Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
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. mabley123

    mabley123 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 21, 2011
    ashland kentucky
    For just a good basic tone I can Tweak I like the Cyber Twin Better than the Fractal.

    IMHO the CT sounds Better than the Fractal but cant do nearly the combinations of effects nor does it have as many. The Fractal Distortion Still sounds like SOLID STATE..

    The Fractal Effects are as good or better than the CT. CT just doesn't have nearly as many nor can you combine them like the Fractal.

    The ability to combine effects on both the Fractal and Kemper are Unsurpassed.

    Im thinking of selling the Fractal and just buying the New Fractal FX8 Pedal Board.

    AXE FX and Kemper Effects are about the same from what I can tell. Both are GREAT.

    Im not a Tube Snob by any means but if it comes down to it Ill pick Tubes everytime.

    CT also has a Tube Preamp. 2 x 12AX7 was Standard but I replaced them with NOS Mullard Master series Gold PIN 10M 12AU7's.

    Clapton used 2 Sunn Coliseum Lead Heads and at least 1 x 4 x 12 Sunn Cabinet on the Derek ad the Dominoes Live album they did at the Fillmore.

    This 1 isn't mine but is a better photo than I have.

    Attached Files:

  2. Tele1966

    Tele1966 Friend of Leo's

    Jul 30, 2014

    Cool information, thanks! I didn't know Eric Clapton has played Sunn amps.

    I applied for a job at Sunn when I was still in High School. They didn't hire me. I don't remember what type of job it was or the type of skills they were looking for.

  3. mabley123

    mabley123 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 21, 2011
    ashland kentucky
    Got rid of the Fractal.

    We AB it with 6 people against my CyberTwin. The CT sounded better when used just a a regular amp.

    Dial in a 59 Bassman and tweak ect on both amps.

    The CT sounded better to all.

    We AB's.

    59 Bassman. Deluxe Reverbs, Twin Reverb, Champ, various Tweed/Black Face/Silver Face Fender amps. Everyone thought the CT sounded better.

    6 out of 6.

    The Fractal effects IMHO are where this amp stands out.

    The Fractal has some amps the CT doesn't have but no biggie.

    Id rather have 3-4 CTs than 1 Fractal if I was going this route. The clincher on Fractal and Kemper is they have great effects and an endless combination of usage for them.

    CT is Limited on the combinations and is why I also use pedals with it.

  4. sir humphrey

    sir humphrey Friend of Leo's

    May 3, 2011

    Yeah - my experience of the Fractal stuff is that has some outstanding effects, but as a straight amp replacement? Nah.

    Kemper though - effects are good, not a patch on the Fractal, but as an amp it's as good as whatever it profiles.


    TELECULT Tele-Meister

    Jul 8, 2014
    I've got a vt40+,and if it doesn't give me a decent sound soon after a year of trying ,then its life expectancy will be measurable in days!

  6. dolfer

    dolfer TDPRI Member

    In addition to my current Mustang III v2, I have what I believe to be the first modeling amp, the Line 6 AxSys 212 which I purchased around 95 or 96.

    It lasted a good 20 years and started making random crackling noises. I'm not an amp expert so I don't know if that's easily fixable or not.

    I assumed it would cost more to fix that what it is worth, so that's when I bought my Mustang.

    I still have the Line 6. It's just hanging out in my music area. Maybe one day I will get it up and running again.

  7. Special Tom

    Special Tom Tele-Meister

    Nov 5, 2013
    Mobile, AL
    Some of you guys seem to think modelling started just recently. I have an 87 Seymour Duncan Convertible amp-which many consider to be a predecessor of modeling amps. I also have a Line 6 AX-2-the flagship of modeling amps. Both of these are in good playing shape.

  8. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 26, 2014
    15 years or so ago this thread would have been about cameras, with film and digital replacing tubes and modelling.

    Having both, I appreciate both sides of the argument. But lets be fair, valve amps have nowhere to go. Any new design has to be based on the limited supply of valve types available these days. Will any manufacturer design and manufacture new valves with new characteristics? Highly unlikely, the market is too small and what happens when all those wonderful NOS good valves are gone?

    The DSP's are just going to get more and more powerful and that's where the future of amplification lies. Fact.

  9. syrynx

    syrynx Tele-Afflicted

    There's a very high probability that the random crackling noises result from spring tension connections which have oxidized over the years, rather than failure of any component. The Catch-22 with this sort of probem is that, while there's nothing fundamentally wrong with the amp, it can be very time-consuming to track the problem down and fix it. For a tech, time is money, so paying a tech to solve the problem can be expensive, with no guarantee that the problem won't return almost immediately.

    I think a very determined owner with a can of DeoxIT has the best chance of fixing it. Spray-clean anything that is (or looks like it could be) a spring-tension connection: Input / output / effects loop jacks, pots, switches, ribbon connectors between circuit boards, transistor and IC sockets and pins (if there are any that aren't soldered to the board), connections to the reverb spring tank (if any), etc. Resign yourself to the fact that you'll probably miss some the first time through, and the second, and the third. But I'll bet, given enough determination (and enough DeoxIT), you could fix it yourself.

  10. BobbyB

    BobbyB Tele-Afflicted


  11. dolfer

    dolfer TDPRI Member

    Thanks for the repair idea John!

  12. Drmyeyes

    Drmyeyes TDPRI Member

    Dec 9, 2015
    Summersville, WV

    Well there has been much said on this topic and I don't want to simply repeat what has already been posted, but I will share this:

    I play a 100w Peavey. What would make me buy a new one isn't the tone or "closeness" of the modeling - heck, it's pretty much overkill anyway. Its the daggone weight. It's like carrying around a Volkswagon and if you guys are like me, you play in all kinds of places - barns, outdoors, whatever. Rickety stairs, elevated stages without steps, and so forth.

    Show me something light that can handle a small club (bar) unmiked over drums and I'm listening...

  13. Randypttt

    Randypttt Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 8, 2010
    Elyria Oh
    I really hate saying this but the Super Champs have disappointed me for the last time.
    When the XDs first showed up I was on board immediately. 3 and half years later I had to replace it. It was free under the warranty but it should have been an omen

    After a while I decided to get a Mustang in case the XD went down again but I didnt like it so when the X2 came out i grabbed one. 3 and half years later I'm in the same situation. Only this time Fender wont replace it. Not sure why. I may fimd out when i pick it back up from my local AUTHORIZED repair place

    I really like that amp too but I cant see getting another. Too frustrating. I replaced it already with a Champion 40 but thats far from ideal by a damn site.

  14. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 24, 2012
    Southern California
    My SCX2 has never had a problem ever. I've used the FUSE software to tweak the sag, mids and effects. I rarely ever use channel 2 because the blackface clean tone is excellent. If I want dirt or tweed I use my Seymour Duncan Twin Tube Blue or my Lovepedal Les Lius. This amp is consistently good. I also have a drip-edge Bandmaster Reverb and a 1968 Fender Vibro Champ and the SCX2 is something I keep coming back to.

  15. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

    I'm going to offer two analogies-- telephones and cars.

    Telephones. If you have an old land line, push button phone, there's probably no reason to ever change it, and it will likely work for decades. However, if you have a smart phone, the technology is constantly progressing and it makes sense to upgrade it every few years to take advantage of the new features. Plus, that way you don't have to worry about gradual loss of battery capacity because hey, you just got a new one.

    Cars. That old muscle car is simple, easy to work on, classic, does what it does extremely well. But that new car has great gas mileage, ABS brakes, air bags, GPS and infotainment, and cup holders. But that new car needs to be replaced every 6 to 10 years while that muscle car will always be a classic. Parts may get harder to find over time, but there are enough aficionados out there that you will always be able to find parts over the Internet, at least for the models that they made a lot of back in the day.

    Your classic tube amp is an old analog phone or muscle car.

    Your digital modeler is a smart phone or a new econobox. Way more features, but based on a throw-away and upgrade concept. Keeping one of those modeling amps for more than a few years is like keeping an original iPhone. Yeah, you can do it, but you would be in the vast minority and the thing will have a market value of 0.

    (Although I guess the very first Apple Computers are worth some money to collectors and computer museums. If you have version 1.0 of a modeler, who knows....maybe it will actually be worth something someday to someone.)

  16. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 24, 2012
    Southern California
    Here's where the SCX2 differs.........because although there is a "new" technology, the SCX2 does employ the old analog tube output in combination with the modeling. I won't be throwing away or doing an upgrade with this amp unless someone offers me a deal that I cannot refuse.

  17. Boblets

    Boblets Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2008
    Brisbane Australia
    My Zoom G5 has stood the test of time.

  18. Randypttt

    Randypttt Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 8, 2010
    Elyria Oh
    I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority but thats a good thing for everyone else.

  19. JustEd

    JustEd Tele-Meister

    May 25, 2014
    I haven't really given this much thought but I guess hand wired amps would last longer because they're easier to repair compared to PCB amps like modellers.

    In my own case I bought a Fender SCXD used for about $139.00 a couple of years ago and still going strong, it's buzzing so I guess I better replace the tubes and bias it.

    I also traded my VHT Spec. 6 Ultra for a Yamaha THR 10C, another modeller. I did it because my wife detested the VHT claiming it was too loud. I never thought about the durability but I guess given Yamaha's QC that it should last more than 5 years, only time will tell. Luck factors a little bit, I guess.

    If for some reason any of my amps crap out then I'll simply buy something else, I call it GAS. Unfortunately for me I have more GAS than money at the present.

  20. Michael_B

    Michael_B TDPRI Member

    Jul 20, 2014
    Tampa, FL, USA
    I have both a Mustang III v.2 and a 2004 VOX AD120-VT. I prefer the UI and wide array of features of the MIII and find that I play that amp almost exclusively.

    But, on those times when I crank the VOX... I wonder why. The VOX, despite more than a decade old digital technology, sounds fantastic. I think it's the dual speakers.

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