#1
After prevaricating and saving cash, I'm going to go into an actual shop and road test a potential new amp. It's not something I've done before as my last (and only) amp I bought blind on mail order. This is mostly because I'm acutely self-conscious when it come to playing music in front of people. My cat is an ok audience, after that it's sweaty palms time However, this amp is more expensive H&K Tubemeister 18, so I feel like I owe it to myself to get in there and just do it

The shop has a little sound-proof booth where I hope I can hide myself. Is it normal practice to politely ask the shop assistant to disappear off so that I can mangle chords in private? I only have 1 years playing behind me, and at my advanced years, I ain't a quick learner anymore

Also, any advice for road testing an amp in a shop environment? Things to look out for, things to try.

(background - after a multi-purpose amp that has nice cleans up to classic rock\metal tones, nothing super high gain like deathcoremetalcoredjent or whatever it is Will be playing at home - 1W setting, with friends doing jamming 5W, 18W is just some headroom.... Current guitar a Yamaha Pacifica strat. Current amp, Vox VT15, nice, just a little complicated and artificial sounding)

Thanks

AshersUK
#2
Take your own guitar. Try everything out on the amp that is possible, don't leave anything untouched.
#3
Don't worry about your playing as long as you're buying something from them i doubt they will care about your skills.All that will be probably running through their heads is whether you are actually going to buy something or not. So go ahead and play a few chords and mess with all the settings to make sure it's an amp you actually want.
NEW SIGNATURE!
#4
If you're thinking about spending money at their shop they should be ok with you doing whatever you want to test out their product...
My Guitars
Squire Affinity Strat
Ibanez RG 350 DX
Fender Stratocaster MIM
Ibanez AEG20E
Tradition Guitars S2000F Pro
#5
If you decide you want it make sure you pay before leaving
My Gear:
BC Rich Gunslinger Retro Blade
Vintage V100 Paradise + SD Alnico Pro Slash APH-2's
1963 Burns Short Scale Jazz Guitar
Dean Performer Florentine
Bugera 6260
Orange Micro Terror + cab
Digitech Bad Monkey
Zoom G2G
#6
well first try out everything on the amp every seting every knob position you can find you never know where youll be surprized or disapointed

take your own guitar becasue an amp might sound a way through a strat in the store and then you take it home and it will sound completely different

and dont be a fraid to crank it up a bit
#7
Quote by AshersUK
After prevaricating and saving cash, I'm going to go into an actual shop and road test a potential new amp. It's not something I've done before as my last (and only) amp I bought blind on mail order. This is mostly because I'm acutely self-conscious when it come to playing music in front of people. My cat is an ok audience, after that it's sweaty palms time However, this amp is more expensive H&K Tubemeister 18, so I feel like I owe it to myself to get in there and just do it

The shop has a little sound-proof booth where I hope I can hide myself. Is it normal practice to politely ask the shop assistant to disappear off so that I can mangle chords in private? I only have 1 years playing behind me, and at my advanced years, I ain't a quick learner anymore

Also, any advice for road testing an amp in a shop environment? Things to look out for, things to try.

(background - after a multi-purpose amp that has nice cleans up to classic rock\metal tones, nothing super high gain like deathcoremetalcoredjent or whatever it is Will be playing at home - 1W setting, with friends doing jamming 5W, 18W is just some headroom.... Current guitar a Yamaha Pacifica strat. Current amp, Vox VT15, nice, just a little complicated and artificial sounding)

Thanks

AshersUK




20 years of playing and I still know this feeling!! The sound of people showing off just puts me off and I get quite self-concious!

All the others raise good points but an action plan will set you up well.

Tell the store you're interested in trying out the amp in question and are looking to buy that day. If you look like you can afford it and give the impression you're not just there to twat about, they usually leave you alone.

Make sure your guitar has decent strings and is in tune!

Turn down both master volumes then turn on the amp (Power first, wait 30 seconds, swtich from Standby to Play). Set the amp clean, EQ at 12 o'clock. Play some open chords. Play some open strings (just twang the A or E) and fiddle with the EQ and mode switches to see what you get. You can't experiment with an amp whilst showboating, I leave that for the kids and keep it simple.

Up the gain and still play some open chords, open strings, power chords and maybe a few high notes. You can get a good idea of what an amp can do with some subtle solo stuff Gilmour style. Bend, hold and vibrato will show what an amp can do!

Maybe throw in some riffs once you get a tone you really like.

Then move over to the lead channel. Turn up the volume once you feel comfortable.
#8
So.....thinking of trying your luck in the arena, eh? A couple of tips: make sure...and I mean DAMN sure that your chops are up to par. If you can't pull off Eugene's Trick Bag by Steve Vai at speed, forget about it, they'll burn you at the stake. Also: make sure you've mastered a decent repertoire of Jazz/Fusion songs (Holdsworth, De Meola...); I once saw a guy drawn and quartered in LA Music when he choked on some standard Holdsworth licks. And if you MUST play songs like Master of Puppets, Stairway to Heaven and Sweet Child of Mine, make sure that you play them with your toes, because if you aren't injecting something original into these overplayed nuggets, be assured that they WILL have your spleen.

On a serious note, I have the same problem when I go into a music store (and I've been playing for quite a while). I've found the following approach works for me. First, remind yourself why you are there: "I'm here to buy an amp. I"ve only been playing for a year. The people browsing the store are likely better than me and the people who work here are most certainly better than me; if they have half a brain, they will know that at one time, they were like me. I am not here to impress, I am here to avail myself of what they have to offer." Then, start by playing unplugged for a while to get warmed up. When you finally plug in, don't try and play any songs, just strum simple chords to get a feel for the tone while turning knobs and settings and such. When it comes to playing songs, only play stuff you know that you won't mess up. Make sure you crank the amp, too, because a lot of amps sound quite different at volume as opposed to bedroom levels. Always remember: you've been playing for only a year--its not that you suck....you are still learning.
#9
Thanks everyone, that's just the kind of pep-talk and advice I needed. Much appreciation to one and all. I shall take all of those good ideas on board, keeping it simple will be the aim of the game. Playing with all dials, knobs and switches.

As for the store, the staff are very friendly and as I turn up during work hours (looking relatively presentable) I won't LOOK like a chump ;o) Well, not too much of one.

I shall construct myself an order of service in advance.

Cheers!

AshersUK