#1
in the past few weeks iv been trying out quite a few amps and its become obvious to me that i dont really know what im doing when trying an amp out. It usually involves me playing a few chords and riffs with no real intent of knowing what im doing. My EQing is aimless and uneducated and ends up with treble-7 mids-4 bass-7, or so.
i usually try to crank it a bit as well to se how it goes at higher volumes, but this is a good thing (trying out tube amps), and always take my guitar with me to play on.
If its any help, in an amp i want a good hard rock/metal tone.

what i want to know is what sort of routine should i be going through (and what you do) when trying it out, basic EQing tips, songs/riffs/chords and any other things that make trying out amps more productive and helpful.
#2
use your ears and twiddle some knobs, doesn`t matter what you play as you are not performing you are listening, take somebody with you that also plays so you can hear the amps projected tone, if it`s got reverb play with that, strike the strings both hard and soft so that you can hear how well it responds to the dynamics, also use the volume knob on the guitar so you can hear how well it cleans up when using the gain channel (if it has one), if it as some special feature make sure you check that out.

then walk away out of the store for 10 minutes and think about what you`ve just heard and if it meets your criteria go back in and buy it.
#3
i generally try it out with the knobs around halfway, then try the extremes (of gain, eq etc.), try to see what range of tones it can get, then if it can hit the actual tones I want to get out of it (lol). then just generally try to dial in as nice a tone as i can.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#4
Yeah, I tend to set all the EQ to 12 o'clock and gradually adjust each until it sounds good for whatever kind of sound I'm looking for.