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Going Ampless

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by gunihoon, May 19, 2011.

  1. gunihoon

    gunihoon Member

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    Hi,

    Might sound a tad idiotic...

    Facing a situation that possibly mean that I have to go amp-less and need to go direct to FOH and a mon for myself.

    Would this work well?

    Guitar > Pedal Board w/ Tube based OD > Tech21 Character pedal > DI > Mixing Board

    or

    Or would my regular ODs would do just fine?

    Or Guitar > Pedalboard > A/B Switch > 1 Pedal for clean (Blonde), 1 pedal for Drive (British) > 2 x DIs > Mixing Board

    Main idea is to get a ballpark tone close to a tube amp. Can't help but feel silly asking this... tks!!!!
     
  2. gunihoon

    gunihoon Member

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  3. David-R

    David-R Supporting Member

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    I have a Tech 21 Liverpool and non-tube based ODs work fine. Specifically I've used a Barber 1/2 Gainer into the Liverpool with good results.
     
  4. ChorusCrackpot

    ChorusCrackpot Member

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    Clean tones should be fine going direct- mind sound a bit clinical though, but that works for some things quite well.

    The OD stuff- using the Tech21 Character pedal should work out okay.
     
  5. gunihoon

    gunihoon Member

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    David: How close does the Liverpool get to actual Vox(s)?
     
  6. cwcashiniv

    cwcashiniv Member

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    Is the amp situation due to finances, or due to venue?

    If it's finances, then my condolences... I would say to look into small watt tube amps, like the Blues Junior, Class 5, AC4tv, whatever tones you like if you can spring it. I would sell off one of my dirt pedals for a low watt amp that can give me some great tone at lower price tags. I play through a Marshall Class 5 at several smaller gigs that I don't want to haul my larger combo amps out for, and I love it! Great tones to be had from that little guy :aok

    If it's venue, then I would suggest either building some sort of iso-box that you can house/direct your amp into that would allow you to mic your amp, or have a conversation with the sound engineer(s) on why it is a great idea to have an amp that you're going into instead of direct in. In my experience, you lose a lot of tonal qualities going direct - unless they have some serious gear in the FOH to accommodate you going direct and can excellently amplify your sound themselves. My guess is if they're having you go direct, the facility you are gigging in doesn't have the FOH rig to make this happen.

    If it's neither of these, then yes, you'd want to find some pedals that have a great amp flavor and are dynamic like an amp would be... Immediately, the Menatone TBIAC and BJF EGDM (and possibly Bearfoot EGDM in a week's time...) come to mind for Vox; for Marshall tones, the Bearfoot DRD is AWESOME - I just love mine. The Wampler Plextortion is another great choice for both Marshall-esque gained down and gained up applications, and the Catalinbread DLS is a great all-around OD.

    Best of luck! And post the results of what happens, what you decide to go with, and how it turns out!
     
  7. David-R

    David-R Supporting Member

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    Unfortunately I've never played a real Vox tube amp so I can't say.
     
  8. gunihoon

    gunihoon Member

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    I have both BF HBOD and DRD and I love them :) Just the thought of running them direct to house doesn't sound right to me (and dun do them justice!) ad thus wanted to run it thru a "amp" pedal. And yes, am keeping my eyes open for the new BF releases!! :)

    Main reason of going this route is the venue - we are using a small hall what wide in width and stage volume is alway an issue. Thus exploring going FOH and thru feedback mons to regulate the volume. Building the iso-box can be considered but building it to house a Vox AC15CC1 might not be worth the $ hahaha :) And there's the space consideration as well... on that, do you have any diagrams on how to build one?
     
  9. soundbee

    soundbee Member

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    Check out the AMT SS-20. It's a three channel tube preamp that lives in a pedal and has a great speaker emulator. Sounds killer direct. You'll hear a lot of "metal" demos on YouTube - but crank the mids a bit and it's sweet toneful Marshall like goodness.

    Also, has a regular output you can us into a tube power amp or fx return on your fave amp.

    Lastly, as good as the drive channels sound, I was surprised by the clean - wow. Nice pedal all around and worth a looksee.
     
  10. aparnell

    aparnell Member

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    I have played dozens of gigs with my pedal board into a tech 21 blonde into the board. I have the blonde and a direct box mounted on a separate little board that I hook up for really small venues and for a back up.
    It works great. I can use all my pedals and the blonde does a great job sounding like a deluxe.

    There will be people that slam these because they think you cannot get good tone without a tube amp, but that's just not true. If you cannot use an amp at a gig, I would prefer this setup to a some type of digitech or line 6 all in one pedal.
    I have used the liverpool as well, but I don't think it has as much warmth as the blonde.
    Just my opinion. To me it's one of the best purchases I have ever made. It is an great backup for my tube amps if one should go down.
    Good luck
     
  11. WailinGuy

    WailinGuy Member

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    Why not use a mic'd small tube combo amp placed in front of you and tilted back slightly? That's got to sound better to you than a monitor wedge being fed a direct signal from your pedals. That should give the sound person plenty of control over your FOH volume.
     
  12. gunihoon

    gunihoon Member

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    Currently doing that but the hall size still leads to amp bleeds into the mix....
     
  13. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    Didn't read everything, but out of what I saw, a key component might be missing to your model... I thought tech21 is just an amp sim not a speaker/cab sim? That is important for going direct. Also, I agree with people who suggest not getting rid of the amp - get rid of everything but the amp!! And... well... maybe the guitar too.... Someone suggested a blues junior for a small tube guy and I love mine - get it used for $300, through in a merc mag for $90 and a swamp thang for $80!
     
  14. 62Tele

    62Tele Supporting Member

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    I use tube amps and I run direct with a Tech 21 Blonde. Both are good options, both have strengths and weaknesses, both have applications. For really quiet settings where any amp bleed into a mic would suck and even 10 watts could be too loud, the direct setup is great. It's also really useful on the other end of the spectrum - in a big mix where it can get hard to keep things balanced, a direct setup simplifies the sound guys job considerably and can make for a better mix.

    For me, these kind of direct devices are a great option - like any other tool, you use them when it's appropriate.
     
  15. betteriz1day

    betteriz1day Supporting Member

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    The Tech 21 Character pedals are amp sims that have an always on spkr sim I believe. The newer versions now have a spkr/sim defeat switch.
     
  16. lando014

    lando014 Member

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    Build some iso boxes for your amp...Your tone will be crushed if you run it through a DI box
     
  17. Eminor7

    Eminor7 Member

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    An iso-box defeats the purpose of having an amp. I have spent the last fifteen years researching, designing, and building tube circuits in an effort to reduce the size and volume of a tube amp while keeping the tone. A huge part of what makes an amp sound and feel like an amp is the mechanical feedback loop between the guitar and the amp. For example, nothing truly sounds and feels like a 50W JMP Marshall plugged into a 4x12 cabinet but a 50W JMP Marshall plugged into 4x12 cabinet. A small tube amp sounds like a small amp.

    With that said, if we are going to take the mechanical feedback loop out of the equation, we might as well use a well-executed solid-state circuit. The absence of high voltage and heat make for a safer and more reliable setup.

    Tech 21 makes some amazingly underrated gear. I purchased a new Trademark 30 a few years back for practicing at home because my wife is not tube power amp volume friendly, and a tube amp with the preamp cranked and the power stage turned down sounds like a fizzy buzz bomb. The TM 30 was a little boxy sounding, but I was amazed at how good it sounded at conversational voice level. What was really cool was that the little amp scaled linearly volume-wise. That experience led me to eventually pick up a second-hand Trademark 60 (TM 60). I figured that I would use the TM 60 as a backup for my main tube rig, but it ended up being my preferred amp.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  18. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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  19. juice

    juice Member

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    I use a setup just like the OP is asking about on a weekly basis: guitar>pedalboard>Tech 21 Leeds>DI>house.

    I have had no issues with this setup, and have run a wide number of dirt pedals in front, both tube driven (Jester mainly) and non-tube. No, you don't get quite the same range of dynamics or "feel" as going through an actual amp, but it gives you enough that it's a decent compromise. I can still get enough dynamics, workable feedback and tone that I still enjoy playing through this setup.

    All said and done, having a good soundman is where this will either shine or fail though.
     
  20. ES330

    ES330 Member

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    At one venue, I always go direct
    Sansamp Blonde > Delay > Reverb > amp

    And get complimented on my tone
     

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