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Author Topic: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist  (Read 1125 times)

Online firemodel55

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TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« on: August 06, 2017, 12:55:53 PM »
Its been awhile since I wrote anything to about tone.

I have observed the following developments in the Philippines:


-More and More effects coming up and more and more made in Asia for cost savings.
-Smaller is now better from anybody's point of view.
-Modeling and Digital seem to represent flexibility in Tone OR a cheaper alternative to collect them all.
-Local DIY.
-Almost Non-existent Made in USA or MIJ gear.
-Smaller Venues to perform in.


On Modelling:

I recently read an article on line that sings praise to the Roland Blues Cube.  It was an article written by someone who has given up tube amps for the convenience of the new Blues Cube. 
When I tested one in Perfect Pitch, I liked it but I did not pull the trigger because it was NOT made in USA or Europe.  I am very biased because when it comes to amps, Roland has a lower standard to meet price point requirements.  So after reading the article, I decided to let go of my bias and to go off to try it again.
But after plugging into my tube amps, I realized that the Blues Cube would never sound as good as the genuine article.  In fact, I decided to debunk each advantage of so called Modellers in combo format.
1. Sounds as Good as a Tube amp - Nope.  For example, can you believe that an AC30 emulation will sound the same in a 1X12 Roland combo?  Thats crap.  Part of the sound of the AC30 comes from 2 Celestion Blues.  Also, my Soldano SLO100 was deprived of an FX loop as per recommendation of Mike Soldano to be more punchy.  So, if you have a Soldano SLO100 emulation, which specific model of the SLO would that be?  My Diezel Herbert has six power tubes which can be changed to different power tubes type.  What digital emulation will reflect the different combinations of power tubes possible?  Does this mean we have to model each configuration with a modeller?  It will never sound as good because with a tube amp you are hearing the interface of the amp with a guitar speaker that was meant to move air and NOT an emulation designed to sound its best on an UNCOLORED PA system.
2. Ligther than a Tube Amp - This sounds sensible until you realize that most journalists associate wattage with weight.  In fact, the rated power of the Blues Cube combo as 60 watts maybe only just as LOUD as a 12 or 15 watt tube amp which means that people should compare the weight of an ac15 or a deluxe at 12 watts to a roland blues cube.  I am willing to bet you that they are very similar in weight.  Why?  Because Solid State and Class D amps need a large and heavy heat sink to operate at the loudness levels of tube amps.  By the way, tube amps do not have heat sinks -- those that have fans are high power tube amps that contained in real tight rack spaces and narrow heads.
3. More reliable because there are no tubes - Unfortunately, when that COSM chip (or whatever its called in its numerous iterations) goes down, it is one heck of a replacement.  Tube amps by nature are designed to withstand heat (or at least the good ones are -- sorry to say you cannot find them in any of our local stores).  This affinity to heat makes them more reliable specially when driven hard or opened up. Why the heck would you want that?  Simple ... because the FCKN drummer is too loud.  So what happens when you punish Blues Cube?  It starts to heat up and when it cannot take a build up of heat on a sustained basis, it will go down.       
4. High Tech and more flexible with presets - The funny thing is that the media will always compare the latest modeller to a vintage vox, vintage plexi, fender tweed, fender black face, tricked out boutique marshall etc.  They fail to compare to today's 3 channel boutique wonders like the Diezel Herbert, Bogner Ecstasy and Friedman Bill Kelliher.  These 3 channel amps are so a long way along the Mesa Mark series and Marshall 30th anniversary because all their channels sound great and each have a unique timbre that none of Modellers seems to be able to copy.  Conversely, being high tech also means that these modelers have their 15 minutes of fame.  First there was Line 6, then there was Axe-Fx.  It was followed by Kemper.  With the mentioned tube amps, you can actually have them customized further or reverted to another version of the circuit if your taste changes.   With the great sounding voicings available and volume knob responsiveness of the these boutique 3 channel monsters, you simply can live without the amp models in digital.   Try modding the latest Line 6, Axe-fx or Kemper because sooner or later, digital becomes obsolete real fast because of the speed of COSM development.
5. Offers N to infinite amp and speaker cabinet emulations - actually for most people who don't own the actual amps, they want to convince themselves they are plugging in those amps.  I, however, did not care about which amp the blues cube was modelling because the settings really don't sound like the real thing but rather I tried to focus on finding a unique voice and response in the Blues Cube.  It was sufficiently good at that but not something that would replace a good boutique tube amp on any level.

On effects:

I noticed how everybody seems to be selling a lot of their effects specially after the honeymoon is over.  I have been an amp guy my whole life.  I started out with a tube amp as a teenager and only acquired effects later on -- maybe a DOD Hard Rock Distortion before I got my Mesa Studio 22 combo in 1989.  I have continued to acquire guitar amps at a ratio of 1:1 to my electric guitars.  In fact, I think of my amps as different boost, overdrive and distortion pedals.  That being said, as of my latest count I have around 72 fx pedals of the boutique variety which are rarely used.  You know why I can keep them and not flip them?  Because it goes back to the amps I own.  They are so varied that any of my 72 fx pedals will find a match.  That's it -- that's the secret to avoid the effects merry go round.

1) If you love effects pedals that go in front of the guitar amp, the first thing you should do is get 4-6 boutique non master volume tube amps: one fender tweed platform, one fender black face platform, one marshall plexi platform, one vox platform, one early jcm platform.
2) Assign your effect to the amp platform your chosen effect is MOST compatible with.  Forget about being flexible.  If the chosen effect can sound good on more than one platform, consider that a bonus OR maybe just buy another one for that other amp platform.
3) If you love modulation and time based effects that go after the preamp, just get the newly released Komet Ambicab.  Looks promising and I hope to order it soon. Pricey but Komet quality and service is top notch.  They are in it for the passion first.

On local effects:
1) There are a lot of copy cats and rarely a unique locally designed effect.  I suggest you stick to the real thing because of better parts sourcing and consistency.
2) If you analyze the development of the real good sounding effects, they were tested on a specific or group of specific tube amps of vintage and boutique quality.  Unfortunately, most of the local designers don't even have that standard quality of tube amplifiers to design from.  Siguro Behringer at minimum lang ang affordable para sa kanila, but real men don't use behringer and the other china made mass market US brands.  Come on, guys, name a china made amp that has made headlines and is considered a standard on the level of the classic amps or even on the level of the Dual Rectifier?  In fact, most china made cost reduction amps barely last two or three years before a new china made MORE cost reduced version shows up.  Worse they now get bundled in a box with a guitar and a tuner/strap.

On why tone is starting to matter more now:
1) As the venue gets smaller, only the technically endowed musicians get to be heard.  Lets face it, hindi tayo pang Tawag ng Tanghalan or DJ na nakabit sa PA -- guitarists (unless you are posing and have the looks of Taylor Swift) are not that popular anymore because of the mass market Pinoys who don't know any better and suck up love songs to death as if it were the only thing that mattered.  What was Eddie Valen theatrics is now considered as standard when required.  So given that everybody who performs is now on that minimum level of technical playing, better tone will be the determinant as translated into how many of the audience can take your punishing guitar.
2) Songs are simpler now.  The guitarist is now more part of the whole than a solo piece highlight which basically means you have to be ready to offer different timbres that don't sound like the other guy's multifx.  For example I love Franco, and I love the song writing but guitar is not the center piece.  In fact, the only challenge I see for the 2nd guitarist in his band is NOT too sound like Franco's guitar.
3) In this case of metal, locally made songs seem to be better but the guitar sound is getting worse.  As I said before, metal or whatever its called today, is the most difficult to get to sound right on guitar.  And unfortunately, the guy with the most money gets the better metal sound in spades.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 08:42:47 PM by firemodel55 »



Offline analog.matt

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2017, 03:39:11 PM »
reminds me of someones claim that his behringer can beat dual rectifiers and marshalls

Offline juwanfidle09

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2017, 09:00:19 PM »

3) In this case of metal, locally made songs seem to be better but the guitar sound is getting worse.  As I said before, metal or whatever its called today, is the most difficult to get to sound right on guitar.  And unfortunately, the guy with the most money gets the better metal sound in spades.

This is sad but I have to agree on this one (not all of course).

Online gitaristadaw

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2017, 05:38:07 AM »

-Modeling and Digital seem to represent flexibility in Tone OR a cheaper alternative to collect them all.


+1 on this

Offline Crisul

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2017, 08:00:59 AM »
Makisawsaw lang hehe

-for effects or gear in general search for some underrated stuff. for example i was looking for a versatile gain pedal that is cheap (less than 5k). medyo lagpas na sa budget yung mga bnew sa mxr (badass) or boss (st-2). so i was pleasantly surprised when i saw a marshall jh-1 that was on sale for less than 3k!


Online firemodel55

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2017, 03:58:38 PM »
Makisawsaw lang hehe

-for effects or gear in general search for some underrated stuff. for example i was looking for a versatile gain pedal that is cheap (less than 5k). medyo lagpas na sa budget yung mga bnew sa mxr (badass) or boss (st-2). so i was pleasantly surprised when i saw a marshall jh-1 that was on sale for less than 3k!

But of course, the question is... is it worthwhile keeping?  From my perspective, and this is just my opinion,  you should have went for a used Guv'nor.  I currently keep my Shredmaster, Bluesmaster, and Drivemaster in mint condish.

Offline Crisul

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2017, 04:20:13 PM »
But of course, the question is... is it worthwhile keeping?  From my perspective, and this is just my opinion,  you should have went for a used Guv'nor.  I currently keep my Shredmaster, Bluesmaster, and Drivemaster in mint condish.

wow shredmaster! wala ata ako makita nun locally 2nd hand hehe. afaik dyan based ung jackhammer but mas ok yang shredmaster.

possibly if i level up na sa gear haha maibebenta na rin or maitatago na. but for now (bedroom use lol and occasional small gigs) very usable naman sya. napili ko jh-1 bec it has more gain. thanks for the insights sir.

Offline titser_marco

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2017, 08:53:26 PM »
But of course, the question is... is it worthwhile keeping?  From my perspective, and this is just my opinion,  you should have went for a used Guv'nor.  I currently keep my Shredmaster, Bluesmaster, and Drivemaster in mint condish.

A real crying shame that Marshall discontinued that series. I once had a Drivemaster, which I used almost exclusively on my band's first record in 2003 (that was the only pedal I had), and had two Shredmasters, both of which ended up being sold for parts because of the flimsy jacks and switches that Marshall used in that series. In any case, both pedals sounded really great with almost any amp I used.
I'd rather be sharp than flat.

Offline Skybox

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2017, 04:24:30 PM »
Its been awhile since I wrote anything to about tone.

I have observed the following developments in the Philippines:


-More and More effects coming up and more and more made in Asia for cost savings.
-Smaller is now better from anybody's point of view.
-Modeling and Digital seem to represent flexibility in Tone OR a cheaper alternative to collect them all.
-Local DIY.
-Almost Non-existent Made in USA or MIJ gear.
-Smaller Venues to perform in.


On Modelling:

I recently read an article on line that sings praise to the Roland Blues Cube.  It was an article written by someone who has given up tube amps for the convenience of the new Blues Cube. 
When I tested one in Perfect Pitch, I liked it but I did not pull the trigger because it was NOT made in USA or Europe.  I am very biased because when it comes to amps, Roland has a lower standard to meet price point requirements.  So after reading the article, I decided to let go of my bias and to go off to try it again.
But after plugging into my tube amps, I realized that the Blues Cube would never sound as good as the genuine article.  In fact, I decided to debunk each advantage of so called Modellers in combo format.
1. Sounds as Good as a Tube amp - Nope.  For example, can you believe that an AC30 emulation will sound the same in a 1X12 Roland combo?  Thats crap.  Part of the sound of the AC30 comes from 2 Celestion Blues.  Also, my Soldano SLO100 was deprived of an FX loop as per recommendation of Mike Soldano to be more punchy.  So, if you have a Soldano SLO100 emulation, which specific model of the SLO would that be?  My Diezel Herbert has six power tubes which can be changed to different power tubes type.  What digital emulation will reflect the different combinations of power tubes possible?  Does this mean we have to model each configuration with a modeller?  It will never sound as good because with a tube amp you are hearing the interface of the amp with a guitar speaker that was meant to move air and NOT an emulation designed to sound its best on an UNCOLORED PA system.
2. Ligther than a Tube Amp - This sounds sensible until you realize that most journalists associate wattage with weight.  In fact, the rated power of the Blues Cube combo as 60 watts maybe only just as LOUD as a 12 or 15 watt tube amp which means that people should compare the weight of an ac15 or a deluxe at 12 watts to a roland blues cube.  I am willing to bet you that they are very similar in weight.  Why?  Because Solid State and Class D amps need a large and heavy heat sink to operate at the loudness levels of tube amps.  By the way, tube amps do not have heat sinks -- those that have fans are high power tube amps that contained in real tight rack spaces and narrow heads.
3. More reliable because there are no tubes - Unfortunately, when that COSM chip (or whatever its called in its numerous iterations) goes down, it is one heck of a replacement.  Tube amps by nature are designed to withstand heat (or at least the good ones are -- sorry to say you cannot find them in any of our local stores).  This affinity to heat makes them more reliable specially when driven hard or opened up. Why the heck would you want that?  Simple ... because the FCKN drummer is too loud.  So what happens when you punish Blues Cube?  It starts to heat up and when it cannot take a build up of heat on a sustained basis, it will go down.       
4. High Tech and more flexible with presets - The funny thing is that the media will always compare the latest modeller to a vintage vox, vintage plexi, fender tweed, fender black face, tricked out boutique marshall etc.  They fail to compare to today's 3 channel boutique wonders like the Diezel Herbert, Bogner Ecstasy and Friedman Bill Kelliher.  These 3 channel amps are so a long way along the Mesa Mark series and Marshall 30th anniversary because all their channels sound great and each have a unique timbre that none of Modellers seems to be able to copy.  Conversely, being high tech also means that these modelers have their 15 minutes of fame.  First there was Line 6, then there was Axe-Fx.  It was followed by Kemper.  With the mentioned tube amps, you can actually have them customized further or reverted to another version of the circuit if your taste changes.   With the great sounding voicings available and volume knob responsiveness of the these boutique 3 channel monsters, you simply can live without the amp models in digital.   Try modding the latest Line 6, Axe-fx or Kemper because sooner or later, digital becomes obsolete real fast because of the speed of COSM development.
5. Offers N to infinite amp and speaker cabinet emulations - actually for most people who don't own the actual amps, they want to convince themselves they are plugging in those amps.  I, however, did not care about which amp the blues cube was modelling because the settings really don't sound like the real thing but rather I tried to focus on finding a unique voice and response in the Blues Cube.  It was sufficiently good at that but not something that would replace a good boutique tube amp on any level.

On effects:

I noticed how everybody seems to be selling a lot of their effects specially after the honeymoon is over.  I have been an amp guy my whole life.  I started out with a tube amp as a teenager and only acquired effects later on -- maybe a DOD Hard Rock Distortion before I got my Mesa Studio 22 combo in 1989.  I have continued to acquire guitar amps at a ratio of 1:1 to my electric guitars.  In fact, I think of my amps as different boost, overdrive and distortion pedals.  That being said, as of my latest count I have around 72 fx pedals of the boutique variety which are rarely used.  You know why I can keep them and not flip them?  Because it goes back to the amps I own.  They are so varied that any of my 72 fx pedals will find a match.  That's it -- that's the secret to avoid the effects merry go round.

1) If you love effects pedals that go in front of the guitar amp, the first thing you should do is get 4-6 boutique non master volume tube amps: one fender tweed platform, one fender black face platform, one marshall plexi platform, one vox platform, one early jcm platform.
2) Assign your effect to the amp platform your chosen effect is MOST compatible with.  Forget about being flexible.  If the chosen effect can sound good on more than one platform, consider that a bonus OR maybe just buy another one for that other amp platform.
3) If you love modulation and time based effects that go after the preamp, just get the newly released Komet Ambicab.  Looks promising and I hope to order it soon. Pricey but Komet quality and service is top notch.  They are in it for the passion first.

On local effects:
1) There are a lot of copy cats and rarely a unique locally designed effect.  I suggest you stick to the real thing because of better parts sourcing and consistency.
2) If you analyze the development of the real good sounding effects, they were tested on a specific or group of specific tube amps of vintage and boutique quality.  Unfortunately, most of the local designers don't even have that standard quality of tube amplifiers to design from.  Siguro Behringer at minimum lang ang affordable para sa kanila, but real men don't use behringer and the other china made mass market US brands.  Come on, guys, name a china made amp that has made headlines and is considered a standard on the level of the classic amps or even on the level of the Dual Rectifier?  In fact, most china made cost reduction amps barely last two or three years before a new china made MORE cost reduced version shows up.  Worse they now get bundled in a box with a guitar and a tuner/strap.

On why tone is starting to matter more now:
1) As the venue gets smaller, only the technically endowed musicians get to be heard.  Lets face it, hindi tayo pang Tawag ng Tanghalan or DJ na nakabit sa PA -- guitarists (unless you are posing and have the looks of Taylor Swift) are not that popular anymore because of the mass market Pinoys who don't know any better and suck up love songs to death as if it were the only thing that mattered.  What was Eddie Valen theatrics is now considered as standard when required.  So given that everybody who performs is now on that minimum level of technical playing, better tone will be the determinant as translated into how many of the audience can take your punishing guitar.
2) Songs are simpler now.  The guitarist is now more part of the whole than a solo piece highlight which basically means you have to be ready to offer different timbres that don't sound like the other guy's multifx.  For example I love Franco, and I love the song writing but guitar is not the center piece.  In fact, the only challenge I see for the 2nd guitarist in his band is NOT too sound like Franco's guitar.
3) In this case of metal, locally made songs seem to be better but the guitar sound is getting worse.  As I said before, metal or whatever its called today, is the most difficult to get to sound right on guitar.  And unfortunately, the guy with the most money gets the better metal sound in spades.

Good read.
#DigitalHiyaw

Online rowley75

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2017, 05:33:25 PM »
OT but the guitarists on Tawag ng tanghalan and it's showtime as a whole has great gear.

Btw alex, i want to have your opinion on the amp bluguitar amp1. It sounds promising and saves a lot off weight and real estate(and roadie fees).
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Online firemodel55

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2017, 11:26:38 PM »
OT but the guitarists on Tawag ng tanghalan and it's showtime as a whole has great gear.

Btw alex, i want to have your opinion on the amp bluguitar amp1. It sounds promising and saves a lot off weight and real estate(and roadie fees).

Well I wanted to try it in Japan, until I asked the Japanese guys at ESP shop at Ochanomizu on which sounded better pointing to the Diezel Herbert.  They immediately without any reservation said: Diezel Herbert.  So, I decided not to waste time testing it.

By the way, bluguitar amp is made in china.  The ESP guys had to look for the box in the store to determine country of manufacture. 

Ok, here is what I don't get with these portable amps... you still need to bring a speaker cabinet right?  I mean why spend on some portable amp to risk hooking it up to a local or Dai chi speaker in the local clubs which don't sound great and probably are about to fail.

So if you are still bringing a speaker cabinet, might as well bring the amp INSIDE the speaker cabinet... otherwise known as a combo.

Online Bolt Thrower

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2017, 12:20:11 AM »
With the mentioned tube amps, you can actually have them customized further or reverted to another version of the circuit if your taste changes.   With the great sounding voicings available and volume knob responsiveness of the these boutique 3 channel monsters, you simply can live without the amp models in digital. 

You can actually do this with the Axe Fx. With the Kemper, you can just download a profile of a "version" you want.
But of course, the sounds will be up to taste.

Quote
Because Solid State and Class D amps need a large and heavy heat sink to operate at the loudness levels of tube amps.

Not really...



Class AB but still solid state with awesome power vs weight.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 12:31:50 AM by Bolt Thrower »

Online firemodel55

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2017, 04:17:59 AM »
You can actually do this with the Axe Fx. With the Kemper, you can just download a profile of a "version" you want.
But of course, the sounds will be up to taste.

Not really...

(I think that was my point with the Axe Fx.  What is a version?  If I totally change the output transformer, does the Axe Fx version cover that sound?  Or do you need to get a new profile?  As I said, my SLO does not have an fx loop for extra punch.  So how does Axe Fx model that extra punch?  It also has an extra mod called a depth knob.  And more importantly, the SLO has a DeYoung output transformer as compared to the hot rod series which is integral to the SLO being the SLO.
Or case in point, even my Bogner uberschall I think has red or blue revisions on the gain channel.  How is that update executed?  My 30th Anniversary marshall has 3 modes on the second channel.  How is that switch-able on an axe-fx?)



Class AB but still solid state with awesome power vs weight.

(Tube wattage and Solid State wattage are not the same.  Even Matrix continues to make that distinction as 'closest to tube'.  The Wattage measure is deceiving because there is no standard to measure wattage in audio.  All manufacturers pick a certain frequency bandwidth to claim the most amplifier power but not necessarily translating to loudness.  In addition, that tube sound we all love is partly handled by an output transformer with large physical windings and BIG iron. For me, the big bully of tube power amplification will be the VHT Classic Power Amplifier.  I suggest Matrix should compare their product in terms of sound and feel to that instead of claiming anything else against called generic 'tube amp'.)
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 04:26:10 AM by firemodel55 »

Online firemodel55

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2017, 05:05:59 AM »
Just a an observation: Kemper is responsible enough to claim their sound samples are guitar amps that are MIC'ed up.  So it is quite clear that they are NOT going for the real live feel and sound of an amp.

But rather, you have a synthesizer version of guitar amps.  Amazingly different in sound with so much switching flexibility until you realize that it is sterile sounding and does not really react like a tube amp after 30 minutes of playing.

Don't get me wrong.  If you grew up in today's mp3 environment, that indeed is an improvement. 

But I grew up on tubes, analog and vinyl.  I am still on tubes and analog and have given up vinyl for 24 bit 192 khz.  In my whole guitar playing life, I probably played only less than 5% of if on solid state amplifiers.  Good sounding tube amplifiers have so much live liness that is hard to describe.  The detail and texture is so rich that your unique sound and personality easily gets thru.  It does not feel like some patch update which I guarantee makes you sound like everybody else who downloaded the new patch.

I was reading an old review of premier guitar on the axe fx.  The reviewer was less than evasive to describe the fender deluxe reverb he used to compare the axe FX to.  Moreover, he did not only have an axe FX but also needed a separate mesa boogie tube power amp and QSC speakers.  Making this whole rig more expensive than a reissue fender deluxe reverb or even more expensive than the actual 60s blackface deluxe reverb.  Go figure.

Online Bolt Thrower

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2017, 06:07:55 AM »
I think that was my point with the Axe Fx.  What is a version?  If I totally change the output transformer, does the Axe Fx version cover that sound?  Or do you need to get a new profile?  As I said, my SLO does not have an fx loop for extra punch.  So how does Axe Fx model that extra punch?  It also has an extra mod called a depth knob.  And more importantly, the SLO has a DeYoung output transformer as compared to the hot rod series which is integral to the SLO being the SLO.
Or case in point, even my Bogner uberschall I think has red or blue revisions on the gain channel.  How is that update executed?  My 30th Anniversary marshall has 3 modes on the second channel.  How is that switch-able on an axe-fx?

You can change output transformers and tube emulation on the axe. The SLO models in the axe have different eras. As for the Bogner, there are models for all channels. Every amp model is customizable depending on what you want. But yeah, I get what you mean. It will never be complete vs a real amp. That is why they are called emulations. They are copies of the original thing. They are not 100% true.

Quote
Tube wattage and Solid State wattage are not the same.  Even Matrix continues to make that distinction as 'closest to tube'.  The Wattage measure is deceiving because there is no standard to measure wattage in audio.  All manufacturers pick a certain frequency bandwidth to claim the most amplifier power but not necessarily translating to loudness.  In addition, that tube sound we all love is partly handled by an output transformer with large physical windings and BIG iron. For me, the big bully of tube power amplification will be the VHT Classic Power Amplifier.  I suggest Matrix should compare their product in terms of sound and feel to that instead of claiming anything else against called generic 'tube amp'.

Well aware of that. But you said in terms of "tube amp loudness". No tone, and overdrive magic thrown into the mix. Just sheer loudness. This Matrix is 3 times as loud as your Diezel with headroom to spare. I have seen Metallica gig with just a Matrix, and it is AS loud as their real amps in a room.
And it is just 11lbs. And as small as a DVD player.

VHT does awesome tube power amps that sound flat when used with a modeler. I like their 50/50 Powerstation! Very good sounding matched to my Fractal AX8. Too bad, it's hard to get. 

Quote
Just a an observation: Kemper is responsible enough to claim their sound samples are guitar amps that are MIC'ed up.  So it is quite clear that they are NOT going for the real live feel and sound of an amp.

But rather, you have a synthesizer version of guitar amps.  Amazingly different in sound with so much switching flexibility until you realize that it is sterile sounding and does not really react like a tube amp after 30 minutes of playing.

You can do both on a Kemper. You can clone preamps or poweramps or just the speaker or all of them. You can play it through an FRFR or a power amp and simulate amp in a room feels. 


« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 06:10:29 AM by Bolt Thrower »

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2017, 06:21:41 AM »

But I grew up on tubes, analog and vinyl.  I am still on tubes and analog and have given up vinyl for 24 bit 192 khz.  In my whole guitar playing life, I probably played only less than 5% of if on solid state amplifiers.  Good sounding tube amplifiers have so much live liness that is hard to describe.  The detail and texture is so rich that your unique sound and personality easily gets thru.  It does not feel like some patch update which I guarantee makes you sound like everybody else who downloaded the new patch.

Don't get me wrong too. I also like my tubes and how they kick your gut. But would you gig with your priced amplifiers? Carry them, haul them, pay for people to maintain them or ship, truck or fly them over? Like many artists, they don't have that chance unless they money to pay for roadies. Like you already mentioned, most artists who use modelers definitely have their tube rigs safe in their recording studios or at home. This is more likely if you are working class. That is where modelers come in. Convenient. Easy to maintain and carry. And they work LIVE. It doesn't sound as good as their tube amps, but they have workable tones. They are called models and emulations for a reason.

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2017, 10:14:38 AM »
You can change output transformers and tube emulation on the axe. The SLO models in the axe have different eras. As for the Bogner, there are models for all channels. Every amp model is customizable depending on what you want. But yeah, I get what you mean. It will never be complete vs a real amp. That is why they are called emulations. They are copies of the original thing. They are not 100% true.

Well aware of that. But you said in terms of "tube amp loudness". No tone, and overdrive magic thrown into the mix. Just sheer loudness. This Matrix is 3 times as loud as your Diezel with headroom to spare. I have seen Metallica gig with just a Matrix, and it is AS loud as their real amps in a room.
And it is just 11lbs. And as small as a DVD player.

VHT does awesome tube power amps that sound flat when used with a modeler. I like their 50/50 Powerstation! Very good sounding matched to my Fractal AX8. Too bad, it's hard to get. 

You can do both on a Kemper. You can clone preamps or poweramps or just the speaker or all of them. You can play it through an FRFR or a power amp and simulate amp in a room feels.

Just out of curiosity on the Axe Fx, how would you program a SLO 100 without fx loop with added depth knob and mid shift/scoop switch?

How is the Matrix 3x the Diezel Herbert in Loudness?  I currently load it with 6 EL34s but if I load it with 6 KT88s will the matrix still be 3x as loud?

I think Kemper is clear that they are modeling preamp or poweramp as they sound MICed.   

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2017, 10:28:31 AM »
Don't get me wrong too. I also like my tubes and how they kick your gut. But would you gig with your priced amplifiers? Carry them, haul them, pay for people to maintain them or ship, truck or fly them over? Like many artists, they don't have that chance unless they money to pay for roadies. Like you already mentioned, most artists who use modelers definitely have their tube rigs safe in their recording studios or at home. This is more likely if you are working class. That is where modelers come in. Convenient. Easy to maintain and carry. And they work LIVE. It doesn't sound as good as their tube amps, but they have workable tones. They are called models and emulations for a reason.

I get this.  Some are willing to sacrifice the fidelity of tube amps for that added flexibility in portability and programming.  But do you really need that amount of presets?  Because if you do, you must be doing an operatic 3 hour set.  Obviously, in the Philippines, I don't know of any venue that would require you the flexibility of the AXE FX or Kemper.
On the contrary, whats needed here in Manila is better and bigger sounding tube amps that sound pleasing to the ear and that can cut thru drummers.  I mean who cares if you can switch between triple rectifier and then into a bassman within a second, when we ALL want to hear that real triple rectifier sound and not some facsimile. 

I suggest to resolve this deathmatch, have someone bring their kemper or axe fx with some external power tube amp and QSC PA Speaker (come to think of it, that setup also requires a roady), and somebody with 100 watt Marshall JCM head and 4x12 cabinet on the opposite side of the stage.  Have the modeler programmed to match the Marshall setup on one side and have the audience decide who sounds better.   
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 10:30:35 AM by firemodel55 »

Offline Skybox

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2017, 10:51:25 AM »

I suggest to resolve this deathmatch, have someone bring their kemper or axe fx with some external power tube amp and QSC PA Speaker (come to think of it, that setup also requires a roady), and somebody with 100 watt Marshall JCM head and 4x12 cabinet on the opposite side of the stage.  Have the modeler programmed to match the Marshall setup on one side and have the audience decide who sounds better.

Here's a good preview of that. Running through the same signal chain too so more scientific I guess.


SPOILER ALERT!!! The Kemper won haha.
#DigitalHiyaw

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2017, 11:08:49 AM »
Just out of curiosity on the Axe Fx, how would you program a SLO 100 without fx loop with added depth knob and mid shift/scoop switch?

The SLO and old Marshall models were based on amps that didn't have the effects loop.
But for every amp, you can choose virtual effects loop for the said model. Parallel, series, off, or mixed.
If the amp model has mods, you can view it in the modifier page. Where you can have a depth knob etc. I mean, you can mod any virtual amp.

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How is the Matrix 3x the Diezel Herbert in Loudness?  I currently load it with 6 EL34s but if I load it with 6 KT88s will the matrix still be 3x as loud?

Patay. Kung naka KT88 ka na kay Herbert, I'll probably get a 1600fx. Not that I need all that power para sapawan ka. Who turns amps that loud anyway?

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I think Kemper is clear that they are modeling preamp or poweramp as they sound MICed.   

It will sound mic'ed if you use the cab sims. Like I said you can do both. Studio Profiles are amp+cab. Direct Profiles are Power amp, preamp or just preamp. You can use it as just an amp with your own cab.

Quote
I suggest to resolve this deathmatch, have someone bring their kemper or axe fx with some external power tube amp and QSC PA Speaker (come to think of it, that setup also requires a roady), and somebody with 100 watt Marshall JCM head and 4x12 cabinet on the opposite side of the stage.  Have the modeler programmed to match the Marshall setup on one side and have the audience decide who sounds better.

Late to the party. Ang dami na gumawa nito. People's biases will always prevail.

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2017, 11:11:03 AM »
Here's a good preview of that. Running through the same signal chain too so more scientific I guess.


SPOILER ALERT!!! The Kemper won haha.

Mas nakakatawa ito!


Alex, mas magugustuhan mo ito si SpecterSoundStudios, kasi halos pareho kayo ng opinion in respect to live gig rig.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 11:37:40 AM by Bolt Thrower »

Offline Ben Tsing Co

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2017, 01:19:01 PM »
Subscribing to this thread  ^-^
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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2017, 03:44:10 PM »
I think Alex nailed it, albeit indirectly: modelers aren't too explicit (in their advertising anyway) that they are aiming to get the sound of mic-ed - close-miked in most cases - amplifiers. No one is disputing that an amp on its own sounds way different (I won't use better, lest opening another can of worms), but clearly people go into the modeler market wrongly expecting that they will get the sounds of the amps being modeled as if they were in the room with them.

Re modelers capturing all versions, mods in amps. Yes, it is possible, but it will require a lot of work and money. Modeling the characteristics of of specific wires, composition of transformer iron used, winding styles, orientation, etc. will require both access to these transformers as well as manhours so these parameters can be documented and modeled. And that's just transformers ha. The complexity is multiplied when you factor in cab wood, dimensions, etc.

Just out of curiosity on the Axe Fx, how would you program a SLO 100 without fx loop with added depth knob and mid shift/scoop switch?

How is the Matrix 3x the Diezel Herbert in Loudness?  I currently load it with 6 EL34s but if I load it with 6 KT88s will the matrix still be 3x as loud?

I think Kemper is clear that they are modeling preamp or poweramp as they sound MICed.   
I'd rather be sharp than flat.

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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2017, 05:58:44 PM »

-Modeling and Digital seem to represent flexibility in Tone OR a cheaper alternative to collect them all.


If you were to ask me....Modeling and Digital (at least for amps) are an inexpensive alternative to collect them all. I won't say its cheap kasi mahal pa rin ang Kemper at Helix. hahaha

I'm currently using Positive Grid Bias Amp sa Ipad (now this is dirt cheap!) and for someone who will never be able to try...let alone own a real Dumble ODS, Trainwreck Liverpool, '59 Bassman, Soldano SLO and Mesa Boogie King Snake...hell yeah I'll take a $4.99 app, $99 Ipad Interface and a $49 headphone.
Gigging with it...that's another issue pero kung practice and home recording, pwede na.


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Well uso na ngayon yung "assembled in the USA with import parts". With the recent Lyric - PRS distribution deal, you have the PRS S2s that are Made in Maryland, USA pero Made in Korea yung tuners, bridge and pickups (i think).
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Re: TONE TIPS for today's confused and commercialized Guitarist
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2017, 02:35:52 AM »
Well I wanted to try it in Japan, until I asked the Japanese guys at ESP shop at Ochanomizu on which sounded better pointing to the Diezel Herbert.  They immediately without any reservation said: Diezel Herbert.  So, I decided not to waste time testing it.

By the way, bluguitar amp is made in china.  The ESP guys had to look for the box in the store to determine country of manufacture. 

Ok, here is what I don't get with these portable amps... you still need to bring a speaker cabinet right?  I mean why spend on some portable amp to risk hooking it up to a local or Dai chi speaker in the local clubs which don't sound great and probably are about to fail.

So if you are still bringing a speaker cabinet, might as well bring the amp INSIDE the speaker cabinet... otherwise known as a combo.

Point taken. That's why i'm looking for a good combo for the longest time. A cheap decent sounding one. I'll reserve my good amps for recordings or big gigs.
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