when i first started playing i used a poo load of different things to get a sound that i thought would be cool. of coarse i didn't know what that sound was exactly so i went through a lot of gear. started with an ibanez gsrm, sold that and got a schecter elite stiletto 4. i also got some ampeg (5 pro) gear and their 8x10. i played through that for a long time and then i bought an ampeg tupe preamp. i then bought an ibanez srx705. i had a few other things just sitting around that i didnt play. THEN i did something weird and traded all my gear in (cept the 810) for a 400+. that was a really good decision. my wife bought me a fender marcus miller 4 string that i still have (with an audere and some rio grande pickups). i played through that for a long time. i just bought an aria pro2 with one pickup. 100 bucks on CL. passive. i set my amp sliders and knobs "to mesa flat". it sounds fantastic and i dont mess with the knobs at all because of that. when i had more options i messed with knobs all day long and while that was fun, i never found what i was looking for. having a much more simple setup with one sound is for me, more beneficial because i can concentrate on PLAYING and not how everything sounds.