Amplifire vs. Zoom MS + EPSi

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by steam boat, May 28, 2015.

  1. steam boat

    steam boat Supporting Member

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    I went amp-modeling a year ago for the convenience and flexibility which works well for playing along to jam tracks, learning licks, and recording. Currently I use a Zoom MS-50 and an analog OD into my studio monitors with surprisingly decent results. I heard a while back that the weak point of the MS50 is the Cab IR which put the epsi on the radar. Then the Amplifire came out. With the IR's being equal, how much 'better', if any, is the Amplifire's amp sims compared to the Zoom's?
     
  2. BCy2k

    BCy2k Member

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    I'm familiar with, and have gigged with the amp sims from both units (except I was using the amp sims from a Zoom MS-100bt - which are identical to what's in the MS-50). Honestly, the amp sims in the AmpliFire are so much better than the Zoom sims it's not even funny. It's like comparing a Ford Maverick to a Lamborghini, IMHO.


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  3. steam boat

    steam boat Supporting Member

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    :( How do the effects and onboard OD's compare?
     
  4. steam boat

    steam boat Supporting Member

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    I think the zoom has nice effects like HD hall, digital delay and the chorus and phaser
     
  5. Imerkat

    Imerkat Member

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    I haven't tried the MS-50 but the Roland cab/amp sims are similar enough that i could say not in the same league. I had the EPSI at the same time i had the Amplifire. Just the Cab block alone is better in an of itself with the filtering capabilities. Once i got my head around using all the EQ block (which has more than a hand full) they aren't comparable products.

    most low end amp modelers fall apart when amplified at gig levels. The Amplifire sounds great at any level.
     
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  6. BCy2k

    BCy2k Member

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    This is where it becomes a bit more subjective for me. I didn't particularly care for most of the Zoom ODs. The Tubescreamer in the AmpliFire is really good IMHO. For me it's the highlight of the AF OD offerings. I'm not into fuzz, or over the top metal type OD pedals for the most part, so I can't really speak to that aspect of the drives from either unit. The thing about the amp sims in the AmpliFire is I don't need to use the drives as much because the amp sims deliver all the cleans & 'in betweens' I typically use. Plus all the high gain amp stuff is there in multiple flavors (and they sound great to me). The AmpliFire has changed how much I rely on ODs as a result (and I'm only using the Screamer OD when I do use any).

    As for the other effects, Zoom seems to offer more variety than the AmpliFire. I don't have an MS-50, I'm saying this based on owning an MS-70CDR, MS-100bt, and a G3x. Zoom will have more types of reverb, chorus, delay etc. Compared to the MS-50 they may be roughly equivalent in terms of quantity & selection. I'm just not familiar with what the MS-50 has on board.

    How their effects compare sonically is a tough call for me. I could have put my MS-70CDR into my AmpliFier's loop and called it a day, but I went with an Eventide H9. Which sets a very high bar IMHO. I think the quality of what effects the AmpliFire currently has are quite good, but I wouldn't say that's the part of the AmpliFire that is the main attraction. I'd also say the AF effects are every bit as tweakable as the Zoom effects are, but sonically speaking, it's just too subjective for me to declare one 'obviously' better than the other. Definitely a "YMMV" moment.
     
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  7. Will Chen

    Will Chen Member

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    I went from a Kemper to a G3 with EPSi to Amplifire. I wouldn't go quite as far as BCy2k's analogy, but in a nutshell compared to the Amplifire Zoom's higher gain sounds are extremely (and at higher settings unnaturally) compressed and as a byproduct are less dynamically responsive and are very noisey in comparison. The Amplifire (like my experience with the Kemper) and get bright without being brittle or piercing, something very difficult to achieve with Zoom's modeling. Concerning clean tones, I don't think the G3 offered much to like in clean tones without jumping though crazy hoops (like using no amp model), Amplifire kills it here too. Amplifire is closer to the Kemper than the G3 is to the Amplifire IMHO.

    Effects-wise...that depends on what you're looking for out each device. I occasionally like dialing in trippy sounds which require more than a single effect at a time, something you can't do with the Amplifire. I love the Zoom Filter Delay and a few other niche sounds their boxes include. Neither box offers pitch effects (well Zoom does, but they're unusable IMHO). My current setup is Wah>Whammy V>Amplifire[LOOP]MS-70CDR[LOOP]. Darn near perfect.
     
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  8. steam boat

    steam boat Supporting Member

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    Wow, I really appreciate both of these responses. I can clearly tell you both know the strengths and weaknesses of the Zoom which no doubt helps. I think that seals it for me :D
     
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