#1
This is my first post on UG, hopefully someone can help out a noob like me

I have been playing on and off for about 5 or so years now (maybe more) and only recently have I decided to step it up a notch. I currently use a Peavey Raptor guitar with Peavey Rage amplifier. It was a cheap $200 package I got when I first started playing and it has served me admirably well for a beginner set-up; but now I need to move on to something better.

I headed down to my local Long and McQuade and the guy at the store suggested it might be better to first upgrade the amplifier, and introduced me to a Line 6 Spider IV 30 watt (I don't play gigs or anything just bedroom practice). I actually really liked the amp and it was going for about $215 (I was planning on spending $300). But I didn't have my own guitar with me, so I ended up trying a Squire Vintage that just sounded awesome. Problem is, it was $370.

If I was to buy only one of the new pieces of equipment, which would you recommend? Keep the cheap guitar and play on the nicer amp (this is the best sounding cheapy guitar I have heard yet) or buy the nicer guitar and keep the crappy little toaster-oven of an amp?

P.S. Are the cheaper squires of decent quality as well? They were much cheaper (on sale for 180).
#2
Not big on Line6 amps. The Peavey Vypyr is supposed to be the bomb.

Have you cranked that Rage on the clean channel? I love how it breaks up when you pick hard
#3
I haven't used my Rage on anything other than the amp I have, and it tends to break up if I pick hard at all :P. Is there a particular reason for not liking the Line 6? I am still open to suggestions and will check out the Vypyr that you mentioned.

BTW if it makes a difference, I am really into Metallica and that is the sound I am generally trying to achieve (The old albums, not so much the newer ones).
#4
I have a Line 6 Spider III... The IV is meant to be better... But i would advise against it... Eventually you realise the line 6 is shit and then you want something else cause the tone isn't that good.... I personally don't have experience with Peavey Vypers but they are meant to be kick ass for beginners
"I've Been Imitated So Well I've Heard People Copy My Mistakes"- Jimi Hendrix

We're born to lose, so live to win
#5
Well before this becomes a Line 6 bashing thread, is better to upgrade the amp or the guitar first?
#6
i would upgrade your amplifier first forsure. buy a peavey vypyr instead of a line 6 as it has way more features and sounds to customize with one another, and it's the same price as a spider of the same wattage.

what type of music do you play?
Gear:

Squier Strat
Epiphone Explorer
Agile AL-3100

No AMP
#7
Mostly metal, but I am planning on expanding into rock and classic rock as well. But yeah, heavy metal first and foremost :P
#8
get a tube amp. infinitely better. however, a cheap high gain tube amp is probably harder to find. do you have pedals? for 1 peice of equipment get the amp. going from a cheap guitar to cheap guitar really wont make a difference. 1000 guitar to a 250 dollar guitar? yeah you kinda might tell a difference. but the key is running it through a QUALITY amp. everything comes through clearer, and you can hear all subtle differences better.

playing through a spyder...it really doesnt matter what upgrade in guitar you have. yeah, different guitars sound different. thats just pickups etc. but in terms of quality and clarity of sound, a guitar will not help. the amp is what puts the sound in the air.

believe me, i know. i own 2 crappy solid state amps one of which is a spyder. i bought a tube amp last night. there is no comparison period. at all.

if a higher gain tube isnt going to work, go for atleast a hybrid amp or something. peavey makes a few acceptable ones and so does VOX.

for all tube, check out a blackheart. they have a 5 watt all tube, and so does bugera (5 and a 10 im pretty sure). also the blues jr.

for solid state go peavey vypyr, VOX, or roland cubes. they are all undescribably better than cheap lin 6 amps.
#9
No I don't have pedals, that is why the solid state kiind of appealed to me with all their effects.

What makes tube amps so much better than solid state? The line 6 was $215, what do similar amps cost (vypyr, vox, roland cube)? And what specifically makes people hate line 6 so much?

I know I am no expert, but the amp did sound pretty good (especially comopared to my rage)
Last edited by MattG666 at Jun 10, 2010,
#10
as much as some people deny it, pickups do make a massive difference to sound, and a metal amplifier with a classic tele will not give you a similar tone to a metal amp with a schecter hellraiser. it just wont. theres a very noticeable difference between my ibanez rga42fm and my tele through the same 30watt vypyr amp. So both really do matter, but if you primarily play metal then get a vypyr first. you won't find a good tube amp for 300 bucks, and unless you have a huge selection of pedals you won't get any type of a diverse sound out of them.
Gear:

Squier Strat
Epiphone Explorer
Agile AL-3100

No AMP
#11
Really appreciate the advice so far guys, makes me feel a lot more confident in making a purchase.

I found it really disappointing when I tried some of the mid-level guitars in the store and did not find any of them comfortable to play at all. I tried two jacksons and and Ibanez, and all of them seemed kind of small (the one jackson actually hurt my shoulder trying to Master of Puppets). While the curves in the Ibanez was really small so it kept sliding off my leg sitting down ( But goddam nthe thing was on sale for only like $200 bucks!). So far the only body style that seems comfortable is the strat.

Would it be possible to get higher quality pickups on my Raptor and combine it with a decent amp and get a good sound then?
#12
Quote by ikey_
get a tube amp. infinitely better. however, a cheap high gain tube amp is probably harder to find. do you have pedals? for 1 peice of equipment get the amp. going from a cheap guitar to cheap guitar really wont make a difference. 1000 guitar to a 250 dollar guitar? yeah you kinda might tell a difference. but the key is running it through a QUALITY amp. everything comes through clearer, and you can hear all subtle differences better.

playing through a spyder...it really doesnt matter what upgrade in guitar you have. yeah, different guitars sound different. thats just pickups etc. but in terms of quality and clarity of sound, a guitar will not help. the amp is what puts the sound in the air.

believe me, i know. i own 2 crappy solid state amps one of which is a spyder. i bought a tube amp last night. there is no comparison period. at all.

if a higher gain tube isnt going to work, go for atleast a hybrid amp or something. peavey makes a few acceptable ones and so does VOX.

for all tube, check out a blackheart. they have a 5 watt all tube, and so does bugera (5 and a 10 im pretty sure). also the blues jr.

for solid state go peavey vypyr, VOX, or roland cubes. they are all undescribably better than cheap lin 6 amps.


Please facepalm yourself. Thanks.

There's no way this guy is going to buy a tube amp.

Hybrids are a marketing scam. They have a tube pre-amp to give it "tube-like" response and whatever, but really, when you throw modelling circuity in front of it, it doesn't matter.

This guy needs a whole new set up.

TS, try to save up $300 for a new amp and guitar, each. You can get a very decent analog amp (avoid modeling amps, they're just garbage) for that price and a very decent guitar with humbuckers.
#13
Ok I am now getting a little confused with definitions here:

1. What is a modelling amp?
2. What is an analog amp?
3. What is the difference?

Do I really need to drop $600 o na new set up? That was actually my original plan (300 for each part) but now that I think about it, I really only play at home and $600 is a bit much for bedroom practice...
Last edited by MattG666 at Jun 10, 2010,
#14
Quote by MattG666
Ok I am now getting a little confused with definitions here:

1. What is a modelling amp?
2. What is an analog amp?
3. What is the difference?

Do I really need to drop $600 o na new set up? That was actually my original plan (300 for each part) but now that I think about it, I really only play at home and $600 is a bit much for bedroom practice...


There are three main types of amp. Tube, Solid State and Modelling.

Tube amps use vacuum tubes in their circuitry. Generally they have a warmer, more natural sound and are (generally) preferred by most guitarists. They are known for often sounding even better the higher the volume. Solid state amps use transistors instead of vacuum tubes which sometimes can give them a harsher distorted tone. They also don't tend to perform aswell at high volumes tonally but require less maintenance than a tube amp. Modelling amps are usually solid state but sometimes tube amps that try to emulate the sounds of other amps using digital technology.
Member #10 Of The Black Tooth Grin: Dimebag Memorial Club. PM Narmi To Join
#15
if you can look into a combo epiphone valve junior and a good distortion pedal, the valve is tube an is around 250 and you could probably find a nice used od for fairly cheap


EDIT: the combo sells for 160 http://www.guitarcenter.com/Epiphone-Valve-Junior-Combo-Amp-103236469-i1145291.gc




This seems a good pedal for you http://www.guitarcenter.com/Electro-Harmonix-XO-Micro-Metal-Muff-Distortion-Guitar-Effects-Pedal-150128-i1171532.gc
MIM Fender Strat
Ibanez AE series acoustic
Washburn Semi Hollow loaded with Di-Marzios
Main Street LP
Tama drum set
Marshall Blues-breaker 2
VOX V847 Wah
Fender Princeton chorus
Last edited by 3hta_bryce at Jun 10, 2010,
#16
1. A modeling amp is an amplifier with circuitry that makes your guitar sound like its playing through a different amp. For example, one setting on a modeling amp could make it sound like you're playing through a Mesa Boogie, and another setting sounds like a Vox AC30, a nother sounds like a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe... etc.

The amp doesn't let the characteristics of the guitar shine through. So regardless of the guitar, your guitars will sound about the same. Your tone is basically digitized.

2. An analog amp uses regular amp circuitry that lets the sound of the amp and the guitar shine through the amp. Generally they are transistor amps and use a natural sounding circuitry to give the guitar a natural sound.

3. The difference is a modelling amp will give you many different sounds through one amp but they will be very digital and bland. An analog amp will give you the natural characteristics of your guitar and allow you to tweak the settings to the fullest effect.

You don't need to drop $600. I'm saying that much money will get you a way better set up. You don't want to buy guitars that cost $200 because they won't be as much different as the guitar you currently have. Same thing with amps.

You never know, either. You might start a band with some friends and end up playing shows.

I know a $200 amp that will be fine for bedroom practice.
Peavey Envoy 110
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Peavey-Envoy-110-Guitar-Amplifier-with-TransTube-Technology?sku=481333

And a guitar for $300 that will be perfect
Schecter Omen 6
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Schecter-Guitar-Research-Omen-6-Electric-Guitar?sku=518181
#17
Definately digging that guitar. Unfortunately I think I am restricted to what is in the local shops.

I understand what your saying about the 'blandness', but can an analog amp produce good metal tones at the lower prices of the modelling amps?
#18
The amp doesn't let the characteristics of the guitar shine through. So regardless of the guitar, your guitars will sound about the same. Your tone is basically digitized.


That's not necessarily the case from my experience. Line 6 spiders do make guitars sound similar but I can tell a major difference in tone between my tele and my rga42fm through a 30 watt peavey vypyr.
Gear:

Squier Strat
Epiphone Explorer
Agile AL-3100

No AMP
#19
Quote by MattG666
Definately digging that guitar. Unfortunately I think I am restricted to what is in the local shops.

I understand what your saying about the 'blandness', but can an analog amp produce good metal tones at the lower prices of the modelling amps?


Well its a start. Schecters are really nice for the price.

Analog amps can produce BETTER metal tones than modeling amps. However, you won't find a good analog amp for under $200.

Why can't you order online?
#20
I have been using my parent's credit card for too many things already, CPR training and Firearms license recently... security license will also be coming.

In general, what are some good brands/models to get in case my store does not carry all of the ones suggested so far? If I do get an analog amp, won't the crapiness of my guitar 'shine through'?
Last edited by MattG666 at Jun 10, 2010,
#22
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say go for the Line 6. If you can't save up or don't have $600 to blow on a Tube, then why not just get the amp that sounds good to you. You're at bedroom levels, playing for yourself, and if you're happy with the sound, then who cares?

I've played a few Spider III's, own a Vox Valvetronix, and they're quality for what they are. I hated the Vypyr though.
This ends now, eat the goddamn beans!
#23
facepalm myself? excuse me but we said pretty much teh samething. you obviously didnt read anything i said.

thats not really true. its hard to explain. for example i have 2 different guitars. they both sound different through the spyder...cause they are different. however the tube amp has far more clarity and richness. its somethat that really has to be heard to be understood. yes the spyder (or any solid state) will be more digital and bland.

i could have told him to drop 2k on a marshall. but with such small amounts here, i said go with an amp...a tube preferably. if he cant afford it i pointed him towards "better" cheap amps.

...so face palm yourself.
#24
What is the price difference between say a Line 6 and some of the other similar ones like Vypyrs? Is the quality difference that noticeable?
#25
Not much of a quality difference. More a slight difference in tonal charictaristics. I don't remember the Vypyr enough to give you a good description (just remember hating it). But the Vox had a much warmer feel to it while my buddy's Spider has a more treble-y tone. That's my experience at least, so it may not be yours.
This ends now, eat the goddamn beans!
#26
Actually there are 4 types of amps not three!
Solid State

All- Tube

Hybrid (SS front end like Music Man or Tube Front end with SS power amp - many makers)

Modelling amp. This may have a low voltage tube circuit in it but the primary component is DSP (Digital Signal Processing) which converts an analog signal to a digital one which is then manipulated via software for effects or sound colouration. Then the signal is coverted back to analog afterwards for the power amp


There are some very good A/D- D/A conversions and DSP's out there but the majority of the modelling amps are farily inexpensive and so use cheaper components and designs. This is why many find the modeling amps unstellar and generic in sound. When you use of of these it really masks any character or tone your guitar has anyway.
Moving on.....
#27
My Peavey Raptor actually has several problems that I might want to be masked lol. The neck is bent so badly that the action towards the higher tones is over half an inch tall. The 6th string 1st fret produces an atrocious buzz noise that is completely unavoidable.

If I already have an unstellar guitar, then would it make sense to purchase a really high quality amp?
#28
^ Nah... but playing a crappy guitar through an awesome amp isn't much better than playing an amazing guitar through a crappy amp, it would just sound better. To me, feeling is almost as important as sound.

I actually like the sound of my Rage 158 better than a Spider (A few of the clips on my profile are with my Rage). Spiders sound very digital and fizzy, I can't stand them. I was forced to play one at guitar center the other day because everyone was playing on the vypyrs.

The Vypyrs are just much better sounding than the Spiders.. you may not hear it now, but later when you get a better ear for things, you'll realize. Also look at the Vox Valvetronix and the Roland Cube.

Actually, another option is the Line 6 Pod. You can just use a nice set of computer speakers and get a better tone than all the modeling amps in your price range.
Last edited by Ignite at Jun 10, 2010,
#29
Quote by MattG666
My Peavey Raptor actually has several problems that I might want to be masked lol. The neck is bent so badly that the action towards the higher tones is over half an inch tall. The 6th string 1st fret produces an atrocious buzz noise that is completely unavoidable.

If I already have an unstellar guitar, then would it make sense to purchase a really high quality amp?


That doesn't even sound playable A truss rod adjustment might fix that...but that sounds seriously screwed...

Tonally, a new amp will likely have a bigger impact than a new guitar, but despite that playability is still the most important thing. There's no point having an amp that produces great tone if you can't play your guitar comfortably. If your guitar isn't up to scratch it's going to be less fun, more difficult and outright frustrating to play. Ultimately your playing is just going to suffer.

Try and split your budget to get a good guitar that feels comfortable to you and a good amp that will tide you over until you can make a really good upgrade. I haven't tried the Peavey vipers, but the general consensus around here is that they sound better than the Spider's. For the kind of music you want to play also check out the Roland Cube's.
Member #10 Of The Black Tooth Grin: Dimebag Memorial Club. PM Narmi To Join
#30
Too bad 99% of modeling amps suck really really bad

You can actually get a decent low wat tube amp head or combo for around $350, maybe even less. Look at Peavey Valveking, Bugera V22/55(i think those are the names correct me if im wrong), Peavey VTM.

Even a Marshall AVT which is hybrid will be a big step up from solid state. I have one, and after changing the single 12ax7 to a mesa tube it actually sounds decent. good clean channel, and sounds great with my TS9 in front of it. I got my AVT50 combo for $100 from a friend. Look around on craigslist.
Last edited by handbanana at Jun 10, 2010,
#31
well from the description of your guitar you're gonna need a new one. having a guitar that's comfortable to play and works well on all frets is the most important thing IMO. your hand should feel comfortable and the action should be what you want. the rage amplifier isn't all that bad. certainly not as bad as having a guitar with a bent neck and screwed action. i would recommend spending 300-350 on a decent guitar. you'll be much happier.

get an squier affinity strat hss

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Squier-Affinity-Series-Fat-Strat-Electric-Guitar?sku=510629

try it out at your local shop and get them to adjust the action (string height) on it if you don't like it
Gear:

Squier Strat
Epiphone Explorer
Agile AL-3100

No AMP