#1
So I've been playing guitar for about ten months, and throughly enjoy the instrument. I've found that I've improved quiet a bit over time, but one thing that I think might be holding me back(or frustrating my progress) is my gear.

Right now I am playing an Epiphone Les Paul Special 2 through a Line 6 Spider II amplifier. I bought these when I started playing because they were cheap and it seemed like a better deal then purchasing a starter pack. Over time I have come to hate the artificial sound of my amplifier, the quality of the distortion, and the lack of a real "metal" sound(especially when playing at the higher frets).

So i'm here, wondering where I should go next with some new gear. I live in an apartment and have no plans to gig anytime soon, so I don't need a lot of volume out of an amp, just good sound quality. Since i'm on a budget(college student) i'm wondering if I should upgrade my Amp first or my guitar(i'll probably have $400 to spend on each, but I'll only have the cash to upgrade one at a time)?

I really enjoy playing, but I want better quality to go with my improved skill, I hope you guys might be able to suggest something to help me out.
#2
amp. look for an epi VJ, it's 5w all tube. Guitar: I'd say an LTD or an X-series jackson (upgrade the pups and the trem on both brands).
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#3
Well it sounds like your biggest beef is with your amp, not so much the guitar. I suggest spending a day at a local guitar shop and checking out the different amps in your price range. Unless you find it difficult to actually play with your guitar (some cheap guitars can be frustrating due to poor setups, bad nuts, bridges, and tuners), I'd recommend finding an amp that speaks to you. Try plugging in a guitar similar to yours or bringing yours along that way you know for sure what it will sound like when you get home.
#4
Thanks for the quick reply...I also forgot to mention that while my primary genre of music is metal, I also sometimes like to play lighter music, so some versatility in the guitar/amp would be nice too.
#5
Sounds like you're making damn good progress for ten months, and I reckon your gear probably is holding you back - if not physically then certainly in terms of frustration.To be honest most guitarists had to put up with crap gear for their first few years, but forums like this make it easier to learn from other peoples' mistakes...

The one most important thing I've learned is to always buy the very best you can afford. If you buy cheap stuff you'll only ending losing money in the long run.
At the moment a new guitar should be your main priority and I suggest that takes up the bulk of your available cash. For metal you're more likely to want a humbucker equipped guitar but beyond that it's all up to you - If you want advice on specific models I suggest opening a separate thread.

Until you start gigging you just want a small cheap amp that'll sound okay at low volumes, really.
Thomann.de have just started sell a 15 watt all-valve amp (called the GA15) for around £110 ($220), which is absolutely, insanely, jaw-droppingly good value. In fact the previous cheapest equivalent ould probably be about $400 or more. Okay it's only got basic controls and no onboard distortion, but if you crank it up a little and use an overdrive pedal you'll get some great tones - not exactly metal, but miles better than anything else in the price range.It's also got enough volume for gigs, unlike the next best choice which I'd say is the Epiphone 'Valve Junior'.
For overdrive(and you will need it with those amps) have a look at the Behringer TO800 and the Digitech Bad Monkey. With any combination of those you'll get studio-quality rock tones and still have about $550 left to put towards a new guitar.
#6
So what kind of music do you play?

With the 400 bucks, I'd recommend a Peavy ValveKing. It's a really affordable and good sounding tube amp with one 12" speaker and about 40W of power. From experience, a tube amp with the same output as a transistor amp will sound louder. Check it on the web.

If you want a good metal sound, then buy a Ibanez S (NOT RG) or a Epi Iommi SG. The reason you don't want a RG, or any guitar with floating bridge that is similar to FR Original trem, is that the set-up will take forever and the actually good ones are way to expensive.

If buying a guitar is too expensive, then get an Evo, Tone Zone, or X2N bridge p'up (DiMarzio fan!) and solder them on the guitar yourself. These pickups are good for metal and progressive and DIY installation is a breeze, but make sure you read the labels and direction.

Then, multi-effects unit is also desired for that metal sound with budget. Don't be fooled with all those flashy looking pedals, get a Line 6 Pod or a V-amp will provide better resulting tone than those multi-FX pedals.
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When he asked for John Myung, John Myung said:"Who the hell is John Myung?"

Proud User of Ibanez, Korg, Rocktron, ENGL