Tell me what I need guys

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by living room rocker, May 17, 2018 at 3:33 AM.

  1. living room rocker

    living room rocker New Member

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    I own a single well setup guitar (an Epi SG of course) and an inexpensive Fender amp (Fender Champion 20). I'm fairly new to this game and want to maximize my practice w/o breaking the bank or driving my wife nuts. I'm intrigued by the myriad of special effects devices, but not gonna go bonkers investing (I've not developed my talent enough yet). My practice routine is simply playing along to YouTube videos coming from my television and its own speaker.

    Can this be achieved for $500 or thereabouts?

    1. An effects gizmo of some kind.
    2. Something that allows me to not bother others via the use of headphones.
    3. Some means to incorporate backing tracks, music videos, etc into the system for me to play along with (I don't own nor want a smartphone). I do have a PC, but really don't even want to incorporate that.

    How does a street musician setup? They have a guitar, an amp, and something to add background accompaniment I presume. That's basically what I'm after I guess; all with a headphone jack for quiet mode.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018 at 5:39 PM
  2. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    Get a Yamaha THR, it will do everything you mentioned and sound really good doing it.

    Your third request is tricky, however, without connecting to a computer. Any special reason you don't want to use one?

    I don't know where you live, but you should easily be able to get a THR and a good set of headphones for under $500.
     
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  3. living room rocker

    living room rocker New Member

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    Main reason for not wanting to use the PC is it's not located in the room where I practice and I'd have to drag it back and forth. I'll look into this Yamaha THR though; thank you.
     
  4. living room rocker

    living room rocker New Member

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    I'm showing my technical ignorance here. Do I just need an MP3 or IPOD type device to run videos or music files into an amp? Would that provide the accompaniment I'm after, and do most amps allow for this connection?
     
  5. Worblehat

    Worblehat Active Member

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    Yes, most practice combos allow such a connection. You are looking for an "Aux In"-input. The THR10 has one.

    I am also a beginner and had similar requirements when I was looking for an amp a few month ago.

    The THR10 is very popular and probably a good choice. A very similar alternative would be the Vox Adio Air GT. I got the Vox VT20X instead, due to the optional food switch which is a must have if you want to switch beetween presets/effects mid-song. The benefits of the THR and the Adio are their small size and the build in audio interface with usb connection (useful for recording).

    All three amps have headphone out, Aux-In, modelling of different amps and a lot of effects. I think you can't go wrong with either.
     
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  6. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Member

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    Read review of boss katana air its coming out soon.

    Cheaper option but doesnt support bluetooth input is blackstar 10w v2 its very nice like 100 bucks.

    On learning guitar though ha ha you need probably to do some scales and chords and practice some strumming. Strumming hand needs lots of repetition.

    Maybe a teacher and some lessons?
     
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  7. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    Most of the newer, smallish modelling amps benefit greatly from being used with a laptop, at least some of the time. It allows you to get the best from the onboard effects. You can also play along with instructional videos or even tablature on sites like Ultimate Guitar.

    The THR allows for connection of an MP3 or smartphone with an aux in, but also allows connection via USB and has a separate volume for those inputs.

    These types of amps are very portable, so if you have a desktop PC then you can bring the amp to it.
     
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  8. Roca

    Roca Active Member

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    The blackstar 10 v2 is really good. I just traded mine for an orange crush 12 because i wanted more simplicity and old rock/ grunge sounds.
     
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  9. Bad Penguin

    Bad Penguin Active Member

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    The THR10. Period. "Dragging it back and forth" between rooms.... it weighs in at about.... 5 pounds, maybe 7 with batteries. Load the software from Yamaha, plug in the USB cable, and you have an amazing amount of amp sounds. AND you can store and create your own. It's not perfect: you can't adjust compression and limiting, nor the trem speed without the computer, you touch a knob, it may change the effect, and there's no extension speaker out. But live with those things, and you will LOVE it! AND it records directly into the computer without needing a mixer, and it's a great computer monitor!
     
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  10. living room rocker

    living room rocker New Member

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    Thank you GrumpyOldDBA, I'll give the Katana a look too. I'm 1 1/2 years into "my journey". I can fluidly move between pentatonic scale positions and love playing along to backing tracks and videos while improvising lead melodies; I can actually sound pretty darned good! I need work on chord transposing though; anything below the open position. Given my age and reasonable aspirations (59), I'm most def keeping it fun (not work) even if that'll label me a half ass'ed guitarist. I'm gonna use the simplest chord shapes known to man and might as well cut off my pinkie 'cuz I ain't using it, lol. Ok, maybe my pinkie once in awhile (the opening riff to Sweet Child of Mine).
     
  11. living room rocker

    living room rocker New Member

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    Thank you Bad Penquin, I'll give this THR10 a strong look. I'm not opposed to using my desk top if occasional connections to load software or tweak effects is all that's needed.
     
  12. lukeap69

    lukeap69 New Member

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    I have a Line 6 Amplifi FX100 which has an headphone out, can produce many different effects, can be connected to an amp or home hifi system and can be connected to a computer. Check it out, it might suit your needs.
     
  13. Bonzo21

    Bonzo21 Active Member

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    What I use for a quick quiet practice set up is a Vox AmPlug 2 (I have the AC30 and the Metal that I got in a trade). I plug my phone (you can use an mp3 player) into it for jamtracks and such. Its simple, small, and idiot proof. Exactly what I need when I want to keep it simple.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    All you need...
     
  14. Worblehat

    Worblehat Active Member

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    The Vox Amplugs are no alternative to a modelling combo like the THR10 but they are a nice addition for when you just want to sit somewhere, like on the couch, and pactice quietly without bothering to get your amp, plugin in the cable etc. I tend to switch the rooms where I do my practice and often do it unplugged as I don't want to carry the amp around the appartment. So an Amplug2 would be useful. The only reason why I haven't got one yet is that I just can't decide between the AC30, Classic Rock and Lead versions :D
     
  15. Bonzo21

    Bonzo21 Active Member

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    Yeah, I wouldn't say that they are the most amazing thing in the world. But they have a really decent sound and reverb built in so its really ideal for just plug and play practice. For that kind of application I've never encountered anything better. I use my AC30 one almost exclusively, thought the metal one has some good tones too. I am eventually going to get the "Classic Rock" version.

    From what I hear the AC30 is an AC30 sound (duh) the metal one is meant to emulate a mesaboogie, and the classic rock/lead are meant to emulate different marshalls. They used to make a "Twin" headset version which was obviously grasping towards the fender twin sound but ive never tried it. I also have an older amplug first generation satriani model (supposed to sound like his vox distortion pedal). It sucked, and I always hated it, but I used it until the 2nd gen came out with reverb and I've never looked back since... they are 1000% better.
     
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  16. living room rocker

    living room rocker New Member

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    Appreciate the feedback from Plankton, Worblehat, Bad Penguin, Bonzo21 and everyone else. Please lead me through this Vox plug in device; pretend I'm stupid ('cuz I kinda am about this stuff). You plug the Vox AC30 into your guitar jack. You can smartphone or MP3 into the Vox AC30 via an "aux in" and cable. Must you then have a bluetooth capable amp w/headphone jack? Or does the Vox AC30 act as the amp? And then the headphones plug where? Appreciate all the feedback and am getting things narrowed down here.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018 at 5:36 PM
  17. Worblehat

    Worblehat Active Member

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    I'm feeling with you. I was very confused with all the terms and devices related to the electric guitar. Just takes some time to get an overview.

    First of all: Don't confuse "Vox AC30" with "Vox Amplug". The Vox AC30 is a classical tube amplifier by VOX. We are talking about the VOX Amplug here which is also an amp (a very different on, though). The Amplug is a headphone amp. So it has no speakers but just an output where you connect your headphones. The Amplug can be plugged directly into your guitar output jack. No cable between guitar and amp needed!
    Now the Amplug comes in different versions. One of them is the "Amplug AC30" which tries to mimic the sound of the original AC30 amp, mentioned above.

    The Amplug also has a Aux-In input. So you can connect your mp3 player or smartphone to it and jam to some tracks.

    As I said before the Amplug cannot be seen as an alternative to an Amp like the Yamaha THR10. The THR10 is a digital modelling combo. "Digital Modelling", because it contains various different amp sounds (or channels) which are created digitally (not by tubes or analog circtuits). "Combo" because its an amplifier and speaker in one unit. It also contains different effects (like delay, reverb etc.). A lot more and better ones than the Amplug. Therefore you won't need a lot of extra pedals in front of your amp have all in one box which is great for a beginner.

    I hope that helps a bit to find your way in the gear jungle... :smile:
     
  18. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    The Amplugs are great little things, and surprisingly good sounding for what they are. It's what I used for quiet practice before I got my THR10. I still use it around the house sometimes, but it's become most useful when checking out a second hand guitar from a private seller. I bring the Amplug and a set of headphones and can try the guitar out through a familiar sounding amp.

    Others have explained this well, but here's a photo anyway. The newer Amplugs have the bonus of the rotating jack which makes it easier to plug into a Strat.

    20180519_075640 (573x800).jpg
     
  19. Bonzo21

    Bonzo21 Active Member

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    Yes the "Amplug AC30" is the amp with no speaker, and your headphones act as the speaker. They also come in different flavours (Metal, Lead, Classic Rock). I just happen to have and love the AC30 one. Like worble said, there is an AC30 amplug (what we are talking about) AND an actual AC30 amp (which is super loud and pretty expensive). To play with the amplug you dont need anything but that device and headphones. You can also plug in an mp3 or smartphone via aux cable. Hope that clarifies!
     
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  20. Bonzo21

    Bonzo21 Active Member

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    THIS! Or even test them out in a shady parkinglot deal ahahhaa
     
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