So, the pendulum has swung back to a tube amp over a modeler

Alex_C

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I've been through this a few times now. I love modelers, they can sound excellent and make life easier when leaving my home studio to go out and play. I'll play through one exclusively for long periods of time. Recently, I picked up a Hotone Ampero II Stomp. I've played through that for a few months and it is an impressive unit. Today, I was lazy and didn't feel like unpacking the AS2 from my last jam. I fired up my Laney L5S + pedalboard and was blown away at how good it sounds. There is something special about a good tube amp.
 

JL_LI

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Are modelers better than tube amps? Are tube amps better? These are meaningless questions with no answers to me. Modeling amps with their built in effects allow a guitarist to create sound very much like the sounds of their guitar idols. That capability can be useful for recording or playing in a cover band. A good tube amp allows a guitarist to sound like himself. My tube amp, a Mesa Boogie Express 5:25 has enabled me to create my own sound. I’m not trying to emulate someone else’s sound. My sound, derived from my finger style, requires an amp with touch sensitivity so I can regulate attack, break up, and timbre with my fingers. I don’t need a Vox sound or a Blackface sound. I need an amp that lets me create my own.
 
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fenderchamp

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I just got my '77 deluxe reverb back after some burning smells happened, and straight into it with and Esquire is surely inspiring, if damn loud. And by if damn loud, I mean although it's damn loud.

The little gibson Crestline skylark I usually play through, is awfully inspiring as well, and it's a little safer as far as the volume goes.

The thing about tube amps, imo, you really do have to push them to get them to give it up. Presence and compression are the twin towers of tone.
 
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fenderchamp

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My messy pile of junk
 

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Refugee

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Are modelers better than tube amps? Are tube amps better? These are meaningless questions with no answers to me. Modeling amps with their built in effects allow a guitarist to create sound very much like the sounds of their guitar idols. That capability can be useful for recording or playing in a cover band. A good tube amp allows a guitarist to sound like himself. My tube amp, a Mesa Boogie Express 5:25 has enabled me to create my own sound. I’m not trying to emulate someone else’s sound. My sound, derived from my finger style, requires an amp with touch sensitivity so I can regulate attack and timbre with my fingers. I don’t need a Box sound it a Blackface sound. I need an amp that lets me create my own.

Three cheers for the 5:25. I'd probably get the + version, buts just me. I sure do miss my Mark III. Man, that thing could from making you cry to smashing atoms!

The dude from Goose kills with a 5:25 Express.

 
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stxrus

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I really don’t remember but it had way too many knobs/controls for me.
Give me volume, simple tone controls, and MAYBE a master (not necessary) and I can get where I want to be. The guitar takes care of the majority of the overall sound
 

3fngrs

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The Mesa Fillmore 20 is the one I've been lusting after. I think it could turn me from my Marshall DSL-20, at least a good bit of the time.
 

mexicanyella

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Are modelers better than tube amps? Are tube amps better? These are meaningless questions with no answers to me. Modeling amps with their built in effects allow a guitarist to create sound very much like the sounds of their guitar idols. That capability can be useful for recording or playing in a cover band. A good tube amp allows a guitarist to sound like himself. My tube amp, a Mesa Boogie Express 5:25 has enabled me to create my own sound. I’m not trying to emulate someone else’s sound. My sound, derived from my finger style, requires an amp with touch sensitivity so I can regulate attack and timbre with my fingers. I don’t need a Box sound it a Blackface sound. I need an amp that lets me create my own.
i have some issues with this part:

“Modeling amps with their built in effects allow a guitarist to create sound very much like the sounds of their guitar idols. That capability can be useful for recording or playing in a cover band. A good tube amp allows a guitarist to sound like himself.”

I feel like some modelers may have been marketed to tout their ability to mimic one’s favorite artist sound, but to accept that marketing as their purpose and potential is missing the point, and the distinction doesn’t apply as stated.

Modelers can digitally manipulate a signal to emulate various amps and effects. If anything this makes them even more of a wide-open field to explore in creating a sound that expresses what one wishes to express. Of course it also introduces a lot of variables to get one’s head around and depending on how a person approaches gear and sound, this can be a big toolbox to play with or a frustrating obstacle in one’s path.

I’m repeatedly surprised at how much debate arises about whether X modeler successfully sounds like X amp. I guess people need a point of reference to compare, and guitarist’s seem to keep a firm grasp on tradition, but ultimately, so what? Modeler X is not in fact a 1967 Super Reverb, so let’s get past that and evaluate Modeler X can do that a 67 SR (or whatever) cannot do. What can it do that is unique to that unit?

The real amp will win the sound contest for some people anyway—that’s great, amps are fun—but I believe people err repeatedly in trying to put modeling technology and products in sort of a limited, dismissive conceptual box.
 

39martind18

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By definition, a Tone Master Deluxe Reverb is a modeling amp. Mine has been used quite regularly since I obtained it in November of 2020. Last November, I found a 1979 Vibrolux Reverb (inoperative) in a pawnshop for $250. After replacing two dead speakers and having some issues with the electronics and a cap job, I have a superb tube amp, the VR, to gig with and a great sounding, light weight, modelling amp to gig with as well. The VR sounds gorgeous, but the TMDR is so close, there's no appreciable dropoff in tonality, so, yes, I'm swing back to a tube amp, but just a little.
 

Refugee

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I don't dislike modelers at all. I just haven't bought any yet. Totally want a Fractal M9. I bet I could do some really cool stuff with one of those. Especially since watching the demo vid. that Tim Pierce and Rhett Shull did.
 

generic202

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Too often I feel like modelers are mis-represented. They model "mic'd-amp" sound and not "amp-in-the-room" sound. Put your tube amp (or ss amp) in a different room then mic it and see how it sounds through the monitors. If you want your modelers to sound like "amp-in-a-room," connect the modeler to a clean power amp + guitar cabinet with guitar speakers (turn off the cab-sim on the modeler). That would get you the "amp-in-a-room" sound and would sound as good if not better.
 

Refugee

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If I'm not mistaken the already have 3D IR's. Not sure how good they are...

There have been great advances, like TRI Studios in San Rafael, CA. The use a 3D image of any acoustic environment and time the reflections of sound waves off the walls to form any acoustical environment. The brainchild of Bob Weir and John Meyer.


"While TRI allows fans a behind-the-scenes, all-access feel, it simultaneously provides artists with an interchangeable blank canvas on which to perform. Utilizing advanced acoustical technology from Meyer Sound, artists can emulate the acoustic properties of any performance spaces ranging from small nightclubs to a Roman cathedral, Wembley Stadium to Madison Square Garden, or anything in between. This groundbreaking innovation is a creative sandbox that invites artists to experiment with their sound, which further brings together both the artists and their fans. Events at TRI are filmed, directed, mixed and webcast live in HD.

"TRI was kind of built on the principle that it was going to be a fun place to be," explains Weir. "The ultimate playpen for a musician." Weir’s intent is to build upon the Grateful Dead’s penchant for experimenting musically and technically in the quest to “make IT better.” For the audience, this means the most intimate connection with the artist possible. “We put the fans in the band. Everyone into the playpen.”
 




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