#1
 
Hi all, Eric here- new to the forums.

My 17 year old son shows some promise, playing electric and acoustic guitar.  He's played maybe 3 years, mostly self taught and plays daily.  He mostly plays for self enjoyment but performed at school with a group, and acoustic for his youth group.

He has a Mexican Fender Stratocaster we bought on Craigslist, upgrading from the Squier sold in an into kit with a Peavey Vyper VIP3 I bought him last December.  The Peavey has had electronic problems and is back at the factory for the second time for repairs and he's rather soured on it.  He's like to upgrade to a tube amp but that seems pricey.  

Can we use a tube head (I hope my terminology is correct) and play it though the Peavey combo's speaker?  Would that sound like anything, would it save money?  Would it require much technical skill to set up?
Any general advice on stepping up?  My son has expensive taste but we do not have unlimited resources.

Thanks!
#2
The first step in exploring your options is to figure out what your budget is, realistically.

The second is deciding whether you're willing to buy used.

Third, what genres of music do you think your son is most interested in playing?
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!
#3
 I'd like to keep it under $500 if we can get a "keeper" at that price point.
We bought his guitar off Craigslist, so I personally have no problem buying used.  I play banjo and love a broken in instrument.


There's a well regarded local music store near us that has used gear as well. Ideally I'd like to buy local (as opposed to a chain store) plus we have a credit from trading in some used stuff (the aforementioned Squier and a small learners acoustic).

He listens to rap but plays 70's and 80's rock and some metal, oddly enough. Idolises Van Halen and Hendrix.

I'm not averse to Craigslist but prefer a warranty on used amps-reasonable attitude? 
#4
Well, the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe (HRD) is a 40w combo tube amp that can often be found within your pric range used. I have one. It will do pretty much everything up to metal without pedals. The overdrive channel is pretty bad, so if you want a hard rock/early (pre-1990s) metal tone without actually cranking the amp, you'll need pedals.

Fender has their new Bassbreaker series which are a little more rock oriented, and models in that line range from 7-45w. But because they're new to the market, there won't be many of them on the used market. If you do see one in yiurnprice range, give it a hard look, though, Good amps.

Carvin's Vintage amps have a lot of similarities to the HRD. There's the Vintage 16 (16w), Belair and Nomad. The latter two are 50w versions of the 16, but one has a 12" speaker (called a "112" or "1x12" configuration), the other has a pair of them (called a "212" or "2x12"). Because of their business model, Carvins usually run a little cheaper new than comparable products. Used is a mixed bag.

Like Fender, Carvin also makes more "modern" amps. The X-100B, V3, V3M, V3MC (combo) and Vai Legacy are all killers. They're also all out of your price range new. But I have seen examples of each under $500 in the past year.

I don't know Peavey amps all that well, but their Delta Blues 115 (a combo with a 15" speaker) can easily be found in your price range, it's a really good amp for rock, blues, country, etc., but metal would be as much of a stretch it as a HRD or those Vintage Carvins. Still, I see them for @$400-450 on the used market all the time.

Jet City is more of a hard rock/metal amp brand, but they're well made and priced right. And they can handle lighter stuff if you dial them in right.

Lastly, Quilter solid state (non-modeling) amps would be worthy of consideration. They're not that common though, so used ones can be hard to find. Heads like the 101 would be voiced most like a Fender HRD (of those listed); the Mach 2 would be more like the modern style amps.
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
Wow, a lot to think about. I appreciate your info. A lot depends on the used market here and what his ears tell him.
#6
Where do you live roughly? I'll check your used market. I wouldn't try to the tube head into the VIP speaker cabinet. The VIP is under warranty so just see what happens when it comes back and keep it as a practice amp? For what he is into I would say a tube amp will sound better but these Quilter amps that Danny has found do sound good.
#7
70s and 80s rock, some metal, EVH, Hendrix, around $500, common on used market....

Simplest thing I can think of is a used Marshall DSL 40C. Could probably get by with a 15C but the 40C will keep up as he eventually progresses.

Edit: And with credit at the music store you mention, you may be able to get a new one for at or close to your budget.
Guitars
- Strandberg OS6, Strandberg CL7, Gibson LP Studio, S570DXQM, RG7421, Mayer Strat, Partscaster

Amps
- TC-50, Mark Five:25, Invective (soon), Vypyr 60
Last edited by Deadpool_25 at Aug 1, 2017,
#8
Quote by splungee
Wow, a lot to think about. I appreciate your info. A lot depends on the used market here and what his ears tell him.


Yeah, right now, at this point in time, there are so many good, affordable products out there, it's like electric guitarists "Gearvana".
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
Again location will affect what is used in your market, another few amps Traynor YCV40 or YCV50B, Peavey Classic 30  - used these should all be in your budget.
#10
I'm in the Baltimore area.  There's a Guitar Center not too far but we (meaning I) prefer the locally owned Bill's in Catonsville that also carries used gear depending on availability.  
#11
Used peavey valveking. They are fairly cheap and do what you want. Get an overdrive pedal along with it and rock away.
#12
There is a Mesa Boogie .50 Cal at Bills. Should be about perfect. It is a little overpriced so it needs to be talked down plus your trade in stuff. That was the only amp I saw online for Bills that I thought would work.

There were a few things on your local Craigslist I would consider.

Marshall DSL 40C
Fender Super Champ XD
Bogner Alchemist 40c
Peavey Valveking 100 head + 4x12 cab
PRS combo
Line 6 DT25

https://baltimore.craigslist.org/search/msa?sort=pricedsc&query=amp
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Aug 1, 2017,
#13
Another used Marshall DSL40C vote, though Boogie mentioned sounds interesting.


If going new DSL40 I personally would go with Sweetwaters exclusive DSL40CST which features a Celestion Creamback speaker as opposed to the stock 70/80 for the same price as a regular DSL40.
#14
The DSL40C on Craigslist gets my vote, although I will Way that Line 6 DT25 is a badass little amp. Underrated because Line 6 gear has generally been sneered at for a while now. But you don't need any of the other Line 6 gear to go with it. That DT25 is pretty awesome on its own.

And I agree with Guitaraxe as well. If I was going new, I'd get that DSL40CST from Sweetwater. Creamback. Mmmm.
Guitars
- Strandberg OS6, Strandberg CL7, Gibson LP Studio, S570DXQM, RG7421, Mayer Strat, Partscaster

Amps
- TC-50, Mark Five:25, Invective (soon), Vypyr 60