Modeling vs Tubes (vs Solid State?)

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

  1. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    Being interested in composing and recording besides jamming, I'm a soundman too ... always seeking low noise levels ;)

    But amp sims don't have that per se and often require fine tuning to achieve that.
  2. Lizardkinged

    Lizardkinged Friend of Fred

    Oct 5, 2009
    Meh... Intent and purpose.

    I don't record. I don't play out anymore. I personally prefer the variables that some people call imperfections that come with the mechanical qualities of tubes. They do have their draw-backs... Getting tubes to their saturation point, they're mechanical, and do go bad... Attenuators and back-up tubes as well as efficient speakers fix that pretty well.
  3. Byron

    Byron Synchromatic

    Sep 4, 2009
    I think the idea that the audience don’t know or care about the quality of your amp sound is totally misguided. They don’t have s choice! You do! We all know this equation....talented player with mediocre gear still sounds great.....bad player with top quality gear still sounds bad.
    Ideally, an audience has to trust your choice of gear for the situation, it’s your responsibility
  4. hogrider16

    hogrider16 Gretschie

    Oct 18, 2017
    charles town wv
    I never said that or implied it in any way. My post was in reference to the "the audience doesn't know the difference so why should I bother" attitude. Professional pride is doing your best at every gig, it is not equipment specific.

    Sorry if I hit a nerve there. :rolleyes:
  5. Aymara

    Aymara Friend of Fred

    Jul 6, 2013
    Yes, but the sound engineer plays a major role too. I've seen enough concerts, where the sound was ruined by the SE.

    The worst in this regard was The The in the 80ies ... I don't know, how often the singer pointed to the monitor cabs ... the vocals were totally off, because he couldn't hear himself.

    But I more often encountered a too loud bass ruining the guitar sound.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
    hogrider16 likes this.
  6. chicago slim

    chicago slim Gretschie

    Dec 27, 2008
    Bowling Green, KY
    After 50 years of tube amps, playing professionally for 15, I'm starting to explore other types of amps. For the past 9 years, I've used hybrid SCXD's more than my other tube amps. I've done side by side comparisons with hand wired tube amp. After the comparison, I and other vintage amp owners, have moved our vintage amps, while we could still make a good profit on them.

    I still own 5 tube amps, and they should last me the rest of my life. The only tube amps that I regret selling, were Kustom tube amps. I would still buy one, if I find a good deal, on one in good condition. I'm willing to explore newer technologies. I bought a Boss Katana about 8 months ago, and I use it a lot. Is it the best sounding amp for all uses? No. But, it's often the best solution for my uses. I would like to try a Blackstar ID TVP. My local dealer only carries the cheap ID core amps, which are of no interest to me.
    ponca likes this.
  7. jdto

    jdto Electromatic

    Apr 17, 2016
    You bring up some good points here, Tony. I like both technologies, but some of the points you make give me pause for thought.

    They're about $2500 up here in Canadia, right? Not more than a good tube amp bought new.

    The Kemper and other high-end modellers now make excellent copies of world class amps. In the case of the Kemper, such good copies that the two very experienced listeners in the above video were hard-pressed to distinguish which was which in a blind test. And they weren't just listening, they were playing them, so feel and touch sensitivity comes into play. The real PR sounds more like itself than a model, of course, but the difference would really require one to sit there and listen very carefully. Your audience won't hear it.

    How much does a Princeton cost? An AC30? A JCM800? A Deluxe Reverb? A Tweed Champ? A JTM45? Add them together. Two of those classics put together get you into the Kemper price range already, never mind having any of them available to you from the countless profiles available for the Kemper (or other modellers, for that matter).

    Now, if you could have excellent-sounding profiles of a dozen classic amps for the cost of the Kemper, which one is expensive? I have a Marshall Mini Jubilee and I love how it sounds. I also have an Amplifire with a FRFR guitar cabinet and it sounds great to me, too. Maybe it doesn't sound exactly, exactly like the amps it's modelling in a side by side test, but if you want an amp's sound and you don't want to buy the amp, the Amplifire gets you close enough for rock and roll.

    A Kemper is $2500 and makes the sound of a Mesa 2C when the profile is well made. What's a Mesa 2C cost?

    Modellers and solid state amps are two completely different sets of technology.
    ponca likes this.
  8. Byron

    Byron Synchromatic

    Sep 4, 2009
    Yes that’s true but maybe give them something good to work with and see what a mess they can make of it.
    To be honest, there’s so many great amps around, digital, solid state and valve. Just tools of the trade. Bad workmen blame their tools. Or something
  9. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013
    I like both sides of the aisle. You choose your tools based on your job. Superiority complexes and snobbery is gross. Tons of pros use new technological forms of amplification, and at an increasing rate. Tube amps are still wonderful. I can’t believe how much I enjoy my direct tones now that I really have my rig together and dialed in with a couple hundred shows under my belt.

    I just don’t understand the problem. Use everything and enjoy it all. Some of you are like cooks who go into the kitchen and are like “I WILL ONLY USE SPOONS!!!”. Why? And how on EARTH will you cut your porterhouse? I’m hungry.
    will2002, TW4990, ponca and 5 others like this.
  10. Byron

    Byron Synchromatic

    Sep 4, 2009
    Yes Tony, that echoes my sentiments. I’m recording stuff for an album and it’s just convenient to have my fender vibro champ x2 plugged in all the time using the direct out. Results are fine but I feel I owe it to myself to go into the studio and use the Spectator valve amp for a few tracks...not so easy and life is busy. Interesting to compare results but I don’t think there’ll be any problems with the digital amp
  11. MKunie

    MKunie Synchromatic

    Feb 8, 2012
    I thought I was good, Line 6 was amazing. Mustang 3 V2 was super fantastic. Then came the 68 CDR, WOWEE!!! BUT When the 59 bassman arrived, Life was complete! Modellers are very good, great even, BUT the tube tone and feel are far superior and make your whole soul move!
    MotorCentaur likes this.
  12. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013
    And no offense to anyone here, but a lot of the opinions on amp modeling on this forum seem a little bit dated. A lot of the references I see here are quite often two years or older(which is dated when it comes to this stuff). The best available amp modeling is happening NOW, like this year. It’s getting better year by year, and you have to try the high end stuff to see the opportunity.
  13. stevo

    stevo Country Gent

    May 1, 2012
    Audience doesn't care (usually). But I hate the feel of solid state amps when I play through them. I also can't stand the complexity of some of those new modelers either. Just too fiddly and they distract me to no end. I just want to plug in and go.
  14. MatchlessMan

    MatchlessMan Country Gent

    Nov 29, 2010
    Swindon UK
    Last night I went to se a band with 2 guitarists. MatchlessWoman and I were sitting near the back and couldn't see what was on the stage. Once the band started, I quickly realised that neither guitarist had an amp on stage - they sounded bad to me, but fine to MatchlessWoman. I went up to talk to them in the break and sure enough, no amps. The front man had a Boss GT1 (2016) and the lead guitarist a Boss GT-100 (2011).

    A big factor in how good these things sound is the skill of the user in setting up the patches, for example the front man had over-used chorus. Also things have come on a long way since 2011, and there are better modellers out there now.

    On the plus side, there were no volume wars!
    russmack likes this.
  15. Setzerhotrod

    Setzerhotrod Country Gent

    Oct 26, 2011
    Anchorage Alaska
    I used to use an amp sim live, but soundman said it just didn’t deliver like a real amp. Fast forward 10 years... same soundman says profiler way better than simulation. He loves it. And I love that he loves it!
    ponca and TSims1 like this.
  16. TSims1

    TSims1 Friend of Fred

    Jun 18, 2013

    I’m running all my effects into a Liverpool through a Cabzeus. Same situation. Liverpool alone is okay, but Liverpool through the Cabzeus is KILLIN. And it’s stereo dual channel. So I shoot a 12” American speaker down the left side, and a 10” Brit speaker down the right side(and can put my virtual “mics” anywhere I want on or off cone, and in any “space/room” I want). Soundman gets HUGE happenin tones, I have complete control over my tones(what I give him and hear in my monitors is what the audience hears)and it delivers at ANY volume.

    Now don’t get me wrong, a mic’d up tube amp sounds good and delivers a predictable result.......but it’s nowhere NEAR as flexible as my rather(imo)simple setup.
    will2002, ponca and Aymara like this.
  17. Ricochet

    Ricochet Gretschified

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    The tube amp will only give up the goods driving on the German highway or dedicated racing circuit. Try to pick up your groceries in the Lambo. :p
    jdto likes this.
  18. Javier668

    Javier668 Electromatic

    Nov 9, 2017
    For home my tweed champ ;)
    For groceries my SUBARU WRX
    jdto and Ricochet like this.
  19. Tony65x55

    Tony65x55 Gretschified

    Sep 23, 2011
    The 'Shwa, Ontario, Canada
    Hi jdto, you make a lot of very good points and please don't misunderstand, I want the new technology to work. I really do.

    I don't consider a Kemper Amp to be ridiculously expensive or anything similar, I simply have never heard one but would like to. Who in the GTA carries this product?

    Although I have a really big collection of some wonderful vintage tube amps, I also have quite a few good solid state amps and yes, I am aware of the differences between solid state and modelers. I did have some modelers but they were not great and now they are in the rear view mirror. That does not mean I have closed my mind.

    I know the various pre-amps can be quite usable. I toured for a few years with an original SansAmp going into the board. It was sure no blackface Fender but it worked and was the state of the art 25 years ago.

    My mind is open on this subject. I am far more concerned with what I hear and feel than what my audience hears. My experience is they couldn't hear the slightest difference, but I can and it is my responsibility to set the bar for them.

    BTW, I gigged last night with a newish Quilter. It was pretty good and very usable. Better than a 1964 Bassman? No, but pretty good and a LOT lighter.

    Let me know if you know of a place I can check out a Kemper and thanks for your thoughts.
    jdto likes this.
  20. jdto

    jdto Electromatic

    Apr 17, 2016
    @Tony65x55 from what I’ve seen, Long & McQuade carries them, but you’d have to ask them to bring one in, as they show stock online, but not in stores. Cosmo Music in Richmond Hill also carries them, but again, no in-store stock. I had a Helix for a while that was also very impressive, although I moved it on (and kick myself for it). I’m considering grabbing another.

    I bow to your experience with multiple holy grail amps, as I’m just a hack. But I do think the sounds we’re getting from the higher-end stuff these days is impressive. I wish I could crank my Marshall more often, but a lot of the time, I am forced to play the AmpliFire through headphones or at low volume through my cab/monitors. I still like the tones, but it doesn’t make my chest thump at those volumes :D

    The bottom line for me is that it’s a great time to be a gear geek! I can have and enjoy all the different tech.

    Also, I agree that what we hear matters, since we have to like what we hear in order to want to share it with the world. That’s what blew me away about the Anderton’s video. When you see Lee’s face you know he is flabbergasted by the fact he can’t tell them apart.
    Setzerhotrod likes this.