Digital Modeling Amplifiers: Hey, I'm sold!

Discussion in 'Amp Modeling' started by The_Sentry, May 5, 2009.

  1. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

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    I don't mind digital for effects... But I have yet to be sold on the amp/speaker sim stuff... Everything I've heard in that realm so far sounds fake... Of course, in the mix I doubt any non musician would notice. Especially in a live situation. But I mostly play alone, with just the guitar, so the fakeness can be distracting.

    The only digital thing I own is a fairly ancient Korg Toneworks. It's a lot of fun to play with, but to get a decent sound (through a tube amp) out of the presets I have to edit them and turn off the speaker sim crap. The sound of all that digital modeling stuff reminds me of what Bose stereo systems do to music... It's a very exagerated and overly perfect/symetrical/simplified ambiance that gets added to the tone. Sounds impressive at first, but seems to lose its charm as a novelty rather quickly.

    Again, this is from the perspective of a tone snob who plays at home... I'm sure those pod things are awesome for live gigs.
     
  2. Liam

    Liam V.I.P. Member

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    Like a couple of posters above, I dabble with the digital modelling thing every now and then. Have used a Vox VT30 quite a bit recently, and have tried the Line 6 Flextone and Spider stuff in the past. I have tried to use a couple of the amp/fx simulation packages in the studio as well. And I use the amp simulations in my Boss portastudio all the time (they ain't great).

    Whilst these modeling amps give you lots of sounds, none of them are terribly good compared to the real thing. In fact if you play them side-by-side with a nice tube amp you realise that one good sound is better than 22 mediocre sounds.

    The Peavey Vypyr might be the amp that changes my mind on all this, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Liam
     
  3. Big John

    Big John So I'm standing in line at the bank, and I stick m V.I.P. Member

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    yup :thumb:
     
  4. Sportrider24

    Sportrider24 Senior Member

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    I'm picking up a Vypyr this weekend !! :applause:
     
  5. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

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    One thing I have noticed personally is the more digital stuff I use, the less of my guitar's personality I hear, especially if I don't use an amp. My strat, my Schecter, and my p90s guitar all started to sound the same. If I plug straight into my trusty tube amp with maybe just a boost, I get very distinct tones from each guitar.
     
  6. cynic79

    cynic79 Senior Member

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    I agree. I've had a Flextone II for many years and it sounds great for a digital amp. It's a lot of fun for practicing, it's a great recording tool, and it's fine for jamming with. I just wish it had a built in phaser!

    I have not tried the Flextone III or the Variax, but I hate the sound of the Spiders, even the tube powered ones. They all sound incredibly strident, and you really have to tweak them to dial that out. While it's true that the early Line 6 stuff was a bit lacking in presence compared to the tube amps they emulate, they seem to have gone too far in the opposite direction.
     
  7. siore

    siore Senior Member

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    I don't mind dabbling in digital modelling. They're great and I have a lot of fun playing through them, with all the amp models and effects on tap. But I do get bored of it, I tend to go back to the tube amp, or at least a good analog solid-state with some good clean and crunch tones.
     
  8. Grand Pappy

    Grand Pappy Senior Member

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    IMHO Line 6 makes good, reliable little amps.:thumb:
    I have 2 - an old 1x12" 75 w Spider II and a SpiderJam.
    I leave the Spider II out on my patio, covered, for when I feel like playing outside. I've had it for 4 years. Still sounds good. Fun little amp. Somebody steals it - no biggie. I got my $$$ worth out of it.
    I picked up the Spiderjam last fall, because I was impressed at all the shit you could do on it! over 100 built in jam and drum tracks, multi track recording capability, hundreds of presets and you can save 20 some presets for instant recall. I use the Spiderjam more then any amp I own, because it's so easy and convenient to just sit down and plug in. It fits nicely under my computer desk. I'll admit It's not the best greatest kickass sounding amp out there, but for $400, it's great!
    Generic, stale, boring? Maybe, but I still like it for farting around at home. It's never going to sound as good as a Marshall, Boogie, Fender, etc tube amps, but you can not beat it for what you get for the $.
    I have a Fender HRDX. Its' great, but it' power blows your face off and is not practical for me to use as a practice amp. I use it to play out , or jam w/ other people. Granted I don't think the Spider series is a good fix as a gigging platform, but I stand behind what I said as far as they are great practice/intimate jamming amps. :D
     
  9. allbusinessjoe

    allbusinessjoe Senior Member

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    I've been eyeing up both the Peavey Vypr series and the Line 6 Spyder 75 to replace my Roland Cube 15x.

    From everything I have read and everyone I have talked to the favorite seems to be the Line 6. The main reason is that the Peavey seems to have some reliability and quality issues. Apparently they work great for a month or so, and then quit. While Line 6 seems to be a more reliable, true and tried amp.

    I know experiences may differ, but I still think I may get the Line 6 to learn guitar on. Then after I learn to play I'll get a decent tube amp in a few years.
     
  10. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Senior Member

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    It took me over ten years to kill mine! :thumb:

    - D
     
  11. b-squared

    b-squared Banned

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    I use an XTLive for my church gig, and it's the perfect solution for that particular arena.

    I downloaded some patches from a Contemporary Christian artist by the name of Lincoln Brewster. He's got some awesome patches, and I use them for everything...makes my Strat sound huge, and makes an LP sound even bigger. Each guitar still sounds different, and it behaves pretty much like a tube amp.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkT4tLiH32M]YouTube - Lincoln Brewster's Live Guitar Rig Set Up[/ame]

    He uses an X3 on tour, and runs the signal right into the PA; he has an amp or two onstage for stage volume only. I run mine through our monitor mix to a wedge monitor--not the best solution, but I know it sounds better in the house mix. :D

    When we play bigger rooms I run my XTLive to the effects input of my amp, and basically use only the power section to cabs. Works great.

    BB
     
  12. allbusinessjoe

    allbusinessjoe Senior Member

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    I was speaking for the Vypr modeling series Sentry was writing about.

    Peavey has very well known issues with their firmware, and some other things.
     
  13. LPV

    LPV Senior Member

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    I just sold my vox tonelab LE. I really wanted to like it but it just wouldn't happen for me. My attitude is this, the electric guitar is only half an instrument. The tone of a good amp warm completes it.
     
  14. peter679

    peter679 Senior Member

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    Funny you should ask...

    I bought a 15w Peavey vypyr at christmas time 99.99 @ Best buy, and I love all the different sounds I got out of it, but I had issues with it like the day I opened it. It would take 10 to 15 minutes to get hte thing to work right.. meaning you can't leave the plug in, so you start her up without the plug then you plug it in.. fine, plug it int won't work.. do it again wait for the lights to cycle through, nothing..repeat this 25x 2 beers about 500 f*kS! and then it works.. I took it back and they gave me anew one but I got a marshall over the weekend so now I have this brand new peavey vypyr that I can't trade back in for credit, sell on Craiglist because everyone seems to thing it's not new and will only offer me 50 for it, so F*k it I'll hang on to it I guess incase the Marshall has to goto the shop or something.

    I like the many different sounds, from the cleans to the mix with the effects.. it's an awesome amp. BUT i had so many issues I now am just pissed off with it.. I would suggest also, get the 30 or 75w, more options than the 15w btw.

    Pete
     
  15. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Senior Member

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    I was referring to my Flextone XL, and your post saying Line 6 was more reliable.

    Ten years is a good run for any type of amp if you ask me.

    - D
     
  16. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

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    So, do any of you guys find that you lose some of your guitar's character when you use these fancy digital things? Or is it just me?
     
  17. Big John

    Big John So I'm standing in line at the bank, and I stick m V.I.P. Member

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    +1 on Lincoln Brewster, BB. I met him last year at a local song writing seminar put on by a few of the bigger churches in Tacoma/Seattle. Linc's one of the few POD guys I've heard live that makes you look for the 4x12s. He's got that POD dialed in just right.

    He's a great guy to b.s. with, too. One of the "Jams" vids of him on youtube (live performance with overdubbed music and sound effects) that's very funny was put together by an old college buddy of mine, Matt Keys, who's buddies with Linc.
     
  18. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Senior Member

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    Yeah. The Line 6 stuff gets you 'in the neighborhood' of a pretty good tone, but it is kinda flat. And the differences between guitars get masked to a point. I went back to tube amps because that pressure wasn't there on the Flex when I really leaned into it.

    But when you're in a club situation and there are very few critical listeners in the room (as opposed to, say, in a recording studio), 'in the neighborhood' is close enough.

    - D
     
  19. peter679

    peter679 Senior Member

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    Let me say this...

    My GT will ONLY see the Marashall....

    My Epi LP will see both the Peavey and the Marshall...

    The Marshall really brings out the sweetness of my GT..

    Pete
     
  20. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

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    Yeah, I hear what you're saying. If I ever DO get to the point where I'm gigging, I've always thought a POD might pretty cool. In a loud environment and in a good mix it would probably be acceptable... and allow you to do some more experimental stuff.

    I could probably never replicate the tone I like at home anyway, especially mixed with a full band.
     

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