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Snowman

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I'm a lousy guitar player and its been a LONG time since I played at all. Gotten the itch lately and all of a sudden am pondering modern gear. My setup is a Squier strat from mid-nineties, well neglected. And as a misguided teen picked up a Fender Pro 185 also back in the mid nineties. Both still work, but jacks are shot and the amp pots need work. So, not quite, but almost junk.

At minimum, thinking a small solid state practice amp and cheap electric guitar so the kids and I have something to play around with. I would like them to have cheap gear available. But one gets to browsing, and darned if the latent interest in nice amps and guitars hasn't perked up.

I mean, I need new guitar gear, right?
No different than golf gear - the answer is always "Of course you do!"

For a practice amp, take a look at the Positive Grid Spark. It's a fun little amp - plenty loud enough for home and the digital modeling allows you to get a ton of different tones, everything from acoustic to full-on metal. It connects via Bluetooth to your phone or tablet, which is where you play with all the amps and effects modeling. It also gives you a metronome, access to a ton of jam tracks that play through the amp via Bluetooth, and you can also connect to Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube to play along to songs. And when you're not using it for guitar, it's a pretty cool Bluetooth speaker to play music through. Has a headphone jack for silent practice, and can also connect to your computer as a USB interface for recording. Looks like they're on sale for $254 right now at their website, they're really a lot of bang for the buck. I bought mine about a month ago and have been having a blast with it. You can also buy an external rechargeable battery pack (the kind that can power a laptop), and then you can use the amp anywhere without needing a wall plug.

As far as cheap guitars - I don't have any first-hand experience with them, but I've seen a lot of buzz about Harley Benton guitars lately. They're priced very reasonably and the reviews I've seen say the quality is really good for the price. Only downside I can see is that they're sold through thomann.de in Germany, so I don't know what the shipping time to the U.S. is like.
 
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GraniteRoost

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No different than golf gear - the answer is always "Of course you do!"

For a practice amp, take a look at the Positive Grid Spark. It's a fun little amp - plenty loud enough for home and the digital modeling allows you to get a ton of different tones, everything from acoustic to full-on metal. It connects via Bluetooth to your phone or tablet, which is where you play with all the amps and effects modeling. It also gives you a metronome, access to a ton of jam tracks that play through the amp via Bluetooth, and you can also connect to Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube to play along to songs. And when you're not using it for guitar, it's a pretty cool Bluetooth speaker to play music through. Has a headphone jack for silent practice, and can also connect to your computer as a USB interface for recording. Looks like they're on sale for $254 right now at their website, they're really a lot of bang for the buck. I bought mine about a month ago and have been having a blast with it. You can also buy an external rechargeable battery pack (the kind that can power a laptop), and then you can use the amp anywhere without needing a wall plug.

As far as cheap guitars - I don't have any first-hand experience with them, but I've seen a lot of buzz about Harley Benton guitars lately. They're priced very reasonably and the reviews I've seen say the quality is really good for the price. Only downside I can see is that they're sold through thomann.de in Germany, so I don't know what the shipping time to the U.S. is like.
That is a great tip on the positive grid Spark. I will look into it, it sounds really versatile!
 

PJSprog

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I have an older Squier Fat Strat that is an excellent guitar. I also have a Squier Jazz bass that was my main instrument in the Sammy Hagar tribute band (playing it in my avatar pic). I traveled the country with that bass, and it always played and sounded great. I also have an Epiphone Dot Studio (the hard-to-find worn brown) that is also a very good instrument.

Don't discount the quality and value these days of less expensive instruments. Even some of the Chinese made brands like Firefly and Harley Benton are getting great reviews.
 

GraniteRoost

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I have an older Squier Fat Strat that is an excellent guitar. I also have a Squier Jazz bass that was my main instrument in the Sammy Hagar tribute band (playing it in my avatar pic). I traveled the country with that bass, and it always played and sounded great. I also have an Epiphone Dot Studio (the hard-to-find worn brown) that is also a very good instrument.

Don't discount the quality and value these days of less expensive instruments. Even some of the Chinese made brands like Firefly and Harley Benton are getting great reviews.
Great point. I think I might try to replace the input jack on the strat , I think otherwise the volume knobs and everything else is good. worst part is the chromework is kind of pitted from sweat and dust, and hardware is has some uh.... rust patina. If I can clean up the Squier a little it will be a great option for the kids instead of simply replacing.

The Pro185 however, that thing needs work, and is the wrong tool for the job. Pretty excited about the prospect of a new practice amp. I've had so many issues with crappy static and input jacks that it really took away any desire to play.
 

Snowman

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Great point. I think I might try to replace the input jack on the strat , I think otherwise the volume knobs and everything else is good. worst part is the chromework is kind of pitted from sweat and dust, and hardware is has some uh.... rust patina. If I can clean up the Squier a little it will be a great option for the kids instead of simply replacing.

The Pro185 however, that thing needs work, and is the wrong tool for the job. Pretty excited about the prospect of a new practice amp. I've had so many issues with crappy static and input jacks that it really took away any desire to play.
I also bought a wireless system for my guitars and am really digging it. No cords dangling around, plug one module into the amp and one into the guitar and I can go anywhere in the house. They've come a long way with that technology and prices have really come down.
 

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I own 12 saxophones.... sopranino (1), soprano (2), Alto (4), Tenor (3) Baritone (2). Unfortunately, none of the bands in which I play have been able to get together since February, so I haven't been playing much.

As you can imagine, between music and golf I have a VERY understanding wife:D.
 

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I also bought a wireless system for my guitars and am really digging it. No cords dangling around, plug one module into the amp and one into the guitar and I can go anywhere in the house. They've come a long way with that technology and prices have really come down.
I'm pretty glad that on a whim I posted in this thread. That is another great suggestion that had not even occurred to me. I really appreciate it!
 

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I have an older Squier Fat Strat that is an excellent guitar. I also have a Squier Jazz bass that was my main instrument in the Sammy Hagar tribute band (playing it in my avatar pic). I traveled the country with that bass, and it always played and sounded great. I also have an Epiphone Dot Studio (the hard-to-find worn brown) that is also a very good instrument.

Don't discount the quality and value these days of less expensive instruments. Even some of the Chinese made brands like Firefly and Harley Benton are getting great reviews.
I couldn't agree with this more. I've always played Squire and Epiphone over the Fender/Gibson equivalents and never had a problem. They're no longer the babies of the family made from inferior materials and to my ear they not a million miles off. Although, playing in a variety of punk banks up and down the country in the back of vans, with cheaper instruments I'm never heartbroken if they get bashed about or the occasional broken headstock :LOL:

epi.jpg
 

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I couldn't agree with this more. I've always played Squire and Epiphone over the Fender/Gibson equivalents and never had a problem. They're no longer the babies of the family made from inferior materials and to my ear they not a million miles off. Although, playing in a variety of punk banks up and down the country in the back of vans, with cheaper instruments I'm never heartbroken if they get bashed about or the occasional broken headstock :LOL:

View attachment 8980392
"Lightly gigged." :ROFLMAO:

Tools not jewels! It has been said here about golf clubs. And as a high handicap guitar player, you guys advice is good. I'm especially encouraged to hear you've had good luck with Epiphone as well as Squier. As a casual player it is a lot of money to drop for a genuine Les Paul, or even USA made Tele or Strat. A guy could tinker with an Epiphone or Squier Tele and not feel badly about it.
 

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"Lightly gigged." :ROFLMAO:

Tools not jewels! It has been said here about golf clubs. And as a high handicap guitar player, you guys advice is good. I'm especially encouraged to hear you've had good luck with Epiphone as well as Squier. As a casual player it is a lot of money to drop for a genuine Les Paul, or even USA made Tele or Strat. A guy could tinker with an Epiphone or Squier Tele and not feel badly about it.
Lightly gigged about sums it up! Tools not jewels is exactly right in my opinion, as much as I would love genuine 59 Goldtops etc, they would just be wasted on me completely. I did have a genuine LP once, but it was so heavy I couldn't even throw it from one side of the stage to the other :ROFLMAO:
 

ToohipGottaGo

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For all you high handicap guitarists and golfers like myself, I would also suggest the PRS SE line of guitars. Well made and very playable. I'm looking to trade for another after the new year. Love these things. Also I will second the recommendation of the Positive Grid Spark. I've got a couple of friends out here that have them and love them. If I didn't have all the gear I don't need right now, I would get one. They are plenty loud enough for when you're feeling "punky or the occasional head bang". :rockon: I am that guy. LOL
 

Snowman

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"Lightly gigged." :ROFLMAO:

Tools not jewels! It has been said here about golf clubs. And as a high handicap guitar player, you guys advice is good. I'm especially encouraged to hear you've had good luck with Epiphone as well as Squier. As a casual player it is a lot of money to drop for a genuine Les Paul, or even USA made Tele or Strat. A guy could tinker with an Epiphone or Squier Tele and not feel badly about it.
I have a cherryburst Epi LP, no complaints whatsoever about the quality of it. My Strat is a MIM Fender and I've owned a couple Mexican Teles also, just could never bring myself to drop the $$$ for the USA ones as a casual player.


For all you high handicap guitarists and golfers like myself, I would also suggest the PRS SE line of guitars. Well made and very playable. I'm looking to trade for another after the new year. Love these things. Also I will second the recommendation of the Positive Grid Spark. I've got a couple of friends out here that have them and love them. If I didn't have all the gear I don't need right now, I would get one. They are plenty loud enough for when you're feeling "punky or the occasional head bang". :rockon: I am that guy. LOL
I found a cool Satriani tone on the Spark last night and was having a blast with it even though I can't play anything like Satriani! Sustain for days, absolutely insane. The Spark is plenty more than loud enough for home use unless you really enjoy tinnitus, or happen to live in a concert arena and want to jam for a few thousand friends. :LOL: I have a couple tube amps (18 and 22 watts) and can't get them above 2 or 3 on the volume knob at home without things getting out of hand - and you're not even getting into the meaty part of the tone at that level, they just sound weak. The Spark can easily get into "neighbors are calling the cops" volume levels for a bedroom player.
 

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For all you high handicap guitarists and golfers like myself, I would also suggest the PRS SE line of guitars. Well made and very playable. I'm looking to trade for another after the new year. Love these things. Also I will second the recommendation of the Positive Grid Spark. I've got a couple of friends out here that have them and love them. If I didn't have all the gear I don't need right now, I would get one. They are plenty loud enough for when you're feeling "punky or the occasional head bang". :rockon: I am that guy. LOL
The PRS guitars are phenomenal for the price and look very very cool indeed. They're also really light which means they can be properly played hard and seem to stay in tune forever as well. Cracking guitars.

I have a cherryburst Epi LP, no complaints whatsoever about the quality of it. My Strat is a MIM Fender and I've owned a couple Mexican Teles also, just could never bring myself to drop the $$$ for the USA ones as a casual player.


I found a cool Satriani tone on the Spark last night and was having a blast with it even though I can't play anything like Satriani! Sustain for days, absolutely insane. The Spark is plenty more than loud enough for home use unless you really enjoy tinnitus, or happen to live in a concert arena and want to jam for a few thousand friends. :LOL: I have a couple tube amps (18 and 22 watts) and can't get them above 2 or 3 on the volume knob at home without things getting out of hand - and you're not even getting into the meaty part of the tone at that level, they just sound weak. The Spark can easily get into "neighbors are calling the cops" volume levels for a bedroom player.
I had a Mexican blond tele at one point but sold it for some reason. To this day I'm not sure why I did, because it was beautiful!

My main 'workhorse' amp is a Marshall 50w DSL tube head, and it is brutally loud :LOL: The difficulty was always being able to turn it up loud enough to really get it distorting without breaking windows - is why I tended to go with pedals rather than the onboard gain. My neighbours have never liked me for some reason!
 

Snowman

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My main 'workhorse' amp is a Marshall 50w DSL tube head, and it is brutally loud :LOL: The difficulty was always being able to turn it up loud enough to really get it distorting without breaking windows - is why I tended to go with pedals rather than the onboard gain. My neighbours have never liked me for some reason!
I have a Dr. Z Maz 18 Jr NR head with a 2x10 cabinet that I absolutely love the sound of when I can play it at a volume it likes. Unfortunately that volume is pretty well above reasonable home levels. Even using the Air Brake attenuator with the "Bedroom" knob at full attenuation it's still pretty loud if I have the master high enough to get the tubes cooking. I bought it about 12 years ago, when I had thoughts of getting a band together and playing out once in a while - that never materialized, but I can't bring myself to get rid of it because it's a beautiful amp and sounds so good on the rare occasions I can crank it up!
 

ToohipGottaGo

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I have a cherryburst Epi LP, no complaints whatsoever about the quality of it. My Strat is a MIM Fender and I've owned a couple Mexican Teles also, just could never bring myself to drop the $$$ for the USA ones as a casual player.



I found a cool Satriani tone on the Spark last night and was having a blast with it even though I can't play anything like Satriani! Sustain for days, absolutely insane. The Spark is plenty more than loud enough for home use unless you really enjoy tinnitus, or happen to live in a concert arena and want to jam for a few thousand friends. :LOL: I have a couple tube amps (18 and 22 watts) and can't get them above 2 or 3 on the volume knob at home without things getting out of hand - and you're not even getting into the meaty part of the tone at that level, they just sound weak. The Spark can easily get into "neighbors are calling the cops" volume levels for a bedroom player.
If you have an effects loop in your tube amps, this baby is the answer. It's the JHS Little Black Amp Box. It's not an attenuator like the UA OX (which are incredible in their own right.) You put it at the end of your fx chain (loop side) and it tames the volume. I have it in the loop of my PRS MT-15 and you can crank the sh!t out the master volume and use this to tame the beast. It allows the tubes to cook without having to crack the paint on the walls. They're about $45 new and worth every penny.

1608222376610.png
 

HarlettoScara

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I’ve often thought about getting an attenuator, but for the most part my amp was either in the studio or in the back of a van so no major issues with the volume but for home use....I should maybe invest.

We should totally form a THP band 😂😂
 

Snowman

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I'm pretty glad that on a whim I posted in this thread. That is another great suggestion that had not even occurred to me. I really appreciate it!
This is the wireless system I'm using: Lekato 5.8 GHz Wireless Guitar System

It's not a "pro" system, but works plenty fine for me. No cutouts/static, the battery lasts about 3 hours on the transmitter/5 on the receiver, and I can walk from one end of the house to the other with my guitar and still have reception of the wireless signal at the amp. Nice thing is that the 5.8 Ghz frequency doesn't mess with my wifi router - and my amp sits about 2 feet from my router. Some people using the cheaper 2.4 Ghz wireless systems have reported problems with them knocking their wifi offline or getting interference.
 

Jason89er

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Been playing as a part-time professional bassist/singer for almost 25 years now. Did original music when I was younger then played in cover bands at pretty much every music venue in North Fl over the years. Nashville, Atlanta, Key West, Orlando. Got to go to GTMO in Cuba 3 times to play for our service men and women. Absolute blast of a time and great extra money. The virus of course put a HUGE dent in this so I hung up my bass and mic for a while.

Being home more with family has been much needed. And I’ve shaved about 5-6 strokes off my game! Never played as well as I have. Sunk that creative energy into golf and I probably won’t go back to music till I retire. I’m hoping to break 80 regularly in 2021. My music room is now more of a golf room. My son never took an interest in music (probably a good thing in many ways) but is starting to come around with golf. I truly do love doing both music and golf. Better at music of course but I’m getting there!
 

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This is the wireless system I'm using: Lekato 5.8 GHz Wireless Guitar System

It's not a "pro" system, but works plenty fine for me. No cutouts/static, the battery lasts about 3 hours on the transmitter/5 on the receiver, and I can walk from one end of the house to the other with my guitar and still have reception of the wireless signal at the amp. Nice thing is that the 5.8 Ghz frequency doesn't mess with my wifi router - and my amp sits about 2 feet from my router. Some people using the cheaper 2.4 Ghz wireless systems have reported problems with them knocking their wifi offline or getting interference.
That is fantastic - you are seriously hooking me up with the pro tips! I've got such a learning curve in this hobby, I appreciate it.

There is a guy on the local craigslist that has a like new Orange Rocker 15 and PPC112 combo for $650 and I have been holding the line on emailing him for the last few days. It's beyond my skill level, but the equipment junkie in me has always admires a tube amp. I've done some reading on the Positive Grid Park and that thing looks awesome. I'm going to use your wisdom to my advantage.
 

Snowman

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Did anybody get any cool music stuff for Christmas? I'm counting my EVH Wolfgang guitar and Spark amp as early Christmas presents.
 

Snowman

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Which EVH did you get?
Wolfgang Standard in trans amber. There's pics of it in post #2286. Absolutely love it, what a sweet playing guitar! My other guitars have all been in the closet since I got the Wolfie, haven't even wanted to touch any of them.
 

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That is fantastic - you are seriously hooking me up with the pro tips! I've got such a learning curve in this hobby, I appreciate it.

There is a guy on the local craigslist that has a like new Orange Rocker 15 and PPC112 combo for $650 and I have been holding the line on emailing him for the last few days. It's beyond my skill level, but the equipment junkie in me has always admires a tube amp. I've done some reading on the Positive Grid Park and that thing looks awesome. I'm going to use your wisdom to my advantage.
If you want a tube amp without breaking the bank, get yourself the Monoprice 1x12 15w tube amp for $250. Yes, it’s off brand, but it sounds fantastic. I have one that I run through a 2x12 cabinet with Celestion Vintage 30’s.

 

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No different than golf gear - the answer is always "Of course you do!"

For a practice amp, take a look at the Positive Grid Spark. It's a fun little amp - plenty loud enough for home and the digital modeling allows you to get a ton of different tones, everything from acoustic to full-on metal. It connects via Bluetooth to your phone or tablet, which is where you play with all the amps and effects modeling. It also gives you a metronome, access to a ton of jam tracks that play through the amp via Bluetooth, and you can also connect to Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube to play along to songs. And when you're not using it for guitar, it's a pretty cool Bluetooth speaker to play music through. Has a headphone jack for silent practice, and can also connect to your computer as a USB interface for recording. Looks like they're on sale for $254 right now at their website, they're really a lot of bang for the buck. I bought mine about a month ago and have been having a blast with it. You can also buy an external rechargeable battery pack (the kind that can power a laptop), and then you can use the amp anywhere without needing a wall plug.

As far as cheap guitars - I don't have any first-hand experience with them, but I've seen a lot of buzz about Harley Benton guitars lately. They're priced very reasonably and the reviews I've seen say the quality is really good for the price. Only downside I can see is that they're sold through thomann.de in Germany, so I don't know what the shipping time to the U.S. is like.
Just placed an order for a Positive Grid Spark. Now, to fix up the guitar a little bit.

Also got a Roland FP30 for the family for Christmas. Going to be a musical winter.
 

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