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#1
hello all, ill start by saying i do not play guitar my son does he is 16. he has been playing for a few years now and im looking to upgrade his rig for him for christmas. currently he has a fender mustang 1 modeling amp and a fender squire affinity strat thats upgraded with wilconsin humbucker pickups. i was going to get him a good soid guitar i was looking at the washburn parallaxe line. then a few friends told me i should upgrade his amp first with a nice tube amp. so i was looking at the peavey 6505+ 112 combo. or the randall diavlo rd20 head with a small cab. now i only am going to do 1 or the other either guitar or amp upgrade. he plays all hard rock and metal. whats everyone here opinions on what i should upgrade first based on what he currently has. and if its the amp what do you think of my two ive narrowed it down to and which one is best? i know solid states are cheaper but tube amps would be better right? thanks in advance for the help !
Last edited by jw4th at Nov 18, 2016,
#2
a better amp is always a good place to start. if he plays modern metal then the 6505+ combo is about as good as it gets without spending considerably more. I'd suggest looking into an overdrive pedal to go with the amp. from there perhaps a delay or wah. has his guitar been in for a setup by a good tech? a good setup can do wonders for a guitar.

I guess a budget and where you are would help get better answers
#3
Quote by monwobobbo
a better amp is always a good place to start. if he plays modern metal then the 6505+ combo is about as good as it gets without spending considerably more. I'd suggest looking into an overdrive pedal to go with the amp. from there perhaps a delay or wah. has his guitar been in for a setup by a good tech? a good setup can do wonders for a guitar.

I guess a budget and where you are would help get better answers


thanks, no his guitar has not ever been to a tech actually. i wouldnt even know where to take it other then guitar center? my budget prob around 700 thats one of the reasons i picked those two amp options i was also looking at a hughes & kettner tubemiester 18. my thoughts on a guitar first was that its only a 100$ guitar with upgraded pickups i thought maybe a nice guitar would make his playing better with a beter built guitar but most people telling me to ditch the modeling amp and get a tube amp and then upgrade the guitar second.
#4
well his amp isn't all that bad but it's not really ideal for metal (not fender's forte). a good setup wlll improve the guitars playability a fair bit so I recommend it . keep in mind that with electric guitar the amp is the foundation of your sound so It matters little how great your guitar is if the amp isn't up to showing it off to its best abilities. a pickup upgrade can certainly improve the sound as well so I think for now he will be good to go. perhaps a new guitar next year.
#5
Quote by monwobobbo
well his amp isn't all that bad but it's not really ideal for metal (not fender's forte). a good setup wlll improve the guitars playability a fair bit so I recommend it . keep in mind that with electric guitar the amp is the foundation of your sound so It matters little how great your guitar is if the amp isn't up to showing it off to its best abilities. a pickup upgrade can certainly improve the sound as well so I think for now he will be good to go. perhaps a new guitar next year.


great thanks for your input yeah the pickups made a huge improvement we did those a year ago.
#6
You can make the 6505+ combo sound awesome with a combination of several mods. You can start by putting a new speaker in it and putting better tubes in it, to replacing components in the preamp, power amp, effects loop and EQ. There's a ton of mods out there for that amp and man can they be made to sound good. They also take very well to clean boosts.

Quote by Axelfox
Please understand how little we as a community care
#8
I'd make sure to go to a store with him though and not just get what we think is best. Explain that you've asked for advice with people that know their stuff and what they suggested, but let him have a choice. He's 16 and probably has an idea of what he likes and what he doesn't and might have already looked around online for a potential upgrade or whatever.

I'd agree with the rest here that a 6505 would be right up his alley. And also props for getting an awesome gift for your son! I'm sure he'll be over the moon with whatever he gets in the end. :-)
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#9
thanks for all the advice, does guitar center do tuneup or setups on guitars by any chance?
#10
Quote by jw4th
thanks for all the advice, does guitar center do tuneup or setups on guitars by any chance?

They do, but they're not guitar techs. They're salespeople that have been given guitars and a couple of allen wrenches and have been offered money to have at it with very little background knowledge of what they're actually doing.

The best thing to do is for your son to actually know how to set guitars up himself so he can set the guitar up for exactly his needs and so he doesn't have to pay someone else to set up his guitar incorrectly, which is a waste of money. They're not difficult to understand and they don't require any special tools. A few quick google searches will point you in the right direction.
Quote by Axelfox
Please understand how little we as a community care
#11
SOME Guitar Centers have actual techs- the one nearest me does- but you're better off finding a reputable "Mom & Pop Shop" for such services.
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!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#13
Hey, you're awesome for supporting your son's interest in music!
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!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#15
he plays chevelle, avenge sevenfold, godsmack 3 days grace(the older stuff) mostly.
#16
1) amp is a much better upgrade
2) find out who is the best tech in your area- it's easy to do - ask around at the music store. Worst case, just have their tech setup the guitar. Going from A poorly setup guitar to a well setup guitar is like getting a brand new instrument - it makes a huge difference.
Last edited by reverb66 at Nov 19, 2016,
#18
do u guys think the 6505+combo is to much amp for home playing? this is why i wondered about the randall diavlo rd20 watt head any thoughts?
#19
Amps have volume & gain controls for a reason. The volume knob on my 40w amp rarely ventures past 3-4. I know guys who say the can't dime out their 5w amps at home. Why? Because there isn't a direct correlation between power and volume.

What wattage DOES give you is what they call headroom: essentially how much you can crank an amp before it starts to distort. That's a good thing.

Besides, I am one of those "better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it "guys. If your son decides to gig, he'll be needing that power, and it would suck if he had an opportunity to play live with someone and couldn't because he needed a new amp to keep up.

Which is why- at age 49 and with ZERO intention of ever gigging- I never even look at amps below 30w or so.
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!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#20
i agree with I K0nijn I- let him go and pick what he wants (you can of course mention the advice in this thread, which has been great ).

For what it's worth, that hughes and kettner you were sort of half-considering has got some solid state stuff in there, if that matters. I haven't tried it, and it may well sound great, and to be fair it is "more or less" tube, but it's not quite "all-tube" in the way that the peavey is.

if your son can't do setups you could also buy him a book about that for christmas- the dan erlewine one (how to make your guitar play great) is pretty good. granted, with youtube these days it's debatable if it's much use but you can't really give him some youtube links for christmas!
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#21
Dave_Mc

I've got the schematic for my H&K St Dual El84, and the preamp is a sort of SS sandwich - SS/tube/SS. I've no idea what everything does, but it is stretching to call it tube. The power amp is straight tube. I'm not wild about the gain channel at high settings, too rough gritty for me, but it gets good reviews. The clean channel is very good, IMO.

I also think that he would be better choosing his own gear Maybe give him a promissory note redeemable against an amplifier of his choice.
#22
...within a set budget, of course.
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!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#23
I could tell you that I like Jackson guitars, but I don't know if that means your son would also. Tricky question.

I have heard good things about the Peavey amps, but never tried them. I like Marshall DSL and Orange amps, but I probably would be happy with the Peavey also.
#24
A combo amp is a good idea. That way you get a properly matched speaker.
#25
Quote by Tony Done
Dave_Mc

I've got the schematic for my H&K St Dual El84, and the preamp is a sort of SS sandwich - SS/tube/SS. I've no idea what everything does, but it is stretching to call it tube. The power amp is straight tube. I'm not wild about the gain channel at high settings, too rough gritty for me, but it gets good reviews. The clean channel is very good, IMO.

I also think that he would be better choosing his own gear Maybe give him a promissory note redeemable against an amplifier of his choice.


yeah i haven't tried yours or the tubemeister but i tried the edition tube a good while back and i think it's similar. i didn't realise it at the time that it wasn't all-tube- i liked it, but it did sound quite modern i though, and i wonder if that was the ss stuff going on. of course, plenty of all-tube amps sound pretty modern, so
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#26
so hears an update based on all your advise.. while no one was home today i watched a bunch of you tube videos on guitar set up and spent an hr going through his guitar. low and behold it was way out of wack, lol i got everything pretty spot on and when he came home he played it and said it felt like a diff guitar and was easier to play even. 2 thumbs up for me!! then we went to guitar center he needed a new cable anyway and they had a 6505+ head there setup and he plugged into that and was blown away! he loved it. so im going to order the combo this week! u guys have been awesome here with all the advise. thank u all so much.
#27
Order yourself a "Best Dad" mug or cap, while you're at it.
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!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#28
what an awesome thread. great job dad!

there's a lot of great resources here for after the purchase too. tell him to log in and check out this thread and forum, after the holiday.
Why don't they make mouse flavored cat food?
#29
Awesome stuff!
Mayones Regius
Gibson SG
Fender CS Telecaster
Kemper Profiler
#31
Quote by jw4th
so hears an update based on all your advise.. while no one was home today i watched a bunch of you tube videos on guitar set up and spent an hr going through his guitar. low and behold it was way out of wack, lol i got everything pretty spot on and when he came home he played it and said it felt like a diff guitar and was easier to play even. 2 thumbs up for me!!


Nice work! That extra effort probably meant so much to him.
#32
thanks guys im sure its something any dad would do, but i appreciate the kind words :-) . i will definitely stick around this forum and tell my son about it as well. you guys have been great, i have been a member of many forums and this one has blown me away with all the help ! this place rocks!
#33
do you guys have a pedal recommendation? whats a good first pedal to get ? his girlfriend was asking me for ideas for him as well.
#34
a decent tuner pedal if he doesn't already have a decent tuner. there's also good clip on tuners that clip right to the headstock.

i use both a poly tune clip on for my acoustic, and a poly tune tuner pedal for my pedal board. both work great for me.
Why don't they make mouse flavored cat food?
#35
^ yeah if he doesn't have a tuner a tuner would be very useful.

an overdrive to use as a boost is very useful too (the amp has tons of gain but the boost will tighten up the low end and help with saturation if he's playing at low volumes a lot)- something in the tubescreamer or boss sd1 style (there are tons of clones available, i would estimate that maybe 50% of the overdrives on the market are tubescreamer clones or tweaked tubescreamer circuits).

What kind of budget are you talking for the pedal? Because there are so many options you can pretty much get them from super-cheap to (pointlessly) expensive.

a noise gate might be useful as well.

if he wants to improve the cleans a chorus or reverb might be useful.

it just depends on which he needs/wants most.

Quote by jw4th
so hears an update based on all your advise.. while no one was home today i watched a bunch of you tube videos on guitar set up and spent an hr going through his guitar. low and behold it was way out of wack, lol i got everything pretty spot on and when he came home he played it and said it felt like a diff guitar and was easier to play even. 2 thumbs up for me!! then we went to guitar center he needed a new cable anyway and they had a 6505+ head there setup and he plugged into that and was blown away! he loved it. so im going to order the combo this week! u guys have been awesome here with all the advise. thank u all so much.


haha awesome
Quote by jw4th
thanks guys im sure its something any dad would do, but i appreciate the kind words :-) . i will definitely stick around this forum and tell my son about it as well. you guys have been great, i have been a member of many forums and this one has blown me away with all the help ! this place rocks!


haha i wouldn't let my dad work on my guitars, he's terrible at diy.

so am i, unfortunately, and i think there's some correlation there.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#36
Quote by jw4th
do you guys have a pedal recommendation? whats a good first pedal to get ? his girlfriend was asking me for ideas for him as well.


Besides a good tuner, a pedalboard is mostly about personal expression. He might be interested in some of the pedals his favorite axemen use, so he can emulate their sound.

A site like Equipboard, or the "rig rundown" videos from Premiere Guitar can help the two of you find out what the pros are using.

...and WE can help you find them or more reasonably priced alternatives to the pricier ones.
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!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
#37
Quote by jw4th
do you guys have a pedal recommendation? whats a good first pedal to get ? his girlfriend was asking me for ideas for him as well.

From someone who owns (and mods) these amps:

Tuner is absolutely essential. Korg Pitchblack, Boss TU-3 or TC Polytune are great.

Overdrive pedal that is used as a clean boost is a staple for amps like this. Anything that's tubescreamer-based is great. Ibanez TS9's, Maxon OD808's are very popular, but there's literally thousands of OD's to choose from and most of them will work.

EQ pedal is another absolute godsend for an amp like this. I strongly recommend the MXR 10-band as it does absolutely everything on the box, has lots of sliders in useful frequencies and is well made.


I wish I had a father as awesome as you.
Quote by Axelfox
Please understand how little we as a community care
#38
Quote by jw4th
thanks guys im sure its something any dad would do, but i appreciate the kind words :-) . i will definitely stick around this forum and tell my son about it as well. you guys have been great, i have been a member of many forums and this one has blown me away with all the help ! this place rocks!


I have nothing too add to this other than that there is no way on God's green earth that my father would have ever. ever. ever. in all the histories of the universe ever gone this far for a birthday present for me. You are doing a fine job as a father based on this topic alone.
#39
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
From someone who owns (and mods) these amps:

Tuner is absolutely essential. Korg Pitchblack, Boss TU-3 or TC Polytune are great.

Overdrive pedal that is used as a clean boost is a staple for amps like this. Anything that's tubescreamer-based is great. Ibanez TS9's, Maxon OD808's are very popular, but there's literally thousands of OD's to choose from and most of them will work.

EQ pedal is another absolute godsend for an amp like this. I strongly recommend the MXR 10-band as it does absolutely everything on the box, has lots of sliders in useful frequencies and is well made.


I wish I had a father as awesome as you.



Quote by SovietStar
I have nothing too add to this other than that there is no way on God's green earth that my father would have ever. ever. ever. in all the histories of the universe ever gone this far for a birthday present for me. You are doing a fine job as a father based on this topic alone.



thank you guys, he is a great young man and never asks for anything and does well in school never gets in trouble. there is nothing better then getting your kids a gift that when they open on Christmas morning they are blown away. its the best feeling in the world for sure. and i thank you guys for all the kind words and advice!
#40
BTW...don't forget to take pix of the reveal and post them here!
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!


alhaq369
It is very impotent to success a business.
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