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

Which Modelers Will Stand the Test of Time?

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by JayFreddy, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    I've got a Yamaha DG80 112 from 1999, and a DG130 head from 2000.

    Their 20 bit resolution is antique by today's standards, but back then 16 bit was state of the art, so they were ahead of their time.

    A friend of mine who dabbles in electronics told me that he was impressed by their robust construction, and he is an avowed modeling-hater!

    They still sound good to me, and they're both still going strong. I anticipate they will easily survive to see 20 years old, most likely 30 or more...

    I've also got a pair of Roland Cube 60's from around 2005-06. The input jack on one had to be replaced, but otherwise they're both still going strong. 24 bit resolution which is the same as the newer Cubes too.

    The Yamaha's are a little more robust with all metal jacks and turret board construction, but the Rolands are well designed.

    I don't have faith in the new Chinese Peavey stuff, or the Fender Mustang series. They do sound good to my ears, but the designs don't seem as well thought out as the Yamaha DGs or the Roland Cubes.

    Hopefully I'm wrong. I also have a Super Champ X2 which shares some architecture with the Mustangs, but sounds fantastic to my ears.

    I hope that one lasts a long time!

  2. sulaco

    sulaco Tele-Meister

    Aug 24, 2012
    Nashville, TN
    As a coincidence i was at guitar center yesterday. A guy was in trading in a silverface pro reverb. I plugged into the mustang 3 and set it to the 65 Deluxe reverb setting. The dude came over and asked what the hell I was playing, as he'd never seen it. "Is that a modeling amp??"

    I handed him the guitar. For the next hour I watched him plug in various high dollar guitars off the wall and wail on the amp. I showed him how to tweak it and use the built in reverb/delay/stomp stuff. He'd let out various curse words and expletives the entire time. He was blown away and seemed a little pissed off. As I left, he had a gretch 6120 and was going to town on it.
    GrantR likes this.

  3. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    Yeah, I know. The Mustang III sounds nice.

    Given the plastic jacks and ultra thin circuit traces, will they still sound nice in 10 years?

    I also have a Yamaha THR5. I think that sounds nice too, but I'm not sure it will last as long as my older Yamaha DG amps. The DG amps were built in Japan to a higher standard.

    Yamaha's THR amps were made in China using noticeably cheaper parts.

  4. tele-bastard

    tele-bastard Friend of Leo's

    Mar 27, 2011
    Lowell, Mass
    I felt comfortable enough to sell my Hot Rod Deville 4x10 recently and keep my Mustang IV. I just keep a couple of clean amp settings when I want to use my pedals. I do miss the Deville a bit and might get a smaller tube amp in a bit but the mustang does all I need.

  5. jipp

    jipp Friend of Leo's

    my first amp was a line 6 spider 75w. its built pretty solid. i do not like the amp, the user interface sucks. i do like the speaker in it tho even if its a generic celestion. i think the speaker sounds great. i use it for a cab some times. but i do not see why the amp will not last. you speak like the th amps from yamaha are not made anymore. my guess is they will last just like any radio,

  6. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

    Feb 24, 2005
    Even if a Mustang III craps out after 7 years - at $329 it's easily and affordably replaceable with what will most likely be a better version at the same or less $.

  7. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Aug 17, 2012
    I still have the Digitech GSP 21 Legend that I bought new in 1993. Still working flawlessly, and I put well over 500 gigs on it back then. I didn't use the "amp emulators" (or whatever they called them back then), it was used strictly as a chorus/delay/reverb processor. I haven't fired it up in some time, but I recall that I was able to get some really good headphone sounds out of it back then. They probably wouldn't sound so great compared to the modern stuff, though!

  8. JDC

    JDC Tele-Holic

    May 9, 2003
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    "I still have the Digitech GSP 21 Legend..."


    Mine is a GSP 21 PRO that I put the Legend chip in as soon as it was available. Other that the factory loaded sounds (which I've never used anyhow) the main difference is seemed to me to be how fine the parameters can be tuned when building a patch.

    I use it for a couple of different delays, a couple of different reverbs and a chorus setting. Add a Keeley modded RAT and a Keeley modded TS-9 (both run through the GSP's effects loop) and I've been able to cop any sound I've wanted.

    I'd call that standing the test of time.

    Oh..I have had to replaced the internal battery twice (in 20 years) lol

  9. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 10, 2014
    Philadelphia, PA
    My vox VT-20+ is a lucky one that never got the hiss issues others experience, knock on wood, and I haven't fired it up in a while, but it still works great, and is simple enough to be useable in the future if I want simplicity. I'm a meat and potatoes kind of guy that likes tube amps, but honestly you can't really recap a modeling amp when the caps go, but they're always improving and they're normally pretty cheap for how long they may last.

  10. Jim Dep

    Jim Dep Friend of Leo's

    May 23, 2010
    New York
    Plastic jacks on a Mustang? I have the version 1 and these 1/4 jacks are the same as any other recently made Fender amp that I've looked at. I use mine daily, had it for over a year and don't foresee any problems. The USB jack is still working fine too. Using an adapter would protect it from wearing out too soon and I might consider that down the road.

    I don't normally make a habit out of taking amps apart that I don't own to check out the quality of circuit boards, so I can't really comment on that, but I can assure you that I'm not concerned about it.

    If this amp was made with cheap plastic parts in key areas that wouldn't hold up to normal wear and tear, I wouldn't have bought it. The cabinet is solid and the knobs are nice and tight. It's a great amp and fun to use.:)

    If I bought a more expensive amp, I'm sure there'd be a better reason to lose sleep over it. If a jack does go out in 5 years, I think I can manage to solder a new one in.

  11. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    I agree that they're becoming cheap enough that they're essentially disposable. Just like TVs.

    Personally, I only gig locally, and only occasionally. If I was hired to go on tour, I'd probably grab two Cube 80's and two ME-80 multi-effects. Run both Cubes in stereo when expedient, and keep the extra ME as a spare and for practice on the bus (yay battery power!) If one of the amps breaks, I could just run mono until we got to the next town with a store that carries Roland.

    I see that as a sensible business model for touring. I suppose you could do the exact same thing with a pair of Mustangs or any rig for that matter.

    If you're big enough, you could probably get your rig for free from whoever feels like buying you lunch in exchange for wearing their T-shirt that day... :idea:

    Anyway, I like modellers and modelling technology. I really like the way the Vox AD series amps sounded, even had one for a while... I flipped it when several of my friends started having trouble with theirs. They guy who bought mine is still using it trouble free, so you never really know, but I have more faith in the reliability of my Cubes.

    My question was and is, which ones will stand the test of time?

    As Keynes said, "In the long run, we're all dead."

    Seriously, check out the Super Champ X2. I love mine! :oops:

  12. outbreak

    outbreak Tele-Holic

    Dec 28, 2007
    I've got a vox ad50vt, I'd say I got it in about 2007-2008 and it's still going strong with out any issue. Feels pretty solid to me for what it is. I've read of a few people having issues with theirs but as I said I haven't had any problems at all with mine. Who knows though as things today aren't made to last, most electronics these days are cheap mass produced and designed to be cheaper and easier to replace rather than repair a lot of the times.

  13. unlawfulsoup

    unlawfulsoup TDPRI Member

    Feb 14, 2014
    I have a Mustang III v2 and it seems solid enough. I mean assuming you are not kicking the rear of it in, it should survive as long as a Roland Cube (which do not seem any better constructed to me) or similar amps.

    The bigger thing is that in 4-5 years we may reach another impressive leap in modeling, who knows what will be added in the future.

  14. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    Agree about the advances in technology happening so fast, in 4-5 years, we may not even want today's amps, even for free...

    I disagree about the long term survivability of the Mustang amps, but it's more design than specific construction issues. In my experience, LCD screens fail much sooner than regular pots and toggle switches,

  15. unlawfulsoup

    unlawfulsoup TDPRI Member

    Feb 14, 2014
    I have LCDs from 20+ years ago that work fine. The failure rate maybe higher than a simple pot/switch, but in general there is no reason most LCDs cannot last quite a long time. The only issue on the Mustangs maybe the backlight burning out first.

    Also anecdotally, my best friends Roland Cube broke its input after maybe 6 months of fairly light use. The replacement had a faulty treble knob, which annoyed him to no end. So I am kind of unimpressed with their offerings durability.

  16. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

    Apr 14, 2006
    San Jose, CA
    I'm less concerned with a $349 Fender Mustang standing the test of time and more concerned with a $34,900 Ford Mustang lasting more than ten years.

  17. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

    Apr 14, 2006
    San Jose, CA
    I spent $350 to take my family of four to a Giants game. Ten hours later we're all hungry and bored. If I had that cheap amp I would be entertained for years.
    tsfrance likes this.

  18. Televised

    Televised Friend of Leo's

    Apr 26, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Vox AD30VT here that my son has used since '06. Been a great amp with no problems. I've heard/read good things about the Vox ADVT's in general. I think this one will be with us for awhile.

  19. mabley123

    mabley123 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 21, 2011
    ashland kentucky
    Although technically not a Modeling amp.

    I love my 1st year Cybertwin. Its had 00000 issues in 10+ years and Ive gigged it and used it for jamming regularly.

    I also dime it quite often.. Whenever I can.

    I changed out the EHX 12AX7's for NOS Mullard 12AU7's Which is a Common Swap

    Steve Winwood uses a CT.

  20. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

    Apr 2, 2012
    New Mexico
    To my mind, as inexpensive as the modelers are, it doesn't matter if they break in a few years.

    I paid $330 for my Mustang 3. If it lasts 5 years (warranty), that's $66 a year for an amp that I've gigged with, hauled all over town, practiced with my band with, and played through every day. Not bad.

    I'd be more concerned with the reliability of the Fender RI's, which seem to have a reputation for issues with the quality of the components (jacks and tube sockets, especially), and soldering issues on the PCB boards- and cost about 60% more. If I dropped $1000 on an amp and had to have it serviced in less than five years because of a cold solder joint or a broken input jack, I'd be pretty upset.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014

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