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Dt Amp Question


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#1 kutsab

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 05:29 PM

Hey guys – got a question for the BrainTrust!

 

I’m currently playing through a Spider Valve Mki + Mesa 5881s and over the years it’s severely changed my taste in tone. Coming from a metal core band running my (then new) PodXT Live into the power section of a DSL 100 and most recently fronting a wedding/cover band as a vocalist (guitarist on occasion): I’ve got a wide base of tonal preferences. I guess my taste in champagne is the only thing that grows up, haha! I digress…

 

Yesterday I used a DT-50 212 (I don’t really like the sound of the Mkii) to try out a handful of guitars but instead of finding a new axe to have on my list, I’m wanting more out of my rig. The whole experience got me wondering:

 

What are some differences between a DT50 + POD HD and an Axe FX + a tube power section? Not the obvious Google-able specs, but some real tonal/feel differences & totally opinion based.

 

Smashing my distortion pedal on as a kid was great, but now I’m in love with the warm characteristics and nuances I’ve gotten with my Mki. For instance the “usegtrvolume” patch really brings out the qualities in my Paul and started changing my approach to playing in ways as well.

 

My main concerns are:

 

Does the Axe FX have the ability to really emulate the subtleties/feel?

Would the POD HD change the responsiveness and feel of the DT amp?

Does the POD HD store amp channel EQ settings, or just effects and analog configurations?

 

I really loved the DT. I didn’t spend too much time messing with settings/EQ, but definitely know that there’s a pretty deep pool of capabilities and sounds… In fact, my tonal tastes have me wanting a new guitar that has some variance in pickup selection/sounds (not a Variax, but maybe something with the EB GameChanging tech).

 

Anywho, thanks in advance for the insight!


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#2 ColonelForbin

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 11:50 AM

Axe FX is suppposedly a pretty deep editing experience, as far as virtual amp modelling goes; though I have never actually gotten my hands on one. One of my buddies plays guitar in the band "Digital Tape Machine", and he's been working with the Axe FX, and seems happy.

 

While I don't know about the Axe-FX, I can tell you my personal experience with the DT25+HD500, and more recently with the JTV.

 

The ONE thing that the DT+HD500 does, that *nothing* else out there can do, comes from the Bogner portion of the DT design. When the HD and the DT are 'L6-Linked' together, you enable analog and power amp related switching to occur, so instead of just modelling the characteristics and response of the amp models, you are reconfiguring actual relays, switches, and various actual components on the fly.

 

As far as quality, it's hard to say - I would guess that for the price of an Axe-FX, you get what you pay for! Though, it's also still 100% 'virtual reality'.

 

The HD500, as far as amp and fx models go, is quite good. I have used the HD500 since 2010, and only recently upgraded to a DT25 1x12 combo. I didn't want the weight of a DT50, and the volume / power was a bit more than I needed, so the DT25 was a good option for me.

 

Thus far (I just added the DT25 and the JTV59 beginning of 2014) I am quite happy with what I am hearing, right out of the box. I used to endlessly tweak patches to get a decent sound, and now I am able to spend alot more time playing, and a lot less time patch editing.

 

In terms of the Axe-FX, my primary concern for myself, beyond the price tag, is the literally unlimited options. The Ax-FX can do things, of course, that the POD series will never likely delve into. For me, I think I would spend all my time learning to interface with the gear; though that can be exciting, it can prevent one from focusing on the actual music.

 

I was looking at the ElevenRack recently, since I was shopping ProTools, and they are bundling those two together for a decent price lately; essentially it's ony $100 more than the cost of the software to add the 11R. Not sure where they sit in the quality range; it's in the same basic realm, of amp and FX modelling as the HD and the AxeFX; 24bit, 96k, etc.

 

If you get a chance, the key to truly experiencing whether you will like the Bogner/L6 DT + HD, is to make sure you are using the L6 link. It does require a difference in understanding of what you are doing to your sound. I have had to re-do all my patch building ideas from the ground up.

 

The preamp portions of the HD amp models are all that is used when L6linking, and building patches using the 'pre' choice of the models. The 'full' version include power amp modelling, that is redundant when utilizing the actual power amp functions, which is where the Bogner portion of this rig really shines.

 

While the HD500 does a great job of direct amp, cabinet and mic modelling, I can say I just prefer the tonal warmth of the manner in which the HD and the DT share these duties. I realize this isn't as specific as you might want, so hopefully some of the others here who have had their rigs for longer than I can offer more specific insight.

 

The other bonus you get with the HD+DT rig using the L6Link, is the ability to chain up to four of the DT amps, and configure on a per-patch basis, what each amp will receive. You can set them as a basic stereo pair, left right. OR you can use dual amp configurations, sending each DT a different amp model. Again, the HD is only modelling the preamp portions of these amps, when choosing the PRE models for use with the DT. Tone stacks, gain, color, shaping. All the good stuff - pentode, triode, class A, class A/B, that is handled by the Bogner.

 

I guess once you factor in the cost of an HD+DT vs the cost of an Axe-FX + power amp, you are similar in price point.

 

Also, the newer StageSource speakers are also able to handle the L6Link features of the HD and DT rigs, so you could branch out even furthur into connection possibilities, by linking the HD to a DT and to an L2T or the like.

 

Lastly, if you get a chance to L6Link an HD to a DT, do yourself a favor and try out a JTV as well. I can honestly say my JTV59 is a revelation in guitar flexibility, and for being a Korean made axe, is really quite nice. For pure simplicity of being able to change a whole bunch of things with one foot switch on the HD, it's a nice option - you can even store the choice of magnetic pickup or modelling pickup for the JTV within the HD500 patch. Meaning, switches the DT to a Fender style amp while changing your JTV to a strat. Next patch changes the DT to a Marshall Plexi and changes your JTV to the onboard humbuckers, or to a Les Paul model, etc.

 

I upgraded to the HD500 from an X3Live, so I know how you feel, in terms of hearing the new HD amp modelling as compared to the previous offerings.


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#3 sheguitarplayer2

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 04:26 AM

Ive recently bought into the ' dream rig ' with the JTV, HD500 and DT25.

I own a Kemper Profiler and until recently an axefx2.

If you are after the sound of a real amp the HD500 and DT25 win hands down. The axefx would need to be coupled to a valve amp to be in the same territory. By then you've spent almost five times as much for the preamp/effects and foot controller and in this situation there is hardly any difference between the two.

The HD500 is also a lot easier to edit. (Axefx has an awful UI, and the computer editor doesn't function half the time as its updates lag behind the units constant firmware updates).


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#4 aggravation

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 06:52 AM

I've owned the AxeFXII and used it primarily through a good power amp Randall RT2/50 tube, stereo power amp into lots of different guitar cabs. You can get the kind of experience you are talking about. Or not, depending on how you set it up. But generally yes that should be no problem.

 

I have the DT 25 and a Pod HD500x and it too can get that, although the PodHD in front can be problematic just like the AxeFx was, if you tweak it poorly. Gain stages where you don't want them input mismatch sucking tone, etc.

Basically the more links in the chain the more potential for trouble.

 

And that is where I find the DT amp shines above everything else I've tried related to the modeling world. I can always just plug into the DT amp by itself and I'm there. Touch sensitive dynamics, killer tone, etc. Throw a few pedals in front...no problems. You can program the DT to have up to 8 different preamp 'flavors' available to you even when there is no Pod connected so you still have some variety but it behaves first and foremost like a good tube amp should.

 

Right now I'm using the PodHD in Line6 Link to the DT 25 but I have a series of pedals in front of the PodHD and I keep the PodHD on one preset most of the time and use the pedals to bring in all my favorite flavors of drive and the PodHD effects for reverbs and delays and lots of other stuff.

 

I've got other tube amps, boutique, expensive, sounding great kind of amps. Some of them can clearly outshine the DT in some particular way...nothing does Tweed Deluxe like a good tweed deluxe for example....

The DT however deserves to be there with them because it shines quite bright in so many ways. 


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#5 Brazzy

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 07:25 AM

Ive recently bought into the ' dream rig ' with the JTV, HD500 and DT25.

I own a Kemper Profiler and until recently an axefx2.

If you are after the sound of a real amp the HD500 and DT25 win hands down. The axefx would need to be coupled to a valve amp to be in the same territory. By then you've spent almost five times as much for the preamp/effects and foot controller and in this situation there is hardly any difference between the two.

The HD500 is also a lot easier to edit. (Axefx has an awful UI, and the computer editor doesn't function half the time as its updates lag behind the units constant firmware updates).

 

I was curious about how Kemper users felt about ease of use and quality of sound, thanks for sharing that. Also don't much about the axefx.

 

I've owned the AxeFXII and used it primarily through a good power amp Randall RT2/50 tube, stereo power amp into lots of different guitar cabs. You can get the kind of experience you are talking about. Or not, depending on how you set it up. But generally yes that should be no problem.

 

I have the DT 25 and a Pod HD500x and it too can get that, although the PodHD in front can be problematic just like the AxeFx was, if you tweak it poorly. Gain stages where you don't want them input mismatch sucking tone, etc.

Basically the more links in the chain the more potential for trouble.

 

And that is where I find the DT amp shines above everything else I've tried related to the modeling world. I can always just plug into the DT amp by itself and I'm there. Touch sensitive dynamics, killer tone, etc. Throw a few pedals in front...no problems. You can program the DT to have up to 8 different preamp 'flavors' available to you even when there is no Pod connected so you still have some variety but it behaves first and foremost like a good tube amp should.

 

Right now I'm using the PodHD in Line6 Link to the DT 25 but I have a series of pedals in front of the PodHD and I keep the PodHD on one preset most of the time and use the pedals to bring in all my favorite flavors of drive and the PodHD effects for reverbs and delays and lots of other stuff.

 

I've got other tube amps, boutique, expensive, sounding great kind of amps. Some of them can clearly outshine the DT in some particular way...nothing does Tweed Deluxe like a good tweed deluxe for example....

The DT however deserves to be there with them because it shines quite bright in so many ways.

 

I unerstand about going stack front being a bit touchy on the settings to get good tone, but it can be done. The L6 feed into the DT50 I'm really liking alot. I've never owned any tube amps up until Nov. 2013 so I can't say if it's better ot not but I can say I'm happy with buying into this rig, HD500>DT50 Head>DT25Cab. I started with the UX2 then went to the X3 Pro (GUI/Gearbox) with a Spider Jam and had fun with those so I felt the DT-HD thing was going to be ok for me and I was right. Even with the problems of the learning curve I had to endure it was worth it. I'll probably never use it to the fullest but I'll have fun trying.

 

To the OP: The Amp EQ settings are saved in the patch you create in the Pod as far as responsiveness it feels as responsive as just going in the front of the amp with the guitar, IMO, but I haven't used the DT25 I have the DT50. Can't see there being that much differance in responsiveness between the two though.


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