Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
SteinbergerHack

Amp question

Recommended Posts

With something like the Kemper I think it boils down to how much time you want to spend with it. I'm sure people who have owned and used them for a while can get about anything they want out of them. With me, if I was in the market, I would buy it just to play with it to see what it is capable of. You're a bit more frugal than me, I think. :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, SteinbergerHack said:

This is going to sound really dumb, but:

For those of you who use digital/modeling/profiling amps, how do you go about auditioning an amp?

I have never had a problem getting a feel for what a basic tube amp sounds like from simply plugging in and dialing in some gain and tone settings - about 2 minutes in I can have a sense of what the character of the amp is, and what sound it will give. Even a complex one like the XTC or VH4 has a personality that you can sort out pretty quickly. I don't use pedals for any gain or distortion (all amp), and all of my time delay and EQ is rack FX, so I'm only looking at the raw amp emulation.

I want to go test-drive a Kemper to get a sense of whether it will do what I need/want for live use, but I really don't know where to start, and I don't want to spend hours fumbling around trying to figure out how to get to a basic set of sounds. OTOH, it's enough $$$ that I don't want to just risk-buy based on a bunch of internet reviews and Youtube clips - I really want to get a sense of how the thing operates and how easy it is to set up a basic sound, then navigate around among the rigs/patches.

Any suggestions on how to start? Help!?!?!?!?!?!

My main amp has been a Vox ad60vtx for over a decade. I think when I was trying it out I probably tried to get the best overdriven sound I could punched up, and then the best clean one. Funnily enough though I use a single patch I made for 99.999% percent of the stuff I play. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Telecruiser said:

With something like the Kemper I think it boils down to how much time you want to spend with it. I'm sure people who have owned and used them for a while can get about anything they want out of them. With me, if I was in the market, I would buy it just to play with it to see what it is capable of. You're a bit more frugal than me, I think. :)

Not sure if "frugal" is the right word, but I have a strong history of buying things only when planning to keep them for decades - and use them.  I don't mind spending what it takes to get good stuff, but i only do it once, and I don't like constantly changing things out.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Opposite Day said:

My main amp has been a Vox ad60vtx for over a decade. I think when I was trying it out I probably tried to get the best overdriven sound I could punched up, and then the best clean one. Funnily enough though I use a single patch I made for 99.999% percent of the stuff I play. :D

How?

I can't even think of a single song I play that I could do with a single patch!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, SteinbergerHack said:

How?

I can't even think of a single song I play that I could do with a single patch!

I suspect he uses his vtx in conjunction with a pedal board.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Red Ant said:

I suspect he uses his vtx in conjunction with a pedal board.

That is correct. Although it's still pretty minimalist. I think these modeling amps, despite claiming to be all things to all people pretty much sound like themselves, no matter what you do to them, at least that was the state of things when I got it. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Red Ant said:

I suspect he uses his vtx in conjunction with a pedal board.

Perhaps, but even so, I find that I use all three amp channels and the two boost functions constantly, on top of the basic choris/reverb/delay/comp programs.  

My core combinations are probably two dozen or so that are just generic sounds, then a few dozen more that are specific to artists or cover songs.

 

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Opposite Day said:

That is correct. Although it's still pretty minimalist. I think these modeling amps, despite claiming to be all things to all people pretty much sound like themselves, no matter what you do to them, at least that was the state of things when I got it. 

The Kemper is supposedly different, which is what I want to find out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, SteinbergerHack said:

The Kemper is supposedly different, which is what I want to find out.

It's definitely been a while since I messed with them . I bet they've come a long way!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, SteinbergerHack said:

Perhaps, but even so, I find that I use all three amp channels and the two boost functions constantly, on top of the basic choris/reverb/delay/comp programs.  

My core combinations are probably two dozen or so that are just generic sounds, then a few dozen more that are specific to artists or cover songs.

 

.

Also, my sound crafting is definitely a lagging element of my playing. :0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, SteinbergerHack said:

Perhaps, but even so, I find that I use all three amp channels and the two boost functions constantly, on top of the basic choris/reverb/delay/comp programs.  

My core combinations are probably two dozen or so that are just generic sounds, then a few dozen more that are specific to artists or cover songs.

 

.

Makes sense, since what you do requires a very wide palette. I use a single channel amp and a minimalist pedal board - a wah, an overdrive/ boost, an "analog style" digital delay and a univibe clone. I get more tonal variation with the volume knob of my guitar than anything else, really.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

58 minutes ago, Red Ant said:

Makes sense, since what you do requires a very wide palette.

Yeah, between the horn bands and the theater work, the two things that drive cashflow are being able to read and play a score/book/chart and having whatever sound/style is required for EVERY cue.  No leader/conductor wants to hear whining about needing a different guitar or not having the right pedal.

Imagine session playing in front of an audience - very similar.  I think the last time we rehearsed the horn band was in 2012, so we just play from the charts every gig.  If the leader drops in a new chart, you play it when called, sight-reading if necessary.

I may not have the shred chops of Satriani or the smoothness of Knopfler, but I stay busy playing.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, SteinbergerHack said:

The Kemper is supposedly different, which is what I want to find out.

I think you're going to have to just buy one (rent) and work with it. It is not like a tube amp that already has a sound built in. You're going to have to play with it a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back in 1999 I discovered Line6 AmpFarm in a recording studio. Bythat time, I had been lugging 100lbs of Twin Reverb/EVM12L around for fifteen years. The Twin setting in AmpFarm was surprisingly realistic and the 'look alike' Fender knobs behaved in a way that was similar to the real thing.

I began to think about going digital so, after reading about the Line6 Flextone, I decided to rent one and try it out. I was playing around with the different settings when my wife came in and, in no uncertain terms, said "that sounds like a synthesizer, you're not selling your Twin."

A couple of weeks later I went to an afternoon jam at the local pub. There were three guitarists playing and one of them was the regional Yamaha rep who is an excellent guitarist. His sound was phenomenal and really stood out over the other players who were both using 4x12  tube amp combos. When they took a break, I asked what he was playing through and he immediately took me up on stage to show me the new Yamaha DG80-1x12 he was using. I was impressed.

On my next trip to the music store I tried the DG100-2x12 (which weighed about as much as a Twin Reverb) but was a bit disappointed after hearing my friend play through his amp. I called him up and he told me that the Yamaha presets were designed to show off what the amp could do as a selling point and that he had come up with a set of presets for the working guitarist and that Yamaha had put them online for download. 

I rented a DG80-1x12, took it home and loaded his patches and began running through them. I understood what he meant with his 'working guitarist' comment but what sealed the deal was when my wife came in and said "now that sounds like you." To this day, the Yamaha DG80 is still the best amplifier I have ever had and for twenty years it has been 100% reliable and has required zero maintenance.

 

To make a long story short, my advice would be to get together with someone who knows the amplifier you are interested in and knows how to get the sounds out of it. Spend some time with it yourself - do some recording with it so you cal listen to it objectively while you are not playing.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just to add a bit to my above post...

The DG series included the DG1000 which is just the preamp section with a balanced line out in a rack mount. The amplifiers also have a balanced line out with its own level control and a separate level control for the power amp.

With the exception of the DG60 (economy version) the series has eight different amp types and 128 memory locations that can be called up via MIDI. I use the Yamaha MF-10 MIDI Foot Controller with mine and set it up to recall patches and to independently turn whatever effects are saved in the patch on or off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, onelife said:

I tried that

it was joke actually.  I want back to a couple pedals and tube amp. my guitar sound has never been better

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a neighbor that is in the U.S. Army rock band (or at least one of them).

He uses a Variax guitar and a Blackstar 30w, and all be damned, that rig does a good job of letting him jump song to song with very little fiddling with amps, or pedals.

We're talking from ZZ, to 5 Finger Death punch, to Journey, to Hendrix, to Boston.....they have that sort of set list. He just flips a few knobs and voila!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, erok123 said:

You probably don't want to hear this, but why not just grab a blues jr. or an ac15? Do you need a modeler?

Freakin Monoprice 15 watt. NOS tubes, new reverb tank, Eminence Legend GB128, that`s one hell of an amp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, redEL34 said:

Freakin Monoprice 15 watt. NOS tubes, new reverb tank, Eminence Legend GB128, that`s one hell of an amp.

Nice enough, but a combo amp is absolutely not the solution for my gigs.

I'm not looking for a new sound, I am looking for a lighter weight, smaller way to duplicate what I already have - the Bogner XTC and JCM800.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a tweed deluxe, a SF Vibrolux, and an AxeFX (one of the early ones)

Most gigs, I can do with a tube amp and a couple pedals... because the band has a sound, and doesn't need tweed/vox/marshall/twin, etc.

But in a previous band, different tones were useful.  I found the AxeFX worked for me, and specifically, it worked for sounding, and feeling like a slightly overdriven amp (or very overdriven)... but the feel of the compression and sag as the amp is on the edge of distortion was never right in the PODS or other things I tried before the Axe.

So, I think to see if it works for you, you'll have to play it.  And not just for 1/2 hour in a store, but for a weekend.  Best if you can find a local friend, or 'friend-of-a-friend' that you could work-out a weekend rental rate.  Go through stock settings, download internet settings, profile your own amp, really learn all the things it can or cannot do.

Or, maybe, keep your eyes peeled for a really good price on a used one, so if it doesn't work, you can sell it without losing money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, SteinbergerHack said:

Nice enough, but a combo amp is absolutely not the solution for my gigs.

I'm not looking for a new sound, I am looking for a lighter weight, smaller way to duplicate what I already have - the Bogner XTC and JCM800.

Considering the XTC is imho the finest and most versatile multi-channel amp available, that is a tall order. 

That being said, I think the Kemper is your best bet, as you can virtually "clone" your XTC and JCM800 and then add whatever else you may want/need.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
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.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...