ones you like more, add a second battery to the circuit of you like the EMGs(for extra headroom), or upgrade the transformer on the amp. Check www.mercurymagnetics.com for info. A 4x12 cab with good speakers and a new transformer will probably cost around $800-$1000, and the output difference will be about to same as doubling your wattage - maybe a little more. Though personally, my favourite setup is the upright 2x12, with a bassy speaker in the bottom and a more trebly one up top. The 4x12 doesn't move much more air, and the extra size and weight make it really hard to get the damn thing in your car.

Actually, it's impossible without help, unless you're a farmboy or weightlifter AND have really long arms.