Firehawk vs BIAS ios

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by NewOldDude, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. NewOldDude

    NewOldDude Member

    Dec 19, 2014

    I'm currently impressed with BIAS on the iPhone, and have a Yamaha thr5 and Marshal SL5 amp.
    I've got a few effects: Way Huge Swollen Pickle, EHX Slammi and Dunlop CryBaby Wah, don't gig (still learning) and would like to improve and consolidate my setup if possible. I could either keep adding the odd effect or two, or double down on digital and gain some extra space in my house.

    I take music lessons and typically learn a new song every week or two, and would appreciate the ability to easily match tones.

    Would the Firehawk be a big enough upgrade over BIAS iOS to warrant the cost? Or would I be better off just waiting for BIAS FX and upgrading my iPad 2 to an iPad Air 2?

    Form factor wise, I love the Amplifi TT as I could hook it up to my monitors very neatly without any additional clutter, but I worry about spending the $399 they want for it in Australia when the effects tech used seems so out of date based on the opinion in these forums. Also the modeled line 6 stomp boxes all seem a little too vintage. No Klon? Unobtainable boutique pedals should be the top of any FX modelers TODO list.

    Both BIAS/BIAS FX/Jam Up and Amplifi/Firehawk have a 'cloud' user preset download service. Both communities seem to largely pump out presets for metal and little else, which might be cool if you like to get your spandex on, but will leave the rest of us a little cold.
    Currently I find I resort to recording dry in Loop HD, then playing around with amps and effects during my train commute to work trying to create my own presets. I'd rather just download someone else's if it were available.

    I have tried apps like SGear, and though I think it sounded much better than BIAS on iOS, on my mac mini there was too much lag to use for practicing with at home. If I were recording I would use it to record dry and re-amp in a heart beat.

    Please share your thoughts, especially if you have both BIAS iOS and a Firehawk or Pod HD to compare against.
  2. slugworth

    slugworth Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2011
    BIAS and BIAS FX are great if you are able to/interested in rolling your own virtual amp and signal chain. The BIAS stuff can really sound phenomenal in the right hands. I could be misinterpreting what you said, but I get the impression from your post that you depend largely on presets of others, and I don't think you'll get the best mileage out of that.

    The Line 6 stuff is very good, and again in the right hands it can be great. However, the barrier to entry for great tone is being able to fine tune and tweak. There is a lot of good info out there on Line 6 tweaking, but it would be another skill for you to learn.

    I think you should look at a Vox Tonelab EX. I've owned a very long (and growing) list of modelers, and for me it is the one that minimizes the need to tweak in order to get great tone. Can I get marginally better tone with other devices? Sometimes, depending on what I am going for. But the Tonelab EX can get me 98-99% there with the least hassle. No, it's not as flexible as the other units. But flexibility can be a rope to hang yourself with when you are just starting out. There is even a Klon model and a great Dumble. The Marshall and Vox models (several of each) are excellent. You can probably find a used Tonelab EX for cheap, even in Australia.

    If you want to stick with iPhone apps, try Ampkit+ as well. It's got some great amps and effects, and it can get you there without much tweaking. A couple of the great amp models that come to mind are the Fender Hotrod and Fargen Olde 800.
  3. rsm

    rsm Member

    Jul 7, 2008
    On an island in the Atlantic Ocean
    I think you could download the AMPLIFi / Firehawk iOS app and search for presets based on songs in your iOS device. (I have an AMPLIFi FX100 and did this, however after my purchase). Though you won't be able to hear the presets, you could see if there are any available that claim to match songs you like.

    The Firehawk is going to give you more control so you can turn effects on and off, which the AMPLIFi does not provide - you have to switch patches to change sounds or do it from your iOS/Android device which is not convenient while playing.

    I also agree with slugworth about learning how to create your own sounds and settings / signal paths which will be better in the long run. Start with patches you like and dissect them and make changes to see how it all works.

    I don't own any BIAS products. My current modeler is a Boss GT-100 which I think sounds and works great for me.

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