Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Modeling or tube amp for older beginner?

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by privatesalt, Jun 10, 2017.

  1. paratus

    paratus Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    Old guy's opinion....If he can afford it, a decent tube amp that sounds great will inspire him to practice, and he won't have to spend time turning knobs looking for tone.

  2. heltershelton

    heltershelton Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 14, 2016
    not houston
    yeah, and it doesnt even have to be a thousand dollar amp. im sure he wont be gigging, being a new player and all, so i would recommend a small amp like the vox ac4c112 and some pedals. great tone for $350 brand new. sometimes GC has them on sale for $299. i love the one i have, and have even used it for gigs. you would be surprised how loud that thing gets. or even a night train 15 watt amp. the combo or the head and cab.....thats a good one also.
    privatesalt likes this.

  3. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 21, 2016
    Rhode Island
    Yep get both = Fender Super Champ x2

    Get the head so a couple cabs can change the flavor up!
    Dismalhead and privatesalt like this.

  4. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Feb 19, 2015
    Really interesting to read everyone's take on this. All very reasonable views and plausible suggestions.

    I lean toward him working with what he has until he's explored his options more, first-hand. Have him wander a well-stocked, unpushy music store or three. How about using a chunk of his change gypsying with him up to some good stores in Nashville, or whatever Mecca is closest, since the Chicago Musical Exchange is far away.

    I also offer up "What kind of music does he like to listen to and want to learn how to play (better)?" as maybe the key factor here.

    See what gear would generate his tastes. Share with him a nice YouTube spectrum of classic guitar + amp + pedal sounds/players to see where his tone magnets are. Throw in some extremes (reverb-drowned surf, thrash metal, etc.), since he may find he likes a degree of that but it's not distinct enough to him yet unless exaggerated. Help him see if there's a pattern there among his tastes, however different they may be. He may not know it yet, but he may be a Keefer looking to push a tweed, or a Rickenbacker nut waiting to Voxify.... How many times he repeats "Honky Tonk Women" or the Byrds can answer all this.
    skypeace and privatesalt like this.

  5. sonofiam

    sonofiam Tele-Meister

    Jan 19, 2017
    Inland Northwest
    Considering the type of tones he seems to be looking for, something like a Blackstar HT-20 would seem to be a good choice. It will give him a lot of options and versatility in the tone and gain departments. It would definitely be something he wouldn't outgrow and use for a long time as he progresses as a player. Going with a clean amp could open another can of worms: Effects. So keeping it simple but having a good amp to begin with may help him enjoy playing more and progress faster.
    stratoman1 and JasonKingsX like this.

  6. privatesalt

    privatesalt Tele-Meister

    Jan 31, 2014
    Wow.. that Blackstar HT-20 looks awesome!. Now you got me wanting to sell my stuff lol.

    A bit more to the story...
    At work on Fri, his GF brought to me a printout from GC website. She said he wanted to get some nice equipment. On the page was...

    -Line 6 G30 wireless system
    -Marshall Head w/4x12 bottom
    -Worn brown 2017 LP

    He lives in a house where he can crank it, and would probably even turn one part into a band room. I knew the amp was way overkill and suggested the Deluxe Reverb if tube route, or maybe Katana if modeling route because it is simple and good reviews on tone. Sad to say, but I did not want to steer him toward the new Mustang GT series with all the love/hate. I thought about Mustang 3v2 but its being discontinued...But it's still a great amp and in the running, along with the Super Champ X2. Thanks for that suggestion. I love the tube/modeling hybrid idea. I'd like to try one myself.

    I really need to talk to him more and find out why he had a half stack on there. And why LP. Although I thought the LP would be a nice one. But open to suggestions on everything. These posts will be very helpful.

    I suggested to get the G10 wireless instead of G30. I have the G10 and it is so convenient.

  7. deafoldman

    deafoldman TDPRI Member

    May 24, 2014
    ...if he wants more sound to join a jam, get a Peavey Bandit....
    Honest Charley and jvin248 like this.

  8. Hammerdog

    Hammerdog Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Mar 26, 2016
    I used a GT-6 for years. Had lots of fun with it. I found the sound I was looking for and then went out and bought a couple of amps and peddles. It's still an ongoing process, but I think I was able to short cut it with the GT-6.

  9. adamsappel

    adamsappel Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Jun 8, 2008
    Yes. Instead of a pure modeling amp, I would recommend the Fender SCX2, or a VOX AV15/30. Instead of all the endless amps and pedals and effects and tweaking, just having a range of "voices" that go from clean to crunch to dirt to metal will expose you to what you can sound like and make it fun.
    privatesalt likes this.

  10. Boil

    Boil Tele-Meister

    Oct 30, 2011
    Maybe not a Les Paul if he can help it, you can get a nicer better made Tele for less.
    Craig L likes this.

  11. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI

    I suspect the 'LP and Half-Stack' interest is due to reading too many forums (!). Spending cash doesn't make a great player. I love the signature line a guy has here on TDPRI about 'watch out for the guy with only one guitar and one amp because he probably knows how to use it'. I aspire to be that guy lately, I'm an older guy too; playing an Esquire with a humbucker wired to a 4-way as if it were a regular two pickup Tele and sometimes surprise myself that it will dial in to simulate the neck and quack tones.

    If he wants the LP for the chunkier neck ... make sure he checks out a MIM Tele. Get a used MIM and pay for a fret level and full setup and add a 4-way switch. Spend the money on those changes. I'd even say be tempted to fret level the MIA new/used if he wants the logo.

    For the amp, I'd +1 the Bandit. A Bandit on clean and a Tele will go a long way together. Add a Joyo American Sound pedal and he can hit all the DRRI/etc tones (check out the InTheBlues youtube channel for the Joyo blind test). The Joyo pedal is $30. The other popular option is an Orange 35RT if he is leaning more toward British tones and using that humbucker from the 4-way.

    The modeling route is just a lot of distraction Most of those modeling amps have horrible user interfaces and always make 99% of the presets one song shreddy metal of the type those 14 year olds want to show off with at GC with no intention of spending their baby sitting money on that $2,000 amp when you're trying to actually hear an amp you might buy.

    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
    privatesalt likes this.

  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    Unless he's joining a top 40 band next week he should start with one great sound and maybe an OD pedal.
    DRRI, TS, and practice practice practice.
    Scrapperz and privatesalt like this.

  13. luckett

    luckett Friend of Leo's

    Jun 14, 2011
    It sounds like your friend has grand delusions of rockin' Madison Square Bandroom before he knows how to play Smoke on the Water.

    He shouldn't skimp with a half stack. Definitely go with a full stack 8x12 and maybe a Marshall 1959 or JTM 45 head. Maybe two full stacks since he'll need a back up in case the primary rig goes down in the middle of a song.

    The worn brown LP won't cut it here. At this point, he might as well talk to Gibson about an endorsement deal and pick up a couple of True Historic Reissues. Maybe more if his roadie is a slow string changer.

    Of course that means he'll need a rack system for the wireless switching. You might as well add in a power conditioner and a MIDI switching system for his pedal board while you're at it.

    That should be enough until he learns the opening riff to Satisfaction and he figures out what upgrades he needs.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
    skypeace, privatesalt and Tremade like this.

  14. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 13, 2014
    I'd say he should get one of the good analog solidstate amps. No fiddling with tubes either.

    Roland's Blues Cube models are probably the most widely available ones, if the Peavey Rage doesn't sound right (haven't tried a Rage).
    privatesalt likes this.

  15. privatesalt

    privatesalt Tele-Meister

    Jan 31, 2014
    I about cracked up when I read this one.... I like "go for a full stack" lol!!..then "two full stacks"... thats funny right there! It 'is' funny how beginning players (im sure some of us have been there) want a HUGE amp right away. Like if only I had a huge killer amp I will sound good. Of course we all know it doesn't work like that (maybe it did for Hendrix..did he start off on a stack?).
    skypeace and Staypuft1652 like this.

  16. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 16, 2014
    Auburn, California
    I was gonna keep my mouth shut, but since others have said it - Super Champ X2. I picked up a used XD combo a few years ago for $230. Great tones, two channels, usable effects - and unlike the Mustang it's not complicated at all. Great for us old luddites. Loud enough to play with a drummer or do small gigs, small and portable if you get the combo. Perfect amp if you don't want to spend a lot of money.
    JasonKingsX and privatesalt like this.

  17. privatesalt

    privatesalt Tele-Meister

    Jan 31, 2014

    Yep agree with alot of this. This is awesome tagline and so true...'watch out for the guy with only one guitar and one amp because he probably knows how to use it'

    I watched some 'one man band' street player vids on YT last night. MAN.. talking about talent. Also know some older guys with one amp and guitar.. amazement city when watching them.

    Thanks for the info on the neck. I'm very curious about this as well. What neck is best.. Back in the day most everyone I know started on a cheap acoustic..we couldn't afford electric. I had couple friends that had money to start on an electric. Guess what? They dont play now. Never stuck with it (and always wanted to hear me play it instead I when came over). I have to say I did love playing on their electrics, but had enough LOVE for it to play on anything.

    I like the idea of no fiddling with hundreds of settings and computers while learning. Just an amp that will do great cleans to overdrive without much tweaking... whether modeling or tube.

    It's ALOT more confusing these days for the player just starting. What the heck to buy? We (older players) had few choices. Then it gets even MORE confusing with someone that has the money to buy nice equipment. Should they be steered away from the best? I figure his budget is around $2000 on EVERYTHING.. Amp, guitar, accessories. Although I'm sure he would like to save money where he can, but still wants something nice for a change. He ran into some extra $ recently and wants to get away from cheap amps and guitars that he's messed around on. IDK.. maybe one can get more inspired with nice equipment?

    This tube or modeling question gets very confusing when dealing with an adult beginner with some cash. Its different than buying for a kid.
    boredguy6060 likes this.

  18. JasonKingsX

    JasonKingsX Tele-Meister

    May 15, 2017
    I'll second this on the Super Champ. I also have and like very much the Blackstar HT-20 head. You can find these pretty cheap used at Guitar Center. Two different beasts each offering great tone in distinct ways. Recommend that your friend test drive both to get a feel for what floats his boat. I like having heads as opposed to combos so that I can switch between my favorite cabs as needed.
    privatesalt likes this.

  19. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 16, 2014
    Auburn, California
    Got me a Blackstar HT Studio 20 too. It's the combo though. I do run it into a 1 x 12" extension cab.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017

  20. JasonKingsX

    JasonKingsX Tele-Meister

    May 15, 2017
    Nice! I usually run mine in to two Fender 5150 III 1x12 cabs that are loaded with Celestion Creamback 75's. I stack the cabs vertically and pop the head on top. It's my quarter stack version of big "Marshall" tone. If I am really cranking this setup I add a rackmounted BBE maximizer to act as a global resonance and presence.

    Attached Files:

    privatesalt likes this.

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.