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(@fishrmann)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 33
23/04/2006 7:37 pm  

As stated in an earlier post, today is the one year annversary of this 40-something guy playing guitar - how many of you actually celebrate THAT anniversary?!?!?! :lol:

When I started, picked up a cheapo squire strat and 15w Fender amp. Figured a rig like that would take me through a year if I hung with it - well I did.... and this calls for a celebration of some sort!

With that said, I'm really, really considering an upgrade. Yes, my current rig allows me to continue learning and to practice, but it sounds mediocre at best - probably as much me still as the gear itself, but I'm wondering if I upgraded, dropped a grand or so and got a rig (including a tube amp) giving me something much closer to the sounds and tones I want to be hearing in my music, would it worth it or am I just kidding myself??

Anyone have good suggestions on justifying something like this to 'ol Lady? :shock:

To all fellow newbies - hang in there, give it 30-60 minutes per day as many times a week as possible, use the GN website, and before you know it people will be ASKING you to play! Just recently a friend and his band were playing in a dive I happened into and they asked me to come up and "throw out some blues". Total improve - he'd chatted with me in the past about some "blues scales" of which I do know a few, he said the band would lay out something in a certain key, and the rest was history.... It was AWESOME!! Keep it up, it WILL happen! Playing some lead in public, total improve, within a year's time..... and I'm musically challenged, it's something I for one REALLY have to work hard at, it just does not come naturally to me but hang in there, if I can do it - you know the rest....


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(@kingpatzer)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2199
23/04/2006 8:22 pm  

Frankly, I'd keep the squire for right now, but I'd address the amp.

Find yourself a used Fender Deville 410 for $600 or so. It's one of the best clean tube amps out there and the sound on it when the tubes just start to break up is just killer. Then pick up a used attenuator and 2 or 3 high quality used effect pedals that you can use in any style. Perhaps something like a tube Screamer and a good chorus and a good eq.

Your sound will improve 1000 fold. Yeah, your grand is gone, but honestly, the squire will sound just fine through the setup I just recommended.

A $100 guitar through a $1000 amp will sound the same as a $500 guitar through a $1000 amp.

However, a $1000 guitar through a $200 amp will sound like a $200 amp.

The justification for this is simple -- it's time to get a real sound chain for your guitar. What you're buying will keep it's resale value for years to come so you're not losing money, since if you ever give up guitar you can sell it for what you put into it. Lastly, you'll never need to buy another amp again unless this one actually physically breaks, which it's not very likely to do.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


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(@pearlthekat)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1475
23/04/2006 9:01 pm  

even cheapr is a fender blues jr amp $400 new. I think you should upgrade your guitar too, personally....


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(@kingpatzer)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2199
23/04/2006 9:09 pm  

Yes, the fender blues jr. is cheaper.

In my view, it's sound is alot lower quality than the deville or deluxe reverb.

The guitar should be upgraded at some point, I agree. I'd just go for a top flight amp at this point though. The squire will sound fine in it.

obligatory disclaimer -- I just got a new deville .. and it's just amazing, so I'm a bit biased right now :)

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


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(@pearlthekat)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1475
23/04/2006 9:22 pm  

just wait until you have better equipment and you still want another guitar...


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(@primeta)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 836
23/04/2006 9:32 pm  

lol, then another amp. Try a few.. crate, peavey a bunch of fenders, soldano, Traynor etc. Kingpatzer's right, a new amp will make the most difference right now.

"Things may get a whole lot worse/ Before suddenly falling apart"Steely Dan"Look at me coyote, don't let a little road dust put you off" Knopfler


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(@fishrmann)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 33
23/04/2006 10:15 pm  

Wow, quick responses here!!

At this point in time the combo I REALLY like is a Schecter C1 Classic with a Peavey Transtube 212 AMP..... Also plugged in a Schecter semi-hollow and was pretty impressed by it's tones too 8)

Recently I plugged my Squier into a friends marshall 1/2 stack (tube) and it sounded REALLY bad to me, plugged a Schecter into the same AMP and I was completely amazed at just how much better it sounded - a world of diff, and there's no sense dropping a couple hundred $'s into hot-rodding the Squier.... going to some new 12's DID help some, but the guitar is what it is, and I'll keep it around for whatever reason when I do upgrade.


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(@fishrmann)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 33
23/04/2006 10:34 pm  

Here are the two guitars I really liked playing:

http://www.schecterguitars.com/spec.asp?id=3

http://www.schecterguitars.com/spec.asp?id=15


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(@pearlthekat)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1475
23/04/2006 10:38 pm  

Those guitars are gorgeous. Get one!
Or I can recommend what I have which is a PRS Santana SE. It's fabulous sounding and may cost around the same or a little less.


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(@martin-6)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 418
24/04/2006 12:22 am  

I always say learn to play somewhat well and then buy good gear. There is always a certain embarrassment factor when you are a one-year beginner playing through a $1000 setup, and you get humbled by the homeless person playing a plank of wood with rusty nails and some cheese wire strung across it, who can still play more tunefully than you :)


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(@primeta)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 836
24/04/2006 1:15 am  

I'd still recommend buying one thing at a time. And if you like buckers there are plenty of other guitars besides the schecters.

"Things may get a whole lot worse/ Before suddenly falling apart"Steely Dan"Look at me coyote, don't let a little road dust put you off" Knopfler


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(@kingpatzer)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2199
24/04/2006 2:05 am  

Whatever you choose to do, I hardily recommend find an amp that you can be happy with for years, and that can grow up to gig with you if that's what you end up doing. If you have the cash after you've found that amp to grab another guitar, then go for it :)

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


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(@undercat)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 963
24/04/2006 2:32 am  

The thing I might recommend to you about your gear change/upgrade would be to try a few guitars that are totally different from what you own.

Like many, I started on a Fender Strat, playing it through a borrowed POS amp. Both were ultimately good enough to be played on the long term, however, I found that stuck in my little strat world, I didn't know what else was out there. When I started out, I couldn't tell the difference, but at a year, I was definitely hearing much more precisely.

All that to say...

Try a hardtail guitar, try a guitar with humbuckers, try a guitar with a Floyd Rose, try a guitar with active pickups, play a semi-hollow, try a guitar with a carved top, play a bunch of guitars you can't possibly afford. If you're like most, you'll suddenly realize there are at least some of these features that really jump out at you and can take your enjoyment of the instrument to a new level.

Not even really thinking about it, I ended up playing exclusively guitars with trems for the first several years I played. The first time I played a hard tailed guitar it was like a huge breath of fresh air, suddenly bending felt smooth and uniform, notes had new definition and boldness, it was amazing!

And you'd never know it unless you tried some other guitars. Maybe as KP said, you'll just want to upgrade your amp (it really is better than 50% of the tone equation), but on the other hand, maybe it's time for a guitar exchange/upgrade too.

Keep an open mind.

Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life...


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(@phinnin)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 138
24/04/2006 3:26 am  

Another vote for putting all the effort into an amp. Use the buying power to get a good amp and maybe a pedal or two. Attenuator is another solid option.

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe (or Deville) + Tube Screamer + EQ + Attenuator = Exponential gain over your current rig.


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(@hanzo)
Trusted Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 50
24/04/2006 3:28 am  

That Fender Blues Jr is a real nice little amp. And if you want to stick with strats you could pick up a MIM Fender Strat (or MIM telecaster, I really like mine) for another $400 and use the leftover $200 to buy something nice for the 'ol lady to distract her from what you just bought.


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