Purchasing new gear: need help on guitar and amp

Discussion in 'Guitar Gear Talk Forum' started by pickandwhammy, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. pickandwhammy

    pickandwhammy New Member

    I've been playing for about 9 years now.

    Current gear:
    Fender Showmaster (for the past 6 years)
    Boss ME25
    Guitar Rig 5
    NO AMP! Only Altec Lansing speakers and Ultimate Ears earphones.
    I usually use the distortion (and wah) of the Boss and the preamp+amp and time-based effects of Guitar Rig, while playing at home; haven't played live in a long time, so don't know how the processor will sound on-stage. It doesn't sound too good directly on speakers/phones, but it isn't bad either.

    I mostly listen to and play King Crimson, Rush, Dream Theater, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, etc. It's the tones of the corresponding guitarists (Fripp & Belew, Lifeson, Petrucci, Gilmour, Page) that I want to produce.

    Budget: 50k max

    Guitar: Ibanez S 420 - I've almost finalised this - I really like the thin mahogany wood, the versatile tone, and the ZR bridge.

    The confusion:
    1) Tube amp
    2) Solid state
    3) Modelling amp

    1) Ideally I'd need one with an output jack and an FX loop and would also need to buy at least a delay pedal, and will need to lug all this around with me to gigs. Not to mention I can only afford the amp right now.
    2) I'll probably need a new processor, like the POD HD to get proper amp modelling - again, being able to afford both simultaneously seems unlikely.
    3) I don't know much about these, but even if I assume it's the best option, the con is that I'll have to carry it around.

    Sorry for the EXTREMELY long question, but if you read through it all you'll understand my dilemma! Also, if you'd like to check out the kind of tone I produce, please visit my YouTube stream: Mashed Brains, Headshots and the Dorian Burnout - YouTube
  2. ayu135

    ayu135 New Member

    As i can see that you have mostly listed players that either use a strat or a S-S-H pickup combination guitar and that you currently own a strat. My question is is there any particular reason for wanting to shift to H-H combination? Because most of the tones you are looking to play are single coiled ones. I'd suggest getting a Mexican S-S-H strat or a standard strat.
    Buy Online | Lowest Price | Free Shipping| Fender Standard(Mexican) Fat Strat Electric Guitar - Best Buy! - Buy online at the guaranteed lowest price in India - BAJAAO - Buy online and Review Musical Instruments, Pro Audio, Studio, P.A. Audio Equipme
    Buy Online | Lowest Price | Free Shipping| Fender Standard Stratocaster SSS Guitar - Buy online at the guaranteed lowest price in India - BAJAAO - Buy online and Review Musical Instruments, Pro Audio, Studio, P.A. Audio Equipment in India

    Or you may consider the Ibanez SA series
    Electric Guitars - SA160FM | Ibanez guitars

    The squire classic vibe series is also good if you can live with the squire badge.

    As for the amps i hope you know the difference between the three if not Let me google that for you Let me google that for you
    1)In my honest opinion the tube amps are far better especially for these Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Dire Straits kinds of tone. The warmth of the tube and the picking dynamics are really endearing. But there is a caveat they are darn expensive.
    2)Solid state, There are some good ones out there but again they are expensive
    3)Modelling, here the things get interesting. They are essentially solid state but have a processor inbuilt that emulates the famous amps, stompboxes and effect units and are pretty great for people on a budget, they usually have optional foot controllers that let you play live with ease so there is no need of any additional pedals or processors.

    Also is the 50k budget inclusive of amp+guitar or is it for the amp alone?

    Also here are some recommendations for the amps:
    Tube Amps:
    Buy Online | Lowest Price | Free Shipping| Laney Cub 10 Class A/B 10W All-Tube Combo Amplifier - Buy online at the guaranteed lowest price in India - BAJAAO - Buy online and Review Musical Instruments, Pro Audio, Studio, P.A. Audio Equipment in India
    I think mymusicmyguitar, a fellow IGTian, wants to sell his Cub10 so maybe you can a get a good deal from him.
    Solid State:
    Buy Online | Lowest Price | Free Shipping| Tech 21 Trademark 30 30W Guitar Combo/DI Amplifier - Buy online at the guaranteed lowest price in India - BAJAAO - Buy online and Review Musical Instruments, Pro Audio, Studio, P.A. Audio Equipment in India

    Buy Online | Lowest Price | Free Shipping| Peavey Vypyr 75 75W Guitar Amplifier with USB Audio Interface - Buy online at the guaranteed lowest price in India - BAJAAO - Buy online and Review Musical Instruments, Pro Audio, Studio, P.A. Audio Equipmen
    Buy Online | Lowest Price | Free Shipping| Peavey Vypyr 30 30W 1x12 Guitar Combo Modeling Amplifier - Buy online at the guaranteed lowest price in India - BAJAAO - Buy online and Review Musical Instruments, Pro Audio, Studio, P.A. Audio Equipment in
  3. pickandwhammy

    pickandwhammy New Member

    Thanks for the response! To clear the queries up first:
    1) I like the S-S-H configuration myself, but I also want a good Floyd Rose bridge (and 24 frets and a flat neck), which I can't seem to find anywhere. Also, Petrucci's always used H-H Ibanez and I think the Les Paul's built that way too, which I've seen Page and Fripp use often, so I'm not really that much against H-H, honestly. If you could suggest an S-S-H guitar that's got the other stuff I want, I'd probably end up buying it :)
    2) The amp differences - yes I do, and I love the tube tone! Which is where the dilemma lies - the Cub10 doesn't even have an FX loop, which means I can never use time effects. Even if another amp does, I'll need to buy extra pedals, and carry guitar+(processor/dist pedal)+amp+(time pedals) everywhere I go.
    3) 50k for everything :( Maybe another 10-20 over the next six months.

    I think in short my ME25 doesn't have much use, so the question becomes:
    Tube (with FX loop) + a horde of pedals later? Pro - sound, con - luggage
    Solid-state + POD? Pro - only carry processor, con - sound
  4. henrynh

    henrynh New Member

    The places that you are going to gig at, have they spent more than or equal to 50k worth on sound reinforcement?

    Will you be gigging alone with a sequencer to provide the backing sound or will it be with other instruments(most importantly drums)?

    You can skip the lower wattage 1-15W tube amps, not enough clean headroom when playing at stage volumes, especially with a drummer. You could mic a 15W tube amp but you'll need stage monitors to hear yourself over the drummer & other instruments and a sound man that knows what he's doing. If the venue provides monitoring then your golden otherwise you're stuck.

    The tones you want to reproduce require $50k min which is worthless if the venue itself doesn't have Pro Equipment to disperse those sounds around to the audience.

    If you want to sound good without spending atleast $2000 on equipment for your stage sound & still cover a vast number of genres then you can look into getting one of these:
    Avid Eleven Rack thru a Tech 21 Power Engine 60 Amp - YouTube
    Line 6 POD HD500 thru a Tech 21 Power Engine 60 Amp - YouTube
    BOSS GT-10 Guitar Pedal thru a Tech 21 Power Engine 60 Amp - YouTube
    Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series with Power Engine 60 - YouTube

    Those demonstrate the Tech 21 PE60 & some modelers plugged into it. You can skip the gt10 unless you like it's synthetic high gain sounds. Some other modelers to look into today would be Boss GT100 POD HD-500 vs Boss GT-100 (Eng subs) - YouTube and Guitar Playback and Palmer Melodic Backing Track Challenge Entry - YouTube Zoom G5

    What is wrong with the Fender Showmaster? Does it still have the stock pickups?
    It would be better to stick with it for now and change the pickups to some Duncan or DiMarzio & look into your amplification needs first, afterwards when money starts flowing in from the gigs you can buy another electric.
  5. pickandwhammy

    pickandwhammy New Member

    I honestly don't have much free time, and am quite selective (or snobbish?) about what I play and whom I play with - so if I do get a chance it'll probably be the typical "band at pub" scene. I don't want my amp to be a stage-worthy one: I want it for my personal use (if I'm to use it on stage I'd make use of the output channel on the amp and plug that into the venue's sound system).

    By the way, the "50k" was meant in Rupees! I SERIOUSLY cannot afford $2000! My monthly earnings are a quarter of that!

    I know what you mean about the synthetic Boss sound - that's precisely why I don't particularly like the ME25 I have right now. I think the best processor for me would be a POD HD300 or a Floor POD.

    Showmaster's neck is ever-so-slowly starting to bend, and its Floyd Rose is pathetic. Also - I lost one of the tiny parts in the Floyd rose and have substituted it with an equivalent tiny piece of metal: I don't know how long that will last. I could change the bridge and pickups, but that'll cost about Rs 20k and a new guitar (at least the Ibanez S) Rs 30k.
  6. ayu135

    ayu135 New Member

    Here is a guitar it has everything you want. Floyd Rose, S-S-H, thin flat neck, check out the links
    The ESP Guitar Company | 2012 USA Website
    The ESP Guitar Company | 2012 USA Website

    This is slightly expensive but is what you want a Fender Strat with FR bridge
    Standard Strat® HSS with Locking Tremolo by Fender Electric Guitars

    As for the amp, I personally think lugging around a pedalboard wont be that big a problem. It is like a small briefcase.

    If you decide to go with H-H though the S420 is a nice choice i have the S570b and it is a good guitar. Good floyds are hard to find at this price point.
  7. henrynh

    henrynh New Member

    This, all of it.

    Since your budget is pretty much lower than needed. Here's what I'd do
    Option A) Buy one of these: Peavey Vypyr 75/100W, Roland Cube 80XL, Vox VT80+, Fender Mustang IV
    Yes those will require saving up an additional Rs 5k-10k from the amplifier budget.

    Option B) Buy one of these & a keyboard amp or powered monitors: POD HD500, Zoom G5/G3/G3X, Digitech RP1000/RP500
    Too bad the price of the HD500 is in Rs.40k now, it used to be ~33k few months back.
    Option C) Buy a Laney Cub15 or Be3 Solution 18 and TC Electronics Flashback Delay or Nova Delay. Start filling it up with pedals or a processor like the Zoom G3 or Boss ME 25/70 for effects.

    Another thing, the Line out on a Tube amp, if it mentions Speaker Compensation/Emulation, only then can you go direct from there to the PA board otherwise you will sound as good as a swarm of bees. You'll a Speaker Simulator to go direct.
  8. pickandwhammy

    pickandwhammy New Member

    @ayu135: Thanks for the options! I checked them out, but I think I'll stick with the Ibanez S; Fender's way beyond what I can afford and I'd played an ESP in Furtados once, didn't much like the sound of it.

    @henrynh: Hmm, looks like I'll have to sacrifice the tube dream! At least for now. I think the best option for my budget would be B, with the Ibanez S. HD500 isn't possible though.

    I saw the Floor POD Plus being about 18k on Bajaao - is it worth it or should I save up and buy the HD300 later? And what's a keyboard amp? Would something like the Laney LX 12 be okay with the rest of the combination?
  9. henrynh

    henrynh New Member

    No you are better off with the HD500 than with either the HD300 or Floor POD plus. The problem with the HD300/400 is that they don't allow two instances of an effect. That takes the option of using Dual Amps out. The best sounds you can get out of the HD series is when you double track or start using Dual Amp chains(which is only possible with the HD500 for now).
    What you could look into is the Zoom G3 or G5. Those are not like the previous zoom mfx units & sound a lot different. Preferably the G5 if possible.

    A keyboard amp has a Flat Response which is needed when using modelers. Like in this video BOSS GT-10 Pedal Board - YouTube or Boss GT-10 & Traynor K-4 Video Demo by Glenn DeLaune - YouTube
  10. pickandwhammy

    pickandwhammy New Member

    I'd prefer a POD over anything, honestly. But the HD 500 is even more expensive than the guitar I'm looking at! I guess I'll have to make do without dual amps for now. Considering that acceptable, is the Floor POD Plus worth it, vs. the HD series? Or is it going to end up like the ME25 (vs. the GT series)?

    One more thing is - which amp? I personally like Laney, but I'm open to suggestions.

    Thanks a lot, by the way :)
  11. henrynh

    henrynh New Member

    You can skip the LX series & LV series from Laney. You are better off with Option A or Option B(keyboard amp/powered speakers/monitors.) You are on your own when looking for keyboard amps, someone here has one but isn't online right now I think.

    The HD300 is equivalent to the Boss ME70, except the HD has cab & mic modeling, more amps.
    I'd pick the Zoom G3 or G5 over it or the Pod Plus any day.
  12. ayu135

    ayu135 New Member

    I dont know why but you are intent on spending close to 30k on a processor and an amp to emulate a tube amplifier when you can buy one straight away. I'd say buy a new guitar right now stick your current processor for some time save up some cash and get a good tube amp. I havent personally tried one but i have mostly heard praise for BE3 amps. They are hand wired and are made in India so are comparatively cheaper. I just remembered also i tried an amp at the Musicians Mall made surprisingly by Ibanez it was a TSA15H it was a tube head and cab. It was around the 26-27k(Edit:head +112 cab!!) mark in January it was really sweet sounding and had a TS9 pedal built into it. Since i am into metal and stuff i didnt buy it. But it was really nice.
    Amplifiers - TSA15H | Ibanez guitars
    Although youtube videos are no way to select an amp these may give you an idea:
  13. henrynh

    henrynh New Member

    ^ A 15W tube amp is not meant for playing metal with a drummer on a live stage or even a club. It may seem louder when you play alone but once you are in a bigger area & there are drums involved then good luck maintaining the 15W clean headroom. There aren't any tube amps in the 30k price range that do modern metal except some Bugeras. And you need atleast a 30W tube amp if you want to play modern metal with a drummer. That's not for being loud but for having a loud clean sound without running into power tube distortion.
    You can get a Fender tube combo of say random 30W & stick a distortion pedal in front it but the really good sounding distortion boxes cost about 15k min after taxes.

    Just because it's a tube amp doesn't mean it will work in every situation, wattage & the genre is equally important when choosing a tube amp for playing live.
  14. ayu135

    ayu135 New Member

    He said it here that he doesnt want a stage worthy ones for now, ones that will suffise at bedroom levels.

    Also he didnt even ask for something to play metal with. The tube amps i suggested suit his needs well which he stated.
  15. henrynh

    henrynh New Member

    Yes he did not say he wanted it for metal. He said he wanted to cover these guys (Fripp & Belew, Lifeson, Petrucci, Gilmour, Page)
    The tube amps that you or me suggested won't cover anything except Page by themselves anyway.
    And he said not a $2000 worth stage amplification for now, there isn't a $200 worth tube amp to play with a drummer to cover those styles with other instruments involved or one with a Speaker emulated output to go direct to the board with.
  16. pickandwhammy

    pickandwhammy New Member

    I got lucky and someone was selling his 6 month old POD HD300 dirt cheap! Got it, but haven't had the chance to explore it fully yet. I guess that ticks off the processor.
  17. henrynh

    henrynh New Member

    Yup, so what budget are you left with now?
  18. pickandwhammy

    pickandwhammy New Member

    Hopefully I can sell off the ME 25, otherwise that's still a major cut. I got this for 15k, so assuming that happens I'm left with 35k, I believe. And another 5-10 over a few months.
    If that doesn't happen, then I'm not really left with much - not even enough for the guitar :-(
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2012
  19. mymusicmyguitar

    mymusicmyguitar New Member

    thts nice hd 300 will definitely suit UR needs.
    Now all that u are left wit is amp and a guitar.
    As someone referred here, i m Sellin my 6 months old Laney cub 10 along wit my Japanese IbaneZ.

    U can check out keyboard amps as @Henry mentioned since they will Go on well wit the processor. Will giv u a true output of UR processor.
  20. pickandwhammy

    pickandwhammy New Member

    Thanks! What's the pickup configuration and the tremolo-type on the Ibanez? Though I don't think I can afford a Japanese one, even if it's used.

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