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Best way to ditch / trade an amp?


(@redbeard)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 47
Topic starter  

Howdy,

So if you read my previous post in opinions / polls, I was asking about getting an acoustic. I have since restored one of my father's old Gibson guitars and dont think ill be going through with a new acoustic purchase at this time. I am moving my sights.

When I moved to Iowa and got my own place a year and a half ago one of the first things I did was get a "real" amp. Previous to that I had only played through my PC.

The amp sits there largely unused. I think one of my issues is that the thing is just so overwhelming to me. Its a Peavy Vypyr 75. For one, I bought an amp that is just way too powerful. Secondly, the thing has way too many options. Its impossible for me to really dial into what I want the thing to sound like. Its a personal flaw, but the thousands of combinations that the modeler provides and which is part of what sold me on the thing (before I knew better) has really turned into a huge turn off for me.

Id like to ditch the thing and get a smaller practice amp. Id like an all around decent rock amp if that makes sense. Something pretty straight forward that I could add a pedal / pedals to down the line to mess with the sound.

Question is two fold:

1) What do you guys think the best way for me to get rid of this thing would be? I would, of course, like to get as much out of it as I can. Its in like-new condition (just some dust) and has hardly been used. I dont have the original packing. I bought it for $300. I know im not going to get full price for it but Id love not to get gouged.

2) Any recommendations on a basic, all around decent rock amp. I am interested in all sorts of rock from alternative to heavy metal. I only play by myself so doesnt have to be powerful at all.

Thanks for any comments.

"I just curse the sun so I can howl at the moon" ~QOTSA


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(@s1120)
Prominent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 849
 

OK, so if your not realy into the fiddling with the knobs and settings, I would look into one of the small 5w tube amps. What one? Well thats tough to say.. Used to be you had two major players... the Epiphone Valve Jr, and the Fender champ.. The Epi was a little loud and rough, the champ on the clean side.. Bolth are still a great option, and can normaly walk out with one for under $150. there are others out there now though, that offer a little more. Watt selecter switchs. thats kinda nice... get the cranked sound at lower volumes.. maybe a full set of tone controls... But then your gettting away from being simple... Best to try to play the, your self..... they all have a diferent sound.

Cant help you on the bigger amp, other then say that most music stores offer tradeins. granted your not going to get full value... they have to sell it and make a buck... but if they have the small amp you want, you might be able to walk out for little out of pocket.

Paul B


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(@blue-jay)
Noble Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1638
 

Yes, maybe a trade-in, and then there's Craig's List and kijiji, but you watch Craig's List for copycat serial killers, it seems?

For the new amp, it could be simple, though there are choices. I have 15W Fender Blues Junior, and so do others. Really good! It has a 12" speaker for the full dynamics of a bigger amp, though the cabinet is small. I personally love tube or valve amps (also own & recommend Fender 5 - 6W Vibro Champ), but for some strange reason I see them like an oven and don't like to fire 'em up unless I'm really cooking? LOL that means a 40W 'big brother' Blues Deluxe just sits here covered and every day I use a Roland Cube 20X, which is also good for acoustic guitar with pickup, and electric piano or synth too. Amps with closed-backs help stop us from blowing spkr out. >>> Anyhow, for what you asked/need, to use pedals, I'd go Blues Jr.

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


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(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3460
 

Hi,

I completely understand your frustration with an amp that has just too many options. I had the same experience with a Vox AD30VT that I bought some years back. I never stopped fiddling with the darned knobs, trying to settle on one sound. Now I have an amp that has a really good basic sound but is much simpler. I'm far happier with it.

It might not help your situation, but I sold my old amp through a friend who teaches guitar. He knew it was good and that I'd not thrashed it, so he was able to recommend it to a student. Good luck with it all.

Cheers,

Chris


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(@s1120)
Prominent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 849
 

Hi,

I completely understand your frustration with an amp that has just too many options. I had the same experience with a Vox AD30VT that I bought some years back. I never stopped fiddling with the darned knobs, trying to settle on one sound. Now I have an amp that has a really good basic sound but is much simpler. I'm far happier with it.

It might not help your situation, but I sold my old amp through a friend who teaches guitar. He knew it was good and that I'd not thrashed it, so he was able to recommend it to a student. Good luck with it all.

Cheers,

Chris

I have the same amp, and wile its a good amp. It realy does it all... I have the same issues with it... Its taken me ages to find the sweet spot in it, and eaven then... Im still going in and messing around..Wile Im not sure I will dump it, I am looking at a small simple amp myself also...

Paul B


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(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3711
 

Well, I just got rid of that same amp. A Peavey VYPYR 75. I liked the amp but my Sanpera I foot controller that was virtually new and hadn't been used much malfunctioned and caused the back of my amp to begin to smoke with a melted plastic smell. The amp worked OK after that but certainly not with the pedal. I stopped using it cause every time I looked at the thing I got angry. That's not good. I say sell it yourself if you can. Amps are like cars. You don't get your money back on the trade and the dealer makes you think you are getting more by jacking the price of the new one you are buying. I got $125 pretend dollars for mine cause the amp I bought was $50 high on the price. It was really $75 which is 1/4 of what I paid for it. I knew this going in and I really wanted rid of the amp so I took the hit. They will sell the thing for $200.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@imalone)
Reputable Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 267
 

I completely understand your frustration with an amp that has just too many options. I had the same experience with a Vox AD30VT that I bought some years back. I never stopped fiddling with the darned knobs, trying to settle on one sound.
This is something I've been wondering about. I'm thinking about getting a modelling amp in the new year (currently on a Vox Pathfinder, which is solid state, but just a two channel amp, i.e. it amplifies nicely and responds to guitar volume). I've got a pocket pod, but it would be nice to have something a bit less fiddly and more friendly to use - this is where the 'darned knobs' thing comes in. In this class (Roland Cube, Vox Valvetronix, Spider, Vyper, Fender Mustang) the Vox seems to take the most flack for being too featured. What I'm worried about is exactly what you describe, spending too much time playing with sounds when it would actually be much better if I was playing. On the other hand I do want a bit more scope than just clean -> crunch -> screech. So has anyone used any of the others? I'm kind of leaning towards a Mustang at the minute, planning on finding one to try closer to the time. There's also the Yamaha THR, but it is kind of dear given it could only ever really be used for home playing.


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(@s1120)
Prominent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 849
 

I completely understand your frustration with an amp that has just too many options. I had the same experience with a Vox AD30VT that I bought some years back. I never stopped fiddling with the darned knobs, trying to settle on one sound.
This is something I've been wondering about. I'm thinking about getting a modelling amp in the new year (currently on a Vox Pathfinder, which is solid state, but just a two channel amp, i.e. it amplifies nicely and responds to guitar volume). I've got a pocket pod, but it would be nice to have something a bit less fiddly and more friendly to use - this is where the 'darned knobs' thing comes in. In this class (Roland Cube, Vox Valvetronix, Spider, Vyper, Fender Mustang) the Vox seems to take the most flack for being too featured. What I'm worried about is exactly what you describe, spending too much time playing with sounds when it would actually be much better if I was playing. On the other hand I do want a bit more scope than just clean -> crunch -> screech. So has anyone used any of the others? I'm kind of leaning towards a Mustang at the minute, planning on finding one to try closer to the time. There's also the Yamaha THR, but it is kind of dear given it could only ever really be used for home playing.

You know.. I wouldnt say the VOX has MORE things to fuss with then the others... My dislike of fiddling is for modeling amps in general. Frankly the VOX is a great sounding amp. There is a lot of "off" sounding settings in it.... but any modeling amp will be that way. Ive adjusted it to run.... I guess I will use the term natral.. no extra effects turned on, and using the three volumes [main, master, and the power selector in the back] to get that tube amp slightly overdriven cleanish sound... With those settings I can bounce between the AC15, AC30, and marshal amp models and get three slightly diferent sounds that I like.

So dont discount the VOX off hand.. Agean just becouse I want something simple, and not realy the kinda guy thats going to spend the time setting up a amp... [heck... the clock in my car is still a hour off from daylight savings time....] It realy is a great sounding amp...and gets better with age... But I just like simple.

Paul B


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(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3711
 

My VYPYR was a great amp, don't get me wrong. Just all those features to use one amp model with one effect (delay) was a waste. Oh, and the being ticked off thing. I think modeling amps are cool. I'd have kept it just because if it werent for it making me upset to look at it. I still have the VYPYR 15 for when I want to mess around.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

I've got two smaller amps. A 20W Jet City JCA2112RC and a 15W Fender Super Champ Deluxe. The Jet city has only one channel, but it does have a 12 inch speaker and I've gotten some great tone out of it. Of my two low wattage amps, I'd keep this one despite it's limitations. Great tone, and you can fiddle with Master and Gain knob combinations to get what you want fairly easily.

The Fender is one of those Hybrid amps. Tubes in the Pre Amp and Power Amp section and digital "Voicings" in between. It came with a 10-inch speaker which I despised. I had to fit it up with an EQ - something I despise almost as much - just to make it sound good. I did go out and get an aftermarket speaker and it sounds much better. I did use it as the amp for my old Boss GT-10 for a while, and it did a fine job. The amp itself has those 16 settings that they call 'Voicings", which is pretty much 16 amp models ranging from an acoustic flavor to some Heavy Metal. I did buy mine when it first came out, so perhaps they've worked on the speaker. Others have liked theirs.

I did play that 5W Fender and would have bought it except that the Jet City got set out on the floor while I was there. I snagged it quickly and almost not quick enough.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@imalone)
Reputable Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 267
 

Thanks for the answers. I haven't discounted the Vox yet, it was probably top of my list till I found out about the Mustang. Definitely need to give them a try side by side. The Vox isn't difficult since my nearest music shop has an actual mountain of them. It's finding somewhere that has one or two of the other suspects to try alongside that's a bit trickier, won't be doing that until the new year I think. (DV have said they can get some in to try, which would be handiest). Vyper is probably the only one I haven't seen going round shops.
The Fender is one of those Hybrid amps. [...] It came with a 10-inch speaker which I despised.
With the Mustang it's the other way round: the 40W one has a 12" speaker, while the similar Vox have 8" and 10". Actually, most of the time it'll be played fairly quiet, so that's something I'll have to check out. 40W may be too big (hopefully less of a problem with modelling amps than with valves). According to fender it has 'A 12” Special Design speaker that sounds great', so it must be true
I did play that 5W Fender and would have bought it except that the Jet City got set out on the floor while I was there. I snagged it quickly and almost not quick enough.
!


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

With the Mustang it's the other way round: the 40W one has a 12" speaker,
My Fender Blues Deluxe Re-issue is a 40W with the 12-inch. Two channels, solid tube amp. Really wonderful tone for my tastes. Like Blue Jay says, though, the smaller amp(s) get the play over the bigger one.

Actually, none of them are getting the play that my eleven Rack is getting, but that's a whole other story way off topic.

The Jet City thing: I almost took too long to decide. someone else was keenly interested, but I did say "yes" first. Hard to imagine before lunch on a week-day. I got lucky. They set it out while I was there test driving the 5W Fender. I went outside, dilly-dallied a bit too long and went back in to find that someone else was test-driving it. IIRC, I found my salesman right away and told him I would take it. The other dude was disappointed when my salesman went over to grab it for the sale. It's the only time I've seen one in a store.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3460
 

I have the same amp, and wile its a good amp. It realy does it all... I have the same issues with it... Its taken me ages to find the sweet spot in it, and eaven then... Im still going in and messing around..Wile Im not sure I will dump it, I am looking at a small simple amp myself also...

As you say, there's nothing really wrong with the amp itself - it's a good amp for the money.

The problem with modeling amps in general seems to be that they often appeal to relatively new players who haven't yet settled on 'their sound' or sounds. I thought it would be really useful to have the choice of a wide range of sounds. I naively imagined that I'd dial through some options and quickly find my preferred sweet spot. Nah.... didn't happen... :? All it did was open my eyes to how many different ways that I could be ignorant of what was going on and how somebody's signature sound is put together. :(

Hard to find something when you don't really know what you're looking for. :D

The problem was compounded by the fact that I didn't know how much of the sound (for good or bad, but mostly for bad....) was caused by the amp setting, how much by poor choice of music style for that particular sound, how much by the guitar pickups, how much by my lousy newbie fingers and poor touch, etc, etc.

The answer seems to be to go back to basics - one simple clean sound and one basic 'dirty' sound and to work up from that. Don't add any more effects until the fingers are doing a real good job with the basic settings, etc...

The kid who bought my amp soon came back to the teacher with a similarly wildly confused look in his eyes. So the teacher dialled in those two basic settings - one clean and one dirty - assigned them to the recall buttons and showed him where to leave the other knobs. He went away happy after that...

He'll probably do what his teacher told him.... for a while.... but I have to rely on self-discipline and patience.... and where I am I going to find supplies of that??

Maybe I could have got him to set it up for me, and then taped the knobs down? But now I just plug in and work on getting the best out of an amp with a lot less options. Suits me...

Cheers,

Chris


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(@blue-jay)
Noble Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1638
 

How's it going Redbeard? Any ideas from all this? I like the Mustang 40 okay too, but not the smaller ones, which of course are cheaper! If you go for a non-tube, think BIGGER, like 30 - 40W, or the Roland Cube 30-40, over the 20 (like I have).

Oh, and it is not that I don't like little amps, I just felt that the little Mustang was cheap, in the store anyhow. I am used to a good feel, if not sound. I have a G-DEC 30 which is so-so, could be a lot better, and no complaints with the Fender Bullet 15W which is a little solid state workhorse, and drives a big cab like a Marshall, almost? And I like the Danelectro Nifty Fifty - it's also 15W, strangely. I don't think they make it any more. Anyway,if you can find one, they're a little screamer too. 8)

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


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(@imalone)
Reputable Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 267
 

Saw, but didn't have time to try out, a Mustang II yesterday. It's massive, will have to think about where it might go. (The Vox seems more compact.)

Surprised no-one has yet suggested the 'best' (most rock'n'roll) way to ditch an amp is out of a hotel window :)


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