View Poll Results: How do you feel about modelers?

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  • I own a modeler, and it is my main rig

    35 31.53%
  • I own a modeler, which is not my main rig

    24 21.62%
  • I have tried a modeler and liked it

    12 10.81%
  • I have tried a modeler and did not like it

    18 16.22%
  • I have not tried a modeler, but I am interested

    9 8.11%
  • I have not tried a modeler, and am not interested

    13 11.71%
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Posts 51 to 98 of 98
  1. #51

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    I'm thinking about buying a cheap modeller
    Anyone using a Zoom G1Four or G1xFour ....

    are they any good ?
    it seems to have everything on it
    loads of amp models and fx (including a looper)

    cheap too

    too too good to be true ?

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  3. #52

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    For guitar: no need. My amps do what I want them to do. don't need a billion other sounds and all that option paralysis. They're there when I'm ready and the sounds couldn't be better. And with a load box, I'm getting about as close as I can when I record, too.

    Tried a few plug in amp modelers with mixed success. The sounds are pretty good and they record well but it's just nowhere near as fun.

    For bass: loving the plug in amp modeler I'm using. More than all the tones I could ever need from a single "amp". Awesome for recording.

    I just plug into my guitar amps or run pedals into a pa, otherwise. Really wanted a decent bass rig but was able to avoid it.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    Bet there were a lot of guitar players that felt tube guitar amps were an abomination when they first came out. And they do sound artificial up against an acoustic archtop. But that all turned out OK.

    So.. how can people not at least be curious about modelers and want to try them? Odd.
    Oh but I was curious. Tried them, got disappointed...

    For live playing and gigging that is. I love the amp-app on my iphone (I use Agile Amp Kit nowadays); together with Sinsonido travel guitar and iRig with headphones it’s a life-saver on holidays! But playing with headphones makes all the difference. I could imagine gigging with amp modelling software and inear monitors - if the whole group comes up on your monitor and you can make your own mix.

  5. #54

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    Interesting. Many can't tell the difference between a Fender Tonemaster and the amp it emulates. At least at the brass tacks level of getting a good sound. But then I think it odd so many can't tell the difference between back/side tonewoods on flat tops while it's usually obvious to me. We all choose gear that suits us and in the end, diversity is a wonderful thing.

  6. #55

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    My $.02 ...

    I have a cheap Fender modeling amp (Champion 20). It sounds great, is super portable, and loud enough for my uses (it can hang with a small group in a small room). It's very simple to use (one knob to select the model; gain, volume, bass, treble knobs; one knob to select an effect; one knob for effects level; no menus, presets, or programmbility' WYSIWYG). I am not good with multilevel menus, presets, etc. I like knobs. The downside is that it has an 8" speaker (likely of indifferent quality, though I haven't compared it to something else), so it doesn't sound quite like the amps it models, but it sounds good and feels like an amp. I have compared it to similar Voxes, Peaveys, and Blackstars, and think it sounds (a lot) better, and is easier for me to use. I have also compared it to Fender Mustangs, and even though they supposedly have the same core modeling software, the Mustang's presets sound different (and IMO worse). I also have a Roland MicroCube, a small battery operable amp that uses Roland's COSM models. A couple of the sounds are very good, the rest not so much. The small speaker is one limiting factor in sound quality and verisimilitude. It also uses some sort of compressor/limiter for its "clean" models that sounds pretty bad.

    I tried a friend's AxeFx very briefly. I didn't get the chance to dig into it, and only tried it at low volumes through recording monitors, so can't really comment on whether it feels like an amp. On recordings, it definitely sounds like one. My friend is into shred/metal/Holdsworthy sorts of stuff, and it works great for that. But it's not something I would be interested in ecause I really don't like dealing with this sort of interface, and wouldn't use the variety of sounds it offers.

    I have also used many different DAW amp plugins. On recordings, they sound very realistic -- better results than I can achieve by mic'ing an amp because of the limitations of recording set up and skills. However, actually playing into a the DAW and listening with either headphones or monitors is not a very amp-like experience.

    So bottom line, yes, I like modelers and use them. The Tonemasters look interesting. I can't really see trading my Princeton Reverb with one, but if I were starting from scratch with amps maybe. It's very hard to tell from recordings, though.

    John

  7. #56

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    I use Fender Amp's each Is a Modeler The Best one is a G Dec 3 Thirty I have the Blues Jazz package installed in it. Use's a Foot controler to switck presets, turn the back up tracks on and off, and Has a Tuner function that mutes the sound when in use. It has 3 diffrent Acoustic amps, a Jazz master amp and the other common amps in most Modelers, VOX, Marshal, Custom. I use it clean and it has alot of head room. My other two Amps are a G Dec Orignal 15 and a Champion 20.

  8. #57

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    I bought my first SS amp in 1976, it was a Gallien Krueger 200GT, a few months later I bought a Kustom silver Tuck and Roll amp. I bought my first Polytone in 77', a massive 2X12 104 that unfortunately died in 97'. I've owned and still own vintage Fenders. I bought my first "modeler" in 1997. It was Line6's first amp. That amp was a disappointment in the tone and feel department. It was like looking at a old TV vs your own eyes i.e. flat and one dimensional. But great strides have been made since.

    I currently own several tube amps as well as digital amps e.g. Boss Katana 100, Line6, Tech21. My current setup and with what I am really pleased with is a Kemper Profiler running into a Henriksen Forte Head into a Kemp Kone 1 X 12 cabinet which is set up to emulate a EVM12L speaker. This is the best tone I have had with a "modeler" and it rivals my 70' Pro Reverb or my Fargen Marshall clone without the weight, hum and maintenance. Yes the Forte has a single pre-amp tube running at the proper voltage but I have enough NOS stock AX7's to last to the end of my life.

    For a clean Fender like amp tone, I'm impressed with the Henriksen Forte. Coupled with the Kemper and Kemper Kone, I can dial in any kind of tone or amp variety. The early "modelers" lacked the feel of tube amps but that gap has been closed on the high end units. I've had the Kemper since 2012 and I was underwhelmed at first. I also went the Full Range Active Cab route, in my case Atomic CLR's but again I felt I was 90% there. But with numerous firmware updates, the Forte and the Kone I prefer my current setup over anything else I own.

  9. #58

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    I have a Line 6 and it serves it's purpose, for me it's only recording. Easier to dial in and control, can record silently, etc. but mainly for mid or high gain sounds. For clean tones I've never had success in getting a tone I was happy with or didn't have to tweak & EQ a lot afterwards. I end up getting better results going direct into the mixer or an SM57 in front of my Mesa.

    Live it's been even less usable for me, so I go with the Mesa or my DV Mark, some people make it work well but it's always been a catastrophe for me. When Kemper made the scene I A/B'd it with a Fender, a Mesa, and a Diezel, hoping it was a massive step up from what I had, and although I know I wouldn't be able to tell if it was an amp or a modeler from a recording or even a live sound system, next to each other it was night & day.

  10. #59

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    I have gone down the modeler path (Line 6 HD500) and the biggest problem is that sooner or later, you need to get the sound out into the world. Maybe if you live with headphones on, you don't care. But the minute that carefully crafted tone is needed to be heard by others, you have problems.
    Powered monitors? Which monitor? How much $$$$
    Power amp and FRFR speakers? SS amp? Tube amp? What FRFR cab? $$$$?
    Power amp and guitar cab? See above.
    Pretty soon your into it for $3-4-5K, 40-60 lbs of gear, and your sound is no better than a $600 tube combo - but, yes, you have about 20+ amp models that all sound almost as good as a $600 tube combo.
    And the time spent tweaking - literally dozens and dozens of hours to get that "perfect" sound. I found my Line 6 sounded best through the return loop of my Mesa Boogie MkV25 and a 1x12 guitar cab.
    But why bother when the amp sounds in the Boogie are way better. But then I only ever went modest cost - HD 500. lower priced powered monitors. Some guys go the whole hog $5K rig with an Axe FX III, multiple high end powered FRFR monitors, IRs, etc.
    I do like Roland Cubes and the lowly Mustang III v2 combo. The later was a great little amp with everything thought out and a great, simple computer interface for tweaking. To me, it's what modelers should be.

  11. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRS
    I have gone down the modeler path (Line 6 HD500) and the biggest problem is that sooner or later, you need to get the sound out into the world. Maybe if you live with headphones on, you don't care. But the minute that carefully crafted tone is needed to be heard by others, you have problems.
    Powered monitors? Which monitor? How much $$$$
    Power amp and FRFR speakers? SS amp? Tube amp? What FRFR cab? $$$$?
    Power amp and guitar cab? See above.
    Pretty soon your into it for $3-4-5K, 40-60 lbs of gear, and your sound is no better than a $600 tube combo - but, yes, you have about 20+ amp models that all sound almost as good as a $600 tube combo.
    And the time spent tweaking - literally dozens and dozens of hours to get that "perfect" sound. I found my Line 6 sounded best through the return loop of my Mesa Boogie MkV25 and a 1x12 guitar cab.
    But why bother when the amp sounds in the Boogie are way better. But then I only ever went modest cost - HD 500. lower priced powered monitors. Some guys go the whole hog $5K rig with an Axe FX III, multiple high end powered FRFR monitors, IRs, etc.
    I do like Roland Cubes and the lowly Mustang III v2 combo. The later was a great little amp with everything thought out and a great, simple computer interface for tweaking. To me, it's what modelers should be.
    I have never found it that difficult. Plug modeler into my Acoustic Image Ten2 or Corus+ effects return. Spend an hour or two finding some sounds I like. Done! I played through a Boogie Mark IV throughout the '90's and that took longer to dial in than any of the modelers, and unlike the modelers, it was likely to need to be readjusted when I set up.

    I will say that my experience with an HD500 was not very good, but other modelers I've used--Boss GT-5, GT-8, GT-10, Zoom G3X, Eleven Rack, Fractal Axe-FX II & III, Ax-8--were all fine. The Fractal stuff is superior, but I was able to work with all of them.

    Danny W.

  12. #61

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    I'm in the "whatever gets the job done" camp. I am lazy too and don't want to read manuals. I like a straight-in tone also, guitar – cable - amp. And I absolutely hate latency. For most of the gigs I did "pre-corona" a simple fender tube amp (mine is a vibrolux and for even smaller gigs I have a blues jr.) was the appropriate solution. Small stages, the amp did all the work, PA was for singing and keys. If I'd use a modeller I would also have to bring some stage monitoring, put it all together with cables and walwarts, fiddle with the tones and whatnot. So for the lazy guy I am my tube combo (or any decent guitar combo) was the easiest and to me most appropriate solution. And whatever they say – to me tube amps proved to be solid and reliable.
    That said for some larger gigs when a PA and appropriate monitoring is provided I use a tech 21 fly rig, an analog modelling rig mimicking a fender amp – and provides some effects like distortion and delay which I only used once when subbing in a rockabilly-band. That also works great for me, I just plug it into a DI-Box connected to the mixer and use only the sansamp part and a little bit of reverb. Mostly funk music so the little bit of compression it adds comes in handy.
    The last time I used a digital modeller was in the 90s – a boss GT-5 which had like everything (amp and cab simulations, tons of effects and even a guitar synth). I used it also for a recording we did back then (straight into mixer) and that still sounds fine to me. Whatever gets the job done ...

  13. #62

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    I do a lot of recording, I'd love to get a Fractal AX8 or FM8
    however, every direct recording I've made, I miss the air of the amp.
    have not tried Fractal, they sound best in the clips i've heard... the strymon iridium seemed promising too, but the clips don't sound that good
    spending a thousand or double that on a modeler that loses value this quickly scares me
    people are asking way way way too much on the used market too

  14. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by patshep
    I do a lot of recording, I'd love to get a Fractal AX8 or FM8
    however, every direct recording I've made, I miss the air of the amp.
    have not tried Fractal, they sound best in the clips i've heard... the strymon iridium seemed promising too, but the clips don't sound that good
    spending a thousand or double that on a modeler that loses value this quickly scares me
    people are asking way way way too much on the used market too
    And there is the V.x syndrome
    You buy the latest and greatest V.0X. It has all the latest processors and signal path nonsense. 6-8 months later, V.0X+1 comes out and all of a sudden, your unit goes from being worth 65-75% of new to being 40-50% of new. And don't say we shouldn't buy gear for resale value - the system on computer system upgrades is placing big pressure to get the newest. Not all of us can take a bath every time we buy a modeler. Sure, it isn't so bad with the low value units - my HD500 and the likes. But pony up for a Fractal Axe FX and all the associated kit and all of a sudden it's serious money.

  15. #64

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    Not sure the Fractal Audio gear is a good general example for modelers and depreciation going forward. Zoom HD fares better and so far a used Strymon Iridium (if you can find one) has retained most of the initial price.

  16. #65

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    As far as my "modeler" the Kemper. They are selling the same basic hardware 9 years after they released the first units. I bought mine in Mar 2012 and its still being updated with new firmware and software. The basic amp tones and effects have been improved over the years with no additional cost to me. And 8 plus years after I purchased it I can still realistically get 70% of what I paid for it on the used market. The only amp I own that has appreciated is my early 70's SF ProReverb and when I factor in the cost of repairs, tubes, etc. over the 20+ years I've owned it, I'm still in the hole.

  17. #66

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    Replaced the Boss Katana with a ToneMaster Twin and a Mesa Rosette. I know the ToneMaster is a modeler with exactly one model but I never got close to that sound with the Katana. Thought I did, but no. The acoustic and clean amps on the Katana suffer greatly compared to the Rosette. Even the 175 is better through the SS Mesa. Thus ends my three years with a modeler.

  18. #67

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    Since it's a completely subjective decision, I decided long ago that the amplification system was more important than the pre-amp, and when Bose introduced the L1 line array series, I went with that, sold all my guitar amps, and never looked back. That necessitated some kind of modeler, and I found that with careful tweaking of a Digitech multi-effects pedal I could get a wide array of usable sounds for everything from nylon-string Godin to solid-body Ibanez guitars. Over the years, Bose improved the systems by making them even lighter and easier to handle, and now the Bose Compact is my go-to amp for most any gig, along with a Digitech, Zoom or Tech 21 processor. Total investment is around $1250, weight is quite low, but the ability
    to play fairly large spaces at reasonable volumes because of the line array "throw" is almost miraculous. For larger gigs or amplifying a group with vocals or horns, the larger L1 Bose stuff is excellent as well. An inexpensive tube mic preamp by Lexicon or ART will give tube folks that feel, and they are also small and light.

  19. #68

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    Jazz guys don't really need modelers, why would you? We need a basic clean tone
    Modelers, IMO, don't sound or feel great, but are convenient, however, still way overpriced for what you get

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by patshep
    Jazz guys don't really need modelers, why would you? We need a basic clean tone
    Modelers, IMO, don't sound or feel great, but are convenient, however, still way overpriced for what you get
    From my own experience, I have to disagree with you Pat. I had a Line 6 POD HD for a long time and I got more than my money's worth out of it. The biggest benefit was that I was able to get incredibly high quality recordings without any other recording gear other than a computer. I've never even gotten close to that quality with a mic and interface. It was also great for playing at home and gigs through a fairly modestly priced setup. My favorite setup was a $100 class D power amp and a Raezers Edge NY8 cab. I got more complements on the live sound from that rig than anything I've ever played through.

    It should also be noted that there's an incredible new generation of modelers on the market now, both in limited option pedals like the Iridium and Swiss Army Knives like the NuX MG300. They're very reasonably priced ($200 to $500), powerful and offer great clean tones. I'm in the processing of reequipping after my return to Mexico and while I like the simplicity of a good amp, the utility of modeling has it still very much on the table. One need only Max405's recordings and video to get a sense of just how useful these devices can be.

  21. #70

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    If I was unhappy with my current amp I'd definately be checking out the modeling amps. But I've been gigging with a Carr Rambler for 15+ years and I regularly get compliments on my tone. I have some good pedals and I honestly don't see the advantage in having a bunch of different simulated amp sounds at my disposal. In my world, too much tech and too many choices are a distraction from playing.

    Having said that, the Tonemasters sound interesting because they're simple and lightweight. And I do use digital multi-effects pedals. There are effects I may only use a couple of times a night and it saves pedalboard space to put them all in one box. They sound fine. The audience does not care.

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by patshep
    Jazz guys don't really need modelers, why would you? We need a basic clean tone
    Modelers, IMO, don't sound or feel great, but are convenient, however, still way overpriced for what you get
    To me a tube amp that's useless at low vols, or can only be used at a "sweet spot", based on tech from the 1920s,is hard to justify for the price in the 2020s.

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by m_d
    To me a tube amp that's useless at low vols, or can only be used at a "sweet spot", based on tech from the 1920s,is hard to justify for the price in the 2020s.
    Tube amp being useless at low vol is rock players problem which they solve by using pedals. For jazz players, if there is a problem with tube amps at all, it is the opposite, keeping it clean at gig volumes.

  24. #73

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    I've got a handfull of tube/SS amps and a Kemper. For my rock rig, the Kemper is astounding in sound, features, etc. Plus, upgrade-ability is far superior to any "primitive" amp.

  25. #74

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    I'm very happy with the Line 6 Pod Go I just got yesterday.

  26. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatRhythmMan
    I use tube amps at home, but years ago switched to Fractal stuff, first an Axe-FX II, then the AX8. Playing in groups and duos and often in venues with a PA system or with a digital piano, it made my set up and getting levels super fast and easy. In a mix in a restaurant or club, I think it sounds every bit as good.
    This is it, isn't it? If you are right next to your amp, it's all about the amp and guitarists are very critical about how they sound. Once you start recording or playing through pa systems, it all changes. I made some very nice recordings using Garageband and the guitar directly into the computer. Nobody can tell.

  27. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410

    So.. how can people not at least be curious about modelers and want to try them? Odd.
    Because guitarplayers turn out to be very conservative.
    But to me there was allways this trouble with 'to many knobs'. I just keep adjusting them, because there is allways a possibillity that the best is somewhere hidden in the amp. That's why i like a simple amp. It's easy to get the best possible sound out of that. The trouble with that is that there allways amps that sound better . . .

  28. #77

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    I've tried the Fender Mustang and owned a Roland Cube 30 for a couple of years. Once I got my first tube amp, I ditched the Roland and never looked back. That being said, I do use several pedals that are modelling in some fashion (a Boss FDR-1, a TC HOF and a Joyo AS) I assume. Definitely the FDR-1 cause it references COSM right on the pedal, so I don't consider myself to be an old skool purist. I confess to some curiosity with regards to Quilter. My thing is that I'm attracted to simplicity, both with pedals and amps (two of my amps have only one knob: Volume), and some of that modelling tech looks like the cockpit of a stealth bomber. I want plug and play, not plug and program.

  29. #78

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    I've written about this before. I was an axefx endorser. I thought it was 95% "as good" as a tube amp. A couple years ago, I jammed with local guitarist (and fender tube amp nut) frankie starr and brought my rig over to his place. We played a little and then I plugged into his twin with my '66 Kessel. I was blown away. It sounded easily 2x as good as the absolute BEST fender map model I could get with my axefx II and my FRFR speakers. Not even close. I realized I had been fooling myself the entire time.

    On the gig and to the audience, assuming you have a good sound person, maybe it's a wash but since I practice 100x more than I gig, I want a sound that I am totally in love with and for me, that's a real tube amp.

    I have played through the tonemaster amps and I do think they are the best if you're looking for a fender amp sound but i really dislike the jensen neo speakers. They sound pinched and middy to me and mush out at loud volumes. I did several gigs with a pair of 1x12 mojo cabs with those speakers in them and at low volume they sound great but on the gig it was EXTREMELY unpleasant. I would put up with the extra 4lb / speaker if they offered a version with a creamback. I see that the newest version of the amp uses a creamback neo but those have similar characteristics to the jensens in terms of that middy tone...

  30. #79

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    I’m going to agree with Jack here. My earlier comment in this thread is very specific to playing in bars and restaurants in a mix with other instruments. The Fractal Audio products have done extremely well for me and make life in those situations very easy. At home, I use tube amps.

  31. #80

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    I've been using Fractal modelers for years. Started with the Ultra, then the Axe Fx II, IIXL. I got the AX8 for live performances. I now have an Axe Fx III racked in the studio and a FM3 for live. Doing my first gig with it tomorrow. I love the convenience and ease of use and mobility.

  32. #81

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    The trouble with real amps is that I could never afford or even have room for what I'd like to have.
    The trouble with Axe or Kemper is that those are basically computers.. it's the code there. The software itself is not worth that much, but they charge so much for the box and knobs.

  33. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu
    The trouble with real amps is that I could never afford or even have room for what I'd like to have.
    The trouble with Axe or Kemper is that those are basically computers.. it's the code there. The software itself is not worth that much, but they charge so much for the box and knobs.
    and the 3rd problem: They don't really sound like the tube amps they're named after.

  34. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu
    The trouble with real amps is that I could never afford or even have room for what I'd like to have.
    The trouble with Axe or Kemper is that those are basically computers.. it's the code there. The software itself is not worth that much, but they charge so much for the box and knobs.
    But it’s the intellectual property. Cliff at Fractal designed a brilliant real time system. In the digital age you’re no longer placing much value on the cost of the parts. But rather how much is it worth to you? What is a fair price in terms of what it gives you?

    To me having amps that sound very close to the original, great effects and cabs is worth a lot. I like the convenience of not having to mic cabs or needing three or more amps to choose from live or in the studio. For me it’s more than worth the price. For you, not. And that’s fine.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  35. #84

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    Yeah. I actually have no idea how close they are to most of the amps. I know the Deluxe Reverb is incredibly spot on. I have a REAL 1965 DR right here. The controls match and the tones match in the Axe Fx III. Sounds exactly the same to me. I used to have a Boogie Quad which is a Mark IIc and III something. It sounded very close to me. But ultimately I'm not really concerned whether it sounds exactly like the amps. I'm happy to dial in something that sounds good. I'm not too interested in sounding like. I just mess with mixing and matching opposite tone stacks. Come up with something new. This I can do in ways I'd never be able to do with real amps. I'm seriously, if I wanted it to sound exactly like the amp, I'd use the amp. LOL.

  36. #85

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    I am playing a Katana 50 almost exclusively now. The sneaky amps have been installed and I play mostly through the Fender Deluxe model or the Fender Tweed model. The tone is great and it is light. I have tube amps in the basement but they never come out. Tube amps need to be louder to sound good and I respect my neighbours. My tube amps are also too heavy haul up and down stairs night after night. finally, I have played some gigs with tube amps (in the past) but they kept breaking down.

    Frankly, my favourite amp is an old Roland VGA 5 (one of the early Roland modelling amps). It is extremely versatile and intuitive. With a foot controller you can access 10 patches. It is fantastic for covering a ton of tones on a gig (Marshalls, Vox, Twins etc). The only problem is the weight. It weighs over 65lbs and it is awkward. I do play that one at home though.

  37. #86

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    The thing that scares me about modelers is adjusting them on the fly at a gig. My experience is that the guitar sounds different to me at different times during the same gig. I think it's more my perception than reality, although sounds change as the room fills up and the other musicians vary their playing. I need something simple enough to use when my mind is on other things. A huge feature set may sell equipment, but I think for many players, it's simplicity and good sound that keeps it in use.

    So, I use the ME80 pedalboard. Everything is a knob except saving patches. It has enormous capability. Nonetheless, 95+% of the time I play one of two tones -- and one of them is clean with a little reverb. That goes into a Little Jazz most of the time. I get my sound, I forget about the gear and I can focus on the music. If I need more volume I usually use a Roland JC55, and sometimes both at once. Now and then I have to adjust something (usually the reverb level), in which case I push the Edit button, twist a knob and push Write. I tried the GT-1 and couldn't control it - enormous capability and the scrolling drove me crazy.

    I used to play a Mesa Boogie Mark III. Too complicated. Dial it in. Then the room fills up and maybe you want a tiny bit more treble. Prepare to move every knob on the amp. When you've got it dialed in correctly it sounds terrific, but it's too much trouble. It is also too heavy for comfortable movement.

    Here's another thing that scares me about modelers. I usually rewire the standard two HB guitar to have master volume and tone. The other two knobs are individual volume controls and I leave them full up almost all the time. Then, there's a volume pedal in the ME80, the output level knob and whatever else is affecting volume inside the ME80.. The Mark III has three volume controls if you're using the lead channel, and the tone controls significantly affect volume. How many volume controls is that? I'd lose track of the settings during a gig and end up with an overly complicated mess.

    I know an experienced modeler user can explain to me why these fears are unwarranted. But, I'm happy with the sound I'm getting now.

  38. #87

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    I think that's an excellent point and all 3 BIGTIME modelers I've tried (helix, axefx ii, kemper) sound like you have the loudness button engaged by default. WAY TOO MUCH bass and WAY TOO MUCH TREBLE. On all 3, turning down the bass to zero is typically not enough on the fender amp models. To avoid bottom heavy tones at gig volumes, you have to insert a graphic or parametric EQ or high pass filter. You can dial in the perfect tone in your bedroom but if you get to the gig and don't have an editing device and need to (on the fly) insert an eq and tweak it with the tiny on-screen editor - GOOD LUCK!

    Of course, you can add that in up front but it's still not like just reaching back and turning a knob. Even with the knobs on the kemper and AX8, i found that zeroing the bass wasn't enough at louder volumes.

    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    The thing that scares me about modelers is adjusting them on the fly at a gig. My experience is that the guitar sounds different to me at different times during the same gig. I think it's more my perception than reality, although sounds change as the room fills up and the other musicians vary their playing. I need something simple enough to use when my mind is on other things. A huge feature set may sell equipment, but I think for many players, it's simplicity and good sound that keeps it in use.

    So, I use the ME80 pedalboard. Everything is a knob except saving patches. It has enormous capability. Nonetheless, 95+% of the time I play one of two tones -- and one of them is clean with a little reverb. That goes into a Little Jazz most of the time. I get my sound, I forget about the gear and I can focus on the music. If I need more volume I usually use a Roland JC55, and sometimes both at once. Now and then I have to adjust something (usually the reverb level), in which case I push the Edit button, twist a knob and push Write. I tried the GT-1 and couldn't control it - enormous capability and the scrolling drove me crazy.

    I used to play a Mesa Boogie Mark III. Too complicated. Dial it in. Then the room fills up and maybe you want a tiny bit more treble. Prepare to move every knob on the amp. When you've got it dialed in correctly it sounds terrific, but it's too much trouble. It is also too heavy for comfortable movement.

    Here's another thing that scares me about modelers. I usually rewire the standard two HB guitar to have master volume and tone. The other two knobs are individual volume controls and I leave them full up almost all the time. Then, there's a volume pedal in the ME80, the output level knob and whatever else is affecting volume inside the ME80.. The Mark III has three volume controls if you're using the lead channel, and the tone controls significantly affect volume. How many volume controls is that? I'd lose track of the settings during a gig and end up with an overly complicated mess.

    I know an experienced modeler user can explain to me why these fears are unwarranted. But, I'm happy with the sound I'm getting now.

  39. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I used to play a Mesa Boogie Mark III. Too complicated. Dial it in. Then the room fills up and maybe you want a tiny bit more treble. Prepare to move every knob on the amp. When you've got it dialed in correctly it sounds terrific, but it's too much trouble. It is also too heavy for comfortable movement.
    But that's a great amp! Why didn't you dial in the correct tone and then adjust it to the correct sound when the room fills up?
    I must admit that i never ever had this problem though. On stage i didn't worry. I left that to the soundengineer (what's his name in english?).

  40. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel_A
    But that's a great amp! Why didn't you dial in the correct tone and then adjust it to the correct sound when the room fills up?
    I must admit that i never ever had this problem though. On stage i didn't worry. I left that to the soundengineer (what's his name in english?).
    It absolutely is a great amp. I once had a guy come out of the audience and offer to buy my entire rig.

    But, what I said about minor adjustement is true. If I wanted to adjust the treble, a small increase raises the volume. I then have to lower the volume to compensate (using either master or channel gain) with the result that the EQ sounds different. More adjustment. An asymptotic process. Same thing for any other tweak. Change input volume or tone knobs and that changes the lead channel sound too.

    There's a third mode in there too -- if you make a mistake and screw up your tone, you may have to go on a scavenger hunt to figure out what's wrong. I once screwed up an entire set trying to figure out what was wrong with my tone. I made a mess of my usual settings and later discovered I'd flicked the pickup selector switch on my guitar by accident. Not the amp's fault, but when it happened, the amp looked suspicious to me.

    The onboard graphic EQ helped, but I still ended up fiddling sometimes. The last few times I used it, it was a large crowded noisy restaurant from the start of the first set. Dialed it in and didn't have to touch it. But that was more the exception than the rule. I've had it more than 30 years. Over that time, my tolerance for the weight has been reduced by age.

    I don't have all that many hours on it, I guess, but it's worth mentioning that it has never needed any work of any kind and sounds like new.

    OTOH, right now, it's alive in my music room because I'm recording with it. I need an intense lead sound for a project -- what better amp for that?

  41. #90

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    i've owned Mesa MK I, II, III and IV. IMO, they suffer from extreme, swiss-army-knife syndrome. Too many options, toggle switches, sliders, pull out knobs, class switching, etc. And as roger points out, the controls are too interactive so if all you want to do is add a teeny bit of treble, it ends up subtracting from the mids or bass and vice versa. Plus the reverb sucks on all the MK series amps. And on top of everything else, the 12L in there sounds super sterile to my ears unless you really crank it up which you almost never do on a jazz gig. I'd much rather play a fender.

  42. #91

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    They're ok except they're always acting like divas, fussing w their makeup and I hate when they order expensive meals and barely touch anything.

  43. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    i've owned Mesa MK I, II, III and IV. IMO, they suffer from extreme, swiss-army-knife syndrome. Too many options, toggle switches, sliders, pull out knobs, class switching, etc. And as roger points out, the controls are too interactive so if all you want to do is add a teeny bit of treble, it ends up subtracting from the mids or bass and vice versa. Plus the reverb sucks on all the MK series amps. And on top of everything else, the 12L in there sounds super sterile to my ears unless you really crank it up which you almost never do on a jazz gig. I'd much rather play a fender.
    Jack, first of all that is Rick, not Roger that you referenced (Roger is Rpguitar, Rick is Rpjazzguitar). We have not seen much of Roger in recent years...

    Second, having owned a Mark IV, I agree, the amount of sound adjustment could be overwhelming but I eventually dialed in a sound I liked (with the EV speaker BTW, hated that amp with the Mesa branded Celestion) and I found that it worked pretty well for most gigs with a modicum of adjustments. Eventually the weight became an issue for all gigs, so away she went. My current Mesa is a first generation 50 Caliber and has so few knobs that it was kind of a failure with the Mesa channel switching fans (the second generation of this amp had way more knobs). The current generation of my amp is the Mark V 35 and has about the same number of knobs and switches as the Mark IV (I guess most Mesa fans like a Swiss Army Knife amp). My 50 Caliber sounds great with the Mesa Celestion to me (I am thinking it is the EL-84's). I find the Mesa reverbs acceptable, but I would concede, Fender reverbs are superior.

    At the moment, I own three tube amps, two Fenders and a Mesa. I like both brands myself.

  44. #93
    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    I think that's an excellent point and all 3 BIGTIME modelers I've tried (helix, axefx ii, kemper) sound like you have the loudness button engaged by default. WAY TOO MUCH bass and WAY TOO MUCH TREBLE. On all 3, turning down the bass to zero is typically not enough on the fender amp models. To avoid bottom heavy tones at gig volumes, you have to insert a graphic or parametric EQ or high pass filter. You can dial in the perfect tone in your bedroom but if you get to the gig and don't have an editing device and need to (on the fly) insert an eq and tweak it with the tiny on-screen editor - GOOD LUCK!

    Of course, you can add that in up front but it's still not like just reaching back and turning a knob. Even with the knobs on the kemper and AX8, i found that zeroing the bass wasn't enough at louder volumes.
    I tried the Fractal 8EFX pedal board and and found way too much insertion loss of guitars true tone.

  45. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker
    i've owned Mesa MK I, II, III and IV. IMO, they suffer from extreme, swiss-army-knife syndrome. Too many options, toggle switches, sliders, pull out knobs, class switching, etc. And as roger points out, the controls are too interactive so if all you want to do is add a teeny bit of treble, it ends up subtracting from the mids or bass and vice versa. Plus the reverb sucks on all the MK series amps. And on top of everything else, the 12L in there sounds super sterile to my ears unless you really crank it up which you almost never do on a jazz gig. I'd much rather play a fender.
    I agree about the reverb. I even had the factory reverb mod on mine, which allowed me to dial in a greater amount of bad sounding reverb.

    I always played with reverb in a box in front of the amp, so it didn't create a problem, but I was always surprised that the reverb was that bad in an amp that expensive and carefully made.

    I have the Mesa Black Shadow (I don't know the provenance) in a separate cab (that was to reduce the amount of weight at once). It sounds fine to me, but I'm probably not very picky in that way.

  46. #95

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    I'm new to modelers but take the time to make your own presets. Less is more if you want a clean sound. In one of the 9 blocks of effects on the Pod Go you can choose 'amp' or 'preamp'. I chose a Fender Tweed preamp and added some spring reverb.
    Very nice. It's the 1st time I haven' been annoyed playing guitar through headphones.
    I wouldn't call the 'modeling' of amp and cab sims hype, but as you can see from demos, rockers go straight to the overdrives and distortion. The Pod Go is actually no relation to the old Pods. It's a scaled down version of the Line 6 Helix.
    I think modelers have finally arrived at a reasonable price. There are few cons but as expected, the Fuzz effects suck and the compressors which I probably won't need aren't that great. Reverbs, delays, etc..are good. The layout of the box and software editor are excellent. Multi-effects can feel sluggish on all of these. Turn up the presence for a more immediate sound.
    The Pod Go is a considerable step up from the Boss ME80 I had a few years back. The noise reduction works well.

    Thumbs up for the Pod Go. It lives up to the hype.

  47. #96

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    I've been playing through a Strymon Iridium quite awhile now. I can get good sounds on the Fender DeLuxe setting or the Vox. Not very concerned if they sound like the original amps. Just want it to sound good. Overall a Fender Concert with an EV and a 2X12 extension cab sounds better. But I just pull out my heavy old gear when the mood hits. For day to day I want my practice rig and gigging rig to be the same and I'm not about to move 150 pounds of amp/speaker around.

    Also the Full Range Flat Response (FRFR) speaker has a lot more to do with things than most of those thinking about the modeling plunge realize. Quality of the speaker itself of course. But also how you place the speaker (e.g. on the floor, on a stand, reflected off a wall or corner, direct radiate, off axis) makes a big difference in what you hear in your practice space.

  48. #97

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    I own a Boss Katana 50 Mk2.

    To be honest I don't know the amps it models (it has 5 channels with variation switch for each of them - acoustic, clean, crunch, lead and brown) and I use acoustic and clean 95% of the time.
    It also has nice effects and has aux in to jam along backing tracks and I can use it to record my playing either using the USB interface or using headphone/line out (that way I can capture both the backing track and my playing - useful when recording videos).
    It also has power switch - 0.5, 25 and 50 watt. That way I can play at bedroom levels.

    The best thing... It is cheap (220 € new shipped) and portable.

    I must say I am quite happy with it

  49. #98

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    Here is a video of Frank Gambala’s rig rundown. I was wondering how he achieved his sound, since i really enjoy his sound. Turns out to be dv mark modeling . . .

    Last edited by Marcel_A; 10-03-2020 at 11:41 AM.