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Palmer, THD + H&K or Line6?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Optimus Prime, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. Optimus Prime

    Optimus Prime Member

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    I'm thinking long and hard about abandoning my Randall Isolation in favor of a direct recording setup. It has always been a tough nut to crack, the Randall. For ages I thought it was me who couldn’t mic the speaker properly, but the Randall has this honky, nasal character that’s tough to get rid off unless your cranking the amp full blast. And also, it's not very popular amongst my neighbors, even-though it reduces a lot. So, as I see it, for the budget I'm willing to spend and the overall versatility and ease of use I’m looking for, there are three options. One is the Palmer PGA-04, the other the Hotplate strait into the HK Red Box Pro and the least favored option, abandoning my Elmwood for the Line6 POD XT Pro. I'm not looking to obtain the ultimate cab-miced tones out of any of these boxes. I'm just looking to get a good, decent, “workable” and versatile distorted tone, recorded at home, even during late night sessions. Which do you think is the best way to go?
     
  2. covert

    covert Member

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    The Palmer has been highly recommended, but I'm not familiar with it myself. The red box failed, badly, to impress me. The line 6 stuff sounds revolting. Look for an H&K Cream Machine, or the Blues master aka Crunch master.
     
  3. Lifewithoutpain

    Lifewithoutpain Member

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    Groove tubes also has a product that is both an attenuator and speaker sim; the Speaker Emulator II. I like mine quite a bit, apart from the instruction manual, and play my Lone Star Special through it all the time.
     
  4. Optimus Prime

    Optimus Prime Member

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    Guys, I've just had a small break-though. I turned the volume down on the amp, still running the Randall. The only thing I hear now is a faint whisper. And I took out the SM57 I had in there and replaced it with my AKG C 414 B-TL II. It was like day and night. Well, not that drastic, but almost. I found sweet spots on the speaker right away and the sound seemed to be more well balanced and accurate, almost like I'm used to hearing it, coming from the amps own cabinet. My only concern is that the condenser will come to some harm but I wouldn't think that the volume in there is louder than any other situation or application the 414 was built to handle. What do you think, should I experiment further with this setup and maybe forget about direct recording for a while?
     
  5. elambo

    elambo Member

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    I'm not sure how loud you actually have the volume in front of your 414, but there certainly is a limit to the SPL that they can handle. You might be fine, but caution is smart.

    About the recording method - I've been through many of them (except for the iso cab) and the Palmer has been the best so far. I have two PDI-09s, I had a PGA-04 for a week, then returned it in favor of a PDI-03, which is the creme-de-la-creme of amp sims. It also has a speaker load built in, so it's an all in one for recording amps. I'd recommend going the Palmer route if you're still not happy with the low-volume and 414 thing.
     
  6. Optimus Prime

    Optimus Prime Member

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    Elambo, it's pretty loud in there I would think, but I have the condenser set on -20 dB so if it starts clipping at that level I'll know it's maybe a good idea to turn it down.

    I would love to try the Palmer's, especially after all things I've heard. I was going for the PDA-04 right away, but you mentioned the PDI-03 which I haven't looked in to, as of yet. Isn't that the EVH model? Is it still in production?
     
  7. elambo

    elambo Member

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    I was hoping to send you a PM, but couldn't.

    The capsule of the 414 itself could be harmed, especially if you're already padding the mic and it's still so loud. Once again, I'm not saying that you ARE doing this, but that it's a possibility.

    The PDI-03 is the model that EVH used to use. Maybe he still does - I don't know. It's become well known for it's sound, which most people who have used it say is as good as it gets.
     
  8. Optimus Prime

    Optimus Prime Member

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    I'll investigate this further before continuing to use the 414 for this application. I became somewhat nervous that I might damage the capsule. So just in case I posted some questions on the 'AKG Forum'. Thanks for your concern, elambo! :dude

    The PDI-03 is discontinued, is it not? How do I find one and how much would I be expected to pay? Are they very rare? I haven't ever seen one on sale in Sweden. Is the PGA-04 radically different?
     
  9. elambo

    elambo Member

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  10. Optimus Prime

    Optimus Prime Member

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    I just talked to a guy who wants $1500 for his PDI-03... Is that even fair? I think I'll pass!

    Thanks for the link, think I'll wait for the reissue!
     
  11. tedm

    tedm Gold Supporting Member

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    to my ears, the red Behringer cab sim at 1/2 the price sounds much more like a cab than the H&K. Also, if you don't mind discontinued stuff, check out old ADA Cab sims.
     
  12. elambo

    elambo Member

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    Optimus Prime - if I sound like I'm holding back info about the Palmer, it's because I am. I'd rather not let the secret out, but since it already seems to be out, here's a bit more info:

    First of all DO NOT buy one used. $1500 for a PDI-03 is robbery, plain and simple. That guy is hoping to get rid of his before the public realizes that they're going to be making these boxes once again. The new ones will be the same as the old - that came straight from the horses mouth, out of Schmitz's interview.

    It's still going to be expensive, but more like 1/3 the price that that thief is trying to get for his. :confused:

    Also, it's going to be at least another month before these are ready, and probably longer. If you need something now, look elsewhere (but NOT the Behringer. I wouldn't use Behringer gear as a paperweight, and their ethics and business practices are the worst of any company I've ever heard of.)

    You could, if you already have a load box, buy a Palmer PDI-09, which has a fantastic amp simulator, then add a load box to that 09. The 09 has a direct out for recording, and a "thru" which is where your load box would go. It sounds great. I have two Egnater modular racks (M4) and both use the 09. Wonderful sound and only about $120. The 03 is better (it won't distort whereas the 09 will at times. Not bad, but it's there), but the two sound pretty similar.
     
  13. Optimus Prime

    Optimus Prime Member

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    Elambo, I'm so glad you took your time to answer my questions. You have saved me, probably, a lot of of time and money. Actually, I don't mind waiting for the PDI-03. Hopefully, they are worth the wait. The Randall/SM57 thing will have to do until then. The PDI-09 seems nice, but I don't have a power attenuator. I'm hoping the PDI-03's are re-released during Fall sometime. We'll see how things turn out, I'll keep you posted. Thanks again!
     
  14. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    I've never used a Palmerthat I liked yet, but the old ADA MicroCab II does a good job for me as a speaker sim *only*.
    You will setill need a load box like a THD Hotplate.
    Still less than a Palmer.

    As far as the AKG, I've run a 414 in front of a loud amp many times without any problems, as long as it's not in front of a wide open 100watter, you should be ok.
     
  15. Optimus Prime

    Optimus Prime Member

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    Unburst, when you mention this, I think it might be wise to get a HotPlate and start experimenting with different kinds of speaker simulators, i.e. the HK RedBox, the PDI-09 and the ADA MicroCab II like you mentioned. The Palmer might be to limited in the long run. This is great point I had not thought about!

    I'm running an Elmwood 3100 100 watt amp. This amp is probably one of the loudest 100 watts I've ever heard. However, it's set to 'Half Power' and 'Triod' modes and this puts out about 25 watts. The speaker is a V30, although they're very powerful for the purpose of home recording, I really like the way these sound and the Elmwood was also built to be played through the V30 speaker.
     
  16. tedm

    tedm Gold Supporting Member

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    the pdi09 sounds like a great unit. Any suggestions on where to get one (in the US?)?

     
  17. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    What I've been doing late at night, in lieu of the availability of a PDI-03 (which I'm jonesing for), is using gear I've already owned for years. I plug my guitar or pedals direct into an Avalon VT-737 tube channel strip as a preamp (w/compression and EQ if I want it), then from there to the line level input of a Pod Pro, from there at line level to a Focusrite Red Mic pre and then into the A/D converter. I run the Avalon at the "High Gain" setting to get any distortion at that stage rather than later in the chain.

    I wouldn't call it the easiest rig in the world to set up quickly as the level matching can be tricky. Past the Avalon's tube, I don't like anything else to be clipping or even near it. But I keep my notes, and I've gotten some excellent sounds - as good as I could hope for outside a real miked amp. It certainly sounds a whole lot better than the Pod alone, much richer, ballsy and more full.
     
  18. elambo

    elambo Member

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    If you're using the Avalon for gain, what's the POD doing in there? And the Focusrite... Do you need all that for tone? Why not just the Avalon into the A/D... That would be easy to set up.
     
  19. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    >> If you're using the Avalon for gain, what's the POD doing in there?

    The Avalon, even when I'm pushing the tube, doesn't sound like a guitar amp or speaker cab. The Pod adds that coloration.

    I've tried it the other way around, Pod then tube pre, and I prefer it this way. Richer tone.

    >> And the Focusrite... Do you need all that for tone?

    No, not specifically for tone. I keep the Pod's output level fairly low because it's finicky and sounds like crap when it's too high. The Focusrite brings it back up to a good recording level nice and easy.
     
  20. elambo

    elambo Member

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    Right, and that's why I asked you about this. In your previous post you said, "I run the Avalon at the 'High Gain' setting to get any distortion at that stage rather than later in the chain."

    The above statement is why I figured that you were using the Avalon for distortion.

    I'm still confused by the purpose of each box in that chain, especially when it's such a hard thing to set up. Put the Avalon after the POD and get rid of the Focurite entirely. That would make it easier to set up.
     

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