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Looking at AMPS, really confused, need help!

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Hi folks


I received some great advice to my first posts on this forum about guitar tutors so I'm hoping that someone can help me when it comes to picking up an Amp.


As you may have guessed I'm new to this whole thing so I certainly don't need to worry about getting an Amp that would be used for anything other than practice and home use.  No need for performance level power output.  I also don't want to get anything that is specialised to a certain genre of music.  I'm still learning and that involves learning what I like to play rather than necessarily what I like to listen to.  Who knew that as a listening Metal-head I'd really enjoy playing country style pieces but it seems to be working out that way.


I've been in IT for about 30 years now so whilst it makes little sense at the moment I'm interested in being able to connect to a PC at some point in the future.  It's not a huge requirement but that coupled with a smallish budget means I've avoided worrying about real tube amps.  I'm not even sure the desire to one day connect to a PC affects the choice of amp at all!


Anyway, I've been looking at things like the Blackstar ID CORE Stereo 10 V2 Guitar Combo Amplifier.  I think that the 20 V2 is the same thing just with more output but I may be wrong in that.


The truth however is that I really have no clue what I'm looking for so if anyone can help me out with advice based on the few facts I've given I would greatly appreciate it.  Also anyone with experience of that Blackstar amp itself and how they find it would be useful.



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It took many years and many amps to find what I like.  I used them in live performances, and after a decade or so I found what I like.  I've had the same amp for about 35 years.


I am not familiar with Blackstar amps.  I just looked them up.  If it works it is worth $100.  The tone of any inexpensive amp should be fine as a practice amp.  


I don't say what amp I have because it doesn't really matter,   What I like could be very different from what you like.  We're not all cut from the same cookie cutter.


Reading specs on paper doesn't reveal the tone.  Lots of watts are not important.  Because of the nature of sound and hearing, most people hear +9dB as double volume.  If you double the amp's power you get about 3dB.  So, to sound twice as loud as 20 watts, you need 160 watts.  And this doesn't add speaker efficiency to the equation.  That can make a big difference in apparent volume.


I will say I tend to lean towards tube tone, but tone is very subjective.  Go to a store and try as many as you can.  It all comes down to trying a few.

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7 minutes ago, Rockerbob said:

It took many years and many amps to find what I like.


 Go to a store and try as many as you can.  It all comes down to trying a few.


Thanks for the response I appreciate it and I do understand what you are saying.  As a real beginner I struggle a bit with that concept as I really don't know what I'm after and especially with the more 'feature rich' models out there I can't even be sure the sound is not horrible because I've no clue how to set it up.  (perhaps that's a reason to avoid the more complicated offerings)   On the plus side I'll not be spending a huge amount of money simply because it's for home practice so if mistakes are made they will not be horrendous ones. 


When looking for my first guitar I simply had to go for price range and looks because I couldn't actually play anything despite the 'best' advice being go play a few and pick the one you like.  I've promised myself that if I show enough progress after 2 years I'll buy my next guitar just by playing what's in the store and waiting till I find one that 'feels right'.  Perhaps the same approach will work for Amps too.

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6 minutes ago, paul7926 said:

Perhaps the same approach will work for Amps too.

The same approach should work.

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Hi Paul, even if you can't play guitar yet, the sales people in music stores are usually looking for any excuse to try out their gear.  You could take your guitar with you and ask them to demonstrate those amps in your price range using your own guitar. You could then pick the one with the tone you like, and/or the chorus, reverb etc that sound good to you.

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I have a couple of Fender combo/modeling amps, and I think for your purposes, something like this may be what you'll get the best use from.


Recently, I bought a Line6 AMPLIFi 30, which is one fabulous little amp!  It may be a bit pricier than what you're looking for, but consider:

  • It's small.  Really small. Fits on your coffee table, about the size of a lunch box.
  • It really is a 30W amp.  The sound is produced by four speakers, not one, not two.
  • An all-in-1 guitar amplifier and Bluetooth audio player


    High-quality, stereo Bluetooth speaker

    Compatible with Amplifi Remote app for iOS and Android devices


    200 amp, cabinet, stompboxes, and studio effects

    Lush-sounding wet/dry stereo effects

    Sleek, modern look that is living room approved

    Headphone output for silent playing

    Compatible with Line 6 FBV MkII foot controller for expanded functionality

A blurb from Sweetwater's page:


"Inside the Line 6 Amplifi 30 is a modeling guitar amplifier that lets you manipulate over 200 amps, cabinets, and effects. And you can do it all from your iOS or Android device. Simply download the free Amplifi Remote app and start tweaking away. It's also a full-featured Bluetooth speaker system that's perfect for jamming along with or for listening to. Just fire up your MP3 player, sync up, and enjoy your favorite tunes in true stereo. Line 6 loaded the Amplifi 30 with a 4-speaker full-range system. You'll love the stereo sound you get from the Amplifi 30.


This photo of mine should give you an idea of the size.



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