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Modelers

lure555

Swirling Vortex of Sound, Classic Club
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
3,429
Who is playing through a modeler? I got my Helix about 6 years ago. After 6 months with it I traded in my boutique amp and pedals for a nice Classic GT. Best, most consistent tone I've ever had. I've been playing silent stages for most of that time and I have to admit that I don't miss tube amps. Another one of the guys I play with has a Boogie Mark IV and I gotta say, his tone greatly improved when he moved to an HX Stomp with his pedals.
 

dwagar

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 18, 2005
Messages
4,462
My main amp is a Marshall SV20C. I love that amp. But even attenuated it can be pretty loud.

My band mics everything, and for smaller venues, we thought going ampless would be the best plan. A couple of the guys bought PodGos.

I looked at them and (I'm old) options paralysis hit me hard. My buddy said, oh it's easy, set this on this menu, then go to that sub menu... Nope. I'm not doing that shit.

I talked to my salesman at the local music store, he knows what I'm like, he sold me an Iridium. That was exactly what I wanted. I added a Strymon Multiswitch Plus and have 4 amps on a footswitch.

As far as effects, I normally use a couple of pedals, but for multi I have a Boss ME-80 (cause it has knobs). I see Boss has released an ME-90 so I'll likely upgrade.

So, you don't have to be a computer geek to use modeling.

But still, any chance I get I'll still use the Marshall.
 

Amp360

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
897
I have a Kemper and an 11. The only thing I've ever used the Kemper for is a monitor feed for drums. The 11 I use for lap steel sometimes.

I have an Ox that I use sometimes and for me, it is kind of the best compromise.
 

somebodyelseuk

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
457
Who is playing through a modeler? I got my Helix about 6 years ago. After 6 months with it I traded in my boutique amp and pedals for a nice Classic GT. Best, most consistent tone I've ever had. I've been playing silent stages for most of that time and I have to admit that I don't miss tube amps. Another one of the guys I play with has a Boogie Mark IV and I gotta say, his tone greatly improved when he moved to an HX Stomp with his pedals.
I've been dabbling with a Helix and Powercab+ for a couple of years. Still have my old valve rig.
My Dad turned 80 recently, he's a big Shadows fan, but has been 'making do' with a Vox Vt20+ since he stopped gigging a decade back, so wanting to do something special to mark the occasion, I bought him an AC15C1, and fitted a Celestion Alnico Blue. He's had early '60s Voxes over the years...
The Helix sounds more like an old AC15 than the new Voxes do.
That AC15C1 does sound great, though.
Valves vs modelling... really depends on what you're trying to do, the conditions you're 'working' under, and whether you know how to get it done.
I know my way round the Helix now, and have been MIDI/rack mounted for 30 years, so I'm not daunted by menus and options. If I'm honest, I get more of a 'buzz' getting 'a sound' from analogue gear, just because I find it too easy to do with digital gear.
 
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Bob Womack

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2002
Messages
2,218
At this point I do pretty much all of my session work on the Helix and it puts a smile on both my face and that of my clients. In my opinion, modelers are pretty boring straight out of the box. They rely on the pilot to take them where they need to go. I NEVER start with presets - I build my own from scratch. Now, while I am a guitarist by heart, I built a career as a recording engineer/producer and synthesist before being sucked back into guitar sessions. So I develop my presets from the models analytically and pragmatically, using my ears. Then I can carry my modeler to sessions in a backpack.

So, have I ditched my stack of tube amps? No. While I am fine with the sound of modelers at this point, there's just something about the olfactory bouquet of hot vacuum tubes, transformers, and real incandescent pilot lights heating up old discrete components, cloth-covered wiring, tolex, wood, old time glues, cigarettes, and bourbon being exuded by a tube amp, that can't be replicated by a modeler. They aren't as convenient but they are aesthetically pleasing.

Bob
 

mdubya

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
1,038
A few years back I found myself in a low volume mandatory situation.

I already had a Fender Mustang I and I loved playing through that at acoustic levels of volume, but being able to get pretty good classic Fender and British tones, along with my choice of reverb, tremolo, univibe, etc..., plus it took my vintage Maestro Fuzz and Bad Monkey OD in a very pleasing way.

When the switch broke, I held my breath and ordered a Fractal AX8.

There was a bit of a learning curve with the AX8, but out of the box tones were excellent.

I had to go on a monitoring journey (which I did not want to do) but ultimately I have settled with a pair of small studio monitors (Presonus E4.5s) and I could not be happier.

And the AX8? It still brings me joy every single day. I am still learning new tricks with it, tone and satisfaction are off the chart. I am still in my low volume required situation, but I do not see myself ever going back to "real" amps.

It is not that modeling is better, it is that you can do so much. And do it without disturbing anyone else. Which is liberating.

Someday I will stumble on a deal I cannot refuse on an FM9 Turbo, but other than that, I have no desire to upgrade the AX8 in any way.
 
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Strings Jr.

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
679
One of my buddies just bought the new Headrush Prime and matching powered cabinet. It's amazing what those things can do. There are several good demonstration videos on YouTube. It impressed me so much that I've actually considered getting one for bass.
 

metropolis

Active member
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
444
I use a Kemper 90% of the time. I bought it for home practice because I have small children and I only play in the evenings so need to play with headphones most of the time, but I've since started using it live too. I'm not doing bar gigs anymore where I used to use a 20w Mesa Boogie combo, I'm playing venues that need quieter stages and in larger groups so the Kemper (with a kabinet for my own monitoring) works perfectly.

I do still have a few real amps - Mesa Boogie Studio .22, Marshall Club & Country 2x12, HH IC100, Mesa 20/20 & Studio Preamp + Marshall 2x12 cab, but they're largely gathering dust until I play in a different setup! Plus I have profiled most of them on the Kemper.
 

clayville

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
5,737
In the home recording and noodling realm, I used the direct out of a Damage Control Womanizer tube overdrive pedal to get great, warm, edge of breakup, amp-like tone for something like 15 years. Not exactly a modeler, but I've never felt the need or desire to replicate album sounds in detail - and just want a good amp-ish tone I can use either silently or at (busy) home volume levels. Loved that thing... until it died on me.

Off and on during that period I kicked the tires on the low-ish end modelers and software options as they came along but could never dial-in a solid, versatile, use it most of the time sound that I liked as much as the Womanizer. And I got tired of the endless software upgrades and hardware being abandoned by the manufacturer as they moved on to the next iteration in digital land.

This month I picked up an analog DSM & Humbolt Simplifier MKii pedal and I'm very happy with it for my purposes. It does very good Fender, Vox and Marshall, has control over both the preamp and power amp gain (and you can mix, say, a Vox preamp with a Marshall power amp), a tone stack, presence, resonance, digital plate reverb, and analog cab sims for 1, 2, and 4 12" cabs using emulated Eminence, Alnico Blues or Greenbacks. Also has an aux-in, headphone jack, effects loop, cab-defeatable outputs to your amp and XLR outputs to your PA or a recording interface that use the cab sims or not.... all in a standard-sized pedal with no screens, no software, no deep dive into a UI. I'm not as much of a luddite as this sounds, but this thing isn't the sink-hole of time and tweakability that a lot of digital options can be - and that's very attractive to me. Plus: I haven't found a bad sound in it yet and it takes pedals really well - everything from pristine cleans to saturated grind in a tiny box. It acts like an amp too: turning guitar volume down cleans it up rather than just making a digital sound more quiet. It records very well and I can (in my use case) easily see this as an end-of-pedalboard amp-less solution or very viable amp backup too.
 

J T

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
10,524
Don't know if this is considered a modeler or Solid State.

Whatever.

It is all analog, small, tough, and sounds great with no digital hash.
Never any trouble or complaints. Just plug in and play. They make nicer versions of the fly rig now.
I can just put it in a small bag and carry it anywhere.
I also have the Blonde private stock and the Bass VT Deluxe. I can go direct with both of these. Those two can be powered by 48v Phantom Power or 9v battery.
No complaints at all. No BS or messing with menus.

edit: (I just need to add this)
The biggest difference between this analog box and a computer modeler is that I can push it into saturation like a tube amp. The computer modelers have a ceiling. I cant push those past the programmed limit. This, to me, feels more like a tube amp.

I just put some console tape on it so I can see it easier.
Tech 21 makes good stuff.

MK8RGG8.jpg
 
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renderit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
10,980
I use a Two Notes Torpedo instead of speakers.

That way I get ANY of my amps to play through headphones or the board.

I prefer speakers, but it models them well.

As it only deals with 8 ohm I use a Weber Ohm Matcher to flip where necessary.
 

jrgtr42

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
2,312
Does the old Line6 Pod 2.0 I've had for 20+ years count? I mostly use it as a headphone amp.
Though when I had my little Tascam recorder, I'd plug it into that and it sounded pretty good.
I don't play out, but if I got a call tomorrow for a gig, I'd throw that Pod in the car as a backup for my regular amp.
But if I was playing out regularly, I'd think really hard about a modeler. They're getting better all the time (I read a peice not long ago that Eric Johnson was starting to mess around with them; if someone that anal about his sound was accepting them, this basement warrior should hav no issues.)
I'm not giving up my tube amps in the foreseeable future, though I'm more looking at and into smaller ones rather than the big Marshall stacks - yeah, i'm still not giving those up; but something in the 5 - 15 watt range tops is more useful overall.
 

Bryansamui

Active member
Joined
Jul 1, 2022
Messages
202
Through my Audio Interface, I use my Nux Modeler and some pedals into my computer because I simply haven't the skill level to get as great tone micing my amp in a mediocre room.
I'm not worthy to carry an engineers mic suitcase,yet I can get real close in 5 minutes to duplicating live recordings of say Jimmy Pages tone with the Modeler.( 1973 The Song Remains the Same to cite an example)
Yes, in the hands of a pro engineer like Eddie Kramer or Max Norman an amp , a mic and a good room might win..In the hands of a layman ( like me) a better result can often be achieved with a Modeler.
 

Amp360

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
897
Does the old Line6 Pod 2.0 I've had for 20+ years count? I mostly use it as a headphone amp.
Though when I had my little Tascam recorder, I'd plug it into that and it sounded pretty good.
I don't play out, but if I got a call tomorrow for a gig, I'd throw that Pod in the car as a backup for my regular amp.
But if I was playing out regularly, I'd think really hard about a modeler. They're getting better all the time (I read a peice not long ago that Eric Johnson was starting to mess around with them; if someone that anal about his sound was accepting them, this basement warrior should hav no issues.)
I'm not giving up my tube amps in the foreseeable future, though I'm more looking at and into smaller ones rather than the big Marshall stacks - yeah, i'm still not giving those up; but something in the 5 - 15 watt range tops is more useful overall.

The POD was amazing when it came out. At the time, I thought it was amazing. I can't remember everything about it, but I greatly liked its Matchless preset. I made a video once with the POD and a Dumble and asked people to tell which was which. Suddenly, the toan daddies said it was the room, mic, preamp, etc., and wouldn't guess.

People will think I'm crazy, but having owned a Kemper, 11, and AxeFX my fav modeling amp is the Fender Cyber Twin. Mine cost about $1200 when I bought it, which was more than a regular Fender Twin. At the time I was living in NYC and I would work at three different places. That thing made my life much easier and it sounded really, really good. I pulled it out about ten years ago and it still sounded great. I gave it to a friend of mine who I think still has it.
 

lure555

Swirling Vortex of Sound, Classic Club
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
3,429
Does the old Line6 Pod 2.0 I've had for 20+ years count? I mostly use it as a headphone amp.
Though when I had my little Tascam recorder, I'd plug it into that and it sounded pretty good.
I don't play out, but if I got a call tomorrow for a gig, I'd throw that Pod in the car as a backup for my regular amp.
But if I was playing out regularly, I'd think really hard about a modeler. They're getting better all the time (I read a peice not long ago that Eric Johnson was starting to mess around with them; if someone that anal about his sound was accepting them, this basement warrior should hav no issues.)
I'm not giving up my tube amps in the foreseeable future, though I'm more looking at and into smaller ones rather than the big Marshall stacks - yeah, i'm still not giving those up; but something in the 5 - 15 watt range tops is more useful overall.
Some of those tones still hold up!
 

grimlyflick

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Messages
1,277
I use a Two Notes Torpedo instead of speakers.

That way I get ANY of my amps to play through headphones or the board.

I prefer speakers, but it models them well.

As it only deals with 8 ohm I use a Weber Ohm Matcher to flip where necessary.
Same here, I find modelers don’t react the same to volume knob changes. When you’ve spent your playing life riding the volume to get your tones modelers just don’t do it for me.

With the Two Notes I can use my SV20H and mini Jubilee into headphones, direct to the board and/or attenuated into speaker cabinets. ?
 
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