Studio Monitors vs FRFR Speaker to Pair with Multi Effect Pedal

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by ktdcpa, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. ktdcpa

    ktdcpa TDPRI Member

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    A few months back I picked up a Zoom 3GNX. The more I dig into the features and test out the various tones the more impressed I am. Currently I'm running it through the FX loop on a small tube amp, and while I like the tones I think I'd prefer to run it through either studio monitors or an FRFR speaker for two reasons. First, I want to use the Zoom's amp modeling, however I miss my amps native tube tones however don't want to mess with the double EQ mess by running the Zoom in front. Second, I've read that multi effects pedals actually sound best through a completely unbiased speaker so 100% of the processing comes through.

    Has anyone here made the switch? For 100% home use, practicing and jamming in the family band, would a set of monitors or a standalone FRFR speaker be better? I'm looking at cheaper stuff like used KRK Rokit 8's, Alto/Headrush etc, to start the experiment with. Speaker suggestions in the same ballpark would be greatly appreciated. I will never gig, most likely never record, just looking for the best tone I can get from the pedal. Please share your thoughts, insight, any/all direction is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I use a similar rig (Mooer GE-200 into just the FX return of a tube head, not running the full FX loop), and it affords me both the amp modeling of the Mooer and the 'push' of a tube amp. Running into the FX return should disable the tone controls (and maybe even the master volume) of your amp, and at that point you'll be controlling the master volume and all signal EQ through the Zoom.

    By running the Zoom through the full FX loop, you're still EQing everything through the EQ stage of your amp. Setting up like this:

    Guitar > Zoom > FX return

    should allow you to do all of your EQ through the Zoom and get the best tone out of your tube amp. Hope this helps.

    - D
     
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  3. ktdcpa

    ktdcpa TDPRI Member

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    That's exactly how I have things setup right now.

    I think I want a tube amp, and, monitors to play the Zoom through. After a bit more reading I think I'm leaning towards a pair of monitors rather than a speaker similar to a head rush. The KRK Rokit 8s seem to be the leader so far as there are a few pairs under $300 near me.

    Does anyone have a suggestion on a decent entry level pair of monitors to try out?
     
  4. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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    Depending on how much room you have and how loud you want to play the iLoud MicroMonitors may be a great choice for you.
     
  5. brokenbones

    brokenbones Tele-Meister

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    If your volume is going to stay low either option will be fine. I think the FRFR will shine through better the louder you get just simply because of the 12" vs smaller monitor speaker. The older Alto TS212 is less than $200 OTD and shipped. I use that for home playing/practicing and crafting my patches before going to practice. A powered monitor should resale better than a set of monitors, IMO.
     
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  6. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm convinced that - for low volume playing - using a multi-effect or preamp plugged into some sort of (studio) monitors is the way to go - as long as you have speaker emulation.

    Guitar amps and speakers usually need a certain level of power/volume, before they sound right. Below that, they are muffled. Full range speakers reproduce the preamp and speaker emulation at almost any volume.

    My "apartment rig" is on the primitive side: a Blackstar tube preamp plugged into a set of Logitech computer speakers with a subwoofer.
     
  7. ktdcpa

    ktdcpa TDPRI Member

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    I’ve been reading the room has a big impact on which speakers to choose. My music room is roughly 30’x20’. It has 12’ ceilings and hardwood floors with rugs in various place. I have a baby grand piano and a drum kit that also gets played in the family band...I have 4 kids and we play everything from Beethoven to Brittany Spears. 80% of my time is practicing on my own, and even when we play my 15 watt tube amp is way overkill.

    Based on the room and intended use are monitors still the way to go?
     
  8. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

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    It is a large room. Studio Monitors are often best up close. Larger speakers might be better for a large room: a PA monitor - or a guitar amp.
     
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  9. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    That's a good point. If you're looking to play along with other instruments and be heard, an FRFR setup is the way to go.

    Near field monitors will get swallowed up pretty quick.

    - D
     
  10. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'm probably missing the obvious here, but what is FRFR?
     
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  11. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

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    FRFR is the latest buzz acronym for marketing speakers that already exist in various forms to musicians... guitar players in particular ;)
    FRFR = Full Range, Flat Response
    • Full Range is the easy part... and those have always existed in the form of studio monitors, PA cabinets, stage monitors, keybaord/acoustic amps (w/horns), IEM (in ear monitors), headphones, etc... etc...
    • Flat Response is a misnomer. Even the highest end studio monitors are not 100% "flat"... everything imparts it's own color to the tone.
    Guitar players need to understand they are not getting a "flat response" with an FRFR... they are just getting a much "Flatter Response" than any traditional guitar cabinet provides. If every FRFR box was truly "flat response" then they would all sound the same, which they don't!
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
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  12. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    my 10c.

    I have always had decent modelling MFX pedals for years...because I HATE shagging around with individual pedals...battery issues, power issues, compatibility, noise.... the size and complexity of attaching multiple pedals to a board etc.

    Hate them. LOVE MFX units :)

    I now have a Helix LT but STILL use it in to the front of my tube amps as just a pedal board. I prefer the sound this way.

    I have always and still do use the modelling a lot but more for recording and home headphone practice.

    I would be surprised if the Zoom modelling is truly up to scratch (tried them many times) but YMMV and whatever you settle on in terms of modelling it seems nothing beats the amp in the room feeling/sound even when using FRFR judging by the ongoing discussion at the gear page! :)
     
  13. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Got it. Thanks!

     
  14. dswo

    dswo Tele-Meister

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    I'm running the G3n's little brother, the G1 Four, through 5" studio monitors. They're ok in a 12x12 room, but can't compete with the combo amps along the wall.

    A lot of good sounds in this little box...
     
  15. DugT

    DugT Tele-Holic

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    I have a multi effects pedal board too, Boss GT-100, and I am also thinking that I don't need my modeling guitar amp anymor (Katana Artist). Reading your post raised a couple of questions. You mentioned the "Double EQ mess" of having an EQ in the Zoom and one in the amp. If you set the amps EQ to flat, then set the zoom equalizer settings to taste, then that problem is solved.

    "I've read that multi effects pedals actually sound best through a completely unbiased speaker so 100% of the processing comes through." I think the processing will come through 100%. It might be flavored slightly by the amp but the Zoom has lots of ways to compensate for that. Either way you will be adjusting the Zoom to taste so you should be able to get any output tone you want.

    I believe you can still use the different Zoom amp models with your amp. Once again you might want to use the zoom equalizer and fine tune the effects adjustment to taste but you would probably want to do that anyway.

    I'm realatively new to this so take my comments with a grain of salt. My only reason for considering buying a powered speaker is it would be smaller and cheaper and then I could sell my expensive amp.
     
  16. ktdcpa

    ktdcpa TDPRI Member

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    I needed to test this out myself so I ran down to guitar center and bought a pair of JBL 305s.

    After getting the placement dialed in I thought the speakers were OK. The coolest part was playing in stereo, but tone wise they couldn’t quite match the amp. Clean tones sounded very similar but overdrive was noticeably better through the amp. The amp does have a 12” speaker so that was most likely the biggest contributing factor...plus accounted for the missing base of the 305s.

    My next test will be with a Headrush style speaker. Hoping a 12” speaker will get me closer or possibly exceed the amp. Only way to really know is to actually play them.
     
  17. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I use an HX Stomp (basically a small Helix) for both home and live use. I have an Alto 312 FrFr and a pair of JBL 5” Studio Monitors.

    For home playing the Alto is useless, unless I feel like playing really, really loud. I’m usually playing directly in from of my workstation and have the JBL’s set to deliver everything I need. They can be quiet or sufficiently loud. If I need really quiet I plug in headphones.

    For playing live, I just go direct to the mixing board and have a monitor in front of me. The Alto is a backup if that isn’t sufficient.

    My feeling is that the Alto is dark compared to studio monitors or the PA, but supposedly it gets better when it’s off the floor. I don’t really use it unless I have to.
     
  18. ktdcpa

    ktdcpa TDPRI Member

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    Good to know. Sounds like I probably need to learn how to use my G3nx more effectively. Last night I ran it through the front of the amp and just used it for various stomp boxes, which worked great. My favorite combo, which was also the simplest, was a single overdrive pedal and a bit of plate reverb. That gave me 75% of what I'll ever need.
     
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  19. DugT

    DugT Tele-Holic

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    My multi effects pedal board has about 20 different amp models and about 50 effects but I use none of the amps and a few of the effects. I have saved presets with four levels of overdrive from clean to heavey. In the chain they might have compresion, delay, reverb, chorus or a little of all of the above. I also have presets for tremelo, slowgear, univibe + rotary for Hammond B3 simulation.

    This pedal board has been very educational to learn about the usefulness of some of the tones and the uselessness of others. It has also been great for fine tuning tone because it is so easy to A/B test. When I find a tone I like I can modify it and quickly compare it to the previously saved tone. Then I save the one I like best and discard the other.
     
  20. DugT

    DugT Tele-Holic

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    I tried some highly acclaimed amps with smaller speakers and didn't like any of them but maybe that is because the speakers weren't broken in yet. I'm amazed how many guitarists love their little Yamaha THR10 amps with 5" speakers.

    Edit: I just listened to a couple video's of THR10 demos and one was with a member of the Yamaha THR10 design team. His THR10 sounded like other small speaker amps and they should know to use one with a broken in speaker if it makes much of a difference.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
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