Gig-worthy, No frills Modeler?

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by PumpJockey, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. PumpJockey

    PumpJockey Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I have a Vox VT20+ which has its pluses at low volume, at least since I replaced the Vietnamese tin horn with something decent, but it has a cheesy build and an 8" speaker max. Also, I never use more than 3 of the 33 amp models and would prefer to use my pedals rather than the built-in effects.

    So, my wish list for a modeler:

    1) The tube pre-amp.
    2) Minimum 30 watts but with a built-in power attenuator like the Vox.
    3) Some decent amp models including tweed and BF Fender, Vox AC15 and/or AC30, early Marshall. I don't need high-gain, dual recs etc.
    4) A digital reverb would be OK. Other effects are superfluous.
    5) 10" or 12" speaker.
    6) Decent build quality, although I won't hold out for p-t-p or anything like that.
    7) Full tone stack plus volume, gain and, I suppose, Master Volume, although I always just turn that all the way up. (Hence the need for the attenuator.)

    I want to be able to gig this amp at small club volume, use my own pedals and not have to take a programming class. My tube amps can stay in the home studio.

    Is there such a beast for anything resembling a reasonable cost?

    Thoughts? :confused:
     
  2. Tele-phone man

    Tele-phone man Tele-Afflicted

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    Not yet.

    The new Roland GA112 and GA212 look like they are designed for stage professionals, and they have a stripped-down, simplified interface, but they don't have specific amp models. They're somewhat like the Yamaha DG line in that respect. However, they are heavy and much more expensive than their Cube amps. I've never seen one, except online. Roland doesn't seem to know how to market them.
     
  3. PumpJockey

    PumpJockey Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Thanks.

    I suppose I don't need specific models if you can dial in a "Fender" sound, "Vox", etc., with a bit of practice...

    I'm also a bit skeptical about the COSM technology. I have the Boss FDR-1 pedal with COSM and even my worn-out ears can detect the artificial quality. One of the strengths of the Vox Valvetronic stuff is the analog portion of the circuit with the tube in the pre-amp. Not sure who else has that.

    I own a Line 6 modeling bass amp (Lowdown 100) and it is great, but their similar guitar amps don't sound any better to me than the COSM stuff.

    Still looking for a used Vox AD series Valvetronic amp, but the prices on those are actually going up as people realize that they were better in many ways than the later versions, with decent construction and a simple interface.

    At the end of the day I may end up with a Mustang. Obviously the Fender models should be spot on and, as I said, I rely on a blackface tone. If it can do a decent AC15 as well, that will be my fallback. Not sure what the word is on their reliability, but the speaker size and the cab size is what I want. Analog or digital, there is no substitute for a decent sized cab in relation to the speaker, at least in my experience.
     
  4. Abu Twangy

    Abu Twangy Friend of Leo's

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    The tube in the Vox modeler's preamp is a "starved voltage" tube which does have a small effect on tone but isn't truly the same as a class A tube preamp.

    I switched from tube amps and my Vox ToneLab ST to modeling amps. I've got tired of not having competent techs nearby and having to repair my own stuff. So I switched to Peavey Vypyrs and VIPs for rehearsals and gigging. These are much easier to tweak than the Mustangs and the amp and effects models were more realistic than my Vox ST pedal or Vox AD I had five or six years ago. I have had good luck running my pedals into them and the VIPs are capable of doing acoustic instruments and bass as well. Now I don't have to drag a Fender tube amp for electric and an Acoustic Image for acoustic instruments/bass to gigs.

    I've gotten complements for the tone of my "Peavey tube amps" from other guitarists. And one of my Vypyrs has spent two years in the trunk of my car as my grab and go amp without a hitch.

    Playing Peavey may not give street cred but I haven't cared about that in quite a few years.
     
  5. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

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    I think you may be on the right track looking for an older Vox AD... I have an AD30VT that is awfully fun, though like you, I find myself using the AC15 and Blackface models 95% of the time. I don't use the storage banks or onboard effects (except reverb), I just like the fact it can be a chameleon that way.

    I did play through a Mustang II a few months back and enjoyed it too.
     
  6. captainc

    captainc Tele-Meister

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    Though it doesn’t have the actual tube pre as you mentioned, I would seriously check out the Mustang series. My Hotrod Deville was stolen and I don’t play in a band nowadays so picked up a Mustang II and I was simply blown away. You can really get lost in the tweaking If you let yourself go down that road but its very straight up and simple. I found myself going for the 65 Deluxe and Princeton, 59 Bassman, and Vox models the most so since the MII lacks the LCD control panel I just set a handful of presets up with those clean (or a little smelly) and use an additional OD, and RAT pedal on the front to push it harder when I want and it works swimmingly. In hindsight, my only gripe is that I wish I had sprung for the Mustang III because having that LCD control panel would be VERY handy.
     
  7. Jim Dep

    Jim Dep Friend of Leo's

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    If you go the Mustang route, you won't be disappointed and shouldn't miss the pre amp tube. I went from a VOX Valetronix modler that had the tube, a Marshall AVT hybrid that had the tube, and I don't miss the tube with the Mustang.
    The Fender models are spot on and the Vox is pretty good, and I'm comparing this to an actual Vox that I owned. The Fender models set this above from anything else I've heard, including Roland, Vox, Peavey, Line 6, Digitech, etc and the older Johnson modelers (which were/are very good).

    Some people who don't own one love to say the Mustangs are difficult to use. If they were, I wouldn't have bought one. It's a piece of cake and works like any other amp regarding the tone / volume controls. You can go crazy with editing if you want, but you don't have to. You can hook it up to your computer via USB if you want, but you don't have to. I'm 56 y.o. and raised on basic tube amps. I don't like to complicate my life.

    For home practice, the MI's and MII's are all you need. Some people gig with the MII's and have great things to say.

    If jamming or gigging and need to be loud, I'd get the MIII ( 100 watt 1x12) , MIV ( 150 watt stereo 2x12)
    or M5 (separate head and 4x12 cabinet). The Mustangs are solidly built (compare the cabinet to a Vypyr and see difference)
    Unbelievably good amp for an incredible price.

    Good luck.
     
  8. jamesgmac

    jamesgmac TDPRI Member

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    If you're looking for an AD30VT try looking at Guitar Center's used stuff on their website. I got mine from there with the foot pedal for $120.The shipping was about $20- so all together $140- not bad considering how much they went for new, not including the pedal. I love my AD30VT.
     
  9. speedy mcfeely

    speedy mcfeely Tele-Holic

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    Take a look at the Line 6 DT25. Its got what you want. Look it up.
     
  10. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Firstly, these amps seem to be all about frills really. ;)

    The used VOX AD100VT that traded it;s way thorough here or a AD50 might just be your ticket. Probably do the best VOX models for obvious reasons. Master output POT on the back, so too much power can be cured. It seemed as usable and sounded better to me that the Line 6 stuff I had previously years back. It is gone, but worth a mention. I would have kept it for a backup and bass use, the 100 makes a great bass amp FWIW. I got offered a trade for some high end headphones, so with all the amps I have let it fly...

    The only annoying thing to me was the noise gate for subtle attack playing made the amp sound as though it was attenuating in and out. But I am pretty sure there is a way to shut it off on a saved setting, although I did not delve into it.

    Used AD50VT 112 probably like $100.00-150.00 The 100/212 $200.00 tops mint. Stock speaker where fine IMO.
     
  11. aunchaki

    aunchaki Friend of Leo's

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    A poster above recommends the VOV AD30VT and I think that's a great choice. It's a second-generation Valvetronix, which simplified the controls of the first generation (confession: I have an AD60VT and love it). In the second generation, the AD30VT was the smallest one that offered the power attenuator--plus a 10-inch speaker--which is why I'd recommend it over the AD15VT.

    Also noted above, I think the models the Valvetronix line does best are the VOX and Fender models, but that might be just because I know/like those amps best. I'll use the Marshall JTM45 Bluesbreaker model and the Dumble models now and again.

    If 30watts is too wimpy, try the AD50VT. I hate the chrome grills. There's a VOX dealer in California that puts classic VOX grill cloth on them.

    Here's one you can buy now for $200!
     
  12. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    FWIW, I stuck a NOS RCA 12AX7 and TungSol RI 12AX7 in the AD100VT tube socket and could not tell any difference.
     
  13. rdo1708

    rdo1708 Tele-Holic

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    I know it's not 30watts, but I totally love my Super Champ XD. It sounds terrible in my custom built isolation box, but I think I just did a terrible job on building the box. The amp itself is wonderful. The fender tones are great (obviously), vox is not bad at all. Nice reverb. I think I payed $250 for mine. Worth every penny.
     
  14. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

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    The best sounding one was this:
    [​IMG]
     
  15. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not surprising... Tubes don't start adding "magic" until they are pushed hard, usually beyond their limits. In a starved tube circuit the tube effectively becomes a transistor - which they could have easily designed for and got the same results.

    Are you talking an actual "analog" tone stack? Wouldn't that defeat the entire purpose of a modeler which is mimicking a dozen or more tone stacks depending on amp choice? The tone stack is a big part of what makes those amps that were modeled special...
     
  16. Jimclarke100

    Jimclarke100 Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd gig my ad30vt. Loud enough, and sounds great - particularly if all those fine nuances of valve tone are hidden by drums bass, keys, other guitars and vocals as they are when playing live.

    I put a speaker out jack in so I can now play it through a larger speaker(s) to move more air..... Sounds good through a 12" fane speaker I've had lying around waiting for a use...
     
  17. musicalmartin

    musicalmartin Poster Extraordinaire

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    A Mustang three will do it .The basic Fender settings will do it fine and with some experimentation many great tones are in there .
     
  18. PumpJockey

    PumpJockey Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    No, I just mean knobs that alter bass/mid/treble frequencies for that particular model.
     
  19. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    Got it... sorry for the wrong assumption :)
     
  20. RobBnTX

    RobBnTX Tele-Meister

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    One more vote for the Mustang. Take a serious look at the Mustang IV for gigging.
     
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