Expensive guitar and cheap amp or vice-versa?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by GaryOsborne, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    well, my current #1 is a MIM thinline -- but it got to be #1 by beating out a '66 strat and a '69 tele for playing time, so . . . maybe $$$ is not the best measure of a guitar's worth?

    anyway I play that MIM through a Bad Cat so I guess I'm pretty much in the good amp / cheap guitar camp, but if that guitar was getting in my way, I'd find a better one.
     
  2. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    If I'm performing for others, most likely the expensive amp, as that's the part the audience will notice more.

    If it's just me on my sofa, I'll probably go with the nice guitar, as that's the part that touches my fingers.

    Don't overthink things. Life's too short. Do what feels right. It's never a completely rational choice, and it probably shouldn't be. :idea:
     
  3. ItchyFingers

    ItchyFingers Tele-Afflicted

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    My vote is for the amp. Judge the sound from one note and if it pleases you, you will want to hear another and yet another and you will strive to build, buy, mod or otherwise obtain a guitar that will help you hit those notes. There is nothing wrong with a Squier in the meantime either. $100 well spent more than once. I have enjoyed 3 and modded and tweaked one and it's a keeper.
    My Squiers sounded heavenly through my Peavey Vypyr tube 120.
    All my guitars sound like crap through my Marshal MG-15.

    I so agree Gary. I have sold easily a dozen brand name original guitars for grocery money over the past few years. Of the seven I have left, 3 are home made by me and three modfiied to taste by me. Not only do they play as well, I could never get back what they are worth to me and so I'll be keeping them. Happily. I hope. I even made one very ugly to make sure it would be worth nothing to anyone else so I wouldn't sell it because I really liked the way it played. A modded Squier.
     
  4. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    It depends what you need out of an amp.

    Some people need 3 channels, switching,
    effects, tubes, efx loops.....

    Some folks just need a simple, one amplified sound.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

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    To make a fair comparison, we should consider the extremes :
    expensive =$30,000
    cheap = $50
    I'll take a 1950's ES-335 through a pawn shop SS amp over a First Act through a Dumble
    When you start comparing $400 vs $800, you get those "blurred lines"
     
  6. RunPickle

    RunPickle TDPRI Member

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    Well lemme answer the question this way: I have a Fender American Deluxe Tele and I play through an Ibanez TSA15 head that I got for $150. Sounds BEAUTIFUL. If I need dirt I use a pedal. Couldn't be happier.
     
  7. w3stie

    w3stie Poster Extraordinaire

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    The amp makes the sound. What you need in a guitar is something that feels right to hold and to play - and that's very subjective. I like light strings and light instrument with low action YMMV.
     
  8. Warm Gums

    Warm Gums Friend of Leo's

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    Price has nothing to do with it, you need to be comfortable with it, while very cheep is usually not serviceable, I would have no problem plugging a Hahn, or original ' 60 LP into a PV Bandit or Yamaha G series IF the guitar played well and gave me a musical sound that I could work with thru the amp. It's like any thing else you pay your money..and up grade the speakers :cool:
    I would opine that the OP is suffering from " red guitar " syndrome, probably not much wrong with the guitar, it's just dosen't work for him on a psychological level, it takes a while to get that sorted, no matter what you have, someone will dis it, some times it's you.

    You need to develop a idea of the sound you are going for, and really nurture it, carry it with you, and learn to produce it on any serviceable gear. Eventually you will come up with a few things that really work for you. I spent years tring to sound like early Miles on trumpet, I KNEW if I had a 50s Martin Comitee, I too could get that dark syrupy sound, I tried a bunch but could never get it, I had a old Blessing Artist that got me close, but you know if I had that Martin..one day I'm in Washington Square and this guy is playing a Committie, he sorta sounds like Miles, but really he just sounds good, and a lot like me on the Blessing, we talked a bit, " oh yea the Blessing, Clifford Browns horn, I had one didn't work for me, but it's a good horn,if you like it you should stick with it..it's about the sound not the horn.."

    If the Z is truly going to give you the sound you hear in your head then go for it " it's a good amp and you should stick with it" but if you want one because you feel that you need it to get gigs I would think twice, what you need is a workable musical sound, that you can reproduce on demand.
     
  9. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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    On Internet forums the answer is overwhelmingly "Amp".

    In the real world where people vote with their Dollars, Euros and GBPs the answer is overwhelmingly "Guitar".
     
  10. RunPickle

    RunPickle TDPRI Member

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    +1
     
  11. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I only really need at the very most a few good amps. This doesn't compare to the average guitar collection, although I will say that why you spend can vary greatly. Some people would say a classic vibe tele and a mustang is all they need, some people "need" a 1960's tele, a 1970's strat, 3 mim's, an epiphone les Paul, a Gibson sg, and 3 vintage off brand guitars, and then they only need a silverface Princeton, a tweed champ clone, an 18 watter, and an AC15. Guitar amps are more versatile than guitars in many cases IMHO. Guitars are what a lot of people think are the instrument so they get a MIM tele to start on, and then grab a really cheap practice amp as an afterthought. You think of Jimi Hendrix's tone, you think a vintage strat or SG and pedals, before you think of Marshall stacks. You think of Keith Richards, you think of a tele before you think tweed deluxe. Or at least that's how many people think.
     
  12. keithcc

    keithcc Tele-Meister

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    You can build a hell of an amp pretty cheap if you are the DIY type these days. If you are not afraid of scrounging and metal work. The off the shelf cheap guitars are radically better than at any time in the past IF you can do a little fine setup work or can get it done.
     
  13. TeleToTheRain

    TeleToTheRain Tele-Holic

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    amp all day everyday, followed by a good setup and decent pickups... oh and that other thing.... what is that one thing we never talk about.... maple/rosewood.... no.... nitro.... no.... oh yeah.... skill! ; )

    In all seriousness, in this golden age of good cheap second hand gear you can really make some things happen. My current rig is a 5E3, three nice pedals, and a "boutiquey" Tele with a total investment of under $500... back in 94' when I started playing I had $600 invested in a Squier, a solid state amp, and a multi-effects board. That said, I sound about the same after twenty years ; )
     
  14. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    How do you have a 5E3 and all that for under $500. I couldn't even make that stuff for that.
     
  15. Jeff_K

    Jeff_K Friend of Leo's

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    Considering my CL $150 red stripe Bandit, I'm going against the grain and saying expensive guitar. Also, no cute girl has ever said "Hey, that's a really pretty 5E3 amp."
     
  16. timmer114

    timmer114 Tele-Holic

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    To me the amp is as much of an instrument as the guitar. Since were playing electric guitars here, designed to be amplified, it should stand to reason that the amp is perhaps the most important part of the chain. One cannot exist without the other. But even a great tele sounds just like the crappy tele if its not plugged in.
     
  17. H. Mac

    H. Mac Friend of Leo's

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    +2


    Sent from my iPhone.
     
  18. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

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    Hm, I would be happy with either of the suggested sets (though I never played a Nash nor a Dr. Z I assume these are quality products). At least I think I could get away with either as well as with the Squier and the Fender amp ...

    Personally I spent more money on my guitars than on my amps – but I consider both to be of good quality. I like to think that the guitar is the thing I touch so I better like it (ergonomics, sound and variations, colour – yes, coulour! – and finish). The amp is also important, but given a certain quality level and fit of style you can get away with it. I also use amps the house provides quite often, so I just bring the guitar (usually a DIY-tele or AVRI). For example the last gig I played I used a peavey bandit, an amp I neither particularly like nor consider high fidelity. It didn't sound nor felt great – but I got away with it, some folks even complimented on "the nice tele sound" (BTW if someone only compliments on the sound I always wonders if he disliked the music so he picks the sound to say something positive). But honestly, I don't think that with the classic vibe that Gary mentions things would have gone south ...
     
  19. TeleToTheRain

    TeleToTheRain Tele-Holic

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    Bwahahaha! some VERY lucky wheeling and dealing my friend... and I should have mentioned that I did make some of it. These deals don't happen everyday, but the 5E3 loaded chassis was had for $150!!! speaker was $50 and wood for cab was free. Tele body, neck, and hardware were around $200 and pickups about $100. Oops... I didn't include the pedals in that price. That said, about $350 of that was essentially free anyway... I traded/sold about 5 amps and made a nice profit without even intending to. Even if you don't build/assemble stuff yourself, you can trade up, barter, and beg with enough patience and get there. This was all done over the course of about 18 months.
     
  20. Colo Springs E

    Colo Springs E Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    You can find a cheap good playing, good sounding guitar pretty easily. Not as likely in finding a good amp. In general, I put more of my money toward the amp.
     
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