New To Modellers, Buying Advice Needed

colchar

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I’ve decided to try a modeller. I will be moving from a fully detached house into a townhouse in the fall and a modeller will be a lot more neighbor friendly than my tube amps (Orange AD30 and a ‘70s Traynor YGM3, with the Traynor possibly on its way out). Plus, a modeller will be versatile and I like the idea of that versatility. Unfortunately, I am also a bit of a technophobe so I plan to program a handful of patches that I can use and don’t want to go too deep into the editing when doing so. Hell, I would prefer to avoid IRs if possible as those are getting too technical for me.

At first I will use my Boss GT-100 into a studio monitor, but I want to buy a more modern unit. I will continue to use a studio monitor (or two?) as a speaker even after buying the new unit.

Because I have no experience with modellers (the GT-100 has only been used in stompbox mode) I need some advice on which to get.

Right now I am considering:
Boss GX-100
Boss GT-1000
Boss GT-100 Core
Headrush MX5
Headrush Gigboard
Headrush Pedalboard
Line 6 Helix LT


Can folks here comment on the ones on that list that they have played? Pros and cons of each? Which would you choose?

My priorities are good tones from the amps and ease of use. I do not really use effects so only need functional effects. Amp tones and ease of use far outweigh effects for me. I only play at home and never record so my needs are quite simple. I play classic rock, ‘80s metal, blues, and some country so I do not need any high gain or modern metal tones. And the older I get, the more I am coming to appreciate a truly great clean tone from an amp.

Based on all of that, which of the units listed would you recommend?

Thanks in advance.
 

mexicanyella

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Not gigging, not recording, low-volume playing at home? I would recommend a small modeling combo amp too. One box, minimal jimmying around with connections and all that hoo-hah. One box, plug in, play.

I do not own any of these, but it seems like one of the Yamaha THR amps or a 50-watt Boss Katana could nail the “good core tones, less emphasis on effects” thing.

Or any of several other amps...the a Fender mustang line, the Positive Grid Spark stuff...
 

mexicanyella

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i think the above image suggests that getting a good tone out of a modeler involves the equivalent of a proctological exam. There is some truth there, in that good amp like core tones will probably require some tweaking and experimenting independent of the factory presets.

I would also argue that this shouldn’t really be any more intimidating to someone than overhand fist dog greeter guy up there ^^^, who more than likely has a string of pedals in front of his tube amp, all of which are highly interactive and require tweaking of their own.
 

Digital Larry

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I currently have the Headrush MX-5.
Doesn't even have a PC based editor so it's all done on the touchscreen. I think it's relatively easy though small.
Like you I only really want to use a few patches.
I've owned a Katana 100W and a THR-10C amp (both gone now).
I looked at the Mustang line and one of those looks good too. I prefer to have some screen with visible settings like on the GTX compared to the Katana and THR amps which hide a fair amount inside that you can only get to with the PC.
Sound wise they actually were all capable of making sounds I could live with.
I'd really try to get some hands on time because I can't predict what you might think was too wonky to deal with. I am not a technophobe in any way but I still appreciate simplicity in music making tools.
 

codamedia

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At first I will use my Boss GT-100 into a studio monitor, but I want to buy a more modern unit.

The GT-100 is not far removed from the latest generation. IMO - it's the perfect unit to get your feet wet since you already own it. Although I am a Helix user myself, my backup unit is a GT-1 which uses the GT100 modeling engine. I take it to small gigs and practices all the time to make sure the presets I prepared hold up to my needs.... and they do! I also know a couple players that use the GT-100 live (direct)... it sounds more than fine!

If you insist on upgrading, your needs are modest... yet you have some really full featured modelers in your list. For the LINE 6, I'd suggest a POD Go over the Helix LT for what you are needing it for... or maybe a Stomp. For the others, I'd look at the "trimmed down" models... most (if not all) sound just like their bigger brothers.

Just my 2 cents.
 

OmegaWoods

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If you're looking to dip a toe, how about a Fender Mustang LT25? They're cheap and you can call up dozens of different tones with the turn of a knob. It has a headphone jack for neighbor-friendliness.

I'd also second the LINE 6 POD Go or Stomp (used) to get started if you want all the flexibility of LINE 6 and none of the shame of owning an LT25.
 

fleezinator

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I can only speak to the Helix LT and it offers a lot more than you need. But being familiar and very happy with that ecosystem, I'd point you to a POD Go as it has 90% of the amp models of the Helix line.

If you've got an audio interface for your computer and a DAW, I'd recommend checking out the 15 day demo of Helix Native, the plugin version of the hardware. That's the risk free way to check out the tones and ease of use for yourself.
 

metalosophy

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Helix Native is $399 with a pod-go (no discount) $399 + $499 = $898
Helix Native is $99 with a Helix Stomp (XL) $99+$650 = $749 - no expression pedal + better "community"

expression pedals are $70

Pod-Go, IMO, only makes sense in very specific situations. Gigging, maybe headphones, but even then, with your current stuff, am I missing soemthing about the Pod-Go? It's too expensive.
 

codamedia

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am I missing something about the Pod-Go? It's too expensive.

It's the same price point as all the PODS have been over the years.
Being a Helix user I doubt I would ever use one... but if I did, I know the sounds would be there, just not the flexibility.

As for the community... the Helix and the POD Go are different lines, but they work in a very similar manner. POD Go users are welcome in the Helix community, and a lot of info can be passed down and utilized. Obviously, you can't apply "certain techniques" to the POD Go due to the limits.
 

regularslinky

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Seems to me that the units you've mentioned have way more processing power than you need or want. Quilter offers several user-friendly, non-tube, non-modeling amps that will give you a reasonable variety of really great sounds.
 

RolandG

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Of your list I’d go for the Helix. There’s more to modelling than just the amp sound. A lot of overdriven amp sounds rely on a tube screamer or other drive pedal in front. The Helix will allow you to model different drive pedals, and also model chorus, delay or reverb.
 

loopfinding

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you need to use IRs. otherwise it's just a preamp and it sounds like plugging an OD pedal straight into a mixer (yuck). you can basically use one model, say a BF amp, and run it into different IRs (1x12, 2x10, 2x12, etc) to get reasonably good approximations of deluxe, vibrolux, twin, etc. i'd rather have a ton of IRs and a few generic amp models than the opposite way around. it makes way more difference in the final sound than changing from a DR model to a Twin model or something. if you want to avoid paralysis, just pick the file of the speaker size you want, and an on-axis sm57 mic’ing it. one and done.

i have the iridium. the best pro is that the input takes boost/drive pedals pushing it, the input was designed that way. in the fingers it feels reasonably close to plugging into a real amp. most other modelers don't really, they are stiff and want a clean signal, and you have to rely on internal pedal emulations not to get into ratty clipping. so basically it allows me to just plug my guitar and board into it like any other amp.

it's also simple, and cheaper than some of the other options you listed. if you only need general fender/vox/marshall, it should be up your alley. the IR loader software is basically just dragging and dropping wav files into the 9 slots. you only have three speakers per each of the three models. and you don't even need to change the default IRs if you don't want to, they sound good, and you have them with a three way switch on the unit right there.

in my case i don't even use the ac30 mode. i use the deluxe mode through the default deluxe IR and with the mids jacked for tweed-deluxey type stuff. default 2x10 vibrolux cab for something that actually sounds more like my old DRRI in the room. on the marshall i just copied over the default deluxe 1x12 for a sort of tweed twin sound and copied over the 2x10 vibrolux IR for a more bassman sound.

i think with modeling it's just about getting a good sound and good feel. don't worry about authenticity in the emulation.
 
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colchar

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So I can get a used Headrush Gigboard for a reasonable price.

I can also get a new Boss GX-100, a used Helix LT, and a used Headrush Pedalboard for within $50 of each other. I believe the GT-1000 is also available used in the same price range.

I realize those units have way more than I need, but I am thinking it might be an idea to future-proof this purchase. In other words, get the extra functionality in case I need it down the road rather than finding out 18 months from now that I need something but don't have it.

And I borrowed a monitor from them so will dip my toes in the water using my GT-100.
 

sax4blues

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For home low volume playing I use studio monitors, not guitar cab/speaker. I’m sitting 3-5 feet from the speaker which is what monitors are designed for. Guitar speaker is designed to project further and louder. Also my monitors are up at desk height so again better listening position than a guitar cab on the floor.

I chose HX-Stomp because the smaller form sits on the desktop. I don’t want to be reaching down to the floor for every adjustment. I do use it live for church band and the three buttons are enough for me.
 

bgmacaw

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Hell, I would prefer to avoid IRs if possible as those are getting too technical for me.

There's nothing that technical about them really. All you have to do is open it like any other file and load it. It could get technical if you're creating them from scratch yourself but you won't need to do that. Typically, you'll find two or three you like and use them all the time.

I have a pretty low opinion of Headrush products based on my experiences with them so I'd recommend avoiding them. They do sound good though, until they break.

Since you don't seem to care about having a plethora of effects, I'd also have to recommend a device like the Iridium. Boss has the IR-200 and there's the Walrus Audio ACS1 which are similar.

My own setup at home is an amp (I have several) into Bugera PowerSoak that goes into a Hotone IR Cab pedal then to a mixer and, finally, speakers, headphones and/or PC for recording. For travel, I have a Valeton GP-100.
 

northernguitar

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Hell, I would prefer to avoid IRs if possible as those are getting too technical for me.
Once you learn how to load them, they actually make playing easier. Good IRs already have the settings baked into the file, so there’s no tweaking. You may need to sample a few to find what you want. For example, my go to IR is a Celestion G12H-30 Anniversary. The pack I bought has the speaker in different folders, based on the mic used. Inside a mic folder, there are usually 10 files, all based on mic positions. I tend to like mine bright, so I start with those files, and sample them until I find the one I want.
 

northernguitar

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One other suggestion is to use your tube amp heads with a loadbox and cab simulator. The Two Notes Captor X is a loadbox, cab sim, DI, and attenuator, all under one hood. Headphone and monitor ready, works without your computer. I have the V1 and use it with a Mooer Radar cab sim pedal. Great piece of kit.
 

colchar

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I borrowed a studio monitor from my local store and played around with my GT-100 last night.

I didn't love the amp models. Some were decent, others really weren't, but all had a similar quality to them. Not sure how to describe it except maybe to say that none sounded really distinct (although that probably isn't the best way to express what I mean). That being said, I quickly came to realize why modellers would have so much appeal and how much potential they have. So last night's experience didn't sour me on modellers, it just made me realize that I need to try more modern ones to see how they sound. Either that or do a deep dive into the settings on the GT-100.

I will pop back into the store later today to rent (or borrow) another modelling unit to see how I like it. I will try as many from my list as they have available for rent. Hopefully I will find one on which I really like the amps.
 

alex1fly

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I bought a modeler back in August of last year. Did tons of research. There's a wealth of comparisons on The Gear Page, Youtube, Line 6 forum, Fractal forum, etc. Not to be "that guy" that says "do some searches" but you can definitely find lots of examples of this exact conversation with some quick Googling.

The latest generation of modelers are all good at everything, and they all beat their competitors at a few things. I wanted the best amp feel possible, and didn't mind having to learn complex programming, so I went with a Fractal FM3. Not disappointed in the least, but it has been a bit of a lift to program the thing to do what I want. Again, just need to figure out what your priorities are.

Boss = great amp feel
Line 6 = great interface and FX
Headrush = I don't remember
Of your list I’d go for the Helix. There’s more to modelling than just the amp sound. A lot of overdriven amp sounds rely on a tube screamer or other drive pedal in front. The Helix will allow you to model different drive pedals, and also model chorus, delay or reverb.
Great point! Much more than the amp sound! The workflow for programming and recalling your patches. How many pedals you can add before running out of processing power. The ever-elusive "feel" of the unit.
 




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