#1
So here's the situation. I currently have an LP Studio and a Vox VT20+. That is pretty much my entire setup. Recently bought a DS-1. Just recently started playing so I'm not an advanced player by any means. Really pleased with my progress though. Starting to think about how I want to expand my gear/tools. I played around with recording and really liked that.

I normally play in the bedroom or living room of a duplex. We may eventually move into a house, but we're all pretty happy with the place we're in now. Neighbors don't complain or anything and I'm sure if an issue ever came up we'd be able to come to some type of compromise. We don't share a common wall other then the one in the garage and the room I normally play in is the furthest point from them I can get.

Here's my main problem. On one hand I've considered buying something like an Egnater Tweaker or maybe a Blackstar Venue series. That's a considerable upgrade from my Vox. My main thing is I want to keep it as versatile as possible. I don't really dig the Heavy Metal or anything like that. I'm more into letting it sing then shredding. What I'm mainly into is Blues and Rock. To increase the versatility I've also been considering something along the lines of a Line6 Pod.

On the other hand I'm IT by trade. Wasn't long before I started considering the possibilities of using my PC. When I played around with some recording (really simple stuff, just my Rocksmith cable, amplitude and Mixcraft) I really enjoyed that. I could use that same money to upgrade my workstation. Would that give me more options? Would a nice pair of monitors give me authentic sound? What would I do when I play with others? Hang on to the Vox and use the Pod with it?

So that's my dilemma. Glad you made it through my long post. There's so many optiions! I also bought a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M50 so I could play silent. OMG. That's what convinced something was missing. Those things sound so sweet. I realize that no matter how good of modeling it is, it's still modeling. How good would something like the HD500 sound through those headphones? If it's a great sound and it's as versatile as it seems, that may be all I need.

Thanks for any input. I really do appreciate it. Thought I was closer to a solution until I got to the end of this post. Turns out I'm just as lost as before. Look forward to hearing from you guys.
#2
PC is a good choice for recording/quiet playing. However, if that's not important, I'd spring for a physical amp instead. For sound qualities sake (I'm a bit biased on this one).

Also, I feel like an Egnater Rebel 20/30 or Tweaker would really match your style. Fantastic amps.
#3
Quote by Strats&Cats
PC is a good choice for recording/quiet playing. However, if that's not important, I'd spring for a physical amp instead. For sound qualities sake (I'm a bit biased on this one).

Also, I feel like an Egnater Rebel 20/30 or Tweaker would really match your style. Fantastic amps.


Thanks for the input. Do you think any of those multieffect pedals would benefit me? Do they include any kind of interface I could just hook up to my computer even to record raw audio?
#4
Quote by lilwill000
Thanks for the input. Do you think any of those multieffect pedals would benefit me? Do they include any kind of interface I could just hook up to my computer even to record raw audio?


Well the nice thing about multi effect pedals like the HD500 (and similar stuff) is that, yes, they can be hooked up to your computer. They don't sound bad when done that way either. You would also get the most versatility with something like that due to the sheer number of effects and amp models built into it.

As for "would it benefit you"? Well only you can answer that one. If you see it as something that you could use, then yes.

On the topic of "how does it sound though headphones"? I would say meh. Headphones, no matter the cost or quality, just do not provide the response that a proper speaker in an amp would. That just me though.
#5
if i was in your situation i would be aiming for just getting a great amp. if recording is something you are interested in then spring for a nice mic and build your program slowly but surely, the amp should come first because there is nothing more rewarding than just sitting with a guitar straight into an amp and getting tone that you straight up just love. it's nice to hear that you're not into metal and shred stuff like most threads are about on UG, this means youre not looking for an amp that needs thick distortion like metal bands use. if you like vox than get an AC15, i say that because if all youre doing is hanging around and playing with people hear and there then you don't really need the AC30, those amps are along the ranks of standard amps that a lot of people use at the pro level and the AC15 is pretty reasonable in price, i think it's $600 new, shop used and it'll be cheaper.

I personally like fender amps, if you want to get fender tone then there are a LOT of options, depending on your price range, just don't fool yourself and buy a modelling amp like the mustang or anything like that, if you want sweet tone then get the right stuff. A good choice for fender might be the hot rod if you don't want to spend that much, and if you don't mind spending money then there are so many options, i use a twin myself, but the deluxe reverb is a great choice for you because it's a 1x12 making recording a lot easier.

For the recording aspect it really depends on what you are recording for, if it's for sport then it seems you are aware of a few options and really any one of those would be good, but if you are a player who is looking for great tone, DON'T get a POD, people say they are great for what they are....not worth it, it's thin, over-processed, and quite honestly the effects are kinda cheesy, but maybe i'm getting a little pretentious.

I vote new/awesome amp...

Good luck and have fun!

E
#6
Thanks for the replies.

I think Gerraguitar has a good idea what I'm after and has some valid points. Setup doesn't have to be overly complicated. I can mic an amp.

I was looking to spend roughly $1,500 tops. Maybe I'll try to swing a semi hollow too. Like a Dot or something. That's cheaper then the HD500! Just hope I'm not over looking anything.

On a side note, the VT20+ has AC15 and AC30 models. I've never really played with them much. I'll have to spend some more time with them. Neither would match the Tweaker in versatility though would they? That's a big thing too.

Another reason I was considering a Pod or something like it is I find myself awake a lot in the middle of the night. If I decide on an Egnater, there's no headphone jack. How do I go about that?
#7
with a Dot and an AC15 all thats left is three other guys and you can have yourself a beatles cover group!!

Anyways, honestly just drop $100 and get an e609 mic, you could go with an sm57 but the e609 is a lot better on amps, but thats just me. If you are looking to drop that much then you're in great shape, that's a new amp easy. take the time and go play some at guitar center or where ever it is you go, and see what you like.

I don't know off the top of my head which ones do and don't have headphone jacks, just not something i look at, but you'd be surprise how versatile the ACs can get, the gain is really big and the 30 has the tone cut function too, and the cleans(although not fender cleans) are really great, very warm.

In the end it's just a matter of finding out what you dig the most, i just beg you not to go down the modelling amp route, before you know you'll start to hate it.....just one guitarist to another. there are millions of amps out there and theres one with your name on it.

E
#8
If you want to use an MFX pedal you need an amp that not modeling or have FXs built in. You want a master volume amp without anything built in beside the tone stack.

I use MFX pedals myself and I use my Blackheart Handsome Devil half stack with 'em. It's just a plain jane tube amp with presence control and tone stack. I love it (especially with the old stock tubes in it).
Parker PDF30
Vox VT40+
#9
+1 for not being a thrash metal kid!!! It has its place for sure, but sometimes I feel like natural selection is failing us!

If you're going to Guitar Center for this stuff, find out if you have a Platinum store in your area. They have better gear and more of it. It can range from a specialty PRS/Mesa room to some wild boutique rarities (OMG FUN!). The staff is almost always more knowledgeable and will actually help you if you ask for it.

AC15 would be great! Consider a Fender Blues Jr? Its the same kind of deal just Fender/American sounds, not Vox/British. Great clean and fat channels with an awesome reverb. Right around $5-600 as well.

If you go Fender Hot Rod, IMO the Delux is good, the DeVille is better. Seen some great prices on those used!

I am also on an amp hunt and have been looking for something along the lines of a dual channel, blues/rock/pop ish sound, with possibly reverb & FX loop. I have found myself almost drooling over one of the simplest amps I've ever seen! Look up the Bogner Brixton. Its 12 watts, 6v6, vol, gain, voice & deep/bright switches. THAT'S IT! Seems like a one trick pony but its very organic and extremely responsive to how you play. Great bluesy cleans into awesome classic rock overdrive. Retails around $1200 for the head and $1400 (I think) for the combo. The others in that amp series are all very similar. One is more tweedy and another is all clean. Similar prices too!
#10
Thanks for more advice guys. Guess I'm pretty lucky. I live in Portland, Or. There are two different Guitar Centers, with the Platinum Room in each, within 30 minutes of me. First time I actually saw an Egnater was during the Holidays. There were tons of people there so I didn't even attempt to play around with it. I gave it a few looks. Wasn't very impressed. I didn't imagine all the switches would be that small. Wonder how durable they are.

I stayed up pretty much all night looking at amp reviews and demos. Looked at a lot of Blackstar stuff. Like the idea of the ISF feature. Haven't actually played one though of course.

OldRocker, what type of MFX pedal do you use out of curiosity? Have you recorded anything with it you wouldn't mind sharing?
#11
I don't really have a recommendation and I might be a bit biased, but I thought I'd share my story. I was in a similar situation a couple years ago. I have a Line6 TonePort interface that I was using to record. Although I really enjoyed recording to my computer, I didn't like the tone that the TonePort produced. I was also in the market for a nice amp, as my only amps at the time were 15W and 100W solid state Fender amps that didn't sound great. I first purchased a Vox Night Train, which I loved, but I wanted something much more versatile for recording purposes so I picked up an Egnater Tweaker. One of the best gear decisions I've ever made. Great sounding amp, VERY versatile. The only problem I had was a bad tube, but Egnater fixed that for me right away and even gave me Groove Tube EL34s instead of the stock Ruby 6V6s! My girlfriend bought me a nice condenser mic (AKG Perception 220) for Christmas last year, and I've been recording with my current set up ever since. If you want to hear how it sounds, listen to Wet Sand in my profile (ignoring a couple of mistakes...I haven't had time to re-record it yet). It was recorded in about 1-2 hours in my noisy apartment. Compare the tone to Good Times Bad Times or Always With Me... in my profile and you can definitely hear the difference. Personally, I highly recommend the Tweaker. As I said I haven't had any problems with it, I think it sounds GREAT, and it is incredibly versatile. The Brit/US/AC switch is basically like having 3 amps with different voicings, and there are so many other tweakable settings that the tonal possibilities are endless. Definitely give one a try and see if you like it. Good luck!
Fender American Vintage '62 Stratocaster
Gibson Les Paul Custom
TC Electronic Polytune
Danelectro Blue Paisley
EHX Big Muff Pi w/ Tone Wicker
Dunlop Crybaby
EHX Deluxe Memory Boy
Egnater Tweaker

Quote by Jackal58
Yer pretty fly for a Canadian.
#12
Quote by Jimmy_Page_Zep
I don't really have a recommendation and I might be a bit biased, but I thought I'd share my story. I was in a similar situation a couple years ago. I have a Line6 TonePort interface that I was using to record. Although I really enjoyed recording to my computer, I didn't like the tone that the TonePort produced. I was also in the market for a nice amp, as my only amps at the time were 15W and 100W solid state Fender amps that didn't sound great. I first purchased a Vox Night Train, which I loved, but I wanted something much more versatile for recording purposes so I picked up an Egnater Tweaker. One of the best gear decisions I've ever made. Great sounding amp, VERY versatile. The only problem I had was a bad tube, but Egnater fixed that for me right away and even gave me Groove Tube EL34s instead of the stock Ruby 6V6s! My girlfriend bought me a nice condenser mic (AKG Perception 220) for Christmas last year, and I've been recording with my current set up ever since. If you want to hear how it sounds, listen to Wet Sand in my profile (ignoring a couple of mistakes...I haven't had time to re-record it yet). It was recorded in about 1-2 hours in my noisy apartment. Compare the tone to Good Times Bad Times or Always With Me... in my profile and you can definitely hear the difference. Personally, I highly recommend the Tweaker. As I said I haven't had any problems with it, I think it sounds GREAT, and it is incredibly versatile. The Brit/US/AC switch is basically like having 3 amps with different voicings, and there are so many other tweakable settings that the tonal possibilities are endless. Definitely give one a try and see if you like it. Good luck!


Awesome.
#13
I'll have to sit down with both. What am I overlooking though? Feels like I'm just completely missing something. What if I want to play through my headphones? I'm up a lot late at night. Don't want to keep the whole house awake. What are my options there?

Also, what about a line in? I like to play along to my iPod.
Last edited by lilwill000 at Jan 5, 2012,
#14
Quote by lilwill000

OldRocker, what type of MFX pedal do you use out of curiosity? Have you recorded anything with it you wouldn't mind sharing?


It's in my sig and no, I don't record. I'm just a bedroom jammer.
Parker PDF30
Vox VT40+
#15
Quote by lilwill000
I'll have to sit down with both. What am I overlooking though? Feels like I'm just completely missing something. What if I want to play through my headphones? I'm up a lot late at night. Don't want to keep the whole house awake. What are my options there?

Also, what about a line in? I like to play along to my iPod.


As far as I know, none of the amps in the Tweaker series have headphone or line in jacks. I rarely play through headphones, but when I do I just plug into my computer through my interface and use modeling software like PodFarm. However, the Tweaker does have Master Volume and Gain knobs, so you can dial down the volume and play quietly. It sounds much better cranked, but it's still pretty good at low volumes. When I want to jam with my iPod I plug it into my stereo and play along.

As for multi-effects, I owned a Boss ME-50 for years and I loved it. It allowed me to play around with lots of different types of effects and I got to figure out what kind of sounds I was going for. After a while though, I started to really hate the sound. The effects on most of the cheaper multi-FX units sound very, well, cheap. I sold mine and have been expanding my pedalboard ever since. I personally stay away from multi-effects pedals now, but you may find one useful. IIRC, the ME series comes with both a line in and a headphone jack, but you should verify that.

Overall, I think multi-FX are great for people who are getting into effects, but you can do much better things with the $$, and you can always plug into your computer when jamming over music or with headphones. There's plenty of software out there that lets you play with effects, and it will probably cost you less than a multi-FX board. It sounds like you're after quality tone and you're not going to get that with a multi-FX unit unless you shell out some serious cash. I think you would do much better with a low-wattage tube amp, but that's just my opinion. Try out as much gear as you possibly can and decide what YOU like.
Fender American Vintage '62 Stratocaster
Gibson Les Paul Custom
TC Electronic Polytune
Danelectro Blue Paisley
EHX Big Muff Pi w/ Tone Wicker
Dunlop Crybaby
EHX Deluxe Memory Boy
Egnater Tweaker

Quote by Jackal58
Yer pretty fly for a Canadian.
#16
Currently the situation is:

You > guitar > pedal > amp

Do you have an idea of what tone you are after?

Rephrasing the above into an equation:

You + Les Paul + Boss DS-1 + Vox VT20+ = ???

What I am getting at is this. You have a simple equation with few variables. Adding more variables with new pieces of gear, the equation and its result changes. Without an eye on the end result, things get out of hand quickly.

Look at that equation and think about what you want to change. As your skills get better that will change the end result as well.

For the purposes of playing/practicing quietly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a multi-FX unit through headphones. They can be a creative springboard for investigating effects and sounds. Like anything else, they are made to suit a variety of budgets.

But understanding how a piece of gear fits into the overall picture is important. It can save money in the long run.

Back to the sound you are after.

Blues and Rock cover a wide range of possibilities. How about something more specific.
Last edited by irnmadn88 at Jan 5, 2012,
#17
Yeah I've been giving it a little more though. I really suck at categorizing music. I can tell you some of the artist I do like to play or plan to learn. For me (BB King, Clapton, Hendrix, GnR, Aerosmith, AC/DC) and for my drummer (Pretty much anything lol although he leans closer toward the heavier side then I do).

Another factor I never considered. The volume. I think even the right 5 watt will shake my playing space to be honest. I can't do that all the time. As if the versatility wasn't a big enough issue, now I'd like something that has variable wattage.

I'm considering just picking up a pocket pod or something similar for private practice. That seems like a perfect solution.
#18
Honestly, the Vox is ideal for you right now - stick with it!

On the recording side, get yourself a set of M-Audio AV40s. They're cheap monitor speakers ($100ish) and they sound superb. Will reproduce your guitar tones nicely and at decent volume, and are also good enough for learning to mix.

For software, try the free Poulin and Acmebargig plugins, and the fantastic free Amplitube 3. The latter has built in recording/backing track capability too, which is handy.
#19
Sounds like you are after a similar tone that I am.

Humbuckers into Marshall.

Well except for BB King, Hendrix, and depending on what period of Clapton.

BB King = Gibson humbucker > Fender Twin or Lab solid state
Clapton = Beano tone = Gibson Les Paul > Marshall JTM45
Hendrix = Fender strat > Marshall
Slash = Gibson Les Paul > Marshall
Joe Perry = depends but Gibson humbucker guitars > Marshall is a staple
Angus Young = Gibson SG > Marshall (recently Wizard amps IIRC)

So...

When looking at the end result, a Marshall Plexi type amp tone seems to be what you are after.

Look into what "Marshall in a box" (MIAB) pedals are out there. Or, get that DS-1 modded to sound more like a Marshall. The advantage in pedals is that you can get a close approximation of the cranked Marshall sound you want without the volume.

Then it comes down to finding an amp to meet your needs both in sound and application.

FWIW- I have a 50w tube amp that I rarely get to run wide open but it is one of my favorite amps... I get my cranked Marshall sound through other means.
#20
Hey man, I was in a similar situation. Right before going to college, I got my Mesa. Then when I left, I was living in a dorm and couldn't bring the Mesa to school. So I got a Line 6 Toneport UX1.

For silent practice, direct recording, and future use as a MFX/modeller with a nice amp, I would buy a Line 6 POD HD500.
Gibson Les Paul Studio
Highway One Telecaster
Dean Evo
Mesa F-50
Laney GH50L
Vox AC30 C2
Ampeg V2
pedals
#21
Vox AC15
Fender Blues Junior
Egnater Tweaker

The Peavey Vyper Tube 60 is a good beginner's amp. Good base tone but rather forgiving on how you pick. The sort of amps I like are ones with lots of dynamics. The downside of that is that every blunder you make with your right hand stands out for all to hear. For a beginner the Vyper Tube is a good compromise.
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
#22
Thanks for all the responses.

Irnmadn88, that's kind of why I was considering the Blackstar. While I haven't actually sat down and played one, The Studio model I was looking at was actually cheaper then the Egnater. 20 watt vs 40 though.

I am by no means advanced. I don't care for most of the beginner equipment though. While I have the money, I want to spend it on something that'll benefit me for a long time to come. Otherwise, I'll probably just blow it on the first few random things I think I want.

Still kind of funny that you pointed out that a lot of that stuff was Marshall.
#23
Quote by lilwill000

Still kind of funny that you pointed out that a lot of that stuff was Marshall.


Well, what you listed was part of my discovery process in what I wanted to strive for...

Have you listened to any early Michael Schenker?

Gibson Flying V > half cocked wah > dimed 50w Marshall > Greenback cab.
#24
tube 60 is having availability probs in the states right now.
Squier Vintage Modified 1970s Stratocaster.
Squier Classic Vibe 1970s Precision Bass
Guitar Rig 5
Presonus Audiobox
Behringer Truth B2030A