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Which amplifier do you recommend for home practice (to a beginner with a PDF105)?

Laney Prism P35
0 (0%)
Roland Cube 20-XL
4 (66.7%)
Vox VT20
2 (33.3%)

Total Members Voted: 6

Author Topic: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner  (Read 6309 times)

Offline PDF105 Guy

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Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner
« on: August 31, 2013, 05:44:39 AM »
I purchased a PDF105 Quilted Black guitar, which is being checked out by my local guitar shop this weekend.  (It came with neither a manual nor a cable nor a warrantee card.)

For a beginner playing in his living room, which amplifier(s) are decent? Do I need a special cable for the piezo and humbucker pickups?
(For my Ovation, a Stagg acoustic amplifier was good enough.)

Thanks!

--Guy
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 01:15:22 AM by PDF105 Guy »
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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner

Offline sybersitizen

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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2013, 09:42:15 AM »
Hi there, and welcome to the forum.

Quote
For a beginner playing in his living room, what amplifier(s) are decent?

That's an almost unanswerable question. I've owned and used plenty of amps over the years, the majority of which could be called decent... but today I use a Roland Cube 30 for playing at home or at small gigs. I can recommend something like that - a modeling amp with built-in effects. They're simple, affordable, and versatile. Eventually, after you identify the kind of sound you want, the search for effects and amps can be as long and detailed as you care to make it.

Quote
Do I need a special cable for the piezo and humbucker pickups?

Special in the sense that it needs a 1/4 stereo plug on one end and two 1/4 mono leads on the other. Shouldn't be hard to find. You also have the option of using a standard mono cable for blending the mags and piezos through the same amp, but that's a different sound.
'01 Fly Deluxe|'69 SG Standard|'69 EB-3|Pignose Strat|Savannah SGO-16CE|Glen Burton GE47|Dean Vendetta 7-String|Loog 3-String|Fishman Aura Spectrum|Roland Amplifiers

Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner

Offline PDF105 Guy

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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2013, 11:55:36 AM »
Thanks for your help! :)

Based on your suggestion of a basic modeling amplifier, I'm looking at selecting one from these three
The Laney P35 meets my needs.

Any comments as to the sound of the Roland or any of the Laneys  (or to a Vox VT 20 or 30 or 50) would be great!

Thanks again!  :)

P.S. I posted a note about this discussion at the Amplifier subforum: http://forums.parkerguitars.com/index.php/topic,14654.msg131799.html#msg131799
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 03:08:01 AM by PDF105 Guy »
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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner

Offline sybersitizen

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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2013, 12:15:05 PM »
^ I haven't used any of those... but I should also mention that the Cube 30 (along with other Cube models, I guess) has a direct input that bypasses all effects for a 'clean' unaltered sound. That could optionally be used for the separate piezo signal.
'01 Fly Deluxe|'69 SG Standard|'69 EB-3|Pignose Strat|Savannah SGO-16CE|Glen Burton GE47|Dean Vendetta 7-String|Loog 3-String|Fishman Aura Spectrum|Roland Amplifiers

Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner

Offline PDF105 Guy

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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2013, 01:29:18 PM »
^ I haven't used any of those... but I should also mention that the Cube 30 (along with other Cube models, I guess) has a direct input that bypasses all effects for a 'clean' unaltered sound. That could optionally be used for the separate piezo signal.
It seems that Vox VT30s (and VT50s...) are also available used near me.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 03:08:52 AM by PDF105 Guy »
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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner

Offline iFly

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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2013, 01:00:18 AM »
I did a side by side comparison Vox AD50Vt and Fender Mustang 3.
I was set on buying the Fender until I pluged into the Vox.
The Vox now has a happy home, you really have to plug n play
To see what sounds the best to you.
Make your own dream...

Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner

Offline PDF105 Guy

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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2013, 03:52:58 AM »
"Total Guitar" magazine published a product comparison by Ed Mitchell, which preferred the Vox over both the Roland Cube and the Line 6 Spidey; the worst amplifier was the Laney.

A pdf reprint is hosted by Thomann:

Amazon or Parker failed to include a Y-cable for my PDF_105.
Planet Waves cables seem to be the only suitable cables (available from each of Amazon.uk and Thomann):
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 05:22:07 AM by PDF105 Guy »
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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner

Offline jester700

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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2013, 06:49:24 AM »
There are Y cables available in the "studio" section of music stores - they're used as effect insert cables on 1/4" patch bays.

I agree with the ideas above - a modeling amp gives you a taste of many different sounds. When you find YOUR sound, you can tweak it with whatever hand built tube amp the modeler was, well, modeling. Plus they generally have a CD input that runs clean. You can always get a separate "acoustic pedal" (I have Behringer and Zoom ones) to tweak the sound going into that.
 

Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner

Offline PDF105 Guy

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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2013, 12:26:55 PM »
I ordered a Vox VT20 from the closest store of a national chain, which had a price competitive with Thomann's (and better than Amazon or Amazon.uk).  :)
Here are some reviews of the Vox VT20+ on YouTube:
Others are listed when these are viewed.

The store also had Y cables in-stock, just as you stated!  :)
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 01:35:50 PM by PDF105 Guy »
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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner

Offline Bill

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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2013, 06:46:12 AM »
That ought to do the trick. all those models/effects should keep you busy awhile. I learned a lot from mine as far as what tone flavors are associated with which amps. Play with the presets, but dont get stuck on just using those. I often got better tone by "bypassing" the presets and noodling with the effects/gain manually.

In the future, consider getting a separate acoustic amp for the piezo. A fishman loudbox is cheap (especially used) and has 2 inputs so you can run your piezo and a mic to sing thorough.

That will certainly buy you some alone time at the house.  ;)

Enjoy !
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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner

Offline PDF105 Guy

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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2013, 12:08:05 PM »
[snip]
In the future, consider getting a separate acoustic amp for the piezo. A fishman loudbox is cheap (especially used) and has 2 inputs so you can run your piezo and a mic to sing thorough.

I have a Stagg 20-Watt acoustic amplifier, which I purchased for home practicing with my Ovation Celebrity (having a shallow body impairing its non-amplified sound).
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stagg-Watt-Acoustic-Guitar-Amplifier/dp/B000TGK078

Thanks for suggesting a Fishman loudbox.   :)

For Fishman loudboxes, some links to Amazon and then to Premier Guitar follow:
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 01:56:53 PM by PDF105 Guy »
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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner

Offline Demonhands

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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2013, 01:19:14 PM »
The roland Cube and the Vox you've mentioned are both really awesome practice amps.
I use a Line 6 spider 60w 2x10 for practice and small gigs now, but I have that Roland Cube 30 as well.
The Roland, as is par for their amps has incredibly clear clean channel and decent on board features.

Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner

Offline PDF105 Guy

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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2013, 02:16:45 AM »
Thanks for your comments.
Thanks also to the other participants, who've really helped me with my decision to purchase the Vox Valvetronix VT20+, which I'll pick up today! :)
The Roland Cube was a very close second choice.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 02:18:19 AM by PDF105 Guy »
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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner

Offline bembamboo

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Re: Amplifier for piezo and humbucker: PDF 105 beginner
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2013, 10:51:03 AM »
the price and accoutrements of the vox 20 are unbeatable for a starter.

other thoughts for others

mag pups-egnator rebel 20 15 watt tube head/half stack 112 cab-$799 new-amazon, used?.  made in china by a real tube amp designer.

piezo- roland portable ac60 stereo 550 new, 350 used-amazon
« Last Edit: September 12, 2013, 11:05:48 AM by bembamboo »