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Gear – Amps

Line 6 Micro Spider

Line 6 Micro Spider When I got the Gibson I wanted to get an amp to go with it, even though as a hollow body archtop it’s plenty loud enough to play acoustically. The idea at the time was that I could send the amp output into the computer to record my playing better (which sadly did not occur due to laziness on my part and the Gibson being in the shop for an extended period while waiting for reproduction tuners to become available).

I didn’t want a very large amp because I’m cheap, but also because we are apartment dwellers and there’s a cap on how much noise you can make before your neighbours try to strike you in the head with a stick.

As such I settled on the Line 6 Micro Spider because it had various features which appealed to me:

  • A 5 watt training amp, it features a headphone jack for quiet practice sessions
  • An MP3 input allows you to play tunes through the amp and play along with them
  • 5 different amp simulations, including an Acoustic simulator, for various sounds
  • Lots of effects to play with; while perhaps not the best examples of their kind, it provides enough variety to figure what external effects I might like
  • Can run on batteries
  • Built in tuner

So primarily I decided that as a newbie, a practice amp with as many sonic possibilities as possible was a good idea, even if others would tend to think that it can’t possibly sound good because it’s solid state, etc. My theory is that as a new player I would like to experience and experiment with as many effects and sounds as possible without spending several thousand dollars.

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Vox AC30 AmPlug

Vox AC30 AmPlug The second amp I collected was this, an AmPlug with a single simulator set to sound like a vintage Vox AC30 tube amp. This is powered by a single AAA battery and sports a headphone out, MP3 player in, and volume, tone and gain controls.

Here the goal was related to available space in our apartment at the time; that is to say, there wasn’t enough of it. In order to play with the Amp I would have to get it and a cable out, carry them to a place I could play, connect everything up, play and then pack it all away back where it started out. After a time this was a bit of a drag, but this little gadget is a lot smaller and can easily fit into the guitar case or gig bag so it’s always handy.

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Art TubeMP

Art TubeMP Recently I’ve been getting into better recording methods, including using a proper interface, microphones and so on. I quickly found that my life would be a lot better if I had a microphone preamp as my interface does not include one.

As such I picked up this Tube Preamp by ART for cheap; I think it’s a discontinued model and it doesn’t have the fancy features of newer ones like a clipping light or VU meters.

What it does have is an XLR and ¼" TRS input (though you may use only one at a time), 48V phantom power, a phase inverter and a nice tube sound. I use this not only with Mic’s to record voice and acoustic guitar but also to naturally fatten up the sound of my guitars.

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