View Poll Results: How do you feel about modelers?

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

    44 30.56%
  • I own a modeler, which is not my main rig

    30 20.83%
  • I have tried a modeler and liked it

    17 11.81%
  • I have tried a modeler and did not like it

    22 15.28%
  • I have not tried a modeler, but I am interested

    13 9.03%
  • I have not tried a modeler, and am not interested

    18 12.50%
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  1. #1

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    Hello all,

    Modelers are mentioned every now and then here, but I thought it might be interesting to see how people in here feel about them in numbers. I've put six poll options up, but would love to hear some discussion about it too.
    I use a Headrush pedalboard myself and am very satisfied. I am a dogmatic man, the current being "all sound characteristics can be emulated digitally if you know your methods", but I'm sure that I could suddenly flip to "nothing will ever sound like a real tube amp" which I hear a lot.

    Some of the reasons why I'm curious about -this forum- in particular, is because my impression is that the jazz guitar community is less interested in these units, and of course, the respective units never being marketed towards jazz players. I was averse to the Headrush because of its marketing!
    I'm more active in pop and alternative milieus, where digital hardware has become the professional standard, the top 3 being:


    1. Fractal Audio Axe-Fx
    2. Line 6 Helix
    3. Kemper Profiler



    ... You're almost expected to have one of these or an equivalent like I do, and it's not hard to see why - One could compare it to pianos; pedals and amps being a Rhodes Suitcase (and perhaps a pedalboard), and the digital hardware being something like a Nord Grand. Merits aside, the key factor being versatility and reliability, but also, the creative process is very different when drastic changes are quick and easy to do, and virtually limitless. It's great not having to bend down between songs to adjust the reverb, and not have to say "I don't have a phaser" or "I can't really get more shimmer" etc etc.

    On the other hand, of all the jazz guitarists I know, I don't think a single one of them has a modeler. In fact, the most prominent two I can think of, seem to hate them. I've heard them say that "there's definitely latency", "that is horribly shrill", and "you can tell it's not tubes". I can understand that one of these behemoths would be mostly redundant to the common jazz player, and that perhaps plugging directly into an amplifier is part of the "code" to which a jazz player adheres?

    What are your thoughts on this?
    Last edited by mr quick; 03-02-2020 at 02:48 PM. Reason: Spelled "modelers" wrong in the title

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    The future is now.

    I prefer them to be simpler, personally. Model one or a few good amps and do it well. The Kemper and Axe fx stuff looks like modular synthesizers to me. I'm very interested in Fender's new tone masters.

  4. #3

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    For my rock'n'roll gigs I love my Flyrig. One of the best bits of kit I've ever bought. So great to be able to go to gigs with just a guitar, a few leads, and the Flyrig.

    Alas, the last few gigs I've needed a guitar, a spare guitar, an acoustic guitar, and a slide guitar. But at least I don't have to cart a heavy amp as well.

  5. #4

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    People seemed to be confused by what the modeler is doing, what a cabinet IR is doing, and the physics of speaker cabinets. They hear a Full Range Flat Response (FRFR) speaker (e.g. studio monitor, PA speaker) amplifying the result of something like a modeled Fender DeLuxe 1X12 and expect it to sound the same and it doesn't. It does sound pretty much just like a mic'd Fender but not like the combo sitting in your living room. There are ways to get the sound you want of course but takes some tweaking. Or you could just get something like a ToneMaster.

    I've gone over to a Strymon Iridium and don't see going back.

  6. #5

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    [QUOTE=mr quick;1013052]
    On the other hand, of all the jazz guitarists I know, I don't think a single one of them has a modeler. In fact, the most prominent two I can think of, seem to hate them. I've heard them say that "there's definitely latency", "that is horribly shrill", and "you can tell it's not tubes". I can understand that one of these behemoths would be mostly redundant to the common jazz player, and that perhaps plugging directly into an amplifier is part of the "code" to which a jazz player adheres?


    This!

    No code exactly, I’m all about breaking some rules. I’ve played long enough to know what I want. Tubes please. In all fairness I have not tried a Kemper or axefx. I have only tried a Roland cube, blues cube 30 hot and mustang gt 100. The mustang was a toy. The Roland XL 80 has an unbearable non-adjustable noise gate and the thirty hot I held onto for at least a year. All are history now

  7. #6

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    I’m currently using tube amps with modeled effects from HX Effects. It’s a good
    combination. Monitoring a modeled guitar amp through PA speakers or studio monitors just sounds off to me—I’m used to and prefer the sound of open-backed guitar cabs, but I do like modeling for recording. I use S-Gear for modeling “in-the-box”, and it’s far easier for me to get a reliably repeatable good recorded tone that way than it is with a mic positioned in front of an amp.

  8. #7

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    Is a Line 6 Pod considered a modeler?

  9. #8

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    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.

  10. #9

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    The modelers seem too complicated for me which is a distraction from playing music, at least for me. However, if I were buying an amp I would look at the Fender Tone Masters. (I like the Quilter I have so I'm not in the market for a new amp).

  11. #10

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    I've been using multi-fx pedals for 20+ years now and currently own and gig with a Helix and and Helix Stomp - which one I take depends on the gig. Last saturday I played a duo job with piano at a jazz bar, using my Bud as a monitor and the Stomp as preamp/fx for some tonal/textural variety and I got all the sounds I like/want. The times where I only take an amp and a guitar are few nowadays, mostly for strictly swing/+old time jazz stuff etc.

  12. #11

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    For jazz gigs I plug straight into an AI Corus or Ten2, but for other stuff I use a Fractal Audio Axe-Fx III. Will get their FM3 when they tell me it's available.

    Danny W.
    Last edited by Danny W.; 03-02-2020 at 06:36 PM.

  13. #12

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    I think modellers should be treated like flight simulators. You can try out different types of amps, effects, pedals, configurations (extra sag, power amp distortion etc.) and decide what you like, what works best for the types of gigs you do etc and then go get the real thing. At least a more dedicated simplified modeller that does that thing.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 03-02-2020 at 06:19 PM.

  14. #13

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    I had one of the Cube cosm's, not very impressed tbh. Maybe it's not one of the better ones out there, my dad just bought a Katana and I have yet to try it.

    I can see the appeal - many options in one unit, plus lighter weight versions of heavier amps. Built-in effects are fun, cool, but something I'll guess a majority of jazz players would not utilize. Unless the quality and accuracy of each model is convincing enough I'm personally bound to stick with analog. The several very good Japanese ss amps I have do everything I need.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Is a Line 6 Pod considered a modeler?
    Yes.

  16. #15

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    I have a Roland Cube 60 with COSM modeling. I don't use the models; just stick with the built in Roland sound. I do use the built in reverb and occasionally the chorus.

  17. #16

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    I've used multi effects for years. You get used to the feel and play them, but I prefer analog sound, tubes or not. Never saw a reason to buy an expensive one, I've often spent more on a simple analog pedal than digital units. I use digital on experimental theatre and dance theatre gigs, where it's more soundscapes rather than regular music, so it works great in that context.

    I've tried the modern hipper ones, still feel fake to me. Plus I could die from boredom programming them..

  18. #17

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    I play into an ME80 and, usually, a Little Jazz. The LJ is loud enough for the bulk of what I do, which includes 19 pc big band (although it's marginal for that).

    I have a Sennheiser e609. The idea was to mic my amp and send that to the PA. It works fine, but, I've almost never done that on a gig. I've been happy enough running a line from the ME80 into the PA. Other times, there's a soundman and he uses his stuff.

    Never tried the fancier modelers. For me, the issue is the ability to easily tweak something in the middle of a tune, say. I don't want to scroll through menus or even have to think too much. I don't want it to be so complicated that I can make a mistake that I can't immediately diagnose.

  19. #18

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    Not huge on modellers although I have a Boss GT10 that I actually quite like. I rarely use the amp models on it but having 3 or 4 effects at the ready (or more if you use different patches) can be really useful for pit orchestra work. Theoretically you can create a patch for each song for example if needed. Generally I'd be running it into my Quilter Aviator Twin Ten amp in those situations. Super practical in that regard, although individual pedals do sound better generally speaking.

    For straight ahead jazz I've had next to zero interest in modelling however the Tonemaster Fender amps have changed that for me. I did have a Roland Cube 30 for a while but it was pretty mediocre for everything. My DV Mark little jazz blows it away in every respect.

    I'm on the fence about getting the Fender TM Deluxe Reverb. Having compared it with the '65 Reissue in the shop, I actually thought it sounded better (less tinny, more like how I'd imagine a real 1965 deluxe reverb to sound if that makes sense).

  20. #19

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    Perhaps the modelers have improved since I gave up on them about 5 years ago because I never found one that could go 1:1 against a good tube amp, for jazz at least. I just lost the GAS. I am quite happy with a single cord into a nice warm tube amp.

    I do use digital fx with a good tube amp on non-jazz gigs. If I were playing more of that kind of stuff, I might be persuaded to drop the $ for a Fractal or a Kemper, because, of course, I'd earn the investment back in no time ;-) OK, seriously, it would be for the sake of having a fun toy to play with at those gigs.
    I can certainly see the point of having a highly programmable signal chain with a ton of fx for rock, pop, even pit band gigs.

    But these days, I mostly want to focus on musicianship, repertoire, and just _playing_ more than anything else. I don't have a ton of GAS. I want more time to play the gear I already have.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Is a Line 6 Pod considered a modeler?
    Nope

    Well.. ok. Technically. Like a '63 Chevy Impala is a car. But it's not transportation.

  22. #21

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    There is a difference between liking what modelers do and being unhappy with having to program the more complex ones. There are modelers designed to be simple like the Stymon Iridium or the Fender ToneMaster's. I suppose a Roland Artist is also a modeling amp of sorts and it's very good at what it does.

  23. #22

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    I really enjoyed working with a modeler (A Pod HD) and I wish I still had it. It certainly wasn't state of the art by the time I sold it but it still was really useful within the limits of my needs.

  24. #23

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    My very first amp was a cheapo Fender Mustang v2 five years ago. It took me more than a year while I learned, it is useless to produce a decent jazz sound, despite of the range of modelled legendary Fender amps. It became obvious when I finally bougth a DV Mark Jazz 12. (Currently I have a cheapo Bugera, just to experience tube vs solid state, I like both)

    Back to the modeling, I also bought a Boss GT 001 (same as GT 100, just desktop instead of pedals). It is pretty sophisticated in modelling as long as you use with headphones. It instantly use its mojo as pedal with a cabinet, regardless which setting of output I try.

    In every half year I periodically go optimistic and give it a try, then instantly go back to the pure DV Mark or Bugera

  25. #24

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    I have been gigging with Fender modeling amps for over 8 years. My ears love the various Fender amp sounds, and nobody else models them like Fender does, IMO. More convenient and easier to tweak than using a modeling pedal or unit. My vintage '68 deluxe reverb has not left the house since then, and it is a tone beast.

  26. #25

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    Did not like the Line6 house amp at a the local jamsession at all, never could get a good tone out of it.

    Bought a Roland Cube 30x but sold it pretty fast.... not my thing at all!

    Fender Champion 100 in the rehearsal room: aaaargh!! Not getting a good tone out of it either.

    It’s probably me......

    Playing my ‘68 Framus Strato 345 (2xEL36 tubes) or my ‘58 Dynacord DA-16/v (2x EL84 tubes) feels like coming home..... I’m not a tube-snob, I gig a lot with my solid state Session BluesBaby 22! But that has the constant current drive circuit to mimic the interaction between output-trafo and speaker (which is what gives the “tube-feel” to a tube amp).

    I am an output-trafo snob, definitely an OT-addict...... maybe I need therapy?

  27. #26

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    I have a Fractal Profiler and love it for gigs, especially smaller gigs where I don’t want to cart in my Vibrolux tube amp. Very flexible tones with the Fractal.

  28. #27

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    I’ve tried several, the best of which are the Eleven Rack and the UAD stuff.

    For myself, the feel isn’t the same.

    Ftr, I like tube amps and SS amps. Once the sound goes to zeros and ones, it changes.


    All that being said, they certainly have their place (travel, heavily fx based music, etc).

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    ...I am an output-trafo snob, definitely an OT-addict...... maybe I need therapy?...
    Please do not be too hard on yourself Trafos are the coolest thing in the world, I used them for low output moving coil pick-ups (cartridges). Needless to explain: it is about turntables, long time ago in the vinyl era.

  30. #29

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    Does Randall MTS counts as modelers or?

    It's basicly same power amp for all modules. But you only change like preamp capsules of amps.

    So you have like power amp of amp X.
    One channel preamp of amp Y and second channel preamp of amp Z.

    Cool concept.

  31. #30

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    https://images.reverb.com/image/uplo...mnskajtesr.jpg

    This is the basic concept.

    My friend tried it via Randall Kirk Hammet amp.
    He wasn't very impressed by it.

    He said on separate preamp and good power amp like Mesa Boogie 50-50 it would be fun to listen to it.

    But on generic Randall head he wasn't very impressed.

    But I dig the concept and idea.

    But good power amp, preamp, and module .... it costs ... like 3000$ easily.

  32. #31

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    The past is now.

    Rather than make modern music, everybody is concerned to emulate faithfully the sounds of yesterday’s kit. Musicians have become technicians, turning dials and testing gadgets in their endless search for perfect tone. They will never find it, because real amps are made of parts, not algorithms. Sound exists in space and time, not in a programmer’s mind.

    Here is a reminder of what makes an amp; fifteen minutes of Fane, Partridge transformers and everything else.


  33. #32

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    The guy in the beginning of the video has problems catching his breath though, probably from having to move the amp in the middle of the room..

  34. #33

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    Are the ToneMasters considered modelers, yet?

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny W.
    For jazz gigs I plug straight into an AI Corus or Ten2, but for other stuff I use a Fractal Audio Axe-Fx III. Will get their FM3 when they tell me it's available.

    Danny W.
    This here, same for me..for jazz i plug into a Henriksen. For all my other gigs..Fractal Ax8 into the PA or a QSC behind me.

    Like to hear your review of the FM3 when you get it..seems cool just not sure i can get away with the 3 button setup compared to my Ax8. Bet it will sound great

  36. #35

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    Am I the only one who is fan of old Vox AD series? This were really lovely amps.
    Bunch of guys around me started on Vox AD series.

  37. #36

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    I liked the Tone Master Twin Reverb I tried at the music store. If I were looking for a new amp, the lighter weight would sell it to me, even if it wasn't 100% as good as a real Twin. What would *really* hook me would be a Tweed Bassman version, as well as a separate head.
    Last edited by BigDaddyLoveHandles; 03-04-2020 at 01:02 PM.

  38. #37

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    I am curious about the Tonemaster series. But the real test is always on stage in the heat of a gig. Many amps that sound fine at home or even in the rehearsal room fall short on stage, when the horn section is there, the drummer gets enthusiastic and everybody turns up his mix in the monitors (which they shouldn’t of course, but it happens anyway).

    My AB763 Guyatone Twin Reverb clone is the only amp that has proved to be able to always deliver, no matter what.

    My Framus Strato 345 is a close 2nd, which is remarkable because it doesn’t even have half the Twins power and only 1 speaker.

    If the Tonemaster Twin can do the same I would be sold.

  39. #38

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    The only bit of modelling gear that I've been able to bond with is the OX from Universal Audio.

  40. #39

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    I usually gig with my red pod. I set it to either black face or a tweed setting and use it like an amp into the PA. It doesn’t sound as good as my amps (vibrochamp and orange cube 60) but it’s convenient. I record with my VC and wish the pod sounded as good, but for a gig the pod is good enough. My band mates and the audience can’t tell the difference.

  41. #40

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    From my first encounter with Boss COSM GT5 in the early '90s, to my POD 2.0, XT and Pro Live, I could never really bound with any of them and all got sold. I guess I am too lazy with programming through endless menus on a small LCD screen for hours to get a tone I like.
    I still have my Cube 80XL which makes the use of modeling easy but I can't say its as good as a real amp.
    For a couple months, I played with Amplitube on my PC including cabinet loader and IR and could get interesting results for recording but nothing I would use live.
    Nowadays I only use my PRRI for Jazz and my Cube 80XL for everything else...

  42. #41

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    just had a thought ....

    Fender could now bundle up the preamp section and make a Tonemaster Twin Reverb
    pedal ...
    and/or a TM Delux Reverb pedal


    im not saying they will ...
    but they’d probably sell pretty good

  43. #42

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    AMT F1 or Mad Professor Super Black ?? Tech 21 Blonde for Tweed?
    U have tons of Fender in box pedals.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mecena
    AMT F1 or Mad Professor Super Black ?? Tech 21 Blonde for Tweed?
    U have tons of Fender in box pedals.
    Yes LOTS and LOTS of pedals already aim to get the sounds of a Twin or Delux .....

    But not a Fender made one .... Yet
    based on the reactions to the TM amps

    I think that those pedals would sell well ....

  45. #44

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    If sound is good, I don't care about name on box .....

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mecena
    If sound is good, I don't care about name on box .....
    I think most modellers sound fine but they FEEL different: lacking volume, punch and projection.

  47. #46

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    Well, if right now delivery would come to my house, with Vox AD 100 VT combo.
    And like, 10 tubes packages for next 20 years of playing.

    I wouldn't say no to that.

  48. #47

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    I'm on board with Litterick--post 31 and am definitely anti-technology(up to a point) when it comes to musical performance. The quality of the instrument, a simple, quality amplifier and a creative musician is my potato soup. I believe all of this techno-hype originated from Rock guitarists who came to Jazz and couldn't live without their toys. Where is the line between effects and overall musicianship and the sound of a quality instrument? As I've said in other discussions, I believe a good techie could make a junk guitar sound great. Good playing . . . and lost in old school . . . Marinero
    Last edited by Marinero; 03-05-2020 at 11:12 AM. Reason: addition

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    I'm on board with Litterick--post 31 and am definitely anti-technology(up to a point) when it comes to musical performance. The quality of the instrument, a simple, quality amplifier and a creative musician is my potato soup. I believe all of this techno-hype originated from Rock guitarists who came to Jazz and couldn't live without their toys. Where is the line between effects and overall musicianship and the sound of a quality instrument? As I've said in other discussions, I believe a good techie could make a junk guitar sound great. Good playing . . . and lost in old school . . . Marinero
    THIS!

    Guitar-cable-tube amp. Reverb if it’s built in and sounds ok. No reverb, no problem.

  50. #49

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    My main rig is a Helix LT through one of the old Line6 amps that I have setup for a flat EQ and response. I will eventually get a Line6 powercab to run it though. The reasons are fairly simple. I can play at any volume and have good tone. There are so many great effects and amp models, and I can dial them in to get almost any tone I could possibly want. It's a relatively inexpensive way to have a lot of sounds and tones at your disposal. Would I like a bunch of different amps and pedals? Sure would! But this setup makes the most sense to me right now.

    I do have an old Jazzkat that I still use to plug directly into for my jazz stuff.

  51. #50

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    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.