14-year-old wants practice amp. What's good? Yamaha THR vs. Boss Dual Cube vs. what else?

bladeswitcher

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I've got two of the Yamaha THRs (a 5 that I keep near my workbench and a 10 that I do most of my playing through). I like them a lot for what they are.

I feel I'm a lot like your daughter. I go off into a corner of the house and play quietly through the THR fed to headphones. I really like having the separate volume controls for the amp and an AUX. I feed my laptop into the THR, along with my guitar, and play along with online guitar lessons.
 

BrettFuzz

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I got my 14-year old (at the time; turned 15 a few months ago) daughter the Mustang LT25 and it's been great for her. She is the same kind of secretive, play at low volume type. She fires up her laptop and connects it to the aux input and plays along her favorite tunes. It has a tuner and 30 presets of different amp models, with 30 more free slots. I think if I got her a Spark or something like that she would have spent more time playing with the app than playing the guitar.
 

4pickupguy

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She is secretive, and a THR with its little speakers won't fill the house with sound.

By yourself a THR and loan it to her. If she ever starts to worry about keeping up with a drummer, then take her to a store for something with a 12".
This^. The THR has another good feature, Bluetooth for her iPhone and a headphone jack for her to privately jam with.
Plus she can use it to record with.
 

JDB2

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I might be crazy, but I would recommend against anything with loads of models and effects. Keep it simple. I find with kids that too many bells and whistles results in them spending all their time playing with the amp instead of actually working on playing guitar.

YMMV.
Absolutely agree. My daughter started at age 14 with the Fender Champion 20 and it’s been perfect. You can get that or the Champion 40 for less than $200. Sounds good and is easy to dial in with basic built in effects.
D98DD7C4-D556-4D21-93CA-66A19B2552B9.jpeg


To help with distortion tones also got her a $30 Joyo Ultimate Drive which is a clone of the OCD. It provides a great range of OD and runs off a 9V battery.
 

Jakedog

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Absolutely agree. My daughter started at age 14 with the Fender Champion 20 and it’s been perfect. You can get that or the Champion 40 for less than $200. Sounds good and is easy to dial in with basic built in effects. View attachment 1058306

To help with distortion tones also got her a $30 Joyo Ultimate Drive which is a clone of the OCD. It provides a great range of OD and runs off a 9V battery.
My daughter has the same amp. It’s been great.
 

CJM3309

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I have a Blackstar Fly 3. It's a small and fun amp to play. It has an overdrive button if you want that and then delay. I have found a nice light slapback setting.

It also has a knob to change the tone between American and British leaning. The cost is right and it has some fun sounds in it. You can use headphones with it and it has an AUX input to play along with music. Mine is from a few years back and I think they have a bluetooth version for that.

Perfect, small, basic amp. No small amp will be a Twin or 50 watt Marshall, but you have enough good sounds in to keep you busy. Opinions vary, but I like mine
 

24 track

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Absolutely agree. My daughter started at age 14 with the Fender Champion 20 and it’s been perfect. You can get that or the Champion 40 for less than $200. Sounds good and is easy to dial in with basic built in effects. View attachment 1058306

To help with distortion tones also got her a $30 Joyo Ultimate Drive which is a clone of the OCD. It provides a great range of OD and runs off a 9V battery.
I have just last week repaired one of these, as good as they may sound the build quality is non exsistent, even the reverb spring mechanism is the coils wrapped in cardboard, not a metal tank as we are used to, so if you go this route find a used one dont buy new at even 200.00 it is not worth the full price, but a used price is well worth it.

JMHO
 

Red Ryder

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Get the kid a Peavey Classic Chorus or a Renoun. 2x12" lots of ear splitting power that will just blow his little pals away. Plus they each weigh around 563 pounds which will help whip him into shape when he's lugging it around. With a cool guitar, a ducktail, sunglasses and a pack of smokes rolled up in sleeve of his T shirt the babes will be all over him.
 

TunedupFlat

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Get the kid a Peavey Classic Chorus or a Renoun. 2x12" lots of ear splitting power that will just blow his little pals away. Plus they each weigh around 563 pounds which will help whip him into shape when he's lugging it around. With a cool guitar, a ducktail, sunglasses and a pack of smokes rolled up in sleeve of his T shirt the babes will be all over him.
It's for a 14 year old girl...
 

robistro

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This is for a 14yr old, they are all up on the phone, computer tech stuff. They dont want no tube amp we 'old guys' play.
I would recommend the positive grid Spark. Hundreds of tones, compatible with phone, computer. Can play along with backing tracks....tons of tech stuff.
 

TunedupFlat

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We bought her a Yamaha acoustic guitar a couple years back for Christmas. One day, maybe a year ago, I went in her room and found a familiar-looking gig bag with a my favorite leather strap hanging out from the half-open zipper. She stole my Telecaster from the stack of dusty gig bags and cases in the basement!

Of course, I couldn't have been more happy to see that.

She's kind of secretive about her playing, I guess. I never hear her play but my wife says plays in her bedroom when I'm not home and her brother isn't around.

She has asked for a "small" amp for Christmas. I like all things Yamaha and have always wanted a THR amp for myself, so that was the first thing I thought of for her.

I then found the Boss Dual Cube at Sweetwater's website and it looks even better. I have some Boss stuff already such as FS-5U and FS-5L footpedals which would help get the most of of a Dual Cube (such as the looper, specifically). I have a Boss RC-3 looper she can use but I think a built-in looper is a HUGE plus in an amp.

She has access to PCs running Windows 10 and UbuntuStudio plus an iPad and her own iPhone, if that matters. I mention that because these amps seems designed to work with computers and I think she'd enjoy recording and whatever else goes on with downloadable apps from these amp manufacturers.

What other amps should I be looking at?

I'm way out of touch with what's new. The last practice amp I bought was the original Fender G-DEC back in 2005 (which I still have). I have bigger amps too if/when she's ready.

Not trying to go cheap as she's already a clarinet player in the high school band and marching band and says she wants to go to Berklee, so I want to let her be all the musician she can be, but at the same time good value is always a good thing.

Thanks for any ideas!
One key factor that would cause me to lean towards the Yamaha is aesthetics. My daughter declared her yamaha thr cute and thus acceptable.(hers is the thr30II in white)
 

MelodicBend

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Firstly, how long is she grounded for that devious act?

Secondly, I would have loved a nice modeling amp at that age to test different tones and not have to drive up the volume and power to get a decent sound. As others have mentioned already, Mustang LT and Boss Katana are wonderful amps. You won't exactly outgrow them, always useful for practice, and you won't need another amp until you join a big time gigging band.
 

teletail

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I might be crazy, but I would recommend against anything with loads of models and effects. Keep it simple. I find with kids that too many bells and whistles results in them spending all their time playing with the amp instead of actually working on playing guitar.

YMMV.
Exactly. Learn to play the guitar, learn to get a good tone, then the effects are the icing on the cake.

OP - find an older Peavey. Tube or Solid State, they sound good, are built like tanks and last forever.
 

keithb7

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I had the THR10C. Great little amp. Loved it. Not too much stuff to noodle too much with, but enough.
Then I bought a +Grid Spark. It sounded even better to my ears. Certainly tons more options to noodle with, yet the kids today get the smart phone thing with ease. Only problem is if you get here the Spark, you'll be hoping she'll let you use it.
 

telemnemonics

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Fender Pro Jr.
Few knobs and faked up pre canned sounds so the student can struggle with touch and technique for tonal range.
 




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