Modelers and Guitar Cabs

TheSchwartz

Member
Messages
794
Nice. Do you just put the acoustic/synth tones through the FX return of the Quilter? I assume the power amp isn't coloring the tone enough to matter?
Correct. I typically put acoustic and synth stuff in the loop, and add EQ blocks when necessary, but sometimes running my acoustic into the front end of the Quilter sounds nice on the 1965 channel.
 

drew365

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,260
Main rig:
Helix > DT50 Head > 1x12 cab

Backup in case my amp head goes down:
Helix > PS200 > 1x12 cab

Backup in case my Helix goes down:
Stomp > PS170 > 1x12 cab
 

Alex Kenivel

Member
Messages
2,928
First it was a 4x12 and a 100w tube head, then the tube head got replaced by a Carvin DCM1000, then I ditched it all for FRFR and used a Fender Frontman's FX return with a Celestion G12M-65 Creamback for blues jams. I wanted more clean headroom than the Frontman could offer so I hunted for another combo and landed on a Katana 100w Mk2, transplanted the Creamback and have been using that alongside FRFR systems ever since.

When I was running the tube head for power, I opted for preamp models when I was running high volumes and full amp models at lower volumes, but when the tubes were ditched it has been all full amp models into solid state power.

My signal chains are relatively simple, Helix with a Send splitting the signal at that point into the FX return (into a couple of Katana's EQ effects) and then out of the speaker. The rest of the signal chain has an IR that feeds the main outputs to FoH or my interface at home.

The Stomp's routing is a little different but gives the same results.
 
Messages
285
When I started using modelers, it was always into the effects return of a traditional guitar amp and cabinet, largely because it's what I already had. It sounded good, so I saw no immediate need to change. I did eventually ditch the guitar amp and just kept the cabinet because I wanted a more portable rig and carting around a full valve amp when I was only using the power amp section seemed a bit pointless. I still liked having the thump and power of a proper guitar cabinet. The band I was in then started to drastically reduce the stage volume we were using and instead relied on the PA to do the heavy lifting. This meant it was a lot easier for us to create a balanced sound, but it also meant that as my guitar cabinet was now effectively just a monitor and what the audience heard was through the PA, it made sense to switch my own monitor cab to FRFR. I haven't felt inclined to go back since then.

I found that although the amp models worked well through a guitar cabinet and speaker, they ended up having to be tailored specifically to that particular cabinet and speaker. If I decided to ever switch cabinet or buy an additional cabinet, it had to be basically the same and what was going through the PA was compromised. Since switching to FRFR, I no longer have that complication. As long as I'm going through an FRFR system, it sounds much the same and unlike the guitar cabinet, it seems to retain its tone at lower volumes, though I still prefer things loud. So in one sense, FRFR has simply become an easier and more flexible option, but it has also made me appreciate that these things are primarily designed to work with FRFR systems, so it's a lot easier to achieve impressive results if you follow that path. What's more, if you buy preset packs for your modeler, they require very little adjustment to sound fantastic on your own rig, whereas using a guitar cabinet, I often had to make some quite drastic adjustments.

I've found that moving from a guitar cabinet to FRFR has involved no real compromises, only advantages. If I had moved the other direction, that would not have been true. I would say that if you already have a guitar cabinet for your modeler, it can certainly sound fantastic, but if you need a cabinet anyway when you get your modeler, or you need to get a new cabinet, just go FRFR.
 

hotrats73

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,187
I've spent the first years with the Helix running it into tube amp power sections and 4x12s.

Later bought a Seymour Duncan PS700 for portability reasons and used it with 4x12s.

Then, for logistic reasons, I've moved to a 2x12 FRFR (Powercab) and sold my 4x12 (and I regret that).

Now that space is not an issue anymore I'm back to guitar cab, I've bought a 2x12 with greenbacks I run with the PS700 and the FRFR doesn't get much playing time anymore.

I might buy a 4x12 again if I find the right band.

I agree with those who say that versatility is overrated when playing live. Consistency is a much more important.
 
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hotrats73

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,187
And I'll add that while the FRFR experience is a really good one and can give a very refined and controlled sound, being old enough I can't stop my self from preferring an old school guitar cab pushing air in my back.

A guitar cab is like my mom's cuisine. You can't beat her. :)
 

Mac70

Member
Messages
807
I'm surprised (not) how many of us D&M folk use cabs with our modelers.
IRs are great but it is very clear to me that real cabs are still preferred by most.

I too totally agree about consistency and familiarity over versatility.
 

Df72

Member
Messages
53
Well, ac
I'm surprised (not) how many of us D&M folk use cabs with our modelers.
IRs are great but it is very clear to me that real cabs are still preferred by most.

I too totally agree about consistency and familiarity over versatility.
Actually, the one doesn't mean I am not using the other. For band rehearsal my setup is Helix->tube poweramp->guitar cab, but we are also trying IEMs, therefore a XLR signal goes to the digital mixer with an IR. And at home practicing or recording I use the same preset over the laptop going into my monitors, also with cab sim/IR.
That is the cool thing about Helix and other modelers, they are soooo flexible :)
 

blacknoizemachine

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
203
For me the thing that was missing with modelling had nothing to do with digital versus tubes. What I was missing was amp-in-the-room played at volume. I go from my Fractals into a Class D power amp, into my Egnater Tourmaster 412A. I know I'm missing out on the cab modelling capabilities of the modelers, but to me that setup is as good or better than my tube amps. The sounds and feel are there, but with way more flexibility than my conventional amps.

I'll do direct/IR for recording, and will probably get a FRFR wedge for when I want to gig with very little outboard gear. But using my modelers with an SS amp and guitar cab is my preferred all digital setup.
 

chrisjnyc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,070
I use a FM3 into a tube amp (FX loop) in to a cab with V30s and it sounds great for Marshall\Mesa type tones, but not 100% sold on the Fender\Vox tones. Tried with a BAM200 amp into V30s, and its OK, but doesn't sit in the mix like a tube amp.
 

smellytele

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
842
I'm surprised (not) how many of us D&M folk use cabs with our modelers.
IRs are great but it is very clear to me that real cabs are still preferred by most.

I too totally agree about consistency and familiarity over versatility.
I think for a lot of us we use the tech in a variety of ways. I'm very happy using my Xitone wedge at gigs where bringing a cab and power amp isn't gonna make much sense. And I have one weekly gig where all I bring is the modeler and run it straight in and use the house wedge monitors. But when I can, I go with a power amp and real cab. I have all my main presets setup to be able to use either a FRFR or real cab or both. I've been goofing with a wet/dry approach where I send my dry signal to my power amp and cab and wet thru a cab block into my FRFR. It sounds incredible.

Getting into digital modeling after decades of tube amps was really somewhat out of necessity and, I can't lie, curiosity. I had no idea that I'd love it this much. Gear is fun. Can't wait to see what the future brings.
 

vonbrun

Member
Messages
6
This is my rig:

Guitar + Fractal Axe-FX3(Voes MX-12 midi controller) + Fryette Power Station 2 (power amp) + Bogner 112CPS 1x12 cab (celestion classic 80 speaker).
Amazing gear!
7636E7F0-C99D-4583-A9C3-9E129BAC5660.jpeg


. I sold all my pedalboard and amps. To me, at the volume level i used to play, just playing for fun (hobby...), I don't need any better.
 

Jonathan0996

Member
Messages
32
I have an antique, steam-operated AX8 that I run into the “amp in” plug on the back of my Evans amp with an extension speaker. The Evans is 300 watts with the extra cab. The speakers are pretty clean and neutral sounding and I’ve disabled all the IRs in the Fractal.

Sounds great to my ears. Better than the FRFR setups I’ve heard.
 

fr8_trane

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,311
Doesn't using cabs colour the tone from the amp sims? A Twin or Deluxe Reverb, for example, would surely sound different through Greenbacks wouldn't it?

I'm genuinely curious about this, and am actually going to post my own thread with modeller questions today once I get some urgent work finished.
Lots of people myself included put real celestions in real fender amps. Honestly the whole "Jensens are for fender and celestions are for marshalls" trope is totally overblown. But to answer your question - yes any amp will sound different through different speakers but the character of the amp will remain intact. A fender through a celestion still sounds like a fender.
 

Droptopandy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,213
What is your experience using modelers into guitar cabs, and what is your signal chain?
I use a Helix into a Class D poweramp into my 1x12 Cab with a Vintage 30, sounds very good to me.
Sometimes I forget I'm using the Helix, and for a brief moment I can get a nice cognitive dissonance when I look and see what sits on top of my Cab. :)

I went through some poweramps with my FM3. Seymour Duncan PS170, Orange Pedal Baby, Boss Katana as a power amp, Bluguitar.

What won for me is the Quilter Tone Block 202. I have the voicing of it set for FullQ and on Mesa 1x12’s. It sounds like a real amp setup to me.
 

Brooks

Member
Messages
5,843
Question; we are doing a multi band thing w/ shared backline next month, which will probably be 16 ohm 4x12s. My Bam200 is 200w @ 4 ohms, so theoretically it should do 50w @ 16 ohms, BUT I am leary of mismatching ohmage more than 1 step (4 to 8 or 8 to 16 ~ ok, 4 to 16? yikes), what do yall think?
 

fr8_trane

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,311
modeler > amp > guitar cab


I guess "amp" plays a HUGE role in this equation, since you cannot run a modeler through a guitar cab without it.
Yes and its still the weakest link in the chain (well except for FRFR which is even weaker to my ears). The best tones I've gotten are with tube power amps - either dedicated or using the power amp input on a combo. But the cost, weight, size and tube maintenance required for a tube power amp completely defeats the purpose of a modeling rig IMO. Lots of us use Class D poweramps (PS170 for me) because they are small, light, relatively inexpensive and sound pretty good but not quite as good as tubes IMO.
I went through some poweramps with my FM3. Seymour Duncan PS170, Orange Pedal Baby, Boss Katana as a power amp, Bluguitar.

What won for me is the Quilter Tone Block 202. I have the voicing of it set for FullQ and on Mesa 1x12’s. It sounds like a real amp setup to me.

We all hear things differently. I tried a Quilter as a PA and couldnt get rid of it fast enough. The best sounding Class D amp I ever heard was the one in the Bluguitar Amp1. It was so good I emailed Thomas Blug and asked if he would consider making a standalone PowerAmp 1. So far that hasnt happened. There is definitely room for improvement in the "SS poweramps for modeling" market.
 

Droptopandy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,213
Yes and its still the weakest link in the chain (well except for FRFR which is even weaker to my ears). The best tones I've gotten are with tube power amps - either dedicated or using the power amp input on a combo. But the cost, weight, size and tube maintenance required for a tube power amp completely defeats the purpose of a modeling rig IMO. Lots of us use Class D poweramps (PS170 for me) because they are small, light, relatively inexpensive and sound pretty good but not quite as good as tubes IMO.


We all hear things differently. I tried a Quilter as a PA and couldnt get rid of it fast enough. The best sounding Class D amp I ever heard was the one in the Bluguitar Amp1. It was so good I emailed Thomas Blug and asked if he would consider making a standalone PowerAmp 1. So far that hasnt happened. There is definitely room for improvement in the "SS poweramps for modeling" market.

I would never trust an Amp1 under any circumstance. Had 3 go like this.
9lbQRz2.jpg
 

stratton

Member
Messages
1,018
I just now started using Helix into the power amp in of a 100W Katana Mk2. I’ve tried a few different configurations with Mesa and Marshall power amps driving cabs, and this may be my favorite so far. LOW volume. I made a preset with a Deluxe model and played for hours with a new band last night.
 




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