Well, it's time I guess.

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by smrybacki, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. Social Exodus

    Social Exodus Lone Wolf

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    :horse

    It's my turn...I am selling off all my modeling gear.

    I have been in the modeling game for a long time, and I have owned a LOT of dedicated modeling devices:


    • - Digitech RP-300
    • - Korg Pandora 3
    • - Vox Tonelab Table Top w/ VC-4 Foot pedal
    • - Boss DR-880 Rhythm Doctor w/ G6 guitar processor
    • - Tech 21 Tri-AC (analog modeler)
    • - Fender Cyber Champ amp
    • - Line 6 Pod 2
    • - Line 6 GuitarPort
    • - Line 6 Pod Xt Bean
    • - Line 6 Pod XT Live
    • - Line 6 Pod HD 500
    • - Line 6 JTV59 Variax

    So yeah, that's a lot of tries at using this sort of technology. I should point out that I am and have been a computer programmer, both hobbyist and now professionally since the mid 1980s, plus I have a strong electronics background including vacuum tube theory, integrated circuit design, boolean logic circuits and so on, so digital technology is easy enough for me to use. In other words, not one of these devices as thrown me for a loop usage-wise. My current rig is the JTV59 into the POD HD500 and out to a pair of Tech21 Power Engines so anyone interested in any of that, PM me and we'll discuss offline.

    So why then am I getting out of the game? I am 56 years old now, and I was raised in the analog age. I remember taking television tubes down to the pharmacy and running them on a tube tester. I loved that! I know how to operate an oscilloscopes, VTVMs and how to properly solder (a lost art) and I have worked on tube amplifiers my whole adult life, both in the Air Force on KC-135A automatic pilot systems and on my own guitar amplifiers. This ancient tech is still my center and after long consideration I am having to admit I don't really need to change that fact to keep pace with the advances in guitar tech. I don't gig anymore, so hauling gear often isn't an issue. If I do go out and play an open mic or a group jam with friends somewhere, I always take my Princeton Reverb and the small analog pedalboard I have, plus a Strat or Tele anyway. I tried taking the HD500 and Variax a couple of times, and it was a very mixed result. Some stuff sounded fine while other carefully crafted patches withered and died in the mix. But my analog rig has never done that to me. If I need more volume, I can hit a simple boost pedal and ride the volume knob, but the overall tone stays constant. If I need more grind, same story with an overdrive or distortion pedal (I have one of each). So there is that aspect but also, I pretty much have settled into a certain kind of sound, namely my analog rig. I just love the way it sounds and feels every single time I play it.

    Last evening, I sat down to record a few ideas I had for some acoustic oriented cover songs using the Variax and POD HD500. These songs are in alternate tunings and acoustic which is the number one reason I even got the Variax to begin with -- sheer laziness on my part to just retune an acoustic manually lol. In any event, the so-called "ghost notes" have always driven me nuts on this Variax, and although I know that raising the output volume "solves" this, sometimes you don't want things to be loud (like when you sing vocals to keep the song structure right) and last night was one of those times. In the end, I ended up grabbing my 35 year old Yamaha FG-365, putting an old Lace Sensor sound hole pickup into it, tuning to Open E and recording that instead, without the distraction and it came out great really. This sort of thing happens to me a LOT really -- I always revert back to a POG (plain old guitar) and retune after getting frustrated.

    In any event, since I am currently broadening my horizons by studying some jazz theory via TrueFire, it occurred to me that maybe I ought to just stick with what I really like, stop being so lazy about tuning and just play the damn guitar, instead of wasting all the time I have trying to get some sound in my head out of a modeling device. The problem isn't with the devices, it is with me and my perfectionist ways and for me right these things are more of a distraction than a joy so I guess it's time to just let it go.
     
  2. jimfist

    jimfist Member

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    Good for you. It is possible to find happiness without all of that gear mucking up your life and stealing your time. Did I just say that? :hide2
     
  3. Willowdale

    Willowdale Member

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    Well as long as you've never tried the KPA or AxeFx2, then you've never really actually "tried" modeling/profiling.......
     
  4. Prosvetlen

    Prosvetlen Member

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    Good decision by me, but, on the other hand, a new Variax is coming out, the Yamaha Variax Standard, sooooo....you never know, the ghost notes might not be there anymore?! It never ends, that's what I'm trying to say.
     
  5. RackFiz

    RackFiz Member

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    What a silly argument... even an old Zoom pedal is "modeling", you don't need to spend two thousand dollars to get into it.

    More importantly, some of OP's frustration sounds not from tonality, but more from functionality. Either too much, or not enough.

    No gear is going to solve that.

    For some, a rack of gear is what makes them happy, for others it's a guitar plugged into an amp.

    Either choice is a good one.
     
  6. Michael_V

    Michael_V Supporting Member

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    I was also struck that the OP hasn't tried any of the better modelers, but if it isn't working, it is fine to just move on. If it isn't fun, what's the point, right?
     
  7. Bwells

    Bwells Member

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    I got out of the modeling game too but what happened is that I ended up with 20 amps.
     
  8. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    Gear is a journey; not a destination for most people.

    Try some nice tube amps and see how they work for you. IMHO, no guitarist on earth should get through life without ripping it through a fine tuned cranked up tube amp. Really, no BS. It's something you have to experience.
     
  9. Social Exodus

    Social Exodus Lone Wolf

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    I do have a few tube amps, namely a Deluxe Reverb, a Princeton Reverb and a Vibro Champ. I recently sold off my 59 Bassman because, well it was kinda overkill. But yeah, my heart is in plugging into a good Fender amp and just digging the sound that comes out. I guess that's the real thing for me -- despite really WANTING to love digital modeling, I just really dig 1940s technology I guess. It's all good by me for those who want 10,00 choices -- I wish I could be one of you :)
     
  10. Michael_V

    Michael_V Supporting Member

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    If it means anything to anyone, I think I sound better through a good tube amp but I play better through a modeler. A big part of that is being able to really dig in with a modeler (because of the controlled volume). I also spend more time fiddling with my tone with an amp and more time actually in the woodshed working on my chops with a modeler. So in the end, I think I'm a better guitarist with a modeling solution. Weird but true.
     
  11. PBGas

    PBGas Supporting Member

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    I don't blame you one bit. I will always love tube amps for what they are and what they sound like.
     
  12. Social Exodus

    Social Exodus Lone Wolf

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    Not weird at all to me, and I'm the OP. What works for YOU works, simple. We are so lucky to be alive as guitarists with such an embarrassment of choices!
     
  13. Michael_V

    Michael_V Supporting Member

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    So true!
     
  14. SteveO

    SteveO Member

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    Pintos and Ferraris are both cars, too. ;)
     
  15. Michael_V

    Michael_V Supporting Member

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    Spot on!
     
  16. barhrecords

    barhrecords Member

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    I dig what you are saying.

    I really enjoy a good cranked fender combo amp and a nice vintage guitar.

    There is a beauty in the simplicity that I really appreciate and makes it a joy for me.
     
  17. toomanyamps

    toomanyamps Member

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    Not everyone is willing or able to spend triple or more on a modeling setup than on a good tube amp.
     
  18. Myshkin47

    Myshkin47 Member

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    Find what works. Find what inspires & enjoy the moment.
     
  19. edwarddavis

    edwarddavis Supporting Member

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    Perfectly said ,
    Nothing is the same as far as I am concearned done stuff sounds great but if you want a duck buy a duck :wave
     
  20. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    I can relate to the OP, not because of what I know, but because of what I don't know.
    I have owned and used regularly for awhile, really simple modellers like a Vox Valvetronix, but I have never been so bold as to try anything more complicated. I have great sounding tube amps and effects and should be happy. High-end modellers just scare me from the point of view that I have no digital background.

    However I decided that if I am going to try one real modelling amp it will be the Kemper. If I decide that it is not for me in the end, I will still have my tube amps and no regrets. For me, there may only be an upside, inthat I will be able to use the Kemper as I do my tube gear. Then I will have and use both. I cannot lose, either way.
     

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