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

I could never go back to modeling...nothing is as good as tubes...

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by bluesholyman, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. Commodore 64

    Commodore 64 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    41
    Mar 1, 2010
    Kent, OH
    Part of it, I think, is because both options are pretty good. You can get good sound outta both SS or Toob. So everyone's right, really.
     
    mnutz likes this.

  2. TimothyC

    TimothyC Tele-Holic

    893
    May 12, 2016
    California
    Eh. I think it's been stated to death that most of the debate for people bashing one over the other is just confirmation bias. And if you're just sitting at home plucking away by yourself (not that I think less of just home players) the difference can be very noticeable, but alot of local bands bring their SS and modeller amps to gigs and sound amazing in a full band context. I certainly don't think less of either tube or digital or analog SS. I used to, but then I realized it really doesn't matter. We're all individuals with different tastes and different priorities. I don't really like to sit at home and think of ways to nitpick by making up words that don't really describe anything or complain of musicality and whatnot. Turn it up, play it loud, have fun.
     

  3. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    I bounce back and forth between tube amps and digital every few years, and swear that whatever I'm using at the time is better than what I was using. In other words, both digital and tube technology sounds great.
     
    brookdalebill likes this.

  4. Tomm Williams

    Tomm Williams Tele-Meister

    372
    Jun 11, 2016
    USA
    I'd like to see how this debate would shift if say David Gilmour or Joe Bonamassa started touring with a modeler:lol:
     

  5. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Meister

    497
    Jan 26, 2012
    Troy, MO
    I doubt it would shift much, if at all. I read that Pete Anderson (of Dwight Yoakam, etc.) at least pretty recently was using Line 6 Pods and rack power amps for live use, set on the blackface Deluxe Reverb model. That guy has got to have access to multiple great-sounding actual Deluxes, and the techs to keep them healthy, but seems to feel that he can get what he needs from the older Pods. He's pretty well known and respected as far as I know.

    When I had tube amps the idea of using digital modeling was a real turn-off for me. I had a nice simple 1959-ish tube circuit that did what I needed! But then my tastes shifted away from the one good sound that amp did, and then it was back down the tone-chasing rabbit hole (further modified by available funds at the time), and here I am using a used, last-generation modeling unit. Who'da thunk it.
     

  6. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA

  7. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Memphis TN
    Pete Anderson is using some old PODS with models of his DR but they are powered through a tube power amp ....
    https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/20642-rig-rundown-pete-anderson


    So he is using digital modeling AND analog tube power amps

    I've been watching amp modeling for a long time, dabbled in it, you can get some ok sounds, but IMHO they still have not nailed the tone and feel of a really good tube amp especially the clean tones and dynamics.
    It may get there one day but not yet
     

  8. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    47
    Aug 17, 2012
    Seattle
    I've done more than just dabbling. The technology IS there, but you're not going to get the same results from every modeler on the market-especially anything older than just a couple of years. Even the lower-priced stuff from very recent times has improved exponentially over the older units. Some is outstanding, some is lacking.
     
    Jim Dep likes this.

  9. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Memphis TN
    So which ones do you think are outstanding?
    I honestly haven't tried the real expensive high end stuff and probably won't ever buy that type of amp.
     

  10. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    I am also, but sometimes you want a bunch of amps that have great tone, and that's where modeling comes in. There's no way I could buy all the amps I want.
     
    Jim Dep likes this.

  11. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 2, 2006
    NY

  12. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    47
    Aug 17, 2012
    Seattle
    I've owned a Kemper for four years. The real-world test for me was profiling my own amps, then doing an A/B comparison between the two. Running through identical cabs (I have the powered Kemper), the profiles were so close that I wouldn't have known which was which if somebody else were clicking the A/B switch. Sound, dynamics, touch sensitivity, it's all there.

    The problem, though, is that even though the technology IS capable of running head-to-head (pun intended!) with traditional amps, it hasn't fully filtered down to the price points that most people are targeting for their own purchases. There are affordable units that come REALLY close in all the important areas, but getting that last 5-10% involves an exponential price jump. In addition to that, the higher-end stuff is not readily available to go check out in person at most retail stores, so people are only exposed to what's on the floor at Guitar Center.
     
    tele12 likes this.

  13. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 2, 2006
    NY

    Well said. The technology and sound on the high end modelers is great. One problem these days is the guitar market isn't really big , so there isn't really the economy of scale to big the cost down.
     
    Frodebro likes this.

  14. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    47
    Aug 17, 2012
    Seattle
    Another benefit to digital is the exposure to gear that you probably never would have ever even considered trying. One of my favorite clean profiles (and currently in the #1 slot on my floor controller) is a 1956 Fender Pro. If I hadn't stumbled across the profile, those amps would have never entered my thoughts. Preset two, right next to it, it a 1969 50 watt Marshall through a Greenback 4x12. That one WAS on my radar.
     
    3-Chord-Genius likes this.

  15. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Tele-Holic

    915
    Dec 6, 2015
    Wisconsin
    I think it's funny that this conversation is going on, while digital modelling can't even fully accomplish a tonewheel Hammond organ sound. I've yet to hear a Nord or Hammond xk blow my mind the way real Hammonds have, especially through old tube Leslies. There are guys who have and use both, but they invest in vans, just to get the real thing to the gig as often as they can. They repair them, maintain them, collect parts, and get real good with a furniture dolly, because they know the digital fake really isn't very good ... Their instruments are not even made anymore! Guitar players are so lazy.

    Organs don't even have or need touch sensitive keys. If modelling can't even nail a keyboard sound, how could it manage the response of an amplifier when it's wired to the infinite variables of pickups and strings and hands?

    Well, if/when it finally happens it will be amazing, but it sure hasn't happened yet, as of today.
     

  16. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    47
    Aug 17, 2012
    Seattle
    Not in your world, anyway... ;)
     
    bottlenecker likes this.

  17. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    I actually purchased my first Vox amp after falling in love with the Vox AC15 model in a Line 6 unit.
     
    Frodebro likes this.

  18. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    47
    Aug 17, 2012
    Seattle
    I bought a Deluxe Reverb Reissue thanks to a model in a Digitech GSP1101.
     
    3-Chord-Genius likes this.

  19. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Meister

    497
    Jan 26, 2012
    Troy, MO
    I really like checking out weird amps too (the Univox head in my avatar photo being one) and finding out what they do that sets them apart. The first positive modeler experience I had (honest, I'm not trying to dump on tube amps! Just an anecdote) was when I borrowed a friend's Line 6 Pod 2.0 and at first I found a lot of sounds that were kind of cool but uninspiring after a minute or two. Then I just started twisting knobs and goofing with it, and happened on something I really liked.

    It was really bright and cutting, sustainy...and when you really laid into it it seemed to get a little more midrangey, with a light snarl or grind, and a more compressed feel. The sort of non-linear reactive feel of it really seemed fun. So I looked at the controls to see what I'd done, and I had "built" the following virtual amp with the Pod: a compressor feeding a Roland JC-120, gain cranked to about 75% and mids dimed, feeding a Fender Champ 1 x 8 speaker emulation.

    There's a weird amp for you. I felt like a real rebel, like maybe I was giving the Pod a headache.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017

  20. Jim Dep

    Jim Dep Friend of Leo's

    May 23, 2010
    Northern Colorado
    If Hammond's weren't properly modeled with digital technology, they would have had trouble staying in business since Hammond merged with Suzuki a couple or more decades ago. Digital Hammond B3's and portable units aren't cheap but they continue to sell pretty well. Every single tone wheel and every harmonic they produce has been digitally reproduced along with the imperfections of cross-talk, with is also completely editable. Just like the tube / tonewheel electro mechanical technology, where no two Hammonds sound alike, the newer digital models can be edited so they can be uniquely different too. Notonly are the tubes and tube circuits modeled but the tone wheels have to be modeled too, along with different speaker set ups, so I'd guess that modeling a vintage Hammond organ is more difficult than modeling a guitar amplifier which is why the digital tone tube tone wheel organs command a price higher than guitar amps do.
    I like playing my tube / tonewheel Hammond at home, but if I were still gigging, I'd have no problem taking a portable instead and feel that I'm not losing a thing in quality going through a proper Leslie set up.
    That being said, I love seeing a "real" Hammond B3 on stage built before 1975. It has a commanding physical presence. Close your eyes though, I think it's pretty hard to tell the difference between a clone and the real thing.
     

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