Which modeler/digital amp for home practice?

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by TroyHamilton, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. TroyHamilton

    TroyHamilton Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2006
    Columbus, OH
    (Please don't scold me on the awful sin of bringing solid state devices into the home - I just need something for at-home, headphone-included practice.)

    There is a slew of these things floating around from Line6, Boss, Roland, etc, etc.... what are some opinions? I'm looking for something here at home that I can use for practice - most likely with headphones, but I'd be open to a modeling amp and use the headphone jack.

    Here are the basic criteria:

    1. Cost: It's tubes and pedals if I play out, so let's keep the costs reasonable. If I could spend $1500, $500 or $300, I'll compare the $500 and $300 - the leftover would be much better spent in the emporium on something GAS-induced.

    2. Size/Portability: I don't want something so huge that it becomes a mess here. A 2x12 modeling amp and a floor board are just too much. Once again, that space could be much better used for something else.

    3. Practice is the goal: Being able to jam with mp3's or backing tracks or any other elements that are built around practicing are my goal. 394 different delay models isn't nearly as cool to me as something that will help me become a better player. (Plus it will just make me want those 394 delay boxes.)

    4. Sound quality: It's #4 because it can't usurp the first three... but let's face it, I want something that sounds great and has some flexibility. So if you can give some insight in this area I'd really appreciate it.

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2008
  2. Glide

    Glide Member

    Aug 30, 2006
    Atlanta, Ga.
    Get a Digitech GNX4. It comes with modeling software.

    It is a great floor programmable effects processor that will create just about any sound that you would want. There are simply line outs that go from the GNX4 and you can put a tube-preamp in your loop to warm things up if you like. I use it mainly for practice.

    Here is a movie: http://www.guitarworkstation.com/intromovie.html


    A good thing about the GNX4 is that it uses sound presets that are basically a little computer file. People all over are programming their own presets using the X-Edit software that comes with the GNX4. They are then putting the presets up for anyone to download at the GNX4 website. So, if you want your guitar to sound just like David Gilmour's simply download the David Gilmour preset and double click it in the X-Edit software on your computer and it will send the message through the USB cable to the GNX4 on the floor and dial that preset in.

    Learn More here: Create with the GNX4

    Here's a screengrab of my X-Edit software running an Eric Clapton preset. As you can see, not only can you change amps, but you can chage the effects processing by clicking effects in the upper left corner.


    There is also a company that has developed something called SuperModels where they have recreated presets from the original amp or effect. They have also developed very nice artist presets, and again, all you have to do is simply double-click the preset in your x-edit software and the signal goes to the GNX4 and changes it and you then have that sound. Listen to the audio samples on the SuperModels Page.

    Link to SuperModels: SuperModels

    Also, I forgot to mention that the GNX4 has a compact flash card slot. On your CF card you can put backing tracks that are instrumentals made up of everything except the guitar. It is simply a little mp3 that you download from a backing track website to your hard drive and then copy over to your GNX4 Compact flash card. It allows you to then play the track through the GNX4 and practice guitar as it plays. There are also websites that have backing tracks available for download.

    Here is one: Guitar Backing Track Website

    I hope this helps. I have had mine for a couple of years and it still gets used daily.
  3. Clint torrez

    Clint torrez Member

    Feb 12, 2008
    Roland cube 30 or 60 would definitely fit the bill. I had a Cube 60 for several years, it's so small, but sounds huge. It's a great little amp for practice, very decent modelling sounds, an extremely pristine clean channel, fx are mediocre at best, but they do the job. It also makes a handy little backup amp.
  4. forum_crawler

    forum_crawler Member

    Aug 14, 2008
    Winnipeg, MB
    Any of the VOX Valvetronix, or the new Peavey Vypyr should be good for what you are looking for.
  5. peridot1

    peridot1 Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    I never played the GNX4 but have owned the boss gt-8, podxt, played the tonelab SE and Zoom G9.2tt.

    I don't own any multi modeler floor stomps anymore but the zoom G9 was easily the most impressive. You know how many say multifx units lack depth/warmth in gain? Not the G9 IMO.

    That said I was at guitar center today and saw somebody demo the line 6 M13. Now there's a modeler, and I'm one who usually can't identify with line 6 multis. Seriously I couldn't stand the pod, but the M13 caught my attention.

    There's a lot out there now without spending more than $500. I just wouldn't recommend the pod or boss gt... unless you throw your favorite dirt pedal into the loop of the boss gt... then it becomes a very flexible good multi.

    Edit: forgot to add the zoom G9 has a built-in USB interface. You can just USB it into your computer.
  6. Tubes and Strings

    Tubes and Strings Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Vox Tonelab is pretty cool.... I prefer it over the Line6 stuff personally.
  7. Lt_Core

    Lt_Core Supporting Member

    Aug 10, 2006
    Land of cheese & beer
    I just traded a PODxt Live for a Cube 60. OMG, what an improvement! A great grab-n-go amp with a ton of power and tone. I also use it as a back-up to my Rivera rig when gigging. I can't believe how small and powerful it is. I had to use the PODxt Live at a show and it no feeling to it. I would not hestiate to play small gigs with a Cube 60.
  8. marcpepper

    marcpepper Member

    Mar 2, 2007
    Ever thought about a computer based solution? I bought a Line6 TonePort lately and am very happy with it. It basically gives you the sound quality of a POD XT on your PC through speakers or through headphones, it eases the task of doing a quick recording if needed and is a real bargain.
    Also I think the GuitarPort online service is a fun tool for jamming to great backing tracks and learning.

  9. blueprint

    blueprint Member

    Feb 14, 2005
    France, Europe
  10. jharpersj

    jharpersj Silver Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    line 6 spider jam and A TASCAM MPGT1
  11. speedyone

    speedyone Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2008
    Papillion, Nebraska
    No votes for the Fender G-Dec?

    As far as a practice tool, it's pretty unbeatable. I had one for quite a while until I got a nice tube amp, and sold it (g-dec) to fund a nice Christmas gift for my daughter. :)

    The G-Dec has a ton of useable tones, is EASY to program, let's you download/jam to backing tracks/midi tracks, has a cd player input...

    What is REALLY cool, is if you are learning music theory, and are studying different keys/chords/scales. You can choose a backing track in a particular style (metal, country, jazz,) and ALSO pick the key signature the music is in.

    You can jam to drumbeats alone, or add bass and keyboards.

    If I would have had one of these 20 years ago when I started, it would have been very inspirational!

    check out these links:


    (This next one's in French...if you just want to hear the tones it is capable of, fast forward past the "creating a U2 loop section")

    Do you need more convincing?


    JUSTJOB Member

    Oct 13, 2006
    Just get a MicroCube and be done with it.:D It is small, portable, built in effects and amp sims, has a headphone line out, and also has an input for CD player/ drum machine etc. to feed in.
  13. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

    Sep 20, 2005
    under the stars
    Roland Cube60 will do the trick (or tube30..but I'm thinking 60 because...) and while you're at it, you aucomatically then get a very nice backup amp, for your main one when you play out.

    Other than that...

    V-amp2 (all electric guitars I have on my web (see sig) pretty much are recorded using it. From now on though I'm recording live amps because where I now live I don't need to keep the noise down). It's super inexpensive, it has real knobs...don't know about you, but I hate wasting time tweaking menus, MIDI intefaces...when I practice I don't want a computer in the picture pretty much. Tweaks fast, with the knobs, and sounds good. If you can handle that it is Behringer, (and I can) you're good to go. Takes very little space.

    Which brings up another point. Generally for home use, practice, you don't NEED a floor pedal (though the V-amp includes one that connects to the unit, you can move up and down patches with it) right...you want to sit at a table and play...into headphones or a stereo or your recording device. This thing fits the bill.

    I like the Tonelab LE, but there again...I keep propping it up (or sitting on the floor...when both legs go to sleep, I'm stuck..) and moving it down again to use the expression pedal.

    If I were you I'd go for the amp though. The Cube60 (or other models) now also come with a switch to make them more tube-amp-like with sensitivity to playing. And like I said, backup amp, as well as lightweight amp you could take anywhere and not have to worry about.
  14. 59Vampire

    59Vampire Silver Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2005
    I have a POD 2.0 and a GDEC. The gdec is great and it sounds awesome thru a good set of phones. it gets tiring though when using it through the speakers. its also a pain to tweak but the jams are fun
  15. Dan_in_WI

    Dan_in_WI Member

    Dec 19, 2008
    I have a Tascam Gt1 and a GNX4. Both will work for home practicing. IMO the Tascam doesn't sound that great with single coils and doesn't do a SRV sound very well. It does work better with humbuckers and higher gain setting. IT is pretty easy and the looping and slow down is a great practice tool.

    The GNX4 really need the mfx models. however, I found myself spending way too much time tweaking paramaters and not practicing. You can get a lot of sounds, but I am never satisfied with the patches I make. The X-Edit program is a little flaky. I have to reload the drivers constantly. The GNX4 does work well with a Tech 21 Power Engine. You can get a whole system fairly cheaply.

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