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

TwangerWannabe

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When people say it doesn't sound like an original, that's a bit misleading. I've owned several silverface Princetons, Deluxes and Twins that were all well maintained and serviced, and even with the same brand/model of tubes in each amp they all sounded different from each other. Most sound great, but still pretty easy to hear differences between them. I will say that the one Twin Reverb Reissue I had sounded like crap though compared to the silverfaces. If I was in the market for. Twin Reverb I'd buy the Tone Master Twin in a heartbeat over a reissue and have no complaints about my Tone Master Deluxe.
 
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ASATKat

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I make no claims, other than saying that mass produced amps will sound the same, aside from some speaker break-in.
I totally agree with this cookie cutter world. I feel if I got a new Katana like I already have and did a blindfold test I wouldn't hear a difference. Only different components could change the tone. It's all electrical math.
 

TheCheapGuitarist

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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
I have long held this view. I'd see things like, "that emulation sounds nothing like MY Marshall", etc. Bro, your Marshall probably doesn't sound like mine, either, and it's not the same amp Line 6 had when they were modeling it. Also figure in speaker types, distance/angle of mic from speaker, the room....

My favorite Vox tone is the AC15 and AC30 tones from the old Line 6 Pod 2.0. I've owned several Vox amps afterward, directly as a result of those Line 6 models. And guess what: I think those emulations sounded cooler than the amps I've owned.
 

Stratoman85

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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
I used to be COMPLETELY ANTI any modeling gear. I have since owned a ton of it. I use a Line 6 Variax JTV59 at band practice all the time, because it can cop all the tones I need for a cover band that has a huge song list. It's also cheaper than my boutique stuff, so, if it gets stolen, it won't be like losing my custom shop tele or something.

I have owned the Helix LT and Headrush pedal board as well as the Line 6 PowerCab Plus. Super easy to dial in every sound you can think of. Ultra reliable and convenient.

I still have my vintage tube amp collection and pedals; don't get me wrong. I don't take any of that stuff out to play live, though, because the modeling equipment is AS GOOD, and it is way more hassle-free.

To all the people who claim they can hear the difference; I'm telling you, modeling gear can sound pretty much identical. Wear a blindfold, and compare my real '64 Princeton Reverb to a model from a Helix or Headrush, and I dare you to say definitively you can hear the difference confidently.
 

Bill

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I have a Mustang III Version II and use the '65 Deluxe Reverb model. I also have a 1966 Deluxe Reverb.

Both sound great to me. But they do not sound the same. The original '66 sounds like a live amp. The Mustang sounds like a recording of the amp after having been run through a mixing board and studio engineer, etc. That's no matter how I set it.

I like both sounds but for different reasons.
 

StrangerNY

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I gave up trying to get 'exact' with amp models a long time ago. But the technology has gotten better, to the point where instead of having one Marshall amp model to choose from, now I've got 5. And honestly, the more modern (JCM 800 and 900) models don't sound anywhere near the ones I've played through, but the Plexi sounds amazing. So I start with that model and salt to taste.

I play with a country band occasionally, and the Deluxe model sounds great so I start there. I set up patches for a more 'trad' tone (Don Rich, James Burton, etc.) and a more modern tone along the lines of Paisley's tone. Between those two I can sound somewhat respectable on anything on the set list.

Do they sound 'exact'? No way. But if I set them up right they'd sound like I'd want a Plexi or a Deluxe to sound. Since everything about tone is subjective and we're all starting with potentially inaccurate sounds anyway, getting to something that works for a given situation is about the best we can hope for.

- D
 

naneek

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Given that they don't sound exactly the same, why not sound different?
At best modeling is a little bit of special sauce on top of clean solid state amplification. Just solid sate amplification with a little ketchup and mayonnaise thousand island dressing.

I'll stick with clean solid state amplification, and shape the sound myself with my guitars and my signal processing equipment (ie pedals and rackmounts).

I guess I just don't see the point in emulating an existing technology when they could be innovating. Where are the new sounds from modeling technology?

When the companies actually start innovating and people develop new and interesting sounds with this technology, maybe it will interest me then.
 

Frodebro

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Given that they don't sound exactly the same, why not sound different?
At best modeling is a little bit of special sauce on top of clean solid state amplification. Just solid sate amplification with a little ketchup and mayonnaise thousand island dressing.

I'll stick with clean solid state amplification, and shape the sound myself with my guitars and my signal processing equipment (ie pedals and rackmounts).

I guess I just don't see the point in emulating an existing technology when they could be innovating. Where are the new sounds from modeling technology?

When the companies actually start innovating and people develop new and interesting sounds with this technology, maybe it will interest me then.

The new sounds are already there, but guitar players want the stuff their idols used. So it’s Plexis, Deluxe Reverbs, and AC30s.
 

Tim S

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When the companies actually start innovating and people develop new and interesting sounds with this technology, maybe it will interest me then.
Guitar amp manufacturers determined many years ago that most (but certainly not all) guitarists are very conservative (reactionary?) when it come to tone. They won’t buy a non-traditional sound until someone else achieves some acclaim with it to validate its “purchase-worthiness”. THEN some guitarists’ desire may turn into demand for the amp that makes this new sound. But it takes a really brave, pioneering guitarist to use a “new and interesting” sound and gain that acclaim in the first place. There aren’t enough of these individuals for most amp manufacturers to justify non-traditional amp sounds unless it’s simply an extra patch or two added to a bunch of patches most guitarists would recognize.
 

CCK1

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I actually think a good modeler can sound identical to a tube amp, or at least close enough that human ears cannot tell the difference.
My problem is that I play the guitar, but I also play the amp. Modelers seem to remove the "play the amp" part.
 

Frodebro

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I actually think a good modeler can sound identical to a tube amp, or at least close enough that human ears cannot tell the difference.
My problem is that I play the guitar, but I also play the amp. Modelers seem to remove the "play the amp" part.

They don’t, but unless you’re running through a flat power amp into a traditional cabinet it’s a much different experience.

If you were to mic a traditional amp in another room, then listen to it through studio monitors, that is what you get out of the box with most modelers (referring to the units that are not combo amps).
 

burntfrijoles

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When the companies actually start innovating and people develop new and interesting sounds with this technology,

guitar players want the stuff their idols used. So it’s Plexis, Deluxe Reverbs, and AC30s.
These two quotes seem to be an opposite ends of the spectrum.
I don't care about the first. I don't want new and interesting sounds. I want my Strat-Tele-LP to sound like guitars played through the amps listed in the second quotation.
Hell, I don't understand why Helix or any other of the modelers include so many amp models. Beyond Marshall, Fender, Vox I don't care. I could see why someone would want Mesa, HiWatt, Dumble modeled etc but it doesn't interest me. I don't understand so many effect models either. For one, I don't think they sound like the pedals listed in any way.
I had a Helix. I sold it and I will never own another. I don't want to fidget and tweak menus and routing options because I don't need them.
I'm not saying that modelers can't produce great tones. They can.
I use a Strymon Iridium and it does well enough with Fender, Marshall and Vox sounds and I'm not constantly tweaking the damn thing. It produces tones good enough for my meager abilities and I can use a few pedals easily with them. No tweaking, no menus and good tone. I'm done.
 
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