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$300 Guitar Amps

Discussion in 'Off Topic [DB]' started by Steve Freides, Dec 13, 2018.


  1. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    $300 guitar amps.

    I've got an 8th grade guitar student who has borrowed by Peavey Envoy 110 and it's done everything he needs. They still make something very similar, still about the same money

    His Mom wants to get him an amp for a present - he's got chops, plays well, is learning theory as well as guitar from me. He needs his own amp.

    She asked me two questions which I'll ask the group: Solid State, Hybrid or Tube?

    Fender Mustang GT-40, which is a 2 x 6.5" 40 watt

    or what else might you suggest?

    Needs to be new - the entire family doesn't like used anything.

    Thanks in advance.

    -S-
     
  2. dxb

    dxb

    Dec 25, 2016
    Its hard to get a decent tube amp new for $300. The Boss Katana line is a popular alternative though. The 50w 1x12 version goes for a little over $200.
     
  3. A serious student like that would probably appreciate a USED higher quality amp. That 300$ can get some very decent things on the used market I would think.

    Obviously that complicates actually finding something because you need to know what everything is worth, but mom's are always willing to go extra miles!
     
    james condino and MDrost1 like this.
  4. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    -S-
     
  5. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    The Boss Katana is one of the ones she asked about - I guess she found that in looking around at the available choices.

    -S-
     
  6. ooops my bad. I missed that.

    Too bad, he could resonably get something good for a lifetime at that price point.
     
  7. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Is this a for-at-home/personal-monitor Double Bass amp? I know it sounds diminutive, but the Roland Cube BASS battery amp is a pretty handy and surprisingly powerful device.

    Edit: Sorry, bad reading... This is for a guitar... I'd still suggest taking a look at the Roland line up. Their CUBE Street might be the ticket for his guitar.
     
  8. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    It will be his one and only guitar amp, as my Peavey is mine. It's good enough for a small gig, and sounds good enough to be mic'ed for something larger. He does play out, and he's borrowed my Peavey a lot.

    -S-
     
  9. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    40-year guitar gearhead here.

    They are really holding themselves back by insisting on new and <$300. In that price range, new, there is a bunch of hissy crap.

    Go to used and there's amps like the Fender Super Champ XD2, Fender Pro Jr., Fender Blues Jr., Egnater Tweaker 15, Vox Night Train and BlackStar HT Studio 20, all hanging at GuitarCenter.com for $300 and under.
     
  10. dxb

    dxb

    Dec 25, 2016
    A 50w Katana will be similar to that Peavey but probably a step up in sound quality. Boss is owned by Roland so the Katana could be described as an updated Cube with built-in Boss effects.

    All the big brands like Vox, Marshall and Fender have modeling amps for under $300, but other than the Katana, most seem to have mixed reviews. The only modeler I own is a first gen Fender Mustang which is fine for practicing but it never sounded all that great.
     
  11. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    Thanks for all the advice and opinions - I've passed it along.

    -S-
     
  12. dxb

    dxb

    Dec 25, 2016
    I wish I could've recommended some good tube amps but the budget would need to be at least $500-600. Also with tube amps you get fewer tonal options compared to a modeling amp. I think modeling is a good choice though because you get a lot for your money and the sound quality is pretty good on the latest generation.
     
    Steve Freides likes this.
  13. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    If you'll forgive me being argumentative, I have owned my Peavey Envoy 110 for, I'm guessing, 10 years or more and have no complaints about it - have played it in the pit for a couple of shows, mic'ed for some, and it does everything I need. I wouldn't describe it as "hissy crap."

    FWIW, I got my first electric guitar and amp in 1965 as a had-been-playing-for-2-years 10-year old.

    -S-
     
  14. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    @Steve Freides, call 'em like you see 'em. If the Peavey works for you then smile and flip the switch.

    Guitar gearheads make molehills out of anthills. Please accept my apology for falling into that trap (again). In the end the similarities between your Peavey and my home-built guitar amps are much greater than their differences.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
    Steve Freides likes this.
  15. dxb

    dxb

    Dec 25, 2016
    To be fair, nearly every sub-$300 tube amp I've tried did sound pretty bad. I think its because tubes add a lot of cost so they have to cut corners somewhere else. But on a solid state or modeling amp they can spend that money on a better speaker and better construction.

    I do have an old Ibanez TSA5 tube amp that I love and it was only $180. Unfortunately its no longer being sold new and also its not loud enough to play with a live band. Fun little bedroom amp though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  16. jlmorgan84

    jlmorgan84 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2014
    Clemson, SC
    The Tech21 trademark 30 is a great solid state amp designed to emulate tubes. It's basically a sansamp with speakers. I think retail is around $300. It has less bells and whistles than the Katana, but to me that's a feature for a student. With a modeling amp it's easy to waste a ton of time dialing in models only to come up with something that sounds some version of terrible.
     
  17. dxb

    dxb

    Dec 25, 2016
    Is that amp still available? Its looks like it might be discontinued. As for the Katana, the controls are simple with rotary dials for the different amp modes and effects. You can download presets and tweak stuff through the Boss app if you want but its not necessary. The amp works great out of the box.
     
  18. jlmorgan84

    jlmorgan84 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2014
    Clemson, SC
    Whoops, my mistake. I didn't realize it had been discontinued. Anyway it's a great little amp.
     

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