Modeling vs Tubes (vs Solid State?)

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by ponca, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. ponca

    ponca Gretschie

    Nov 27, 2017
    Love it or loathe it, clearly people have a lot to say about amp modeling.

    To start with the most contentious thing, here's a couple of interesting videos wherein a couple of guys who are fully bought-in to tubes fail to discern the difference between tube amps and Kemper models:

    Worth noting: modeling software is currently advancing at a very rapid rate, and those are already from well over a year ago.
    jdto likes this.
  2. hogrider16

    hogrider16 Gretschie

    Oct 18, 2017
    charles town wv
    In the interests of full disclosure, I didn't listen to both videos all the way through, just in different places. However, IMHO, listening to a video on my computer of two people playing a few guitars through a few amps in an extremely low-volume, non-gig situation doesn't really convince me of anything.

    I also play bass and at practice levels my SVT 300 watt all tube amp doesn't sound significantly different than my Ampeg PF800 SS amp. At gig volumes, there's much more of a difference. They both sound good, but they are different.

    I think I'll be sticking to either my Deluxe or my '67 Bandmaster. If it aint broke, don't fix it. YMMV.
  3. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    99% of a live audience would never be able to tell the difference, especially in a noisy bar.
    pmac11, Rob Williams, jdto and 8 others like this.
  4. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    They may sound good, I don't really doubt that. What bugs me is simply the fact that one of these modeling thingies contains more sounds and effects than I'll ever need. My guess is that I wouldn't use any more than 5% of what they are capable of (give me the Vibrato-channel of any old Blackface or Brownface and I'll get my tone), so I'd have paid for 95% useless stuff. If they'd make a device like a small computer in front of a poweramp and you were able to download e.g models of single amps (with a 30 day trial)... but then again the processor and basic software would still cost way too much - for me and my needs.
    Stefan likes this.
  5. Gretschman2

    Gretschman2 Country Gent

    Apr 8, 2013
    Enetai, WA
    I love my vintage Princetons, but I also love my Peavey Vypyr 30 which enables me to model other amps I don't have but who's tone I like. For example, a Plexi which the Peavey does pretty well IMHO, especially with a Brain and Ubangi up front. But I'm an at home hobby player these days where nobody else hears the difference nor cares except me. So no harm, no foul.
    NJDevil, Reedlvr and ponca like this.
  6. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    AGAIN - another thread on this divisive, done to death subject :(:eek:o_O
    There's nothing new or different in this space
    TGP has banned threads on this subject - I'm totally sick of em and suggest the same here :)
    hcsterg and hogrider16 like this.
  7. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    You might be right, but maybe not. Because this stuff can be used with headphones at any time, you'll might find the time to just experiment a bit and like this and that.

    Your wish is already real ;)

    BIAS Desktop is the solution. You can connect the audio interface to the return of the effects loop and in BIAS switch off power amp and cab ... essential is the later. BIAS has a free demo, that interrupts the processing every few minutes. The licence costs between 50 and 75 bucks depending on the current discount.

    So you just need an audio interface with instrument in- and output.

    Another option is the Amplifire, but because it's hardware, no demo ... and a higher price:

    PS: I have to say, that I have heard better sounds from this device.
    ponca likes this.
  8. TW4990

    TW4990 Gretschie

    Aug 20, 2016
    Sydney Australia
    You aren't forced to read the post, the heading gives you a clue as to what it might be about, just move on past it.
    Others might be interested.

    Folks that are old school swear by valves, others will say that amp modelling is the way to go, it's what ever floats your boat really.
    I have a modelling amp that is very good for what it is made for, and is ultra versatile, but I still prefer the natural valve sound of my AC10. But that is my opinion only.
    The modelling stuff is getting better all the time.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
    russmack, JimB1122, pmac11 and 5 others like this.
  9. Srellim1

    Srellim1 Gretschie

    Feb 6, 2016
    Los Angeles
    Tubes. Always Tubes. Tubes react in a manner that make the amp feel like an extension of your (well, my) arm.
    It's a super satisfying touch dynamic thing that I don't get from modelers.
    This is only my opinion, of course.
    Outlaw, MKunie, hcsterg and 1 other person like this.
  10. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    I understand the attraction in modeling amps. It is very desirable to have a Swiss Army Knife of amplifiers in your back pocket. I have owned a few modelers and their sound quality reflected their price point.

    I have never heard a Kemper in person but many folks say that they sound great. They should, they're expensive.

    So that said, my experience extends to lesser modelers. What sounds more like a Princeton Reverb? A Princeton Reverb or a model of a Princeton Reverb? Obviously, the real PR sounds more like a real PR. Do the same exercise with a quality Marshall. So the modeler will make two mediocre copies of two world class amps. Special. Those who strive for tone will go with a single real one every time.

    This NOT old school, it is the current state of the art in guitar amps. The Kemper may change this but at its price point people question if they need 25 great amps or one of the real deals. Obviously some folk will spend the money because they need or want that versatility. Most won't.

    Lots of tube lovers get ragged out about being old fashioned. It's not true. They haven't made a cost efffective modeler that makes the sound of a Mesa 2C as well as a Mesa 2C. Period. It has nothing to do with being old fashioned, it has to do with having an educated ear.

    The solid state amp industry might be better served by doing their own thing and making decent amps that sound good. Not modelers, just good amps. It has been done. Witness the JC-120, the LAB L5, the eighties Roland Cubes and some of the Quilters. They weren't trying to emulate other amps, they just sounded good. They became classics on their own merits.
  11. Ricochet

    Ricochet Gretschified

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    When the first amp modelers appeared you could hear it wasn't real. Now they are getting so good it has basicly become a feel thing(for the player), and even then it's becoming increasingly hard to tell the difference.
    The next generation of amp modelers will be interesting. Keep an open mind, their fun!
    jdto, Henry, Srellim1 and 2 others like this.
  12. Javier668

    Javier668 Electromatic

    Nov 9, 2017
    My 59 bassman and 57 champ sounds better than a simulation of bassman or champ.
    Outlaw, Stefan and Waxhead like this.
  13. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Have you tried an blind test?
    jdto, ponca, TW4990 and 1 other person like this.
  14. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    I recently ran a test of the new Roland Blues Cube Hot el84. It had the feel pretty well. But not the sound. When I A/Bd it with real El84 amps it wasn't even close. I look forward to the next generation of modelers. I really want the great sound with almost unlimited power, reliability and light weight.
    Ricochet likes this.
  15. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    I think, we should clarify, that ...

    1. we should see, that there are different technologies and ...
    2. these have different purposes ...
    3. things changed drastically in the last 2 years ... quality- or soundwise.

    I think a modeling amp like a Mustang was originally made for people, who mainly play at lower volumes, can't afford a tube amp, but want their sound. Amp Sims (software or hardware) on the other hand have their origin in the studio. And here it is a matter of time and money ... micing of instruments is a time consuming thing and room acoustics play a huge role too.

    And this amp sim stuff, now that it sounds like the real deal, has become some kind of allrounder, giving the same sound in the rehearsal room, on stage and in the studio ... and it reduces the dependency from sound engineers, who often ruined the sound. So sound consistency is the point here.

    And it's important to know, that the newest amp sims also simulate cabs, which makes a huge difference ... so huge, that even products / software exist, that concentrate only on simulating cabs, rooms acoustics and the used mic ... they simulate cab micing. Fact is, that some products are so good, that you will have a hard time identifying the real deal in a blind test.

    I myself am not the amp sim enthusiast as it might sound, but I say: the right tech for the right purpose. I still love my Blackstar tube amp, but I'm a bedroom player, who has no room for more than one amp or even only one huge one and I'm tired trying to record a miced amp, when crying children in the neighbourhood or the nearby bus stop ruins over 50% of my home recordings.

    PS: And I love BIAS FX on iPad, which allows me to play everywhere and anytime, without disturbing anyone when using a solid body and headphones. In the past it was impossible to play an electric in a park, now I can, if I want ;)

    Conclusion (again): Different tech for different purposes or let's say needs.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
    jdto likes this.
  16. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    I should have pointed out that I need my amp for gigging. For a quick&dirty demo I have my computer with an interface, but I wouldn't want to carry a desktop computer, a poweramp and a cabinet to a gig. I still doubt that there is a solution to give me just one or two amp models (Blackface and Marshall 1972) with maybe four effects (reverb, tremolo, chorus and delay) in an amp-sized package at a reasonable cost.
    If there is, please tell me about it. If not, I don't care because I am happy with my Vibroverb and my homebrew 5-Watter.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  17. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    You could try BIAS and BIAS FX on PC (free demos) and check out, if you like it. If you do, you could use an iPad instead, which is less hassle, than using a PC on stage.

    Or you try out an AxeFX in a shop, if you have the chance.

    PS: With the BIAS amp matching feature you will come very close to the original.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
    Willie D likes this.
  18. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    Here is the amp part:

    SIBLY is the Marshall (Since I've Been Loving You) and the Corona is the Blackface Fender. Add pedals for the easy effects. $899

    I have four Phaez Amps, they're the real deal.
    Floo likes this.
  19. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    I am forced to go from the handmade tube amps I manufacture to solid state blocks of sand every few weeks just because there is no space in the wagon w bass amps,drums, hardware, etc.. going to the gig across county lines. :) Some weeks I get to take my sweet tube baby and some weeks its the quilter pro block. No one ever mentions the difference be it on stage or in the audience but it truly affects my playing. I seriously HATE the way a solid state amp responds, but it works and no one cares... except me, its so bleeehhhhch :) I'm in heaven when I can fit my moonshine'39 in the car, and it means I will play w utter dynamic and dimensional joy as the tubes drip honey and cream through my alnico tone tubby hemp cone speaker cab! AND no one cares, except me. yeeeaaaah.
    Outlaw, Stefan, Bertotti and 2 others like this.
  20. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    So now I know where to spend money if I'm ever to win the lottery. Thanks folks :D
    Tony, I was referring to Aymara's efforts in convincing me that modeling amps have more advantages for everybody. I haven't seen the package I described as a modeling amp. But the Phaez Duophonic is about what I would want as a gigging amp. And it's got the smell of glowing tubes :)
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018