What is a good brand for an electric guitar and amp?

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?

Chosen Answer:

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. 🙂
by: lostsoul
on: 28th December 09

This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to What is a good brand for an electric guitar and amp?

  1. Kasie says:

    Fender by far! 🙂

    Good luck!

  2. Alfonzo says:

    why did you put this question in Car Audio ??

  3. Scott says:

    First off, the people saying fender are obviously ignorant.
    Second off, why did you ask this in CAR audio? Lol.
    Anyway, I think a good amp would be Marshall.
    And as far as guitars go I’d go with Gibson. 🙂

  4. toddlewam says:

    ok
    hello im max ive been playin for a while now
    a nice kind of affordable guitar would definately be an epiphone les paul with the cherry sunburst colour

    and for an amp, all these other people are listing amps that arn’t amazing, your just paying for the name. i would go for a VOX amp. they are amazing value considering that the sound quality is soooo much better than a marshall or a fender. i would go for the valvetronix brand, probably a 30vt but if you cant afford the extra 30 quid then go for the 15vt. i have the 15 vt and it cost me 100 quid. the sound quality is absulutely amazing and it is completely fine for practicing. if that is all your boyfriend is going to do, practice, then get the 15vt, not the 30. this would probably be ok at small gigs aswell

    i hope this really helps and if you have any questions you can always e-mail me. toddlewam@yahoo.co.uk

    thanks, max

  5. Bargy says:

    Please don’t listen to the noobs saying buy a Fender, first. I would say for a really good, relatively inexpensive guitar, go with either the Schecters or the PRS guitars. I have both a gibson and a fender (the real made in US ones) and I have to say the PRS guitars have the same if not better quality and they are half the price. For an amp, I would buy a marshall. World famous for it’s tone. Or Hughes and Kettner. that one is good too.

  6. Naira says:

    A very nice gesture, but if you could I would probably just tell him and have him choose one. I’m sure he would appreciate it greatly, but you never know what someone’s taste in musical instruments are.

  7. lostsoul says:

    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. 🙂

  8. ceritis says:

    You can’t go wrong with an Epiphone Les Paul, It’s a great guitar for begginer and medium level players, For the amp I suggest you to look at Vox Valvetronix series

  9. Tim E. says:

    get him his favorite color. I like black because scratches and blemishes don’t show up as well. as far as brand goes Ibanez has a lot of great guitars at great prices, some of the higher end squire guitars are pretty nice too. just don’t buy the guitars that are 150.00 spend a little and you’ll get your money’s worth.

    go with a Peavey amp or a cheaper Marshall. if you want to blow his mind the buy him a B-52 tube combo amp. he’ll use that amp till he switches to a half stack. but a Marshall solid state would be really good too. good luck.

  10. Stan says:

    Just for the record, Fender is a great company…anyone saying differently needs to stay home and learn their pentatonics.

    A Fender Squire Tele..with a proper “setup,” and a Roland Cube Amp (solid state) or a Fender Blues Junior guitar amp would be great gifts

  11. ViNce says:

    It all depends on what he wants. I personally like Gibson so I bought a $400 Epiphone. (There cheaper model) My brother likes fender so he got a Fender “Strat pack” for about $300 this is a great deal because it also came with an amp and all the necessary cables. A cheep guitar is a First Fct about the same quality as a BC rich “warlock” only $70-$90 at Target or Toys-R-Us. The First Act also comes with an amp and cables.

    Now if you wanted an acoustic I love my Fender CD-90 nylon string only $150.

  12. Cedge says:

    First of all, make sure you buy it from a place that has a good exchange policy, because we guitar players are picky about our guitars. We like to try out and get a good feel for one before buying one.

    I don’t know what type of music he’s interested in, but Ibanez offers good quality guitars in the intermediate price range. And the Fender Stratocaster is a good quality choice in the $400 range. Epiphones are hit and miss. I’ve played quite a few poor quality ones, and quite a few good quality ones. So do your due diligence.

    As for amps; Line 6, Marshall, Vox, and Fender are all good name brands.

  13. Nonpartisan says:

    I would say stick with “solid black” finishes or his favorite color.

    Squire (Tele), Ibanez, and Epiphone are all good choices.

    If hes more into metal he will probably be better of with Epiphone or Ibanez though. I play metal and I use a Fender Tele but that’s because I modded mine to play more like a Gibson.

    For an amp you can go wrong with a 1×12 solid state combo amp. All that means its a amp that has a one twelve inch speaker and a head built in. Fender is a good brand to start out on.

    If he wants a different sound, he can upgrade with pedals.

    Try to get something with 70watts or higher.

  14. ddrum says:

    Honestly, for the most part you are getting some pretty bad answers, maybe because of the section you asked in. That is a great idea for a present and I know you would love to see him open a shiny new guitar on Christmas morning, but seriously that really is something he should pick out himself. It is a very personal thing. Just get him a gift card from Guitar Center if you have one in your area and then let him go pick out his own rig. You can go along and enjoy his excitement in doing this.

  15. bob says:

    definately squier by fender if you are looking for a cheap guitar

  16. joshpaniagua says:

    The absolute best route to go in this case is an ibanez guitar with a line6 spider 2 or 3 combo amp (since he’s just a beginner, something along the lines of 15 watts).
    Ibanez makes fantastic guitars for amazing prices. I’ve never been disappointed by one. Line6 isn’t the best way to go if you’re getting professional gear, but if you’re just practicing in your room, it pulls off decent distortion and nice little effects.
    Go to your local guitar center, ask for a Ibanez GRX20Z and the cheapest line6 spider series amp you can get. Just make sure you have about a $250-300 budget. He should be fine on picks and cables if he already plays.

  17. AudioNeedsCom says:

    Fender, Ibanez

    I would strongly recommend joining a community of recording enthusiasts like http://www.audioneeds.com – Forums are great because they’re free and there are usually tons of people there who are willing to answer your questions and help guide you toward the direction you want to head.

    I’m sure it’ll help 🙂

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