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Thread: How many of you are playing modelers?

  1. #1

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    How many of you are playing modelers?

    Currently using an Eleven Rack rig. Contemplating going to a low watt combo (front runners are vintage Fender Champ, Bad Cat, or Dr. Z mini Z)

    I like the silent feature for rehearsing with small kids...but miss the feel of the live amp.

    What are y'all using amp-wise?

  2. #2

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    I do. I also have a small tube head, but it turns out that even just 7.5/15W into a 2x12 is WAY LOUD.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by wesman11483 View Post
    Currently using an Eleven Rack rig. Contemplating going to a low watt combo (front runners are vintage Fender Champ, Bad Cat, or Dr. Z mini Z)

    I like the silent feature for rehearsing with small kids...but miss the feel of the live amp.

    What are y'all using amp-wise?
    Mesa JP2C here. No true justification for having it as I'm a bedroom player (although I'd love to get back into playing with other musicians for fun).

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    Taylor 414CE
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  4. #4

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    I had a Mark V for a while and had an Archon for a bit and also a Bad Cat CubII. Now I play an AXEIII and I don't miss playing through an amp at all. I can play through about any type of amp I feel like now.

  5. #5

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    Yes and no.
    When I play in front of people, I’m using a helix. At home, I’m playing through an Axe III, Mesa Roadster, or Mark IV. I own a few other amps, but don’t have a need for them as Axe does most of the tones I could ever want, and I’m keeping the Mesas as much for sentimental reasons as being able to plug in and rock out every now and then.

    From a sound perspective, modeling is indistinguishable to me. From a feel perspective, there is just something about having a guitar cab hitting you with higher SPLs that a modeler and headphones or FRFR hasn’t achieved.

    I have run my Helix into the power section of my Mark IV (and on into the 412), and I couldn’t distinguish between the Mark IV preamp vs the helix
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  6. #6

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    Fractal AX8. It’s the future and the future is now.
    Silhouette (2007), Sunburst
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by wesman11483 View Post
    I like the silent feature for rehearsing with small kids...but miss the feel of the live amp.

    I’ve never played through an Axe or Helix. How would you say it feels different? Some people say they can’t hear a difference, but you don’t think it feels like a live amp. I’m just trying to get a better idea in case I want to go that route someday.



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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by radrock View Post
    I’ve never played through an Axe or Helix. How would you say it feels different? Some people say they can’t hear a difference, but you don’t think it feels like a live amp. I’m just trying to get a better idea in case I want to go that route someday.
    I know this is probably a cliche, but I get a lot of my dynamic changes from how heavy or light I strum, so as jmmp said, there's just something to hearing/feeling it from a cab. Maybe my sound guys just aren't giving me enough (and I've never loved in ears)...I always get compliments on my tone...I just always feel like there is "something" missing...

  9. #9

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    These days there are plenty of amps that sound great at low volumes, not to mention the number of attenuators and load boxes on the market. So I think if you're drawn to a modeler, it's probably not just to solve the volume problem.

    IMO, for players that love to tweak, want a wide sonic palette, or need a more portable rig, it's hard to argue against the current generation of modelers. But that doesn't make them any better or worse than traditional amps.

    If you have an amp/rig you love and don't want to go down the rabbit hole of preset tweaking, firmware updates, or A/B testing against real amps, then you're probably not going to love modelers.

    Personally I'm in the latter camp. I love my amp (Guytron), it sounds great from gig levels down to whisper volumes at home, and I'm not missing anything. (I do buy the odd other amp for fun, but they usually don't last too long.)

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jlbasscatcher View Post
    I can play through about any type of amp I feel like now.
    So true...I have an "American" bank (Fender, Matchless, and Mesa) and a "British" bank (Vox, Marshall, and Orange) and feel pretty versatile...and my wife much prefers the price tag of the Eleven Rack!

  11. #11

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    Playing through a Kemper. I think what comes after the modeler/profiler makes a big difference in how amp-like it feels. My Kemper has the power amp, but I've never used it with a cab. I play through Yamaha HS8 powered studio monitors on the output of a Focusrite interface, and have more than enough headroom to get the kind of response I would expect from an amp. Personally, I wouldn't trade the versatility of picking from the huge range of profiles for playing through a single amp.

    I don't care much for the built-in effects of the Kemper, and seldom use them. I stick with my pedals, or sometimes DAW effects if recording.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by beej View Post
    If you have an amp/rig you love and don't want to go down the rabbit hole of preset tweaking, firmware updates, or A/B testing against real amps, then you're probably not going to love modelers.

    Personally I'm in the latter camp. I love my amp (Guytron), it sounds great from gig levels down to whisper volumes at home, and I'm not missing anything. (I do buy the odd other amp for fun, but they usually don't last too long.)
    It's funny...for about four years as a worship leader I just ran a krank rev jr punched LOUD to a Randall 4x12 miced up in a room stuffed with mattresses...
    Then, when that setup was no longer practical in the space I was in every weekend, I moved to the Randall MTS stuff (I am still seriously considering swapping out my Eleven Rack for one of the new Synergy units) to control stage volume but maintain the real amp "feel."

    In the instances since when I have migrated back to the combo camp, I am always THAT guy who will have a tube or cable fritz out between soundcheck and set...so the modeler became a reliable yet necessary evil of convenience and relative consistency.

    Quote Originally Posted by jones4tone View Post
    I don't care much for the built-in effects of the Kemper, and seldom use them. I stick with my pedals, or sometimes DAW effects if recording.
    I don't love the "in the box" effects on the Eleven either. But I have a TC Electronics d-two delay in the FX Loop that sounds pretty good!
    Last edited by wesman11483; 01-03-2019 at 09:40 PM.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by radrock View Post
    Iíve never played through an Axe or Helix. How would you say it feels different? Some people say they canít hear a difference, but you donít think it feels like a live amp. Iím just trying to get a better idea in case I want to go that route someday.
    The difference is that what youíre hearing in a FRFR setup, which is what theyíre designed for, is the micíd sound of the rigónot an actual cabinet pushing air, although the FRFR or monitor is a speaker pushing air. Also, the FRFR setup lets you change the cabinet to nearly infinite possibilities, so you can not only change to nearly any amp you want to play, you can also change the cab. This makes a huge difference.

    I play my AX8 through FRFR for the ridiculous flexibility, but also turn the cab simulation off and play through a Bad Cat 2x12 with a Power Stage 170 for that cab in the room feelóless and less as time passes.
    Last edited by Wahoonc; 01-03-2019 at 09:44 PM.
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  14. #14

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    IME, most modelers do a good job of sounding like a recorded track, at low volume.

    A subset of those also do a good job of sounding like a recorded guitar track, played loudly.

    Only a small handful seem capable of sounding like a regular amp and then mostly when plugged into a regular cabinet, with regular drivers, etc.

    All three categories seem useful to me.

    Sadly, none of them make me a better player.

  15. #15

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    who doesn't play modelers? I mean you can just click on garage band and use it as a modeler. It sounds ok and it will do for practice. If you miss the rack gear of yesteryear then fire up guitar rig from NI.

    My UAD apollo has amps that sound pretty darn good.

    I am not selling my tube amps because I love the sound of a raging tube amp. The way it sounds in a room.

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