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practice/starter amps? (cheap?)
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Guitars, Basses, Amps & FX  
Author practice/starter amps? (cheap?)
So my 10-year-old daughter is getting a Squier Strat and my 11-year-old son is getting a Dean Bass for Christmas. I'm looking for an amp or amps for them. I find amps in the $40-$60 range on the Craigslist, Guitar Center has its Behringers and Ibanez, and the cool little guitar shop down the street has some 3w Orange Micro Crush amps for $69 and a 12w Orange Crush PiX that looks nice for $90.

Any thoughts on something to get the kids started? I know Orange is known for the tube amps, but are these little guys any good? Is a used Fender or Peavey on Craigslist for $60 going to be any good? Anything I should look for or look out for?

I have a little Peavey practice amp as well as one of those teeny Dan Electro amps. Both work okay. The sound isn't phenomenal but passable and if you're using a squire it'd probably be just fine. Perhaps you should consider getting something that's a step up from one of the teeny amps so you won't have to buy another amp when your daughter finds a group to rock out with.
.. As far as things to look out for, I'd just check the standards. Do the pots make noise when you turn them? Does the input jack work without shorting? Perhaps a headphone out would be helpful for others in the household..
Thanks Valis.
Since we're not looking at big-time quality here, would a 12-20w amp for a guitar also work for a bass?
Probably. I use my little Peavey amp (about 10 watts) for my guitar, bass, and even modular at times. It works fine. The signal sounds a little hot to me even when using unamplified instruments. It kind of reminds me of the sound you get out of those cheap behringer mixers but it's fine, imho, if you just want something to practice to that's small and easy

.. Sorry, I missed that the amp was for both kids in my earlier post.
Peavey Micro Bass amp is surprisingly good and can be found used cheap (local Guitar Center has a used one for $55). Looks for the Made in USA version, but the Chinese one is ok too.
Those little Pignose amps are fun, portable too. Not a tonal beast by any means, but ok for practicing scales and such.

Or even maybe a Pod?
I have a fender champion 600 which is 150 bucks new, 100 used- a little more than the solid state practice amps but I use this little champ as much if not more than my deluxe reverb because its such a fun fantastic sounding little amp.
Danotranto wrote:
I have a fender champion 600 which is 150 bucks new, 100 used- a little more than the solid state practice amps but I use this little champ as much if not more than my deluxe reverb because its such a fun fantastic sounding little amp.

Hey I like the look of it. It has two inputs "high" and "low." Does that mean it could be used with a bass as well as a guitar? Lastly, it doesn't have all the tone and gain control knobs that other amps have. Will this make any difference? Is volume all one really needs?

Edit: Aha, reading more about it I see that the inputs are low and high GAIN. Not for different instruments...
I dont know how well it will hold a bass for practice...a cheap practice bass amp will suit that much better, but for guitar these little amps are hard to beat even with just one knob. plus you can screw around and mod them for fun.
I found a Fender Frontman PR241 15w amp on Criagslist for $50. If it's in good condition, would something like that be worth saving some money on versus, say, a new 12w Orange or Vox amp that's closer to $100?
For 50 bucks I dont think you can go wrong
The Roland Cube series sounds ok. I just picked up a CM-30, which is actually a small monitor, that could maybe give a wider range suitable for guitar and bass. Obviously probably not as good as a dedicated guitar or bass amp, but if you are trying to compromise and want something for double duty, it might work, but its designed for low-impedance signals.

There are a bunch of guitar and bass amps in the Cube line, and I have a friend who uses a Cube guitar amp and it sounds ok
I've had a couple of the Fender Frontman amps, they sound decent and 10-15W is more than enough loudness for a kid. smile
best is to go for a guitar amp and a bass amp
when i first bought a bass when i was 17 or 18 a store said take a keyboard amp it more versatile, so bass didn't sound like bass and guitar either
but that was 17 years ago

for small guitar amp i've a ibanez valbee, pretty good for the price.
second the fender champion 600 re-issue. i had one for a couple of years and loved it. great tone.
Thanks for the responses. I ended up coming home with an Orange Crush 12L for guitar and a Peavey Max 126 for bass. Spent a little more than I meant to ($85 for the Orange and $75 for the Peavey) but it will be worth it. I restrung my Squier Strat that someone gave me years ago and tried to learn some chords last night. The Orange sounds pretty nice. It doesn't have that nice heavy warmth that a bigger amp will have, but it will work fine. I think maybe I'll start taking guitar lessons with my daughter and get some use out of it as well.

line6 spider
We had our Christmas morning today -- the kids were at their mom's house on the 25th -- and here are the amps I got them, as well as the guitars.

The boy one has been playing 'Crazy Train' all morning.
SlayerBadger! Band Rockin' Banana!

Thanks again for the comments.

too cool
they look like their gonna have a blast thumbs up
looks awesome, love the hats
rock on!
I like the Crate Palomino tube amp. They can be found cheap on the secondary market and sound great. The features are very basic and construction is pretty solid.
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