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#1
My 9 year old son started playing guitar almost a year ago. We bought him a starter set from Guitar Center and he's been taking lessons and really enjoying it.

He would like to upgrade to a better quality amp than what came with the starter set. I don't want to spend a ton of money, somewhere in the 100-200 dollar range. I have read some reviews Line 6 Spider 3 15 watt, Crate amp, in the same range. The spider seems to have more effects which is always fun for a 9 year old

Anyhow, if you have any opinions, it would be greatly appreciated. Remember, I'm just a dad with no experience on guitars.

Thanks,
#2
If you're looking for an amp that has built-in effects, I would advise you to look at the Vox AD15VT rather than the Spider, because the sound of Spiders isn't really great. Alternatively, if your son plays more metal and heavier types of music, the Roland Cube would be a better choice. I would normally suggest a small 5 watt valve amp, however I do think that your son would probably appreciate having effects and a lot of different sounds available rather than having an amp that does one or two sounds really well, but nothing else. That's something for him to look into when he's older

So, in short: for rock, blues, pop etc. Vox AD15VT, and for really heavy rock and metal, Roland Cube.

#3
Quote by shootnpar
My 9 year old son started playing guitar almost a year ago. We bought him a starter set from Guitar Center and he's been taking lessons and really enjoying it.

He would like to upgrade to a better quality amp than what came with the starter set. I don't want to spend a ton of money, somewhere in the 100-200 dollar range. I have read some reviews Line 6 Spider 3 15 watt, Crate amp, in the same range. The spider seems to have more effects which is always fun for a 9 year old

Anyhow, if you have any opinions, it would be greatly appreciated. Remember, I'm just a dad with no experience on guitars.

Thanks,


A suggest a 5 watt tube amp a'la Epiphone Valve Junior, Peavey Royal 8 etc. Which will get him the best tone for that price or you could get a Vox Valvetronix or Roland Cube which have effects but are generally better than the spider

SO if he wants effects get the valvetronix or cube

^ haha I just practically said what that guy did
Last edited by Horlicks at Nov 8, 2007,
#4
Last edited by yoyodunno at Nov 8, 2007,
#6
yoyo,
he likes rock & alternative (green day, nirvana, gnr, etc.)

thanks to everyone for all of your opinions. I'm checking them out while your suggestions keep coming.
#7
well the line 6 spiders really are trash- as are Marshall MG series (you'll see them with titles such as Marshall MG30 or MG30DFX e.t.c) you can get much more amp for your money.

I'm unsure on American pricing, but the general knowledge is in that price-bracket, there are two main candidates:

Vox Valvetronix AD series are great for nothing too high-gain metal.
For the high gain metal stuff, you're better off with the
Roland Cube (although make sure it's not the 15 watt! because the 15 doesn't have the digital moddelling which makes the Cubes so great)

Hope I helped
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#8
Hmm. From the bands he likes, I'd definitely say the Valvetronix. The Cube is good, but where it really excels is metal. For everything else, I would say the Valvetronix has a nicer sound. Plus it's more aesthetically pleasing. I'm sure he would have a lot of fun playing with the models and effects on it ^^
#9
Hey, it's good you got your son started at such a young age, if he keeps it up he will be amazing.

Anyway, I'd advise against a spider normally as they tend to be lower sound quality, but for a 9 year old it might be ok. Other amps to check out are the Vox AD15 as said before, or maybe a Roland cube 30 or cube 60.

#10
Quote by Denthúl
If you're looking for an amp that has built-in effects, I would advise you to look at the Vox AD15VT rather than the Spider, because the sound of Spiders isn't really great. Alternatively, if your son plays more metal and heavier types of music, the Roland Cube would be a better choice. I would normally suggest a small 5 watt valve amp, however I do think that your son would probably appreciate having effects and a lot of different sounds available rather than having an amp that does one or two sounds really well, but nothing else. That's something for him to look into when he's older

So, in short: for rock, blues, pop etc. Vox AD15VT, and for really heavy rock and metal, Roland Cube.



Yes, completely agree. This guys knows what he is talking about .
#11
I Disagree With The First Guy
I Would Get Your Kid A 75 Watt Spyder 3 Amp
Built In Effects And Hundreds Of Preset Song Settings
Thy Are A Lil Expensive
199.99 At Guitar Center But If You Can Find It Cheaper Guitar Center Will Beat The Price Garunteed
Its Where I Got Mine
#12
Well, I'm a dad with a nine year old son. For your son I think the Spider would work fine. It has lots of effects and it's built like a tank. A lot of people are going to jump in here and say that the Spider doesn't offer the best sound and they would be correct. The Spider has a more digital sound to it. A more natural sounding amp with effects would be the simularly equiped Vox, which the majority of UG's would recommend over the Spider. However, I wouldn't expect the Vox to take a beating like the Line 6 which may be a consideration for a nine year old.
#13
Quote by gtarman569
I Disagree With The First Guy
I Would Get Your Kid A 75 Watt Spyder 3 Amp
Built In Effects And Hundreds Of Preset Song Settings
Thy Are A Lil Expensive
199.99 At Guitar Center But If You Can Find It Cheaper Guitar Center Will Beat The Price Garunteed
Its Where I Got Mine


Or not? Spider are terrible for anyone other than a beginner, and stop typing like that.

^ No offence to the above poster, but do you honestly think that just becaue he's 9 means he's gonna throw it down the stairs every 5 minutes?
#14
ok, let me thrown one more thing in the loop. I think a plus would be the option to be able to plug an ipod into the amp to play along with the music. Opinions???
#15
Quote by shootnpar
ok, let me thrown one more thing in the loop. I think a plus would be the option to be able to plug an ipod into the amp to play along with the music. Opinions???


Speakers for the Ipod?
#17
Quote by shootnpar
ok, let me thrown one more thing in the loop. I think a plus would be the option to be able to plug an ipod into the amp to play along with the music. Opinions???


These modelling amps; the Vox, Roland cubes and spiders all have headphone/recording jacks i'm pretty sure.

edit oh woops my bad, for a line in/CD in i kno that the Roland cubes have that, and the spiders too.
Last edited by yoyodunno at Nov 8, 2007,
#18
Quote by gtarman569
I Disagree With The First Guy
I Would Get Your Kid A 75 Watt Spyder 3 Amp
Built In Effects And Hundreds Of Preset Song Settings
Thy Are A Lil Expensive
199.99 At Guitar Center But If You Can Find It Cheaper Guitar Center Will Beat The Price Garunteed
Its Where I Got Mine


15 watt Spiders make semi-decent practice amps if you can't get anything else. But two things: firstly, the 75 watt Spider is pointless, because it will still only sound good at practice levels and secondly, 75 watts is way too much for practice.

Quote by HeliuM
Yes, completely agree. This guys knows what he is talking about




Edit: Also, Horlicks...where on Earth have you been?
#19
Don't listen to people who capitalize every word...

As people have stated, there are two ways to go: Either modelling amps, which use solid state circuitry, and are trying to emulate different amps and effects, like the roland cube or the Vox AVT series. The other option would be a small tube combo, like the Epiphone Valve Junior. Tube amps sound better and are louder for their wattage compared to most solid state amps.

If you go with a modeling amp, your son will have the possibility to explore different amp sounds and effects, but the downside is that all the sounds he'll get will be lacking somewhat in quality. The tube amps have less tonal versatility, but will be more pleasing to the ear.

I think your son might probably think a modeling amp sounds cooler, but I recommend a a tube amp. A modeling amp is something he will "outgrow", while a tube is something he can enjoy even when he gets more picky about tone. If he wants effects, he could get some stomp boxes or a multi-FX eventually. In my opinion, lots of effects is not necessarily a good thing for a beginning player.

Just my two cents, of course. Anyway, you're a pretty cool dad for doing this for your son.
#20
Quote by Horlicks
^ No offence to the above poster, but do you honestly think that just becaue he's 9 means he's gonna throw it down the stairs every 5 minutes?



Well, being the father of a nine year old I know young boys can get rowdy and the Vox has a reputation of having cheaper construction, line in jacks becoming loose etc. I am an owner of a Spider and for myself and I am thinking of trading it out for a Vox. But I don't think my nine year old would care about the tonal differences between the two.
#21
^ If he's going to do something that would break the Vox, chances are the same thing would break a Spider as well. Amps are durable, but they all crumble under the sledgehammer, and dropping them down the stairs will have similar effects.
#22
you guys are too funny!! My kid is pretty good about NOT throwing things down the stairs He pretty much just plugs in and tries to "rock out"!
#23
Quote by shootnpar
you guys are too funny!! My kid is pretty good about NOT throwing things down the stairs He pretty much just plugs in and tries to "rock out"!


That's good. I have great respect for my gear. Even though my guitar causes me a lot of problems due to its crappyness, I still have to respect the fact that it's not the guitar that is the reason I can't play a particular piece, it's because I'm not focusing enough, not learning it in tiny pieces etc. so I won't chuck it out of the window or anything.

So yeah. I'd say the Vox would be perfect, unless you think he would really, really be bothered about tone, in which case a valve amp would sound better. But eh...sounding good is one thing. When I was a beginner, I didn't care too much for sounding great - I just wanted to have fun. So a modelling amp would probably be your best bet for now
#24
I'd reccomend a Vox AD15VT. I'm getting an AD30VT for Christmas and they're brilliant, I tried mine in the shop. They sound brilliant for anything Jazzy or Blues/Country to Slipknot-distortion. They sound good on the manual mode, but they've also got plenty of amp models like UK80s and USHIGAIN which are both great for distortion, heavy metal. Also, the effects sound great, they don't sound too digital or anything, but you can still use standard pedals if you want.
#25
I really doubt a 9 yr old who has played for a year will recognize good tone to be honest, and it's not like the vox have particularly bad tone either.

Go with the vox
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#26
Quote by Denthúl
^ If he's going to do something that would break the Vox, chances are the same thing would break a Spider as well. Amps are durable, but they all crumble under the sledgehammer, and dropping them down the stairs will have similar effects.


You exaggerate my meaning. If a Line 6 got pushed over and it fell on it's face, I have more confidence it would be okay compared to a Vox. Simple as that, no hammers involved. That said, Vox is supposed to a much better sounding amp, but it has less options than the Spider. In any case, I would discuss it with your son and have a few amps demostrated to you so you can see and hear the differences. Eventually, if he sticks with it, he'll outgrow the practice amp and will want a better one, but that could be a reward for progress.
#27
The Vox is actually more versatile, as well as better sounding. It has more amp models than the Line 6 does.

And the Vox would be fine if it fell on its face. My JCM900 slipped off the top of my cab (not fully) with one end hitting the metal post of my bed, and nothing happened. Nothing at all. Well, there's a small dent in the post, but yeah... I love my amp more than my bed.
#28
He now has a Squire guitar that came with a 15w Fender amp. His guitar teacher had him hooked up to a Crate GX15 or GLX15 (or something like that) and he definately can tell the sound quality is better with the Crate amp.
#29
Well, then he'll certainly notice the difference between the Crate and the Vox. But I think it might have been the tone - the Fender SS amps don't really have decent distortion for anything. The Crates, whilst still being poor, have more of it available, so it sounds more convincing. Still, the Vox is a major improvement
#30
Quote by Denthúl
15 watt Spiders make semi-decent practice amps if you can't get anything else. But two things: firstly, the 75 watt Spider is pointless, because it will still only sound good at practice levels and secondly, 75 watts is way too much for practice.




Edit: Also, Horlicks...where on Earth have you been?


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Last edited by Horlicks at Nov 8, 2007,
#32
Quote by Denthúl
^ Ah. Shame. May I ask what it was you did?


''Posting in a reported thread'' haha
#33
Quote by Denthúl
The Vox is actually more versatile, as well as better sounding. It has more amp models than the Line 6 does.



I meant more versatile as it has MP3 input, built-in tuner and can layer more effects at the same time. But the effects the Vox has are supposed to sound superior to the Spider. In any case, go where both you and your son can see and hear them demostrated.
#34
if he likes g'n'r i would go for a small tube amp. krank it and you get a lovely slash type overdrive... thats how slash gets his tone anyway... tubes. the only downside is no line input.

my $0.02
#35
The kids 9 he doesn't need a tube amp.
Although I wouldn't normaly say this a spider would be a great, choice. It was lots different options that your son can mix with. He won't notice the difference in sound whatsoever, and in the next few years he only care about looking cool rather than sounding good. A spider gives this image. It's not a bad little amp.
#36
The thing is, is that you should take your son to check out every amp in that price range. We can only suggest to you some ideas, but it's not really a good idea to choose what amp to buy based on what we say, your son has to make the decision

Okay so after that, I would suggest a Roland Cube. They are good for basically every genre in my opinion, the clean channel sounds amazing, and there are other distortions other then the metal distortion on it. It can model after a marshall rock stack, or u can get that tight british rock sound also. it also has effects, and since Roland and Boss (pedal makers) are the same company now i believe, the effects sound a lot nicer. But again, u have to try every amp to find the right one.

Good luck~~
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#37
you have all been very helpful. I will try and decide. I am trying to make this a surprise for him, and considering that Guitar Center has a great return policy, then it shouldn't be a problem.

My guess is that anything is going to be better than the fender amp that came with the package and that he'll be happy with any of the suggestions you all have given me.

Thanks so much!!
#38
Quote by rhettro
You exaggerate my meaning. If a Line 6 got pushed over and it fell on it's face, I have more confidence it would be okay compared to a Vox. Simple as that, no hammers involved.

Well you shouldn't, because the amount of "My Line 6 Spider/Marshall MG has broken. HELP!" threads we have recieved here easily outweighs the amount of "My Roland cube/Vox Valvetronix has broken" threads
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#39
Id say roland cube/spider on this one, honestly, if you just want a little amp to mess about with, the spider has a tonne of built in crap, easy to use, and the 15 watt is only cheap, probably the cheapest you'd get for that amount of features, they're built like tanks, sure they sound like ass to the more accustomed ear, but if you're not spending much, he can always upgrade later.

The Vox confused me in the store, i was sitting there pressing buttons and having a panic attack about lights flashing at me etc. (exaggerated slightly) but granted, it does sound 323748329 times better. I think you should take your son into a shop, let him have a go, see what he likes the most, if he can work out the Vox then I got outsmarted by a 9 year old. It's a very nice amp and he'd probably appreciate it more in the future.

And I disagree wholeheartedly to anyone who's recommending a valve amp.

^ *cough* My quote in Yngwies sig really doesn't support my case but ahh.
#40
Quote by beckyjc

^ *cough* My quote in Yngwies sig really doesn't support my case but ahh.

Quote by Pookie6
Yngwi3, You win this whole monstrosity of a thread.

Quote by uk.mace
For the best tingle, use Original Source mint. That shit feels amazing on your balls.


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