Guitar players: amp suggestions?

My crappy Crate 15 watt practice amp just bit the dust a few days ago and I’m looking to replace it. I am not really a big gear guy, so I don’t know what I should be looking for. I’m torn between just getting a MicroCube, which I’ve heard plenty of good things about, or stepping up and shelling out a little more for something nice. I just need something small to jam on in my room. Can anyone offer any advice?

I play a Strat and I’m into general rock type stuff like Cake, Radiohead, The Who, The Strokes, and also some grungier stuff like Hum and Alice in Chains.

Dave Long apparently can get you one cheap.

An amplifier’s just wood and wire and wire and wood doesn’t do any good when your heart is beatin’ like a house on fire and all you got to show for it is an amplifier.

Well if we’re just throwing out joke advice, get one that goes to 11.

If you are comfortable with circuits, get a Mesa/Boogie with tubes.

If you’re not playing gigs and just want something to practice with, I highly suggest a Line 6 Pod. I’ve got a Floor Pod hooked up to a good set of PC speakers and it sounds amazing.

I’ve got a Vox Valvetronix 30watt practice amp. It’s got a nice emulator to mimic 10 different famous amps and ten rudimentary effects built in. I think it would sound good with the type of music you described. I spent less that $200 a couple years ago. I really like it. There is one actual tube in it in the power circuit with a knob that allows you to adjust the power. You can play with the settings however you like and adjust the volume on the power circuit. It gives you a full sound at low volume, which I like cause it doesn’t disturb anyone if I want to play semi quietly. They make it in 15 and 50 watt models as well.

I have a Roland Cube 20 which I like, but frankly, I’m a new enough player that you shouldn’t listen to anything I say about equipment.

I’m still using a 35 Watt Peavy that I got as a gift in 1984. The contact is a little loose sometimes, but rarely. Haven’t turned it up past 3 and a half or so since the last time I played in public circa 1989. That may be a bit long on useful life.

That Pod looks quite interesting.

Good answer! That was one that I was considering. I think my plan of action is going to be: go around to a bunch of music stores tomorrow and see if they have any sweet used gear. A good backstory is a plus. I’d definitely like to check out the Valvetronix, though.

And for the rest of you clowns, I lol’ed once at this thread.

By the way, while checking out amps on youtube, I found a convincing argument for why Guitar Hero should exist. As someone who was driven by Metallica to learn guitar, I was nearly in tears watching this. I’m sure I sounded exactly like that, and probably still do!

I had a Crate 15 recently before as well. I replaced it with a Traynor Custom Value 20 Watt practice amp. It was fairly cheap and sounds amazing.

Traynor CV20… oh yeah. Tube goodness (as for cheap, I thought those things retail for AU$1000 - sort of cheap); grab one or a Laney.

I have a PODxt and through a good set of headphones (or speakers) it does sound very nice - and you can customise it all you want. If all you do is sit at home and noodle on the guitar, look into a pod (check ebay).

For small amplifications, nothing beats the Micro Cube from Roland. I use an old Peavy Bandit for larger situations, a Marshall JCM 800 4212 Combo next and then my JCM TSL 2000 100 watt with 4X12, rack gear for larger venues. I use an Alesis Quadraverb, run in stereo and a Digitech 2112 Pre-amp\processor when ever I need that type of professional sound quality.

That being said, what I discovered is that the Cube duplicates the larger amplifiers rather well. No foot switch for that one though. The line six stuff sounds great too. So pretty much any of the newer “Modeling” amps sound pretty darn good lately. Grab your Ax and go play through a few of them and see which one fits you best (features, distortion, clean sound, etc.). Check before buying, it might be cheaper to order direct if they give you a break on shipping.

I don’t know how it sounds, but you should get this one for looks alone.

Similar to the Pod, I use a Line 6 TonePort, which is basically an ASIO external USB sound card that I can plug my guitar into. The TonePort comes with software called Gearbox which models a bunch of different amps, cabs and stomp boxes. A nifty feature of the Gearbox is that you can download different presets that try to mimic various famous guitar players. Or, you can check out the setups on and try to build 'em from scratch.

It’s pretty cheap - mine was $170, I think - and it’s pretty amazing the different sounds you can get out of it. As I am the very definition of “sit at home and noodle on the guitar” player, it’s perfect for me.

I am also a beginner, but I’ve been very happy using the Roland Cube 15 as a practice amp.

I wouln’t bother with the zvex nano, spend your money on The Machine.

Has Line 6 ever added 64bit Vista support?

Dunno - I’m still using 32bit XP.

Traynor is a Canadian company and the amp is Canadian made. So I’d assume they’d be cheaper in Canada than Australia. I think I payed about $400 or so for it. If that much.