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Thread: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

    I think for folks like me that are returning to playing guitar, a modeler gives me so many options in one package to find a sound.

    Otherwise Id have to spend thousands of dollars on tubes and pedals.


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    Default Re: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

    Quote Originally Posted by UTGrad View Post
    I think for folks like me that are returning to playing guitar, a modeler gives me so many options in one package to find a sound.

    Otherwise I’d have to spend thousands of dollars on tubes and pedals.


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  3. #23
    watch where you point that sword Phantasmagoria's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

    I got to plug in to an Axe FX II the other day at a friends studio. I can't say I cared for it much though. While the tone is pristine (too pristine?) there's something inherently 'synthetic' about the sound & feel the way it translates from your fingers to the sound you hear come out at the end. I can honestly say I like the response (and tone) of my analog SS amps way better. Maybe if i got to tweak it (Axe FX) myself, things would get better, but having played a bunch of settings on it (none of them factory presets) I actually doubt it. There's something not quite right/missing. I'm not saying it did'nt sound great, there were people standing around oohing & aahhing about the tone etc, but there was something that was'nt right (I'll just come right out & say 'fake'), primarily feel-wise but also with what I was hearing..it lacked that edge/rawness/grit/realness ...maybe as someone said.. "soul" that I experience playing regular amps. It did'nt feel as lively/in your face/REAL.

    I honestly expected it to be a far more awesome experience, but it was'nt. I've alway's been curious about them (high end modelers) and honestly don't have a negative mindset when it comes to modelling (my only gripe being all the programming/fiddling around you have to do)..but having finally played one of these things ...I thought it was wanting something.
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    Default Re: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

    I'm not ready to take the plunge for an expensive modeling rig, mostly because their resale value is crap. But they do sound very good and you'd be plain dumb to believe technology won't catch up eventually, assuming it already hasn't.

    I've got an Orange Crush 120 head as my next buy, which is the next best thing, and more than good enough for this gear simpleton. A modern day analog, solid state circuit.

    I've played it a lot and it's the cat's meow. I'll still keep my Line 6 M13 around so I can go crazy with effects and whatnot.
    Last edited by Diego; 02-10-2018 at 06:02 AM.
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    Default Re: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

    Quote Originally Posted by Diego View Post
    I'm not ready to take the plunge for an expensive modeling rig, mostly because their resale value is crap. But they do sound very good and you'd be plain dumb to believe technology won't catch up eventually, assuming it already hasn't.

    I've got an Orange Crush 120 head as my next buy, which is the next best thing, and more than good enough for this gear simpleton. A modern day analog, solid state circuit.

    I've played it a lot and it's the cat's meow. I'll still keep my Line 6 M13 around so I can go crazy with effects and whatnot.
    I agree.

    I wouldn’t invest in an expensive modeler because it will become obsolete in 5 years. So will my iPhone.

    But a $350 modeler like the Fender Mustang III? Sure! And it sounds absolutely amazing!

    It hasn’t given me any trouble at all, but I think the age of disposable, but great sounding amps has arrived.

    Probably bad for the environment tho...
    Last edited by Lewguitar; 02-10-2018 at 06:17 AM.

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    Default Re: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

    Well, I use an expensive modeler so I can sound good now. And I have 5 years to save for the next one. I don't really concern myself with resale value (although higher end modelers hold their value longer than less expensive ones). It is sort of like buying a PC...you will have to upgrade after awhile.
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    Mojo's Minions Lake Placid Blues's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

    More and more guitarists own use modelers and analog amps. There is no rule that it must be one or the other.

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    Default Re: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

    When dragging the "feel" out of my amps, low volumes I like ss/digital but as the volume goes up I like tubes.

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    Default Re: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lewguitar View Post
    I agree.

    I wouldn’t invest in an expensive modeler because it will become obsolete in 5 years. So will my iPhone.

    But a $350 modeler like the Fender Mustang III? Sure! And it sounds absolutely amazing!

    It hasn’t given me any trouble at all, but I think the age of disposable, but great sounding amps has arrived.

    Probably bad for the environment tho...
    I know. I have a Blackstar ID Core 40 head I paid something like US$120 for. It's digital so it weighs less than 10 pounds with it's power supply, it fits in a small backpack and it works amazingly well. It's not the loudest head but for quieter practice sessions it's great.
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    Default Re: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

    Quote Originally Posted by Phantasmagoria View Post
    I got to plug in to an Axe FX II the other day at a friends studio. I can't say I cared for it much though. While the tone is pristine (too pristine?) there's something inherently 'synthetic' about the sound & feel the way it translates from your fingers to the sound you hear come out at the end. I can honestly say I like the response (and tone) of my analog SS amps way better. Maybe if i got to tweak it (Axe FX) myself, things would get better, but having played a bunch of settings on it (none of them factory presets) I actually doubt it. There's something not quite right/missing. I'm not saying it did'nt sound great, there were people standing around oohing & aahhing about the tone etc, but there was something that was'nt right (I'll just come right out & say 'fake'), primarily feel-wise but also with what I was hearing..it lacked that edge/rawness/grit/realness ...maybe as someone said.. "soul" that I experience playing regular amps. It did'nt feel as lively/in your face/REAL.

    I honestly expected it to be a far more awesome experience, but it was'nt. I've alway's been curious about them (high end modelers) and honestly don't have a negative mindset when it comes to modelling (my only gripe being all the programming/fiddling around you have to do)..but having finally played one of these things ...I thought it was wanting something.
    I think the word you're looking for is "too polished / over-polished".

    My guess anyways... because that's what I hear in AxeFX clips: over-polished tone with nary a rough edge to be found.
    Last edited by LLL; 02-10-2018 at 09:33 AM.
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    Default Re: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

    I can't speak of anything other than the Fractal, but I sold both my AFX I and II for what I paid for them new. The tone matching is so good now, I don't believe anyone outside of maybe Eric Johnson can tell a difference blind.

    I am going to dump my pedals and eventually snag an AFX III I think. The effects, simulations, and versatility can't be beaten for the same cost as four to six boutique pedals.
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    Default Re: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ayrton View Post
    I can't speak of anything other than the Fractal, but I sold both my AFX I and II for what I paid for them new. The tone matching is so good now, I don't believe anyone outside of maybe Eric Johnson can tell a difference blind.

    I am going to dump my pedals and eventually snag an AFX III I think. The effects, simulations, and versatility can't be beaten for the same cost as four to six boutique pedals.
    Yep. I think most of the guys who claim modelers have no soul and that they hate the too perfect sound of modelers just haven’t spent enough time with a really good one.

    Besides, soul comes from the player...not a tube or computer chip.

    If you’ve got soul, it’ll come through intact.

    They’ve come a long way.

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    Default Re: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

    Anyone that owns or is thinking of owning an AFX, I highly recommend Tyler's site.

    http://www.tylergrund.com/axefx2_6.0.html

    This is an excellent demonstration of how easy the AFX can be. (think of all the time and money people have spent chasing SRV tone)

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Suhr View Post
    Practice cures most tone issues

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

    I know the whole digital vs tubes thing gets peoples knickers in a twist.
    Personally i feel you can play through pretty much anything and sound good if you can play good.
    VIce versa if you cant.
    Most people use gear that can offer far more expressiveness than their playing allows.
    BEst remedy is to use whatever suits you and just play more. It is amazing how much you can simply do with the right phrasing and choosing the right notes at the right time.
    Sometimes, a whole bunch of tone options and tweaking can get in the way of doing what is really important...playing.
    Kinda like a fat guy who buys a golf cart cos his knees hurt when he walks.
    Yeah i went there! flame on.
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    Default Re: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

    Quote Originally Posted by PFDarkside View Post
    The worst thing about AxeFx is programming it. I am in a technical field, when I come home to play guitar I just want to plug it in, turn it up and play. I don’t think I’d even be interested in the refrigerator racks of yesteryear.
    Same boat here. I've been in an IT career for 25 years... most of that as a network admin. I sit and stare at a computer all day, using my brain to work out stressful problems. That's the VERY last thing I want to do at night.

    Having said that, my Helix LT is awesome. LOVE IT!!! And that's even going up against a pair of Friedman tube heads. But I don't use the editor software. It's very good, but I prefer to do it on the board. It's very intuitive.

    I spent the 90s touring with a rack full of gear. The interface for the Axe-FX units reminds me way too much of that. In modelers, I had an 11 Rack, Kemper, and Vox Tonelab LE (besides the Helix). I can deal with all of the interfaces for those modelers. But I hate the interface for the Axe. So I won't own one.
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  16. #36
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    Default Re: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

    Quote Originally Posted by gibson175 View Post
    I know the whole digital vs tubes thing gets peoples knickers in a twist.
    Personally i feel you can play through pretty much anything and sound good if you can play good.
    VIce versa if you cant.
    Most people use gear that can offer far more expressiveness than their playing allows.
    BEst remedy is to use whatever suits you and just play more. It is amazing how much you can simply do with the right phrasing and choosing the right notes at the right time.
    Sometimes, a whole bunch of tone options and tweaking can get in the way of doing what is really important...playing.
    Kinda like a fat guy who buys a golf cart cos his knees hurt when he walks.
    Yeah i went there! flame on.
    I agree. Tone is ultimately in your fingers and not your gear. The gear will get you the last 10-25% of the way. But if you're not a good player, then it won't matter how impressive your guitars and amps are. There are some guys on this forum and TGP who've bought and sold a ridiculous amount of top shelf gear. Even more than me! LOL! But there are a few whose clips I've heard who I honestly felt a combination of pity and confusion for. They evidently weren't very self-aware... because if they were, they wouldn't have posted those clips. NO one is perfect, especially non-pro, bedroom players. But honestly, a few would have been far better off skipping endless forum classified browsing, and more time woodshedding. I've never said anything, because even though I'm very direct... I'm not on a mission to hurt feelings and cut a player down publicly or in private. But unfortunately, I end up glossing over their posts after I become aware of their playing level because it's very apparent that their chops and their ears aren't anywhere near the level of their gear. In other words, they're not utilizing the actual potential of that primo gear. They might as well be playing gear that costs far less than what they spent, presumably seeking forum cred for gear, rather than actual playing.

    I had been playing in bars, clubs, recital (classical) and concert stages for 10 years before I could afford anything better than a MIM level strat. I was jealous of guys' gear, but not always their chops.

    Btw... the players that I'm speaking about haven't posted in this thread. Just a disclaimer in case someone wonders if I'm referring to them. My point is only to say that you're wasting your time and money on boutique gear if your playing is at a novice level. If you get a thrill out of owning great gear and have the money... great! I think that's the primary case with many of these players. But they're not buying the tonal upgrade that they THINK they are. A great player can plug a 200-series Ltd into a Katana and kill it. A novice can plug an $8K LP Custom Shop Reissue into a Two Rock and not sound near as good. Both in terms of how well they phrase, mute strings, pick attack, dynamics, etc... and in terms of having the ears to use the gain, tone controls, etc. I think that some on gear forums think that they will automatically get a tonal upgrade with better gear. Not necessarily true. A pro mountain bike racer can do more on a Huffy than a novice can do on a $10K Santa Cruz. And I'm not looking to critique the flawlessness of a guy's chops when he posts a clip aimed at showing the tones that his gear can produce. But if his playing is so novice as to distract from actually focusing on the tone (not to mention him/her not actually producing good tonnes), then that defeats the whole purpose. I see a ton of that on YouTube gear reviews as well.
    Last edited by Red_Label; 02-10-2018 at 07:54 PM.
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  17. #37
    of the Forum PFDarkside's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ayrton View Post
    Anyone that owns or is thinking of owning an AFX, I highly recommend Tyler's site.

    http://www.tylergrund.com/axefx2_6.0.html

    This is an excellent demonstration of how easy the AFX can be. (think of all the time and money people have spent chasing SRV tone)

    That’s the video I was going to post to say “man, I don’t feel like getting this far into the weeds!” There are a lot of good resources for downloading Axe FX, Kemper and Helix patches though, aren’t there?
    Oh no.....


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  18. #38
    watch where you point that sword Phantasmagoria's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL View Post
    I think the word you're looking for is "too polished / over-polished".

    My guess anyways... because that's what I hear in AxeFX clips: over-polished tone with nary a rough edge to be found.
    This ...totally. And I experienced it on every setting/patch or w/e they're called that I tried. Now maybe there's some sort of master control that can change that aspect of it ...I don't know.

    Having said that..my $75 Zoom G1Xon pedal gives me some sweet sounds in the room. They're not too bad at all for midnight bedroom jamming. Does it feel like a tube amp? Not really ....& frankly, that's what I was expecting to change drastically when I played the Axe FX II... but it did'nt. At least not much, which was kinda a rude shock for me (especially given the rather substantial price difference )

    I'd love for anyone to honestly tell me that these units feel (or even sound) just like their tube amps..

    I get it ..versatility, convenient, nice tone, popular & well marketed (...though I would say it seems geared towards recording modern/over-produced & polished sounding stuff more than anything, I personally did'nt appreciate the tones that I heard come out of it much...now whether or not I'm lacking skills, soul or a ear for tone I can't say. But in the end I like what I like & don't what I don't & in general, for most of us, that's all that counts.)..but it's not close enough to the real thing to be convincing & you can both feel & hear that...especially after you've plugged into one.
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  19. #39
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    Default Re: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

    I get it about the programming. But you can get as deep as you want to. I don't tend to try to re-create classic sounds, and I actually like programming, and trying different parameters. But you never have to get that deep. It is there if I want it (I usually do), though. I've always dug the 'sound design' aspect of guitar, though. Some players do it through owning lots of amps and pedals. I just do it in software. But I am looking for the best sounds I can get plugging directly into the PA, a recording device, IEMs, or a full range cab, with carrying the least amount of gear.
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  20. #40
    watch where you point that sword Phantasmagoria's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dr. Z says modeling amps are going to be the next wave...

    I understand that. I'm not really chasing this or that classic tone either, I just do my own thing. I never said they lack for sound/tone. But these are "modelling amps" & I guess that means they're all about chasing classic tones..at least that's how they're marketed. All I'm saying is, after playing around with one a bit, in my opinion they still have a way to go replicating actual 'tube amp' sound/response..let alone specific classic tube amp sounds. Will they get there? In all probability ..yes. But there's a while to go..
    "Less is less, more is more...how can less be more?" ~Yngwie J Malmsteen

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney Gene View Post
    If you let your tone speak for itself you'll find alot less people join the conversation.


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