#1
Hey guys, Well to put it quite simply, I sold my guitar around 2 years ago and want to get back into it. I'm a broke college student but managed to save some extra money for 8 months or so for a $600 budget for a guitar and amp. I live in dorms so I have to play with headphones in which I don't have an issue with. My last guitar was a pacifica which was a fine guitar, but I always liked the Les Paul's. I have been looking at the epiphone Les Paul's, but I don't have any experience with them. I also need to include an amp in that budget. I don't mind buying used gear, I'd actually prefer to. Any opinions on the epiphone LP's and an amp to fit the budget? Thanks!
#2
What do you play? There's alot of headphone friendly low cost amp heads available for around $100 , add $50 or so for a good pair of headphones and that leaves $450 for a really nice used guitar. Plus iit will save you some space in the dorm.
Dean Icon PZ
Line 6 Variax 700
Dean V-Wing
Dean ML 79 SilverBurst
MXR M 108
H2O Chorus/Echo
Valve Junior (V3 Head/Cab and Combo)
VHT Special 6
Phonic 620 Power Pod PA
Wampler Super Plextortion
Line 6 Pod HD
#3
scott58
I play a lot of things really, as corny as it sounds I like to recreate songs that I like, popular songs on the radio, just screw around and have fun. I like 70's rock, CCR, etc. I actually already have a pair of good headphones, audio technica m50's, have had them for a while so thankfully I can exclude that from the budget.
#4
Your options improve a fair bit. Besides amps you have several choices in modelers from zoom, line 6 and others that sound pretty good with headphones. Mix and match your pricing then check demo's on YouTube.
Dean Icon PZ
Line 6 Variax 700
Dean V-Wing
Dean ML 79 SilverBurst
MXR M 108
H2O Chorus/Echo
Valve Junior (V3 Head/Cab and Combo)
VHT Special 6
Phonic 620 Power Pod PA
Wampler Super Plextortion
Line 6 Pod HD
#5
Honestly, given that you're going to practice quietly out of necessity, I wouldn't bother with an amp unless you also plan on playing with other musicians. I recommend doing what I did under similar circumstances: get a portable digital modeler (like a Korg Pandora, Line6 POD, Boss Micro BR or similar device) or a multieffects pedal with a headphone jack. Personally, I prefer the former, as they usually have features like amp modeling, effects modeling, microphones and/or PC interfaces, metronomes and tuners, all in a package that will fit in almost any gig bag or HSC. Since they cost @$100-250 new (and less used, of course), your guitar budget can be correspondingly larger.

However...

On Reverb.com, a good used Carvin combo can be had for $250-500, Fender Hot Rod Deluxe combos $325+, and used Peavey Delta Blues combos cost @$400-500.

Something like that will give you the tone you seek.
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
dannyalcatraz
Thanks a lot! I'll be sure to check that out, To be honest I don't even consider myself a good guitar player, just decent. I'm looking for something nice and simple that I can plug my guitar and headphones into and play. I'd like some effects to satisfy a wide range of songs such as CCR to a more laid back modern tone. But other than that I really don't want anything too crazy, just something nice and simple to improve my skills and continue to learn.
#7
Portable digital modelers don't have the world's greatest tone, but IMHO, the utility they offer in the context of practiceing anywhere, anytime you feel comfy toting your guitar, the tuner, metronome, etc., more than makes up for that inskill improvement and sorting out what you want to sound like (amps, pedals, etc.)

...while building up your budget to buy the stuff you want.

I bought a killer axe as my first electric, and bought a Korg Pandora. That's what I used for three years.

Now I have a ridiculous number of guitars, a mountain of pedals, and just put money down on my second real amp. And I still use my portable digital modelers every week.
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!
#8
Also, there are all kinds of LP style guitars out there. Besides Epiphones, i'd look at used Godin, Hagstrom or Electra guitars as well. Reverend- one of my favorite brands- used to make a nice LPclone called the Roundhouse, and I bought a used one on eBay a few years ago for just over $400. (They're pretty uncommon, though, but worthy of consideration if you see one.)

If you're not set on an LP shape, G&L's ASAT Tribute Deluxe II is a cool HH guitar you should look at.
https://reverb.com/marketplace?query=g%26l%20tribute%20deluxe%20ii
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
OP - I'd say look at EPi LP or SG types, they can be had used around $300-$400 if not brand new, then if you're not into metal I'd suggest a Vox VT series amp or pedal or something like the Tech21 TM30.
#10
Based on the videos in the PM you sent me, you really seem to be chasing Strat tones. There are not too many inexpensive LPclones out there that can do that well- I can think of 1-2 (more on that later).

So a better option for you really would be some kind of Stratclone. You're already familiar with Pacificas, and those are a viable option, as is the Fender MiM Strat, of course. I would also look at Godin's Progression and Session lines, as well as the discontinued Freeway and Vector. G&L's Tribute line contains a few good Stratclone as well: the Comanche, S-500 and Legacy. Dean Zelinsky's Tagliare would work, too.

But there are a couple of affordable LPclones that can do a good Strat impression. All the ones I can think of right now are Godins, but there may be others. Something in their discontinued SD line (the 22 and 24) is probably the best option, and can be found for @$200-600, depending on condition and country- the ones shipping from Australia and Japan are always going to be pricier. I had a SD in decent shape in my hand just a few days ago- it needed a front strap button, and had some wear on the top edge of the lower bout. Price was @$350.

Godin also makes a guitar called the Empire, which comes in 2 configurations: 2xP90 or with a HB in the bridge and a Godin noiseless singlecoil in the neck. They're still in production, but used ones can be had under $400, though $500-550 is more typical..
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!
#11
Used MiM Tele or Strat $250. Used Vox Tonelab LE $150. Now you can get excellent vintage 60s-70s Classic Rock tone and some modern stuff via headphones. Versatile and relatively easy to customize different patches to taste.
"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
#12
I don't find LP bodies to be all that comfortable to play while sitting or in a resting type position. SG is more comfortable. I'd honestly recommend a used MIM Fender Stratocaster with a humbucker in the bridge. If you want to trim the budget a touch more, the Squier Vintage Modern series guitars are very nice for their price. I personally find a Strat to be a very comfortable instrument to play, which is why I tend to play my Strat more than my other guitars. YMMV.
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#14
Quilter makes good stuff, but I never even thought of their less expensive models.
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!
#15
For the amp part of this, since you obviously have a computer and you have the headphones, I'd start with amp sims on your computer. Pick up an inexpensive Instrument to USB cable - like what comes with the RockSmith game - $30.

For software, check out Peavey ReValver - it's stand alone, straightforward, tons of presets, sounds great and you get a ValveKing an a Tubescreamer for free.

For silent play an amp is not the way to go anymore. The technology has caught up. If you need to play with others or want to make some noise then things may be different.
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. . .
#16
Ah, yes I should have said that I may want to unplug the phones sometime. I definitely want the ability to play without phones, but 90% of my playing will be with headphones. Basically I'm just looking for a good little amp and a guitar setup for 600 bucks, I'm open to strats as well. I'll look into all the options you guys have presented, Thanks for all the responses and happy new year to you all!
Last edited by Paul1873 at Dec 31, 2016,
#17
Quote by Paul1873
Ah, yes I should have said that I may want to unplug the phones sometime. I definitely want the ability to play without phones, but 90% of my playing will be with headphones. Basically I'm just looking for a good little amp and a guitar setup for 600 bucks, I'm open to strats as well. I'll look into all the options you guys have presented, Thanks for all the responses and happy new year to you all!


I say look for a decent used Squire Strat with a humbucker in the bridge position.

Blackstar makes nice modelling amps (ID Core series) that have headphone connectivity and USB capability to do computer editing of tones. You can also plug an MP3 player in to jam along with your favorite music. Here's a link to the Guitar Center listing for a 40 watt version:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Blackstar/IDCore-40W-Stereo-Guitar-Combo-Amp-1389983298693.gc

These also come in 10 and 20 watt variations if 40 is too much for your situation. I own one of their Fly 3 amps for headphone practice and low volume jam sessions and love the hell out of it.
Last edited by eellis5182 at Jan 1, 2017,
#18
I actually started looking around my local craigslist and found someone on my campus selling an amp, It's an Orange MT20 Micro Terror Head with a PPC108 cabinet. Supposedly it's in great shape, rarely used. He wants $175 for it. Are they any good? Reliable? etc. That might fit my budget pretty well. Just a thought.
#22
Paul1873

It would seem to be a decent option to me. Good luck!
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!