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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-25-2010, 05:10 AM Thread Starter
 
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Exclamation Experienced player sold collection, buying new amp,guitar needs expert advice please

Hey guys,

I've been playing for 8 years now, and previously owned a JEM7V, JEMBRMR, Les Paul Classic, two Music Man John Petrucci's, Ibanez RG's (6 and 7 strings), along with two intro level guitars. During that time I used a Mesa Dual Rect., and played mostly Dream Theater, Vai (not all the solos of course ), metallica, and of course all the nu-metal I loved growing up, along with other stuff.

Sadly, I had to part with literally ALL of my equipment and assets a little over a year ago due to personal financial distress during this recession...This really broke my heart. Of all things, the JEM7V is what I miss the most. Thankfully, I am in a position to to spend around $3000 on a guitar/amp setup, and would like to get a new 2010 JEM7V (unless you guys know of a reason not to), as I can take advantage of Guitar Center's financing opportunity. I really hate to do this, but I truly cannot express how much I miss playing in general, and a JEM would be a nice little gift to myself.

I'm trying to decide if I should get another JEM with a line6, or some cheap amp until christmas time, then go for a legacy 2, and g system, or a cheaper guitar and more expensive amp. Thankfully, I was blessed with a great job years ago and was able to have all the equipment above for many years, so I never had to buy an inexpensive amp, or focus on a budget for an amp/guitar combo purchase. Sadly, thats not the case now. However, some good did come out of it.

Over the past two years, I have found my true self, both in music and life. I have in some way outgrew the modern crunch tone, and seek more of a mature, beautiful, vai like tone. The tone I feel in my soul now is smooth, expresses emotion, and is more mature, hence I would like a JEM as my first purchase (for the second time around) rather than a Les Paul, Music man , or some other guitar. Not to mention, that I swear by the clean tone of the JEM, so you certainly get your bang for the buck (a big buck at that lol).

I'm wondering if I should hold off on the jem and perhaps get a guitar for around $1000, and the legacy, or what I originally mentioned above. However, I'm not very familiar with the quality, range, and tone of any amps besides higher end $1500+ head/combos. Now that you guys know what I am seeking in terms of tone (clean I like as clean as possible, but we all know thats not achieved without spending a nice cent, so that can hold off 'till the legacy 2).

I truly appreciate all your recommendations, the time you took out to read this, and help a fellow musician. Though I don't know you, clearly by belonging to this forum, we share a common interest, and from the bottom of my heart I wish you all the best of luck, and blessings in your careers/lives, and hope none of you have to go through what I went through, and part with these wonderful instruments, that feel more like an extension of ourselves, rather than objects.

Also, if any of you are in the South Florida area, and would like to jam or need a setup (my friends who are great players, always compliment me on my setups), I'd be more than happy to hang and help out in any way. I just really miss the music community, and guitar geeks like myself . As I live here now, my friends are back home up North, so I basically am the only person I know in Florida who even knows how to play guitar!

Hope you all are having a great summer, and thanks in advance for reading my post, and offering your help.

Thanks,

Jay
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-25-2010, 06:09 AM
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Re: Experienced player sold collection, buying new amp,guitar needs expert advice ple

Whilst I'll never endorse buying guitar gear on credit, no matter how much you miss playing, especially a quite expensive guitar when you're just coming out of a financial jam, I'd suggest that you look at how you'll be playing. If you're looking to gig then obviously you need a bigger amp, but if you're jsut looking to play for your own amusement, I'll recommend a little Line 6 combo. I love mine and spend more time playing it at home than any valve amp I've got!
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-25-2010, 06:48 AM
 
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Re: Experienced player sold collection, buying new amp,guitar needs expert advice ple

If I were you I'd pick up a Mesa Mark IV combo, I've seen them around $1200 quite regularly, a TC G-Major (around 300) and the rest for a guitar of your liking.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-25-2010, 07:03 AM
 
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Re: Experienced player sold collection, buying new amp,guitar needs expert advice ple

If you want a nice valve amp that wont break your budget get a Blackstar HT-5, and maybe just buy yourself a RG350 for the time being. Play a few of them and find one that works for you. I'd go the yellow maple fretboard version.

This should net you some reasonable tones without killing yourself paying off a Jem and big amp you might not be able to afford straight up.

The Blackstar HT-5 is a killer little amp too, beautiful crunch and distorted tones. If you want to play clean loud just roll the volume knob down on your guitar, otherwise the clean is nice for lowish volumes.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-25-2010, 07:42 AM
 
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Re: Experienced player sold collection, buying new amp,guitar needs expert advice ple

You know deep down you prefer a better guitar then a better amp..

You can always buy the guitar you want, and buy a second hand amp...

Thats what I would do.

The guitar is the most important part for me...
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-25-2010, 06:06 PM
 
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Re: Experienced player sold collection, buying new amp,guitar needs expert advice ple

I don't really recommend making big purchases on credit, and I would only get an Ibanez if I was buying off Rich. But, if that's the only way to swing it and you desperately need to play again, I'd go with the guitar you want first and an amp that'll do in the meantime. There are lots of great amps that can be had for cheap used or smaller amps that'll let you get your chops back up to speed at home before you start playing out if that's your intention. If you're just playing at home, +1 to the HT-5, but there are also lots of other smaller amps out there that can be had for sub-$500 or so.
All that said, don't make a big purchase on credit unless you're certain that you can make the payments in time...you don't want to have to sell another JEM....
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 08:44 PM
 
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Re: Experienced player sold collection, buying new amp,guitar needs expert advice ple

Look used
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 09:56 PM
 
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Red face Re: Experienced player sold collection, buying new amp,guitar needs expert advice ple

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackamedmos View Post
Look used
Absofreakinglutely! USED is always the way to go dollar wise! More bang for the buck baby! Most of my stuff was bought used! 22 guitars, of which 9 were bought new...
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-27-2010, 11:19 PM
 
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Re: Experienced player sold collection, buying new amp,guitar needs expert advice ple

I would go used for the guitar and the amps. Go to evilBay and Craigslist.

I'm through paying interest if I can help it. I cannot wait to be rid of every interest-bearing account I have.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 12:08 PM
 
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Re: Experienced player sold collection, buying new amp,guitar needs expert advice ple

Hi Jay,

Great story... not great in 'that's it's good that you went through turmoil' but great that there's a level of honesty and humility. I feel for you and I hope that you're on the right track.

This is my thought process...

Buy the guitar you love first and foremost and get a cheaper amp. I'll try and explain....

With a guitar; you play, hold, touch, feel. It's an extension of you and your mind. It's what you control. It's what you carry, it's what you place in your lap when you sit down on the couch. It's like a baby that you cuddle and you're in love with.

A well made guitar makes you want to play. It doesn't hurt your fingers, doesn't strain your wrists..... it looks after you. And you will admire it for life; the finish, the action, the quality, the playability.

An amp? Well, it doesn't have the same effect as a guitar. You can buy a Mesa, an Engl, a Peavey, whatever, and say it's fantastic but running a cheap guitar into it is like using cheap cables. Defeats the purpose of very fine amps.

I'd buy a cheap-ish modelling amp (Peavey Vyper, maybe? - read some good reviews) and run a great guitar into it. You'll have plenty of sounds that'll inspire you. They may not be (talking 'purists' talk now....) like a tube amp but at least it'll be close for all intents and purposes. Likewise a cheap-ish guitar isn't close to a great guitar.... Doesn't ring the same tune, does it?

Alternatively, a 2nd hand tube amp is, for most cases, excellent value. And I think you know enough about tube amps to know what to look for. I've never bought a new amp (except my Carvin Quad X-Amp preamp). There's not a great deal that can go wrong with them. Plug in a great axe and play/ test them for half an hour.

If you go a great guitar and a modelling amp, you can also record to PC (if the amp has a line out or other out) and you'll enjoy it all the more.

My 3 cents...... (inflation)
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Experienced player sold collection, buying new amp,guitar needs expert advice ple

Blaklynx,

Thanks for your post.

After much contemplation, I have made the same decision you recommended; Great guitar, with a cheaper amp.

For the guitar I have decided to go with a 2010 JEM7VWH, as they come with the Edge tremolo, as well as the fact that I got screwed on an **** purchase before, and don't want to risk it, unless I can physically see/play the guitar I'm buying.

As for the amp, I'm still contemplating, but the Line6 Spider Jam looks to be the best bang for the buck, as it goes for $400, but someone locally has it for $280.

Although the sound quality and tone won't be what I'm used to, it seems to be a great amp for getting my playing back in shape. The built in chorus/flanger, phaser, tremolo, delay, echo's and reverb, though not great in sound quality, will save hundreds on stomp boxes/rack units, until I'm ready to do so with a nice tube amp rig.

Another thing that REALLY stands out to me is the ability to loop up to 24 mins of CD quality recording time, and play long/record with the hundreds of jam tracks and drum loops. This is great for getting used to playing with other instruments, improvising, jamming, etc.

To make it even better, it has a mini stereo input to play along with my songs on my computer, iphone, etc. It also has a 1/4' input for adding a second instrument, or drum machine. For others the XLR input for a microphone is great, but I don't do vocals; nonetheless, a nice feature for other musicians.

A great feature for me is the ability to record your playing the loops, etc. to a SD card, which can then be placed in the computer for editing in a recording software, which I have. This is where you see your money really being well spent, and realize how much you're saving by not purchasing all the additional recording hardware. Not to mention, the mess of the cables and such.

Lastly, the headphone and RCA outs are great for playing quietly at night, and for playing backing tracks/mp3 songs through my home stereo, allowing the celestion speaker to be used solely for playing.

All in all, for the money, it can't be beat. It also makes a great practice amp for playing on the couch, or in the middle of the night, as I'm always up late and don't want to wake my girlfriend up when she's here. Not to mention, with the boogie it was almost impossible to play late, with a decent tone without waking the neighbors

I'm going to try and get to Guitar Center in the next day or two to play it, but if you or anyone has some feedback I'd truly appreciate it.

Thanks again to you and everyone for your help.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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Re: Experienced player sold collection, buying new amp,guitar needs expert advice ple

Sounds like you got it all worked out. Good luck with the JEM at GC. Make sure to inspect it thoroughly as I've seen some train-wrecks that they still try to sell for top shelf prices...
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Experienced player sold collection, buying new amp,guitar needs expert advice ple

As have I. That's why I'll go there to negotiate the price, and have them order me a new one form the warehouse, unopened.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 05:36 PM
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Re: Experienced player sold collection, buying new amp,guitar needs expert advice ple

If you really want expert advice, avoid GC.
Anything you get from them will be unopened, uninspected, and unless you're a professional tech that knows these guitars extremely well, you have no idea what you'd be walking out with, seeing it in hand or not.
There are no 2010 VWH's available yet, they are due immenently though.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Experienced player sold collection, buying new amp,guitar needs expert advice ple

How are there no 2010's yet if we are approaching August this week?
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