#1
Hey everyone! I'm new to these forums. I'm 17 and I've been playing guitar for a little over 2 years. I started out on Acoustic (playing a very old Applause (by ovation) guitar), playing only open chords and the occasional F/B/Bm etc. as needed. Since then I've acquired a Fender Squier Bullet, and a Fender 25r amp and learned barre chords, and power chords. I'm looking to delve deeper into the world of electric guitar, (which means learning lots and lots of scales ).

Introductions aside, this is what I seek your advice on; I'm looking to get some effects pedals to add to my arsenal and I need some help with choices. This song, and this song are examples of the style I'd like to learn to play. Based on that I assume I need an over-drive/distortion pedal. I've decided I like this one. What do you think? Other than that, assuming I have $80-100 more to spend on pedals, what should I get next? Is $80-100 enough to get the adequate pedals for such a style? Finally, what other skills should I learn in order to play guitar for such a genre of music?

I know I need a new guitar and amp eventually, but for the time being I'd like to get some pedals.

Thanks in advance everyone! I really appreciate all the help I'm bound to get!
#2
if you're new to electric, i'd suggest something like the digitech rp150 (or something) it's what i use. it has a big range of effects and it's fairly cheap. at least until you decide which direction you're going on electric. jusst my sugestion
My sig? Nice.
#3
You should either spend the rest of the money on a compression pedal, use it to buy a better overdrive pedal, or put it toward buying a better amp. Whichever you think will suit your needs more.

Also, it's cool that you like Hawk Nelson. Unless you like their two newer albums, because that just means you suck.
#4
Haha nah, I only like the old Hawk Nelson stuff. Just curious, what does a compression pedal do to the sound, cause I get it, it compresses it, but what does that mean? It just kinda confuses me.

Thanks for the suggestions! I'm trying to lean away from multi-effects pedals because they have a lot of effects I will never use and I assume that getting a pedal specifically for an effect would equal a better overall effect since it was specifically designed for that effect, does that make sense?
Last edited by Biblmac at Apr 17, 2011,
#5
yeah i get that. the rp150 has an okay sound, not amazing, but like i said, its just so versatile. but i get what you're saying and i completely understand.
My sig? Nice.
#6
So does anyone know what a compressor does as far as changing the sound goes? And what other effects would I need to get a Relient K/Hawk Nelson sound? I was thinking about getting a delay, but I'm not sure....
Last edited by Biblmac at Apr 18, 2011,
#8
^ yeah, exactly, they even out volume peaks and troughs. I don't see why one would help him.

Quote by TextOnTheScreen
You should either spend the rest of the money on a compression pedal, use it to buy a better overdrive pedal, or put it toward buying a better amp. Whichever you think will suit your needs more.

Also, it's cool that you like Hawk Nelson. Unless you like their two newer albums, because that just means you suck.


compression pedal? how would that work?

agreed about the amp, though.

I doubt a super overdrive will do what you want with an SS amp.

Personally I'd just dump the fender frontman (by that i mean sell it) and get a modelling amp... vox valvetronix or something like that.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#9
I would recommend a used http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/line-6-pod-xt-live-/230608548535?pt=UK_Guitar_Accessories&hash=item35b15732b7#ht_500wt_1156 they are great they really are i paid 110 pounds for one i think they normally go for inbetween 80 and 140 pounds .i love mine yes it has certain limitations etc but tbh unless u wanna go and spend a lot on separate pedals then this is the way to go for a now.it can do a lot has loads of great features and untill u have the cash for the pedals or a nice amp maybe this could do what u want etc.
#10
Well I got the frontman to practice on. Didn't have a lot of money at the time, still don't have a lot of money, so I was going to wait till I could spend $400-500 on an amp before upgrading. However, instead of getting a modeling amp should I just get a tube amp? Honestly I don't really have a clue what I'm getting into here, still rather new to the electric guitar scene.

@Rosewood55 I will definitely look into that. Thanks!

And one more thing, what is the big difference between a SS and tube amp? Why would it matter if I had one or the other, as far as pedals go?
#11
I mostly humbly recommend that you get a new amp and guitar first. Why do you ask?

Your sound is determined by the following factors in roughly the following order:

1. Your playing
2. Your guitar (all inclusive here, pickups and all, for simplicity)
3. Your amp (guitar and amp are interchangeable depending on the situation)
4. Your effects

Why start with the bottom of the list? You won't be hearing the benefits for a long while.
"Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you." - Aldous Huxley
#12
Kudos to for you for an articulate post. Impressive to say the least.

Good of you to accept the small practice amp for what it is... IMHO, a small amp is not a bad thing to have around. The real trick will be learning to make THAT amp sound as good as THAT amp can and not getting overly frustrated that it doesn't sound like an 80's 50w Marshall cranked through a 4x12 cabinet if that is the sound you have in your head.

See where that leads you. Maybe along the way you will find your sound.

As for pedals, for a solid state amp, I have found that an overdrive pedal can be useful, depending on the pedal. They are not created equal. In having an overdrive (OD) you can get a facsimile of an overdriven tube amp without the volume.

As your amp has built in reverb, I would suggest a simple order of pedals:

Overdrive > chorus > delay.

An EQ pedal is a very versatile pedal as it can do a variety of things depending on how you use it.

Learn what the artists that make your favorite music play or played through, how those sounds were created, and see if you can get into a chain store to play something similar.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, go into a big box store with money in your pocket and the idea you are there to buy something, anything. You will get sold something alright and it may not be the best thing for you. Be patient and learn the finer points of playing the instrument.

You can do well by going to small music shops that sell used/vintage gear and become a regular and get to know the people that work there. Play gear, learn what you like about different guitars, amps, and effects pedals.

Then go back to the big box store armed with information.
#13
Hey guys,

Thanks so much to all of you for replying. As I said in my first post (and have reiterated throughout) I'm a complete noob to electric guitar for the most part. I really appreciate you all for replying.

Right now I'm getting "mixed signals" from these replies. A lot of you are saying that I should jump ship on my little fender practice amp and go straight for something better, like a modeling amp. I will admit I didn't do as much research as I should when getting this amp, but I got it nearly a year ago and only just recently got it out of the closet. I'm still learning and practicing so I don't plan on playing at anywhere other than my house any time soon. To be completely honest irnmadn88's post is definitely what I wanted to hear, but is it right? So I suppose my question becomes, what is wrong with irnmadn88's statement,
The real trick will be learning to make THAT amp sound as good as THAT amp can and not getting overly frustrated that it doesn't sound like an 80's 50w Marshall cranked through a 4x12 cabinet if that is the sound you have in your head.

Is there anything wrong with sticking with my amp for now and trying out different pedals at a store and maybe buying 2-3? I didn't really plan on buying a new amp till I had, as I said before, $400-500 to spend. I don't know if I expressed this correctly before, (and I didn't exactly have time to write out a lengthy reply like this earlier anyway).


Why start with the bottom of the list? You won't be hearing the benefits for a long while.

If I start at the top though, maybe I should practice more before even thinking about a new guitar or amp. I am no where near the full potential of either. Literally I'm just starting out on electric guitar. Is it necessary to jump ship already? I mean ideally I'd have a Gibson SG or Les Paul and a Marshal Half Stack of some sort but I don't exactly have $2000-2500 to blow right now .

My plan was;
Buy an entry level guitar (check!)
Buy a practice amp (check!)
Buy some pedals for practice/experiment sake (no check)
Upgrade amp (no check)
Upgrade guitar (no check)

That way I'd have pedals already when I get a good amp, therefore eliminating the need for an immediate pedal upgrade. Are my priorities in the wrong order here?


Side Bar:
I have a friend who plays electric guitar for his youth group and he doesn't even have an amp, he has a little, $200+ multi-effects pedal that he plugs straight into their sound system, would something like that be a bad idea? Or what about buying 3-5 effects pedals and going straight into a sound system? Say an EQ, OD, Chorus, Delay, or something. Honestly I don't have a clue what I'm talking about...


The Bottom Line Is...
In light of this new information, is jumping ship on my practice amp still my best option, or would testing out a few pedals along the way be ok?

Thanks for anyone who read this far! I really appreciate all the help, I'm just trying to make the best decision I can to suit my needs/wants at the moment. I really appreciate all your patience and kindness with me.

EDIT
I googled the gear of the lead and rhythm guitarists for my two favorite bands and they all had one pedal in common. The MXR Phase 90 Pedal so I guess this one is a must huh
Last edited by Biblmac at Apr 19, 2011,
#14
To each his own, but I'd say you'd have the wrong order there...

If you're afraid you aren't going to stick with it or won't be good enough, then buying 2-3/3-5 pedals isn't going to make sense at all. If you're a beginning electric guitarist effects are the last thing you should be adding. You need a proper foundation as a player before you clutter your playing with effects. Effects are like embellishments for most guitarists and they aren't going to imbibe you with anything useful since I doubt your playing is going to be primarily effects driven (I.E. the edge). You can practice everything you need to practice without effects. Ergo I'd say go for a new amp first, then a better guitar. Both can be had for the same price as 5 decent pedals.

If you buy effects now you'll have a tendency to get a lot for as little as you can... which is pretty much the worst idea ever.


You friend who goes direct in does what a lot of P&W guitarists do (myself included sometimes) and is really only useful if you have a sound system that you can plug into. If you want to forgo the amp altogether then the Line6 Pod HD500~ systems are nice because you get pretty dang decent effects with modeling and all that jazz which doesn't sound bad at all into a FOH or with headphones. Especially in the P&W scene.


Take things one at a time and don't scramble to get a bunch of pedals to be cool. I can plug straight into my amp and get a myriad of tones, onto which I add effects as I see fit. Sometimes I like to be the Edge too though. But really, don't rush. Decent effects can be EXPENSIVE (heck, the pedal I'm about to buy is $450), but before you even consider better effects a better guitar/amp is needed.

EDIT: I don't know what effects you're talking about but 2-3 or 3-5 pedals are going to cost you at minimum $100 each... And theres really not much quality to be seen... so don't waste your money on crappy pedals. Hell, any 2 of my pedals together cost more than $300.


Biggest piece of advice for you though: WAIT. and when you think you're ready to spend $300+, WAIT SOME MORE. Be absolutely sure you want to buy it. Look for used things first, WAIT, look, travel to shops, WAIT, try more things, WAIT, and if you still think you want to buy whatever you wanted to buy, go for it. No regrets later!
"Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you." - Aldous Huxley
Last edited by Zamorak at Apr 19, 2011,
#15
Quote by Biblmac
Well I got the frontman to practice on. Didn't have a lot of money at the time, still don't have a lot of money, so I was going to wait till I could spend $400-500 on an amp before upgrading. However, instead of getting a modeling amp should I just get a tube amp? Honestly I don't really have a clue what I'm getting into here, still rather new to the electric guitar scene.

@Rosewood55 I will definitely look into that. Thanks!

And one more thing, what is the big difference between a SS and tube amp? Why would it matter if I had one or the other, as far as pedals go?


depends, really.

A modelling amp would be worth considering if you don't want to spend too much money. If you sell your frontman, you could pick up a modelling amp like a valvetronix and not be out too much more money.

Tube amps (the good ones) are awesome. They tend to work better with pedals too, you can boost them with od pedals to make them even more awesome and stuff like that. But to get ones which get a range of tones can get quite expensive. Also, if you play a lot at whisper volume they might not be the best option- I don't agree that you have to crank them to 10 for them to sound good, but they do need to be a bit louder than TV volume.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#16
Quote by Biblmac
(a) To be completely honest irnmadn88's post is definitely what I wanted to hear, but is it right? So I suppose my question becomes, what is wrong with irnmadn88's statement,

(b) Is there anything wrong with sticking with my amp for now and trying out different pedals at a store and maybe buying 2-3? I didn't really plan on buying a new amp till I had, as I said before, $400-500 to spend. I don't know if I expressed this correctly before, (and I didn't exactly have time to write out a lengthy reply like this earlier anyway).


If I start at the top though, maybe I should practice more before even thinking about a new guitar or amp. I am no where near the full potential of either. Literally I'm just starting out on electric guitar. Is it necessary to jump ship already? I mean ideally I'd have a Gibson SG or Les Paul and a Marshal Half Stack of some sort but I don't exactly have $2000-2500 to blow right now .

My plan was;
Buy an entry level guitar (check!)
Buy a practice amp (check!)
Buy some pedals for practice/experiment sake (no check)
Upgrade amp (no check)
Upgrade guitar (no check)

(c) That way I'd have pedals already when I get a good amp, therefore eliminating the need for an immediate pedal upgrade. Are my priorities in the wrong order here?


Side Bar:
I have a friend who plays electric guitar for his youth group and he doesn't even have an amp, he has a little, $200+ multi-effects pedal that he plugs straight into their sound system, would something like that be a bad idea? Or what about buying 3-5 effects pedals and going straight into a sound system? Say an EQ, OD, Chorus, Delay, or something. Honestly I don't have a clue what I'm talking about...


The Bottom Line Is...
In light of this new information, is jumping ship on my practice amp still my best option, or would testing out a few pedals along the way be ok?

Thanks for anyone who read this far! I really appreciate all the help, I'm just trying to make the best decision I can to suit my needs/wants at the moment. I really appreciate all your patience and kindness with me.

EDIT
I googled the gear of the lead and rhythm guitarists for my two favorite bands and they all had one pedal in common. The MXR Phase 90 Pedal so I guess this one is a must huh


(a) i agree with a lot of what he's saying, but not everything. Also he's saying to stick with your frontman- not to stick with your frontman and buy 3 pedals (the price of which would buy you a valvetronix).

Buying pedals to compensate for a subpar amp will mean you're on a hiding to nothing. I did it when I was a relatively new player. I'm trying to ensure you don't make the same mistake.

(b) to be frank, yes. As i said, the price of 2-3 pedals will probably buy you a vox valvetronix or similar modelling amp.

(c) that can backfire too. Different pedals sound good with different amps... also when you get a new amp the weakest link will change. Currently it's your frontman, so any pedals you buy will probably sound better than your amp. When you get a good (tube) amp, odds are the weakest link will become the pedals- they might not sound as good through your tube amp.

Quote by Zamorak
To each his own, but I'd say you'd have the wrong order there...

If you're afraid you aren't going to stick with it or won't be good enough, then buying 2-3/3-5 pedals isn't going to make sense at all. If you're a beginning electric guitarist effects are the last thing you should be adding. You need a proper foundation as a player before you clutter your playing with effects. Effects are like embellishments for most guitarists and they aren't going to imbibe you with anything useful since I doubt your playing is going to be primarily effects driven (I.E. the edge). You can practice everything you need to practice without effects. Ergo I'd say go for a new amp first, then a better guitar. Both can be had for the same price as 5 decent pedals.

If you buy effects now you'll have a tendency to get a lot for as little as you can... which is pretty much the worst idea ever.

Biggest piece of advice for you though: WAIT. and when you think you're ready to spend $300+, WAIT SOME MORE. Be absolutely sure you want to buy it. Look for used things first, WAIT, look, travel to shops, WAIT, try more things, WAIT, and if you still think you want to buy whatever you wanted to buy, go for it. No regrets later!


+1
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#17
You're not far off the budget of a small tube amp. Save up a little more, then look at a vht special 6 or something similar.
Also, you can turn up a small amp further
I'm selling an ernie ball wah pedal. Buy my ernie ball wah pedal.
...
Wah pedal.

Quote by 23dannybhoy23
That's got to be my all time favourite online death threat

Quote by smokeysteve22


My chest hurts after that.
#18
I like this discussion. Buy new amp, not buy new amp. Buy pedals, not buy pedals. Fair arguments for both.

We can tell you where to buy what fish or we can teach you how to fish and catch the right fish.

You have done very well with your post. You seem open to suggestion yet maintain the integrity of your own decision.

Carry on, young Jedi. The Force is with you.
#19
^ agreed. Any time I advise stuff, I'm not saying "YOU MUST DO THIS!", I'm saying, "This is what I would do, and here are the reasons why, but it's your money and you need to make the decision yourself."
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#20
Alright guys. Once again I really appreciate the advice. I think I'll hold off on pedals for now. I think I'll just practice with the amp I have (until I can afford a better amp.) New question becomes then, do I buy a hybrid/modeling amp or do I buy an entry level tube amp? I found a Vox Valvetronix for a tad more than what I spent on my Frontman. Is the Vox Valvetronix VT20 going to be an upgrade enough to trade in my Frontman for, or should I go the next step and get the 40W version?

If I get either Vox would it be adequate to warrant buying a few pedals down the road? Or should I go straight for a tube amp (after saving another $100 or so) and then go for the pedals? How long will I be able to use the Vox before my abilities become hindered by it and it therefore becomes "not good enough" again? (Considering I play just about everyday, now, and am a relatively slow learner).

I appreciate all the time you guys have taken and just so ya know, that "3-5" pedals thing was more of a dream (price wise) than a reality. Probably can't afford that many any time soon

EDIT
Thanks everyone for letting it be my decision. I just need as much advice as I can get! So thanks. I really appreciate all you guys have done to help me make the most informed decision possible.
Last edited by Biblmac at Apr 19, 2011,
#21
Most of those modelling amps have a bunch of fx built-in. You shouldn't really "need" any pedals with them. Also, from what I hear, they often don't take overdrive/distortion pedals very well (though I haven't tried this myself).

I would have said even the vt20 was a pretty big step up over the frontman (i've only tried the older version of the valvetronix, the vt15, and it's ages since i've tried a frontman, so it's from memory), in terms of versatility if nothing else (and probably in sound quality too).

Whether it's worth it... I guess it depends on how much you can sell the frontman for- how much it costs you net to get the vox into your possession.

the fun thing with the modellers is that you can get a range of tones and fx out of them. You shouldn't really ever grow out of them... however, the longer the play and the more you play higher-end tube amps, the more they'll change from "serious amp" to "fun toy for messing about with".

I would say those tones in the vids you linked to are fairly standard distortion tones- you don't need a soldano slo or bogner ueberschall to get close. Even the cheaper tube amps, e.g. peavey classic 30, traynor ycv40 or 50 or something like that should work. So it might be worth considering a tube amp, if you can play at a half-decent volume, and if buying the valvetronix would set back your saving for the tube amp.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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?
#22
honestly, I don't think you absolutely need a new amp. You're in GG&A, the answer is ALWAYS «get a new amp, blablablah»

If you're fine with the frontman, then it's all great. It's not as bad as people make it out to be. i actually wouldn't mind gigging with one.
As suggseted a few times, get a multi-effects pedal, it'll help you learn about effects individually. I haven't really played with the lower end RP by Digitech, but people seem to like them. At 2 years into guitar playing, I got a Line6 Pod Xt live and it was great, used it for very long, and plugged it DI into the PAs where I played shows.

and even though the Valvetronix is better than the frontman, I don't think it'd be worth it to just replace a practice amp by another practice amp. Just get a mfx and eventually you'll be able to get an actual pro amp :-)
#23
The Frontman 25R is extremely limited, in comparison to the Vox I was looking at, however it appears the 20W vox doesn't have a 1/4in out which is something I looked for specifically when buying an amp the first time. Why? Because I needed an amp that I could plug into our sound system at church. I could have gotten the, Vox. I even remember looking at it, but since I play 75% of the time at church I didn't want to "waste" my money on an amp that only has a 1/8in out. Maybe that was wrong, but what do you guys think?
#24
Like I said, knocking an amp for what it isn't or doesn't do causes more headaches than learning about what said amp is and what it does.

Most all amps have limitations of one sort or another.

For example, I have a Marshall Lead 12 Micro stack. It is my second ever amp. I bought it because it does one thing really well. Sounds close to a cranked Marshall. But it has no reverb or effects loop or master volume. It does however have a headphone out and a line out.

It does what I bought it for. If I wanted a Fender Twin sound from that amp, well I wouldn't be happy.

While I have not personally tried the 25r, I know people who have had them, and they are good for what they are.
Last edited by irnmadn88 at Apr 19, 2011,
#25
Thanks so much guys for your help! I'm going to hold off on buying pedals for now, as I said before, but I'm going to test out some pedals with a few buddies who have them just to see. I'll save up and get a hybrid/combo Vox amp and then move on from there. I really appreciate all your help! Have a wonderful day guys!