I don't really consider my self a n00b, but...

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by Omen, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. Omen

    Omen SS.org Regular

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    Here's the deal:

    I've been playing guitar for a bit over ten year now, and bass almost as long. I have however never owned an amp, aside from my tiny Roland bedroom Cube. It's strange, but for me “tone” has always been quite low on the priority list. During rehearsals I've been more focused on the group effort and at home, writing and playing technique has been my main interest. Every now and again I get the urge to get a real amp though, but it always boils down to the same problem.

    My musical spectrum is quite broad. I play classical guitar regularly, and a lot of jazz and blues with grandpa (that's early 1900s jazz mind you). With friends I play 80s rock and metal, some charming ballads for them ladies, and a bit of crap and hipity-hop. Personally, I play the intricate and technical stuff – like Opeth, Dream theater, Tool and the like.

    Aaand therein lies the problem.

    When I've been on amp hunt earlier, everything's either been to expensive, or too simple. And while I don't frown upon simplicity – I actually and honestly respect it – I've not really felt like I know what I want. Sure, a 5150 sounds great, might well be “the” amp for chuging. And the super reverb. My kingdom for those cleans. But its like comparing apples and oranges. And I've always wanted a fruit salad hahah... The options that has actually been interesting is stuff like the Engl e670 and H&K Triamp. Those price tags though. Music might be my passion, but it is only a hobby. I'm not going broke for something I “want” but don't exactly “need”.

    Enter the Kemper.

    I've heard so much good about this thing I'm actually starting to believe it. It seems like the Ideal option. But, is it a good starter amp? Will it even work on its own, or do I still need an amp to dial in the tones I want to profile? What cab/monitors would I want?

    I believe a lot of you has had this issue before me, or something similar. And as someone who values the experience and ideas of others, you are all welcome to partake in this discussion – whatever your opinion might be.

    This became much more of a self centred ramble than an actual discussion point. That's not what I really planed. Well. There you go I guess.
     
  2. Semi-pro

    Semi-pro SS.org Regular

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    H&K Tubemeister 40w has gotten a lot ot nice reviews from all kinds of different players. It'll be loud enough for all kinds of applications, is a real tube amp (with adjustable power) yet has a bunch of onboard fx and other cool features. That would be my choice if I was in a similar situation.

    But then again: as long as you're unsure and sole wanting won't justify getting one, do you need it? Do you play shows regurarly? In other words, are you expected to bring your own gear or are you in a position that it's totally ok to borrow whatever is available?
     
  3. Jamey36

    Jamey36 SS.org Regular

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    Get a Kemper,you will not regret it.Sure it is not cheap,but for the versatility and amount of tone and effect options it is a steal.I am strictly a hobbyist(bedroom player)and do a little home recording,and for me it is perfection.A close friend of mine is a vintage Marshall enthusiast.I had him bring over a few of his favorite heads and we profiled them,he could not tell the difference between the profiles and the real thing.He is now getting a Kemper just to save hauling around all his heads and combos.For recording it is also great,no messing with actual mics and placement looking for the sweet spot,all at your fingertips.
     
  4. vividox

    vividox SS.org Regular

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    Fractal Audio's AxeFX is another option along side the Kemper.
     
  5. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    I'm in the same boat as you. I've been playing more like 15+ years, and in my life I have had the 10w practice Marshall I got with my first guitar, a solid state Randall which was just the cheapest loudest thing I could buy to play with a band, and now I'm rockin an Atomic Amplifire, which is an amp modeler pedal which can load IRs, and is quite a bit less expensive than an Axe or Kemper.

    The ironic thing is, I listen to a lot of "tone worship" type music like Boris or Sunn O))) or Melvins, it seems my favorite tones are the tubiest tube sounds. Yet, I have basically no interest in getting a tube amp. My main reason is that I live in a 1 bedroom apartment, with no aspirations of ever owning a home or any kind of living space where you could crank a tube amp.

    Honestly, I agree with you that guitar for me is more about writing and technique than about the sound that comes out of your amp, so long as you're loud enough to be heard. And really, the modeler gets me there. Yeah, I'm sure to a guy who has been playing tubes his whole life it doesn't sound just like a Friedman... but to me, it absolutely sounds just like a Friedman.
     
  6. vividox

    vividox SS.org Regular

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    Tube amps don't have to be loud if you get an attenuator. Two Note Torpedo Reload + Any Tube Amp means you can play at any volume - including silently through headphones if you'd like to. And a lot of the newer H&K stuff has attenuating built in and you can play silently through them, no external attenuator required.
     
  7. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    I suppose that's true. I played an orange lunchbox amp with an attenuator once, and even with that it was still quite loud. I'm not sure how "strong" these third party ones you're talking about are though. But I tell myself that I'm happier pretending that I have like 10 different multi-thousand dollar tube amps.
     
  8. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    When I was younger and had no money, I would always say that tone didn't matter, and just used whatever I could get my hands on, which was usually a terrible little clean amp with a can-of-bees sounding distortion pedal in front. Then I moved on to more serious gear and can't go back.

    I'm one of those weirdo old-fashioned people left though who really thrives on the "mojo" factor of gear and the interactions with gain stages, and tweaking things, and pushing speakers, and rolling off the guitar volume to get a different sound than just backing the gain off, and stuff like that. Then there's a whole world of boost and gain pedals, and pedalboards, different cabs and speaker, etc.

    It can become it's own sort of hobby in itself, collecting and learning and obsessing over gear the same way one might about the guitars themselves, or learning how to play them. It's equally legit to just get what you need and stop at that, or dive deep and try or collect ALL THE GEAR. For me, the gear bit is just as satisfying as playing, but I like that kind of thing.

    It very well could become a "I didn't realize how much I needed this until I had it" situation. Kemper sounds like a good option. The H&K also sounds like a good idea. Or just keep an eye out for used stuff and just grab anything that looks interesting- much cheaper, but maybe just as fun.
     
  9. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Your tone is the most important thing about you as a guitarist.

    If your guitar playing is like your body...

    Your tone is like your face.
    Your technique is like your muscles.
    The material you are playing is like the words you are saying.

    People's first impression from the first note you play is your tone. If you have a god-awful tone, people who don't know you won't give you the time of day, and the rest just doesn't matter.

    And the thing is, that people don't really know that this is how they see it.

    But think about it. Everybody knows Carlos Santana right away, from his tone. It doesn't matter if he's ripping a tasty Dorian lick, or holding a big long single note, you know him just from the way he sounds on the guitar. It's like his trademark.
     
  10. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    I think Santana is an interesting example, because I feel like you definitely recognize him from his technique; though I'd say what you say is true of other guitarists, like Angus Young or EVH

    But consider this: if your tone is not so great, but you are otherwise really great and become popular, people who you make an impact on will feel that your tone is great, and you've defined a new tone. Like black metal bands did. Or like Korn did, but with regards to their band name. Certainly everyone who first heard the band name Korn thought it was the dumber than anything imaginable, but to people born in the 90s and grew up knowing about a band name Korn, it seems natural as ever.

    People must have thought the buzzsaw sound of Entombed was preposterous the first time it came around, but nowdays those old pedals are thought of as invaluable.

    Your tone may be like your face, but ugly people are often still successful. Perhaps moreso than most paraplegics or mutes.
     
  11. CapnForsaggio

    CapnForsaggio Cap'n (general)

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    Today:

    Kemper = $2300 new with footswitch (you need to do what you want)
    Mesa JP2C = $2500 new
    Peavey 6505 = $600 used

    15 years from now:

    Kemper = $150 used
    Mesa JP2C = $2500 used
    Peavey 6505 = $600 used


    Kempers are for touring musicians who can utilize them. Bedroom guitarists will lose a fortune on that shiat.
     
  12. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    I don't get that. You mean that bedroom musicians are more prone to hocking gear than are touring musicians, or what? Why would second hand resale value matter more to one type of player than the other, if those two parameters are defined by the intention/lackthereof to resell?
     
  13. oracles

    oracles Australian in Canda

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    That's not really what he's getting at, at least from what I can infer. It seems as though he's speaking more to the steep decline that digital, and every electronic product suffers from when new models/versions/products come out that replace it. The Kemper/Fractal might not be obsolete, but when the Axe Fx 8 comes out for example, do you expect the II to hold it's current value? Since the release of the II, followed by the II XL, prices on Axe Fx standards and ultras have decreased considerably, and this is a trend that will continue with each revision that Fractal and Kemper release.

    In contrast, tube amps haven't been hit with the same scale of depreciation.
     
  14. oracles

    oracles Australian in Canda

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    This is one of the reasons why I can't get behind modelling amps. It's pretending. They don't sound bad, I've heard plenty of really good sounding patches, but I play differently when I'm playing through a full tube rig vs a digital rig, and that alone is enough to deter me.
     
  15. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Absolutely. :agreed:

    It's like a car enthusiast comparing a '65 Chevy Malibu to a '03 Chevy Malibu. One is the original, the other is the "homage" to the original. Or a martial arts enthusiast comparing a 16th century Muramasa blade to a modern replica. The '03 Malibu might be a great car, but it doesn't have the mojo nor the collect-ability. The Muramasa is a priceless artifact, and the replica is a replica of a priceless artifact. The Marshall amplifier is a rock icon and a functional piece of music history, and the Kemper is a digital reproduction of that.

    I'm not knocking Kemper. It's a great device, but, well, as far as resale value, long-term, I don't think the prospects are rich. Soon iRig or someone similar will have an app that can turn your cell phone or wristwatch or whatever into a high-precision high-gain metal amplifier modeler, rendering all guitar amps essentially useless, but people will still be rocking their Marshall Plexi or Mesa Boogie Mark II, just like my uncle drives his classic Plymouth Roadrunner around, despite it's terrible fuel efficiency.
     
  16. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    Well that's a given. I was moreso talking about that "Kempers are for touring musicians who can utilize them. Bedroom guitarists will lose a fortune on that shiat."

    Wouldn't either a touring musician or a bedroom guitarist both lose a fortune? I thought/think maybe I was/am missing some kind of point about how a touring musician can utilize them some dollar amount more than a bedroom player.
     
  17. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    Kerry King disagrees.

    Granted, Kerry King is pretty much a "How not to do music" masterclass at this point, but... wait, where was I going with this?
     
  18. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire 8 string hoarder

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    kempers are super versatile. I brought mine over to my cousin's house and we jury rigged his ....ty old line 6 spider 3 into a speaker out for the kemper. Played everything from jangly fender cleans all the way to 5150 chuggity metal with it. If you're dead set on an actual amp I'd say try and track down a mesa combo amp, they usually have pretty nice cleans with fantastic high gain sounds. They're not cheap (even used), but they're awesome. I got my f30 combo 10 years ago and it's worth more now than what I paid for it :lol:
     
  19. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Ha ha. If tone is like a face, Carlos Santana is like Johnny Depp, easily recognizable with soft features, and Kerry King is like Gary Busey. :lol:

    I guess either way, it works just fine.
     
  20. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    ^I'm not even joking I nearly made a reference to Gary Busey in my previous post about people with ugly faces being successful :lol:
     

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