#1
If you have a bad guitar, that would also sound bad on a good amp. My squier strat sounds dead on many spots, and it is setup fine. If I wanted a new amp to play live, my adoring fans probably won't like the buzzing notes. Is it just me getting unlucky, or are many bad guitars that bad?
Amps:
Fender Frontman 15r

Guitars:
Epiphone Dot Studio
Squier Strat

Pedals:
Crybaby Original Wah
Boss DS-1
#2
It's you getting unlucky. Obviously, if a guitar is completely unplayable, it won't sound good with any other gear, but if it's a curable fault, then it still has the potential to sound good through a good amp.

I'd say about 60%, if not more, of your tone depends on the amp. If you play a squier through a good amp, you can still get a good sound. However, you can play an amazing guitar through a 10watt practice amp and it'll sound crap. That's my experience.
#3
Quote by sashki
It's you getting unlucky. Obviously, if a guitar is completely unplayable, it won't sound good with any other gear, but if it's a curable fault, then it still has the potential to sound good through a good amp.

I'd say about 60%, if not more, of your tone depends on the amp. If you play a squier through a good amp, you can still get a good sound. However, you can play an amazing guitar through a 10watt practice amp and it'll sound crap. That's my experience.

Ya, I kinda figured that. It doesn't seem like something I can fix, as it is probably the fret that's messed up. That would probably cost a lot of money to fix, am I right?
Amps:
Fender Frontman 15r

Guitars:
Epiphone Dot Studio
Squier Strat

Pedals:
Crybaby Original Wah
Boss DS-1
#4
In most cases, as long as the guitar plays well, people recommend replacing the amp. A lot of people who make the recommendation topics, in my experience, seem to have a decent guitar but a worse amp, so I see where the advice is coming from. However, if you don't like the way your guitar plays, then naturally you should get another guitar. It depends on the circumstances.

EDIT: Yeah, you should probably get a new guitar if there's a bunch of fret buzz. I have a similar problem, so I'm getting a new guitar before an amp as well. Whether you're playing through your amp or a $2000 amp, you can still here the buzzing.
Last edited by TheLetheProject at Aug 3, 2009,
#5
A good guitar player will sound pretty darn close to the same using a crappy $100 guitar as they do with their favorite $3000 guitar. Provided they are using the same amp.

But give that same guitar player thier favorite guitar and a crappy amp, they won't sound anywhere near as good.

Did you ever see those commercials where the new VW Bug was coming with a First Act Les Paul Copy, and had Slash playing it......I rest my case your honor.

2001 Ernie Ball Music Man Axis Super Sport
2001 MIM Standard Strat
Peavey Classic 30 112 Combo.
My Gear
#6
Quote by SecretAgentS
Ya, I kinda figured that. It doesn't seem like something I can fix, as it is probably the fret that's messed up. That would probably cost a lot of money to fix, am I right?


not as much as a new guitar or amp, seriously take it in, get a quote i doubt it will be too expensive, just needs to be properly set up.
for the most part, and this is very general.
I rely on the guitar to play well, and the amp to sound good.
#7
Most people just blindly suggest amps because they heard that amps do more for tone - which is true... but tone isn´t always the goal in mind...
#8
Yeah but what you guys have to keep in mind, a guitar that's played on a Spider, will sound like any other guitar being played through a Spider.

Unless you're playing guitars with a different pickup placement... but anyway,

Your amp makes up a large amount of your tone and sound quality. You can get a nice guitar. It can be a Gibby, Rickenbacker, Fender, really high-end PRS, but if you play it on a 10W practice amp, it won't sound much different than your squier.

But however, I will say, if you're playing a squier Strat through that 10W practice amp, and you get a decent middle-end guitar with humbuckers, there will be an amazing difference.
#9
Because they're being silly.

You should upgrade to a decent, playable guitar before you buy a tube amp to play your Fender Starcaster through. You don't need an amp at all to practise guitar, you do need a guitar you enjoy playing.
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#10
Ya guitar is all about comfort and feel. Something which comes with Time, and Money. Dark Side of the Moon is, after all, all about guitar, really. Matter of fact, it's all about guitar.
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#11
I had a very similar problem and brought my guitar to a luthier at school and he did it for free - reglued the frets, adjusted the action and leveled the frets

Its not WHAT you know its WHO ya know

Nah, but seriously, hes a great guy

Time on earth is like butterscotch; you really want more, even though it will probably just make you ill.



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#12
Quote by STABxYOU
Because they're being silly.

You should upgrade to a decent, playable guitar before you buy a tube amp to play your Fender Starcaster through. You don't need an amp at all to practise guitar, you do need a guitar you enjoy playing.


+1. So true.
#13
A good guitar player will sound pretty darn close to the same using a crappy $100 guitar as they do with their favorite $3000 guitar. Provided they are using the same amp.

no. NO.

I rely on the guitar to play well, and the amp to sound good.

this
Last edited by Regensgeliebte at Aug 3, 2009,
#14
The title of the thread is "WHY do people suggest...."

My response correctly answers the the title of the thread...
Weather it's a true statement or not, is irrelevant. That is WHY people suggest Upgrade of AMP before guitar.

If the title of the thread was "Should I upgrade amp or guitar", I would agree.
It varies from one person to the next. Which one are you less happy with??

2001 Ernie Ball Music Man Axis Super Sport
2001 MIM Standard Strat
Peavey Classic 30 112 Combo.
My Gear
#15
My own opinion on this is:

If you have an amp which is enough for what you are using it and want to do a guitar upgrade to have more features like a tremolo, other kind of pickups (humbuckers/single coils), better neck construction to be able to play the stuff you really want to and can't with your current guitar, then get a new guitar.

But if you are looking to upgrade the guitar to get better sound and have a bad amp (Spider, MG, Frontman, Walmart amps, whatever...), than it is unnecessary. If you are looking for better sound, not better playability and new features, get a new amp.
Fender American Special HSS Stratocaster
Ibanez 1987 Roadstar II Deluxe
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Marshall JCM900 SL-X
Ibanez WD-7 Weeping Demon Wah
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#16
^^^ +1

Well said.

2001 Ernie Ball Music Man Axis Super Sport
2001 MIM Standard Strat
Peavey Classic 30 112 Combo.
My Gear
#17
When you have high end gear, everything is important....

This is how I think about my setup and how I like everything to works...

I like for my guitar to be the biggest contributor to tone. I personally like pickups to be relatively transparent, thus I usually like PAF style pickups wound in the 7.5k-8k range, because they let the natural voice of your guitar come through. Thus it's very easy to determine if the guitar sounds good or not, play it unplugged, if it sounds focused and nasally unplugged it's going to sound that way plugged in, if it sounds open and airy unplugged, it's going to sound that way plugged in, but taking that into account, it's equally important for me to use an amplifier that lets my guitar's voice shine through. Trust me, go plug into a vintage Marshall or Fender, crank it up to just this side of a nice overdrive and you will hear all sorts of things going on that are coming from your guitar that you would never get using a crappy amp. The amp will be adding it's own color to your sound but if it's a good amp, it'll still let your guitar's voice come through. With a crappy amp, you never hear the true tone of your guitar (also true if you're using too much gain), whether it's a $300 guitar or a $3000 guitar.

So even though using a cheap guitar through a great amp is not ideal, you'll still be getting the very most out of that guitar with a good amp. But with a crappy amp, not only will you not get the best out of the cheap guitar, it puts a huge limit on how much you're going to get out of a good guitar.
Last edited by al112987 at Aug 3, 2009,
#18
Quote by al112987
When you have high end gear, everything is important....

This is how I think about my setup and how I like everything to works...

I like for my guitar to be the biggest contributor to tone. I personally like pickups to be relatively transparent, thus I usually like PAF style pickups wound in the 7.5k-8k range, because they let the natural voice of your guitar come through. Thus it's very easy to determine if the guitar sounds good or not, play it unplugged, if it sounds focused and nasally unplugged it's going to sound that way plugged in, if it sounds open and airy unplugged, it's going to sound that way plugged in, but taking that into account, it's equally important for me to use an amplifier that lets my guitar's voice shine through. Trust me, go plug into a vintage Marshall or Fender, crank it up to just this side of a nice overdrive and you will hear all sorts of things going on that are coming from your guitar that you would never get using a crappy amp. The amp will be adding it's own color to your sound but if it's a good amp, it'll still let your guitar's voice come through. With a crappy amp, you never hear the true tone of your guitar (also true if you're using too much gain), whether it's a $300 guitar or a $3000 guitar.

So even though using a cheap guitar through a great amp is not ideal, you'll still be getting the very most out of that guitar with a good amp. But with a crappy amp, not only will you not get the best out of the cheap guitar, it puts a huge limit on how much you're going to get out of a good guitar.

Now THAT was well said.
Epiphone G-400
Roland Cube 30X
#19
You don't know how demoralising it is to play guitar without an amp. I had to wait a month with no amp, I was almost completely put off. And people say get a good amp first, because 9/10 you will sound better on a crappy guitar but with a good amp.
#20
This is probably repeating what has been said, but

1. The guitar either plays good or it doesn't.
If it doesn't, then a new guitar/tech job would be an idea

2. The guitar either sounds good, or not.
If it doesn't through a small crap amp (eg frontman 15G) , try a better one (probably something like a Fender/Marshall jobby).
If it still sounds bad, a new guitar may be in order.

3. The amp is either good or bad.
If it is bad, it won't amplify the nice bits of the guitar well.
If it is good, it may enhance harmonics etc in an ok guitar.

Of course a good amp and good guitar would be ideal, but, speaking from personal experience, change the amp first. Would you prefer to have a USA deluxe strat through an MG or a well built squier through an AC30?
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#21
Quote by DoomsdayArsenal
Ya guitar is all about comfort and feel. Something which comes with Time, and Money. Dark Side of the Moon is, after all, all about guitar, really. Matter of fact, it's all about guitar.


You are an amazing person.


It's important to have a guitar with a good feel if it motivates you to play. If it's more important to have a good tone in order to motivate you, then you get an amp.

And you may call bullshit on me for playing my PGM through a Blackheart, but I like my Blackheart just fine.
#22
Quote by sashki
It's you getting unlucky. Obviously, if a guitar is completely unplayable, it won't sound good with any other gear, but if it's a curable fault, then it still has the potential to sound good through a good amp.

I'd say about 60%, if not more, of your tone depends on the amp. If you play a squier through a good amp, you can still get a good sound. However, you can play an amazing guitar through a 10watt practice amp and it'll sound crap. That's my experience.


agreed. obviously if your guitar is unplayable and/or terrible, then upgrade the guitar too, just most people who complain of having bad guitars actually have decent guitars which just need a setup, or a quick touch-up to the soldering or electronics/wiring/pots etc., whereas most people who claim to have bad amps actually have bad amps (and in fact plenty who think they have good amps- often people blame the guitar when it's the amp's fault). even if the guitar doesn't sound great, upgrading the pickups (assuming you otherwise like the guitar) and electronics can help a lot, too, and unless it's a really cheap guitar (in which case it's probably not worth the cost of those upgrades), odds are that'll work out cheaper than buying a new guitar.

Obviously a good guitar into a good amp will sound better than a mediocre guitar into a good amp, but if you can only afford one upgrade at the moment, and of course assuming that your guitar isn't unplayable (or that you just hate its feel), then upgrade the amp first, kind of thing.



excellent post by al112987, too, agreed.
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 3, 2009,
#23
It's is all based upon opinion and what's needed. Like many people stated, if the guitar isn't playing right and is hindering your learning, get a new, better guitar. If you're not satisfied with your tone, get the new amp.

Now, if you're satisfied with the playability, but still want a higher end guitar and have a cheap crappy amp, most people would say to upgrade the amp. However, if you're just practicing and can dial in satisfactory tones on the amp (To your ears, that is), then why upgrade the amp? Yes, it might not be the best amp you could have, but if you're satisfied with it as it is, then by all means upgrade the guitar.

Someone on another topic once said that you'll always change/buy/obtain new/other amps, but you'll almost never change/trade/sell your guitar (if it's a good one, that is).
#24
Quote by Lollage123
You don't know how demoralising it is to play guitar without an amp. I had to wait a month with no amp, I was almost completely put off. And people say get a good amp first, because 9/10 you will sound better on a crappy guitar but with a good amp.


I fully understand what it's like playing without an amp. I haven't used my amp in 6 months. I stand by my claims that for practise a good guitar is more important then a good amp.
No gods, no countries, no masters.
More guitar, less Ultimate-Guitar.
Be Serious.
Shorties represent!
Ibanez SZ520/Ibanez ORM-1/Ibanez RG7321/Pocket POD/Crate GX/Boss HM-2
#25
I stand by my statement that most people on UG won't admit they'd rather play their dream guitar through a Marshall MG than play a First Act through a Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier.
#26
Quote by MetaMegaMagic
I stand by my statement that most people on UG won't admit they'd rather play their dream guitar through a Marshall MG than play a First Act through a Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier.

I would rather play a first act through a Fender deluxe reverb, and once you start to get higher up with first act they become really nice.
#27
Quote by MetaMegaMagic
I stand by my statement that most people on UG won't admit they'd rather play their dream guitar through a Marshall MG than play a First Act through a Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier.

That's because we'd be playing our dream guitar.

We'd probably rather listen to the First act through the Mesa.
#28
People just say what they think without thinking about what they would really do in a situation because they either have not gone through the same situation or are not afraid to be wrong on the internet. I always say better guitar first because it makes playing the guitar more fun and easier. Bad amp and good guitar sound bad and good amp and bad guitar sound better. If you're going for tone, amp first, but most people don't go for tone when their guitars are $150. Doesn't make sense to sound good but hate playing.
Jackson RR5 ivory w/ EMG 81/85
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#29
Quote by apak
People just say what they think without thinking about what they would really do in a situation because they either have not gone through the same situation or are not afraid to be wrong on the internet. I always say better guitar first because it makes playing the guitar more fun and easier. Bad amp and good guitar sound bad and good amp and bad guitar sound better. If you're going for tone, amp first, but most people don't go for tone when their guitars are $150. Doesn't make sense to sound good but hate playing.

I got a guitar that came in a $200 guitar start up kit, and I found the guitar to actually play good so I just got a new amp since I was about to quit since I couldn't get a good tone out of the old amp.
#30
Supposedly, the amp influences tone more than the guitars. But I think that both really don't affect your tone as much as your fingers. If that wasn't true, then anyone with a Reversed Fender Strat with a fuzz pedal plugged into a few Marshall stacks would sound like Hendrix.
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Amps:
ENGL Powerball I V2

Pedals:
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Vintage '70s Thomas Organ Crybaby Wah
Boss DD-6
#31
Personally, I do agree an amp makes a huge difference to tone and do recommend new amps. But tbh, I'm wary about recommending guitars because thats more relative to the person y'know. What feels awful in my hands someone else may love, strats are a prime example I can't play them for **** find my wrists hurting like hell afterwards as well but an LP or something is perfect for me.
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#32
Quote by STABxYOU
Because they're being silly.

You should upgrade to a decent, playable guitar before you buy a tube amp to play your Fender Starcaster through. You don't need an amp at all to practise guitar, you do need a guitar you enjoy playing.


yes. Assuming of course that the guitar in question is hindering your playing, and isn't worth spending money on to improve.
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Last edited by timi_hendrix at Aug 3, 2009,