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

Recommend modeling setup?

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by highwaycat, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. highwaycat

    highwaycat Tele-Meister

    Jun 15, 2017
    I"m looking for a setup with good amp sims and presets. I can't play loud and I like modelers.
    I use a boss br 600 and like it a lot but I want to upgrade my sound. I play through headphones, but am considering getting some speakers.

    I was really considering a Fractal ax8 or a Helix, but the main things that are throwing me off is the price and I'm not experienced in monitors and how I'd go about that.
    But I might save up for one, so they're part of my options.

    I grew up playing amps and pedals, and sometimes a multifx pedal like a boss gt8 and Line6 pod.
    Then started using the Boss br 600.

    I was thinking of maybe upgrading to a Boss br 800 but I don't know if the amp sims sound better?

    I saw a few rack mount modelers but I've never played one, but it could be a possible choice, especially if they're cheaper than the ax8 and helix. But I'm new to rackmount.
    I use to have a Boss gt8 but used it for the effects, didn't like the amp sims.
    I tried the Boss gt100 through the same headphones I usually use and I didn't like it.
    A friend has a new model Zoom multifx but I don't like it.
    So far the Boss br 600 sounds the best to me, but I'd like to consider getting something really nice.

    So I'm not sure what to get. I'd really like to have plenty of great sounding amp sims and ability to have presets.

  2. joshigh

    joshigh Tele-Meister

    Jun 10, 2003
    Plant City, FL
    In the past I've used my computer and studio monitors to get that full range/flat response thing going. I'd use Podfarm or some other software that would really sound good once dialed in. The only hardware you need is a USB interface and speakers, headphones are great too.

    This lets you record easily, play along to tracks you make yourself like a looper, pump in mp3s or youtube videos or whatever, it's really versatile.

    If I had to do something stand alone just for home use, the Pod HD500x would be my choice unless I wanted to throw down on a Helix.

    I also see a lot of praise for the 11rack and those have gotten pretty cheap but I've never used one.

  3. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

    I would also like a Helix or Helix LT but just don't want to spend that kind of money (yet).
    I traded in some gear at GC to purchase the Line 6 Firehawk. It has some of Line 6 "HD" amp and effect models. I am very pleased with it thus far just playing through my Yamaha powered studio monitor. However, I just ordered an Alto Powered PA Speaker which has received good reviews as an affordable monitor for modelers.
    I very much doubt you'll get much improvement in upgrading to BR800. The BR600 or 800 are made for recording with amp sims thrown in while a dedicated unit has the DSP to run the models, processing and routing at it's full power.

  4. ole6string

    ole6string Tele-Meister

    Jan 25, 2007
    Williamsport, PA
    I would check out the Atomic Amplifire. Got one several months ago and can't put it down. Sounds and feels fantastic.

  5. Allthesound

    Allthesound Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 21, 2011
    Between the Helix and AX8. Helix hands down its far more powerful & flexible.

  6. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI

    Looks like you are going a different direction than this but worth a shot checking out if you are trying to keep costs as low as possible. DAWs, amp sims, drum machines, notation, and more. Perfect if you have an old PC still around that was too slow for Windows and viruses you can wipe and install fresh or just run as a 'liveCD'.


  7. SASouth

    SASouth Tele-Meister

    Aug 17, 2003
    This sounds like someone that has never used an AX8.
    codamedia likes this.

  8. Allthesound

    Allthesound Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 21, 2011
    I have used a AX8 and owned a Axe FX II XL I speak from experience not from my arse . My Helix is more flexible than my old AXE XL. the AX8 is nowhere near the power of the XL.

  9. colchar

    colchar Friend of Leo's

    I am toying with the idea of a modeller and have a question. I see people mentioning monitors - can modellers not be used with a speaker cab or do they just sound better through monitors?

    And for those mentioning software and a computer - I run my computer through my Kenwood mini system so that I can listen to music, TV shows, etc. Would I be able to use that same setup if I ran my guitar into the computer?

  10. highwaycat

    highwaycat Tele-Meister

    Jun 15, 2017
    What sounds similar to the boss amp simulators, the helix or the fractal stuff?
    Keeping in mind I think the boss br 600 sounds better than the boss gt100 and the gt 8. I didn't like the gt100. I tried them through the same headphones.

  11. sonofiam

    sonofiam Tele-Meister

    Jan 19, 2017
    Inland Northwest
    They can be used with powered monitors or standard amp and cabinet but will need some form of a power amp. If you use a powered monitor or FRFR, you will probably not need to tweak presets too much to get a consistent tone between the monitor and PA. Using a typical guitar amp opens another discussion of either mic'ing for the PA or splitting the signal within the preset for a monitor and the PA.

  12. Finck

    Finck Tele-Holic

    Oct 11, 2017
    São Paulo - Brazil
    The Yamaha THR series is very good too, and cheap (compared to other options). I have the THR5, my son has THR10, both fantastic. All models come with a lite version of Cubase.

  13. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada

    You want a simulator that sounds like another simulator? Just my opinion, but your approach to this is seems a little unorthodox. If you like BOSS simulation, go with a BOSS. Just my opinion, but if you feel the BR600 sounds better than the GT-100... I'd suggest something is really missing from the equation.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017

  14. htwheelz67

    htwheelz67 Tele-Meister

    Jan 22, 2011
    mission viejo, ca
    The axe 8 is head and shoulders above the helix in tone,amps,effects and deep editing, the helix is easier to use and much more user friendly and I love the scribble strips.

    I dont have the axe 8 but do have the axe fx ultra and the axe fx 2 (axe 8 has the same amps,effects and tones but a few less options like tone matching and 2 amps at once)

    I bought a helix a couple months ago but returned it. With the AXE fx you can tweak it for months or years its so amazing. The top dogs are the axe fx and the kemper.....period.

    You can get a great tone with the helix too don't get me wrong but some things are not still perfected I found it fizzy at times and the effects are not even close the the Axe fx especially the modulation effects and delays.

    I got my first AXE FX 7 years ago and sold off almost all my amps, I still don't use the ones I kept, my studio and live tone are the best ever in 44 years of playing.

  15. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

    I agree that a person can replace their amp lineup with a modeler. I would couch that by saying the tone of a tube amp is the gold standard. However, in a mix, in the studio a good modeler is hard to distinguish from a tube amp.

    As for the AXE, Kemper and Helix comparisons, these discussions are "my dog is bigger than your dog" arguments. In the right hands, with patience you can dial in great tones on any of them.
    For me the Helix is the right choice. It has a great, user friendly interface and I have no issues crafting the tones I want to hear.
    In the end, it's a subjective impression of which is "better". I would imagine that if you recorded a project with each of these modelers that it would be impossible to distinguish them from one another.
    Regardless, even if the Kemper or AXE are better, it's not a "head and shoulders" difference.

  16. callasabra

    callasabra Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 11, 2016
    I use a Line6 POD X3 Live and love it, but want to upgrade to the Helix. The only thing the Helix doesn't have is a looper for playing with yourself. IT is pricey, but you get what you pay for and frankly at $1500, it is underpriced. One benefit of the Helix is the UI. It doesn't matter if a unit has the best *insert sim* if you can't make it work.

    I would not recommend other options that require licensing (uh hmm.. 11rack). Kemper and AXE are nice, but I think the Helix out performs. This is personal opinion so try them all and see what works for you. A chicken-picker and I aren't going to agree on the same gear.
    I have used and owned digitech and Boss multieffects units and I like my line6 more.

    Check youtube and you will find pros that disagree between Line6, Kemper, Fractal, 11rack, etc.

  17. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

    The Helix has a looper.

  18. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Aug 17, 2012
    I've got both a Kemper and a Helix. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. The Helix has much more flexibility in effects and routing, but the Kemper is about as close to "plug & play" as you're going to get from any of the digital offerings.

  19. DougM

    DougM Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 5, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    Have you tried the newer GT1? I think it sounds better than the GT100. You might also try the Digitech RP360, Vox Tonelab series (no longer made, but still available used), and Zoom G3 or G5.

  20. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Tele-Afflicted

    Sorry but I have to agree...If the OP likes the BR600 sounds...there IS something missing in this equation.

    and from that base line, those suggesting Helix, Axe FX etc are WAY off the mark!!!

    My guess is OP has used that unit for so long his sense of right and wrong and good and bad sounds is out of kilter.....probably find your mixing and base sound has evolved to suit that unit....but IMO very few people will agree with you in saying those sounds are good ones.....YMMV.
    codamedia likes this.

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