#1
Hey,

THIS ISN'T REALLY NECESSARY TO ANSWER THE QUESTION, IF YOU CBA READING IT JUST SKIP TO THE NEXT BLOCK OF CAPS


I just joined this forum mainly to ask a few questions, but I can see myself sticking around hopefully. I'm actually a drummer first, guitarist second but I'm getting more and more into guitar and am really looking to improve now.

I was reading through the posts you seem to have a ridiculous amount of 'I have this much what should I buy?' threads, which personally I find a bit daft, because in the end people rarely listen to what's said and just go and buy what they wanted in the first place usually.

Anyway, I currently have some money to spend, but I want some advice on a few people who know more on the subject.

My current setup is an Epiphone SG, was my first guitar, a crappy Korg multi-FX pedal that sounds horrible, and a Marshall MG15 practice amp. Pretty standard stuff. Did the job for me to learn the basics on.

A few weeks back my best friend got a ESP LTD H-1000, and when I played it I knew I had to upgrade. I've never been one for just trying out other guitars so this was the first decent guitar I'd ever really played. So, I've decided that I'm going to go for an LTD EC-1000 VB (http://goo.gl/sgAcR). I love the look and feel of the guitar, the fretboard feels like fingering on ice compared to what I'm playing, and it sounds gorgeous (although obviously part of that was down to the setup at the shop which was significantly more expensive than would be clever of me to spend at my skill level.

My musical taste is quite wide, but I play mostly metal and heavy rock on guitar, so I thought I'd go for something with active pickups, and I tried it out today and the clean tone is still really nice, maybe just not as warm as some of the less 'metal' guitars in the price range.

So, I realised if I'm going to spend all this money on a lovely new guitar, it's going to sound pretty crappy though a cheap ass amp and a cheap ass FX pedal.

TL;DR ENDS HERE

So I want to know, if I wanted purely to get a better sound out of my guitar, which should I upgrade first?
The guitar?
The effects?
or The amp?

Then theres the question of multi-effects pedal vs stomp boxes (vs GuitarRig)

I have no doubt that stomp boxes sound the best out of the three, but is it really necessary for someone who isn't an audiophile to spend on that?

All in all I'd probably use no more than 5 stomp boxes ever. I don't really feel the need for a bigger range in sound and style than that, but that is still quite expensive. If I went for Boss pedals (I'm big on if you buy cheap, you buy twice, so I would) it would cost me upwards of £350. I wouldn't buy it all at once, but still.

I'm not really massive on experimental music, so I don't think that investing in all the different effects that a multi-pedal would give me would be worth it, but I would like to be corrected if for some reason I'm wrong.

Then there is Guitar Rig. It seems far too good to be true. I would love for someone who owns/has spend extensive time with one to tell me if the effects are actually any good? And what is the deal with amp modelling? I actually don't understand it. If I put my guitar through this amp model and then play it through my MG15 amp, is it gonna make it sound better? Or just different, as though its a bad copy of a good amp? Could I buy my guitar, a Guitar Rig setup and a cab and run it through that system fine? Or do I still need the amp? The NI website seems to hint that I can just run it through speakers or a cab, which seems like a cool, cost effective way to get a good quality sound.

Finally, how important is it that I get a new amp? Is there really any need for a tube amp, or can I get by fine with a solid state? Can I even get by with the practice amp I have for now? I can hear it over my drums which is all I need really. But if it detracts from the sound I get from my guitar I want to upgrade. Essentially I want an amp which is versatile in tone and loud enough so I can jam with others and play a small venue

I'm quite happy to spend significant amounts on this over time. I always try to buy quality things, and I don't plan to buy a new setup after this one is finished. I might buy a different guitar if I get into different genres, but I'd like to have a good versatile amp and some effects I can use across the board. I did the same with my drums, I might add some more cymbals and a second snare to it, but essentially I'm happy with it now.

However, I do not want to spend on things that are unnecessary. If I don't need a tube amp to get a good sound out of my guitar, I'm not going to buy one. If I could get good sounding effects pedals from

Basically I'm trying to gain the knowledge to be able to pick the right kit. I would appreciate any tips on specific bits of kit that you think might be appropriate for my situation, as I think it will help push me in the right direction, but at the end of the day I'm going to go with what feels and sounds best to me and what I feel is appropriate to spend.

This is actually quite a long post with or without the tl;dr area, so if you've got this far, thank you for listening I look forward to your responses.

EDIT: I ended up finding a second hand EC-1000 VB and a Orange Tiny Terror Combo 12 at really good prices (ebay rocks). Both are in great condition, guitar was £550 and the amp was £280, and down to my parents offering to get me the guitar as a birthday present, I was able to afford both at once, and I have a pay cheque coming on monday. All worked out rather well.
Basically going to take them both to a guitar shop and buy some nice stomp boxes as and when I can afford them from now on and build up a little collection Thank you all for your help and advice.
Last edited by imaan988 at Apr 28, 2011,
#2
Guitar first, amp second, effects last.

Your playing is going to sound better on a decent guitar, vs. a cheap beginner one.
Your amp is only going to sound as good as your playing.
Effects are only as good as your tone before them.

To be perfectly honest effects are the very last thing you should buy. They aren't necessary to sounding good and to be honest if you don't sound good (read: skill) before effects you aren't going to afterwards. Don't skip to the end of the line before you have your basics covered.

In terms of amps, I know a great guitarist who gigs all the time with a Spider II, and he sounds damned good through the thing. You can invest a little money in an amp and it will go a long way for your sound. A 15w MG is what it is. Your gear is only going to go so far in making you sound good, SOOO much of it is up to you. Since playing on a quality guitar helps developing better technique and skill etc... I'd definitely start there. It's the first step.
"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 27, 2011,
#3
Which one would effect your sound more? The amp. That will make the most discernible difference. There are some good solid state amps, but tube is USUALLY better. The guitar is important too, if you like the feel of it, then you will play better, just because it makes it easier to play and want to play more! Multi effects are for people who just want to try out a bunch of effects. If you know what effects you want, then USUALLY it's better to get single stomp boxes.
music = happiness

THAT IS IRRELEVANT TO THE CONVERSATION... unless you want to make it relevant
#5
new amp first
that is most important to your tone
then guitar
and effects really only shape your curent tone
you can get by with a ss amp if your just practicing but for rock or metl id suggest a tube amp(especially if your gigging)
#6
I'd upgrade the amp first.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#7
Upgrade to a tube amp. Stop by some local music stores with your guitar to figure out your preferences.

Effects pedals are the last thing to worry about unless you have a lot of money to throw around.
#8
If I have learned anything about gear, it is that even if you are buying into a known classic tone set up such as Gibson w/PAF > Marshall plexi > 4x12 with a quad of Greenbacks, it is still you playing the gear. So, what gear you have will sound the way THAT gear does with you playing it.

The basic equation of guitar tone is this:

You > guitar > amp/speaker

If you are not satisfied with any part of that, it is not likely you are going to be pleased with what you hear.

Lots of variables can be added to that equation such as the make up of the guitar, effects, different tubes/mods for the amp, and changing cab/speaker configuration and the sound quality is only as good as the weakest link.

Kind of like multiplying by zero. Does not matter about the value of other variables, the equation still equals zero.
#9
I don't know anything about guitar rig, nor have I run my guitar through anything but an amp, so I can't comment on that.

Can you be satisfied with the quality of your guitar for now/ the next year or so?
If the answer is yes, then work on getting a better amp. I won't comment on what kind, tube vs. solid state, because if you do the research, your ears will lead you in the right direction. As far as pedals, your tastes will change as you play, and you will develop desires for tones and sounds as you go along and discover new things.


Here's a sample of 3 ways I could do the set up you want:

- Get an amp that has good high gain and satisfying cleans. Add pedals as necessary. The most simple way you probably want to do it.

- Get an amp that has really good cleans and can take a few pedals well, and build my sound off of pedals. Boutique builders have been putting out some really, really good high-gain pedals/ distortions lately that could compete with a well known high gain amp in itself. This option could also be fairly cheap on the amp end since in my opinion, even most affordable solid state amps I've tried have more than passable clean channels.

- Get an amp dedicated to both, run them in stereo. Very costly though.
#10
If I were you I'd get a POD HD500, then a new guitar. You can plug the HD500 right into the house PA on gigs, and it'll even make your MG tolerable until you get a decent tube amp or even a good powered wedge monitor.

But that's just me if I were in your shoes right now. Wait a while and something better will come along than the HD500 in that price range, but right now it's hard to beat for the price.

Or you can take your guitar to a store and play with Guitar Rig to see how it sounds for yourself. I wouldn't go that way unless I could control it with a powerful foot pedal. This might work for that: http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Keith-McMillen-Instruments-SoftStep?sku=H70412.

Good luck.
#11
BTW, although lots of folks are recommending the guitar first, the weak link in your chain tonally right now is the crappy amp. I know because I have an MG30--now it's just a 1x10 cab for my JVM-410h head for venues where the 4x12 cab is overkill.

As for playability, of course the guitar is the weak link. A good pro setup including fret leveling and nut cutting (if needed), and perhaps an upgraded bridge and locking tuners might fix all that.
#12
Wow, I didn't expect to see so many replies so fast

First, thanks for the advice. I think I'm going to go for the guitar first, because I find it so much easier to play with a much lighter guitar and a smoother fret board. Like a few of you said, its how well you play thats the most important thing. Also, I just found the guitar I want for a steal second hand on ebay Can't let that pass me by.

After that I think maybe a half-decent SS amp or a cheap tube (maybe an Orange Tiny Terror, but even though it's cheap for a tube amp, its still pretty expensive).

Then just go for a few decent stomp boxes. Some boss, and I was told that black star do some really nice tube overdrive effects, so maybe check those out.

Having looked at a few more amp modellers and found some more info on that, I think I'd rather spend another year saving up for gear and getting the real thing. With the money I'd spend on a Guitar Rig setup (which comes with it's own hardware controller with a high quality soundcard and MIDI built in, jetwash69, you can check it out on the NI website) or a POD modeller, I could get an amp, and then build up my stomp boxes from there slowly.

Thanks again for the advice, and keep it coming if there is more. I'm always open to changing my mind if someone comes with a better idea.

EDIT: Just found a Tiny Terror for cheap on ebay too....tomorrow may turn out to be an expensive shopping day!
Last edited by imaan988 at Apr 27, 2011,
#13
Quote by JDizzle787
I don't know anything about guitar rig, nor have I run my guitar through anything but an amp, so I can't comment on that.

Can you be satisfied with the quality of your guitar for now/ the next year or so?
If the answer is yes, then work on getting a better amp. I won't comment on what kind, tube vs. solid state, because if you do the research, your ears will lead you in the right direction. As far as pedals, your tastes will change as you play, and you will develop desires for tones and sounds as you go along and discover new things.


Here's a sample of 3 ways I could do the set up you want:

- Get an amp that has good high gain and satisfying cleans. Add pedals as necessary. The most simple way you probably want to do it.

- Get an amp that has really good cleans and can take a few pedals well, and build my sound off of pedals. Boutique builders have been putting out some really, really good high-gain pedals/ distortions lately that could compete with a well known high gain amp in itself. This option could also be fairly cheap on the amp end since in my opinion, even most affordable solid state amps I've tried have more than passable clean channels.

- Get an amp dedicated to both, run them in stereo. Very costly though.


This, and also, don't feel like because the people on this forum look somewhat down on somethin that it's bad, quite a few people feel that my amp (see sig) is significantly better than a pod xt live run through a power amp and cab, however, I feel they're of roughly equal sound quality and can get good (albeit different) tones out of each

Also, as far as tone importance, IMO, guitar FEEL is most important, followed by amp and speaker tone, then guitar tone, guitar might not sound great, but a good amp and bad sounding but comfy guitar will sound decent enough till you can get a better axe

Lastly, if you can, owning a pod myself, if the demo I did of a pod hd 400 in a store is anything to go by, the effects rape, in a good way, granted, some of pitch shifting ones are meh, but all of the standard ones (chorus, fuzz, delay) are certainly usable

As normal though standalone pedals are highest quality, but for most effects I'd just use the pod :p
Ibanez RG5EX1
Ibanez RG7321
Peavey XXX-->Avatar 4X12(2 V30's 2 G12H30's)

BARE KNUCKLE PUPS RULE!
Quote by gumbilicious
thanks for making an old dude feel like his advice is actually taken into consideration
#14
get a new amp. im not gonna go tell you to drop a grand on some tube whatever but for the love of god get an ibanez toneblaster or something.MGs are sooo bad.
no sir away a papaya war is on
#15
Quote by Zamorak
Guitar first, amp second, effects last.

Your playing is going to sound better on a decent guitar, vs. a cheap beginner one.
Your amp is only going to sound as good as your playing.
Effects are only as good as your tone before them.

To be perfectly honest effects are the very last thing you should buy. They aren't necessary to sounding good and to be honest if you don't sound good (read: skill) before effects you aren't going to afterwards. Don't skip to the end of the line before you have your basics covered.

In terms of amps, I know a great guitarist who gigs all the time with a Spider II, and he sounds damned good through the thing. You can invest a little money in an amp and it will go a long way for your sound. A 15w MG is what it is. Your gear is only going to go so far in making you sound good, SOOO much of it is up to you. Since playing on a quality guitar helps developing better technique and skill etc... I'd definitely start there. It's the first step.

+ infinity
#16
Get the guitar you want first. Its important for developing your technique and generally you will be more inspired to play a sexy axe.

After that you should get a tube amp. There really is nothing that sounds as good. Modelers and PODs and stomp box distortion might get you close but it will never be the real thing. After all what they are doing is trying to emulate, so why not just but the real deal. When looking for a tube amp, I'd recommend a two channel amp (one for clean tones and one for the dirty) with an effects loop so that you can use time based effects (like delay and reverb) later on.

With a good guitar and a versatile tube amp you will be more than happy with your tone. Looking to the future with that setup really is exciting because you can add some quality stomp boxes, as you can afford them, to emphasize the awesome tone of your amp.

There really are some great tube amps that will be more than loud enough to play with the drums. Look at a 1x12 combo like the Marshall MA50C or a Traynor CUSTOM VALVE YCV50B as they are cheaper options.
#17
amp or guitar (depends on what epi you have, you didn't say)

I'd avoid effects for now.

FWIW boss aren't that great, and you can get dearer pedals than boss.
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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?
#18
Thanks for all your advice!

It's my birthday today, so I was lucky enough that my mum found out I wanted to get a guitar and offered to buy me the second hand (but pretty much top condition) EC-1000VB I wanted Got to love random parental generosity on your birthday!

Since I still have some money left, I've found a cheap Orange Tiny Terror, which I think should do the trick for my situation, so I think I'm gonna get that too.

The next step would be for me to get some pedals, but I think thats just going to involve me taking new rig into a store and trying out what sounds best for me

This whole process has gone far faster than I thought it would haha. I didn't think I'd get around to having enough for a decent amp till the end of summer at least.
#19
upgrade the amp

personally, i wouldnt even buy a new guitar if i was you, i had the Epi SG for a loooong time, and i actually thought it was pretty good, so if i was you, i would put nearly all your money into an amp

lastly, buy any pedals you want


EDIT: By the way...i would recommend a JCA20h, i tried one out at a store yesterday afternoon and it was amazing. Im waiting for the JCA22h (same amp with 2 channels on it) to come out, because when it does i'll buy it in a heartbeat
Rig:
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top
Amp- Blackstar HT-60 Soloist
Digitech Rp355


I look like this-
Last edited by VintageAmigo at Apr 28, 2011,
#20
Quote by VintageAmigo
upgrade the amp

personally, i wouldnt even buy a new guitar if i was you, i had the Epi SG for a loooong time, and i actually thought it was pretty good, so if i was you, i would put nearly all your money into an amp

lastly, buy any pedals you want


Just to note, ESP is one of my favorite brands of guitar. The H-1000 is a great guitar.


It is a decent guitar, for the price its top notch, but whenever I play it now I miss playing a lighter guitar with that nice tone and smoother fret board. I really fell in love with ESP when I went to the shop and started playing them, it's just so much more enjoyable to play on a nice guitar.
#21
The TT wouldn't be my first choice for the tones you're after- don't get me wrong, it's a pretty big upgrade over your current amp, and if it's it or nothing then go for it, but if you have any choice you might be able to get something more aimed at the stuff you play...
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
Really? What would you recommend in that kind of price range? I do play mainly metal but I don't want something that can't produce a passable clean tone as it's definitely not the only thing I play. If anything I've been expanding the styles I play recently.

I'd maybe be willing to stretch to £400 inc. delivery, but thats a total max for something special really. I'd prefer something in the £300-350 range.

EDIT: Also, after watching this video I'm somewhat less inclined to believe you
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MpZoWsFlJQ
Maybe there are better metal amps out there, but that is sure as hell good enough for me.
Last edited by imaan988 at Apr 28, 2011,
#23
oh yeah, as i said, it's a massive step up from your mg. Just I think there are better metal amps.

I'd take a look at the traynor ycv50b on thomann (it's around the £400 mark depending on the exchange rate, the exchange rate is pretty poor at the moment but it doesn't come back into stock until may), jet city and maybe bugera.

As i said, if it boils down to the TT or no amp, then get the TT. But if you have around that amount of money, I think you could probably do a bit better for the tones you want. It's not that the TT won't do it, just there are other things which I think would do it better.
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?
#24
I took a look, and while your correct, I just bought a virtually new TT for £280, compared to a £470 retail price. Was too good a deal to pass up for a slightly improved tone.
#25
Out of curiousity, do you plan on taking that used amp in for service just to be sure that the TT is is in good working order? Perhaps get a valve replacement to start off fresh?

If so, do you know what new valves and shop labour will cost you?

Surely not the entire difference of 190 pounds but what ever it costs should be factored in to the cost of the new to you amp.
#26
was it the combo version?

If so, fair enough. But I mean the head version goes for around ~£300 new all the time.
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?
#27
gear

1960 custom strat
epiphone x-1000
brownsville hhs
i axe 393
montana bass


buckethead or paul gilbert????????????????????????????/praxis
#28
buy a Klon
Call me Dom
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#29
Also take into consideration Chappers was using a Orange 4x12 which retails for something like £600, what looks like a damn expensive PRS, and a MXR Boost on top.
#ENTITLED
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lastfm
#30
Good find on the guitar. A poor guitar will hold you back from wanting to play and hold up your development. Good price too.

Post some pictures.
#31
Sure the TT can do metal, but then again so can a Squier Duo Sonic guitar. That doesn't make it your first (or even 10th) choice for metal.

Apparrently an MG can do metal, too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72xuDFravT0&feature=relmfu, but then again, Youtube compression and computer speakers hide a lot.

As for NI foot controllers, were you talking about the Kontrol 3? It has like 8 swithches and an expression pedal. The controller I mentioned has over 14 and 10 of them respond to at least 4 different directional inputs, plus pressure levels. Each one of those can act like an expression pedal, and if I understand it right, you can program it to respond as you like and make patches to switch that behavior on the fly. It should work with most music software out there, whereas Kontrol 3 only works with Guitar Rig? Anyway, Kontrol 3 does appear to be a big step past their previous product--thanks for pointing it out to me.

Take care.