#1
I've had my guitar for about 2 months now and I despise the amp that the guy at the Guitar Center told me I should get. (I like all of my other gear so no other suggestions please.)

It's a Fender 25R so it was about 130 bucks.

My guitar is an Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plain Top which I really like and i've heard good things about them in general. However I just don't think the amp produces a very good sound.

What do YOU think is the best amp in the 100-200$ price range? I just want a better sounding practice amp since i'm not gigging or anything yet.
Last edited by KirkRocks at Feb 11, 2008,
#2
Roland Microcube or a Vox Valvetronix (I think the smallest one is the 15? Not sure). Possibly Vox DA5 or whatever it is. Microcube if you play metal, otherwise the Vox's are probably better.
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#3
Sir, you will ALWAYS want a new amp, just to leat you know.

what do you play?
Peavey 5150
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#4
It's not all about the amp, my friend. Your pickups have ALOT to do with it, too. I'm not harshing on Epis (I had one myself at one time) but the fact is the pickups are average at best if not sub-par. You'll get a thousand replies on what the best pickup is and the choices are vast. Personally, I prefer Seymour Duncan: either the JB or the Distortion. I put Duncans in the Epi LP I had and it made me appreciate it even more. No matter what guitar I buy (including the Gibson LP Special I own) right off the bat the factory pickups come out and Duncans go in.

But for practice amps, the Roland Microcube is one of the best to be had. But they can only be cranked so far before they sound icky...they're just little guys.
#5
Valve Junior and a bad monkey
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#6
Quote by JWBlack
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#7
What kind of music do you play? What are your goals with the guitar? Do you jam with friends at all now? Do you plan to in the future? Do you hope to gig soon?

Frankly. $200 is a very small budget. There's just not a lot out there at that number. There's the 5W tube combos (which I prefer), or the mini-modelers like the Vox AD15, or DA5. If you're looking to get out of the house at all, I'd suggest you get just a couple more bucks together and get something like the Roland Cube 30. Great practice amp with enough power to jam.
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#8
I suppose I should listen to you guys about new pickups. The thing is that I don't know jack about guitar equipment. All I know is that I like the way my LP feels and I don't want to change it ATM.

I've heard a lot about Seymour Duncan and the prices seem fair but here is a newb question: Would I need to buy one pickup or two?
Last edited by KirkRocks at Feb 11, 2008,
#9
Quote by KirkRocks
I suppose I should listen to you guys about new pickups. The thing is that I don't know jack about guitar equipment. All I know is that I like the way my LP feels and I don't want to change it ATM.

I've heard a lot about Seymour Duncan and the prices seem fair but here is a newb question: Would I need to one pickup or two?

IMO, you'll be getting a lot more bang for your buck if you get an amp first.
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#10
Quote by fretboarddragon
It's not all about the amp, my friend. Your pickups have ALOT to do with it, too. I'm not harshing on Epis (I had one myself at one time) but the fact is the pickups are average at best if not sub-par. You'll get a thousand replies on what the best pickup is and the choices are vast. Personally, I prefer Seymour Duncan: either the JB or the Distortion. I put Duncans in the Epi LP I had and it made me appreciate it even more. No matter what guitar I buy (including the Gibson LP Special I own) right off the bat the factory pickups come out and Duncans go in.

But for practice amps, the Roland Microcube is one of the best to be had. But they can only be cranked so far before they sound icky...they're just little guys.

Yes, but amps are most important for a good tone. Pickups in his current amp won't do much at all.

If I were you I would get a Crate V8. $159 at Guitar Center. If you play metal, get a Digitech Bad Monkey to get higher gain. The 5 watts of the amp will be as loud as your current amp because it is a tube amp and the tone will be 34 times better appoximately. Stock Epi pickups aren't that bad, especially with a good amp. Just get a new amp first please.
#11
You'll never notice new pickups without a good amp. Amp is roughly 70-90 of your sound imo. That's discounting playing ability and such as I'm sure even BB king would sound good on a cranked mg
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#12
The stock Epi's are not terrible. They really aren't. You could sell the Fender and add that to your amp fund. A new amp will really bring out the tone. Once you have a new amp, then you could change the Pups if you are still unhappy.
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#13
The Fender 25R is not a bad amp. I use one for practice a lot, and quick little gigs. It's not the greatest sounding amp available, but it gets the job done, is reliable, and sounds decent. Don't crank the gain on the amp, and it will sound fine. IMO, no Fenders give that classic Marshall overdrive that most are after. Just save up your money, work a summer job or whatnot, practice continually, and at the end of the summer buy a nice tube amp that you can gig with.
#14
Avt20 Marshall if you can find a used one or a 200$ one
go to Music Go Round people every where else rip you off,seriously.
got mine foe 185 at MGR used
#15
Quote by fretboarddragon
It's not all about the amp, my friend. Your pickups have ALOT to do with it, too. I'm not harshing on Epis (I had one myself at one time) but the fact is the pickups are average at best if not sub-par. You'll get a thousand replies on what the best pickup is and the choices are vast. Personally, I prefer Seymour Duncan: either the JB or the Distortion. I put Duncans in the Epi LP I had and it made me appreciate it even more. No matter what guitar I buy (including the Gibson LP Special I own) right off the bat the factory pickups come out and Duncans go in.

But for practice amps, the Roland Microcube is one of the best to be had. But they can only be cranked so far before they sound icky...they're just little guys.

Not really. Pickups are a small part of the equation.


What kind of music do you play?
#16
I wasn't saying that pickups are the ONLY way to improve things. It's obvious this dude needs a new amp...I'm in complete agreement with that.

But if you think pickups aren't a big factor, you may wanna reconsider. Go ahead and buy a more expensive amp, and play a guitar with crappy pickups in it. It's still gonna sound like ass because the pickups are what pick up & transmit the sound to the amp. Weak pickups = weak tone. It's that simple. That, and body wood...you just can't mix & match. If you enjoy that type of sound, that's great for you....it's all about what pleases YOUR ear. Myself, I like clarity & power and I've only found a handful of stock pickups that could ever measure up to the standard that I set for my sound, and that's why all mine get Duncans right away. I'm in a working band and while I would own an Epi LP, I wouldn't take it on stage with the pickups that are in it. I've had one, I've heard them, they didn't cut it... bottom line.
#17
Quote by Kevin Saale
That's discounting playing ability and such as I'm sure even BB king would sound good on a cranked mg


'Even' BB King?
#18
Quote by fretboarddragon
I wasn't saying that pickups are the ONLY way to improve things. It's obvious this dude needs a new amp...I'm in complete agreement with that.

But if you think pickups aren't a big factor, you may wanna reconsider. Go ahead and buy a more expensive amp, and play a guitar with crappy pickups in it. It's still gonna sound like ass because the pickups are what pick up & transmit the sound to the amp.
Weak pickups = weak tone. It's that simple. That, and body wood...you just can't mix & match. If you enjoy that type of sound, that's great for you....it's all about what pleases YOUR ear. Myself, I like clarity & power and I've only found a handful of stock pickups that could ever measure up to the standard that I set for my sound, and that's why all mine get Duncans right away. I'm in a working band and while I would own an Epi LP, I wouldn't take it on stage with the pickups that are in it. I've had one, I've heard them, they didn't cut it... bottom line.


EVH used a piece of sh*t guitar assembled from broken guitars, with a crap, low output pickup, an sounded perfectly amazing with his amp.

Tom morello's guitar on the first two rage albums was done in a similar fashion.

Frusciante uses stock single coils from decades ago, and sound perfectly amazing.

Appetite for destruction was not done with a gibson LP, but a copy of one, similar to an epi.

all have fantastic tone.

Pickups do play a part, but not as big as you say they do. They'll definitely sound better with an amp that really responds to the pickups, but I'd take a $150 squier with a Bogner XTC over a Gretsch White falcon and a valvetronix.
Peavey 5150
Mesa Mark IV
Mesa Single Rectifier (Series 1)
Fender Custom Shop Tonemaster
Roland Microcube

-Whitebox OS 1x12
-Port City OS 1x12

Digidesign Eleven RackAxe Fx Ultra
#19
The Epi Standard Plain top is one of the few Epi's that is worth a pickup upgrade (along with the G400.) In my opinion however the Epi's pickups are good enough (if we are talking about 490's.) I would go for a tube combo, the 5 watters are neat but you want a little more power if its going to be the only amp you have, so I would save up a little more and check out the used tube combo market (as Slat's said.) If you want to buy a solid state practice amp and go tube later I would urge you to check out the Peavey Transtubes. They have a much higher clipping threshold so they are loud. Cubes are ok. I would avoid the Crates, they break and get the trash can, Peaveys tend to last a long time (mine's a 1984.)
#20
Quote by mr_hankey
'Even' BB King?


If you got the skills, you'll sound good.
#21
Quote by fretboarddragon
It's not all about the amp, my friend. Your pickups have ALOT to do with it, too. I'm not harshing on Epis (I had one myself at one time) but the fact is the pickups are average at best if not sub-par. You'll get a thousand replies on what the best pickup is and the choices are vast. Personally, I prefer Seymour Duncan: either the JB or the Distortion. I put Duncans in the Epi LP I had and it made me appreciate it even more. No matter what guitar I buy (including the Gibson LP Special I own) right off the bat the factory pickups come out and Duncans go in.

But for practice amps, the Roland Microcube is one of the best to be had. But they can only be cranked so far before they sound icky...they're just little guys.

Yes, cause the best pickup will sound good on a Fender Frontman. No truth in that. A 60's Les Paul won't even sound decent on a Fender Frontman.
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#22
Quote by stuey22
If you got the skills, you'll sound good.


I think Hankey was pointing to the fact that the guy said 'Even' BB King, which strikes me as a silly thing to say. It makes it sound like BB King's a crap player. Which he is most certainly not.
#23
From an audio engineering standpoint you might look at your future plans and consider getting something now that you would not have to sell/throw away once you get more power (what it's really about - Spinal Tap was right about that...)

I'd say look into a DI box or amp modeler. I've had some luck with the Behringer V-Amp. It's not the best in the world, but when I just don't have the time or care to play at 465 dB through my 5150 stack, I just plug that into the home stereo and play. Best sound on Earth? No, but when you're writing songs or just trying to study up it's great.

Later you can get a decent power amp and some PA speakers, which isn't a bad thing to have anyway. That can function as a stereo, home theatre, can power the **** out of a party system indoor or outdoor, and can even act as a guitar amp.

If I had it to do over again on a limited budget I'd probably go that route versus wasting hundreds or thousands on five different amps I either blew up of just lost somehow/spilled a beer on it or whatever.

Each amp has its own uses, and there is nothing wrong with a practice amp. In fact in the studio a practice amp will often have more of a juicy sound than a Mesa full stack. Stick it in the closet and mic it up. Turn the mic signal up as high as you want - it's up to you my friend!

Of course if I had 680 trillion dollars I would go ahead and buy a practice amp, a nice full stack as I have already done, a home theatre, a PA and so on, but as it stands? I bought a home theatre from some guy and use that as a guitar amp, a stereo, and even use it as my PA.

Of course I recently blew it up using it as a PA.

If I had the $$ I'd get a Crown amp. Much more versatile, powerful and customizable than anything else on the planet. The ****in' rule!
"Virtually no one who is taught Relativity continues to read the Bible."

#24
If you got the skills, you'll sound good.QUOTE]

True, I have been learnig fro about 1.5 years on and off. Around a year ago I went to GC and saw this kid playing amazingly on an amp (solid state), and I was like WOW he is using my same crapola guitar (shecter omen-6) I have to get that amp!! As soon as he dropped the guitar/amp I ran there and tried playing that. It sounded like ****. I rialized it was not the amp but the player :P

BTW I have a micro cube and its no that good IMO. Even a line-6 has better sound for a solid state (at least you can tweak it more). But micro cube can be battery operated and that could be useful.

now I am looking for a tube practice amp (for a bedroom) very limited choices
Last edited by DrEvil at Feb 14, 2008,
#25
I have a Palomino V8 and love it. I added a MXR M-108 10 band Eq and Bad Monkey OD and get a quite satisfying Metal tone. I highly recommend the V8 and MXR eq.