So, I bought my first electric guitar about 3 weeks ago, and I was wondering how much can I change the guitars sound.
The guitar I have is a Schecter Blackjack ATX C-1; it uses seymour duncan active pickups (humbuckers).

I also have 2 volume controls and a tone control.

My question is: how much does the amp change the guitars sound (I have a very simple one actually...and it's 30+ years old; and not meant to amp a guitar); and how much is the importance of pedals/effects?
The tone can really change the sound or just make it more "brilliant" or dark?

I also tought the limitation of the sound types I can get is due to the fact I'm new to the electric guitar world and don't really know how to use the tone control properly...

Hope that made some sence, and sorry for my bad english

Thanks in advance

EDIT: I forgot...I guess it's the case i get a new amp, any suggestions for a 200 euro one?
Last edited by Michele_R at Aug 13, 2011,
The biggest part of what makes your tone actually comes from your amp. The tone and volume knobs on your guitar for example only refine it.

Getting a great tone from your instrument takes experience, but experience alone won't cut it if you are using something that is not even meant to amp a guitar.
well how do you want to change the sound?

with just an amp and the guitar you can mostly just change the eq or add more gain to add distortion(depends on the amp) and just change your playinng style
with effect pedals you can do many things to chnage it
The amp will make up most of your tone. Playing something that's not designed for guitar is unlikely to sound good.

As for amp recommendations, judging by your guitar, I assume you want to play metal, so maybe a Peavey Viper? Or a Roland Cube. Both are modelling amps but they should do what you want. And you can always experiment with other genres too, should you so wish.
RIP Adam
Last edited by SexyLikeAPig at Aug 13, 2011,
I heard an analogy before for this exact question, it relates guitar to talking. The amp would be like the language, while the guitar/pedals/everything else would be like the accent. Basically, the amp is the base of your tone. You could run your guitar with however many pedals you want through something like a Mesa Dual Rec and then through a Vox amp and your tones would be nowhere near the same.
Fender CP Jazzmaster
Schecter PT Custom w/ Dimarzio crunch lab/liquifire
Marshall JCM2000 DSL+Orange 4x12
Orange Tiny Terror+Mesa Electra Dyne 2x12
Boss TU-2/NS-2/DD-6
Maxon OD808

Ok, so I'll need a new amp too...
Is it intelligent to get a 50 euro amp first, just to see how it works exactly and realize the kind of sound we want and than buy a decent amp later, or get a nice amp immediately, and maybe change it the following years if it don't fit the requirements?

Another question, does the strings' thickness change the sound much?
For example, I had a problem with my schecter and I had to change strings immediately after I bought it...there were 3 different strings, with diffrent thickness (9-10-11); so, as long I didn't know about my actual strings I got the 10.
The 9 should make the sound be more sharp?

@SexyLikeAPig: Actually my idea was to play mostly led zeppelin, whitesnake, ACDC, Black sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne and stuff like that.
I would recommend buying a decent amp in stead of a 50 euro one. It doesn't have to cost hundreds of euro's but maybe somethin between 150 and 200 euro. Mind you, you won't have an awesome amp for that kind of money but it'll be more than decent enough to start out with.

The problem with a no name brand amp ( what a 50 euro amp most likely will be ) is that it hardly will be any better then what you are using now. It will also not allow you to find a toen you like because it will be very limmited.

As for the string thicknes (gauge ) thinner strings like 0.9 tend to sound a little bit sharper and thicker strings ( 0.11 and beyond ) tend to sound a bit heavier.
The amp probably makes up about 80% of your tone so it's not an area to just go cheap. To give you a good variety of sounds to experiment with that won't cost a lot I'd start looking at modelling amps. For home use but with enough balls for small gigs, try any of these:

Roland Cube 30X
Peavey Vypyr 30w
Line 6 Spider IV 30w
Fender Mustang I may also be worth a look but I know less about this one.

All of these should be available on Ebay in mint condition for very little money. If you want something with a bit more balls and valve tone, try these:

Peavey Vypyr Tube 60
Line 6 Spider Valve MkII
Hughes & Kettner Switchblade

The H&K is a bit more like a true valve amp than the other two but equally, it's more expensive. As I own one I'm bound to say it's best. Of the other two, I personally prefer the Peavey but the MkII Spider Valve is a big improvement over the old one.
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
First off, nice guitar, good choice.

Secondly, stay away from Marshall MGs and Line 6 Spiders! Can't stress that enough. I had an MG, and my friend a Spider when we started off and they both sound horrible. A in that price range a Roland Cube 15/20/30 (depending on how loud you need it) is probably your best option. Otherwise a Peavy Vypyr, but IMO they're not as good at the Cube. It's not worth spending only 50 Euros as what you'll be able to get for that kind of money won't sound better than what you've already got.

As for the string gauge, it will make a small difference to your sound (0.009 will be a bit brighter whilst 0.011 will be darker, especially when you get down to the lower E string), however probably the most noticeable difference will be in the way they feel. Smaller gauges will be easier to bend, and will also allow you to play a bit faster, but in my opinion they feel a bit too thin. Try them all out and decide which feels best for you (but if in doubt 0.010 is pretty much standard so you can't go too far wrong with those).
Thanks for your advices.
Today I went to the local store which is said to have the best prices.

These are the 3 amps I was looking for, but they're a little too expensive for my actual budget...I will probably have to wait to increase it...well, to double it maybe

Peavey Bandit 112 (300 &euro
Marshall MG-50 (400&euro
Rocktron RT80 (280 &euro

Any thoughts about these ones?

I have not much doubts about the marshall, I heard always good things about it.
But what about the rocktron? When I asked the shops staff if they had some used amp for about 200 euro, he showed me the rocktron and he said even if it's new he would sell it to me for 280 euros instead of 520 (it's original price); he said because it's quite a lot of time it's in the shop and he wasn't able to sell it.
He said rocktron is a good brand...but I can't judge.

I didn't tried them yet, because I hadn't my guitar with me.

How that the marshall is 400 euro new, and 50 watt, when the peavey is 300 euro and 100 watt?
So much more quality (what I doubt since you told me to stay away from MG)?


EDIT: taking a look to ebay..it seems it has better prices. Is it a bad idea to buy an ampli from internet? It would save me a lot of money...
Last edited by Michele_R at Aug 18, 2011,
As I previously said I'd stay away from the Marshall MG.

Even if it's a solid state amp, 100W is a bit overkill unless you're playing large gigs. BTW more watts doesn't necessarily mean better quality, just louder.

I wouldn't buy a tube amp second hand on the internet, because you never know how the amp's been treated and how long the tubes are going to last, and replacing a dead tubes can be expensive. However for a solid state amp it should be less of an issue.