Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:05 PM
I think I have to agree with Spider. The amp, for just one year of playing, is fine.
If you were looking to spend $350-$500, well, tell him you need to go to the hardware store for something and you want his opinion. Don't tell him what it's about, then as you pull up to the music store, he'll be excited and confused. Then when you go inside, tell him "Happy Birthday!! you have up to $500 bucks to spend!! Choose wisely grasshopper! "(old Kung fu verbage) He'll be freaked out ! Let HIM decide if he wants a pedal or a new amp.
Oh, and you might want to sneak his guitar into the trunk of the car so he can pull it out and try HIS guitar with whatever new appliance he's interested in.