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Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by privatesalt, Jun 10, 2017.
It does. Try the Blackstar Fly. It may surprise you.
The Fly rocks! Everyone should own one
Bingo ~ ~ ! It's refreshing to read a post from someone who gets it.
The choir can ignore this post....... So what IF it takes a little more time to get it to sound close to an amp that's a whole lot more expensive. Once it's set....it's set for as long as you own the amp....and you just saved a bunch of money....and that's just ONE amp model out of a dozen or more....all in ONE amp cabinet. There's no rule saying you have to tweek a modeling amp or fiddle with it. You don't have to adjust the amp to get the best sound according to what type pickups you use, but isn't it nice that the modeling technology allows you to do that ?
I like the fact that the amp is capable of doing so many different tones and has the ability to be perfected through "deep editing", which my others amps, including vintage tube amps don't. I would have loved to have had a good modeling amp when I started playing, but they weren't around. If someone plays with the amp instead of practicing, blame on the lack of self discipline, not the amp. It's no different than someone who has a bunch of pedals and screws around with them instead of practicing.....is it the pedals fault ? Nice to have, but when it's time to practice, plug in, dial up a basic tone and play. ( BTW, I don't miss having to bend down to adjust pedals...and I don't miss having a bunch of external pedals )
My friend still hasn't bought a new amp or guitar yet... He's been using what he has for now. I'm finally getting chance to go to his house tomorrow. Taking Peavey DB and Mustang 3v2 so he/we can hear tube vs modeling tones first hand in comfort of his home. Also taking several guitars to hear humbuckers vs singles.
Thanks for the many comments!..Didn't count the exact number (Tube, modeling, hybrid) but it seems neck and neck.
I'm starting to lean modeling again when I think about loading up the DB! Been awhile since moved it. The weight factor is definitely something to consider .. nice having 30lb vs 70lb!
And I'm STILL finding brand new tones on the Mustang that I love. Try putting single coils thru the '65 deluxe with the twin cabinet (with sag and warmer bias). Something to be said about fresh new tones to keep things interesting...long as not 'constantly' fiddling.
Anyway it will be an interesting test...curious to hear them side by side in a different bigger room. We may record tube vs modeling if time... taking laptop, interface, and sm57.
I love a good tube amp, but modeling can sound (and feel) great too if a little time is taken to set up with your particular guitar and pedals. After setup, modeling can be simple as a tube amp. And less maintenance, and a lot less weight.
I kind of hate modelers, but I think they're good tools for beginners, in certain ways. There are also negatives, IMO.
Positives are, you get a lot of different tones and effects to use, for relatively cheap. This can help players learn how to use and play with effects, but could also be a handicap, as sometimes there's an overwhelming amount of options, and presets often sound like crap, so you're going to be twiddling knobs a lot, instead of just playing.
The big thing, for me, is the response and feel. Analog amps, do it much better, IME. I hate how many modeling amps feel and respond to touch. I often find them limiting.
I think it's also going to depend on playing style. If you're doing a lot of high gain, shreddy stuff, the modelers are sometimes better, for that, while if you're more into Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, or one of the many other players where the 'touch response' in your playing is very important, I'd recommend opting for a tube amp, or at the very least something analog. I think digital modeling still needs a few more years to get there.. I am not a total tube snob, but the differences are significant enough for me to stay with my tube amps, rather than going the lighter, cheaper, and easier route of modeling...
Just my .02
You nailed the central issue, does he want to learn to play the guitar or program a computer? For a grand he could get any number of wonderful amps, and running a Les Paul through it would sound heavenly once he gets a little control over his technique. (You sound bad at first no matter what gear you have LOL). I just don't see why he would buy a simulator when he can have the real thing.
If he's like most people he'll decide it's too hard and quit after a month. If so he should be able to get a good price for an LP and say a Vox amp. Although Voxes are so cool looking I'd keep it for home decor. Get white or BRG. Gut it so it's not a shock hazard then put it in the living room and put a flower pot and a runner on it.
Beginners can get GAS too.
I've had tube amps over the years and tried another (Bugera V5) recently when I started getting back into playing. It sounded great but it wanted to be played louder than I can in my current (and indefinite) living situation. Small condo, close neighbors, closer wife, etc). I don't play out anymore or with drummers, so I needed low volume and had zero need to be able to be heard over anything. So I started checking out modelers. Tried a Mustang (I v2) and didn't like it. Couldn't find sounds I really liked - when I got close as I could to a tube growl I put it up against the Bugera and the Mustang lost, badly. I also hated the interface - it was like working a computer unless you ran it FROM a computer, at which point the controls looked vaguely familiar.
Then I tried a little Vox VT20X. It's perfect for me. It has a lot of presets I don't use (and you can't get rid of them, they're just there), but it also has a fully manual mode where you select which amp model you want to run and then all of the dials on the amp are live, just like on a normal amp. I could just use it like a normal amp and, when I'd hit on a combination of settings I really loved, I could save it to the bank of user presets. When I want to call up one of my own presets, I do that. And when I don't, I just select an amp and use it like, well, an amp. And it sound shockingly good - way better than I expected. When I found my best version of a tube amp sound and tried to match it to the Bugera, I couldn't have told them apart. At higher volume, I could have, but at lower volume the Vox sounds better. I've had it a little while now and I have my small group of presets, I have basically three of the many amp models that I actually use (and two of them are just different channels of the same amp). So I don't use it in a way that it's complicated. I used it like a regular amp until I had a group of my own presets I liked and now I use a combination of those and using it like a normal amp.
So, some modeling amps let you use them in a very intuitive, amp-like way, even if you've been playing with normal tube (or solid state) amps for many years. And others make that a lot more difficult and are better suited to folks who like fiddling with a computer interface... A modeling amp COULD be really confusing and intimidating for a beginner, but then so can the six strings he's trying to work with his fingers. But it doesn't have to be any MORE confusing or intimidating than a normal amp if you don't let it.
It's time for the old to embrace new technology! Just have him get a Boss Katana or a Peavey Vypyr VIP and it would have all that he needs! Just get the pedal controller later on.
A simple sensible amp and a pedal is a good option. I have a Fender Princeton 65 (not a 65 Fender Princeton). It's light and no nonsense and can play quietly or annoy the neighbors. It has a decent clean channel, and a BD2 or something like that would give him some better crunch than the dirty channel.
A really big pedal board with many pedals on it - and then you can fiddle with the knobs and revel in spacy sounds for hours!
Just kidding. My vote is for a simple tube amp- IMHO how can you go wrong with a fender with reverb and vibrato?
"Many" does not mean "all," which also means that the objection is a generalization that is obviously not all-inclusive to the technology in question.
I've played through some tube amps that were extremely bright-bordering on ice picky, but it would be incorrect for me to bash on tube amps by using the generalization that they are ice picky.
I used the term 'Many' just because I haven't played them all so it'd be wrong to generalize.. I'm sure there's $4000 modelers that may (or may not) respond better than the modelers I'm used to dealing with, but then again $4K for a modeler kills the 'value' aspect of modeling, since in many cases that's more expensive than a top of the line tube amp. Point is, all the modelers I've tried, again, which isn't all of them, but more than a handful, had really bad response, IMO. If anyone believes otherwise, I would love to hear their recommendation(s) so I could try them out.
He's an adult. It's his money to spend. The equipment is half the fun, and this is all about fun. I think there are a lot of nice tube amps in the $500 range that he would like. He should get one.
I don't get this whole mindset of not buying what you really want if you can afford it. These are toys, gentleman. Nothing more. It's about enjoyment, not who can be the most frugal.
Try the Yamaha THR's. Over 5 years old, less than $300 bucks each and they have response and feel. Like gain? Try the THR10X (the two Brown amps are lovely). Prefer cleaner tube type tones? Try the THR10C.
As long as it has the latest firmware, try the Fender Mustang GT series too.
Fender Mustang III v2 over the Mustang GT line for sure.
As has been noted, the high from a purchase wears off quickly. There will never be a shortage of used guitars and amps. Having said that I agree he should get a nice real no nonsense tube amp, not because of the fun factor but because it's just better.
Now there's a well supported opinion for you.
There should be lots of used deals and open box specials on returns of the new Mustang GTs. You can then get a great deal on a bad sounding amp. LOL
I used to be naysayer just like you. Then I heard the new firmware version on a GT40. Now I love the amp as much if not more than my beloved THR's. I'd recommend you seek out an opportunity to give a GT40 another listen with the improvements made. Unless you don't really care and would just rather bash the amp. In which case... carry on!
Well crap...I didn't get to go play Sat. My back went out!.. I got a 'catch' in it. I think that tube amp did it!! Nah.. not sure, could have been the playing and wrestling with my grandson on Fri. I was already in pain when started moving the equipment. That Peavey DB has got to be 80lb when packed. It was the icing on the cake.
I could have gone today if could grab just the M3v2 and a guitar. Huge plus for modeling amp over tube amp. 70-90lb tube combos with one handle?! I much prefer 30lb Mustangs.
Funny thing.. I was thinking, which amp I would bring back home if I got caught in rain and thunderstorms. (I'd have to leave one there). Thought about it and would bring back the Mustang! Easy to move around, and alot of great (and different tones) to play with. Nice having all the different amps. Especially when recording. I think I would get bored with one amp after having many.
As far as touch and feel. (For me) I seem to get all the touch feel I need from the Mustang...actually 'more' than the tube amp (at home) because I rarely crank the Peavey DB enough to get 'sag'. With the Mustang (or VST like Scuffam S-Gear), I can dial in sag at any volume.
I don't gig anymore so it may not apply to high volumes..not sure, I've never gigged with a modeling amp. I didn't have one back then.
I would like to try one of the newer, small, low wattage tube heads. Or one of the hybrids too.
We plan to get together soon ... I'm still loving all the comments and input! Thanks