#1
I play lots of Metal, Metalcore, Post Hardcore, and Hard Rock and I am looking to upgrade from my Fender Mustang III V.2 to a Tube amp. I was looking at a number of brands and I am leaning towards a Randall Thrasher head but have also looked at Blackstar, ENGL, Peavey, and Marshall. I also have no idea what brand of cabinet to get. I've heard from some sources that the brand does not matter, and from others that the brand can play a huge role.
#2
Where are you located and what's your budget?
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#3
A few words of advice - dont get too overly caught up in which amp you should pick. A big part of what makes the metalcore/hardcore sound is the whole mix and production process. Your biggest concerns are really What brand(s) you like (i like engl), what budget, and what level of flexibility/versatility you need.

Most brands offer an amp model that at least has a decent clean channel and a very good distortion channel for under $1000, especially if youre willing to buy used. But I would strongly recommend that you keep some extra budget handy so you can grab a tube screamer, a noise gate, and a good speaker cab.
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#4
metalmingee I am located in Maryland, D.C. area. And my budget is under $1000 for a head and preferably above 40 watts. I currently have other stuff I have to buy but I'm putting a good amount of money away every paycheck for an amp.
#5
Watterboy Thanks for the advice man. I am currently saving on the cash I can and I normally buy used gear. I do like having versatility but I need the gain that is required for metalcore and metal
#6
A 6505 is pretty much the metalcore standard. There are oodles of options though.
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#7
benjamin0016

Well a used 6505+ puts you well on the way. I've never played a Thrasher or Engl (Savage? Invader II?) in person but they should get you there as well. The Peavey 6505 family is a tier down in cost though and readily available used.

For $1000 I'd buy a used 6505+ head and a Mesa Recto 212. If you don't use a loop or are good with a soldering iron and want to save even more then go for the 6505+ 112 combo and throw a Celestion Vintage 30 or WGS Veteran 30 in it.

The 6505MH may even work for you. There's one in Fredericksburg for $350. Pair that with a used Mesa Recto 212 cabinet with V30's and you should still be way under budget.

If that's a hard budget I'd keep some in reserve to replace tubes, get the noise gate, tube screamer pedal, etc.
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#8
Are there any specific bands whose sound you like or would like to use as a point of reference? All the amps you mentioned have been used for metalcore (except for maybe the Thrasher, I can't confirm that one, not that it couldn't do it). I use a Mark IV to play a bit of metalcore every now and then. I've also used a JCM900 SL-X, a 6505, a Rectifier, Kranks, etc. Point being, there are many amps that could do it, so if you could give us a bit more to go on we could hone the recommendations a bit.

Out of the ones you mentioned, I'd honestly go for the Thrasher. That thing is fucking brutal.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#9
6505 or 5150 is pretty much the budget standard.

Mesa Dual or Triple Recto will work great as well.

You could look at Peavey XXX and JSX with a boost as well.

The older Randall modular MTS heads might be worth investigating.

Bogner Ubershall and Fryette Sig X are nice, also the Orange Dark Terror.

I use Mesa Mini Recto or a boosted Marshall JCM900 or Orange Tiny Terror for my metalcore/thrash/death and black metal compositions.
#10
6505 or the plus model plus a Mesa Recto cab or a Marshall 1960 with V30s are what the metalcore/hardcore kids around me want. I would personally look for something else head wise. I've been curious about the thrasher myself.
Last edited by Liaztraht at Jun 21, 2016,
#11
dementiacaptain Dangerkids, Memphis May Fire, Crown The Empire, The Amity Affliction, The Devil Wears Prada, Ice Nine Kills, Amaranthe, I See Stars, The Word Alive, Blessthefall, Stitched Up Heart, Escape The Fate (their new music has Peavey in it and I like their current sound with the new guitarist.). I also wouldn't mind getting a Zakk Wylde, Meshuggah, Killswitch Engage, Avenged Sevenfold, Atreyu, sound but mainly the first bands I named.
Last edited by benjamin0016 at Jun 22, 2016,
#13
Quote by benjamin0016
dementiacaptain Dangerkids, Memphis May Fire, Crown The Empire, The Amity Affliction, The Devil Wears Prada, Ice Nine Kills, Amaranthe, I See Stars, The Word Alive, Blessthefall, Stitched Up Heart, Escape The Fate (their new music has Peavey in it and I like their current sound with the new guitarist.). I also wouldn't mind getting a Zakk Wylde, Meshuggah, Killswitch Engage, Avenged Sevenfold, Atreyu, sound but mainly the first bands I named.


The 6505 would be perfect for most of that, and it would still be pretty good for the rest. It works out nicely because it tends to be the cheapest option. I'd look into finding a used 6505 or 5150, or the +/II model. If you want more versatility and a gain tone somewhere in the same ballpark, the EVH 5150 III would be good. You could probably find the 100W used and definitely the 50W.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#14
Quote by dementiacaptain
The 6505 would be perfect for most of that, and it would still be pretty good for the rest. It works out nicely because it tends to be the cheapest option. I'd look into finding a used 6505 or 5150, or the +/II model. If you want more versatility and a gain tone somewhere in the same ballpark, the EVH 5150 III would be good. You could probably find the 100W used and definitely the 50W.
Beware the 50 watt 5150 III has a volume drop issue between the green channel and blue channel. As far as I know the 100 watt version doesn't have this issue.
Gibson Les Paul 60s Tribute
Jackson King V
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Ampeg VH140C
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MXR ZW-44 Overdrive
Dunlop ZW-45 Wah
Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor
Digitech JamMan Solo XT
Peavey Vypyr VIP 1
#15
Quote by benjamin0016
diabolical I'm not crazy about Orange or Mesa.


Do you have a hand-on try of these amps? Especially the Mesa should be right in your alley. You need overdrive in front of both of them to tighten them up, if sag is what you're complaining about.

BTW - someone mentioned EVHIII, that should work very good as well.
#16
diabolical

+1

ben - what models have you tried? its pretty hard to not like a mesa rec. orange may be a little more season to taste, but their tube models are awesome. just curious.
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#17
diabolical trashedlostfdup A few places I gigged had Orange Amps. I also used a Tiny Terror and Duel Dark. I was not very impressed. I also used a Mesa Dual Rectifier and for the price tag, I didn't feel that it was very for my needs. I'm going to stop by the guitar center near me and see if they have a 6505 because I'm starting to lead towards that.
#18
I am also planning to get a Schecter 7 string and so the Thrasher would also be good because of the low and high gain controls.
#19
I feel that you're not going to get much advice on the Thrasher just because its a relatively rare amp, especially compared to a 5150/6505 or Dual Rec. I know that Overkill uses Thrashers and they use it tight and scooped.

If you do get the Thrasher be sure to let us know! If you want super tight, you'll want a boost or tubescreamer of some sort with any of these I'm guessing. Try keeping the bass set lower than you think to keep it tight.
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#20
Yeah I'd love to hear some first hand experience, but the newer Randall models are definitely hard to come by.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
#21
Peavey 6505/5150
Laney Ironheart
Mesa Dual Rectifier
Marshall JVM

To be honest any high gain amp will get you the tone you want, but the 6505/5150 is pretty much the amp of Metalcore and modern metal in general. I would definitely go for the older made in USA ones used though, Peavey have really shat on everyone and fired all their USA staff to move production to China to increase their profit margin, they still charge the same price new for cheaper made in China champs as their old quality made in USA amps and were in general rally shitty to their employees (you can read a lot about this online)

I personally refuse to support Peavey as a company now, due to not agreeing with their buisness tactics. (My Vypyr was used).
It's an annoying situation for me personally because I like the tones of their products but refuse to support the company by buying their products new.
My Gear:
Ibanez Jet King 2
Ibanez RGDIX7 MPB
Ibanez GRG 7221
OLP John Petrucci
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Squier Stratocaster (modified)
Harley Benton CLD-41S (Acoustic)

Peavey Vypyr 30.

Boss CH-1 Super Chorus
Boss DD-3 Digital Delay
Boss FRV-1 '63 Fender Reverb
#22
I dunno how ENGLs are priced in the US, but i would also recommend a used Powerball or meybe the Savage. I recently got a Powerball 1 and its probably the best amp i have played. Its tight as hell, so i dont need to use any overdrive pedals, and the integrated noisegate works flawlesly. The mids are really pronounced on it tho, so if you are looking for that scooped sound, then maybe its not for you. But i think its worth a look anyway.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#23
Quote by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma
Peavey 6505/5150
Laney Ironheart
Mesa Dual Rectifier
Marshall JVM

To be honest any high gain amp will get you the tone you want, but the 6505/5150 is pretty much the amp of Metalcore and modern metal in general. I would definitely go for the older made in USA ones used though, Peavey have really shat on everyone and fired all their USA staff to move production to China to increase their profit margin, they still charge the same price new for cheaper made in China champs as their old quality made in USA amps and were in general rally shitty to their employees (you can read a lot about this online)

I personally refuse to support Peavey as a company now, due to not agreeing with their buisness tactics. (My Vypyr was used).
It's an annoying situation for me personally because I like the tones of their products but refuse to support the company by buying their products new.


I agree with this 100% - any high gain amp in the $1000 range with the right EQ is going to work. When people say they want a "Metalcore, Grindcore, Thrash, etc" amp - it's a misnomer, because there is no Metalcore amp - at least, not in my mind (I suppose there could be, hell... there's a Metal Zone pedal). What I think you're looking for isn't so much an amp, as it is a style of play - and a style of EQ - rather than a complete style of equipment. There's a reason that you can use a Les Paul to play just about any kind of style. I'm sure that you dont want a Roland Jazz Chorus (a Great Amp) or a Twin Reverb, but I honestly think that you'd be happy with any of the above mentioned heads. ENGL, Marshall, Peavey, Mesa. So my advice, pick the one that you like, based on yoru feel and dynamics with it, and you'll find that those high gain amps can do just about anything. One amp I usually throw out as a great High Gain Budget option is the Marshall JCM 900 MK III - you can get a 50w head (select-able to 25w) for about $600-$700 used depending on Guff. The SL-X is also a great high gain option, if you stay in the Marshall category. You get some good speaks, and down-tune, you should be chugging quite nicely.
1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom (Black Beauty)
1980 Marshall JMP 2204
Last edited by Jonny Ryan Mac at Jul 1, 2016,
#24
Love my randall
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Squier Classic Vibe 1970s Precision Bass
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#25
Quote by diabolical
6505 or 5150 is pretty much the budget standard.

You could look at Peavey XXX and JSX with a boost as well.
the jsx will easily get you there with out the boost also you'd still want some kind of 808 whatever to boost the 5150
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#26
Quote by benjamin0016
diabolical trashedlostfdup A few places I gigged had Orange Amps. I also used a Tiny Terror and Duel Dark. I was not very impressed. I also used a Mesa Dual Rectifier and for the price tag, I didn't feel that it was very for my needs. I'm going to stop by the guitar center near me and see if they have a 6505 because I'm starting to lead towards that.


you can like what you like, but i have a hard time thinking you spent enough time with the amps if they were just on the back-line.

mesa can be especially hard to set up in a few minutes.
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2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#27
Quote by losing battle
the jsx will easily get you there with out the boost also you'd still want some kind of 808 whatever to boost the 5150


+1 love my JSX. it is stupid versatile, nice cleans, more gain than you would ever need. if i had to pick either my JSX or my 5150 for live playing i would go for the JSX every time. alhough it is essential to note that it doesn't do the 5150 tone, but is still wicked.

also i would pick a JSX over one of the 5153's, nine times out of ten.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
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2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
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Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#28
Again I will say 5150/6505. They aren't my choice of amp but will get you most of those tones easily. Find one used, grab a used tubescreamer or boss sd1 (which is 50ish new). Then find a cheap used cab. Try the head with the cabs in your budget.
I have a b52 ls412a I got for a hundred bucks and it slays. Its the one with a metal grill and silver logo.

Max you should pay on a set up like that is 850 and can put the rest of that budget towards tubes or a guitar or something. If you can find the head for around 650 then do it. I've seen them on guitar center used that low.

Happy amp hunting!
#29
Well Peavey was the last bastion of "USA made" at that price point, Marshall and Vox had long ago ditched their staff to China and Peavey held off much longer. The product quality is not the same in both manufacturers, I prefer older Peavey and Marshall and at this time they are not getting the insane upmarket prices on their more popular current products so it is a good deal to find a USA-made JSX or 6505 or Brit-made Marshall JCM2000 or JVM.
#30
I agree on Peavey's business ethic , they should have thought about it a little harder ........ I'll pay may more (gladly) for quality and made in the US ..... Peavey should have focused more on quality product , kept the quality employee's and just raised the price ..... you won't see Mesa moving to China anytime soon and it doesn't seem to hurt Mesa at all , Peavey should have paid attention
#31
Quote by Fumble fingers
I agree on Peavey's business ethic , they should have thought about it a little harder ........ I'll pay may more (gladly) for quality and made in the US ..... Peavey should have focused more on quality product , kept the quality employee's and just raised the price ..... you won't see Mesa moving to China anytime soon and it doesn't seem to hurt Mesa at all , Peavey should have paid attention
As far back as I can remember, Peavey has been more of the budget amp company where it isn't cheap, but it also wasn't as high as Mesa made products. They were good middle budget amps. If they would've kept their manufacturing in the United States, they would have never lasted in the market. They would've raised their prices that would put them closer to the Mesa/Orange/Marshall market, in which they would've gotten buried. Seriously, could you really see yourself buying a 6505 over a Mesa for the same price? People would be buying Mesas, Marshalls, Oranges, and Fenders all day long because why get the imitation when you can get the real thing for the same price?
Gibson Les Paul 60s Tribute
Jackson King V
Peavey Valveking 100
Ampeg VH140C
Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner
MXR ZW-44 Overdrive
Dunlop ZW-45 Wah
Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor
Digitech JamMan Solo XT
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#32
they could have also stayed put and picked there game up along with the price ..... should have had a great clean channel to go along with the great gain channels all those years ..... my 6505 plus was great for gain but the clean was just so blah I couldn't use it with my band for about 5 or 6 songs , I use Mesa's DR and MK V now and sometimes a little Carvin V3m for really small gigs , but we'll never know now what could have been
#33
Quote by Fumble fingers
they could have also stayed put and picked there game up along with the price ..... should have had a great clean channel to go along with the great gain channels all those years ..... my 6505 plus was great for gain but the clean was just so blah I couldn't use it with my band for about 5 or 6 songs , I use Mesa's DR and MK V now and sometimes a little Carvin V3m for really small gigs , but we'll never know now what could have been
Sure we do. It's the EVH 5150 III, which is twice the price, and still made in Mexico. It would be even more expensive if it was made in the USA. Has anyone had any bad experiences with the newer Peavey products? I personally haven't, and I haven't heard of a significant amount of complaints. At least not like Bugera and Blackstar.

Honestly, Peavey were struggling as it was without paying for R&D to make improvements on the 6505 when they already had the XXX and JSX, which were amps that could achieve high gain with nice cleans. To increase their manufacturing costs at the sales they were already getting would not have increased profits. It would have lessened them. Now lets look at the fact that Peavey would've made improvements to the 6505 line, manufactured them in the USA, and most definitely would've had to significantly increase the price. They are not only competing with Mesa, Marshall, etc, but are now directly competing with EVH, who has the benefit of the Van Halen name at a similar price point. I don't see a scenario where Peavey would have come out on top.
Gibson Les Paul 60s Tribute
Jackson King V
Peavey Valveking 100
Ampeg VH140C
Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner
MXR ZW-44 Overdrive
Dunlop ZW-45 Wah
Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor
Digitech JamMan Solo XT
Peavey Vypyr VIP 1
#34
It really isn't that. Peavey did a whole restructure and dropped their artist endorsement dept and dealer chain.
They haven't dropped prices, the same amps sell for more and are Chinese made with cheaper components and higher price tag.

It is corporate greed, EVH got better deal for his name in Fender's team and Fender moved production to Mexico. The EVH amps used to burn the first two years and there were quite a few complaints. They were just as bad as Bugera at the beginning.

BTW, Marshall are Chinese based (owned by Korg) but haven't really passed on the savings to the consumer.
No wonder when people want real Marshall, they usually get Friedman.
#35
Did the price go up? As I recall the Peavey 5150 and subsequent 6505 have stayed pretty constant in the new amp market. The point of restructuring isn't to lower prices. It's to increase profits, especially during a time where the company is dying. When a company is looking at failure, there are a few options. Raise prices, lower costs, or a combination of the two. They chose to lower costs by dropping endorsements, lowering material costs and lowering manufacturing costs. Had they lowered the prices along with it, very little difference would be made. Any rise in price over the years is probably due to inflation.

Also, I think you may be mistaken. Marshall is still based in England, and i don't think they have any affiliation with Korg. You might be thinking of Vox, but either way, Korg is not Chinese. Korg is a Japanese company. When it comes down to Chinese manufacturing, it all depends on the quality control. Good QC will turn out good products, but bad QC will turn out bad products.
Gibson Les Paul 60s Tribute
Jackson King V
Peavey Valveking 100
Ampeg VH140C
Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner
MXR ZW-44 Overdrive
Dunlop ZW-45 Wah
Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor
Digitech JamMan Solo XT
Peavey Vypyr VIP 1
#36
Apparently Korg and Marshall have divorced now, but they were servicing the USA market exclusively:
http://www.musicincmag.com/News/2010/100819/100819_korg.html
http://mitatechs.org/node/3479

Korg owns Vox and yes, they're Japanese company but barely anything from their product line is made in Japan.
#37
Yeah, it seems that China is cornering the market in manufacturing, regardless of where companies are based. At least we'll always have the used market for the good stuff.
Gibson Les Paul 60s Tribute
Jackson King V
Peavey Valveking 100
Ampeg VH140C
Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner
MXR ZW-44 Overdrive
Dunlop ZW-45 Wah
Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor
Digitech JamMan Solo XT
Peavey Vypyr VIP 1
#38
Yeah, I prefer to buy the USA made Peavey stuff, it is rock solid and virtually unbreakable. I toured with a Peavey Classic 50/50 power amp and a Sansamp PSA-1 from 2004 to 2012, no issues whatsoever. I still have the amp, had to do one change of tubes and no maintenance and was on for about 10 hours per week.

I bought a Peavey Windsor (China) as backup amp in 2010 and it burned on the first month, luckily repaired under warranty and hasn't had issues since.
Last edited by diabolical at Jul 4, 2016,
#39
i like my USA peavey stuff as well. hard to beat.

i don't pay attention to much new stuff to be honest. the last ten or so amps and ten or so guitars have been used, and i think i have only bought on new pedal ever. but i do favor USA, Europe, and Japan over other countries of origin.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/