Budget Friendly Modelers?

ElRay

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
4,319
Reaction score
1,499
Location
NoIL
I'm looking for a decent, budget-friendly modeling/multi-effect pedal. Listening to demos w/ headphones/earbuds don't reveal a whole lot of difference. Likewise, the editing on the device does seem that different, but actually trying to edit settings vs watching somebody do it often revels "quirks" that weren't obvious.

Basic features I'm looking for:
  • Ideally ~$500 USD. I can do $750, but I don't want to go too far past that.
  • Updated macOS software. I've got a Mustang Mini and a DigiTech pedal that died via software long before the hardware was obsolete.
    • This unfortunately eliminates Line 6. They had a decade to migrate to 64-bits, still wrote new 32-bit software and they still chuffed the release of Catalina. They're in a similar boat now. The last "We're still working on it" news release regarding macOS 11 was back in September.
  • I'm also looking at adding piezos to a guitar (another factor in the budget), so I'd love stereo/2-channel input.
  • I have a Roland JC-40 (Stereo, 2x10 Combo), so the ability to do the 4CM is another plus.
What I've looked at so far:
  • I'm I'd love an FM3, but that's more than I'd like to spend right now. The older Fractal stuff seems good, and as good as Fractal tends to be, the older (AX8, FM8, etc.) editing software hasn't been updated.
  • The videos for the Hotone Ampero sound OK. It's in the $350-$400 range and the software doesn't crash, but I can't get past the startup screen without the hardware. It has an expression pedal. Also, there's only one input.
  • There's the TC Electronic Plethora X5 (basically 5 TonePrint Pedals in one enclosure): It can do stereo in. It can do 4CM. It's in the $450-$500 range, but it doesn't have an expression pedal. The software has been recently updated. I'm able to test the software more, but I can't edit any TonePrints without the hardware. I'm concerned about only having the ability to adjust parameters on TonePrints vs having actually modeled effects.
  • The Boss GT1000 & GT1000CORE are interesting. They're in the $750-$800 range. The software has an offline mode (so you can edit settings w/o the device). Both can do 4CM.
    • The CORE is about $50 cheaper, but you lose 4 stomp buttons and the expression pedal, but you gain stereo input. That said, messing with the software, I can't find a way to send the channels to separate chains. The software has signal splitters, but I can't find a way to split the inputs
    • The regular GT1000 gains 4 stompbox buttons and an expression pedal, but loses the stereo input. The main instructions seems to imply that you could use the effects loop returns, but doesn't really say how, and I could not find a way in the editor to route the two returns.
I'm leaning towards the TC Electronic Plethora + an Expression Pedal, but the Boss GT1000s have better software. Unfortunately I'm not being a way to send L/R, Mag/Piezo to two different signal chains. If I can confirm that, they might be worth the extra $250-$300USD.

What brands/products (Moore GE?) am I overlooking? Who has real experience with these lower end

EDIT: After looking at the Helixes again, I thought of another possibility: An interface and performance software like MainStage?
 
Last edited:

littlebadboy

SS.org Regular
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Messages
1,097
Reaction score
846
Location
Midwestern USA
I am a big Boss fanboi. I had the GT series up to the GT-100. Then, I tried the Headrush Gigboard because it was in my budget while the GT-1000 was too expensive. When the GT-1000CORE came out, I got excited being a Boss fan. However, I wasn't impressed comparing it with the Headrush tone-wise. Ir also had limited IR loading whereas the Headrush almost has limitless IR loading.

I would go for a Headrush or Helix + an FRFR cab later on.

I am meh with the Plethora although I love TC too.
 

KnightBrolaire

mass cultivator
Joined
Mar 19, 2015
Messages
19,467
Reaction score
24,383
Location
MN
look into the mooer stuff. otherwise a headrush is a solid choice ime.
 

ElRay

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
4,319
Reaction score
1,499
Location
NoIL
Thanks for the Headrush pointer. I've only looked at their FRFR powered cab.
... I am meh with the Plethora although I love TC too ...
The Plethora is a bit of an odd beast. It's more like a programmable pedal board with only space for 5 pedals.
... Helix + an FRFR cab later on ...
The Helixes are outside of the current budget. Even if they weren't, to cite Line 6:
Line6Support said:
09/11/2020
Apple® released their new operating system, macOS® 11 Big Sur, today.

Currently, Line 6 software products are not compatible with macOS 11 Big Sur.

We recommend that you wait until Line 6 software product compatibility with macOS 11 is announced before updating to the new operating system. Compatibility is currently being tested and will be ensured in upcoming software updates.

To prevent macOS from automatically updating, uncheck the “Install macOS updates” option in System Preferences > Software Update > Advanced.

Please watch this space for more information regarding support for macOS 11.

The Line 6 Support Team
Six months and no update? I'll pass, especially since the complaints really seem to be minor (app crashes after losing focus, performance, etc.). Line 6 also blew the Catalina release. Apple had been saying for over a decade that 32-bit apps were going away, don't write any new ones. Line 6 wrote new 32-bit only apps anyway. Apple said 18-months before the release of Catalina that support for 32-bit apps would finally be dropped. Line 6 still did not update their apps until after Catalina shipped. Unfortunately, Line 6 is a hard no.
 

ElRay

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
4,319
Reaction score
1,499
Location
NoIL
look into the mooer stuff ...
I just grabbed the GE 300 manual. It looks like it can support a stereo effects loop, but the manual wasn't clear what blocks could be moved after the effects loop. I also tried to check-out the software, but you can't get past the splash screen without the hardware being attached.
... headrush is a solid choice ime.
Vote #2. Off to check-out Headrush. I've already have their FRFR powered wedges on a "wish list".
 

ElRay

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
4,319
Reaction score
1,499
Location
NoIL
@KnightBrolaire & @littlebadboy: RE: Headrush ...

The stereo/split routing on these are NICE - Big plus. Can the loop return be moved all the way "to the left" (e.g. 1st or 2nd block)?

But there is no desktop editing software, correct?
 

KnightBrolaire

mass cultivator
Joined
Mar 19, 2015
Messages
19,467
Reaction score
24,383
Location
MN
@KnightBrolaire & @littlebadboy: RE: Headrush ...

The stereo/split routing on these are NICE - Big plus. Can the loop return be moved all the way "to the left" (e.g. 1st or 2nd block)?

But there is no desktop editing software, correct?
I don't know tbh, I only got to mess around with one for a few hours at guitar center. I spent the majority of it playing with the amp models and fx.
 

budda

Do not criticize as this
Contributor
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
29,986
Reaction score
13,328
Location
Earth
Buy a budget modeller, get budget stuff?

Vox tonelab SE? Much more hands on, much more affordable.
 

Emperoff

Not using 5150s
Contributor
Joined
Jul 24, 2005
Messages
6,565
Reaction score
7,079
Location
Spain
@KnightBrolaire & @littlebadboy: RE: Headrush ...

The stereo/split routing on these are NICE - Big plus. Can the loop return be moved all the way "to the left" (e.g. 1st or 2nd block)?

But there is no desktop editing software, correct?

The Headrush Gigboard interface is so good you don't really need an editor
 

Deadpool_25

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
Messages
3,221
Reaction score
4,658
Are plugins out of the question? A NDSP plugin or two might be an idea. And there are others that would probably suit just as well if not better.

The FM3 would be a fantastic choice. If you can stretch to $750, maybe you can stretch that bit more or save a little longer?
 

littlebadboy

SS.org Regular
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Messages
1,097
Reaction score
846
Location
Midwestern USA
@KnightBrolaire & @littlebadboy: RE: Headrush ...

The stereo/split routing on these are NICE - Big plus. Can the loop return be moved all the way "to the left" (e.g. 1st or 2nd block)?

But there is no desktop editing software, correct?

Are you asking about the fx loop? Yes, it can be placed anywhere you want in your chain.

No editors. I was worried that it didn't have, but it's interface and generous screen size wouldn't need one as Emeproff mentioned.

I would agree with Deadpool too. You can save some more.

Oh, the new update of the Headrush has the Orange amp sims and the famous Klin.
 

ElRay

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
4,319
Reaction score
1,499
Location
NoIL
Are plugins out of the question? A NDSP plugin or two might be an idea. And there are others that would probably suit just as well if not better.
I started thinking about that route. I do have a 2015, single-channel, Presonus interface. I may have to give that a shot and think about a 2-Channel DI box.
The FM3 would be a fantastic choice. If you can stretch to $750, maybe you can stretch that bit more or save a little longer?
It's not an issue with how much I could spend, it's how much I should spend. I still want to add piezos and (potentially) a Sustainiac. The cheapest FM3 I've seen is over $1200 - 2-1/2 to 3 times my desired budget and 50% more than the Boss/Headrush models at the upper end.
 

ElRay

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
4,319
Reaction score
1,499
Location
NoIL
Are you asking about the fx loop? Yes, it can be placed anywhere you want in your chain.
Yes, but not as an FX loop. I'm also planning on adding piezos, so I want something with stereo/2-Channel inputs. Since both the Headrush Pedalboad and Gigboard lack stereo/2-channel input, the only workable solution I see is to take advantage of the high-impedance, stereo, FX Return and utilize the split routing through the end.
I would agree with Deadpool too. You can save some more.
An FM3 is more than double, almost triple my desired budget. It's also 50% more than the high-end of what I'm WILLING to pay. If it comes down to it, I'll get the piezos & sustainer, and run stereo into the JC-40 for a while.
 

mongey

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
3,107
Reaction score
815
Location
the gong - Australia
All this is subjective but I’m Always in the camp that your core gear , guitar and amp , are the most important. Everything else is gravy once that’s sorted.
I’d scrap the peizos and sustainer and put the funds for them into the modeler you really want for now.

you can spend $500 on something that will keep you happy short term , or get that sorted longer term then worry about the extras.



Just my take. It’s your cash.
 

Deadpool_25

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
Messages
3,221
Reaction score
4,658
The cheapest FM3 I've seen is over $1200 - 2-1/2 to 3 times my desired budget and 50% more than the Boss/Headrush models at the upper end.

It’s in stock at Fractal right now for $999. You have to pay shipping and you might have to pay tax though so I guess it could be in the $1100 range for a new one with full warranty.
 

ElRay

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
4,319
Reaction score
1,499
Location
NoIL
It’s in stock at Fractal right now for $999...
Very Tempting...

How often do they drop prices like this? Any hunch on how likely is it a:
  • Post-US Stimulus Check Enticement
  • Pre-US Tax Refund Enticement
  • The end of the Pandemic is in sight, I might start gigging? wish feeding
  • The Quad Cortex is slow-launching, with warts, lets undercut Neural DSP
and will be back to $1300 USD by May/June?

If $1k USD is likely the new normal, I'll likely hold off getting anything half-way.
 
Last edited:

GunpointMetal

SS.org Regular
Joined
Dec 8, 2011
Messages
3,801
Reaction score
3,012
Location
Madison, WI
You could always sell the Apple for whatever inflated price used ones are going for compared to the actual value of the hardware and buy a PC and an HX Stomp or POD GO. Then you'd have an OS that doesn't kill backwards compatibility every third update AND a modeler. J/K - kind of...not really...fuck Apple

I've really liked the Mooer GE300 demos I've heard and the onboard editing looks pretty easy, but I have no idea about plug-and-play compatibility with Apple or Editor Support. I'd spend some more now and just get the Fractal, save you some buyer's remorse in the long run, or go with plugins. You can confirm compatibility (for now anyways, its only a matter of time before ALL software is going to need to be M1 compatible without any emulation).
 

ATRguitar91

SS.org Regular
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
Messages
1,008
Reaction score
711
Location
West Virginia
I really like my HX Stomp. Can snag one for below $500 if you're patient. I'd do what @GunpointMetal says and ditch Apple. Gear first!

If that's not an option, the Mooer GE stuff was what I was lookin at before going with the Stomp. The GE 150 seems like a really compelling value option considering it has the same modelling capabilities as the bigger models.
 

Deadpool_25

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
Messages
3,221
Reaction score
4,658
Very Tempting...

How often do they drop prices like this? Any hunch on how likely is it a:
  • Post-US Stimulus Check Enticement
  • Pre-US Tax Refund Enticement
  • The end of the Pandemic is in sight, I might start gigging? wish feeding
  • The Quad Cortex is slow-launching, with warts, lets undercut Neural DSP
and will be back to $1300 USD by May/June?

If $1k USD is likely the new normal, I'll likely hold off getting anything half-way.

I feel like it's been $999 for a while now, but I could be wrong. I suppose it could go up at any time, but I really don't know. I've actually started considering getting a 2nd one just because I want to be able to run dual amps. Kinda crazy but...well...it's me sooooo...... /shrug
 


Top