1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

I Love Digital Modeling BECAUSE I'm a "Tube Amp Guy"

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by 3-Chord-Genius, Nov 30, 2020.

  1. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,878
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Location:
    Winchester, VA
    Like most people here, I've owned tube amps long before digital modeling came into existence. For the most part, I could distinguish between conventional solid state and tube (the exception being a Hughes & Kettner rack-mount preamp that I 100% certain was loaded with 12AX7's until I opened it...). I've owned Mesa/Boogies, Marshall JCM800/900 half stacks and combos, a Laney, multiple Vox tube amps. I bought a Line 6 Floor POD just to use as a toy, and realized that the amp simulations, especially the Marshall and Vox, were really quite good. Reading the documentation, I learned that Line 6 acquired specific vintage amps to model. The technology is better these days, but even then I liked the ability to get tones of amplifiers I would never be able to afford.

    Modeling these days is done by a virtual software circuit that emulates the tube amp circuits, down to component-level. Skeptical a few years ago, I am 100% on board with digital modeling and it's the only thing I use now. I don't notice anything lacking in the "feel, dynamics, etc." department, though I understand that is subjective. BUT, I am also grateful that there is still a market for tube amps because without them, there would be nothing for digital to emulate.

    In chronological order, these are the units I've owned:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Where these things excel, I think, is that they can emulate the tone of a cranked tube amp, at a reasonable volume level. The other way of course is with an attenuator, but people seem to have mixed results with those. At this point in my life, 53 years of age, tone is still as important as ever to me but so is being able to walk in and out of a venue carrying my entire rig in one hand. Now I can have both. Tube amps will never disappear; where I see a lot of them are with young guys in their 20's playing metalcore. I see a lot of local metal guys with 5150s, Mesas, Oranges, etc., so the next generation of tube amp users is already there. But I'm thinking that opposite of conventional wisdom, it's the older guys like me who will gravitate to the new digital technology.
     
    Isca, hemingway, Mad Kiwi and 7 others like this.
  2. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    89,423
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    I still love my Roland Cube 80XL amps.
    They do my bidding, and never fail or falter.
    I’m grateful, and mightily impressed!
     
  3. swervinbob

    swervinbob Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    48
    Posts:
    1,172
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2018
    Location:
    Texas
    I’m using mostly Helix and some amp sims. Sometimes tube amps with a load and ir’s, but I can get pretty close with modeling. And now I find it easier to get a tone and the ability to save a preset and go back helps. I found this one day:

     
    KirbyBarba and 3-Chord-Genius like this.
  4. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,878
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Location:
    Winchester, VA
    The Roland Cube amps seem to be well liked, I've never actually used one. A friend of mine has a smaller one that he gigs with - I wish he'd get a foot switch for it, because he keeps walking over to it and turning knobs when it's solo time!
     
  5. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    89,423
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    Yikes!
    I’m just like your friend!
    I use the tuner on mine a lot, too.
    Very amateurish of me.
    I once had the foot switches, too.
    I really should get that happening again.
     
  6. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,878
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Location:
    Winchester, VA
    Actually, now I think about it, he did build a homemade foot switch for his! :D It looks like crap, but it gets the job done. It has either two or three buttons, I can't remember.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2020
    brookdalebill likes this.
  7. PoorNoodle

    PoorNoodle Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    120
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2018
    Location:
    Sweden
    I have 4 tube amps...and an HX stomp. Everything is great!
     
    3-Chord-Genius likes this.
  8. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,878
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Location:
    Winchester, VA
    There has never been as good a time as right now to be a guitar player
     
  9. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,799
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    Depends on your perspective, for a hobbyist....yes....for a professional not so much, even before COVID hit.
     
  10. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    48
    Posts:
    1,103
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Closer everyday but I’ve jumped that fence too many times to try again.
     
  11. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,051
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere Over The Rainbow
    It’s great that you’ve found tone nirvana in modeling. It certainly simplifies everything.
    I don’t see it as the answer for everyone. Tone, feel are so subjective for each player.
    I went down the rabbit hole and ended with the Helix but since returned to my amps. I don’t anticipate a change for me in the next few years.
    I suspect my needs will change at some point and I’ll convert to modeling but I’m content now.
     
  12. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,878
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Location:
    Winchester, VA
    Yeah, I was referring to the wide array of gear available.
     
    Wildcard_35 likes this.
  13. mfguitar

    mfguitar Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    1,679
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Location:
    Buffalo
    I enjoy the better modelers and would still be using a Johnson Millennial if it was not for the weight. I have a Flextone in the rehearsal room that is just awesome. I do use a custom tube amp right now, it gives me the basic sound I want and the weight is tolerable. I would have no issue going back to a modeler.
     
    3-Chord-Genius likes this.
  14. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,517
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, USA
    I have 6 tube amps and a Kemper. The Kemper has recently made me want to buy a Little Walter 22 or maybe the Vince Gill 50. they call it a 50 watter but it is probably more like 25-30 with 6l6's. Anyway the MBritt Kemper profiles of the Little Walter 22 are stunning. Truly inspiring to play. that got me looking at the amp that was profiled and next thing you know, Jed's a millionaire, and I'm shopping for an amp I don't need. That's what this new technology will do for you.;) Seriously though, once I got over the common guitar player prejudices, I have found the Kemper to be an indispensable tool in my tool box. I absolutely love being able to get tones, at low volume, that would require ear bleeding levels with my old school amps. I wasn't joking about the Little Walter though. Seriously Jonesing...
     
    Frodebro and 3-Chord-Genius like this.
  15. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,398
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2015
    Location:
    IL, USA
    I have Stomp and have gigged with it. Great piece of musical equipment that can do so many things. In my experience, in a band setting at least, it’s only as good as the amplification system.

    Recording, headphone, and low volume playing are the things I use it for. Does very well in that regard. Frankly, it’s good live too (sometimes - again, depends on how you amplify it), but it’s very different than having a big amp behind you. Some people like that - me, not as much.
     
    3-Chord-Genius likes this.
  16. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,878
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Location:
    Winchester, VA
    It took me a while to get accustomed to relying on wedge monitors, and I was truly resistant to IEMs at first. The latter requires either a terrific sound guy who listens, or the Aviom system which is $$$. Hard rock dudes like myself fall into two categories: 1) annoyed that the "rock and roll attitude" of "if it's too loud, you're too old" has given way to very low stage volumes - "that ain't rock and roll"; or 2) agreeing with Category #1, but realizing that this is how things are now, and making the required adjustments.
     
  17. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,878
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015
    Location:
    Winchester, VA
    I have only heard a Kemper one time in person. It sounded freaking awesome, and the guy playing it said that the profiles can be downloaded and the files are very small. I'm not sure what amp profile he was using, but it was one of the best guitar tones I've heard. It was the powered unit Since then, he sold it and bought the unpowered unit, to run direct.
     
  18. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,697
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Location:
    France
    I Love Digital Modeling BECAUSE I'm a "Tube Amp Guy"

    Well, for me, it would be :

    I Love Tube Amps BECAUSE I'm a "Tube Amp Guy"

    With 13 tube guitar amplifiers (just them) at home , I can't say better... :oops:

    That said, I do not denigrate nor deny modelling stuff !

    But it's me, OK ? :D

    -tbln.
     
    3-Chord-Genius likes this.
  19. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,517
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, USA
    With the Kemper there a lot of profiles out there to be had, both for free and paid. Michael Britt's profiles are pretty universally good, and often great. There are a couple other profilers whose profiles I've downloaded, M Britt, Amp Factory, and Tone Junkie, are the ones I use most, in that order. Even the really good profiles require tweaking. Out of hundreds of profiles, I now have about a dozen that I would call outstanding (at least to my ear). The Little Walter from M Britt is the best I have IMO and I also use a profile from Amp Factory of David Gilmour's DR 103 Hiwatt that I use a LOT. It took me several hours on each profile to get levels, EQ, effects and effect levels where they sounded great to me. One thing I don't like is that if you set your profiles for say your Les Paul, you probably will have to go in and create a dedicated rig for your Strat or other guitar with radically different pickups. Usually EQ is all that needs to be tweaked in that case. In other words, your profiles which sound freakin awesome with your LP, probably will sound pretty meh with your Tele or Strat until you tweak the profile for that guitar. That's not really different than what you have to do with an amp, it is just done in menus versus turning knobs to deal with the change in pickups/guitar.
     
    3-Chord-Genius likes this.
  20. Jimclarke100

    Jimclarke100 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,887
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Location:
    Horsham, UK
    I like both modelling and valve amps - to my ears, more and more they are getting so close that I’m not so worried about the difference. I play my valve amps more because my current modeller, a THR5, has been appropriated by my daughter.

    What I don’t like about the modelling thing is the massive choice they offer. I’ve owned a few now and what I find every time is that I use one setting - clean or cleanish with a touch of reverb and rarely move from that. All those distorted tones that make up 80 to 90% of the capability is wasted. Hon surprise then I like the idea of the route that Fender is taking with the Tonemasters - just want them more at the price of a Katana...
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.