Amp modelers vs real deal

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by EL 34, May 25, 2020.

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Real amp vs modeler

  1. I prefer the real amps

  2. I prefer modelers

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  1. dro

    dro Well-Known Member

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    I was a solid state amp guy running multi fx emulators for years. If you can find a good one and need the portability and ease of use (once programmed ) great. What made me revert back to the old school was recording. I was really interested in the Fractal when they came out. Heard a few shows where they were used. Sound was left a bit short. Where I came from there was a venue with very small stage space. Heard some older acts in there that were Marshall, or Bogner players. One played a 2x12 combo that sounded great. Others were direct with what I have read were Fractal that came up short. Of course the majority of the crowd can't tell the difference. Most people are amazed by a 1,4,5 progression. A friend/producer in the area, used modelers exclusively for guitar work to keep from having to deal with amp noise. To me, the tone in his recording always fell short. May have been better if he would actually run them through a good tube amp. Then again.
     
  2. DaDoc

    DaDoc Well-Known Member

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    OK, what I'm reading here is that one of these new high-tech modeling rigs costs between $1500-$1700 bucks..About the price of a good used Marshall..I can score a Marshall handwired 2061 or one of those new Vintage Plexi low-wattage heads for gigs for less than that if I'm worried about volume or trucking heavy gear.. Hell, you could put a little more $$ with that and score a vintage Fender Deluxe Reverb or even an old JMP 50 or 100 watter, it's going to be interesting to see if the modeling stuff is still around 50 years from now, like my old JMP is.

    And just what happens when that modeler goes south? I've never met a single tech that can work on those things, they HATE that junk and won't ( or can't ) work on them. I sometimes make a game of asking salespeople trying to push modelers on me in music stores where I can take them for repair when they break down, and suddenly they're at a loss for words. From what I've seen so far you just have to chunk that $1700 piece of high-tech and buy another one, or send it back to China to have some computer tech repair it..Probably at around the same cost of a new one I'm betting, which is exactly what the manufacturer is counting on!

    To all those world-class players who use that shit, $1700 is like buying a six-pack of beer to the rest of us. But when I drop that kind of dinero I want something that's going to last a LOONNNNNG effing time, preferably a lifetime! Which is exactly what amps like Marshalls, Fenders, Vox, ect. do.

    IMHO, What the whole thing is really all about is just more of the high-tech geek mega-corporations trying to push us into the brave new world that's making them billionaires. The modeling stuff sounds fake and sterile, but the average millennial concert-goer probably can't tell the difference, and probably cares even less. Sad times.

    And besides all that, if I get to the point of being too weak or lazy to carry a real amp and effects to a gig it's going to be time for me to retire from playing out..:noplease:
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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  3. SonVolt

    SonVolt Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    I'd take anything the guitarist for Creed says with a huge grain of salt.
     
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  4. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member

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    True, you can buy a nice amp for the same price as a modeler. But you only have one amp then. With the modelers you have a lot of great amps (modeled, of course) as well as some quality effects. I'm not promoting modelers over amps or amps over modelers. Just a reminder that you get a lot of options with a modeler (which I'm sure you're well aware of :)). In time I've been using and reading about modelers they seem pretty stable overall. Yes, you're going to get your occasional failure and working on them, if you even can, is nothing like working on an amp. It's a trade-off one has to take into consideration.

    I have both and run my Helix 4CM through my DSL. Some songs it's all DSL with the Helix for effects, and other songs I use a preamp in the Helix and route the signal to my effects return so the DSL is just a power amp. I like having the options. I haven't gone full Helix/direct to FOH yet, and not sure I ever will. But to each his own I guess.

    Great thread and it's interesting to hear everyone's opinions. Good stuff!
     
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  5. Dmann

    Dmann Well-Known Member

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    "So what happens when that modeler goes south"

    like all electronics including tube amps, you take it to a tech and get it repaired. In 25 years of using modelers never had to get it repaired, 78 JMP 2203 was in the shop at least 2x a year for 20 years.... and You won't be paying for tubes, or blown sockets, so it will be a lot cheaper.

    And just FYI, Fractal Audio, Kemper, and Line 6 are not from China, not made in China, and not repaired by China.

    Some of the arguments against are pretty silly boys....
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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  6. Frodebro

    Frodebro Well-Known Member

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    Not to mention that many of the so-called "techs" are self-taught in tube circuits (which are stupidly simple), and have zero formal training in modern (as in post 1970) electronics.
     
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  7. saxon68

    saxon68 Well-Known Member

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    Sheldon is lucky, he only likes the big boy.
    I like the big boy, the whopper, the Big Mac, the occasional McRib, and a chicken sammich sometimes. This way I can have whichever I want on any given day, without having to buy them all.


    I’m not knocking tube amps, I love them also. I just don’t want to buy a room full of them
    :)
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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  8. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    in the last few years, I've probably spent as much, or more, on maintenance/repair of my tube equipment, that I use ¼ the time that I do my Kemper (if that), than I did buying the Kemper...
     
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  9. SonVolt

    SonVolt Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Does anyone really question the durability of solid state electronics? I've got cheap K-Mart stereos from the '80s that still work. Hell, my original Nintendo NES still works and I beat the shit out of it growing up.
     
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  10. Frodebro

    Frodebro Well-Known Member

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    Everything orbiting the Earth is solid state. All of those machines in the hospitals that keep people from dying are solid state.
     
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  11. SonVolt

    SonVolt Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    If my mother in law ever goes on a ventilator I hope it's got EL34s and point-to-point wiring.
     
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  12. jimmyjames

    jimmyjames Well-Known Member

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    *puts the flowers in water, pulls the tubes for spares*
     
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  13. tallcoolone

    tallcoolone Well-Known Member

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    Just posted these on another thread, relevant here. Show me someone who can’t get a good tone out of one of the top line modelers, I’ll show you someone who is either lying about their experience or just doing it wrong.



     
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  14. EL 34

    EL 34 Well-Known Member

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    I run my Marshalls hard and never had one fail. Even a 30+ year old amp. <knock on wood>
     
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  15. DaDoc

    DaDoc Well-Known Member

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    a
    Fair enough. I guess that was a bit presumptive of me. Although I fail to understand why preferring a genuine tube amp that's proved to last for upwards of 50 years over a piece of high-tech fluff that generates fake sounds and thus far has not been around long enough to see if it stands the test of time "silly". I can remember a few decades back when people were saying "Vinyl LP.s are outdated junk, Cd's are the way of the future!" Now take a look around, vinyl's come back in a big way.

    As far as finding a tech to work on the stuff? Maybe you know of one, but every time I've inquired in a music store where one could find someone to fix (enter modeling amp name here), the music store guys have ALWAYS danced around the question and usually fall back on something like "Well, they seldom break down!" And they never have anyone on-premises that can..Although they always have someone who can work on tube amps, or at least know of someone who can..At least, that's been my experience.


    And as far as my apparently inaccurate statement about modelers being made in China..The thing is, it seems that pretty much everything comes from China these days, which was the basis for my statement. I do know there's a lot of amps being built over there..A few years back I was shopping for a new combo amp and was looking over a Vox AC-15, when I looked at the back panel there it was- "Made in China", along with a lot of Chinese writing that I couldn't read..I passed.

    So where ARE all these modeling amps you listed built? Japan? U.K? U.S.A? Inquiring minds want to know! :rolleyes:

    And lastly, it looks like the poll is pretty silly as well, since so far there's been not a single vote cast favoring modelers. :hmm:
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
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  16. DaDoc

    DaDoc Well-Known Member

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    It's true..Modelers are the junk food/fast food of the amplifier world! :naughty:
     
  17. CraigP

    CraigP Well-Known Member

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    Last I saw, he was using AxeFx-III on tour...could be wrong, wouldn't be first time or last.
     
  18. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member

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    Be careful that your Nintendo doesn't do a Jumanji on you or you'll find yourself in some other land being chased by savages :)

    This is so mean it's funny.

    I didn't answer the poll because for me, a Helix user, I don't prefer one over the other. I think someone else mentioned that in thread too. If you're an amp guy - simple answer though.

    Plus, this is a Marshall amp forum. Let's run this same poll on a Helix, Fractal or Kemper forum and see the results lol. Not saying it will be all modeler, but I suspect the responses won't be so amp heavy.
     
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  19. DaDoc

    DaDoc Well-Known Member

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    Yup, maybe someone should come up with an "amp modeler forum"..:lol:

    Judging from the replies, it does seem there's a lot of folks on here that like modelers..I just find it funny none of them have cast a vote preferring them over a tube amp is all.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
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  20. CraigP

    CraigP Well-Known Member

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    I like my SS amps, love my tubes and will absolutely sell everything else before my AxeFx-III. Anytime and any venue, I will get done with balance and soundcheck using my modeler faster, lighter, clearer and "I bet you can't A/B differentiate" between tubes and cabs or my < 50 pounds modeler setup.

    All that "amp in the room" stuff kinda goes out the window when you compensate for Fletcher/Munson with a little volume and speaker cabs or FRFR cabs, monitors and FOH at performance levels.
     
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