Hey everyone! I'm brand new to this forum (this is my first post) so if I'm doing anything wrong let me know!

I am a beginner in guitar, and have been playing for 10 months. I have decided its time to upgrade from my cheap Epiphone SG Special, to an Ibanez RG3EXFM1. But I need to buy a new amp too, because the one I have (Peavy 15W) sucks. I will take suggestions for amps that aren't in my list, but these are the ones I've been looking at. My price range is 300 and under.

I am a beginner in guitar, and have been playing for 10 months. I have decided its time to upgrade from my cheap Epiphone SG Special, to an Ibanez RG3EXFM1.
Also, I play LOTS of types of music, so I really want an amp with settings from soft clean, to heavy distortion. I really would like the distortion setting on the amps to stand out, so yeah can hear the notes fairly clearly, unlike my Peavy, which makes distortion sound fuzzy and hard to hear.

Here are the amps I've been looking at! (I will eventually be testing them all at GC)

~Fender Super Champ XD - $300
This amp is Fender. Enough said, just want your opinions on this one.

~Marshall MG4 MG30FX - $200
I've heard great things about expensive Marshall amps, what about cheaper ones?

~Line 6 Spider IV 75W/30W - $300 (75W), $200 (30W)
Ok, I know people say that Line 6 sounds fake or digital, but I've played them at the store and found them very nice. I would rather buy the 30W amp if I get a Line 6, unless someone can tell me a reason that is worth forking over another $100.

~Roland Cube 30W (COSM) - $260
Everyone I know that plays guitar has a 10W Roland Micro Cube and LOVES it. So I decided, why not shoot for a good sized one to replace my old one? How is this not so popular amp?

Well, there you go, really hope to get some answers here. I would love a looper system into the amp, but not needed. Also, like a said, a nice "clean" distortion setting is a must. (by that I mean heavy distortion that is not fuzzy or blendy with other notes / Very clearly heard)

Last edited by Diesel Weasel at Aug 31, 2010,
super champ and a decent overdrive is gonna be your best bet if cleans matter to you at all. all depends on what kind of tone you want really..
dave matthews might.. just.. be.. god..

Quote by gregs1020
yes, pointing it at your head will send the sound towards your head.

it's the same with guns too, before you go testing that one.
Hmm. I am just a beginner guitarist, so I'm not even sure what kind of tone... I just really want one that will be able to sound moderately distorted, very distorted, Overdrive, crunch/clean sounds, twangy sounds, deep sounds... and some effects or looper? I'm just using it for home, but I will be playing it with other instruments too. (like drums, bass, etc...)

Is this too much to ask for with $300?
Last edited by Diesel Weasel at Aug 24, 2010,
I have the line 6 75 watt, its not a bad amp, when you first play it, it sounds quite nice but after being stuck with it for a while, you can really start to hear its digital tone like you mentioned, Marshall Mg stayaway!!!!!!!!!!!! Roland cubes are nice xD but I think The super champ is your best bet :P
for 300 i would recommend the fender super champ xd. it has 2 footswitchable channels (clean/distortion) and you can adjust the gain on the amp depending on how distorted you want it to be. after that you can always get a decent overdrive if it doesnt have enough gain on tap. it also has built in effects that are pretty solid.

however if your willing to go used, which i highly recommend, i would tell you to focus on your playing for now and save up a couple hundred more bucks and get something like this


trust me experienced players will tell you they wish they wouldve saved their money instead of buying cheap amps. it'll also make you really appreciate your gear more. if your beginning its more important to improve as a player than to have a new amp. trust me the deluxe is 500 dollars better than anything you'll get in your price range and you'll be happy you saved your money
dave matthews might.. just.. be.. god..

Quote by gregs1020
yes, pointing it at your head will send the sound towards your head.

it's the same with guns too, before you go testing that one.
Yeah thanks Samhaynes, I wanted someone to clear up why I didn't get why people said it sounds digital... Why not the Marshall? I would like reasons to go with what amps you are recommending. Feel free to recommend other amps too.

I really wouldn't be able to save up the extra $200 too easily, I don't have a job (because I'm too young), and getting that kind of money is a little hard off of allowance and mowing lawns.
Last edited by Diesel Weasel at Aug 24, 2010,
Out of those I'd take the Super Champ, but it's not a high-gain amp. It can do high-gain, but the clean/low-gain sounds are better on it. The Cube is nice for heavy distortion on a tight budget, but the rest of it's tones I don't find that impressive. The Spider and MG aren't all that great, better stay away from them.

^The Marshall sounds like a tin can with bees in it. The Spider sounds like static noise.

What styles of music do you want to play, what is your exact budget and where are you located?
Last edited by TheQuailman at Aug 24, 2010,
The Marshall Mg is one of the worst series of amps ever !!! there tone is awful and the louder you turn it up the worse it gets, great if you want your ears to bleed. The fender will do everything you want and sounds great, one of my mates has the roland cube, think its the 30 watt too its quite a nice amp has loads of effects so great for a new player who wants to try a little of everything
I play mostly distorted sounds, but moderately distorted, and some heavy really hi-gain that's good for shredding. So I would really like the amp to be great at that. And I'm in Michigan USA, and $300 is really my firm budget.
Last edited by Diesel Weasel at Aug 24, 2010,
Look into the Peavey Vypyr and Vox VT series of amps then. If you can, look for a used Line6 Flextone III - it's a great, albeit discontinued amp that can be found for $300 on ebay and craigslist all the time.

All of these amps are modellers, which basically means they are highly versatile and offer a wide range of distorted sounds.
I'm with the Quail, but you could also consider just waiting and saving perhaps?
Thanks guys, I did just go to Guitar Center to drop off my SG to get new strings, action fixed, intonation fixed, and a fret fixed. While I was there I only had time to check out the Fender Super Champ XD, and was impressed with the high gain distortion sounds, and especially clean sounds.

I'll be going there again tomorrow to check out more amps, but I am liking the Fender on my first impression. I will check out a Vox and Peavy, but with my current Peavy that I absolutely hate, I'm not sure I can stand to get another one unless I'm blown away. (lol)
Seems like you enjoyed the Super Champ so that'd be a good choice, as would the smaller Vibro Champ. Other valve amps you might try would be the Vox AC4TV which would be better suited to home use having 4w, 1w & 1/4w outputs. If you want something that would double for band practice and small gigs, the Bugera V22 is good value, but 22w tube power might not give the best results at home levels.
I pick up my guitar and play
Just like Yesterday

T C Ellis Series 2 LP w/Skatterbrane Quiescence pups
Cort EVL-K6
Yamaha RGX211 modded
H&S Electric 12-string
Shaftsbury Ricki 4001
'84 Fender Yale
Roland Cube 15x

^The V22 sounded nice when I tried it at low volumes. However it IS pretty loud, even with the master turned down. I wouldn't use it if people were trying to sleep in the next room or something like that.
I tend to use my amp in my basement, where my drums are. The amp MUST be able to play over drums for sure. So then would a 4W be too weak? I still have testing to do on the Super Champ, and what is the Vibro Champ? Same thing but less watts?

Oh, If I was going to get the Fender amp, would I get better distortions using a pedal with the amp set to clean? In that case, I could spend $100 on a decent pedal and get the Vibro Champ. I'm still looking at amps, so I haven't made my decision yet.

Is it really worth trying to save an extra couple hundred for a nicer amp? Or not? I won't be doing gigs with it, so playing against drums well is all I care about on how loud it is.
Both the Vibro Champ and the AC4 might have problems with a loud drummer.

I don't know how well the Champs take dirt pedals. Generally, modeling preamps don't care much for distortion boxes in front of them, but I haven't tried the Champs with pedals myself. I'll go ask someone who's tried it.

It's always worth it to buy a nicer amp... even if you're just playing at home. Good tone is motivating.

From the looks of it the Bugera V22 seems like a good idea. It is loud enough for use with a drummer and has plenty of gain on tap for any rock sounds; you can also boost it with a pedal (overdrive pedals like a Digitech Bad Monkey or Boss SD-1 are nice, cheap options) should you need a heavier sound.
Oh, what would I do wihout this forum? Lol. Anyways, Ill check out that Vox too. But also, in general, do nice tube amps on clean setting with a pedal play the best distorion? I don't have much money saved so maybe Ill wait until Christmas when I get more money...
Eh, that's debatable.

Usually, if you want a high-gain tone, it's best to get an amp designed for high-gain. Pedals through a good clean amp are a decent enough approximation, but no matter what pedal you use with an AC4, it will never sound as good for metal as a (good) amp that was intended to produce those tones on it's own.

This doesn't mean pedals and clean amps don't sound good. But the differences in clarity and low-end response are very noticable.

Hey, I say go for the champ if you like it, you'll have lots of fun with that amp. After that, you can take your time visiting stores and trying out all the different amps in the world to see what you like. With another year or more of playing under your belt, it'll be easier to decide what amp is "the one" for you. While it's nice to have a high-end amp early, it's not so nice to drop a lot of money on an amp only to realise it wasn't what you wanted/needed in the end.
Take your time, noone expects you to be an expert the day you start playing.
welcome to UG Diesel Weasle

+1 to Quilman's suggestions. SuperChamp is a great amp for $300. The Vypyr 75 was on sale for $289 USD not too long ago. Both amps will work fine. For gigging and heavier stuff the Vypyr 75 would be the way to go.

I highly recommend saving up to $450 and getting the Vypyr 60 though. Well worth it.

fly135 - has lots of experience with both the Vypyrs and the SuperChamps so maybe he will see this thread. Otherwise, maybe send him a PM.

MGs and Spiders are junk.

Edit: honeslty, I thought this thread was going to be about Diesel amps at first
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Aug 25, 2010,
I would also recommend the Peavey Vypyr like a few people have done already. I had the 30 Watt Version for about 2 years and it really did well, and you should be able to get all the tones you need from it.
I'm insanely fond of the Super Champ XD. It can do Fender Blackface cleans, Tweed Crunch, and higher gain Marshall tones admirably. The modeling section IMO is better than any modeling amp or multifx I owned (short of metal) and I've owned a bunch. One huge drawback of modeling is that you are incessantly tweaking and trying to get a good tone. I have never been sucked into that with the SCXD.

The 15 watt 6V6 tube power amp section will give you plenty of power to play with drums. And you can always plug into an ext cab to overcome the limitations of the 10" speaker. The only thing the amp isn't particularly suited for is metal. Although that's not to say you can't pull it off with perhaps an EQ or a pedal.

I've got a crap load of tube amps. Just sold an HT-5 last night and had a Tweaker delivered 30 minutes later... literally But you couldn't take away my SCXD without a fight. In fact I have two and was tempted to buy the one on my local CL right now for $175.

The Vypyr isn't a bad amp, but IMO the crunch is grainy and you will be forever trying to dial it out. The Vypyr excels at Metal and has some pretty good cleans. But it would not be my first choice for blues and in general a lot of moderate gain rock. I have the 15 so that's what I base my opinion on. But I believe the preamp is the same on all models.

When testing the SCXD a lot of people think that only some voices are useable. IMO it's because some voices are better suited for humbuckers and others for single coil. A good example it the voices 8 and 9 that are both considered "British". The eq is completely different on both. #9 is much brighter and works with HBrs where the darker #8 comes alive with SC's. IMO the SCXD is more like the Tweaker than a modeling amp. It's simple and all of the setting on the dials have a place with the right combination of guitar and musical style.

Also if you ever get an electric with a piezo in the bridge the acoutasonic model on #16 will convince you that you're hearing an acoustic. Note to self... try it with an acoustic guitar.
Just fine. I've run my pedalboard into it on the clean channel and it sounded great. But the beauty of the SCXD is that it sounds like it's got a bunch of great pedals built into it. The one thing I haven't tried is using a boost on the dirtier channels.
Just tried it. No problems at all. The SS components in the front end have plenty of headroom to pass a hot signal right on through. I cranked it enough to get a decent amount of feedback without detecting any unwanted clipping of the signal.
Awesome, thanks a ton, I think I will be aiming to save for the Super Champ! A guy at Guitar Center helped me decide too, he showed me a Vox, and Peavy, and then the Super Champ, so I really think thats good for me! Thanks guys. Only other thing is that will an Ibanez RG3EXFM1 sound good on this amp? I mean... will it be like the wrong kind of guitar for this amp or will it still sound great?
^ Without doing any research myself can you tell us if it has active pickups?

Quote by fly135
Just tried it. No problems at all. The SS components in the front end have plenty of headroom to pass a hot signal right on through. I cranked it enough to get a decent amount of feedback without detecting any unwanted clipping of the signal.

Awesome fly!

Thanks man.
The stock pickups are V7 (Neck) and V8 (Bridge). I believe they are passive but I could be wrong. They can always be replaced though.
What is the difference between active and passive anyways? Is one "better" than the other, or is one just better for certain tones/types of music like different kinds of pickups?

EDIT: I haven't been able to try out a Roland Cube 30W, but is that no match compared to the Super Champ?
Last edited by Diesel Weasel at Aug 26, 2010,