Pulled the Trigger....AmpliFire Box

Discussion in 'Amp Modeling' started by Zungle, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. Zungle

    Zungle Senior Member

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    Well today....After doing a bit of homework, I went ahead and ordered an Atomic AmpliFire Box

    Just ordered today...

    http://atomicamps.com/amplifirebox/

    Really hoping its sounds decent and gives me the shot in the arm I'm hoping for....

    Had spine/neck surgery about 6 years ago and since then have found myself less and less inspired to play.......partly nerve issues....partly mental.....

    In hopes of regaining a little spark or interest I'm totally downsizing...put some stuff in storage and selling a few things off....

    Want to get down to 1 guitar-1 bass-and my drums.....and hopefully one decent modeler to patch into my board...

    I was gonna just grab Helix LT.....but AmpliFireBox had a stripped down appeal....

    They dont get much mention around here , so I thought I'd give it a shot....

    Its gonna be interesting to see how it sounds.....been running my old V-Amp Pro for years....I have about 5 solid recording tones in there that I could never get out of any of the earlier modelers..pre Fractal, Kemper now Helix era stuff....
     
  2. fleahead

    fleahead Senior Member

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    Damn, you parallel me. I'm almost at the same spot. Waiting to see what you think
     
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  3. Zungle

    Zungle Senior Member

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    Ordered it today, once I get my hands on it I'll try to post a few comparison videos.....

    I'm really hoping it sounds so good it'll put me in my little studio an hour a night , just fiddling and playing.
     
  4. AmpedUp

    AmpedUp Senior Member

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    I'm using one. It covers my tweed and Marshall based desires very well.
    I enjoy the lighter number of options with the Atomic stuff. It sounds good with a XiTone powered wedge. Enjoy.
     
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  5. Zungle

    Zungle Senior Member

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    Shipped out of Stratford,CT on 7-12-18.

    Looks like it wil be to me in Yelm,Wa on 7-19-18.


    Listed my Fender Blues Jr on CL same day I ordered AmpliFire Box.....sold next day....

    Just put 5 pedals on CL....cheap.
     
  6. KenG

    KenG Senior Member

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    It reminds me of StudioDevils Virtual Guitar Amp in a hw format. Will probably sound great but obviously performing changes on the fly is pretty limited but if that's not an issue then hey! How are you going to power itt and monitor the sound?
     
  7. Zungle

    Zungle Senior Member

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    It'll be permanently patched into my board.....

    I have a Sound Craft LX7 ii .

    I have 3 sets of powered monitors from there ....

    Event 20/20 BAS on my main desk.

    Behringer Eurolive B112D mounted on wall(for jamming)

    Altec 3 piece (sub) to check mixes....

    I have everything running thru the Sound Craft......Laptop,PC,Ipad,keyboards,outboard gear,drum machine,drum set....etc
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
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  8. Zungle

    Zungle Senior Member

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  9. Zungle

    Zungle Senior Member

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    Well it has arrived right on schedule.....

    I'll mess with it a little tonight, I'll dig in over over the weekend.....

    770838A7-A78E-4B9F-B1DA-9FCABC48C626.jpeg
     
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  10. fleahead

    fleahead Senior Member

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    Soooooooooo???
     
  11. Zungle

    Zungle Senior Member

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    OK....

    So I dove in last night more than I thought I would....

    And ........its going back.:(


    So here's a quick run down....


    Let me first say...yes I put together a few of my own sounds, and I am reasonably well versed in recording,midi,digital and have done a decent amount of small project type post editing over the years....right or wrong it doesnt take me long to form opinions on tone,usability and sound relationships to other instruments etc.....

    Pro's.....

    Virtual interface is clean and very easy to use...connected to device first try. (I used PC editor)

    Editing parameters is intuitive ,clean and basic.

    Loading new presets and IR's is a snap.

    Ampli-FireBox was delivered timely and packaged good.

    Pedal lay out for accessing up to 9 presets logical and easy to manage.


    Cons

    All tones have original Studio Devil character/sheen.....I know its their product but I thought it would have come further since Cakewalk days as a plugin.

    Tone seems a little 2-D ?

    High gain tones are a little brittle/scratchy.....? (my main need)

    Cleans were meh.....I really enjoy some good compression with a clean patch...and I wasnt feeling it.

    Reverb knob on pedal was a little bit wonky/loose....I could see it breaking with time.

    The Effects contain same Studio Devil plugin character and are not good ...actually not good at all...and thats just comparing them to my V-Amp Pro and my Stomp Lab(neither known for great effects)...the Ampli-Firebox effects are no where near my trusty StudioQuad which is by no means a high end piece..

    *NOTE* I dont need effects just commenting.

    While this shouldnt be possible(its 2018)I swear I was feeling/hearing some latency from the Ampli-Firebox....yes I was monitoring right off my mixer before DAW.
    I didnt have time to do a sample accurate split signal loop back test or analize the sample placement of 2 source test track.....but I swear I could feel it...? Very strange.


    Anyway, all this being said,I'm sure someone else may plug this guy in and freekin' love it and create tone for days....

    I wasnt feeling it....:dunno:

    My current set up is better for me and the Amplifire box would be a $299 paper weight.....
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  12. drew365

    drew365 Senior Member

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    I still have my Firebox, but I never use it. I'm a little sorry I bought it. It just doesn't do much for me. But, I used it with a Quilter Micro Blok 40 which I also don't like. So that might be tainting the Firebox. I'm thinking of getting a Powerstage 170 to replace the Quilter and give the Firebox another chance. But I got it as an emergency rig, and since I haven't had any emergencies, I'm not real concerned about it.
     
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  13. NotScott

    NotScott Silver Supporter

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    I have owned an AF III since they were first released and my initial impressions of the device were exactly as you mentioned above. However, after living with it for a couple years now, I have found what works for me and what doesn't. Here is what I found:

    1) I could never get it to sound good through an FRFR. I am not sure if that is because I don't like the sound/concept of FRFRs or the unit itself, but see below and you will see what also contributed to this. I now use my AF strictly as a headphone-practice tool which it does very well for once you account for the following:

    2) IMO, the cabinet parameters do not roll off enough high end and that is primarily why the unit sounds so brittle. If you get in and drop the high roll off down to around 4 kHz and mess with the Q and adjust the treble and presence on the amp models, you can get much more realistic sounds.

    3) IMO, the stock IRs are average at best, even when tweaking the cab parameters. The unit does seem to respond well to aftermarket IRs, particularly Celestion's. I really like Celestion's Vintage 30 IRs with my AF.

    4) IME, compared to real vintage Vox and Tweed amps, I don't think the AF models come close. I also think the Blackface models are too flat and sterile sounding. However, after making the tweaks I mention above, the Marshall and Friedman models sound really damn good through headphones and the latest Dumble model sounds pretty good for some things too.

    I think the Atomic lineup offers some great products, but I wish they spent more time shipping them with usable presets and not making their customers have to dig and work to get usable tones out of the things. The tones are in there depending upon your application and your ability to tweak.
     
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  14. Zungle

    Zungle Senior Member

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    I hear you,

    So having some patience and reasonable experience with deep audio editing ......

    I went back in last night with a fresh set of ears and did a little more A/B'ng and tweaking.....also checked out/loaded a few free IR's and user presets.

    And....meh.
    Nothing in the Ampli-FireBox that I cant get out of an old V_Amp Pro and my faithful ART Dual Tube EQ...or even my StompLab IG.(best bang for $$ guitar kit ever made).

    Got my return authorization....going back tomorrow.....
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
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  15. NotScott

    NotScott Silver Supporter

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    Unfortunately, you are probably correct with that assessment.
     
  16. fleahead

    fleahead Senior Member

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    You saved me money. Thank you for the assessment. I just recently realized that when I feed some tweaked models from the headphone jack of my Vox VT30 into my PC and using Amplifire as a programmable pedalboard (as well as the cab and mic sims), I'm getting some good tones that I can turn to repeatedly. Just have to play with whatcha gots. But they record really well.
     
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  17. Zungle

    Zungle Senior Member

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    Just wondering, what is your go to Modeler ?
     
  18. NotScott

    NotScott Silver Supporter

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    I still like the AF as a headphone amp for Marhall-esque tones. However, there are, and have been, lots of devices that can do just as good a job with that tone and much more.

    I owned a POD X3 before my AF. It was also relegated to headphone use and did a passable Marshal tone in that application. But every other tone in it was laughable and I was constantly having to fight with USB drivers to make the thing work. I also tried a demo of the S-Gear software and was very impressed with how that sounded and felt but I wanted more of the versatility that the AF offered.

    I don't have any experience with Helix or Axe. However, even though it is technically not a "modeler", I have 0 reservations about my Kemper. Whether I have it connected to headphones, studio monitors or a guitar cab, I can always rely upon it to work right and sound great. To this day, it is still the only digital device I have ever heard that does convincing JMI Vox and Fender Tweed tones as well as all the typical Marshall tones. I should know. I own and have gigged several of the real things.

    Since I bought my Kemper almost a year ago, I have done all of my gigs with it. My typical presets are for a clean Blackface Fender, an edge of breakup Vox AC30, a cranked Marshall Plexi, a juiced up Dumble ODS and an over the top Fuchs. I have yet to have done an event that did not end with someone asking me how I get such great guitar tones from that "green thing". :laugh2:

    Last night, I was invited to audition for a new project. I brought the Kemper and played it through a Deluxe extension cabinet with an EVM 12S. When I first cranked up the AC30 preset, everybody in the studio was looking over at me to see where I was hiding the real AC30. Then when I went to the Marshall preset and saw their grins, I knew I had the gig. :cheers2:

    As a die-hard, old-school, vintage tube amp freak, I am here to tell you that you no longer have to lug those big, old dinosaurs around and crank the piss out of them to make a guitar sound and feel right. There are many fine digital emulators out there for guitarists now that can deliver whatever tones you need or want. You just need to define what you want and then find the device that delivers for you.
     
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  19. Zungle

    Zungle Senior Member

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    Just an update concerning return of Amplifire Box....

    I pomptly returned Amplifire Box via UPS.....

    I tracked it to the Amplifire facility and sent an e-mail updating a customer service agent ....

    Quickly received a reply from the rep saying it may have arrived but hadnt been checked in...

    But once checked in should have refund within 5 days...

    That was Aug 2.....I've been slammed at work and havent checked in with bank about refund.

    But....kinda suprised I havent received any communication from Amplifire since Aug 2......

    I'll check on it Monday....
     

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