Is it worth investing in a good amp for home use?

ZerglotMarine

Member
Messages
21
I'm kind of new to amps and stuff, so I don't really get this.
Could somebody explain to me if it is worth investing in a good amp for home use?
From my noob point of view, what matters more is investing in a good guitar and maybe good pedals to sound good at the gigs.
Would a cheap practice amp suffice?
Mayb there's something I'm not seeing.
 

Dashface

Member
Messages
5,470
Yes - you are making the classic mistake people make when they start. Everyone gets excited about pedals and guitars because they are fun to buy and own... Guitars look great, pedals are cheap and make a big obvious difference every time - so of course that's what people buy.

But a good amp is the absolute foundation of everything you are doing with electric guitar. Without one everything you buy sounds worse. A good amp will inspire you to play better, and it will make sure that you are ready and prepared for gigging and rehearsal and everything else.

Don't make the mistake of being cheap about the amp. Even the lowly Hot Rod Deluxe or a Blues Jr will be enough for years to come.
 

ZerglotMarine

Member
Messages
21
Yes - you are making the classic mistake people make when they start. Everyone gets excited about pedals and guitars because they are fun to buy and own... Guitars look great, pedals are cheap and make a big obvious difference every time - so of course that's what people buy.

But a good amp is the absolute foundation of everything you are doing with electric guitar. Without one everything you buy sounds worse. A good amp will inspire you to play better, and it will make sure that you are ready and prepared for gigging and rehearsal and everything else.

Don't make the mistake of being cheap about the amp. Even the lowly Hot Rod Deluxe or a Blues Jr will be enough for years to come.
Thanks! Will look into those amps :)
 

FF71

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,509
I'm kind of new to amps and stuff, so I don't really get this.
Could somebody explain to me if it is worth investing in a good amp for home use?
From my noob point of view, what matters more is investing in a good guitar and maybe good pedals to sound good at the gigs.
Would a cheap practice amp suffice?
Mayb there's something I'm not seeing.
What kind of music do you jam along-play at home?
 

ES330

Member
Messages
5,219
These days, I practice mostly without an amp.

However, especially when you're starting out,
learning how to play with pedals and an amp
is part of knowing how to use your gear.

I suggest a small amp that takes pedals well.
I don't see why it can't be cheap if it sounds good.
 

8len8

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,595
Just buy a nice loud amp for gigs, and an attenuator / re-amper to lower the volume for home use...
 

sixstringfuel

Hotdogs kill
Messages
14,266
Yes - you are making the classic mistake people make when they start. Everyone gets excited about pedals and guitars because they are fun to buy and own... Guitars look great, pedals are cheap and make a big obvious difference every time - so of course that's what people buy.

But a good amp is the absolute foundation of everything you are doing with electric guitar. Without one everything you buy sounds worse. A good amp will inspire you to play better, and it will make sure that you are ready and prepared for gigging and rehearsal and everything else.

Don't make the mistake of being cheap about the amp. Even the lowly Hot Rod Deluxe or a Blues Jr will be enough for years to come.
Depending on the style of music you're playing, a good amp can reduce or even eliminate the need for pedals.
Good advice above. Less pedals more knowledge.
 

StanG

Member
Messages
4,667
I'm kind of new to amps and stuff, so I don't really get this.
Could somebody explain to me if it is worth investing in a good amp for home use?
From my noob point of view, what matters more is investing in a good guitar and maybe good pedals to sound good at the gigs.
Would a cheap practice amp suffice?
Mayb there's something I'm not seeing.

It is not "investing". It is spending more money.
 

stevel

Member
Messages
14,662
I'm kind of new to amps and stuff, so I don't really get this.
Could somebody explain to me if it is worth investing in a good amp for home use?
From my noob point of view, what matters more is investing in a good guitar and maybe good pedals to sound good at the gigs.
Would a cheap practice amp suffice?
Mayb there's something I'm not seeing.
Are you actually gigging?

If you're playing in public, you should have reasonable equipment deemed by most to be at least road-worthy, and "professional" - that is, of a quality and standard that's going to produce good sound, allow you to play your best, and hold up reasonably well, and at least be reparable or replaceable (in short order).

If you're only playing at home, I think the same exact thing holds true, with the exception that you might be able to cut corners a bit in terms of road-worthiness - IOW, a pedal that sounds great, but wouldn't hold up to nightly playing, but only cost you $35 would be completely reasonable in that scenario. Additionally, you can typically do with less power (though most players gig with too much power anyway, and that spills over to a home setup).

In either case, a "basic" "daily driver" is good enough.

But, it has to be a guitar that both plays well and sounds good, and pedals and amp(s) that sound good - the most important thing is that it inspires you to play, and that it doesn't hinder you in any way.

Obviously, styles differ, but tried and true gear - and often used gear - can be exactly what you need. Bells and whistles, or "flamed maple top" aren't things that people necessarily need, and may not provide any sonic or playability advantage.

Now, that said, if you're Gigging and Practicing at Home, you may not need a great amp at home - you just need something to amplify your guitar to work on parts at home. You may have a "Gig Rig" a "Rehearsal Rig" and a "Home Rig", and which is most important may depend on the amount of time you spend in any one area. Me personally, my "home amp" is the crappiest. It's there to amplify the guitar signal, and that's it. But all I'm doing with it is practicing songs to gig - so it's like a backstage warm-up amp that you see pros use in concerts to warm up before going out on stage. My Rehearsal Amp is slightly better, but is lower powered and lighter - easier to carry than my gig amp. My "main amp" is my gigging amp. And I feel it sounds good. If I want to sound good at home too, I'll bring it in and set it up - and I typically do when I have stretches with no gigs.

But I definitely don't feel the need to have another great-sounding amp to leave at home all the time while carrying the other to a gig (however, I actually did want to leave my gig amp at home, and use something lighter, easier to carry, and almost as good sounding to gig with so as not to inflect the rigors of the road on my best amp).

So really, I have 1 guitar, and 3 amps. 1 guitar, 1 pedalboard, and 3 amps. So I agree that the guitar and the pedals are the most important, but, when I want to sound good at home - when I have a need to - I do want a good amp as well (and since I have one, I can just move it).

So I'd say, yes, it's absolutely worth it if it's your primary means of expression, if you want to have a slightly lesser amp for gigging simply for "rough and tumble" so as not to damage your best amp at home, or if you've got plenty of money to throw around, why not ;-)

Also, obviously this is going to change if you're going to be doing home recording and things - you again may want your nicest amp reserved for that.

So it all depends on where you're needing the absolute best - and if that's everywhere, either your tote 1 amp all over the place, or buy a couple to leave or use the best for a particular job, etc.
 

dconeill

Member
Messages
1,678
To the OP -
In general, decide some things first:
- what kind of music are you looking to play? It's OK if it's a variety
- how much money can you spend altogether on guitar, amp, and pedals?
- what proportion of that can you afford to spend on the amp? (I suggest spending relatively more on the amp and relatively less on the guitar, and maybe wait awhile to get pedals)
- shop within that budget

Say your amp budget comes to $300-$400. Absent knowledge about your musical tastes, candidates would include the Fenders mentioned previously, Peavey Vypyrs and Transtubes, Roland Cubes, and others.
 

Chicago Slim

Member
Messages
4,115
As a guitar teacher, I really liked modeling amps, for lower volume, home use. Plus, they will save you money on effect pedals. After deciding what type of sounds and effects you want, you can then make better decisions, about a bigger rig.
 

FF71

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,509
As a guitar teacher, I really liked modeling amps, for lower volume, home use. Plus, they will save you money on effect pedals. After deciding what type of sounds and effects you want, you can then make better decisions, about a bigger rig.

This!

That's why a THR is what you need. It will make you realize after a while. If you want a Fender, Vox, Marshall or Mesa. And of course the built-in delays/reverb and effects. Also a tuner!

 

TheoDog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
19,826
I have a normal amp for gigs- Fender '68 Custom Deluxe reverb. Just what it needs to be. I have a small 5 watt Goodsell that is very nice. Boutique even for my home use. It is good because if my gig amp ever needs a spell at a tech, my backup is GREAT.
 

great-case.com

a.k.a. "Mitch"
Messages
5,748
[/endthread] If it has not been said above, it's hard to believe it's worth saying. Except maybe this summary...

OP: Enjoy exploring your new and more complete view of what makes you sound your best. MOst of what you've read above is spot on. Yes, an amp needs to be in the mix but no, it ought not be a stage shaking experience... all of that stuff can be emulated quite well by a reasonably priced / mid-range modeler. As you get more familiar with the combinations that make up your sound, you can improve them with individual effects boxes later. Dipping your toes with low cost models helps you be confidence if and when you start buying beefier effects and amps.
 

Steve Hotra

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,037
As a guitar teacher, I really liked modeling amps, for lower volume, home use. Plus, they will save you money on effect pedals. After deciding what type of sounds and effects you want, you can then make better decisions, about a bigger rig.
I would second this as well.
Modeling amps help noobs get a sense of what various amps sound like.
Roland Cube 40GX has been great in this regard.
 

DreamTheaterRules

Former Lyricist for Calhoun Tubbs
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,539
The longer I play the more I realize how important amps are. I have a Mesa TA15 for sale right now, that for MOST of my life would have been the greatest amp I'd ever played and more amp than I could ever want. The only reason I'm selling it is to fund an even bigger amp that I already bought.

I'd say buy something good, but not super powerful enough. For cheap, and Egnator Tweaker is nice. One big step above that, the TA15 is a tone machine with Vox, Fender, Marshall and Boogie tones and 5/15/25 watts. Clean to classic rock. There are others like the Fender Hot Rod series that will get you nice cleans but will need pedals for good gain tones. (IMO). Don't go too cheap on the amp just because it's for home. If you know what tones you really want, there is probably a reasonably priced good amp that does it
 




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