People already have. But tube amps will always be the “big time” real thing.Competition in the industry is benefiting guitarist immensely.
Competition is a good thing for all us. It’s well know that the iPhone sent Google back to the drawing board to rework Android and since then Android has pushed Apple to continuously enhance iOS.
In the guitar industry Line 6 (Helix), Kemper, Fractal, Neural DSP, Strymon, UAFX, Origin have all spurred each other into pushing the envelope with modeling. It’s challenged Fender to up its game to produce the Tone Master line. (Marshall and Vox seem to be sitting on the sideline.)
Although I’m not ready to jump on the UAFX waiting list for a Dream 65, Ruby, Woodrow etc, the demos suggest that UAFX has raised the bar. How long can I resist. Personally I like this approach to have a device just model a single amp and then use it as you would a regular amp with your own pedalboard. Plus, I think it muddies the water when you try to model multiple stomp pedals and cram it into a single device.
Regardless, the companies are pushing each other forward. Helix and Kemper were considered major breakthrough products and Strymon seemed to rule the high end for delays, reverbs and modulation for a time. Now the buzz is for Origin and UAFX.
Are we at a point where innovation finally convinces folks to really give up tubes in large numbers? I know that I rarely use my lone tube amp, a PRRI SE with 12” speaker. I was thinking about a TM Deluxe Reverb but I’m not sure I would use it anymore than I do the PRRI. I’m happy with the Iridium right now but that may change.
Could we be past the “tip of the iceberg”?
I don’t really have any desire for big nice tube amps, but they will always be the original that the modelers are emulating. Tube amps will be made in some quantity in the foreseeable future, for that alone.
But the modelers have come close enough, to where not many can really tell a difference between that, and the real thing. There will always be a preference for the real, though. And either way is great.
I go back and forth for recording. But having the option for amp mic’d, amp direct out, and modeling is really nice. Never a better time for musicians. Easy to get a great sound on a low budget. And that was not always the case.
This 40 dollar amp sim pedal review really surprised me. And it sold me on the pedal. Zero way someone would tell the difference in the context of a band mix or a mixed recording.