Tag Archives: amps

Find your ideal guitar amp

Amplification is important for all electric guitar players to get right. Finding the right sound can be like searching for the holy grail. Whether you already use built-in effects or prefer external pedals, amps are becoming so good these days that they might seem to make pedals obsolete. However many friends of mine (myself included) would be hard pressed to give up their trusty pedals and rely solely on what an amp offers.

That said, I love the distortion from a Marshall amp when coupled with a Gibson guitar: it creates a good, solid, universal tone. But Marshalls aren’t cheap. The Marshall MG series seem like good value, though finding one in stock to play in a guitar shop in Raleigh is like trying to find rocking horse poo! Most guitar shops sell various brands, and some specialise in used amps. From experience I can also recommend the Roland cube- they are cheaper than Marshalls.

Whatever amp you are considering, or even if you’re wanting a head and speaker setup, my only advice is that you MUST check out the sound with your guitar in person before buying. It’s also a perfect opportunity to feel the weight and size of your amp (generally the larger the speaker the heavier the amp)- is it portable, will you be able to take it to gigs or open mic nights with ease? Do not just order online, you are chancing disappointment and a lot of wasted money.

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Accessorise your guitar life

Where to buy useful stuff besides guitars

Most guitar shops stock many of the accessories you will need, but it can be nice to seek out a specialist store. They stock a wider range of products in their niche. They offer an excellent opportunity for you to geek out, find new brands and models, and get an expert opinion.

For electronic equipment including an extensive range of cables, try TigerDirect on Capital Blvd (they also sell online).

Need some beats, crashes, and tinkles to accompany your riffs? 2112 Percussion is a local percussion store.

Another drum shop, The Music Emplorium in Durham, stocks a range of international instruments.

For a unique sound you can order custom compressors from Regular John Recording.

For amplifiers, including repairs ETEK Electronics, Holly Springs.

You might also like this post dedicated to local audiovisual equipment rentals.

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Help, my guitar is broken!

Many guitar shops offer repair services or sell protective cases for your instrument, but there are some businesses here in Raleigh that specialise in repairing damaged guitars. They might also be able to build or replace a part.

Some, like Jeffrey Earle, specialise in building beautiful custom guitars – see also here.

For repair of electronic accessories like guitar or bass amps see the Mad Science Works.

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