Are amps like V8’s?

HogmanA

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Something not mentioned but maybe worth considering is an isolation cab, if you've got room and ability to build one. That way you will get 'authentic' power amp compression, interacting with speaker compression - a large part of what is missing with low volume through large (10 or 12 in) speakers. Though you'll still have to add IR/ cab sim and room ambience/ reverb.
And, if we take the concept of small amps another stage further, I have had great results in the past with a fully wide open AC50 into multiple 5in hifi drivers. Doing this is what illustrated to me just how important the speaker compression really is for the classic guitar sounds and why, IMHO modern equipment often doesn't sound right (or if it does, gets there in comvoluted multi-thousand £$ solutions. Sometimes guitar players don't see what's staring them right in the face, myself included).
In the above example of 5in speakers, the distortion was Smooth, the sustain and feedback like you wouldn't believe at a volume you could talk (loudly) over. Nothing melted!

Disclaimer: copying a stranger on the internet and repurposing equipment may result in a burned down house.
 

cybermgk

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Thanks Randall, everyone’s replies have helped me in narrowing down what I want , this flitting thing is one of my ‘issues’, I had already recognised it in this case and slowed down my decision making on this one. I have decided on a good quality valve amp with a valve rectifier, I really want to get that natural bloom and sustain and learn to interact with the amps natural response. Not going to spend crazy money though, there are a few hand wired point to point heads I have looked at under £1,000. I suppose the big plexi thing I can get with pedals, interesting you mention the ‘reverend’ I am a fan, but don’t listen to ZZ that often, but his sound is one of the sounds in ‘my head’, so that’s decided on. The other sound isn’t so much page I have now realised, but that American blues sound, more bb king and other black American blues players sounds than say Page or Clapton, it’s a ‘thick’ sound, not high distortion, but overdriven and full.
Have to do it. Today's upper end modellers and profilers nail the " natural bloom and sustain and learn to interact with the amps natural response", and at the lowest volumes. It is primarily why I switched to modellers, after trying all the other tube based options, to get that cranked amp dynamics and feel. Now, I will say, until lately, only the higher end kit really nailed it. But, the lower end stuff is getting pretty close now. Not quite 100% there, but give em a year or two. But, that's my $0.02 Also depends on the amp being modelled. Not all tube amps have the same OT sag and interaction between rectifier, O Tubes, OT. Heck on my Axe (and Kemper when I had it) I couan and could adjust the OT sag to whatever I wanted, give SS rectifier amps, Tube rectifiers, etc.

But, if you're looking touch sensitive, tube amps, simpler is better. Volume, and EQ, maybe a Master Volume.

Odd you mention BB King. His #1 amp for most of his time was a Lab Series L5, a Solid State Amplifier. He went for a clean, crisp tone, not overdriven. Joe Bonamassa on the L5

"Everyone knows it as the “B.B. King” amp, but it’s also the Ronnie Montrose amp—and the Ty Tabor amp…It’s simply a kick-ass, solid-state amp. I like the immediacy of the older solid-state amps—they’re so punchy. The new digital solid-state junk is another story, but the old stuff is killin’. B.B.’s tone is great with the Lab Series. "

BB's backup was a Twin Reverb

Both not good choices, for at home, but also for getting more than just BB's blues tone (not without pedals).

Better choices, would be the Fender 68 Custom Princeton reverb or the 65 Reissue Princeton, or either version of the Deluxe Reverb. All of which are going to get loud, before you get that natural bloom and sustain from cooking tubes.

And as for pedals, for some of what you are talikg about, imho look at some of the Klon clones.
 
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mdubya

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My old Fender Champ (silverface) barely on with a fuzz in front produced some of the most authentic vintage tones imaginable. It was almost too loose. But spot on for 60's rock, even some AC/DC. Gotta work the guitar volume and tone though.

When the Champ was too loose, I would use my Champion 600 (solid state rectified, MIC). Real magic would happen when I stuck my ZVex Distortron between the fuzz and the amp. All of a sudden the little Champion 600 would sound like a JTM 45 with a fuzz in front. No fuzz, no magick, though.

My Marshall 2204 (JMP 50 watt, master volume) barely on, preamp on 8, through vintage Celestions produced great low volume classic Marshall tones (Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Cream, Free; Black Sabbath and Jimi when you add fuzz) but does/did not have the magick of the MV on 6. Great low volume Marshall tone, though, undeniably.

That was my rotating line up for years. Amps like the Vox AC4 and Marshall Class 5 were sold down the river for sucking. My Marshall Lead 12 and Lead 20 sound better.

These days, the Fractal AX8 handles all of my at home duties. The tones and versatility are off the charts at modest volumes. I still have the others, but they are idle.

I go from strength to strength. 18 watt Marshall to Tweed Deluxe, any type of Reverb to dry to Tremolo, to high gain with several dozen varieties of each, Dumbles, Trainwrecks, Boutique, you name it.

It is not the same as playing a loud tube amp in the room. But...what you can do, at any volume, is nothing short of amazing. If you can't (or don't want to) play a plexi at volume in a good sounding room every day, modeling is the next best option. IMHO, of course.

I could get by with a good clean amp with an effects loop and dozens of pedals, but I really have no use for that with the Fractal.

I still run my favorite fuzzes and ODs in front of the Fractal, but the ones in the AX8 itself are awesome, too. I find myself using those more and more.

Low volume heaven right here.

 

cherrysunburst00

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If you plan to keep playing for years, keep an eye out for a used Mercury V. You still lovin' yours, cherry? I am, it is perfect at high or low volume, and all points in between :yesway:
HECK YEAH!!!! The V goes just a step further than the Mercury. And with the attenuation circuitry, you can get right between the .1 and 1/2 watt of the Mercury. The Mercury V ain't going anywhere!!
 

cherrysunburst00

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Aye, the idea of the 6l6 was to use as a pedal platform initially, then I got side tracked, so I think my original idea is the one. The Marshall studio 20 keeps appearing when I search for amps, wasn’t looking at it as assumed that it wouldn’t be what I was after. So will see what they are all about. I still don’t know enough about amps, not something I have really paid any attention too previously, my main amp for my playing had been the Carrera which I sold. As want to step up from that quality and tone wise. Some kinda 6l6/6v6 based head, the bogner phi ticks a lot of boxes, but not going there till I really understand what I want and my playing is at a level that can use an amp in that range. Amps I had been looking at are various modded FBJ, there is a guy in U.K. who takes the chassis and point to point wires them and changes a few things, but two el84 going to be loud though, looked at egnater heads as well. I like the idea of those little 1 watt Marshall's but at £800 for one a bit extravagant for what may be a one trick pony. In replay to your mentioning most of those tones are fenders, I shouldn’t be surprised given they are all American musicians but I am. I don’t associate any fender amps with that kind of sound, looked at the brown face, and it’s the ‘brown sheep’ of the family for sure, but also surprised how many dirty fenders are out there in the wild.
Have you thought about a Cornell Plexi 7? I've been wanting one for some time. Bought 1 last year on reverb, but the guy cancelled the transaction and relisted it.
 

Brek

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Yes I have looked at that, whats with some people though eh? Cancelling a sale? when we get back to some kind of normal will have a big trip out to listen to a few I think. Regarding modelling amps what’s the processor used? What kind of power we talking about number crunching wise?
 

Brek

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@ mdubya what version/year of the silver face are you talking about? There are a few on eBay ranging from£550 to £1250 internal boards look different. I am liking the sound of this one, if it’s that saggy, sounds like it will be an ideal option to get me understanding how sag and my playing interact and as Randall mentioned if Clapton used it it’s good enough for me. Just need advice on not buying a turkey.
 

Brek

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A couple for consideration:



although the above champ is a 110v version, which I am not sure about, step down transformers will they mess up the amps response?


The above is a later ‘81 version, still has the saggy sound?
It seems it’s the tweed version clapton used, just listened to a strat being played trough one, instant Layla. Also, one of my page reference tones I have just read about, was page going direct into desk for main black dog riff, which blows everything I thought to smithereens. I think these guys are having fun with us dropping little nuggets of info to see if they get repeated and incorporated in tone ‘Canon’, heard that the Rev has two stories for ‘la grange’ one is the tweed, the other is a Marshall 100w head, same with his use of 8’s. I just want sagggg..... maybe I should start a YouTube series called, ‘Does it sagggg?’ Lol. Thanks all inputs and opinions. Seems like I still got a lot to learn and understand before committing to an amp especially if I go balls deep with something in the higher end price range. The blackstar is going for sure, going to persevere with the little Marshall’s for a while,I have all the speaker options to play with, 4 different 10in a 2x12in alnico blues. Just a case of tweaking them if I get a sound I like will leave them at that setting for my simple plug and play idea.
 
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Brek

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Best wishes, wherever your quest leads you :thumb: I have found contentment :yesway:
not surprised, most amps in the range the Carr seem to bring same result, happy tones, hence very few for sale ever, same with Dr Z, and all the others.
 

mdubya

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@ mdubya what version/year of the silver face are you talking about? There are a few on eBay ranging from£550 to £1250 internal boards look different. I am liking the sound of this one, if it’s that saggy, sounds like it will be an ideal option to get me understanding how sag and my playing interact and as Randall mentioned if Clapton used it it’s good enough for me. Just need advice on not buying a turkey.
Mine is a 1978.

Personally, I would probably go for a Princeton or Deluxe Reverb if I was in the market. Reverb and Tremolo have become very important to me. The Champ has no effects loop, no reverb. You can find a Vibro Champ, though. And a reverb tank.

This is a very old photo. This setup nailed Disraeli Gears, imho.



I would look at something like Silvertone 1482, also. Basically a Deluxe with Tremolo and no reverb. None of these is particularly "at home" friendly, IMO. Usable, yes. But not "great" at low volume.
 

cybermgk

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I could get by with a good clean amp with an effects loop and dozens of pedals, but I really have no use for that with the Fractal.
I did exactly that (8 or 9 amp in a box pedals, another 6 or 7 drive pedals), along with a slew of small wattage heads and amps. All gone now because of the Axe. Well, I still have a few pedals, like Klon, Klon clone, Tube screamer a few others that are collectible. Still use the Klon and TS with the Axe.
 

mdubya

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I did exactly that (8 or 9 amp in a box pedals, another 6 or 7 drive pedals), along with a slew of small wattage heads and amps. All gone now because of the Axe. Well, I still have a few pedals, like Klon, Klon clone, Tube screamer a few others that are collectible. Still use the Klon and TS with the Axe.
I have gotten to the point where I use the onboard effects more and more, but having the real thing around to A/B is very useful. And I love my old pedals. :thumb:
 

cybermgk

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Regarding modelling amps what’s the processor used? What kind of power we talking about number crunching wise?
Depends on the kit

As to my Axe FX III, https://www.fractalaudio.com/iii/
"Two 1.0 GHz, floating-point “Keystone” Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) comprise the main audio engine. These processors are the most powerful DSPs available delivering over twice the performance of the DSPs used in our previous generation product "

As well as 2 other processors handling interface and USB work respectively. SOme of the most complex presets, with multiple amp modules, 4 or more Speaker CABs blended, reverbs, delays, compressors, drive pedals, with 4 channels per each drive, fx, CAB and amp (i.e. each channel with different settings for each block, and 8 different scenes, barely drive unit to over 50% of it's horesepower.

Even my Axe II XL+ (Currently for sale on this forum) used 2 Military grade TigerSHARC DSPs
https://www.fractalaudio.com/p-axe-fx-ii-preamp-fx-processor/

I never maxxed it's processing power out, and the most complex presets I ever ran topped out at 80% or so of it's capacity.

Not sure what @mdubya Axe 8 runs, but it's next generation replacement is the FM3, and it runs
a 3-Core “Griffin” DSP with one ARM and two SHARC+ cores providing superior power in a compact format. A dedicated graphics processor allows the main DSPs to be focused on critical audio tasks
https://www.fractalaudio.com/fm3/

I know the Helix options (there are like 4) run dual DSPs . Not sure, what kind.

Even the Blackstar Silverline Combo Amps run Sharc DSPs.
 

NotScott

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I wouldn't get hung up on the type of processors used in modelers. Different modelers use different approaches and require different levels of processing. It comes down to how they sound and feel.

I know this is all out of the budget you mentioned but just as general background:

Axe uses cutting edge technology because it uses very intensive processes in an attempt to digitally recreate an analog circuit down to the component level. The more processing available, provides for a more accurate model with more options and less mathematical "assumptions".

Kemper uses an old processor. However, it's approach is to mathematically recreate the output of an analog source, which requires significantly less processing than an Axe. Incidentally, this is the exact same process used by FFT analyzers used to tune large sound systems so it is a proven, accurate technology, even using less powerful processors.

As for the results, the Kemper is still the only digital device I have heard or played that sounds and feels like an old tweed or old Vox, and I have plenty of those old amps to do direct comparisons with. The Kemper seems to do the cleaner to edge of break-up tones better to my ears. Overdriven Marshall tone seems to be easier for both and I would be happy with either if that was my primary tonal objective.

I would boil it down to this. If your budget dictates one or the other, if you just intend to play at home and do some recording, and won't be playing small gigs or jams, go for a modeler. If you plan on jamming with others, go for an amp. You could also do the modeling combo route that would do both at a very attractive price point but I have no experience to offer with those.

Have fun with the process and don't over-think it. Only you know what will be best for you.
 

Brek

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fair point, the fact its floating point dsp is something i understand,
 
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cybermgk

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As for the results, the Kemper is still the only digital device I have heard or played that sounds and feels like an old tweed or old Vox, and I have plenty of those old amps to do direct comparisons with. The Kemper seems to do the cleaner to edge of break-up tones better to my ears. Overdriven Marshall tone seems to be easier for both and I would be happy with either if that was my primary tonal objective.
I had both the Kemper and Axe FX II XL+, and they both sounded and felt like the amps I was familiar with. YMMV. Choosing right now, I would still recommend going with the form factor and interface that works best for you, AND how deep you want to experiment. Though, you can still get a GIG able rig with the Kemper for cheaper, particularly if you go powered Kemper and already owned Guitar CAB.

I can only speak on the Blackstar Silverline and Spak, right now, as far as current Modeller Combos go. Silverline is better than the last Gen ID:TVP. I thought it felt better and sounded better than the Katana's I tried. It'd very good. Not up to the Axe or Kemper for the total package, feels and tones. But, it is pretty close. Same for the Spark.
 

cybermgk

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fair point, the fact its floating point dsp is something i understand, i feel it is important in terms of how it responds as an analog type device, in my field (vfx) we get away with single point precision as in 'if it looks ok it is ok', the scientific use of the same type of gpu processing needs double point precision.
Best bet is to go out and watch some vids with good speakers or Headphones. Fractal ONLY sells direct, so it is hard to try one in person, unless you know some one. Kemper only slightly easier, as there are Dealers, that you might be able to try one in.

The modelling combos et all are carried everywhere.
 

Brek

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i edited the waffle out, wasn't relevant. lol. Boutique fender clones are a rabbit hole of their own, two rock, /13, Carr, they all like those high end prices. Been offered a Carr mini Mercury for a good price, well, lower than others I have seen. So many combos though, I wanted a head ideally.
I have been playing with the Marshall’s today as found my spl meter and a battery, my bearable in room level for me is 100db at 1 meter, which any of with the various alnico‘s gives any one watter cranked the feel and air movement i crave. But, they are stupid money for what they are, NPI. That 100db was which the Marshall origin 5 at reduced power setting and volume half way, guitar half way as well. Actual amp sound was meh, as I mention a lot, compressed sounding but not in a nice way, tried all my ecc 80 valves in v1 and v2, 81’s, 82’s, no change to the basic sound or feel, they are ok with pedals, but that’s it. I think the obvious conclusion staring me right in the face for that little room is modelling.
 
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