My name is Rui, I´m from Portugal, I´m 29 years and play guitar since I was 10.

This is my first post in U-G.

Since i started, i´ve always played in Metal bands, but recently i started a new project a little bit different - not so heavy.

What i need is a sound more "Hard Rock" than Metal. Examples - Muse, Foo Fighter, Creed.

The Gear i use is:

- Guitar: Washburn N2 - with a seymour duncan 59 pickup upgrade

- Amp - Crate Excalibur GX-2200

- FX - Boss ML2 Metal Core / Boss DS2 Turbo Distortion / Boss BF-3 Flanger / Ibanez DE7 Delay / Boss HR2 harmonist

I´ve been thinking of buying a new guitar and amp, but, the prices are too high.

Second Choice:

- New Pickups for the guitar (More Rock sound)

- New Amp Head (Keeping the Cabinet) - Maybe a Marshall??

Any advise for the upgrades?

I´m trying to keep it under the 500$ / 600$


For Muse you'll probably want an Electroharmonix Big Muff pedal. Quite a famous fuzz/distortion.

With amps, you'd probably want valves... but the budget may be a bit low. What currency are you quoting?

I know lots of people on this forum might recommend a used Peavey Valveking as a good low budget rock amp... you may be able to pick up a Blackstar HT-40 which is supposed to be a Marshall killer. I don't have much experience with other gear though, but the Blackstar has a good bit of versatility with it's ISF eq. It'll do hard rock well and you can get classic metal tones out of it too. Even my little 1 watter does hard rock and approaches high gain territory.

Jet City amps are probably worth a look and you can always keep an eye out for a used Marshall too.

May be worth saving a bit more to get a valve amp that meets your needs though if they stretch the budget.
Last edited by baumaxx1 at May 2, 2011,
Hi baumaxx1

thanx for the reply

I´m quoting in €, and probably going to buy from Music Store (http://www.musicstore.de)

Valves, seems to be the right choice.

Blackstar seems like a good choice, but the model you refer is a combo, right? Do you think that a Blackstar Head (or even the Peavy or the Jet City), connected to my Crate Cabinet will do the trick?? I really don't want to get ride of that BIG Cabinet...

What do you think of Vox, or even Fender?

And the guitar?? Do you think some new pickups will make a big difference, or the secret is really in the amp?

The crate cabinet would be an ok temporary solution for running the head through but i'd personally save to upgrade it to a nicer one in the future. Your tone would improve immensely.
Hi coolstoryangus,

Thanx for the reply.

I´ll give it a look, and try to find it in a store here in Portugal to give it a try.

Didn´t knew Schecter guitars - pretty cool

What about PRS guitars??
Blackstar have a head version of all the HT series amps I think.

The crate cab wouldn't be too bad I guess... what sort of speakers are loaded into it? How do you find the cab sounds?

It will probably sound decent, especially with a better head, but not as good as something like an Orange 2x12 or 4x12.

Vox and Fenders aren't something I associate with hard rock. More a classic rock/blues and indie rock affair, but there probably are some exceptions.

I think the pickups you have are decent actually. May not need a swap. They're these right? http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/electric/humbucker/vintage/59_model_sh1_an/

They'd work for hard rock I think. Eizinger from Incubus uses them.

Schecter are pretty popular in metal circles, and PRS make some great guitars, a big name in the industry. The SE line is meant to be a fantastic affordable range and I've been quite keen on getting my hands on one to try out, but they never stock them in Adelaide XD. The SE Tremonti would be a solid hard rock choice.

The Cab sounds ok. I really don't know what sort of speakers are loaded. I have it for 10 years, and bought it used.

I´m not quite sure about the pickups. They´re not like in the image. But as I bought them 10/12 years ago, they may look different back then.

I´m going to make some tests at some stores of my zone and see where it gets me...

There´s nothing better than trying... right?
Yeah of course. Seeing what gear gives you the tone you want is your best bet. It's not really a decision you need to rush. Even hiring a head for a few hours could be worth it to help you decide.