#1
So, here's my deal; I do not currently own a guitar or an amp. I am an OBSESSIVE researcher before I get into new hobbies, and amps are still... Foreign to me. Here's what I got so far...


I will be playing a Les Paul-style guitar. I am very interested in playing post-rock, indie-rock, Tool-esque stuff as well. Not super into heavy music, but I would love an amp with the ability to crank some fuzz through when I have a Stoner-Metal day.

A headphone jack would be an awesome bonus, as my house is VERY small and my roomate can hear everything.


Budget: $350. I can add $50 for the right amp. I see a TON of stuff on Ebay, but I don't know enough to make an informed decision

Use: Home practice, and EVENTUALLY, gigs/jamming. This seems like a far off idea, and it really is, but doesn't spending $350 ONCE beat spending $100-$200 twice? In other words, a bigger amp/speaker combo now, with an adequate master volume/headphone jack, will save me money down the line. Also, the really nice "small" amps cost nearly as much. Maybe I'm wrong in my reasoning...


I would love something with a footswitch jack, as well.


I'm not closed-minded to the idea of a solid-state, but again, totally lost.
#2
Fender Super Champ XD.
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
What the hell is a G&L.



Quote by Flux'D
Gay & Lesbian I think, the box smelled funny
Greg what did you send me??
#3
Used valve king maybe. Also location that is a big help to us because we know what craigslist and guitar.centers to look at.
#4
I don't believe the Super Champ will pull off some of the things TS wants.

Where are you located? We'll search Craigslist for you and see what we can find.

A VK does seem like a good idea. With a boost or an EQ pedal, it could easily pull off heavier music, and by itself could do pretty much everything you want decently.
#5
I was gonna pull for the Valve King too. I'm not much of a Peavey guy myself but those and the Classic series are nice IMO.
Gear
Highway One Tele (w/Custom Shop 51 Nocaster pickups)
Standard Tele (modded to Nashville specs)
Reverend Roundhouse

Orange Rockerverb 50 MKI
Vox AC4c1
Jet City JCA20H

And pedals!



"Shiva opens her arms now..
...to make sure I don't get too far"
#6
Shit, forgot location. Bellingham, Washington. I'll drive to Vancouver, B.C or Seattle as well.
#7
Also, thanks for that Valveking pointer. I'll be looking at those very closely.
#9
Amps you can play quiet yet still become monsters.

Vox AC15C1 (15w): New $600, used: $500 or less I'd say. Don't get a CC1, only C1. Has footswitch for built in reverb and analog trem

Fender Blues Jr. (15w~): New $460~, Used: I've personally seen from $250 to $350 here. No FS, built in verb.

Both of these are excellent amps, and sound great, take effects well, have master volume, and get loud enough to gig with (especially if you're micing them).

If you wanna buy an amp once and keep it for a while, definitely go for a tube amplifier, you'll be much more pleased. Both the BJ or the AC15 fit exactly where you want them in terms of what they can do, and investing in a good amp now is much better than going cheap solid state practice and then blowing another couple hundred on a good one.

Things to stay away from IMO: Spiders (II is okay, but for the $$ you'd spend on a Spider II you can do better anyway), Peaveys of most types (I.E. Studio), Roland Cubes (these are good beginner amps but you mentioned you just wanted to get right down to business and get one that you'd gig with, you wouldn't gig with a roland cube.), Vox modeling amps (again these are fine but they are no tube amp).


Heres the thing, you aren't likely to find a good sounding tube amp with headphone capabilities. I can play the AC15 very quiet, but you can hear it if you're in the room. Same with the BJ.

So you must ask yourself:

Do I want to sacrifice headphone capability for good tone? You might not be super concerned with tone at this point, but trust me you will be eventually. $350 will score you a used blues junior for sure. But a headphone capable amp probably isn't going to sound as good as you want it to later on, it would suffice for sure but if you ever got serious about playing down the line then you can do MUCH better for $350.


My advice: Make sure you're in this for the long run, and invest in quality products right from the beginning. It will save you A LOT of money. Buy used, you will save a ton of money this way as well. I spent at least $2,000 this last summer on guitar stuff and I saved probably a good $800 buying used. PATIENCE IS KEY. Find out what you want, try it out, and WAIT. WAIT for a good deal on CL (I don't trust ebay as much), make %100 sure you want it and then wait for a good deal to pop up. This way you save and you won't have regrets later on. TRY EVERYTHING, go to guitar shop and try stuff out, find out what you like. I can't stress that enough, you can read reviews and things all day but in the end it comes down to you trying what you want.

Hope this helps


EDIT: A quick look at the seattle and bellingham CL's found me a Fender BJ for $350 and a Vox ac15cc1 for $400 (but CC1 isnt good).
"Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you." - Aldous Huxley
Last edited by Zamorak at Mar 17, 2011,
#10
"I have a tiny house and my roommate can hear everything."

Why do we keep plugging the Valveking? He won't be able to turn it past 1.
#12
So, this is pretty interesting...

Apparently, one can buy something called an attenuator for tube amps. Not the stomp pad kind... This might be the solution. There's even a few that have headphone jacks built in.

Honestly, quiet practice is my number one concern (well, number two, after quality). I live in a "gated" community that has extremely strict noise rules. Basically, if it makes noise that bothers people, I can't do it. I'm in the unique position of also being the guy who ENFORCES those rules.


I'm not thrilled with the prospect of losing tone, but I also really like living in my house. That attenuator may be the ticket, if it really works as advertised.


Again, thanks for all the wonderful suggestions, guys. Gives me some homework to do.
#13
I know everyone around here push tube amps and I know they have their place. I gotta say I just picked up a Fender Mustang III and Im pretty damn impressed. The cleans are pretty nice. The distortion isnt bad,not as good as a tube amp,but for a practice amp or maybe even a small gig I think it would be great. It has alot of really cool features and the Fuse software is pretty amazing. The tunabilty of this amp is impressive. You really should give it a listen. Just my .02.
#14
Quote by Selftest
So, this is pretty interesting...

Apparently, one can buy something called an attenuator for tube amps. Not the stomp pad kind... This might be the solution. There's even a few that have headphone jacks built in.

Honestly, quiet practice is my number one concern (well, number two, after quality). I live in a "gated" community that has extremely strict noise rules. Basically, if it makes noise that bothers people, I can't do it. I'm in the unique position of also being the guy who ENFORCES those rules.


I'm not thrilled with the prospect of losing tone, but I also really like living in my house. That attenuator may be the ticket, if it really works as advertised.


Again, thanks for all the wonderful suggestions, guys. Gives me some homework to do.


An attenuator won't do what you want, it's made to take the edge off of an already loud amp. It'll ruin your tone if you try to attenuate it to bedroom levels.

The SCXD sounds pretty good when quiet.

Don't get a Valveking unless you're willing to do some mods to it, either. It's not the best amp when it's bone stock, and they need to be loud to sound the best. At bedroom levels they're really muddy.
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
What the hell is a G&L.



Quote by Flux'D
Gay & Lesbian I think, the box smelled funny
Greg what did you send me??
#15
You aren't going to find a gigging-capable amp with a headphone jack, but seeing as you're just starting out, I would recommend you a Peavy Vypyr Tube 60. you can get them for about $350-400 used. It gives you a good combo of options and tone, and would be enough to start gigging with later on. Eventually you'll want a new amp, but that's inevitable as a guitarist. You can even pick up a pedal that is made for this amp later on (the Sanpera I or II) that widens your horizons with it even more. I really think a Valveking will be overkill for you. An attenuator is just going to suck your tone anyway, and getting a decent one is over $100.

You should probably stick to a modeling amp for now. I LOVE tube amps and tube tone, but I'm gonna have to go the "witch" route and say that a modeling amp is the way for you to go for now.

Most notable modeling amps:
Peavey Vypyr amps

Vox Valvetronix amps

Fender Mustang amps

(in that order)

Stay away from Line 6 as you will regret this decision later

Stay FAR away from Marshall MG series amps. they are just terrible.
#16
I'm still looking through tube amps with master volumes. That will probably be my route... Maybe a small cheap headphone amp for late-night practice.


What do you all think of the Jet City and Blackheart amps in my price range? I found a BlackHeart Handsome Devil (15w) and a 12" cab on The Bay for a really good price. Any good? Also, and I know this is a bullshit reason to like something, but... BlackHeart makes some amazing looking amps. Haha.
#17
Bugera v22 or v5 I believe the v5 has a headphone jack, it wont do metal but buy a couple pedals with your left over money and you should be set.
Also fill out the warranty card it is a bugera ya know
My gear-
Schecter C-1 Classic
Mesa Boogie 2 Ch. Dual Rectifier(blackface)
Avatar 2x12- v30s
And some pedals

For sale Minty Ibanez RGA7 seven string with tour grade hsc $330+s/h or best offer!
PM me if interested

R.I.P Ashley S. Jean
#19
You might even look at trying to buy a Bugera V22 and a Line 6 POD. This way you would have an amp that could jam with a band and do gigs, and you could use the POD for your headphone needs. You would need to go used to get both for under $400.