$1800 budget: seeking guitar & amp... recommendations?

Messages
26
Hi everyone,

Right now I've got a MIM tele and a Vox AC4TV. I've been playing with a band and although the Vox is fairly loud, I would like to buy an amp that has more clean headroom. I've been thinking about a PRRI or DRRI. I also really like th etone of my overdriven AC4 and wondering whether an AC15 might approach that tone. But, I don't know whether I'd like the cleans as well as the Fenders.

I'd also like a second guitar because I often play in open tunings and would like to not have to re-tune between songs.

I like my tele and was initially thinking about getting another. But, since I'm thinking of buying, I'd like to get something with a different flavor. I'd like something with a tremolo arm. Also, I'm somewhat curious about semi-hollows.

So, I'd like a rig that meets the above specs for $1800, max. Ideally under.

Any recommendations? I know, I have to get out and just play stuff...
 

Synex7254

Member
Messages
1,003
... although the Vox is fairly loud...
Loud? It's a 4 watt amp! Must be a quiet band! LOL

Anyway you have asked a question that will likely result in several pages of answers and opinions. Ultimately it will come down to what you want and like. $1,800 is a very good budget so your options will be great. A good tube amp in the 30-50 watt range will be ~$400-700 leaving you with a decent amount for a guitar(s).

I know I'd have a difficult time spending $1,800 "wisely". Have fun shopping!
 
Messages
26
Thanks! Yeah, I know I'll get tons of opinions, and that's what I'm after. I have an idea of what I might like but I want to hear from others with more electric experience than me. I've played acoustic almost exclusively until now...

And, I guess loud is a relative term... but it's definitely loud compared to my acoustics!
 

Staggerlee

Senior Member
Messages
1,622
Fender v Vox - two very classic tones. An AC15 will keep up with a band and probably be slightly dirty, which is really where the Vox shines anyway. I would recommend it just to step out of the whole "clean sounding Fender" box, which is what 90% of bands play with.

For a second guitar, especially for open tunnings, I would suggest something with higher output pups. For some reason open tunnings seem to sound better this way.
 

hippietim

Member
Messages
6,642
Buy a used Strat and use your Tele for open tunings (Keef approves of this approach). And buyt a used Fender Deluxe Reverb. You should pull this off for well under your $1800 cap. Take the remaining cash and treat someone to a nice dinner.
 

omfg51

Member
Messages
2,915
If you buy an AC15, you've got plenty of cash left over for another guitar.

I would recommend a strat for standard tuning playing, then use your tele for alternate tunings.
 

IR79

Member
Messages
328
Mexican strat and a fender hot rod deluxe, I have a hot rod deluxe and an ac 15 and the lack of two switchable channels gives the hot rod deluxe the edge.
I have better amps and better guitars, but for the money for me that would be what I would go for.
With what's left buy a decent pedal board and pedals


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

lovelucki13

Member
Messages
60
Sell what you have right now and budget for a Gibson 335. I may sound like I'm joking, but, I'm not. Their sound is amazing and they are quite versatile.
 

Kitten Cannon

Member
Messages
4,697
Amazing how people will give you all sorts of advice without knowing the first thing about what style of music you want to play, if/how you use effects, what type of environments you/your band plays in, etc.

Without knowing those things, it's impossible to give good advice.
 

hippietim

Member
Messages
6,642
Amazing how people will give you all sorts of advice without knowing the first thing about what style of music you want to play, if/how you use effects, what type of environments you/your band plays in, etc.

Without knowing those things, it's impossible to give good advice.
Except some clues were given - "I would like to buy an amp that has more clean headroom" - hence the DR suggestions - and the open tuning/whammy bar/semi hollow hints made other suggestions pretty reasonable.
 

lovelucki13

Member
Messages
60
Amazing how people will give you all sorts of advice without knowing the first thing about what style of music you want to play, if/how you use effects, what type of environments you/your band plays in, etc.

Without knowing those things, it's impossible to give good advice.
Name a style of music you couldn't use a 335 with :p
 

Kitten Cannon

Member
Messages
4,697
"more headroom" -- ok, the guy is using a 4W amp. So the answer is "basically any other amp"

As for a 335, I wouldn't use one for any style of music, personally. They're fine guitars, but I have never been able to make one work for me, and I've owned quite a few.
 
Messages
26
This is all good info.

I listen a lot to William Tyler, Steve Gunn, The Feelies, Deerhunter, Real Estate, Mac DeMarco, Gram Parsons, Neil Young, Sun Kil Moon... Sort of a mix of things and a mix of clean and overdriven sounds. So I'd like the ability to keep it clean when desired.

Right now I mostly am practicing but anticipate small (100ish capacity room) gigs at some point.
 

lovelucki13

Member
Messages
60
Fair enough.

OP: look at what type of guitars the musicians you listen to play. This will give you a good starting point. Then, you'll need to sit down at a local guitar store and try out some of them. Most importantly, make sure you enjoy both the sound and look of the guitar. If you don't like both, you'll sell the guitar.
 

Kitten Cannon

Member
Messages
4,697
Cool. I'd look for something tweed - a Deluxe would probably be nice, but there are more powerful options if you need more headroom. Lots of folks building these for reasonable prices, and lots of amps available on the used market as a result. For example, there's a really nice looking Marsh tweed Twin in the Emporium right now for something like $800 (no affiliation, just happened to see it yesterday). As for guitars, lots of options, but if you looked around for a lawsuit guitar - Ibanez or Yamaha or Tokai or Orville or Burny or Greco Gibson copies, you could probably find a pretty neat guitar to start with, probably a Les Paul copy of some sort (with P90s or humbuckers), and then find a Bigsby somewhere down the line if you still really want the whammy bar option. Although honestly those are more of a pain in the ass than the they're worth. I have two Bigsby-equipped guitars I hardly play and two Strats with the bridges basically decked.

Another option would be to grab a Pro Jr. and put the rest into a nicer Tele (again, you could always Bigsby-fy it if you wanted to, although again, I don't recommend it).
 






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