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I'm Ready to Get Serious - Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Welcome Wagon' started by Doc FJ, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. Doc FJ

    Doc FJ TDPRI Member

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    After a few fits and starts over the years, I have finally managed to get serious about learning to play guitar. I have made it two months of practicing every day, and I am loving nearly every minute of it, with no sign of stopping. So it is time to step up from a cheap guitar and amp and get something a bit more serious. I only play at home and record on my computer, so no gigs in my future outside of a YouTube video or two. I love blues, and the couple of cheap T-style guitars I've played (a Squier Bullet and a Monoprice Indio), have been my favorite solid body electrics, so I was hoping for some recommendations.

    If you had $900 for a guitar and amp (for home practice only), how would you split the money? Better amp, cheaper guitar? Better guitar, cheaper amp? Any specific recommendations? My first instinct is something like a G&L Tribute ASAT Classic ($400) and a Fender Pro Junior IV ($500).
     
  2. StolenBlackMesa

    StolenBlackMesa TDPRI Member

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    I have a BOSS Katana on the way soon. Heard it’s a stellar amp. But I’m not an amp geek so I can’t give you much advice on anything else
     
  3. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    If you can find a used Mustang III v2 around you, that is a decent amp and will run $150 to $200. From there, a use Baja? A new or used MIM Standard? It depends on what you like.

    With a bit of time and maybe shipping costs, you should be able to get a decent setup for that price. Those would keep you going for a number of years.

    Welcome to the TDPRI!
     
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  4. blue17

    blue17 Tele-Meister

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    I've played through my brother's Fender Mustang GTX, and it's definitely a solid amp for the price. Tons of sounds, intuitive interface, digital out if you want it since you record. If you think blues (or at least not really high gain stuff) is what you'd stick to, I think a Blues Jr. is a great amp that you could definitely find used in the $4-500. Pro Junior is solid too, but for home practice only 15W and no master volume can get really loud really fast if you want any sort of crunch.

    As for guitars, I think a Mexican fender is certainly something you could use/upgrade for years and are also plentiful in the $4-500 range used. I've heard great things about G&L, but I won't speak to something I haven't personally used.
     
  5. SonicMustang

    SonicMustang Tele-Meister

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    If you are only ever playing at home for the foreseeable future, I would split your cost up 20% amp and 80% guitar. Buy a used Boss Katana 50 for $150-200 and spend the rest on a great guitar like a Player Telecaster.
    If you were ever playing out with a band I'd flip that and spend 80% on the amp and 20% on the guitar.
    Playing only at home you want a guitar that makes you yearn to pick up and play it.

    I've owned tube amps including Hod Rod Deluxes and Devilles, Marshall Origins and Marshal DSLs. They were awesome amps, but to really hear them sing I had to turn them up to a point I didn't feel comfortable with at home.

    Now I own my Boss Katana 100. I can get great sounds that mimic any of the amps I mentioned, all in just this one amp and at a volume that is tolerable for the family and the neighbors. Plus I can record these tones directly into my computer.

    And since you just started playing, the Katana has tons of effects built in to choose from that you can use forever or until you plan on buying stompboxes. I think the Katana is the ULTIMATE "only at home" amplifier....and although not exclusively (i've played guitar for 15 years) but ESPECIALLY for those just starting out.
     
  6. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    I always like spending other people's money!

    Buying new and trying to stay under the $600 price point for a T-style guitar, I'd consider the G&L Tribute models or the new Schecter PT Special. If you can go a bit higher, then a Player series Tele. If you want to spend less on the guitar, a Squier Classic Vibe. If you aren't set on a T-style, that would open up some other options.

    On the amp, new, I'd go with the Boss Katana 50 or Fender Mustang GTX 50. You'll get the most use out of a good modeling amp. The Pro Jr, while a decent amp, can get very loud in a home environment. If you live where you can't blast it whenever you want, modeling is going to work best for you within your budget.

    Of course, you can check your local used market. While great used deals have dried up a lot over the past 2 years in most areas, yours may be one of the exceptions. Just make sure you aren't buying a counterfeit, cobbled together partscaster, something broken or the like.
     
  7. 68tele

    68tele Friend of Leo's

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    Pro Jr is way overkill if u r just playing at home alone. Yamaha THR5 or something like it would suffice.
     
  8. ieatlions

    ieatlions Tele-Holic

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    This.
     
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  9. Pualee

    Pualee Tele-Holic

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    My only amp is Mustang III v2.

    FYI even though it is solid state and should sound good quiet, you still have to turn it up a bit to get the 12" speaker to move. It can tax your ears in a small room.
     
  10. Tarkus60

    Tarkus60 Tele-Meister

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    Ok I am a old man 60. I started playing almost 2 years ago. I have always been a guitar guy!
    I am fortunate enough to have 2 real guys to play with.
    I started with the cheaper gear...Squires and boss katana.
    Yeah so now I have a Sweetwater Princeton reverb a 2009 American standard Stratocaster and a amazing 2006 vintage white American series tele.
    The difference is beyond words.....great gear will make you want to practice! It does me anyway......
    and try to find someone to play with...even if you both suck.....I still suck and probably always will.

    But my guitars are works of art! ...and I love them!
     
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  11. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    For home-only, I would spend more on guitar than amp.
    For an amp I would look to spend 200 or 300 at most on a new-gen digital amp. Like a Yamaha THR series (I have the 10c), which is great for home use in so many ways. Or maybe the Katana. Something with built in effects and a few different sounds. The Pro Jr is NOT an amp I would recommend for home use. It's more of a small gig amp than a practice at home amp, in fact the more I think about it, that's one of the last amps I would recommend.

    That leaves you with around 6 or 700 to spend on a guitar. That is plenty of money for a MIM telecaster from Fender, or you might find a USA Fender model in that range if you're lucky. You might also find a USA G&L ASAT around that price range (again, if you're lucky). Then there are all of the decent knockoffs around, like the Schecter and Yamaha versions of teles.

    And I would second the idea of getting a jamming partner, even if you don't think you want to be in a band. There is so much about making music that you just will not learn unless you are playing with other people - that's what it is all about.
     
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  12. cfreddy813

    cfreddy813 TDPRI Member

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    Grab the Blackstar Fly 3 ($100) - sound will blow you away! Save the other $800 for a kick-ass USA built guitar.
     
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  13. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I agree with unixfish, a used Fender Mustang, or some other inexpensive amp, is the way to go. Spend the money on a better guitar. Even a Mustang 1, for under a hundred, sounds really good, and will give you all the options you need, until you get more established as to what kind of player you want to be, and what amp you will eventually need to get you there.
     
  14. TeleUpNorth

    TeleUpNorth Tele-Meister

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    I’d honestly get a Classic Vibe and then buy a decent tube amp in the wattage that best suits your needs.
     
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  15. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Space it out.

    First, buy the best guitar you can afford now and play through software or some really cheap practice amp just so you can hear yourself. Get yourself some slow-down software like Transcribe. There's a good app called "AnyTune" available on iPhone that does the same thing. And get a metronome app like Tempo, if you don't have one already.

    Then spend the next year saving your money for a really good amp when you're ready and able (given prevailing policies) to play with others.

    .02
     
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  16. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    I think your choices are pretty good really.
     
  17. Caedarn

    Caedarn TDPRI Member

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    I agree with SonicMustang, tfarny and others and would spend more on the guitar. I have a Laney 5W tube amp, and even this really does need to be opened up to get good sound.
    I just got a used Fender MIM tele on Reverb and put in new pickups and it sounds and plays great. I think all in it was about $650 or so.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
  18. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    Personally I'd put 6-800 toward the guitar and stick with the amp I already have and then buy a better amp when my special money fund is replenished. I've found that range of guitars to be the sweet spot. You can definitely buy better guitars for more money but you get a diminishing rate of return above 1000. If you like teles keep an eye out for used "classic series" 50s or 60s guitars. I have a strat from that lineup and it's one of the best guitars I've ever purchased. Got mine on ebay in 2008 for 475. I've heard great things about the teles too.
     
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  19. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Sounds like you got it figured out already with the G&L and fender. Musicians friend has daily deals and G&L come up regularly and it’s always a T-style. I have one of those Vox MV-AC heads and I can vouch for the Nu-tube! They’ve got lots of models now. Might wanna check them out. Can’t go wrong with a Fender Tube amp though. It’ll be a learning process either way.
     
  20. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'll second that.

    I'd rather have a Pro Jr. than a digital Fender Mustang. Depending on your style you may want to put an overdrive or distortion pedal in front to give you some crunch at low volume.

    G&L Tributes are fantastic guitars too. I've had two (still have one) and both came flawless from the factory - with good pickups too; better than you'll get on a Fender Player Series IMO. If you can wait, you can get one of the Tributes on a Stupid Deal of the Hour or Day on Musician's Friend. They go up for a couple of days every few months. I just got an ASAT Bluesboy for $299; great playing guitar.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
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