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Your best and worst gear purchases

Discussion in 'Backline' started by mickrich, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. ArsMemoria

    ArsMemoria Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Buffalo Grove, IL
    Best:

    Crate Blue Voodoo BV-60H: Picked it up as a Christmas bonus when I worked at my old music store. Kid traded it in saying it wasn't working right - he had the cab plugged in the "ext" out instead of the "Main(use first)" output. I just got into the idea of modding & building amps and I wish I could've kept this head. It was also my first "real" amp.

    Carvin DC127: I found it used at a Music Go Round in Kenosha and it's from '92. I fucking love this guitar and hope to purchase a brand new Carvin when I graduate later this year.

    Joyo Vintage OD: Too cheap to afford a real OD808 and this pedal just kills for $40.

    Worst:

    DOD Grunge pedal: First distortion pedal back when I started playing. That was a mistake...
    Digitech RP300: So many problems with this pedal. I was so glad to chuck it in the trash.

    I haven't had any real "bad" purchases yet.
     
  2. Jarkko Mattheiszen

    Jarkko Mattheiszen The FU guy.

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Lappeenranta, Finland
    Best:

    Jet City JCA20H - Not really a purchase as I won it in a competition, but it's ridiculously good for the price. It's a one trick pony, but it does it well. No clean headroom to speak of, but for that hot rodded Marshall tone it's great! I used it on a couple of albums instead of a 5150. Just had it modded, and now it has great cleans and eats fuzzes for breakfast.

    Focal Twins - I don't have them anymore, but I know I'll miss them when I have the space again. Hands down my favorite monitors of all time. Only after getting the Twins did I feel confident to enter the mastering game, and I quickly I realised I was making at least 70% of my income doing mastering.

    Epiphone Worn G400 - Shit, when I started playing, you couldn't get anywhere near this quality guitars for the price. The stock pickups are crap, swapped them for a pair of Maxon Hi-powers from '74. I bought it because I needed something cheap to beat around, and it ended up being my main guitar - which is saying a lot, since my cut-to-fit GS Explorer and '84 Tokai Goldstar have been pretty much gathering dust for the past year.

    Worst:

    Peavey Windsor - Cheap, lifeless and full of problems. Crappy build quality. It took me months to get it working properly, and when I finally figured out all it's quirks, I just really wanted to get rid of it.

    Schecter Hellraiser - Felt and sounded like it was dipped in plastic. It felt nothing like playing an instrument made out of wood. Euch.
     
  3. He's Dead, Jim

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Best:

    *Kemper
    *Roland Quad Capture, if only for the wet-dry input/output monitoring so latency is never a thing anymore
    *Scarlett 2i2, not for the interface but the Scarlett compressor/EQ/reverb/gate VSTs that come with it, which are actually awesome. I returned it after a week or so to buy a Line 6 UX1 but I never de-activated the software licenses because I'm an asshole.


    Worst:

    *Behringer GMX212 V-Tone combo circa 2005 or so when I was in high school. Decided to just not turn on anymore after about a year or so.
    *M-Audio AV40 monitors. Granted, bought a pair used on Craigslist from some EDM douchecanoe from Baltimore, but they also died after two or three months. I used an online guide to solder them into passive speakers but then the solder broke after a couple more months.
     
  4. C_F_H_13

    C_F_H_13 Protools Guru

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    Location:
    Vancouver, B.C. Canada
    Best:

    Fireface UC - amazing how much stability I gained with an RME interface

    Slate Plugins - despite minor gripes here and there, they are the only plugins I use that I use on everything

    Radial JD7 - Don't have it anymore, but when I was tracking in a commercial studio, it was the perfect tool for tracking a bunch of amps at once.

    Kemper - Gave me the ability to track decent guitars in not so decent spaces or when budgets were tight.

    Worst:

    Kemper - as much as it was amazing for about a year, I (and bands for that matter) started to rely on it's convenience over it's actual practical use, and just started to ignore the process of getting sounds.

    Radial X-amp - I don't know what it was with this box but things never sounded right. Just weird.
     
  5. DeclanWhite

    DeclanWhite Senior Member

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    Location:
    Australia
    best:

    my two evertune guitars - always in tune. saves hours of tuning!
    bareknuckle pickups - sound huge, easy to mix.
    sm7b - always works
    fireface 800 - solid
    macbook - never fucks up and works great for basic tracking
    6505 - always works for heavy stuff
    mesa 412 - always works
    tama bell brass snare - punchiest, loudest snare ever. sooo easy to mix, and I got it for about $2,000 less than they normally go for :)
    joey jordison snare - paid $60 and it's super poppy and fun. probably wont ever record with it though as I have much better snares

    worst:

    orange tiny terror and 1x12 - meh
    evh 5150iii 50w - tone isnt quite there.... always gets beaten by other amps
    BLA auteur - sounds ok, but I want something better and it's impossible to sell haha

    can't think of much else right now in the "worst" category. perhaps ill think of more and update when I do
     
  6. botus99

    botus99 Microphone Assassin

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Bear in mind, I'm broke as hell and don't do as much metal anymore.

    Best:
    Behringer Truth B3031A's - Surprisingly great monitors IME. Definitely noticed my mixes took a leap after I got these to replace my KRK's and Alesis M1 mkII's.
    Art TubeMP Studio - After I put a Mullard tube in there, it's become a great pre for vocals, bass, and guitars
    Nebula - Lots of hate out there for this plugin, but it's taken my mixes to another level. Plus, it felt great to finally start paying for my plugins and deleting all my old pirated stuff (that would have cost more, and just didn't sound as good. I never want to touch a Waves plugin again and haven't used my UAD cards in at least a couple years!)
    Some old Peavey P.O.S. combo - Hello free subkick!!!
    Mesa Oversized 4x12 - You guys know why.


    Worst:
    Presonus DualTube preamp - Absolute garbage. Made EVERYTHING sound worse by going through it and driving it sounded terrible. I'm still really turned off by Presonus because of this purchase.
    AKG D5 mic - Sounded cool at first, but it's all artificial (for lack of a better word). Plasticky, thin, feedback prone... stick to SM57/58's or i5's. I'll still use it as a undersnare mic in a pinch, but that's the only acceptable use I've found.
    KRK monitors (I've had a couple pairs) - Too colored/sweet. Sure, you can get a good mix out of them after learning them, but give me a monitor that shows me the ugly parts instead of prettying them up anyday!
    Gibson SG - I liked the sound, but I swear ALL Gibsons need to be re-fretted out of the box! Tore my fingers up something nasty. Didn't like the sound enough to go through with keeping it, bought a Strat, never looked back.
    Cheap cables - Again, you guys know why haha.
     
  7. Fluffbot

    Fluffbot I like beef jerky.

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    Location:
    Edmonton
    Awesome thread! Let's see if I can remember

    Best:
    ---Profire 2626
    I bought this in 2008 and this thing is still my workhorse. For projects I used to link it together with my friend's to get 16 channels for drums. This thing is by far and away the best bang for my buck ever. We use it live too for backings/IEM sends/channel switching/ etc.

    ---Axe FX II (also Cab Pack 5)
    Everyone knows already, but this thing is amazing. The ultra-res 4x12 pack changed it from "awesome" to "holy fucking shit awesome". So versatile both live and in the studio, I replaced my entire rig with this (I had a 5150III head, orange cab, and giant amount of cables and pedals). Two guitars run through it live as well, so talk about saving space on stage!

    ---Great River NV1
    The tastiest of the tastiest. Such tone. Much love. Only wish I could have bought the NV2 at the time.

    ---Gibson Gothic Explorer II
    Again, metal tone heaven. Solid as hell, holds tuning and intonation even in Drop A# at 24.75 scale; a little setup goes a long way.

    ---M-Audio Oxygen 88 key
    Fully weighted full range MIDI controller works wonders in the studio for composing or practicing. I have a piano and this is incredibly accurate in regards to the feel.

    ---Line 6 G30 Wireless
    Best wireless I've ever used, I can't tell of any signal degradation. Hasn't ever shit the bed on me.


    Best/Worst:
    ---EastWest Symphonic Orchestra
    Amazing sounds but the worst and longest install of my life. Had to wait 3 weeks to get it to work when eventually they just deposited my authorization code directly to my iLok.

    ---5150II Head
    Amazing tone, no doubt about it. My favourite head besides the original 5150 series; but the thing fucking broke more times than I can count (ok it was like 5) and each time it was something different. Got sick of it.


    Worst:
    ---Radial X-Amp
    I didn't notice until recently, but this thing really isn't that good. I used it on our last album and i don't remember it being as bad as when I used it recently. Just destroyed the signal, it seemed weak (I had to turn the input of the Axe to 100% and even then it wasn't good), and just sits around collecting dust.

    ---M-Box2
    Old thing purchased around 2006-7. Got rid of it a long time ago, but it was just limited and overpriced.
     
  8. alteredstate

    alteredstate New Metal Member

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    Best:
    Apogee Quartet - amazing conversion (especially D/A) for the price point and completely clean and quiet preamps.
    Orange Rockerverb MKI 50 watt head - I've always been really drawn tonally towards single coil guitars and this amp is an amazing match for those guitars. The only con is the hilariously unusable reverb.
    Warm Audio TB12 - fantastic on drums and guitar and great on vox, and the extra tweakablity from the original API unit comes in handy.
    Slate VMR / VCC - I use these constantly on almost session.

    Worst:
    Ibanez S770PB - setup and fretwork on this thing was a nightmare, and the neck itself was horrifically uncomfortable.
    Orange Dark Terror - this was my first tube amp. At the time I loved it but the day I revisited it is the day I put it up for sale. Fizzy, loose, and choked sounding. Good for the price but not for me at all.
    AKG C214 - I don't mind this mic but I certainly was disappointed with it. Sounds very little like any C414 I've ever tried. Sounds great outside the kick a foot or so back, though.
    Like everyone else above, cheap cables!
     
  9. barricade

    barricade Giggity Geschmougen

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    Best:
    Coleman Audio m3ph mk3

    Worst:
    Behringer patchbay..
     
  10. AudioGeekZine

    AudioGeekZine arsehole know-it-all

    Joined:
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    Really cool thread. Interesting that a few things have come up a bunch of times.

    Best:
    REAPER - so flexible, hasn't let me down. $60 for 5 years of updates.
    iZotope RX - simply magic.
    Slate Trigger EX - easy to figure out and works great

    Worst:
    KRK headphones - didn't sound that great, any slight bump on the cable comes up to your ears very loudly.
    Digidesign 002 rack - fucking expensive, very limited and didn't sound great. Ran really poorly on Windows. It was either that or an Mbox back then.
     
  11. Rex Rocker

    Rex Rocker Call me Hugo!

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Mexico
    Best:
    Krank Rev. Jr.
    Seriously, for the size and price I payed, this thing OOZES tone. I reach for it a lot more often than I do for my Peavey XXX.

    Worst:
    Seymour Duncan Blackouts
    Hated these. MUCH prefer the EMG Hets for the "EMG on steroids" kinda tone. Ended up replacing it with a Duncan Distortion, and damn, what a difference. TBH, I kinda miss the Distortion.
     
  12. FrankTheSmith

    FrankTheSmith Member

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    Isn't really a "Best", but I'm completely surprised how the Douglas WOB 826 from Rondo Music sounds.
    It's only $189 USD and since it shipped from the other side of America the shipping was $24ish USD.
    2 active humbuckers, pickup blend, volume, cut and boost bass and treble knobs.
    I'd post some clips, but I jammed on it so much the strings are dead (still kinda has a cool sound)
    It has a really nice "wah" kinda of "throaty" tone to it if you pick hard near the neck.
    A bit neck heavy when standing with it. I think most 6 stringers would be cause of the size of the neck.
    Direct in works really well with plugins and with my Zoom 607 into a Carvin r600 with 2x10 and 1x15.
    Have a brutal band coming in next week that don't have a bass player. Was just gonna program the bass, but most likely I'll use this bass.
    If you need a cheap studio bass I would recommend this. Maybe not a 6 stringer, but one of the 5 stringers. Probably won't be using that high C that often anyways.

    Worst:
    My brother bought a Carvin SX fullstack directly from Carvin for $899 USD like 8 or 9 years ago. The SX cabs are amazing, but the head.... So bad.
    3 channel, Lead, "blues" and clean. Having the gain on the first 2 channels past 3 just made it feedback. Not like a "It's so loud it's making it feedback", but like bedroom practice volume it would just scream. The 2 channels also hissed really bad when you didn't play anything. Sounded like the ocean. It's probably a really good low gain Dad rock amp, but we were trying to play some 05-08 screamo on it. Just put it on the clean channel and used an RP100 for the distortion. The head case is hollow and the actual amp is only 2 feet wide. 3 inches tall and like 10 inches deep so it's really portable. If I ever got a POD or axe fx I'd probable use it just for the poweramp in it.
     

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