Posted 29 August 2013 - 09:07 AM
You guys are right, Variax Acoustics sound better thru a PA than a guitar amp. For small clubs I use a Fishman Loudbox Artist, it has very transparent guitar tone which, sounds good with my Martin DC Aura. For songs with electric and acoustic guitars I use the JTV 69
Going thru Pod HD 500 to a DT 25 amp. But for acoustic parts, if required in those songs, I bypass the Pod and take the signal thru a TC Helicon Voice Play Gtr (which has great acoustic guitar processing), and an Aphex Aural Exciter acoustic guitar pedal, before the signal hits the Fishman Amp. This sounds quite good to my ears. I do have an outboard Fishman Aura. The only algorithm that sounded close to making the Variax Dreadnaught model sound realistic was the Collings D3. I took the Aura out of the signal path when I realized it made the guitar tone sound too 'thick'. I tried decreasing the amount of Aura processing compared to Variax, but then there was no purpose going thru the Aura at that point.
The Voice Play from TC really has good acoustic tone and programmability, and it sounds great on vocals of course. The Aural Exciter pedal puts back high frequency harmonics that are lost in the signal path, and this one also has a 'Big Bass' knob which allows you to increase the bass harmonics if needed. Adding the the Fishman Aura seemed to be too much. The Aura instead of the Aural Exciter, I liked, but Exciter without Aura sounded better to my ears.
I wanted to add, that I turn the Fishman amp's Efx off when going thru the TC Helicon unit, which gives the additional advantage of being able to tell that processor what key I am playing in, which helps when I sing with a program using the Autotune or for backup harmony vocals when I step on the foot pedal that triggers Harmony Voices.