Practise amps that aren't digital modellers?

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by gnoll, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    I pretty much agree with above. Small tube amps are loud, and sound small. All mids, no bass. Small combos also sound small. You are not going to get chunky bass out of a 1x10 combo. Even decent SS amps, like a Peavey Bandit, will be pretty loud and large physically. Digital modelers rule the low volume front.

    Personally, I love my Boss Katana. It is digital, but has better dynamics than anything else digital less than $1000. It can sound good quiet in 1/2W mode, and get stupid loud in 100W mode. I have the head and use it with 212 cabs to get bass chunk. You can connect it to the computer to dial in about any sound you want. Many times I will play it instead of my Axe-FX or Mesa Recto just because it is such a cool little amp.
     
  2. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Sort of just throwing this out there, thinking out loud, but it seems odd that I've never heard of anyone trying to make a speaker designed to sound good at lower volume. Seems like a no-brainer to try to develop something like that to pair up with all the low-wattage heads that are out there now. Instead of a speaker that's designed to be efficient and put out lots of volume, I could see someone making a speaker that's designed to put out less volume, distort/interact earlier- not necessarily be "inefficient", but sort of that. Something that gives you that speaker interaction sound without destroying your neighbors or your hearing.
     
  3. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    My thinking is this: If I get a really small combo, it's gonna sound shit. However, if I put a great tube distortion in front, it might not! No?

    Or something more along the lines of an actual preamp, and a reeeeally small poweramp. For example the Engl I mentioned earlier. Guys, check this clip out, it sounds SOO good and you can hear the strings being played at the same time!! Does this not sound good???



    There's some other similar things like Koch has a kinda pedal preamp called Pedaltone, seems pretty kickass too.

    Don't you guys think some kind of solution like that would sound better than a modeler? I know you guys mostly seem to think modeler is the way to go, but I am REEALLY sceptical of them... It just doesn't feel right at all to consider a modeler for me. Idk...
     
  4. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    You want everything a modeler does better, except you dont want a modeler. You also seem hell bent on spending more money than you have to.

    Again: if you cant get the tubes to work (using volume), why are you hell bent on them?

    Learn how to dial in a modeler and buy one. See all the guys suggesting the boss Katana?
     
  5. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    I don't want or need 100 amp models or effects though. I need a good metal tone, that's it really. And so far I'm not convinced a modeler does that better.

    I don't really care per se if it's tube or not, I just need it to sound good, and I trust tubes the most to do that. I don't mind a solid state power amp though, but at the same time, I don't feel like a tube power amp (depending on what it is) necessarily needs to be pushed hard to sound good. For band-volume I play a Peavey 5150 and it doesn't sound better the louder it gets, it just gets flubby and bad when the power section gets pushed. I imagine I could get along with a low powered tube or solid state power amp for home use, as long as I don't need to push it.

    I looked at youtube demos of Boss Katana, and it just sounds bad. I really don't like it. Compared to the Engl I just linked, it's not even close, the Katana just loses. I wouldn't mind getting away cheap, but if I can get something that sounds a lot better, then I'm prepared to spend a little more.

    Idk, am I crazy for saying this stuff?
     
  6. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    That does sound pretty decent, but also notice in the notes it says a 412 cab is being used. That is adding a lot of that depth and bass. Bigger, closed speaker cabs is one key ingredient to a heavy tone. A small, open back cab is not going to sound like that.

    No, a tube is not a magic device that will make anything sound better. If anything, the preamp tubes have little effect over the tone, and having large, loud, power tubes is the thing that will improve the tone of whatever is plugged into them. You would actually notice better tone if you used a 412 cab, a 100W tube poweramp, with a distortion pedal in front of it.
     
  7. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    The Katana is not amazing out of the box for heavy sounds... however, if you get in the software and use a boost, and the Parametric EQ to crank the bass and scoop the mids, it sounds very brutal. The tone I typically use on there is something like Death's Human crossed with Hatebreed, with a little Nevermore thrown in.

    Honestly, if you want to avoid a modeler, I would go with an AMT P2, R2, or D2 preamp pedal, with some sort of solid state powermap into as big of a cab as would fit in my room.
     
  8. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    I use an Atomic Amplifire modeler pre-amp and even though it has tons of amp models and settings, I basically just use it for the Friedman and Bassman. It's way cheaper than a real Friedman or a real Bassman. Also smaller and lighter and sounds better at low volumes. It's my understanding that you'd need to really crank a Bassman to get the kind of tones I play at a comfortable 1 bedroom apartment volume.

    The point I'm trying to make is that having a ton of options isn't necessarily a demerit even if you prefer simplicity and it isn't against the rules to ignore the options you're not interested in.


    Also, no one is saying that a Boss Katana always sounds better than an ENGL. What we're all saying is that an ENGL is going to have better tone cranked, but a modeler wont need for you to crank it to achieve its best tone.
     
  9. NickLAudio

    NickLAudio Audio/Video Engineer

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    I like the small Orange practice amps for bedroom use. I've used an ElevenR and Pod 2.0 through them as well as some way lower quality modelers and I've always been able to dial out the digi sound and make a pretty convincing full and punchy tone. They get plenty loud too.

    Then again, you won't get the tone you're looking for with just an Orange amp. You'd have to go from a modeler to get your sound then into the amp to put the "i'm not digital" costume on.
     
  10. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    I have a spare 2x12 cab I can use though, that I think is actually the same as the 2x12 version of the cab used in the clip. And the clip uses the built-in solid state power amp of that pre, not a 100W power amp.

    Like, show me a modeler that sounds that good and I'll get it, but so far I'm not convinced...
     
  11. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    There are thousands of clips on Youtube of modelers sounding good. It would be easier if you linked a Katana video that you think sounds bad, and I could explain what they did wrong.
     
  12. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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  13. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    To add to the “small isn’t loud” the ENGL Ironball is awesome, as long as you crank it, which will disturb the entire house/neighbors in an apartment.

    My helix on the other hand sounds great at any volume or through quality headphones.
     
  14. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    I am curious why you dont like that video. I think that is one of the better sounding ones, since Ola always tends to make everything sound good.

    The main problems with this video, is that the 50W is smaller than the 100W, and it is well known it sounds worse. The cab is smaller, and the speaker is smaller, so the whole thing don't chug as well. Also, Ola never opened up the software. Like I said above, it is not great out of the box for heavy sounds. You really have to get in there and tweak the OD and EQ. The 50 in particular has no Presence knob on the panel, so you have to get to it in software. The Katana's are naturally very bright, so turning down the presence is key. They can be bright and honky for metal without tweaking the EQ. A single SM58 is also not going to pick up much bass.... it is mostly a vocal mic, and it is adding more upper mids to an amp that already has too many upper mids. It is also close miced, so it is not going to pick up as much room vibe as the ENGL clip above. What is funny, is playing the Katana heavy part next to the ENGL heavy part, the videos don't sound THAT much different to me. You are mostly hearing the difference in the little cab vs a 412 cab. The ENGL is more mid scooped, which is easy to do with the Katana EQ.
     
  15. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    I mean, I dunno, I just really don't like the tone. I agree that Ola often makes stuff sound good, I even remember an old video he had of a Peavey Vypyr that sounded pretty good (the very amp I want to get rid of) but this Katana... not so much... and I really doubt it would sound that much better through a different cab, I just don't really see that happening. I'm very hesitant to get an amp with so many ifs and buts that I've never actually heard sounding good. But hey, I could get my ass to a store and try one, they're not that hard to find.
     
  16. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    The Katana gets high praise for something that you cant hear in videos..... the feel. It has a great dynamic feel that is reactive when you are playing it, which just makes it fun to play. Many digital and solid state amps just feel flat, even if they sound good. Many software amp sims are like this also..... sound great, boring as crap to play. It is definitely something you should try in person. The cab DOES make a HUGE difference. That is one reason I bought the head. Little open back combos are not for metal.

    I always thought this video sounded good for a room cam:

     
  17. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    Well, that definately sounds better, but that's TWO 4x12 + a sub... Also, the head is pretty expensive.

    Edit: Better as in better than the close-mic demos I've heard so far, not better than the Engl.
     
  18. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    Shows you how much the cab makes a difference ;) No open back 112 combo is going to sound like that.

    You can approximate the sub with the Parametric EQ. I get as much bass through a 212 cab as that video, because I crank up the low end by +14 or something.
     
  19. gnoll

    gnoll SS.org Regular

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    I would still rather get the Engl lol :p, cause that I could use through my 5150 or another power amp and sound sweet, the Katana would be forever-practise-amp.
     
  20. EmaDaCuz

    EmaDaCuz Brutal yet soulful

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    I was on a quest to find the perfect tone at apartment volume. Always wanted a small tube amp to sound great. I tried a Laney IRT, fricking loud even at 1W. I tried the Orange Micro Dark, harsh as hell at low volumes. The best solution in the tube realm was a Marshall Class 5 head with a distortion pedal in front.
    Other than that, my go to amp for bedroom practice was a Cube 60. A beast of an amp, great sound, full, rich, aggressive. And it also became my rehearsal amp.

    What you say about the Katana to be just a practice amp forever is fundamentally incorrect. More often than not, you find yourself wanting to have an affordable and reliable amp to carry around when you practice or even gig. And the Katana 100 would be perfect for that, too, and would shine in your bedroom.
     
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