#1
Hello guitar gurus!


So, I have just recently started playing electric guitar and I am now deciding on an amp to buy. I live on a small apartment, with two kids (and a very noise sensitive partner). So... space is a problem and "noise" is a huge problem as well! In fact, I will probably spend my time listening to my amp through headphones and will only rarely get a chance to let some nasty sound come out of that speaker!!! In terms of musical taste... I like a bit everything (although metal is not my cup of tea... I mean, I love "Fear of the Dark", but who doesn't!?), so I am looking for an amp that is versatile.

I was convinced on getting the Roland Micro Cube but I am now wondering about the fender mustang I v.2. What do you guys think would fit my needs?

Any other options are also welcome?

Thank you all in advance!
#2
Micro Cube or Fender Vibro Champ XD (used). The Mustang is really pretty good sounding but it is a fully digital interface with menus, presets etc. I find it far less intuitive than the Fender or Roland where you just plug in and dial up some tone.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#3
My son likes his Roland Micro Cube okay. It's highly portable. He's got a Mustang, too, when he practices in his room.

I had a Mustang.....but wanted to go with a tube amp. I pled my case and threw myself on the mercy of this court. Cajundaddy and others suggested a Peavey Classic 30 and I followed their suggestion. I'm so grateful. This amp is perfect for me. I almost spent a few dollars more and bought a VOX AC4 (handwired version). That was one sweet, sweet sounding amp, but I knew that I'd be wanting an amp that would hold it's own if I was jamming with friends one day. For just house use, I'd have gone with the AC4.


If we were starting all over again......I'd without a doubt go with a Peavey Vypyr for starters vs. the Mustangs. There is a reason they are so often recommended around here. A good reason.


Lately I've been wondering about one of these, too:

http://www.jimdunlop.com/product/rockga-rockman-guitar-ace-headphone-amplifier


I've never had a chance to fool around with them, though.
2014 Gibson SG Special
Peavey Classic 30
Squier Standard Stratocaster HSS
Fender CD60CE
Fender v2 Mustang III
Roland Micro Cube
MXR M75
Last edited by DubfromGA at May 12, 2014,
#4
the vypyr 15 offers a lot of tone for the buck. i have a vox da5 but the microcube gets a lot of love too. they're all decent amps for what they do. i thought the effects on the mustang were a pain in the ass to operate.

for a few bucks more the yamaha thr5 or thr10 are nice amps as well.
#5
Dub I got several devices for playing through headphones with no amp and lately I'm digging the Vox Amphones (80 bucks on eBay). I got the Twin version that mimics a Fender Twin but there are others. I would have considered a Vox Amplug but good luck plugging one of those into a strat.

You can't get simpler than the Amphones and they sound half decent but the controls are pretty rudimentary. My Pod by comparison is much more versatile but sometimes just more hassle than its worth to noodle around on the couch. Then I have a looper that takes headphones. But the Amphones are definitely the least hassle and least intrusive on others.
#6
If you're only planning on playing through headphones and/or interfacing with your PC for the forseeable future, consider a portable digital modeling device like one of these (some are discontinued, can still be easily found):

Boss Micro-BR 4 track
http://www.bossus.com/gear/productdetails.php?ProductId=818

Boss Micro-BR 80
http://www.bossus.com/gear/productdetails.php?ProductId=1167

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

Tascam GT-R1
http://tascam.com/product/gt-r1/

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

Korg Px4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvaXhaTW-B8&sns=em

Korg Pandora Stomp
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PandoraSTOr/

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:



Only the Tascam has decent acoustic recording capacity. All DO have 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. 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!
#7
Hunt down a used line 6 pod 2.0 or better, you should have no problem hunting one down. I strongly advise against a amp because you have a noise sensitive wife and if you plan on not sleeping on the couch this is the only way to go. The zoom g3/g5 series are ok but the pods are much better.
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I'd honestly fap to anything with a set of genitals as long as I find it aesthetically appealing.
#8
The Vox Valvetronix line is pretty good. I have a VT20+ and it's brilliant. I thiink they are the best on the market -at the price point we are discussing - for cleans and low gain modelling.

But what is your budget? I mean we might be looking at advising between Axe FX or Kemper if you have the moolah!
#9
Thank you all for your replies and suggestions!

Here is what I am looking for:

- A small amp (something that is physically smallish, as space is a concern)
- Within 250€ (which should correspond to 200 dollars). Ideally not more than 200!
- versatile (although I probably prefer good cleans)
- related to the above... An amp that emulates other amps!
- an amp that works as good to play at night through my headphones as it works during te day when I convince my wife to leave with the kids!!
- an amp that will be usable throughout the times, even if later I get better and bigger amps!

So that's that... I am quite naive on electric guitars! I am looking for an amp that will allow me to experience different sounds and help me decide what kind of sound I would like to invest more money in te future. Because of this, I thought the micro cube would be a good option. It seems an amp that will always be useful... Independently of whatever amp I buy in the future!!

What do you guys think?

Ps: for you to have a notion of how little versed I am in this business, I had to google what a tube amp is! I really have very little clue... But I'm learning!!
Last edited by milcs at May 13, 2014,
#10
As far as vypyr are concerned, from what I have read, they are not so great for cleans! Thus, this would make it a difficult choice for me! The mustang caught my attention (I really think I need one amp that emulates several others), but I'm just afraid that, when I found the sound I am looking for, it will quickly become obsolete! Don't know what to do...

As far as portable devices... I see this more as a complement! Something I will consider buying later! In any case, I have been playing my guitar through my computer. So that would be a bit of an overlap.
#11
I do not know where you found a MicroCube for under $200, but my top recommendation would be a Line 6 Spider IV - 15. If you can scramble an extra ~$25, buy a used Peavey Vypyr V.I.P. 1. If you do go with the V.I.P., remember that you will eventually have to get a Sanpera II to get the extra ~35% versatility/features from it. The Sanpera II costs around $250 also. At your price point, there are no advantages whatsoever to getting a regular Vypyr over a V.I.P. However, a Sanpera can replace you a Multi Effects Processor, which in turn replaces a pedalboard, and external effects are a necessity in most cases. These two solid states (digital A.K.A. no tubes) have cleans as good as any other solid state.

However, seeing that you have a more or less traditional Stratocaster, I highly recommend hunting down a used Vox VT15 which is a FULL (including rectifier) tube amp. I myself am considering it as my next amp, along with the V.I.P. 3. Missing out on the legendary Vox sparkly cleans would suck, especially in your case.

EDIT: Read up on the Peavey Vypyr product line, which obviously goes hand - in - hand with Sanperas. I highly recommend owning one eventually. Also read up on the Line 6 Spiders, and the Vox Valvetronix. Generally, the more research (in terms of knowledge) you do, the better you will know what you need and require less and less help from anyone choosing your next piece of equipment whatever it might be.
The above post is in terms of 'YMMV' and 'IMO', etc...

Quote by Offworld92
This debate is exhausting to read.
The guitar world is drowned in fairy dust.
We need to start at the very beginning. What is tone.
Last edited by 2Crosser at May 13, 2014,
#12
Regarding to an amp" Definitely take a look at Yamaha THR10. They are sweet for home use, almost perfect. They come in 3 versions: a regular one, a bluesy one and a metal one. Def check those out!
#13
What is your country? There will be a big difference in what you can get in Germany for 250 euro and in Greece for 250 euro.

Also, the civilised world calls them "Valve" amps, not "tube" amps
#14
Thank you all so much!!!
I live in Paris (the one in Europe!!!!)... so, hardly civilised!!!!

I am off to check them live in a store... The vox and the mustang are probably the ones I am going for (cant find the vypyr VIP).

I am excited...
#15
Hello again!
A quick live update...
The guy at the store is recommending the fender mustang I (as opposed to the Roland cube and the vox vt20, which he says is very complicated.......). They are now on their lunch break and I'll test the amps after...

In the meantime... Is the fender any good?

Cheers all

Ps: apologize my excessive excitement... For such a simple hardware!!!
#16
i thought the effects on the mustang were more difficult to operate than the cube or vox vt.

Quote by 2Crosser
I do not know where you found a MicroCube for under $200, but my top recommendation would be a Line 6 Spider IV - 15....

just stop reading his post right here. the spider is probably the worst amp you could consider.

if left alone on an island with an electric guitar and a spider 15 i'd hollow out the electric and just play it acoustically.
Last edited by gregs1020 at May 13, 2014,
#17
The mustang is a good amp, but I reject the idea that fox vt20+ is complicated. It only need you to turn knobs. No computer connections or USB ports. Just the amp.

The mustang allows much more involved editing but you need to plug into a PC to do that. It has knobs but can get complex/sophisticated quickly.
#18
Chose three, test them out for a good while and pick one. I own a Micro-Cube and a Vox Valvtronix pedal (Tonelab LE). I have played through a Mustang and a Spider but never a Vypyr. For your wants/needs I would probably choose Cube> Vox VT> Mustang in that order. I just like to plug-in, dial up some tone and play and the Roland is pretty excellent as a small practice amp. I also use it for busking occasionally. The Vox has good tone but is not as portable. The Mustang might have the greatest variety of tones and effects but I find myself tinkering with presets too much and not playing music. There is such a thing as too many choices. YMMV
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at May 13, 2014,
#19
Quote by milcs
Hello guitar gurus!


So, I have just recently started playing electric guitar and I am now deciding on an amp to buy. I live on a small apartment, with two kids (and a very noise sensitive partner). So... space is a problem and "noise" is a huge problem as well! In fact, I will probably spend my time listening to my amp through headphones and will only rarely get a chance to let some nasty sound come out of that speaker!!! In terms of musical taste... I like a bit everything (although metal is not my cup of tea... I mean, I love "Fear of the Dark", but who doesn't!?), so I am looking for an amp that is versatile.

I was convinced on getting the Roland Micro Cube but I am now wondering about the fender mustang I v.2. What do you guys think would fit my needs?

Any other options are also welcome?

Thank you all in advance!



I would recommend the Micro Cube from Roland, or any of the similar sized competitors. My usual amp is a Lonestar Special Mesa Boogie, and I have no problem playing at low volumes on the Micro Cube. The built in battery lasts forever. Great unit for the money.
#20
Quote by GuitarL91
Regarding to an amp" Definitely take a look at Yamaha THR10. They are sweet for home use, almost perfect. They come in 3 versions: a regular one, a bluesy one and a metal one. Def check those out!


+1

I just got this for home use, and it's great. You can get a lot of various tones and volume can be very low. It's highly versatile -- you can get a lot of different tones you would normally need pedals to get, like with flanger, phaser, echo. It can work with headphones, it has USB to go into computer. It can double as a bass amp. It's very small, you can carry it room to room. It can run on batteries, too, making it even more portable. It can crank louder than you'll need except for gigs -- I find that at half volume, it's already too loud for my use.

The THR5 is a bit cheaper, a few less options, cannot double as bass amp. But I found a new THR10 on Ebay for around $230 so it's pretty darn cheap as it is.

I previously had small 4 watt all tube amp, because I was biased against emulators and in favor of "real" thing -- the Vox ac4c1 which runs about $300. It had some nice tones for home use, but still had to be loud -- too loud -- to really get benefit of the tube warm tones. And it does not have all the different emulations, not nearly as portable, cannot run on batteries. I think it's better if you live in house alone, or generally can crank volume a bit more, maybe for small solo gigs / coffeehouse gigs. Well, they both serve different functions. The Vox can give me real tube warmth rather cheaply and at a volume I can sometimes use at home, which I like sometimes to "rock out." The THR10 lets me rock out with a zillion tone combinations and at lower volume, but I do think a discerning ear will notice that it is not a real tube amp for getting some real rock growl tones. The difference is so minor, though, I'm planning to get rid of my Vox and just have the THR10.

Ken
Bernie Sanders for President!
#21
your situation is like my situation. since i drag my feet a lot and change my mind frequently i've had a lot of time to mull the options:

most important thing to know: tube amps sound better.

Some modeling amps can sound pretty good if you want to use it for specific things but none of them sound good doing all the things. Peavey will do for metal. Fender will do for cleans. If you think you're going to get a single modeling amp that does everything well then you're going to end up disappointed. i want that too - i've looked - believe me i've looked. The closest thing that i've found is recent Fender superchamp or vibrochamp amps that combine fender mustang modeling circuitry with a few tubes to make a hybrid sound. I would consider buying a superchamp.

What you should do (i strongly recommend based on my experience) is to get a vox amplug and use it for a week or two first. The amplug requires headphones but i'll assume you've got a decent pair. It'll only cost you 30 bucks and no other 30 dollar amp will still be as useful as the amplug once you realize how bad they suck.
Your amplug will make it possible to practice when you can't haul an amp around and it will introduce you to world of solid state modeling amps. The AC30 amplug is a pretty passable approximation of the AC30. There's also other amps modelled.
The amplug is little more than a toy compared to a real amp, but it'll teach you what you need to know.

After you get used to the amplug on all settings you should go to a store that has a wide selection of tube amps and try those. If you are like me you'll immediately have a thought like "oh so that's what my guitar is supposed to sound like". Maybe you won't care as much? Either way you'll know once and for all if solid state amps are worth spending money on. If you're satisfied with solid state at that point then by all means look into something like a Mustang or a Cube. Otherwise you'll be back here looking for advice about tube amps.

Oh and the amplug will still be useful either way. You can send the output of the amplug to the input of a real amp and it'll essentially be your first pedal. Just set your amp to play clean. It might give you a more satisfying ac30 sound than what you'd get out of another modeling amp. (Exception being the valvetronix ofc)
#22
So... I did it! I went into the store, the guy took a Roland Micro Cube, the Mustang I v2 and the Vox VT20+ and I played them for 1h30m.

I have to say, I feel I didn't make the right choice and I start regretting a bit my decision!
I started by playing the mustang... makes lots of noise on crunchy and metal tones, ok clean tones. It is loud, for sure... I then moved to the cube. The tones were actually quite good (and, most importantly, it was simple to use... Something the two big "amps" are not). What is the problem (specially after playing it after 20W amps)? The sound is indeed tiny... Just there I scrapped the micro cube from my mind (the silly reasoning... bigger (louder in this case) is better).

I then played the Vox and the Mustang for a while. The Vox is complicated to operate! The mustang as well (probably even more). I quite liked the Vox and was ready to go for it... But the lack of USB connectivity (I am a fool for tech gadgets) put me off a bit. Honestly... I think I prefer the way the Vox sounded. But, honestly... I am too "raw" to be able to appreciate a palpable difference.

So... the seller convinced me of the Mustang and I bought that one. On the plus, it was 40 euros cheaper and... I can connect it to my PC! It has, apparently, a quite huge diversity of sounds (given we can customize every tone) but, indeed, it is more difficult to change settings on the go. Anyways... both the Vox and Mustang offer far too many tones.

In the end of the day, why do I think I will regret my choice? Well, independently of the modelling amp I would end up getting, the function of these "amps" is to emulate a true amp's sound. They are just tiny computers attached to a speaker. I honestly think that apart from some nuances, they would all end up offering quite similar experiences.

What concerns me is that, the day I know what sound I want and I am looking for, I will get a proper (real) amp and these amps will become useless. This is exactly why I think I should have got the micro cube. Surely it is a modelling amp... But its size makes it as a one of a kind (I am talking about the micro cube, but could be talking about all similar sized amps), an "amp" I would be able to use whenever, even after I have bought my 1000 euros amp!

So voilá... I am starting to regret not getting the micro cube! Why did my primitive "more is better" caveman way of thinking got in the way of a more reasonable decision??? Human condition, I guess...

Anyway, I would like to thank ALL of you for your time, your help, advises and wisdom! You guys rock big time! Thank you for this amazing community and for helping me learn in less than 24 hours what an amp is (well... learn a bit about what an amp is...)!

Off to play with... my PC, trying to create new sounds and stuff on my Mustang (at least the name is, by far, the coolest one!!).
Last edited by milcs at May 13, 2014,
#23
Paul, just read your post after having posted mine...
I couldn't agree more with you! As you can see from my post above, I am regretting a bit having spent the money on the Mustang (for the exact reasons you presented). I think the micro cube would be able to give me a quite similar experience as the one you describe for the little Vox (well... not entirely the same, but the same principle).

In any case, in the end of the day... it only cost 135 euros (which is not that much) and I will probably be able to sell it one day for half that (or give it to my son when he grows up). Have to keep positive... Now that I got the mustang!
#24
Id recommend a roland cube.
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Unless you're sure she likes you, telling her you like her has a 110% chance of failing.

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#25
Congratulations or... condolences on your new amp purchase.

I am sure you will find many things to like about the Mustang as they are good sounding amps and offer a lot of value for very little money. If you truly suffer crushing buyers remorse you can take it back and beg forgiveness with the store. In the states most music stores will do an exchange towards what you want to keep you happy and coming back for more stuff. Good luck either way.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#27
Quote by Spud Spudly
Almost a happy ending.

Well... I have to say that, after having played with my Mustang and FUSE (Fender's software), I start to having fun with my "amp" (or should I call it, emulator? ) .
It is complicated... no doubt! But the truth, the possibilities are almost endless...

On a quite plus side, I can even connect my electro-acoustic guitar by selecting a very basic amp set on FUSE. So yeah, I guess it is kind of a happy ending!!!

But still, the main problem will always be there. Once I buy a decent amp, the need to have this "musical gadget" will cease to exist (in my perspective). Maybe I will end up selling it to buy a Roland Micro Cube!

Anyway... Off to have more fun with it!!! I am starting to be happier with my choice...
#28
Quote by milcs
Well... I have to say that, after having played with my Mustang and FUSE (Fender's software), I start to having fun with my "amp" (or should I call it, emulator? ) .
It is complicated... no doubt! But the truth, the possibilities are almost endless...

On a quite plus side, I can even connect my electro-acoustic guitar by selecting a very basic amp set on FUSE. So yeah, I guess it is kind of a happy ending!!!

But still, the main problem will always be there. Once I buy a decent amp, the need to have this "musical gadget" will cease to exist (in my perspective). Maybe I will end up selling it to buy a Roland Micro Cube!

Anyway... Off to have more fun with it!!! I am starting to be happier with my choice...

i still use my vox da5 for late night practice etc. i don't know how many tube amps i've had over the years, a couple of them twice.

you'll always have a good use for a modeler for practice at home etc. they don't become obsolete when you get a bigger tube amp.
#29
Yeah, those small modelers and gadgets are always tons of fun, even after you eventually get a larger amp someday. I had an old POD but traded it, and even though I like what I got in return for it, I still miss it.
My Stuff:


Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
An amp that is purple.
Vintage Gibson GA-5
Two modded TS9s
Hughes and Kettner Tube Factor
Last edited by Doge_Swerve at May 14, 2014,
#30
You made the right choice in my opinion. I have a micro cube, micro RX and street cube. Yes, you will have to learn a little bit about the interface, but once you get that... well, sky's almost the limit. Yes you can learn micro cube in 2 minutes, but after that there is nothing more to learn. Some tones I like, but Mustang is so much better in so many ways. Cleans are exceptional (and I love Twin Reverbs). Can't speak for metal/distortion because too much noise and not enough music for my taste. Put the time in, just like learning to play guitar. It will pay off and you may even wonder why you ever regretted it. I also have a Vox DA5, which I like for some things at some times.