Jump to content

Line 6 "Dream Rig" (Tyler Variax, POD HD500, DT25 amp)


Anderton
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Members

My first post here, so please excuse me jumping in, but this review was the reason for me signing up smile.gif. Many thanks for doing these, as they're being very helpful in my decision-making process. Right - these are just my humble opinions:

1st - very nice indeed... lovely woody tone, good attack
2nd - good, rounded 12-string. Not so sure about the beating between strings in a course. Seemed a little too much to me smile.gif
3rd - like the first, but with a lighter sound. Good, but I prefer the depth of the first sample
4th - much brighter 12-string - this one's supposed to be the Guild, correct? Although it's a good sound, it seems to lack at least a little of a Guild's famous attack. Same comment applies regarding the beating/detuning
5th - nice, very "acoustic" sound. Maybe a touch muffled (or maybe that's me? smile.gif.

All-in-all, very impressive, even though I'd like to hear more of the 12-string samples. Many thanks again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 431
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Members

I really like the Martin D-28. I wasn't a huge fan of the 12 strings, but maybe it's just the mp3 compression. I only had a chance for a quick listen, but that first Martin just struck me as sounding like a really nice accoustic. Amazing. Not having played an accoustic modelling guitar before, does it feel strange playing an electric style guitar and hearing an accoustic sound? I feel like it would do weird things to my brain the first time I played it.

Listening back again now, the Martin 12 string sounds nice, but sounds like it has reverb on it. I know it doesn't and I know that the doubling strings gives that effect on the real thing, I guess in the right application it would sound nice.

I thought I would like the Gibson more. It sounds a bit lifeless. Maybe it sounds that way when I compare it to the sound of the D-28.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

Quote Originally Posted by John Laidlaw

View Post

this review was the reason for me signing up smile.gif.

 

Ditto. These reviews should not be underestimated when it comes to informing players about gear. The companies should be thankful that dedicated, intelligent and informed people put their time into this stuff. Fun to read too.thumb.gif
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
Quote Originally Posted by John Laidlaw View Post
All-in-all, very impressive, even though I'd like to hear more of the 12-string samples.
This can be arranged! Somehow, I think I'll manage to suffer through sitting down and playing some more guitar smile.gif

I'll give you some slower picking and slow strums, and a few more chords, which should give a more well-rounded idea of what they can do.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
Quote Originally Posted by Henryswansen View Post
Not having played an acoustic modelling guitar before, does it feel strange playing an electric style guitar and hearing an acoustic sound? I feel like it would do weird things to my brain the first time I played it.
Excellent question. When the original Variax came out, I was extremely impressed with the Tele model. As someone who played Teles for years, I thought Line 6 had totally nailed it. But I was talking to another guitar player about the Variax, and mentioned that I thought the Tele was great. "Oh man, the Tele model sucks."

Say what?!?

I told him I thought it sounded just like a Tele.

"Well yeah, it sounds like one, but it doesn't feel like one." facepalm.gif I patiently explained that modeling models the sound, it doesn't model wood smile.gif

Anyway, to answer your question, here's the thing. As I mentioned before I worked on the Firebird X, which included doing sound design for the acoustic emulations. Although the feel is of course not like a regular acoustic guitar, it really didn't take me long to get acclimated to the acoustic sounds as just another position on the pickup selector. So, when I picked up the James Tyler Variax and started playing the acoustic sounds, I didn't have to make any big mental jumps.

However, what did surprise me about the JTV is how they've managed to somehow emulate the "woodier" characteristic of an acoustic. You almost expect to hit the body and hear a "bonggg" through the speakers. So even though you're playing an electric, the psychological cues keep saying "acoustic" and it's very easy to get lost in an acoustic world with the JTV. I think you might be surprised.

I thought I would like the Gibson more. It sounds a bit lifeless. Maybe it sounds that way when I compare it to the sound of the D-28.
I can't stress enough that these are the dry sounds, recorded dry. As you'll find out when we start putting sounds through the POD HD500, when you add a little EQ here, maybe a little reverb there...you can really "dress up" the JTV sounds, not just the acoustics. Since we're talking about modeling, think of the audio examples as a model without makeup smile.gif
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
Quote Originally Posted by Anderton View Post
This can be arranged! Somehow, I think I'll manage to suffer through sitting down and playing some more guitar smile.gif

I'll give you some slower picking and slow strums, and a few more chords, which should give a more well-rounded idea of what they can do.
Well, if you're sure... icon_lol.gif

That's excellent, thank you!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
Quote Originally Posted by Anderton View Post
what did surprise me about the JTV is how they've managed to somehow emulate the "woodier" characteristic of an acoustic. You almost expect to hit the body and hear a "bonggg" through the speakers.
I keep listening for you (and others who have demoed these) to hit the body of the guitar with your plectrum and for it to ring out and make 'accoustic body noises'. eek.gif Quite an achievement the Line 6 folk have created.

Quote Originally Posted by Anderton View Post
I can't stress enough that these are the dry sounds, recorded dry. As you'll find out when we start putting sounds through the POD HD500, when you add a little EQ here, maybe a little reverb there...you can really "dress up" the JTV sounds, not just the acoustics. Since we're talking about modeling, think of the audio examples as a model without makeup smile.gif
I guess I am thinking of these sounds as if I was in the room with the guitar, no mixing, no processing, no outboard gear. That's the way I try and keep my recordings too. (actually, that's a bit idealistic rolleyes.gif I always end up dressing it up a bit) I should say that I have no experience with any of these guitars and it's just a personal reflection of how they sounded. Having said that, .mp3s aren't the best way to experience them, but it's the best the intertubes has to offer efficiently.

I would definitely be interested in hearing more samples played with single picking notes and gentle strumming of the 12 strings. It'd be great to hear that of all the models if it's easy to do at the same time.

I'm still grappling with how I would tackle amplifying the accoustic models if I bought a DT25.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I own an original Variax 600. The acoustic models on the JTV are light-years ahead of those on the 600. Alone they sound very realistic and dynamic. In the 12 string models the obviously pitch-shifted tones and overtones of the octaves are nearly gone. This was/is one of my big gripes with the original variax. The 12 string models sound like they've simply been sent through a pitch-shifter with all the inherent buzz and zing. I can well imagine that sitting in a mix or in a live band setting, the JTV acoustics would be indistinguishable from "the real thing".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Maybe I'm being overly critical here but there is still something missing from the acoustics for me. I want to say it's the space or some sort of 3rd dimension that is missing.

For live use I think I would be more than happy with it, but as far as solo acoustic recordings go, like I said there is something not there that I can't pin point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
Quote Originally Posted by nerol1st View Post
Maybe I'm being overly critical here but there is still something missing from the acoustics for me. I want to say it's the space or some sort of 3rd dimension that is missing.

For live use I think I would be more than happy with it, but as far as solo acoustic recordings go, like I said there is something not there that I can't pin point.
I can't imagine modeling to ever be able to truly satisfy on an acoustic solo recording. The body noises that people have been talking about are a part of that sound. But I would have NO trouble using that D-28 in a mix without feeling like I was missing anything. And for live use - awesome.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

Quote Originally Posted by Anderton

View Post

I’m curious about the differences between the custom shop and standard models. From what I understand the standard models are made in Korea, while the custom shop ones are made in the USA. Although of course I don’t have a USA model here for comparison, I have to say there’s not only nothing wrong with the JTV-59, it’s gorgeous, extremely well-crafted, and plays beautifully. So...what are the main differences in the custom shop models that justify the higher prices, aside from domestic manufacturing and custom finishes?

 

Hello Craig and everyone, Line 6 here. This has been a very exciting Pro Review so far! Regarding the above question, the US models feature upgraded woods, five-A flamed maple tops, quarter sawn necks, hipshot tuners, German fret wire, and a supreme finish by a master paint shop here in Southern California. If you were to analyze any one of the refinements or details, it might occur as subtle. But when you put them all together, you get an immensely playable and toneful guitar.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
Quote Originally Posted by PFRfan View Post
I can't imagine modeling to ever be able to truly satisfy on an acoustic solo recording. The body noises that people have been talking about are a part of that sound. But I would have NO trouble using that D-28 in a mix without feeling like I was missing anything. And for live use - awesome.
Exactly. From the gitgo a solid body is not an acoustic body, so coming as close as the Variax does is pretty amazing.

As to what to use for amplification, so far I haven't played the acoustic sounds through the DT25. However, in my experience with acoustic emulations, most guitar amps go low enough but lack some of the high end you'd get by going through a PA. Upping the treble a bit and working the tone controls for the flattest sound will do the best job with acoustic guitar emulations.

Acoustic guitars have a particular "signature" and that comes through most transducers. For example if you listen to an acoustic guitar through crappy earbuds, you'll still know it's an acoustic guitar smile.gif
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

Quote Originally Posted by Line6

View Post

Hello Craig and everyone, Line 6 here. This has been a very exciting Pro Review so far! Regarding the above question, the US models feature upgraded woods, five-A flamed maple tops, quarter sawn necks, hipshot tuners, German fret wire, and a supreme finish by a master paint shop here in Southern California. If you were to analyze any one of the refinements or details, it might occur as subtle. But when you put them all together, you get an immensely playable and toneful guitar.

 

Thanks for the reply, and welcome to the Pro Review! Although I don't expect you to reveal any proprietary techniques, this is clearly a pretty hip crowd, so if you have any insights into how you do the modeling process (particularly the acoustic guitars!), I'm sure people would find it interesting.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
Quote Originally Posted by John Laidlaw View Post
I'd like to hear more of the 12-string samples.
...and so you will.

There are two audio examples here, the Martin D12-28 and the Guild F212. I tried to give a wide variety of strums, slower plucks, fingerpicking, etc. to try and give as complete a picture as possible. Again, no processing or tricks, just me noodling away for your listening pleasure smile.gif
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I'm pretty blown away by this, has to be said. A really interesting thread, keep up the good work Craig. The HD500 is awesome, took me a while to get my head around it. I'm going to buy a JTV-59 and in time a DT25 (am using a marshall JCM900 slx via 4 cable method at the mo) am very keen to understand how you'll route the acoustic tones once you have the JTV/HD500/DT25 hooked up.

Thanks for your efforts man,

kevin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

Quote Originally Posted by Henryswansen

View Post

Ditto. These reviews should not be underestimated when it comes to informing players about gear. The companies should be thankful that dedicated, intelligent and informed people put their time into this stuff. Fun to read too.thumb.gif

 

I enjoy reading them too. But you know, the companies pay to have these written. That should probably be disclosed in the thread. idn_smilie.gif
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
Quote Originally Posted by Anderton View Post
...and so you will.

There are two audio examples here, the Martin D12-28 and the Guild F212. I tried to give a wide variety of strums, slower plucks, fingerpicking, etc. to try and give as complete a picture as possible. Again, no processing or tricks, just me noodling away for your listening pleasure smile.gif
Again, thank you biggrin.gif. This has been very useful.

The interesting thing is that the character of each guitar came out so strongly in each sample. I'm not too familiar with the Martin, but I do know the Guild, and there were a couple of bits in that ones sample which made me sit up and take real notice.

Also interesting was the "woodiness" of the Martin. Definitely a different character to the Guild.

Thank you for taking the time to provide this, and I hope being forced to sit down and play wasn't a chore? icon_lol.gif
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
Quote Originally Posted by Goobers View Post
I enjoy reading them too. But you know, the companies pay to have these written. That should probably be disclosed in the thread. idn_smilie.gif
That is an important point, but it's already disclosed here: Pro-Review FAQ and Forum Rules

"Sounds expensive. How are they monetized?

The manufacturer sponsors the review for a nominal fee. A Pro Review takes a lot of effort on the part of a reviewer, and professionals require compensation."
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
Quote Originally Posted by John Laidlaw View Post
That is an important point, but it's already disclosed here: Pro-Review FAQ and Forum Rules

"Sounds expensive. How are they monetized?

The manufacturer sponsors the review for a nominal fee. A Pro Review takes a lot of effort on the part of a reviewer, and professionals require compensation."
True. Also, before the first pro review started, I canvassed the community about whether there would be any objections.

It's important to remember that a pro review takes a lot of time to produce, and the manufacturer helps defray the cost by paying for the moderator's time and the bandwidth. However, they do not pay for the content. That's not even possible, because pro reviews are open to all to speak their minds, and no negative post about a product has ever been removed from a pro review...ever.

Frankly, it's quite a leap of faith for a manufacturer to embark on a pro review. They have to be so confident in their product that they feel positive comments will outweigh the negative ones. So basically, they pay upfront for my time and HC's bandwidth with no guarantee whatsoever about how the thread will develop.

Obviously, Line 6 felt the Dream Rig would hold up to my scrutiny as well as that of others smile.gif
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
Quote Originally Posted by Anderton View Post
True. Also, before the first pro review started, I canvassed the community about whether there would be any objections.
Just for the record, being new here, I was not aware of the way in which Pro Reviews were conducted. Once the question was raised (and to prevent myself from jumping in with both feet without knowing the facts... which I've never done before, honest guv wink.gif), a quick search turned up the answer. At that point it was quite clear that it was open and above-board - and made perfect sense to me, hence my (hopefully) neutral tone.

I have to say I do like the idea of this type of review, particularly the interaction available. After all, I've already got to hear far more detailed samples on things of interest, and that can't be bad smile.gif.

Right, enough waffle from me... I'll go back to reading and listening biggrin.gif.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I've been studying the JTV as a potential purchase for about a month now. Currently, no store in my metro (Denver) has one in stock to play with. I go to San Jose next week - maybe I can find one there to play with. Aspects of both the -59 and -69 appeal to me. I'd like to get my hands on them to decide between them.

AAR, both the 12-string models sound stunningly good - at least with a lighter touch. Both, and especially the Guild, seem to 'crash' or 'tear' with more aggressive picking -- at least in the samples provided. Is this something than can be tamed with the tone/mic position knob?

FWIW, I own a '70's F412. I'm still quite impressed with what is coming off your plank. smile.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
Quote Originally Posted by jbreher View Post
I've been studying the JTV as a potential purchase for about a month now. Currently, no store in my metro (Denver) has one in stock to play with. I go to San Jose next week - maybe I can find one there to play with. Aspects of both the -59 and -69 appeal to me. I'd like to get my hands on them to decide between them.
In a way, it's basically Les Paul vs. Strat.

AAR, both the 12-string models sound stunningly good - at least with a lighter touch. Both, and especially the Guild, seem to 'crash' or 'tear' with more aggressive picking -- at least in the samples provided. Is this something than can be tamed with the tone/mic position knob?
Good catch. I've done zero setup on the guitar because I wanted to evaluate how it came "out of the box." The neck has some relief, enough so that I don't feel like messing with the truss rod, but not that much. Given my use of a thumbpick, I'm going to raise the low strings just a tiny bit as I do think what you're hearing is fret buzzing from hard hits. OTOH that sounded kind of authentic to me, when I play acoustic 12-string I get the same kind of sound smile.gif

My general feeling about Line 6's guitar goodies is that their products are tested by people with a fairly light touch, and who are more into playing lead than rhythm. With the POD, it seemed I could make any distortion preset more "Craig-friendly" simply by dialing back the drive a bit. Whenever I reviewed a new POD, my first reaction was always "this doesn't sound very good, I can't believe Line 6 lost the recipe." Then I'd dial back the drive, and get the sound I wanted and expected.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
Quote Originally Posted by Henryswansen View Post
I'm still grappling with how I would tackle amplifying the accoustic models if I bought a DT25.
Thanks for the above comment - this is a great topic! There are quite a few options for routing JTV acoustic sounds within the context of the Dream Rig. One suggestion would be to set the JTV for the acoustic sound you want, dial in the Blackface Dbl Vib Pre on the POD HD500 plus any additional compression/reverb effects as needed, and then set the DT25 for Class AB, Voicing III (zero negative feedback loop), Pentode configuration. As always with the DT25, experiment with various preamp/tonestack and power amp configurations to taste.

Another option that several hybrid (acoustic/electric) players use is this: use the HD500’s FX Loop send as a router/AB box to send the acoustic signal to the PA. A single preset could consist of the JTV’s magnetic pickups into a string of stompbox effects feeding an HD preamp into the DT25 power section, and then the JTV’s acoustic sounds into compression/reverb effects straight out the HD500’s FX Loop (at line or instrument level) to a DI. The A/B routing can be assigned to a switch on the HD500. Front of house guys like this approach because they have separate channels for acoustic and electric and they can treat those independently and appropriately for the acoustics of the venue.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Those are great tips, much appreciated...I particularly like the second option. It also gets across some of the routing flexibility, where you can come up with various permutations and combinations.

Speaking of which, I was starting to dig into the DT25 today. My initial impression is that the most important aspect is how editing the configurations of feedback, class, and tube type change the amp's character. When you have an amp like a Twin or an 800 or an AC 30 or whatever, while you can work within their characters with distortion/volume/tone, you can't fundamentally change their characters. I really like that the DT25 can be several fundamentally different amps. And it's downright freakish when you change amps on the HD500, and the DT25 reconfigures itself. I think that may be illegal in some states smile.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share




×
×
  • Create New...