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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been working two jobs and all of a sudden have some extra cash to spend. I was thinking about a guitar. But I have good guitars, though one more couldn’t hurt. I have no desire to spend $1500 + on a Les Paul though I like them. Perhaps a custom made, or get a cheaper Japanese Ibanez and remake it to what I want. Or should I consider new amplification? The facts are A) I play in a show band but my love is classic rock and blues which hopefully I’ll get a chance to do again one day. But for now I need to be versatile. I can go from playing a twangy song, to disco to an 80’s rock anthem. B) I have a strat, a Jem jr and an Oscar Schmidt semi hollow that seems to be a good mix but in that range I could use a guitar with humbuckers. I have a real affinity for Ibanez guitars new and old. And C) I am playing through a Carvin V3M. It’s good but I’m not sure it’s “all that”. For effects I primarily employ a Tech 21 Richie Kotzen RK5.
I am an average player at best, but I try. Maybe what I need more than a fancy guitar is better amplification that will aid me where my fingers fail me. I totally get that if I play through an average amp and I sound average, someone like Vai or Santana or a hundred others can take that same amp and make it sing. I get that a large portion of the sweet sound is in the players hands. A guy like me just needs a little help. Not to mention I mostly play private functions and smaller venues and cannot crank an amp past 5 so I cannot get the tubes to push and give me that soaring natural overdrive distortion.
All thoughts, recommendations and opinions are welcome and appreciated.
Thanks.
 

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My general opinion is that we guitarist spend too much money on guitars, and not enough on amps.I think that good amp with average guitar is much better combination then good guitar with cheap amp. I would reccomend Marshall JVM series like 410 or 210 . They have 2 or 4 chanells with 3 flavors, and master volume, 50 or 100w.
 

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Hughes & Kettner Triamp MK II or III eats JVM but is more expensive. They have power reduction. Amp for the rest of life.
Or things like Kemper, Ace FX, Helix or new Boss with power amp.
You can do this all with midi so no more tap dancing. :)

Vai, santana or others have (or had) time to practice and "buff" each note. That is the key to good sound - focusing. You have to go deep into it. Good Luck. :)

J.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Talking this thru it seems to make sense to me to focus on an amp. I have posted ad nauseum previously trying to get a good sound on the cheap (or less expensive) I have my eye on a late 1970's Ibanez Les Paul copy. I am a big fan of the 1970's Ibanez guitars (hell, all of them really) so perhaps the thing to do is to take my V3M, take it to the basement, protect my ears, baffle the speaker slightly and crank it up to 10 and see how it sounds. It's possible that part of the issue is that I don't get a chance to drive my amps to take advantage of a natural overdriven tube sound. If that's the case, then maybe a good quality attenuator is what is called for. I loved the way the Mesa Kingsnake sounded but good luck with that. They seem as hard to find as a Dumble!
 

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Good thread. I think it's useful to realize you could buy amp and after amp and end up with no better sound. Same goes for new guitars. You have a decent 3 channel amp what do you expect would improve dumping $1500 in a new amp? Once you add fx/pedals you've neutered the amp in a lot of respects. Will the new amp (and hassle tweaking it) inspire your playing in any way? I wouldn't be surprised if the free Tonebridge app, iRig, headphones w/ your current guitars doesn't inspire you more especially at home. It also might reveal more about what you actually want next. Good luck.
 

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I'm kind of going through the same thing at the moment, but I have the amp I want (Mk IV). I think I'm going to get a used G System, and then I'll probably be set for life (I'm old LOL)
 

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I’m in the same boat. I’ve had a mark v 90 watt for 5 years and love it but I’ve been wanting a Marshall sound for about the last 6 months. I’ve been looking at the JVM HJS and some Friedman stuff, but can’t quite pull the trigger... even though I play in my house most of the time, I play loud (95-105db) so I’m looking at going big and UK/US.
Also entertained just getting a different cab for the mark v but feel like I’ll still want the m style amp. But the point is a good one about what gear we feel like we need vs just want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have found over the years that since I (at least to me anyway) am not as smooth a player as I wish I was, that some sustain and the right amount of overdrive can smooth out the rough edges that I may have between notes while soloing. That humbucker with the tone rolled back a bit sound. Think Santana and the Allman bros and countless others. So for one I really want to get another guitar with all humbuckers. Also the amp obviously makes a difference. I have heard a lot of good sounds out of Boogies over the years, so I think later today I am going to go check out a few. The Mark V, like my Carvin, also has 3 channels. I really don't need 3 channels and all the other switches. I am an old school simple guy. If I can get a very clean for the disco, and pop stuff, then I can roll back the tone for the jazzy stuff. Then maybe from 1 overdrive channel and a tube screamer or just the OD channel I can get the more middle of the road dirt for blues and old school rock tunes and then use my RK5 for the grittier rock tunes and soaring Santana type sound. It's a journey and I am not the most technology driven kind of player. I do very little playing at home, 90% of my playing is at gigs. The gigs like I said are mostly smaller venues these days so the stage volume is down. Hard to drive an amp when you can't get it up over 5-6 and that's a problem as well!
 

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I see JVM getting thrown around and I cringe. They are terribly unreliable, and horribly overpriced. If you want a british sound try an Orange, older Laney, Rivera, Cornford, Older BlackStar or mesa lone star. Hell even a 5150/6505 or 5150 III would be a solid choice. The JCM 800 was the last really great amp Marshall made, the 900s are ok but are still prone to breakdowns. I know that sounds super snobby, but I worked a store that sold marshalls, we have a total of 4 jvms. 2 50 watts and 2 100 watts. Both the 100 watts broke, one on the showroom floor and one was returned after a couple of weeks. 1 50 watt broke down on the showroom floor and the other went unsold before I left the store. They do sound good, perhaps they fixed some QC issues but I'd personally never buy one unless it was ridiculously cheap.

For 1500 find an older axe fx or even an eleven rack or pod hd pro rack and run it through something like a QSC k8 or k10. I tell myself I am going to go digital but get distracted by tube amps every time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What are you playing it through? My only real issue with things like Kemper and Axe FX is that for me, it's like needing a car to go to work and back that's 5 miles away and buying a Winnebago. It's a hundred times more than what I need and will ever use and just seems like a waste.
 

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“Get what you need to do what you want.” This does mean get the bare minimum so that you can barely accomplish what you need to accomplish. Quality, reliability, irrational personal preference are all important factors when figuring out what you need, want, and what you can live without. If there is a guitar or amp that you’ve often thought about when you are away from guitar stores or gear related websites, you should probably check it out.
 

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I thought about it... I have different definition of versality because my sound is more modern. Your set is like 30W 2-chanells marshall kind amp and 2x12 greenies..so simple n classic.
For smoothnes you have tubes saturation so maybe what you extra need is reverb or/and delay.
For me it's easier to think about the sound in the whole chain category, from fingers to speakers.
I really like duncan sh-11 for 'super liquid jelly' solos not for rythm part because lack of bass but for classic (jazz to metal) sound it is versatile pickup. :)

J.
 
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