What Have You Learnt From Modelers?

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by Grandy, May 18, 2020.

  1. Grandy

    Grandy Tele-Meister

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    It's been said that modelers are good amps for beginners because they have many things to choose from and learn what works for you. What have you learnt? One thing that surprised me was how good a "marshall" sounds with a tremolo. Like a JTM45 with little hair and tremolo on top of it. Usually I'm more into "fender" cleans.
     
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  2. Alter

    Alter Tele-Meister

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    I learned that i prefer the real thing..
     
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  3. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    They're fun as toys to inspire me, and things like the POD and Helix work fine for recording, but playing with a group I prefer a Princeton or an analog SS amp like a Quilter.
     
  4. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Holic

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    Nothing. I always found them sterile sounding and liveless. Makes me longing for a tube amp within minutes.
     
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  5. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Holic

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    I learned my modulation effects.

    Pays to understand when to apply phaser, flanger, chorus, trem, delay.

    Tone wise, only in a pinch.

    Bedroom jamming now consists of my princeton, attenuator, some good pedals.
     
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  6. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I learned I don’t suit them.


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  7. Crawldaddy

    Crawldaddy Tele-Holic

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    I've learnt that the only digital thing I truly trust are modulation effects, as well as Impulse Response for cabinet simulators.

    One of my most favourite setups is an Ethos Overdrive preamp going into a Two Notes Torpedo CAB.

    For this lockdown period I've been using a Strymon Iridium, so while the amp modelling is good, I much prefer amp-emulating pedals going into the front of it for a more refined tonality.
     
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  8. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    I have learned that 9 out of 10 people can't really tell the difference in a blind test.
     
  9. DougM

    DougM Friend of Leo's

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    I learned that at low volume I can get a better tone out of them than any high falooting tube amp. I'm the antisthesis of a cork sniffer. I don't care where it's made or how much it costs or what tech it uses, if I can make nice sounds out of it. Pros with albums out and successful touring bands who are much better players than me compliment my tone on recordings I've made with a Katana Mini and Fender Mustang LT 25. Take that you snobs.
     
  10. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    This too. I did my apprenticeship with 40 odd years of valve amps, getting nice sounds that I can use is much easier now.
     
  11. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    I learned a lot, having been out of it for decades. I learned to identify a tweed from a blackface, understood more about high gain vs a plexi, compression, combined effects like chorus and delay combined with distortion and more. I learned how different modellers are better than others. I learned how important a cabinet is. I learned to respect larger transformers, and finally I learned why tube amps are justifiably coveted. A modeler can be the ultimate trainer, saving thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of trading/borrowing. But, they aren't perfect as trainers. You still have to understand the interaction of the guitar's tone and volume knobs, pickup adjustment, edge of breakup settings, etc.
     
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  12. rickthescot

    rickthescot Tele-Holic

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    I've had modelers and tubes. Found that with the right amount of tweaking the modeler is extremely versatile. Also learned that I would rather tote around my Peavey VIP2 and Sanpera pedal than my 6505+ and several pedals. Still love to wail on the tube amp at time though.
     
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  13. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    1. There are a lot of curmudgeons who haven't used a modeling unit since the 90's and assume that nothing has changed.

    2. In spite of numerous technical innovations, some older units still remain quite good sounding after a couple of decades, like the Tech 21 SansAmp and Korg Pandora. Even the Rockman (perhaps the original modeler) still remains good. However, some early digital units show their age due to obsolete interfaces and have inferior sounds.

    3. Factory presets almost always stink, especially for modulation effects.

    4. The Peavey Bandit's clean channel is perfect for most modeling units.

    5. For effects pedals, I prefer having the control (placement, settings) of single pedals over the one-size-fits-all approach of lower end modeling units. More expensive units do offer more control.

    6. Individual pedals for each modeling function make more sense instead of an all-in-one unit that's likely to face obsolescence quicker and have more things go wrong with it.

    7. Cabinet impulse responses are the biggest innovation since modeling was introduced. One of the things that was common on on older modelers was weak cabinet emulations where this was primarily handled by EQ tweaking. IRs, since they handle the response of a speaker, cabinet and surrounding environment over time, vastly improve the resulting sound. This is especially true when a particular cabinet has a certain lingering resonance and other subtle factors in its tone.

    8. I really want a Matchless Chieftain head with a matching 2x12 cabinet and a Two Notes Torpedo Captor X. My budget and my wife say something different though.
     
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  14. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I should qualify that while a modeller never worked for me I am with you on brands makes etc don’t matter. Great tone does


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  15. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    And yes I’ve had a fender champion 100 for a bit around 5 years back. It sounded great. Just not for me.


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  16. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    I should have added that I've generally found modeling amps to be limiting since most of them aren't FRFR and can't really take advantage of IR's, especially ones with older designs. Even my Bandit 65 colors the sound slightly (mainly making it a bit darker) as compared to something like a Headrush 1x12 or going direct-in to a mixer but it still does pretty well.

    I'd also say, based on limited in-store and borrowed use, I haven't been too impressed with Fender's forays into modeling. They probably should stick with tubes or work a joint deal with Boss.
     
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  17. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I started using modeling rigs in 1999 when I bought a Line 6 Flextone XL, and I've been using some sort of modeler ever since. But I've always run them through tube amps, so I get the best of both worlds.

    The one thing I've learned is that if a company starts off with a good product (Line 6's Flextones and kidney bean Pod), if you give them a few years they'll engineer it into something horrible (HD 500). They've found their way back with the Helix, but I expect that in a few years they'll manage to wreck that, too.

    I'm using Mooer nowadays and I'm very happy with their stuff. Lots of folks don't like Mooer but it works for me.

    - D
     
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  18. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Modelling pedals? Well now that’s a different story.


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  19. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I'm barely qualified to answer, but I've learned that option paralysis is real, that I prefer my little tube combo amps, the effect of speaker/cabinet types, and that having options is good.

    Once I set my one-and-only non-tube "modeler" ( Yamaha THR ) settings to get close to the tube sounds I like through headphones I was happy. I ignore all the other settings I don't use.
     
  20. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've learned that tube amps are no longer necessary for great tone. In fact, my first modeler was an old Line 6 Floor Pod and it had a couple of Vox amp simulators (AC15 and AC30) that sounded awesome, and it was my first experience playing through a Vox sound. I later purchased a Vox AC15C1, but the truth is that the old Line 6 emulation sounded cooler than the real Vox amp. It may have been because they modeled a vintage AC15, not sure.

    I've been a tube amp guy all my life, but these days it's safe to say that there is no discernible difference between tube and digital, and the cool thing is that we're now able to play with amps that we'd never be able to afford. I used to mic my tube amp for recording; now I use VST plugins that sound at least as good if not better. Professionals with a far better sense of great guitar tone than any of us here use digital emulation live and in the studio. There will always be those who prefer tubes, the same way there are those who think 35mm film "looks better" than a DSLR, but at this point it's simply nostalgia.
     
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