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What is your digital amp history since the 90s

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by ASATKat, May 8, 2020.

  1. claptonrules

    claptonrules TDPRI Member

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    Then do it. In my opinion it's Fractal, then Kemper and then Line 6. Something about Fractal that just seems to continue to be cutting edge and they are always improving. Firmware updates on III just get better and better. Will do anything so if size/portability not an issue, go for it. With FM3 slowly coming out, probably a good time to buy one. Other good news is that is Fractal's staple, it ain't goin anywhere. They will just update and improve. enjoy man.
     
  2. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The only downside to Fractal is the periodic hardware changes. This is why I've been holding off since about 2010-every time I convince myself to get one they drop a new unit on the market and I get cold feet.
     
  3. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Not really there yet, but I do have several versions of GarageBand, with amp emulations - which to me is pretty much the main concept of digital amps. the only component missing is an actual speaker (I use mostly headphones with it), but with the version I have, you can pick various speaker cab configurations.

    I hadn't thought of it, but I suppose there's some sort of output interface where I could hook up my little laptop to the PA and gig with a laptop and my mackie DAW. But TBH, if I'm going to a gig, I'll be dragging along my dinosaur rig, big glass and big transformers...

    GarageBand does have nice little pictures of the amp being "modeled", so at least you can preconceive what territory you're in. I find it very convenient and fun for recording scratch tracks - going straight to the board, so to speak - particulary so I don't have to worry about the air conditioning compressor kicking on or the neighbor cranking up a lawn mower or the odd helicopter buzzing by. Has digital pedalboard setup as well. It's fun! There's also a whole f-ton of features I haven't even poked into yet. But since I don't take it to gigs, I don't worry too much about software updates and the like.
     
  4. claptonrules

    claptonrules TDPRI Member

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    Difference with the III is that it's their staple, their flagship and the vast majority of what you read from many many sources says it's the most powerful and accurate modeler on the market, at almost 95% accuracy. I'm not sure what year the III came out but again, that's their baby and it ain't goin anywhere. The only reason they came out with the FM3 was to try to upgrade the AX8 that I have. Both are obviously floorboards so entirely different concept than the III. They want both products and again the III is what put them on the map. Can't lose. If interested, join the Fractal Forum and you could read about it for days. Tons of info on their forums, good stuff.
     
  5. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If I remember though, those aren’t digital, and there’s no modeling. Award session are analog solid state, aren’t they? That’s a totally different animal. And coincidentally, what I generally prefer for live use. I’ve never had an award session (though I’d love to try one) but I’m a huge fan of a good analog solid state amp.
     
  6. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    @Jakedog I hear you, I have one sitting right next to my work desk for noiseless practice. I run a line into it from an IPad which has the music on it, and then use the Floorpod with the guitar and a headphone out. I have recently been using my Apogee Jam through the Ipad and Garage Band with the headphones out which is close to the Floor Pod use.

    I started out playing bass so when I started playing guitar I used one of these as my guitar digital rig into the house PA.

    [​IMG]

    It at least gave me the ability to have a tuner, and there were a few setting in that unit that a guitar sounded OK in.

    Then I really upgraded to the Line 6 Floor Pod

    [​IMG]

    It has about three channels that sound OK, but the ability to have a volume pedal and some presets really made this work for me.

    Later I ended picking up one of these when we decided to mic an amp.

    upload_2020-5-13_15-11-17.jpeg
    It sounded horrible through the speaker it had so it eventually became a monitor for the drummer. That is until the stage got tore down and instead of plugging the monitor lead into it someone plugged a powered monitor lead into it and fried it.

    Then I went and got serious and bought this.

    upload_2020-5-13_15-14-6.jpeg

    Oh yeah! Lots of lights, lots of buttons and a pedal! Too bad I never learned how to operate it. I used all the presets trying to find something that worked with the songs we were doing. Eventually it ended up in the closet as I felt I was fiddling more with it than actually playing.

    So I ended up getting one of these and I really liked it.

    upload_2020-5-13_15-15-45.jpeg

    I took the back off and that really opened up the sound and I was able to get some decent tones out of it. The VOX sounds were really close and as a bedroom practice amp it does really well.

    Then at my last church I went back to the XT Live as one of the other guitarist had one. I learned how to dial in the amp models, add the cabinets that I wanted, tweek the EQ, and dial in some effects on a particular bank. I would have song number 1 on a certain bank and I would dial in four options as far as tone for that song. Preset 1 would be a dry clean sound, preset two I would add a gain stage to get a little dirt, preset three was for solos and preset four would be a big reverb ambiance tone.

    Then I got to missing some pedals and now I am using my pedal board through this unit.

    upload_2020-5-13_15-20-51.jpeg

    But I am thinking of dragging the XT Live out again.
     
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  7. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It's indeed a powerful unit, but each of its predecessors was also touted along the same lines. I do think, however, that the III has enough horsepower under the hood to keep it going longer than the previous Axe-FX models. That's what I'm hoping, anyway!
     
  8. jms2009

    jms2009 Tele-Meister

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    For years I was a doubter of digital & stubbornly would ONLY use 100% tube amps >>> then I heard a Kemper and everything changed. I doubt I would ever go back. There have been lots of A/B blindfold type comparisons between tube amps & Kemper, and noone can differentiate. The comparisons were done by people playing & by people listening. Kemper is really that good.
     
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  9. Lanaka

    Lanaka NEW MEMBER!

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    Aloha TDPRI,

    Until recently, I've been strictly a solid state amp user. My first amp was a Fender KXR-60, which I used mainly as a clean pedal platform. But the huge amp is hard on the back and hands when ye wanna move around.

    Then I got a tiny Yamaha GA-10 practice amp but realized it's sole useful role is being something to plug headphones in for practice use, it sounds too crappy otherwise. Then I ordered a new EHX headphone amp that can be carried on the belt, which is not only perfect for impromptu practices, but also perfect for field testing potential electric guitars and basses prior to buying. It surprisingly takes pedals well. I bring a Metal Zone for these test purposes.

    For an amp that is more portable than the KXR-60, but sounds better than the GA-10, I got a Roland Cube-20XL, which is technically my first digital/analog amp, however, except for the reverb, I didn't use the other features. I still preferred to use my pedals.

    Then long AFTER I've bought the Cube-20XL, I remembered I had another Roland that I had got long BEFORE I got the Cube-20XL. It was an 70-80s vintage Cube-40K SS amp with a real mechanical spring reverb, which proved to be my favorite light amp, even tho it's 'only' a 1x10. I play on it more often than my 2 big Fender 2x12s, a red Frontman 212R and a FR212DSP.

    While I love my 212R, I cannot play it higher than 1.25 before it gets too loud and I get complaints from neighbors and landlord. The only reason why I bought the essentially identical FR212DSP is because it IS essentially identical WITH the addition of DSP and a headphone output! I didn't care about the DSP part (and still don't use it), but I very much wanted the headphones part.

    However, I find that I like the subtleties of a real mechanical reverb over a digital reverb. The 212R's spring reverb is lovely, but I dislike the flat sounding reverb in the FM212DSP.

    Recently I bought a 1960s Silvertone 1484 valve head with a mechanical spring reverb that sounds remarkably similar to the Cube-40K. I likey!

    Nowdays, I use the Cube-40K exclusively at home. I'm experimenting with pairing my Frontman 212R with my Silvertone 1484 in a wet/dry rig. I tried using the FM212DSP, but it has a noticable latency issue, which makes it almost sound like an echo behind the 1484.

    I still need to find a pair of affordable attenuators for them so I can crank them without blowing my eardrums (and have the cops calling in on me for disturbing the peace).

    I still use my EHX Headphone amp when I'm out, especially when I am about to buy another guitar from someone. I use the Cube-20XL when I go out for jam session or lessons/practices away from home. I do not want to risk damaging the Cube-40K's original reverb unit.

    Come to think of it, I'll also need to buy/build Mojotone's Super Lead 100 amp kit for the same reason: to preserve the 1484's original AND still working spring reverb. At that point I WILL have to get a good reverb pedal since the Mojotone don't have one.

    I don't think I will be buying any other amps (aside from the Mojotone kit) except possibly for a tube combo 1x12. With a real reverb, of course!

    -Lan
     
  10. Lanaka

    Lanaka NEW MEMBER!

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    I've forgotten that about the same time I got the Silvertone 1484 head, I bought a Fender FM100H solid state head with the intention of using it with the Silvertone 1484, or better yet, the Mojotone Super Lead 100 valve head kit, which should be a better match for the FM100H.

    -Lan
     
  11. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    Mustang III V.2
     
  12. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a Cube 01 amp. The only built-in effect is reverb. I got it at a special price, probably on close out. I guess it is a modeling amp because the leaflet says the clean channel is modeled after a Jazz Chorus. It has a clean sound second to none. It is my entire modeling amp experience.
     
  13. zezone

    zezone Tele-Meister

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    I love my tube amps. I have a Mesa and a Marshall. I also love my Helix LT, it's especially great for silent practice through headphones. But these days I find myself mostly through my Quilter micropro head. The cleans are simply great, and I can coax any tone I need out of it.
     
  14. telejnky

    telejnky Tele-Meister

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    Let’s see pod then line 6 spider 75 found one good model
    in there and tweaked my clean edge of breakup and lead tone based on that model and added pedals to taste. Then I found the blues cube artist great pedal platform very tweed
    sounding. I got a boss katana 100 1X12 for a more British sound ,not bad if you spend the time deep editing. This last Christmas I received a Yamaha thr it’s my sitting in front
    of the YouTube boobtube amp and I love it.all of these modelers are because my old tube amps sound kinda small
    at low at home volumes even my deluxe reverb reissue with 22 watts was screaming loud when you get to the sweet spot so viv la digital
     
  15. sanchezj

    sanchezj TDPRI Member

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    My Main Tube Amp is an 80's Mesa Boogie. For digital I quite the the Fender Mustang series.
     
  16. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    POD XT
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    Recently it's been the Katana 50, it is a solid state amp with digital effects. So it's an electrical marriage.

    Imo the 50 is the better choice for blues, from Jimi and SRV to Clapton, Green, and Robben Ford etc.
     
  17. Gardo

    Gardo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Digital amp history?
    Easy a Mustang I
    Used as a desk top amp
    Used with a laptop for basic recording
    Plugged into a hi fi for basement use
    Used as garage amp
    But not much good on the porch
     
  18. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Looking back, I don't think that most of the digital stuff from the 90's really held my interest...

    ...For me, the 90's was actually a time of moving away from the SS amps of the 80's, to mostly simple single channel tube amps. Those were the amps of choice for the bulk of the music of the time, that I got into, anyway.

    I became aware of Los Lobos using the SansAmp stuff in the studio, so I got a GT2 in the later 90's, but admittedly passed on the POD and mostly everything else.

    I finally got a Zoom 505 in the later 90's, and used it a bit with tube amps, but primarily just used it with headphones. I didn't care much about how accurately it sounded like any real amp, as much as I liked creating lots of different patches for stuff, and using stereo delay.

    ...Throughout the 90's, I spent a good bit of time in music stores, and ended up spending a good bit of time messing around with stuff like the Line 6 Flextone series of stuff. I just couldn't dial one in, in the store, to get as good of sounds as the nearby tube amps. I think I may have spent like 5 minutes tops messing around with a Johnson amp, and that's all I needed, to determine that it just wasn't for me.

    My first actual digital amp purchase was a Spyder (II, maybe?) in the early 00's. I never was able to really get any sounds out of it that sounded beyond fair, to me. I couldn't get the EQ right, for any model, from clean up to mostly distorted. The best thing about that amp is it came with a Celestion Seventy 80, and the cabinet was actually constructed pretty well. I actually pulled the chassis out and used it as a 1X12 cab for quite a few years.

    ...The first digital amp I ever bonded with was the Vox AD15VT that I got back in '05. It wasn't loud enough to use for anything other than goofing off around the house, but the BF, AC, and Boutique Clean amp emulations were finally really good. Also, the built-in reverb was actually usable. I could actually have my patches dialed in within less than 10 minutes or so, and could toggle between a BF clean and AC15 overdriven sound just by using a button on the amp itself.

    The other great thing about the AD15VT - once I figured out how to turn off the factory noise gate altogether, it sounded 1000X better.

    The other thing that made the AD15VT a keeper (I still have it to this day) is that it was the first combo with an 8" speaker that I found to have decent low end response. I replaced the factory POS 8" with a Jensen MOD, and that fixed any flubby and loose low end. I never thought that a low power closed-back combo could sound that good. The truth be told, I don't think I've even had a combo with a 10" in that's sounded as good.

    ...For the rest of the 00's, I never got another digital amp. And I never got another one for almost all of the 10's, until I got a Katana 50 last year.

    The KT50 is a decent amp for my uses, but I primarily got it to be used as something that's light, portable, and can get pretty loud. I primarily just use it clean, and then use a modest pedalboard for delay/reverb/OD/etc.

    I've been a really big pedal user for all of my playing life. My earliest rigs (in the 70's) were clean amps with pedals in front. I came to prefer BF/SF Fender amps simply for the types of clean foundations they provide, but I could get the same overall sound from like SS Peaveys and similar. So despite whatever new stuff comes along, my needs tend to be so basic that I don't really need to pay attention to the newest advances with digital amps, for the most part.
     
  19. sonicsmitty

    sonicsmitty Tele-Holic

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    Nice collection. Is that a Rebel 30?
     
  20. sonicsmitty

    sonicsmitty Tele-Holic

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    I had a Roland JC120A for about 20 years until I couldn't stand it anymore, so I sold it almost 20 years ago. Of course, that's not a modeling amp. I had an Alesis Quadraverb GT for about 10 years, which I bought mistakenly/stupidly as an effects unit not realizing that it was a preamp too. Not really a modeler either, but I put it in front of my '68 Sunn tube amp and got some decent sounds. I have always had at least one tube amp since I started electric. I like my tube amps, but I don't want to obstinately corral myself into some idea that SS is never any good, so this month I purchased a Strymon Iridium, which is probably my first true modeler. I thought it would be an easy carry as a backup in case my amp failed, I could just plug into the PA. I've only played it with headphones so far, and it's a good silent practice unit. I can't wait to see how it sounds with a real sound system.
     
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