The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Electric Guitars

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #16  
Old 01-13-2022, 11:35 AM
RickRS RickRS is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 195
Default

The Champion series amps are fun to play around with. Don't know if the 50XL is similar to the 40, but it is limited as a modeling amp. But for a bedroom player, messing with the dials instead of using preprogrammed profiles works fine. Least for me.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-13-2022, 12:51 PM
Brent Hutto's Avatar
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 5,643
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickRS View Post
The Champion series amps are fun to play around with. Don't know if the 50XL is similar to the 40, but it is limited as a modeling amp. But for a bedroom player, messing with the dials instead of using preprogrammed profiles works fine. Least for me.
It's like the Champion 40 with an upgraded speaker and one or two trivial differences (can't recall exactly) in the effects and models. But other than the speaker they are 99% the same.

Yeah, I don't have any interest in programmable modeling stuff or hooking up to a smartphone. In fact, I'm not sure I'll ever take mine beyond the "clean" and "crunch" settings.

My shopping list was pretty much:

1) Full size (i.e. 10" or 12") speaker
2) Good sounding clean tones
3) Some basic effects like reverb/delay/chorus without needing pedals
4) No more than about $250

So that kind of eliminated the Katana and Mustang style of programmable/downloadable modeling amps. And the Marshall one I had my doubts about the clean tones.

While I'm babbling about amps, I will say this. At the Guitar Center when I tried out a few different guitars their demo setup was a "EVH 5150" head on some kind of 2x12" cabinet. Let's just say if I had a bigger music room and a couple thousand bucks to spend I wouldn't be using a modeling amp...every guitar sounded 100% better through that big old amp and speakers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ras1500 View Post
"Do the Chromes last a good long while?"
They seem to last a long time for me...I change them once per year. The Chromes still sound OK when it's time to change. In general, I've found all brands of flat wound strings to last a long time. Unlike the strings on my acoustic guitars which I change every few months. FWIW I play each of my guitars a few hours per week.
I remember my first set of T-I flatwounds on my mandolin, I changed them after like 10-11 months and once the new ones were on I was like, "I just wasted 30 bucks". I honestly could not hear any difference in the brand new versus nearly year-old ones.

I've got a couple spare sets of the regular cheap D'Addarios but I just ordered a set of the 10-48 Chromes to try anyway!
__________________
Grabbed his jacket
Put on his walking shoes
Last seen, six feet under
Singing the I've Wasted My Whole Life Blues
---Warren Malone "Whole Life Blues"
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-15-2022, 08:50 PM
Brent Hutto's Avatar
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 5,643
Default

I'm still just 7 days into my Guitar Center 45-day return period but at this point I'm 99% certain I'll be sticking with my Schecter and not sending it back for something else.

It was truly amazing how many variations on the pickup heights and other setup details I ran through before finally finding the Goldilocks zone earlier today. It didn't really come together until I swapped out the 10-46 strings for an extremely similar set that was 9.5-44 gauges.

I've got some D'Addario Chromes coming that I'll try eventually but somehow or another when I put those 9.5-44's on there, made one final tweak of the pickup heights and action and spent another half-hour twiddling knobs on the amp it all came together and I heard the kinds of sounds I was imagining when I started this adventure a week ago.

I went back to GC the other day to pick up a gig bag and while I was there I briefly tried a variety of slightly higher priced guitars (nothing much over $500, still shopping in the shallow end of the price pool) and there were none of them I'd swap mine for even if they were cheaper. I seem to have bonded with the neck and fretboard, the sound was actually the last part of the puzzle to fall into place today.

There is still the outstanding issue of needing that switch with the broken shaft replaced but I peeked inside the wiring access panel and the switch is just sitting there with plenty of wire to pull it out and work on. I do not think it will take the GC repair guy more than a few minutes to swap the switch out and solder about 5-6 connections. I'll get them to do it some time when their waiting/turn-around time is reasonable (not right now, they are two weeks backlogged).

For as much as I'm in love with playing this guitar and as nice as the neck, fretboard surface and binding and the frets themselves are (they're much, much nicer IMO than the majority of guitars on the wall at GC) there are some little issues that betray its origins as a $299 retail Chinese factory guitar. The printed on "maple" finish is kind of silly. There's the snapped off end of the 3-way switch. The bridge and pickups are subtly misaligned about a millimeter right of being centered under the strings. And there are a couple of frets right near the neck/body joint that are not level, plus the bass side of the 2nd fret is sticking up just high enough to make the 6th string buzz when fretted at the 1st fret. It really feels to me like a strange amalgam of cheap bits put together in a way that somehow adds up to better than the sum of the parts.

I'd imagine, knowing myself, at some point I'll spend a lot more money on a "good guitar". But this one is more than nice enough to let me put that off for a year or two without feeling it is hindering my enjoyment.
__________________
Grabbed his jacket
Put on his walking shoes
Last seen, six feet under
Singing the I've Wasted My Whole Life Blues
---Warren Malone "Whole Life Blues"

Last edited by Brent Hutto; 01-16-2022 at 06:19 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01-16-2022, 07:18 AM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 42,682
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post
I'm still just 7 days into my Guitar Center 45-day return period but at this point I'm 99% certain I'll be sticking with my Schecter and not sending it back for something else.

It was truly amazing how many variations on the pickup heights and other setup details I ran through before finally finding the Goldilocks zone earlier today. It didn't really come together until I swapped out the 10-46 strings for an extremely similar set that was 9.5-44 gauges.

I've got some D'Addario Chromes coming that I'll try eventually but somehow or another when I put those 9.5-44's on there, made one final tweak of the pickup heights and action and spent another half-hour twiddling knobs on the amp it all came together and I heard the kinds of sounds I was imagining when I started this adventure a week ago.

I went back to GC the other day to pick up a gig bag and while I was there I briefly tried a variety of slightly higher priced guitars (nothing much over $500, still shopping in the shallow end of the price pool) and there were none of them I'd swap mine for even if they were cheaper. I seem to have bonded with the neck and fretboard, the sound was actually the last part of the puzzle to fall into place today.

There is still the outstanding issue of needing that switch with the broken shaft replaced but I peeked inside the wiring access panel and the switch is just sitting there with plenty of wire to pull it out and work on. I do not think it will take the GC repair guy more than a few minutes to swap the switch out and solder about 5-6 connections. I'll get them to do it some time when their waiting/turn-around time is reasonable (not right now, they are two weeks backlogged).

For as much as I'm in love with playing this guitar and as nice as the neck, fretboard surface and binding and the frets themselves are (they're much, much nicer IMO than the majority of guitars on the wall at GC) there are some little issues that betray its origins as a $299 retail Chinese factory guitar. The printed on "maple" finish is kind of silly. There's the snapped off end of the 3-way switch. The bridge and pickups are subtly misaligned about a millimeter right of being centered under the strings. And there are a couple of frets right near the neck/body joint that are not level, plus the bass side of the 2nd fret is sticking up just high enough to make the 6th string buzz when fretted at the 1st fret. It really feels to me like a strange amalgam of cheap bits put together in a way that somehow adds up to better than the sum of the parts.

I'd imagine, knowing myself, at some point I'll spend a lot more money on a "good guitar". But this one is more than nice enough to let me put that off for a year or two without feeling it is hindering my enjoyment.
You can always fix the little things with the Schecter. Schecter makes some fantastic guitars, especially once you hit that ~ $800 mark (same price point as PRS SE).

You mentioned it was made in China... is it stamped that on the guitar? I think those are made in Indonesia.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01-16-2022, 07:35 AM
Brent Hutto's Avatar
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 5,643
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dru Edwards View Post
You can always fix the little things with the Schecter. Schecter makes some fantastic guitars, especially once you hit that ~ $800 mark (same price point as PRS SE).

You mentioned it was made in China... is it stamped that on the guitar? I think those are made in Indonesia.
Yes, on the back of the headstock.

Looking back through the "Vault" on Schecter's web site there were two Made In Indonesia versions of the C-6 Elite over the past couple years. This one has basically the same specs as those, different colors and is Made In China.

The sales person at Guitar Center said "we just got that one a couple weeks ago" so I think the change from Indonesia to China was recent.

As an aside, just spending a little while looking at guitars on each of my two visits it seemed to me that some of the China and Indonesia made entry level electric guitars were nicer than I expected. The Squiers, even the Bullet model, were kind of cheap-and-cheerful but decently put together. And this Schecter plus the next model up (C-1 Platinum) feel in my hands like real guitars and not compromises.

If and when I do move my sights up a couple notches into that $600-$1,000 range I've got to say I'll be as interested in finding Schecters to try as I am in Fenders/Squiers.

The one exception to everything I said here was Epiphone. The Les Paul and SG Epiphones seemed kind of slapped together even up at the $500 or $600 price points. The pickups sounded harsh and honky, the finish was too glossy and glopped on and the little details just did not seem well sorted.

P.S. For me whether it's acoustic or electric guitars or even mandolins, the way an instrument balances and the way the neck, fretboard and frets work together in my hands are what really makes or breaks the whole package. I think Schecter's choices for neck/fretboard/frets are much more to my liking than Fender with the more curved radius, smaller frets, etc.
__________________
Grabbed his jacket
Put on his walking shoes
Last seen, six feet under
Singing the I've Wasted My Whole Life Blues
---Warren Malone "Whole Life Blues"
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 01-16-2022, 08:49 AM
Paleolith54 Paleolith54 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Desert Hills, AZ
Posts: 1,265
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post
Yes, on the back of the headstock.

Looking back through the "Vault" on Schecter's web site there were two Made In Indonesia versions of the C-6 Elite over the past couple years. This one has basically the same specs as those, different colors and is Made In China.

The sales person at Guitar Center said "we just got that one a couple weeks ago" so I think the change from Indonesia to China was recent.

As an aside, just spending a little while looking at guitars on each of my two visits it seemed to me that some of the China and Indonesia made entry level electric guitars were nicer than I expected. The Squiers, even the Bullet model, were kind of cheap-and-cheerful but decently put together. And this Schecter plus the next model up (C-1 Platinum) feel in my hands like real guitars and not compromises.

If and when I do move my sights up a couple notches into that $600-$1,000 range I've got to say I'll be as interested in finding Schecters to try as I am in Fenders/Squiers.

The one exception to everything I said here was Epiphone. The Les Paul and SG Epiphones seemed kind of slapped together even up at the $500 or $600 price points. The pickups sounded harsh and honky, the finish was too glossy and glopped on and the little details just did not seem well sorted.

P.S. For me whether it's acoustic or electric guitars or even mandolins, the way an instrument balances and the way the neck, fretboard and frets work together in my hands are what really makes or breaks the whole package. I think Schecter's choices for neck/fretboard/frets are much more to my liking than Fender with the more curved radius, smaller frets, etc.
I never bought a Schecter since I never found one I liked with 22 frets, but they've always been known for great necks.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 01-26-2022, 09:35 AM
Brent Hutto's Avatar
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 5,643
Default

After a couple weeks playing the Schecter every day there's one thing I've definitely learned...

Electric guitars are almost infinitely flexible but Every. Little. Single. Thing. Changes the sound.

You can get the most exquisite tone dialed in for a certain tune you're playing. Then you move the amp across the room or nudge the volume and tone pots o the guitar or, heaven forbid, flip the pickup selector and it's start over from scratch time. Maybe the new sound will be good, maybe bad but it won't be the same. Even for piddly little changes.

I like it! Every day is an adventure.

Put an acoustic guitar in my hands and unless the humidity has gone through the roof or the strings are worn out, it will either sound like it did yesterday or else I know my playing isn't up to snuff today. Things like different picks or different style of strings are just minor tweaks, a given guitar played by a given player has its basic, core tone that stays the same.
__________________
Grabbed his jacket
Put on his walking shoes
Last seen, six feet under
Singing the I've Wasted My Whole Life Blues
---Warren Malone "Whole Life Blues"
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 01-26-2022, 02:19 PM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2,947
Default

You donít have to plug the katana to a computer to get a good sound. You can dial some good tones straight off the panel and never connect to a computer.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 01-26-2022, 02:28 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 42,682
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post
After a couple weeks playing the Schecter every day there's one thing I've definitely learned...

Electric guitars are almost infinitely flexible but Every. Little. Single. Thing. Changes the sound.

You can get the most exquisite tone dialed in for a certain tune you're playing. Then you move the amp across the room or nudge the volume and tone pots o the guitar or, heaven forbid, flip the pickup selector and it's start over from scratch time. Maybe the new sound will be good, maybe bad but it won't be the same. Even for piddly little changes.

I like it! Every day is an adventure.

Put an acoustic guitar in my hands and unless the humidity has gone through the roof or the strings are worn out, it will either sound like it did yesterday or else I know my playing isn't up to snuff today. Things like different picks or different style of strings are just minor tweaks, a given guitar played by a given player has its basic, core tone that stays the same.
You're right about how easy it is to get a different tone on electric. When I'm playing electric, if I move even 1 foot the sound changes because I'm hearing the sound coming from the cab's speakers slightly different.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 01-26-2022, 02:46 PM
Brent Hutto's Avatar
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 5,643
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1neeto View Post
You donít have to plug the katana to a computer to get a good sound. You can dial some good tones straight off the panel and never connect to a computer.
Interesting comment!

In fact I did swap my Champion 50XL for a Katana 100 mk2 and after about 20-30 minutes I did find some really good knob settings using their preset Clean style.

I find the Katana is less boomy than the Fender on the low end and I can get it to sound good even though it's just 3-4 feet from a corner of the room. I also can use the 0.5 watt setting and have a full range of master volume control range to use. The Champion I was always down in the bottom 20% of the volume control range.

But the real benefit is the Katana having three Tone controls, including a Mid. That knob seems to be the key to dialing in the sounds I like. The Fender was just Treble and Bass.
__________________
Grabbed his jacket
Put on his walking shoes
Last seen, six feet under
Singing the I've Wasted My Whole Life Blues
---Warren Malone "Whole Life Blues"
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 02-07-2022, 04:25 PM
Brent Hutto's Avatar
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 5,643
Default

Regardless of my previous declarations, first the amp and now the guitar have been replaced before the end of my Guitar Center 45-day return window. The Katana 100 was a definite upgrade vs the Champion 50XL but really I could have lived with the Fender OK.

But the Schecter guitar was ultimately a disappointment for me. The one thing I just could not live with what is the extremely narrow string spacing. I assumed it first that was just part of the acoustic to electric transition but I eventually realized that these strings were spaced narrower than just about any full-sized electric guitar Iíve ever seen. There were certain tunes or chord progressions I would never be able to play cleanly.

I also had some difficulty with getting the faulty pickup switch replaced. I was going to have to leave the guitar at Guitar Center for some indefinite period of at least several days to get the repair done. Given that I play this guitar every day and donít have another electric, that really wasnít acceptable. There were a couple other very minor issues but the big two were the string spacing and bad switch.

So I returned the Schecter and bought a somewhat more expensive Ibanez RG421-AHM, a real beauty. Ash body, maple fretboard and like the Schecter two humbuckers and a deep cutaway with 24 frets. Really wonderful guitar.

The Schecter was basically the cheapest model they offer, a step below their Indonesian made ones with a basswood body and (apparently) some corners cut on the electrical bits. And honestly, the string spacing that was basically on the narrow end of what youíd expect from even a 1-5/8Ē nut. I almost wonder if it is intended more for kids than adults.
__________________
Grabbed his jacket
Put on his walking shoes
Last seen, six feet under
Singing the I've Wasted My Whole Life Blues
---Warren Malone "Whole Life Blues"
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 02-07-2022, 05:54 PM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2,947
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post
Interesting comment!

In fact I did swap my Champion 50XL for a Katana 100 mk2 and after about 20-30 minutes I did find some really good knob settings using their preset Clean style.

I find the Katana is less boomy than the Fender on the low end and I can get it to sound good even though it's just 3-4 feet from a corner of the room. I also can use the 0.5 watt setting and have a full range of master volume control range to use. The Champion I was always down in the bottom 20% of the volume control range.

But the real benefit is the Katana having three Tone controls, including a Mid. That knob seems to be the key to dialing in the sounds I like. The Fender was just Treble and Bass.

I missed this comment for some reason. Congrats on the Katana 100. If you donít mind spending $150 more, I highly recommend the GA-FC foot switch. Youíll have tons of fun switching presets by just stomping on the switch. And although, you can dial some nice tones out of the panel like I mentioned earlier, youíll find the true potential of this amp by connecting to boss tone studio. If you like the fact that the panel has a mid tone pot, youíll love the eq (parametric, and a digital version of the boss GE-7) possibilities with the computer.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 02-07-2022, 08:23 PM
Brent Hutto's Avatar
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 5,643
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1neeto View Post
I missed this comment for some reason. Congrats on the Katana 100. If you donít mind spending $150 more, I highly recommend the GA-FC foot switch. Youíll have tons of fun switching presets by just stomping on the switch. And although, you can dial some nice tones out of the panel like I mentioned earlier, youíll find the true potential of this amp by connecting to boss tone studio. If you like the fact that the panel has a mid tone pot, youíll love the eq (parametric, and a digital version of the boss GE-7) possibilities with the computer.
I know, right? I have played around with the software controls via USB. I use the same software (more or less) for my DD-500 programmable delay.

On the Katana the EQ stuff is a pretty powerful dial-in tool. I dialed up a little -4DB cut near the main acoustic "mode" of my music room and it's amazing how it smoothed out the lower octave of the guitar.
__________________
Grabbed his jacket
Put on his walking shoes
Last seen, six feet under
Singing the I've Wasted My Whole Life Blues
---Warren Malone "Whole Life Blues"
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 02-07-2022, 08:35 PM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2,947
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post
I know, right? I have played around with the software controls via USB. I use the same software (more or less) for my DD-500 programmable delay.

On the Katana the EQ stuff is a pretty powerful dial-in tool. I dialed up a little -4DB cut near the main acoustic "mode" of my music room and it's amazing how it smoothed out the lower octave of the guitar.

Itís a great amp at an unbelievable price. It has humbled many tube-only tone snobs. Sold mine (50w) with the intention of buying an artist, but I ended up with a Marshall DSL 20 instead. I might go back to a Katana in the future.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 02-10-2022, 03:29 AM
Davis Webb Davis Webb is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Toronto
Posts: 4,388
Default

The Bullet Strat is my best guitar. Played in the right hands it is a work of art. You can do anything on it. For 99 bucks in a pawn shop, it has survived many purges. Yeh, I know.... go figure....
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Electric Guitars

Thread Tools





All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=