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Discussion in 'Other Amps' started by royslead, Feb 20, 2021.
Me too should be here early April.
Nice to hear I am not the only pioneer.
Years ago I started with a Line6 Bean Pro (black color, table top model) I like the user-base "Patches" over the factory presets. Currently have AxEfx III and Kemper, both have there're pros & cons, very flexible designs and sounds really good through my Fryette PowerStation II w/4X12's
I also Really like both modelers through my VHT 2150 Poweramp (purple anodized). Over all I still prefer Tube Amps, particularly 100w both IR and mic'ed (SLO & BE-100 main gigging amps) also XTC 100b, CAA PT-100, VHT Pittbull Classic 100, Mesa Roadster, Mesa MKII-C+.
What are some of the cons with the Axe?
Well I dont know which multi unit you have but the trick for me on that was a compressor first in the chain always on.
I use a GSP1101. I turned off the compressor in my most used patches, because of the "blanket over the speaker" effect it seemed to have.
Not really a Con but for me I find my own problem is "Constantly tweaking parameters" possibly just my own inconsistency. Friends that primarily use the AxEfx say "The tone/sound never changes" and Always the same, but doesn't have the Give/feel of a tube amp.
My Kemper is easier to dial-in a good tone, friends that "Profile Artist tones" seem to sound pretty convincing, though most feel if you profile EVH tones especially VH1/VH2 "Don't over emphasize" your playing will change the overall feel. I don't know I don't use artist-profiles.
I normally use tube amps and both Fractal & Kemper are just for convenience in the studio or if I'm doing sessions or out playing small crowded stages where 4X12's have no room, just enough room for a small rack to send to FOH and through stage monitors.
I've heard some "Amazing" tones from the Axe through tube poweramps or through an Amplifiers Effect-Loop, combination of tube and feel.....
—(needlessly) proprietary IRs
—somewhat complex UI with a fairly steep learning curve
I have been lucky to have a couple friends in high places @ YGG/Line6. If any of my Line 6 gear dies on me ever all I gotta do is ask for a new unit and it will be on my doorstep the next day. Never had to do it and I won't unless I absolutely have to but it's great having that option. The people there at YGG/Line 6 are HUGE on loyalty and customer service. I have used AXE FX and Kemper at venues that backline with them and I borrowed my buddy's KPA for a month a couple years ago. TBH if I were always going direct I'd go with Kemper but it's still not 100% there for me. I only go direct when I have to because I still much prefer going 4 cable into a tube amp.
The LA Comp in the Helix doesn't do that fortunately. Maybe try an EQ first in the chain and bump the level up about 2-3db?
Agree 100%. I have had to put a call in and as you say, a replacement was on my doorstep the next day.
That's cool you have those relationships. I started modeling with an original Floor Pod when they first came out back in 2006, then went to an HD500x, now a Stomp. But, I think this is where I get off, since I want to go rack mount and the Helix Rack is 3x the price of a Stomp but doesn't offer 3x the value.
Does L6 have anything for loyal customer retention?
In the end I love the tones I get with the Stomp and hope I don't miss them, but I'm excited to try something new.
I'm still using the HD Pro X. it does everything I need it to and the cost of the newer offerings from Fractal and Line 6 are too steep for me to justify an upgrade at this point. I also like that the HD series is getting super cheap used now so if mine ever dies I could buy 2 more and still be under the new gen cost wise.
The biggest reason why I hold onto the POD is because I use it in 4CM with my JCM 900 and either run a real speaker or send it to my DAW through a Torpedo and then into Wall of Sound. I dont use the any of the cab modeling in the POD, just use it as a multifx and to add a clean preamp to my single channel Marshall.
I guess I'd upgrade if I was using it as a standalone unit but for what I'm using it for the HD series still has lot of value even in 2021. To my ears the FX and preamps still sound great, possibly on par with the new gen. It was really the cab modeling that held these HD units back.
How are the coloring effects in the Ax III? I'm still very much leaning that way and am curious. I'm going to do a little more searching and reading up on that but figured I'd start right here. I'm almost positive it can be used as a multi effect unit (?) and not purely and "all in one guitar tone modler". I'm sure I'll be fully utilizing it that way, as a direct recording "modeling"tool for other amp/cab/mic'd tones different than my "real" amps, shit, that's the main reason I'm looking at it, but the idea of also having some stellar verbs, delays, etc, when using my actual amps for tracking is adding to the gas.
Funny thing is "my son" knows more about Tweaking the AxEfx than me. If I use it to record say a session for someone else, the engineer will connect it pretty straight forward with no effects, then they'll add during the Mix. There are parameters that I've touched-on but haven't heavily explored yet.
Players like Vai, Lifeson and Petrucci for years only use them for the Effects, whereas Metallica in recent years have Modeled their favorite Amps and then played through "Tube Poweramps" (Kirk with his Jose modded Marshall, james with his Diezel etc.) and time periods, Black Album to others.
Currently AxEfx III is 2,099.99 which is a bit of money but worth it if you like a "Consistent" modeling device, (and you like tweaking) you can nail almost any amp/effects tone, amazing processor.
I can tell you most players I know much Prefer the Fractal over Kemper! (I have both) I'm like you where we love "Tube Amps", I just sent yesterday my BE-100 to Dave for additional mods, Amps forever \../
^^^ Thanks for the feedback. Interesting about some of the big shots using them for multi effects. I read that on another board last night as well - they do have a steep price tag but apparently it delivers the goods, I'm sure it will destroy my ancient Lexicon MPX 550 anyway when it comes to effects and so on. Don't want to get into any Fractal vs Kemper vs XXXX, etc, talk (some folks get too emotional over personal gear choices) but I agree, from clips I've heard and a couple of friends that own these things, for my tastes/needs, I'm also preferring the Axe III.
The way I plan on using a modeler will depend on the music (making music is always gonna be what matters most for me) but I figure for recording it will be a killer addition, I don't personally really care if it doesn't "feel" or thump, etc, like the real deal in a loud, live situation through a pwr amp/head, nothing can replace the real thing for that IMO, but in a mix a great modeler these days seems to sound every bit as authentic as real amps, even high gain tones. Killer studio tool. On it's own I'm sure someone with great ears may spot it as a modeler - but I'll never let that happen as I still fully intend on using my SLO or XTC in song moments when the guitar is alone in a mix, say like a heavy intro, etc, but it should be great for dropping in hip tones within the mix.
That's nice on the BE-100...can't imagine what he could add for ya lol, they're already amazing in stock form! Speaking of real tube amps - I just re-tubed my XTC and can't wait to get my new DAW all up and running again (new pc, sound card and Cubase 11) to track that puppy! The SLO is next haha (one at a time $$)
Talking about££ I have been visiting the QC forum in readiness for my delivery. I can't believe how much some people spend on speakers for their modellers. Like between 1 and 2 k.
i thought that the idea of a modeller was that speaker was not important.
Anyhow £500 max is my budget for an frfr type speaker. But then I am not a real musician.
That is a lot of bacon! I guess if you're using a modeler in a traditional live setup (with a pwr amp/cab vs routing direct to the house system) as your main gigging rig, sure, invest in the right speakers, but otherwise, I hear ya, the draw for me (already owning some nice tube amps/cabs) of a modeler is the direct in/studio route and then monitoring with phones or desktop spkrs.
Depending on your rig and your needs, the speaker is VERY important. If you are using a modeler for its cab emulations, IR's and the like, you must have a full range flat response or PA type speaker (you don't want the speaker's own voicing "coloring" the sound of the emulation or IR); so, when you look at all the choices available, there, it isn't too hard to fathom what some will spend. I however, will not and have not spent much. I use either a Headrush FR-112 powered speaker, or a cab or two loaded with PA type speakers. This, by the way, is really only a factor, if playing live, for stage sound, and not necessarily direct to FOH.
Derek your a Great player and I'm sure you'll come to a perfect solution and I'll tell you the Lexicon 550 is a wonderful processor, I still own a PCM 70 "that's old" though in perfect condition. It can be tough choosing gear especially when you have family and obligations to consider.
Your SLO & XTC are two "Power houses" of amps!!! but I also understand it's cool to have modelers. Steve Howe of Yes mentioned his preference of Line6 Helix to go out on the road, instead of his longtime Fender Twins, I'm sure there more easier to carry.
I'm sure you'll make the Right choice..... \../
If you are playing live and running direct to FOH you will want to eventually invest in a decent stage monitor, unless you plan on rolling the dice and using whatever is avail at each venue which is a bad idea IME. If you are playing at home get a pr of decent near field monitors. That’s what Cliff uses to dial in the AXE tones.
The ‘boutique FRFR’ craze is all about taking advantage of guitar players IMO. Heck Dave Friedman unabashedly slaps his name on a box and charges double the price and guys seem to eat it up. You definitely don’t need a $1400 PA speaker for your modeler to sound it’s ‘best’.