Looking for a modeler for live use. Does it even matter?

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by jthomps123, May 8, 2016.

  1. jthomps123

    jthomps123 Supporting Member

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    Ok so Im looking for a live rig for ease of use / transport etc. I typically bring my own powered monitor anyway so removing an amp/cab/pedal-board would be awesome. I play in a party/cover band playing country/rock/rap/blues/top-40 etc.

    My current rig: Two Rock Studio Pro / 1x12 Cab / Large pedal-train with 3 dirt boxes and a TC Nova in the loop for effects.

    Considering: AX8 / Amplifire / Helix / (maybe kemper if it has enough fx for cover music). And possibly even something cheaper like a HD500x.

    I used a RP-360 live once and it didnt sound half bad. Sound guy (who uses axfx2 in his band) said it sounded really good. I dont use it live anymore because I just want more control/foot switches etc.

    So my question: Do I really need a hi-end modeler. Do you guys really notice the difference live? My band doesnt do a lot of low/soft nuanced songs where a killer tone with great feel and dynamics would get shown off.

    Disclaimer: I dont like to tweak etc. I want to set and forget if possible. I've played live for many years - just now starting to get into 'modeling'.

    Thanks in advance for any input!
     
  2. SteveO

    SteveO Member

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    I'm a Kemper owner, so I'm going to have a bit of a bias here...

    It sounds like the Axe8 or Helix would be ideal for what you're looking to accomplish, or on the more affordable side a BOSS GT-100. :)
     
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  3. jthomps123

    jthomps123 Supporting Member

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    Hi SteveO. If i had my choice I think it'd be a Kemper + Footswitch. Not sure im looking to shell out $2500 atm.

    Side note: I think i remember you from the DrZ forums? Do you have a wall of Z Amps and G-system?
     
  4. wpawley

    wpawley Member

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    All depends on how much you want to "spend" on it. Ax8 or Helix would be top ends all the way down to the POD, Tech21, Eleven Rack, Boss ME series. Once you LEARN how they work, ease of use is just a thang then. I've had the Boss GT 3 and the GT 8 and wasn't happy totally with either of them. Fairly decent sounds could be had with them but getting them took a lot of work and they were "what you hear is what you get". I have an 11R now and it sounds way better than the GT series did. While it doesn't have everything the GT's were capable of doing, the sound and feel is still better for what it does have (and easier to set up, especially with the stand alone editor). I have a friend with a HD500 and, while it sounds good, it isn't that easy to get it dialed in (JMHO). I haven't messed with any of the "High-Dollar" stuff but have seen it used and the sounds were great. Maybe when I win a Lottery.
     
  5. Mullenski

    Mullenski Gold Supporting Member

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    Recently went from an 11R, which I'd played for several years (20-30 gigs per year), to Helix. IMHO a night and day difference in both tone and ease of use. I don't use complicated rigs/signal chains. Just really nice to have fantastic tones. So, yes, I notice a big difference!
     
  6. Guitardave

    Guitardave Supporting Member

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    Budget option would be the DigiTech RP1000. Or the Amplifire if you can live with the limited footswitches. Personally I'd just get a Helix and be done with it.
     
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  7. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

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    The high end modelers definitely make great tones, but if you need a modeler for live use only, and you aren't too hung up on the subtleties, there's lots of gear out there now that does a good job. I own a Kemper and love its sounds, but have been doing a few gigs with a HD500 lately, and it does just fine. I also collect other Line 6 modelers, and would be willing to use anything from an original Pod to the new stuff in live performance, and they would do the job. Even something small and inexpensive like a Korg MS-50G pedal sounds good through the mains.

    There are quite a few players such as Bill Nelson using the older Line 6 gear, here is a video of him using either an original Pod or a 2.0 live. You can see it on the table behind him, and the controller on the floor. Sounds pretty good to me.

     
  8. LewisYL

    LewisYL Member

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    I notice the firehawk very rarely gets a mention in these threads, is it so close to the amplifier price wise that it's a no brainier to step up?
     
  9. Flying_V1968

    Flying_V1968 Member

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    I stuck with what I know - having owned fractal units since 2009 I got an AX8. I'm really happy with it and so are all the people I play with.

    We live in a golden age and there's an embarrassment of riches right now. It's clear any of the solutions can get you there - I'm sure I could make most of them work for me. I don't envy people having to make a choice now - awesome option overload! Just dig in and do lots of research and see where it takes you.

    Try a lower priced one if you can return it and give it a whirl. Best wishes on your quest!
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
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  10. Lele

    Lele Member

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    Imho you're looking for Boss Me-80. In case, you could add an IR convolver (like AMT CP-100 or Logidy EPSi) to improve the direct tone.

     
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
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  11. jimfist

    jimfist Member

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    Considering what you're doing, then no, it doesn't matter. Go with the smallest, cheapest, most replace-able, lowest common denominator multi-processor that will do the minimum job for you, and call it a day.

    Rely on your skill as a player. Weigh the cost vs. the return on investment. Unless you can clearly quantify a bump up in pay using the pricier stuff, then it's all for your amusement and nothing more. Nothing wrong with that. It just means that the decision isn't based on financially prudent principals. It's a party band. Finer details are generally lost on this type of audience.

    If everyone is currently happy with your performance using cheaper, less sophisticated gear, then again, it's more a matter of G.A.S. than anything. TGP blasphemy, for sure.

    JMHO.
     
  12. db2112

    db2112 Member

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    You could also stick a Torpedo CAB at the end of your existing pedalboard and take that direct instead of using your amp. That would give you power amp and speaker cab sims. Not much tweaking required.
     
  13. yanakosk

    yanakosk Member

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    party/cover band playing country/rock/rap/blues/top-40 etc.
    Boss GT100 , Line6 firehawk.
    Very easy to use: Boss me80
     
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  14. DunedinDragon

    DunedinDragon Member

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    Honestly, in your case I think I'd probably recommend the Helix. Not because it has better tones or FX or any of that. It's just simpler to create the various presets you're going to need to cover the material your band does. I realize there are cheaper and more expensive modelers, but arguably none are simpler to learn than the Helix. And if you're new to modeling that will likely be the biggest impediment you'll face. And that's coming from someone that doesn't even own a Helix. But I've messed around with modelers for several years now and I understand how daunting it can be to deal with the learning curve they represent. Helix is definitely a significant step forward in that regard.

    I'd also seriously consider matching that up with a good FRFR amplified cabinet or speaker to get the most out of the experience and simplify your setup.
     
  15. jthomps123

    jthomps123 Supporting Member

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    Some great feedback! I really appreciate it.

    It seems the boss pedals are well regarded. Are the Boss modelers generally preferred over the Line6 HD500 style modelers?

    I'd love to get a Helix for its features etc, but I just hate the thought of buying a $1500 piece of equipment that will be a ffraction of that in just a few years. I paid $2500 for my amp 5 years ago - but its still worth probably 80-90% of that today.

    Is a FRFR such as Freidman/Atomic a better choice than a QSC or Yamaha monitor/loud speaker.
     
  16. SteveO

    SteveO Member

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    Different, yes. Better? That's personal choice. Some people love the versatility of running through FRFR monitors while others have a hard time adjusting to what is a completely different playing experience.
     
  17. stratotone

    stratotone Silver Supporting Member

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    What I dig about the Kemper stuff is that if you have a great sounding amp that you gig with but don't want to deal with the transport hassles or weight/subjecting the gear to the torments of playing out, you can profile it and take it with you. I know modelling amps from Fractal/etc sound great, but I like the sound of *my* amp the way I like it miked. This is what the Kemper excels at in my opinion. Just about anything newer would work just fine though if you're looking for an inexpensive modelling solution and didn't want the sounds of your specific amps. BTW, you can put together a decent Kemper rig for a lot less than you'd think - buy a non powered head used for 1400 or so, and a used ground control pro for 250 or even a behringer FCB with the uno chip for less. Plus you could always buy a Kemper used, check it out, if it wasn't for you flip it and get your money back. Or heck, any used modelling amp as long as they don't have a new model on the horizon. :)
     
  18. SteveO

    SteveO Member

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    The biggest "Weeeee!!!!" moment for me with the Kemper was profiling my Mark V Boogie-all nine modes, dialed in to their sweet spots. Now I have access to all of them instantly.
     
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  19. tvegas99

    tvegas99 Silver Supporting Member

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    I loved the Kemper for about 1 1/2 yrs., incredible... I'm very much into using the best bang for your buck product, right now I think it's the Helix

    I play in a party band and most recently switched to the Helix (one less thing to carry), I'm very happy... use great IR's and you are golden
     
  20. Gilks

    Gilks Member

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    I definitely find it makes a difference, that's part of why I got an AxeFX II. That being said, if you're not into tweaking to death, then I think it makes less of a difference. I'd go with the AX8 or Line 6 Helix if I were you. The AX8 sounds MUCH better to my ears, but the Helix interface is pretty awesome, so it depends on which sort of workflow you prefer. :)
     

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