Gretsch Amps

Beginner amp for Pro jet

1

Hi, new here and am shortly getting my Gretsch g5435 pro jet from Crowleys Music in Cork, it's my first guitar, so I don't have an amp and was wondering what people thought would be a good amp for under 200 euros. Have heard good things about these Vox VT20+ and VT40+, http://www.thomann.de/ie/vo..., anyone recommend them? Thanks in advance, cannot wait to get my guitar!:D I'll mostly be playing rock and blues (Led Zep, Yardbirds, Jack White) and some indie stuff.

2

Welcome to the forum! You'll like it here. :D

I'm not overly knowledgable about amps, but I can tell you that those VOX Valvetronix amps give you great bang for the buck. They're fairly lightweight, affordable, and the digital amp modeling and effects are pretty decent. I've had a VT-15 for a few years, and it does pretty much everything I could want it to.

Enjoy your new GreTscH!

3

Welcome to the GDP! I hope you find what you need. I don't know enough about prices of Amps in the UK. Hopefully someone with some knowledge will chime in soon.

4

Try to find a used Vox AC15VR.

Got mine for 200 Euros.

5

Welcome, JBG. Cork is a cool place, as is Cobh.

6

I still have an earlier Vox AD30VT which is still a lot of fun with my Corvette and my strat.

7

Get a Fender Super Champ and call it good. I've been to Cork ... fun place! Welcome!

8

Hi, new here and am shortly getting my Gretsch g5435 pro jet from Crowleys Music in Cork, it's my first guitar, so I don't have an amp and was wondering what people thought would be a good amp for under 200 euros. Have heard good things about these Vox VT20+ and VT40+, http://www.thomann.de/ie/vo..., anyone recommend them? Thanks in advance, cannot wait to get my guitar!:D I'll mostly be playing rock and blues (Led Zep, Yardbirds, Jack White) and some indie stuff.

– Sam Mullan Galvin

Hi, new here and am shortly getting my Gretsch g5435 pro jet from Crowleys Music in Cork, it's my first guitar, so I don't have an amp and was wondering what people thought would be a good amp for under 200 euros. Have heard good things about these Vox VT20+ and VT40+, http://www.thomann.de/ie/vo..., anyone recommend them? Thanks in advance, cannot wait to get my guitar!:D I'll mostly be playing rock and blues (Led Zep, Yardbirds, Jack White) and some indie stuff.

– Johnny.B.Goode

welcome on board. If you can find a used fender blues junior it will be better with your gretsch. But i don't think you can find it for 200 €. Good luck.

9

Vox Pathfinder is one of the best amps you can get for your money. Get to a music store and try some out if you can. We can't be your ears. Valvetronics line is very worthwhile also. Good Luck in your quest.

10

Congratulations on your new guitar. Jets are my favorite electric guitars of them all.

11

Welcome to the forum, and congrats on your purchase.

+1 to what Rex said that its personal taste and what features you want.

I have a Vox pathfinder 10 (its 10 watts the speaker is probably about 6 inches) as my small practice amp, its fairly good for clean stuff its on board over drive can induce a bit of a head ache though it is good value for money it has a line out/headphones that when something is plugged in will disable the speaker so you can practice late/early if you want. I usually have the bass turned up higher then the treble on the amp because of its small speaker to make the sound be more even.

find some amps in your price range and try them if you can (take your guitar with you) as that is what your going to use. and fiddle with the controls on the amp as one may sound better only because of the settings.

Jets are my favorite also :)

12

Welcome to the GDP. One thing to ask: Will you play at home only or is the amp for gigs/rehearsals too? I use a Fender Vibro Champ XD at home. Great for that purpose. 5 watts tube power amp, different amp models plus FX. But I wouldn't gig with it. If you need something bigger I'd go used. The Vox that Ratrod mentions appears to be fine (and it has the classic Vox look). Older Peavey amps are reliable, good sounding and go for low money. Put a pedal in front of it and you are fine. There are many options. Feel free to ask.

Cheers. Sascha

13

Theres a couple of Fender Excelsiors on ebay for around that. Is it just for an at home kinda amp? Personally I've never tired of my little Epi. Valve Jr (previous owner put a Jensen speaker in it), had it years now.

Vox have lots in your price range from the Pathfinders, to the valves and they are all pretty good amps and have that "look" and resale value if you need to upgrade down the line. I've had fun with a Laney Cub (that sounds wrong!) in a music shop while waiting about.

You are almost spoilt for choice as you've probably found out in the 100-200euro range. Congrats on your Gretsch!

14

Fender Pro Jr.

Solid, basic, tubes. The problem with modeling amps is they give you good approximations of a range of tones. This is an advantage as it's a wide palette. But ultimately they are approximations. If you start with a tube amp, you begin developing your palette from the ground up and learning how to get it. The shortcuts of modeling amps are effective, but I think they are still shortcuts. I had a VT50 for a few months. Sounded fine, but nothing more than fine. My tube amps sound so much better.

Think about which players inspire you tone wise. My guess is that almost all of them play through tube amps.

The amp I use all the time right now is a Vintage47 RicBlack12. 12-15 watts. All tube. One volume knob. One tone knob that cuts trebles, which I almost always leave open. A pre-amp pedal, an analog delay pedal, and a trem pedal take me from jazzy to psychedelic to sweet to angry. I don't play metal, so that's not a worry.

So I think starting with a Fender Pro Junior will get you on the right path. Chasing and sculpting tone is an art in and of itself. Set your horizons well from the start and just keep going.

15

Keep it simple. You're just learning guitar---starting with a Gretsch Pro Jet is doing it right! Congrats on your choice---and in joining us here! Welcome Aboard!

My recommendation would be a small 4-5 watt tube amp as well. Keep it simple. The VOX AC4 would be a good place to start, or, since you're a LZ/Yardbirds fan, look at the 5 watt Marshall. Focus on learning the guitar first. Play guitar, not buttons and knobs. A one knob tube amp can last you a lifetime---an effects box will last till the next new thing comes out. Once you get to the point of trying effects, you can try a POD or something similar, or move on to dedicated pedals.

Practice, play scales. It seems like a huge pain, and then, you'll realize "why". Set goals---Enjoy yourself. A word of warning---once you start a life of music, you'll never stop.

16

wabash - great post!!!!

I've decided that playing scales should probably be part of my routine, but when I've looked at books or searched online in the past, I've been confused about what I'm doing. Do you know of any easy-to-understand resources for that?

17

wabash - great post!!!!

I've decided that playing scales should probably be part of my routine, but when I've looked at books or searched online in the past, I've been confused about what I'm doing. Do you know of any easy-to-understand resources for that?

– raisedbydogs

wabash - great post!!!!

I've decided that playing scales should probably be part of my routine, but when I've looked at books or searched online in the past, I've been confused about what I'm doing. Do you know of any easy-to-understand resources for that?

– raisedbydogs

Check out Jamie Andreas Principles for correct practice. Link... I did buy 2 of her books, but she also has lots and lots of videos and essays available for free. You can also sign up for free tips via email newsletters.

18

I'm a beginner too. I tell you, the Fender G-Decs are fantastic. Built in backing tracks, tuner, metronome, and all the effects you could want. There's also SIMM cars to play along with groups like AC/DC.

19

Lots of suggestions here.

I will echo comments by Sascha and Wabash Slim. the first thing is to understand what your situation is.

It sounds to me like you'll mostly be playing at home, at least to start. I'm not sure whether you live in a flat or a private home, but that's a factor as well, as you may want something that can be played at low volumes.

Assuming that you want something to play at home and that can be played at both low and high volume, I'd recommend you buy a solid-state, rather than tube amp. Even small, low wattage tube amps are very loud. I have a Vox AC4TV and, even at the 1/10 watt setting, it gets loud quickly and I can't play it while my family sleeps.

My other recommendation is that you choose a "modeling" amp, which can emulate tones from other amps. That way, you can get a Vox-like tone, a Marshall-like tone or a Fender-like tone.

My last suggestion is that you don't spend a lot. A year from now you'll have a better understanding of what you do and don't like. At that point, you'll want to upgrade to a new amp. So don't spend a lot on your first amp, as you don't really know what you want yet. Better yet, if you can, buy it used.

A few suggestions within your price range:

  • The Vox VT20+ and VT40+ you mention are great. My first amp was a VT30 (predecessor to this line) and my daughter has the VT15. They are a great value. I'd lean towards the VT40 as it has a 10" speaker, while the VT20 has an 8". You could definitely gig with the VT40+.

  • Fender Mustang 2 - these are very similar to the Vox and seem to sell for around £150 in the UK.

In theory, the Vox models voicings of other Vox amps (AC30, etc) better than the Fender, while the Fender does better voicings of Fender amps (Twin, Bassman, etc), but as a beginner, I don't think you'll see a major difference.

The other benefit of these two amps (and many solid-state amps) is that they have a headphone jack, which typically you cannot get on a tube amp. As a beginner playing at home, you may want to play through headphones to avoid bugging others in the house.

20

Okay, I've a lot to get through.

First, thanks to everyone, I really didn'tt expect half as many replies!

@Rex, sound advice, I'll be trying a few out when I pick up the guitar, I just wanted to know what I should be looking for, so I wouldn't feel like a complete muppet on the day!

Lots of different opinions here as to tube v. solid. I live in a fairly biggish house, but all the same it would need to be reasonably quiet. At the same time, while to begin with I'll be playing in my room, I know lots of people who guitar and drums, so probably I might start playing with other people. Vox VT40 looks like a good option for everything. Tube amps are quite delicate from all accounts, I don't think I'd be able to take care of it properly. Thanks again!

21

A tube amp, point to point wired, will probably outlast any circuit board transistor amp. I've got working tube amps that are over 60 years old. Delicate? We hauled our gear in an open pickup truck. Tubes amps are OK---just don't abuse them. Treat them as gently as your guitar.

VT40 would be fine with other musicians---not so good if you're trying to let the baby sleep at home. A small headphone amp may be enough for quiet time practice---shop around---there are a lot of possibilites.

Consider a basic acoustic guitar as well. I find that I play mine far more often than my electrics. Pick it up and play; no fuss. Go anywhere. It's the basic instrument---where guitar begins. If I could only have one guitar, it'd be an acoustic.

22

My advice, if possible, is none.

If you've got an iPhone or iPad, that is. If so use GarageBand and amplitude for awhile as you're learning. Almost free, and you can get a better feel for what you want and need as you play with the sounds.

I have some nice amps, but around the house I usually just play through GarageBand.

23

Peavey Vypyr 15.

Yeah, it doesn't have tubes and has modeling technology, which isn't very Puritan in stance.

BUT!

It basically comes with a slew of amps for you to experiment with, a ton of effects, clean channels and dirty channels for all the amps, and four slots for you to save your favorite presets to.

It's wicked cheap, very lightweight, and won't require the same maintenance that anything with tubes will force on you.

Oh, it can also be played quietly, and used as a recording interface or your computer, should the desire pop up.

$92.00 US from Musician's Friend.

24

Lots of good suggestions here.

My thoughts --

Allow yourself to enjoy the hunt -- grab your guitar and hit as many local dealers as you can. Try different amps to get an idea of their differences. See what sounds good to you. Try some that are way out of you price range just for the "learning experience".

Do not expect that your first amp will be a long term investment. As you learn to play and develop your technique, you will also change/refine your goals and expectations for gear.

You may want to consider an amp with a jack for headphones, which pretty much limits you to solid state. Headphones allow you to work on exercises, scales, etc., without bothering others in or near your home.

DO NOT EXPECT that your first amp and/or guitar will your last, or even that it will fill your needs for "many years". KNOW that you are going to be entering into a life-long Gear Acquisition Syndrom (GAS) which will haunt you for the rest of your days. Personally, I can tell you that it hit me somewhere between 1956 and 1958 and it has been relentless ever since. I don't know of any "meetings" or therapies that can help you manage this affliction.

25

Howdy Johnny B. Goode, congrats on your new guitar! There's already plenty of good advice here, I just wanted to add a couple asides. First, you do need to figure out if you want to be loud enough to keep up with the drummer, and that's where those bigger combos (15 watts+) will be best, but you will undoubtedly find them to be too loud for practice at home. Volumes have been written on here about trying to find the right amp for both, I just never found the right in-between and eventually settled on different amps, quiet to loud. Your mileage may vary, pick the one you think you need most first and go from there. :-)

Second, don't be afraid of used amps. Old tube amps, especially, are relatively easy for a good tech to repair, so over time they may live many lives. The depreciation on new amplifiers is steep and immediate.

Find a good amp tech and be very, very nice to them. Amps techs often have repaired amps for sale - that's always worth a look. Amps require maintenance, a good tech will keep your amp happy and healthy and adjusted to your playing.


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