Take "It doesn't sound identical" out of the equation....

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by codamedia, Nov 22, 2021.

  1. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't understand why people are so obsessed with "it doesn't sound identical"... there is zero importance of a modeling amp to sound identical to the tube amp you are comparing it to.
    • Two tube amps off the assembly line back to back do not sound identical.
    • In the case of Kemper/Fractal/Helix/Cortex and even the Tonemaster Series... you do not own the amp that was modeled/profiled, so any comparisons are moot beside "does it sound similar"?
    • BOSS, Zoom, Yamaha and many others don't model actual amps, they just create the flavor of those amps. Again, the only comparison that matters is "does it sound similar"?
    • Outside of "modeling combo's" (EG: Tone Masters and many others) you are still subject to how you "monitor" your modeler. This has a huge impact on final tone and will never sound identical.
    Instead.... focus on what matters...
    • Does it sound good
    • More importantly... does it sound good in the context of the band and the music you are playing!
    • Does it inspire you to play ...
    • Do you like to use it.... (eg: the interface, the flexibility)
    I hope this isn't taken as a divisive post... it's not meant to be.
    I just feel people are obsessing over the wrong things
     
  2. Rufus

    Rufus Friend of Leo's

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    Like many other issues, this can (and apparently IS) debated Ad Nauseum.

    The bottom line...if it works for you, use it.
    If it doesn't, then use what you want.

    I guess its human nature to want to see our opinion validated or convince others of the validity of our opinion.
     
  3. Dennyf

    Dennyf Tele-Afflicted

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    Thank you. I agree with your premise, and this statement in particular. Buying a tube amp is like buying an acoustic guitar, you find a "sweet" one once in a while.
     
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  4. Wallaby

    Wallaby Friend of Leo's

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    I totally agree - I am sick to death of reading about "just as good as". It usually means "maybe good enough".

    Everyone should use their ears and recognize their own sources of satisfaction.
     
  5. JL_LI

    JL_LI Poster Extraordinaire

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    Actually, exactly the same things matter with tube amps so obsessing over tube versus modeling amps is pointless to this tube amp guy too. I have a Mesa Boogie Express 5:25. With four channels, 5 and 25 watt settings, and your favorite pedals it can be made sound like your favorite modeling amp. A modeling amp is just an amp with a bunch of minimally useful pedals built in anyway. So…

    Does it sound good to you?
    Does it give you the tones you want for the music you play?
    Does it inspire you?
    Is it manageable? That’s my take on the OP’s fourth question.

    I bought my Boogie because it checked those boxes. And it sounds good at at home volumes. It was small enough to fit inside my music room and still give me a big sound. And it fit within my budget.

    Nowhere on the list of questions is there any mention of tubes or modeling. I like the touch sensitivity of a tube amp, but I’m pretty sure I could find a pedal that’s sensitive to input. I think the biggest reason we have debates like this is self confirmation. We want to be able to claim we made the right choice. That devolves into claiming to have made the only reasonable choice which in the minds of zealots devolves into claims that there is really only one true choice.

    Plug in and play. Guitars, amps, and pedals or lack of them are personal choices, nothing more.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
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  6. Happy Enchilada

    Happy Enchilada Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Like the song says, "If it feels good, do it - do it if it feels good." :D

    My ears are shot from years of loud amps and firearms before they had today's excellent hearing protection. So I'm perfectly happy with my Quilter and a couple of different OD pedals (Blues Driver and Marshall Guv'Nor).

    SS is where the future is. The modeling stuff is getting dialed in to where it "tastes just like chicken," and the maintenance level is so much lower. Not to mention the cost. And there are SO many other variables (pickups, caps, speakers, string gage, even picks).

    End of day, "tone" is 90% in your booger hooks anyway. So practice your licks and with time you'll refine your style and become a legend in your own mind.
     
  7. telekaster1999

    telekaster1999 Tele-Afflicted

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    Had my used $100 Katana 50 setting right beside the other guitar players $3500 Redplate amp yesterday and nobody cared. We had a great time and that's all that matters.
     
  8. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Afflicted

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    This is overlooked so often it isn't funny. Manufacturing during the era of things that became "the classics" was awful by today's standards. That applies to pretty much everything, not just guitars and amps. Modeling product X doesn't model the Twin Reverb," it models a Twin Reverb or, at best, an average of several.

    This goes just as much for people who go chasing tone they hear on recordings without realizing just how much signal bending went on between the speaker and their ears.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
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  9. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Word.

    I personally know a boutique amp builder out here (who will remain nameless) who builds a '68 Plexi clone based on one of his original 1968 "golden unit" Plexis. Who's ears are deciding what the golden unit is - ? Do you like or agree with the assessment - ? You may not.
     
  10. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Is this thread as good as others?

    My Katana sounds decent enough, My tube amp sounds great.
     
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  11. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Afflicted

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    If I'm not mistaken, Marshall has a set of amps they consider to be the best specimens of the Plexi and probably others. So the answer would be Marshall's. I'd bet the actual values of the components in each amp factors into it as well.
     
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  12. Peegoo

    Peegoo Doctor of Teleocity

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    Nostalgia is a powerful drug that often distorts realities of the past.
     
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  13. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Sure, with Marshall/Vox and Fender modeling their own amps I would imagine that of course they pick the prime examples - which is still subjective. But what about all the other companies/builders? Who's ears are making the sonic decisions and do we/you agree - ?
     
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  14. teletail

    teletail Friend of Leo's

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    Nailed it!

    The other thing people are forgetting, or ignoring, is that in most clubs you can’t play at a volume that makes these amps shine. Hell, most gigs I can’t even crank my DRRI.
     
  15. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have used a Line 6 POD for many years in the studio…I don’t worry about what amp the setting is supposed to emulate—I just tweak it until is sounds good for the song.
     
  16. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Afflicted

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    Personally? I don't actually care.

    I don't buy into the idea that one physical or modeled amp has to be a perfect clone of another to be any good. There are far too many other variables to get in the way of that being remotely possible, which renders most of the arguing over it pointless. I wrote a patch for my modeler that is recognizable as SRV-style, but the only way it's ever going to sound like him is if he's doing the playing. When I play it, it sounds like me.

    One thing I've learned in 45 years behind a camera is that good photographers will find ways to make interesting images with whatever you hand them. I see guitars and amps much the same way. They all have a character of some sort, but if you can't find an interesting noise to make with any random pairing, you're not trying hard enough.
     
  17. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree, but I don't think this is all 'our' fault. Many of the manufacturers make a big deal of claiming that is sounds just like this or that and when they do it's only natural that people will test that claim. Maybe the manufacturers are just as much to 'blame' for this obsession.
     
  18. JL_LI

    JL_LI Poster Extraordinaire

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    Chasing tone. I changed the pickups on one of my Stratocasters to Ultra Noiseless and was blown away by one of the sounds I hadn’t had before. It sounded to me “just like” the guitar sound on a recording from 1962. I was convinced. I just loved that sound and played that song over and over again until it sounded just like I remembered it. Then I found the original on YouTube. I found a live performance too. And my new found sound was NOTHING like the original. Mine was a modern sound, not a recreation of what to my “modern” ears sounded dull and lifeless. Chasing tone is for folks with too much time on their hands and too big a credit line on their cards. Back to tube versus modeling amps… Do I really trust my memory of what a Bandmaster sounded like in 1965? Do I really want an amp that barely fits in the back of a Pontiac Safari wagon? I posted earlier in this thread, post #5. An amp like mine wasn’t available in 1962 either. I’m thinking it makes more sense to create a personal sound with what’s available to you today than to chase sounds you can’t even draw from memory with any accuracy. Tube or modeling? That’s up to you. What you play through has far less to with your sound than how you play.
     
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  19. guitar_paul1

    guitar_paul1 Tele-Holic

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    Repairable vs disposable
     
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  20. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Afflicted

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    A technician I used to call in every year to service my oil furnace told me that if he designed a thermostat, it wouldn't have numbers on it at all but would just be a dial with "Cool" at one end and "Warm" at the other. That way, he wouldn't have to listen to 90 percent of his customers complaining that "I set it at 70 but this thermometer says it's only 69 in the house."

    In other words, people are a pain no matter what topic you're on.
     
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