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At a crossroads......Buy a backup amp or a new Les Paul??


So I have been saving money for a while. I want to buy some new gear but I'm torn on what to buy. I am gigging with a '59 Bassman that I love but sometimes it is too much amp for gigs when mic'd. This logic tells me to get a new lower wattage amp for use at gigs when mic'd.
My #1 guitar is a Fender Deluxe Lonestar. It is the sweetest MIM guitar I have ever owned. Occasionally I go to You Tube and watch videos which depict the tone I hear in my head (Billy Gibbons, Joe Bonamassa, etc). Most of this tone is produced from a Les Paul. I have always wanted a Les Paul and although the Strat does everything I ask it to do it's not a Les Paul.

Which way would you go?


Supporting Member
You can buy a decent low wattage amp for a few hundred dollars, while a decent Les Paul costs a few thousand. I don't see understand the choice.


You can buy a decent low wattage amp for a few hundred dollars, while a decent Les Paul costs a few thousand. I don't see understand the choice.
The low wattage amps I am considering are not a few hundred dollars. The Budda SD 18 will run me about $1000 used. The soon to be released Egnater Rebel 30 will be $899. These are the types of amps I'm looking at. I would not buy a new Les Paul. I would be looking at a used Classic for around $1300-1500.

I should have clarified the money thing.


Silver Supporting Member
I went through this process last fall -- choosing between a SG Classic and a Fender Princeton Reverb Reissue, both were about the same price. I bought the PRRI but had some problems with it (the rattle issue that many have described with this amp). Took it back and got the SG Classic instead. I'm happy I did. Ultimately, I think the different feel and tone of a different guitar are more inspirational than the different tones from an amp. I've written stuff on the SG that just wouldn't occur to me with my 335 or Tele. YMMV.
When presented with a situation like this I simply use logic:

• Gigs pay money
• smarter sound at gigs mean better gigs
• Better gigs pay more money

Translation: get the smaller amp to get even more gig money to then buy a Les Paul down the road. Since bar's care more about volume then tone/guitar, its a logical choice.

big mike

Gold Supporting Member
How often do you gig?

Why such an expensive backup amp if it's just 'backup'

I use a Crate Powerblock for backup. 100 bucks used. I carry an HBE Powerscreamer in case my pedalboard goes down.
I can get through the gig on a Powerblock and a Dirt pedal and my volume control.
90% of the people seeing you play don't know about gear. It'll sound fine to everyone but you.
But it's backup. Doesn't have to be as good asthe A rig. It's just gotta work when the SHTF.


Silver Supporting Member
Agreed. If you keep your eyes open, it's easier to find a deal on a relatively inexpensive backup amp than on a good guitar. When I was house hunting a few years ago, I noticed the owner of the house had a mid-70's Musicman 212 HD65 in his garage. He said he was going to sell it at a garage sale -- he "gave" it to me for $150.