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Modeling amp with best cleans

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by holgaguy, Apr 29, 2018.

  1. holgaguy

    holgaguy Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 23, 2003
    I play some country, some blues (old school, not Bonamassa "blues"), a little surf. I like a sound that's on the verge of break-up, but with a little twang.

    I've been looking at one of the Blackstar ID Core or maybe a Katana. I did play though a Katana 100 recently, not crazy about the clean channel. I sounded dull to me, and not sparkly at all. It was like a blanket was over the amp. At one point I had a Mustang II v2 and a Super Champ XCD. Both blew up.

    My reason for a modeling amp is 1) weight and 2) convenience (no effects pedals needed) 3) late night playing with headphones (my wife would appreciate that!).
  2. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2009
    New York
    The way users talk about the versatility of their modelers, I feel like it shouldn't matter much which one you use. They should all be able to dial in what you want, if they're any good.

    Sounds like you should focus on something that'll be reliable, since you seem to have a high failure rate on your amps.
    OneHenry likes this.
  3. holgaguy

    holgaguy Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 23, 2003
    Yes, reliability would be good as well! That said, anything from Roland is probably pretty reliable. Not sure about Blackstar though. I forgot to mention a Vox AD series amp I had years ago. Very reliable, unlike the two Fenders.
  4. Mickey slick

    Mickey slick TDPRI Member

    Jan 11, 2017
    I think you should try another mustang 2 if the reason it blew up was cranking it to keep up with the rest of the band than I would suggest a mustang 3 although I prefer the sound of the 1&2 version better but the 3 is still a good sounding amp true fender tone I haven't heard anything better from anyone else
    Vespa_One likes this.
  5. Thin white duke

    Thin white duke Tele-Holic

    Oct 1, 2017
    Among the "new" amps and under 200 euro i will always say Fender Champion 40.
    musicalmartin likes this.
  6. Xtyfighterx

    Xtyfighterx Tele-Meister

    Mar 2, 2018
    North idaho
    Check out Roland. I have A micro cube and the clean is super awesome but I use the classic channel mainly with my guitar volume rolled back so it just barley breaks up. I know they have a lot of models out I’d suggest researching those.
    brookdalebill likes this.
  7. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    Mustang III version 2 works well for me. My reference amps are a blackface Deluxe Reverb, a Pro Reverb, a late tweed Princeton and a silverface Princeton Reverb.
    9fingers, Telescience, birv2 and 5 others like this.
  8. holgaguy

    holgaguy Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 23, 2003
    No - the band is very low volume (for the most part), so I didn't push it hard, and even if I did, seems like it should be able to take higher volumes without crapping out.
    birv2 and JD0x0 like this.
  9. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2009
    New York
    If an amp cant handle max volume on the dial, the design is bad.

    Which brings us to another option. Separate power amp and modeling units. That way you can get a reliable power amp that wont blow up, and use that power amp with essentially any modeling circuit available. Maybe run a small laptop or tablet type device with a modeler. Then once whatever you're using is obsolete, you can just download the newest one on the same device (assuming it's powerful enough to handle the new modeling software.)
  10. 41144

    41144 Tele-Holic

    Sep 5, 2017
    West Midlands
    Just been down this road myself ... Value for money ... Try a Fender Champion 40 with its 12" speaker.
    Clean or Gain channel loud enough to gig in small venues or mic'ed still loud enough to be heard by yourself on-stage .....
    Absolutely rapturous cleans to be dialled in and theres no need for endless faffing about with settings ... But some options there if you want them.
    musicalmartin likes this.
  11. Chicago Slim

    Chicago Slim Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 19, 2005
    Bowling Green, KY
    I have a Katana 50 and I'm pretty happy with it. The 50 is brighter than the larger Katana's. When I use vintage single coils, I have to dial back the Treble and boost the Mids. I play a lot of rockabilly and some surf. I found it easy to dial-in fairly clean Tweed Bassman sounds, with the Gain set around 2 O'Clock. I use the Delay for slap-back and a touch of Reverb. The Reverb and Tremolo also sound very good, for surf.

    Many steel guitar players are starting to use Katana's, because of their volume and light weight. They tend to mainly use the Acoustic channel. You can check the steel guitar forums for settings.
  12. SweetClyde99

    SweetClyde99 Tele-Holic

    Feb 1, 2016
    Jefferson City, MO
    The clean on the Roland Cube 60 i has was really nice. It’s a JC120 simulation, and I thought it was pretty impressive for something I got for $175 used.
  13. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jul 28, 2005
    N. Cal.
    I agree about the Roland Cubes - I have an older Cube 60 - wonderful clean tone. No adulteration, what you play is what you hear.
    Tony474 likes this.
  14. Jim Dep

    Jim Dep Friend of Leo's

    May 23, 2010
    New York
    I can vouch for the Mustang III.......for a few years now.
  15. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 24, 2012
    Southern California
    My Fender Super Champ X2 head sounds like a beautiful blackface clean on channel 1, but if you had already owned an XD, you know about a Fender clean.
  16. Recce

    Recce Tele-Afflicted

    May 3, 2016
    Northern Alabama
    I have this Amp and get cleans out of it. Of course, I can pick different channels and it is muddy or dirty. that is the advantage of a modeling amp.
  17. archtop_fjk

    archtop_fjk Tele-Meister

    Aug 4, 2009
    Lebanon, NH
    Try the new Roland Blues Cube Stage for a great grab-and-go modeling amp that's lightweight and sounds great (but with enough power at 60W for most venues). I loved mine so much I traded up for the Artist 80W model. Great cleans and an excellent platform for pedals.
    AndrewG likes this.
  18. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    I've heard that the Super Champ XD (and the later one) have a great clean channel.
    ADK Teleman and Chicago Slim like this.
  19. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Aug 17, 2012
    I can get really good cleans out of every modern digital modeler that I have messed with. This is one of those situations that depends entirely on what type of sound you're specifically after ("clean" doesn't really mean anything, honestly) and your ability to use the technology in the amps to get there.
    black_doug likes this.
  20. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 8, 2007
    Norfolk UK
    yup .Champion 40 .I have one .Will do good cleans all day and night .I also have a DV Mark Little Jazz which is just all cleans. Also smaller and lighter and twice the price .DV mark do some interesting amps and heads .
    41144 likes this.
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