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What DI/Solid State/Class D for tele into PA/Acoustic Amp, etc.?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by 1955, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 10, 2010
    Certain uncertainty
    Those of you that are gigging teles regularly into PA's/Acoustic amps/keyboard amps, etc., what is your rig?

  2. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 10, 2010
    Certain uncertainty
    Was looking at JD10, Tech21, Quilter, don't know anything about this stuff, but I'm interested in a simpler live tele rig.
  3. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity

    Aug 17, 2012
    Quilters are full amps, and not really intended to operate as a DI. There are tons of options out there, I think it really comes down to which amp sound(s) you're looking to emulate, and how much money you want to spend. Effects are another factor-you can get a Tech 21 Character Series pedal for under $150 that will give you one amp model in a pedal format, or you can go whole hog and spend $1500-$2500 and get dozens to thousands of amp models and every effect you could ever want all in one unit.
    1955 likes this.
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  5. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 10, 2010
    Certain uncertainty
    I'm used to playing Fender style blackface circuits, pretty much every gig. I've played clean straight into the amp for a few years now, but I will use tremolo and reverb on ballads, but mostly just clean straight in.

    Looking for an easy setup/rig for gigs that I don't feel like bringing everything.

    What would be cool is a small portable PA/amp for solo/duo gigs where I can play tele or acoustic, then use additional powered mains/monitors as needed. If it's a band gig, it functions as the main mixer PA that you can supplement around.

    That would eliminate the need to bring at least one monitor, mixer, and amp. That's a lot of time and energy that could be spared when I don't need the whole rig.

    I looked at the Genz Benz Shenendoah Compak amp as a good PA/Amp, but I'm not sure how a tele would sound through it or what I could use to get a good sound into it, never tried one.

    Basically just something small and simple and compact as a base to start from with sufficient direct/line out options and adequate EQ, separate effects for vocal and guitar channel, and lightweight.

    I'm used to lugging 50 lb. SRM450v1 Mackies, lights, amp, backup amp, cable bags and mic/speaker stands. I'm so sick of using carts and dollies and taking so many trips and having to tear down in a hurry and load out/setup in all kinds of weather.

    A lot of what I've seen out there look more like toys and not made for professional use, expensive toys mind you, but without features I would find useful or important.

    I tried some acoustic amps (because of the separate vocal channel) but I couldn't get a useable clean tone with a tele straight in.

    Years ago I had a regular Sans Amp, but I didn't really know what I was doing then and my ears sucked. I never tried it direct, aside from into a mixer for recording and that didn't sound good to me, but this was 10+ years ago.

    I tried multi-effects boxes and there would be some type of hiss or a gazillion extras I would never use, most have a volume pedal and are huge. All I need is tremolo and reverb for guitar, reverb for vocals.

    Every emulation model I've tried sounds really bad to my ears, very artificial and harsh. I don't need crazy effects and wahwahs and distortions and I hate digital interfaces, they never work right when you need them most and take forever to learn. Stomp boxes are a pain because that's just one more cable to worry about failing, one more wire to hookup, one more thing on the floor, one more thing to be a weak link in a chain.

    The sound quality is obviously very important, if I could find a simpler solution with a quicker load-in/tear down, it would have to sound very good in order for me to leave my amp rig and bigger PA mains and monitors at home, since I'm always bringing the PA.

    I have a nice Allen and Heath mixer and I can cover outdoor gigs, you name it with 3 different SRM450's and extra powered wedges if needed. But I don't always need all that power. The PA system I have sounds good already, I love it, just hate carrying it around.

    The stick PA's are not the same as having nice wedges and FOH speakers (hard to hear myself well enough,) and the frequency spectrum didn't seem as full range. Plus these things are very expensive and there aren't enough eq/input/output options to justify the price imo.

    I looked into all the currently available big name acoustic/PA amps, none of these things seem to have a dedicated channel for electric that allows the tweeter to be shut off, separate fx, parametric eq on all channels, adequate auxiliary inputs, di/thru/line outs, and also sound as good as a tube amp. A lot of these things have smaller speakers.

    I just wonder how I can get a quick load-in and setup/tear down, with fewer trips, with good sound to cover small to medium sized gigs. I could always bring the SRM450v1's if needed.

    Does anybody make a kick-butt amp for an electric guitar that also is a mixer, and has a good sounding channel for a vocal that can be supplemented with extra powered mains/monitors as needed?

    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  6. TNO

    TNO Friend of Leo's

    Apr 25, 2003
    Alto Trouper gets great reviews and is very affordable. I don't own one-yet. I run my vocal mic into a TC Helicon R1 which has a great mic pre and vocal tuned reverbs. Makes a HUGE difference in vocal quality. It's an older product but they make several similar things. I haven't quite figured out the direct electric thing yet but leaning toward a direct box with cab sim for clean tone and pedals for drive and effects. I have the Monoprice box, which is same as the Mooer DI. It seems to work well but I haven't used it much. It should be do-able to fit everything on one pedal board- vocal, electric and acoustic.
    1955 likes this.
  7. blowery

    blowery Tele-Meister

    Nov 10, 2015
    Ethos by custom tones for direct.

    Fantastic preamp.
    1955 likes this.
  8. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 10, 2010
    Certain uncertainty
    Thanks for the help, Froderbro and TNO!
    Frodebro likes this.
  9. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 10, 2010
    Certain uncertainty
  10. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 10, 2010
    Certain uncertainty

    The Ethos Clean II Amp (with the add-on 3-band post EQ) looks like a versatile tool. That would be $470 + $79 to get a decent tone from a telecaster into either a board/PA/PC using the speaker sim out and it is also a 30 watt amp into 8 ohms, which would make it practical in a variety of applications. What it doesn't have is reverb or tremolo, which would require me to use something like a Flint in front of it, which would be an additional $250-$300, and now I'd be toting a pedalboard (power supplies, extension cord, extra lead and connector cable.

    The Ethos Overdrive however seems more for Dumble style applications, all the videos I watched had it sounding distorted/gainy/sustainy I would guess for lead players that like that sound, but not my style at all.


    This is a definite contender, although still not an integrated solution with a separate vocal channel and mixer/PA, but it looks like a decently portable workaround to lugging an amp.

    But even after I hooked all this stuff up and mounted it on a board and messed with it to get the sound right, I'd still be running it into a separate PA/mixer/amp, so not sure it's worth all that trouble as it only eliminates the guitar amp from the rig and replaces it with a pedal board.

    I'm going to research further into whether there's anything like this that already comes in a small mixer/PA, that would be great.

    It is very difficult to find a quality mixer that has 3 band sweepable parametric eq and quality reverb at least that isn't a bunch of extra channels I don't need and bulky. I think my mixer is an Allen and Heath ZED 10FX, which is great for when I do large gigs with the band, but too big for solo/duo stuff where I don't need all those extra channels.

    I could build the Ethos into the mixer rack and mount it there permanently, though, that seems like a good solution, but I'd also need to get a reverb and tremolo pedal and I really don't want to have more pieces connected due to the extra potential for live troubleshooting due to extra cables/connections, etc.

    So this solution would eliminate the amp from the load-in, so it's definitely a step in the right direction if it sounds good. I'm torn because my amp sounds so good and I just love it.

    Next I'll go and research the Quilter line and also look further into Ethos to see if they have anything that serves the dual function of PA vocal channel.

    One idea would be to use the Ethos Clean II into the Shenandoah Compak 300, that would eliminate my amp and mixer from the equation and also give me some stage monitoring behind me for both vocals and guitar, so it could potentially eliminate a monitor wedge from my setup in a coffeehouse type small gig. And because the Shenandoah has so many good outputs, I could supplement it as needed.

    I could mount the Compak 300 with the Ethos together in some way so that I wouldn't be having to connect everything for every gig.

    Here's a demo vid of the Genz Benz I'm thinking about:

    With this setup I'd have acoustic/Vocal/electric flexibility.

    Now, if a tele straight into the Genz Benz sounds fine, then I wouldn't even need a separate preamp.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017 at 10:17 PM
  11. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 10, 2010
    Certain uncertainty
    Is it possible to get a good, useable clean tone out of the SansAmp Paradriver straight in to a mixer/PA? If so, it's a good option for me to look into.


    The FlyRig looks good for guitar-only, though the adjustment knobs are way too small and it doesn't look like it has a sweepable mid? and I don't need distortion or Delay (although that is nice), etc, just a good preamp, good versatile EQ, di/line outs, preferably tremolo and reverb as well.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017 at 4:28 PM
  12. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 10, 2010
    Certain uncertainty
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017 at 3:54 PM
  13. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 10, 2010
    Certain uncertainty
    Looks like from all I have researched that Ethos, whether just the preamp models or the amp models have the most promising direct to PA/mixer, etc. solution, at least for the base electric guitar foundation side of things.

    Very versatile, features are very good, a lot of tweakability especially with the addition of the HRM EQ mod.

    I don't quite understand the optional FX loop mod for it, though. I would imagine guitar into a Strymon Flint, then straight into the Ethos (like a pedals-into-traditional amp without an FX loop) would be fine, right?

    The amp versions of these would have even more flexibility, but I'm now looking more at just the preamp version of the Clean II or the preamp Clean Fusion II.

    I wouldn't think I would need an additional (separate) DI at the end of the chain for going from the Ethos into a mixer, etc., right?

    I have no idea really how the Ethos would sound for me yet, but wading through a huge swamp of other products, it seems to be a very good product designed for pros.
  14. Wally

    Wally Telefied

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    I would suggest a tube preamp to run into the solid state amplifier....since you are accustomed to tube Fenders. I am I am envisioning some small rack mount in a box containing all of your electric guitar preamp and effects. Hook it up to whatever P.A. System you choose. Anything else is going to lead you too far away from that sound to which you are accustomed.
    1955 likes this.
  15. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 10, 2010
    Certain uncertainty
  16. DaveKS

    DaveKS Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2013
    Well the thing with true amp in box pedals with cab sims, they mimic the response curve of guitar speaker for you. So even though your output system has a tweeter there is nothing getting thrown at it because the amp/cab in a box pedal has low pass filters that prevent anything say above 4-5khz from getting passed through, it can vary a little depending on what flavor of speaker it's trying to replicate.

    You might look at one of these.

    It's a 1w or 15w all tube head, di with cab sim, dual USB out with clean/dirty, effects loop. You can drive a stage cab for personal monitor and feed a PA at same time or just use it as a 15w small gig amp. Wouldn't know for sure but clean chan could/should work for acoustic and such with right acoustic preamp in front of it.

    Not sure it does blackface native but they also have lower gain Lionheart Studio 5w head which has same feature set. But for me I'd just set my jd10 mkII in front of it or get one these and blackface would be covered. With a real tube backend.

    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017 at 5:02 PM
    1955 likes this.
  17. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 10, 2010
    Certain uncertainty
    Thanks DaveKS, really appreciate the help!
  18. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 10, 2010
    Certain uncertainty
    A thorough demo of the Ethos Clean II with lots of adjustments on the fly to show the versatility of the clean and overdriven tones available.

    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017 at 8:30 AM
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