Originally Posted by Formerly Given To Fly
I think a new amp would be just another version of what you already have. From a versatility standpoint, nothing will be more versatile than the Boss ME-80, just different.
What don’t you like about your current setup? People usually don’t shop for new amps when they love the one they have.
Yeah, I've had that "new amp" bug for a couple of weeks now. I saw the Katana amp for sale locally and after looking up specs and watching some reviews I convinced myself I needed something new... Over the last weekend I started having second thoughts, considering I use the ME-80 and really like it as the front end of the amp. The new amp bug is probably more a result of frustration and feeling stuck in a rut regarding my guitar playing.
I started out a couple years ago by buying the Blackstar to replace all the big old amps I was trying to use for recording... a Carvin x100b, an old Lab Series (dumpster dived), and crappy Rogue 100w, etc... So after using the Blackstar with a few inexpensive/used pedals I accumulated I sprung for the ME-80 to consolidate and get rid of all the noise and mess and hassle of a pile of pedals, some in front of the amp and some in the fx loop. Once I realized how nice it was running it into the fx return that was all I used. I built some presets and downloaded some from the Boss website, but over the last year or so I found myself just using the same few presets over and over. Maybe it was that, or the V30 speaker in the 1x12 enclosure, or maybe the amp, but it just seems like all my guitars have a similar tone (to a degree) and everything I play sounds the same. Probably more to do with the guy holding the guitar and controlling the pedal than anything. Life has been kind of frustrating lately too, with very little time to pick up a guitar for more than 20-30 minutes here and there sporadically... and sometimes my hands are too sore from pulling fence wire or cutting trees to even enjoy playing. I notice that stuff a lot more now that I'm nearing 50. Maybe I'm looking for something to get me inspired, but I think you are right about the amp... Last night I spent some time (typical 30 minutes) and switched off the preset mode and put the ME-80 in manual mode. Starting with everything off and building from there... using it more like a pedal board than a typical processor, just switching amp type or effects on and off manually. It was a welcome change, although I still need to get used to using it that way and not just switching between presets.
Sorry for the long rambling self-analysis... but you backed-up exactly what I was starting to wonder about. Besides, I could use the extra cash I set aside for the amp to get a 7-string guitar instead. Now THAT'S something I really need... lol. My goal is to get back to recording again. I haven't had my pc or interface set up in a long time, pretty much since we stopped doing the monthly Jemsite Guitar Challenge. Seems like forcing myself learn to improvise over backing tracks and to learn how to record in a DAW was really good for me and expanded my playing immensely... but now I'm back in that old rut again. Time to get my sh!t together and have fun playing again... I just need a challenge to force me to get going and make the most of the setup I have already. Thanks dude!