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What is the best guitar/amp setup for a Kid (and me)?
September 14, 2006 7:07 PM   Subscribe

So I'm thinking about getting this for my kid on his birthday. Wondering if we can do better and also.....

He's just turning 8 years old. The guitar fits him-he's played it at the shop. My questions are:
1. Is this the best "small" guitar for the money (under $200)?
2. What is the best amp that I can get for him for under or around $200.

We'll be sharing the amp because mine sucks. (It's a Marshall G100R CD sitting on top of a beautiful vintage sunn 4x12 cabinet.) Any small (inexpensive) amp that can be crystal clear and drive hard occasionally, would be awesome. Also, a headphone jack is a must. My favorite amp of all time is a Fender twin reverb, and also FWIW, I have about $800 in credit at guitar center.

Thanks in advance, this is really exciting.
posted by snsranch to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I know nothing about guitars or amps. I did have to buy a friend an amp for a gift and was told by his teacher and another independant knowledgable person to get a (this is where I am going to screw it up) pig something or pignosed something amp. They said it was great fro practice and playing. I did get it, but cannot find the reciept nor has my friend answered his phone.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:50 PM on September 14, 2006


Not a snark, why don't you start him off on acoustic? My impression is that small acoustic guitars tend to be higher quality for the price than small electric guitars.

Can't help with the guitar, but Behringer amps are very inexpensive & decent quality. Nothing like a Fender, or even Marshalls necessarily, but probably 1/4th of the price.
posted by devilsbrigade at 8:04 PM on September 14, 2006


Yep, he's been playing a "FirstAct" ala toys R us acoustic for about a year. So even though he's just turning 8, he's not exactly a beginner. I would just let him use my stuff, but he's not a big kid. I'll check on the Behringers, but please keep the comments coming!
posted by snsranch at 8:16 PM on September 14, 2006


Do you know anyone that works in a music shop, or know any musos that regularly spend money at a partcular store? If that's the case, they'll probably be willing to give you discounts, so you'll have a bigger budget to work with.

I don't know alot about guitars, but FWIW, in my experience most brand name guitars in this price range are mmuch of a muchness really.

With regard to the amp, different amps will sound different with your different guitars, so it might be worth taking them down to the music shop and plugging. Let them know your budget and ask them if you can try it out, any good music retailer will be glad to let you.
posted by cholly at 8:50 PM on September 14, 2006


Unless you definitely want to buy new, why not look on craigslist or the local artsy mag classifieds for used gear? I'm a drummer not a guitarist, but when I bought my last set I was able to find a used kit in excellent condition for less than half of what I would have paid for it new. Lots of guitarists who have played for a year or two are looking to upgrade their equipment and are willing to sell their old stuff cheap.
posted by btkuhn at 3:01 AM on September 15, 2006


Honestly, unless something prevents you from spending a couple hours at the store, go do so, and settle it that way.

Guitar: play a few scale electrics in that price range, and use your judgement as a guitarist. At $200, you're looking for the guitar that has the least wrong with it—make sure the action feels decent, the devices aren't going to fall off, the intonation is decent up at the 12th and 18th frets. I'd imagine you'll find a couple that stand out as a better overall production than others. Get one of those.

Amp head that sounds great clean but will get dirty? That's how I'd describe my Fender Deville combo, but I don't know what the going rate is for a standalone head. Again, try a few things in the $2-300 range and see what sticks.

I feel that you really ought to get hands-on when you're dealing with the lower end of production—there's more room for pronounced varation in quality at the $200 level than there is at a $1K.
posted by cortex at 9:27 AM on September 16, 2006


Thanks for the great answers guys.

Cortex, that's exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks!
posted by snsranch at 5:46 PM on September 16, 2006


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