Morning all

This afternoon I am going to buy a new amp from a local shop that stocks mostly 2nd hand gear. I no what I am looking for in this amp but i was wondering whether there are any rules and guides to follow when buying an amp, especially when its 2nd hand. I may also be getting a guitar if budget stretches.

As you can probably tell i haven't gone out and bought a new amp or guitar so any advice will be very much appreciated

Biggest tip I can offer is not to rush your purchase. You should spend a lot of time with an amp before you decide to purchase it, and use your own ears to judge. DO NOT buy an amp because someone told you to. Try as many of your options as possible and if you're not sure, go home and do some research on the ones you are interested in. Weigh the pros and cons, then make your final decision.

Good luck and have fun!
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baf is right, you don't want to have to try selling this thing down the road (unless gear flipping is the name of the game). Take your time, there is literally zero rush. Nothing feels worse than getting a piece of gear, and then hating it a few months later (that goes out to you, ME-50, that finally sold after sitting on craigslist for months).
"If you're looking for me,
you better check under the sea,
because that's where you'll find me..."
take your guitar along. Obvious but surprising how many people forget.
I pick up my guitar and play
Just like Yesterday

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Don't buy it until you hear it turned right up. If they won't let you do that, walk away.
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Yeah turn it up.

Take your guitar and any effects you use and just take your time.

dont feel pressured into buying it.

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thanks guys

I ended up with a Fender Eighty-Five and a Vintage(thats what it says on the headstock) Gibson after a few hours of playing im very happy with them both got the amp for £200 and the guitar for £100! Very very happy