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  1. #1
    Top Of The World The Space Ace's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 01:20 AM
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    Default Gear noob in need of advice

    Hey guys,
    I figured this would be a good place to get some opinions since it's a safe bet that a lot of us play similar stuff. So I'm pretty much a noob when it comes to gear. I started playing six years ago with one of those Squier starter sets with a cheap Strat and a 15-Watt amp, and later I added an Epiphone Les Paul 100, a Line 6 Spider IV 30 amp, and a Digitech RP255 multi-effects pedal. Everything I mentioned above is everything I currently own. At first they all sounded good to my then-untrained ears, and now they all sound awful. Now I'm looking to upgrade, but I can't afford top-of-the-line all-new everything. Here's everything I can think of that would be of help in helping me:

    - Effects aren't very important right now. I'm not proficient enough to record or be in a band, and I honestly don't know what to do with effects. But if there's anything you really like using that you want to suggest, by all means do it.

    - I'm not strict on buying new. I'm actually leaning toward buying used to save money (unless that's a bad idea). My budget might be around $500 USD (maybe 600) or less for each item.

    - Ideally, I'd like a guitar with a tremolo bar and a humbucker in the bridge position. I'd like for the pickup(s) to not have a "muddy" tone and have a decent amount of output.

    - The vast majority of the music I play consists of hard rock and heavy metal from the 70's and 80's (VH, KISS, Zeppelin, Crue, Aerosmith, Metallica, Sabbath, etc), and I play blues, blues rock, 60's rock, grunge, and some modern rock and metal as well.

    - I'm not too picky about amps. Basically, I just want something that would sound acceptable to you if you heard it on a recording or live in concert, playing the type of music I listed above (same goes for the guitar, too, I suppose). As said before, I don't perform at the moment, so I don't need anything huge. Maybe something I could start with for small gigs.

    - I've been told it's probably not a good idea to simply replace the pickups in my Epiphone to save money, as everything else in the guitar is cheap and likely to fail also. Would you agree with this?

    - Do you have any guitars with a Floyd Rose and what is your opinion on it?

    - I can't seem to get a straight answer on what really contributes to sustain, but I'd like to have a decent amount of it.

    - Anything you need to ask me about that I didn't cover above.

    Thank you all in advance!

  2. #2
    Sinner's Swing! evhintexas's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 03:43 PM
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    Try a peavey 6505+112 and and EBMM Axis 40D with Floyd Rose. $1200 for both new or about $900 used. You will learn about tubes, sustain, decent set up ect.
    Its one hell of a rockin combination
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

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  4. #3
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 07:17 AM
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    Sounds like you are ready to make the jump from Solid State to Tube. Trying to pick out an amp for someone is sort of like trying to tell somone what pickup to use. There are some that will nail a specific tone, and others that are good for all around playing.

    Whenever anyone asks me about either, I usually tend to give the same answers. You can't go wrong with a Seymour Duncan in the bride position, and you can't go wrong with a Peavey Classic 30 combo for an amp.

    You can usually pick up a Classic 30 used fairly cheap. They are great all around amps, and will take you from pristine cleans to medium distortion. If you want to get into 5150 territory with it, you just need to put a Boss Super Overdrive in front if it. You could do a Tube Screamer, but I've found I personally prefer the Boss in front of the Classic 30. It also has a kick-ass spring reverb on-board. I pulled the Blue Marvel speaker out of mine, and replaced it with a Celestion Vintage 30, and it was an improvement over stock.

    The other option I would recommend would be a Blackstar Venue Series combo amp. They are very versitile amps also, and they sound really good. They will accomplish a high gain sound without the need for a pedal out front. They have a lot more features tone-wise over the Peavey. The only reason I recommend the Peavey over the Blackstar is that I know from personal experience that the Peavey is reliable and will take a beating. I also feel like the Classic 30 sounds more natural and organic than the Blackstar. To me, the Blackstar sounds too compressed.

    When moving away from solid state modeling amps to tube amps, you will only really need a couple effects pedals, a delay and a chorus. No matter what you choose for a tube amp, I would say that there are a couple features that you are going to want to have. 1) Get a footswitchable two channel amp. 2) Get an amp with an effects loop. I've found that for me, time based effects like Delay and Chorus sound better in the loop. It also gives you the option of throwing a Micro-Amp or an EQ pedal in the loop to boost your signal for leads on either channel.

    As far as guitars go, I think if your budget is around $500.00 to $600.00, you should try to find a deal on one of the MIJ or MIC Wollfgang Specials. They are available from shops blowing them out right now. I've seen them being sold brand new for around $600, which is an amazing deal.

    Conventional wisdom is that if you want maximum sustain and resonance on a guitar, you need certian ingredients. Some of these are a set neck or neck through design, Graphite nut, Brass bridge that is a stop tail or some other type of direct mount bridge, a string through the body bridge would be preferred. That being said, I think that there is some truth that all this should work on paper, but for the most part, it's complete bullshit. I've played plenty of bolt neck, Floyd equipped guitars that I would put up against any Les Paul or PRS for sustain. If you are going to maximize the sustain and tone with a Floyd though, you need to have it set flush with the body and blocked for dive only. No Floating Floyds!
    "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.

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  6. #4
    Hot For Teacher
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    08.27.17 @ 03:51 PM
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    +1 on the blowout Wolfgangs, you cant do better than that. I would also add a Rat pedal judging by the stuff you play, it absolutely nails the 80s hard rock thing and is great for blues too.

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  8. #5
    Unchained AsIs's Avatar
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    11.16.17 @ 07:07 PM
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    I've always said that if I HAD to spend 500-600 on a guitar, I'd get one of the US-made Peavey Specials. That being said, I've yet to actually buy one. Another option that I have several of is an old 80s Kramer Pacer. I prefer the earlier ones with the beak headstock myself. Great guitars for the money.

    As for amp, anyone tried the Marshall DSL line? I was thinking about one of those for the living room. Maybe the 5 or 15 watt even.

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  10. #6
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    I'd grab a new Kramer Pacer Classic. I've seen a couple today on eBay for about $330.00 US. Great guitars for the money, and still has an EVH vibe, while being able to play other stuff as well.
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

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  12. #7
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    A pacer Classic is a good choice. I had one, and upgraded the tremolo and pickups. Put a JB in the bridge position, and get an OFR on it, and it's easily a great guitar.
    "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.

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  14. #8
    Top Of The World The Space Ace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobozos View Post
    A pacer Classic is a good choice. I had one, and upgraded the tremolo and pickups. Put a JB in the bridge position, and get an OFR on it, and it's easily a great guitar.
    I'm not good with abbreviations. What is JB and OFR?

  15. #9
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 08:03 PM
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    Default Gear noob in need of advice

    Quote Originally Posted by The Space Ace View Post
    I'm not good with abbreviations. What is JB and OFR?
    Seymour Duncan JB pickup and Original Floyd Rose meaning a real one not a cheap licensed one.
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  17. #10
    Top Of The World The Space Ace's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for all your input guys! I'm kind of leaning toward a Pacer and upgrading the bridge pickup. I'd like to be able to try some of these guitars out at a local shop before buying, but no luck so far.

  18. #11
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    Pacer is a good choice. What color do you want? I prefer the pearl white. It has a neat metallic tinge to it.
    I'm going to buy another one...I have 2 EVH Wolfgang pickups to install on her.

    The neck profile is amazing on those too. I think you'll be impressed!
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

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  20. #12
    Top Of The World The Space Ace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RRvh1 View Post
    Pacer is a good choice. What color do you want? I prefer the pearl white. It has a neat metallic tinge to it.
    I'm going to buy another one...I have 2 EVH Wolfgang pickups to install on her.

    The neck profile is amazing on those too. I think you'll be impressed!
    I just can't see myself with a white guitar for some reason. I have to go with the red. My LP is already Heritage Cherry Sunburst, and blue is my favorite color, but I just like red guitars for some reason.

  21. #13
    On Fire ejmaes67's Avatar
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    12.05.17 @ 09:36 AM
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    Personally, I really love my Peavey Wolfgang Special, it has served me well the last 15 years, I definitely like it better than the new MIC Specials. There are plenty on ebay at various price levels.
    “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy.” - Benjamin Franklin

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  23. #14
    Top Of The World The Space Ace's Avatar
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    Well, I ended up buying the Pacer. Today's my birthday but I'm going to have to wait to play it since I had to order it. Thank you all for taking the time to read through my post and give your input. I'll post pics when I get the new ax.

  24. #15
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    Happy Birthday! Pretty good present to yourself, I must say Where did you buy from?
    I ordered mine from Sweetwater. Really impressed with the ultra fast shipping from the U.S. to Canada.
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

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