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Guitar and amp package

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Hi, I am in a position to buy my first electric guitar. I have had an acoustic one before, and did a few classes. Now I have my own place, and want to go for a decent starter kit, aka full size electr…
unileeds Avatar
7y, 11m agoPosted 7 years, 11 months ago
Hi, I am in a position to buy my first electric guitar. I have had an acoustic one before, and did a few classes. Now I have my own place, and want to go for a decent starter kit, aka full size electric guitar, amp and bag etc. Ebuyer did half decent deals, but seem to have discontinued them. Any other websites, roughly looking to spend £80ish!! But willing to go slightly higher if its a branded proven guitar, with a decent resale!

Suggestions will be repped and appreciated!!
unileeds Avatar
7y, 11m agoPosted 7 years, 11 months ago
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#1
Ibanez
http://www.andertons.co.uk/StarterGuitarBassPacks/pid12342/cid562/IbanezGRXJumpStartGuitarPackinBlack.asp
Les Paul
http://www.andertons.co.uk/StarterGuitarBassPacks/pid13533/cid562/EpiphonePlayerPack2DLesPaulSpecialIIinSunburstplus10wAmp.asp
Fender Squire Strat
http://www.andertons.co.uk/StarterGuitarBassPacks/pid10006/cid562/FenderSquierAffinityStratinBlackwithFenderFrontmanAmpPack.asp

Do an internet search on the above (even ebay, but buy from the UK) and you won't go far wrong. I play drums and the best bit of advice I got when I started was to buy a decent kit and if I didn't get on with it I could sell it and not lose as much money. I played that kit for 15 years!!!
#2
Buy the best guitar you can afford. If you purchase a poor quality instrument you will grow out if it very quickly because you'll hit its limitations. Pay particular attention to the action (height of the strings above the frets) and the tone of the pickups.

Fender's Squier Stratocaster has improved over the years (they were pretty crummy), to such an extent that my guitar teacher, who is also a professional musician, plays one as his main instrument - although he did pay for professional set up. His guitar plays as well as my USA Fender Stratocaster.
#3
The first thing I would do is to go to your local guitar shops (or ask friends that play guitar) and try as many guitars out as you can. The difference in "playability" between different guitars is huge sometimes, you would probably want something with a nice low "action" that you'll find easier to play, especially for barre chords. Too high an action will end up putting you off playing and that's the last thing you want. You can also get an idea of the tone and sustain you'll get from actually playing them. Ask for recommendations in a good local guitar shop and explain it's your first electric. Depending on the guitar shop they may have some 2nd hand guitars for sale and don't forget you can try and haggle with them and get price reductions if you buy an amp with the guitar.

Basically buy as expensive a guitar as you can afford, there are a few gems in the budget ranges, but you may well be best trying your local Gumtree adverts for those selling good guitars to fund their own upgrade to a more expensive model.

An amp I would definitely recommend is the Roland Microcube as it has lots of good built-in effects that you would spend a fortune buying on separate pedals. I've seen them as low as ~£60 brand new, but you might be able to pick one up 2nd hand cheaper. Definitely worth the investment as it has a decent chorus, flanger, tremolo, reverb, distortion, etc. on it with some classic amp effects and a tuner too. It also even runs on AA batteries as well as mains power. Another good amp that a lot of new players buy is the Line 6 Spider which I think does much the same as the Microcube with built-in effects.

Also, if you're doing some research into models then look for online reviews from Harmony Central or UltimateGuitar.com as lots of models are reviewed there.
#4
I agree wholehearedly with bjmcghee on the choice of amp. I used to use a cheap practice amplifier which didn't even have any overdrive of blues distortion, But I was blown away by the Roland Microcube RX, which I stretched to buy and think is superb. There are a number of demo videos on YouTube such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oy6N8K86naA The microcube RX is about £150 but it's worth every penny if you're serious about learning to play electric guitar.

What's particularly useful is the built-in drum synthesizer that gives you a fairly respectably wide range of rhythms to which you can practice. Not good enough for stage use, of course, but plenty for learning with.

A word of warning about secondhand deals. Yes there are bargains to be had, but unless you go with an experienced player to try the instrument, you may well buy a pup. For example, once the neck of a guitar becomes distorted, or from badly reparied damage, you may find that you can never tune the thing properly. The strings, individually can be tuned, but when you fret some, you could find that the string isn't in tune with itself. I had that with a guitar of my own and it would have cost a fortune to put right. If you must buy secondhand, do so through a reputable dealer and agree the warranty period. If the dealer is any good he'll have his own contract, or tame, luthier. who will check this out for you first.

Good luck. And welcome to the club of wannabe axemen. :p
#5
thanks all for the replies.. I am not sure if I am way up on the guitar skills yet..
Item no 290310383206 on fl-ebay!

what do you think or know about the others...90% it will be rubbish, but I am just wondering if people have any views on the price to performance ratio of the ebay link above. I don't know much about electric guitars, though I loved playing it, when I was learning the acoustic! The guy who taught me had one, and ocassionally I played it on the electric rather the acoustic. Found electric so much easier than the acoustic!!

As of now, plan is to buy a kit, get a self learn guitar thing on my PC and take it from there!! lookin at gettingmy Pc to do some effects and stuff!!
#6
unileeds
thanks all for the replies.. I am not sure if I am way up on the guitar skills yet..
Item no 290310383206 on fl-ebay!


Less than 90 quid for the lot? I have no experience of these products but I'm willing to bet a fair wedge that you gets what you pays for. My adivce ... buy a second hand practice amp, but spend more on the guitar. On the other hand, I suppose that £90 is a very, very small amount of money when talking about an electric guitar (never mind the amp) so if it turns out to be crap you'll have lost very little. If you can't afford to waste £90 I would think you need to think again.

Personally I wouldn't buy a guitar on eBay unless it was a known make and model because I'd have no idea of how it plays. It's one thing to buy a known make like Fender or Gibson or Ibanez and the like because you know you're buying a quailty product and all that remains is to have it set up to your liking. But an unknown make may not be anything you'd like to play. It's for that reason that I'd advise you to buy a cheap guitar from a shop where you can try it.

Do you know anyone who has played a Villiers (whoever they are)? I'm not a maven but I 've never heard of them.
#7
true.. I guess a fender will have a decent resale as well! Just in case I have to move on! The cheapest I can find is
http://www.ukguitars.com/squier/index.htm

around 6th from the bottom they have a good deal for £99, guitar and amp and what look slike gig bag and other bits.

Ever heard of them ?
#8
unileeds
true.. I guess a fender will have a decent resale as well! Just in case I have to move on! The cheapest I can find is
http://www.ukguitars.com/squier/index.htm

around 6th from the bottom they have a good deal for £99, guitar and amp and what look slike gig bag and other bits.

Ever heard of them ?
Not especially, but when I click on the item it returns an 'item not found' status.

Do you not have a local dealer to whom you can go and at least have a noodle around on the model you're interested in? In these straitened times, you can probably get the guy to match, or get close to, the best deal you can find on the Internet.
#9
unileeds
true.. I guess a fender will have a decent resale as well! Just in case I have to move on! The cheapest I can find is
http://www.ukguitars.com/squier/index.htm

around 6th from the bottom they have a good deal for £99, guitar and amp and what look slike gig bag and other bits.

Ever heard of them ?


Reviews of it here, seems that it's a basic package (as you would expect), with the amp not getting great reviews I'm afraid. A lot of people seem to be happy enough with the guitar itself, but I really would recommend going into some guitar shops and getting a feel for various guitars as I said, the action and thickness of the neck can really make or break a guitar for the individual. My first guitar had too high an action and a neck that was too thick and that definitely slowed down my learning curve!

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/electric_guitars/squier/se-100_electric_pack/index.html

Afterburner is right, of course, that if you don't know what to look for with a 2nd hand guitar then you could end up with a warped fretboard and all sorts so if you're not confident enough to check them out yourself then take someone that knows more with you. :thumbsup:
#10
As to reliable retailers, I don't have much experience of many because I bought my Strat in New York when the pound was king of the heap :roll:

However, last November I bought a Gibson ES335 semi-acoustic (you know, like BB King's but not in black) from Digital Village, and found them to be very pleasant to deal with, and I was able to dicker on the price.

They have an Internet store called DV247 and I found this on my first hit: http://www.dv247.com/invt/62469/ It's a Squier Strat with amp, starter kit. The colour is black, which is very popular with Strat owners because Clapton had that as his signature guitar for ages. There will be other deals like that out there.

My advice ... go try a Squier in a shop .. you don't have to buy. If you like it, either beat the guy down or buy one on t'Internet.

Do think carefully about whether you want a cheap cr*p amp or whether you want to stretch to an amp you'll keep for longer. I guarantee that if you buy a bottom-of-the-range amplifer you'll be junking it in short while. The cheap ones have lousy sound, no dynamics and the control potentiometers develop cracked tracks so they crackle when you turn them, and worse ... you may not be able to set the sound level where you want it as a result. You won't be able to trade it in, it will be worthless. Hell, you can have mine if you want it ... if I can find it.
#11
Afterburner
As to reliable retailers, I don't have much experience of many because I bought my Strat in New York when the pound was king of the heap :roll:

However, last November I bought a Gibson ES335 semi-acoustic (you know, like BB King's but not in black) from Digital Village, and found them to be very pleasant to deal with, and I was able to dicker on the price.

They have an Internet store called DV247 and I found this on my first hit: http://www.dv247.com/invt/62469/ It's a Squier Strat with amp, starter kit. The colour is black, which is very popular with Strat owners because Clapton had that as his signature guitar for ages. There will be other deals like that out there.

My advice ... go try a Squier in a shop .. you don't have to buy. If you like it, either beat the guy down or buy one on t'Internet.

Do think carefully about whether you want a cheap cr*p amp or whether you want to stretch to an amp you'll keep for longer. I guarantee that if you buy a bottom-of-the-range amplifer you'll be junking it in short while. The cheap ones have lousy sound, no dynamics and the control potentiometers develop cracked tracks so they crackle when you turn them, and worse ... you may not be able to set the sound level where you want it as a result. You won't be able to trade it in, it will be worthless. Hell, you can have mine if you want it ... if I can find it.



Hi,
Thanks for the brilliant info, I dont know whether I should be confident or now dat I look and I know nothin about electric guitars, feel really really concerned. I know it is a big risk to try and do this by myself, But i Want to!! Don't have that much money at the mo, but will look at monthly lessons to kinda supplement what I learn on my own. Not sue though

The DV247 link is great. They have the Starcaster Start which looks like a good deal. How is this different to the Squier Startocaster, for a mo there is nearly confused myself and thought both were the same. Isint Squier by Fender? technically (and I know playing them would be completely different) which one is a better guitar, in terms of the wood and pickups etc!!

I am going to take everyones advice here and am popping into the guitar store here in Reading over the weekend, we have two one of which is massive!! See whats occuring there!

And thanks again. While I have you guys here, any links to good decent free sites to get some guitar tution? maybe youtube style tutorials! All google throws up is crap and rubbish!!
#12
unileeds

I am going to take everyones advice here and am popping into the guitar store here in Reading over the weekend, we have two one of which is massive!! See whats occuring there!

You're in Reading? So you have Dawsons and the Guitar Workshop. I haven't been to Dawson's but my friend who is a musician in his spare time and has 11 guitars at the last count buys his stuff there. I know the Guitar Workshop (in the Market Place) and they seem to be pleasant people. They have their own tame luthier who will do the set up for you at what I seem to remember is a reasonable price. They do starter kits and they'll talk to you about what's good and what's not.

As to the Starcaster thing ... that confused me too. Perhaps Fender have renamed their entry-level Strat but I really don't know.

For learning resources, there are a lot of sites that will take you thorugh the basics. Some ramp up very fast, and go from the very basic to the 'oh my God, they've lost me' very quickly. I think that's because they're written by enthusiasts who are bored by the mundane and laborious, rather than teachers. You just have to find the ones that suit you best. You can pick from the best for whatever meets your needs. I am going to a guitar teacher now because I find that I need someone to interact with, but you may not need to.

Some YouTube clips are useful, but most of these guys are just using 'teaching' as an excuse to show their prowess ... a sort of non-pornographic public masturbation :oops:. You'll spot the useful ones yourself.

One thing ... don't neglect your scales. Boring though they are, if you can't play scales quickly and accurately, you can't play. Simple as that. I've been discovering this and I have to discipline myself to spend time .. getting faster and more accurate all the time. Not there yet, but I'm getting there.

Good luck, and have fun. Let us know how you get on.
#13
Yeah Dawsons is the big massive one I was talking about! So hopefully, By next week I would have made up my mind and will look to buy!

Thanks a lot for all the help!

Also looking for some freeware software for my PC (which i have 2 soundcards for now) to tune a guitar and to do effects, and to help me learn. I will look at lessons online and see what is the best way forwaard!
#14
unileeds
Also looking for some freeware software for my PC (which i have 2 soundcards for now) to tune a guitar and to do effects, and to help me learn. I will look at lessons online and see what is the best way forwaard!

I'm afraid I don't know about software for the guitar on a PC. There might be some MIDI software around but whether it's free is another question.
#15
There is quie a lot ofsoftware about, but I've not used any of it to be honest:

http://www.geocities.com/radium_ds/

http://www.geocities.com/guitarfx_2001/ Seems to get good reviews from what I could see at first glance.

If you want to start recording stuf then try Kristal Audio Engine which is free and gives you a possible 16 track recording capability.

Good luck and let us know how you get on with the guitar buying!
#16
Just saw this in my inbox from Maplin

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=222445&C=Newsletter&U=09P05-2&T=258705 USB guitar interface and they mention effects amplifier.
#17
Afterburner
Just saw this in my inbox from Maplin

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=222445&C=Newsletter&U=09P05-2&T=258705 USB guitar interface and they mention effects amplifier.


Looks good.. still costs a bit though... !!! will wait for it to come down a bit!. Thanks anyway though, good spot!

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