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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I have had this modellers:

POD
POD XT
VOX Tonelab SE (my favorite)
Pocket POD (still have it for practice)

I now have gone back to a real amp for live performance and CD recording... (JSX Head with Mesa 4x12 and stomp boxes).

While I liked especially the VOX (as it was sounding "tubeish") there was just this little thing missing. Of course I pay for this by losing a lot of versatility by now only having one amp again and some stomp boxes. However I sound like "me" and this setup really screams, where I always had that last inch missing using the VOX and a power amp.

What is your experience and opinion on the topic?
(please no flame war or fights, if someone likes modellers better or vise versa, everything is ok, I just want to know what kind of experience people made.)
 

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I think that most people will agree that you'll never beat the sound of a good tube amp. I use the PODxt Live simply out of convenience and because being a student I am on a tight budget. Modelers are much better than they were a few years ago, but something will always be lost in the equation.
 

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I would have to agree with Studentofshredd. I do think that one day if things keep progressing, they will be even good enough to please hard core tube amp players. One can hope....
 

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this is just an opinion, but I think modeling AMPS sound a lot better live than a modeling unit ran through an amp.. I have tried a million different combinations with my pod and various other modelers, and they all fall short live when ran through an amp.. if you have a good sound man and monitor mix, i wouldn't mind running direct.. but if we are talking about using an amp + modeler, i would strongly recommend a modeling amp like the vetta, flextone, or modeling amp from any company (though i didn't care for the spider)
 

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I guess I sort of knew what sound I wanted (a sort of shimmery Andy Summers like tone, but with the ability to get some seriously thick crunchy rhythm tone when required) right from the onset, along with exactly what equipment would deliver that tone - I dunno, this is not a criticism per se rather an observation, but modelling to me seems to be a way of accessing the tones of a lot of other players without necessarily making it easy to develop your own tone - everything I play and record is based around my own sound (which seems to suit plenty of people that I play with as well), so I have just never found the need to go down the modelling route - any forays into this world have really just been a frustrating experience for me.
 

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I much prefer the simplicity of plug and play. Modeling tools can be useful for recording but even then I prefer to simply mic my amp and kick it. I guess I'm old school? I like to play instead of dicking around with patches all day. Still, modelers have their place.
 

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I much prefer the simplicity of plug and play. Modeling tools can be useful for recording but even then I prefer to simply mic my amp and kick it. I guess I'm old school? I like to play instead of dicking around with patches all day. Still, modelers have their place.
nothing wrong with your first couple statements, but what makes you think using a modelor requires dicking around with patches all day-- usually once you get what you like, you're all set?
 

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I owned a Johnson JM60 for a period of time, and still use my Johnson J-Station as my effects unit (best money I ever spent), plus I used the J-Station on all my tracks on our first album, and it sounds great.
That said, the JM60 didn't work out, at it sounded too thin, live, not too mention I always found myself resorting to only two different amp tones: A high-gain Marshall tone, and a clean tone. These days, I run a Laney AOR half stack, J-Station in the loop, and turn off the extra gain stage & roll back on the volume for a SOMEWHAT clean sound. Could only be happier if my amp was 2-channel, or cleaned up, better.
 

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I think modelers have certainly come a long way. I remember when I purchased my first modeling unit (a Digitech RP-1 back in 1994) and I never really got into making my own patches simply because it was such a pain to figure out all the parameters for a given effect. Fast forward back to 2007 and the Boss GT-Pro I bought this year is definitely a big step into a more realistic tone from a modeling unit and it's certainly much easier to operate (provided that you inform yourself with guides and people's guidance).

With that being said, some modeling units have a decent tone but, still lack the feel of a tube amp.

Jimmy:smile:
 

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I've got a Digitech GNX4 and I love it. I've played thru tube amps before and while I do like the sound you get from them, I find that I can get close enough using my own patches on the GNX4. I've been working on it for a few months and I've got a sound that I think sounds really good and it's what I call my tube amp setting.

That being said, I don't really treat my GNX4 as a modeler. I treat it as an effect. It gives me the ability to change my tone however I like it, just as a distortion pedal would do for someone else just using an amp. You can change out the distortion pedal and get a completely different sound. I do that by tweaking the parameters for the models being used on the GNX4.

I think if you view a modeling effects processor that way, as an effect, then whether you can get it to sound like a tube or not doesn't really matter. What matters is you like what you hear, which I do.

Some people though will only use a tube amp just because. Everybody is different. In the end, all that matters is if you like your sound or not. I'm very comfortable with mine.

 

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If you like your Vox Tonelab you can get an Atomic amp which is an amp designed to accommodate modellers, and give you a tube poweramp. The tonelab would probably work pretty well as it has a tube in it's pre-amp. Apparently the Atomics are awesome amps, and they seem to be well-priced in the States too.

http://www.atomicamps.com/

I use a Zoom G7.1ut which I like a lot, and have managed to get my own sound from too. The sound is great with the volume low, and with it cranked. I am currently playing it through a Kustom KGA65 solid state combo, and amazingly enough I can actually turn down the volume knob on my guitar and get some reasonably clean tones too. I guess the tube on the G7.1ut does do a bit for the sound.
 

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Modelling is cool for what it is, but I dont like it for me.
If you want a ton of decent sounds on a budget it works, but it isnt the same as a good amp.

I've had the Johnson J Station, Johnson Millenium, Pod, Pod Pro, Pod XT,Bass Pod and Bass Pod Pro at one time or another.
The Millenium was hands down the best of the bunch but still not as good as my Orange.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Very good keep it coming.

I do not know the GNX4, might have to check it out at a store.

Thanks for that link, those Atomic Amps seem to be nice tools. The VOX uses its tube to simulate a "power amp" tube. The pre-amp tubes are simulated digitally. (According to the manual.) Although you get a much warmer tone than on my POD.
 

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The Johnson Millenium Amp has the digitech 2112 processor built in. They had the same Parent company. I think it's by far the best I have used as well. Even with it, custom settings can be far better than the factory presets. used in conjunction with some amps the 2112 and 2120 do sound really good for certain tones. I consider the 2112 to be a pre-amp with effects, and when I use it I by-pass the preamp on my tube amps.
 

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I've got a Line 6 Flextone III, and I love the versatility, but, even though I like some of the tones I can get out of it, it doesn't compare to the real amps.

Unfortunately, I don't have the cash to buy two or three different modern high gain amps, and five or six botique combo's :(

Rock on!
 

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Spend enough time with a modeller and you'll get to tube-amp territory. Not near, you'll get into and beyond. It's not an opinion, it's a fact. A lot of the perceived difference IS in people's heads.
I would dig up the revelant thread if I could find it, but alas... in either case, bulb (www.soundclick.com/bulb) did a pepsi blind-test over at the Meshuggahboards - posted a track with the question of whether it was an Engl Powerball or a POD XT. Majority of the votes tipped in favour of the Powerball. Guess what? POD XT. Quite a good tone too.
Controversial statement, but if all the tracks were posted with the same question (amp or modeller), I doubt that people would be as rockhard on their tube-purist opinions as they are now.
 

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There is currently a thread going on that has asked for people's recordings of their modelers alone with no amp to see which one can get close to the real thing.

Jimmy:smile:
 

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nothing wrong with your first couple statements, but what makes you think using a modelor requires dicking around with patches all day-- usually once you get what you like, you're all set?
I guess what I meant was that I just have very little patience. Same with my Roland VS1680 - it's great but requires far too many button pushes to simply adjust the EQ or Pan. I'm in a love/hate relationship with the digital world.
 
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