Modeling without an AxeFX

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by CitizenCain, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. CitizenCain

    CitizenCain Member

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    OK, so if a guy wanted to get into using a good modeling setup, but didn't have the $$ to shell out for the AxeFX, what would be a good way to go?
     
  2. stilwel

    stilwel Member

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    Line 6 Pod XT/X3 or the Vox Tonelab stuff is all pretty good for the money.
     
  3. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    For the money, Vox or the X3 Line 6 stuff. Good value for the price.
     
  4. Waxhead

    Waxhead Member

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    Can't agree about the Line 6 rubbish. Poor tones and crap build quality. They look cheap and sound cheap.
    The Tonelab is much better but the Boss GT-8 and GT-10 are by far the best of the el cheapo MFX's IMHO. Not great but better than the rest.
     
  5. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Check out the new ME70. Tons of bang for the buck. This coming from a guy who used the GT8 for years and now the AxeFx. But for a quick and dirty grab 'n go, the ME70 is a total winner. Doesn't have all the features of a full figured modeler, but what it's got is damn good.

    jon
     
  6. Jarrett

    Jarrett Member

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    Are you more of a low gain or high gain guy?

    Low gain, I'd check out the Vox stuff
    Higher gain, POD X3 series stuff

    I didn't like the COSM stuff in my GT-8 nor the GT-10 I demo'ed. I've heard some guys say the newer Tech21 stuff is pretty cool too, but no experience with it.
     
  7. CitizenCain

    CitizenCain Member

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    I'm a low gain guy, into rootsy stuff like surf, rockabilly, '50s guitar instros, etc. About as wild as I get is a plexi crunch. I've been looking at the Tech 21 Character series pedals. Been impressed with the Liverpool and Blonde so far, strictly based on YouTube stuff though. The BOSS ME-70 interests me as well as the Tonelab LE. I'd likely be running any of these through the FX return of a Crate Power Block into a 1x12 cab.
     
  8. GeLoFi

    GeLoFi Supporting Member

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    The Tonelab would suit you well with the Crate Power Block...it will sound great and the Vox models will hit that rootsy mark perfectly.
     
  9. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    Why modeling ? Apart from the Axe (and that's not perfect by any means) there all seriously flawed . Try a sans amp or just get an amp and forget about getting 200 crap tones and get one good one.
     
  10. scott58

    scott58 Member

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    Pretty happy with my XT Live. Been running mine with no issues for over 2 years. It does depend however on what it's plugged into. It doesn't like just anything.
     
  11. buddaman71

    buddaman71 Student of Life Silver Supporting Member

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    The Boss units are great, but for richer, warmer sounding classic distortions, the Digitech GSP1101 and it's floor cousins (Rp500 and new 1000) sound fantastic. The stomp box models are great too.
     
  12. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    The Tonelab does a really good job. Its biggest drawback is you can't use a lot of different effects combinations, but it sounds really good.

    The other guitar player in my band uses a Boss GT-Pro. He gets some really good and convincing tones out of it.
     
  13. CitizenCain

    CitizenCain Member

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    Stay out of my thread. :horse
     
  14. CitizenCain

    CitizenCain Member

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    Sounds like the Tonelab is probably up my alley. Maybe the Digitech stuff? Thanks for teh replies, guys. Gives me some stuff to look at.
     
  15. epluribus

    epluribus Member

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    I have a Pod 2.0, a VAmp Pro, a Digitech GNX3, an old Digitech RP300, and the reviled Cyber Twin. (Not to mention a Wakarusa-tweaked 100W Univox tube rig with a nice little selection of custom Humphrey Audio-tweaked pedals. And several Dr. Phibes homebrews.) I have buds who swear by the Tonelab and the SansAmp stuff, and they do well with it.

    My IMnsHO...For what you're doing, if you want amp feel and amp goodness, then get a real analog amp...a Cyber Twin. Yes it has digital FX and EQ and stuff, but the actual amp and all the amp distortion behaviors come from a real amp--not a simulator. The modellers are cool enough, but Cyber Amps are another breed altogether.

    Besides, it excels at what you want--the styles of music you mentioned. Since it's a 2x12 combo it's not gonna be a great down-tuned grunge amp, and the SLO hi-gain is a bit sketchy in the 1.x versions of the amp, but for what you want...piece of cake. Want Scotty to beam down a Tweed Princeton? Add a speaker-out and run the amp into a pair of 1x10 cabs. Amazing.

    Best of all, no extra amp to go with the modeller, no extra stuff...your entire rig incl your DI box and cab sims, even your guitar monitor (if you use PA) are all right there in one nice little amp. For best results, snag an FCB1010 for a foot controller and get the GUI's for both the amp and the stompboard. Cinch to program, bigtime flexibility and useability, more stage control than you're ever likely to run out of.

    The other guys...

    I'm not a Pod fan. They don't suck, tons of reputable guys (with the exception of Peterson :)) use 'em and love 'em, but they just feel and sound distinctly ersatz to me. Somehow the dynamics and stage presence aren't quite there...ironically most pronounced in the Blackface dept, IMHO. (Sorry GuitarTone, just a taste thing. No question you know about tone. Course it could just be that you're wrong... ;-)) Doesn't help that I find the 2.0 way too limited in the deep-editing dept. for me. I'm sure the high end of the line takes care of that, tho.

    (BTW, my current amp tech, Kevin Silva at Uncle Albert's, raves about the Line 6 Spider Valve series. DSP modelling front end, tube back end. Cool!)

    The VAmp Pro...at this price level, astonishing simulations, esp the amps. IMHO, just for pure amp sims, it walks all over my Pod. Great presence, good feel, and even some editing power over the way the "amps" saturate. But beyond that the deep-editing is much too limited, about on par with the Pod 2.0. And the FX capability is pretty slim compared to the others. Still, great sound and feel where it counts.

    The Digitech RP300 is about ten years old and sounds like it. Not a pedal for the serious player, and no MIDI controllability for programming. Way too many simulation artifacts by today's standards.

    The Digitech GNX3...I'd put this up against the big boys any day. (The newer Digitechs, from the cheapies to the caddy, all have newer and even better modelling technology. An RP350 is quite the little tone machine, and for cheap.) Amp sims much preferred to the Pod's, better than the VAmp's by a fair margin, and depending on the patch, it beats the Tonelab by a nose. The FX aren't up to Boss standards, but they're very good and in some cases best-of-the-rest. The Digi gear, however, lacks some of the signal-path flexibility that the newer competition has. IMHO Digi made some excellent tradeoffs between user-friendliness and flexibility, but Boss lovers will find it too limiting.

    The bad news...it's not the most transparent gear I've ever used. IMHO, you should be able to tell which guitar is plugged in regardless of the patch. You should also be able to hear a human player somewhere in there. The Digitech pales in comparison to the Cyber Twin or my Tube-Amp-Modded-Pedal rig...can't hold a candle to either one for transparency. The Pod is worse and the VAmp is better, but none of it scores well compared to real amps in this dept.

    Anyhoo, those are just my two cents's. The guys who disagree with my findings are guys whose opinions I highly respect, so perhaps the value of our differences lies in framing some questions for you to explore when you audition stuff. Now you know what to look for maybe.

    --Ray

    On the Cyber Twin thing. It's a breed of "modeller" I like to call MIDI-automated-deep-switching. The Marshall JVM, the Peavey Transformer, the newer Peavey Vypyr series, and the H&K Switchblade all fall under this heading. Basically these are all real analog amps (some SS, some hybrid, some all-tube) that can literally re-wire themselves on the fly via MIDI-controlled internal switching.

    The important takeaway is that DSP has inherent liabilies when it comes to simulating the immense complexity and non-linear behaviors of a real circuit, most notable when we're talking saturation and clipping--dirt. These mfgrs all concluded via lab data that if you want really good amp behavior, it takes an amp. So they built them.

    DSP does, OTOH, do an excellent job with other duties, like EQ and non-dirt FX, so in most cases that's where the digital part comes in. (The JVM has digital reverb only.) Whether you can tell the difference as a player is up to you, and whether it matters one whit when it gets down to FOH is very highly debatable, but it's worth knowing.

    The beauty of deep-switching amps: Almost nobody really understands what they do inside, the tone-shaping power gets misused a lot, and so they have an inordinately bad rap...and that makes 'em cheap! The Cyber series can be had used for a song. Peavey's Vypyr line is quite the value price point new, and the Transformer 2x12 regularly closes out at less than $300. Just FYI.
     
  16. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

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    I have to agree. The Behringer is better at modeling, and cheaper. I was very disappointed with the GT10....

    The Peavey Vypyr is getting good reviews, but I have not played one yet.
     
  17. epluribus

    epluribus Member

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    'Preciate it, GuitarTone. Isn't that interesting about the Pod's BF? So hard to put your finger on, but it's just not "there."

    The amp thing is definitely a Play-Before-Pay thing in my book. The Cybers, esp the Twin, are very gig-oriented--they work best onstage or in a studio, not so much in the living room. None of 'em are dead-on clones of something else, but if you take 'em as amplifiers in their own right, there's some really wonderful sound hidin' in there.

    --Ray
     
  18. mwc2112

    mwc2112 Supporting Member

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    I've got one of those on the way. I also have an AxeFX that I use at my church gig but wanted something for 1) when we do stuff I'm not very involved with and just need some basic tones (and don't want to go through the hassle of the AxeFX setup) and 2) for when we do overnight trips for fear of the AxeFX sprouting legs and walking away when I'm not looking. I'll post comments on it when it arrives.
     
  19. Gtrman100

    Gtrman100 Member

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    I've had a Boss GT5,6, and 8, and have a Pod X3L now. Both have their pluses and minuses, but here's the bottom line:
    > you want great effects, fantastic flexibility, don't care about customer support and like to tweak your brains out? Get the Boss.
    > you want more organic realistic sounding models with "old school" effects and like a company to update their product regularly? Get the Pod X3.

    With any modeler, you have to spend a good amount of time setting up to sound good with the amp that you're playing it through. Here's an example of what I do:
    1. Plug my guitar directly into my amp(SFDR, Matchless SC-30). Get a good clean tone.

    2. Plug my guitar into the X3L using the same clean amp model of the amp that I've plugged into, i.e. Blackface Deluxe or Match DC-30 on the Pod. I tweak the Output Select setting and match the sound of plugging directly into the amp as closely as possible. I can get amazingly close!

    3. Now that I have a benchmark clean tone, I tweak my patches to sound good with the amp I'm using; amp model, stomp box, mod effects, delay, etc.

    Obviously, a Marshall Plexi model into a 1-12 Deluxe Reverb isn't gonna have the mojo of playing through 4X12 cab, but it will have the character of the Plexi. That's about all you can ask, IMO. I regularly have audience members ask me what gear I'm using and how I get such great tones. I still love plugging into my Marshall JVM and wailing, but for smaller gigs with my cover band I love the flexibility of the Pod>tube amp. It's not as big a tone compromise as you might think.

    There were issues with the X3L's build initially, but they've been pretty much resolved now.
     
  20. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    Seriously Rosebud why do you want a modeling amp??????:huh
     

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