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Which Modelers Will Stand the Test of Time?

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

  1. memorex

    memorex Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    67
    Jan 14, 2015
    Chicago
    Though not technically an amp, I have a 10 year old Vox Tonelab SE. It never goes out of the house, so it's in like new condition. And I still love the amp models it produces better than anything else I've ever heard except maybe the Kemper, which I can't afford. A friend recently tried to sell me a Digitech RP500 for $150, and after listening to it for a week, I gave it back to him.
     

  2. jipp

    jipp Friend of Leo's

    on paper it looks promising lets hope it works as one would imagine,.. and lets hope korg/noritak do not keep it proprietary to korgs products so everyone can benefit from the chip.
    chris.
     

  3. jomazq

    jomazq Tele-Meister

    176
    Jan 22, 2010
    whittier, ca
    I'll Second that sentiment.
     

  4. Octorfunk

    Octorfunk Tele-Meister

    151
    Jan 20, 2014
    Midwest
    Agree 100%.

    How many tubes will need to be replaced in a valve amp over the course of 10yrs? How many parts will need to be fixed/replaced? How much $$$ will be spent simply maintaining an expensive tube amp over a decade?

    I got my Mustang 3 v2 for $199, and they're only going to get cheaper. Even if the whole thing completely craps out in 10yrs, I'm going to be able to replace the entire thing for $200 or less.
     

  5. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    65
    Jan 4, 2014
    Arivaca AZ
    No modeling amps will stand the test of time as did the old tube amps. Solid state electronics is a constantly developing technology and the DSP chips available today will be superceded in a few years.

    In other words a few years downstream when they break you will not be able to fix them. Or probably want to.

    Can you still get parts that work for your IBM PC from 82? Or your apple IIC... And actually have it functional? If you can is it worth fixing?
     

  6. getbent

    getbent Telefied Ad Free Member

    I agree with the bolded part, but disagree as to the reasoning behind it or at least the way it was expressed.
     

  7. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

    Sep 18, 2011
    los angeles
    I think no modeler will simply because there are infinite possibilities with this technology. So incredible tone is only a small part of that. You could have a button you press that plays a tone and listens back then diagnoses the room's acoustics and proceeds to automatically adjust your presets to sound perfect in that room. Just a wild thought, but i'm trying to illustrate the fact that there are a million things that can be done with digital technology to make an amp even better. So i can't see any modelers standing the test of time for god knows how many years. Just imagine the idea i just mentioned and how incredible it would be to play any room and have utter perfection in how your tone cuts in that room. Then imagine how many other possibilities there might be. It's endless.

    That said, i could live with the mustang as it is now for a lifetime with no real need to change.
     

  8. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free + Supporter

    Apr 20, 2013
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    Great idea. A few wireless mics in the room, a sample from home, a small bit of software is all it would take - none of this is hugely expensive, it just needs to be developed.

    Bry - you may have a point. But, you could buy four Mustang III's for the price of a single serviced vintage Deluxe Reverb. If each MIII lasts 10 year, and you get more features each time you re-purchase, well, I think that may be better money spent.

    Not to mention the costs of tubes, pedals, etc.
     

  9. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Holic

    700
    Oct 24, 2012
    southern California
    I am thinking that the Fender Super Champ X2 should stand the test of time since tubes seem to be standing the test of time.
     

  10. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    That's a great point, and it's one that tube evangelists tend to leave out when steering newer guitarists towards buying gear. I'm not ripping tube amps at all, but ALL things have advantages and drawbacks. I was dead set on buying a smallish pure tube combo for home play. One thread even had me GAS-ing for one of those 60's era Silvertone 1481's. So you check out YouTube videos, or maybe even find a used amp in a store and they sound great. Except that demos, generally, are of WORKING amps. The thought of having to service an aging tube amp when it was just meant to be one of several small amps I grab and play in the limited time I have...it just didn't add up. Especially compared to the flexibility that a small modeler could offer at a variety of lower volume levels.

    I think that modeling technology is rapidly advancing and it's not going away. Even in the near future, if you think about something like a $2,500 Kemper being offered in a $250 amp or FX processor to the masses - that's something that could absolutely happen, and has been shown to happen with electronics and computer-based technology.

    But as stated above, any particular piece of modeling equipment will quickly seem dated when a new version comes out at the same price point, and ups the sound quality and features. I do think that amps like the Valvetronix and Super Champ X2, which convey a vintage "feel" with modern technology under the dash will age better than something like the G-Dec, Mustang, Peavey VIP, etc. That being said, I actually prefer the 2004-era Valvetronix amps to the newer ones. And ironically, the "best" modeling amps are often the ones that do the best job duping 40-year old vintage amps, so it's not like they suddenly lose all value once something new comes out. But in terms of resale value, yes, prior generation modeling amps are not particularly desirable.
     

  11. TwangyWhammy

    TwangyWhammy Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 10, 2014
    Under the DownUnder
    Not to mention the cost of all the additional pedal effects needed, to what otherwise would be a very one dimensional situation. (Besides the hidden costs, it also entails a lot of stage floor clutter and set-up time).
     

  12. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    For a normal person, yes. Recovering pedal addict here, so I had the pedal collection anyway, and then bought the $100 modeling amp. Go figure. :lol:

    But for beginners or budget players, the Mustang effects will cover quite a bit. Actually, I got a chance to plug in some pedals (even boosters on reasonable settings) this morning and the Mustang handled them better than I expected!

    As I play with the FUSE stuff for the first time, the amp greatly improved just setting up base amp models with some reverb and the other effects stripped. One thing that's kind of a bummer about the I versus the III is that you can't swap in pedal effects without setting that up through FUSE. But I didn't want/need a 35-pound, 12" speaker modeling amp in my house just for that added functionality.
     

  13. mabley123

    mabley123 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 21, 2011
    ashland kentucky
    Ive had my 69 Dual Showman since 73 and just changed the tubes in it 5 years ago. They were the Original Tubes.

    I should have had it serviced long ago for basic maintainence on some of the caps but everything worked A OK and I just decided to Service the amp and have the tubes checked.

    When it went in I had it modded to Blackface and an ODS Mod and PPIMV.


    I only changed the Power Tubes out as the Original Preamp tubes were STILL GOOD.

    The original RCA's were actually still testing ok but 1 was Microphonic so I changed all 4 RCA's back to RCA again.

    They should last another 40+ years. I estimate the tubes had at least 12,000 hours.

    So for me from 73 -2010 my amp cost 000 to Use/Maintain.
     

  14. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    Hey, that's great! Obviously, there are exceptions or examples of tube amps that work for decades without servicing. But compared to a solid state amp, I think most people would agree there's more that can go wrong. Obviously that's not a strong argument against using tube amps, since most of the highly beloved amplifiers of all time are mid-to-large powered tube amps.

    At the same time, I could argue against myself, since I have it in my head when I see a solid-state modeling amp with a complex dashboard of buttons and lights, my first thought is "What on there isn't going to be working in 15 years?"

    But, as several have pointed out here, it's almost a moot point because if you pay $200 for a Valvetronix (or $120 for a Mustang I in my recent case), you'd be just as happy to discard and replace that amp with a better model 10 years down the road. In fact, you'd probably prefer to!

    People tend to confound "good value" with "good investment". People say that the Squier guitars or affordable modeling amps are bad purchases because they don't have any type of resale value, and are therefore a bad investment. But so what? If you are buying gear with the intention of someday getting a rid of it for some money, that's not purpose I usually have in mind. You can't a person who gets 100's of hours of enjoyment out of a sub-$200 purchase that they didn't get good value out of that purchase. Modeling amps are like computer software - nobody complains about a great computer game or using the latest version of Microsoft Word because they will one day be considered dated. They serve a purpose for a time, and if a better option becomes available, you have the choice to continue using the older product, or purchase an upgraded one.
     

  15. vintagelove

    vintagelove Tele-Meister

    333
    Oct 18, 2014
    NY


    Honestly it just shown you don't have much experience with tube equipment. I literally have a mic with an 80 year old tube in it that works great. U47 mics (used on countless hits to this day) all use tubes older than 60 years. There are countless 50 year old fender amps that have never seen a tech still running just fine with the original glass.

    Th tubes being unreliable thing is an internet myth from people with no experience with tubes.
     

  16. Tele1966

    Tele1966 Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 30, 2014
    US
    LOL! After all the tubes I've bought and the cumulative number of days/months/years I've kept fuses in my pockets to keep my tube amps going your post gave me a nice laugh! Thanks! :lol:
     

  17. Jefe

    Jefe Tele-Holic

    999
    Jun 17, 2004
    Wallingford, CT
    Maybe you just need a better tube amp. I've got a mid-70's Peavy that has never blown a fuse, and has had the same set of tubes in it for over 20 years. Those tubes are just starting to wear out now. I'm not trying to be antagonistic or anything, but just sayin'.
     

  18. Tele1966

    Tele1966 Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 30, 2014
    US
    I love tube amps and I think it's great you haven't had the problems I've had - and the same goes for vintagelove, I'm just teasing because my experience with tube amps has not evidently been as successful as his or your own.

    In thinking about this my amps are always hauled and moved around a lot. Maybe that has something to do with it.
     

  19. mabley123

    mabley123 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 21, 2011
    ashland kentucky
    I also have the New AXE FX II XL, Fender Cyber-Twin I got in 2001, which is not really a Modeling amp but I love it too.

    Ive also got an OLD 1970 SUNN Coliseum Lead I got in 73 that came from the factory with 2 x 4 x 12 cabinets loaded with JBL D120F's. You don't see many of these babies.

    Its 100% Solid State and Possibly the Greatest Solid State amp EVER built.

    Ive got an old 71 Kustom 50 Soild State with a JBL D120F

    So Im not ANTI Solid State ect.

    I have a Metropoulos GMP45 LTD ED. NOS tubes. $2000 in tubes alone.

    My Grab and Go Amp is the Cyber-Twin.
     

  20. Tele1966

    Tele1966 Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 30, 2014
    US
    I think your AXE FX II XL will stand the test of time. The Axe is a great product. I'd definitely own one had I not bought a Kemper (I went with Kemper so I could profile my own amps.)

    My brother bought a new Sunn Concert Lead from that same era. He got his with a Sunn 6 x 10 cab. My brother is a great player and through the years became an extremely knowledgeable tube snob and has owned a lot of great amps. He'd grown tired of his Sunn and so he took it to a music shop to trade it in. To test the amp the store owner plugged it into a cab in the store (my brother had kept the 6 x 10 which he eventually gave to me) and started playing. My brother said he was amazed! He said for the first time ever his Sunn actually sounded really good! But he was already into Marshalls by that time and so he let the Sunn go. Sunn was a cool company.
     

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