I find the Fender Mustang I v.2 to be very versitile. It's a modeling amp with lots of presets. Nice clean and dirty settings to chose from or you can create and save your own. I personally like the Twin Surf and Brutal Metal presets. Happy hunting and stay sick!
At the $200 mark I would look for a used Epiphone Les Paul Standard. From my experience they can be found for $225 - $250. You may not see them all that often but they do come around from time to time. I'm always looking for gear to drool over on  Craigslis, Offer Up, and Let Go. But maybe you are not into used gear. Good luck hunting for your guitar either way!
Has UG ever given review authors a "save as draft" feature? I think this would be a benefit to users, especially if the current outline of questions for each section is used as a template (features, sound, durability, etc). Personally, I usually copy and paste the questions from each section on to a word document as then address all the applicable questions as I write a rough draft of my review. When I am done I go to UG and copy and paste my responses into each section. I don't think I have ever sat down and wrote an entire review in one sitting while on the "submit a review" page. Some of my opinions form faster than others. Other times I need the gear I am reviewing in my hands to describe its characteristics.

Maybe I am just lazy, but I think adding a draft option to reviews would free up some of the hassle of copy and pasting from a word document to the website. I'm broke, ok. I admit it. I do not always have Wi-fi available. And there have been times where I have had a review saved on google docs and up to date on one device but unable to access and continue to edit my draft on another device. I imagine a simple template with the review questions/guidelines for each section. A "save" and "edit" button for creating drafts. As well as a submit button for what else but submit. That should streamline the process. My process at least.
On a side note, having recently learned what "OPP" truly is as defined by the song's lyrics I am no longer down with it.
dannyalcatraz I am considering combo amps as well as stacks. No preference as far as solid state, tube, or a hybrid of the two. If I find a half stack that needs a good home I will need to buy both the head and speaker cabinet.

As far as size, I'm gonna say a 4x12 cab half stack is as large as I will go. I was about to say a 4x12 cab is too big, but found myself reminiscing back to when I was a drummer in a band. We rehearsed at my place so naturally all of the bands gear was stored there as well. Every now and then I would cease the opportunity and play one of my guitars through my buddy's half stack and I have been impressed by how sweet four 12" speakers sound together (Crate Excalibur solid state head on a Peavey 5150 straight 4x12 cab).

Any opinions regarding slant cabs vs straight? I remember back in the 90s people were taking sides and I wound up on the "straight cabs are better than slant cabs" side because straight cabs produced more bass/low end frequencies than the other. Does that ring a bell with anyone?
dspellman As this thread grows post by post I am getting better idea of what I want in an amp. Two speakers, two channels, and little to no built-in effects aside from gain/overdrive are some of the features I would prefer on a preowned model.

Egnator, Krank, Peavey, Marshall, Mesa Boogie, Vox, and Randall are some of the more familiar brand names [to me] that I have in mind. I am looking forward to checking out the local market (San Jose, Ca - SF Bay Area) to test drive some amps.
dementiacaptain Whoops, my bad. I suppose I feel comfortable spending $500-$800 for the right amp.

I feel like a _________, it didn't dawn on me that "Budget?" = "What is your budget?"

Also, I've never owned a guitar this nice before and don't know which amps are popular among other owners. Albeit I am playing for my own enjoyment, but pairing a Gibson Custom Shop 1957 VOS Les Paul Reissue with a practice amp doesn't feel right.
Gain: Personally, I don't believe in such a thing as "too much gain."

New or Used: Used is preferred. I buy (no pun intended) into the idea of "broken-in" gear. In this case the speaker(s).

Plus, although I take care of my gear, with most used equipment I don't have to obsess over maintaining the immaculate cosmetic condition of new gear. In most cases the previous owner(s) suffered the heartache of incurring the first blemish.
Volume needs, hmmm. Well, yes. I definitely need to have the ear ringing, therapeutic, soul lifting decibels on standby for when that duty calls. However, I have to admit those levels will be used sparingly to keep the peace among my family & neighbors.

I understand going Marshall should deliver that iconic sound that I am sure we are all on the same page imagining. I have considered Vox but up until now have not considered Orange. I will keep an eye out for a reasonably priced - used Mesa Boogie (Petaluma is about an hour or two away, support the locals).

I am open to solid state, valve (have yet to own), and modeling amps. But honestly, less is more when it comes to features. Some days I find my self tweaking the knobs playing around with all the different settings more than actually playing (OCD? ADD? Yeah, you know me).

Whose down with OPP?
Not like I have anything close to what the common man would even remotely consider "disposable income." But I defiantly owe my wife a diamond ring! She is well over due. Bleh!
I will start looking in to the amps you guys have suggested. Once again, it's much appreciated.

Any opinions on Blackstar, Hi Watt, Randall or Fender amps.?

I have been interested in Fender's SuperSonic. I have thought about upgrading to the larger Fender Mustang III. But then again, with so many fish in the ocean I want to play around and explore. That actually sounds fun. I think I will start putting in some time at my friendly neighborhood music store and explore what tones are available.
Thanks for your input. I prefer to plug straight in to an amp with the gain(s) high at 7-10 with the typical crunch EQ settings (low & high frequencies set somewhere around 7-10, and mids set to 1-5.

Pedals are cool and all but I am not ready to chase that tone dragon just yet. There are so many to chose from! I would shell out some dough for a nice tremolo pedal however. I love rockabilly slap back echo a la The Cramps et al.

I appreciate a clean surf guitar sound with dripping reverb. But it's not a deal breaker, my not so picky ears have found that most amps can have a decent clean channel. Plus my style of music is geared towards punk - less than perfect is beautiful thing.
As the title suggest... My Fender Mustang I v.2 doesn't seem adequate considering my beautiful and smart wife surprised me with above mentioned guitar for Fathers Day.

I'm a non-professional musician who primarily plays at home and the office to kill idle down time working the graveyard shift, sucks to be me right? I'm no Buddhist but life is suffering and I have suffered my share (I'll spare you the details). Ok, I'm rambling. My therapist called in sick on me this week.

Thanks for reading and one last thing, although I am not a gigging pro, I feel that an amp that could pull its weight if I were suddenly summed by Rancid, Social Distortion, Misfits, FIDLAR, etc to fill in as a backing guitarist the next time they come through town. Unfortunately, a half can is out as I live in a townhouse. Two speaker cab with a head - ok.

Peavey is cool, Marshall too. Mesa Boogie is way out of my price range (wife and 4 kids). Love the punk rock and metal sound.
Paying for a pro setup may be well worth your money, especially if the technician lets you watch over their shoulder as they work and explain what they are doing and why. I have never taken this approach but it seems reasonable (offering an added cash incentive for their  insight wouldnt hurt either). If you are unable to shadow a technician as they perform a setup, try  reverse engineering the differences in feel with your guitar before and after the setup.

I was was fortunate enough to get a complimentary setup when I purchased a Hagstrom Swede last year. I requested 9's (string gauge) with the action set low but I was not able to witness the setup process. I was very happy with the feel of the setup I received and thus  was able to feel what a proper setup should feel like. Using a string gauge ruler, I went on to use that guitar's setup and measurements as the basis to setup the other guitars in my small and humble collection.

You can buckle down and read a number of articles on performing your own setup and/or YouTube the subject to your heart's content. Whichever route you take I wish you the best of luck and hope you will enjoy playing guitar for years and decades to come. Welocome to a life long obsession with guitars!
Partially, I'm just being silly. But I do find acoustic guitars to be more brutal on my finger tips than most electrics. And this is kind of a Jeff Beck reference as well because he has been quoted saying he only plays electrics. Although I am not a Jeff Beck fan, anyone who is into guitars will run in to his name sooner or later. Talented man of coarse, just not my choice of music.

As far as buying a new guitar, I highly recommend going to a music store where the guitars you are considering are available for you to test them out and put in some time playing each one to assess which feels best or is more to your liking.
tomi210210 I recommend an electric guitar only diet. If you absolutely must have an acoustic than a hallow-body is as close to an acoustic guitar anyone should get.
Thanks for the input. I am playing through a Fender Mustang I modeling amp. With a wife and a house full of kids I can't always rock out like the good ol days. So I'm looking for a good set of headphones with some EQ and not flatI. Something "crunch" oriented. I had Koss way back when and thought they were good compared to their ordinary counterparts. I remember them having some good low end. I've been looking at Sony, Sennheiser, and Audio Technica.
Interesting, I like the last line "Student" singular, "wearing questionable costumes" plural. Way to go Fairfax school administrators, faculty and staff. I love spelling and grammar errors.
I am in the market for a new pair of headphones in the $20 - $50 range that sound good when plugged in to an amplifier's headphone jack. Large on ear/over ear style is preferred. Looking for a deal online is a bit overwhelming so I thought I'd take a break and ask the guitar community for some help.
Thanks for the feedback. I have edited my initial post and explained what I consider low action. I'm not sure if I can edit the poll though.
The measurements listed below are found on the backside of a string action gauge ruler and I consider to be medium. Naturally, I would consider measurements greater than these to be high, and measurements lower to be, well, low. Measurements are taken from the top of the fret to the bottom of the low E and high e strings.

E 1.5 - 2.0 mm / .059 - .079
e 1.0 - 1.5 mm / .039 - .059

Here's the string gauge and measurements I am using which I consider low.

Swede: 42 - 9 gauge
12th fret action E .040 e .025 (Purchase included a complimentary setup, I requested low action)

Black Beauty 3: 42 - 9 gauge
12th fret action E .030 e .025

Sheraton II: 42 - 9 gauge
12th fret action E .025 e .020

Gretsch: 46 - 10 gauge
12th fret action E .040 e .040
Quote by Fumble fingers
that's how I do it ... works great

Oh yeah, and there is that aspect too. It has to look "ok." Burying the neck pickup and too much bass/treble tilt makes my eye twitch. No, not really. I heard a lady friend of mine say that once and I thought it was funny.
I don't know how some of you guys do it picking up subtle details as string to string volume and bass/treble balance all by ear unless you have some type of gadget to help you out.

I would say that I have an above average ear for detail rooted in my band geek school days (damn, 20 years ago). I can transcribe songs, pickup some songs by ear and I am self taught on drums. But again, I have adjusted the pickups on all my guitars (listed in signature) and have met the same outcome more or less.

OCD is fun.
I have thoroughly sifted through the Internet and tried a number of suggestions: Gretsch, TV Jones, Gibson and the nickle trick. I have a make shift action ruler I printed and laminated, then taped to a used gift card. Set high or low. Poles flat or staggered. It all sounds the same to me.

Until a couple of hours ago. Playing my Epi LP BB3 with the Alnico Classic pickup pole pieces staggered in the fashion Gretsch had recommended for one of their pickup models along with their suggested pickup height. The sound coming through my amp sounded beefy with shape yet a little thin so I adjusted to Gibsons recommended starting point. We'll see if it still sounds good the next time I play, or in a few days.
What pickup height measurements are you using? Do you adjust your polepiece height as well? I have tried adjusting both up and down and could barely hear a difference. What say you?
I must find some "Under Pressure" tab.
You only live once. If you can afford it, get one. If not, rest assured your current Epiphone Les Paul is a mighty fine axe. Check out a few Epiphone vs Gibson blind tone test on youtube and get your hands on a few Gibson's and feel the difference for yourself. I used to want a Gibson oh so badly as well. I have tried out a few Gibson Les Pauls and have found my Epiphone to be more comfortable each time. In my opinion owning a Gibson is a status symbol no different than owning a Mercedes.
Drugs. Some good uppers. Cocaine, Amphetamines (Adderall), Methamphetamine, etc. Dude, you will be so focused and unable to put the guitar down. Or, um, er, that's the word on the street... yeah.
I suppose I am up for the challenge. I like the previous suggestions. Chances are it may be a custom chopper of sorts similar to a Fender Precission Bass I thought I had. When times got hard and I went to sell it at the local buy-sell-trade I learned from the associate that I had something a bit more special on my hands (active pickups for one, and I remember the word 'custom.') I am obviously not a bad guy... per say.
Gear plans, hmmm. I hadn't put much thought into it. I acquired a Hagstrom Swede Gold Top this year. Other than that, I hope to keep the gear I currently have. I have to move in a few months and that might necessitate downsizing my collection by a guitar or two.
Funky, in a good way of coarse.
[quote="I DO tune guitars in GC's acoustic room, sometimes, because they are almost always out of tune. [/QUOTE"]

Yeah! What's up with that?! Damn near every music store I have visited I have noticed the same thing. The player(s) before me can't tune for sh!t (and neither can I by ear - I depend on a tuner). Of coarse the music store is loud as hell and a tuner is not on my persons so I find myself wasting precious time as I struggle to tune the guitar I'm test driving to an acceptable "ball-park" pitch ( no pun intended).
Adjust Gain, High, and Low to 10. Set Mids to 0. This is your typical "crunch" setting.
An Epiohone Les Paul Standard or Custom should get the job done in my opinion. I own a Custom and have owned a Standard. I find them to be quite versatile and that classic overdriven rock sound we all know an love was highly likely produced by a Gibson Les Paul. Arguably, an Epiphone is just as good in a blind tone test.
Live: I want to see it, I want to be able to emulate my guitar heroes when I play. I totally understand if it's just not someone's style, it can be hard to play so passionately, speaking for myself. But it is definitely more entertaining to watch and I believe it helps to engage the audience and connect.
2 more of my cents... I had a great experience with True Tone Santa Monica buying my Hagstrom Swede Gold Top.
Reverb is hit or miss. I had a bad experience you can read about in my blog, but to be fair, I have had good experiences too. Talk it up with sellers and get a good idea of what condition the guitar in question is in before pulling the trigger. Don't take anything for granted, ads can be misleading and some people do lie. Check out UG's guide to buying a used guitar as well. Even if you are looking to buy a new guitar, I still recommend reading the article since its touches base on buying online. Good luck!
I had a hard time finding a replacement neck for my Made in Japan Collectibles Series Fender Strat. Not just any neck will do. Good luck.
I believe in wiping down strings regularly to prevent corrosion and promote their longevity. I'm not perfect, I forget to wipe them down occasionally. In addition to a basic overall wipe down I like to "pinch" each string one at a time wiping from nut to bridge ( I'm sure my dirty mind isn't the only one that found that statement amusing). I have some Dunlop string cleaner that I use maybe once a month, it's alright-take it or leave it-I got it for free. And once I learned a restringing technique that works for me has vastly improved the overall longevity on any brand of strings I've been using over the years.
I personally like Dunlop strings lately. My Epiphone Les Paul came with a set of 9's that feel really good to me. Nice and slinky although they are not advertised as such.