#1
Hey,

Made a thread last year about gear, but times have changed. I currently have a Squire Strat, stock, all single-coil pickups, a Line 6 UX1 and a Orange Crush 30R.

The UX1 I picked up recently and it's brilliant, makes the guitar sound miles better than through the Orange. But even so, I still find myself wanting.

I'm looking for either a new amp or a new guitar. I'm not sure which would be the better upgrade. I play a lot of RHCP, and I'd like to play stuff like Foo Fighters or other alternative rock. Some Muse. I'd also like to play some Post-Rockish stuff.

Budget is around £400.

For the guitar, I've been looking at s/h tele's. No idea what all the various models are, but am beginning to get an inkling. If I should get a new guitar over the amp, I'll go play around at some music shops.

But I'm leaning towards a new amp more, I'm currently thinking of the Blackstar HT-5, Egnator Tweaker, and the Bugera V22. But will a new amp drastically improve my sound or am I expecting too much? The Orange just sounds meh, it gets all muddy and meh-y. I've looked at videos/clips of a couple of amps and they sound far better than the Crush.

I occasionally jam with a drummer, so could do with being loud enough for that.

Willing to go s/h.

Any suggestions/advice? Thank you!
#3
I would probably go with the new amp. If you like the sound and playablility you get from the Squire then stay with it. If not then go for the Tele.
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#4
Blackstar HT-5 is a great amp. As far as jamming with a drummer, I think it could work. I run mine through a 4x12 when playing with a 5 piece metal band, and it does pretty well actually.

But don't get me wrong, the HT-5 has good cleans too.


Edit: I should add that the HT-5 would probably only work in a jam setting, not really a show or anything
Last edited by metalcore123 at May 4, 2011,
#5
Take both your amp and guitar to the music store where you plan to buy. Try the guitar through a different amp and then try a new guitar through your old amp. Whichever one sounds better to you go with that
#6
Ohh and the Orange crushes are SS combo amps... it's the tiny terror that's comparable to the egnater tweaker.

All of those amps will sound better than the Crush.

I have seen good things about the egnater and it's got a bit of versatility to it from what I've seen. Haven't seen one at my local shops though so haven't had first hand experience with it, read a review and looked at a few vids. I'd get that in your case.

I know nothing of the Bugera, but it is a budget brand. May want to look closely at user experience. Heard they make some good clones though.
#7
Hmm I'm happy enough with my guitar when I'm playing it through Pod Farm compared to when I'm playing through my amp. But it seems to have no sustain. Nevertheless, I find it easily playable. A tele'd be lovely, but I'm not desperate desperate for one.

See this is it, I've pretty much only heard positive things about the HT5. I'd likely buy the head s/h and get a s/h 2x12 too. It's just whether it would cope with the clean post-rockish things. Although saying that, I don't have any pedals as I returned the DL4 I had.

Aye, I know the Crush is SS. I'm only really looking at tubes, though I've heard the HT-5 isn't fully tube? But seeing as people pretty much only have good things to say about it, I'm not TOO fussed.

The Tweaker is JUST within my budget s/h, probably stretching a bit. But it is 15W as opposed to 5. The reviews seem to favour the HT-5 though. But more headroom with the Tweaker. Hm.
#8
You're not going to have much headroom to jam with a drummer with the HT-5. Honestly I don't like the HT-5 at all. I'd much rather have something like a tweaker.

You should upgrade your amp first. It'll make a huge difference. A peavey classic 30 can be found used in your price range. Other than that a Blackheart Handsome devil, crate v/palomino series, peavey valveking, egnater tweaker, or a vox night train should all do you well.
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#9
Of those, the Vox Night Train seems to be appealing to me most. The vox chime. Can switch it to triode for when I'm not jamming, and I love the design of it. Nevertheless, it seems a bit featureless? And is it two channel? I see the bright/thick switch, but I'm not sure.

Would I be able to achieve a RHCP-esque funky tone, along with the the Foo Fighters/alternative rock/rock tones?

Compared to the HT-5 at least. I think those two are what it's boiling down to. I haven't looked at the Peavey's actually, shall check out those now. Any other suggestions/input or views on the Night Train? I'd need to buy a cab. Probably a 1x12, maybe a 2x12.

Thanks!
#10
Tweaker.
As long as you guitar feels ok to play you can always just drop better pickups into it.

Just buy the Tweaker.
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#11
New amp is always the right choice.

A new guitar is nice, but Id always try to get a better amp first. With a really good amp, you can make even the shittiest guitar sound good, by playing with the EQ settings.

You can have a million dollar guitar and it wont sound that much different in a bad amp.
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#12
Quote by K-P
Hmm I'm happy enough with my guitar when I'm playing it through Pod Farm compared to when I'm playing through my amp. But it seems to have no sustain. Nevertheless, I find it easily playable. A tele'd be lovely, but I'm not desperate desperate for one.

See this is it, I've pretty much only heard positive things about the HT5. I'd likely buy the head s/h and get a s/h 2x12 too. It's just whether it would cope with the clean post-rockish things. Although saying that, I don't have any pedals as I returned the DL4 I had.

Aye, I know the Crush is SS. I'm only really looking at tubes, though I've heard the HT-5 isn't fully tube? But seeing as people pretty much only have good things to say about it, I'm not TOO fussed.

The Tweaker is JUST within my budget s/h, probably stretching a bit. But it is 15W as opposed to 5. The reviews seem to favour the HT-5 though. But more headroom with the Tweaker. Hm.



Orange Tiny Terrors are also worth a look, light years ahead of the crush tone wise, but they are all tube lunchbox amps comparable to the tweaker. I'd definitely choose the tweaker out of your list, but there's probably a few other amps worth looking at, especially if you look for a used deal.

The HT-5 is pretty much just a practice and studio amp. You'll struggle keeping up with a drummer.

About the HT5 not being fully tube, It's a 5 watt amp that can approach high gain, and has a pretty good tone. It doesn't really matter if it sounds good, but there's not a whole lot you can do at that price and power level. It's still more a valve amp, but it uses SS bits to help it.
#13
Ahh I need to go test these out. It's down between the Tweaker and the Night Train now. I'll consider a new guitar later on, set on getting an amp.

This will be for practice too, but I can use the UX1 for quiet stuff. So I'm not TOO worried about not being able to crank it all the time.

I got the impression the Tiny Terror was a distortion/overdrive thing? Just from what I've read. Would it be suitable for the tones I'm after?

They're all around the same price, I'd probably rather go used. TT is the cheapest of the NT/Tweaker/TT lot new though.

The only other thing is cabs. Should I go for a 1x12 or a 2x12?

Again, thanks!
#14
New amp. Oribably a Tweaker.

Drop better pickups into that Squier or else the Tweaker will sound like ass.
#15
Can't afford better pickups AND a tweaker though, I don't think. Depends if I find a good s/h deal on a Tweaker. I also have no idea when it comes to pickups. It's still between the Tweaker/Night Train/TT, but it seems the Tweaker is the favoured one.

Would I be able to get the tones I'm after from the NT? I know the Tweaker has a ISF function that lets you find your tone.
#16
Just get the best amp. You can get pickups later.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#17
It really depends on how you like you're current guitar. You need a guitar that you can play on comfortably, that isn't going to inhibit you. Personally, I think modern Squiers are unplayable, and refuse to let students use them. So if you feel like you would benefit from a bettr guitar, I'd go that route. Look into used mexican fenders, they are excellent for the price. Ibanez, Schecter, and Epiphone make some pretty good affordable stuff as well. You can usually pick up old japanese made guitars for pretty cheap, they are fantastic on the whole.

If you are cool with you're guitar, an amp will have the biggest impact on your sound. As Cath suggested, the Tweaker is excellent.
#18
Yeah, a good amp will make a bad guitar sound reasonable lol. But a good guitar will sound bad in a bad amp. Unless your current guitar has playability issues, get the amp. Pickups can come later, but irongear supposedly make some good cheap gear
#19
I agree that when you get to a certain standard of guitar an amp will always be the first choice but if the guitar is particulalry cheap and nasty it pays to upgrade that too. I still have my Squier Strat and it too is well playable and I keep it as a "bash" guitar to mess about on but like yours the sustain just dies!

You can get a new Fender Blacktop for a little over £400 and then you havee the option of switching from hambuckers to s/c at the flick of a switch.

Amp wise I just bought a used Blackstar HT 40 for a little over £400, granted I haven't picked it up yet..
#20
Brilliant, cheers! I'm liking the versatility of the Egnater. I was considering the Blackstar HT-20 too, as they seem to get rave reviews, but not about the cleans.

I'd quite like nice cleans. I like the chime of the Vox in one of the videos I watched, but the Tweaker can apparently do similar Vox chimes fairly well.

Is any aspect of the Tweaker modelling? I don't quite understand how it can be so versatile, heh. Apologies for my ignorance. It seems to be all-tube.

The other thing that the Tweaker doesn't have is the ability to town down the wattage/go from pentode to triode. I like that it has impendance options though for matching cabs.

I've only ever played a couple of cheap guitars, but I find the Squire more than playable. I really want to go to a shop and jam with some MIM Tele's or the like, just to see the difference. Paying particular attention to the sustain as well.

S/H market for the Egnater's doesn't seem great though, cannae find anything
#21
Sorry to nudge it up. It's definitely come down to the NT/Tweaker, the latter in combo or head form.

The Vox is appealing to me because of it's jangly chimey cleans, but the Tweaker seems to nearly be able to do the same, but not quite as well. But you get much more versatility, and an effects loop, and impendance matching. The Vox looks pretty.

Is any aspect of the Tweaker modelling, or are all the tones produced by switching circuits? I don't quite understand aha.

I'm nearly satisfied - thank you