Amp recommendations for beginner? (1 Viewer)

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I did a search and the amp threads seemed to be a little old. So I wanted to see if anyone had some strong recommendations on something out there for beginners. I'm looking at the Roland Microcube. Looks to be pretty versatile and has some effects for fun. Anyone have any learned opinions one way or the other?
 

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If you want small and super portable while still sounding decent the micro cube is good. If you want something powerful enough to play with a drummer get the 50 watt Boss Katana for just a little more cash. It's a nice sounding amp and you would have no trouble playing with a band.
 

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I did a search and the amp threads seemed to be a little old. So I wanted to see if anyone had some strong recommendations on something out there for beginners. I'm looking at the Roland Microcube. Looks to be pretty versatile and has some effects for fun. Anyone have any learned opinions one way or the other?
I think for any amp choice you need to determine what you want to do with it and what kind of sound you want from it. If 99% of the use is going to be you, sitting in a room by yourself, you don't need to worry about needing power/wattage or how easily the unit is portable. If you are going to be moving it around, portability matters and you should consider that - but if you aren't, there's no reason to be concerned about it.

Practice amps these days have on-board effects, tuners, even some interface. But the traditional analysis is wattage, solid-state versus tube, and whether you want two-channels. Most guitar players, rock style, prefer a two-channel tube amp . . . but those can be pretty pricey (at least twice or three times the cost of a similar solid-state, low watt practice amp). So if cost is key, it's probably better to go solid-state.

You certainly don't need anything more than 15 watts on a practice amp, but amps these days have wattage selectors, so you can get a 10, 15, or 20 watt amp, but have the selector on 1.5 watts most of the time so that you can have your pickup and EQ levels up but still keep the overall volume down. If good tone at very low volume is critical to you (if you have a small space or house that shares walls with neighbors), the ability to do wattage selection might be helpful.

I don't know about on-board effects, I suppose that can make it fun to play around with as a beginner, but if you can't play that well, a chorus or flange isn't going to make you play any better. I always preferred a bit of distortion and gain (not too much) over any processed effect anyway - so having a two-channel amp took care of that. But I think you can get some crunch from the on-board processing they have these days. Personally, I'd look at something from Fender or Orange over Roland. It could just be brand bias but Roland was always a keys/synth company in my mind.

And I highly recommend getting a tuner foot pedal instead of using an on-board tuner or external device. With the foot pedal, you're already lined through the tuner all the time (it's on stand-by / pass-through mode until you step on it to turn it on and you can adjust your tuning right there where you were standing). The Boss chromatic tuner pedal is what I use (it's indestructible, lasts forever and is about $100 new but often available used) but there are (much) cheaper models - just make sure it is setup to allow you to have it in line and play through it all the time (bypass mode). Keeping your guitar in tune even through a single practice session is helpful and being able to tune on the fly with a foot pedal is much more convenient than having to go over to the amp and work the on-board tuner, or to unplug from the amp and into a stand-alone, external tuning device (despite their appealing cost).
 
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Yes, Marshall is the brand name that is trusted by most!

I would say, save up and buy a Fender combo amp. A Fender combo amp can take you from your garage to any stage with help with a PA system. It will cost a little bit more, but you don't have to every buy an amp again.

You can Amazon search this one if you like. Fender Champion 100 - 100-Watt Electric Guitar Amplifier



You just can't go wrong with Fender. Jimmy Hendrix to Kurt Cobain used Fender.
 
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Thanks for the input.

Yes, this is 100% home use, but I also don't want something huge that takes up a lot of space. Just because I don't have to move it doesn't mean I don't want it to be movable.

I don't know if headphone jacks are standard on all of these, but I need that too.
 

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Thanks for the input.

Yes, this is 100% home use, but I also don't want something huge that takes up a lot of space. Just because I don't have to move it doesn't mean I don't want it to be movable.

I don't know if headphone jacks are standard on all of these, but I need that too.
I think headphone jacks are pretty standard on low-watt practice amps.
 

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Yeah it really depends if you want an amp that can hang in the occasional band setting while being small/quiet enough for home use, or if you want a dedicated practice amp for the home. The latter will probably come with effects and head phone jacks. The former might be more simple but could arguably be a better amp. For instance, a low wattage tube amp such as a Fender Blues Jr can really pump out some sound and has awesome tone even at low volumes. But it's a simple tool with no headphone jack or digital effects.
 

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Yeah it really depends if you want an amp that can hang in the occasional band setting while being small/quiet enough for home use, or if you want a dedicated practice amp for the home. The latter will probably come with effects and head phone jacks. The former might be more simple but could arguably be a better amp. For instance, a low wattage tube amp such as a Fender Blues Jr can really pump out some sound and has awesome tone even at low volumes. But it's a simple tool with no headphone jack or digital effects.
The Fender Mustang 1 appears to be the most like the Roland Micro-Cube as far as capabilities go (including USB). At $120, it looks like a nice little practice amp. https://shop.fender.com/en-US/guitar-amplifiers/contemporary-digital/mustang-i-v.2/2300100000.html
 

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My son has a Microcube, among the amps he has. After going over my head with some shirt about sound texture and whatnot, I demanded he spoke English, and said it's a good amp for what it is, a small portable amp.

If battery-power is not a concern, look at the Fender Champion 20. Small 20-watt amp that runs around $100.00.
 

superchuck500

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My son has a Microcube, among the amps he has. After going over my head with some shirt about sound texture and whatnot, I demanded he spoke English, and said it's a good amp for what it is, a small portable amp.

If battery-power is not a concern, look at the Fender Champion 20. Small 20-watt amp that runs around $100.00.
The Champion looks good too. I think the difference between the Champion and the Mustang is that the Mustang has more on-board features, USB, tuner, processing, etc. But the Champion has effects too.

I didn't realize these amps had on-board effects (like multiple distortion choices). I would have loved that when I was a beginner.
 

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The Fender Mustang 1 appears to be the most like the Roland Micro-Cube as far as capabilities go (including USB). At $120, it looks like a nice little practice amp. https://shop.fender.com/en-US/guitar-amplifiers/contemporary-digital/mustang-i-v.2/2300100000.html
I bought my nephew one of the Mustang v1 amps for Christmas last year when my sister bought him a guitar. I did lots of research about about beginner guitar amps before settling on the Mustang v1. He loves it and enjoys playing with the effects more so than actually playing the guitar. It was well worth the $120 for him and most other beginning guitarists.

My other nephew got a new electronic drum set, so I bought him a Powerwerks PW100T portable PA for it. It has a much louder output level than the smaller 20 watt Mustang, but my drummer nephew doesn't turn it up past half way. When we were setting it up, his comment was, "UNCLE ED!! IT IS TOO LOUD!!!" I told him, "No Drew, it is just right." I love my sister!! We have since added in a 200 watt 12" Subwoofer and it shakes the house when he starts hammering away. Just right!!
 

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Nice. You can rock your face off with that.

My current rig is an Orange Rocker 15, two-channel tube, single speaker. Certainly all I need - but these days I'm pretty much mostly acoustic. Don't fire the amp up very often.
 

BroKV

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Nice. You can rock your face off with that.

My current rig is an Orange Rocker 15, two-channel tube, single speaker. Certainly all I need - but these days I'm pretty much mostly acoustic. Don't fire the amp up very often.
Love Orange, great sound and they look soooo good. Mesa to melt faces off though.
 

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