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  • tube amp or modeling amp

    With the advances in technology we now have are tube amps relly worth the hassel  for home use?

    Would a good modeling amp be better ?

  • #2
    Eh, the digital stuff is convenient. I've used a pod for recording some home project stuff late at nite and it'll certainly do the trick. But I really enjoy the sound of hot tubes. I guess having a pod is kinda what made me wanna buy a tube amp, like man this sounds cool, but I bet the real thing is way better. And personally, it is.
    -"Who is John Galt?"-


    • HKSblade2
      HKSblade2 commented
      Editing a comment

      Todays modeling amps are fun and great for home use, recording etc. Best bet is to try different ones out if you can. Some are better at certain sounds than others. Depends on what you want to do with it, and what genre you gravitate towards mostly.

      Otoh a simple 2 channel tube amp is plenty for others. You don't have to worry about artifacts, latency etc of digital modeling.

  • #3

    gardo wrote:

    With the advances in technology we now have are tube amps relly worth the hassel  for home use?

    Would a good modeling amp be better ?


    Are you recording an album?  If not, a modeling amp is easily the best choice.    

    Are you playing to an audience?  If not, a modeling amp is easily the best choice.    

    Are you "rich?"  If not, a modeling amp is easily the best choice.    





    • thenakedarab
      thenakedarab commented
      Editing a comment

      *BLEEP* wrote:

      gardo wrote:

      With the advances in technology we now have are tube amps relly worth the hassel  for home use?

      Would a good modeling amp be better ?


      Are you recording an album?  If not, a modeling amp is easily the best choice.    

      Are you playing to an audience?  If not, a modeling amp is easily the best choice.    

      Are you "rich?"  If not, a modeling amp is easily the best choice.    




      Are you overly simplistic? If not, then a modeling amp is probably not the only best choice.


      1st, if you're recording it may be easier to get a good decent recorded tone out of a modeler than a regular amp. With tube amps and mics you have to worry about the room, mic placement, getting the amp into the sweet spot without pissing off the neighbors. With a modeler you don't have to worry about any of that. That being said, if you have a good room, know how to place a mic, and can turn the amp up some the tube amp is most likely going to sound superior.


      2nd, if you play the song well enough, then 99% of the audience is going to be more worried about talking to the evenings potential sexual partner or scoring a powdered or flowering recreational substance, then giving a **** about the guitarists tone.


      3rd, most guitarists aren't rich by any means and have done just fine with tube amps for generations.

  • #4

    The sound you want from a tube amp is the amp being cranked.  If your home use is in an apartment building, or anywhere where neighbors are close, you are not going to be able to do that - even a 5 watt tube amp turned up to 10 can get very loud.  In that case a modeling amp will be better - even at getting a "tube amp" sound because it can model it at lower volumre. If you live in a house where you won't disturb your neighbors, then a tube amp has some advantages.

    Dexter fans, check out The DexterCast podcast on iTunes or Two hosts have seen Dexter, two are watching for the first time.


    • LaXu
      LaXu commented
      Editing a comment

      The top end modelers (read: Axe-Fx and Kemper) can sound just as good or even better than most tube amps when paired with the right output device (FRFR active speakers) and you won't run into the compromises most tube amps have where they do sounds X and Y great but Z poorly or only average. You can also EQ the **************** out of the sound exactly to your needs.

      The drawback is the added complexity, clumsy user interface etc. Was worth it for me, been really happy with the Axe-Fx Standard and II.

    • Brave Ulysses
      Brave Ulysses commented
      Editing a comment

      I am working thru the same decision.  I haven't played out in 5 years, and I was using a Boogie or a Rivera combo with pedals back then. I'm in a new group now and using a Vox modeling amp, and I found a couple of sounds that I like when at practice. Plus the onboard delay is pretty good. I think I'm going to use the Vox at our first show (with the boogie as backup), and an mxr modified od for a boost.   I don't think anyone in the audience will know or care that it's not a tube amp. 

      Tube amps have good days and bad days, and maintenance can be a hassle.  As long as the Vox holds out (and it's over 5 years old already), I'll be happy.

    • Richard Guy
      Richard Guy commented
      Editing a comment

      Look Here please


  • #5
    I love modeling anymore. I love how it can bring me out of the Men moods

    ♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♪♫♪♫♪ ♪♫♪♫♪♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪ ♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪ ♫♪♫♪♫♪


    • #6

      Depends on what you're doing or what kind of tones you're happy with.

      I play through my TR mostly but for practicing I use my Bugera V22. I also use a Vox Tonelab for my FX and a couple of the amp models. It sounds really great through the Bugera. It's needs some tweaking to sound it's best through the TR.


      Personally I like the sound from tube amps at virtually any low level IF dialed in well. If dialed in well they will sound great. There is a depth and harmonic richness in the sound of a tube amp that just is not heard from ANY solid state device. Yes, this includes the ax, the kemper and eleven rack.


      Don't get me wrong, these solid states are quite good in tone and versatility. Suitable for live or recording work the tones are outstanding. Still, they cannot provide the rich harmonics and warmth of a tube amp.

      Someday I will upgrade to one of these super ss boxes for both the FX and modeling but I won't be abandoning my tube amps during this lifetime.

      '78 Hamer Sunburst, Gibson LP Special, Electra X410, Fender StratFender "The Twin", '78 Fender Twin, Bugera V22, Marshall JTM 30, Marshall DSL 40C


      • davebols
        davebols commented
        Editing a comment

        I used a fender twin for over 40 years so ya know I love tubes. I just got me a fender mustang 3 that I have used for giging 6 times now. We all know that nothing will sound like a tube amp. This is my firs modeling amp  and after 60+ hours of tweeking I got the amp sounding just like me when I'm playing at live levels. So for the working gutarist that is almost 60, modeling amps are o k as long as you really take the time to dial it in.  peace all.:robothappy:

    • #7

      I own tube amps and modeling amps, and while I cannot part with a tube power amp, I have parted ways with the tube pre amps. The digital pre amps just have it down now. Rather it's axe fx, the POD HD 500/pro, or the 1101, run it through a tube power amp and it sounds amazing. Plus if you get the axe fx or the Pod HD it sounds really good running direct through your sound card too. The 1101, not so much.


      • EVO X
        EVO X commented
        Editing a comment

        i've used a Pod since the beginning, up through the XT (into a Mosvalve poweramp and 2x12 cab), and a Vetta II ..... spending too much time messing with tones. 

        finally got tired of all the nonsense and got a Peavey XXX.  i forgot what was missing from the modelers - FEEL.  with no tube feel and responsiveness, i just wasn't as motivated to play using the Line 6 stuff.  i can't speak for the new HD line as i've never tried them.

        since the XXX didn't even have reverb, i ended up getting a GSP1101 for some effects.  this thing is awesome through the XXX's tube poweramp!  i use the GSP's preamp models almost as much as the XXX pre. 

      • Steve2112
        Steve2112 commented
        Editing a comment

        Nagol5178 wrote:

        I own tube amps and modeling amps, and while I cannot part with a tube power amp, I have parted ways with the tube pre amps. The digital pre amps just have it down now. Rather it's axe fx, the POD HD 500/pro, or the 1101, run it through a tube power amp and it sounds amazing. Plus if you get the axe fx or the Pod HD it sounds really good running direct through your sound card too. The 1101, not so much.

        Finally ditched the POD HD500 and am relieved. Mind you, I am a huge tweaker! I can sit on the floor for hours turning knobs and buttons.     Also bear in mind that I rarely record direct. I like natural speaker and room acoustics. The mics are already steup and ready to go.


        The HD is a nice peice of gear....I like it's "all in  one" nature....can be used for bass, vocals, acoustic...with adeptness all at once. But in the was too hard to get the sound I hear in my head. The delays especially were very difficult to get a natural delay time, repeat and volume. Digitech delays far superiro in that regard. Rocktron Voodu Valve VERY easy to achieve the sound you hear in your head.

        Right now I'm just using my Fender Mustang III and haven't been happier in 6 months. Very easy to achieve almost any sound I need. From studio clean, to Fender clean, to Fender breakup to Marshall-type overdrive to liquidy need to mess with "should I try 7 different EQ's?"


        I line that out to My 1964 Fender Twin for complete tone domination and the best of both worlds. Modern modelling coupled with old school tube. Perfect (as it gets).

    • #8
      I've played through both and recorded through both in a studio setting and I agree with a lot of what's being said here.
      A couple of questions to ask yourself.
      - how much are you willing to spend?
      - how fanatic are you about your tone?
      - do you really NEED or USE all the FX you'd get in some of these SS amps?

      Just be totally honest with yourself.

      A nice Tube Amp will cost you some $$$ but you will get some crazy warmth and rich harmonics from it if you really dial it in and get to know different types of tubes and how they can add different kinds of qualities to your overall tone. Even learning how to bias your power tubes hotter or colder to change desired effect.

      You can also get great tone at lower volumes (though I wouldn't call them bedroom volumes) with the right kind of tube amp.

      Going SS with all the bells and whistles can be cool if you are still trying to find or define YOUR sound! Also, all those FX can help with the creative process if you're writing your own stuff. You may not get the depth of tone you're looking for if you're a fanatic but you get the trade off with the other goods.

      Personally I own tube amps... I may get a modeler in the future just to toy with but I'll always be a tube guy.

      Great thread
      Originally Posted by chrispsullivan

      pretty hot, but id like to see what her face looks like without so much eye makeup on

      Originally Posted by seajay

      pretty hot, but id like to see what her face looks like without so much clothing on


      Gibson - SG standard
      Breedlove - Pro C25/CR, Herringbone
      1964 Alvarez (Gibson copy)"

      Great Transaction with: paulcozby (Hamer Eclipse),


      • Bobby1Note
        Bobby1Note commented
        Editing a comment

        Tube amp or modeller/ There's room in the world for both.

        A buddy of mine showed up to a band-practice jam, with a Line6 Spider Jam. Lots of "nifty" features, but it sounded toyish to me. When I looked at the amp, I noticed the "line out" jacks, and told hom to plug his amp into my P/A. He strummed a chord,,, his jaw dropped,,,, and he turned and stared at me with a "I can't believe this" look. He was just shocked at the transformation.

        I think the problem with some "modellers", is poor cabinet quality/ design,,,, and cheap speakers. Get that output into a decent dynamic playback system,  and have a blast.

    • #9

      How is a tube amp a hassle? I haven't changed the tubes in my 5 amps in years. If lifting is an issue and you feel a light SS amp is worth more than good tone, so be it


      • Steve2112
        Steve2112 commented
        Editing a comment

        Sometimes a tube amp can be a "hassle". Unlike a solid state (static) amp, tube amps "wear" in and they usually require a little more maintenance.


        My old twin performed well for alomst 20 tube change, no nothing. Those were very nice 80's Groove Tubes. Eventually gave out. I've had three sets in there since. Granted, this amp should be in a museum....but she still has some life left in her!


        I take really good care of my stuff....this amp gets put on the cart rather than rolled across the pavement. Those kinds of things can help longevity of the amp and your's no "hassle" at all.

    • #10

      I have an older PODxt for recording at home and enjoy it a lot. I also had owned modeling amps and other digital gear (including a POD 3x Live which I gave to my son). The modeling amps are great fun and more reasonably priced. However, I


      • MilleniumMan
        MilleniumMan commented
        Editing a comment

        I was in this same situation last week, and with the help of the guys on another forum, I ended up getting what they said was the best of both worlds, a Peavey Vypyr Tube 60w 1x12.  It is a full on tube amp with 2 power tubes, one inverter tube.  Full modelling as well as effects etc, USB out, iPod in, headphone jack etc.  


        There are people who swear that it's impossible to tell some of the models from the real thing(such as the 6505 and Twin). I have limited expirience with other amps myself, so I will leave it to others to decide if this is true, but I will say that I have loved every second with my new amp so far. I got it to replace a Johnson Millenium Stereo 150, which was legendary and is the father of all modeling amps.  It costed my nearly 2 grand back when it was new.  I didn't expect this little amp to comare to that one, but I'll be damned if it isn't close.  It's got less UMPH of course with a single 12 inch and smaller cab, but is the equal of the Johnson in other matters, or better, as far as I'm concerned.


        I picked it up used from Guitar Center online, shipped it here in 2 days. 279 dollars. $12.50 for shipping.  For 20 bucks I threw on the map protection warranty for a year, since it is a used amp. New they are about $450 U.S. I believe. Here is a link:


        I did not see another Tube 60w anywhere in the nation for sell on GCs website but you may find one somewhere else. You can always play one at a local store of some sort. I will warn you though they are INSANELY LOUD! VERY, VERY, VERY LOUD!  If you co-habitate you are going to want a decent set of cans to go with this bad boy.

        I have enjoyed the models, which all sound amazing, and the amp is relatively easy to figure out.  I have made it sound like several of my favorite artists such as Def Lepard's Hysteria sound and several flavors of HetfieldHammet goodness. While of course it lacks quite the bottum end of a true Dual or Tripple Recto or Marshall head with 4x12 cab, it comes close and is perfect for anyone not in a band that plays exceedingly large arenas and such and needs versatillity.  And obviously, it's FAR better than those for a practice amp,

        As with any amp purchase, I suggest you play one live if possible before spending hundreds on it

    • #11

      I'm sorta of old school, so for me I would rather add to the amp a pedal I like.  Seldom do I find a modeling amp with the FX I like, I tried a few of them and wasn't happy.   Cost wise your probably better off going with a modeling amp if you like the FX. And, tube amps do cost more and have tube related issues.


      • gardo
        gardo commented
        Editing a comment

        A good argument  for modeling amps is tinnitus. Those crickets I hear 24/7. 

        I love my '67 Ampeg Gemini ! but noise takes it's toll.

        It is an addiction, the louder I play it the better it sounds.  




    • #12

      For me last night I was messing with modeling amps and different digital effects processors that I have, I haven't played any of them in years... and I have to say hands down I prefer tubes, I was a STRICT modeling amp and effects processor guy and I could get a Good SOUND out of them, but the responsiveness for how I play was lacking,  not taking anything away from them, they have their place.  But for me hands down ANALOG IMPERFECTIONS of a well designed tube amplifier are PERFECT for me, I never feel like I'm fighting my amplifier, or its just not quite "right".   So I vote tube, but I still have my digitial equipment for quiet night practices, learning some songs, and just because well GEAR IS COOL.


      • HKSblade2
        HKSblade2 commented
        Editing a comment

        Modeling gear is cool and fun to use. You can do any gig with it too. It's just you have to get used to all the differences. I have teh best of teh high end modelers and many consumer level brands.

        Modeling proponents will tell you "hey this is modeled exactly like my Diezel. yeah BS! If it was it would have every channel, every function. Modeling is an approximation using a preamp and dsp and eq for the tone stacks. All the "extras" are eq shaping tools, shelving etc. 

        I don't think modeling compares at all to tube amps. Kemper emulation is great but there are still ways to tell the differences especially once you amplify the digital version.

        Otoh you have the guys that scream my modeler is teh betstettetetsssssss evarrr!! YMMV

        What I can't stand are these mixes of modeling users professing this is what my modeler sounds like! Yeah it does sound like 4-6 tracks panned everywhere with tons of fx and compression added when you play a raw amp model. What a bunch of doggie poo. 

        That's the part that grates me about all these clips. You want to demo the amp model, turn the fx off, and no doubled tracks or quad track recordings. Just mono. They don't do that becasue in reality the preamp model is as meh as it gets without all the doctoring.


        For modeling amplifiers it is different. They have to deal with the raw tone including their ss amplification and speaker cab to accommodate every preamp model. That is why those are tougher sells when it comes to the consumer. 


    • #13
      Hey guys!

      Im doing a dissertation on Amp Modelling, therefore I have created a questionnaire/listening test. If you guys could spend a few minutes of your time completing it you will be helping me out massively. Also, make sure you read the instructions before completing the test as there are audio files you need to download to use whilst doing the test. (this is not a virus by the way)

      Survey link:

      Cheers guys.


      • #14
        why not both?
        for home I have a VirboChamp XD that has tubes and modeling and it sounds great!
        I keep it on the champ mode, with slapback delay on 3.5, crank the gain to 8 and use my volume on the guitar
        to get more or less distortion.
        Its actually pretty loud cranked too. "only" 5 watts (lol)

        the superChamp xd (same amp, just a little different) even has a sag mode so that it feels like a tube amp working hard.

        best $100 I ever spent.
        Last edited by Out of the Past; 06-23-2016, 09:44 PM.


        • #15
          I have used both modelers and tube amps. Onstage, and in the studio. For me, the modeler was useful when I was playing covers and could have several sounds available throughout the night. Clean Fender, tweed fender, distorted tweed fender, chimey vox, even saturated dumble-esque sounds. To have all of that available with just one two-space rack, running direct to the PA with some guitar in the monitors, that was easy and fun.

          Now I'm using a modified tweed deluxe, and a couple pedals. I don't need as much variety, and it works great. But I'm toying with going back to the modeler just because it's so easy to transport, setup, teardown, and hear.

          If you get a sound that makes you happy, and makes you WANT to play, it doesn't matter how you get it.