Small amp recommendations?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by beginers mom, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The Roland Cubes are good, solid little amps, I have several of them. Some of the built-in effects are a little on the cheesy side, but they are remarkably clear when played clean.
     
  2. Timbertea

    Timbertea Tele-Holic

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    The problem with simple tube amps like the Fender Champ and Vibrochamp is that you don't appreciate what they are until several years down the line. In the beginning its just a sound, and the touch sensitive nature is pretty much lost on a new player. That being said, if you do go that route (and can find one reasonable enough) you can generally get out what you paid for a used silverface champ or vibrochamp if they quit playing. It will likely blow your $200 budget though, probably by more than $100. Its money well spent, but I know you said you had a strict budget...

    You might get lucky and find a used Peavey Bravo for under $200. Great amp with a lot of versatility on tap, and plenty of different distortions to play with as well. I saw one at guitar center in the used section for $120 not long ago, and I suspect they thought it was just another Peavey solid state amp (which is what it looks like).

    Used Superchamp XD or Vibrochamp XD would fit the bill nicely. They sound great as practice amps, and another case of you can get what you put into it if they decide to quit a few months later. The presets jump in volume quite a bit, but its a minor knock on an otherwise great practice amp.

    The smaller Roland Cubes are pretty versatile. I have the big one the 80XL, and its a heck of a great amp with two minor detraction points in that the presets jump in volume, and the foot switches are pricey. You might find a used 40XL in that price range. I bought my 80XL for $250 from a pawn shop that didn't know it was worth a bit more. All of the XL's have a tuner built in, and its quite functional even if I did have to break out the manual to figure out how to use it the first time.

    Do not be afraid to buy used. Just take someone with you that plays, and have them test the heck out of it before you buy. There are some amazing deals to be had on used gear, and plenty of people are dumping stuff around Christmas time. Great time to buy, lousy time to sell!
     
  3. WhatDoIKnow

    WhatDoIKnow Tele-Meister

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    Another vote for the Fender Mustang I or II for a beginner. They sound quite good. He would be happy with one of those and a Snark blue clip-on tunner for about ~$10 from Amazon.

    Plus if he is computer tech savy, he can hook the Mustang up to the computer and play with the presets.
     
  4. adifferentbreed

    adifferentbreed Tele-Afflicted

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    The Fender 25r would be my vote. Head phone jack, aux inputs, decent clean and reverb. The Mustangs are nice but he may spend more time playing with the presets than playing.
     
  5. Tle4

    Tle4 Tele-Afflicted

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    Another vote for the Mustang. He can get all the sounds he needs and they sound pretty good on those amps.
     
  6. tekbow

    tekbow Tele-Afflicted

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    +1 good recommendations
     
  7. samuelgd

    samuelgd TDPRI Member

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    Honest cannot believe the Line 6 Spider is still being sold. It a rubbsih practise amp, everything sounds the same!
     
  8. andrewsadlon

    andrewsadlon Tele-Meister

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    I'd say get him a champ and make him figure out how to sound good without craploads of distortion.

    Isn't this method the typical way of the parent, "You'll thank me later, son."?? :p kidding

    edit: in all seriousness, if he likes rock get him a Mustang series amp. Or even like a Frontman 25, I had a 15 and it honestly didn't sound half bad to me (or another "more experienced" guitarist for that matter). But definitely look into a Mustang.
     
  9. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It's funny... when I was given my SF Champ as a teen, I actually didn't like that it broke up at high volume. But this was a long time ago, and I was learning Beatles and Neil Young songs, mainly cowboy chords, that I preferred to sound clean.

    I quit playing for many years, but after I picked guitar back up in my mid 30s and finally learned shuffle rhythms and power chords (which I was utterly clueless about as a teen) and some blues lead, THEN I really began to appreciate the natural OD and touch-sensitive qualities of the Champ, and finally learned how to take advantage of it ;)

    Kids these days have it SO good with all the great amps and guitars, backing tracks, youtube lessons etc. I just struggled learning by myself with song books, cassette tapes, and tab. But it was fun!
     
  10. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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  11. gwjensen

    gwjensen Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    No one mentioned the Vox AD series. Pretty good models from clean to metal and not just for kids. Just ask Tim Armstrong. He gigs with one. Mine served me very well when I first started out. My son started with a Line 6 Spider five years ago and he still likes it. I've offered to buy him "better" amps, but we haven't found any that he likes better at home friendly volumes.
     
  12. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Got to put in a vote for the Vox Pathfinder 15R. Simple to use and sounds great out of the box. $120 new.
     
  13. Comanche

    Comanche TDPRI Member

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    I bought a $99 Mustang I and it's amazing.
     
  14. Drubbing

    Drubbing Friend of Leo's

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    As an adult who went through this decision a year ago there are two main things to think about.

    Everything said about the modelling amps here, is true; they're versatile, cheap and can be a lot of fun. For a kid/beginner this is also a downside. If he really wants to learn, the presets and toys can be a massive distraction. He'll get cool sounds, but he'll also need a bit of discipline to stick with his program as well. Only you know what kind of kid he is, and if this will be a plus or minus

    A nice tube will avoid all that, but its abilities will probably lost on beginners like myself (so far none have made an impression) and therefore the opposite issue of boredom could result.

    A compromise could be a Solid State like the Vox Pathfinder 15R, and maybe a cheap effects widget for other amp sounds. I went with the 15R, it gets a lot of love on forums, and it does sound very good.
     
  15. motwang

    motwang Tele-Afflicted

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    I bought a Transtube Peavey with twin 12's for $250 last year, I would recommend a Peavey Bandit for a $100 or so, used. great little amps. I am looking for one myself. Not to heavy or costly and sound good for the money. New, I would probably go with the Mustang, I think they may be better built than the Line 6's.
     
  16. tomas83

    tomas83 Tele-Holic

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    Congrats on the Peavey, they are awesome and underdog amps.
     
  17. tomas83

    tomas83 Tele-Holic

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    That's a great point right there. Too many bells and whistles may be an overkill for a beginner and you definitely know your son. The other reason why I like older Peavey's is the fact that they are made in USA and they generally won't break (knobs…you name it) after couple of months like many of the newly Asian produced amps. And to me they sound great! I don't like the modeling amps and I think that Line6 Spider was a mistake, I haven't heard one good sound coming from that amp. As my signature says, the simpler, the better (usually that means older… amps, guitars, cars, vine, women etc.)
     
  18. beginers mom

    beginers mom TDPRI Member

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    Thank you all for your advise and comments! I took them all with me and came home with a Mustang II. I am so glad I found this forum as I was a out of my depth.

    Thanks again!
     
  19. fauxsuper

    fauxsuper Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks for letting us know how this turned out. Hopefully, this will turn into something he can enjoy for his entire life. All it takes is for it to start to become fun, and everything else just sort of falls into place.
     
  20. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Congrats. Good choice for beginner. Be sure to hang on to all paperwork and box as long as it's under warranty.
     
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