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Anyone using the new Rocktron Mainline Power amp?

trower

[geer/peyj] hubris, confuse, paralysis by analysis
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In my never ending search to find a single rack power amp for my Kemper rack that pleases my ears, I'm seeing this Mainline around. Pretty new so not a whole lotta reviews especially with a Kemper. I had the Velocity, eh...It's OK but my reference is a VHT 2502. Before I get a slew of questions why I just don't carry around the VHT, suffice to say, I'd prefer a lighter, smaller single rack.
 

Phnurt

Moron
Silver Supporting Member
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2,758
Well let me tell you a story... ;)

I was all set to bring home a Rocktron Mainline to use with my Helix to amp it into a regular guitar cab. But I thought about it just a few days longer and decided that I wanted to incorporate the Helix's poweramp sims into my tones as well as the preamps. And seeing as how the Mainline simulates a tube power section, I didn't think it would be wise to "double up" as it were.

Here's the part where you have to decide whether you like my story or not..

So I sacrificed one rack space for two, and 17 lbs for 27 lbs, and bought a QSC GX3 instead of the Rocktron Mainline. But I saved $150 and can more fully utilize my modeler's capabilities. And am getting FANTASTIC tones through the 2X12 cab I bought for the purpose.

As always, take all internet advice with a dash of skepticism! :)

Oh and! I used to run a Velocity100 with a Marshall JMP-1 preamp and it served me well for years. Can't really brag about the tone though...
 

mattball826

Senior Member
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20,798
Not going to do much better than the VHT. I use the VHT as well. I had the velocity 300, Carvin TS100, Peavey Classic (8-EL84 Space Heater) 50-50, Mesa 50-50 (still have it), and Mosvalve 80.

All of them have their own non transparent thing, even the Velocity series. Mosvalve I still like for its warm SS character that feels tube like compared to other SS rack power amps. Plus it worked better with guitar cabs.

VHT is the supreme ruler of all those amps I have used.

A good friend of mine has been using an iNuke 300 with a Marshall 1960a and Helix, and it sounds really good. I think that amp weight like 8 lbs or something. He was using it with a GSP until he bought the Helix.
 

trower

[geer/peyj] hubris, confuse, paralysis by analysis
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,612
Well let me tell you a story... ;)

I was all set to bring home a Rocktron Mainline to use with my Helix to amp it into a regular guitar cab. But I thought about it just a few days longer and decided that I wanted to incorporate the Helix's poweramp sims into my tones as well as the preamps. And seeing as how the Mainline simulates a tube power section, I didn't think it would be wise to "double up" as it were.

Here's the part where you have to decide whether you like my story or not..

So I sacrificed one rack space for two, and 17 lbs for 27 lbs, and bought a QSC GX3 instead of the Rocktron Mainline. But I saved $150 and can more fully utilize my modeler's capabilities. And am getting FANTASTIC tones through the 2X12 cab I bought for the purpose.

As always, take all internet advice with a dash of skepticism! :)

Oh and! I used to run a Velocity100 with a Marshall JMP-1 preamp and it served me well for years. Can't really brag about the tone though...
I tried a Carvin DCM 1000 and was surprised how rough and harsh it sounded with the cabs on in Kemper. Some sounded OK but overall, the VHT was much more conducive to a more amp-like tone than the Carvin. I know it's not a QSC, but it's not a crappy amp either. I think I just got more to think about now. Sure wish VHT could find a way to shrink this baby.
 

Phnurt

Moron
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2,758
I tried a Carvin DCM 1000 and was surprised how rough and harsh it sounded with the cabs on in Kemper. Some sounded OK but overall, the VHT was much more conducive to a more amp-like tone than the Carvin. I know it's not a QSC, but it's not a crappy amp either. I think I just got more to think about now. Sure wish VHT could find a way to shrink this baby.
Carvin made good kit at the time. The trick is turning off the cab sim in the Kemper and letting the "real" cab do-the-duty.

What I'm running at the moment that has me so thrilled is:

Line 6 Helix, full amp, pre and power but with no cab sim or IR

> QSC GX3 power amp, totally clean, no simulations or emulations (almost any clean power amp will do here, peavey-crown-yamaha-qsc I've used 'em all)

>Marshall 1936 2X12 guitar cabinet with G12T-75's in it. I may "upgrade" the speakers later but that's just personal preference.

The thing is, in this kind of setup you DON'T use your modeler/profiler's cab emulation. You use the real thing. The VHT should sound phenomenal in this scenario as it's a true tube power amp but you'd want to go:

Kemper PRE-AMP sim (no power amp sim with the VHT!) (unless you want to because it sounds better to YOU cause, y'know, it's YOUR tone right? :))

>VHT

>guitar cab of choice

Honestly, seeing as how you already have a stereo 50/50 watt el34 based tube power amp "just laying around" :) I wouldn't bother with a slightly-lighter-single-space-solid-state "replacement" ya know? :D:D:D
 

trower

[geer/peyj] hubris, confuse, paralysis by analysis
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Although I do have a few reg. Cabs, I should have mentioned I'm using a mission 1x12 full range cab so cab Sims are on for now.
 

Phnurt

Moron
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2,758
Although I do have a few reg. Cabs, I should have mentioned I'm using a mission 1x12 full range cab so cab Sims are on for now.
Ah! I thought you were going through a guitar cab as an experiment!

I would definitely look for something besides the VHT then. I take it you have an unpowered Mission cab. I guess I just don't know enough about the Kemper. As far as I can see all you need is a clean SS poweramp to take full advantage of the Kemper's and Mission's abilities. No emulation required. Pretty much any brand in your configuration/price-range should do the trick.
 

trower

[geer/peyj] hubris, confuse, paralysis by analysis
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Curiously their ain't alotta tube/tube like 1U Choices...maybe I should just look for a clean flat ss...
Oh yea, would nice if it was less than 12" deep.
 
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Phnurt

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Curiously their ain't alotta tube/tube like 1U Choices...maybe I should just look for a clean flat ss...
Oh yea, would nice if it was less than 12" deep.
That's what I'm tryin' ta say! You *don't* want tube emulation if you've got an unpowered frfr and a full featured modeler/profiler!

In your sitch, the cleaner and more neutral, the better I think. Which would rule out the Mainline.
 

trower

[geer/peyj] hubris, confuse, paralysis by analysis
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Not sure about that...there in lays my asking about the Rocktron...the VHT does and did a better job than that SS Carvin for me. The Carvin is pretty much clean power too...didn't expect that but then again some deep tweaking probably would have help but hey, I'm always looking for the shortest route to get my sounds.
 

Phnurt

Moron
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2,758
Not sure about that...there in lays my asking about the Rocktron...the VHT does and did a better job than that SS Carvin for me. The Carvin is pretty much clean power too...didn't expect that but then again some deep tweaking probably would have help but hey, I'm always looking for the shortest route to get my sounds.
It really does boil down to your own ears in the end right? :) For me so far I've had my best luck going with "standardized configurations". Let me know what you come up with!
 

trower

[geer/peyj] hubris, confuse, paralysis by analysis
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Well I've been about a week or so with my new Mainline. Maybe I'd better not get to gushy but I'm happy enough with it to put my VHT back in the closet for now.
I got to say what impressed me immediately was feel this amp has. The resonance and presence covers a huge amount of e.q. without being complicated. As I jump from a FRFR cab to a reg. guitar cab, I can quickly close the frequency gap between the two cabs pretty darn close and fast! Nothing I've ever tried before has come close (in a solid state amp) It really does a great job of and has come closer to a tube feel than anything I've tried before.
It could never replace the VHT for **** sakes!...but...smaller, lighter when I need it and the feel? Great job. I'm very spoiled by having the VHT and I didn't have high hopes for the Mainline but I must say I'm very, very much surprised.
 

dognmoon

Silver Supporting Member
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1,655
Well I've been about a week or so with my new Mainline. Maybe I'd better not get to gushy but I'm happy enough with it to put my VHT back in the closet for now.
I got to say what impressed me immediately was feel this amp has. The resonance and presence covers a huge amount of e.q. without being complicated. As I jump from a FRFR cab to a reg. guitar cab, I can quickly close the frequency gap between the two cabs pretty darn close and fast! Nothing I've ever tried before has come close (in a solid state amp) It really does a great job of and has come closer to a tube feel than anything I've tried before.
It could never replace the VHT for **** sakes!...but...smaller, lighter when I need it and the feel? Great job. I'm very spoiled by having the VHT and I didn't have high hopes for the Mainline but I must say I'm very, very much surprised.
Funny, I was searching TGP for the right price to sell my Mainline and found this thread. Now I'm second-guessing. haha
Agreed, it's awesome, and I was also skeptical that it would deliver enough of the feel-good to be worth the purchase. But at 1U and 17lbs, it kills for live gigs where I wanna run the Helix into stereo CAA 1x12 cube cabs.

Interestingly, I have patches that are JUST preamps, patches that are full amp models and other patches that actually have a loaded IR, and I could gig with any and all when running through a power amp and actual cabs.
 

trower

[geer/peyj] hubris, confuse, paralysis by analysis
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4,612
Funny, I was searching TGP for the right price to sell my Mainline and found this thread. Now I'm second-guessing. haha
Agreed, it's awesome, and I was also skeptical that it would deliver enough of the feel-good to be worth the purchase. But at 1U and 17lbs, it kills for live gigs where I wanna run the Helix into stereo CAA 1x12 cube cabs.

Interestingly, I have patches that are JUST preamps, patches that are full amp models and other patches that actually have a loaded IR, and I could gig with any and all when running through a power amp and actual cabs.
Yup, still stand by my statements and still using this with my Kemper as my VHT is used elsewhere....honeymoon long over too. Have you also tried a high quality drive pedal directly into it? It designed to take one with the "Instrument" level input (not just line level) Just for the fun of it, I ran my Carl Martin Plexi Drive into this and then eventually my whole pedalboard and wow! Incredible piece of gear. That Resonance just bangs out the "thump"...between that and the presence, dialing in a quick overall eq is breezy easy.
 

trower

[geer/peyj] hubris, confuse, paralysis by analysis
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BTW, I'm very surprised this power amp isn't being swooned over by the Modeling camp here. It's flying way under the radar as some stuff does.
 
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BoogieZilla

Member
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348
One year later, how are you Mainline guys feeling about it?

Also, what type of material are you playing thru it?

Thanks for all replies :)
 

trower

[geer/peyj] hubris, confuse, paralysis by analysis
Gold Supporting Member
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4,612
One year later, how are you Mainline guys feeling about it?

Also, what type of material are you playing thru it?

Thanks for all replies :)
I'm still using it, love it and believe it's still a criminally underrated poweramp. It's still supports my Kemper beautifully. I honestly am perfectly happy running either poweramp. I will say if I had to choose one over the other for heavy gigging, the Mainline would be the one. At home, I switch between the two...not because the Mainline's sounds excels over the VHT, nothing does in my opinion but because it's more convenient. The big plus is it powers up fast, it's much lighter, more compact and simply sounds great! and loud. For a special gig or jam where I pull out all stop, the VHT would be the one.

I use it for Blues, Rock, whatever the mood hits...it's really a sweet unit but pretty flat poweramp if you dial it in that way. Again, the Resonance and Presence are hugely effective.

I'm slowing down on my gigging and jammin' out so the VHT may eventually get more use at home...but yea, great poweramp!

 
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chrishurley

Silver Supporting Member
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852
Here's a bump... I recently got one of these (and a 1st gen Velocity 300)

Initial reaction is pretty positive...
 

chrishurley

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
852
I'm still using it, love it and believe it's still a criminally underrated poweramp.
Criminally underrated is true... I'm so disappointed to report that it is discontinued now. This would have been a great option for a lot of people if they'd known about it.
 






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