#1
Hey folks, first thread here. I've got an -astonishing- budget of 329 euros. There's this guitar (Epiphone G400 Pro) that I've laid my eyes on which will cost me a good 299 euros. Getting a gig bag next to it would blow pretty much all the rest of the money. Now my question is: Do you think I should go for a cheaper guitar and get some beginner amp- or buy this model and save up for an amp whilst practicing on the guitar until that time? I really want something decent that I can carry around with me for a while.
#2
Get the guitar you want, then find a cheap used practice amp to get you by while you save for the amp you want, you should be able to find a junky 10-15 watt practice amp for 10-20 E. 
"It's better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war"
#4
...But if & when you do, do not be surprised if it sounds bad. That's what cheap amps sound like. And until you can afford to upgrade from that, don't even think about things like pickup swaps or new guitars to improve the sound hitting your eardrums.
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!
#5
Quote by dannyalcatraz
...But if & when you do, do not be surprised if it sounds bad.  That's what cheap amps sound like.  And until you can afford to upgrade from that, don't even think about things like pickup swaps or new guitars to improve the sound hitting your eardrums.

Far more important than modifying any guitar is learning to play it really well. While the bits and pieces make a difference, the most important component of good tone is the fingers. A great player can make any guitar sound good. From what I've heard from other amateur and semi-pro guitar players, 9 out of 10 gear heads who insist on swapping out bits and pieces would have much better results from learning to play better, and picking (or writing) better songs. I don't much care what kind of gear you have, what kind of amp, pickups, tuners, or shoulder strap you use, if you play shitty songs, you're going to sound like shit. 
#6
Always have an amp, you sound way different through an amp and notes that may sound dead on an unamplified electric guitar may scream on the amp. This is especially true for harmonics. However, many people practice unamplified all the time. Don't let that bother you, just know once you start using an amp you may find yourself needing to adjust your playing style a little bit. 

I started playing 20+ years ago when I was 14 on a little kustom amp that sounded horrific. However I learned to play, and the amp was nice for my room. Over time I slowly acquired nicer equipment and was able to target the sound I wanted. You can make an great amp sound like crap if you can't play, I do it every day. SO buy what you can afford, and tolerate the tone of. 
#7
Buy a USB interface; there's a ton of free software that will be just fine until you decide on an amp.
#8
gerdner 

I think with the TS's budget you are best starting off with a passable guitar and compromising on the amp. However, I failed miserably with electric guitar for about 30 years, until I bought a decent amp. - The awful tones didn't encourage me to play. In fairness, think my case is a bit different from the TS as my ear was already pretty well tuned to decent acoustics, and I was consequently hard to please with electrics. I personally don't think that you can learn good electric "touch", eg string damping, without an amp of some kind.
#9
This is one of the really BIG questions about starting out and everyone can only advise from their own experience, so my take on this is a little different because of how I got started.

For my first guitar I bought the only electric solid body in a Montgomery Wards department store for $29 a long time ago, and it was really a piece of junk but that was the guitar I used to teach myself how to play lead... yes, I learned to play lead first (I was a kid, what did I know?), but constructing chords was so easy after that.

The thing is, I did not have an amplifier for the first six years until I eventually got a very nice new guitar and amp. Today, no one would do it like that, and it is pretty impossible to recommend it, but I think I enjoyed some advantages learning without an amp.

Practicing
- the knobs and switches of the guitar, pedals, amp, etc. were just not there or irrelevant; so zero practice time was spent tone chasing or sound building or otherwise experimenting with those things, making all of my practice time real hands on playing
- there were no sound level restrictions to when or where I might practice; I practiced freely as much as desired
- with no set up of equipment, there was never a question of if I had time enough to make it worthwhile to initiate a practice session

Listening
- I learned how to listen and hear myself in ways that would not have happened otherwise
- when playing along with a recording, I further learned how to hear and distinguish myself

Playing
- I learned to play cleanly with clear articulation, balanced chords, damping, etc.
- I learned various techniques to produce some of the sounds of effects heard on recordings
- my timing and kinesthetic feel developed a nice synchrony
- I learned early the resistance to playing too hard because it clouded the listening clarity

Anyway, my view is that one may learn the electric guitar without an amp, or with a minimal little amp like a Roland MicroCube. "Nice amps" in my view are what you take on stage or into the recording studio (I have six real nice tube amps now days from which one I select that I think will be best for each performance or session).

I also think a lot of starting guitarists make mistakes in choosing their first guitar (spending way too much) because they are not yet experienced enough to make an informed decision as to what features of the instrument support what they what they want with it. You don't have to play a piece of junk for six years like I did, but it is worth starting with one for a little while just to get informed, so when you do spend big it is the right direction (and then keep in mind that the right direction is subject to change as you learn and play through the years to come).

I guess I'm really saying that it does not matter; for two new guitarists, one with a $2000 rig and the other with a $200 rig, I would not expect much musical difference for the first few years.. it takes development of technique before the real differences between those two rigs begin to musically distinguish themselves...you can develop that musically distinguishing technique either way.
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
#10
PlusPaul

I didn't have an amp for my first few either, but I did have a Korg Pandora Px4 & headphones.

I came to the conclusion that devices like that have their own advantages: built-in tuners, metronomes, some kind of recording interface (direct to PC or via microphones), etc., are all common features of such devices, and why I use them today.
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
I would suggest focusing your budget completely on the guitar you want to buy. An amplifier is not really that important when starting out (assuming you are a beginner), it's not going to make you play better, just amplify the volume of hard mistakes you're going to make while trying to learn your favourite tunes. For this reason I would think it could actually be a hindrance for a beginner to practice with an amplifier, as it's probably going to make you less motivated to play.  

I spend my first 3 years playing acoustic guitar without any kind of amplifier, the last year being on the street as a busker, making a living. My final advice would be to wait until you feel comfortable enough playing entry level music before purchasing and playing with an amplifier.
#13
Quote by slapsymcdougal
Buy a USB interface; there's a ton of free software that will be just fine until you decide on an amp.

This, you can get one for like $40 and it will sound a hell of a lot better than a $100 practice amp.  There is a very slight lag with these though that negatively effects your playing, but so does horrible tone from a cheapo amp. 
#14
risingforce1 
Quote by risingforce1
There is a very slight lag with these though that negatively effects your playing, but so does horrible tone from a cheapo amp. 

I disagree. Using a low buffer size means that there is basically little to no lag.
#18
Quote by dannyalcatraz
PlusPaul

I didn't have an amp for my first few either, but I did have a Korg Pandora Px4 & headphones.

I came to the conclusion that devices like that have their own advantages: built-in tuners, metronomes, some kind of recording interface (direct to PC or via microphones), etc., are all common features of such devices, and why I use them today.

I've had a couple of Korg Pandoras (PX3D and PX5D are both still with me). A set of good headphones, like the folding Sony 7506 and you can play almost anywhere. In addition to the tuner and metronome, there are practice aids like a phrase trainer, an aux input, a whole set of drum patterns and bass lines, tons of choices of amp and FX sims, a slower-downer, a pitch shifter, and even a USB recording interface (on the PX5D). And they're battery powered, so you can blast your ears out anywhere. 
#19
Yep!
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!
#20
The sg special is pretty cool. It is cheaper and only has two knobs, which can be better or worse. Idk about the electronics though but the newer one are supposed to have a solid wood body instead of plywood.
#21
Quote by geo-rage
The sg special is pretty cool. It is cheaper and only has two knobs, which can be better or worse. Idk about the electronics though but the newer one are supposed to have a solid wood body instead of plywood.

You're thinking of a different SG Special. The G400 has four knobs like a Gibson.
Death to Ovation haters!
#22
Quote by PatchworkMan
You're thinking of a different SG Special. The G400 has four knobs like a Gibson.
its called sg special. The cheapest of the epiphone sg's. They may have quit making them, as i havent seen one new in a loong time. 1 vol 1 tone. Its awesome but its a tradeoff for the cheaper materials
#23
If you do decide to get a USB interface look into the LePou amp sims, as they sound pretty good when you figure out how to make them work.
#24
Get the guitar you want and then save for the amp you want.  I spent my 1st 2 or 3 years playing electric with no amp because I couldn't afford a good amp.  I then spent a year or 2 playing with the guitar plugged in the the mic jack of a tape deck so I was 5 years in befor buying my 1st guitar amp.  I don't think it's a good idea to spend hard earned money on equipment you don't actually want.
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