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Anyone using an eleven rack?


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  • Anyone using an eleven rack?

    Looking for some user opinions on the Avid Eleven rack. In your opinion as a user, how does it compare to fully software amp sims like Amplitube or Guitar Rig? Advantages/disadvantages? Which sounds better in your opinion, as unfortunately since its not software I'm unable to demo it.

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  • #2
    You know what they say about opinions....

    Here's mine: I live in a Condo and have been on a multi-year, megabuck quest to find a condo-friendly solution to visceral, exciting electric guitar tone. I have used just about every software amp modeler out there as a pure software solution is my strongly preferred solution. But I have yet to find one that is "inspiring", the best are just 'ok' - and the best, imo are: Scuffham's S-Gear and Amplitube. The best designed is GuitarRig, alas it just doesn't sound that good to me.

    I have tried MANY low-wattage tube amps and more pedals than I can remember. I've run them trough: A Palmer PDI-03 (not too bad), an AxeTrax speaker isolation cabinet (ok, but boxy sounding), a Rivera Silent Sister cabinet (not so silent, actually), Grendel Speaker Isolation Box (only silent-ish with the heavy MDF external secondary cabinet, and even then it's pretty boxy sounding).

    I have tried nearly every mid-level HW modeler, PODs, POD HD, V-Amp, Boss GT, Vox, Digitech RP/GSP, - they were all just 'OK', good enough to pass muster for for a listener, not good enough to make me giddy when I play.

    I bought an AxeFX Standard over a year ago and yeah, it sounds pretty killer. HOWEVER - the ergonomics of using it leave something to be desired. Editing patches via the HW unit is complicated and frustrating. I've used every kind of studio gear so my tolerance is high, standards are low - sure, I could do it but I sure didn't enjoy it. It has a nice software editor but you cannot edit patches via the unit, the editor and have a floor controller all hooked up simultaneously and keep things reliably in-sync. Some say they've done it and I don't doubt them, It mostly annoyed the crap out of me. Any way - A great sounding unit.

    I recently picked up an Eleven Rack more-or-less on a lark as it had the expansion pack and was very inexpensive. So what-the-hell. I love it. LOVE. IT.

    The only qualifiers I'll say about it are: it does have a comparatively limited palette of amp and fx models to choose from, but all the meat-and-potato stuff is in there -AND- it doesn't have the stellar vendor support and vibrant user community that Fractal has. But the feel, dynamics, tone - are killer. I haven't touched the AxeFX since I got the 11R, except to do some quick A/B stuff. I don't use ProTools, I've done all of my patch setup using the HW controls and the 11R has the best UI / knob layout of any modeler or guitar FX unit I have used in...., well ever.

    Yeah, I'm gushing I know. It's awesome. A crazy good deal if you get a new one with ProTools 10 and the expansion pack. Or buy a used one for $500 or less.

    And that's all I have to say about that.


    • #3
      Have you tried it against other software solutions like Amplitube or Guitar Rig? Just curious.
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      • #4
        Have you tried recording over USB? Specifically to anything non-protools?
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        • #5
          I was going to start my own thread but saw this. I'm beginning to enjoy the 11R....one of the keys is to turn off the darn Noise Gate if you use your volume controls at all on your guitar.

          I see A1 - Z4 as banks. Is there a way to save user presets on the unit itself or do I have to load Pro Tools?
          The only thing I've been able to do is overwrite existing presets which seems a little odd. My goal is to have a bunch of user settings to use live..
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          • #6
            I overwrite the presets all the time, I have little interest in the factory presets and have zero concern about losing them.
            I have NOT installed ProTools nor do I intend to. The 11R has the simplest, easiest-to-understand front-panel of any rack gear that I have ever used. Kudos to the designers.
            I have not recorded with it via USB, I use it stand-alone, running mono into my audio interface (Apogee Duet, fwiw).

            I have used: GuitarRig 3,4,5, Amplitube (since ver 1), S-Gear, LePou plugs, Revalver, Amp Room, and others. I did mention that my first-choice is a purely software based setup, right? Also, I have a fetishistic aversion to complexity - meaning I *really* want to find a single tool for the entire signal chain and for at least 75% of the tones I'm looking for. I don't want to use S-Gear for crunch, GR5 for clean, Revalver for leads etc. There's nothing wrong with that at all, it just drives me nuts. They all have strengths and weaknesses - the 11R is a joy to play through. This is the first non-tube amp that I've used that gives me that ....excitement, the feeling under the fingers yadda yadda. It's really really good (For me).

            I sold my AxeFX STD as the 11R suits me better, don't get me wrong the Axe is fantastic and arguably better in certain dimensions but the 11R has much better 'feel', for me. And that makes an enormous difference in how I feel when I play.
            Hope that helps.

            And finally - I don't know anything about anyone's financial situation but 11Rs can be readily had for $500(US) or less. That's pretty damn close to why-the-hell-not-try-it territory.


            • #7
              I was going to start my own thread but saw this. I'm beginning to enjoy the 11R....one of the keys is to turn off the darn Noise Gate...

              This works for pretty much all multi-effects and modelers. The Boss GT10 had like two of them - one global and one in the chain. Just by turning off the global noise gate you could improve the "tone" 10% because it stopped getting that fizzy fade out that most people assumed with the amp model itself. It works this way with the VG-99 as well, and I would assume most modeling/multi-effects devices.
              Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant!

              Creativity is a Work Ethic


              • #8
                PS- I am unloading my POD HD Pro, I think I was holding on to a dream that I would someday play live again, but it has been 11 years since I was on stage (after 12 years of gigging!) and I think I am truly a "home hobbyist" at this point, and a truly electronic musician tied to a computer SO, I downloaded Amplitube Free and Guitar Rig Player to test them and HOLY COW! Honestly, it took about 15 minutes to get a great sound out of Amplitube, then I ran the same playing track through Guitar Rig.

                My take is that both programs are outstanding and they really have convinced me that I need to get rid of the POD. Amplitube sounds and feels much more "real" for lack of a better word than either Guitar Rig or the POD, which I've just never really gotten a handle on coming from 20 years of Boss/Roland.

                After less than an hour I had both Guitar Rig and Amplitube sounding better than I could ever get the POD to sound, but the question becomes "which progam?" - Well, to be honest, Amplitube really does sound "that much better" than Guitar Rig, at least in my initial impressions - but the effects rack of Guitar Rig blows away the limited routing schemes of Amplitube. For someone that likes to experiment, Guitar Rig seems to be the way to go - for someone that wants great sounding amps and realistic sounding models of basic effects right out of the box - Amplitube seems to be the way to go. So, I think I will have to buy BOTH after I sell my POD HD Pro! My copy of Amplitube 3 just arrived today, and Guitar Rig 5 will be next. The Eleven seems to be a nice piece of kit, but I work in video production for a living and have learned to love things like Final Cut on Mac and Premiere & Sony Vegas on the PC and have learned to avoid and loathe all things AVID. Too many nightmares...
                Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant!

                Creativity is a Work Ethic


                • #9
                  You nailed my thoughts on GR5 and Amplitube. Amplitube sounds better, GR5 is laid out better and has more intuitive & useful routing options. But whatever works!

                  I don't have any AVID software on my computer, but wow I do love the Eleven.