Analog SS amp should take pedals better than Digital right?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Nashville-tele-19, Feb 18, 2020.

  1. archtop_fjk

    archtop_fjk Tele-Holic

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    What the world really needs are pedals which take amps well...:D

    But seriously, I have a Blues Cube Artist amp and it takes all my pedals well, and even has an effects loop (how many people use that after all). As was said previously, it depends on your guitar, pedals, pedal order, etc. That’s too many variables to boil down to a blanket “takes pedals well” statement. As always, experiment!
     
  2. Telecaster88

    Telecaster88 Tele-Holic

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    I'm deeply tech challenged. A lot of this stuff is Greek to me. That said, I play through an AV60 and I love it! I run the following in front of it:

    Boss NS1
    MXR Deluxe Dyna Comp
    Boss SD1
    MXR Phase 95
    Danelectro Fab Echo
    Boss Tremolo

    It all sounds great through the AV60. In fact, the DS1, which sounds brittle and kind of harsh through my Fender SCX2, sounds creamy and rich through the AV60. For some reason the AV60 is an amp that kind of came and went without much fanfare.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
  3. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I find the back & forth over this trivial stuff pretty interesting as well. It almost seems like some people want the Blues Cube and Nextone to be analogue so that they can justify liking them.
     
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  4. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Perhaps you can explain the difference between a "modeling amp" and a digital amp that is voiced to sound just like an old tube amp (or several different old tube amps)...they are the same thing.

    Don't get caught up in the marketing, there are old-fashioned tube amps, there are old-fashioned SS amps like a Peavey Bandit, Roland JC120, and there is everything else. I have a Polytone from the 90s, THAT is a SS analog amp.

    If it has any ability to download firmware, tweak parameters, built-in multi-effects, etc., it's a digital amp. "modeling" is just a marketing term. Maybe you love the sounds of the Nextone / etc. - that's great, just enjoy it.

    I just recently sold my Blues Cube Stage, but I played it quite a bit for about a year and several gigs. It's a good sounding amp, with lots of good features, and well made, just not what I ultimately wanted.
     
  5. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Wait! Wait! I know this one!

    I have a couple buddies who used to design wafers at National Semiconductor.

    One of 'em used to sign his work. You can see his tag if you have a powerful microscope.

    :cool: :cool:
     
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  6. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Some will blame the amp instead of taking responsibility for an uninformed purchase or their own playing technique. Long ago, I had a coworker who threw a Yamaha 2404 mixer in the trash after he had a bad night on the board. He was fired for that episode.
    My opinion is that amps take pedals just fine, and maybe it is the amp telling you about something upstream of the input jack.
     
  7. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    "Takes pedals well."

    As a guy who knew about electronics before getting into tube amps I scratched my head over this one, nobody specified what it meant. You always hear about amps that can take pedals but rarely ones that can not. After years of reading and hearing the useless phrase I think I got it. It all goes back to BF amps. And people really wanting a Marshall. (I know about this because my cousin had a SF Twin and bought an Ice Cube trying to get dirt. He was not happy when I rigged up a 15W SS amp I built into a pair of Celestion's and he had a killer ripping rhythm sound.)

    I figure the problem is twofold. One is that some pedals restore the midrange that is scooped out in BF amps. Might not go well with amps with a Tweed or a treble cut tone control. The second issue is overdriving a stage hard enough that you get the triode input overloaded and the preceding capacitor goes into grid blocking. A SS amp is not susceptible to grid blocking so no worry there. A humped midrange? That is a taste issue. Generally I can't see why an amp could not 'take pedals well', and I say generally because there are always exceptions.
     
  8. wabashslim

    wabashslim Tele-Afflicted

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    Fender Twin Reverb - takes distortion pedals well.
    Fender Twin Reverb with Bright switch on - does not take distortion pedals well.

    Sometimes the simplest thing...
     
  9. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Generally speaking, a lot of popular OD and distortion types of boxes that work well with a lot of amps might tend to not work so well with something like an AC15 or AC30. But then there are pedals like the Crowther Hot Cake, which almost work specifically well with them.

    ...Or, someone realizes that a Fuzz Face doesn't sound great with BF/SF amps. Not really a big deal IMO, since there are other fuzzes that do work well with BF/SF amps.

    It's like any other combination of parts of a rig. Some combos just might not work very well. I certainly wouldn't try playing a 12 string Ric into a Mesa Recto, for example. Some combos are just less obvious, I guess.
     
  10. dswo

    dswo Tele-Holic

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    I will try.

    Your position, as I understand it, is: "If there's a computer involved, it's all the same."

    My position is: computers can be involved in different ways.

    Look at my avatar photo. That's the oscillator knob of a Moog Little Phatty synthesizer. All of the hardware that produces sound in the Little Phatty is analogue: both oscillators, the LFO, the filter, and both envelopes. What's digital about it? The knob outputs a digital signal, and you can hook the whole thing up to a computer, edit patches, and save patches in the synth. Inside the synth there is also a primitive computer, including a screen; you can update the little computer's firmware. Does that mean it's really a digital synth? No one in the synth world thinks so. More recent Moog synths, starting with the Minitaur, have analogue oscillators that are constantly stabilized by a little computer. Does that mean it's really a digital synth? No one in synth world thinks so. That's because we are also familiar with oscillators, filters, and envelopes that only exist in software. Sometimes the software runs on a laptop; sometimes the software runs on a custom DSP chip in a plastic box that also has a keyboard. (The Access Virus is a classic example.)

    If you still can't see a difference, here's a diagram:

    NEXTONE SIGNAL FLOW
    Guitar signal --> Analogue/Digital Converter --> Analogue circuits under digital control --> Digital effects (reverb, delay, etc.) --> Digital/Analogue Converter --> Speaker

    KATANA SIGNAL FLOW
    Guitar signal --> Analogue/Digital Converter --> Software magic --> Digital/Analogue Converter --> Speaker

    As you say, analogue doesn't necessarily sound better than digital; solid-state isn't automatically better than modeling. But they are different.
     
  11. Nashville-tele-19

    Nashville-tele-19 TDPRI Member

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    Great, that’s what I was wondering, thanks.
     
  12. Eastbound71

    Eastbound71 TDPRI Member

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    IDK about the amps mentioned but I owned a fender mustang digital amp and ended up giving it to my boy....much preferred using my pedals through my old Peavey. Trying to add the effects through the mustang amp digital interface was tedious and cumbersome to me(PITA) Starting with a clean tone on my peavey and adding the pedals seems best (easiest) to me at this point
     
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  13. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Nope, that's not my position at all. I am aware that there are high-end products in synth land, and a few guitar pedals, that preserve an all-analog signal path.

    And "modeling" isn't a separate thing from SS or digital - a "modeling amp" is a digital (which is SS) amp which is designed to sound like a particular tube amp. The only way in which the Nextone is NOT a "modeling amp" is that instead of labeling the model selector knob "AC30, Deluxe, JTM45" etc like all the others, they labeled it "6V6, EL84" and so on as a marketing term. Similarly, the Blues Cube line is a modeling amp with one model - a Tweed Bassman.

    I would love to see where you got your information on the signal flow of those amps.

    The Blues Cube line (the most expensive of these three lines, with the same "tube logic" ad copy) has upgrade chips in a tube-shaped plastic capsule that you plug into a socket in order for the amp to model a different tone....It's OK that they are digital modeling amps - the only question is whether they sound good and are reliable and fairly priced.
     
  14. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

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    Given that the Blues Cube and Katana work under the same model, what have you seen that says the Nextone doesn't?
     
  15. dswo

    dswo Tele-Holic

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    You are using modeling in a broad sense, to mean "imitating." The industry uses it in a narrower sense, to mean "imitating in software." See below for an example.

    My Katana diagram is, I assume, uncontroversial.

    My Nextone diagram is derived from the following statements in Boss's product literature: https://www.boss.info/us/products/nextone_stage/

    Four analog Class AB power amp circuits, selectable from the panel: 6V6, 6L6, EL84, and EL34

    For the most part, you really needed to buy multiple amps to access the unique tonal characteristics of different output tube sections…until now. Nextone changes all this with the ability to instantly re-voice its analog Class AB power amp section with one of the four classic designs. American sounds are represented with 6V6 and 6L6 output tube types, while British sounds are represented with EL84 and EL34 types. Unlike modeling amps, which simply feed pre-cooked amp models through a non-reactive amplifier, selecting a power amp type on the Nextone physically changes the complete output circuitry, as well as the way the preamp and speaker interacts with it.​

    This leaves open the possibility, which I acknowledge, that the preamp section is modeled.

    There's an interesting contrast here with the NuTube products from Korg. Those amps -- the Mini Super Beetle, the MV50 series, and the new Valvenergy series of amp-in-a-box pedals -- focus their attention on the preamp stage, whereas Boss is focused on the power amp. I don't know which is better -- I have a Nextone now, and I'll probably try Vox's NuTube AC30 pedal when it comes out -- but power amp distortion has seemed like it's the tougher nut to crack.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
  16. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I'm entirely unpersuaded, but out of energy to argue, so you win by default...
    I would only note that when I owned the Katana and the Blues Cube at the same time, it was awfully easy to get them to sound identical. And this Tube Logic is downloadable via USB and tweakable in an app...and that Roland is a noted high-tech company that has invested heavily in DSP through their Boss multieffects and other devices. If you were indeed correct it would be strange and remarkable.
     
  17. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    So then I take it the Nextone has four pair of tubes in the amp, 6V6's, 6L5's, EL84's and EL34's. And if the action is 'instant' then the 6.3V heater winding must pump out the current to heat all 8 tubes at all times. If in fact the Class AB power amp circuit is Solid State, then I do not see how they can be revoiced to simulate the mentioned tubes. I would love to hear more on their circuit, it sound, very intriguing.
     
  18. dswo

    dswo Tele-Holic

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    I was thinking the same thing, actually.

    To continue the friendly conversation in a different direction:

    I suspect that "Tube Logic" is just a branding term for "all the ways that we, Roland, get tube sounds without actual tubes," ranging from analogue circuits in the Blues Cube to software circuits in the GT line of effects processors.

    If I'm right, this would be in contrast with Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology, which Roland's most recent synths use "to carefully recreate all the details and quirks of the original hardware by modeling each analog circuit, right down to the component level."

    Something I'm idly curious to know is where the Katana stands on the continuum between GT-100 and GT-1000.

    Back on the original topic, which amps take pedals better: I think a lot of it comes down to the analogue/digital (A/D) converter at the beginning of the signal chain. How hot a signal can it handle before it overdrives? If it overdrives, does it overdrive in a musical way?
     
  19. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It's on the GT-1000 end of the spectrum. Same modeling engine. The GT-1000 is a great sounding unit, I bought one primarily for the effects to use as a "pedalboard" with my tube amps, but the amp modeling is really good, too.
     
  20. dswo

    dswo Tele-Holic

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    With the Blues Cube, you revoice the amp by physically replacing a circuit board. If I had to guess, which no one is making me do, I would guess that the Nextone has 4 of those physical circuits built in, and the amp can then switch between them.
     
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