First of all, I'm currently a college student with not a lot of money to spend and sharing a room with my buddy. I may possibly join some bands soon, but not likely. I just ordered an ESP LTD Alexi-600 SE (pink limited edition), which is equipped with an EMG HZ-4. I know most of you will probably say this pickup sucks, but if need be I'm ready to buy an SD Blackout and swap it out for that. Only 90 bucks. I play mostly death metal stuff such as Children of Bodom. I also play a bit of: power metal (Rhapsody of Fire), neoclassical (Malmsteen/Symphony X/Jason Becker), and classical (Vivaldi/Bach/Mozart). I will mostly probably be playing in my room alone, likely using headphones half the time.

So would you say I should get some sort of decent solid-state amp? Any preamp/pedals I should get? If I were to play in bands, how many watts would I need?

By the way, I probably want to spend about $500 or less. But it depends on how good or necessary certain equipment is for my situation.
Last edited by fixationdarknes at Nov 8, 2007,
i still say the way to go in a dorm is with a nice computer interface and some VSTs. it saves a lot of space (considering you share a room and already have a computer), and if you get something of quality you can use it later for recording or whatever. i like my m-audio fast track, then there is also the line6 tone port that many people like. in fact, an i-mic and a nice mic/line preamp would work nicely as well.

also, many multi effects have a headphone out so you could get one of those as another option. something like the boss gt-8 or line6 pod/floor pod will last you a long time and give you effects for a band.

a nice amp probably is not the way to go in a dorm. if you do want an amp then try out the roland cubes and the vox valvetronix (probably the xl models since you seem to play mostly metal and related genres).
1. If I were to go Roland Cube or Vox VT, how many watts would you suggest getting?

2. I've never thought of relying on my computer for my guitar output. That's an interesting idea. My dad has Pro Tools with some decent plug-ins (including a digital guitar amp) that could probably be installed on my computer. Would that sound as good as a decent Solid-state amp?
depending on the specs of your computer and the plug-ins, as well as your speakers/headphones, using your computer can actually sound better for practicing than a ss amp will. the only thing is that many nice programs are memory hogs, so using them on a slower computer can cause lag.

as for the amps, i would look for no more than 15w probably. roland has a micro cube that is 5w and is supposed to sound nice and is not going to take up much space.