I'm basically looking to upgrade my gear which is pretty bad. I've been playing for about a year and I use a Monterey stage series (a cheap knockoff of a fender) with a Randall RG15XM. My Monteray has loose electrical connections and it never seems to work properly, even when it does you get a pretty bad sound (Its a piece of CRUD!. The amp however seems to be pretty good and ive never had issues with it.

Basically I'm looking for a reasonable guitar, a better amp and maybe some effects pedals. I've been playing for about a year and I'm into classic rock, metal, punk (basically a bit of everything).

Can anyone give me some advice about good kinda starter guitars (kinda $300-$700), a good amp ($200+) and some good effects pedal for someone of my skill?

Thx a lot!
Last edited by hendrixftw at Mar 23, 2008,
MIM HSS Stratocaster and a Vox AD30VT is a great set up for your price range and needs. If you want to go a little more advanced with the amp/effects setup, a Palomino V16 with something like a Bad Monkey OD and a delay or reverb pedal would be your best bet.
That looks like a good combo. 2 q's! The Vox has a heap of effects built in doesn't it? and is there a massive differnce between Mex/American Strats, and if there is for a noob like me will it really matter?
The Mex/USA debate is a long-running and ugly one. The Mexican ones use cheaper parts and are less consistent in quality, so they can be very good but it's strongly advised that you play one before you buy it - no online shopping. I personally dont bother with either and buy Japanese Fenders, but at your stage any will suffice. Also try a Yamaha Pacifica, I rckon they're at least on a par with most Mexican strats, and a little more versatile too.

As for an amp, the AD30 is a good, flexible amp and will do fine for practice. If you plan on playing in a band or gigging within the next year or so you're bettter of just going straight up to a small valve amp like the Palomino.
Yes the Vox has a heap of effects. I like the chorus, the flange, the reverb, and the compression sustainer effects personally. It is also a modeling amp, so you can play around with it a bit. The best thing about it is the built in attenuator, so you can adjust the wattage and crank the power (I know it is a solid state amp, but I do this on my AD50 and it just sounds better, and richer).

I might be wrong, but the Palomino is one of the most affordable tube amps around, so you could get a few good effects to go with it, especially if you get a less expensive guitar. The V16 costs as much as the AD30