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

Modeling or tube amp for older beginner?

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

  1. signine

    signine TDPRI Member

    7
    Jun 15, 2013
    SF Bay Area
    It depends. A beginner probably needs 'simple' and it doesn't matter if the amp itself sounds like total garbage. I had a terrible Crate GX15 as my first amp, but these days I would probably pick up someone an Orange Micro Terror with the little 8" speaker. Three knobs, can be quiet or blisteringly loud, weighs about as much as an adolescent badger. There are plenty of tiny tube amps in the same market space, Vox AC4, Orange MT, hell that Marshall Slash signature 5W combo looked pretty hot too, the Champion 600 can be had for a song used and sounds pretty damn good out of the box, IMO.

    The problem with modelers for a beginner, and some people who are intermediate, is that there are just too many options. I work in computers, so I play guitar to get away from them. I have a Roland Cube I love, but if it has a USB port on it I stay away from it. The fewer knobs and models the better, so you can just find that sound you like, or at least tolerate, and crank it.
     
    rxtech, Staypuft1652 and privatesalt like this.

  2. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    48
    Aug 17, 2012
    Seattle
    The tricky part is that the top-of-the-line units (Axe-FX, Kemper, Helix) are hard to come by in most stores. Axe-FX is direct only, so you won't find one in any retail outlet. The Kemper and Axe-FX are about $2K each, Helix around $1500. I have two tube heads that set me back that much (each), so the cost of admission, though definitely not at the entry-level price point, isn't by any means that far above a good tube amp.

    You can get a pair of powered monitors for anywhere between $500-$1000 dollars (new), which is again in the ballpark for a pair of traditional guitar cabs. A MIDI controller would be another $300-$500 or so, but when you add up the cost of what you get versus what it would take to get the same flexibility and number of effects with a traditional rig you're going to be either spending the same or coming out ahead with the digital solution.

    It all depends on what you're after, what your budget is, etc.

    I've owned a Kemper for a few years. I have the powered rack unit, and by utilizing the onboard power amp (600 watts RMS Class D) and bypassing the cab block, I can plug it straight into my 4x12 and get the exact same experience I would have if I ran one of my tube amps through the same cab (which really annoys the neighbors!).
     

  3. LPTyler

    LPTyler TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    74
    Nov 29, 2016
    Rock Springs, WY
    I am in this situation, I haven't been playing that long and I started with a Les Paul and a Marshall DSL 5C. I love the les Paul, and the amp is cool but maybe a little focused on gain and "modern" sound. I have actually been thinking about getting a Yamaha Thr10 for a nice quiet amp but we will see!
     
    privatesalt likes this.

  4. FattoneTele

    FattoneTele Tele-Meister

    158
    Dec 12, 2016
    Jena, LA
    With a budget of 1000 I'd get a used Fender Twin or reissue and maybe throw in one of those Joyo British pedals (Marshall simulator) for those classic rock tones. I'd like to try out the Mesa simulator pedal.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017

  5. Horsin Hank

    Horsin Hank Tele-Meister

    Age:
    63
    187
    Jul 2, 2016
    Green River Wy
    I agree with Radio 100%. This guy surely doesnt need to run out and buy a LP and a high dollar tube amp. Is he planning to run out and join a band?
    Does he even have a plan for himself?
     
    privatesalt likes this.

  6. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Tele-Holic

    683
    Nov 12, 2016
    Virginia Beach, Va
     
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  7. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Tele-Holic

    683
    Nov 12, 2016
    Virginia Beach, Va
     
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  8. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Tele-Holic

    683
    Nov 12, 2016
    Virginia Beach, Va
    Right now I'd say make 1000 total for guitar and amp. A MIM Strat or Tele along with a smaller amp to start should be fine. The amp market sure has changed since we were kids ya know
     
    privatesalt likes this.

  9. Sjnoring

    Sjnoring Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    52
    Jan 26, 2017
    USA
    +20. Do you want to play a guitar or edit presets? Modeling amps make sense for a studio pro or a guy who's gigging in a cover band, situations where you need a range of sounds at your fingertips. For a beginner it's just a distraction.
     
    privatesalt likes this.

  10. privatesalt

    privatesalt Tele-Meister

    116
    Jan 31, 2014
    Alabama
    I'm starting to agree about not running out and buying a $1000 amp.. although a 65 DRRI would be nice. I think someone probably needs to develop first (or they may think a 65 DR sounds like crap..lol).

    I'm thinking more of smaller tube amp, hybrid like SCX2, or good modeling amp like M3v2 which is easy. (I also have good presets I can tweak for his guitar, so he won't even have to go into menus and can use just like a simple tube amp). For that matter I can setup 'any' modeling amp, so he just turns it on..and adjust gain, vol, and tone knobs to taste like a normal tube amp.

    Im going to help him get started, and also with learning. I'll show him good bit to practice and give him lot of tips, but I'm no pro teacher (although I have taught people in past with success). But he'll be on his own a lot, with books, and YT.

    I do think a good guitar is important though. He had ordered a LP but canceled before it shipped. So the guitar choice is still up in the air.
     
    Jim Dep likes this.

  11. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Tele-Holic

    683
    Nov 12, 2016
    Virginia Beach, Va

    Smart move on the guitar for a few reasons. Honestly he wouldn't really appreciate the LP yet. My advice is always to start on acoustic first anyway. Learn your chords and fingerings there for at least six months, preferably longer. My main reason for that is two-fold. Yes, they are harder to play normally but A: if the desire is there you'll work through it. And B: once you pick up the electric you'll appreciate the effort you put forth already. This is a case of do as I say, not as I did btw.

    And at this point even though he has a basic understanding of where he wants to go after a few months tastes aRe subject to change. And you find out what you thought you wanted might not really be what you need to get where you want to be

    Case in point, yours truly here. My first real guitar and amp was 74 Tele and a 135 watt SFTR. Both excellent pieces of equipment but I've always had a grittier sound in my head but what I had was the ultimate clean headroom, no breakup til you were almost deaf setup. Granted stuff was cheaper back then but the point I'm making is not to crazy on guitars and amps until you realize what they actually do and how they interact with each other. Then it's much easier to make smarter choices
     
    privatesalt likes this.

  12. privatesalt

    privatesalt Tele-Meister

    116
    Jan 31, 2014
    Alabama
    UPDATE....

    My beginner friend got 2 amps and 2 guitars! (Forget starting on just 1! Lol). He got...

    Mustang 3v2
    Marshall Code 100w
    Gibson LP (worn cherry, rosewood fretboard)
    Fender Strat (blonde, maple neck)

    Both the guitars are the USA 'entry' versions (the 8 or $900 versions that is).

    The M3v2 was my recommendation since I have one and can help setting up nice tones (or I can just load some of my presets..I also have LP & strat so should be close for his setup). Also the M3v2 is already proven to be widely loved by alot of ears. I hear the GT100 is getting better... but probably not good idea quite yet.

    I didn't know he was getting the Code (or even thinking about). Maybe it will scratch his itch for the "Marshall half stack"... IDK, not familiar with the Code or ever heard one in person. (I 'have' seen mixed opinions on the Code).

    He said he was going to play the LP thru the Code, and the Strat thru the Mustang..lol. I guess LP and Marshalls are entrenched in minds of beginners... along with... you should use Fender guitars with Fender amps. I do imagine he can get better Marshall tones with the Code I would hope. I'm very curious to play it.

    Well at least he ended up with variety so he can learn the tone he likes (after he learns to play!!!... we all know tone is in the fingers anyway right?). I hope he sticks with it... we'll see. He's retired with plenty time. I heard he loves the guitars. He just got them this week..already has them named!. I think he just got the Mustang yesterday. I still haven't been able to get together with him yet... I'm curious how the new guitars play and the Code compares to the Mustang (in person).

    So NOW... he has 4 amps and 4 guitars. (The first ones were cheaper). If he doesn't get up to speed now, maybe he can buy the REAL tube amps next?? and more guitars??? Lol..

    Thanks again for the many replies! I hope the thread will help others in similar situation.
     
    Cliffyg62 and Jim Dep like this.

  13. Cliffyg62

    Cliffyg62 Tele-Meister

    187
    Aug 16, 2015
    West Berlin, nj
    Nailed it.
    Tube amps seem to come with all kinds of maintenance learning curves. Champion 40 is where I landed. Just enough variety to sample types of amps but simple enough to concentrate on playing. Perfect starter...
     

  14. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry TDPRI Member

    95
    May 30, 2017
    Silicon Valley, CA
    I have a Katana 100 I just purchased. Even though I am a computer geek I have not plugged in the USB cable or downloaded the editing software. I have just used it stock and set up 4 presets going from totally clean to more distorted. With the footswitch it becomes even easier to use as you can switch between presets and turn individual FX on and off with your tootsies. For a modeler it tilts heavily towards the ease-of-use angle and, with the footswitch, less than $400.

    The 50W has just 2 presets and a few other tradeoffs and is $200.

    There are no menus on the amp and it uses a typical gain/volume/3-band EQ concept. I think it sounds great and it's probably going to be the last amp I ever purchase. Not currently gigging and while it seems unlikely I will start, this thing can get pretty dang loud. There's also a 0.5 watt setting so you can get all the tonez at comfortable bedroom level.
     
    Cliffyg62 likes this.

  15. signine

    signine TDPRI Member

    7
    Jun 15, 2013
    SF Bay Area
    I'm probably getting a PRRI to compliment my Champion 600 and selling a Marshall DSL1H. I'm still a beginner after 20 years IMO, but I have a discerning ear. I really want to like the Katana/SCX2 but they're both lifeless at the volumes I like them at.

    A shame they don't make a silverface vibrochamp reissue. That would be the best beginners amp ever (again).
     

  16. Cliffyg62

    Cliffyg62 Tele-Meister

    187
    Aug 16, 2015
    West Berlin, nj
    How does your friend like the Gibson? I’m on an epiphone budget but keep getting tempted to try a gibby and that’s the level I’m eyeing. The SG looks real tempting... great thread btw.
     

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