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View Full Version : How do core tones of modelers stack up against old school rack preamps?


rob2001
04-14-2011, 07:02 AM
The desktop Tonelab I had didn't sound nearly as good as some of the old rack pre's I've used and it's keeping me from looking seriously at the latest generation of modelers.

FOR CORE TONES, and besides the Axe (which is still out of my price range) does anyone have experience with something like a JMP1, Mesa Triaxis, ADA MP1, and also use current modeling like a GSP or 11 rack?

rsm
04-14-2011, 08:24 AM
I was a big ADA user back in the day, owning several MP-1's, MP-2's, MQ-1 and the power amps and speakers...I had the full ADA bass rig too.

I still have an ADA MP-2, Marshall JMP-1, Tech 21 PSA 1.1.

I also still use a Vox Tonelab blue desktop (in the insert loop of my G-System), had a ToneLab LE, had an Axe-Fx Ultra, and a Zoom G2 (now have a Zoom G2.1Nu).

Marshall JMP-1 is great IMO, I can get many convincing Marshall tones from it. ADA MP-2 is PITA to dial in, but sounds much better than the MP-1 and is very versatile. There are several tube voicings, and the outbound GEQ freed me from needing the MQ-1 which I used with my MP-1. The PSA 1.1 is small, compact, and can get a wide range of tones Fender, Marshall and Mesa...not too much on the Vox though. I use these direct with speaker sim / emulation outs direct to a Bose L1 Model II system.

For what I use my low end modelers for, I find the all-in-one convenience and compact size with usable tones just another toolset that works for me.

From the preamps I have now, I prefer the JMP-1, but the range of tones, no tubes and size with SansAmp, the PSA 1.1 is very close.

I've not owned a Triaxis. There are also the Rocktron pre's new and used...I haven't tried them in a very long time.

rob2001
04-14-2011, 08:38 AM
I was a big ADA user back in the day, owning several MP-1's, MP-2's, MQ-1 and the power amps and speakers...I had the full ADA bass rig too.

I still have an ADA MP-2, Marshall JMP-1, Tech 21 PSA 1.1.

I also still use a Vox Tonelab blue desktop (in the insert loop of my G-System), had a ToneLab LE, had an Axe-Fx Ultra, and a Zoom G2 (now have a Zoom G2.1Nu).

Marshall JMP-1 is great IMO, I can get many convincing Marshall tones from it. ADA MP-2 is PITA to dial in, but sounds much better than the MP-1 and is very versatile. There are several tube voicings, and the outbound GEQ freed me from needing the MQ-1 which I used with my MP-1. The PSA 1.1 is small, compact, and can get a wide range of tones Fender, Marshall and Mesa...not too much on the Vox though. I use these direct with speaker sim / emulation outs direct to a Bose L1 Model II system.

For what I use my low end modelers for, I find the all-in-one convenience and compact size with usable tones just another toolset that works for me.

From the preamps I have now, I prefer the JMP-1, but the range of tones, no tubes and size with SansAmp, the PSA 1.1 is very close.

I've not owned a Triaxis. There are also the Rocktron pre's new and used...I haven't tried them in a very long time.

Thanks for the detailed response.

My main concern is direct recording. I recorded with a JMP1 many years ago and loved it. Right now i'm recording with a JCM 800. It does what I need it to do but a simpler path would be cool.

rsm
04-14-2011, 10:54 AM
If you like the JMP-1, maybe that is the route to go, unless you want to try something else...the PSA 1.1 with the sansamp out is direct recording friendly, but you need to see if you like the tones. They are not easy to resell IME, even though I don't use mine much these days, it isn't worth selling at the price it would go for.

I look at the PSA as a solid state analog preamp / modeler predecessor to the digitial modelers.


I'd guess many of these old preamps are available in the low-mid $100s, except the Triaxis, H&K, maybe the high-end Rocktron like the Prophesy II (which is an all in one with effects)

The new crop of digital modelers is worth a look too, IMO.

Proco
04-14-2011, 11:09 AM
You could use your JCM800 and then a Palmer Speaker sim. with dummy load box... tube sound and analog simulation of cabinet.

Bobby D
04-14-2011, 11:10 AM
i have owned the JMP-1, the ADA MP-1, Zoom 9050 and 9150, Mesa Quad Preamp (thats a beast) Rocktron Pro GAP, and probably a few others i am forgetting.

my POD HD 500 sounds better than all of them. the Mesa Quad Preamp was really quite nice though, i miss that one -- paired with the little 20/20 mesa power amp, it was a deadly little rack rig (with an intellifex for effects)

HillbillySims
04-14-2011, 12:11 PM
I have a ADA MP-1 Classic & Kitty Hawk Quattro preamp... me personally, I like the drive sounds in them better than my Fractal Ultra..

HillbillySims
04-14-2011, 12:12 PM
The Zoom 9150 is pretty nice too I have a couple of those lying around

sahhas
04-14-2011, 12:15 PM
i used to have the zoom 9150...i really did like that.
should have kept it....

always wanted to get the digitech gsp units, there were still pricey about 10 yrs ago, for me anyway.....

haven't thought about them much lately, there's so much out there....

jlynnb1
04-14-2011, 12:16 PM
I wouldn't compare an older tonelab to anything newer like an 11r or hd....not even something like a gdp. Totally different worlds.

rob2001
04-14-2011, 12:19 PM
I wouldn't compare an older tonelab to anything newer like an 11r or hd....not even something like a gdp. Totally different worlds.

Right. I'm assuming the latest generation of modelers are light years better than that tonelab desktop I used.

rob2001
04-14-2011, 12:26 PM
You could use your JCM800 and then a Palmer Speaker sim. with dummy load box... tube sound and analog simulation of cabinet.


Actually, I have an old ADA Micro-cab II. I wonder if that would work using the 800's line out? I suppose it would.

Still, some versatility would be cool. I'm leaning towards a JMP1.

MKB
04-14-2011, 01:11 PM
I have owned an ADA MP-1 with their single space 200W power amp; replaced that with a Marshall JMP-1 with a 8008 Valvestate power amp. Gigged and recorded with this rig quite a bit, going direct from the speaker emulated out to the board. It worked well, but I eventually replaced it with a Line 6 XT Live direct to the board, and was happier with that solution. I now have a HD500, and it is FAR superior to the XT Live in tone and functionality, no comparison at all.

I did feel the overdriven Marshall tone in the JMP-1, using the internal speaker emulator, was on par or a bit better than the Marshall sims in the XT Live. However the cleans were better in the XT Live, and the unit in general was far more versatile. The tones in the HD500 are better than the JMP-1, if you are going direct into the board or recording. Can't comment on the two into a power amp and cab, haven't used the HD in that way yet.

Now that I have the HD500, the JMP-1 and 8008 are going to get sold. No reason to have them.

jlynnb1
04-14-2011, 01:45 PM
I can tell you that the 11r excels at Marshall tones....

re-animator
04-14-2011, 01:53 PM
i'm not quite convinced digital modelling is necessarily the best way to go so far, considering how great and how functional analog-modelling gear works.

as an appreciator of parsimony, I think a few analog components that model sounds based on EQ, compression, etc. can be at least as effective as complex digital models of each component in the signal chain.

ergo, i prefer the tech 21 stuff to some of the more complicated modern modelers out there. IMO, they just do the best job of getting you a "ready to go" tone right out of the box with minimal adjustment but a lot of room for dynamics... .dare i say "like a real amp."

i guess i prefer analog modeling because the tone is "actually happening" versus a digital approximation in the form of 0s and 1s. Once you transition to the imaginary world of digital stuff there are a lot of different things you can do that you can't quite do in the physical world (or at least not easily), but you also lose something I think is very important. Again, it all depends on who you are and what you're trying to do.

jlynnb1
04-14-2011, 02:24 PM
The 11r is super simple to dial in and responds just like analog gear....

GuitarTone
04-14-2011, 02:26 PM
A few years ago there was a big craze on the forum I hung out on for the Peavey Rockmaster, so I joined the craze and bought one for $85 on eBay...it was horrendous, talk about real tube 'fizz', that thing was proof that tubes can fizz like crazy.

Bo Faulkner
04-14-2011, 04:01 PM
I get a far better end result into a p.a. system with my HD 500 vs my old ada rack and miced 4x12. Plus it is just a tad ligher

guitarnet70
04-14-2011, 04:01 PM
that thing was proof that tubes can fizz like crazy.

Try an Ibanez valbee: Fizzmaster!!!!! Tubes only are not enough...

drwiddly
04-14-2011, 04:15 PM
I think modellers have come a long way in recent years but, in my limited experience, I don't think the lower end of the market is close to any of the good rack preamps. except for the Digitech GSP101. I currently own a JMP-1, a Sansamp PSA 1, a Rocktron Piranha and a Voodu Valve as well as the GSP1101, a Pod xt 'bean', a V-Amp Pro and a Tonelab desktop. I've yet to have hands on experience of an Axe FX, an 11r or the Pod HD range.

At the moment I'm lovin' the GSP for it's incredible versatility and excellent range of tones. I've tried it on its own, with the Piranha or JMP-1 in the loop and in the loop of two tube combos I have. In every case it's been excellent. I used to have a Pod xt Pro and tried to set that up with one of the tube amps using the 4CM but, no matter what I tried, it sounded pretty awful. The GSP, on the other hand sounded great from the off and with tweaking got better and better. The thing I really like if the ability to use the GSP to model a tone and then switch to the amp with the GSP augmenting with effects, gate, etc. Lots of versatility.

I'm more than prepared to believe that the Axe FX and the 11r are better still but I doubt that either of them can integrate into your present rig like the GSP and they're expensive here in the UK.

Here's my thoughts (for what they're worth) on gear I own or have owned:

Pod 2 - Lots of tones but an ever present digital sheen. Crunch tones were awful.

Pod xt & xt Pro - A step up but still digital sounding. very useable for recording but not good for live work.

Tonelab desktop - Some great tones in this box but some awful ones too. Again better for recording than live.

V-Amp Pro - Surprisingly good for the money. Much better for live work than a Pod. Terrible speaker sims though!

Sansamp PSA 1 - Not the best for clean tones but everything else from light crunch to screaming lead is right on the money.

Marshall JMP-1 - Lots of classic Marshall tones in a 1u rack. If you like the Marshall 'sound' you'll love it.

Rocktron Piranha - I'm still getting to grips with this (recent GAS purchase) but it's great for hot-rodded Marshall tones. Seems to have a bit more gain than the JMP-1.

Voodu Valve - Oldie but goodie. Sounds like a tube amp with a basic (but great quality) set of effects. In a direct comparison with my old Pod xt Pro, this sounded full, rich and real (analogue??) compared to the Pod which sounded fake and harsh (digital??).

GSP1101 - A very good modeler. Just a hint of digital harshness which can be dialed out on most settings. Good set of effects and amp models, Its ability to integrate with an existing rig makes it really stand out from the crowd. On the downside, the tuner's not great.

Apologies for going on (and on).

PinkPanther
04-14-2011, 05:15 PM
The desktop Tonelab I had didn't sound nearly as good as some of the old rack pre's I've used and it's keeping me from looking seriously at the latest generation of modelers.

FOR CORE TONES, and besides the Axe (which is still out of my price range) does anyone have experience with something like a JMP1, Mesa Triaxis, ADA MP1, and also use current modeling like a GSP or 11 rack?
I don't own a tonelab, but I can tell you all the modern modelers have to be setup correctly depending on what they're connected to. And when you mean it didn't sound good, how were you listening to it. Headphones, Power amp to 4X12, infront of an Amp, PA?
Listen to this simple recording by Jim Soloway of a pod HD at this board here and let us know what you think
http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=877737
[/URL]
Most modern modelers if played through a guitar cabinet, will sound great and the differences are subtle and depend on taste. From my exprience connecting an AXE FX or Digitech GSP1101, POD HD to power amp and 4x12 for live use will yield similar result, but for recording the quality varies among modelers, because speaker simulation is still the weekest link in my opinion. Many have adopted the IR for speaker simulation including AXE FX, Revalver, etc and they're pretty good for Live and studio recording but are constantly being improved by upgrades. You want to get a real taste of what's outhere, you don't even have to spend any money as long as you have a decent sound card in your computer.
Download some free VSTs amps from Here
http://lepouplugins.blogspot.com/ (http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=877737)
and then download some free IRs from Red wire here
[URL]http://redwirez.com/free1960g12m25s.jsp?ref=home
Invest some time to get these working and you might be shocked on how far the technology has advanced.

Axe-Man
04-14-2011, 05:15 PM
Well I am a big fan of the 11R and HD series PODs but my analogue gear does sound better for drive and gain tones.

The 11R sounds very much like a tube amp through a poweramp once you get the volume wound up. At jam level volume it sounds great but the tube preamp cuts so much harder and sounds so much fuller at low to mid level volume.

I A/B'd my Vox AC30 against my very very best AC30 patch and it was kinda close...the 11R sounded great but this is the very best sound in the 11R for me. The original Plexi (I don't really like the 50w or variac) is another that really works but I find that the Plexi needs winding up where the Vox sounds huge at any volume.

I'm thinking of progressing to a Mako Mak4 preamp and my Sherlock 3ch preamp into my poweramp using some drive pedals (Suhr Riot, CM Plexitone) and the HD500 for gate, reverb, delays, volume control, tuner etc as they are just so simple to dial in and just sound huge.

I've got some great sounding patches for my 11R but TBH, the analogue gear is a snap to use and dial in. Less time tweaking and more time enjoying...this espec works if you need to adjust things on the fly and saves headaches when people are waiting for you to adjust your sound.

The HD500 run into the same poweramp with tweaked patches does not in any way shape or form sound like my tube preamp. Nothing at all like it. It actually sounds terrible in comparison. I tried it yesterday after using the tube preamp and I was thinking...what is going on...I really liked this when I first got it...I even used the Riot for drive but it sounded really digital. I wonder if it was the new firmware or just that my ears are now more used to how the tube amps sound...?

The 11R sounds fantastic through headphones and at volume really rocks but I've become a tube convert once again even though I own a couple of quality modellers.

So back to topic...I am thinking about aquiring a few old school preamps before they get rare and expensive: Soldano SP77, JMP-1, Mako, Randall RM4 with modd'd modules (well the last two are new but sound great).

I just think they have something extra going on in comparison to the digital stuff. They are much less flexible though!

PinkPanther
04-14-2011, 06:17 PM
I've become a tube convert once again even though I own a couple of quality modellers.

So back to topic...I am thinking about aquiring a few old school preamps before they get rare and expensive: Soldano SP77, JMP-1, Mako, Randall RM4 with modd'd modules (well the last two are new but sound great)...


The quest for gear doesn't end does it!

Electric I
04-14-2011, 06:53 PM
^ ^ ^

You ain't kiddin'

Unburst
04-14-2011, 10:02 PM
Actually, I have an old ADA Micro-cab II. I wonder if that would work using the 800's line out? I suppose it would.

Still, some versatility would be cool. I'm leaning towards a JMP1.

It would work but I've head better results recording direct by using speaker impulse responses like the Redwirez.

Pretty simple and cheap to get into, remember that you need a load on your amp though.

Gasp100
04-15-2011, 01:07 PM
On and on and on and on lol!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:band

I am still really digging my 11 Rack (with the expansion pack). I did one or two direct recording that are rough takes, but came out pretty good. Like anything else, it has it's strength's and weaknesses -- not EVERY amp/cab in there is going to work for everyone.
With all of that being said I've been spending every chance I get tweaking and playing with my Heritage Victory head and now my Mesa Transatlantic. They both sound excellent at VERY low volumes, I'm almost amazed how well the amps do at these volumes. I haven't turned on the 11R in at least a week, but now I completely respect and understand how amazingly versatile some of these modelers are -- I just won't need more than the 11R. It sounds, looks and feels great and now that I know Avid is continuing advancements and development with the unit (even listening to customer requests during the process) I'm completely content with it as the brains to my home studio.
THAT BEING SAID... the two tube amps I mentioned just sound better. My next step is going to be a THD hotplate (or similar) on the TA-15 set to dummy load into the 11R. I will test using only the Line IN so the TA goes direct to my DAW, then applying VST / IR's from Red Wirez and Ownhammer to see what happens. I'm also going to test using the TA in the FX loop of the 11R but I have to think about how that will actually work? Maybe guitar -> TA-15 -> FX loop return of the 11R (for cab sim and post FX?). Or possibly guitar -> 11R -> TA-15 with dummy load -> 11R return (for pre FX AND cabs AND post FX from 11R).
Should be pretty nuts!
The TA-15 is TINY!!! Small enough to sit on my home studio desk, small enough to balance on top of a rack with the 11R, etc...
I still believe I can get killer home recordings SILENTLY using the 11R by itself and/or in tandem with tube options.

espechemode
04-16-2011, 06:20 PM
I sold my AxeFx and went back to a Marshall JMP-1 into a Peavey 50/50 with a Line 6 M9 for FX. The Axe can do a lot of stuff, but I found it to be kinda stiff sounding on distorted tones, and I couldn't really get a clean tone that I was satisfied with. The cleans always sounded too compressed.

Couldn't be happier with the JMP-1. I like the clean tone, and I love the distorted tones. I run from the JMP-1 to the M9 and from there into the power amp. I switch between scenes on the M9 with a Ground Control and the switching is instant. There's no lag or latency like you get with some FX processors when switching with MIDI

PinkPanther
04-16-2011, 06:55 PM
Modelers started as a way to record which is where they have most of the advantages, but for live use nothing will beat an amp, even a solid state amp is better than a modeler for live use, now modelers have to do everything thing and it just can't be done.

jlynnb1
04-16-2011, 09:54 PM
Modelers started as a way to record which is where they have most of the advantages, but for live use nothing will beat an amp, even a solid state amp is better than a modeler for live use, now modelers have to do everything thing and it just can't be done.

Absolute rubbish....modelers can sound fantastic live, and I've heard many an amp sound like trash. Just a ridiculous statement with no basis in fact.

VaiSatchAtrucci
04-16-2011, 10:20 PM
Absolute rubbish....modelers can sound fantastic live, and I've heard many an amp sound like trash. Just a ridiculous statement with no basis in fact.

I tend to agree with that statement... When you go from an all tube amp rig (and not a cheap one mind you) which sounds great no question to a modeler and EVERYONE who is involved PA and monitor wise as well as the band (drummer doesn't count) says "WOW you're rig has never sounded better!" then its a case of everyone else can't be wrong... Especially when they have no reason to go out of their way to blow smoke up your doggie door... Just sayin...

PinkPanther
04-17-2011, 10:23 AM
Absolute rubbish....modelers can sound fantastic live, and I've heard many an amp sound like trash. Just a ridiculous statement with no basis in fact.

No basis! I like modelers but I don't live in denial as it appears from your statement. I think you need a reality check and need to look around and you might ovserve the glaring facts that modelers are a compromise for Live use. For LIVE use: Eric clapton, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Eddy Van halen and every guitar hero status player around the world are still using amps last time I checked, so How is that for basis;). Maybe you should give the list of players using modelers live and we can compare notes.

Rod
04-18-2011, 09:41 PM
I've been recording direct for many years using all tubepreamps, speaker emulators, dummyloads, ect... My HD-300 sounds better than any of them for recording

jlynnb1
04-18-2011, 11:53 PM
No basis! I like modelers but I don't live in denial as it appears from your statement. I think you need a reality check and need to look around and you might ovserve the glaring facts that modelers are a compromise for Live use. For LIVE use: Eric clapton, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Eddy Van halen and every guitar hero status player around the world are still using amps last time I checked, so How is that for basis;). Maybe you should give the list of players using modelers live and we can compare notes.

Your shocked that guys who started playing in the 60's haven't embraced modeling? Seriously...

robertkoa
04-19-2011, 07:12 AM
Well- those that have used a certain combination and it works- great.

One thing I love about Forums is guys saying they use this or that and it works great for X and here's some clips.

One thing that seems to work very well is combining tube gear with IRs and sometimes even the more primitive IRs in PODs etc. for use in the studio.

The Cab Impulses are getting really good and sound good with tube front end.

So the tube preamp or entire Amp loaded down to line level , then into Cab Impulses can work extremely well for very low volume or Line Level recordings or productions where you mic at full volume and simultaneously run a "direct " signal - though with modern IR's and even the best modelers micing may no longer be strictly necessary, depending of course on how high one is aiming , tonewise.

What I mean by this is when you AB your own track against the top CDs in your genre on really good monitors in a Pro Studio pre mastering- it's a different goal sometimes.

Theroyalconsort
04-20-2011, 11:40 AM
Your shocked that guys who started playing in the 60's haven't embraced modeling? Seriously...

Strangely enough the guys who I know that are the biggest fans of modeling and guitar synth tech did start playing in the 60's but anyway I think the main reason for peoples complaining about modeling technology is compleatly different.

It goes like this.
Man with USD 3.5k of Soldano stack says the SLO 100 setting on your USD 300 POD doesn't sound anywhere near as good as the real thing therefore modeling technology sucks.

What of course he should be doing is comparing a USD 300 amp with the afformentioned USD 300 POD.

And if he is using a Soldano check the clean sounds.....

But back to the question at hand.

On quality It's say its fairly even. Most high end rack preamps will have a couple of golden sounds that will ace the modeling systems but the modeling systems will cover a much larger sound pallet effectively overall.

Is there a slightly artificial quality to modelers if you listen 'really' closely - Of course. But provided its programmed by someone with half decent ears you really will have to be looking for it....

mattball826
04-20-2011, 11:13 PM
if just preamp modeling, imo the old stuff isnot as synthetic sounding as new modelers. new modelers however have better effects on some units.. then again, i really liked the discrete channels and effects of older effect units too.

there are many models on my voodu valve i like better than axefx. i also like many of delays on that better than my gsp. i wish i still had my jmp1. i always liked the sound with other parts of my old rig.

is like i prefer the wider space sound of old discrete ch receivers vs the piled on sound of the newer integrated receivers. seems to me modeling just jumble up teh basic sound so much it loses appeal over real amps.

Axe-Man
04-21-2011, 06:15 AM
if just preamp modeling, imo the old stuff isnot as synthetic sounding as new modelers. new modelers however have better effects on some units.. then again, i really liked the discrete channels and effects of older effect units too.

there are many models on my voodu valve i like better than axefx. i also like many of delays on that better than my gsp. i wish i still had my jmp1. i always liked the sound with other parts of my old rig.

is like i prefer the wider space sound of old discrete ch receivers vs the piled on sound of the newer integrated receivers. seems to me modeling just jumble up teh basic sound so much it loses appeal over real amps.

Yes!! My old receiver was so much warmer and nicer than my new wunder unit which whilst clean and pristine sounds cold and clinical.

I now have two old preamps and they seriously have more 'magic' than the new modeling gear I myself own.

Get a patch, set it up and then just swap out the digital pre for the Soldano SP77 and whilst it may not be a revered Soldano preamp, it certainly sounds pretty awesome and noticeably warmer and more 3D/full.

Yes, it's a basic 2 ch unit but it's got a great clean and really nice Marshallesque like drive...boost it and it sounds awesome. Can't get any of my 11R patches to sound as full and cutting as the Soldano.

I really love the old school gear.

rob2001
04-21-2011, 06:34 AM
Well, just for kicks I dusted off an old Yamaha SPX50D rack unit I have and the ADA Micro-cab II. The SPX 50D is basically an SPX 90 but with a distortion block for guitar. I used it for effects only in a rack rig years ago and never used the distortions. It sounds pretty darn good. The ADA is a huge factor and i'm not sure what to think about that yet. So far so good. I'll have to spend some time with it and see what this setup can do. I'm assuming the Yamaha is digital but it may have some analog paths. It would be pretty cool if I found a solution for $50.00 (1992 dollars)! And I can't believe this thing still works. It's been the most abused piece of equipment I own! I wish Yamaha would get back in the modeling game.

This is all based on direct recording. I have no idea what it would do in a live situation. The basic effects, verbs, delays pitch, are all stellar.

robertkoa
04-26-2011, 05:47 PM
I have a ADA MP-1 Classic & Kitty Hawk Quattro preamp... me personally, I like the drive sounds in them better than my Fractal Ultra..

Hey Hillbilly Sims- you were one of the guys who assured me I'd get nice medium gain drive tones out of a good working MP1 - and you were right.Thanks again, mine has noise mods and records more like some type of smooth Marshall.


Question - have you ever recorded using your tube Preamps into the Axe Fx Cab Impulses and Fx for recording direct ?

OR used the Tube Preamps live FRFR with the Axe Fx doing the Fx and Cab Impulses into the Pa or full Freq monitors ?

TLTD
05-27-2013, 10:54 PM
Friend of mine just saw Neil Zaza live & the backup guitarist used Eleven Rack & Neil used Axe FX (2 most likely). Audio is for a DVD so will be interesting to see if it sounds like direct recordings or if they'll be dubbing or what (that will sell a lot of modelers and make people confused lol). I'm loving just using TSEx50 with some impulses and effects myself. You can EQ your way to a palmer sim and do some tricks with vintage console plugins to make all the noises. I've been hanging out at the new Guitar Center as well as Marshall Music and trying all the Orange, Peavey, Blackstar, and Fender amps and some of them remind me how it's really how hard you want to try and get your sounds from your playing and dialing things just right not necessarily "better" for just jamming around the house anyway. My son can make amps sound different than I can, he's got away about him that he can make things "modern" sounding even if they are a solid state or modeled amp type situation.

Recordings will always sound a little better to me with some tubes & analog but digital is seriously at the point I don't mind it at all and feel like people can take any modern plugin/modeler and get real close to the sounds they want if they either know what they are doing or take the time to ask for some help. TSEx50 is very plug & play though, a ice break from all the commercial software companies that overload you with options. That's why I still love amps (and those with a few built in FX), they are made so you get your sound and play not dink around with patches and things.

Ultimate Metal Forum has a lot of good examples of taking a simple plugin or modeler and getting a good mix. There'll always be people that dislike the Torpedo cab sim, Palmer, etc; even tube preamps lol...so just do what you like and play. It should be fun. When/if you pay off all your bills/kids leave/hit lotto, get the amps and gear and have fun but don't forget about the "little guys" hehe

djd100
05-28-2013, 01:30 AM
I do both all the time and have for years, though now I use the Two Notes Torpedo instead of the Axe Ultra with my Tube Preamps (various custom Egnater/Randall MTS tube preamps and a old Kitty Hawk Quattro, with the Axe Ultra used for FX).

Used to use both MP-1 and JMP-1, miss them both.

Modeled preamps in no way capture all the glory of a good tube preamp yet, though they sound fine in their own right (perhaps a bit sterile or one dimensional in comparison, which in a dense mix doesn't really matter, but it does if the part's exposed IMO). Modeled tube power amps on the other hand do well with real tube front ends in my experience (Two Notes Torpedo and ReValver used here).

Finally, I'd go for a convolution based cab/speaker/mic sim over a old analog one. The sonic complexity of a mic'd cab and environment cannot be accurately duplicated by analog means, though if accuracy is not an issue analog speaker sims can sound just fine.

If it sounds good, it is good!


Hey Hillbilly Sims- you were one of the guys who assured me I'd get nice medium gain drive tones out of a good working MP1 - and you were right.Thanks again, mine has noise mods and records more like some type of smooth Marshall.


Question - have you ever recorded using your tube Preamps into the Axe Fx Cab Impulses and Fx for recording direct ?

OR used the Tube Preamps live FRFR with the Axe Fx doing the Fx and Cab Impulses into the Pa or full Freq monitors ?

HillbillySims
05-28-2013, 04:18 AM
No, I never experimented with using my tube preamps WITH the AXE-FX before I sold the AXE's (unfortunately)..not in any capacity. sorry

Hey Hillbilly Sims- you were one of the guys who assured me I'd get nice medium gain drive tones out of a good working MP1 - and you were right.Thanks again, mine has noise mods and records more like some type of smooth Marshall.


Question - have you ever recorded using your tube Preamps into the Axe Fx Cab Impulses and Fx for recording direct ?

OR used the Tube Preamps live FRFR with the Axe Fx doing the Fx and Cab Impulses into the Pa or full Freq monitors ?

HillbillySims
05-28-2013, 04:21 AM
Check out the new Whitesnake "Bad to be Good" album... I "heard".. but I cant say for sure.. that a lot of the guitar heard on that album was done with the Softube plugins. Seems I read it in an Aldrich interview somewhere. Some amazing guitar sounds on that album

Ultimate Metal Forum has a lot of good examples of taking a simple plugin or modeler and getting a good mix. There'll always be people that dislike the Torpedo cab sim, Palmer, etc; even tube preamps lol...so just do what you like and play. It should be fun. When/if you pay off all your bills/kids leave/hit lotto, get the amps and gear and have fun but don't forget about the "little guys" hehe

rob2001
05-28-2013, 04:44 AM
Wow, old thread!

FWIW, I ended up with a cheap old Boss GT5 and it does what I need it to do. WAY better than that Vox Tonelab. As I mentioned, this was primarily for direct recording, writing, and late night scratch tracks. I still prefer to mic up my amps for the keeper tracks but I've kept a few of the GT5 tracks.

lowyaw
05-28-2013, 04:52 AM
It would work but I've head better results recording direct by using speaker impulse responses like the Redwirez.

Pretty simple and cheap to get into, remember that you need a load on your amp though.

This
I own POD HD500 and Triaxis. Most of the time, I run Triaxis direct and use Poulin Le Cab with RedWirez / Ownhammer / GuitarHack impulses. Wit LeCab, you can mix different impulses in mono and/or stereo.

As an added bonus, you can always REAMP the raw tracks ;)

short example, redwirez impulses

https://soundcloud.com/lowyaw-1/little-gray-cat-mesa-triaxis

However, the workflow is easier with a modeler. I'd say, if you really hit the spot with your preamp, then it's going to sound more organic than a modeler. But with a modeler, there's great chance that you'll end up with workable nice tone easier and quicker.

Guitar Vilain
05-28-2013, 05:21 AM
I own the JMP-1, Triaxis and a Kemper Profiler, and now that I got myself a Yamaha DXR10 the KPA sounds very close if not identical to my beloved (but kinda heavy) tube preamps. I know it's not in the lower price range, but I too used to wonder if I could get the tones from my two preamps from a modeler, I felt so spoiled tone-wise. IMHO I've found the answer in the Kemper, it's a bit expensive but now I can take my 4 space rack worth of excellent tones to gigs in a small package, so money well spent.

-=Scorch=-
05-28-2013, 07:54 AM
For 5 years I used a Yamaha DG-Stomp, one side into the effects in of whatever amp I rented, the other side into the PA. I thought I couldn't be happier, it was the "little box that could", and kicking myself still for selling it.

the next 5 years I was using a Peavey Transfex Pro 212s amp, which was basically an preamp/effects rack built into a 2x12 cab with a 90Wx2 power amp section. That amp was the most tube sounding SS amp I ever owned, and I still have it, modded it up with new eminence legends and firmware chip. It only has 4 preamp tones, but they are all useful in their own right.

and now, I just finished putting together a small rack rig, POD XT PRO & Carvin DCM200L power amp, feeding a 2x12 Bugera Cab and really happy with the tone possibilites of this rig now too.

I tried/rented a few higher end modelers (11r, HD500, AXE) and was a little overwhelmed by all the parameters available, and thought I'd be too busy programming instead of playing. Both my rigs now are just what I need, I can edit them quickly and they sound great LIVE, great tones CAN be found in oldercheaper gear if you take the time to get in there and experiment..

MKB
05-28-2013, 09:07 AM
I posted earlier about the rack preamps I owned in the past (MP-1, Marshall JMP-1 and 9001) and how I thought the HD-500 was a better unit. I still feel that way. But the Marshall JMD:1 modeling preamp/tube power amp puts all of them to shame. It's one of the best amps I've used period. It is a shame that Marshall never released the JMD:1 preamp in a rack enclosure, it would be the JMP-1 killer. It even has JMP-1 models in it if one feels nostalgic

I've been a Marshall freak since I started playing in 1981, and have bought/built/gigged with tube amps since then as a true tube snob. However I have not played through anything but modelers of some type for the last 3 years. The current gen of modelers sound and feel so good and are so versatile, I don't see the point to limit myself to a single tube amp's tones any more.

stratzrus
05-28-2013, 09:20 AM
For LIVE use: Eric clapton, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Eddy Van halen and every guitar hero status player around the world are still using amps last time I checked, so How is that for basis;). Interestingly, I think the "guitar hero" thing has become somewhat passe in many genres. For ensemble playing I think a state of the art modeler stacks up pretty well against old school rack preamps or any traditional tube amp.

I play Jazz and Funk and just went to see Lettuce a couple of weeks ago. For bands like this, an Axe FX II or KPA can do everything you'll ever need...probably an 11 Rack would too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cD6OZxBzm1I

Eric Krasno is using a Mesa Lone Star but could have easily used an Axe II with a CLR. Of course the Mesa was fine for what he was playing and costs a whole lot less. ;)

charley
05-28-2013, 10:10 AM
Having owned an HD500, and being a current owner of an 11R and Tech21 Blonde, I think the current crop of digital modelers is much better for direct/recording. Live, all of them are great. The HD and 11R have much more complex and richer tones due to the cab sims IMO. If you are using a poweramp and guitar cab they are all great. The Blonde has a speaker sim but it is not as great sounding as the others if you go direct or FRFR. This could of course be remedied by buying other gear for speaker sims, but by the time you get it you are saving neither space nor money.

Will Chen
05-28-2013, 10:12 AM
Interestingly, I think the "guitar hero" thing has become somewhat passe in many genres. For ensemble playing I think a state of the art modeler stacks up pretty well against old school rack preamps or any traditional tube amp.

I play Jazz and Funk and just went to see Lettuce a couple of weeks ago. For bands like this, an Axe FX II or KPA can do everything you'll ever need...probably an 11 Rack would too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cD6OZxBzm1I

Eric Krasno is using a Mesa Lone Star but could have easily used an Axe II with a CLR. Of course the Mesa was fine for what he was playing and costs a whole lot less. ;)

Krasno is a badass. Sorry for highjacking, but his work with Lettuce and Soulive is absolutely killer.