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  • NPD!: Tech 21 Liverpool. Mini review. Also fellow users, share your settings?

    Took a leap, and got a Tech 21 SanAmp Liverpool pedal. Since you guys were cool and gave lots of info on options, I'll return the favor. First impressions, it's awesome. I'm looking at this from a recording perspective, keep in mind.



    Is it a replacement for a real tube amp? Not at all. But it stomps all over Amplitube and actual sims. Since its an actual analog piece of hardware, it is more 'touch sensitive', but theres a definitely different feel when you play with real tubes, you can ride that border between clean and breakup a lot better with real el-84's. The pedal isn't as nuanced, and doesn't give you much margin between clean and dirty. Tubes give you a wide berth, sansamp a narrower one, and I found sims to be , well, binary. Either one or the other, barely a sliver in between



    Tube amps are a better dancing partner, if you will. The sansamp can still get down, while amplitube sits in the corner awkwardly because nobody asked it to dance.



    If you drive some speakers with this, it sounds way more convincing and leads to a better performance I feel, so I would recommend running it through a clean preamp and a 12" and that could lead to some interesting recording situations. That way you can play with the amp and speaker dynamics and get a good take.



    Direct into the comp, it lacks tube warmth and the feel of speaker dynamics f'ing with a mic. I almost wonder if a tube preamp in front of it might be interesting. Since I don't have one I'm gonna investigate plugins that might help warm it up. I did find a little extra sizzle to the sound when I ran it into a radial active DI, rather than direct in to the interface. I think that little transformer adds some extra harmonics that makes it more convincing.



    Once you spend some time looking at the instructions and playing with it, you realize it has a very wide range of amp sounds it can pull off. from AC15 to AC30. This will help immensely when wanting to lay down an idea, as you can pull in from an arsenal of amp sounds and not have to waste time messing with mic placement and going back and forth from desk to the amp to change settings. I keep it right on my desk.



    I was able to almost exactly match the tone of a recording I did when i used to have an AC15. Of course, it was lacking that 'feel' and extra something warm tubes bring to the equation. But tonally, it does a pretty damn convincing impression. And honestly I do so much crazy stuff in the box with my guitar tones, listeners won't even notice. All the down sides to this pedals are mostly involving the player. I won't have any shame in "publishing" stuff I record with this.



    This is definitely going to make its way on to some demos and stuff, while I'm saving up for the real deal, and will keep the neighbors happy in the mean time as well.



    SO, anyway. I'll post some clips later, but keep in mind I'm not a 'traditional' player, so what I play probably won't help you equate it to your situation. In the mean time, if you are a fellow user of this pedal, share some cool settings you've found with this thing
    graphic & web designer / musician / geek ::

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    Originally Posted by warplanegrey


    i don't actually know how to play guitar. i play amp.

  • #2
    Nice writeup, I don't have the Liverpool, but I have the Leeds and really like it. I bet running it through that Radial DI does add a bit. I've run mine going into a Damage Control Liquid Blues first which is a tube overdrive and I do think it adds something to the feel.
    Cause sometimes the rhetoric don't go with the contents

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    • #3
      Very nice writeup. I'm glad to hear the Liverpool is working out for you. I think it's a very cool pedal.
      **********

      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

      - George Carlin

      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for this Looking forward to the clips if and when you get time to do them.
        Originally Posted by telephant


        Tone is really half the argument. We both know ultimately it means nothing. Write a song. Write. A ****************ing. Song.



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        • #5
          From my experience all Tech 21 and AMT Preamps are great, they do sound a lot better if you have some compression and reverb going on as well.

          Comment


          • #6
            i've got a liverpool. i use it mostly for clean stuff but the break up is pretty cool as well. the high gain stuff sounds good but i got fuzz more than distortion type sounds
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            • #7
              Sounds about right then - crank an ac30 and they can get pretty nasty if the power filtering is low.
              Originally Posted by telephant


              Tone is really half the argument. We both know ultimately it means nothing. Write a song. Write. A ****************ing. Song.



              UK based band;
              http://www.captainhorizon.co.uk

              Comment


              • #8
                how are these actually designed to be used? driving a power amp or in you normal chain?

                and how do people ACTUALLY use them. mild interest in the liverpool or the oxford.
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                Originally Posted by DrakkarTyrannis


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                • #9






                  Quote Originally Posted by Y0UNGBL00D
                  View Post

                  how are these actually designed to be used? driving a power amp or in you normal chain?

                  and how do people ACTUALLY use them. mild interest in the liverpool or the oxford.




                  The original ones had an always on speaker sim and were really only suited to going direct, but the newer versions have a button to turn the speaker sim off and are more suited to also being used in front of an amp.
                  Cause sometimes the rhetoric don't go with the contents

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Nice review. Some food for thought. When people compare our SansAmps (running direct) to a tube amp (live in the room) the comparison is usually not an apples to apples type of comparison. To do a more valid comparison for recording purposes you would need to run a mic'd tube amp in an isolated room as our SansAmp is emulating the sound of a "mic'd" amplifier. There is a difference. Unfortunately for the average home studio this is rarely an option.



                    I have played for a number of Broadway musical productions over the years and they often will mic a real amp in an isolated room. You only hear the amp through headphones and I can tell you that that even a real amp does not fare very well when used in this manner. My preference with our SansAmps as well as real amps is to be next to to a speaker cab when playing so the guitar/amp relationship stays intact. Obviously this is not always an option in which case it is nice to be able to go direct.

                    Comment


                    • #11






                      Quote Originally Posted by Tech21NYC
                      View Post

                      Nice review. Some food for thought. When people compare our SansAmps (running direct) to a tube amp (live in the room) the comparison is usually not an apples to apples type of comparison. To do a more valid comparison for recording purposes you would need to run a mic'd tube amp in an isolated room as our SansAmp is emulating the sound of a "mic'd" amplifier. There is a difference. Unfortunately for the average home studio this is rarely an option.



                      I have played for a number of Broadway musical productions over the years and they often will mic a real amp in an isolated room. You only hear the amp through headphones and I can tell you that that even a real amp does not fare very well when used in this manner. My preference with our SansAmps as well as real amps is to be next to to a speaker cab when playing so the guitar/amp relationship stays intact. Obviously this is not always an option in which case it is nice to be able to go direct.




                      All that said, have you used your pedal with any sort of other brand cabinet emulation? I'm wondering if the RedWirez IR's might be worth it to try to get a different variety of sounds...
                      graphic & web designer / musician / geek ::

                      design: www.edroper.com
                      music: http://facebook.com/pointatob







                      Originally Posted by warplanegrey


                      i don't actually know how to play guitar. i play amp.

                      Comment


                      • #12






                        Quote Originally Posted by Trick Fall
                        View Post

                        The original ones had an always on speaker sim and were really only suited to going direct, but the newer versions have a button to turn the speaker sim off and are more suited to also being used in front of an amp.




                        Not true, actually. The originals can be used in front of an amp, you just have to adjust the EQ settings. The Sansamps don't really have 'speaker sims' like digital modellers have speaker sims. They simulate the EQ effects of speakers (the low pass filtering) but that can be compensated for with the three-band EQ. The v2 pedals were introduced because people couldn't get their heads around this and wanted a single button to do the EQ compensation, rather than turning the knobs 'til it sounded good. Long story short, the v1 and the v2 pedals can both be used in front of an amp, like an extra channel, or straight to a PA or whatever. You just have to adjust the EQ to suit each case. I have a v1 of the Liverpool and a v2 of the Blonde and have used both either way. The only real difference between v1 and v2 practically speaking is that if you put each one in front of an amp and leave the dials at noon the v2 will sound better because it's already compensating for the EQ effects of the speaker. But if you tweak them they'll sound pretty much the same.



                        Anyway, I'm a big fan. They're a swiss army knife for guitarists. Direct recording, low volume practice, as an EQ/drive pedal, as a backup to a stage amp -- even as a primary amp through monitors. How they sound and how it feels to play through them will ultimately depend on the amplification/speakers you're using. I use the Blonde in front of my AC4TV. That amp is all mids and no bass but with the Blonde I can get a beautiful blackface-esque tone out of it.
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                        • #13
                          i just picked up a T21 British (the marshall one) in a trade yesterday. its alright, would have preferred the liverpool. don't have much need for it, i think i'll give it to one of my friends.



                          the eq options on it are real nice. and it gets pretty gainy, haven't really played with it enough to make a judgment yet.
                          YᵒᵘOᶰˡʸLᶤᵛᵉ OᶰᶜᵉRobopimp wrote:Chat crüe is srs crüeFor Sale: Ibanez DML-10, Boss TW-1, Boss FZ-2/3Good deals with: Duderanimous, Overwhelmed987, Jules-RM, DoubleBarrel, HotRats, Fusion1, IRG, barney steele, Aaron SS, Urinate Forever, Raintes, crowquill, Blakemore Effects, Aimmar Cair, lefort_1, killthelights, 9720575 (CHUCK!)

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                          • #14






                            Quote Originally Posted by the Dodo
                            View Post

                            From my experience all Tech 21 and AMT Preamps are great, they do sound a lot better if you have some compression and reverb going on as well.




                            Absolutely... but that's par for the course. You really can't expect our ears to consider a bone-dry sound to be authentic or "natural" - it's very, very rare that we're in a truly anechoic environment, and because of that, anything that's completely devoid of any early reflections and ambience is perceived as unusual. Since a guitar through an amp in a room is something we are familiar with, simulating that room is going to make a big difference in how "authentic" the pedal sounds.



                            Tech 21 gives you the amp and speaker sim (EQ filtering), but not the "room" sim. Record a track, and then open a good convolution reverb plugin like TL Space (SIR is a freebie convo-verb and supposedly works well), select a suitable acoustical environment such as a room preset, and add a bit of that to your Sansamp track. It will make a BIG difference in the realism.



                            How can you do that live as you track, using just pedals? With a bit of delay and reverb pedal. After the Tech 21, I'd put the delay first, then the reverb. I'd dial the delay for a short delay time, few repeats, not too terribly loud... and the verb pedal so it was adding just a hint of space and dimension.



                            Be careful though... if you add too much reverb, the tendency will be for the track to "sit back" in the mix. That's great if that's what you're after, but if it's going to be a featured part, or something you want to place up-front in the mix, adding too much verb at the tracking stage can come back to bite you in the rear later when you go to mix.
                            **********

                            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                            - George Carlin

                            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                            Comment


                            • #15






                              Quote Originally Posted by macadood
                              View Post

                              i just picked up a T21 British (the marshall one) in a trade yesterday. its alright, would have preferred the liverpool. don't have much need for it, i think i'll give it to one of my friends.



                              the eq options on it are real nice. and it gets pretty gainy, haven't really played with it enough to make a judgment yet.




                              The "character" knob on that series is the key to them IMHO. At lower character knob settings, it will probably lean towards older, cleaner Marshall simulations... as the character knob gets turned up, the simulated amp sounds get heavier and progressively more modern. At least that's how it is with the Liverpool, VT Bass and Blonde.



                              I'd recommend setting everything else fairly nominally at first, and then spinning through the character knob to get a feel for what it does. When you find something that sounds interesting, stop there and then adjust the other controls. Or, reverse that. Once you have something dialed up on the main controls that you like, take note of the position of the character knob, and then try adjusting it a bit and listen to how it changes the sound.
                              **********

                              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                              - George Carlin

                              "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                              "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                              - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                              Comment



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