Really underwhelmed by my new guitar and amp, and feeling really sad about it...

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#1
Hey folks.

Been playing acoustic for 2½ years or so, and i finally, after maybe 6-9 months of waiting, got my first electric guitar and amp yesterday..

I bought a Fender Std MIM Strat and a Vox AC15 C1...

I had been waiting and waiting for a really long time and I was really looking forward to playing, but I'm just not really feeling it... And that makes me really sad. I had really been anticipating the day when i'd bring my new gear home but just don't feel that great about it. First, the jack stick thing that goes from guitar to amp didn't work, but I had another one, thankfully.. But that other one makes the connection make a scratchy noise sometimes.. It is a little annoying but I can live with that..

I just thought i would get out of that stupid routine i was in.. I just keep playing the same stuff over and over.. Playing the same chords and the same songs. It is kinda depressing. I really thought this new gear would get me over this. It's my first electric and maybe i just expected more than i should.

Has anyone else felt like this when you got your first guitars or something? Maybe some of you if you transitioned from acoustic to electric?

If anyone has anything to say, then feel free to comment..

Marc
There's only one boss I listen to, and that's why I'm unemployed.
Last edited by MarcFlink at Sep 21, 2013,
#3
What you really need is a new amp
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#4
Quote by Bob_Sacamano
What you really need is a new amp


Lol
There's only one boss I listen to, and that's why I'm unemployed.
#5
Maybe try changing the strings? You'll get a better feel for sure.
You should by a new guitar cable as well.
#6
Quote by Pierre-Claude
Maybe try changing the strings? You'll get a better feel for sure.
You should by a new guitar cable as well.


Well, i have ordered a new cable..
There's only one boss I listen to, and that's why I'm unemployed.
#7
I'd say without some decent overdrive and maybe an effect or two, you won't really notice the difference in playing style between acoustic and plugged in. Built in gain on the amp can be alright, but I like suplementing it with an overdrive pedal personally.

Something like a wah and/or a modulation pedal can be a surprising game-changer aswell. I've got both a vox wah and an ehx small clone chorus pedal, both cheap but effective old-school pedals and I've got to say they really helped broaden my horizons in terms of playing style when I got them.
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#8
Quote by EqualOfHeaven
I'd say without some decent overdrive and maybe an effect or two, you won't really notice the difference in playing style between acoustic and plugged in. Built in gain on the amp can be alright, but I like suplementing it with an overdrive pedal personally.

Something like a wah and/or a modulation pedal can be a surprising game-changer aswell. I've got both a vox wah and an ehx small clone chorus pedal, both cheap but effective old-school pedals and I've got to say they really helped broaden my horizons in terms of playing style when I got them.



Any specific suggestions on that front?
There's only one boss I listen to, and that's why I'm unemployed.
#10
Change your music taste just a bit. Play something more complex or hard, that'll get you atleast more passion about it.
Just don't play everything you used to play in the acoustic
#11
You think buying a guitar will suddenly stop you playing the same beginner stuff? No, you need to practice, learn songs, discover and study.

When I get a new guitar it opens stuff up for me, I hear new things in chords and riffs, but I guess that's something that comes with experience. It gives me more motivation to play.

The jack stick is a lead.

What type of stuff are you playing?
#13
If getting an electric didn't excite you, maybe you should stick with acoustic

My best advice for you would be to explore that which you cannot explore with acoustic. There's an entire range of sounds and tones that you can get with electric but not acoustic. Try it out and see if you get inspired.
#14
Quote by Mephaphil
You think buying a guitar will suddenly stop you playing the same beginner stuff? No, you need to practice, learn songs, discover and study.


This.

Make an effort to find lessons online or a good teacher. Decide what you'd like to be able to do on the guitar and work towards it. Having an electric will open more options to you but it's up to you to take them.

Buying a new lead will help that's for sure mind you.

Most importantly don't be sad. The guitar is a wonderful thing and should be a source of pride and enjoyment. With a little bit of effort and a plan you can get that. Go for it!
#15
I just thought i would get out of that stupid routine i was in.. I just keep playing the same stuff over and over.. Playing the same chords and the same songs. It is kinda depressing. I really thought this new gear would get me over this. It's my first electric and maybe i just expected more than i should.


Forget about everything you know on guitar for an entire week and just don't touch it. When you come back to it, you'll enjoy it. I always found that if i play the same things again and again for long periods of time, i'm less motivated to pick up the guitar.

Just try taking a break, even if it's only a few days. In that time go listen to something you normally wouldn't listen to.
#16
Quote by RickyThomson
Forget about everything you know on guitar for an entire week and just don't touch it. When you come back to it, you'll enjoy it. I always found that if i play the same things again and again for long periods of time, i'm less motivated to pick up the guitar.



Or you could learn new songs and be that much better in a week?
#17
Well you got a cheap 15 watt amp you shouldn't have been expecting much. As for playing the same thing over and over. If you're getting bored with that start playing something totally different than you usually do.
#18
Quote by Wormholes
Well you got a cheap 15 watt amp you shouldn't have been expecting much. As for playing the same thing over and over. If you're getting bored with that start playing something totally different than you usually do.

The ac15c1 is in no way a cheap 15 watt amp, it's arguably the best 15 watt amp you can get and at £500 new, it's in no way cheap
#19
Quote by Bob_Sacamano
What you really need is a new amp

This might be more true than you realize.

OP, that amp is pretty crap.
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#20
Quote by Mephaphil
You think buying a guitar will suddenly stop you playing the same beginner stuff? No, you need to practice, learn songs, discover and study.

When I get a new guitar it opens stuff up for me, I hear new things in chords and riffs, but I guess that's something that comes with experience. It gives me more motivation to play.

The jack stick is a lead.

What type of stuff are you playing?


This^
And hurry up with a new lead.
And sometimes, especially if you don't have a lot of experience (and even if you do), it can take a while to get the sound you hear in your head from your amp.
You need to fiddle with the knobs a bit and explore all the sonic possibilities you can get out of a particular amp.
I took my a few months to get my AC30 dialed in perfectly the way I wanted it, but I didn't to to many chances to really crank it where I was living at the time.
#22
Quote by isaimeph

Just don't play everything you used to play in the acoustic

This.
#23
1. Your new gear really isn't that great.
2. Electric and acoustic are two entirely different animals.
3. Getting new equipment doesn't make your playing any better.
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#25
Thanks for the replies guys. Most of them were really constructive I'd like to say, in my own defense, that i didn't assume that i'd magically turn into a better guitar player or something like that. I merely thought it might bring me down some other paths than the acoustic is taking me.. And to the ppl saying the Vox amp is bad, or the MIM for that matter, that is really opinion based and doesn't really mean anything to say such things :-)

I really wanna play Oasis stuff (don't tell me they suck or something.. ) and Noel Gallagher's High Flying birds. Also some classic rock and stuff like that,.. Mostly Oasis style music. Both stuff like Cigarretes and Alcohol and Some Might Say, to Lyla, Don't look back in Anger and Masterplan...

Well.... I bought Rocksmith today, actually... So I have been playing Nirvana and stuff like that which i usually wouldn't be playing... I'm gonna try and take your advice and learn stuff that I wouldn't usually play and try and practice techniques that are more specifically used on electric guitar... And also try to explore my amp in depth.. Though that is kinda hard since i don't really have many opportunities to really crank it up.. I live with 4 other people in a house with relatively thin walls...

Would you recommend i got some effects or something? Maybe a headset so i can really hear it sing?
There's only one boss I listen to, and that's why I'm unemployed.
#26
Quote by Mephaphil
I wouldn't shit on his gear, that's not the problem.

Really? Do you think it's that bad
There's only one boss I listen to, and that's why I'm unemployed.
#27
It's not really an opinion as it is a common consensus. Your amp is pretty poor.

While your stated problems don't include being dissatisfied with the tone, and I didn't agree with someone talking smack about your gear (mainly the guitar, which is fine) but if you think that your amp is decent, you're very wrong.

The very next thing that you buy should be a new amp. Post a thread in the Guitar Gear & Accessories forum. I have no idea what you mean by a headset.

Put it this way; If someone was auditioning for my band and they turned up with that I'd expect them to get a new amp sharpish, if they were good enough to join, otherwise they'd have to borrow one of mine. There's no way I'd record or play live with that, what you have is own brand cola, what you want is classic Coke.
Last edited by Mephaphil at Sep 21, 2013,
#28
Quote by Mephaphil
It's not really an opinion as it is a common consensus. Your amp is pretty poor.

While your stated problems don't include being dissatisfied with the tone, and I didn't agree with someone talking smack about your gear (mainly the guitar, which is fine) but if you think that your amp is decent, you're very wrong.

The very next thing that you buy should be a new amp. Post a thread in the Guitar Gear & Accessories forum. I have no idea what you mean by a headset.

Put it this way; If someone was auditioning for my band and they turned up with that I'd expect them to get a new amp sharpish, if they were good enough to join, otherwise they'd have to borrow one of mine. There's no way I'd record or play live with that, what you have is own brand cola, what you want is classic Coke.


Well mate, your opinion isn't really law or anything like that so don't act like it is. It is all opinion based and some people might love the amp, just like some people might puke when they hear it. It's all opinion. I haven't really had a chance to really play with it yet, so i can't really judge it yet, but don't pretend like whatever you say is what everyone had in mind. Also, just cause I was wondering, i checked what the reviews said here on UG and the scores were pretty high.. So someone must be very happy with it, so it's not really "common consensus" But I appreciate your good answer.
There's only one boss I listen to, and that's why I'm unemployed.
#29
But alright. I respect your opinion... Lets close this down.. I'll be trying something new and following your advises, so thank you.. I'll be "abandoning" this thread now.
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#30
I don't know what he's talking about, the AC15's a great little amp. Vox have a very distinctive tone that I'm not a fan of though.
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#31
Quote by Mephaphil
It's not really an opinion as it is a common consensus. Your amp is pretty poor.

While your stated problems don't include being dissatisfied with the tone, and I didn't agree with someone talking smack about your gear (mainly the guitar, which is fine) but if you think that your amp is decent, you're very wrong.

The very next thing that you buy should be a new amp. Post a thread in the Guitar Gear & Accessories forum. I have no idea what you mean by a headset.

Put it this way; If someone was auditioning for my band and they turned up with that I'd expect them to get a new amp sharpish, if they were good enough to join, otherwise they'd have to borrow one of mine. There's no way I'd record or play live with that, what you have is own brand cola, what you want is classic Coke.


Say again?

As long as you avoid the VR's and take the VT's for what they are, the AC amps are pretty good IMO.
#32
I'm not sure why every one is shitting on the vox ac15 c1 so much. For the price it's a great little amp especially if you replace tubes then it's a little beast.
#33
I've played that particular model and I've found it to be somewhat overpriced and pretty lifeless. I don't know if you remember but I was looking for a low wattage amp to practice at home with, the SL5 etc. After playing it in store I read a fair amount on forums from users claiming it to be average at best.

But whatever, you're right, if you like it that's all that matters.
Last edited by Mephaphil at Sep 21, 2013,
#34
Quote by Mephaphil
I've played that particular model and I've found it to be somewhat overpriced and pretty lifeless. I don't know if you remember but I was looking for a low wattage amp to practice at home with, the SL5 etc. After playing it in store I read online and I read a fair amount on forums that it was somewhat average at best.

Actually, now that you say it, if I had to pay full price for the amp I may have been a little disappointed but I got a for a good deal (like $300 off the list price) so I was pretty happy. Like I said though, if you replace the stock tubes to something better the amp really comes alive.
#35
Its a Chinese Amp, rip the ****ing JJ tubes out of it and put some Russian Sovteks in there and she will sing completely different. I personally ****ing hate JJ tubes, they aren't so bad in the preamp if you are looking for all out gain but otherwise meh. It has a single 12" Celestion Greenback which is a pretty decent speaker. And if it is like any other Vox (even British ones) it probably lacks a bit of ooomph on the drive channel (this is how I feel at least) and sadly your Strat wont help the cause as I am assuming its probably S/S/S pickup config. That being said I am totally not knocking the guitar, I owned a MIM Strat for a while it was a sweet guitar played great for the price, only thing I didn't like what the fact single coil pickups are underpowered, just the nature of the beast I learned from it I am a humbucker kind of dude.

I say before you write it off as a lost cause and try and hock your gear on craigslist for a third of what you paid for it, go out and grab yourself a cheap drive or distortion pedal or better yet both, just make sure the OD pedal is Tubescreamer real or clone TS9 variant. This will probably make you love your amp more, I used to be a really big anti tubescreamer guy till I tried one, now I like it driving the clean channel of my amps more then I like the amps drive channels.

To the sod saying his amp is junk why don't you provide some proof instead of your personal opinion. Too many people here try and offer their personal opinion on something rather then basing it on facts and the majority of the time you are giving people the wrong information and answers.

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/guitar_amplifiers/vox/ac15c1/index.html

Look at UGs own review page for this amp...8.6/10 stars really its crap yet the majority of this web page thinks its hot shit, how is this possible? MusiciansFriend has it rated at 5/5 stars and GuitarCenter has it rated at 5/5 stars, this can't be some conspiracy can it? Plus if it's a brand new amp its going to sound like balls for the first couple months till you break the speaker in, and trust me that makes MILES of a difference. I've seen people take less flack for saying the have a Fender Frontman practice amp...

To the OP if you come back in here lurking and read this, branch out from what you were playing. Acoustic does not translate to Electric that well, the only real upside is you have already learned the majority of techniques for playing guitar. You just have to start all over on a working library of songs you can play. Also check out some YouTube channels like Marty Schwartz's (no that isn't me!) but he does really awesome broken down lessons on electric and acoustic that will give you a foot hold to work with.
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#36
I said that I found it lifeless.That's my personal opinion. I also found a fair few people not that happy with it, saying that it lacks the life and grunt of other models.

I don't hold much weight on the reviews of those sites, there's a lot of buyer bias.

You yourself are saying that you need to replace a lot of the parts in order to get a tone that is acceptable yet you attack me for having problems with the tone?

Okay.
#37
Stop playing the same songs over again and learn new ones dummy. Also learn some scales and improv to them using backing tracks on youtube.
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#38
You gotta first feel your gear, you have to want to play it every time you see it, that helps far more than anything. If an artist hates his canvas he'll end up going against the grain, if he lacks the scenery he wont feel inspired, i.e change what you play, Rocksmith is great and all, but spend a week and just listen with your ears, expand your reach, and when you find that song, hear that musician glide, feel the melody and then look over at your gear, it'll all click.

Picking up a bit of theory doesn't hurt either and in your case will probably help alleviate the rut, like the guy said above me, jam tracks and a scales are great stepping stones to improve. Also, classical pieces are dense with information and can open a well of ideas and different ways of attacking a piece when it comes to creation.
Last edited by Levart_Reidorc at Sep 21, 2013,
#40
I hope TS is still around to see what other people have to say.

1) Your expectations may have been overly high, since you have been looking forward to it for so long

2) New gear provides motivation, but unfortunately whatever you can play on an acoustic, you can play on an electric (mostly), so if you don't get out of the routine yourself, you're going to end up doing the same thing

I personally didn't find myself being underwhelmed by my first electric, partly because I was using a 3/4-size acoustic and since I didn't have a drive channel or access to higher frets. It just opened up a lot of options for me, and I knew that the only thing that is likely to be holding me back was technique, not the guitar itself.
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