What monitors/speakers are you using/have you used - and short review please

Discussion in 'Amp Modeling' started by mdubya, May 12, 2017.

  1. tzd

    tzd Senior Member

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    Echoing the thoughts of others above, maybe you should look into studio monitors. They do sound the closest to headphones.

    I have a pair of Equator D5 which I hardly use (going to put them up for sale soon actually). I plugged them in today and A/B'd the 1959 SLP preset with the K8. The D5's actually have more bass, but the sound is more integrated since the tweeter is in the same speaker as the woofer.

    Personally I still prefer the sound from the K8 but if you want really low volume single source sound, perhaps you will enjoy the D5 more.

    BTW if you had the K8 for less than 45 days, you should consider returning it if you don't like it... that's why we buy things from GC.
     
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  2. Pwrmac7600

    Pwrmac7600 Premium Member

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    I am located in NJ, The Yamaha HS50M speakers I have are literally sitting in a closet since I bought my Adam's so seriously, if you want to try them out let me know.
     
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  3. Sean D

    Sean D Junior Member

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    For my situation, I chose the Alto TS212 as well.

    I use my AX8 at church and with my cover band. My band takes our PA with us to 90% of our shows and the church has the same PA every Sunday. I use my IEMs to monitor myself in both scenarios. One thing I discovered at my first cover band gig going direct, I was missing the feedback and interaction the guitar has with a speaker on stage (with IEMs, I am stage silent). So, I needed to get some stage volume to achieve that interaction.

    I needed a powered FRFR speaker with which I could build tones that translate well to FOH of both systems, have stage volume interaction with the guitar, and which I could use to rehearse (lesser requirement by a long way). I decided to try out the lower budget stuff first, because if I didn't like it I could return it and get the next step up. I went into Guitar Center to check out the TS212 and EV XLP12 (not sure about the model number now). Guitar Center did not have the EV speaker in stock, so my choice was easy. I took the TS212 home and dialed in tones for the next show. At the show I place the TS212 in front of me with only my guitar running through it. During the show, we had a ton of technical difficulties with our wifi. I was unable to adjust my monitor mix in my ears and the other guitarist in the band was having trouble with his amp. His power tubes became faulty and he sounded like ass... when he could be heard at all. Because of the technical difficulties, I decided to ditch the IEMs and play off the stage volume. The sax player uses a QSC K12 for his monitor and I was able to bogart stage volume from it during the show. I noticed the sound from my TS212 and his K12 were not vastly dissimilar. In fact, they were pretty close in that environment. Because of that, I decided the TS212 would work just fine for me.

    The good news... The extra $500 I had earmarked for a powered PA speaker is now being reallocated toward a 2016 Les Paul Traditional. Only $1500 to go.
     
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  4. ttbit

    ttbit Senior Member

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    I use JBL 305s when everyone is asleep and an Alto ts210 during the day. I like the full sound of the TS210 better than the JBLs, but the JBLs are clear and I use them ALL THE TIME for all my computer listening needs. I run them using a Focusrite 2i4 which allows me to use headphones with my AX8 also. I normally use monitoring mode with my Focusrite, so it is not running through any software. I also have a Rolls headphone amp for the AX8, but rarely need it.

    The Alto ts210, to me, sounds good at low volumes. I barely have it 1/8" from the bottom when trying to be quiet. The only changes I need to make is reverb or delay mix when using headphones. The Marshall and Friedman amps sound amazing to me.

    Good luck in your search. It sounds like the speaker you have is not for you.
     
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  5. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    This may be true. I have narrowed it down to the problem being worse with my ES 335. What is confounding is that the ES sounds good with everything else I use. But the QSC seems to be, at least, OK with my Firebird and my ES 330. :dunno:

    The ES 335 sounds like it has some sort of low-mid filter on it through the QSC. It sounds bright through everything else, including through the AX8 with headphones and through the previous Alto TX8.
     
  6. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    It's the model and or preset you are using. It is common to have some amp models sound great with some guitars and not others.
     
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  7. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    So I am learning. :thumb:

    Been playing the 335 the last 2 days. It is very sensitive to each model, whereas the other two sound great without prejudice.
     
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  8. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Yeah. Another one of those Internet "facts". You know, modelers make all guitars sound the same.
     
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  9. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Heck, that was another of my biggest surprises, was how much (The Kemper then), it differentiated on different guitars and pickups. I could really hear their different characters on the same preset.
     
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  10. Liam

    Liam V.I.P. Member

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    I have been using a Fearless FR115 driven by a Matrix GT1000FX for stage sound, rehearsing and practising at home for the last year or so. It's kind of overkill for home use, but you can take it anywhere without worrying about running out of volume, and you can turn it down really low without losing the feel (aside from the bottom end thinning out, but that's possibly aural perception rather than anything "real"). Good angular spread of FRFR, and sounds close enough to a pair of ATH M50X that I know what I'm going to get if I am setting up models and IRs without waking the neighbours. Front of house is powered by a 2-way crossover into 15" bass bins (QSC 900 watt power amp), and a pair of 12" Peavey Eurosys (powered by whatever the power amp is in my powered desk, I don't remember, but better than average PA gear, 600 watts). FOH sounds close enough to what I get from the FR115 that I am happy (and of course it is stereo, so in some ways automatically sounds better). I really am a little anal about that kind of stuff, so have been pleasantly surprised. As a long term 4x12 user it has been life changing.

    I could probably find use for a smaller rig for smaller rooms soon, so have been thinking about getting a 4U rack for my modelling gear, and finding a powered speaker that can match the GT1000FX and FR115 for sound quality. I have been keeping an eye on this thread with interest.

    Liam
     
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  11. matthew bear

    matthew bear Senior Member

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    My Initial lack of enthusiasm with the kemper was with my 335. It didn't come "alive" for me till I rocked the P 90's :dunno:
     
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  12. Frogfur

    Frogfur Senior Member

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    HS8
     
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  13. Liam

    Liam V.I.P. Member

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    I think Frank's point about model and guitar is an important one. Don't know about the Kemper, but Fractal is close enough to the real deal that some amps really are "no dice" with a Strat, and then you plug in something with very different pickups and suddenly you are in another world entirely. Last year when Frank was on a very "Strat-bodied" trip I didn't entirely get what he was on about. Surely you could just tweak the gain and tone controls on a model and make anything work with either? I recently got the Fractal model of the EC 5F1 Vibro Champ, and totally dismissed it because with a Les Paul plugged in it had absolutely nothing going for it. Then by chance I happened to pick up a Strat when that model was up on my Axe FX, and it was just hard to believe it was the same model. Didn't just come alive, but went from "meh" to absolutely bloody smoking.

    Apologies to the OP, because I am going to carry on with getting off topic now... I then started thinking about some ML Sound AC30 IRs that I bought a while back. They came with a bunch of complete modelled amps and IRs that had 2 versions for each, HB and SC. Not only do the presets sound incredibly authentic as one would expect, but whoever programmed them had an incredibly good ear for making an AC30 sound good with Strats and Les Pauls. I haven't delved deep enough to see exactly what they made different for each, and my excuse is that when I select those presets I am pretty unlikely to do much other than play guitar for the next hour, by which time I have forgotten what it was I set out to do when I turned the Axe FX on in the first place.

    Going back on topic, I wonder if the answer to my "little rig" question might be a Matrix Q12A. And it might also be a Xitone MBritt 112, but shipping costs and tax are a bit prohibitive for importation. Anyone want to comment on Xitone vs. Matrix cabs?

    Liam
     
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  14. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Bloody Smoking.. Yeah man... Reminds me what kind of idiot I was selling my custom shop Strat.
     
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  15. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Same thing on the Kemper. Amps that are good for both USUALLY have profiles for both HBs and SCs. Other amps just never sound good with SCs, but do with HBs, and vice versa.

    BTW had the same experience with the EC Vibro Champ. Steller with Single coils, meh to bad with humbuckers (depends on the humbucker).
     
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  16. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    One thing to check is what the profile was created "with". Profiling is the act of setting up the amp for a particular tone, a sweetspot. But that means it is dialed in to be a sweetspot for a particular pickup type usually. NOW, most good profilers will create profiles and rigs for both (Most that sell them do). Rig Exchange, not so much (just joe average joes creating). And they sometimes don't put in the info portion of the RIG, what it was setup for either.

    If the Amp profiled can sound good with Humbuckers, I can make most rigs sound good for them. You need to delve into the Amp Block parameters.

    Some that can really help in this regard:


    Definition


    The "Definition" parameter controls the characteristic fingerprint of the preamp. The profiling process automatically sets "Definition" to a value that represents the reference amp. You could, for example, use it to modernize the Profile of a vintage amp without having to use additional stomps. Alternatively, start with a Profile of a modern tube amp, and use "Definition" to give it a more vintage sound when driven into distortion. You can also use "Definition" to align the sound of your guitar to the sound of your amp, if required. Don’t be afraid to keep experimenting until you get the balance that sounds best to you.

    Vintage amps distort the lower harmonics in the guitar signal which gives them their bluesy sound. These amps were originally designed to deliver a clean sound, so to achieve a creamy distortion, these amps need to be driven by a typical transistor-based device like a treble booster. Modern tube amps use a different approach, in which the higher overtones of the guitar strings are the driving force for the distorted sound. The expensive boutique amps take this concept one step further, by providing an extreme level of top-end frequencies and a large dynamic range. The distortion has a sparkling quality to it, and preserves every nuance of the strings and pickups. Together with the
    characteristics of the actual speaker, the individual distortion behavior creates the fingerprint that identifies the amplifier.






    Power Sagging


    "Power Sagging" models the interaction between the guitar signal and the distortion stage. Increase the amount of "Power Sagging" to emphasize the velocity and energy of crunch sounds. The guitar sound gains additional energy and presence, without raising the perceived volume of the distorted signal. When you turn "Power Sagging" beyond 50%, you go beyond what can be achieved with an analog tube amp, but without losing any of the natural characteristics of the sound. At full force, "Power Sagging" can make sparkling clean notes sound louder than distorted ones, so you can use it to expand the dynamic range of the original sound. With "Power Sagging" set to 0%, the original dynamic range of the Profile is maintained.

    Power sagging is a phenomenon that occurs when the tubes draw a lot of electric power at high distortion rates, thereby weakening the supply voltage. Under such load, the tubes will change their distortion characteristics and sort of shut down; then as soon as the load lessens, the tubes catch their breath again. What might at first seem like a technical limitation of the tube amp design has turned out to be a real benefit for the musical expressivity of the guitarist. The Profiler masters this technical behavior without degrading or changing the basic character of the amp model whatsoever.

      •  The amplifier interacts with the guitarist and reacts to the plectrum and fingers with the highest possible sensitivity.
      •  The guitar sound gains extra energy and presence, without raising the perceived volume of the distorted signal.
      •  Muted picking gives better results than usual, as the plectrum will not be suppressed.
    •  The realms of clean and distorted sounds move closer together, causing the velocity and energy of the crunch sounds to grow. The amp doesn’t just distort everything mercilessly - instead, all of the fine nuances are represented faithfully. The overall sound becomes much more alive, with more punch and juice. It almost sounds as if a compressor has been switched off, thereby allowing the guitar to establish itself a lot easier among the other instruments on stage, such as the drums or bass.

    As the dynamic range of an analog tube amp is limited by the laws of physics, power sagging can only go to a certain level before the breakdown of supply voltage destroys the beauty of the distortion characteristics. The Profiler allows for a much wider dynamic range, while preserving the character of the tubes at the same time.


    Clarity


    "Clarity" changes the sound of the distortion in a new and unique way. Turning the "Clarity" soft knob to the right will bring the clean character of the sound into focus without lowering the amount of distortion. The distortion itself will become less forward in the mid frequencies and sound far more transparent.
     
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  17. Liam

    Liam V.I.P. Member

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    Just a thought. Have you experimented with the filters in the cab block you are using for your 1959SLP model. Might just be that your QSC is faithfully reproducing some frequencies that none of the other setups are. If I'm teaching my granny to suck eggs, just let me know but otherwise:

    Go to the cab block and set the low cut at 110Hz and see if things get better. If it does, just tweak to taste, 90 - 110Hz works for me for most models. If it makes you feel any better, real Marshall 100 watt amps can have the same problem, and you end up having to roll the bass off. At least with the Axe you can set the filter and leave the bass turned up.

    Liam
     
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  18. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    This is a great suggestion and good details, too. I will experiment in a bit.

    I have been playing the 335 quite a bit to see which models it works with. It really likes most of the Fender models. But I tried at least 6 of the vintage Marshall models and it was the same old problem.

    Thanks, Liam. :yesway:
     
  19. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    It seems as though i had done some experimenting with this before. But I went back and made the changes Liam suggested. Not only did it make the models usable with the 335, but it makes them sound better with the Firebird (haven't tried the 330), also.

    I was concerned the change would make the models sound worse through headphones, where I had nothing but good things to say, previously. But they sound better through the headphones, too.

    Cool trick. :thumb:
     
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  20. Liam

    Liam V.I.P. Member

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    Glad that one worked out for you. If you start experimenting with different IRs, remember to go back and readjust. There is always a sweet spot...

    Liam
     

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