Monitors vs. Tube Amps

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by thing2n8, May 4, 2015.

  1. thing2n8

    thing2n8 Member

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    I've recently joined the modeling crew here with a GT-100, and I've been planning on getting a new amp this summer. Reading some threads on here though, I'm realizing that monitors may be the better option. I think that running a stereo rig would result in a clearer tone to begin with, and I can utilize the GT-100's different amp models to their fullest extent.

    Unfortunately, I know nothing about monitors. I have a cheap Harbinger PA system that I use purely for vocalists to be heard over drums in my basement, and this will surely not do the trick. Can anyone point me to a sort of guide (or give me a brief synopsis here) of what to look for? As I mentioned I'd love to be in stereo, but my budget I'll likely be a o under $500, and I'm not sure what these go for. This is just the beginning of my search, and I'll be happy to answer any additional questions you may have about my needs. Thanks!:banana
     
  2. aruark1

    aruark1 Member

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    I have no hands on experience here, but I have a gt100 also, and I was thinking about a GA-212 or a mustang IV if I had to do stereo. The GA series was overpriced and dropped in popularity and price quickly, but it has true stereo power amps and 2 effects returns.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wXH8BFtspM

    The mustang gets rave reviews, or maybe even 2 Roland cubes 80W. For true FRFR the best budget option seems to be alto ts110 or ts112.

    Again, I have no real hands on, just read a lot! Good luck!
     
  3. eriwebnerr

    eriwebnerr Member

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    This thread may escalate into an epic debate about the sound of an "amp in the room" vs. a mic'd guitar cabinet or everyone may be exhausted from the last one and just move on. :)
    My point is this is a hotly debated topic among even those who embrace modeling. First off my experience is that playing in stereo in a band / live setting doesn't often translate well.

    Second, it doesn't have to be either or (amp or monitors). You could use a 1x12 and run your tone direct. Depending on your tone, getting it to sound good on both should be doable.

    If you want to go the monitors route. I would suggest the Alto True-Sonic Series. the powered 12" are on sale right now at Guitar Center for $199. They are typically $250 to $300. They are not top of the line, but a very good bang for the buck.

    On the Cabinet side of things you have a ton of options. The effects return of an existing amp or a SS power amp and cabinet. Many like the Fender Mustang amp for its versatility here and the Peavey Bandit might be another good choice.

    Personally, I like to have options of going back and forth with changes of mood or the playing situation. But using a direct tone will give you a consistent tone, better control of stage volume and you will get the full benefit of the cabinet modeling. Of course you need to understand that you are getting the mic'd tone which is not the same experience necessarily as playing with an amp on the stage.
    2 cents
     
  4. Pat6969

    Pat6969 Supporting Member

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    You should go to the music store and plug into a monitor. You'll either like it or you won't. I have gone through about 12 amps over the past year and a half searching for that perfect tone(to me). Turns out my 11r through a ZLX12 is the ticket, go figure, I am truly inspired to play again and not tweak!
     
  5. Plague Dog

    Plague Dog Member

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    I use the Alto truesonic TX115. I will tell straight up it sounds much better when I run my Firehawk into the PA and feed it back through a monitor send than it does straight into the monitor. I have a Behringer X32 Rack PA head with 6 monitor sends so I have the luxury. I use 4 sends for monitors and one send for the Subs. It also has presets which I use for the guitar so it adds EQ, compression, dynamics. But anyway, for me the powered monitor works best. Some guys prefer having a traditional set up with a cab behind them.
     
  6. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    Stereo? At home maybe, but at a gig it just clutters the place up, sonically and spacially. Leave that stereo stuff at home.

    Best monitor is one that is the most similar to your PA, generally. I like them small and portable (mine is 8") but if you play with a full band and drums, you need a 10 or 12" driver.
     
  7. Imerkat

    Imerkat Member

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    I use the Traynor k4 though I would recommend the Traynor K2 I use to have. Much smaller and loud enough for most gigs. They feel like something in the middle of a tube amp and monitor when you kick in the preamp tubes in. The mids are much more prominent like tube amp.
     
  8. 3dognate

    3dognate Supporting Member

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    Yeah man.... that stuff is studio candy.
     
  9. hobbes1

    hobbes1 Member

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    I'm currently trying out a used line6 stagesource L3T with my POD HD500, as I wanted one solution for guitar and bass. It does both very well. Takes a little time to dial in the tones from my previous rigs (guitar was going into a DT25/ 1x12 with EVM-12L speaker).

    I like this new direction enough that I will probably sell both guitar and bass rigs and call it a day. People also like the L2t or L2m. Going to a store and plugging in might not yield the best experience unless you have time to dial in for that particular monitor. no matter how good the PA speaker, if you don't dial in the tone for that speaker, it will likely sound bad.

    IIWY, I'd read up on people's experiences with several top contenders and just buy the one that seems best to you at your price point. Going used can certainly open up the field of choices. Maybe consider the EV ZLX112p, Alto BLACK series, the Alto Truesonic series, stage source from Line6 to start. QSC K series and RCF's are also beloved in the modeling world but might be out of reach for your budget. These have all gotten good reviews. As noted above, consider ditching the stereo live...may be too cluttered in the mix....

    good luck
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
  10. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Member

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    Personally not a big fan of the FRFR thing for monitoring the guitar in a live situation but... I will say that running stereo is a bit of a waste for live. Having said that I have also found that using two wedges vs one (They don't need to be in stereo) will allow you to position yourself in the middle where there is more of a sweet spot and you don't have the HF driver of the speaker aimed right at you. I find this is also a benefit because with one monitor you need to run it louder than you would with two. More speakers equals more sound and less SPL out of each unit. It's just less fatiguing, sounds bigger and easier to hear.
     
  11. PBGas

    PBGas Supporting Member

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    The house setup at most of my gigs have a decent monitor system. Strange as it may seem, I was not happy with using my previous Kemper through it. However, my feed to the same setup via my amp head and Two-notes Live works great through this. I don't know why but I'm not worrying about. I'm happy at this point.

    I tried the L2T stage source for my FRFR test. it sounded great with the Kemper on the mid gain and clean stuff. As soon as I got into the heavier stuff with my 7 string the unit squashed at higher volumes. I probably should have tried something with a 12" driver instead of a 10".
     
  12. nicolasrivera

    nicolasrivera Silver Supporting Member

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    Is there a problem having the two onstage?? i mean, hardly any monitor's look will inspire a guitar player, having a tube amp also serving as a tube poweramp sure makes me feel better, besides there is alays an enhancement in dynamics with tube amps.
     
  13. kiki_90291

    kiki_90291 Member

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    I'm still in the honeymoon phase, but I've been very happy with my alto TS110a (plugging a Firehawk into it). Sounds great at home and at rehearsal. Still haven't gigged with it, but given how it performed at rehearsal, I'm not worried. And it's $250 (and Guitar Center honored one of their 15% discount coupons on it, despite all the exclusions, so you can get it for less).
     
  14. hobbes1

    hobbes1 Member

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    Maybe consider the L3T or M next time. 2x10+horn. Set into electric guitar mode, the horn is barely there. The speaker can get super loud and I haven't noticed any compression or issues. I run the speaker in PA/reference mode when I play bass through it and it handles a 5 string easily at loud volumes.
     
  15. Toby Krebs

    Toby Krebs Member

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    The Fly Rig5 into my Atomic Reactor wedge driving another FRFR wedge absolutely kills.I tried it yesterday whilst preparing rigs for my 5 gigs this week. I was surprised at how nice it is through the linear tube power section of the Atomic. The honeymoon is over and I still want to make a life with the Fly Rig!
     
  16. PBGas

    PBGas Supporting Member

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    I thought about this as well. I would imagine that the 2 10's would have worked better. I didn't really have space for the extra sizing of that unit though on a few of the gigs I have to play at.

    I just kind of gave up on it.

    I just bring my amp head and Two-notes now. A small 1x12 if I need some monitoring when it isn't there. Super easy setup and sounds great.
     
  17. hobbes1

    hobbes1 Member

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    just as a side note, the L3T has a (standing vertically) footprint of 12" square. It is about 36" tall though. It's one of the reasons I went with that product. It's tall and slim, doesn't "look" like a speaker, has 2x10 and gobs of power, off axis sound is quite good to...no beaming like a guitar speaker. I have a small, collapsible cart to wheel it in if need be. I also like that you can use either two pop-out stands or the fold-in carry handle to get two different angles for horizontal stage monitor position.

    Anyway, sounds like you've got a setup that works for you and that's what's important!
     

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