#1
Want a more intermediate guitar setup. What would you change 1st?

a low end modle of Ibanez Gio

amp is a cube 20x amp
#2
This is really not the right forum, this area is concerned with the mechanics of playing the guitar.

That said... unless you plan on gigging any time soon and need a bigger amp I'd say upgrade the guitar first, the cube is a perfectly respectable practice amp and should do you until you need something you can crank a bit more to play with a drummer.
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#3
Guitar.

It's the actual instrument you're playing, and it's what you're going to have to interface with in order to be more proficient at what you do.

The amp is just a mechanism for reproduction (notwithstanding the folks who will claim that, in advanced modes, they'll "play" the amp for dynamics, etc.), and these days the same guitar can be run through tube amps, modelers, computers and who knows what future gizmos on that side of things.
#4
Using a starter amp and upgrading to a better guitar will be a better investment than using a weak starter guitar and upgrading to a better amp.
#5
Wow, given that this is UG, I'd have thought people would have said to upgrade the amp first.

I have no contribution to the question, I've never played the guitar in question.
#7
Do you know why you want to upgrade? It seems to me that the GIO is a decent guitar and the Cube is a decent amp, so I can't see much sense in changing either unless you can specify the perceived shortcomings of what you already have. If it were mine, I'm guessing that the pickups would sound muddy and poorly defined and I would be thinking about swapping them, not buying a new guitar.

Can you take it down to a music store and compare it plugged in with some other guitars that take your fancy? That is what I do if I am shopping for an acoustic.
#8
A Gio is a low end instrument, you don't swap or upgrade anything from a low end. The pickup will be worth more than the guitar itself...

Having a better instrument (properly setted up) would be a better upgrade for you. You won't gain anything from a better amp if the sound comes from a low end pickup / instrument.

BTW
If you want a more specific advise, please post more specific needs.
#9
Quote by t1mman
A Gio is a low end instrument, you don't swap or upgrade anything from a low end. The pickup will be worth more than the guitar itself...

Having a better instrument (properly setted up) would be a better upgrade for you. You won't gain anything from a better amp if the sound comes from a low end pickup / instrument.

BTW
If you want a more specific advise, please post more specific needs.


I agree with this - never upgrade a low end instrument - it's not cost effective - save your money for a better guitar.
#10
I'm agreeing with buying a new guitar. The cube is pretty damn good. Although I must admit, like chrismendiola I am very surprised that this is the advice being given. Every music forum I've been on always says amp.
#11
Quote by ThrashingDeath
I'm agreeing with buying a new guitar. The cube is pretty damn good. Although I must admit, like chrismendiola I am very surprised that this is the advice being given. Every music forum I've been on always says amp.


The issue in that regard is that he has a bottom tier guitar - he needs to get up to something at least in the middle range before the advice goes the other way and the amp becomes more important.

I use a $2000 Mesa Boogie Lonestar Special amp as my main performance and recording amp and I also own the Roland Micro Cube for bringing to parties etc. The Roland Micro Cube is amazing compared to what was available as practice amps when I was younger,. I have no trouble recommending today's digital emulation amps for bedroom practicing - they sound great at low volume levels. I'd say until he starts jamming or performing he's probably good with the amp he has. It's at the higher volume levels where the tube amps take over the digital.
#12
Quote by chrismendiola
Wow, given that this is UG, I'd have thought people would have said to upgrade the amp first.

I have no contribution to the question, I've never played the guitar in question.

This isn't the pit.
#13
Quote by Pastafarian96
This isn't the pit.

From what I can tell, that whole joke comes from GG&A often gives that as a response. Regardless, I see it happen pretty often.
#14
That all being said, what kind of music do you listen to? What's your budget? Since you are upgrading from a starter you can probably start focusing on your specific needs.
#15
Quote by t1mman
A Gio is a low end instrument, you don't swap or upgrade anything from a low end. The pickup will be worth more than the guitar itself...

That's not true, lots of people upgrade low end stuff. My first guitar was a Fender Squier Stratocaster and I put EMG 81's in it which did cost double the guitar it's self, and now that thing can rip. Looking to upgrade the neck soon to get a maple fingerboard and make it feel smoother.
#16
Quote by t1mman
A Gio is a low end instrument, you don't swap or upgrade anything from a low end. The pickup will be worth more than the guitar itself...

Having a better instrument (properly setted up) would be a better upgrade for you. You won't gain anything from a better amp if the sound comes from a low end pickup / instrument.

BTW
If you want a more specific advise, please post more specific needs.


I have one upgrade in which the bridge pickup is worth about twice as much as the rest of the guitar. The guitar neck and body are just a fancy lumps of wood in which price has very little to do with playing quality, durability or anything else relevant to making music. You can get major improvements by changing the pickups and maybe other hardware.
#17
If you believe (and if your needs and playing styles fits this) that the neck and body don't affect much of the tonality and playability of an instrument, then yes! The pickup upgrade is the "only" valuable option.

But the type of wood, the type of shielding used, the bridge, the shape of the neck, the type of wood of the neck, even the type of (or lack of) joint between the neck and the body has a great influence over the tone and the feeling of an instrument.
#18
Quote by t1mman
If you believe (and if your needs and playing styles fits this) that the neck and body don't affect much of the tonality and playability of an instrument, then yes! The pickup upgrade is the "only" valuable option.

But the type of wood, the type of shielding used, the bridge, the shape of the neck, the type of wood of the neck, even the type of (or lack of) joint between the neck and the body has a great influence over the tone and the feeling of an instrument.


I'm not arguing against the effect of timber and other non-pickup hardware on feel and tone, but I am suggesting that it is small compared to pickups, and it isn't related to price. Even in acoustics, I can't see any useful correlation between price and tone/playability in standard factory guitars once you get past a couple of hundred $. What you pay for, IMO, is mostly mojo.
#19
I'd buy a new guitar. From my experience, the Gios just aren't that good, especially with some of the guitars being made today. Plus, if you buy second-hand, you can get a great deal.
#20
Quote by chrismendiola
From what I can tell, that whole joke comes from GG&A often gives that as a response. Regardless, I see it happen pretty often.


True, but the joke (and original bandwagon) stemmed from the fact that you'd be surprised the amount of times someone came in to the forum with a pretty decent guitar (like a LTD 400 series or better, say) and a starter pack amp, and asked what the problem was. Or people who just played at home who assumed that meant the amp was totally unimportant, or that the amp was just there to make you louder. Obviously in a situation like that, the amp is the problem.

Then it kind of became a running joke.

That doesn't mean we don't actually read the thread and give relevant advice for each specific case. (Or at least I do. I think. )

I agree with upgrading the guitar first unless you're planning on gigging.
#21
My 2¢: if a guitar holds tune well, feels good to you, and is otherwise solidly built, doing something like upgrading the pickups and other bits & bobs is worth it.

Otherwise, it's not worth it- get a new guitar.