Atomic Amplifire Box convert!

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by philh27, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. philh27

    philh27 Member

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    Although I'll qualify that by saying 'for recording' at the moment.

    Took the plunge last week. I'm a committed valve/ tube amp player, but for home recording it isn't really practical to mic up two amps ( in stereo), so for the last few years, I've used a Tech 21 Liverpool pedal as my 'amp'. It sounds great in a mix for clean tones, but struggles a bit as I add gain, particularly with single note stuff. This is what pushed me towards the AFB.

    Other than some of the earlier Line 6 stuff, I don't have any experience with amp modellers. The fully featured units really do not interest me at all. I get bored/ impatient with too many options, so the AFB sounded exactly the kind of unit I needed.

    I have to say straight out the box, flicking through the presets I was quite underwhelmed. I started to adjust the knobs and was beginning to believe I'd made an error of choice. It didn't sound terrible, just not as good as I was expecting.

    But then, I tried some of the suggested settings. Then, I found the preset section of the Atomic Forum ( via TGP). And only then did it start to make sense.

    Of course my disappointing experience had mainly been due to operator error. I'd been starting with the gain and tone controls broadly as I would with my amps and not finding the sweet spots of each model. Doh!

    The 65 Deluxe and Top Boost models are magnificent for cleans. Still trying to find my ideal dirty amps, but really enjoying the Plexi and 800 so far.

    I think it'll be a while before I was brave enough to use it live, but at the very least I have an emergency back up now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
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  2. Toby Krebs

    Toby Krebs Member

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    I used mine last week at an outdoor poolside resort gig after a GT100 into a QSC K8 and it killed live!I just set it to a Fender Deluxe.It sounds exactly like my real one and feels very similar.For straight amp modeling the AFB kicks booty!
     
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  3. dmock66

    dmock66 Member

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    Agreed - the AFB sounds like the perfect solution for your situation/use case. The Atomic platform is an excellent value and the amp tones are awesome!
     
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  4. Jace Nuzback

    Jace Nuzback Member

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    Glad the AFB is working out for you! If you have any questions you can contact me directly on this forum or you can E-mail support@atomicamps.com. I'm happy to answer any questions that you might have. I recommend that you check out my Tone Tips document which should help you dial things in better:
    https://atomicamps.com/forum/index.php?threads/tone-tips.1830/
    Cheers,
    Jace
     
  5. philh27

    philh27 Member

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    Thanks Jace. I'm certain I'll be asking for some help over the coming days and weeks! In fact your Tone Tips document has already answered a number of questions!
     
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  6. mikebu

    mikebu Member

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    The Atomic Amplifire box is so good that now I want to upgrade to a Amplifire 6 or 12...
     
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  7. Quad4

    Quad4 Member

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    What's at the core of the "stock presets suck"?

    I think this goes across all devices, not just Amplifire.

    Is it any or all of the following?
    • Non-store demo (or engineering) environment is different from where we use these devices
    • A lack of resources/time to develop good presets when rushing to ship
    • A huge variety in taste and styles across users
    • A variety of equipment used with the device
    • A desire to show off features rather than have usable sounds
     
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  8. mikebu

    mikebu Member

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    I don't agree that the stock presets suck. Only preset I have changed is adding in a clean Marshall preset that I Jace created for me in response to a message I sent him. I'm not a effect guy and get on just fine with amp only...
     
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  9. Phosphenetre

    Phosphenetre Member

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    While I was on the AFB platform, I loved the Kornfield for dirty sounds.
     
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  10. Jchrisf

    Jchrisf Member

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    I've owned just about everything but the Axe FX (I played through a friends 5 years ago) and to me, my AA6 is the most authentic and best sounding that I have tried. I thought all the presets sounded great and everything I have tried on my own sounded great. I was just about to purchase a boutique Marshall style amp and I finally bought the AA6 that I had been debating with for several years and now I am good. Should have gotten it years ago.
     
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  11. philh27

    philh27 Member

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    I'd say 'generally' it's twofold. Firstly consciously or otherwise, you approach a new piece of gear for the first time- especially something that is designed to emulate something else- with some broad expectations and if it doesn't quite match those expectations, you probably feel disappointed. This may true even if the tone is actually good, just not quite what you were expecting.

    Secondly I think manufacturers do want to show off what their product can do and probably design presets to try an snare people who are in a noisy music store, running through presets for 10 minutes or so. Most realise over time that 'good' tone (it is still subjective obviously) usually lies within subtle movements of a gain, tone or parameter knob, rather than at the extremes. However, a pedal packed with presets that are 'subtle' may not appeal to the widest possible audience of potential buyers. But of course the reverse is also true; many are probably put off due to their first encounter being unsatisfying.
     
  12. JiveTurkey

    JiveTurkey Trumpets and Tants Silver Supporting Member

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    5 years ago=not an accurate current picture, fwiw. I'm not going to toss the tired old "more realer" nugget out. But still.
     
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  13. PaisleyWookie

    PaisleyWookie Member

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    Yeah, I don't think it's even better than the Helix is now, at this point. I get much better Mark and Plexi sounds out of Native than I ever did the AA stuff.
     
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  14. Jchrisf

    Jchrisf Member

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    Don't worry, the Axe is next on my list to buy. :)

    But I am totally happy with the modelers I have now. I definitely don't see a need for a real amp anymore. I wasn't too happy with my Stomp until the last update with the added Revv... I love that one! They all have great cleans, even my Spider V
     
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  15. JiveTurkey

    JiveTurkey Trumpets and Tants Silver Supporting Member

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    It's a good place to be in! That Revv model is KILLER!
     
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  16. Elric

    Elric Member

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    AA feel > Helix ; in general pretty much across the board. I really think that is Atomic's forte'.

    For tones/sounds it varies from model to model but Atomic *easily* hangs at the same level. IMHO. Their FW development is lacking compared to a Helix or similar but it I can see preferring Atomic overall, stiil. To some degree I do, in fact, although I am making more peace with the Helix tones over time.

    The Helix sounds do not seem to be changing substantially over time to me; at least the things that bug me about it have never been addressed. :D I never played an early unit, it was pretty mature by the time I got to mess with them.

    Some of the new amp models are pretty good so maybe that is resonating with people here. But a lot of my faves are in the original set.... except for the Revv... Those amps were completely off the radar to me, and that is a pretty excellent model. No idea if it is accurate but I really like it as is, so, I can't wait for all the channels.

    Anyway, I think Atomic should consider another FW update to freshen things up a bit on principle. Even if it is only to leverage the placebo effect. LOL.
     
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  17. JiveTurkey

    JiveTurkey Trumpets and Tants Silver Supporting Member

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    Agreed on feel. I enjoy watching obscure feature "firmware requests" getting made for the platform. Bless their hearts.
     
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  18. PaisleyWookie

    PaisleyWookie Member

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    I definitely disagree, but YMMV. Most of the tones on the AA's felt like a plugin to me, and the Mesa models are laughably bad.
     
  19. Brandon7s

    Brandon7s Member

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    I've sold my Helix LT and also my Kemper, which I ended up trying twice before deciding that I it's just vast overkill for what I need. I only need something with which to play at home through studio monitors instead of through a amp+cab, which is what I do when I play with a band. I still have my Amplifirebox and I find that while it doesn't have as much sheer variety that the Helix and Kemper have, I prefer pretty much all of it's amp models to the Helix equivalents, especially high gain stuff, strangely enough. The 5150 in the AFB is just crazy good sounding with a 7-string. Could never get the same feel and tone out of the Helix version; it doesn't have enough grit and aggressiveness to hang with the AFB for me, even when using the exact same IRs on both units. I do use Helix Native a bit but mostly for it's Fender tones and delays, modulation.

    The Kemper sounds great, at least as good as the AFB but has a lot more variety in amps it can emulate, naturally, but when matching model-to-model I don't think the AFB looses to it in sheer amp tone and it also gives me FAR less option paralysis vs the Kemper. :D

    My AFB setup is pretty simple right now: Polytune -> AFB -> MXR Reverb -> Mixer/Audio Interface. I need to get a good stereo delay pedal to put right after the AFB as well as a decent drive to place before it and that's about all I have planned for additions.

    I've put some serious thought into buying an Amplifire 6 or 12, but from what I understand neither of them have stereo FX Loops and because I doubt that the reverbs on them are a match for my MXR Reverb (though someone correct me if they have heard both and feel otherwise) I absolutely need that feature. If the Amplifire 6/12 had stereo FX Loops then I could justify the cost since I would love to have more control over preset parameters and to have additional stomp switches for turning off built-in compression/drive/delay. If the FX loop is mono then I'm better off with my AFB.
     
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  20. Elric

    Elric Member

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    That’s fair... I agree the Atomic is not really nailing Mesa tonality and Helix is probably better there by a solid margin to most users...

    So a lot of people’s preference may boil down to what their bread and butter tones are; those are something a unit needs to really get right to be a long term winner for someone.

    Some types of sounds I just need to be serviceable and once it gets past that I’m no connoisseur.
     
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