#1
I'm looking to upgrade my gear but I'm not sure what should be the priority; amp, guitar or pedals. Any suggestions that you could provide as to what gear to buy would also be much appreciated.

My budget is approximately £850. I could edge it up by £100 but I'd prefer not to and if I could save money anywhere by avoiding non-essentials, that would be fantastic.

I currently have an ESP LTD EC-10 guitar and a Roland Micro Cube amp.

I tend to play all sorts of rock music ranging from indie to the very edge of metal. My favourite artists for guitar are Muse, Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys, Black Sabbath, Nirvana etc.

I would be using my gear at home and for practising with my band mainly, being able to take it along to gigs would be great as well. I'm located in the UK so Denmark St or Andertons are definitely places I can go to acquire any new stuff and I certainly don't mind having second hand amps or pedals but no second hand guitars.

I don't have any strong preferences but after playing a few fender squire's and an ibanez or two, I surprisingly like my ESP more. In terms of amps, at the moment I like the idea of a Vox AC15C2 and pedals-wise, I was thinking of going for the Line 6 M5 Stompbox Modeler to encompass all of the different effects I may want to achieve, even if at a lower quality level. I am also considering getting the Boss DS1/Ibanez Tubescreamer TS808 Reissue, the Boss DD3 and the Boss TU3. However, should I be spending the money I would spend on that on a better amp or guitar?

Thanks for any suggestions/help you can give!
#2
I'd suggest an amp. For that you can get an ENGL if you're in europe.
Do you have an preferences?
Blindly I'd go for a Randall RD50 or RG1503H if you want metal and something like a Line 6 Vetta or Flextone if you want versatility.

Then after you have an amp you can shop for pedals. If you want something different than an Ibanez you could get a Maxon OD. They're essentially the same but Maxon sounds better to my ears.
The Boss Delay is all right, but I'd personally get an MXR carbon copy.
For tuner that boss is alright, you could also get a Hardwire polyphonic tuner which is, IMP, faster and easier to use.
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#3
Here's what I'd do: Amp first. If you don't mind second hand amps: look for used DSL401s(make sure date of manufacture is after 2003) or DSL40Cs. That'll leave you about 500 pounds.

Get a used line 6 m9 and stick it in the FX loop (for modulations, delay, reverb, etc.). That leaves you about 340 pounds. Don't get a DS-1, because the DSL401 has 3 channels to use so a distortion pedal is unnecessary.

For an overdrive (if you want to use it as a boost), I suggest firstly a used green rhino (you'll have about 290 pounds left), and if not a used Hardwire CM-2 (about 300ish left). TS808s are overpriced for what they are, so tube screamer clones are the way to go on this site.

With 290-300 pounds and based on your preference of a single cutaway ESP, I suggest the ESP EC 331, goes for roughly 300 new. All these prices are conversions from US dollars, doesn't account for shipping. And I forgot to account for a tuner, so if you want a tuner pick a CM-2 as your overdrive and then save up another 30ish pounds I guess. I've never had a separate tuner pedal so I can't give much input.
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Last edited by Maidenheadsteve at Feb 18, 2015,
#4
Quote by Bunkeneros
My budget is approximately £850. I could edge it up by £100 but I'd prefer not to and if I could save money anywhere by avoiding non-essentials, that would be fantastic.
you've picked the wrong hobby :p

The Cubes have an amazing sound at bedroom volumes. Not so much after that. So the first thing I suggest is an amp. The Marshall listed above would probably fit you well.

The second thing I suggest is a fuzz pedal. Out of the plethora of fuzzes, the Cloven Hoof by Earthquaker Devices, or a standard Big Muff I suggest. You might also want a middy overdrive, the Soul Food from EHX fits well.

For a new guitar, high-output single cutaway guitars are plentiful. Finding a higher-quality ESP shouldn't be too hard. +1 to the ESP EC 331.
#5
Quote by Will Lane
The Cubes have an amazing sound at bedroom volumes.


It is probably worth noting that the main use of the amp will be to play at home in my very small bedroom and anything loud will annoy my family. I expect that with a bigger and better amp, I will most likely be looking to use headphones.

Also, in my very limited knowledge of amps, I wanted to ask what is the advantage to getting the Marshall DSL401 to the Vox AC15C2. Lastly, I'm not necessarily looking for the best quality pedals; more so pedals (probably multi effects) that will give me the most space to customise my sound as I explore composition and writing, what are generally alt rock songs, for my band.
#6
Quote by Bunkeneros
It is probably worth noting that the main use of the amp will be to play at home in my very small bedroom and anything loud will annoy my family. I expect that with a bigger and better amp, I will most likely be looking to use headphones.

Also, in my very limited knowledge of amps, I wanted to ask what is the advantage to getting the Marshall DSL401 to the Vox AC15C2. Lastly, I'm not necessarily looking for the best quality pedals; more so pedals (probably multi effects) that will give me the most space to customise my sound as I explore composition and writing, what are generally alt rock songs, for my band.
You suggested in your OP that taking the amp along to gigs would be nice c: If you would rather save money until then, you don't have to get a gig-worthy amp until you start gigging. The Cube can get you by until then. Except you might be low on volume depending upon your Cube's abilities. But a new amp would be an investment, even with bedroom/practice volumes.

The Marshall is probably a lot tighter than the VOX. Tight metal is not an AC's strong point, although it can get there. The Marshall would be tighter, and can help you get strong Sabbath/Muse tones, as well as getting sludgy for Nirvana. The DSL40C can drop to 20 Watts, and is $549 USD restock on Musician's Friend.

If you want an multi-effects, you're going to have to get a good multi. Lower-end multis are okay, but if you want a sound you won't have to replace in a year or so, you need to pay professional. And I'm not too fond of digital distortion emulating analog distortion. So if you get a multi, get something like the Zoom G3 (lower-end) or a POD HD500X (higher-end), along with an analog fuzz pedal like the ones I listed at least.
Last edited by Will Lane at Feb 18, 2015,
#7
Good tube amps don't generally come with headphone outs. Most solid states do, in my experience.

I've recently become a Joyo/Harley Benton (same thing) pedal junkie. I can't see myself ever spending more than $30 on a pedal ever again. I would look there for your stomps.

Get the amp first. I agree with what these guys say above. You have a great budget for what you want to do. There's no reason you can't find what you want.
Check out Jet City amps, too if you can. Lots of lower wattage models that will still crank enough to keep up with the drums.
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#8
Quote by Will Lane
The Marshall is probably a lot tighter than the VOX. Tight metal is not an AC's strong point, although it can get there. The Marshall would be tighter, and can help you get strong Sabbath/Muse tones, as well as getting sludgy for Nirvana. The DSL40C can drop to 20 Watts, and is $549 USD restock on Musician's Friend.

... along with an analog fuzz pedal like the ones I listed at least.


Thank you for explaining the Marshall/Vox differences. My main worry is fast becoming finding something that will function for both gigs and for very low volume practising in my room. I am most likely going to go with your suggestion of a Big Muff as well. Thanks!
#9
unless the pedals are an absolutely integral part of your sound, i'd get a guitar and amp first and then add pedals later as and when you can afford them

most overdrives are tubescreamer clones so there's no need to fork out for an 808 reissue.

if you have to be really quiet in your bedroom it's debatable if a tube amp will be much better than your microcube (and it probably won't have headphone capability as ryan said).

however if you're planning on playing a lot with your band it might still be worth it. just you might not be able to use it in your room (or you might have to turn it down so much you think the microcube sounds better).
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
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#10
IMHO you should buy the amp based on the new things your current amp can't do - band practice and probably gigs. if you can rig it to work in the bedroom then great, otherwise just keep using the cube at home. don't buy something as a compromise of all three otherwise you'll probably end up with something which isn't perfect for any of them.
#11
^ that is definitely worth bearing in mind, good point- at least (or especially) if you plan to gig and play with the band enough to justify that. but assuming you are, yeah, that's a good point.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#12
Sounds like a great fit for a Line6 POD HD500X and a powered monitor speaker (wedge). This way you can dial in all the tones you want with the POD and use headphones at home and just plug it into the powered monitor for gigs.

You can reuse the POD for gigs if you ever get a "real" amp like the Marshall or VOX above and use the effects of the POD still for Overdrives, delays, etc. Or you can just plug the POD directly into the PA and be done with it. . .
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Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
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ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
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Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
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#13
JCM2000 DSL401 (post 2003) and a Bad Monkey. Cheap, versatile and good.
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