Anyone using a Modelling Amp?

IPLAYLOUD

Electromatic
Aug 2, 2011
83
Long Island
I have used a Fender Mustang III amp for several years, and have found that my 2009 Knotty Pine Roundup (Filtertrons) sounds GREAT through this amp.
I tweaked one of my favorite settings for it...a little Compression, '63 Reverb Unit, 57 Deluxe amp with some basic slapback Echo. A deep Vibrato if needed.
My Rockabilly and Surf bandmates like it, and it fits the bill nicely. At 36lbs with no Pedalboard, it's one trip to and from the car.
For you Tube Guys, I have a Carr Mercury V Amp coming next week. It's the first they have done in PINK Tolex. I haven't abandoned the Tube Camp!!
 

David MacNeill

Gretschie
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2022
100
Boise ID
Yeah the Katanas are really good amps. Inexpensive, versatile, reliable, and lightweight, they are the ideal backup amp. I would not record with one, but I do enjoy just playing it. I dialed in some fave tones with the Boss software on my Mac and they do the job for casual stuff and practice. Doubles as a clean acoustic amp if you set it right. What’s not to love?
 

Londoner

Gretschie
Dec 18, 2020
438
UK
If we're talking home/practise use, I love my Blackstar ID Core amp.
For gigging, I still prefer a valve amp.
 

hcsterg

Friend of Fred
Silver Member
Feb 13, 2012
7,061
France
have used a Fender Mustang III amp for several years

Me too. It was the amp that I used at the music school for reharsal and concerts. It can be seen below, in the lower right, behind me :

xFv1Jb-pub7.jpg


Unpractical for modding setting on the spot, but most important and worse : UNRELIABLE ! 50% of time prone to mutings or bugs... Too bad !

We soon shifted to a Champion 100, again behind me below :

19101710262925019416468174.jpg


No reliablility problems this time, but questionable ergonomics and unfortunately always the same scooped tone, that doesn't cut through the mix, no matter the settings...

Now I use my tube amps. No more issue. The tone, the power, instant setting... I can concentrate on playing and sounding as expected, not to compensate of suffer the amplifier flaws !

So no : I do not use modelling amps anymore for those reasons above. I became reluctant and suspicious in this regard...

That said, yes : the Mustang III offered very good tones and possibilities - I even thought at a time to buy an used one for my home.

A+!
 

hooligangorilla

Electromatic
Jan 14, 2022
15
Canada
I've got a Walrus ACS-1 on one pedalboard, and a Line 6 HX Stomp on another. Awesome for practicing and for gigs where I'm using IEMs and going direct to FOH. In terms of sound quality, the modern generation of modellers is indistinguishable from tube amps. But... nothing beats the amp-in-a-room feel and I still use tube amps over modellers when I can... which unfortunately seems to be in fewer and fewer applications these days.
 

toddfan

Country Gent
Mar 12, 2012
1,173
Kansas
I use a Kemper Toaster through a Kemper Powered Cab. So I guess I'm not "modeling" but I am "profiling"...lol. It's perfect for the way I use an amp...here in my home office/bedroom type setting. like it so much I sold my DRRI. But I still have my Genz Benz Black Pearl 112 tube amp sitting right next to it...it makes a heck of a chair.

And, FWIW...my nose hasn't been anywhere near a dog's behind.


im-really-scared-for-the-future-eric-cartman.jpg


laser-printer-with-tubes.gif
 

SneakyPete

Gretschie
Platinum Member
Mar 7, 2022
325
Australia
I did the modeling amp thing, two different ones. I found myself spending almost as much time tweaking the tone as playing my guitars.

Regarding finding “the” tone there were way to many buttons, knobs, settings and on line tone choices for me.
Yeah I feel the same way. I bought a Boss Katana 50 for home and thought it'd be cool to have all those Boss pedals at my disposal, and a range of different amp sounds. I too was spending too much time tweaking, just couldn't find that sweet spot where I was happy to stop tweaking and just play. So continued the search and have ended up with a couple of Vox Pathfinder 15's and a small pedalboard of things I actually like and use. Couldn't be happier for my application. The Vox Pathfinder 15's are really great solid state amps, highly recommended!
 

Byron

Country Gent
Sep 4, 2009
1,300
uk
Quilter Superblock US is my convenient choice, add a bit of reverb, delay or drive if you like. 1w setting works well with small speaker, or go for 25w at gig volume
 

dspellman

Gretschie
Jul 4, 2020
434
Los Angeles
No modeling *amps.*
But I've used modelers for years and I even use modeling guitars (Variax).

No issues. Extremely convenient, excellent sound.

At one point Atomic Amps was making the Atomic Reactor series of tube power amp-based active speakers, and I have three of those. Two have 18W tube power amps driving a single 12" in a closed-back cabinet, one has a 50W tube power amp driving a pair of the same speakers in a closed back 2x12 cabinet. Designed to allow you to drop in a Line 6 "bean" size modeler, they become, essentially, a combo-size "modeling amp" using the modeler as the preamp section. With the addition of a foot pedal controller (via an ethernet cable), it was a great solution for a long time.

These days, the Helix runs through a larger power amp (solid state) and some lightweight full range speaker cabinets.
Again, no issues, great sound.
 

dspellman

Gretschie
Jul 4, 2020
434
Los Angeles
Yeah I feel the same way. I bought a Boss Katana 50 for home and thought it'd be cool to have all those Boss pedals at my disposal, and a range of different amp sounds. I too was spending too much time tweaking, just couldn't find that sweet spot where I was happy to stop tweaking and just play.
I hear this a lot as a critique of modelers. But it's not the modeler's fault -- the information on locking in a good sound is out there. "Spent too much time tweaking" just seems like a pretty weak excuse when there are so many reasons for using a modeler on the other side of that.

I have bins of pedals that I'd purchase, use for a time, and then replace with something else. Thousands of dollars worth of them. I had pedalboards that spanned more area than a Montana ranch, but I couldn't get to all of the switches or rotate all of the knobs to make a quick change on a complicated sound. And if something went bad, I had to hunt through the network of cables and power cords to find the cause.

These days I can set the sounds (and the sequences) I need on the computer in advance and download them to the modeler. Playing with cover bands with known set lists, that's golden.

And I can run the same sounds through headphones, studio monitors, a standalone amp setup or a decent PA mixer and it comes out pretty much the same.

If one sweet spot is what you want and you just want to play, then maybe a modeler isn't for you anyway.
 

Randy99CL

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Feb 17, 2020
2,351
Albuquerque
I started with the Mustang LT-25 (three years ago) and love it. What makes it different is the Fender Tone software, you get a graphic image on your computer of the amps and effects and can click on each knob or slider to change the settings. Then you save your presets so it is easy to make and select tones you like.
Edit: with many modelers you have to write down the exact settings it took to get a tone you like, with the Mustangs you find that sound once and save it (with a name you make up) and it is there ready to use at any time.

Then later I got a good price on the Mustang GTX100 in case I get to play out someday and it is fantastic too. Sounds great, loud as hell and the footswitch makes it easy to use. Not as good as the ToneMasters but only half the price (I paid $450).

Just this month Fender has some amps at 40% off and the Mustang LT50 is only $170 (regularly $270) with free shipping. Like the 25 but twice the power, 12" speaker and mids control. I'm tempted to get one and sell off the 25. That is a good sounding amp (for all but the cork sniffers) for less than $200, what tube can compete with that?
You can actually gig with this one, has an output for the PA, for $170.

There are lots of reasons why folks don't like modelers, some can't figure out the technology or don't have the patience. And they don't sound as good as a good tube amp, I admit.
But they cost way less and sound good for what they do cost. They don't respond to pedals like tubes do but you can get them to sound good with the built-in effects and save a bazillion dollars on pedals.
I use three pedals: a tuner, a 10-band EQ and an always-on compressor.

It is like any technology, the new kids embrace it while the old farts are set in their ways and will pay $3K for some amp that sounds "somewhat" better than a modeler and only has one basic tone.

 
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Randy99CL

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Feb 17, 2020
2,351
Albuquerque
I just thought of an idea for a video, I think I'll pass the idea off to some of my favorite youtubers and see if someone will play with it.

I'd like to see someone pick a tube amp and then use a modeler (like the Fender GTX100) and try to duplicate the sound (or at least get as close as possible).
Again, I don't expect it to be perfect but fairly close and sound good. The biggest problem is that modelers don't respond to pedals exactly the same.

Look at the Tone Masters, they are crazy popular with players of all ages and lots of old guys have embraced them. They say they take pedals well too.
 

SneakyPete

Gretschie
Platinum Member
Mar 7, 2022
325
Australia
Yeah very true, a modeller isn't for me. It's taken a fair bit of gear over the years but eventually I realised I'm a simple man with simple tastes. For home (or anywhere for that matter) give me a warm clean sound and I'm happy. 🙂 I can add some reverb and/or delay to taste, maybe a touch of tremolo if I'm feeling adventurous, and a little overdriven edge at times and that gets me to a happy place. For recording I might spend some more time finding some different sounds but really they're just kind of embellishing the core tones rather than actually being them.

Of course this is for me and my tastes, playing kinda rootsy based tunes and I just want a pretty natural not over effected tone. I can certainly see the advantages of modelling for someone playing in a covers band with the need for many different guitar sounds, must make life a lot easier!
 


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