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  1. #1

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    I usually need nothing more than a good jazzy sound, maybe with few variations, so I'm not very interested in stuff like the Kemper, Line 6, Headrush and other Impulse Response or modeling pedalboards and amps, which are conceived for people who need tons of different tones.

    Though, the concept af Full Range Flat Response monitors, associated with such gear, appeals me.

    So I'm wondering if a good preamp like the Tech21 Paradriver would be a good match for the Headrush FRFR 112, for example. At least theoretically, it would be a simplified but efficient combination, with sophisticated EQ and lots of power.

    What do you guys (and ladies) think? (A good reverb could be easily provided by a pedal if needed)

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  3. #2

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    In theory this concept is super sweet but you have to ask yourself this :
    - which rig do I want/need to replace,
    - can I get my sound with a normal grab'n'go combo amp and a small fx pedal,
    - where (small band, big/loud band, home/studio) am I going to use this new rig ?

    I have the luxury of owning several amps (very small/small and normal Deluxe Reverb size) PLUS
    a HELIX floor unit PLUS a Line6 HX Stomp, which I use with either one of my amps (both in front of the amp and plugged into the return of the loop)
    or in combination with a powerful but still small floor monitor. It totally depends on my gig which rig I choose.
    The response and the feel of an actual amp with my guitar plugged straight in is something unique and I
    have yet not been able to cop this to my total satisfaction with my digital toys. BUT the response from the audience and my fellow players
    have proven to me that this perception is totally biased and subjective. My digital rig gets the job done and what comes out of the speakers (front of house) sounds good according to those ears. So I try and not make myself too dependent
    on that ideal tone that I personally strive for (and sometimes actually achieve in controlled situations) and concentrate on the
    music, the interplay, the groove and take comfort from the fact that I don't have to schlepp so much gear after the gig ;-)

    The sound of a monitor is very different from a guitar cab and you'll need time and patience for to dial in your preferred tones.
    My HX Stomp has more than enough programming power to get very nice results but the learning curve is steep....

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitman View Post
    In theory this concept is super sweet but you have to ask yourself this :
    - which rig do I want/need to replace,
    - can I get my sound with a normal grab'n'go combo amp and a small fx pedal,
    - where (small band, big/loud band, home/studio) am I going to use this new rig ?

    I have the luxury of owning several amps (very small/small and normal Deluxe Reverb size) PLUS
    a HELIX floor unit PLUS a Line6 HX Stomp, which I use with either one of my amps (both in front of the amp and plugged into the return of the loop)
    or in combination with a powerful but still small floor monitor. It totally depends on my gig which rig I choose.
    The response and the feel of an actual amp with my guitar plugged straight in is something unique and I
    have yet not been able to cop this to my total satisfaction with my digital toys. BUT the response from the audience and my fellow players
    have proven to me that this perception is totally biased and subjective. My digital rig gets the job done and what comes out of the speakers (front of house) sounds good according to those ears. So I try and not make myself too dependent
    on that ideal tone that I personally strive for (and sometimes actually achieve in controlled situations) and concentrate on the
    music, the interplay, the groove and take comfort from the fact that I don't have to schlepp so much gear after the gig ;-)

    The sound of a monitor is very different from a guitar cab and you'll need time and patience for to dial in your preferred tones.
    My HX Stomp has more than enough programming power to get very nice results but the learning curve is steep....
    Thx gitman for your answer.

    Actually I don't really need more equipment. I'm retired now from music and teaching, and I play rarely on gigs.
    The Tech 21 Paradriver is a serious preamp, with parametric EQ and has no FX at all.
    I have had lots of amps during my career, and currently my main amp is a DV Mark jazz 50W head coupled with a Hayden cabinet loaded with an Eminence speaker, which I am very happy with.

    I'm just curious about the possibility of using a good analog preamp in front of a (theoretically at least) flat response powered monitor. Music stores here where I live don't have at this time any FRFR monitor so I would have to buy one without trying it before, which is usually not the best way of spending money...

  5. #4

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    Ok, your situation is quite different then.
    A powered OPEN back speaker cab (loaded with a typical guitar speaker) driven by preamp XYZ would work just as well.
    Any decent guitar amp with an FX return would do even. That will always get you a more "natural" guitar tone than any
    monitor.

  6. #5

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    Thanks again. I guess you are completely right.

  7. #6

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    I've tried it a few different ways and from a purely functional standpoint the one requirement is a line level output. It definitely sounds different than a guitar cab bit it can be a nice sound. In my experience, they are more three dimensional with a wider dispersal pattern.
    My CD "Bare Handed" is available as a download at Bandcamp.com
    http://jimsoloway.bandcamp.com/album/bare-handed

  8. #7

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    Yes, Jim, the sound resulting from a "traditionnal" amp has to be necessarily different from the one achieved by a preamp and a flat mon. The matter is if this sound, beeing different, is complex, rich, and interesting.

    You gave me at least two usefull hints.

    So, the signal the monitor expects is Line level. That's ok, the paradriver outputs both, instrument and line. Therefore, it could work.

    Thank you very much.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierrot View Post
    Yes, Jim, the sound resulting from a "traditionnal" amp has to be necessarily different from the one achieved by a preamp and a flat mon. The matter is if this sound, beeing different, is complex, rich, and interesting.

    You gave me at least two usefull hints.

    So, the signal the monitor expects is Line level. That's ok, the paradriver outputs both, instrument and line. Therefore, it could work.

    Thank you very much.
    I actually liked it quite a bit, especially for playing in a large room. It was a rich sound and one that always got a really good response.
    My CD "Bare Handed" is available as a download at Bandcamp.com
    http://jimsoloway.bandcamp.com/album/bare-handed

  10. #9

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    I would be interested in something like this if I didn't already have so much invested in other gear. I have 3 combos and two heads with 3 cabinets. If I were starting over this might be attractive, but starting over at this point seems pointless.

  11. #10

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    I have that preamp and have used it into an FRFR speaker with OK results. I would say it sounded a little sterile and dry; putting a reverb pedal in front of the preamp would help with that (I didn't have one at the time). I have also used a Zoom MS-100bt pedal into that speaker with excellent results; I would say that sounded better than the Tech 21 preamp. The Zoom pedal provides amp and speaker simulation which helps provide a more "normal" sound which = "better" to my ears. However, that may not be what you're looking for.

    The main advantage of using the FRFR speaker is the wider dispersal pattern and much less "beaminess" compared to a guitar amp, particularly a small speaker guitar amp. I ran a line out from the speaker to the PA at outdoor gigs and got basically exactly the same sound as I was hearing from the speaker. However, at smaller gigs it worked OK as my only speaker, replacing the traditional guitar amplifier. Another advantage is that it basically sounds about the same at all volumes.

    FRFR speakers typically are indeed looking for line level input. The Tech 21 Para Driver DI puts out enough signal for that; the Zoom MS100bt likewise puts out a hot enough signal to drive the speaker effectively. My FRFR speaker is an Alto; it also has some very rudimentary EQ profiles built into it although they're not particularly useful.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  12. #11

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    If you're looking for easy, and don't care about tone shaping with the preamp, a wireless system works for this. The Line 6 Relay G10 provides a 1/4" line level output as well as an XLR output. I use it regularly with the receiver going directly to a PA. It's almost entirely just rhythm playing, and it sounds fine for that. Single note playing sounds okay. I haven't tried it straight into a powered speaker because I don't have one available.

  13. #12

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    The Quilter Interblock 45 has both a line out (also switchable to headphone impedance) and the ability to switch output between guitar cabinet or powering a FRFR speaker. I don’t use FRFR, but it is nice knowing I have that option if the need ever arises.

    The interior signal chain is printed right on the amp
    [img]https://media.sweetwater.com/api/i/h...B45H-large.jpg[/img]
    Redeemed, Husband, Father, Veteran. Thankful for all four!

    I play a customized Godin 5th Avenue, Córdoba GK Studio, and a Hamer Korina. I also play a Kala uBass on occasion

  14. #13

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    Another option might be something like an ART mic preamp, as mentioned by DutchBopper in his blog.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  15. #14

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    I recommend the version 2 of Tech 21 FlyRig 5 which has reverb and delay and an XLR output in addition to other features of versatility and is very light. It worked great with my Alto TS110a
    -----------------------------------

    "The instrument keeps me humble. Sometimes I pick it up and it seems to say, "No, you can't play today." I keep at it anyway, though." Jim Hall

  16. #15

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    - Not all Flat Response Full Range (FRFR) speakers are equal. In my experience, something from Schertler or Bose will sound better (i.e. more refined, more hifi) than just about any powered PA speaker.

    - You can run something like a Grace Designs Alix for a preamp and get EQ and an FX Loop to buffer a small pedal board. Pedals allow for better reverb and whatever else you like. Also handy to have a looper for practice. And personally, I just like playing with pedals.

    - Joyo American is an inexpensive way to add a little amp character to the sound

    - I run a FRFR rig when I'm looking for an acoustic archtop sound. Which is most of the time. But that's with phosphor strings and an archtop with an acoustic pickup.

    - I run a combo when I just want a good jazz guitar tone. Speaker provides a natural filter. Sometimes too much so. Still, don't really care much for a humbucker/jazz box straight into an FRFR. Too sterile. Have to use a tube preamp or Joyo pedal in addition to EQ. Maybe that's just me.

    It is fun gear. And in my case allows for vocals as well running the singer through my rig for most venues.
    Last edited by Spook410; 09-02-2019 at 03:09 PM.
    Hell is full of musical amateurs - George Bernard Shaw

  17. #16

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    Thank you very much for every answer. Very good advises here, so far.

  18. #17
    I've played seasons of shows like that, my pedalboard with all sorts of pedal effects, with one of them being the tech21 blond for amp simulation, and then directly to the FRFR speakers using a monitor for me. To this day of Kempers and AxFx i prefer it to digital solutions (which have their strong points too of course). It works, most people including the band can't tell the difference, but of course it's not the same as a good guitar amp. For me it was about convenience, but also many times (in theater productions) about stage space and image.

    I also play in bands like that sometimes, i think the simplest i've done is guitar, wah pedal and bad monkey od to the board. No problems.. But at least for me, an amp is better sound wise and feel wise, although you get used to anything. It is really convenient if you use acoustics, nylon strings, etc, as they do sound a lot better through a full range system.

    Here's a typical board i 'd use when not needing distortion or acoustic.


  19. #18

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    The Tech21 Flyrigs are quite good, especially the new version 2s and for Jazz the acoustic FlyRig will work well - eq, reverb, compressor, boost, chorus all in a tiny package, easy to use and affordable. I always keep one in my Gigbag.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by zcostilla View Post
    The Quilter Interblock 45 has both a line out (also switchable to headphone impedance) and the ability to switch output between guitar cabinet or powering a FRFR speaker. I don’t use FRFR, but it is nice knowing I have that option if the need ever arises.

    The interior signal chain is printed right on the amp
    [img]https://media.sweetwater.com/api/i/h...B45H-large.jpg[/img]
    Interesting preamp. At 213 €, it seems to be priced reasonably, IMO.

    In return, I had a shock when looking at the Grace Design Alix mentionned by Spook410 in this thread. 719 € is quite an expensive price for a preamp in pedal format. At this price you get studio quality gear...

    Anyway, maybe one day I'll take the risk, an try a FRFR Headrush 112 (I like its specs and its smart solution for portability) with my Sansamp Paradriver, using its XLR output in Line position.
    Attached Images Attached Images Just one preamp and one FRFR cabinet, would it work?-img_20190904_102214-jpg 

  21. #20

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    My rig, with a few cables and a speaker stand. Best I've ever had, and lightest.

    Just one preamp and one FRFR cabinet, would it work?-rig-jpg

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierrot View Post
    I usually need nothing more than a good jazzy sound, maybe with few variations, so I'm not very interested in stuff like the Kemper, Line 6, Headrush and other Impulse Response or modeling pedalboards and amps, which are conceived for people who need tons of different tones.
    They may be conceived for people who need tons of different tones, but you don't have to use them like that. I use a single tone with my Amplifirebox, and usually an 8inch Alto TS308, about 20lbs.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by bleakanddivine View Post
    They may be conceived for people who need tons of different tones, but you don't have to use them like that. I use a single tone with my Amplifirebox, and usually an 8inch Alto TS308, about 20lbs.
    Nothing wrong with needing tons of different tones, anyway, if this happens.
    Just different approaches, all very respectable.
    Congratulations for yours.

  24. #23

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    @bleakanddivine

    From what I could see (an hear) about the AmpliFirebox on Youtube, it seems rather heavy metal oriented.

    I wonder if this (surprising, in any case) thing is capable of producing clean jazzy tones.

  25. #24

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    Sure.

    I've used Tech 21 FlyRig into PA's and it sounds great. Also into my AER. There is no compelling reason not to have one of these sorts of things if only as a backup. But TBH I use it more and more as my main rig.

    Beauty of this kind of approach is flexibility. Say you get a bit more money and want to invest in a Kemper or Axe FX further down the line, if you can be bothered to lug it to a gig. And your sound engineer will be happy. You can swap in and out whatever you want.

    To be perfectly honest the advantages of this type of set up live outweighs the benefits of using a tube amp. But real amps can be nice for recording etc.

    There's quite a few options now. Mooer fender amp sim sounds badass, for instance. The new FlyRig 5 V2 looks super cool. I have a couple of issues with V1 (no XLR, not a fan of the plexi stage) which V2 appears to address.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierrot View Post
    @bleakanddivine

    From what I could see (an hear) about the AmpliFirebox on Youtube, it seems rather heavy metal oriented.

    I wonder if this (surprising, in any case) thing is capable of producing clean jazzy tones.
    Yes, metal is their target user, but the clean tones are there as well. I've been using a Bassman model with an EV IR for a couple of years now for straight ahead jazz sounds.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Sure.

    I've used Tech 21 FlyRig into PA's and it sounds great. Also into my AER. There is no compelling reason not to have one of these sorts of things if only as a backup. But TBH I use it more and more as my main rig.

    Beauty of this kind of approach is flexibility. Say you get a bit more money and want to invest in a Kemper or Axe FX further down the line, if you can be bothered to lug it to a gig. And your sound engineer will be happy. You can swap in and out whatever you want.

    To be perfectly honest the advantages of this type of set up live outweighs the benefits of using a tube amp. But real amps can be nice for recording etc.

    There's quite a few options now. Mooer fender amp sim sounds badass, for instance. The new FlyRig 5 V2 looks super cool. I have a couple of issues with V1 (no XLR, not a fan of the plexi stage) which V2 appears to address.
    V2 worked as a headphone amplifier for quiet practice as well and has three reverb settings.
    -----------------------------------

    "The instrument keeps me humble. Sometimes I pick it up and it seems to say, "No, you can't play today." I keep at it anyway, though." Jim Hall

  28. #27

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    What you want to do would work and might sound good, but you also might decide it's a hassle to set up. You also might decide the full range sound doesn't really complement the guitar that well. On the other hand you might love it, but I think a conventional guitar amp would be easier and maybe better.

  29. #28

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    Well I do find myself using the SansAmp set up a lot more than my Fender Princeton.

    If you have to work with a PA, touring, public transport etc super practical solution. Handy for quick recordings too.