Modeller users: FRFR or Real Cab and power amp?

hugbot

Member
Messages
908
As title. Not looking for recommendations as I have both (and like doing both at once) just opinions.
 

toddincharlotte

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,814
FRFR for me. Provides more options for tones by switching up/manipulating IRs. You could make a case for a cab for live gigs if you just have three or four go to tones. Still, easier to setup and dial in an FRFR.
 

MJ Slaughter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,974
Electric guitar at home I prefer a floor monitor but gigs, power amp & cab or into the return of a combo with plenty of power available. Acoustic guitar gigs just a floor monitor.
 

Aahzz

Member
Messages
1,269
FRFR for me. The less gear I need the better. Best is if I can just have enough of me in my monitor.
 

Ejay

Member
Messages
5,493
Returns of tube amps. Easy, sounds best, cheap, portable If needed.

Small 15w for portability, with a second small one added for volume or stereo when required.
Or a 30w if it needs to be loud.
 

LaXu

Member
Messages
6,562
Tube poweramp + guitar cab sounds great in the room but is less versatile. FRFR is very versatile but sounds more like a FOH miced cab sound.
 

mdubya

Member
Messages
1,058
It is nice to have both options. It is almost a must to try both options.

Ultimately, my Presonus e4.5 monitors are all I use, even though I have multiple FRFR PA speakers (Xitone/QSC/Alto) and I have real cabinet options sitting right here all the time (but never use anymore).

Find the right IR/cab blocks and the whole "amp in the room" whine and moan goes out the window.

I used to split the signal between FRFR and real cabinet (which was pretty awesome :) ) until I got the Presonus monitors. I don't know why they are so great, but they are. Everything about them.

AX8 user.
 

timowens316

Member
Messages
1,203
I spent a lot of time and money trying to bond with FRFR monitors and they never worked for me, I started with cheap monitors and I kept buying the latest and greatest until I ended up with a couple of CLR monitors. The turning point for me was when I was in a classic rock band and the other guitarist blew me away out front, he was playing a Fender amp and I was playing the Axe II through the CLR. My rig cost about 5 times what his did and he sounded better. In my next classic rock band, I was using either the AX8 or Kemper into a SS power amp and guitar cab, I had no problem keeping up with the other guitarist who was playing a tube amp, in fact, I think for the most part my rig sounded better than his out front.
 

RLD

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,933
CLR works best for me. Placed behind, I stand in the beam.
Consistent from gig to gig. Takes the room out of the equation.
5 minute setup/teardown.
 

rublalup

Member
Messages
475
FRFR. That let me dial the tones to go direct to foh and iem. I also find the cabs add too much color and are not as versatile as using the IR
 

jwny72

Member
Messages
2,842
I understand wanting the "oomph" factor of a cab, but the light-weight portability of frfr is appealing too.

I own the components of a hybrid setup: a Marshall JTM 60 that has an effects loop return (2 actually, 1 series and 1 parallel) and a pair of Headrush 112s. Could be a killer w/d/w rig with a 2x12 tube powered cab for a center channel. The Headrush 112s just shipped. I'm drooling with anticipation waiting to try that out. I think it'll sound great.

I already have a Headrush 108 I could use for the center channel too, which would make for a smaller, lighter rig. I can imagine occasions/stages where it would be good to have the choice. In cramped stage situations I could forgo stereo and have just one 8" frfr speaker as the tiny rig option.
 
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aleclee

TGP Tech Wrangler
Staff member
Messages
12,985
FRFR for me. I'm perfectly happy to run through the house monitors if I get my own mix. I'd rather travel light and leave my stuff at home.

I got over "amp in the room" back in the 00's, if not earlier. While I appreciate the presence and visceral thump that a guitar cab can provide, I've spent enough time playing through headphones over the past four decades that it's not a must-have for me.
 
Messages
2,018
The best possible powered monitor (or a pair) that I can use for a given gig. With the exception of the CLR this is almost never going to be any sort of monitor cabinet that has be re-badged as "FRFR".

If the venue has a really good wedge (better than what I have with me), I'll ask to use one of theirs and take the main monitor feed into my rack. If it's a silent stage gig (which I detest, but occasionally have to accept), I use headphones.

The reasons for not using a standard old guitar cab are pretty simple.

1) The IR that you are sending to FOH or for recording is the sound that matters to everyone else in the room. Using an accurate monitor with this signal allows you to tweak for the room in a way that helps it sound good everywhere else, and not just where you are standing.

2) I have to have a monitor for my acoustic instruments and vocals anyway, so it's less gear to carry.

3) Carrying my own monitoring system means that I am not dependent on house sound unless I want to be. If I walk in and see a good tech whom I know with really good gear, I use theirs; otherwise, I am self-contained.

4) Using the IRs in your digital rig gives you more flexibility, and also removes the mic'd cabinet from the process in the system. From the sound tech's point of view, it's one less thing to worry about, one less thing to have to tweak, and one less mic and stand to set up and put away at the end of the gig....and if you've done your homework, he/she shouldn't have to do much except set the levels.

5) The sound that the audience wants to hear is something like what they have heard on recordings. That's what you get through the monitors, and it's the sound that you should be focused on dialing in. The off-axis sound of a guitar cabinet pointed at the back of your knees that you may think is glorious is only good for you, not for anyone else.

6) It's a lot easier to control the volume level of a direct monitored signal, because you are not relying on the dynamics of the amp and cabinet for your "tone".

When I went to using an IR_based rig (either tube or digital), it was a bit of an adjustment to not have the sound I was used to hearing onstage. It was worth it, though, because the comments I get from audience, fellow musicians and techs make it clear that it sounds much better to them.

FWIW, I am still a tube devotee, and use Bogner or Marshall tube amps for the majority of my gigs....but I run them through a loadbox and IR with powered monitors rather than a traditional cabinet.

One last thing to point out: If you compare the sound of an industry-standard like a Marshall 1960 cabinet to a bottom-barrel $300 "FRFR" entry-level monitor, you will probably not be impressed with the sound of the monitor. As with audio gear, the monitor/speaker is the place where the biggest price/quality differences are found, and you get what you pay for. A new 1960A sells for about $1K, right? Spend the same on a decent powered PA monitor cabinet, and you'll hear the difference.
 

JiveTurkey

Trumpets and Tants
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
19,711
Options I currently use (1,2)/would consider (3).
1. Mustang GT100 FX return. Best bang for the buck while in the "I can live with the differences" category.
2. Celestion F12 in a 112 cab. Crosses over into "flat" territory without being flat but still "feels" like a guitar speaker.
3. CLR.

Beyond these options; I am done paying any more for this particular "quest". Still might hit up a tube combo this year for kicks but in no way is it necessary for me.
 

texhex

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,029
Modeler into Matrix GT1600FX into 4x12s with a mix of Greenbacks, V30s and G12K-85s. Brilliant stereo effects and pristine amp tonez. Could just as easily go into a pair of 1x12s. Matrix amps are really top notch IMO, got this one used for about 1/2 price of new.
 

Ingolf

Member
Messages
812
I spent a lot of time and money trying to bond with FRFR monitors and they never worked for me, I started with cheap monitors and I kept buying the latest and greatest until I ended up with a couple of CLR monitors. The turning point for me was when I was in a classic rock band and the other guitarist blew me away out front, he was playing a Fender amp and I was playing the Axe II through the CLR. My rig cost about 5 times what his did and he sounded better. In my next classic rock band, I was using either the AX8 or Kemper into a SS power amp and guitar cab, I had no problem keeping up with the other guitarist who was playing a tube amp, in fact, I think for the most part my rig sounded better than his out front.
Basically the same here. After years with different FRFR's incl. Yamaha DXR's and Atomic CLR's (and while getting great results) I found that still a guitar cab with its authenticity and immediacy tops the versatility of FRFR, for me.
Enter the Kemper Kone with the speaker imprints and it's best of both worlds (though I exclusively use it with its imprints and not FRFR).
 




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