#1
Hi everyone,

I've been playing guitar for almost a year now, and have a left handed sunburst Squier Stratocaster (Affinity model) and a left handed Vintage VLH500N electro-acoustic. My amp is a Fender Frontman 15G.

It's a fairly low end amp and after about 10 months of playing, the sound isn't as good as it was when I bought it. I've been told that beginner practice amps such as the fender frontman 15g don't last very long.

I've been considering buying a new amp in a couple of months time but I'm not really sure what to get. I'd like to get a really nice one which lasts a long time with a good sound, rather than one that only lasts a year or two and I have to replace. My music taste is mostly alternative/rock/electronic (RHCP, ratatat, the fray, hendrix, coldplay, muse) so I'm not after any heavy distortion as I prefer clean/low distortion.

I generally use my current amp for the stratocaster, but thats because it doesnt seem to work too well with my electro-acoustic (loud buzzing), but I'm not sure if thats the guitar or amp. My budget is £200-300 but possibly higher. I don't need a ton of volume as it's mainly for home use/with friends, but a nice sound and build quality would be great. If this amp could last a good few years I might buy another electric guitar in the future and so it'd be great if I could still stick with the same amp. I've been looking at Marshall amps but I'd really be interested to see what you think, so please reply with any suggestions or ideas.

Thanks!

Cooleh
Last edited by Cooleh at May 11, 2011,
#2
it's not so much that they don't last, it's that they sound like ass (some of them don't last either)...

cheaper marshalls are rubbish

how much higher than £300 can you go?

will you ever need more volume for, say, gigging or jamming?
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?
#4
Thanks for the replies.
The maximum I could go up to is about £350. Volume for jamming (over a drum kit) but I don't need anything for gigs really - maybe a small hall at the best, and that would be in a few years. This peavey amp seems really nice after a bit of googling about it. Do you think there's any problem buying 2nd hand as amps seem to lose their sound quality, or will such a high quality amp be okay?
#5
The amp you need to get over the drummer jamming is the same amp you need gigging. If you need to go louder than that you mike up the amp because the drums are miked too in that situation.
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
#6
Oh, I'm not sure why I presumed I'd need more volume for gigging :P It would be nice to be able to use it for jamming/gigging but it's not a huge priority as I think it'd be mostly for home use.
Also, are effects pedals or effects processors out of my budget range? I really like some effects such as wah-wah but I'm not sure if its worth buying a pedal when my budget for the amp isn't huge in the first place. (If I was to buy a wah-wah pedal it'd have to come out of the £300-350)

Thanks everyone!
#7
Quote by Cooleh
Hi everyone,

the sound isn't as good as it was when I bought it.

Cooleh


You have just outgrown it, it probably won't sound worse or something. Your ears just develop!
Gear:

Guitars:
LTD Viper 100FM
Ibanez RG320PG P2 (For sale*)
Ibanez RGA32 (w/ IronGear pups)
Epiphone Pro-1

Amps:
Vox VT15
or
Vox Tonelab EX
- through -
Peavey KB-300

* = PM me for more details


Quote by Willowthewitch

The actual correct answer
#9
gcb95 is very mediocre...

unless effects are an integral part of your tone (i.e. you can't sound like you want without them), i'd put all that budget towards the amp.

2nd hand just depends... it's like anything second-hand. If the original owner has looked after it well (and with a bit of luck) it should be fine, if not, it won't be.

also consider the laney vc30 for the amp.

thomann has a deal on the traynor ycv50b... it's ~£400, but it's new and has a 3-year warranty. it's also a very nice amp for that kind of money- when they used to sell them here in the UK they were more like ~£700. From what I hear you have to remove the chassis to change valves (which is a pain, not to mention dangerous if you don't know what you're doing), but aside from that it's hard to get much better for £400, even if you do go second-hand (the deal is that good, basically).

Might be worth considering, unless £350 really is your absolute upper limit.
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?
#10
Thanks again for the replies everyone.
I think from what you've said I'd be best putting all of my budget into an amp then, and perhaps getting a pedal (probably wahwah) further down the line if there's a specific sound I'm after.
The Laney vc30 seems pretty good too, just I think new it's pushing my budget a bit much, and I'm not too sure about second hand. I really want to make this amp last so I'm not sure if 2nd hand would be the best idea
#11
Sorry to bump this thread back up again, but i thought it'd be better than starting a new one.

I tried out a marshall mg30fx in London yesterday and it sounded pretty good. I couldnt find any vealey amps within my price range, but I tried a £500 fender amp and despite it being louder and bigger than the marshall, the sound didn't seem any better. The marshall only costs around £150 and is a combo amp, so I'm not sure what to do. I can spend up to about £300 (not that I need to spend this much) and would like to get the best sounding and lasting amp I can (I dont mind about high volume or distortion), so would the marshall be good enough? Would spending more than £150 just be for volume?
I've heard tube amps are less reliable than combo amps but i'm not sure if this is true. Any advice would be great!

Thanks
#12
Quote by Cooleh
Sorry to bump this thread back up again, but i thought it'd be better than starting a new one.

I tried out a marshall mg30fx in London yesterday and it sounded pretty good. I couldnt find any vealey amps within my price range, but I tried a £500 fender amp and despite it being louder and bigger than the marshall, the sound didn't seem any better. The marshall only costs around £150 and is a combo amp, so I'm not sure what to do. I can spend up to about £300 (not that I need to spend this much) and would like to get the best sounding and lasting amp I can (I dont mind about high volume or distortion), so would the marshall be good enough? Would spending more than £150 just be for volume?
I've heard tube amps are less reliable than combo amps but i'm not sure if this is true. Any advice would be great!

Thanks

NOT the MG. Please. I had one, and its about as good as your Frontman.
If you liked the VC30, why not go for the cheaper LC/VC15?
Another good amp in your budget is the Vypyr Tube 60. The Vox VT series is also quite good.
#13
Fender super champ XD.
Guitars: Fender FSR Standard Strat, Squire Affinity Strat, Epiphone Nighthawk
Amps: Vox AC15C1, Roland Cube 15x, Peavey KB-1
Pedals: Digitech RP355, HD500, Joyo AC-Tone, EHX Soul Food
#14
Valve and SS amps can come in either head or combo. There's a good what amp thread stickies here that I think addresses that very point.

If your after cleans with rock distortion - have you considered a 2nd hand peavey valve king 112? Capable of being used at home or gigging. Some say they are not great stock (un modified) but plenty would disagree adding that a few simple mods make it into a great amp.

Checkout the classifieds here - I'm selling one and it's well worth considering as it leaves you budget for pedals etc.
#15
The VC15 is a good idea, nice warm vintagely voiced amp, i'd reccomend an OD with it if you want a bit more balls on the OD channel.
The LC15 is a more modern, brighter, more gain, sounds pretty boxy, nothing special.
Fender Hot Rod has lovely cleans.
Peavey classic 30 is thinner sounding than the VC15/30, a good amp though.
Maybe the Laney Cub12R

Reliability doesnt come from whether its valve or SS, its about the quality of the components and job sticking it together. For the record valve amps are generally easier to repair, especially compared to digital modelers.

The MG sucks.
#16
I'd say that the LC15 benefits more from a better speaker than the VC.

I agree with everything Becky said.

I'd like to add another possibility. If pristine cleans aren't critical then a great option for rock and blues is an 18W Marshall clone. Lots of people make them but seeing as how you are in Britain one obvious choice comes to mind:
http://valvepower.co.uk/18w_amp.htm

Mate it with a 1x12" or preferably a 2x12" loaded with greenbacks and you'll have a classic sounding rig that will keep you happy for years.
There's a lot of neat tricks to discover using an 18W Marshall (they are from the Plexi era so same sort of tricks). Like an ABY pedal feeding the two inputs, clever use of the guitar's volume and tone knobs. You can run everything out front too. An FX loop on an 18W Marshall would be a bit of a waste of time because they only have one gain stage and no master volume. You get your distortion by cranking the volume and overdriving the output valves.
You'd think that with so few controls they wouldn't be very versatile - but you'd be wrong.
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
yeah avoid the mg.

I mean if you couldn't hear any difference then fair enough.

but if your ears develop like pretty much every other guitar player ever's ears have, it won't be too long before you hate that mg.
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?