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#2454702 - 12/06/12 06:01 PM Modeling Amps?
Minte Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/18/12
Posts: 60
Loc: Madison
After playing nothing but classical for the last 10ish years,I just started playing electric again. The only amp I have is a vintage Fender sidekick reverb 20.

Are these modeling amps something worth looking at? If so,any recommendations would be much appreciated.

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#2454706 - 12/06/12 06:13 PM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: Minte]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5514
Loc: Hwy 49, California
Fender Mustang III...

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#2454709 - 12/06/12 06:44 PM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: Larryz]
picker Offline
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Registered: 06/13/04
Posts: 13136
Loc: Near 12th Street and Vine...
Depends on what you want to do. They are quite versatile, and usually have some usable effects in the package. The programming of them can be pretty involved, and there are folks who don't think they sound quite natural. But, if you are looking for a practice amp with more than one sound in it, I'd say they can't be beaten for that. I like the Vox modelers myself.
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#2454715 - 12/06/12 07:42 PM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: picker]
russclan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 286
Partial to Tech 21 when it comes to modeling, their circuits are (supposed to be) all analog. I think they sound the best, but they're not cheap - the Trademark 30 is about $320. If I were in the market for a modeler, that's the one I'd get.

But, the technology is pretty good these days, and they all sound pretty good. The Line 6 Spider series are attractively priced, sound decent, and have built in effects.

Fender's Mustang III, as Larry mentioned, is nice too.

I think your best bet is to head over to the nearest GC and try them all out, and let your ears (and wallet) decide.
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#2454721 - 12/06/12 08:37 PM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: Minte]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 3185
Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
Depending on your setup and goals, you may want to go with an amp and a multieffects pedal.

Either way, you get to try out a broad range of sounds without spending too much money or asking up too much floor space.
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#2454758 - 12/07/12 05:03 AM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: Larryz]
LeftyBlues Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/22/03
Posts: 1541
Loc: Cincinnati, Ohio
Originally Posted By: Larryz
Fender Mustang III...

I second this motion. Can't go wrong with Fender and you want something with at least a 10" speaker for decent sound. Lots of possibilities, comes down to your budget really. Happy hunting!
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#2454759 - 12/07/12 05:24 AM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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On many digital-modeling amps, headphone-outputs are a definite plus! (Use some decent real, full-sized, closed-back headphones with 'em.)

Look for headphone-outs and speaker-compensated direct-outputs for connecting to recording devices and PA mains and monitors. Being able to go direct and play at relatively low volumes (and low stage-volumes) while still largely getting a sound like a miked, cranked-up tube-amp is a very useful thing!

Try various modeling-amps and/or other digital-modeling devices with your own guitars, and even your own pedals; putting a few of your favorite analog pedals in front of a modeler, especially one that 'takes pedals well', can further enhance the realism of the modeled amp sound and feel.

I was quite impressed with the sound of a Line 6 2x12 combo-amp a few years ago, that a guy playing in a band in my friend's tavern was using. I can't remember which specific model it was (all SS, not a Spider Valve, though perhaps a Spider or Vetta or... ?), and I didn't play through it myself; but I was surprised to find that it was a SS modeler that had caught my ear and impressed me from the other room.

A good friend who's an excellent player with a sharp ear loves and raves about the Line 6 Spider Valve and Spider Valve II line, which use a tube/transformer output-stage; I think I would like them, except that they need to be cranked and they're LOUD with a capital LOUD, and I've been heading the opposite direction- when in its "sweet-spot" zone, my 7 watt tube-amp head is actually too loud most of the time!

Speaking of which, I often go direct to PA mains and monitors with a digital-modeling/multi-effects unit, while also going to my low-watt tube-amp in parallel with the modeler- that is, the next to last pedal in my chain has stereo outs, Left going to said tube-amp, Right going to the digital-modeler. This gives me a fatter, fuller, warmer tone than the modeler by itself, and a lot more additional flexibility and variety than the tube-amp by itself. It's sort of a poor-man's multi-amp rig.

I NEVER put the modeler through any tube-amp, neither the input nor an effects-loop, as the modeler neuters the tube-amp and the tube-amp compromises the modeler. Though I have often gone direct with the modeler, without the tube-amp...

Yamaha's DG100- the 2x12 combo with the programmable motorized knobs and a number of effects- was excellent; you would do VERY well with a used Yamaha DG-series modeling-amp, particularly one of the models with the motorized knobs... Here's a good info-'page on the Yamaha DG-amps line.
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#2454763 - 12/07/12 05:41 AM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: Minte]
Fred_C Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 06/12/10
Posts: 944
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Minte

Are these modeling amps something worth looking at? If so,any recommendations would be much appreciated.


I own two modeling amps. A Peavey Vyper 30 and a Roland Cube 40XL. I like them both but seldom play the Peavey because the Rowland takes me to JC-120 toneville and I really dig it. The cleans on that amp are really excellent.

Plus they're inexpensive, lightweight and come with effects. thu
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#2454911 - 12/07/12 02:29 PM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: Fred_C]
Minte Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/18/12
Posts: 60
Loc: Madison
Lots of excellent information! This weekend I am going to hit some stores and give a few of them a test-drive. My old sidekick still sounds good,but all this new technology is really interesting.

The last pedal I owned was a vox crybaby.

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#2454927 - 12/07/12 03:16 PM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: Minte]
desertbluesman Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 2892
Loc: Near Phoenix Az
I just bought a Fender Super Champ X2 which is a hybrid modeling/tube amp. I am liking it a whole bunch, and my liking for it gets better each day I play it. I recommend as look/listen at/to that amp. It is worth the trip out to see and hear it.
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#2455021 - 12/08/12 04:37 AM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Guitarzan Offline
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Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 14792
Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
On many digital-modeling amps, headphone-outputs are a definite plus! (Use some decent real, full-sized, closed-back headphones with 'em.)

Look for headphone-outs and speaker-compensated direct-outputs for connecting to recording devices and PA mains and monitors. Being able to go direct and play at relatively low volumes (and low stage-volumes) while still largely getting a sound like a miked, cranked-up tube-amp is a very useful thing!

Try various modeling-amps and/or other digital-modeling devices with your own guitars, and even your own pedals; putting a few of your favorite analog pedals in front of a modeler, especially one that 'takes pedals well', can further enhance the realism of the modeled amp sound and feel.

I was quite impressed with the sound of a Line 6 2x12 combo-amp a few years ago, that a guy playing in a band in my friend's tavern was using. I can't remember which specific model it was (all SS, not a Spider Valve, though perhaps a Spider or Vetta or... ?), and I didn't play through it myself; but I was surprised to find that it was a SS modeler that had caught my ear and impressed me from the other room.

A good friend who's an excellent player with a sharp ear loves and raves about the Line 6 Spider Valve and Spider Valve II line, which use a tube/transformer output-stage; I think I would like them, except that they need to be cranked and they're LOUD with a capital LOUD, and I've been heading the opposite direction- when in its "sweet-spot" zone, my 7 watt tube-amp head is actually too loud most of the time!

Speaking of which, I often go direct to PA mains and monitors with a digital-modeling/multi-effects unit, while also going to my low-watt tube-amp in parallel with the modeler- that is, the next to last pedal in my chain has stereo outs, Left going to said tube-amp, Right going to the digital-modeler. This gives me a fatter, fuller, warmer tone than the modeler by itself, and a lot more additional flexibility and variety than the tube-amp by itself. It's sort of a poor-man's multi-amp rig.

I NEVER put the modeler through any tube-amp, neither the input nor an effects-loop, as the modeler neuters the tube-amp and the tube-amp compromises the modeler. Though I have often gone direct with the modeler, without the tube-amp...

Yamaha's DG100- the 2x12 combo with the programmable motorized knobs and a number of effects- was excellent; you would do VERY well with a used Yamaha DG-series modeling-amp, particularly one of the models with the motorized knobs... Here's a good info-'page on the Yamaha DG-amps line.


i can double that for the Yamaha DG100. kick ass amp period. i am still suffering the loss of mine. my own fault.
as far as analog goes , my present budget amp is a Behringer stereo 2x12 combo( forget the actual model). it is analog and only has digital in the effects section. i believe it is a take on Tech 21 seeing it has the three switch setup in the amp section. it sounds good and acts like an amp. super cheap as well.
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#2455022 - 12/08/12 05:41 AM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: Guitarzan]
Mr16track Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/12
Posts: 3
Loc: Ohio
I have a Line6 Floor Pod XT-Live. I love it. I think most of the presets in it are "over the top", but are easily tamed. There are TONS of user settings available on the web. I use them for specific sounds, i.e. Foreigner, Steely Dan, Lover Boy, etc... I do a lot of cover material and getting a VERY close sound is easy. I also use a Varix 300 guitar. I can pick the guitar model used with the tone on the POD. It makes gigs really easy! I never use an actual amp anymore...
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#2455082 - 12/08/12 09:52 AM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: Mr16track]
Larryz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5514
Loc: Hwy 49, California
Welcome aboard Mr16track! How do you like that modeling guitar for acoustic or electric sound?

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#2455268 - 12/09/12 01:12 PM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: Larryz]
Mr16track Offline
Member

Registered: 12/07/12
Posts: 3
Loc: Ohio
I love it. The electrics are spot on. The acoustics sound like a good acoustic with a piezo pick-up. With the XT Live, the acoustics are really huge. I have found the using the heavier stings makes the acoustic models much better.

The awesome thing about my rig is the ability to pick say- an AC30 amp, and when I do, it automatically switches to the les Paul on my guitar. I have settings for banjo, acoustic, electrics, etc... on the POD. So when I call up a preset, it automatically sets the variax to the correct guitar model. It makes my job much easier, since I'm the "utility" guy. I play keys, electric, acoustic, and sing. Just something less tom worry about.

It's not perfect, but it's dang close! No amp to carry! And now XT Live pedals and Variax 300 guitars are relatively inexpensive, so I can have backups

I have a buddy who has the same model les Paul as one of the models in my variax. He plugged them both into his orange amp, and I swear, you couldn't tell the difference! And he's a good player, unlike me. I'm more like by-product filler...
_________________________
Ahh...There's nothing like the sound of a perfectly dialed in kick drum through my PA... BOOM!!!

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#2455278 - 12/09/12 03:06 PM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: Mr16track]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 22341
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Last night I heard a guy playing a particularly sweet one-off vintage Mosrite (built by Semi Mosley for his church group, I'm told; he let me touch its headstock thu cool ) through a smallish 1x12 Line 6 modeling-amp of some sort, with a variety of pedals in front of its input; it sounded GREAT!
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#2455310 - 12/09/12 06:50 PM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: Mr16track]
Perkunas Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/28/12
Posts: 75
Originally Posted By: Mr16track
I love it. The electrics are spot on. The acoustics sound like a good acoustic with a piezo pick-up. With the XT Live, the acoustics are really huge. I have found the using the heavier stings makes the acoustic models much better.

The awesome thing about my rig is the ability to pick say- an AC30 amp, and when I do, it automatically switches to the les Paul on my guitar. I have settings for banjo, acoustic, electrics, etc... on the POD. So when I call up a preset, it automatically sets the variax to the correct guitar model. It makes my job much easier, since I'm the "utility" guy. I play keys, electric, acoustic, and sing. Just something less tom worry about.

It's not perfect, but it's dang close! No amp to carry! And now XT Live pedals and Variax 300 guitars are relatively inexpensive, so I can have backups

I have a buddy who has the same model les Paul as one of the models in my variax. He plugged them both into his orange amp, and I swear, you couldn't tell the difference! And he's a good player, unlike me. I'm more like by-product filler...


Nice to meet another Variax user. Mine is the guts ripped out of a variax 500 and transplanted into a custom setup. There is a 13pin cable that connects to my Roland Gr33 allowing me to run guitar, synth or both at the flick of a switch.

My amp modelling comes courtesy of the Boss gt100 running to a Tech21 power engine and, like Caeven, another line to the PA.

The first time I played the Variax acoustic model in public the sound engineer told me he cracked up watching people's heads spin looking for the acoustic guitarist.

For those that have recommended the Tech21 Trademark, I second that choice. used the Trademark 60 many times for Blues style applications.

Cheers

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#2455322 - 12/09/12 08:12 PM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: Perkunas]
Larryz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5514
Loc: Hwy 49, California
Thanks for the info on the Variax guitars. I've never had the chance to try one out, so next time I'm near a guitar store I will start keeping an eye out for one and see how they feel.
The Line6 can come in some nice looking wood too. I don't mind sounding like an acoustic on an electric looking guitar but people would really be looking around if you sound like a banjo. I can only think of one song (dueling banjos?) that I would ever play on it though...

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#2455330 - 12/09/12 09:05 PM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: Larryz]
Perkunas Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/28/12
Posts: 75
Larry,
As far as the original guitar bodies and necks go they are about as useful as a fox in a chook pen.

Many people have taken out the line 6 electronics and transplanted them into something playable.

The story at the moment is that a certain James Tyler has re designed the bodies and they are apparently quite good. The current version has normal pickups as well as the modelling gear.

I haven't seen one as "Down Under" is the last place anyone seems to export to. BUT, I am keen to buy one, especially the Strat version.

Cheers

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#2455335 - 12/09/12 09:43 PM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: Perkunas]
Larryz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5514
Loc: Hwy 49, California
Originally Posted By: Perkunas
Larry,
As far as the original guitar bodies and necks go they are about as useful as a fox in a chook pen.

Many people have taken out the line 6 electronics and transplanted them into something playable.

The story at the moment is that a certain James Tyler has re designed the bodies and they are apparently quite good. The current version has normal pickups as well as the modelling gear.

I haven't seen one as "Down Under" is the last place anyone seems to export to. BUT, I am keen to buy one, especially the Strat version.

Cheers


Thanks for the info on the guitar Mate! Only been Down Under once back in the 71 on R&R to Sydney. I Loved the city and the people there. We have the same trouble getting a hold of Tommy Emmanuel's acoustic brand here in the States as they zap you on shipping. If I ever see one in the store, I'm going to try one of them too, just for kicks. I know it won't make me sound like Tommy, but I just want to see how one of them sounds and feels?


Edited by Larryz (12/09/12 09:46 PM)
Edit Reason: sp

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#2455808 - 12/11/12 01:48 PM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: Larryz]
p90junior Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/01/08
Posts: 57
The Fender Mustang IIIs are starting to turn up on Craigslist here for cheap... $160 seems average. Might have to get one because... I'll think of an excuse... something that small packing 100 watts can be handy, if I dig the sound.

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#2455845 - 12/11/12 04:21 PM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: p90junior]
Larryz Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5514
Loc: Hwy 49, California
I'll be interested in your review p90 if you do pull the trigger on a III...I think it was Zan that commented on them once before and said they have a good sound as they use a quality speaker. I like a small 35lb amp that can put out some good wattage if/when you need it. You'll be getting one at 1/2 price at $150...if it doesn't come with the optional footswitch you may want to order one out of MF...

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#2456008 - 12/12/12 07:24 AM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: Perkunas]
Terrell Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 1722
Loc: Austin, TX
Originally Posted By: Perkunas
Larry,
As far as the original guitar bodies and necks go they are about as useful as a fox in a chook pen.

Many people have taken out the line 6 electronics and transplanted them into something playable.

The story at the moment is that a certain James Tyler has re designed the bodies and they are apparently quite good. The current version has normal pickups as well as the modelling gear.

I haven't seen one as "Down Under" is the last place anyone seems to export to. BUT, I am keen to buy one, especially the Strat version.

Cheers


Perkunas - Is there a FAQ or instruction on how to source parts and adapt a guitar to a variax input? I'd be very interested in those details!

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#2456096 - 12/12/12 12:21 PM Re: Modeling Amps? [Re: Larryz]
p90junior Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/01/08
Posts: 57
Originally Posted By: Larryz
I'll be interested in your review p90 if you do pull the trigger on a III...I think it was Zan that commented on them once before and said they have a good sound as they use a quality speaker. I like a small 35lb amp that can put out some good wattage if/when you need it. You'll be getting one at 1/2 price at $150...if it doesn't come with the optional footswitch you may want to order one out of MF...


Yeah, I've been surprised to see them so cheap, but it's at a new price where "ambitious beginners" buy them with their first guitar then give up, I guess, and then a lot of guys say "only used in my home studio a few times." The fact that there are always a couple listed and they stay up for a while drives down the price for someone who just wants to move 'em quick.

And beginners will never buy used gear for some reason, when they're the exact ones who should look to get in on stuff cheap to test the waters.

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