Which Tube Amp for Direct Recording is best for me?

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Dbchops, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. Dbchops

    Dbchops Junior Member

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    I have bias fx Studio but I want to start recording with real valve amps instead. I live in an apartment. After seeing a ton of great reviews for it, I plan on buying the Torpedo captor, which is a DI box, attenuator and loadbox. I was wondering what tube amp I should get (it could be a combo or just a head). I was thinking maybe an H&K Tubemeister 20, a peavey valve king 20, or maybe an Orange Rocker 15. I'm more into a classic and hard rock sound rather than super gain metal as far as the music I dig the most, although if possible I guess the most versatile amp i could get would be best. Some amps like the tubemesiter and valveking have the ability to lower the wattage like an attenuator would (like from 20 to 5 to 1) and I think both those have DI boxes built in as well. Also, There's a USB direct recording out on the valveking. I was wondering how that USB feature is, as compared to going DI with say the captor. I just want to broaden my ways of recording guitar rather than always relying purely on software amp sims, and I want to get the best tone possible. Also, I've read somewhere (I think on this site) that attenuators can potentially rob tone? So to recap, my main function for this amp is apartment recording, but I also would like to jam out in the bedroom as well sometimes (which is why I'm looking at low wattage, and attenuators) I currently do not gig, So I don't need the amp for that. My guitar is a 2017 Gibson Les Paul Tribute. Oh, my last dumb question is what OHMS should I get if I get the Torpedo Captor? I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it just needs to be the same OHMS as whatever amp I end up getting? Thanks.
     
  2. spitfire

    spitfire Senior Member

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    My 2 cents. I wouldn't chose an amp to match an attenuator. It should be the other way around. But looking at the specs, the Torpedo captor supports 4, 8 and 16 ohm inputs so it will work with any guitar.

    Lot's of options today. But if you're trying to get away from amp sims etc, I'd also look more towards using a mic rather than direct. Any sort of direct recording, even if coming from the tube amp itself is bypassing the speaker. And a LOT of the sound of an amp comes from the speaker. This is why good amp sim programs have good cabinet and room simulations.

    Concerning attunators and tone. The tone suck thing, I think is over stated. Is it different sure. But 90% of that is because ANYTHING is going to sound different at a lower volume. Humans hear things VERY differently at different volumes. And in general, the louder it is, the more we think it sounds better.

    Sure, the sound will actually be different with an attenuator. The amp will behave a little different as will the speaker. But different is just that, a bit different. That doesn't mean it is inherently worse. You might actually like it better.

    To me if you want to record a tube amp, get a decent mic and do it that way. Of course you also need a audio interface to record a mic.

    I bought a AKG Perception 220 about a year ago and really like it for a moderately priced mic ($150). Of course the SM57 dynamic mic is a standard for recording guitar amps. The nice thing about a mic is you can play around with mic placement to make significant changes in tone.
     
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  3. Dbchops

    Dbchops Junior Member

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    Thanks for the response Spitfire.

    Yes I have an interface. I forgot to mention the Torpedo also has a built in cab sim that can be utilized. Also, Two notes (The company that makes the box) has a software cabinent Impulse response library called 'wall of sound,' which has gotten quite good reviews.

    As far as miking the amp, I just assumed that was a complex art unto itself. But I'll bring it under consideration.
     
  4. Mr Insane

    Mr Insane Senior Member

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    Hughes and kettner is a good option.
     
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  5. Stuff

    Stuff Senior Member

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    The Two Notes Captor boxes don't have a built-in cab sim. You have to use the Wall of Sound plugin or a.n.other impulse response loader instead. I use the Redwirez Big Box for impulse responses, and I'm really happy with the results. It's close enough to a real mic n cab for me, and I love being able to switch impulse responses to bring the best of out different guitars.

    I like being able to simulate a mix of on-axis, off-axis and room mics all in one go. Doing that with real mics (and getting repeatable results!) without a dedicated studio space is at best a pain in the rear.

    Another reason to skip using real mics in a home setting: you have to crank real tube amps to get the best out of them. They can end up too loud for the other half / neighbours / landlord / local police to be happy about :)

    The Captor boxes are fixed ohm-age. Get the one that matches the speaker out of the amp you settle on. Where I am, it's proven impossible to get the 8 ohm box so far. They don't seem to be able to keep up with demand.

    As for which amp to get - get whichever amp is going to give you the sound you want.
     
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  6. RockyMtnGuitars

    RockyMtnGuitars Senior Member

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    I've been really happy with my Fender SuperChamp X2 for direct USB into computer recording, bypassing the amp/pedal sims. It isn't precisely what you're looking for but it is very versatile and straightforward. I'm happy with the sound. Check it out.
     
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  7. Dbchops

    Dbchops Junior Member

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    Cool. I checked it out. So the 1st channel is all tube and the second channel is digital modelling stuff? Do I have that right? Do you have the head or the combo? If you have the head, when direct recording, does it have e type of built in dummy load so you dont have to have it hooked up to a speaker, like for silent (headphones) recording? Thanks
     
  8. CaptainT

    CaptainT Senior Member

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  9. Dbchops

    Dbchops Junior Member

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  10. CaptainT

    CaptainT Senior Member

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    Some people don't like the tubemeister distortion. I however do, but I only played it around 1 hour at the store.
    If you like the sound, you might be happy with it.
     
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  11. RockyMtnGuitars

    RockyMtnGuitars Senior Member

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    I have the combo, so no idea on the dummy load portion. To the best of my knowledge it's tube all the time + modelling. There is a list floating around of the channels and what they map to. Lots of Fender amps, plus Vox clean, Vox dirty, two Marshals, a MesaBoogie, couple others. You can easily download Fuse and adjust the amp (if you do get this amp, immediately use Fuse to increase the mids - the face has only bass/treble knobs and the mids are very weak until tweaked through the software).

    I keep wanting to replace this amp, then I play it or use its features and decide I must keep it! I'll just buy additional amps when I can rather than get rid of this one. It's just too good - simple, flexible, sounds great, lots of features. Main thing it lacks is AUX in and headphones out.
     
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  12. efstop

    efstop Senior Member

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    The Peavey mini head is also available as the Classic. The USB and the XLR (also the headphones jack) are all miked speaker simulated. I don't know how the Peavey sounds DI into a console but my guitars sound great through the 'phones.
     

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