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 Info, opinions needed/wanted..........

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=[C]=Xd_rifles
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PostSubject: Info, opinions needed/wanted..........   Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:33 pm

I get bored waaaaayyyy too easily and want to pick up playing guitar again. My 35+ yr old Yamaha acoustic needs work, (back & neck) to be playable, again and the electric I bought 5 yrs ago is a Squier (by Fender) 'kit' guitar. Paid $300 for the entire kit, guitar, amp, extra strings, assortment of picks, strap and patch cord. I've been looking at getting this one http://www.fender.com/products/search.php?partno=0133000300 and would like to hear from ppl that play as I'd like to have a decent amp for it. When I used to play, mostly it was rock and a bit of blues and all of it was on the acoustic, but that's been decades ago.
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OwenDeluxe
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PostSubject: Re: Info, opinions needed/wanted..........   Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:33 pm

I play and I use PC-based amp modelling software like Guitar Rig Pro, Amplitube Fender etc. I connect with a FirePod audio interface which is way beyond what you would need but you can can get 1/4" jack to USB cables to connect guitars/basses to the computer - I dont know what they are like though.

Unless you plan on buying a valve amp, it is worth considering something like above instead of a solid-state amp simply for the convenience, wide range of amp/cab/microphone models, inline effects and of course saving space. Also, if you plan on recording you can record the guitar with a clean sound then apply different amp models and fuck around with the settings adterwards.

As for the guitar, I've never played a Fender Deluxe model that I haven't liked. But I prefer the shape of a Jaguar/Jazzmaster to a strat.
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=[C]=Xd_rifles
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PostSubject: Re: Info, opinions needed/wanted..........   Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:33 pm

Well, the kit amp is only 15W and doesn't have much in the way of presets, effects, etc. and I figure that a much better guitar, deserves a much better amp. I know nothing about running an electric thru a PC, but my audio is a SB X-FI Fatality Champion card and I/O box. The box has stereo RCA jacks on it, as well as 3.5mm jacks for headphone and a mic.
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OwenDeluxe
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PostSubject: Re: Info, opinions needed/wanted..........   Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:52 pm

For best results you'd need something like a IK Stealthplug or M-Audio Fast Track - or something along those lines.

You could get a 1/4" jack to 1/8" jack adapter and plug into the mic/line in on your soundcard but I wouldn't recommend it.

Check out some of the videos to see if its something you'd like. I have friends who love virtual amps and friends who despise them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8Pq81uj4G4
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OwenDeluxe
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PostSubject: Re: Info, opinions needed/wanted..........   Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:55 pm

this is a better video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-5rJEp7IcY&feature=related
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=[C]=Xd_rifles
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PostSubject: Re: Info, opinions needed/wanted..........   Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:16 pm

Well, that certainly is interesting, although a bit lean on soundcard compatibility and for the price, I can buy a better amp than what I currently have!!!
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OwenDeluxe
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PostSubject: Re: Info, opinions needed/wanted..........   Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:51 am

I dont know what you mean by "a bit lean on soundcard compatibility" but I just looked on eBay and you can get a M-Audio Fast Track for under $90 (inc shipping) and a IK Stealthplug (which comes with Amplitube Live) for under $100 inc shipping. You'll probably find them cheaper if you look elsewhere. The Fast Trak is the better of the two as it has a XLR input so you can connect a microphone to mic-up your amp or acoustic guitar or sing through.

Is recording something you would be interested in? Digital recording is very easy. When I was playing in bands regularly around 12 years ago, we paid nearly 3,000 (at the time it would have probably been $4,500) to go into a recording studio that had been equipped for Digital Recording for 7 days. We recorded using a Mac running Cubase VST. Then we paid 1,500 on top to have 1,500 CDs pressed. Nowadays, you can buy a recording interface and recording/production software for a fraction of the price, record an album at home and release it on iTunes or elsewhere on the internet. Most interfaces even incude recording/production software which is ideal for the majority of musicians.

As another price comparison, when I was 18 (1n 1996) I bought a Tascam 4-Track (cassette) Portastudio for 200.

As a technological comparison, add a M-Audio Fast Track to your current PC and you have something far superior to any amp that you will buy for $100 - and you get a wider range of sounds, digital recording/production capability and the potential to add more sounds, save your own sounds (no more fiddling with knobs for hours trying to get a specific sound) - essentially, you get a recording studio that is technologically superior to anything Elvis or The Beatles ever used.

Don't think I'm trying to persuade you into going down this route, it's just that I'd like to let you know that there are affordable alternatives to buying amplifiers, and as you stated in your original post that you get bored waaaaay too easily, I thought that digital recording and production could turn into a nice, enjoyable and productive hobby. I certainly get a lot out of it and I really appreciate it.

My main instrument is bass guitar, I have a 1989 Warwick Streamer Stage I and 2006 5-string Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray 5 HH. I gave up playing live music around 3 years ago and both instruments were not touched until September last year when I started getting into Digital Recording/Production. Since then, I bought my first guitar a Fender JZM Deluxe and a Shure SM57 microphone.

Recently I've been using MIDI, which opens another can of worms. I've got a Roland GW-7 keyboard that I use via a MIDI interface. Basically, you can get some really cool sounds. For example, similar to the Amplitube guitar models, I have Korg, Akai and Moog analogue synth models, Orchestra patches, Alicia Keys' piano sounds etc.

For drums I either use Drums on Demand (pre-recorded drum loops in different bpms) or I create my own using Fruity Loops with live drum kit samples - very, very simple. I've also got EZ Drummer but I haven't used it yet.

I don't know what the music shops are like in your area, but my local music shop has a PC set up with recording software, amp models etc so people can try out interfaces and software in the shop before they buy.

Ultimately the choice between Amplifier or Interface depends on your intention.
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=[C]=Xd_rifles
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PostSubject: Re: Info, opinions needed/wanted..........   Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:21 pm

Well, the software package was listed at $400, which is why I said that I could buy an amp for the same price. I did find IK Stealthplug for under $80 on ebay and once I understood what it did, ordered it. I can pick up that model of guitar for $600, $400 cheaper than MSRP, from online retailers. I've got the Squier strat and since I'm on a budget, I think I'm going to have to hold off on buying the Deluxe, for a while.

I've got a vehicle that needs some attention, much more than I need a new guitar, for the time being. I've forgotten most of what I had learned, decades ago and would need lessons. Playing guitar was something I did, that I enjoyed and found to be relaxing, whenever I was too stressed, which is my normal state, these days, ergo, the reason for taking up guitar, again.
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OwenDeluxe
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PostSubject: Re: Info, opinions needed/wanted..........   Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:40 pm

For lessons just go to youtube or tab sites. The important thing is that you start playing! You'll have fun with the Stealthplug, I think they are shipped with Amplitube 2 Live which has a decent collection of amps.
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=[C]=Xd_rifles
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PostSubject: Re: Info, opinions needed/wanted..........   Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:49 pm

Ordered the guitar, a stand and a hard case for it. Should get here in a week. I've gotten tabs from Ultimate, before, but finding ones that are decent is a bit hard. Getting rid of my stress is worth more than fixing the damned vehicle. Banging Sharon Stone wouldn't hurt, either nor would a bottle of Glenfiddich.
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=[C]=BurntoutHippie
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PostSubject: Re: Info, opinions needed/wanted..........   Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:48 pm

I'm not a musician, but i spent enuff time out on the road running sound and teching to know a bit about musical equipment. I tend to agree with Owen on one of the last things he said:
OwenDeluxe wrote:
Ultimately the choice between Amplifier or Interface depends on your intention.

It depends on what you have in mind to do that would dictate what you need. Guitar is pretty much what ever you want that can be hot rodded with new pick ups and such to modify the sound, but when it comes to amps my thoughts would be what are you playing? And why are you playing?

For instance if you are sitting alone in your house playing, it really doesn't make much difference what you use. If you wanna go jam with friends then it all comes down to what your playing. The way equipment is engineered these days kinda throws previous knowledge out the window. And what i mean is that if you're playing bluesy Rock n' Roll then Fender and Marshall are engineered at pretty much that style, they kinda wrote the book on amps back in the day and they became popular with Rock n Rollers...Hendrix, Fender Strat and either a Fender or Marshall stack. Clapton, Fender and Marshall mainly, all the old 60's and 70's acts used Fender and Marshall heavily. But these days you have tons of other names that are engineered for certain sounds, as an example Mesa Boogie rocks the fuck out if you're tuning to a low D and going for a heavy crunchy Soundgarden type sound. Believe it or not, a lot of the old 80's bands and some newer bands that lean to that sound lean towards the crate amps because they were engineered in the 80's for all the the hair bands.

Buying equipment these days is more of a shopping thing than getting suggestions. When i was running sound i used different systems depending on the band. If it was a metal band i would use a set up of Marshall Amps and Peavey Black Widow Speakers they gave me a good distorted crunchy rock and roll sound, but when i worked for a Chili Pepper's type rock rap band i used Carver amps with a JBL Triad Speaker set up because JBL's are noise makers, so they gave me a nice big boom for that deep rap bass sound.

So your amp really depends on what you're doing. times have changed my friend thats why i don't do it any more. Too expensive to really make a living at it anymore, things are too specific and geared towards certain sounds, But it is so much better in so many ways with all the cool effects you can get if you're willing to fork over the green for the right amp.

Go to the music store, plug in to an amp and play. If it doesn't feel right unplug and go to the next. If you're just gonna sit home and play, the pc thingy that Owen mentioned might be the way you want to go, you can get lots of cool sounds and effects and you have a built in recording set up.

-Hippie

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=[C]=Xd_rifles
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PostSubject: Re: Info, opinions needed/wanted..........   Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:18 am

Never was in a band, but just played for myself, decades ago, although I was good enough, then, to have played with several bands. Having not played for so long really sucks, because I've forgotten all the licks, rhythms, chords, etc., that I used to know. Used to play for 3 hours without repeating a song..............not anywhere near that good now. Lucky to get 15 minutes worth of song outta my head and to the fret board.
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PostSubject: Re: Info, opinions needed/wanted..........   Today at 1:42 am

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