Gear Buying Philosophy
Mar 11 2008, 01:25 PM
Posts: 667
Joined: 6-July 07
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
EDIT: Crap! Wrong board! The time change is still screwing me up! Oh friendly moderator, could you kindly move this to the gear board?

I'm not really asking what I should buy so much as advice on how I should buy it.

Ultimately, my dream head is a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier. It doesn't make a ton of sense to own one at the present as I'm not in a band and live in an apartment. I am sick of playing through my headphones so I have a couple options.

I could pick up an Atomic Reactor amp off of ebay and utilize my PodXTLive for tones, which is cool, but I know when I do finally join a band/start playing with others, the 18w that I would get wouldn't really cut it. So that way I know I'd have a good amp to play around with at home, but I would ultimately end up with a ~400 amp sitting in my room down the line that will be eclipsed by a more powerful amp.

The other option is shell out the cash for a Line 6 Spider Valve. I've played through one of these in the store and was pretty pleased with the range of sounds I could get out of it. Ultimately, I'll probably just play through a couple models that I like (like Dual Rectifier tongue.gif or "Treadplate Dual" if you will). I know the Valve can play at bedroom levels and still sound decent but still has enough testicular fortitude to handle playing live. I would also need to come out of pocket probably for an avatar cabinet 2x12 for another $300 + the $800 for the head. I would likely end up with the foot controller for it as well, which is another couple hundred I believe, but that can come later down the line. I like the idea of a head/cab over a traditional combo where I have the option to go bigger if I need to. Were I to pick up this head, then years and years down the line I probably would end up with a Mesa head as well.

And the third option being a Dual Rectifier. There are no Mesa dealers in my area, I luckily got to play one once that was used at a local shop, but that was brief and it was a while ago. Less versatile and more expensive than the Spider Valve, but I'm sure the Spider would spend a majority of it's time pretending that it was a Dual Rec tongue.gif. Do these play well at bedroom levels? I played with it louder than you typically do in music stores so I don't really know haha.

Last but not least, I could really put some pennies together for an Engl E645 Powerball. This amp amazes me with how much it can do, plus a built in noise gate is a plus. I've not gotten my hands on one but was wildly impressed with the review on May's Guitar World cdrom. The cleans really are incredible on this thing. This is as expensive or as professional as I would likely need. If I were to decide to save up straight for the Dual Rec or the Engl, it would likely be a year+ away from a purchase and I would probably pick up an Atomic Reactor in the interim and trash my Peavey Bandit 112.

What would you do if you were in my position. ONLY recommend additional gear if you think it fits in to my style of play and goals as a guitarist (I enjoy playing metal mostly and looking to get a rig that I can gig with eventually in your typical bar environment). For instance, the type of recommendation that is not helpful is recommend me pickup a Fender Twin Reverb. That's a fine amp, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't do anything I need it to besides amplify the sound of my guitar. I don't have a ton of interest in a Marshall as most that I've played with don't sound good unless they're played really loud, which doesn't really fit my situation. I figure I'll go ahead and say I am open to the idea of an H&K Switchblade head but you'll need to sell me on it tongue.gif

I'd just like to hear thoughts of other folks who have been down a similar path I appreciate everyone's input but I'm really looking for the opinions of folks who gig regularly.

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This post has been edited by Goliath: Mar 11 2008, 01:52 PM

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