#1
This is kind of a long read, but it provides a background to help from straying too far!

I should be coming into a couple grand shortly and my friend has recently provoked a musical desire in me. I figure that playing/learning to play a guitar would be a far more creative use of my brain's capabilities as well as burn more calories than my usual. (I honestly sit and play video games all day and I hardly ever use the creative part of my brain).

Basically, I sat and tried to play one of his cheap acoustics. All in all, I failed to even play a cord. He basically saw that I desired to play an electric more than an acoustic, and he felt that the reason I was having trouble with the acoustic was due to the size, strings, etc.

All-in-all we ended up deciding that I would go with an electric. I did research and then brought the issue to him about semi's, full-hollow, and solid-body's. We basically narrowed it down to Solid just due to the sounds I'm drawn too. (I've watched him play several times so he has observed what I reacted better to.)

I then did several days worth of research and checking out solid-body's on my own. I pretty much ruled out Gibson, Schecter, Fender, etc. I narrowed down the general tone, size, feel, and look to Ibanez. Note that I have never played electrics, I've only messed around for a little with acoustics.

My projected budget for the guitar is presently about $500-700. Since I'm just starting I'm wondering if it is really worth it?


Too long : Didn't read:

Solid-body
Ibanez
Would prefer the best capability to play a variety of sounds, so probably H-S-H with 5-way. My friend said that he doesn't like the way that neck hum's sound, and that he feels it'd be better if I got one without a neck hum.

(I have been doing continual research into guitars and I've never done this for anything before. So I feel that I may have found something that I will be happy with.)

I truly appreciate all of your help.


PS: I will also be buying an amp, and I've been looking at 50+100W amps. I'm not sure what's good, but I would definitely be leaning towards solid-state and I like distortion, reverb, delay., etc. (Distortion isn't really one of the reasons I want an electric. It's actually due to the difference in tone. Acoustics..."irritate" me. The tone just seems too...whiny to me.) The budget for the amp would be preferably 300., but I'm willing to go up to 500.

Is spending that much money when first starting an erroneous desire? Or do you feel that it is something that could be beneficial?

Thank you!
Last edited by WithYouForYou at Mar 17, 2011,
#2
Dude, don't blow that much money to start off. If you don't like it, you're out a grand. Just get a starter pack. I'd go with this one: http://www.guitarcenter.com/Laguna-Ultimate-Rock-Electric-Guitar-Value-Pack-423376-i1504694.gc.

Decent gear for a decent price. And you're not out a ton of money if you don't like it.
Kodiak bears make awesome bandmates.

Quote by wolvenrick
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#3
Quote by kaosxrocker
Dude, don't blow that much money to start off. If you don't like it, you're out a grand. Just get a starter pack. I'd go with this one: http://www.guitarcenter.com/Laguna-Ultimate-Rock-Electric-Guitar-Value-Pack-423376-i1504694.gc.

Decent gear for a decent price. And you're not out a ton of money if you don't like it.



I had another one of my real-life buddy's tell me the same thing. I'm just kind of worried that if I buy a lower-end guitar I might be put off by it and it will ruin my experience.



I do appreciate your input though, and I will talk to my friend about that and see what he thinks. I guess I'll also ask him and my other buddy what they started with to see what they think. I will definitely appreciate far more input on the subject though!
#4
Don't worry about that. Unless it's like a $10 guitar, when you're first starting out, you won't really notice a lot of the bad things. Save the money you would have spent, and upgrade when you think you've got your basic stuff down.
Kodiak bears make awesome bandmates.

Quote by wolvenrick
no seriously 7x NGD is epicness i declare you the winner of all NGD's on UG never have i seen this xD
#5
Umm yeah. I agree I wouldn't spend that much money on it right away.

Conversely you did appear to do a decent amount of research and do seem legitimately serious. Although perhaps a little misguided. Truth be told it's your choice you seem adequately prepared to spend enough money to get some really decent gear to start off. Just keep in mind learning guitar like any other instrument is a challenge and an adventure if you lack patience you may be wiser to spend less and save for better equipment if this really developes into a passion for you.

Hope that helps.
#6
Try a Yamaha Pacifica 112v, they're only ~200, SSH, and great all-round guitars. For amp I'd recommend the Peavey Vypyr, it's a $100 solid state amp, but leagues above other amps in that price range. This setup will only cost about $300 and can handle a bunch of different genres.

EDIT: I'm not a fan of starter packs, I think the ultra-cheap gear can take a lot of the fun out of playing.

EDIT 2: I just did a quick google, the PAC112v's price has been raised to $300, though I still think it's a great guitar. It just doesn't "feel" cheap.
Last edited by Frank_Black at Mar 17, 2011,
#7
Quote by Dangertux
Although perhaps a little misguided.



Out of curiosity what do you mean by misguided?

Quote by Frank_Black
Try a Yamaha Pacifica 112v, they're only ~200, SSH, and great all-round guitars. For amp I'd recommend the Peavey Vypyr, it's a $100 solid state amp, but leagues above other amps in that price range. This setup will only cost about $300 and can handle a bunch of different genres.

EDIT: I'm not a fan of starter packs, I think the ultra-cheap gear can take a lot of the fun out of playing.



Thank you for providing me with more options. I will look into those products.
Last edited by WithYouForYou at Mar 17, 2011,
#8
I agree with the peavey vypyr. I recently tested one out when demonstrating a guitar/amp for a friend learning to play and was quite pleased. For the price point I don't think you can do a whole lot better.
#9
I gotta go with paying as much for a first guitar as you're willing. I know it's easy for me to spend your money, but hear me out.

Above $300, any starter should be decent enough. But if you like it, you'll be upgrading fairly soon. So then you buy your $700 (or however much) guitar. You sell the starter or keep it, but you're out more than $700. Buy the $700 one up front and if you don't like it, you can sell it, and as the market is less saturated as you go up in price, you can except a smaller loss.

So either you're out $300 to start and sell it for $150ish, $700 to start and sell it for $600ish, or upgrade and sell one and you're still out $150. Or you go out $1000 and have a decent backup.

A better amp will hold value a bit better, but go with a Vypyr 30 to start. It has more options than the 15 (an entire knob more!), and they're only $150ish used. It'll be a great start to finding out the kind of sound you're looking for later if you stick with it.

As for specific guitars (and amps, if you want to go full force day 1), what are you looking to play? I skimmed through again and didn't see anything on that.
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#10
Quote by Pink Muse
what are you looking to play? I skimmed through again and didn't see anything on that.



Sorry, I typed so much I forgot about that. Obviously I have my instrumental research done and what I suspect would match me.


Metal and rock are definitely high up on my list. If it means anything to you, my favorite band is Sonata Arctica. They make me . My second favorite band is Iron Maiden. After that I would say various types of metal, funk, and blues.


Blues and funk are inter-changeable as far as my desires go. I'm actually a HUGE fan of funk, but it's not one of the main desires to come out of this hobby.
#11
Quote by kaosxrocker
Don't worry about that. Unless it's like a $10 guitar, when you're first starting out, you won't really notice a lot of the bad things. Save the money you would have spent, and upgrade when you think you've got your basic stuff down.

this this this this this this
Quote by punk_rules_1997

Hi, I am looking for an amp setting close to the sound of bands like Black Veil Brides.


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Set everything to 12 o'clock.

Go from there.

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#12
Usually I'd say go for something cheap, but if you can afford it, and you really think that you'll be taking guitar seriously, then go for something just a bit fancy. A lower end guitar may put you off if you don't like it's sound or don't feel comfortable with it.

As for what guitar you should get, then I think going with your friend to a guitar store and let him try every guitar out there within your price range. See which guitar sounds attract your attention, and more importantly, which guitars feel comfortable in your hands. Looks aren't the most important thing but it's always good to have something which you think looks good, as a way to motivate yourself to practice. I personally bought the best looking guitar withing my price range (150$) when I first started out, was an Ibanez Jumpstart GRX70DX, all I cared about were the shark-teeth inlays.

In any case, good luck with guitar
#13
Quote by Frank_Black
Try a Yamaha Pacifica 112v, they're only ~200, SSH, and great all-round guitars. For amp I'd recommend the Peavey Vypyr, it's a $100 solid state amp, but leagues above other amps in that price range. This setup will only cost about $300 and can handle a bunch of different genres.

EDIT: I'm not a fan of starter packs, I think the ultra-cheap gear can take a lot of the fun out of playing.

EDIT 2: I just did a quick google, the PAC112v's price has been raised to $300, though I still think it's a great guitar. It just doesn't "feel" cheap.



I second this idea... the Yamaha Pacifica is the best beginner's guitar out there.
I also has the best price/quality relation.
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#14
i would check craigslist, theres usually a few squier's on there that are really cheap, if you decide to go forward with playing, then you can either sell it for the 40 you paid or just keep it

i mean youre not going to be playing anything soon that will make you think/care that the guitar isnt high quality
#15
If you have the money to spend, spend it. Having a crap guitar as a new player is very offputting, and if the guitar doesn't stay in tune it will waste lots of practice time. That said, buying a good used guitar and paying a technician to set it up well can be a much better option than buying new.
#16
IMO, if you have the cash, you'll love the S Series Ibanez. If your "Friend" says the humbucker in the neck is a bad idea, disagree. It's definitely not a bad idea.

However, the RG series can't go unnoticed. I suggest you try both an S and an RG before making a purchase. I believe EVERYBODY should own an RG nowadays, at least one as it opens up so much for playing ability.

You should go with whatever feels comfortable and whatever you like best, not what anyone else likes best.
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#17
I thank you all for your input. The S series by Ibanez was actually what I was considering looking at. I think my friend actually has one, so I'll talk to him and see what he says. (He might let me hold it to get a feel for it. I haven't held all of his guitars since he has like 20).

I would go to a store and feel guitars but the closest thing I have is Metronome and they don't have too many guitars. They also only have a few amps. It's a rather small store. The closest GC is in Columbus, which is an hour drive for me. (Not that this is a problem, but I don't really have the means to get there at whim's notice)
#18
I agree with SKArface - check out the used market on craigslist, for THREE reasons...

First - if you want to spend $500 - $700 on your first guitar that's totally your business and your right as a consumer. But if you buy used instead of new, then you have some protection in the event that you end up not liking the guitar after all. You would be able to turn around and sell your gear for about what you paid for it. You would be out little (if any) money in the long run. But if you buy new, be prepared to lose some cash if you decide to sell it. It's like a car - as soon as it's off the lot the value goes down.

Second - If you buy used then you might be able to get a better guitar for the same amount of money. In other words, you could buy "model X" for $500 new, or you could buy the next model up for the same amount used... better guitar, same price.

Third - You can usually find used guitars that already come with hard cases, upgraded pickups, etc. That will save you additional time and money from buying that stuff on your own and adding it to a new guitar.

Just my 2 cents...

Oh, I almost forgot I'd go with something in the Ibanez RG or S lines. They're simple, reliable, and fun-to-play guitars. And don't listen to your friend about the humbucker in the neck. That's ridiculous. Some of the sweetest, bluesy sounds out there come from a neck humbucker.
Current Gear:
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Marshall JVM410
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#19
Hey - I just read your last post before mine and I realized you're not too far away (I'm in Columbus). Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions, I'd be happy to help.
Current Gear:
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'57 AVRI Fender Stratocaster
MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH
Marshall JVM410
Vox AC15 C2
#20
Quote by 57Goldtop
Hey - I just read your last post before mine and I realized you're not too far away (I'm in Columbus). Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions, I'd be happy to help.



Thank you. I have pretty much narrowed it down to the S series. I'll look at the used models for more expensive guitars. I'll still probably go with a new guitar though.

Edit 1: What do you think about the RG350M?

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ibanez-RG350M-Electric-Guitar-H69995-i1697596.gc


Edit 2: The other guitar I'm looking at is this one:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ibanez-S570B-Electric-Guitar-584141-i1499768.gc
Last edited by WithYouForYou at Mar 17, 2011,
#21
RG350M:
Neck: Wizard III with maple fretboard
Pickups: INF 3 neck, INF 3-single middle, INF 4 bridge
Bridge: Edge Zero II

S570B:
Neck: Wizard II with rosewood fretboard
Pickups: INF 1 neck, INF 1-single middle, INF 2 bridge
Bridge: Zero Resistance (ZR) double locking tremolo

These two guitars are going to have a slightly different feel between them. I really like the Wizard II neck. I've never played a Wizard III so I can't comment on it. But I have played an RG350MYE, which had a maple fretboard and I really liked it.

They each have a different set of stock pickups, but I'm not sure if you'd really even notice a difference between the two. I'm sure someone out there knows the difference between them, but neither is going to be as nice as a good aftermarket set.

You'll have to do some research on those two different tremolo systems. I know the Edge III is one to stay away from, but neither of those have that so I think you'd be ok with either. My guess is that the S570B has a nicer tremolo, but that's just purely a guess based on looks and overall cost.

Between the two I'd go for the S570B. It looks sweet. Those inlays are nice. Plus, when you see that green RG350M in person it's going to be a love-it-or-hate-it color. The S570B is a little more "conservative" and would fit in with just about any musical style.
Current Gear:
2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard
'57 AVRI Fender Stratocaster
MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH
Marshall JVM410
Vox AC15 C2
#22
Green is my favorite color so it kind of plays into my interests. I'll look into Edge III so I can understand more about why to avoid it. I was looking into Seymour Duncan, but I haven't explored much into pick-ups yet.

The S570B is looking more-so to be the choice. From what I remember about Basswood it is rather.....soft.
#23
Well then, if green is your favorite color then there you go :-)

I honestly think you'd be very happy with either. They're both great guitars.

Have you decided whether you like a maple or rosewood fretboard better? They each feel/play a little differently. I like both, but some people have a strong preference one way or the other. It might be worth checking out a couple local guitars that have both just to get a feel for them. That could end up being the deciding vote.

EDIT: the Edge III is known to break and/or pull out of the body of the guitar very easily. Those other two tremolos should be ok though.
Current Gear:
2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard
'57 AVRI Fender Stratocaster
MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH
Marshall JVM410
Vox AC15 C2
Last edited by 57Goldtop at Mar 17, 2011,
#24
if your friend doesn't like neck humbuckers, that's his prerogative, but bear in mind that's his preference- it may not be yours. Like if he told you he didn't like ice-cream, would you stop eating ice-cream? Similar idea here. Plenty of people love neck humbuckers- and like your friend, I'm sure plenty don't like them either.

Regarding the amount you can spend- that's a tough one. First of all, let me say that it's really up to you- you get the final call, it's your money, so go with what you think is right.

Anyway, there are really 3 schools of thought.

School 1: Go as cheap as possible.

Pros:

1: If you quit, you're not out too much money.

2: You haven't wasted too much money if you realise, as you get better and learn more about guitars, that you bought a guitar and amp completely unrelated to the type of music you want to play or your personal preferences.

Cons:

1: Risks being a self-fulfilling prophecy, as if you buy a really rubbish first guitar and amp, you're more likely to quit.

2: Won't retain much resale value, so although you haven't wasted too much money, you probably won't get too much back either if you try to sell it on. And if you cheap out, you WILL eventually (or more likely before too long) have to/want to upgrade.

School 2: Buy as good a guitar and amp as you can afford.

Pros:

1: You're giving yourself the best possible chance at sticking with it- you can't really blame the gear.

2: Assuming you pick even reasonably well, you'll probably never have to sell the guitar and amp, and can keep them as spares or extra guitars/amps for different tones when/if you upgrade.

Cons:

1: If you do quit, you're out a lot more money- though assuming you picked decent instruments, you should get a reasonable amount of money back if you sell them on (say around 50%).

2: If you realise that they don't suit the music you play or your own personal preferences, again you're out a lot of money.

School 3: A bit of a compromise between school 1 and 2- buy a decent-to-good quality instrument, but don't spend too much in case you change your mind about what you like, or decide that guitar isn't for you.

Personally I would say, as long as it's disposable income, that $500 is fine for a first guitar. I mean it's not like you're looking at a PRS private stock or something like that.

out of the two ibanezes you're looking at i'd go with the s as i don't trust the edge III on the rg.

Combine that with one of the better cheaper modelling amps- roland cube 30x (don't go for the lower wattage ones, unless it's the microcube, as they don't have the amp models and consequently aren't as good), vox valvetronix, peavey vypyr.
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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.

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#25
Quote by kaosxrocker
Dude, don't blow that much money to start off. If you don't like it, you're out a grand. Just get a starter pack. I'd go with this one: http://www.guitarcenter.com/Laguna-Ultimate-Rock-Electric-Guitar-Value-Pack-423376-i1504694.gc.

Decent gear for a decent price. And you're not out a ton of money if you don't like it.


While not exactly a starter pack as such IMO a good started rig for someone who has their eyes on an Ibanez.

Ibanez GRG150DX and Peavy Vypyr 15 or Vox VT20PLUS

I'm one of the legions of Spider haters

Far as lessons and lesson plans go IMHO the online resources are very good. Not that a DVD or youtube video can replace one on one lessons.

Just my two cents.
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#26
One of my other buddies let me borrow his amp and his guitar. (It's a pretty poor guitar.) I'm just practicing for a while before I get mine. Thank you all for your support and I'm glad to have found a community as nice as you.
#27
^ ah if you can borrow one for a while that's probably the best possible way to do it. I borrowed a friend's guitar for a couple of weeks, and it meant that i could at least go into the shop and try the guitars out properly, so i could buy one that i liked the feel of etc.

Quote by Willowthewitch

Far as lessons and lesson plans go IMHO the online resources are very good. Not that a DVD or youtube video can replace one on one lessons.

Just my two cents.


oh yeah, when i say that it's ok to spend as much as you can on the guitar, saving a bit on the guitar to put towards lessons (especially if this is your first musical instrument- i've never had a guitar lesson, but i've had piano and drum lessons so at least i wasn't starting from scratch) would be a good idea.

I just mean if you're saving guitar money to put towards something else unrelated, that might not be a good idea.
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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.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#28
I started on an absolutely horrible strat pack starter kit. The guitar sounded awful, but I kept playing it. ended up getting a $300 bolt on neck epiphone SG like 6 months later, and had that guitar for almost 8 years. A decent mid range guitar would probably suit you well, and would last a long time.
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#29
Here's my 2 cents:

Buy a used guitar/amp combo from craiglist for $300-$350. There's quite a few of them out there. Bring your friend along since he knows more about the guitars to make sure it's a decent guitar.

Spend the rest of your money on lessons. You'll learn and advance faster than trying on your own.
#30
Definitely support the move to get into guitar, I haven't played an ounce of COD for a couple of years thanks to music

You're gonna have to decide if you want to bust bank or not. I like those Pacificas too, but i think if you could find a MIM HSS strat used for around two and a half, you'd be set.

Im one of those people who started with a 100 some dollar starter pack and struggled through the first months, and then realized my guitar was a piece...

Pretty sure the two Ibby trems to stay away from are the Pro II and the Edge III. Someone tell me if i am wrong...

But I wouldn't start with a floating trem for any first guitar. My first floating trem pissed me off alot! I can totally see someone quitting because they cant deal with a floyd. IMO Hardtail is probably the way to go for a first guitar. I found when i started to learn I was constantly switching tunings from drop C to E standard, and thats a painful process with a floyd. Especially for someone who is new to guitars anyway.

S or Rg thing is pretty much opinion, but unfortunately, ibanez is pretty much trem, trem, trem. Theres not a single Rg Or S from 5-700 on GC's site without a trem... But theres a couple from 3-500 which might actually be a better price range for you. A four hundred dollar guitar would probably be pretty hard to quit with... Yet, you'd have a couple hundred less in it.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ibanez-RGA42FM-Electric-Guitar-105658041-i1463462.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ibanez-RG471AH-Electric-Guitar-H70006-i1697623.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ibanez-RG321-Electric-Guitar-H64188-i1559792.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ibanez-RGA32-Electric-Guitar-105488613-i1469851.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ibanez-RG3EXFM1-Electric-Guitar-104831474-i1400085.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ibanez-ART320-Electric-Guitar-620740-i1469853.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ibanez-ART2EX1-Electric-Guitar-105312839-i1460047.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ibanez-ARX320-Electric-Guitar-104794458-i1389674.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ibanez-ARX320-Artist-Electric-Guitar-105313233-i1438609.gc

Pretty much your Ibby options w/out trems... but you'd be stupid to limit your self to ibanez... Esp/ltd, fender, schecter, jackson would all have good options.

Keep in mind, guitars are also heavily modifiable... imo, if you buy a 200 dollar guitar, you probably don't wanna spend 300 dollars on new pickups. Not saying it isn't done alot though.

And amps. You said you want 50-100 watts? I'm thinking thats too much power. My 15 Watt Fender is definitely enough for ANY bedroom. Something with effects would be good. Maybe a G-Dec or Line 6? I'm not super sharp with amps.

Good Luck,
Gls
#31
Buy what makes you feel good. It's your money, you're desire. If you're anything like me, you find enthusiasm in nice things. It also makes ME less likely to blame the equipment.
#32
I agree with Dave's breakdown of the way things go. Personally, I believe in the school of thought where you buy a mid-range guitar as your first. That's what I did, and it worked out well.

Also, I wouldn't get a trem on your first guitar. It just gets in the way. It'll be fun to play around with at first, but you won't be good enough to actually work it into your playing, other than just using it for basic vibrato, for a while and it'll make changing strings a bitch.

I'd get a modeling amp, 30 watts should do it. You'll have enough headroom so the sound can be decent with enough volume and variety to get you what you need.
#33
I have the Super Champ XD. Its a nice little amp. Semi-tube, not sure how that works. But yes it cranks. I've actually looked at 5 watt full tube combos because its too loud. Im cranking all of my distortion and effects through my Tonelab St though. Its a nice combo amp though and id probably recommend it to someone in the 300 dollar range.
Yeah, im constantly playing on a frontman 15 also, my friend has one and we're constantly jamming. Your right, those things are loud. I haven't hooked the vox up to it for a while, but if you crank the gain on that amp you can get a decent volume.

Imo modeling is probably what to do for withyouforyou, it would simplify effects for a beginner, and you wouldn't have to worry about pedals. If you went cheaper, one of those frontmans might be something to look at... thats probably what id buy in that price range.

I'd also like to ask what your thought was on ruling out schecter, fender and all of that? How can someone whose never played an electric just decide that everything but ibby is crap. If someone told you that, there either stupid or being funny. You need to go into a store and start handling and plugging everything in. I wont buy a guitar i've never tried, even if i'm sure i know what i'm getting. Theres a lot of things in a guitar that are user preference. Ibby necks are known to be thin and have big frets? How do you know you like that without trying one?

You may go into a store and find out that you don't like ibanez, and schecter is your thing. But no amount of review reading or advice is going to tell you that.