View Full Version : What`s more important, a great amp or a top of the line guitar?

12-23-2004, 04:04 PM
A good amp can make a budget guitar sound good, but a cheap amp can be a real problem.
What do you guys think?

12-23-2004, 04:08 PM
In my opinion both are very important. You can have a top of te line guitar, but it will sound shity if you have a shitty amp

12-23-2004, 05:37 PM
A shitty guitar will still sound shitty through a great amp. Bottom line, get good shit all the way around and you won't have to worry about it. :D

12-23-2004, 07:09 PM
I agree with the above posts, both play an important part.

Personally, I got my good guitar first and just used a few pedals to get the sound I wanted through my little Peavey 15 watter. It worked fine..

It wasn't until a few years later that I got my Marshall when I starting playing in bands...

12-23-2004, 07:44 PM
I say a good guitar. A decent axe can and will do wonders through any amp, IMO.

Although, some skills on the thing couldn't hurt either. :D

12-25-2004, 04:52 AM
It's like a journey, it takes both feet to go any distance.

12-26-2004, 03:36 PM
I say a good guitar

Eyes of the Night
12-27-2004, 12:22 AM
Or you can even the scenario and get a half shitty guitar and a half shitty amp! ... neither bad or great just half shitty;)

Don Corleone
12-27-2004, 05:26 AM
Talent and the ability to get the best out of what you've got also play a big factor.

You could have the best Guitar and Amp in the world and still sound like shit because you have zero talent. Alternatively you can have half shitty gear, and sound amazing.

12-27-2004, 03:12 PM
Id say a shit guitar with a straight enough neck and a good pickup, with a great amp.

FUCK shitty amps. If you're buying for a kid, get him his or her gear in a 1/3=2/3rds ratio, guitar to amp

For example, if your budget is 2000, spend 6 bills on the guitar or less, and the rest on the amp and cab= 1333.00

Cab should be at least a 2x12. Amp should be.. well, I can't say - I was at Guitar Center Hollywood yesterday when I say this shit stack called a "B-52" which claimed to be a triple-rectifier (meaning: nothing except that its aimed at being Boogie Recto of some 3rd type), was tube components, and had two 4x12 cabs of shitty speakers..

A head like that, if it sounds like the Mesa Boogie Triple Recto, may be a good buy.

My mantra is: if a person spends one fucking dollar on a piece of equipment they never like the sound of nor use, it was a bad purchasing decision... but people like that do such buying all the time - so who's to say?

I have found however, that's a good ratio: spend 33% on the guitar, 66% on the amp making sure that:

- the amp sounds are acceptable and easily configurable to the user WHOEVER they are, experienced or not (unlike the Vetta for example.. which makes me feel like a C++ programmer in fucking with it for an unhappy hour with poor results)

- and that the guitar has a straight neck, is of comfortable shape, no buzzing frets, and with an eye towards upgrading the shit electronics to say, a new Seymour Duncan replacement.

12-27-2004, 04:43 PM
First and foremost... get good fingers!!

Next I'd say get a good amp...

A "good guitar" is somewhat subjective, but as Gar says a straight neck and a good setup followed by good electronics. Doesn't matter if the body has been beat to shit and pissed on. As long as the thing will setup right and has good components then you are set.

Eyes of the Night
12-28-2004, 06:24 AM
What IS a great amp though? Does dude want to shake the house down or just a bedroom? ...

Save the pennies for a Wolfgang made from 98'-01' ... cause all we really need to do is buy PC effects nowadays to sound pro ... tons of whistles on some of these "fake cheese" mods coming out with a hundred different this and that presets that almost could fool a record exec ...

12-28-2004, 09:07 PM
I went to a clinic that was hosted by a famous bassist...I'm not going to reveal his name...and the same question was posed. The guy went over and grabbed the shittiest bass in the shop off of the rack. A Rogue. Nothing fancy. It's an entry model designed to be cheap built cheap. He did look at the neck and while talking to the crowd worked on tuning it to what he wanted...he then grabbed a really rank amp...one of those battery operated jobs for playing on the beach and noodled around and mesmerized the crowd with his tapping and fingerwork...then he walked through the upper end shop and had one of the tech climb up and hand him a Gibson Thunderbird. He did the same thing he did to the Rogue...looked at the neck and tuned it to his ear...plugged it into a SWR stack and played the same thing albeit much louder. Then he plugged the Rogue into the SWR and played the tail end of his personal warmup that he had been playing and it sounded close to the Gibson.

His take was that "You have to use what you have to the best of your ability."...his words...not mine. He emphasized the need for practice and to push creativity to become one with the instrument. Now for me...I use what I can afford and purchase something so that if I want to upgrade...I can get a decent price for my stuff. I'd still like to have the Thunderbird though...but, I'm a Kramer kinda guy. I have a cheap 420s that I bought for 79 bucks new and a Kramer/Ferrington bass. I'd rather get an 80's model too but I have a Hamer short scale for those RHCP songs when my fingers have to be 90 places all at once. I usually play with whatever the house provides, but at home I have a Fender 60w amp. Loud enough for home. I'm not moving boulders at home.

Lesson for me...buy what works because once you take it home...you're stuck with it for awhile! Don't buy crap and if you have to buy used...have a luthier look at it!

12-29-2004, 05:05 PM
well if you're just starting out, then a good guitar before the amp, because you can learn better on a better guitar.

I wouldn't spend more then $200 on the guitar and $200 on the amp though. You can get quality guitars and amps for even cheaper.

12-29-2004, 06:24 PM

question, does anyone approve of these guitars?

12-29-2004, 07:58 PM
Bolt-on neck styles like this are very configurable, so much so, that I would'nt recommend these over a homemade tinkering if you were to buy the parts used off Ebay for under $300.

If you're not the tinkering type or have no luck with handtools, I'd then ask:

Do you wish to play it, or hang it on the wall?

These reissues are great wall hangers: downsides are the pickup is for shit, paint is polyester, but the neck is solid hard maple, you get an original Schaller/Germany-made Floyd Rose Original and not a Licensed fake bridge.. Schaller m6 tuners will last 30 years, and you get a hardshell case - of what type is not stated.

keep in mind that whatever you get off the internet new thru a website like Yo - you will eventually have to find a local music store with a guitar tech to bench-setup the thing properly ANYWAYS and sometimes its these repair-guys that have their thumb out on the pulse of what old guitars are out there and possibly hook you up with an original Kramer for sale.

For that reason I'd say, ask around locally first about what folks think about the reissue Kramers, and usually someone will have a strong opinion or advice about how to score something of equal or greater value and functionality. Cuz if they dont' play for shit its a waste ANYWAYS. And I assume you wanna play or learn to play anyways at least..

Nitro Express
12-30-2004, 01:57 AM
The stupidest thing I ever did was trade in a well used Les Paul Custom that was a great sounding and playing guitar for a kramer Baretta in 1985. I never thought the guitar sounded or played that great. But I had to have it because Eddie endorsed Kramers.

Supposedly the Ernie Ball/Musicman neck and guitar setup was based on Eddie's 5150 Kramer. That Baretta I used to have wasn't even close in the playability dept. The MusicYo.com 1984 Eddie Van Halen Kramer copies might look like the original but might not play like the original. Who knows what you are getting.

You can even carefully choose high quality components and make it yourself but be dissapointed with the result. I took a tour of a violin making school a few years back and the guy giving us the tour said 1 out of 10 violins plays exceptional. The other 9 are just nice. He said you can put as much care into all 10 of them but one out of the lot is going to kick ass. I think guitars have the same quirks.

If you really want to play it, play before you buy.

Who knows, they might be great guitars but you won't know for yourself until you play one yourself.

12-30-2004, 04:00 AM
Pickup and amp.

12-30-2004, 04:14 AM
i've been in a fortunate
position to play hundreds
of new and used guitars.

fenders, gibsons, ibanez,
prs's, eggles, flys, name
it, i've played one.

same with acoustics.
i played 48 matons
before i found MY one.

dr. maddvibe's story
is right. if the guy's
got it, he (or she)
will make a fence post
sound good.

and one other thing,
it's not about the guitar,
or the amp,
but the soooouuuund.

sounds good?
is good.

12-30-2004, 04:23 AM
Mainly agree, except for when you plug a mother fucking humming shit pickup into a 100watt head... Try as you might, still sounds like
shit. Unless you and your listeners can zone out the hum.

But I can plug a strat into one of those little battery powered
baby Marshalls and get a sound happening. So I do agree
with that concept.. (But there are exceptions)

12-30-2004, 04:55 AM
of course, mark.
if your guitar is
noisy, or uncomfortable
to play, it takes the fun

i just remember as a kid
gettin my first fuzzbox,
turnin up the old coronado,and........

i was ace frehley.

12-30-2004, 07:38 AM
I was Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols :)

12-30-2004, 03:42 PM

Steve Jones....snicker!


12-30-2004, 04:54 PM
I've heard the 1984 reissue Kramers are decent, some really like them. Personally I wouldn't have anything to do with that Music Yo shit, and I just think $700 for one of those, whether near the real thing or not is outrageous. I've purchased real 80's American Kramers and Pacers for less than half that, and they're far better guitars. Granted I have not played the '84 reissue however.

12-30-2004, 10:00 PM
we've got an original
beretta(?) in the shop
at the moment.

pretty beat up,
but i'll restore it.

the thing weighs a
fucking ton, though!

12-31-2004, 01:15 PM
Originally posted by manwiththedogs
A good amp can make a budget guitar sound good, but a cheap amp can be a real problem.
What do you guys think? Dito,

todayīs cheap guitars are usually pretty good, cheapo amps are still shit!

If it isnīt full of tubes and says Marshall then itīs just a rectangular thing that makes a noise!

12-31-2004, 07:44 PM
Ash, it's probably a maple body. I have a couple '85 Pacer Imperials, and one is nice and light and the other one is fucking as heavy as hell. Feels like a freaking Les Paul.

01-01-2005, 02:58 AM
Originally posted by Brett
I've purchased real 80's American Kramers and Pacers for less than half that, and they're far better guitars. Granted I have not played the '84 reissue however.

do enough digging and you'll find those gems. kids don't want old Kramers, they're happy with whatever (insert nu metal band name) plays on their videos.

i'd buy a used USA made guitar before i bought a new foreign one.

Nitro Express
01-01-2005, 10:47 PM
My Baretta was heavy also. It sounded bright instead of the nice thick sound of a Les Paul. Maple could give it a bright sound but someone told me Kramer used a laminated wood for some of their bodies.

I tried to likethe guitar but at the end of the day, I hated the neck shape and the tone. What's funny is when I tried the Ernie/Ball Musicman EVH guitars when they first came out I loved them. The only thing I didn't like what the pickup switch placement. It's much better on the Axis.

01-02-2005, 03:05 AM
Yep I have two EBMM's and I always knock the pickup switch off the bridge pickup when I'd move my right arm over to tap. The placement on the Wolfgang is much better.

Yep you can pick up old Pacers and Barettas on Ebay for $300-$350 normally. I've bought a couple, and I can play the shit out them and they sound great. I've got all the expensive guitars I need, I love finding those old Kramer gems the kiddies don't want.

01-02-2005, 03:07 AM
Originally posted by Panamark
I was Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols :)

I love his fucking guitar sound.

01-05-2005, 04:43 AM
Me too, very under-rated. Excellent tone and timing..
(As Punk as it might be)

I know he liked Les Pauls.

I still enjoy "Bollocks" classic album.

01-05-2005, 09:50 AM
Yup, got me one of those old Baretta's, thing weighs a ton.

Back to the original question...

If you're starting from scratch (no amp, no guitar), I'd say invest in a nice 50 watt 2x12 combo and pick up a cheap guitar.

Guitars come and go and you're GOING to wind up owning 50 of em anyway.

Easy and fun to rip apart a guitar and hot rod it in your quest for tone. Any damage is usually easy to reverse.

Not so much fun poking around inside an amp with a screw driver in your quest for tone.

01-05-2005, 05:00 PM
I guess for a beginner guitar I would recommend finding one that has decent intonation and stays in fucking tune. If a guitar had the best tone in the world, and played out of tune I wouldn't want it. I think it is important for beginners to learn on a playable and tuneable guitar, because if they have to spend all of their time tuning the damn thing then it will not be an enjoyable experience for them.