I played guitar for about 4 years in high school and the first part of college. I started with a Dean Vendetta and a Peavey starter amp. I eventually got a Washburn 7 string with active EMG pickups (not stock) on layaway at Guitar Center for $200. I upgraded the amp to a first gen Peavey Vypyr 50 watt. I decided to sell my gear because I wasn't playing that much in college. Now that I'm out of college and have a job I would like to buy a new rig and figured I'd get some input before doing research. I am looking to get a guitar and amp for casual, in home play with the occasional jam at a friend's house. An amp with a headphone jack would be optimal. I want to primarily play metalcore music (Parkway Drive, August Burns Red, etc.) but would like to have the liberty to get a nice clean tone as well as tones for other metal/rock subgenres. Coming from a modeling amp in the past, I think that is my best bet but I am not sold on it. I want to spend $200-400 on an amp that has a max of 50 watts. As for the guitar, I would like a 6 string that has a thin neck and active pickups. Brands I have looked at briefly are ESP, Ibanez, and Jackson. I want to be able to get that breakdown chug but also have crystal clear taps, hammer ons, and pull offs. I am looking to spend a max of $1000 on the guitar. I can answer more questions as people comment.

Want a new rig for metalcore tone, $1400 max budget, mostly casual in-house play
I would recommend spending more on the amp than the guitar or at least increase your budget for the amp and reduce what you plan to spend on the guitar. The reason being, the amp is about 80% responsible for getting you in the right tonal ballpark.

You might like a Peavey 6505+ 112 combo; they are $600 new; $400-450 used. For high-gain distortion, there is nothing more appropriate for metalcore than that amp. It will absolutely do what you need to do in that department, and better than most other amps. The cleans are not perfect, however.

Other than that, a Peavey JSX combo (used) has a very good high-gain channel and excellent cleans. The high-gain is not quite as brutal as a 6505, but gets close enough for a lot of people.

If you adjust your spending you might be able to get a used Dual Rectifier combo, but those aren't necessarily better for metalcore. Just another option to try.

And FYI, look at Guitar Center's website for used guitars. You can find decent guitars all day with active EMGs for $300-$400. I bought a Schecter from them for $350 (played on like it beforehand) and the guitar was in immaculate condition. It plays like the $1000 it cost retail.
I completely agree with KailM.

I play metalcore and have tried the 6505 and that thing is a beast! Definitely does the job for that genre. And getting the combo will be your best bet as it is quiet enough for bedroom playing.

As for the guitar, I think you should look for used first. I got an Ibanez Prestige RG1570 for $500 used from Guitar Center earlier this year, so you will find great guitars that will be in your price range. Check Craigslist and Guitar Center, there are a lot of gems there. I don't know if you trust Ebay, but there's also a great selection there.
Ibanez RG1570 (Tone Zone/Evo neck)
Ibanez RG920 (X2N/Evo neck)
Ibanez XPT700 (D-Activators)
Ibanez AR420
Ibanez GRG270 (heavily modded)
Dean Deceiver (EMG 81/85)
ESP LTD V-200 (Dimebucker/59)
ESP LTD H-1001
Fender Blacktop Strat (JB/Jazz)
6505+ or maybe a Vypyr Tube 60.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
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
Thanks for the responses. I was looking at a 6505+ combo the other day at Sam Ash. Haven't gotten around to trying it out yet. How well is it at shaping tones for genres outside of metalcore? For a casual player that mostly plays at home, would it be better for me to get a smaller amp/modeling amp such as a Vypyr or Line 6? And as for the guitar, I am going to keep an eye out for used ones in my area. My 7 string washburn came used from a Guitar Center. I am still open to more input, however. I may end up waiting a few more months to save money to get better gear. I want to make sure that I buy a guitar and amp that will last.
I would get a Vypyr Tube and maybe replace the speaker.

There's a 5150 III 212 for $999 plus shipping, but that's a lot for something you may not like.
Ibanez Prestige RG852MPB
Ibanez Prestige RG652KFX
Schecter Loomis NT
EVH 5150 III 50
PRS 212 DB
Line 6 POD HD500X
Deadhorse OD/Boss HM-2
Since you have a job now why rush on gear? Get something you will always be happy with. I bought my mesa roadster for 1200 on GC used and it is more than versatile enough to get in the ballpark of any tone I've ever wanted. If you save a bit more for a better guitar, can get an LTD ec1000 for around 400-500. I would put a grand or more into the amp with what you have to spend and then put something like 2 to 300 into a descent guitar with emgs on gc used then upgrade guitar later and have a backup if you don't want to wait. Then later get the guitar you really want and you will be much better off as the 300 dollar guitar through the right amp will be much better than the right guitar through the wrong amp.
Ibanez SIR27
Pod HD500x

Mesa Boogie Roadster 2x12 combo
Cmatmods analog chorus, phaser, tremoglo, signa drive, butah, and deeelay
walrus Audio Descent
Fernandes- a Japanese brand catering to guitarists in harder genres of music- is having a clearance sale through their online store. Supplies are limited.


Ignore the MSRP (they're just as inflated as everyone else's), but the prices listed are still hundreds off of regular street prices for those guitars. These will all be MiK models, and well built.

Purchasing one of those would get you a good, new guitar and allow you to shift your savings to your amp purchase OR simply spend less.
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 Jul 31, 2014,
Quote by Hulkdingo
Thanks for the responses. I was looking at a 6505+ combo the other day at Sam Ash. Haven't gotten around to trying it out yet. How well is it at shaping tones for genres outside of metalcore? For a casual player that mostly plays at home, would it be better for me to get a smaller amp/modeling amp such as a Vypyr or Line 6? .

To me, it is an excellent choice for metal genres outside metalcore. It's just that since the majority of metalcore bands use a 6505+, people tend to think that's all that amp is good for.

It is based very closely on the 5150, which was around long before metalcore came on the scene. In fact, with an EQ pedal in the loop, you can get a 6505+ to sound just like a 5150 or vice versa. FYI, a 6505+ is identical to a 5150 II, and a regular 6505 head is identical to an original 5150 head. They are ALL capable of ball-crushing brutality.

The genres I play with mine are black metal, death metal, and some thrash. It sounds amazing for that style.

As for modelers, I would steer away from Line 6. The Vypyrs are altogether much better than those. If you could find a 60 watt Vyper Tube 212 used, they actually have a 6505+ power amp section. Which means they sound great when cranked but also sound good at very low levels. Having tried a Vyper once, I have to say they sound pretty good. But the 6505 model on them still doesn't quite compare to the real thing.