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At the crossroads between tubes and modellers

bluescube

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,616
I am giving the Yamaha THR100 a shot right now and so far I'm impressed (except for the reverb). I am mainly using it for a Voxy crunch style or a Marshall JMP style.
 

LaXu

Member
Messages
5,828
You need to make a compromise in some area. Most high gain metal amps are great for only that thing and only average for anything else. Meanwhile a lot of more old school sounding amps will never have that quick, stiff response the metal amps do. My compromise was to get an amp that does everything but the metal stuff well. I can use a modeler for the high gain stuff.

Obviously modelers are also a very viable option for do-everything units but that comes with complexity in adjusting them. I rarely touched my Axe-Fx 2 presets after building them because it was a chore to do on the front panel and I had to fire up the software editor on my computer for any real work. Helix does a lot better in that area but it's still a fair bit of complex routing, tweaking the cab sims etc to get a sound I am happy with. Yamaha THR100HD was a good no-nonsense setup that covers a lot of ground but it has its own drawbacks. It might be an option worth trying if you already have a decent pedalboard for effects.
 

jvin248

Member
Messages
5,029
.

+1 on the modelers as a time suck.
And if you are loving the Fuzz... like they do on the movies, "put the gun down sir and step away from the weapon". Work with the overdrives and distortion pedals.

Spend time on Johan Sageborn's youtube channel. Here are a couple. Joyo pedal is surprisingly effective. Of course, the Bandit can be magical.


.
 

buddy7168

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,049
My favorite for recording and lower volume stuff is to use my tube amp with a load box, IRs, and studio monitors. A nice modeler like the Fractal AX8 is also a good choice.
 

macula56

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,690
Most of my live gigs are with an AX-8 into a Line 6 Powercab Plus. I've set this rig up next to my Fenders and my Plexi and the difference is microscopic. I'm using standard Fractal cab IR's and the flat setting on the Line 6. It works great for my stuff.
 

High/Deaf

Member
Messages
639
Yea, I've lived on Tube Ave for decades. But I finally bought a new house across the bridge on Kemper St.

The old house has a lot of curb appeal, it is comfortable, warm and inviting, charming even. But smaller rooms, limited layout and services/appliances, more upkeep - definitely not best for everything. And the neighbors are old couples who don't seem to want to hear about anything new. Lots of 'get off my lawn' comments, although always willing to help keep the old place going.

Meanwhile, the new house is open-concept, it's more flexible and has more doodads, maybe a bit colder/less charming but requires a lot less upkeep. It, too, isn't the best for everything. The neighbors on that side of the bridge are all about how to make the best of the new house and seem to embrace the compromises. Most of them came from the other side of the bridge and are willing to help out when needed.

Both are a bit of a compromise. I have no plans on selling either place, though, I like the variety.
The drive is short and it's pretty easy to enjoy either house at any time and use either house for parties or get-togethers. They're both really nice if I just want to chill by myself. Options are good.

__________________________
As to the learning curve? I remember when I first started working with a DAW. Frustrating, annoying, the changes in routine drove me crazy sometimes. Even made me feel like digging out my old tape machine. But I persevered and couldn't imagine ever going back to the analog tape stuff in any serious way now, except for some very unique and unusual circumstances. None of this new stuff is dead easy.
 

Axe-Man

Member
Messages
6,131
I really am enjoying my Helix. I have a few tube amps too.

As a digital preamp into a great power amp and cab the Helix is really good. Not quite tube amp amazing but with the right preamp definitely solid.

Feel is excellent in this scenario.

As an FX system it is amazing.

As a direct tool it’s extremely useful and the sounds can often be very realistic but to be totally honest the feel gets very weird at times. To me it often feels like a SS amp.

That FET input stage thing with some dialed in ‘sag’. It definitely helps your chops playing in headphones etc so no issues for me personally. I wish the feel was right as that would help moving from different amps with very different levels of feel. I guess that is important to me personally.

I had an IRT Studio and got some killer sounds out of it. It likes a 4x12 IMO and whilst gainy it is more singing high gain like a Mesa Mk series or a Soldano than a brootz amp (it is called an Ironheart). Not that loud and not that much bottom end. Excellent amp though. Makes a killer little poweramp.
 

Bob Womack

Member
Messages
2,432
Yeah, well, I have the usual TGP tube amp pile but I've got to say there isn't a tube amp in the world that will play at quiet, respectful levels at home. That's where the modelers came in. And then I began playing sessions in a studio where I couldn't open up a loud amp. Things have changed.

Bob
 

dazco

Member
Messages
14,151
I'd go with a katana for one reason. There are more reasons, but the one that makes me suggest it to you is is the lower volume tones. I have been playing tube amps since the 70s ad i have had a foolish amount of them. The one thing the katana does that no other amp i've owned does is bring that kind of punch and scream that normally only happens turned up reasonably loud. No tube amp i have owned did it like the katana does. In that regard, low volume, i would actually say it's the best amp i have owned ! Because no other amp brings that at low volume. Now understand this....i'm talking dirive tones here. I don't use clean amp tones because i get my cleans by riding the guitar volume. And in that regard it's great too. But the full on drive tones at low volumes really amaze me. It also has a ton of settings in the PC app too, and being a home player you have the time to mess with that and lots of room to get many tones.
 
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Guitar Dave T

Member
Messages
10,610
I go out to see Greg Germino play now and then. He’s a Les Paul into Marshall (Germino) guy. A modeler makes zero sense for him... or anyone else with a simple setup.
I go out to see Greg Germino play now and then. He’s a Les Paul into Marshall (Germino) guy. A modeler makes zero sense for him... or anyone else with a simple setup.

I disagree on feel. I think the correct feel has been there for me for 10+ years now

I disagree on feel. I think the correct feel has been there for me for 10+ years now
Maybe for you, but I go the same route as Greg Germino, and no modeler I've tried comes close to the dynamic interaction of a Les Paul into a CRANKED plexi.
 

datguytim

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,661
As a longtime pro, I will occasionally record (seldom) with some sort of POD or modeler, if the situation dictates so (read: the studio has no tube amps & I only brought guitars & pedals). Rehearsals & live work: tube amps ONLY. I'm one of those guys you modeling lovers HATE!
 

OHSOFUZZY

Member
Messages
1,308
I'm pretty much only Helix at this point.

Have tube amps and pedals still but never use them. Selling eventually.

I love the tone, flexibility and ease.
I thought I'd be endlessly tweaking but once you get the hang of it all it's less tweaking and a myriad of tones.
Have couple of core sounds (like owning a few amps) and use those at various levels of gain....along with footswitchable drive and effects pedals.

Coming to terms with the tone being a mic'd cab and not amp in the room only took a couple weeks. (when used with PA, headphones or monitors)
Your ears and brain are quick to assimilate.

It's damn near indeterminable when used as preamp into FX Loop with tube power amp.
At first I thought I could tell the difference but was mostly my biased mind skewing my opinion. I was in a position to have an open mind.

I listen to tube amp demos now and there's no doubt to me that it sound as good. of course that's a situation where the tube amp is being recorded through a mic.

Its killed all of my amp and pedal GAS.
 

Oakley

Member
Messages
976
62 years old. I have used tube amps almost exclusively. I recently got a Quilter Mach 2 Pro HD. It's the first solid state amp I have played through that I really liked. Sounds great loud or soft. And I can play a bass through it safely - at rehearsal volumes. Weighs 21 pounds.

I love modeling for recording because you can record the clean signal and try lots of different amp and effect models without having to record multiple takes. But for live playing, I stick to tube amps. I might use the Quilter, now though.
 

milli vanilli

Member
Messages
4,911
I suggest spending some time with the modeler, as only you will know if it is right for you. I tried out a buddy's kemper....I spent more time digging into menus, twisting stuff, and then my OCD kicked in and I started wondering "does it REALLY sound like that amp? Does it really matter if it does or not? What am I gonna plug this into, a cab? Better for speakers? How much is this?" for me, I'd rather have one nice amp, learn it well, and just enjoy it. Glad I spent time with it. Make sure you do too, because you may find that it is exactly what works for you... you can't go wrong as long as you compare a quality amp to a quality modeler. Good position to be in...
 




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