Modeling vs Tubes (vs Solid State?)

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

  1. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    Still I needed an iPad, a poweramp and a cabinet or dedicated monitor for that. There doesn't seem to be any advantage for me at this very moment. But thank you for the advice on BIAS, I might have a look at it.
  2. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    I never said that ... see my above conclusion: Different tech for different purposes.

    I never said, that it's for everybody. And I never recommended modeling amps. I use amp sims, which is a difference, which I also explained in my last post.
    ponca and Waxhead like this.
  3. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    I'm sorry, for me, being an old tube-loving gigging blues-influenced guitarplayer, amp sims and modeling amps are not too different. But yes, I see my mistake and am willing to try some amp sims when ever I should see a use in them. As for now, I don't.
  4. emicad

    emicad Synchromatic

    Jul 14, 2015
    Rome, Italy
    I like all of them, for different things. I prefer tube amps because of the way they react to picking dynamics so I like to set them on the verge of breakup to take advantage of that. I use my tube amps for crystal cleans sometimes and I usually recognize the difference between a clean tube amp and a SS or digital amp. Tube amps sounds warmer and more natural, but in all honesty If I were a 100% clean kind of guy I'd go for a SS amp, probably. When I played Jazz with holllow body guitars I preferred SS amps, I usually liked the attack better and the headroom.
    Digital amps? I own an Atomic Ampli-Firebox that I use everyday for practice. I love the sounds it gives me but I never compared it with another digital amp.
  5. markeebee

    markeebee Country Gent

    This! This! A thousand times this!

    To every debate on here about cables, valves, speakers, pedals, whatever....this!

    I'd just add that the number is more like 99.99%, and the 0.01% is usually a fat bloke with a ponytail and sweat rings.
    russmack, will2002, Roger49 and 3 others like this.
  6. Floo

    Floo Country Gent

    Dec 16, 2012
    Elmshorn, Germany
    Of course most of the audience won't notice, but I feel (and believe play) better when I get the sound I like. Like a lot of us here, I don't play professionally, I play for fun - the audience's fun and my own. My own fun will be bigger with a nice valve-amp a tad above breakup - until anything has convinced me that a sim or modeling is a least as good sounding, cheaper and easier to handle. But I may be a cantankerous old git at times, so just take this as my own personal opinion.
  7. DunedinDragon

    DunedinDragon Gretschie

    Mar 13, 2015
    Dunedin, FL
    First, the Kemper isn't really a modeler, at least technically. It's called a profiler for a reason. It probably shares more in common with an electronic drum kit in that it uses sampling as it's core technology rather than electronic component circuit emulation as does a modeler. But that's a subject that could take up pages and isn't really what this thread is about.

    That being said, I've been using a Helix now for almost two years, and before that an HD500X. I guess I abandoned tube amps in general around 5 years ago. But I'll be the first to say they aren't for everyone. I'm primarily talking about top-end modelers like the Helix, Fractal, or Amplifire units, but much of what I say applies as well to modeling amps at the lower end of the market.

    What many people don't understand is that the modeler will only be as good as the person running it, and modelers are pretty technical beasts. So it's not for technophobes or technology adverse people. For someone like myself who enjoys dealing with technology details and such, it's provided a capability I've yearned to achieve for years which is to have a polished production studio sound in a live environment, or ready to record in a direct DAW recording no matter what the style or genre or guitar I happen to be playing. It's directly responsible for elevating my sound in the eyes of the people that follow the band as well as my bandmates, but not without a considerable amount of work in learning how to tame the beast.

    The reason this is so is because the sound is taken directly to the board from the modeler and what is presented to the audience (if you've constructed your preset correctly) is the sound they are used to hearing every day on the radio or recordings..NOT a close approximation, but the real sound their ears are conditioned to hear with perfect clarity and articulation regardless of clean, crunchy or overdriven tone. In my case in order to achieve this I've had to abandon my predilection for the tube amp on the stage sound for the polished studio sound so that I'm more in tune with what the audience is hearing.

    To accomplish this it's a necessity that I understand in detail the effect of placement of components within a signal chain and different ways to use that signal chain for mixing components to achieve the sound I'm after. That includes all of the component pieces you would encounter in a well stocked studio such as compressors, eq, wide range of effects, different amps or amp mixes, cabinet or cabinet mixes, types of speakers, different types of mics and their placement on the cabinets as well as mixtures of those mics. It's also necessary that I understand a certain amount of detail in how that signal will be presented to the mixing board in a consistent way when all of those elements change from preset to preset. Modeling amps significantly reduce this learning curve at the cost of flexibility and accuracy.

    In my case I don't mind the effort, but it's not for someone that just wants to plug in and play.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  8. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    +1 my Friend. I'd love to find a Modeler that brought a smile to my face when I played it and perhaps one day I will but I am a proud, card carrying dinosaur and I cannot get my head around an amplifier with a USB port. I'm simply not there. At the moment I'm happy to schlep a good tube amp, or two, to a Performance.
  9. hogrider16

    hogrider16 Gretschie

    Oct 18, 2017
    charles town wv
    I agree 100%. People, like you (and me and others on this forum), who truly care about music, play to meet their own standards. The day I let the audience, or even other band members, set my standards is the day I quit playing.

    One of the most infuriating things I hear is, "Oh, it's only XX club, it doesn't matter." I play every gig for professional pride, not adoration.
    loudnlousy, jdto, Waxhead and 2 others like this.
  10. afire

    afire Country Gent

    When I got my '64 AC30 12 years ago, I went over it carefully, replaced the electrolytics and anything that had drifted out of spec, got some fresh NOS tubes, and it has done hundreds of four-hour bar gigs with not a spec of trouble. The other guitarist in my band has had three modeling amps die mid-show never to be seen again. Luckily, my AC30 has a spare input. ;) And if my AC30 does develop a problem, I can open it up and fix it. Until modeling amps are so good and so cheap that you can throw them away guiltlessly at the first sign of trouble, I'll stick with a good quality, well maintained tube amp.
  11. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    EXACTLY :)
  12. Javier668

    Javier668 Electromatic

    Nov 9, 2017
    The difference is cranked, and the real thing feel.
    You can drive a prius or a lambo and the 2 things can go 60 mph.
    loudnlousy likes this.
  13. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    So did you actually feel it in a blind test against a Kemper for example, or are you just assuming you'd feel it?

    I prefer my tube amp over my cheap ss amp and iOS apps, but I haven't tried top level gear like Kemper or axefx
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
    jdto and ponca like this.
  14. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Well good for you but let's make clear that not using tube amps doesn't make one unprofessional. Many professionals gig professionally with them.
    jdto and ponca like this.
  15. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    Exactly ... a good example is the tone cloud of BIAS FX, where many so called featured artist upload noisy crap. There are real gems to find, but it costs many tries to find them. But these help to understand, what sounds good and why.

    Modern solutions are more than a pure amp sim, they also have a cap sim included, where you need to know, which cap to choose for which amp and where to place which mic. Not to forget the effects ... mastering a compressor alone can be a challenge.

    And I guess, that's why many people are disappointed, expecting that everything sounds good out of the box ... nope ... factory presets are usually sub par to what is possible.
    ponca likes this.
  16. Ricochet

    Ricochet Gretschified

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    That sorta implies we guitarplayers shape our sounds/tones to please the audience, and nothing could be further from the thruth. Every guitarplayer that ever lived is out to please himself, first and foremost.
    Roger49, jdto, ffooky and 3 others like this.
  17. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    :DJust ask his girlfriend! :p
    wabash slim likes this.
  18. Rodney Gene

    Rodney Gene Synchromatic

    Mar 30, 2014
    Austin Texas
    Absolutely and in all ways grateful for both! - I have never compared them, only used them both most days! I can't think of a single thing uncool about the technology we have available to us as musicians right now! Old-school is available if you want and cutting edge development is unfolding constantly for us to use! Best time ever to be a musician!
    will2002, Aymara and ponca like this.
  19. Javier668

    Javier668 Electromatic

    Nov 9, 2017
    For what if you have the real thing?
    You say like this dont liked
  20. Setzerhotrod

    Setzerhotrod Country Gent

    Oct 26, 2011
    Anchorage Alaska
    Still liking my Kemper. How else could I get my hands on a Dumble. The virtual Dumble is better than any of the actual amps I’ve owned. PLUS the sound man loves the low noise level. And when sound man is happy......!
    TSims1 and jdto like this.