Thursday, May 5

Yet another reason to hate Guitar Center

Sorry about the extreme lack of content in the last few weeks; I have been busy, but most of that "work" has involved playing a lot of Fallout: New Vegas. It's awesome.

But I was thinking about this earlier today. I have 4 amps in my possession right now, though I'm not sure which ones I'm going to keep. Probably the best thing I could do is sell all of them and pick up a really, really nice combo, like a Matchless or a /13 or something, so that's kind of the long-term plan. I just have to figure out how to do that without being without an amp for X amount of time. But I was looking at one of them when I remembered one of the greatest lie I was ever told in a Guitar Center:

"It's a good practice amp!"

When I had no idea what I was doing with an electric guitar, that statement made sense. I need to practice, right? Why shouldn't I have a practice amp? The amp in question here is a 25 watt Peavey Transtube amp. It's got lots of effects and a "vintage" setting that kind of sort of almost makes it play like a tube amp, but not really at all. But the salesman said that when I got better, I could get a bigger amp! And until then, I could use this one to practice with! Woo!

What I didn't think about at the time, and what honestly took me buying a real amp first to realize, is why would I ever want to practice with something I wasn't going to use live? That little's not awful. That would be unfair. But it's not good, either. I haven't used it since college when it was my only amp. It doesn't sound like me. It makes me sound bad. I plug into anything with tubes and everything is instantly warmer and more awesome. But why would I want to practice on something that makes me sound bad, and that would necessitate me changing the way I play or all of my gear's settings just to sound decent when it's not the way I'm going to play live?

The other thing is, 25 watts is plenty for almost anything. Did the salesman foresee me rocking a full stack in a club? I mean, maybe he did, that's what 99% of his customers want to do. They also buy Dimebag Darrell guitars and Boss Metal Zone pedals to go in front of those 250 watt solid-state full-stacks. Awful.

I think it's all a ruse to sell awful amps to naive teenagers or completely clueless parents, and either way, it's despicable. The people who know good tone will buy the premium gear that they have and not even glance at the crap. The only people who will think twice will have to be talked into it, as they're going to gravitate towards the name-brand stuff if they know anything at all, or else they will have to be led towards whatever they end up buying. If you're okay with leading helpless, gullible people into paying significant amounts of money for poor tone, then I guess it's on your soul, Guitar Center. For shame.

1 comment:

  1. Jepp.
    Actually 25Watt Solid State is too little to gig - did it once. Even if the amp sounds decent at bedroom level it will sound harsh at giglevel, opposite to what tubeamps do.