#1
Hello, here I have a ramble of words, I'll have a tl;dr at the bottom

I've been running around trying to find the best guitar for me to start out on. I really want to learn this instrument and know that it'll take tons of practice. Just like skiing.

Budget? - Well, that's a difficult question. But since I'm in love with the ESP LTD h1001 (non floyd rose) then my upper limit is $750

Favorite Artists? - I would say Rammstein, hammerfall, ACDC, but really my ultimate goal is to be able to play songs like "last of the wilds by nightwish" In that case, I would want to turn the violin into my guitar. Just like this guy Edit: this comes up as forbidden link for me, I'm not sure why, I can't find any rules on links

Preferences? - I don't really have a huge preference on looks. What I tend to gravitate towards are red guitars with that sort of SG (double horn?) look. The LTD h1001 is my favorite. It has 24 frets which my lesson instructor said he likes

Pickups? - Not single coils. From what I have tried I like EMG's and humbuckers.

New or Used? - Preferably new. Used makes me nervous since I don't really know what to look for in a used guitar. Also there's the sentimental part of just having my guitar brand new guitar to really break in I guess

Location? - Fort Collins and Boulder, Colorado. I go between the two cities weekly. That opens up about 4 different guitar shops. I have gone to 3 of them so far, 1 of them twice. (two different guitar centers)

Current Gear? - Nothing but a pick and a home stereo I suppose. I have access to a ton of tube equipment but it was all meant for a stereo not a guitar.


So, from my visits to the guitar stores and the 2 lessons I have under my belt I feel I should really pick a guitar now
My absolute favorite is the ESP LTD h1001. My lesson instructor said that, that guitar would serve me well. It's just quite expensive and some people are telling me that it would be better to buy a cheaper guitar (say around $250) and then later when my birthday rolls around everyone could chip in for whichever guitar I want (below $1000). That way I will know if I want to stick with the instrument, which I am sure I do right now, and will have acquired enough skills to really use the more expensive guitar.

On the other hand, people tell me I should just start on the expensive guitar that I want because it's just a waste of money if I buy a cheap and then upgrade because the cheap one won't satisfy a player for very long.

It's a tough decision because $650 + probably a mustang I or frontman 25r will add another $100 and that's a lot of money in my eyes.


tl;dr - Soooo what I'm here to ask you guys is, what would you do with the knowledge you have now? Are you glad you started cheap? do you wish you started with a better guitar? And finally, do you think the ESP LTD h1001 is a good guitar? From what I have read it is, but no stores carry it and the closest thing I have had to play was the Schectar Hellraiser and they all had some fret buzz, not a whole lot though (could just be setup though I guess)
I love what I see and hear in youtube videos though
Last edited by Rocky_Guitar at Mar 8, 2013,
#2
Well if you have $750 to spend on both an amp and guitar. I'd try to spend at least $350-$400 on the amplifier. You said you liked Rammstein, AC/DC, and Nightwish, you can't really get close to any of those sounds with a Mustang I or a Frontman 25r (don't get the frontman whatever you do). I would strongly suggest going used, way more bang for your buck.
I SEE A BAD MOON RISING
I SEE TROUBLE ON THE WAY
#3
I started out with a Squier strat and the crappy 10w squier amp that came with it. I feel that this was the absolute best solution, I was only 15 (i'm 27 now) and my dad forced me to get better before I was aloud a new amp, so with that in mind I played until I felt I had outgrown my gear and bought a Marshall AVT150, it was hell of a motivation.

As for the Squier guitar, it actually turned out to be a beautiful instrument and I still play it daily alongside guitars worth 10x its value or more, a few months after getting the Marshall I got a Seymour Duncan JB Jr pickup for the Squier. The point was that I started cheap but with a guitar of good quality, versatile and a great starting point for upgrades, then I worked on my skills and upgraded my gear as a reward for my improvement.

So to any new student I say get a Squier (in your case the fat strat), it will serve you well and you can use your progress as motivation to improve to the point where you're ready to get "that" guitar you really want, and to experiment with upgrades like pickups, as for the amp I would get something decent but not amazing, in line with your guitar. Too many guys start off with £2000 worth of guitar and amp and 6 months down the road they don't use them and have lost motivation.

Don't forget that in order to make the most of what you buy you need the skill to be able to play it, valve amps for example can sound amazing but they can also highlight the mistakes and weaknesses in your playing more than a solid state, this might be offputting to players.

Understand that your ability to assess and judge gear right now is probably going to be exceptionally bad, so give yourself the time build your skills and find out what you really like before you splash the cash!


As for an amp, I would suggest perhaps a used Marshall AVT20, maybe even something cheaper and versatile like a Line 6 Spider, I personally never much liked the Fender Frontman series, but i havent played any of the recent years versions.
Last edited by Bigbazz at Mar 8, 2013,
#4
For beginners modeling amps are good. They have a great variety of different tones and effects to have fun with. Beginner guitar doesn't need to be amazing quality. Epiphone Les Paul Standard was what I started with, I could suggest it. Not too expensive but still good enough quality not to be a crappy starter guitar (though the pickups could be better). For an amp Peavey Vypyr is recommended the most. I haven't tried it but people say they are the best modelers, especially if you play heavier styles. Roland Cube was the amp I started with and I think it was pretty decent.

Line 6 Spider and Marshall MG are the ones you want to stay away from. Line 6 just sounds most fake of the modelers and MG is a fizzy one trick pony. That's my experience of the amps. But that's also what most people tell here in the forums.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#5
Quote by Bigbazz
As for an amp, I would suggest perhaps a used Marshall AVT20, maybe even something cheaper and versatile like a Line 6 Spider, I personally never much liked the Fender Frontman series, but i havent played any of the recent years versions.


No, this amplifier is worse than the Frontman. If you spend about half of your budget on an amplifier you can get a decent tube amp used, like a Marshall Class 5 or Blackstar HT.
I SEE A BAD MOON RISING
I SEE TROUBLE ON THE WAY
#6
By expensive standards the Line 6 Spiders are bloody aweful, and for high gain stuff they are bloody aweful, but at the same time they do decent clean sounds and pretty decent medium gain sounds, a few effects built in and are very very affordable.

For that reason I would still recommend them. Marshall MG are fairly one trick poneys but to be honest don't sound so bad at all considering how cheap they are (and i'm not suggesting its worth buying anything more than the 15/30w practice combo here), not much different than the Fender Frontman choice he was considering really in that regard, everything feels like a one trick pony compared to a modelling amp.

Roland cubes are fine amplifiers and I would definitely recommend it also, no personal experience with the Peavey Vypyr but I've played most Peavey amps and own a 5150 and they have been great all around. I suggested the Marshall AVT20 because they go for dirt cheap now and make really nice practice amps that would do the music styles he suggested pretty good.

Again an AVT20 compared to a modelling amp would seem like a one trick pony. I would never recommend a valve amp for a beginners first amp.
Last edited by Bigbazz at Mar 8, 2013,
#7
Quote by Bigbazz
By expensive standards the Line 6 Spiders are bloody aweful, and for high gain stuff they are bloody aweful, but at the same time they do decent clean sounds and pretty decent medium gain sounds, a few effects built in and are very very affordable.

For that reason I would still recommend them. Marshall MG are fairly one trick poneys but to be honest don't sound so bad at all considering how cheap they are (and i'm not suggesting its worth buying anything more than the 15/30w practice combo here), not much different than the Fender Frontman choice he was considering really in that regard, everything feels like a one trick pony compared to a modelling amp.


Ok, but the point is that TS has $750 to spend on a guitar and amp combination. Why would he buy a Line 6 Spider or Marshall MG. You could easily get a used amp for $400 that blows those amps away.

Also why wouldn't you recommend a tube amp for a beginner? That doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
I SEE A BAD MOON RISING
I SEE TROUBLE ON THE WAY
Last edited by DylanHendrix at Mar 8, 2013,
#8
Quote by DylanHendrix
Ok, but the point is that TS has $750 to spend on a guitar and amp combination. Why would he buy a Line 6 Spider or Marshall MG. You could easily get a used amp for $400 that blows those amps away.

Also why wouldn't you recommend a tube amp for a beginner? That doesn't make a whole lot of sense.


I explained it in my first post but I'l explain in points.

1. Often people advise modelling amps because they allow a player to get a grasp on a wide range of sounds and effects that help them work out what they like in an amp, they have things to do to motivate or keep a player interested during times when he/she is frustrated during learning.

2. Valve amps are a lot more expensive and very simplistic, the Class 5 Marshall for example is just 4 knobs and a speaker (not even an effects loop), the quality of sound would be great for its purpose with a skilled guitarist but it's nothing a beginner player is in the position to benefit from, not to mention that even at 5watts those things are fairly loud and need to be pushed to get the most out of them. With an amp like that the player is essencially stuck with varying degrees of one sound, one very dry sound.

3. Valve amps are known to highlight the mistakes and flaws in your playing, this can be offputting to a new player and certaintly doesn't leave many beginners with the feeling that they're playing through some epic rock god amp, because they aren't capable of doing it, yet they may be much happier during that learning period with a more forgiving solid state/modeller.


As a person who has taught many students to play guitar and advise them on gear, someone who owns expensive guitar amps (I have 3 valve amps currently, a Cornford Hellcat, a Peavey 5150 and a Custom Built Class A 10 watt). I can understand that valve amps absolutely sound better, but personally I would advise a new player to get something like a modeller first and work towards the higher gear when their skills have come along a bit.

Buying expensive gear as a beginner results in just too many people falling into the catagory of "all the gear, no idea" and honestly it's (in my eyes) better to start at a learning point with gear, just as much as you do with your playing.
Last edited by Bigbazz at Mar 8, 2013,
#9
Here is a good quality used amp that I found on the Boulder, Colorado craigslist.
People are right that you should start with a cheaper guitar, because the reality is if you stick with the instrument you are going to have many guitars throughout the years.

JCM900 1X12 Combo - $400
http://boulder.craigslist.org/msg/3646301038.html

Believe us on the fact that you could spend way more money on a nice guitar but the fact is without a good amp you will not be giving it any justice. I would recommend buying a simple guitar for your first one, something that is easy to practice everything from playing to re-stringing and everything else that you will eventually need to learn how to do yourself on.

I can't think of any bigger disaster than a beginner buying a guitar with a floating tremolo and trying to change strings for the first time, so just buy a simple but good quality guitar. My vote goes to this used PRS SE Tremonti for $375.

http://boulder.craigslist.org/msg/3628470254.html

With a bit of haggling I'm sure you could be up and running with a very solid first guitar and amp for less than $750. Take this forums advice and consider the used market before buying new - at least in terms of amps so a salesman doesn't take advantage of you and sell you something not worth your money.
#10
Quote by Bigbazz
I explained it in my first post but I'l explain in points.

1. Often people advise modelling amps because they allow a player to get a grasp on a wide range of sounds and effects that help them work out what they like in an amp, they have things to do to motivate or keep a player interested during times when he/she is frustrated during learning.

2. Valve amps are a lot more expensive and very simplistic, the Class 5 Marshall for example is just 4 knobs and a speaker (not even an effects loop), the quality of sound would be great for its purpose with a skilled guitarist but it's nothing a beginner player is in the position to benefit from, not to mention that even at 5watts those things are fairly loud and need to be pushed to get the most out of them. With an amp like that the player is essencially stuck with varying degrees of one sound, one very dry sound.

3. Valve amps are known to highlight the mistakes and flaws in your playing, this can be offputting to a new player and certaintly doesn't leave many beginners with the feeling that they're playing through some epic rock god amp, because they aren't capable of doing it, yet they may be much happier during that learning period with a more forgiving solid state/modeller.


As a person who has taught many students to play guitar and advise them on gear, someone who owns expensive guitar amps (I have 3 valve amps currently, a Cornford Hellcat, a Peavey 5150 and a Custom Built Class A 10 watt). I can understand that valve amps absolutely sound better, but personally I would advise a new player to get something like a modeller first and work towards the higher gear when their skills have come along a bit.

Buying expensive gear as a beginner results in just too many people falling into the catagory of "all the gear, no idea" and honestly it's (in my eyes) better to start at a learning point with gear, just as much as you do with your playing.


i have to say i agree with this, im not even an average to poor guitarist and yes valve amps sound AWESOME but i was in the all the gear and no idea category - Hot Rodded les paul with 19K and 15k coil tapped pups, Egnater Tweaker, multiude of pedals and an active Ibanez - then fate struck and gear started to get sold 1st to go was the Tweaker and Ibanez leaving me ampless, with what was left after bills i bought a line6 spider75w and FBV although it doesnt sound as good as the tweaker it certainly masked my inherent flaws and has every single effect i had on digital pedals and more - yes i have 4 presets i used and no more but for me they fine, the line 6 and les paul were sold as well to cover bills but were sold to a friend who is keeping them stored until i can afford to buy them back, yes i know i possibly shouldnt have bought the Orange CR15 and Pacifica but i wanted and needed to get back to playing - 1st thing i will be buying back from my buddy will be my Les Paul
what part of ride hard dont you understand.
Danelectro Wasabi Overdrive
Orange CR15
Pacifica 112XJ
#11
Quote by hobbit1066
i have to say i agree with this, im not even an average to poor guitarist and yes valve amps sound AWESOME but i was in the all the gear and no idea category - Hot Rodded les paul with 19K and 15k coil tapped pups, Egnater Tweaker, multiude of pedals and an active Ibanez - then fate struck and gear started to get sold 1st to go was the Tweaker and Ibanez leaving me ampless, with what was left after bills i bought a line6 spider75w and FBV although it doesnt sound as good as the tweaker it certainly masked my inherent flaws and has every single effect i had on digital pedals and more - yes i have 4 presets i used and no more but for me they fine


Why would you want your flaws to be masked when practicing? I guess I just don't understand the logic.
I SEE A BAD MOON RISING
I SEE TROUBLE ON THE WAY
#12
Quote by DylanHendrix
Why would you want your flaws to be masked when practicing? I guess I just don't understand the logic.

possibly masked is the wrong phrase but i struggle with palm muting its either 2 dead or not enough plus like toni iommi(although i didnt cut mine off) my little finger is abnormally small so it difficult to reach without muting strings the modelling amp allows me to play and still hear how it should sound and yes you can still hear the muted strings or dead notes but not as much, so i keep practising to try and get correct position to stop this happening but instead of the clarity of the valve amp frustrating me the modelling amp didnt - the CR15 i love the sound and would love a Tiny terror or Orange Valve amp but im not good enough to control it so will more than likley get mine back until i get good enough
what part of ride hard dont you understand.
Danelectro Wasabi Overdrive
Orange CR15
Pacifica 112XJ
#13
I'l use another analogy.

When you want to train a racing driver that has not any experience he might use a simulator at first. Inititially on the simulator he will use driving aids to allow him to ease himself into it, once he has a grasp on the basic aspects of control these aids can be slowly turned down or off and he then enters the next stage of training in a step by step progressive process, eventually ariving at the point where he is able to drive the car in its pure form. Had he not started with the aids he might not have reached the point where he would be able to attempt driving without the aids, by failing early on and getting frustrated to the point of giving up.

In other words it's all about motivation and stepping stones, a dry simplistic valve amp that requires skill to play and highlights mistakes is not something that is going to give the player confidence to move forward, except for the most determined and focussed of players it's a good cause of demotivation.

Learning to play guitar is difficult, some people find it easier than others but it takes time, it has to be enjoyable though, and making things easier and more enjoyable for the player is a good way of allowing them to reduce the frustration and keep motivated.

Once the certain threshold of learning to play has been passed (often between 6-18 months depending on the person) and the player is comfortable then it might be time to think about specific gear and sounds.
Cornford Hellcat
Peavey 5150
1994 Ibanez Jem 7V
#14
Quote by bowen
I can't think of any bigger disaster than a beginner buying a guitar with a floating tremolo and trying to change strings for the first time



That happened to me

lol
#15
I think the modeling amp is a good idea if you will be playing with others- a band or a teacher- early on.

OTOH, I went with headphones and portable digital modelers when I first went electric. The main advantage they have over a modeling amp is portability- hey'll fit in any guitar case or gig bag and run on AA or AAA batteries, so you can practice anywhere you care to carry your guitar:

Boss Micro-BR 4 track
http://www.guitarcenter.com/-i1169092.gc

Pocket POD
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Line-6-Pocket-POD-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-104391875-i1173933.gc

Tascam GT-R1
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-GT-R1-Portable-Guitar-Bass-Recorder-105125306-i1401677.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-DR-1-GT-R1-Accessory-Kit-105020473-i1402140.gc

Korg Pandora Mini
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pandora-Mini-PXMINI-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-H70754-i1746466.gc

Korg Px4
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pandora-PX4D-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-103381554-i1124641.gc

Korg Px5
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pandora-PX5D-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-104821715-i1387080.gc

Here is a visual comparison of (left to right) Tascam, my PX-5 and one of my Px4s to my old Aiwa cassette player:



With the exception of the Tascam, none of the devices I pointed out has decent acoustic recording capacity. What they DO have are features like tuners, metronomes, drum synthesizers, and digital amp & pedal modeling.

So with decent headphones, you can rock out like you were playing Texas Stadium. And yes, they are all about the size of an old Walkman.

The ones I own: the Tascam has the external mics, a phrase trainer (loop & slow down stuff for practicing), and takes SD cards. Both it and the PX5 can connect directly to your computer via a USB port. The PX4 is discontinued, but it can still be easily found. It is less powerful than the PX5, but, oddly, the PX5 does not have a belt/strap hook.

The ones I don't own: The Line6 PocketPOD is, I believe, the most popular device like this; the Boss might be the most powerful (and priciest); the Pandora Mini is the smallest (its about the size of a stack of business cards), cheapest, and least powerful.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Mar 8, 2013,
#16
Just get Vypyr Tube. It gets recommended here all the time. I have no experience with it but it gets lots of praise from the regulars here.

I wouldn't suggest a tube amp to a beginner either. As a beginner you want to explore different sounds and a good quality modeler is the best thing you can buy. Also you might not be sure of your style and the sounds you like. With a modeler you will get a good picture how the real thing might sound and you also have a picture how different effects sound like. This will help you in the future when you are choosing a better amp and maybe pedals.

Also as a beginner the sound quality doesn't need to be excellent. You need more versatility because you don't know which sounds you really are after. For a beginner I would rather suggest spending more money on a guitar. You need a guitar that feels good in your hands and is easy to play. Sound can be upgraded later but the guitar needs to feel good in your hands. Otherwise you don't want to play it. I mean, a beginner would be satisfied if his amp was a not-that-great Line 6 Spider because it gives him a variety of sounds (even though they aren't top quality). But he gets all the distortions and cleans and cool effects. You start to think about better sounds later.

I'm surprised how the regulars haven't posted here yet.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#17
Wow!! This is tons of awesome advice, thank you! I was originally going the direction of a expensive guitar and a cheap amp but I'm reconsidering that now. A modeling amp sounds like a fantastic way to go for me as I honestly have no idea what I'll want to play once I can play something beyond a few chords. A mustang I or II, or a vypyr tube sounds like the amps that I should check out. Unless I find a used one like Bowen suggested. I'm going to the guitar store today so I'll give the cheaper guitars a go again but definitely browse through their used selection. I just hate the fret buzz they all seem to have!

So this is what I'll be looking for following your guys's advice:
Guitar: feels good, not too pricey, something that I'll want to play, used will be the best way to get a good bang for the buck
Amp: Modeling! If anything, it sounds like the amp is more important than the guitar. I'll look for a solid used modeler so I can play around with all sorts of sounds and different songs. Hopefully I can try a vypyr tube at the store

I'll let you guys know what I get, hopefully soon!!
#18
Quote by Rocky_Guitar
Wow!! This is tons of awesome advice, thank you! I was originally going the direction of a expensive guitar and a cheap amp but I'm reconsidering that now. A modeling amp sounds like a fantastic way to go for me as I honestly have no idea what I'll want to play once I can play something beyond a few chords. A mustang I or II, or a vypyr tube sounds like the amps that I should check out. Unless I find a used one like Bowen suggested. I'm going to the guitar store today so I'll give the cheaper guitars a go again but definitely browse through their used selection. I just hate the fret buzz they all seem to have!

So this is what I'll be looking for following your guys's advice:
Guitar: feels good, not too pricey, something that I'll want to play, used will be the best way to get a good bang for the buck
Amp: Modeling! If anything, it sounds like the amp is more important than the guitar. I'll look for a solid used modeler so I can play around with all sorts of sounds and different songs. Hopefully I can try a vypyr tube at the store

I'll let you guys know what I get, hopefully soon!!

Amp does more to your tone than guitar. You need better amp to sound good. But even the cheap modelers sound somewhat decent and you can start with them and be happy with what you hear. I started with Roland Micro Cube and I think it sounded decent. I have now sold it and bought another amp but I played through it for two and a half years. So for a beginner guitar is more important than the amp. The amp of course needs to sound decent but it doesn't need to sound excellent. Though if you buy a good modeler, you might not need to upgrade it in many years. I think it's kind of safer to buy an used amp than used guitar. Also the quality of the amps doesn't vary that much. I think the same amp will sound the same. But the quality of guitars varies more. You can have two similar guitars that play way differently and sound different. If you buy used, make sure you can try it first. OK, the same applies if you buy new.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115