Simple to use modeler for new player

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Musicroom, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. HomeInMyShoes

    HomeInMyShoes Member

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    I'd get an amplifier. The second you want a speaker the cheap solution is not as cheap.

    VOX VT20x: sucks for metal, but most other things are passable. Easy to use, has a MID knob, headphones out, auxillary in to play along with something and gives you enough controls on the amplifier that you don't need the phone or computer application to get a lot of mileage. $180US new at most stores.

    It's so good it will stick around as a practice amplifier when you get something else. I'd also suggest the THR10, but it's $300US new.
     
  2. Musicroom

    Musicroom Member

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    I really appreciate all the options listed here. I didn't realize or had forgotten some of these existed. That's why I reached out.

    As to the "for the most part" playing through headphones. I think it should have read "headphones all the time" at least for the next 6-months. He will be a little too self consciousness for other family members to hear him until he reaches to at least a simple/steady rhythm player. But I do agree, in time he will want to listen through a amp. For now, a simple headphone output to a decent sounding modeler will make him happy.

    Thanks again to all of you - if you think of one not mentioned, please chime in. I'm going to research all of the suggestions you guys posted.
     
  3. Musicroom

    Musicroom Member

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    BTW - His music taste lean more to blues / rock for listening.
     
  4. Jarick

    Jarick Supporting Member

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    100% agree with an amp and with simple. Focus should be on playing and not tones! Yamaha THR or Boss Katana 50 would be my choice.
     
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  5. Musicroom

    Musicroom Member

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    I'm looking closer at the Yamaha THR. Getting that now could probably save him another purchase in the near future. But we all know, after he starts this journey, always purchasing will be part of his life. :)
     
  6. kramm47

    kramm47 Member

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    Hey @Musicroom! Good on ya for getting your boy started. My 21 month old plays with me every night before she goes to bed :).

    Because of the toddler and a desire/need to play and practice each day, most of the time after said bedtime, I needed something to use that wasn't my big loud heavy tube amp. I considered the Yamaha THR and the Blackstar Fly series, as well as the Roland Cube. I sprung for the Boss Katana 50. I LOVE IT.

    Headphones sound great. Reasonably easy-to-use from the top panel, with some really nice effects on board out of the gate. Stick that bad boy on Crunch and you've got a great bluesy-rock sound. Crank it up more and you get some nice heavy gain sounds. Plus it does lovely cleans and has the acoustic setting if that's ever useful.

    I play with a lot of effects, and I've been delighted to have so many different ones on board. It's easy to dial in a reverb, a chorus, or a delay if he wants it, or he can just leave them off (as I do most of the time using my pedals) and rock. If he wants later, he can download the ToneStudio and mess with what's in there, but it's not necessary. I use the ToneStudio for my GT-1 at work, but have never plugged the amp into a computer.

    I like it so much I've used it for a few gigs where I'm backing up an acoustic player - it's got reasonable volume for small shows.

    It's over your budget by $80 - running $230 new. I'd argue that spending that $80 now will drastically lower the likelihood of another purchase in the near future - when I was in high school, I would have KILLED for this amp the first time I went to jam with a drummer. At least I would have been able to hear myself!

    Plus if it doesn't take, the resale value on these guys is pretty reasonable - looks like they go for around $175 in good condition without shipping. Or, if you're a player, you might decide it's worth keeping around. If it *does* stick, it'll be a great amp for him to have in his arsenal as he gets more gear - it's a way to try effects before buying a pedal, a way to practice quietly, and a great amp for small gigs in coffee houses or backyards. Plus it's light!

    I should note I have a Katana Mini on my desk at work. I play through it often here and use it as my travel amp when I've got places to go since it runs on batteries. It sounds fine, but has very narrow usefulness. I suspect the Yamaha will be similar.

    Good luck! I hope he loves it!
     
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  7. FlyingsCool

    FlyingsCool Member

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    When I was a kid learning, I was happy with my Peavey Classic 50 Watt (which is technically bigger than I needed)(but, then again, I never had a problem keeping up with my friends when we got together to jam) with a phaser on it and a footswitch to switch from "clean" to "dirty" channels,... and a DM-2 Delay pedal I added later. I could "play" everything from Led Zeppelin to Rush to U2 to Tears for Fears to Ozzie and lots of stuff in between with that thing, at least as far as I was concerned, haha... Important to be able to play loud sometimes... ;)

    IOW, I like Phil's comment, at this point, keep it simple. I really don't see much point in bunches of available effects.... though I might suggest a simple BOSS Tremelo, too.

    Plus, I dunno, seems to me if you're going to add effects it's easier to understand how to control effects if you buy individual effects, so you can get the twisty knobs and no menus to page through...
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
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  8. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    You do realize that you described the ME80, no?

    (colored rectangles are superimposed by me)
    [​IMG]


    :rolleyes:
     
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  9. FlyingsCool

    FlyingsCool Member

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    Nope I didn't... Yeah, that could work... A little overwhelming at first I imagine... A lot maybe...
    But once he got the hang of it, that could last quite a while...
     
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  10. hippietim

    hippietim Member

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    A kid ain't gonna be overwhelmed by the ME-80
     
  11. Brooks

    Brooks Member

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    I'd say a Katana 50 would better fit that bill, he won't need to upgrade if he starts jamming w/ a drummer in a few years. I love mine; use it for home practice (sometimes w/ headphones), solo restaurant/wedding gigs, and in my outlaw country band startup.
     
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  12. sahhas

    sahhas Supporting Member

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    here was my modeler from 1988 to about 2001:
    [​IMG] and this: [​IMG]
    all I had and it worked for me. each pedal was $50!
     
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  13. John Mark Painter

    John Mark Painter Member

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    I agree with the modeling combo that has headphone out.
    Plenty to get rolling.

    I have a Peavey Vypyr...(used it as a split FUZZ amp for Bass).
    I was playing guitar live in Nashville one night and my Deluxe broke so I brought the Vyper.
    Some one came up and said 'dude, what amp were you playing through? It sounded awesome"...he looked crushed when I showed him what it was (logo was taped over for a TV performance )

    Anyway...editing on them is pretty cludgy, but you can get something out of it for sure
     
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  14. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    I'd get a Fender Mustang amp. You can still use headphones and they sound great.

    I'd really suggest the 40 12" version if the budget allows. It's still lightweight but when you want to use it as an amp, it's pretty decent whereas the smallest one is definitely a small amp.

    I've seen used ones for around $150. There's even a used one on GC's site for $90 plus whatever they charge for shipping.

    Having said that, the current 1x8 version is about $150 and would be just as good when playing through headphones.

    For actual FX units, the Zoom stuff is among my favorite on a tight budget. The amp & cabinet sims make it sound more like the guitar is coming off a CD whereas many units make it sound like your head is right next to an amp.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
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  15. Jarick

    Jarick Supporting Member

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    So I have a Yamaha THR and a Boss Katana within two feet of me. I've also used the Fender Mustang and have owned pretty much every modeler outside the Axe FX III.

    Going back to when I was a kid, the #1 thing I wanted to do was learn to play songs. I didn't really care about the tones that much at first. Even clean vs distortion took a little bit of time to realize. After that, it was pretty much clean or distortion, and that's about as far as it went for a couple years. Then digital multi effect pedals got popular and I started to play with those, and it was fun, etc etc.

    The Yamaha THR is probably the best practice amp ever in my opinion, for a number of reasons:
    • It's small. You can fit it on a shelf, or a floor, or a desk, or wherever.
    • It's portable. You can run it on AC or on batteries. The battery power to me makes it indispensable. And it has a handle.
    • It's easy to use. You don't need to hook it up to a computer. There's a few knobs, simple controls, plug and play.
    • It's versatile. The standard THR10 does clean to high gain and in between and the one I'd recommend.
    • It's self-contained. It has a tuner, effects, headphones, and aux input. All you need in one box for practice.
    • It sounds pretty good. It's not a tube amp but it's not a Crate. I just plugged headphones into it and it sounds very good for that purpose. And the little speakers sound good as well.
    • It's built like a tank. Metal case and handle, feels very sturdy.
    • It's fun! Stereo speakers are cool, sounds great, cool orange light that looks like fake tubes!
    If the Yamaha is the best practice amp, the Boss Katana is probably the best second amp. They are loud, cheap, sound good, easy to find, fairly reliable, and scale up/down in volume well. I think the Yamaha is a lot better as a first practice amp for the reasons listed above, but if you want to get out and play with others, you can add a footswitch, you can run it at 50 or 100 watts depending on the model, takes pedals well, etc.

    So I would go Yamaha, and then I would buy (8) AA rechargeable batteries and a charger, because you'll want to use the portability and it will eat up some batteries over time.

    I bought both of mine used for $200. If you can do that I would recommend it. There is a smaller 5w version but I think the 10w is a better buy. More features, presets, better tone and volume controls.
     
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  16. jaime136

    jaime136 Member

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    Since nobody mentioned it, I'll throw out the Boss GT-1. Only has 3 switches and an expression pedal. Lots of pretty good presets, which is way easier on a beginner, IMO. Has a looper and an aux-in for practicing.

    New is $199, but you could probably get under your budget used.

    Here's someone running through the presets:

     
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  17. sixesandsevens

    sixesandsevens Member

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    Original POD bean. Still simple to use and fun to play. Probably dirt cheap used too.
     
  18. dmock66

    dmock66 Member

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    When I first started playing I also tried to learn songs - but I semi-wanted to have the right sound. Not like "exact tones" - but I wanted a cool gain tone for rock songs.

    I started back in the 80s with an amp that had a toggle switch between clean/gain. Bought a bigger amp that had two channels as well as a chorus and reverb. Picked up a couple stomp boxes - gain pedal, Flanger and delay. Played that for a long while. As technology evolved I moved into a Digitech RP200 in front of the clean channel. It was preset based with no independent toggle of effects - so I scrolled through the presets and found those that I liked and used those. I tried to create my own... and didn't do well at first - so I started to go into the presets I liked and turn off stuff within the factory presets so that I started to understand how those effects impacted the resulting sound - then my ability to create my own presets dramatically improved.

    Point to that long story - was that you don't have to start out building complex, effects heavy presets. He could use factory presets that sound cool to him for purposes of any particular songs he's trying to learn.

    GT-1
    G3
    RP360
    GE-100
    THR
    Katana
    Mustang

    All of those would do the job, IMO.
     
  19. Skies Of Scarlet

    Skies Of Scarlet Member

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    I couldn’t agree more. I bought my THR10 in 2017 and have used it every single day since then without incident. It is unequivocally one of the best gear purchases I’ve ever made, and while a bit expensive for what it is, it has paid for itself many times over. I only wish it had existed back when I was first learning to play guitar. If anything were to happen to my THR10, I’d replace it immediately with the exact same model without having to think about anything.
     
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  20. Jchrisf

    Jchrisf Member

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