Battle Of The Cab Sim Boxes

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Electric I, Feb 28, 2006.


  1. Electric I

    Electric I Member

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    With price in mind - preferrably within a 2 bill limit, whaddaya think is the best value?

    Hughes & Kettner Red Box

    Voodoo Labs Cabtone

    Palmer ???

    Other ???

    Have a behringer ultra g & while it does help, I gotta believe there's something else I should be looking at.
     
  2. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    ADA Microcab II
     
  3. LouRossi

    LouRossi Member

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    I'm looking at the behringer & for under 40 dollars it seems like a deal. What is it missing for you?
    Thanks
    Lou
     
  4. drmathprog

    drmathprog Member

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    I've been using a Palmer for several years. I think it's terrific.
     
  5. jlagrassa

    jlagrassa Supporting Member

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    I use the Palmer PDI-09, great box very realistic!
     
  6. Electric I

    Electric I Member

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    Unburst - thanks for the suggestion. The list grows.

    Lou - with nothing to directly compare the behringer to, I'm not sure what/if anything's missing per se. Just window shopping, really.

    drmathprog & jlagrassa - from what I've read, the Palmer line is cream of the crop & their prices reflect it. Someday I'll own a Palmer. Until then...

    Thanks for the input, everyone. Really appreciated.
     
  7. jtkung

    jtkung Member

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    here are some choices from above ...

    voodoo labs cabtone
    ada microcab ii
    palmer pdi-0x series
    hughes & kettner red box
    behringer ultra g direct box

    the first three are no longer made, but you can get them on ebay for under $200, except for the palmer. van halen uses the palmer (as does alex lifeson), and they are the older models, before groove tubes sued them (it's the pdi-05 i think). these go for a lot on ebay. palmer now sells some newer units and they are expensive ($500-800). note: the first three are all rackmounts.

    the last two are smaller and cheaper. the red box is a load (power soak) also. can be powered by phantom power, external adapter, or battery. the same for the behringer ultra g. the big difference? the behringer is $35! and does sound pretty good.

    if you're looking for a cab sim pedal that will fit nicely on a pedalboard with 1/4" outs -- it doesn't exist as far as i can tell. there are amp sims out there you can use to get the cab sim for free (v-stack, sansamp gt-2, etc.) but they color the tone.

    last i saw on this board, carl martin had something cooking that looked like it could fit the bill (aka "the rock bug") but no word on a price or release date yet.
     
  8. drmathprog

    drmathprog Member

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    I don't know what PDI-09's go for now. I'm pretty sure mine cost about $110.
     
  9. threm

    threm Member

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    The creamiest cream of the crop would be the Motherload box, now in a 1U box.
    http://www.motherload.co.uk/index.html
    http://www.motherloadusa.com/motherload-load-box-directbox-home.asp

    User report and discussion on the Gearslutz forum
    http://gearslutz.com/board/showthread.php3?threadid=28255

    More here, also some Palmer stuff
    http://gearslutz.com/board/search.php3?searchid=1269587

    "Remember the Palmer was my favorite, but comparing it to the Motherload is really unfair! The Motherload just outshines the Palmer in every aspect from a functionality and tonal perspective.

    The most noticeable difference right out the gate were the clean sounds... they really stand out now! I was considering getting another head just for clean, but I've abandoned that consideration because the Motherload just brought fresh life into the Low Input of the Naylor."
    http://hugeracksinc.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=4632


    [​IMG]

    The older 2U model, seems to be discontinued now

    [​IMG]
    http://www.amptone.com/sequismotherload.htm

    Lots of links to attenuators and filtered DI`s/spk sims
    http://www.amptone.com/
     
  10. threm

    threm Member

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    The Koch Pedaltone is a pedal;
    4 channels, 4 x 12AX7, 0.5w tube power amp integrated and spk sim out.
    But may not be what you call a "pedal that will fit nicely on a pedalboard". :)

    Dimensions - 31w x 23.5d x 8.5h cm / 12 1/5"w x 9 ½"d 3 1/3"h
    Weight - 3 kg / 6lbs

    http://www.koch-amps.com/products/index.cfm?fa=product&product_id=1157721E-4555-4C4B-9&liststart=1


    [​IMG]


    Btw I also read a post where Rid (Carl Martin) mentioned a new gain pedal with a spk sim output.
    How`s the lab tests going, Rid?
     
  11. LouRossi

    LouRossi Member

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    Has anyone tried the cab sim. on the new TC [SIZE=-1]VPD1 box?
    [/SIZE]
     
  12. tjburton

    tjburton Member

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    The Voodoo Cabtone works pretty well for me. It's voiced to simulate a Celestion Vintage 30 in either a open back combo or closed back format. This is not a rack mount piece as I think one of the other posters stated earlier. Here is info on the unit.
    http://www.amptone.com/dmccabtone.htm

    I got mine for $75 on the Harmony Central classifieds several years ago.

    I have vintage 30's in my rig and I have A/B 'd this unit against micing my cab in a decent sized PA where my amp was off stage and isolated. The Cabtone was amazingly close to sounding like my speakers. My first choice would be to mic my cab, but that isn't always possible in what I do - so in those situations I use the cabtone. The only downfall with this unit is if you plan to only use the line out and not connect to a speaker, you will need some type of load box (resistor) to make your amp see the propper ohm load.

    If I were doing this all over again, I might look at the Weber Mass product attenuator that uses the guts of a speaker to pass the signal through - so it is not actually emulating the speaker - it is the signal that has been effected by a speaker. Depending on the wattage of your amp, you can get one of these under $200.
    http://www.tedweber.com/atten.htm
     
  13. Electric I

    Electric I Member

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    Wow.

    Got some choices there.

    Thanks for the extra info, threm & tjburton.
     
  14. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    I just had outstanding results with using a Weber MASS into a Palmer DI box... killer. The MASS was about $50 used, and the Palmer was $160... in your budget. Don't think you could do better for 3 x the $.
     
  15. trucks

    trucks Member

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    The Palmer PDI-09 is excellent. It is $145 new from

    http://palmergear.com/recording_studio.shtml

    You still need a load with this box, but a Weber Mass is a fine and inexpensive solution. There are some posts here that state the pdi-09 sounds nearly as good as the legendary PDI-03.
     
  16. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Member

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    I have a DOD greybox here which works pretty well. Ive A/B 'd it between a 57 micing a 4 x 12 and they didnt sound too far apart for my purposes. Beats carrying a mic to the gig out of the studio. I dont think they make the grey box any more though so I bet they go for cheap now.

    FWIW I used to use an ADA MP1 to the grey box and into the board at gigs and it sounded fine.
     
  17. Electric I

    Electric I Member

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    playon & trucks - I'll have to look into the palmer - thanks for the suggestion.

    Dickie - thanks for the suggestion as well
     
  18. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    Good tone. :( Having found a used Red Box on evilBay for $60, I'll never use the cab sim in my Behringer again.
     
  19. DigitalTube

    DigitalTube Member

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    I'd just suggest if you plan to buy the expensive ones, like the Motherload or Palmer, see if you can have them agree to take it back in case you don't like it, don't go by what the reviews say on their sites, or because Satriani, or Van Halen uses them, I owned both the MotherLoad, and most of the Palmers, and sold them all on Ebay after, none of them worked out for me.
    Just my onpinion.
    E.B.
     
  20. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I've tried a few:
    Redbox-what's not to like, cheap, sounds good, no noise..., no 1/4" output
    ADA Microcab-noisy, lots of settings but no better soundwise than the REdbox.
    Tech 21 Sansamp-useful with a preamp out, or output from a loadbox (can't take speaker level inputs)-great sounds and flexibility and records really well, definitely available for your price. To me the coolest solution would be an attenuator/load box to the Sansamp to a Radial Direct Box.
    Marshall/GT SE-1-again, lots of knobs but I couldn't get a sound I really liked. Discontinued but still ($300) expensive.
    Morley Award Direct Box/Cab sim (can't remember the name)-Actually a cool box, quiet and flexible since it can output both 1/4" and XLR signals, uses line level not speaker level, footswitchable (so you can use cab sim for electric and straight signal for piezo).
     
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