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Tech 21 is making me want to go ampless.

ZepFuzz05

Member
Messages
1,498
I'm strongly thinking about leaving amps behind and using a direct device to make touring and live shows easier and more consistent, and the Tech 21 Blonde looks like a great solution.

However. . .

From those that have used them, how good are the Tech 21 "Character" units at doing the classic amp-on-the-verge-of-breakup sound? I've watched the demos and searched through a lot of threads, but I'm wondering if it can pull off that sort of rich, dynamic tone that comes when an amp is loud enough to start compressing and distorting, but still retaining chime and some clean characteristics. Do these pedals pull off that complex middle ground, or am I asking too much from a $150 dirt box?
 

mahler

Member
Messages
1,399
I've heard there good but If I was going to play direct I would not be using the Tech 21 Blonde as its still primarily meant as a dirt box first and foremost!
 

ZepFuzz05

Member
Messages
1,498
It seems like what I've heard has been the opposite, namely that it CAN function as a dirt box, but the built in speaker simulator makes it much more effective as a straight-to-PA amp simulator.
 

powermatt99

Member
Messages
1,477
The Liverpool does great edge of breakup. I've been running it into the loop of my M13 and into my wife's keyboard amp for home practice.
 

goodhonk

Member
Messages
4,774
i'm sure you've already watched this, but here it is anyway.

http://www.youtube.com/v/G6XK6khLaxM&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/G6XK6khLaxM&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350">
 

JosephSky

Member
Messages
545
My buddy uses one at a weekly church gig. He has the California one. It sounded pretty good, but more "character" a real amp has by far.
 

drmathprog

Member
Messages
150
I've been using a Blonde and a Liverpool for nearly a year now. Neither is a real amp, but nobody notices but me, and they do sound good.
 

jeffg

Member
Messages
159
Well first off the sansamp character series pedals are full preamps designed to do just what you want - to go ampless - and not just dirt boxes. I use the blonde for my church gig just like that - i have a minimal setup of the blonde, a tech21 boost rvb reverb, and a VS RT66 overdrive. I plug direct into the sound system and use a JBL EON for a stage monitor. It sounds great to me. I also have a trademark 60 - i can get the blonde to sound virtually identical to the TM60 set in a clean fender mode.

jwg.
 

theGhost

Member
Messages
1,235
I agree with you. I haven't yet in person played around with these, by I'm already in the process of trying to put together a "direct" board consisting of probably the Blonde pedal to be the basis of my clean tone to which I'll add other od/fx in order to get what I want. According to forum members the blonde has a great "fender clean" and takes pedals well, so there's really not too much to add since I already have pedals that I like the dirt sound of going through a clean amp. I'm also planning on buying a SS power amp to play this direct setup through so that no matter if I'm playing through my own setup or going through the PA my pedal settings should be roughly the same.

however, I will add that I'll probably never fully get rid of having at least one tube amp around. right now I have a peavey c30 and a jet city 20 watt head. we'll see how it all a/b's...
 

goodhonk

Member
Messages
4,774
Well first off the sansamp character series pedals are full preamps designed to do just what you want - to go ampless - and not just dirt boxes. I use the blonde for my church gig just like that - i have a minimal setup of the blonde, a tech21 boost rvb reverb, and a VS RT66 overdrive. I plug direct into the sound system and use a JBL EON for a stage monitor. It sounds great to me. I also have a trademark 60 - i can get the blonde to sound virtually identical to the TM60 set in a clean fender mode.

jwg.
i need to find a cheap tm60; they are wonderful amps.
 

Telecaster62

Member
Messages
3,484
I often use the British for practice and small gigs. It works pretty well and is a breeze to get a good basic tone. It also takes stomp boxes like an amp and cleans up with the guitar volume knob like an amp. It doesn't make me completely want to abandon my amps but it is useful for quick or limited setups. A good PA system with adequate monitor mixes is essential for using the Character pedals in a live situation.
 

DaveG

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,503
Well first off the sansamp character series pedals are full preamps designed to do just what you want - to go ampless - and not just dirt boxes. I use the blonde for my church gig just like that - i have a minimal setup of the blonde, a tech21 boost rvb reverb, and a VS RT66 overdrive. I plug direct into the sound system and use a JBL EON for a stage monitor. It sounds great to me. I also have a trademark 60 - i can get the blonde to sound virtually identical to the TM60 set in a clean fender mode.

jwg.
But you still need some kind of a DI to go from the Blonde to the sound system... right? I don't understand why Tech 21 didn't include an XLR out on those pedals... seems :nuts


Btw, there's a guy over on the TalkBass forum that mods those pedals for an XLR out, along with some other stuff... looks pretty cool:

http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=605642
 

The Kid

Member
Messages
5,423
I just bought a Blonde here on TGP. I figured it would be good to keep in my gig bag in case my amp goes down, and do some recording with. If there is a decent sound man & monitor mix, going direct might be cool too. I doubt that I'll ditch my amps, but on days that I have doubles, it might make things a whole lot easier.
 

Steve Z

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
402
Thanks for posting... that is a great demo!

i'm sure you've already watched this, but here it is anyway.

http://www.youtube.com/v/G6XK6khLaxM&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/G6XK6khLaxM&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350">
 

jeffg

Member
Messages
159
But you still need some kind of a DI to go from the Blonde to the sound system... right? I don't understand why Tech 21 didn't include an XLR out on those pedals... seems :nuts
Actually i run a regular guitar cord from the sansamp to the 1/4 input on the JBL EON, then an XLR cable from the EON output to the board. They should add dual 1/4 and XLR outs to all the sansamps though!

jwg
 

theGhost

Member
Messages
1,235
forgive me for being a noob, but is there THAT much difference between running a 1/4" or an XLR from the same pedal into the board? could you use a basic 1/4"-XLR adapter to achieve this end?
 

CaseyI

Member
Messages
2,020
I got the Liverpool for Christmas and have used it direct a couple times over the past couple weeks. Alll I can say is I LOVE IT. I have a very nice amp and I will not be carting it around any more (not because it's too nice to take out, but just because the liverpool sounds great and weighs nothing). I plan on buying the british as well, I really love the Bluesbreaker sound in burger666's demos.
 

The Kid

Member
Messages
5,423
forgive me for being a noob, but is there THAT much difference between running a 1/4" or an XLR from the same pedal into the board? could you use a basic 1/4"-XLR adapter to achieve this end?
If you're on a stage and running into a snake, you'll want to run a balanced mic level signal to the board. If you're right near the board, just plug it in.
 

PerFusionist

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,135
My buddy uses one at a weekly church gig. He has the California one. It sounded pretty good, but more "character" a real amp has by far.
This.

I had the British Character one and did a recording shootout between it and a Marshall clone I have. Absolutely no contest.

I'm sure it would be passable and perfectly fine for what you want to use it for...but don't expect anything truly "amp-like".
 

Scott Auld

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
12,315
...I'm wondering if it can pull off that sort of rich, dynamic tone that comes when an amp is loud enough to start compressing and distorting, but still retaining chime and some clean characteristics. Do these pedals pull off that complex middle ground, or am I asking too much from a $150 dirt box?

People haven't agreed yet that a $3000 Fractal setup can achieve this level of nuance you are asking for.
 




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