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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need to get a proper practice rig as I am sick of using my Pod with my studio monitors.

I want a small practice rig for my room, I was thinking about getting a 1x12 and buying a poweramp and preamp which sounds good at low volumes.

I want a preamp (valve) with really tight distortion but doesn't sound too harsh (pod) and can do Holdsworth smooth leads with plenty of gain.

Most importantly I need a crisp tight distortion, want the sound similar to Fredrick Thordendal of Meshuggah, especially his solo album 'Sol Niger Within'. Love his lead and distortion tone.

Would also like some Holdsworth style clean sounds if possible.

I want the rig to be quite compact and portable but not too expensive though. Currently considering a ADA-MP1 and a Rockton Voodu Valve. Unfortunately I can't find any second hand preamps in my area to test.

What preamps/poweramps would anyone suggest? This will be my first rack setup. Attracted to a rack setup due to the flexibility and range of sounds for practicing and the fact that a lot of people are selling rack gear cheaply. Also have a BBE Sonic Maximizer which I could use.

Many Thanks, any help would be much appreciated. :)
 

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Since Holdsworth used a Yamaha DG recently, IMO you should check out a DG amp. It's a modeler, but IM(limited)Experience the best of the digital ones. I use the Stomp, which would go well with a power amp & speakers, if you want a modular rig. So would a Vox Tonelab, which it's been rumored that Allan's been toying with.

I realize the lure of tubes, but IME (again, limited) using a tube pre for all the distortion so you can play softly doesn't end up sounding any smoother than a good modeler patch anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Cheers for the reply.

My main requirement is a tight hi-gain metal tone. Will the Yamaha be suitable? I really want a tight metal sound similar to Meshuggah/Fear Factory. Was keen on the rack setup as I could use it for live situations if I get a band together in the future.

After doing some googling I saw the Lee Jackson Perfect Connection gp-1000. Are these any good? They look good for metal as the guy from Children of Bodom seems to use them. They are really cheap on **** too.
 

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Did you know that both Fear Factory AND Meshuggah used Pod Pros?
Just thought I'd point that out...

Joe

P.S. Don't know how much luck you'll have finding valves that sound good at low volumes. Could always try a hotplate though...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah I do. They use pod pros now. What amp was used on the last Fear Factory album? Dinos not on guitar though. Still not sure what I am going to do, might keep the pod. Any suggestions for a power amp? Want to get a power amp and small cab so I can use the pod in the mean time before getting a preamp.

I really want the tone from Fredrick Thordendal's solo album 'sol niger within'.
 

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If you want to keep the POD, check out the Line 6 forums and see if anyone can help you nail it there.

Amp-wise you could check out the Atomic Reactor. Its a 1x12 speaker with a 18W valve power section built in. Designed for modellers. (google it, I can't remember the addy).

Joe
 

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What Meshuggah tone? The new one is nothing (pun intended) like the old one.

Might want to look into a THD Univalve. They're pretty expensive in Europe though, so buying one stateside will, when all is said and done (and paid for), probably be cheaper.

Also, live, Meshuggah nowadays use 3 Vetta II heads each... don't know why, because it makes little sense, and their current studio tone is crap compared to their old one, so that POD Pro comment... well (plus Fredrik supercharged the POD Pro with a TC Electronic Integrated Preamplifier, at least for the rhythm). Don't know what they used on their latest recording and frankly I don't want to know.

I think it'd be difficult for you to attain Allan's lead tone with a Yamaha DG-xx at low volumes, since he runs those very loud IIRC. Also, he uses a clean boost in front of it (TC Electronic Booster+/Line Driver/Distorsion - very nice unit, that one). But hey, that old man can get his tone from a bunch of scrap pedals and a Vox Tonelab desktop modeller (not kidding). I don't know how he does it.

Upon rereading your post, the Univalve will probably be overkill for you, so I'd look into Engl preamps. An E530 or E680 or E520 would probably be nice? Maybe even an E430? All of these except the E530 are discontinued, so you'd have to go for the used market.

If you want to know, Sol Niger Within was recorded with a Mesa/Boogie .50 Caliber+ with a TC Electronic B+LD in the loop I think... for the lead (he might've used the Integrated Preamplifier in front of it for rhythm/cleans), a homemade speaker cabinet, miced with an SM57 inside a homemade iso box... but maybe you knew that.
 

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The Rocktron stuff sounds good, but the Voodu Valve only has a tube to warm up the tone some, it is still a digital preamp, it's basically a Chameleon (not the Chameleon 2000) with a tube between the preamp section and the effects section. I'm pretty much only using Rocktron stuff right now, it will give you the tones you are looking for if you program it right, they are pretty deep. The MP-1s are nice too, but don't have quite a much gain.

My rack right now is an old Rocktron ProGap, an Intellifex, a BBE 482i, and a MosValve 962. I have an old Chameleon on the way, it may replace the ProGap and Intellifex.

Roger
 

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Yamaha DG products are awesome (I can definately get some nice Holdsy tones), but really not suited all that well for hi-gain sounds. They are probably the best modeller there is when it comes to jazz/vintage rock/blues tones, but I haven't been able to really get a nice metal tone out of it, which is fine with me since I hardly play any metal. I would suggest going the POD into tube power-amp route, or maybe using a half-stack with a hotplate.

The Univalve is not cheap, but I have heard great things about the THD products, especially the Univalve...
 

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pawel called it right - I was going toward the "Holdsworth" end more than Fear Factory. I don't often use the high gain stuff, and when I do I use a V-Amp2 - but I'm no expert on those sounds. I do remember digging the SansAmp PSA1 a LOT - even more than my Stomp - so if you get a chance to listen to one, you might want to. More of a pain to use than the others mentioned, but some seriously good noises.
 

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Good call on the PSA - I played aeound with a Trademark10 for quite a bit, and got some great sounds ranging from clean/crunch to metal, if the PSA can do those and more, it's probably worth checking out. I only heard good things about the Tech21 products.
 

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Tsorovan said:
I'd say you won't get either Allan or Meshuggah out of a PSA-1. It's just not going to happen.
That could well be. Again, I'm not a high gain guy and I no longer have one to check it out - it's from memory.
 

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Get a Fender Blues Jr. It is a small 1x12 15 watt combo with a great clean tone and you can use your POD through that!
 

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I know thta this is not what you are after but......

I bought a Kustom 10 watt practice amp a few months ago. It absolutely rocks. It has a high gain sound that is not disimilar to a dual rectifier. The harmonic response is amazing. I actually tend to practice at home through that rather than running headphones out of my JMP-1. When I tried it in the shop with a Jackson SL-1 it was genuinely surprisingly good. And they only cost about £60.

Other than that get a JMP1. You can get decent ones second hand, and they can act as the midi controller for a larger rig. They are also pretty easy to use.
 

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The VHT is still a preamp and needs a power amp, they call it a Very Low Power amp because it is designed to emulate the whole circuit of a tube amp, including the power stage. On a quick glance at the manual, I couldn't find anywhere that it has a powered output. They are also quite expensive for a practice sertup. Another cool preamp to check out is the old H&K Metal Shredder, it is a tube preamp (2X 12AX7s), and it does have a 1W power amp built in, so, you can run a speaker cabinet with it. I had one and pushed a 4-12 with it, it doesn't get LOUD, but it will get to a decent level, would be a really cool setup with a 1-12 cab.

I'll put in another vote for Rocktron stuff too, once you get their programming down, there are some way cool sounds in them, even if they are digital (Chameleon, Voodu Valve, ProGap Ultra) or solid state (ProGap).

Roger
 
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