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  1. #1
    Eruption DiveBomb's Avatar
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    05.11.15 @ 11:56 AM
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    Default A little help from some wise Linkers, please?

    All right, here is my situation:

    I currently own a Washburn X-series guitar, which I patiently tolerate. At the time I purchased it, my thinking was to buy a cheap electric guitar to see if I was even interested in playing, and if it was something I thought I would stick with and enjoy. Turns out it was.

    I was given a Fender amp (I can't recall the model), which is very unreliable and only partially functioning, probably because it spent the last several years being negelcted in a garage. I also own a Crate FW15 Flexwave, which I use as a practice amp, and occasionally in public. The distortion on the Crate is really harsh and buzzy, for the most part.

    The only time I play in public is as part of a worship band, either in a travelling youth praise band or for my college's chapel. I am usually low enough in the mix that tone doesn't matter much. My problem is that I am not satisfied with the tone I am getting when I play by myself, or when I play with friends and want my guitar to be more than background noise.

    What should be my next step toward getting better tone? My playing ability is steadily improving, and I'm at the point where I feel 'worthy' of better equipment.

    Eventually I would like to get a really nice guitar, but would it be best for me to get a higher-quality amp first? Or would a different fix - like getting better quality pickups in my Washburn - be the better route? Or maybe I should just bite the bullet and buy a nicer guitar? I am willing to spend some money - not a truckload, obviously; I am in college.

    I just don't know a lot about this side of the guitar world. I wish I did, but it's not something I grew up with, or have had much exposure to. While I'm learning at an alarming rate (this time last year, I didn't even know what pickups were ), I don't have a good handle on any of this stuff.

    What do you guys think? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I know there are a lot of knowledgable Linkers floating around, most of whom are quite kind-hearted.
    Van Halen will rock your face off!

  2. #2
    Sinner's Swing! Bullwinkle's Avatar
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    06.07.15 @ 10:30 AM
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    Default

    You should come to terms with the fact that you will eventually be buying a new guitar and a new amp.
    Of course, that's part of the fun, isn't it?

    Anyway, buy the amp first. A new amp will have the biggest impact on your tone.

    Don't waste time replacing pickups.







    Don't read this.

  3. #3
    Top Of The World Benjami's Avatar
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    08.12.11 @ 01:51 AM
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    Default

    if you think the guitar you have now plays nice i would suggest that you throw some new pups in there, but new pick ups wont do much in the first place if you have a bad amplifier so you might want to look into that first.
    the same for a better guitar, you can buy one but the difference in sound might not be so big if you have a bad amp.
    if you dont want to buy new pick ups, or a guitar/amp, you can always try buying a decent pedal to change the tone.

  4. #4
    Good Enough Ace Ventura's Avatar
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    01.01.13 @ 04:06 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullwinkle View Post
    You should come to terms with the fact that you will eventually be buying a new guitar and a new amp.
    Of course, that's part of the fun, isn't it?

    Anyway, buy the amp first. A new amp will have the biggest impact on your tone.

    Don't waste time replacing pickups.
    Well put. After learning and really getting into it, I sold off everything I had and started over. Ended up with some seriously sick tone out of a surprisingly inexpensive set up. Good advice on the pups too! They really don't matter if you have a shit amp.
    "It doesn't mean that much to me to mean that much to you..." -Neil Young

    "The sun's not yellow, it's chicken." -Bob Dylan

    "If you go out and buy a Van Halen record and put it in your collection, it'll melt your other records." -David Lee Roth, 1981.

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    Sheriff of Nottingham: Because it's DULL, you twit!!! It'll HURT MORE!!!

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    Default

    here's what you described.

    a Fender that craps out and sounds bad and a 15 watt Crate amp that has shitty distortion.

    an X series Washburn.

    If you had a nice amp that worked, I'd say buy the guitar but brother, practically speaking, you have no amplifier.

    The question isn't should you buy the amp or the guitar, it's which amp should you buy and THEN, after you put some more money together, which guitars should you look at!
    Stay out of it, dude.


    I am Van Halen.

  6. #6
    Good Enough
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    06.19.15 @ 04:34 PM
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    Default

    Amp first, then guitar. You should also consider having the guitar professionally set up, if you haven't already. It will improve playability and probably make you want to practice more. I remember the first time I found out about that and had it done, it was like night and day. Good luck!
    http://www.myspace.com/pennydreadfulnj

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  7. #7
    Eruption DiveBomb's Avatar
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    05.11.15 @ 11:56 AM
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    Default

    Thanks for the help, everyone. It looks like a new amp is my near future! My price range doesn't go much above $350 right now. It's not like I can afford a Marshall stack or anything. What should I look for? I don't want to walk into somewhere and get ripped off.
    Van Halen will rock your face off!

  8. #8
    Eruption ChrisTheEdHead's Avatar
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    03.11.12 @ 12:55 PM
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    Donor

    Default

    Epiphone Valve Jr Combo and a Digitech Bad Monkey OD pedal. This combo can be had for less than $150, and the Valve Jr is the best amp you can get for that money.
    If you need something with more power than the Epi, the Roland Cube series amps are about the best bang for your buck you can get.
    "Look, I'll pay you for it, what the f**k?!"

    "If I don't make her happy in the bedroom the wife gets bitchy for days at a time, but when I come to bed ready for action she laughs and laughs. She even laughs while I make my moves so I know I must be pleasing her as only I can do."
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  9. #9
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiveBomb View Post
    Thanks for the help, everyone. It looks like a new amp is my near future! My price range doesn't go much above $350 right now. It's not like I can afford a Marshall stack or anything. What should I look for? I don't want to walk into somewhere and get ripped off.
    350 can get you a pretty good amp, given the uses you've mentioned.

    Take a look at these:

    B52 75 watt combo with 12" speaker

    http://www.guitarcenter.com/B-52-LG-...05-i1145579.gc

    now, a lot of people will dismiss this pretty quickly but I have a lot of experience with these. I've worked with lighting and sound company that uses all B52 gear for the main speaker system and b52 guitar amps for the backline. I've used several over the years and I'm impressed with their build quality, great clean channel and value. Distortion is not to my taste but very few distortions are. I will say this: I've dialed in acceptable distortion out of it. Good thing about having a nice clean channel, it lends itself well to using a distortion pedal!

    Peavey Vyper 75 watt 12" speaker combo

    http://www.guitarcenter.com/Peavey-V...77-i1413607.gc

    I'll take Peavey's modeling gear over Line 6 any day of the weak. These things are built well, sound good and you get a lot more for your money buying it than you do with Line 6. This should be right at the top of your list of things to check out.

    Fender Frontman 100

    http://www.guitarcenter.com/Fender-F...76-i1323510.gc

    This is another amp that a lot of folks will probably tell you to blow off. Dont' listen. 100 watts for 300 bucks is a great deal. The clean channel is perfect and the distortion isn't bad. It's not good...but it's not bad. Funny thing about distortion, you might listen to it and think "broken is full of shit. The distortion is awesome!" Fender has a good warranty and chances are you're not going to need it.

    Now then, if you want to go tube, and I wouldn't blame you one bit if you do...see if you can either find a deal on a floor model, maybe a used one or save up and stretch your budget just a bit and look at these:

    Peavey Vyper 60 watt tube combo
    http://www.guitarcenter.com/Peavey-V...93-i1413609.gc

    B52 60 watt tube combo
    http://www.guitarcenter.com/B-52-AT-...06-i1170731.gc
    I've played this amp live and was very impressed...almost bought one a while back.

    Peavey Windsor 20 watt combo
    http://www.guitarcenter.com/Peavey-W...60-i1386608.gc
    This one may not give you all of the features you might want, like multiple channels and such, but it's a cool little amp. Gets loud, has a glassy clean channel and a very brittley distortion.

    Obviously there are plenty of options out there, I don't pretend that this is some kind of definitive list but I hope it gives you a good starting point from which to begin your search.
    Stay out of it, dude.


    I am Van Halen.

  10. #10
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 12:08 PM
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    Default

    Given the stage you are at with your playing, and what you need the gear for, I would recommend that you get some used gear.

    For the amp, I think a Peavey Classic 30 is the way to go. You can find those used for $350 or less all day long. It's all tube, and the clean channel and reverb are top notch. It will also get pretty good classic rock distortion. It is an amp that you can gig with, and still practice in your room with.

    As for your guitar, I wouldn't worry about switching anything out in it. If it's the guitar I'm thinking of, it's got a couple humbuckers in it. This will be problematic for getting a good "Church tone". If you don't want the expense of buying a new guitar and amp, I've got some good news for you. Unless your guitar has MAJOR problems, most any bolt on neck guitar can play great with a proper set-up. If you take the Washburn to the shop, have them do the following:
    -Proper neck adjustment
    -Adjust the action (Shim neck if required)
    -Set the intonation
    -Coil tap the humbuckers

    The coil tap on the humbuckers will get you close to a single coil sound, which will sound much better on the clean channel. It only involves the installation of a push-pull pot, and some soldering. Probably cost you around $45 for the work to your guitar, and probably $350 for a good, used Classic 30. So, for under $400, you could have a rig that you can play Church music on, but still rock the house if required.

    If you do want to replace the guitar, I'd look for a Mexican Strat used somewhere. They can run anywhere from $250 to $350 used.

    Good luck.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

  11. #11
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    I have a classic 30....bought it used...got it for 325 if I recall...or 350. Great amp. Absolutely adore it and he's right, it has a wonderful clean channel and killer reverb with a very cool crunchy distortion.

    very good suggestion.
    Stay out of it, dude.


    I am Van Halen.

  12. #12
    Eruption DiveBomb's Avatar
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    05.11.15 @ 11:56 AM
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    I know its been a while since I posted this question, BUT...

    I just picked up a used Classic 30 last week, and I LOVE it! It's exactly what I was looking for - just beautiful!

    So thanks for the tip.
    Van Halen will rock your face off!

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiveBomb View Post
    I know its been a while since I posted this question, BUT...

    I just picked up a used Classic 30 last week, and I LOVE it! It's exactly what I was looking for - just beautiful!

    So thanks for the tip.
    awesome! I love mine and recommend them every chance I get. Congratulations!!!
    Stay out of it, dude.


    I am Van Halen.

  14. #14
    Eruption TheMightyCopenHalenII's Avatar
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    07.16.12 @ 10:56 PM
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    If you're happy with the feel and playability of the Washburn, hang on to it (i.e. you like the neck, body style, pups - such as you like humbuckers and it has hummers or vice versa single coils)

    I'd personally recommend a modeler over an all out tube amp. I'd recommend a VOX Tonelab or a Zoom G series (preferably one of the tube ones) unit into a keyboard amp/as power amp. Or even one of the discontinued VOX Valvetronix amps (or one of the current ones). You can find alot of this stuff used. I'm personally not a fan of the Line 6 stuff but you could check them out too. If you need to keep it quiet since you're in college these gear options will also allow you to do so. Someone mentioned the Peavey Vypyr's and you could check them out too.

    And yes, ONLY if you like the feel and playability of the Washburn, even a modest investment in new pickups will make a HUGE difference.
    FUCK THE DUMB SHIT!!!!

 

 

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