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Amp price VS guitar price

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by dgr888, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. dgr888

    dgr888 Tele-Meister

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    Why do musicians spend 2-3k on their guitars but only spend a minimal amount on an amplifier? I have always thought that a great amp will even make bad guitars sound better than they are... but not the other way around....So what do Ya'll think is more important ..a great amp or a great guitar? We already know if you have both you're already golden....and at what price point do ya'll get into the "great amp" territory??
     
  2. rdo1708

    rdo1708 Tele-Holic

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    Great amp and a mid-level instrument. Definitely.

    The guitar has to be well set up and playable first and foremost. But even Squier guitars can sound awesome through a nice amp.

    On the other hand, pretty much any $2,000 guitar is going to sound terrible through a first act $20 amplifier.
     
  3. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

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    That's an extreme example. If the amp is decent the difference between a good (not all expensive guitars are good) and a bad guitar (and not all bad guitars are cheap) will be audible. And if you happen to play small venues, a decent amp will not be so pricey ...
    Quality doesn't always equal price as this is determined by the market: e.g. even a used silver face twin reverb isn't expensive these days due to the small amp hype – and I am pretty sure it will make the difference of a quality instrument vs. crap pretty much obvious.
     
  4. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm not sure where you are getting your data... Most of the people I know, and meet - have very good guitar(s) and amp(s). Myself - the only time I spent big dollars on a guitar is was for a quality acoustic - no amp need apply :)

    IMO - It's a two way street... More often than not the weakest link is not the guitar or the amp - it's usually the player. (I don't mean any offence to anyone by that statement ... )

    Price doesn't have anything to do with it. Example: I'm a semi-pro / pro player and I don't think I have paid more than $500 on any one item. I choose to play "Music Man" amps and own two of them (although I own other amps as well). I think I paid $350 for one, and maybe $200 on the other. On eBay they are up to a whopping $500 - $600 each. When they were new - I think they sold for about $800 each (late 70's, early 80's). They might not have the prestige of a Dr Z/Matchless, or the legacy of a Fender/Marshall/Vox - but don't tell me they are not a great amp... I have tried them all - and Music Man is my amp of choice. Others will have their choice...

    Just my 2 cents on the subject...
     
  5. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    There is no real set price point for a great amp. It depends on too many factors. There are great sounding small practice and recording amps and there are hand wired boutique gems and there 100w Marshall stacks. Tube, hybrid, SS, there are good sounding amps to be found at all price points.

    Guitars are much the same but I do agree with your point that spending $2000 on a guitar to play through a bad sounding amp makes no sense. But you don't need to spend $2000 on a nice amp either. I have a $200 amp that sounds terrific for home and studio but it's not what I'd use as a stage amp. For that I have both sides covered. Great guitars and my favorite amp and it was very inexpensive.
     
  6. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    Two guitars, two amps. One of each sounds "bad" one of each sounds "good".
    Make your own inferences on dollar value and player skill.

    Sound listed in order of best to worst;
    1 Good guitar, good amp.
    2 Bad guitar, good amp.
    3 Good guitar, bad amp.
    4 Bad guitar, bad amp.
     
  7. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    its all so subjective. i have nice gear... and i love the sounds i get from it, but i would hardly say either are a necessity. my roommate plays an affinity squier through a solid state yamaha g100... with a combined $150 into the rig... and it sounds pretty good. does it sound as good as my custom teles through my bassman or my PR? no. does the difference in tone justify the thousands more i've spent on my gear? probably not.

    first and foremost, your guitar needs to be playable for you. beyond that, its all a matter of taste. there's a ton of musicians out there playing thrift store garbage and getting cool/unique tones from it. if you're playing an affinity strat through a solid state clunker and sound like crap... its probably not the gear's fault...

    as for the price point of "great amp" territory... i think we're at an all time low for that. there are some excellent tube amps from peavey and crate that you can snatch up for less than $200 that will sound as good as any of the boutique builds out there. the important thing is to be happy with what you've got and play the hell out of it
     
  8. Bongocaster

    Bongocaster Friend of Leo's

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    Then there are the many folks who are getting so much of their sound from pedals. Not saying this is a bad thing either, though I have shaken my head at some folks who don't realize that is exactly what they are doing.
     
  9. dgr888

    dgr888 Tele-Meister

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    Price doesn't have anything to do with it. Example: I'm a semi-pro / pro player and I don't think I have paid more than $500 on any one item. I choose to play "Music Man" amps and own two of them (although I own other amps as well). I think I paid $350 for one, and maybe $200 on the other. On eBay they are up to a whopping $500 - $600 each. When they were new - I think they sold for about $800 each (late 70's, early 80's). They might not have the prestige of a Dr Z/Matchless, or the legacy of a Fender/Marshall/Vox - but don't tell me they are not a great amp... I have tried them all - and Music Man is my amp of choice. Others will have their choice...

    This is my point...Musicman amps as well as the older Fenders/Marshalls etc.
    in yesterdays dollars bought new not used were very expensive....
     
  10. steveneddy

    steveneddy Tele-Meister

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    The "sound" comes from a player's fingers. How they touch and interact with the instrument and amp that makes one sound good over another.

    If a player has an expensive guitar or amp - then it's because they can:

    1. Afford it

    2. They feel as if they deserve it and have earned it

    I have a Squire that I picked up for $50 for fun.

    Installed Fat 50's pups, rewired it, new switch and real Switchcraft jack and then shielded it well - then had it set up so that it played well.

    It will keep up with any "pro" guitar out there. It's a blast to play and I love to turn the guitar over and show the Chinese serial number on the rear and say that it's just a Squire - lol.

    It's not the price of the tools - it's knowing how to use the tools that you have.
     
  11. AirBagTester

    AirBagTester Friend of Leo's

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    [​IMG]
     
  12. bun malaey

    bun malaey Tele-Afflicted

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    The "old school" rule of thumb is.

    "Expect to spend as much on an amp as you did on a guitar"

    This still holds true today.

    You absolutely can't expect a 300 to 500 dollar amp to be built as well as a 1500 to 2000 dollar amp.

    My buddy does professional amp repair, I could give you the list of top 5 amps he sees the most for repair. From crappy reverb tanks to crappy input jacks, but everyone would get pissed off and claim that he and I are wrong. So I won't.
     
  13. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    If you gave me $1100.00 and told me it had to be split $1,000.00 for one piece of equipment and $100.00 for the other, the bigger end would go for an amp.

    I can get a piece of crap guitar to sound good, even if it's not much fun to play.

    Cheap amps? Not much you can do to make them better except gut them and start over.

    Here's my current favorites. Amp was twice as much as the Tele.
     

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  14. voodooblues

    voodooblues Friend of Leo's

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    I'd love to see that list....
     
  15. RockerDuck

    RockerDuck Friend of Leo's

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    Once you find "that" guitar, you won't believe how good you can play. Also, good players can make most any guitar sound good. I prefer a good guitar. I paid $1600 for my Stratocaster deluxe, its only the 2nd Stratocaster I've owned that impressed me when I played it in my 40 yrs. of playing. A $900 DRRI works with any guitar and totally giggable.
     
  16. davidchagrin

    davidchagrin Tele-Holic

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    +1 on everything you said.
     
  17. Tatercaster

    Tatercaster Friend of Leo's

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    I used to get awesome tone from my Danelectro '59DC and my Peavey Rage 158.... :)

    Seriously. If the guitar/amp combination works well together, price don't matter.
     
  18. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    My sentiment exactly!

    I commented on this the other day... I played the frets off the cheap Strat I use to test amps. My theory is if I can make a cheap guitar sound good anything else will sound good with that amp.

    I recently replaced my now fretless Strat with a Fifty Buck Special I got from the Charlotte, North Carolina Salvation Army for... you guessed it! Fifty bucks. :D

    Actually I'm piecing together a small herd of guitars to replace my worn out Strat. They include The Chitlinizer and The Trailer Parker 'cuz that might be as close as I get to a real Parker. :lol:

    Anyway, my cheap guitar has all the "horrible" features I enjoy in a cheap guitar like a plywood body with a swimming pool route. It has a beautiful polyester finish that must be 1/4" thick.

    I bought two more just like it when I discovered I could. Way I figure it a whole guitar for the price of a neck is a no brainer. :D


    So it's the amp for me. You knew I'd say that. :D
     
  19. Tatercaster

    Tatercaster Friend of Leo's

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    Swimming pool routes rule! You can customize all you want simply by changing the pickups and the pickguard.
     
  20. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Oh thank you for this astute remark & topic !!!

    I guess the answer to this (very true & tested situation) is that there is much more vanity & bling in a guitar than in the humble amp sitting on the floor.

    There is also ignorance from guitarists: the old school says indeed that most of the tone comes from the amp.

    I find that the magic lies within the amp - & nowhere else.

    I find it supremely touching & mysterious, to think of that tiny location within an amp, where it ceases to be an electric appliance & becomes a musical instrument. Where motion, magnetism & electrons are transformed into glorious tone...

    As you see I can get lyrical about it :)
     
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