The reason behind my boutique buying fear

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by lowpaygigs, May 4, 2016.

  1. lowpaygigs

    lowpaygigs Member

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    I have seen and heard amazing boutique amps. I hesitate to pull the trigger, because I worry about the viability of such companies and their ability to provide customer service into the future. I also worry about resale for such an expensive items. Ahh the amp blues. Wisdom? Snide remarks? Non-sequiturs?

    Edit: let me add, maybe I am asking a lot but many of these amps cannot be tested before purchase. I want to feel like I am covered. I erased the part about mainstream gear, because I do not want to confuse the issue.

    Right now, I am looking for a marshally sound plexi-jtm like with an fx loop no more than 20-30 watts, as it will be mainly for the studio.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
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  2. Sean French

    Sean French Supporting Member

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    What amp company and models are you interested in?
     
  3. Stratonator

    Stratonator Member

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    Sounds like you want everything or are complaining for the sake of doing so.

    Plenty of great reliable options from high-quality builders that bloomed into big businesses. Metro, Suhr, Germino, etc.

    No idea what you're talking about, frankly.
     
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  4. lang.murphy

    lang.murphy Member

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    If you're looking for Marshall big iron goodness can't go wrong with Rockitt Retro, IMHO. Great prices, standard Marshall circuits that any tech worth his soldering iron could work on, should the need, or desire for mods, arise.
     
  5. megaboogie

    megaboogie Supporting Member

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    Buy used, the best way to try it and sell if it's not your thing.
     
  6. misa

    misa Supporting Member

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    If I'm going boutique, I'm personally looking for an amp that is handwired and which should be easier to repair/mod in the future. Even the big name manufacturers only provide a few years of warranty. After that, as long as component values are visible or a schematic/layout are available, I'm good on my own.
     
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  7. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Supporting Member

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    Insist on a schematic at purchase.
    That will save a lot of time if repair is needed.
    Otherwise, most tube amps are pretty generic.
     
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  8. Boxcar Wookie

    Boxcar Wookie Member

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    I don't understand the concept of buying music tools with the concern of what you can sell them for in the future. They are tools like a saw or a hammer. I Never bought a hammer with the intention of selling it in the future or what I could sell it for.
     
  9. DrainBamage

    DrainBamage Member

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    One of my reasons I stay away is most boutique builder still choose to use the absolute cheapest parts you or I could go buy from any tube amp parts store and charge 3k for a single channel amp. While I could go sorce what ever parts I choose (Nos, cheap, expensive, leading quality) and build my own for a fraction of the cost.

    Also how many boutique builders are actually electronic engineers and not just garage hobbyist? Not many.
     
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  10. Krausewitz

    Krausewitz Member

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    No amp company provides service 'in the future' in any real way (at least not forever). It's not like I could take my old metal panel Marshall up to Milton Keynes and ask them to have a look at it.

    Buy whatever you want and enjoy it. Baring some sort of catastrophe most any amp you buy will probably outlive you.
     
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  11. slybird

    slybird Member

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    Why are you reading a thread about boutique amps? Why are you not just buying cheap a Axe FX and a cheap amp be done with it? Why are you in the tube amp section if an amp is just a tool? How many tools that do almost the same thing do you need?

    I am also sure you would be concerned with the potential resale value of a hammer if they cost 5Gs.
     
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  12. JB6464

    JB6464 Member

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    Soldano offers a lifetime transferable warranty with his SLO , have'nt seen to many boutique amp companies offer that anymore .
     
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  13. slybird

    slybird Member

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    My main fear on this issue is that the amp market will collapse. There is a lot of great amps in the world and the people that are hording them are getting old and I don't see enough guitar players coming up to replace them. The other issue is the relentless march of technology. These modelers just keep getting better and lighter. Lugging a 70lbs tube amp around is making less and less sense.
     
  14. Astronaut FX

    Astronaut FX Member

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    I can't think of a single boutique amp builder whose designs are so unique that they couldn't be serviced by a decent amp tech should the builder go out of business. I would think that part of your reasoning is probably not warranted.
     
  15. joshofsorts

    joshofsorts Member

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    A knowledgeable amp tech can fix most boutique amps, especially since most are based on classic circuits. Resale value can be an issue, but if the amp is what you want, the cost is a value judgement that is yours alone to make. I, luckily enough, was able to find mine at a good enough price that I could have turned a profit if I wanted to resell it (which I have no intention of doing).
     
  16. Phletch

    Phletch Member

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    Without knowing what amps you're specifically interested in it's hard to come up with any kind of solid advice, but here's my general feeling about people and their "stuff."

    Some people buy their stuff always with the consideration of depreciation and resale value at a future date; in other words as financial investments. Those people tend to "flip" their stuff regularly, often simply to avoid taking too much of a loss on the initial purchase. With certain kinds of stuff - houses. cars, etc. - that is generally seen as a wise strategy, but some people just do it with everything as an attempt to maximize discretionary income spending (or minimize discretionary purchase losses). Personally, since I'm a weekend warrior with a day job (ie, a hobbyist), I budget guitar gear purchases as part of discretionary income. It's money I can afford to "lose" in terms of it 5 or 10 years down the line not being worth anything close to what I paid for it. But so what? If in that time I have gotten hundreds or thousands of hours of enjoyment from its use, that is value bought and paid for.

    But that's just me. I'm not a hoarder or a collector - I've got one electric, one acoustic, one amp, and a 6-pedal pedalboard. I tend to get attached to things I really like, and I hang on to them until they no longer work and/or the cost of repair and maintenance becomes counter-productive to where I'd be better off just getting something new. The key to my strategy, though, is "try before I buy" so I know I like it before I ever hand over the dosh. That's the only real drawback that will probably ever keep me from going with something "boutique" from the US, especially living in NZ.

    I guess my advice is to just figure out what you value and how much that value is worth to you.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
  17. DiPa

    DiPa Silver Supporting Member

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    None of these companies will last forever, neither will we as players, so stop worrying and buy what you need and enjoy.
    By the same token, you should get what is available today cause it may not be available tomorrow.
    Custom designs on a turret board can be repaired any where.
     
  18. Geeze

    Geeze Silver Supporting Member

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    I have purchased three 'boutique' amps in the past 3 years - none of them I played before purchase. I still own one which is a magnificent amp - JTM45 ish. The other two were part of my failed experiment to make Fender style circuits sound like Marshalls. One was a great sounding clean amp that I traded up for a Marshall, the other was my last hurrah at small amps - good sound but not what I wanted - sold it for 75%, not unhappy with that.

    The point here is going and playing in a shop is not the best way to full appreciate and discover the nuances of a tube amp. That takes months for me and lots of playing. Risk is a part of the discovery process - a fancy way of saying you gotta kiss a lot of frogs to find the flaming hot princess. It's only money - I can always make more money.

    I can't however, make more TIME.

    One other point - 'boutique' tends to be associated with big bucks and it just ain't so. There are a lot of builders that aren't in the $4K+ range.

    Go kiss some frogs!

    Russ
     
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  19. Stratonator

    Stratonator Member

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    Bad analogy. If you take good care of an amp, it'll still sound and look new and can sell for a pretty penny if it's not your thing.

    If you buy a hammer that you dislike and use it for a good period of time, it won't look new anymore... and very few people would buy that used.

    And one more thing about your analogy ; hammers cost next to nothing compared to an amp. If amps cost $40, I wouldn't be gunshy about buying any. If I can't sell it, I'm out only a mere $40. I work hard for my money and the hundreds and thousands of dollars this hobby costs does not afford me much leeway in terms of money thrown out the window via value loss.

    So I buy smartly and do factor in resale value if I'm unsure about whether I'll like something.
     
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  20. Boxcar Wookie

    Boxcar Wookie Member

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    I'm not sure I follow your logic. I ha e several tools I've bought over the years. I still have all of them. I bought the right amps, mica, mic pres, compressors, etc etched for the job. Not sure why I would want to own an axe fx but if it were the right tool for the job why not. $5k? At least half of my tools cost north of that. Again not sure why a tools resale value plays any part in the purchase of said tool. I suppose if I was looking at tools I didn't really k ow how to use it might be a consideration. May I ask why you are in an amp forum? You seem to be more concerned with future resale value than the tool itself. Perhaps you would be best off in an investing 101 forum?
     

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