Counselor: Gen-X midlife crisis hotline, how can I help

Me: I’ve been comparison shopping practice amps again

Counselor: Gen-X midlife crisis hotline, how can I help

Me: Now I'm watching the 'Nevermind' episode of VH1 Classic Albums and feeling sadder about Kurt Cobain than I remember feeling in 1994

Counselor: Gen-X midlife crisis hotline, how can I help

Me: I was thinking it might be nice to have a couple of flannels again

To think I lived *within walking distance* of a Guitar Center for six years and only set foot in it once or twice (being broke for most of that six years had a lot to do with that)

Counselor: Gen-X midlife crisis hotline, how can I help

Me: Now I'm comparison shopping bass amps


Counselor: OK. We did talk about this last time, right? Did you keep a practice journal?

@thermous ay! I play through the crush mini, which has an 8 ohm out at maybe 2-3 watts. It is more fun than the $70 bucks it cost, for sure.

@dustin Yeah, I was going back and forth trying to decide between the micro and the 12. What I need to get my mojo back is the dead simple old-school simplicity of a volume/EQ/overdrive analog combo amp. I've bought and traded a couple of different modeling amps over the last few years and I get paralyzed by the umpty million options.

I wish the Crush 12 had reverb, but of course there are pedals for that 👀

@dustin Hey, question: how hissy is your Crush Mini? I switched my order at the last minute and I know any amp this size will have its limitations, but the one I got is really hissy if you put the volume much above 2, headphones or not, battery or DC, tried two different cables with two different guitars. The Danelectro Honeytone I had for a while sounded like crap, but I don't remember it hissing like this.

I do suspect this one had been opened before, maybe I got somebody else's return 😒

@thermous it’s not very hissy at all. I mean, with single coils it has 60 hz hum of course, but not hiss. Then again, the only way I use the crush mini is like a head unit, powering an external 10” speaker. Is that what you’re doing?

@dustin No, no external speaker yet. But I get the hiss from both the built-in speaker and the cab sim/headphone jack. Actually very little hum from single coils! I do remember some hiss from the cheap 80s/90s Fender practice amps I used to have, but not at such low volume. It's really unlistenable.

I'm returning it and trying to talk myself out of an overkill upgrade (frickin Ty Tabor trying to upsell me over here

@dustin Hiss and tiny speaker aside, it does have really great tone, I already liked it better than anything I was ever able to get out of the much bigger Fender and Vox modeling amps I had.

If I'm going to talk myself into spending another $100 on a 1x8 cab then I might as well just get a 20RT or spend a little more and get a Micro Terror + 1x8 OR a 35RT and all of those are waaaaaay too much amp for me right now, gonna split the difference and go with a Crush 12

@thermous I built the speaker out of an old suitcase I found in my moms attic, as a pandemic project. The crush mini was one of the cheapest options to test that it actually worked, and I had wanted an orange amp for a while. But yeah, if you don’t already have one sitting around and don’t want to build one, their smallest “real” practice amp sounds like the way to go.

The whole project was an excuse to not just go out and buy , if you’re looking to spend even more money

@dustin yeah, I was looking hard at that monoprice (the built-in attenuator is really compeling), blackstar 1HT combo, and the 5W bugera combo (which IIRC can do 5W/1W/0.5W) but I've never used a valve amp in my life and figure first things first, if I'm actually still playing in six months and feeling limited, *then* I can think about upping my game.

Meanwhile, I'm just excited at the thought of having a knock-around analog amp again. The whole "millions of possible tones" modeling thing sounds good in theory but I found it paralyzing, and wound up feeling like the amp has no real voice of its own

Meanwhile, this showed up today. Flipping through the presets is a pretty good demonstration of the range of sounds it's capable of... a pretty amazing device for its price. A guitar, a basic amp, and this would be a pretty great starter package for a new player.

I don't know my ass from my elbow when it comes to modern effects pedals but I suspect that the Zoom falls into the "does a whole lot of stuff but doesn't do any one thing super well" class of devices, and I knew that going in. For a beginner or rip van winkle player like me it seems like a great way to try out a ton of effects and zero in on ones you might want to invest in dedicated hardware for.

There's desktop software for editing patches but it keeps crashing on my Mac (probably because I'm one OS version behind and/or had GarageBand open at the same time). The hardware UI is as obtuse as it looks, but I'm sure I'll get used to it. The built-in drum loops and looper (up to 30 seconds) are a pretty killer too.

Current status: trying to talk myself out of another impulse* purchase of a dirt cheap Chinese bass+amp combo, because I got into a pretty good groove with the Zoom's drum machine + looper last night and am already thinking about spinning up a bedroom rock project 👀

* A bass has actually been on my "would be nice to have on hand" list for as long as I can remember, but at odds with the trad/historical acoustic stuff I've been playing for so long; arguably less of an impulse than self-granting of permission. By almost all accounts the "glarry" brand is right in the "surprisingly good if all you're after is a beginner/beater instrument to fool around with" zone

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