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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Downsides to modeling amps?

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by AndreasBrown, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. unlawfulsoup

    unlawfulsoup TDPRI Member

    Feb 14, 2014
    @Euro: Yeah, that is a good way to walk in patches. I work fairly similarly, and I have a pretty nice catalogue of patches I have built for most of my guitars. I feel like I am missing something with the Orange because it just sounds so much worse than I am used to.

    @StormJH1: Sorry about boxy as a description, I personally tend to dislike a lot of audio descriptive lingo because it tends to be vague. Small sounding artificially large is generally what I am aiming towards. The amp sounds like a tiny speaker blaring than the 12" the Mustang actually has.

    I have played with a friends Tiny Terror and another friends TH30. Like I said, they are not my favorite amp maker, but I find them workable. The Mustang so far just does not really 'feel' like an Orange to me from what I remember. I will try the Two Rock when I sync my amp next time, intheblues dude does some excellent work with Mustangs. I wish I could A/B with my friends Tiny Terror, but he is ultra protective of his stuff and 100+ miles away. D:

    @Nick0: That's cool, I feel like there could be something in the Orange model if I can figure out where it is not working for me.

  2. Brian blaut

    Brian blaut Friend of Leo's

    Feb 13, 2005
    SF North Bay
    For home use they are fine. Go for it. For live use, within the context of a band I find (found) then lacking presence, or the ability to cut through. At best they sound like a recording of said amp, not like a tube amp actually in the room. But at home levels, by yourself, they are great. Plus, thay can educate you on the types of amps and effects you tend to favor...

  3. Woollymonster

    Woollymonster Tele-Meister

    Oct 20, 2010
    Texas, USA
    I don’t care to read all these responses so forgive me, or not, but to answer the original post, there is nothing wrong with a cheap Chinese modeling amp or digital amp of any kind as long as it meets your needs.

    When I travel for my day job, I take along my Travel Guitar with built in Pocket Rocket and plug it into the clock radio in the hotel. It is shocking (at least to me) to get decent clean to dirty tones at hotel room volumes. Really helps to keep your chops sharp. You can’t get any cheaper than free.

    Les Paul reportedly played almost up until the day he died at his regular club in New York with a Line Six digital that he left in club over night. Worked for him.

    I love tube amps. But to get one that is low enough in power and has the ability to get the whole spectrum of tones, you are going to have to go with something like a Carr or Tone King, etc. Big bucks. Or, you are going to need a separate attenuator. I use a Carr Skylark around the home/studio and love it. The Mercury might even be better.

    But if you are just starting out, just get yourself and amp that makes sound and learn to play. Don’t worry about if it has 5000 sounds, tones, functions.

    Just play and enjoy.

  4. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Aug 17, 2012
    There are an awful lot of touring bands that have switched to modelers run direct to the board (Fractal in particular). Maybe the ones they use are different from the ones you have tried.

  5. Tony474

    Tony474 Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Apr 16, 2007
    North Bushey, England.
    Far as I know it wasn't a Line Six product that Les Paul used but a Tech 21 Trademark 60, which is all-analogue (and damn good), with no digital technology at all.

  6. El Chivo

    El Chivo Tele-Meister

    Mar 27, 2015
    Los Angeles-ish
    I had a Line 6 Flextone II ten years ago. I wish I still had it for recording, because it recorded beautifully. Did not work for me live. From what I understand, modeling has come a long way since then. I bought my little guy a Fender Champion, and am really surprised at how much fun it is.

  7. getbent

    getbent Telefied Ad Free Member

    I am having a different experience. My mustang III feels and sounds just as alive as my multitude of tube amps and it cuts through the mix just fine...

    My dream is to have 2 full uninterrupted days to get deep into it...

  8. paratus

    paratus Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    I have commented on this before, I get asked to mix quite often, and when I see a guitarist with a modeler, I am prepared for a challenge. Not because there is an inherent problem with the amp, but a lot of guys dial in their "sound" at home, not when playing in a group. They tend to go for nice big round sounds, maybe with scooped mids, maybe a little modulation or some other effect to fatten it up. It may sound great when they play alone.

    Problem is, when the band starts playing, there is no place to slot it in the mix, so, because it is so nice and full, it competes spectrum-wise with everything else. It is often either lost in the mix, or too loud. This is a bit of a generalization, but I have seen it a bunch of times.

    I think some of the older experienced players now using modelers understand this because they have experience dialing a simpler tone stack amp to get it to fit in the mix.

    I see the same thing with folks dialing in their DSP PA rigs. over accentuating the highs and lows because the DSP allows them to, or worse yet, using auto-EQ or a 99 cent RTA app to get their sound "flat". YUCK!

    IMHO, YMMV etc, and of course it is just my 2 cents.

  9. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    No worries! I actually kind of came to my own definition as I was complaining about the term! Haha.

    Les Paul was also pretty well known for using a Tech21 Trademark 60, which is a solid state amp with analog (SansAmp) as opposed to digital modeling. So obviously there is a guy with distinguishing tastes who found value in all sorts of modeling equipment.

    Interesting point. It's funny because the anti-modeling bias usually has to do with assuming that these are best for home use at low volumes, but you also see a lot of people celebrating the Mustang as a gigging instrument because it's an all-in-one package that doesn't weigh 75 pounds to haul around.

    While I don't doubt what you are saying, I assume it only rings true if the modelling is tied to presets. Even on the low-end Mustangs, you have the ability to tweak EQ to the room, and one of the core advantages of modelers is that if they produce a sound you like at high volumes, you can move that tone more effectively to a lower volume than trying to turn down a tube amp.

    But I don't really see these as "either/or" arguments. I don't even gig, and yet I have 6 "basement-appropriate" sized amps, and they run the full spectrum from solid state, hybrid, digital modeling, analog modeling, and all-tube. There are advantages and disadvantages to all of them.

    I love posting on and learning from message boards, but nothing is sadder to me than seeing someone talked out of liking a piece of gear they own because of some label put on it ("Oh that's not a REAL tube amp, that's a hybrid", or "Modelling amps are still solid state amps, they can't be as good as a tube amp"). Labels are useful if the help to explain a problem you have with a piece of equipment, but is seems just as often that the labels create the perception of a problem where maybe there really isn't one.

  10. paratus

    paratus Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    Well, I know in many cases the presets they are using are ones they have spent hours tweaking at home.

  11. getbent

    getbent Telefied Ad Free Member

    That makes sense to me.

    I have a friend who is a pretty 'new' guitar player, but an older guy... he bought a mustang so that I could 'dial it in' for him and he'd have useable sounds...

    he complained that my settings were too 'generic' and not 'rich' enough and I told him, 'oh man, this is nuanced so that it will sound really good in a band context AND when playing along with 'records'....

    What I discovered is that he'd tweaked all of the settings I gave him and 'filled them out' and I thought... this actually sounds 'bad' because it leaves no other sounds any room to exist... maybe fine. in a Tuck & Patti context but not in a band.

    Not the modelers fault.. but.. a challenge nonetheless

  12. Tony474

    Tony474 Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Apr 16, 2007
    North Bushey, England.
    Yes indeed, as I pointed out four posts previously. But although the TM60 and its smaller siblings are sometimes loosely described as "analogue modelling amps" because of their capability of emulating such a wide variety of different sounds, I don't consider them true modelling amps in the sense of manipulating signal in the digital domain. They are cleverly-designed and extremely versatile analogue solid state amps, but not modellers by my criteria. I've mentioned it before in this thread and it doesn't matter anyway; I own a TM60 among many others and it's just a bloody good gigging amplifier.

  13. srolfeca

    srolfeca Tele-Meister

    I see this a lot with bass players and guitarists with large pedalboards, so it's not purely a modelling issue.

    A lot of people go for a "bedroom" tone that sounds great solo'd, and are surprised when it doesn't work on the gig. There's a sub-group that experience the same thing, but go into denial instead of trying to adapt.

    That second group is the one that's hardest to work with when you're running FOH. They will defend "their" tone to the death, regardless of how it interacts with the rest of the band.

    I like working with older touring pros. I'm generalizing like crazy here, but IME, they tend to have a better grasp of the need to shape their sound so that it doesn't step all over the rest of the band.

  14. Jimmy Dean

    Jimmy Dean Tele-Afflicted

    This guy is your friend? He buys a modeler, is to lazy to figure it out himself, expects you to program it for him & then complains. If it was me, that would be the last time he'd waste my time.

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