Currently Being ModeratedMar 3, 2012 12:46 PM (in response to paulg2)Re: adding a Art MP tube preamp to warm and fatten up the sound?
The limiting factor in your setup is the Power Engine. If you want more realism while playing through an amp, I'd suggest plugging the HD500 into a tube power section. That's really the thing that is the missing element with most modelers, and generally the little "starved plate" systems like the Art MP preamps won't really recreate that. Using something like one of the DT amps would probably get you more in the neighborhood of what you're looking for.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 4, 2012 1:19 PM (in response to paulg2)Re: adding a Art MP tube preamp to warm and fatten up the sound?
That is a interesting idea you got there. I have an ART MP tube Pre amp and I mostly use it to boost and DI bass guitar into my audio interface. Sounds awesome! I also think it really breaths life into vocal takes. Once I read your post I thought about driving it with my pod but doesn't that mean your stacking 2 pre amps on top of eachother? How would you hook it up?
Guitar > Art > pod 1/4' line out > Interface?
Guitar > Pod 1/4' line out > Art > interface?
Some other way?
I have used the Art MP with software modelling and it does help for sure. Something to do with the way the pickups in your guitar interact with the tube really helps. I have A/B'd with and without the MP and it sounds better with the tube pre, enough that I dont record software modelling without it. You have to be carefull though because you can clip your pre amps very easily and it will sound horrid. Also sometimes its a bit too noisey if your running super high gain settings, a bit of a balancing act getting the noise down with a Gate and drive setting but not too much that you kill your tone.
I run it like this:
Guitar > Art MP (input/output 12 o clock) > Audio Interface > Daw amp sim plugin (Guitar Rig 4) I get some really great tones out of it like this.
One thing to keep in mind though, The Art MP is so cheap you really cant go wrong with it. Its not going to blow your socks off like a UA 610 or anything but for under $100 its unreal and can make your recordings sound great. If you do get it, CHANGE THE TUBE OUT IMMEDIATELY. It ships with a s**t chinese tube that I would only use as a backup if I had no other choice. The type of tube in the Preamp is just your average 12ax7 you see in any Tube Amp. Swap it out for your tube of choice or if you dont know what to get.
Tung Sol 12ax7 <--- (Great tube)
Groove Tube 12ax7 <--- (What I use)
A Pre amp tube is cheap around $12-20 and can make a huge different in the quality for the device.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 5, 2012 1:28 AM (in response to irishpriest)Re: adding a Art MP tube preamp to warm and fatten up the sound?
Try to put a compressor pedal (virtual or real) in front of an amp model in the HD, just to make the sound less harsh, I've done this recently and it makes the sound smoother, I'm using the HD500 with a PA box, and this works really well, had some very good compliments on some Jeff Beck sounds I used live from players here, who thought I was playing a real amp ...
Currently Being ModeratedMar 5, 2012 4:10 PM (in response to hansvaneven)Re: adding a Art MP tube preamp to warm and fatten up the sound?
I tried that with the Electro Harmoniix tube preamp. It was not worth the trouble so I sent that back. Another thing I tried was placing a Fender tube spring reverb unit in the effects loop of the mixer I was going into -- this sounded awesome and certainly warmed it up but not a good solution since it costs as much as the POD and then you have to lug the thing around. At some point you begin to lose the advantage of the POD -- convenience and portability, etc. I don't record with mine really, my experience is using it live and usually the subtleties get lost anyway. I think mixing in a high quality analog effect into the chain -- like that spring reverb or compressor or favorite overdrive pedal -- can be a good thing especially if recording.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 5, 2012 6:34 PM (in response to albertpike2000)Re: adding a Art MP tube preamp to warm and fatten up the sound?
Yeah I dont know how it will work with the pod hd i still havent got around to testing it, I dont like the idea of stacking the pre am ps on eachother and possibly damaging the device..
Im surprised with your comment about the tube not helping though. It definetely helps a huge amount, I would even go as far to say if you couldn't change the tube the device is not worth it. What are you using the MP on and how are you hooked up? Also what interface are you using. If your just using the converters on the pod or something cheap like a tascam or budget interface then I can see why you wouldnt see the benefit. Your tone will only be as good as your weakest link in your entire chain, a lot of typical mixers with build in preamps are pretty weak.
There is a video on youtube about the MP with 5 different pre amps tubes and a tonal comparison, there is definetely sonic differences in each one.
Just playing guitar live, your wasting your time with it like you said. You would benefit much more from a Good Poweramp, and 5-7 band eq. Tube mp is more of a studio device for guitar but is good for vocals live pre mixer.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 6, 2012 1:37 AM (in response to albertpike2000)Re: adding a Art MP tube preamp to warm and fatten up the sound?
Try to put a Red Comp (sustain 50% level 66%) in the FX chain right before the pre amp of the HD500, I did this with a patch on a Mesa Rectifier sound and definitely brings live to it, try it, you'll see how well this works and warms up the sound.