UPDATE: reveal posted! Blind test #2! (Marshall JCM 800 vs Line 6 Helix vs Kemper vs Axe Fx III)

Guitarjon

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UPDATE: Hey everyone, thanks for participating and joining the discussion! Here are the results:


They all sounded good, they all sounded pretty close so don't feel bad if you didn't get them all, or even one right. It's not super easy for everybody to hear all the super small differences. We all listen in different ways, also based on our experiences as people, musicians and listeners! Let me know how many you got right or how many you got wrong etc. Which one sounded the best to you and why?


Hey guys, it's time..... for another blind test! yaaaay!

I did honestly have a lot of fun on the last one so I had to do another one now that I got a Kemper Profiler Stage!

There were some comments the last time (Dual Rectifier vs modeler) that with high gain tones it's harder to hear the difference. That's why I'm going with a Marshall JCM 800 crunch tone this time. (the studio version to be exact) This amp has a lot of clarity and dynamic. You can really hear every string and it's just a blast to play. Very classic sounding! So mid-gain, dynamic and clear, should be interesting ;) I'm comparing the amp to my Kemper (a profile that I made based on the exact same settings on the real amp), my Line 6 Helix (native in this case because it's way easier to tweak/match the tone that way) and my Axe Fx III.

I don't want to say too much because I don't want to give anything away but I hope you enjoy it and DO let me know which ones were which! The results will be posted in a couple of days.

 
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LaXu

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6,629
I want to guess A is Helix. It sounded the most different to me and the 2203 model in it is not exactly its highlight, the Placater Dirty is pretty much 100% of the time a better choice.

B is Kemper, I hear it has something going on in its upper mids. But it could be Helix too for all I know.

I want to say C is Axe-Fx 3 and D is the real amp. Axe-Fx does often have a bit more "polished" tone to it so these might be flipped as well.

I have absolutely no certainty about which is which. There are differences, but almost all are something you could just EQ out with the amp block controls. As is they are all in the "I don't care, I could use these" region.

PS. I'd like to see a followup video where you just use the amp block EQ or maybe a parametric EQ to dial them all to sound the same, no matter where those settings land.
 
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gtr37

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6,356
funny i hear A and C being more similar
B and D the same upper mid almost fizzy thing a bit
I will say A is the Kemper c is the amp
The others not sure Helix B Axe D ,Although i am probably completely wrong
 

James Freeman

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1,752
So far I can hear A is the smoothest, B is has the most sizzle, C and D are about the same in terms of EQ.
A and C have a nice "swirl" on note decay which is typical to tube amps which I don't hear on B and D.

Tough one Jon. :)
This will make fools of us all.
 
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Blix

Wannabe Shredder
Silver Supporting Member
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Haha. I'm not afraid of looking like a fool. I guessed B for Helix as it sounds a bitt duller with less string definition. Now let's see how much of a fool I am :D
 

JiveTurkey

Trumpets and Tants
Silver Supporting Member
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Haha. I'm not afraid of looking like a fool. I guessed B for Helix as it sounds a bitt duller with less string definition. Now let's see how much of a fool I am :D
In all seriousness; when I am listening to these, I listen on my phone or on a z grade PC speaker. So none of the "nuances" are ever gracing my ears in a meaningful enough way to pick the "winner" :rotflmao
 

James Freeman

Member
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1,752
I can already see multiple people saying B=Helix, probably for being the fizziest.
Attributing "bad modelers" to fizz, I don't think Jon has made that mistake on this comparison. :)
 

metropolis_4

Gold Supporting Member
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5,409
I never do these, but I'll play this time.

Here's my thought:

A: Helix
B: AxeFX
C: JCM800
D: Kemper

Reasoning:
  • In the very first clip on A I hear that crossover distortion (or squirrels, or whatever we're calling it) on the decay at the end and I don't hear it in any of the other three. Based on that alone I'm guessing A is Helix.
  • C and D sound the most similar to me, so I'm guessing one is the JCM800 and the other is the Kemper. I don't know which is which, I basically just randomly selected. The only thing I hear that makes me think maybe C is the JCM800 is that the decay in the first clip seems to... cascade(?)... in a way that feels more fluid(?) than D. (I'm grasping for terms here to describe what I hear).
  • That left B as AxeFX by process of elimination.

All four sound awesome! Not a bad sounding one in the group. The differences are subtle enough that I don't think I would even be able to hear them in a mix on a track.

One small critique of the test: A few times you played something different between the four tests which made it more difficult to compare which was which. In the second clip A and B were stereo split and C and D were not, it made C and D sound more prominent and thick than A and B in those clips. Also B seemed to me to be dialed in with a bit more gain than the other three?

But again, that only shows how close they really are that if you slightly altered your playing it made it difficult to tell them apart.
 

hendrix1406

Member
Messages
103
A sounded the best, B is horrible with a lot of artificial fizzines.

there is no way i can tell which is which but I can rank them for my taste from best to worst :

A-BEST (i guess real amp)
D- I guess kemper
C- fractal
B -WORST -HELIX
 

mehegama

Member
Messages
213
and the results are all over the place as expected. Although I can hear some minor differences (not necessarily one being better than the other) they all sound very similar. I m 1000% that in a mix they would be indistinguishable. Great times to be a guitarist.
 

BjarneDa

Member
Messages
660
Jon seems to have choosen not to reamp a DI track as every riff/lick sounded a little different on A/B/C/D
And that was most obvious on the lick that started at 2.35 and on the ending off the riff that starts at 2.11

I might be totally wrong but on the lick at 2.35 the A&B was very close and C&D was totally different so my guess is that A&B probably is the JCM & Kemper
so my guess is
A JCM
B Kemper
C AXE
D Helix
 

Guitarjon

Member
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1,789
Jon seems to have choosen not to reamp a DI track as every riff/lick sounded a little different on A/B/C/D
And that was most obvious on the lick that started at 2.35 and on the ending off the riff that starts at 2.11

I might be totally wrong but on the lick at 2.35 the A&B was very close and C&D was totally different so my guess is that A&B probably is the JCM & Kemper
so my guess is
A JCM
B Kemper
C AXE
D Helix
It's a performance of 2 guitars that was recorded once. I reamped the whole song through each platform and then made a special edit so that they alternate. So the changed between the tones go through the music, if that makes sense. But I did reamp each platform with the same source.
 




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