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Rack Amp, Frfr, Amp Head/combo Reproducing Guitar Sounds


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#1 Robzebr

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 08:57 AM

So I'm  reading this and other forums and it seems there are 3 basic options for the HD500...FRFR, a traditional amp combo or head,  or a rack power amp...

 

 

 

The general consensus is that modelling sounds the "best" with FRFR speakers...  because as its a modeled signal.. the FRFR speakers are technically best able to reproduce the sound most accurately...

 

However there are a lot of folks that are very passionate about running the modeler into a power amp such as the Fryette and/or the Mesa...

 

With either the head/combo or the power amp the signal is running to a cabinet with the guitar speaker of choice.... that has a freq response to about 5khz where it starts to fall off... vs a FRFR speaker like the L2t that runs up to 18khz....

 

I know the L2t FRFR type speakers are capable of reproducing keyboards vocal etc... that extend up past the range of a guitar ...

 

But with just looking at how guitar sound is produced...  Is the argument that the FRFR speakers are producing sounds above 5khz and that is why it sounds better...?  That would imply that the standard guitar speaker that tops out at 5k is leaving a lot of sound on the table and not effectively delivering it to the listener....

 

The DT25 combo uses a guitar speaker.. and the reviews are great... "awesome"  "spectacular"...

but a few Hz either way .. tops out around the 5khz mark.... while the L2t is pushing out towards 18khz...

 

Again forgetting all the other bells and whistles with something like the L2t (mixer, inputs etc.)

just pure guitar signal.... compared apples to apples.... L2t, DT25 or some other amp... and rack power amps.... 

 

I guess the question is.. Is there a quantifiable sound that the FRFR speakers are able to produce for guitar sounds that a regular cabinet being pushed by a rack amp or a head not be able to deliver...  

 

The DT25... assume for a second that it didn't have the internal analog switching for the power section... then it would (for purposes of this discussion) just be like another amp head that was delivering a guitar sound to a speaker that topped out at 5khz....

 

DT25 and cabinet... delivering up to 5khz...  L2t... able to deliver up to 18khz...

 

Putting all the other bells and whistles aside.. I'm having a problem reconciling in my head what is truly going on in each of these scenarios with regard to the actual frequency output for guitar sounds ...

 

Comments welcome...


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#2 HDProJohn

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:41 AM

*Disclaimer* I haven't played through an FRFR setup - this is based upon my rig and production experience.

Not positive what you're asking, but I'll leave a few comments and maybe it'll be of help. If you open up a DAW and play with an EQ, or a multi-band compressor which allows you to solo particular frequency regions, you'll get a sense for what those frequencies sound like. A guitar, by nature, is a mid-range instrument. Being limited to the 5k mark by using a cab isn't really a bad thing. Reason being, you're leaving more room for the other pieces to fit within the live mix. I would most likely agree with the idea that an FRFR setup will "sound" better, though. 7k and up really doesn't carry a ton of audible weight (I like to think that most body of sound is in the 300-2k zone), but it really helps with clarity and richness. And now to be sarcastic... I'm glad most people are limited to 5k with their cabs. Far too many guitarists make horrible, shrill tones as is... They don't need an extended top end.


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#3 spaceatl

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 12:12 PM

I have played it all...To me it's a personal thing...Not one person in the audience is going to give a crap or even be able to tell the difference. However, I will tell you that I can feel the difference. While an FRFR system that is 400 watts @ 8 ohms or higher is enough power to reproduce the dynamics of a 100 watt Class AB modeled tube amplifier, tube power amps have an interaction with the guitar that simply is not there is a fully simulated rig....This dates back to the older generation modeling also...Sure it sounds great, but there is nothing that compares to the feel of a real tube amplifier...electric guitars generally rolloff at 5K as do 12 inch speakers...While the sound of a mic on a cab is nice and post production sounding, I do not like monitoring that while I play...IF you have need for an acoustic, then that is probably a more economical way to go and each player has thier own unique preferences. whatever...different strokes...but there are some that will insist that there is nothing better than full sims on an FRFR system...fine for them...I am not into it...I don't like the sound of a mic on a cab...I like to hear my cab as it is...I freaking hate IEMs too...so that's my take...


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#4 Robzebr

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 12:36 PM

"Not positive what you're asking"

 

I'm not either... :)

 

"tube power amps have an interaction with the guitar that simply is not there is a fully simulated rig"

 

Yeah I've heard this before... something about the impedance changing with frequency on an regular amp that is not there on a modeled rig..

 

It sounds like that its similar to how do you want to buy your coffee... do you want to pull out a crisp bill .... or pull out the change in your pocket... both will get you there its just a slightly different experience... and the guy selling you the coffee (the audience) isn't going to give a shite about how you do it... as long as you do it...

 

I'm getting an L2t in a couple of weeks so I can play and learn as I go... back and forth between the amp and he L2t...

 

IEMs?  Sorry, newbie here...


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#5 BigChas52

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 01:08 PM

In my opinion the differences would be as follows:

 

Using the HD500 with the correct output settings, in front of a tube amp will give the best "standing in front of the amp" experience.  I believe it will also give a superior experience for live play if you are not micing the cab.  The DT amp series will add more flexibility to this setup by allowing physical power amp reconfiguration on the fly to match the power section to the HD500's pre-amp output.  I've been using a HD500 into a DT25 and micing it up for about a year now, and it sounds fantastic, both to my ears, and through FoH.

 

That said, I believe that the results of just pumping the HD500 through FoH or FRFR speakers would be almost identical to the mic'd output from my amp.  What you'll hear through the L2T should be about the same as what the board hears with a tube amp after micing.  For live use, even without going into FoH, your sound will always be colored by the Line 6 mic simulations though.

 

 

I have an L3T, and I do not believe it sounds any better than my DT25 when combined with my HD500.  For live electric guitar use, I still prefer the DT25, although I'm REALLY trying to rethink this, since using my L3T would be easier.  I am a worship player, and on different weeks I'll play either electric, or acoustic guitar (never on the same week, gratefully).  Boiling things down to one amplification rig would make life a bit less complicated, and the DT25 is TOTALLY unsuitable for on stage monitoring of my acoustic guitar.

 

Where your L2T WILL shine is the flexibility it adds for other use cases, such as doing an acoustic stand up act. (Which is actually why I bought mine) ;)


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#6 HDProJohn

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 01:25 PM

IEM = in ear monitor. What spaceatl is arguing is that he wants the natural mojo of a cab on stage pushing air. In my instance, my band would love to go with IEMs and do away with cabs/amps. It's much lighter, setup time is cut down, makes traveling easier, and we will have complete control over personal monitoring. But I'll agree, I currently am running my cab live for stage monitoring, as well as sending a stereo signal directly to FOH. I like having the cab and the tube, stereo, power amp. Ha. It's strange, but it does just "feel" better than when I play only through the PA.


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#7 mrkphpps

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 03:16 PM

Hey Rob

 

There are lots of variables here - sorry if I'm stating the obvious, but...

 

POD has different output voicings that aim to compensate for the different connection options - studio direct that rolls off the treble for FRFR so that it mimics the response of a real guitar amp (the FRFR can go to 18 khz, but the POD only outputs to 5khz), and combo / stack output modes that match frequency response from the POD against open backed / closed backed cabs without the need to reduce the HF response in the same way.  You've also got the option of using pre-amp only models, or full pre / power amp models on any given patch, so can use full models for FRFR, and pre models for playing through a guitar amp power section.

 

All should sound good if you tailor output mode and patches to match the kit you intend to use, at something approaching the volume you're intending to use on stage.

 

All are guaranteed to sould like fingernails on a blackboard if you run combo output mode into FRFR - the system will reproduce the high frequencies that a guitar amp would naturally roll off and you'll get a pretty nasty, harsh sound.

 

Given that POD HD500 can only do one output mode at a time, if you want to feed signal to front of house directly from the POD, FRFR is your only option if you also want to add something on stage that you can control.  (POD in one hand, guitar in the other and good PA / monitoring / sympathetic sound engineer has worked well for me on occasion, and my back finds this very attractive - but at one gig a rail crash felt uncomfortably close when monitors went out...)

 

POD in combo mode into a guitar combo with a mic in front of it feeding the PA has also worked for me, with the downside that there's more kit to carry and one more mic to give potential feedback or other issues.

 

With a bit of time spent tweaking patches, I'd expect that your audience would struggle to tell the difference between FRFR or guitar amp.

 

On the other hand, playing FRFR using monitors and keeping stage volume low will feel totally different from the sensation of moving air from a guitar amp at volume.

 

For me, POD plus DT25 has meant a quantum leap in responsiveness from my guitar compared to using POD FRFR - playing quiet is quieter, digging in is louder / more distorted depending on the model / patch.  (The part of me that doesn't like spending money is currently saying that this is true, but this could be more about tweaking patches to have less gain than about using the DT25.)

 

There's no substitute on this - give the options a try and let your ears make the decision on what sounds best to you.

 

Good luck

 

Mark


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#8 dbagchee

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 04:25 PM

Great responses. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that feels a little disconnected anytime playing direct into the PA. Even when I've played larger venues where I had my amp mic'd and was really only hearing myself in the monitors, it always felt better to be able to walk back to my amp and hear it in the real space.


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#9 spaceatl

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 04:40 PM

Thanks Chase & John...You both hit on exactly what I was trying to say...It's all about feel...It's just one of those things you don't notice unless you are playing the rig, then it becomes really obvious. This was the problem with the X modeling IMO...My Flextone III XL sounds fantastic with all the extra gear it took to get it to feel pretty good...still never felt "Right" to me...However, I had a lot of guitar players ask me it was a 6L6 or EL34 amp...I always found that to be pretty funny... :)

 

What has really impressed me about HD is that I can get even closer to the right feel without all that extra processing it took with the X gear...Things are moving in the right direction I think.


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#10 Robzebr

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 05:40 PM

For live electric guitar use, I still prefer the DT25, although I'm REALLY trying to rethink this, since using my L3T would be easier.

 

Right... I'm just trying to do my REALLY hard thinking before I pull out the card or log in to PayPal...

 

Where your L2T WILL shine is the flexibility it adds for other use cases

 

 The flexibility is great on it...  I'm sold on the L2t... I'm trying to figure out down the road when I upgrade my amp which direction to go... DT 25 or other... rack amp etc...


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#11 Robzebr

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 07:40 PM

"POD has different output voicings that aim to compensate for the different connection options - studio direct that rolls off the treble for FRFR so that it mimics the response of a real guitar amp (the FRFR can go to 18 khz, but the POD only outputs to 5khz),"

 

Good stuff...

 

"Given that POD HD500 can only do one output mode at a time, if you want to feed signal to front of house directly from the POD, FRFR is your only option if you also want to add something on stage that you can control."

 

Right now I'm running .. guitar in to the POD... out the FXLoop to my amp preamp... back in to the POD on FXReturn... through the POD ... out the POD to the FXReturn on my amp.....  so only using my amp and a 2x12... no FRFR...

 

The inputs are set to guitar and same...  The output is set to Studio Direct....

 

I have it set up for Dual Path with Path A having NO amp selected and only the FXLoop icon in the path... for going to my amp...

Path B has an amp model and nothing else... both amps meet back up at the mixer... and then OUT>......

 

SO because I am physically coming out of the PODS .. OUT into my amps FXReturn...

 

 I just did a quick lookup and found ... Stack Power Amp... for connecting to an amps FXReturn.... for using the amps Power Section....

 

 I want to be able to use my amp on Path A where I can have my pedals connected external to the POD...  and on Path B... configure a model.... so the result is.... when I hit the patch....  I can have a traditionally configured amp rig.... and also have the POD create an amp model on Path B...  so it would be one out... L(mono) to the amp... and ultimately.... R(mono)... to the L2t...

 

Given that POD HD500 can only do one output mode at a time,

 

Umm..... Did I just hit a road block?     If I have a 1/4" out to the FXReturn on the amp.... and a 1/4" out to the future L2t....

 

If there is only one out that can be configured ... what should it be set for in this case....?

 

If the amp is looking for Stack Power Amp.... and the L3t is looking for Studio Direct....  It looks like I just painted myself into a corner...(?)

 

"POD has different output voicings that aim to compensate for the different connection options - studio direct that rolls off the treble for FRFR so that it mimics the response of a real guitar amp"

 

So it looks like I can't do what I want to do... optimally anyway...   

 

Has there been anything said about the ability to have more than one output mode... and to be able to configure it on a physical output by physical basis....?


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#12 EOengineer

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 08:32 PM

I just made the leap into FRFR and HD500 a few weeks ago. I had many of the same questions as the OP. now about a month in, I can say I am really enjoying the flexibity, and surprisingly authentic tone produced by this set up.

I loved all my pods for recording, the HD is the first one that has tempted me to use it instead of my plexi or mesa combo. While the experience and feel is initially different than playing while standing next to your amp, it's REALLY accurate to what that amp sounds like miced up through FOH. I've also noticed as the volume goes up, so does the interaction between the guitar and amp...making it feel even closer to a tube amp.

I'd say try it, but be patient. You may initially resist it. I did.
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#13 dbagchee

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 08:48 PM

Given that POD HD500 can only do one output mode at a time,

 

Umm..... Did I just hit a road block?     If I have a 1/4" out to the FXReturn on the amp.... and a 1/4" out to the future L2t....

 

Studio direct won't affect your Path A tone. The tone adjustment studio direct only applies to the cab and mic simulations so if those are off (or in your case not used at all for path A) it won't make a difference.


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#14 Robzebr

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 12:50 AM

Studio direct won't affect your Path A tone. The tone adjustment studio direct only applies to the cab and mic simulations so if those are off (or in your case not used at all for path A) it won't make a difference.

So if I'm understanding...

 

as Studio Direct would have no bearing on the output to my amp because other than the FXLoop effect in Path A there is nothing else configured ... no modeled amp or other effects...   so the Output setting on the POD is a moot point because with no cab/mic sims turned on.... the POD on Path A with the FXLoop is just sending the guitar signal to my amp... just like a blank piece of straight wire....

 

So then the output mode on the POD would just have to concern itself with Path B... the fact that there is a amp model selected as well as a cabinet simulation.... so Studio Direct would be the output setting as it rolls off the highs and would make the L2t sound more like a guitar cabinet... (?)

 

I think we're almost there... I can see light....

 

Does using the L6 link for connection to the L2t buy me anything....?


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#15 Robzebr

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 02:13 AM

Just saw a blurb ... for 2014
 
LT1
650-watt  8” 2-way, bi-amped    all the same inputs an features of the L3t and L2t.....
 
L1S
650-watt 15” bass-reflex   subwoofer..

 


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