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#1
hi all,

soon i hope to purchase a vg stratocaster, and feel that my current MG30DFX, wont really cut it in quality comparison terms, and so am also looking to upgrade my amp at the same time. i know a lot of people here hate the mg30dfx, but personally i quite like it, and would really consider getting a marshall again.

i tend to play mostly RHCP type stuff, classic 'rock' and the most distrotion i require is green day levels, so not death metal or anything, more soft rock so to speak. atm i do not play in a band and am purely a bedroom player, but it is likely that in the near future me and a couple of mates may start a band, so i would like to be able to use the new amp for that, but at the same time i dont exactly need a wall of amps

i don't really have a budget in mind, and am looking for suggestions, but as a complete amp idiot, i would aim to pay no more than £250 (around $500), is this realistic?
#2
i personally dont really like marshalls in the price range,(i like the bigger ones) but maybe have a look at a marshall avt
cant think of anything to put here.........
#3
Quote by Mike3066
i know a lot of people here hate the mg30dfx, but personally i quite like it....

...but as a complete amp idiot, i would aim to pay no more than £250 (around $500), is this realistic?


At least you're self-aware!

Your budget, what you're looking to do, the Vox AD50VT 212 would probably be your best choice. You can turn it down and still get great tones in the bedroom, but cranked it'll have enough power to handle small gigs.

If you could stretch that budget a little bit, you could get a Laney VC30 which would be a great amp for you for years to come. You'll laugh at yourself for ever typing in public that you liked the sound of an MG.
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Quote by jj1565
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#4
The VC30 is a very nice-sounding amp, i'm intrigued about the VG Strat though - to me it seems like a handy tool, and really useful for recording and writing. However, I'm dubious about how good the sound would be from a live performance point of view. It looks like a luxury instrument for players who already have a few guitars and high budgets, but i don't think it's the kind of thing to shell out on if you're looking to buy your dream guitar. I wouldn't get one myself, I'd rather buy a couple of guitars with the money and still have enough left over for a decent amp!
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#5
well as i said i know marshalls arn't that popular here, but personnally i really don't see what the problem is.

on the VG front, yes i agree it is a bit of a luxury, but i have always promised myself i would get a brand new american strat, at some time or another, after always having used modded strat copies, i have always wanted a quality strat. But i guess it is a matter of personal opinion, for example steve (or should i say mark?), you may prefer having several guitars, but after all, you can only play one at a time can't you? i would see it as more of a waste having a whole load of quality guitars sitting around unused, rather than one which you can grow to love and become familiar with, but that really is a matter of opinion.

on the price range bit, that wasn't a limit in any way, i just thought i would be able to get a reasonable amp for my requirements for that sort of price, bu then again maybe not
Last edited by Mike3066 at Feb 12, 2007,
#6
Go with the Vox Ad series. I Have the AD30 vt, can play everything you described and more above.
#7
well i as i said i know marshalls arn't that popular here, but personnally i really don't see what the problem is.

on the VG front, yes i agree it is a bit of a luxury, but i have always promised myself i would get a brand new american strat, at some time or another, after always having used modded strat copies, i have always wanted a quality strat. But i guess it is a matter of personal opinion, for example steve, you may prefer having several guitars, but after all, you can only play one at a time can't you? i would see it as more of a waste having a whole load of quality guitars sitting around unused, rather than one which you can grow to love and become familiar with, but that really is a matter of opinion.

on the price range bit, that wasn't a limit in any way, i just thought i would be able to get a reasonable amp for my requirements for that sort of price, bu then again maybe not


I guess I'm just unconvinced about the technology yet - I'd always take "is" over "sounds like", and I'm particularly iffy on the tuning thing...still, each to their own. You'll find plenty of Marshall fans on UG, just no fans of their crap models

One things certain - I wouldn't run a guitar that uses modelling technology into a modelling amp. Thinking about it, I wouldn't run any American Strat into a modelling amp...tubes all the way, VC30, Fender Blues Jr or Hot Rod. No point having a fantastic guitar if your amp won't do it justice. For me the ultimate Fender rig would be a USA Strat and a Fender Twin Reverb.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Feb 12, 2007,
#8
i am not criticising when i say this but, i wouldn't have thought it would matter if you ran a modelling guitar into a modelling amp, as the amp would then just model the already modeled sound, if you see what i mean? but again i am not an expert

on the tube amp front, are they worth buying, and am i right in saying they would be more expensive? normally good sound = more money, would they really be worth it for someone who only has intentions of bedroom playing and possibly small venues?
#9
Modelling circuitry works best with a clean signal - that's why modelling amps don't react too well to outboard effects. The more processing you introduce into the chain the less of your original tone remain, and if you introduce a modified signal to a modelling amp it's not what it's expecting.

Tube amps don't have to be more expensive, a 30/40 watt tube amp has enough power to gig with - and to be honest you're better off shelling out an amp than a guitar. The VG strat is $1,700 - it's pointless to spend that much on a guitar if you don't have a decent amp because you'll never do it justice. As far as the MG goes you'd hear very little difference between a $400 mexi strat, a $1,000 US and the $1,700 VG...if you're prepared to spend the extra $700 on what's effectively just bells and whistles then you'll want to make sure that it sounds as good as it possibly can. If it's a choice between getting the VG and skimping on the amp, or buying a standard US strat and getting an awesome amp then you'd honestly be better served with the second option.

You're going to be shelling out roughly $2,000 for a VG and a decent amp - for that you could have pretty much your pick of the US strats and a Fender Twin Reverb which is a Fender rig to die for, if you really want the VG then look at something like a Blues Jr to get the best out of it.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fender-Blues-Junior-Combo-Amp?sku=480512
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Last edited by steven seagull at Feb 12, 2007,
#10
yes, in your position, i too would be saying get a better amp rather than guitar, for all the reasons u listed, but its not about that, i havn't ever eally spent over about £250 on a guitar, i know that doesn't mean i have to, but i really really do want a VG strat, it has just captured my imagination so to speak, and yes rightly, or wrongly, i am prepared to pay extra for "just bells and whistles" as i am hoping fngers crossed that this will be one of, if not my last ever guitar purchase. the amp on other hand, i do rule out getting another one in the future should my situation change, but for the moment i only want one to do bedroom playing / small performances, but again as you said i am prepared to pay a fair wack as it would be pointless pluging my dream guitar into a rubbish amp.

minor point about the blues amp u recommended, doesn't have on board distrotion, personally have only ever used onboard distortion, is pedal distortion better / worse?
#11
Tube amps are worth buying. The difference in the sound between a decent tube amp and your Marshall could hardly be farther apart. I suspect you only like that MG because you have little experience with anything else. Which isn't meant as a put down in any way, we all start somewhere.

Most tube amps will not have built in distortion or effects outside of reverb or tremelo. What they will have is the ability to overdrive, which is a natural distortion. Larger (read: more expensive) amps will have two or more channels, one for cleans and the next set up for the amount of "distortion" or drive or gain that you're looking for.

Pedals can get much better than the onboard effects on your MG. Even inexpensive ones. To me, they're another fun thing to play with.
You Don't Need a halfstack.

You Don't Need 100W.

Quote by jj1565
i love you slats.
#12
yes, in your position, i too would be saying get a better amp rather than guitar, for all the reasons u listed, but its not about that, i havn't ever eally spent over about £250 on a guitar, i know that doesn't mean i have to, but i really really do want a VG strat, it has just captured my imagination so to speak, and yes rightly, or wrongly, i am prepared to pay extra for "just bells and whistles" as i am hoping fngers crossed that this will be one of, if not my last ever guitar purchase. the amp on other hand, i do rule out getting another one in the future should my situation change, but for the moment i only want one to do bedroom playing / small performances, but again as you said i am prepared to pay a fair wack as it would be pointless pluging my dream guitar into a rubbish amp.

minor point about the blues amp u recommended, doesn't have on board distrotion, personally have only ever used onboard distortion, is pedal distortion better / worse?


If you're in the UK then it's about £1,500 for the VG I think which is about double the price of a US strat over here - in terms of how good it is any American strat is what you'd class as a "keeper" so i can't see the VG being any different in that respect. There's no doubting the quality and playability, it's just for me the extra features don't come close to being worth the extra money. I wouldn't spend over a grand on a guitar myself for financial reasons, but I've gone close and probably would if i felt it was worth it, and in the end that's all that matters. If you think its worth it then it is, nobody else's opinion matters.

The Blues Jr doesn't have a dedicated distortion channel, but as slats said it will overdrive naturally and sound better the hotter you run it, it'll also respond very well to an overdrive pedal if you want extra gain - ultimately your choice of amp all depends on the kind of sound your looking for.
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#13
yes your'e right it was at first £1,500, but i did a kelkoo search the other night and this came up:

http://www.thomann.de/gb/fender_vg_roland_stratocaster_mn_bk.htm?partner_id=82764

showing it for £1,200, and whilst i may not get it there, it does at least show the price may fall a little (fingers crossed), so as a recap, you would recommend getting a fender blues jnr, and using distortion pedals right?

o and slats, you hit the nail on the head, i have never used anything apart from my marshal 30dfx, one called "rocket" i think which was my first 10w practise amp, so yes obviously the marshall will sound like a beast in comparison
Last edited by Mike3066 at Feb 12, 2007,
#14
If you're looking for bluesy sounds then the Blues Jr and an overdrive will do fine - if you're looking for a rockier sound then look at the Laney VC30 or ashdown Fallen Angel. Definitely try them all and see which one you like best.
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#15
thats the whole problem tho, i live in a rural area, so trying out a whole lot of amps, is really not easy, the best we have is a independantly run guitar shop, no criticism to them, but it does mean less stock to try


i am not after the bluesy sound in particular i play all sorts, as i mentioned in the first post,RHCP, classic rock etc etc so i would like an all round amp, but i do no play any metal of any kind so if that means a blues type amp then i guess thats what i need
#16
It definitely warrants a trip to the nearest town or city to try a few - it's not the kind of decision you can make based on other people's opinions...you really need to hear them for yourself. I can recommend amps to try, but I don't know which one you'd like best, you don't want to drop several hundred quid on a lemon.

I can give you an idea of what the Fallen Angel sounds like, the 60 watter's about £350 at the mo, the 40 watter isn't far behind in volume terms and you can get those for around £240.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showpost.php?p=7157498&postcount=201
Actually called Mark!

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Last edited by steven seagull at Feb 12, 2007,
#17
dude, how long have u been playing the guitar? thats was nice wish i could play like that


and on the trying out amps thing, the nearest town has two guitar shops, one as i mentioned previous indendantly run, and the other focuses more on selling guitars rather than amps (plus the people in there wear a shirt and tie) which in my view makes them morally wrong, when selling guitars, so the independantly run one would be my best bet, if only they had more amps, and considering i can't drive the next nearest town, must be around 40 miles, making it largely impractical hey ho
Last edited by Mike3066 at Feb 12, 2007,
#18
dude, how long have u been playing the guitar? thats was nice wish i could play like that

About 17 years i'm a very lazy practiser though so i'm nowhere near as good as i could be!

I never trust music shops that employ tie-wearing staff either!
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#19
i just don't see why you would make staff wear a tie, particularly in a guitar shop, its just not right, its not how its meant to be

back to the amp point, an earlier recommendation was a vox modelling amp, do vox only make modelling amps? or do they do "normal" or tube amps? if so any you think are worth getting?
#20
They do excellent tube amps - the AC30 is the best known, Brian May and the Edge are fond of them.
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#21
jesus

i just checked out the vox AC30 on kelkoo, and they were about £500, if am honest i had hoped to spend a bit less than that maybe like £300 at the very most, am i just being really tight?
#22
Quote by Mike3066
i just don't see why you would make staff wear a tie, particularly in a guitar shop, its just not right, its not how its meant to be

back to the amp point, an earlier recommendation was a vox modelling amp, do vox only make modelling amps? or do they do "normal" or tube amps? if so any you think are worth getting?


Sure they make tube amps, that's what they're known for. The AC15 might be something to consider, at 600$.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Vox-AC15CC1-Custom-Classic-1x12-Tube-Amp?sku=482625
#23
but as a minopr point, i dont really understand, doesn't that make it smaller than my MG30GFX? being 15w? or would it be louder?, i know its not all about how loud it can go, but i do hope to maybe play with another guitarist, bass guitarist and drummer, would it be able to be heard over them?
#24
It will definitely be heard over a drummer, and it will sound infinitely better than your Marshall.

15 tube watts is equivalent to 50 SS watts, volume wise. It will be louder.
#25
Tube amps always sound louder that solid state amps for any given wattage. Generally, a tube amp will sound 30-50% louder than a ss of equivalent volume. It'll also sound nicer, and all the volume is useable, with solid state amps they start to lose sound quality as you approach the upper volume limit, whereas tube amps get better the louder you run them.
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#27
Yes.

You'll need to replace the tubes every few years, but other than that, no.
#28
seriously, u need to replace the tubes every couple of years, man, is that expensive, and are they easy to get a hold of? and are they something that a proffesional needs to do
#29
No, it's not very expensive; less than 20$ per tube; they should be for sale in pretty much every guitar shop; and any idiot can change a tube.
#30
Quote by Mike3066
seriously, u need to replace the tubes every couple of years, man, is that expensive, and are they easy to get a hold of? and are they something that a proffesional needs to do

I would replace the tubes every 1 and a half years. It depends on what amp you have if it will be expensive or not. No a professional doesn't need to put them in. and 2 words, go used
#31
well i am very interested in getting a tube amp then, also the video showing the VG strat being played, i think by fender marketing manager? maybe, on youtube is i believe through a tube amp (well he says so anyway) and whilst i do not under any circumstance expect to be as good as him, it does sound good


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EslpbFeLF8s
#32
seriously, u need to replace the tubes every couple of years, man, is that expensive, and are they easy to get a hold of? and are they something that a proffesional needs to do


I still don't quite get the penny-pinching on the amp when you're prepared to spend over a grand on a guitar y'know! £300 is around the minimum you have to spend to get a decent amp, £1,200 is way over the odds for a guitar though...£350-400 will get you a good, professional quality instrument. If you've got the money then fair enough, but if it's a case of having to drop all your savings to buy it then i wouldn't consider it a particularly wise investment.

I'm not saying don't get the VG, you've obviously set your heart on it, but the amp is by far the most important thing when it comes down to deciding how good the whole lot will sound. A bad amp will make a good guitar sound bad, but a good amp will at least make a bad guitar sound as good as it can do.

Just watched the video - it does look fun, but i'd wonder how often i'd use all the features. Don't forget that in terms of how good it sounds, that's mainly down to the amp, which is probably a Fender Twin. The different characteristics he gets - tele twang, woody jazz are down to the guitar, but the overall quality of the tone is down to the amp. Also the distortion is from the amp, not the guitar. It is impressive, i'll give you that.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Feb 12, 2007,
#33
Quote by steven seagull
I still don't quite get the penny-pinching on the amp when you're prepared to spend over a grand on a guitar y'know!



its a fair point, the main reason is not the lack of funds, i have enough to buy a vg strat atm in savings, but not an amp so am saving up for that. the main reason i am so tight about the amp, is that my MG30DFX only cost me £60 from cash converters, and that is the most i have ever spent on an amp, so its a bit of a shock to then pay £500 for an amp, although i will probably admit defeat and do so damn


i do understand that i wont sound like him, i honestly do, but i am considering getting an american strat anyhow, and being as i prob wont ever spend that kind of money on a guitar again, thought i may as well pay an extra £200/£300 and get the guitar of my dreams


man i can't really belive quite how tight i sound, o dear, i sound like a pensioner
Last edited by Mike3066 at Feb 12, 2007,
#34
People often spend more on the amp than their guitar, because the amp can hold back the guitar but not the other way round. I can imagine it being a bit of a shock to jump from £60 to a few hundred....but surely not as much as the jump from £250 to £1,200

To be honest, if you get a decent tube amp you'll be able to get pretty damn close to a tone that good. A Fender's the best bet if you want to get those sparkly cleans though, the VOX AC30 is a fantastic amp but you don't have to spend that much, a Blues Jr will do a great job. Just don't play an AC30, because if you do you'll want one!
Actually called Mark!

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Last edited by steven seagull at Feb 12, 2007,
#35
Quote by steven seagull
People often spend more on the amp than their guitar, because the amp can hold back the guitar but not the other way round. I can imagine it being a bit of a shock to jump from £60 to a few hundred....but surely not as much as the jump from £250 to £1,200



fair point but dont forget, i have been doing more "looking into" guitars if you like, this is the first time i have ever discussed the possiblity of getting a good quality amp
#36
Hey Mike3066,

I wanted to let you know that I too had the MG30DFX and just recently bought a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe (White Lightning edition) and I love it! I would highly recommend what the others are saying and spend your cash on the amp b/c it will produce some beautiful sounds.

I am glad that I made the switch and I am sure you will be once you do the same.
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#37
cheers swan song i will look into the fender hot rod deluxe, ty for the recommendation
#38
cheers swan song i will look into the fender hot rod deluxe, ty for the recommendation

I can second the recommendation - I didn't mention it before because I thought it was too pricey for your penny-pinching ways though

http://www.guitarampkeyboard.com/en/fender-hot-rod-deluxe/9794

A guy in a local blues band plays it's big brother, the Hot Rod DeVille and it sounds absolutely gorgeous.
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#39
Quote by steven seagull
I can second the recommendation - I didn't mention it before because I thought it was too pricey for your penny-pinching ways though


:O shocking


yes that looks quite a nice amp, i may well go for that, just to check that would be "big" enough if u see what i mean, to use in a band with another gituarist, bassist and drummer? and would it be ok for classic rock, maybe even green day tunes, as well as "blues"?


sorry i sound like a complete tight wad, i don't mean to i just really didn't have an apperciation of how much to spend on an amp, so someone saying i should spend £500 was a bit of a shock
#40
A 40 watt tube amp is plenty loud enough - that'll do you all the way up to gigging small venues.
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