Music Player Network
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,867
Likes: 281
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,867
Likes: 281
The two that have impressed me the most lately are AmpliTube 5, which is a serious re-do of the original, and Helix, which despite being 7 years old, continues to receive new amps, effects, and improvements.

Granted, using computers isn't always painless, but having gear based on software sure has made a difference.

Sound, Studio, and Stage Island
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 306
Likes: 6
Senior Member
Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 306
Likes: 6
I watched a demo of Amplitude 5 recently, looked really interesting and I'll likely upgrade to it from ver. 3 soon.

Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,867
Likes: 281
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,867
Likes: 281
Originally Posted by Greg Mein
I watched a demo of Amplitude 5 recently, looked really interesting and I'll likely upgrade to it from ver. 3 soon.

You were smart to wait. There's a much bigger difference between 4 and 5 compared to 3 and 4.

Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by Greg Mein
I watched a demo of Amplitude 5 recently, looked really interesting and I'll likely upgrade to it from ver. 3 soon.

You were smart to wait. There's a much bigger difference between 4 and 5 compared to 3 and 4.

IK is staying with their current marketing and Amplitube 5 Custom Shop is free - with some free sounds over the range.

And IK is likely to do the same thing they tend to do - have a "tiered" sales event.

I did well the last time I participated in one of those, they hit sales numbers that allowed them to offer Buy 1 Get 10 Free.

I got some Amplitube 4 amps that time. Have't used them much but if this is much better then maybe I'll get some Amplitube 5 amps/cabs when that comes around again.
Being able to plug an electric guitar straight in and get good amp tones with tubes that never die or change, no bias adjustments, no fatigued speakers, no cables, no weight (preaching to the choir, I know) etc.
It really is an ideal way to go about things.


Every Time I Am Wrong, I Learn Something.
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 21,965
Likes: 398
5x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
Offline
5x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 21,965
Likes: 398
Have you guys had a chance to play with Strymon’s Iridium?

dB

Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
Originally Posted by Dave Bryce
Have you guys had a chance to play with Strymon’s Iridium?

dB

I haven't but I am interested in trying one. I've yet to even listen to a demo.

I've had no luck with anybody on here trying a Peavey Vypyr VIP 3 but I understand "Peavey phobia", it's a tragic but long standing condition. I wish they'd make a Transtube pedal, there's hardly anything inside a Vypyr.
The Tech 21 stuff is really good too.

So is the Boss Katana and even the later Roland Cubes but like the Vypyr you have to understand how they work to get the best results.

I wish Soniccouture had the inclination (and maybe the budget) to make an amp sim, I have their Array Mbira and I don't know whether to cry, poop or both when I hear it - gorgeous.


Every Time I Am Wrong, I Learn Something.
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,867
Likes: 281
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,867
Likes: 281
I have a Vypyr, one of the little ones, it's great. But, I also have ReValver 4.5 where I can mess with the schematic, so that tends to win out. smile

Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
Originally Posted by Anderton
I have a Vypyr, one of the little ones, it's great. But, I also have ReValver 4.5 where I can mess with the schematic, so that tends to win out. smile

I need to try Revalver again.

Is your Vypyr a VIP series? They have 3 gain settings instead of 2 and the middle one can be the sweet spot for some amps. I had the small version of the first Vypyr and did the same thing with it that I did with my VIP 1 - I put a Peavey Scorpion 10" speaker in it. Huge upgrade, the stock 8" doesn't come close.

Last edited by KuruPrionz; 01/28/21 03:26 AM. Reason: auto-spull

Every Time I Am Wrong, I Learn Something.
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,960
Likes: 14
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,960
Likes: 14
Originally Posted by Anderton
I have a Vypyr, one of the little ones, it's great. But, I also have ReValver 4.5 where I can mess with the schematic, so that tends to win out. smile

Revalver seems cool, but it always had a slow attack/high ratio compressor effect going on that I could never defeat.

Circuit modelling is definitely superior to Yet Another Convolution Package IMO. But their insistence on using Peavey amp analogs is unfortunate/counterproductive for them. I guess that was a Hartley decision.


Guitar Lessons in Augusta Georgia: www.chipmcdonald.com
Eccentric blog: https://chipmcdonaldblog.blogspot.com/

/ "big ass windbag" - Bruce Swedien
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
Originally Posted by Chip McDonald
But their insistence on using Peavey amp analogs is unfortunate/counterproductive for them. I guess that was a Hartley decision.

Having owned 9 Mesa amps and not liking most of them when I first got them taught me that sometimes it takes a while to find the good stuff. I spent 4 days tweaking my Boss Katana and once I learned how it worked I can get great tones out of it. I didn't love it when I got it.

So, yeah, because Eddiie Van Halen only used their EVH signature guitar and amp out of desperation? lol...
Butted heads with Hartley? - that I would believe. Most famous rock guitarist vs owner of the largest amplifier company in the world - there's an ego bomb waiting to explode.

At the same time, Fender can charge $700+ for their new Deluxe Reverb modeling amp that only has one model - yes an iconic one but that's a lot of money for computer chips. I'm not saying it isn't worth it if that's your sound.
The Vox modeling amps I've messed with always sound best when you choose an AC15, their spin on a Mesa is sad indeed.
Companies do tout their own brand, no surprises there.

I'm probably missing some. I can get great tones out of my Vypyr starting with their analog modeled Peavey Classic amp but their Fender Twin sounds really good too and is much more versatile than a real Twin (plus much lighter). I have no illusions that it sounds "just like a Twin". For that matter, lots of Twins don't sound just like a Twin either.

I tried the free version of Revolver a long time ago and thought it was pretty OK but didn't spring for any of the other amps on offer. I don't remember much about it, I didn't think amp sims where "there yet" at that time. I think I had the free version of Amplitube 3 and whatever NI Guitar Rig was too. Plus Voxengo Boogex, which I disliked the least but still couldn't match my Tech 21 Tri AC or the XLR out from my Tech 21 Trademark 10 (which I should have kept).

I sent a good friend (and tube snob with $15k in boutique amps) a recording of my Red Plate Blues Machine, Mesa Express 5:25, Peavey Envoy 110 Redstripe, Peavey Studio Pro 112 Redstripe, a converted Hammond hot rod 5d3 circuit and a converted hi-fi Vox AC-15 top cut channel with the EF86, all through the same speaker with the same mic at the same level on the meters. No reverb or effects. I asked him which ones were solid state. He refused to try and guess.
If he'd heard something obvious he would have noted it. Peavey's Transtube circuit sounds better now than it did then. If I ever find a Peavey Vypyr Pro on the cheap I'm snagging it.


Every Time I Am Wrong, I Learn Something.
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 6,532
Likes: 117
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 6,532
Likes: 117
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
The Vox modeling amps I've messed with always sound best when you choose an AC15, their spin on a Mesa is sad indeed.

Which Vox modeler?

My first Valvetronix was the blueface model, their first series. As they came out with new modelers I thought they sounded worse. Haven't heard one as good as the blueface series. What sold me was they also the power tube emulator that could be configured to emulate the amp model (IE class A, class AB with or without negative feedback, etc).

I worked with many guitar players who had the good amps during the 1970s/1980s - Fender, Marshall, MusicMan, Mesa/Boogie, Vox. I didn't know it at the time but my ears have "aural memory" and I could recognize a certain amp from a recording. So I knew how to dial them in on the Valvetronix, and it really delivered especially with speakers associated with the amp IE Marshall 4x12 cabinet for the "Marshall" sound. The AC15 model wasn't the only good one, many of the models were really good. Their Dumble Overdrive Special model sounds like a high gain Mesa/Boogie, and I used to own one (Boogie NOT Dumble!).

Tonelab SE is the same engine in an apartment friendly pedal format, with cabinet emulators and extra effects added. You should try the Tonelab SE if you ever stumble across one. It includes the power tube emulator of the blueface Valvetronix series, and can sound pretty good.

Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
Originally Posted by The Real MC
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
The Vox modeling amps I've messed with always sound best when you choose an AC15, their spin on a Mesa is sad indeed.

Which Vox modeler?

My first Valvetronix was the blueface model, their first series. As they came out with new modelers I thought they sounded worse. Haven't heard one as good as the blueface series. What sold me was they also the power tube emulator that could be configured to emulate the amp model (IE class A, class AB with or without negative feedback, etc).

I worked with many guitar players who had the good amps during the 1970s/1980s - Fender, Marshall, MusicMan, Mesa/Boogie, Vox. I didn't know it at the time but my ears have "aural memory" and I could recognize a certain amp from a recording. So I knew how to dial them in on the Valvetronix, and it really delivered especially with speakers associated with the amp IE Marshall 4x12 cabinet for the "Marshall" sound. The AC15 model wasn't the only good one, many of the models were really good. Their Dumble Overdrive Special model sounds like a high gain Mesa/Boogie, and I used to own one (Boogie NOT Dumble!).

Tonelab SE is the same engine in an apartment friendly pedal format, with cabinet emulators and extra effects added. You should try the Tonelab SE if you ever stumble across one. It includes the power tube emulator of the blueface Valvetronix series, and can sound pretty good.

I don't recall which Vox models I messed with - my brother still has one and he never plays it because it doesn't sound good to him either, which speaks to how memorable they... weren't. I owned 2 Tonelabs, again, I don't recall the models, fiddled with them for a while and passed them along to others. It's not so much that they are bad, just not particularly inspiring to play or at least that was my impression of them. If somebody likes them that's fine with me.

I'm no stranger to tweaking knobs, my first Mesa was a brand new Mk III Simul-Class head with reverb and EQ. You can't do the Fender amp "turn the knobs to noon and tweak to taste" thing with a Mesa, every knob you change leads to changing another knob. I ran that one through either a Thiele cab with an EVM SRO or a 4-12 Vox cab with 2 EV and 2 JBL speakers.

I had 8 different Mesa amps, some were easier to tweak than others but none of them made me shy away from adjusting things bit by bit. Even the Subway Blues took a fair bit of tweaking to sound great.

Just never got there with the Vox stuff. The smaller Valvetronix stuff doesn't have a good track record for reliability either. I consistently got tones I liked better out of Red Stripe Peavey amps, those take a bit of tweaking too but the results were more satisfying. And, no switches labeled with supposed models, the Red Stripe didn't try to be anything. Can't be led astray when no claims are put forth...


Every Time I Am Wrong, I Learn Something.
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 6,532
Likes: 117
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 6,532
Likes: 117
I won't deny that Vox amps have their problems. The biggest PIA is the cheap quality jacks. I had to hardwire the normal between effect send/return jacks, and now the input jack to the amp is starting to act funny. I'm about ready to replace ALL the jacks, and I wouldn't do that if the amp wasn't worth keeping.

The foot switches on the Tonelab started failing ten years ago. I discovered they are just actuators to tactile buttons, which I HATE. I replace the buttons and actuators with real foot switches, good heavy duty ones.

Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
Originally Posted by The Real MC
I won't deny that Vox amps have their problems. The biggest PIA is the cheap quality jacks. I had to hardwire the normal between effect send/return jacks, and now the input jack to the amp is starting to act funny. I'm about ready to replace ALL the jacks, and I wouldn't do that if the amp wasn't worth keeping.

The foot switches on the Tonelab started failing ten years ago. I discovered they are just actuators to tactile buttons, which I HATE. I replace the buttons and actuators with real foot switches, good heavy duty ones.

Yeah, build "quality" is pretty low.
My brother wanted to try a different tube in his Valvetronix, I don't remember how many screws we had to remove to get in there but it was more than enough.
When we looked inside we saw all the cheap stuffs, which was everything. Different tubes made no difference in the tone that we could hear. I guess we should have tried the amp without the tube in it to see if signal was even passing through it.

The essential sound is pure digital, the tube is more or less just something pretty that cannot be seen. Unless you have the output directly connected to a transformer driving a speaker, the tube is not providing a "tube amp sound" and it may not be providing much of a sound.

There really isn't much difference at all in the distortion of an overdriven transistor vs an overdriven tube - it's the transformer and the transducer/generator (speaker) that make tube amps sound like tubes.
Tape heads can turn the trick in their own way but they need to be pushing the limits of the tape itself to make that sound - pleasant but different than a tube guitar amp sound.

In the end, the Vox is more or less a cheaply made Line 6 clone with a small heater built in.


Every Time I Am Wrong, I Learn Something.
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 1,749
Likes: 80
Platinum Member
Offline
Platinum Member
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 1,749
Likes: 80
I have gotten some usage out of just the free version of Amplitube 4 (I haven't seen a reason to upgrade yet). I've managed to accumulate the SVX and Metal amps for free as well over time from promotions or giveaways. It's good software. I also get some usage out of Grind Machine 2 for heavy guitar material. Of course, I barely play guitar so I can't use these to their full potential yet.


In hardware I actually really like the $40 Joyo American Sound pedal (JF-14). It's supposed to be a '57 Deluxe sim. I use it as my hardware amp sim. Sometimes I use it in the FX loop of my Line6 M13 for a full guitar rig. It also sounds surprisingly good on electric pianos, even rather poor Rhodes patches can be massively improved (particularly the Kurzweil PC3 Rhodes).


Oh yeah, side note. I was always really impressed with the sound of the small Fender Mustang I V.2 amp. I'm mostly a clean guy and wow, it sounded great. It's a shame Fender abandoned it thanks to Silverlight being discontinued.

Last edited by Mighty Motif Max; 01/29/21 07:07 AM.

Yamaha Motif XF8/YS200/CVP-305/CLP-130/YPG-235/PSR-295/PSS-470 | E-mu Proteus/1/PROformance Plus/Mo'Phatt
Roland JV-1000/Fantom XR | Korg Krome 61 | Kurzweil PC3 | Casio CT-370
Organs/Accordions/Etc.
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Likes: 29
MPN Advisory Board
Gold Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
Gold Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Likes: 29
Originally Posted by The Real MC
I won't deny that Vox amps have their problems. The biggest PIA is the cheap quality jacks.

No flaky jacks on a plug-in, but you have to deal with driver updates, application updates when you update the OS, "no longer supported" messages when you try to make your version compatible with a new version of something else.

The jack on your real amplifier can be replaced in half an hour and, if you get a good Switchcraft part, will last another 30 years.

Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Originally Posted by The Real MC
I won't deny that Vox amps have their problems. The biggest PIA is the cheap quality jacks.

No flaky jacks on a plug-in, but you have to deal with driver updates, application updates when you update the OS, "no longer supported" messages when you try to make your version compatible with a new version of something else.

The jack on your real amplifier can be replaced in half an hour and, if you get a good Switchcraft part, will last another 30 years.


You can deal with all of the above but you don't HAVE to do it. A good friend runs a local studio, has recorded many albums and he disconnected his studio computer and "froze" it at version one of Presonus Studio One (now V5+ something).
Not sure if Windows 7 or 10 but he has no intention of upgrading anything because everything works. He's got backups and boot drives ready, because hard drives fail, just like frets wear out. I'm considering a similar move at some point in the foreseeable future. You can only stuff so much "new" into my tiny skull before I want to run away.

Fully agree on Switchcraft jacks, I don't use anything else on my own guitars.


Every Time I Am Wrong, I Learn Something.
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,960
Likes: 14
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,960
Likes: 14
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Boss Katana and once I learned how it worked I can get great tones out of it. I didn't love it when I got it.

You're missing my point, I didn't say I didn't like it because of Peavey amps. By putting ersatz Peavey amps up front in front of a new user - instead of default Marshall/Fender analogs - they're out of the gate alienating a new user. That's not my perspective, but that's reality; if you're going to put the image of an amp on an interface, it better be familiar or expected, otherwise they're simply making it hard on themselves.

I'm plugged into a Katana right now. Roland has their own issues with interfacing they've always had with products, but that's another digression.


Quote
So, yeah, because Eddiie Van Halen only used their EVH signature guitar and amp out of desperation? lol...

... I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean?


Quote
At the same time, Fender can charge $700+ for their new Deluxe Reverb modeling amp that only has one model -

Yeah, that's ridiculous and a mistake. Also indicative of something being wrong with the management structure at Fender, but from what I know that's always been the case.


Quote
Vypyr

Peavey shooting themselves in the foot with a brushed plastic aluminum "gunz"...


Quote
Peavey's Transtube circuit sounds better now than it did then. If I ever find a Peavey Vypyr Pro on the cheap I'm snagging it.


There are plus and minuses to almost every gain device IMO. I'd one day like to stick the preamp of a Crate GX practice amp into a pedal, that circuit, and the old Peavey saturation circuit (and the Gibson LAB) circuits are about the only novel distortion circuits outside of the usual I've seen. I'd love to see Craig do an comprehensive article on the development of "the distortion circuit" and it's familial branches.

In fact, Craig, you really should do that. The main trunks - fuzz circuits, diode clippers, opamp clippers, 12ax7 overdrives - have been written about pretty fully, but the branches and the weeds have not. The arcane niches - the Schaeffer-Vega wireless circuit, the odd (to my feral inspection) LAB circuit, the Crate GX circuit, these things have their own sounds/topology... man, I get so tired of students asking "what do you think about (Yet Another TS variation)?"... "they changed the center frequency on the tone control, maybe mismatched the diodes a certain way = $200 pedal".

Is that all there is to life, Tube Screamer variations and 12ax7 gain stages and some basic eq? Ahrgh.


Guitar Lessons in Augusta Georgia: www.chipmcdonald.com
Eccentric blog: https://chipmcdonaldblog.blogspot.com/

/ "big ass windbag" - Bruce Swedien
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,867
Likes: 281
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,867
Likes: 281
Originally Posted by Chip McDonald
Is that all there is to life, Tube Screamer variations and 12ax7 gain stages and some basic eq? Ahrgh.

Well, after building and buying distortion boxes for over half a century, I've ended up at software-based multiband distortion, red LEDs and linearly-biased 1st gen CMOS for hardware distortion, and a tube amp because, well, it has tubes. So at this point in my life, I don't think I'll be going into the weeds any more, since I can get the sounds I want with that particular combination of gear.

Not that I'm not tempted from time to time smile

Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
Originally Posted by Chip McDonald
[quote=KuruPrionz]

You're missing my point, I didn't say I didn't like it because of Peavey amps. By putting ersatz Peavey amps up front in front of a new user - instead of default Marshall/Fender analogs - they're out of the gate alienating a new user. That's not my perspective, but that's reality; if you're going to put the image of an amp on an interface, it better be familiar or expected, otherwise they're simply making it hard on themselves.


Is that all there is to life, Tube Screamer variations and 12ax7 gain stages and some basic eq? Ahrgh.

Is that all there is to life - ersatz Marshall and Fender "clones" for plugins?

If guitarists only look and don't listen, they will miss some of the things that are "out in the weeds" because they see a Peavey amp and think " it doesn't look just like a Marshall or Fender so it can't be any good."
Peavey had problems with reliability in the early 70's and some folks are never going to let go of their fables regardless of what the manufacturer does to correct the problems. I've played hundreds of gigs with Peavey amps and the worst thing that ever happens to them is the pots and jacks get dirty, just like all other amps. I've seen a Marshall amp at a gig (somebody else's stuff) make "The Yellow Smoke of Death." The guitarist borrowed my Peavey, hah!

At the same time, I've seen some crap Gibson and Fender guitars with inexcusable build quality but they have the right name on the headstock and so they are immune to that reality.

I get that, I've surfed the Les Paul forum and seen entire threads concerned with the visual importance of "nibs", the bit of rounded binding capping the ends of the frets on vintage Gibson fretboards. Completely and totally useless waste of fingerboard real estate. Martin always put their frets OVER the top of the binding so the entire fretboard is useful. You couldn't pay me enough to re-fret a vintage Gibson but imbeciles will do "internet weenie battles' to the high Heavens over stupid stuff like that. So I am long since over caring what guitarists do or do not like, it ends up being another pointless discussion involving "Facts vs Beliefs", which nobody will ever win.

Here is an article written by Hartley Peavey on how they developed TransTube, which first came out in 1995 or so. 26 years later, it sounds much better than the first iteration, I've had TransTube amps from all eras and the newer ones are the best sounding regardless of whether anybody likes the way they look. It's an interesting article, certainly worth a read.

https://peavey.com/PDFs/Chapter3.pdf

Cheers, Kuru

Last edited by KuruPrionz; 01/30/21 10:00 PM.

Every Time I Am Wrong, I Learn Something.
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,960
Likes: 14
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,960
Likes: 14
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Is that all there is to life - ersatz Marshall and Fender "clones" for plugins?


Hmm... I'm not why you're pursuing this angle, but let me elaborate further:


Me citing Peavey for not using "established norms" to give to the users of their product as being detrimental to the livelihood of the product is not the same thing as me saying *I* want clones of certain amps.

It's two different concepts: what I think makes sense commercially for Peavey, and what *I* prefer.

*I bought Revalver BECAUSE it departed from the typical "ersatz amp model perspective" with the tweakable pseudo component-level circuit settings*.....


Quote
If guitarists only look and don't listen, they will miss some of the things that are "out in the weeds" because they see a Peavey amp and think " it doesn't look just like a Marshall or Fender so it can't be any good."

That's not realistic. Peavey isn't in the business of educating the public to New Idealistic Perspectives. They won't be in business at all if they alienate potential customers. In my experience the wisest thing they've done is put tweed tolex and chrome fascia on their "Classic" series amp line, which has significant differences from the classic amps they may superficially resemble.


Quote
Peavey had problems with reliability in the early 70's and some folks are never going to let go of their fables regardless of what the manufacturer does to correct the problems. I've played hundreds of gigs with Peavey amps and the worst thing that ever happens to them is the pots and jacks get dirty, just like all other amps. I've seen a Marshall amp at a gig (somebody else's stuff) make "The Yellow Smoke of Death." The guitarist borrowed my Peavey, hah!

Well.... some things were good, some not so good. The MKIV boards were tanks, and the ... XR? line. But the CS power amps were weak and were finicky... so much so I have many times literally wapped my palm on the top of many a CS800 and 400 to magically rejuvinate some sort of bad trace I imagine - even won a bet doing it. Something heating up and unseating itself. Never had to do that to a Crown or QSC, but then they cost twice as much.

My point is that Peavey doesn't do themselves any favors being the aesthetic rebels they are. I'd love to have an old original Peavey Classic, and I think it was this message board where I've said I love the old Scorpion speakers - may even prefer them to certain Greenbacks, and some of the EVH speakers I like a lot as well.

Quote
At the same time, I've seen some crap Gibson and Fender guitars with inexcusable build quality but they have the right name on the headstock and so they are immune to that reality.

I agree. Peavey really upped their game with the early Wolfgangs, and ... the Model Whose Name I Forget but was their middle of the road super strat around that time.


Guitar Lessons in Augusta Georgia: www.chipmcdonald.com
Eccentric blog: https://chipmcdonaldblog.blogspot.com/

/ "big ass windbag" - Bruce Swedien
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
^^^ Replying to Chip above. We are not really too far apart in the end, different perspectives are inevitable.
Your reasoning for Peavey conforming to the "presumed standards of guitarists" is reasonable on the face of it but the results would not be much different from what I am saying - more amps that stay within certain "comfort zones" that have been more or less established as "norms." "Eyes before Ears"

It was a response to:

Originally Posted by Chip McDonald
Is that all there is to life, Tube Screamer variations and 12ax7 gain stages and some basic eq? Ahrgh.

I fully agree with the above but the comment on Peavey "conforming" contradicts that, at least as I understood your sentences. Sort of "don't be different but be different?" Maybe I misunderstood or maybe these ideas could be communicated more clearly - which is what your post above is touching on. I wouldn't want any company to become successful by being copycats, Mesa did not take that route, neither did Tech 21 - both are respected for offering products off the beaten path. Mesa is not inexpensive but Tech 21 is pretty affordable and we've all heard more of their Sansamp technology on records than we realize. We have enough Behringers already.

When the 5150 came out, I had a chance to perform with one for a few minutes. I could not believe the level of low frequency response that amp put out - the original half stack. I had to turn the bass knob all the way down and switch to the bridge pickup (the only one Eddie had at that point) to get what I would consider to be a balanced tone. Way off the beaten path, so was the gain structure. That's what Eddie wanted and Peavey made it for him. He was hugely famous at that point and could have gone to many amp companies but Peavey was willing to depart from the well-beaten path of "generic rock and roll" tones and deliver what EVH wanted. It might have been based on a Marshall but it was not a clone by any means.

Apparently they made Joe Satriani happy at some point too, I've never played one of those. I did play an original Peavey Odyssey - a neck through sort of Tele/Les Paul hybrid that came out way before the Wolfgang did. Neck was slimmer than I like (most are) or I would've bought it. Fantastic guitar. The Cirrus basses are amazingly good as well. Their Steve Cropper signature model is nothing to sneeze at either.


Originally Posted by Chip McDonald
My point is that Peavey doesn't do themselves any favors being the aesthetic rebels they are.

Perhaps. At one point they were the largest amplifier company in the world and may still be for all I know. I see Peavey gear in use all the time and the pointy logo is easy to spot.

I recently dialed in a tone on my Vypyr VIP 1 that I've never gotten at a low volume with any tube amp I've owned. It sounds like a Tweed Deluxe (a real one from the 50's) and a Mesa but the low end is tighter. I did put a Scorpion 10 in it but it is all Peavey, all solid state and I can play or record with a great tone without disturbing the people living on the other side of the wall or ceiling/floor. I'll be recording that, mic the speaker just like real. I don't care what it looks like.

Confession - I used to gig Peavey amps in Fresno ALL THE TIME after growing tired of embarrassing and annoying tube failures ( a tube amp is only as good as it's tubes, they will fail - just a matter of when). My Peavey amps back then (LA 400 and Reknown 160) were all "un-Peavied" but so was everything else I owned. I took badges off my Mesa amps when I was gigging those, once I put a Boogie logo on my LA 400 and some guy came up and said "I love the tone of your Boogie." I told him it was a Peavey and that was a RAT pedal he was hearing and his heart sank. "Eyes before Ears".

It didn't sound anything like a Mesa and actually sounded pretty much like shit but it was loud and so was the band I was in so I needed that. Half stacks are too big and heavy, not doing it. I'm very picky about tone AND volume and those ugly Vypyr amps do a great job for me.

Cheers, Kuru


Every Time I Am Wrong, I Learn Something.
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,960
Likes: 14
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,960
Likes: 14
Quote
I fully agree with the above but the comment on Peavey "conforming" contradicts that, at least as I understood your sentences. Sort of "don't be different but be different?"

My position is:

*I* don't care for tropes or skeumorphic concepts, or the necessity for traditional reference points.

But I can also say that *as a business pursuit* my *preference* is not the same as what I think about what would be *successful as a product*.

I don't like onions. But I wouldn't suggest Subway sub shops to stop offering them.

Quote
I wouldn't want any company to become successful by being copycats,

If one is going to have a company you want to be "successful", period. There is no other reason to have a company. If the company is Peavey, that makes cheap gear - deciding you're going on a jihad to MAKE people like your alternative choice is a sketchy business decision. They can choose to ignore customer reflex at their peril; it doesn't change reality. In today's market, people want to see conventional analogs - for better or worse.

Quote
Mesa did not take that route,

What Mesa did in the 70's is not the same as what Peavey is doing now with modeling. It's a different market, different technology, different time.

Quote
neither did Tech 21 - both are respected for offering products off the beaten path.

Again, different time, different technology. How many companies were offering simulations in a box of an amplifier when the Sansamp came out? Versus, how many amp modelers there are now? Sansamp was a unique, singular product. Peavey Revalver, Vipyrr, are not.


Quote
to be a balanced tone. Way off the beaten path, so was the gain structure. That's what Eddie wanted and Peavey made it for him. He was hugely famous at that point and could have gone to many amp companies but Peavey was willing to depart from the well-beaten path of "generic rock and roll" tones and deliver what EVH wanted. It might have been based on a Marshall but it was not a clone by any means.

No, but the 5150 is not a "normal" situation, is it? "Eddie VanHalen's amp model!" launches a product a bit differently than "approximations of Peavey amp circuits!". It's not equivalent. There has been a lot of great gear made, that disappeared because they were striking out with a novel product; that's just the way it is. Without Eddie's association how much of that would still exist? It doesn't mean it's not good, or that I don't like it - it's just the market.


Guitar Lessons in Augusta Georgia: www.chipmcdonald.com
Eccentric blog: https://chipmcdonaldblog.blogspot.com/

/ "big ass windbag" - Bruce Swedien
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
Originally Posted by Chip McDonald
[quote]
In today's market, people want to see conventional analogs - for better or worse.

Again, different time, different technology. How many companies were offering simulations in a box of an amplifier when the Sansamp came out? Versus, how many amp modelers there are now? Sansamp was a unique, singular product. Peavey Revalver, Vipyrr, are not.

There has been a lot of great gear made, that disappeared because they were striking out with a novel product; that's just the way it is. Without Eddie's association how much of that would still exist? It doesn't mean it's not good, or that I don't like it - it's just the market.

Since we are both "cherry picking" please name on single time in human history when somebody could look at the past and NOT say "Things are different now." Things are ALWAYS different - the only thing that never changes is that EVERYTHING always changes. Leo Fender got a rash of crap for his Broadcaster in 1949, he took a rash of shit for the P-Bass and Strat in the early 50's as well. He stuck to his guns and succeeded, the Strat is now the most copied guitar design on the planet.

Peavey has been at the top of the heap and is nowhere near the bottom, they sell a buttload of product - different or not. This is a time of innovation, just in guitars and amps we've seen massive changes in the last 10 years (a blink of an eye really). Digital and analog modeling have both made tremendous progress, fanned frets, 7-8 string guitars, IEM, a huge variety of improved speakers and microphones, new ways of manufacturing (robots and 3d printers will be doing the heavy lifting soon, they are here already), pickups with printed circuit boards for "windings" (Fishman Fluence), I could go on and barely scratch the surface.

One thing that has remained relatively constant is the presence of the stodgy-minded who do not want things to change, one thing that changes all the time is what those stodgy minded people cling to so fiercely. Back in the 50's the stodgy among us clung fiercely to "real guitars" and did not want Fender products, now the stodgy want their Strat with "authentically crafted using CNC machines" copying outmoded vintage instruments with pickups that hum, poorly designed bridge hardware, sub standard non-locking tuning machines that look "original", tiny frets, and a fingerboard radius that only a strummer could love - and will even pay a premium to get a guitar that looks like it has had the hell played out of it - "relic-ing". There's plenty available to tide over those who fear change, meanwhile innovation marches on as it always has and always will. Yes, they are part of the market, no they do not drive the marketplace or nothing would change, ever.

There will always be failures, that is how we learn, no?

Success in the market is a process of differentiating oneself from the rest of the pack in a particular field of endeavor. The path to success is littered with failures and paved with persistence.
Gibson and Fender have both issued "innovative new designs" that nobody wanted. The auto-tuning system on Gibsons comes to mind. If they had introduced a better design maybe it would have gotten some traction but they just took the hit, gave up and moved on. On the other hand, some of us LOVE the fact that Gibson switched from fret ends that were capped with useless binding to frets that overlap the binding so one gets more fretboard real estate for the same width neck. HUGE improvement, although Martin and others have been doing that for a LONG time so it only seems like an innovation to those who cling fiercely to the past - which is gone forever and not coming back. Just one example, there are more than a few if one wants to do the research.

Gibson will have failures for a completely different reason than Fender might, both companies offer "vintage" models to satisfy the old-fashioned but due to CNC manufacturing (Hartley Peavey introduced the first mass produced CNC crafted guitars in the 70's and made the original T-60 from 1978-1987, a good run. Now EVERYBODY but some boutique shops uses CNC, it makes no sense not to do so. Nobody seems to mind it either, the comfort zone of the uncomfortable has moved forward.

We will always have advocates for dragging the pace of progress down to a "comfortable" speed for their taste, we would be living in caves and eating sticks and dirt if all humans were like that.

So I don' think your argument regarding marketing holds much water, there are too many examples of successful innovation. The keyboard market comes to mind, you can still sell limited quantities of analog electronic keyboards but the money is in the starter instruments using tech that trickled down from flagships. The Yamaha boards Costco sells come to mind, a huge source of revenue for Yamaha. You'll see a buttload of older Yamaha and Casio boards at thrift stores.


Every Time I Am Wrong, I Learn Something.
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,960
Likes: 14
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,960
Likes: 14
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Since we are both "cherry picking" please name on single time in human history when somebody could look at the past and NOT say "Things are different now." Things are ALWAYS different - t

I'm not cherry picking. I said it's a bad business decision to go with just Peavey amp analogs, and you brought up specific products from decades ago.



Quote
Peavey has been at the top of the heap and is nowhere near the bottom, they sell a buttload of product - different or not.

I'm aware of what they sell. It has nothing to do with what I wrote. It also doesn't mean every product they make is a home run. Revalver does not appear to have been a home run.

Quote
One thing that has remained relatively constant is the presence of the stodgy-minded who do not want things to change,

Straw man.


Quote
So I don' think your argument regarding marketing holds much water,

Give your presented analogies I don't suppose it would to you.


Quote
there are too many examples of successful innovation.


Digital amp modelling was the innovation. Choosing Peavey tube amps as the basis of a digital model instead of a Marshall, Fender or Vox isn't an innovation, nor was it successful.

Last edited by Chip McDonald; 02/05/21 08:45 PM.

Guitar Lessons in Augusta Georgia: www.chipmcdonald.com
Eccentric blog: https://chipmcdonaldblog.blogspot.com/

/ "big ass windbag" - Bruce Swedien
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,867
Likes: 281
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,867
Likes: 281
I'm not sure it was innovative per se to model Peavey amps - the ability to tweak the schematic was super-innovative, and been half-heartedly copied by others. What was interesting was how Peavey was all in on modeling so many of its amps. It's almost like they didn't want to sell hardware any more smile

Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
Originally Posted by Chip McDonald
I'm not cherry picking. I said it's a bad business decision to go with just Peavey amp analogs, and you brought up specific products from decades ago.
Digital amp modelling was the innovation.

Our perspectives are very different. That's fine. I'm going to make another comment that is hopefully more on topic and let our discussion wind down. I don't think we will agree or understand each other and I'm pretty sure it doesn't really matter in the end. I'm sorry we even got into it, my apologies for that.

I guess all I really want to say at this point is that innovation has been the strong point of too many companies to count and more companies should be innovative and differentiate themselves instead of resting on their laurels. Innovation risks failure but it also risks massive success. I've given enough examples of success through innovation and we see it all the time, every day.

If one wants Fender, Marshall and Vox amps in their amp sims, they have more than enough choices right now. I like some of those sounds, others not so much. I tend to demo amp sims and decide based on if I like the sound and the interface.

Peavey's Revalver was not widely accepted in the marketplace but there could be other reasons besides the choice of amplifiers. I only tried the free version and bailed on it when I didn't care for the interface. I don't like Guitar Rig or Amplitube much either for the same reason. Always a similar graphic - Lookeee!!!! an amp head with knobs on it, just like real.

And I am open to any sort of amp sim, I just have to like the sound a lot to put up with some of the interface decisions. Like knobs, I HATE knobs on software. Give me a mouse with thumbs and I might be OK with it.
Better still, a plain rectangle with sliders that aren't marked "Thrash" and "Thump" and other stupid stuff like that.
I'd also like to see a "tube stash" included in an amp sim. I've got an actual tube stash and one can change the character and sound of an amp with a single swap in V1. Swap the phase investor, output tubes and rectifier tube and you can make a notably different amp out of what you are using. They'll let you swap speakers, mics and mic position all day long but not tubes - which is where the initial tone comes from. Revalver does have different tubes but not as big a selection as I would want. Gimme 12AY7, 12AT7, 5051, 7025, E803CC ECC83, E83CC, EF86 and model Siemens, Mullard, RCA, Sylvania, Telefunken, Amperex etc. I'd want at least 20 different choices for V1, 4 or 5 for phase inverter, 10 or more for output tubes and at least half a dozen for rectifier tubes. They all matter.

Which I suppose is a big part of the reason that with so many sims emulating a Marshall stack, none of them sound at all identical when in theory they all should sound more or less the same.
I don't care what the logo is on the amp. I either love it or I don't use it. Mostly, I don't use it.
Cheers, Kuru


Every Time I Am Wrong, I Learn Something.
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 6,532
Likes: 117
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 6,532
Likes: 117
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I'd also like to see a "tube stash" included in an amp sim. I've got an actual tube stash and one can change the character and sound of an amp with a single swap in V1. Swap the phase investor, output tubes and rectifier tube and you can make a notably different amp out of what you are using. They'll let you swap speakers, mics and mic position all day long but not tubes - which is where the initial tone comes from. Revalver does have different tubes but not as big a selection as I would want. Gimme 12AY7, 12AT7, 5051, 7025, E803CC ECC83, E83CC, EF86 and model Siemens, Mullard, RCA, Sylvania, Telefunken, Amperex etc. I'd want at least 20 different choices for V1, 4 or 5 for phase inverter, 10 or more for output tubes and at least half a dozen for rectifier tubes. They all matter.

Other things that matter...

Plate voltage (at each stage), tone recovery stage or not, tone stack (simple tone control? Bass/treble? Bass/mid/treble? Presence?), phase inverter types (critical for emulating 50s tweed amps), class A, class AB push/pull, fixed bias, cathode bias, output transformer bias, OT winding (interleaved? layer wound?), negative feedback coupling, NF OT tap (primary? secondary?), NF transfer function of gain, NF grid coupled or cathode coupled, damping factor... Yeah these contribute to the specific amp to be modeled.

The permutations are ENDLESS.

Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
Originally Posted by The Real MC
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I'd also like to see a "tube stash" included in an amp sim. I've got an actual tube stash and one can change the character and sound of an amp with a single swap in V1. Swap the phase investor, output tubes and rectifier tube and you can make a notably different amp out of what you are using. They'll let you swap speakers, mics and mic position all day long but not tubes - which is where the initial tone comes from. Revalver does have different tubes but not as big a selection as I would want. Gimme 12AY7, 12AT7, 5051, 7025, E803CC ECC83, E83CC, EF86 and model Siemens, Mullard, RCA, Sylvania, Telefunken, Amperex etc. I'd want at least 20 different choices for V1, 4 or 5 for phase inverter, 10 or more for output tubes and at least half a dozen for rectifier tubes. They all matter.

Other things that matter...

Plate voltage (at each stage), tone recovery stage or not, tone stack (simple tone control? Bass/treble? Bass/mid/treble? Presence?), phase inverter types (critical for emulating 50s tweed amps), class A, class AB push/pull, fixed bias, cathode bias, output transformer bias, OT winding (interleaved? layer wound?), negative feedback coupling, NF OT tap (primary? secondary?), NF transfer function of gain, NF grid coupled or cathode coupled, damping factor... Yeah these contribute to the specific amp to be modeled.

The permutations are ENDLESS.

All that too!!!! Then you change the speaker and the mic/position and the guitar and the guitarist and nothing will ever sound the same again.
In my experience the guitarist always makes the biggest difference, including their choice of technique (fingerpick, flat pick, acoustic, nylon, all crazy with the woo-woo bar, etc. Then probably the speaker.
But the rest cannot be ignored, it is assumed that it's all in reasonably good tune to start with. I'm really not uber picky and I never try to get anybody else's sound. Exaggerated comic impressions of everything, I'm in.
And I am absolutely on board with all of it being in a plugin. The amp needs to be quad though with 4 different setups and all effects plugins should be able to be hosted. I'd use that.


Every Time I Am Wrong, I Learn Something.
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Likes: 29
MPN Advisory Board
Gold Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
Gold Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Likes: 29
Originally Posted by The Real MC
Other things that matter...

. . . tone recovery stage or not . . .

What the heck is that? A guitar amp term like "tone stack?" (I've been trained by what that means)

Quote
The permutations are ENDLESS.

Not endless, but there are a lot of things that can affect "tone" if changed, with no "standard" designs.

Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
While we are at it, a selection of output transformers, a way to adjust the bias of each output tube individually the ability to use preamp tubes as output tubes (12ax7 for AB push pull and EF86 for Class A single ended, etc) and the ability to create mismatched output pairs for AB push pull (EL84 with 6V6, EL34 with 6L6).
That would be fun.

We need something besides Celestion speakers (not a fan). Personal favorites are JBL G1245-8, a well broken in EVM SRO (early version of the 12L), Peavey Scorpion Plus 12" and Peavey Scorpion 10". Plus some vintage field coil speakers that suck enough current from the power supply to make it sag.

Of course, a way to save presets with actual typed names and a nameable "Bank" arrangement so you can categorize your creations to your personal needs. No "faux" names referring to existing amps unless you create one.


Every Time I Am Wrong, I Learn Something.
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
I used to have a vintage Champ "clone" (RCA Tube manual from the 50's) that had a 6sj7 in V1. Could have been a 6sn7, I don't remember perfectly. I do remember it had it's own sound even though those tubes tend to be microphone.

So we need a model of a perfect one and of a somewhat microphonic one with a way to model the speaker exciting the tube. Sometimes wrong is right.


Every Time I Am Wrong, I Learn Something.
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 6,532
Likes: 117
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 6,532
Likes: 117
Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Originally Posted by The Real MC
Other things that matter...

. . . tone recovery stage or not . . .

What the heck is that? A guitar amp term like "tone stack?" (I've been trained by what that means)

A triode after the tone stack. It isolates the tone stack from the phase inverter (or output tube in class A) to prevent loading. Some amp designs do not have them, usually the "student models"

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Likes: 29
MPN Advisory Board
Gold Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
Gold Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Likes: 29
"Tone recovery stage" must be one of those terms that people who work with instrument amplifiers invented. There are probably more.

I'd call it a buffer.

Is there a glossary of those "amp" terms somewhere?

Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,867
Likes: 281
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,867
Likes: 281
Ya learn something new every day...

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 6,532
Likes: 117
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 6,532
Likes: 117
Originally Posted by Anderton
Ya learn something new every day...

Vacuum tube amp design is interesting. I've been reading on that stuff out of curiosity. The only time I monkeyed with a tube circuit was my Hammond organ. I picked up a module with power applied and felt 250VDC on my fingers. OK, time to quit for the day...

Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
"Tone recovery stage" must be one of those terms that people who work with instrument amplifiers invented. There are probably more.

I'd call it a buffer.

Sort of... Buffers are near infinite input impedance and near zero output impedance. Triodes aren't that ideal.

Quote
Is there a glossary of those "amp" terms somewhere?

Haven't seen one. I picked up those terms from reading amp design books by Dave Hunter, Gerald Weber, Groove Tubes, others.

Not finding any such glossary in the old Radiotron 1952 manual, which is online. Never saw the RCA Receiving Manual, where many guitar amp circuits have originated - maybe there...?

Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,960
Likes: 14
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,960
Likes: 14
Originally Posted by Anderton
I the ability to tweak the schematic was super-innovative, and been half-heartedly copied by others. What was interesting was how Peavey was all in on modeling so many of its amps. It's almost like they didn't want to sell hardware any more smile


I was disappointed in how limited the choices were. I was expecting something much more akin to what Positive Grid did. I did like that it "felt" like I was actually tweaking a variable in the software chain, but it seemed a little dubious as to whether it had a 1:1 correspondence. The schematic menuing was a bit clunky. I think the biggest problem with it was the preset/saving process was very peculiar, it was confusing as to whether you had actually saved something as a preset, or if you were getting it back when selecting what seemed to be a preset.

I would have liked to have seen a totally modular component level approach.


Guitar Lessons in Augusta Georgia: www.chipmcdonald.com
Eccentric blog: https://chipmcdonaldblog.blogspot.com/

/ "big ass windbag" - Bruce Swedien
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,960
Likes: 14
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,960
Likes: 14
I view the whole thing as something of a fool's errand, in that a "guitar amp" is actually a series of stages that can be replicated in any DAW with vsts substituting for each one. Kuruprions is so worried about being "innovative" - forget ersatz amp models and make your own plugin chain that duplicates the "amplifier" process. That's the same difference as having one company put all of the functions into one program. It works better IMO, more dynamic and realistically non-linear.

It's actually kind of amusing to realize just how much a "tube amplifier" is really a couple of distortion stages with a tone stack in there. And if you're brave enough to listen to a d.i.'ed amp sound sans speaker sim, it's remarkable how primitive and basic a signal it is *until it hits the speaker*. Doing cascaded eq curves with compression stages+asymetric distortion makes a bigger difference than the modeled amp circuit that's adding harmonics scaled to level through eq.

I've got track templates that go like

Pultec (input impedance) > LA2 (V1) into Scheps Omni Channel (tone stack) > LA2 (V2) > Reaper asymmetric distortion (phase inverter/crossover distortion) > Scheps Omni Channel (saturation/transformer) > Melda dynamic eq (impedance curve/damping effects) > "speaker sim dujour".


One should try that, it works better than you might think if you keep in mind realistic limitations for eq, gain. I tried to mimic a presence circuit wiith Reaper's feedback capabilities, but it was too finicky ( and not likely to yield a fantastically worthwhile result). Although it's a rabbit hole of untold proportions, I've got probably... 20+ templates I spend hours on tweaking. Not advised. Faking transfer curves into distortion with compressors and dynamic eq is more accurate for chasing existing amp tones than the hybrid-faux approach above, though. It's funny how close you can get to a plexi if you just mimic the tone stack and gain stages.



So Kuroprions, why are you still using digital models of existing amp designs, why are you so stodgy and against progress? <g>


Guitar Lessons in Augusta Georgia: www.chipmcdonald.com
Eccentric blog: https://chipmcdonaldblog.blogspot.com/

/ "big ass windbag" - Bruce Swedien
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,867
Likes: 281
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,867
Likes: 281
At the end of the day, my only questions are:

* Did I like the sound enough to have fun playing the guitar part?
* Does the track sound good in a mix?

These days, it's amazingly easy to satisfy those two requirements. At least for me smile

Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,960
Likes: 373
Originally Posted by Chip McDonald
So Kuroprions, why are you still using digital models of existing amp designs, why are you so stodgy and against progress? <g>


Not sure where you read that and I don't remember saying it. Above we have a brief discussion of an amplifier plugin with more versatility, not just more tubes but transformers, phase inverter circuits, negative feedback, bias, etc.
Nobody makes it and I don't write code. It would be a fun rabbit hole to go down but not a be-all-end-all for me. I might try it once and forget about it, like I have with most of my amp sims most of the time.

I did say that in general I don't like the interfaces and it isn't just amp sim plugins, it's most plugins. There is a prevailing aesthetic that I interpret as "musicians are dumb shits, let's make everything look like analog gear but with cool words by all the knobs" and I don't like it. Eventide gets it, they make beautiful plugin interfaces that are easy to use and each one looks different enough to tell them apart visually. So far, they don't make amp plugins but I'd like to see it if they ever do.

Not all plugins have terrible interfaces, Fishman Triple Play is very straightforward but it's kneecapped by some of the hideous interfaces for the synths it hosts. Kontakt Player and SampleTank are easy to use if you just want to select sounds to goof around on but some of the sound banks aren't fun to tweak. I end up being a preset surfer more often than not, that's wanting to play more than fiddle about - the never ending battle between the Artist and the Engineer. If the Engineer wins, you got nothing. I try to keep the Engineer away until tracking is done. It's impossible but the more Artist time I get tracking the better.

Tracktion/Waveform set an example for "clutter control" years ago - when you click on something up in the tracking section of the DAW, it automatically brings up menu items for that specific area in the good sized box at the bottom center of the screen. Click in another place and that set of options disappears and is instantly replaced by the one you just hit. It cleans up it's own mess as you go. Coming to that from MOTU Digital Performer 4, which was "kitchen sink meets Swiss Army Knife" except cluttered and apparently designed by hippies, it was a huge relief to start using Tracktion.

I'd like to see more of that concept on plugins, you are only going to be tweaking one parameter at a time - put a list at the top big enough to read and a box underneath it that offers options for whatever you're going to adjust. That would require conceding that Creatives would prefer simple function over pseudo-realistic 2d images of a 3d device that is at it's best when one can grasp the knobs with fingers and thumbs.

We don't have effective thumbs on the screen. So, give me a slider - it's that simple.

If and when I have used amp sims recently it is only in parallel and after the take is tracked. I'll go straight into the DI almost every time, duplicate the track (9 total tracks recently for one experiment) and start tossing plugins in the individual tracks. In 9 tracks I may have 2 or 3 different amp sims, 2 different settings on pitch shifters (detuning-both flat and sharp), tracks that are entirely and only delay and/or reverb, EQ, etc. Then I can automate those tracks so things can build and shrink and tones can transition from one sound to another. I usually keep the original clean track in the mix at some level for clarity and fade in one or both amp sims, or saturation plugins or whatever. The Artist is still watching and suggesting but I need my Engineer cap at that point. I'm done tracking, which is largely non-verbal "in the Zone" time for me.

There is never a thought in my head like "Oh, this sounds just like a 1959 Fender Tweed Deluxe." I have a couple of vintage Fender sims, they sound cool on vocals and xylophone.

I can be subtle or make it into a scary monster if that's what the song calls for. For me, amp sims are just another tool for changing sounds. I don't think of them as being representative of using an amp because they just are not that (yet). If and when I hear an amp sim that I LOVE with an interface that it easy and fun to work with, I'll like that. Doesn't mean I'll use it for all or any of my guitar parts. Maybe it will be good on a snare drum. I won't care if it says Vox or Good Humor Ice Cream on it either.

If I want something to sound like a guitar amp, I can mic one. I am buying a condo in a multi unit building, I have neighbors one wall and one ceiling away. There is freeway noise, vacuum cleaners, all sorts of fun interruptions in the real world that mics can pick up. So some of my freedoms regarding recording are limited but there is a universe of sound in the box. With headphones on I can work on things whenever I want. As with many musicians, I am a bit of a night owl.

I have zero commitment to guitar even sounding like a guitar when it comes down to it. It (and bass) are simply the tools I am most comfortable with using to express music. I suck at keyboards and am not motivated to improve.
We are often defined more by our limitations than our ability to sound like everything. I think in terms of tension and release. If I can create tension, release is easy. I lose interest when my art flatlines.

What I love about working in the box is that reality is completely out the window, gone and good riddance. Make sense? Cheers, Kuru


Every Time I Am Wrong, I Learn Something.
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Likes: 29
MPN Advisory Board
Gold Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
Gold Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Likes: 29
Originally Posted by The Real MC
... Buffers are near infinite input impedance and near zero output impedance. Triodes aren't that ideal.

Triodes (and, in general, vacuum tubes) aren't characterized by an input or output impedance, it's the circuit configuration around the tube that determines those characteristics. The input impedance is pretty much determined by what resistance determines the grid bias, and the output impedance is determined by the resistor across which the output voltage is dropped. A tube in a conventional amplifier circuit (with voltage gain) with a 47 kΩ plate resistor and AC-byapssed cathode resistor will have an output impedance of around 47 kΩ. A cathode follower circuit, which is generally used as a buffer, with a 100 Ω cathode resistor will have an output impedance of about 100 Ω.

At least that's how it usually works, but guitar amplifiers are designed for a special purpose.

Originally Posted by Chip McDonald
I've got track templates that go like

Pultec (input impedance) > LA2 (V1) into Scheps Omni Channel (tone stack) > LA2 (V2) > Reaper asymmetric distortion (phase inverter/crossover distortion) > Scheps Omni Channel (saturation/transformer) > Melda dynamic eq (impedance curve/damping effects) > "speaker sim dujour".

I was once looking for a crossover distortion generator and made one out of two back-to-back diodes. Where can I find the Reaper asymmetric distortion plug-in? Is it part of the standard Reaper installation? I haven't been keeping up with my Reaper versions but that sounds like something I'd like to play with - not to simulate the sound of an instrument amplifier, but to illustrate the different sound of two different kinds of distortion that measure the same THD. One with crossover distortion sounds more unpleasant than one with pure harmonic distortion. I used this in an article about specifications.

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 6,532
Likes: 117
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 6,532
Likes: 117
Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Originally Posted by The Real MC
... Buffers are near infinite input impedance and near zero output impedance. Triodes aren't that ideal.

...the output impedance is determined by the resistor across which the output voltage is dropped. A tube in a conventional amplifier circuit (with voltage gain) with a 47 kΩ plate resistor and AC-byapssed cathode resistor will have an output impedance of around 47 kΩ. A cathode follower circuit, which is generally used as a buffer, with a 100 Ω cathode resistor will have an output impedance of about 100 Ω.

At least that's how it usually works, but guitar amplifiers are designed for a special purpose.

You forgot the INTERNAL impedances of the tube elements.

ALL active devices have internal impedances which must be accounted for with external components. Even the grid if it is attached to a tuned circuit. If the internal output impedance of the plate of one triode is 50000ohms (GE 12AX7), a triode amplifier buffer with 47 kΩ plate resistor with AC-bypassed cathode resistor will have an output impedance that is the SUM of internal and external impedances - actually 97 kΩ. That's enough of a difference to impact a tone stack (tuned circuit). You can't direct couple output tubes to a speaker because the output impedance of the push-pull tube pairs is almost three orders of a magnitude higher than the speaker impedance. That's why a tube power stage uses an output transformer to couple the tubes to the speakers.

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Likes: 29
MPN Advisory Board
Gold Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
Gold Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Likes: 29
I just had my detailed reply eaten by the software so maybe it doesn't like this discussion.

You said that the tone recovery thingamajig goes between the tone stack and the phase inverter (or a single-ended output stage) so how does the output (source) impedance of the tube affect the tone stack? Is that impedance, or the load on the tone recovery tube reflected back to its grid significantly? Does the capacitance of the grid, or any capacitors connected to the grid affect the tone stack? That's not inconceivable since the pots in a typical tone stack circuit are 250 kΩ or so.

What I know about tube circuitry is mostly from my ham radio days in the 1950s and '60s. Stray capacitance is important in RF circuits because it can become a resonant circuit with the inductance of a piece of wire and cause an unwanted oscillation. But I don't figure that a guitar amplifier is going to oscillate at 20 MHz or so.

There actually are some transformerless tube output circuits, but they're tweaky. An output transformer is the way to go. Not only is it to match the impedance of the speaker with that of the tube, but it also keeps DC off the speaker.

So what were we originally talking about in this thread? What circuit designs within an amplifier should be modeled and what's not to bother with?

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 6,532
Likes: 117
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 6,532
Likes: 117
Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
You said that the tone recovery thingamajig goes between the tone stack and the phase inverter (or a single-ended output stage) so how does the output (source) impedance of the tube affect the tone stack? Is that impedance, or the load on the tone recovery tube reflected back to its grid significantly? Does the capacitance of the grid, or any capacitors connected to the grid affect the tone stack? That's not inconceivable since the pots in a typical tone stack circuit are 250 kΩ or so.

Biggest impact is loading of the tuned circuit (tone stack), changing its design frequency(s) and/or its system gain. The tone stack is basically a passive filter. which is vulnerable to impedances at its input and output. Since the triode is not an ideal buffer, the impedance of its elements has to be factored in the design of the tone stack.

Most student tube guitar amps omitted the tone recovery tube for economy. The amp will still work, but the phase splitter following the tone stack is not as good a buffer. So tone controls in such an applications are a bit more limited due to adverse loading. Top models like 1950s Fender Super, Twin, and Bassman with treble/mid/bass tone controls did not have tone recovery triodes, instead they placed a high gain stage consisting of both triodes of a 12AX7 BEFORE the tone stack. Tone recovery triodes following the tone stack became the standard by the 1960s, which was an economy move to reduce tubes.

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Likes: 29
MPN Advisory Board
Gold Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
Gold Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Likes: 29
Originally Posted by The Real MC
Biggest impact is loading of the tuned circuit (tone stack), changing its design frequency(s) and/or its system gain. The tone stack is basically a passive filter. which is vulnerable to impedances at its input and output. Since the triode is not an ideal buffer, the impedance of its elements has to be factored in the design of the tone stack.

OK, maybe you need to better translate "tone stack" for me. Is it a specific circuit with specific component values common to all amplifiers of a certain category, that will produce a specific set of frequency response curves (to what tolerance?) for a given setting of the controls? I thought it was simply the tone control portion of an amplifier circuit, and that part of the characteristics of that particular amplifier is how the sound responds to setting of the tone controls. Seems to me that whether or not the output of the tone stack is buffered, it can be designed to have a workable range of control.

Is there something dynamic going on? Will an un-buffered tone stack operate differently when playing loudly or softly?

And what's a better buffer than a triode (if it's the right triode)? Maybe a pentode with a little help to the electrons getting across the vacuum by a push from another grid?

Quote
Most student tube guitar amps omitted the tone recovery tube for economy. The amp will still work, but the phase splitter following the tone stack is not as good a buffer. So tone controls in such an applications are a bit more limited due to adverse loading.

Can you be more specific? In what way are they "a big more limited?" And how might this affect the playing of someone who knows he's playing through an inexpensive or 'student grade' amplifier?

Quote
Top models like 1950s Fender Super, Twin, and Bassman with treble/mid/bass tone controls did not have tone recovery triodes, instead they placed a high gain stage consisting of both triodes of a 12AX7 BEFORE the tone stack. Tone recovery triodes following the tone stack became the standard by the 1960s, which was an economy move to reduce tubes.

I can understand putting more gain ahead of the passive tone stack, hence driving it at a higher level will improve signal-to-noise ratio, but so will driving it from a low impedance source. Is the 12AX7 used as an amplifier followed by a cathode follower to drive the tone stack?

OK, I looked for a schematic of one of those amplifiers and lo and behold, the Bassman 5F6 (the second Bassman schematic I looked at), sure enough, has the tone stack fed from the cathode of the second half of a 12AX7, though the cathode resistor is 100 kΩ, which seems to be rather high if the purpose is to provide a low impedance source for the tone stack.

I could be out to lunch here. Make me smarter.

Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,867
Likes: 281
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 9,867
Likes: 281
I think amp sim companies should hire the Real MC as a consultant.

Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,960
Likes: 14
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 4,960
Likes: 14
Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
[
I was once looking for a crossover distortion generator and made one out of two back-to-back diodes. Where can I find the Reaper asymmetric distortion plug-in? Is it part of the standard Reaper installation?

It used to be, but I just looked and see that it isn't anymore; it was a graphical "diode clipping" JS script, which I think is now mutated into the "loser saturation" JS. Ashcat had it in his "Tilt" script, the closest stock script I think is the "Bad Bus Mojo" script with separate +/- thresholds.
Chris from Airwindows does a lot of asymmetrical stuff IIRC, I don't know if you're familiar with his plugins....?

Quote
with pure harmonic distortion. I used this in an article about specifications.

Look at the "saturation" js in Reaper, I think it's a deprecated version of what I was referencing - I'm not sure where it went, the guy that made ("LOSER"<-- his moniker) it had a lot of plugins that were stock scripts in Reaper, but I think he had a falling out with the devs and took his ball and went home, so to speak. It might be in a in a 5.x version.


Guitar Lessons in Augusta Georgia: www.chipmcdonald.com
Eccentric blog: https://chipmcdonaldblog.blogspot.com/

/ "big ass windbag" - Bruce Swedien
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Anderton 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5