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Blind test! Mesa Dual Rectifier vs 'mystery' modeler (UPDATE: results revealed!!)

Guitarjon

Member
Messages
1,855
UPDATE: Here are the results, let me know what you think:


Hey everyone,

I thought we'd have some fun with some 'science' here! So in this blind test we're comparing my 3ch 2000's Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier to a mystery digital modeling platform. I'm the only one who can't give an unbiased opinion because I already know which one is which, but I can hear some subtle differences in the response mainly. The question is, does this matter and to what extent?

So what would be interesting to know from you guys is:

1. Which one was the real Mesa Dual Rectifier?

2. Which modeling platform do you think it was?

3. Which one do you prefer, regardless of which one you think was the real amp, and why?



A lot of people always claim that they can easily tell modelers apart from real amps and a lot of people also claim that they can recognize certain platforms because of certain sonic traits. But when presented with a blind test, how many of you can tell which one is real and which one is digital? This can be fun! :)
 
Last edited:

GuitarKidd

Member
Messages
3,609
1. B... I think.
2. Based on the gear you have behind you, and possibly a subtle clue (intentional or not) in the intro to your video, I'll say Axe FX
3. Not sure I prefer either of them as they are both great sounding tones and if used in a song and properly mixed would sound huge!

Great vid!
 

York Audio

Vendor
Messages
383
Great test, Jon! They’re pretty close! I would say “A” is the real amp and “B” is the modeler. I’m guessing the modeler is the Fractal. Even if I’m wrong, they both sound great.

The differences I hear is that “A” has some deeper lows and more top end extension, and “B” has more midrange and less sizzle.
 

primemover12

Member
Messages
287
I think I prefer A marginally over B, although I dislike Mesas in general. So I might just be preferring whichever sounds less like a Mesa.
 

John Quinn

Member
Messages
2,426
A lot of people always claim that they can easily tell modelers apart from real amps and a lot of people also claim that they can recognize certain platforms because of certain sonic traits. But when presented with a blind test, how many of you can tell which one is real and which one is digital? This can be fun! :)
Nice test Jon. What was the signal chain on the Mesa? And did the modeler run direct? What IR did you use on the Modeler?

I prefer the sound of A over B - and I believe A is the modeling amp and B is the Mesa.
The reasoning is that A's tone is very consistent - with very little variation - i.e...the bright stays bright - the bass is very tight and the overall level is simliar each time. B sounds like a tube amp to my ears - a lot of sonic variation within a fairly consistent overall tone.

One thing about these tests - they are always compressed distortion from my view - and that kind of invalidates an A/B comparison - where as a clean or slightly broken up amp/modeler reveals quite a lot about the amps/modelers. I don't really play heavier music - which has a lot to do with my preferences on Modelers and Amps.
 

Guitarjon

Member
Messages
1,855
Thanks for chiming in guys, keep it coming! The results are very interesting so far!!

Nice test Jon. What was the signal chain on the Mesa? And did the modeler run direct? What IR did you use on the Modeler?

I prefer the sound of A over B - and I believe A is the modeling amp and B is the Mesa.
The reasoning is that A's tone is very consistent - with very little variation - i.e...the bright stays bright - the bass is very tight and the overall level is simliar each time. B sounds like a tube amp to my ears - a lot of sonic variation within a fairly consistent overall tone.

One thing about these tests - they are always compressed distortion from my view - and that kind of invalidates an A/B comparison - where as a clean or slightly broken up amp/modeler reveals quite a lot about the amps/modelers. I don't really play heavier music - which has a lot to do with my preferences on Modelers and Amps.
I don't want to give anything away about the signal chain until I do the reveal (which will hopefully be within a week). I will explain everything in the reveal video though. Should be interesting! :)
 

bassgiant15

Member
Messages
52
I'm gonna say A is the real amp.

I think I prefer A as well, but they are really close!!!

No telling which modeler was used...I'm hoping you used the Quad Cortex because that would just give me another reason to be excited for it! :p
 

LaXu

Member
Messages
7,320
My guess is that B is the real amp. It has something in the midrange that I don't hear in the other one.

I haven't cared about modeler vs real amp in recorded context for a long time. They can get real close when run through cab sims.

Usually in modeler vs real amp clips the telltale sign of the real amp has been more background noise but in this one I can't really hear it.
 

gtr37

Member
Messages
6,597
Both sound great if the guy who guessed Neural is right and this is a capture they did well
Either tone sounds like a Recto and works
 

York Audio

Vendor
Messages
383
Thanks for chiming in guys, keep it coming! The results are very interesting so far!!



I don't want to give anything away about the signal chain until I do the reveal (which will hopefully be within a week). I will explain everything in the reveal video though. Should be interesting! :)
Are you doing any high pass or low pass filtering on one or both of the tracks? If so, where are you cutting?
 

thumperjack

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
712
B is the modeller, unless you deliberately did this test with the master volume slammed. The real dual rec carries a fundamental resonance that tracks steady below while the pick attack breaks up separately on top, distinctly clear and removed from the resonance. It does that great until the master gets pushed into power amp distortion, where the resonance starts to distort and the two elements start to smear. The real amp has such a time offset between fundamental resonance and pick attack its basically already stereo, modelers don't do that yet. B is the modeller, unless you deliberately 1. used a different IR or mic placement or post EQ, or 2. pushed the real amp master into power amp saturation
 

thumperjack

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
712
it's super hard to tell when it's double tracked like this, put up the same comparison mono and you can hear B top end aliasing and element smearing (pick attack and resonance), A sounds legit like parallel distortion, the crunchy bits sit on top and track fast while the bass follows behind like a stoned bassist, those elements in B stay right on top of each other 1:1
 

Guitarjon

Member
Messages
1,855
it's super hard to tell when it's double tracked like this, put up the same comparison mono and you can hear B top end aliasing and element smearing (pick attack and resonance), A sounds legit like parallel distortion, the crunchy bits sit on top and track fast while the bass follows behind like a stoned bassist, those elements in B stay right on top of each other 1:1
Interesting! For me it's the other way around. When it's double tracked it's easier for me to hear the differences.
 




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