What is a good brand for an electric guitar amp?
I am buying my boyfriend an electric guitar and amp for his birthday. He is an average player and is still learning. I don’t want to get him a completely cheap beginners guitar because I know he will take his playing seriously and will improve. Any suggestions?? And also, what color? What else should I get with it?
First, do NOT go to Target or some other department store and get one of those crappy Fender Starcaster or First Act guitars. Very crappy. Go to a specialized music store. It doesn’t have to be a chain store like Guitar Center, but those stores usually have an updated and large inventory with various models. Also look at musiciansfriend.com, although, getting to see the guitar in person is better. Guitarcenter.com, also. Ask the employees in the store, they’re usually knowledgeable.
Second, Fender is actually a good brand. Really depends on your taste of music and looks of the guitar. I don’t usually associate Fender with genres like heavy metal, rather, with jazz, classic rock etc. Gibson is an all-arounder. Some other good brands I can think of are Ibanez, PRS, ESP, Godin, Epiphone (cheaper brand of Gibson that is made outside of U.S.), Dean, and Scheter. That’s all electric guitars. For acoustic and classical guitars, it’s a whole different game.
The two most influential electric guitars are arguably the Fender Stratocaster and the Gibson Les Paul. Many of these kinds of guitars come in different variations and originate from different countries from which they are made, but beware of the cheaper so-called “Special” versions that can cost ten times less than a standard version. They usually lack important elements. Ones that are made in the U.S. are often more expensive.
As for amps, Fender makes their own good amps. Marshall, Vox, Line 6, and a countless number of others and boutique brands are ones to consider.
Third, if I were your bf, I’d really appreciate a good tuner, extra strings, a strap, a scale and chord book (or electronic library), a hard-shell case or a good gig bag, a set of picks, a capo, a cleaning and polishing kit, or an effects pedal. If you got him all those things with the guitar and amp, it would be overkill. Just get one or two. Also, try to avoid guitars that are specifically labeled as a “starter/value/beginners/special/etc. pack” as these tend to be of lesser quality and come with less features.
Also, since I assume you don’t know exactly what kind of guitar to get (death metal-ish? jazzy?), get something along the lines of a Stratocaster or Les Paul. The copies made by other brands do just as well. In the end, it doesn’t really depend on the brand, but the guitar itself. Be sure to ask for some advise about specific features about the guitars you look at, and ask what style of music they best fit.
Hope that wasn’t too long and made you go tl;dr. 🙂
on: 28th December 09