#1
I am getting my first amplifier after messing about in amplitube.

I am mainly interested from sultans of swing-esque clean to jimi hendrix fuzz and acdc rock sound. An option for metal maybe later but not on my mind right now

Have a stratocaster type guitar.

I have my eye on roland cube and fender mustangs.

I heard mustangs don't have a built in looper but cubes do. what does this do and is a looper important?
#2
I like the Cube better for it's simple, straightforward interface and good tone in an inexpensive amp but others disagree. A looper is simply a built-in digital recorder so you can lay down a rhythm track "loop" and practice melodies and solos over it. Some find it useful.
"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
I love my Vox Valvetronix. I got the ADVT50 for $150 used at GC and had a VT15 for $90 off CL.
#4
Look around at local pawn shops, and check Craigslist. Never know, man. Might find a legendary Mesa full-stack being sold by some guy's wife in a divorce case or something!

Think outside the box and keep the excellent suggestions above as a backup plan.

I've got a close friend who pisses me off every time as he manages to find sick equipment for, like, NOTHING!!!

Classic Marantz hi-fi amp, $20. *bangs head on brick wall in fit of rage*
JBL PA speakers, $2400 value: $100. *shoots self dead out of complete frustration*

You never know, it's all I'm saying.
#5
^ Troof

I bought a 5150 for 280 Bucks once. It happens.

(https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1211467) Pics may be out of date....

Seriously though - Id look into getting a Epi Valve Jr. One knob, and then slowly start buying cheap stomp boxes as you expand your individual tonal characteristics. If you want it all up front, there are a lot of Peavey Tube Modelers that you can look at. But I'd suggest starting on low wattage tube amps, with external effects.
1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom (Black Beauty)
1980 Marshall JMP 2204
Last edited by Jonny Ryan Mac at Mar 12, 2015,
#6
A VOX VT series amp (you could find a 40+ used in good condition) is my suggestion. Roland Cubes are great too, but they might somewhat lack the versatility/experimentation possibilities of the VOX VT. If you want a looper, I suggest buying an inexpensive looper pedal or just recording your own tracks and playing them back. Although if you get a Cube, you should be able to use the on-board looper with a footswitch pedal.
#8
I second the pawn shop idea. I've found plenty deals at pawn shops, yard sales, resale shops, and a couple of things at a local weekly auction. Got my Fender Champ for $8 at a flea market in Houston, no tubes, no speaker. Tubes $1 each at another booth in the same flea market, speaker out of a Gorilla practice amp for a buck at a yard sale. I've been playing it since 1991...

1966 Harmony Bobkat $2 at a yard sale. 3 bucks for parts, been playing it 15 years.

Marshall Bluesbreaker Overdrive, $5 at a flea market. 10 band Boss EQ, Schaller volume pedal, no name Telecaster copy, Pro Co Rat, Peavey MX amp head, Arion Analog Delay, all yard sales or flea markets, nothing more than $5 except the MX amp, $60 for it and $100 to have it repaired. Can't find a 130 watt amp for that anywhere...Craigslist is usually overpriced, but you do find a deal now and then.

For what you're playing, look into Fender amps, Champ or Princeton would work, and the Peavey Classic 30 is pretty good for that kind of sound. I would get a good tube amp that gets good cleans and look for a good overdrive pedal. Also keep in mind anything over 10 watts is going to be freakin LOUD for bedroom practicing if you crank it up...that's why I love my Champ. Still loud, but it won't rattle the neighbor's windows...
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
Last edited by Paleo Pete at Mar 12, 2015,
#9
so mustang sucks?

I am only 14 years old living my parent who say that they don't trust used gear and the people in my country are very shady and untrustworthy anyway
#10
I have a mustang
awesome amp for what it is.
Quote by element4433
One time I watched a dog lick his own dick for twenty minutes.

Quote by Roc8995
No.


Well, technically it could be done, but only in the same way that you could change a cat into a hamburger. It's an unpleasant process, and nobody is happy with the result.
#11
One assumes, you will be looking to jam if not gig with other musicians, not least of which being that most annoying of animals "A Drummer". If it is you intention to use this amp then you will need something with a bit of clout, perhaps 20W minimum...probably nothing under that wattage (in your price range) will have the headroom otherwise and probably 20W is going to struggle when the idiot in the corner starts hitting things with any enthusiasm.

I don't think there is anything new of the wattages above that you are going to want to keep for years.

If you only want it for home use (small venues without a drummer or a drummer who can play quietly - I met one once) there are a good number of 5W valve amps which do just squeeze into your price range and, if you get a good one, may well stay with you for the rest of your life.

At 14 they wont inspire you though as they often have very simple controls, some no more than volume. And they may need pedals to get some serious screaming going.

However for Hendrix cleans they can be fabulous. They will teach you how to exploit the full tonal range of your guitar and your playing style. And they can be quite pedal friendly. If my son was learning electric I would buy him one (or give him one of my 4) without hesitation , but it might take him 20 years until he truly appreciates it. They don't give you anywhere to hide though, so while they could make you a great guitarist they could also frustrate you and even put you off completely (a bit like (some) Martin acoustics, sound awesome played well but can be a bastard to play well)

Not wishing to be argumentative I don't see reverb as a defining Hendrix feature. And it is surprising what different reverb characteristics you can get just by putting your amp somewhere else (its what Jimi Page and Jeff Lynne did/do). There are some stupidly cheap reverb pedals out there if it becomes an issue

I am assuming you are going to want to copy the sound of favourite records while learning them, so a simple 5W valve amp isn't going to do that for you - (Unless you are only copying Hendrix cleans, Clapton Derek and the Dominoes and a shed load of other edge of break up stuff). Does great Mark Knopfler though.

Mooer do a couple of 5W valve heads (you will also need a speaker cabinet) with gain which could give you some AC/DC type drive, and would squeeze into your price range just, subject to speaker.

In all this, YouTube is your friend. There are so many demos of so many things it should be easy to see if anything gets the sort of tones you are looking for.

A word of caution regarding modelling amps and amps with a myriad of settings, features, effects and other such things - you can waste an inordinate amount of time chasing exactly that right tone (and not necessary finding it) when you would be better employed just learning the notes (and much tone can come from playing not the amp at all) I've got that T-Shirt.

While I can understand your parents concern, $200 is very little to pay for a new guitar amplifier with any grunt but enough to potentially get you a second hand bargain...but it is a risk.

So your choices:-

A "good" simple low wattage valve amp, may stay with you for life, may put you off completely, wont really do gigs.

A cheap medium wattage amp from reputable manufacture - Marshall, Fender, Peavey, Vox Orange etc. - these will be the very bottom end of their product range, not the greatest of products, but should stay with you for a bit.

A no brand amp from somewhere which might work for a year, and might be great, and might be junk.

Hard though it sounds $200 is less than most will pay for a speaker cabinet without an amp and not much more than a higher end pedal. It isn't much to spend on an amp.

Look at what is available for your price and see if you can find reviews on Youtube and if they make the sounds you are looking for.

I have every confidence many more knowledgeable than me will say the above is rubbish but, at least, you will also then have the benefit of their experience ;-)
Please note: The above comments are based on my experience, and may represent my perception of that experience. This may not be accurate and, subject to the style of music you play, may be irrelevant or wrong.
#13
Quote by Will Lane
Used amps are fine as long as you are buying from someone who isn't sketchy, you know what you're buying and have researched the item, and you can test it out first before you buy.


Absolutely 100%.

There are amps out there which have been going for years. There are amps which are worth more second hand now than they were new because they are so sought after.

Generally second hand fairly new amps (from reputable manufacturers) are great value.

Previous versions of current amps aren't necessarily bad amps just because there is a MkII. Sometimes the MkII can be worse even.
Please note: The above comments are based on my experience, and may represent my perception of that experience. This may not be accurate and, subject to the style of music you play, may be irrelevant or wrong.
#14
Quote by John Sims

A word of caution regarding modelling amps and amps with a myriad of settings, features, effects and other such things - you can waste an inordinate amount of time chasing exactly that right tone (and not necessary finding it) when you would be better employed just learning the notes (and much tone can come from playing not the amp at all) I've got that T-Shirt.


This is some of the best advice - I got advice like this YEARS ago, and didn't listen. I got a 75watt Line 6 Spider III - with the Shortboard so that I could control all of those effects. i spent HOURS and hour and hours messing with effects.

I gigged with it, for a time, and it was ok. Sure, I had to deal with everyone busting my balls, but you know what, most musicians were accommodating, even friendly. Eventually, I upgraded, and then again, and again.

If I had it to do over again I would have bought a tiny tube head with one knob, and a MXR 10 band EQ, that would have been where I started - the basics. If you want to jam out, 15watts is the bare minimum to clear a loud drum set, and even then, you wont have much of a clean tone, because Clean Headroom at 15watts isn't easy, but you do get to feel that warm, fuzzy, tonal breakup - and believe me, that's what were all chasing.

best of luck to you - chase the good tone, the effects will come later - youd be surprised what you can do with no pedals.
1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom (Black Beauty)
1980 Marshall JMP 2204
#15
Buy a fender mustang 1.
You can download presets from fuse or make your own presets.
Have it 3-4 years and its great for for me.
Go for it!;-)
#16
Quote by John Sims
A word of caution regarding modelling amps and amps with a myriad of settings, features, effects and other such things - you can waste an inordinate amount of time chasing exactly that right tone (and not necessary finding it) when you would be better employed just learning the notes (and much tone can come from playing not the amp at all) I've got that T-Shirt.



Quote by Jonny Ryan Mac
This is some of the best advice - I got advice like this YEARS ago, and didn't listen. I got a 75watt Line 6 Spider III - with the Shortboard so that I could control all of those effects. i spent HOURS and hour and hours messing with effects.


I'm in complete agreement with both of these fine folks, you can spend so much time screwing with things to find the 'perfect' tone that you never learn how to play the damn guitar and if you had learned how to play guitar first, the perfect tone would have been far easier to find...

That being said, I'm not against modelers (quite the opposite in fact), I just recognize that they can be HUGE time sinks and actually detract from the overall process if not used with caution.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#17
Quote by John Sims
A word of caution regarding modelling amps and amps with a myriad of settings, features, effects and other such things - you can waste an inordinate amount of time chasing exactly that right tone (and not necessary finding it) when you would be better employed just learning the notes (and much tone can come from playing not the amp at all).
Firstly, good for you for caring about the community to make a long post c:

And I agree here. Amps like the Mustang and other interface-heavy modelers (maybe even including multi effects) are confusing with the broad amount of options and silly stuff you can do with it. The knobs don't always correlate to what the amp is putting out, and the vast amount of effects you can have on can sap your tone if you're not careful. Peavey's "WYSIWYG" interfaces seem to be somewhat better at this, but I haven't had much experience with them. Really if you don't know what you're doing, you'll be lost in the learning curve and the silly options for hours and you'll never really know what you need to sound good.

Modelers like the VOX VT and the Roland Cubes (or at least the older Cubes, I have a 20X) really just model gain structure, harmonic content, tonality, etc. of a given amp with a single knob. The rest of the amp use is straight forward. You have less versatility then with a Mustang which has a plethora of "tones", while the VT sacrifices that for better sounding, easier-to-use models ( and I think VT's take pedals better as well, especially if you get one with an effects loop c: ).

The VT's allow you to choose what amp model you want to sound like through 12-some knob positions, varying from VOX's own AC's to Fender Blackfaces and metal stacks. Then they have preamp/master volumes that correlate to that amp model and EQ as well. On board are some modulations that are available that are footswitchable, although I would use mostly separate effects in a live setting. The VT only has one (I think) amp preset that is save-able that will not correlate to the pot parameters. And I've actually compared the VT's AC15 directly beside an actual AC15, and the VT was darn close for where it is priced and the size.

Cubes are essentially the same, aside from being completely solid state and somewhat lower of a quality and versatility. Arguably, the Cubes might be able to put out the br00tz better than the VT.
Last edited by Will Lane at Mar 13, 2015,
#18
I bought a cheapy Marshall little solid state tiny thing. I use my Berhinger MIC 2200 into my Reaper with or without (w/out mostly) my Stealth USB, use various metal tones with the VSTs that are available free everywhere, and get an awesome, pulsing, breathing, warm tone. With just a little study and some applied ingenuity (mine comes from mostly necessity) you can get a great sound for just a few bucks. I buy my hardware (amps and the like) mostly from pawn shops, as they cost a bit too much to ship.
Good luck to you.