#1
Hey guys. I am, in fact, tired and frustrated seeing my Ibanez GRX70QA and Line 6 Spider IV 15W. Before I start, I want to mention that I am an amateur guitarist but I do know for sure that I want to continue to play the guitar. By amateur I mean that I read straight off from the tabs and know how to play riffs here and there. I'm self-taught. I had a hectic school schedule so I couldn't practice as much as I wanted to.

Anyways, I have $3,000 saved up. I really don't know how much to spend. In regards to the guitar, I am looking for an attractive and versatile one. One that can play rock/post-hardcore (Skillet/Thrice) to death metal (Arch Enemy, Nile) to black metal (Emperor, Behemoth), you name it. I don't know whether to get a guitar with a fixed bridge or with a floyd rose. Also, can you use a seven string guitar as a six string guitar because I was thinking of doing just that. I want to play some Deftones, Trivium, and Whitechapel, to mention but a few.

In terms of the amp, I am looking for any amp besides a Line 6 Spider.

Please help me out. There are so many questions that come to mind but I only mentioned a few. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

*** I'm a girl not a "he".
Last edited by PacificMyth at Jul 28, 2016,
#2
First of all, I have to applaud your fiscal restraint! I guess keeping your eyes on the prize helped?

$3K can get you a pro quality rig in the USA, especially if you're willing to shop used and/or online. In what general region do you live? It will help us figure out what deals are better for you.

The conventional wisdom around here- and I fully agree- is that the buik of your tone comes from your amp, and it should be the focus of your budget. 1/3-1/2 is typical...on budgets less beefy than yours. For metal, I'd look at Mesa, Orange and Peavey. I guarantee you others will come along with some more, excellent ideas.

Next major factor in tone shaping is the pedals your signal goes through. If your living situation allows you to crank your amp, you probably don't need a distortion pedal with a good high-gain amp. Everyone else does. I have an Empress Effects Heavy and an Emma Electronics PisdiYAUwat.

The last ingredient is the guitar. If you have the option, shop for your guitar more with your hands & body, not your eyes & ears. The guitar has to feel comfortable, or you'll hate playing it, no matter how good it looks or sounds. Besides, with the right rig- and maybe a pickup swap- you can make any guitar work for any genre. I'd also avoid a tremolo starting out. They're great, and some techniques require them, but they're also somewhat of a pain to deal with when stringing & tuning, especially for new guitarists. Among the "metal" brands, I personally prefer Fernandes. I also love the Dean Cadillac. But you can find killer axes from Ibanez, ESP/LTD, BC Rich, Shechter and all the other big names that cater to metal.

But if you look around, you'll find that many guitar makers- Agile, Godin, Carvin, Reverend, etc.- offer products with specs similar to those commonly found in the genre, some of which may be better deals, feel better, or are just better made. Like I said, shop more with your hands & body.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jul 23, 2016,
#3
You really need to find a store (or stores) nearby that have a large selection of guitars for you to try out. $3k budget will go a LONG way. You can get a really nice amp & pedals (or a good digital system & FRFR) and still have money left over for a good mid-high end guitar.
Fleet of MiJ Ibanez
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Peavey & EVH Wolfgangs
Eclipse
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Kemper KPA
5150 III 50w & cabs
#4
If you're not gigging or jamming with friends then a $1500 amp is going to be wasted sitting in your bedroom or living room. I would buy a good guitar that you can keep and buy an amp scaled for what you need for now (that shouldn't cost more than 1500). Put the rest of the money aside and practice. When you need a bigger amp you'll have a better idea what you like and what it'll need to do and you'll have the money.
Moving on.....
#5
Quote by KenG
If you're not gigging or jamming with friends then a $1500 amp is going to be wasted sitting in your bedroom or living room. I would buy a good guitar that you can keep and buy an amp scaled for what you need for now (that shouldn't cost more than 1500). Put the rest of the money aside and practice. When you need a bigger amp you'll have a better idea what you like and what it'll need to do and you'll have the money.


That's actually a decent, valid point.

OTOH, my personal caveat is that it is your money. If you really like the sound of of a pricey amp, and it doesn't cause you financial hardship, why not buy what you like? I own a Fender HRD, and I'm looking at some pricey ($1000+) amps for heavier music...as a non-gigging player. Besides, if- unlike me- you're young enough that you might join a band, buying the right pricey amp may mean not having to buy another one to gig with.
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!
#6
Quote by dannyalcatraz

Next major factor in tone shaping is the pedals your signal goes through. If your living situation allows you to crank your amp, you probably don't need a distortion pedal with a good high-gain amp. Everyone else does. I have an Empress Effects Heavy and an Emma Electronics PisdiYAUwat.


Nah unless you have to play really, really quietly, you don't need a distortion pedal with a high gain amp. the whole point of the high gain amp is that you're using the amp for the distortion. even (maybe especially) in situations where you can't crank it to get power tube distortion (in fact for most more modern high gain tones you actively don't want power tube distortion- though that's not to say they generally don't sound better turned up a bit).

granted, an overdrive pedal used as a boost (pedal drive low, volume high) will help you to get saturation at lower volume levels, and that is very useful at low volumes. you don't have to pay much for that, though, there are tons of tubescreamer clones around for cheap, or a boss sd1 or similar isn't too dear either.

Quote by KenG
If you're not gigging or jamming with friends then a $1500 amp is going to be wasted sitting in your bedroom or living room. I would buy a good guitar that you can keep and buy an amp scaled for what you need for now (that shouldn't cost more than 1500). Put the rest of the money aside and practice. When you need a bigger amp you'll have a better idea what you like and what it'll need to do and you'll have the money.


It does depend on exactly how quietly you have to play, but if you can get up to loud tv volumes or even a bit higher, if a $1500 amp sounds better than cheaper options, I'm not sure how you'd qualify that as "wasted". As long as it's better, it's arguably worth it (as long as you can easily afford it, at least). You don't have to use all of a product's features for it to be "justified", just as long as it's better than the other options for the way you use it.
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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
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Jul 23, 2016,
#7
I'm another one who doesn't think that a good amp is a waste in a home-use situation. I would like something like a Mesa Transatlantic, for example, I find it helps to think of the whole package as the instrument, guitar, pickups, pedals, amp, not just the fancy lump of wood, whose attractiveness can beguile us into thinking that it is more important than it is.

I wouldn't spend as much as you are planning to, but significantly more would go on the amp than on the guitar.
Last edited by Tony Done at Jul 23, 2016,
#8
I'm looking hard at Transatlantics myself. Seriously nice, and surprisingly affordable.
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!
#9
Well I looked at Sweetwater and between 500-750 there's quite a few nice tube combos (Vox, Marshall, Fender, Orange, Blackstar etc) up to 40WRMS. All giggable so I'm not sure what everyone is suggesting (4x12's or half stacks maybe? or 100W amps?). With his budget I'd be spending a little more than that on a good guitar that wouldn't need any upgrades and come standard with a HSC. I'm not saying a 2K guitar of course but more than the decent "basic" stuff that usually has so-so PUs, a gig bag if you're lucky and knockoff or inexpensive HW and electronics. A guitar of that caliber is a keeper long term.
Moving on.....
#10
Quote by Tony Done
I'm another one who doesn't think that a good amp is a waste in a home-use situation. I would like something like a Mesa Transatlantic, for example, I find it helps to think of the whole package as the instrument, guitar, pickups, pedals, amp, not just the fancy lump of wood, whose attractiveness can beguile us into thinking that it is more important than it is.

I wouldn't spend as much as you are planning to, but significantly more would go on the amp than on the guitar.


agreed, but you also have to watch you don't overcompensate and act like the guitar doesn't matter at all. I agree with you- look at the big picture, i.e. all the gear.

Quote by KenG
Well I looked at Sweetwater and between 500-750 there's quite a few nice tube combos (Vox, Marshall, Fender, Orange, Blackstar etc) up to 40WRMS. All giggable so I'm not sure what everyone is suggesting (4x12's or half stacks maybe? or 100W amps?). With his budget I'd be spending a little more than that on a good guitar that wouldn't need any upgrades and come standard with a HSC. I'm not saying a 2K guitar of course but more than the decent "basic" stuff that usually has so-so PUs, a gig bag if you're lucky and knockoff or inexpensive HW and electronics. A guitar of that caliber is a keeper long term.


i'm not sure the wattage matters that much- he's playing heavy stuff. and a lot of those tube combos you mentioned aren't really suitable for those tones.

i agree though that he shouldn't ignore the guitar- definitely get something good with that budget.

however, how come a big amp is a waste if he only plays at home but a hard case isn't? I only play at home and believe me I get an awful lot more use out of my "wasteful" amps than I do out of my hard cases (which basically just sit there taking up room and gathering dust).
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?
#11
Well Dave a hard case is good at home too! I had a MIA '93 Strat + I foolishly kept on its stand that eventually got a nice big chip out of the (black) finish down to the wood from someone knocking it over! Now I have LPs which definitely don't need to be knocked off their stands! A case also protects the guitar from major humidity changes too. If the OP should ever venture out he'll have a case to do this as well.
As for the amp I just mentioned some of the more recognizable names in that range, adding an extra $250 (max budget 1K) gives you something like 51 choices and I know Sweetwater doesn't carry everything so there are likely even more than that including brands they don't carry. of course I'm no expert on "modern metal" but from what I've heard "massive distortion" seems to be the main goal.
Moving on.....
#12
Quote by KenG
If the OP should ever venture out he'll have a case to do this as well.


you could say that about the amp too
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?
#13
Just to be 100% clear, you DON'T need to spend your entire budget...or anything near that to get a great rig. Good used amps & guitars can be found for $650 (each) or so, +$200 or so for new ones. IOW, 50% of your budget may be sufficient to make you happy.
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!
#14
$3k is a heck of a budget at this point but, here's my input:

Traditional Amp Option - Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster Combo - Used in good condition for < $1,500 if you look hard enough. This amp will cover Fender cleans, blues, classic rock, GnR, Hair Bands, and basically all types of "metal" as it's the darkest, meatiest sounding of the dual rec Vintage and Modern modes.

Modeling Amp Option - See if you can find a deal on an Axe FX or Kemper and pair it with some monitor speakers.

Guitar - Good deal on a used USA Jackson or a new Pro Series Jackson of your shape preference.

Spend the rest on a good overdrive/boost pedal (Budda Zenman), tuner, delay, chorus, etc., etc. or a good multi fx unit if you go with a traditional amp.
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. . .
#15
Quote by metalmingee
$3k is a heck of a budget at this point but, here's my input:

Traditional Amp Option - Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster Combo - Used in good condition for < $1,500 if you look hard enough. This amp will cover Fender cleans, blues, classic rock, GnR, Hair Bands, and basically all types of "metal" as it's the darkest, meatiest sounding of the dual rec Vintage and Modern modes.

Modeling Amp Option - See if you can find a deal on an Axe FX or Kemper and pair it with some monitor speakers.

Guitar - Good deal on a used USA Jackson or a new Pro Series Jackson of your shape preference.

Spend the rest on a good overdrive/boost pedal (Budda Zenman), tuner, delay, chorus, etc., etc. or a good multi fx unit if you go with a traditional amp.


+1 I love my Roadster 2X12 it is a truly versatile amp!
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Last edited by Evilnine at Jul 25, 2016,
#16
Quote by metalmingee
$3k is a heck of a budget at this point but, here's my input:

Traditional Amp Option - Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster Combo - Used in good condition for < $1,500 if you look hard enough. This amp will cover Fender cleans, blues, classic rock, GnR, Hair Bands, and basically all types of "metal" as it's the darkest, meatiest sounding of the dual rec Vintage and Modern modes.

Modeling Amp Option - See if you can find a deal on an Axe FX or Kemper and pair it with some monitor speakers.

Guitar - Good deal on a used USA Jackson or a new Pro Series Jackson of your shape preference.

Spend the rest on a good overdrive/boost pedal (Budda Zenman), tuner, delay, chorus, etc., etc. or a good multi fx unit if you go with a traditional amp.


That's some really great advice. I might just do that.
#17
Well before you open your wallet, try everything you possibly can. Not going to argue against MM's suggestions, but maybe Jacksons & Mesas are not what you will prefer. Then again, maybe you will
Fleet of MiJ Ibanez
Couple of Balls
Peavey & EVH Wolfgangs
Eclipse
Fender HM Strat
Kemper KPA
5150 III 50w & cabs