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I am a beginner guitar player(9 months). So I bought a very cheap amp, which does not even have any gain controls.

Now to get any new tones, I have 3 options.

  1. Buy a real amp.
  2. Use my previous amp along with pedals.
  3. Buy an audio interface and use a guitar amp simulator on my pc and then send the output of my pc to my previous amp.

Which one will you suggest to a beginner on a tight budget of Rs. 7000($70-80) ?

My guitar is a second hand Strat copy.

  • For practice or recording you can't beat an amp simulator for price. You simply can't achieve tones like a simulator without spending a lot of money on amplifiers, sound damping, microphones, cables, etc. The only reason to buy an amplifier is if you need to jam live with a band. – J... May 22 at 14:32
  • @J... I am thinking of buying the Blackstar ID Core 10/20 as it also has a usb interface built in. Is that a good idea? – Harshit Joshi May 22 at 17:20
  • For you? I don't know. Maybe. You haven't told us how you play, what you intend to do with the amp, or what your goals are. – J... May 22 at 18:00
  • @J... I am a beginner player. Can play most of the open and barre chords. I am inspired by classic rock(Hendrix, Pink Floyd etc.) so I would like to practice playing their solos. As for goals, I don't have any as of now. – Harshit Joshi May 23 at 5:05
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The recommendation would depend on several factors.

  • do you ever plan on playing with other musicians outside of your bedroom? Then the PC/ amp sim solution is a big hassle. You don't want to drag your PC to every rehearsal.
  • does the amp that you own have a halfway-decent speaker? If not, all the pedals and amp sims in the world won't help you, your tone will be garbage.
  • do you plan on doing any home recording? Then an audio interface will be needed anyway at some point (as well as decent monitor speakers and/ or headphones), and the amp sim option becomes a byproduct.
  • what's the used gear market like where you live? Can you get a used, decent practice amp (maybe with amp sims and effects built in) for the money you want to spend? Can you get a used, decent multieffect/ amp sim unit for the money you want to spend?
  • what range of sounds are you looking for? 80$ will buy you two, maybe three cheap specialized pedals. Distortion is a must, and then... reverb? Delay? What could a multieffect pedal get you, and, again, can you afford one? Or would you be happy with one good clean sound and one good distorted sound? A decent practice amp with a clean/ distorted switch and no other bells and whistles might be easier to get for little money.

If you can live with the overall sound of your current amp, my personal preference would be to get a multieffect unit and hook it up to your amp; that's flexible and portable. Hope that helps.

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You can consider the following amps. All around a 100$.

Fender Champion 20

A good amount of amp models, mostly fender amps sims, but a few Vox models for good measure. Really decent amount of in-built effects. The effects are basic but good enough for a player who is just getting his/her feet wet.

Blackstar LT-ECHO 10w Practice Amp

what is nice is this amp has two speakers, so you can have your backing tracks go trough one speaker and your guitar trough the other. really nice feature that. It has a in-built delay, but not much in the way of in-built effects.

Orange Amplifiers Crush12

This amp is only a one-channel amp. It has really nice cab emulator features. You cannot hook it up to a bigger cab though, which is a real bummer. A very nice 6 inch speaker can be surprisingly loud

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  • Thanks for the recommendations. In India, the fender champ 20W costs almost double to that of lt echo 10. The orange one is not available. So I was considering the blackstar lt echo 15 vs id core 10. The id core 10 has in inbuilt audio interface but is a bit more expensive. Also is there a lot of difference between 10/15W amps? – Harshit Joshi May 22 at 9:34
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    The wattage quoted does't really give much of an indication of how loud it might be. It will depend aso on the efficiency of the speaker. I've heard 5w amps that are louder than 20w amps. Also bear in mind that double the wattage (in a light bulb, for example) only gives 50% more light. – Tim May 22 at 11:28
  • this is probably going to be a better bet than trying to buy a interface and a program like amplitube. – Neil Meyer May 22 at 13:01

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