Tube Amp or Modeler - For Home

SD-David

Member
Messages
81
Deciding between a boutique amp (Carr, Milkman, etc) or a Kemper type modeler. They both are in the $2500 range. Style is blues mid gain mid volume. I have a Mojotone cab with an alnico cream. It seems that the modelers have come such a long way that it is logical to get a modeler simply for the fact that when you get a modeler you are getting a collection of amps. Is this right?

So three questions:

Any tonal reason to go with a tube amp?
Which modeler has the best tones (do not care about range of amp models)?
What power amp should I get?

Thanks all in advance.
 

V-man

Senior Member
Messages
2,712
If you have an idea for the sound in your head, get the amp (preferably full scale with attenuation etc for home use).

If you want to screw around with 27 experimental amp tones and have the aptitude/patience for their learning curve, have at it w modelers.

One is versatile and convenient, but is disposable-ware in 3-7 years.
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
21,861
Deciding between a boutique amp (Carr, Milkman, etc) or a Kemper type modeler. They both are in the $2500 range. Style is blues mid gain mid volume. I have a Mojotone cab with an alnico cream. It seems that the modelers have come such a long way that it is logical to get a modeler simply for the fact that when you get a modeler you are getting a collection of amps. Is this right?

So three questions:

Any tonal reason to go with a tube amp?
Which modeler has the best tones (do not care about range of amp models)?
What power amp should I get?

Thanks all in advance.
For home, and for that bread..I'd buy a nice used D-18.
 

LaXu

Member
Messages
6,602
I would not buy the Kemper when the NeuralDSP Quad Cortex is releasing in a few months and aims to offer superior profiling features, effects as well as amp modeling. Does not have a poweramp for hooking up to a cab though.

The question will be how loud you can play at home? The lower the volume, the better choice a modeler becomes. If headphone use is important, then again modeler wins as they come with good cab simulation and headphone outs.

If you want other amp-like choices, then the Yamaha THR100HD despite its quirks is a good sounding, easy to use digital amp. It can be had pretty cheap on the used market and since it's stereo you could hook up it to two cabs with different speakers and get "ideal" tones for each channel.

My current favorite is the BluGuitar Amp 1 Mercury Edition though. It's all analog with a digital reverb, does all kinds of Marshall-based tones in a tiny, lightweight box. You can run it into a cab, you can run it into an audio interface, works loud or quiet.
 

SD-David

Member
Messages
81
I would not buy the Kemper when the NeuralDSP Quad Cortex is releasing in a few months and aims to offer superior profiling features, effects as well as amp modeling. Does not have a poweramp for hooking up to a cab though.

The question will be how loud you can play at home? The lower the volume, the better choice a modeler becomes. If headphone use is important, then again modeler wins as they come with good cab simulation and headphone outs.

If you want other amp-like choices, then the Yamaha THR100HD despite its quirks is a good sounding, easy to use digital amp. It can be had pretty cheap on the used market and since it's stereo you could hook up it to two cabs with different speakers and get "ideal" tones for each channel.

My current favorite is the BluGuitar Amp 1 Mercury Edition though. It's all analog with a digital reverb, does all kinds of Marshall-based tones in a tiny, lightweight box. You can run it into a cab, you can run it into an audio interface, works loud or quiet.
Thanks for the heads up for the Neural DSP. What power amp would you suggest?
 

LaXu

Member
Messages
6,602
Thanks for the heads up for the Neural DSP. What power amp would you suggest?
There's a whole pile that can work and people love various things. I actually don't have any good recommendation for this. I loved how the Fryette PS2 sounded with a modeler but if you don't need the loadbox aspect then it's perhaps not the best way to go.

Also do you have a pedalboard you would like to use? Will it be used for overdrive etc? If yes, you probably don't want a modeler and could do with a "pedal platform" tube head instead. I only know of the Wampler Bravado but I don't know how good that is, I am sure there are others that will do the job.
 

SD-David

Member
Messages
81
There's a whole pile that can work and people love various things. I actually don't have any good recommendation for this. I loved how the Fryette PS2 sounded with a modeler but if you don't need the loadbox aspect then it's perhaps not the best way to go.

Also do you have a pedalboard you would like to use? Will it be used for overdrive etc? If yes, you probably don't want a modeler and could do with a "pedal platform" tube head instead. I only know of the Wampler Bravado but I don't know how good that is, I am sure there are others that will do the job.
I am happy with my PRS MT pedal platform. I have no cannot live
With out pedals even though my broadcast Hudson comes close. So I expect the effects will be through the modeler. Seems the Fayette is almost the price of the neuraldsp. I'm learning.
 

muzishun

Member
Messages
6,409
You didn't say what you have now

Those are amazing amps...dream amps for many folks. Start there.

Then if you want to expand your tones, get a pedal or two. Or modeling.

The Carr gets my recommendation.
 

HeavyCream

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,720
I vote Carr. They’re onboard attenuator sounds exceptional. If you’re in a house, definitely tubes. Apartment with shared walls... ehhh. Even if you get the best, most expensive modeling money can buy, you’ll love it at first but wondering how a really great tube amp would sound will continually creep into your mind.
 
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Benz2112

Memba?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,361
I've done both, and I'm more satisfied with the tube amp. The good thing with a modeler, is that it is all self contained. You don't need to switch out pedals or buy a different amp, you can just start a new patch. I have no bad things to say about modeler rigs, I got great tones from the Helix, but tube amps are a more visceral experience. Get something 20-30 watts, with either a good master, power scaling, or attenuation. You can also do a small non master amp, if you want to use it just as a pedal platform.
 

PartoftheDark

Member
Messages
1,788
I've messed with both for a long time and now I use both for different applications:

The tube amp, a 2204 with a 2x12 cab, is for my in the room jamming and writing. I can use all my pedals with it. It's how I learned and grew up, so it's more natural.
When It's time to record at home, I switch over to a Mooer GE150 that has a pretty well simulated 2204 and Celestion 4x12 IR that I bought to run into my audio interface. I also run my pedals into it and it behaves pretty much the same.
I like this system because it addresses the positives and negatives of both scenarios. The 2204 is great and fun to play, but you can't really mic it well while living in an apartment. The Mooer is great for recording and still works with my pedals, but I don't really have any fun sitting in front of studio monitors for regular play.
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
11,082
I'd say it depends on what volume you can play at. I'm a "real amp" die-hard but a few months ago I picked up a Mooer GE300 Lite modeler/mfx unit and running it into my PC as an amp/cab/fx modeler works amazingly well.

An alternative might be a desktop amp like a Yamaha THR or Vox Adio Air GT. I have both of those too and I use them quite a bit.

If you can play loud without pissing anyone off, get a real tube amp and have fun!!! I wish I could do that but I live in a condo with a very annoying HOA, which I'm actually in a war with right now, so they're basically watching everything I do and a minor noise complaint from a neighbor would land me in a sh!tstorm. So for me it's either a modeler, a desktop amp, or sadly, a real amp turned down to church mouse levels.
 

truckin

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,363
Been down that path, you'll lose your left nut on resale and it just won't be as satisfying to play through as a tube amp. I'm also not sure the new Neural unit is any better sounding than the Kemper/AxeFx/Helix, nobody has it in their hands yet and the demos definitely leave a lot to be desired. I would go with a tube amp with some type of attenuation. Digital is a pain in the ass to jam with a friend as well, gotta have some type of FRFR. O
 




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