in my eternal quest for tone I have ventured down many roads and I am firmly committed to the JTV/POD HD combination. However, there still remains the final piece of the puzzle, the physical amp and speaker combination. I am lucky enough to have a very nice tube combo with an FX loop for the 4 cable method, a DT25 head with a 2X12 cab for L6 link and a Velocity 300 with a pair of Peavey 15" PA cabs for my FRFR rig. Each has its own specialties and its own limitations.
The tube combo with 4cm is a PITA to setup. Getting levels right throughout and keeping the noise down is not easy. I have to build special patches for it and set the POD to Combo Power whenever I use it. There is no real payoff in tone vs the other setups either. As a standalone amp for taking to open mics or jam sessions it is fine but still a 2 trick pony (2 channels).
The DT sounds awesome as anyone who has one will tell you. Still, it has limitations too. While I have created and shared workable solutions, it is not good at doing acoustic or synth tones. My particular rig is heavy to cart around too. Still the added features like topology, pentode/triode are nice to have. Again though, it automatically switches me to Stack Power and I have to create a whole set list of patches just for the DT.
The FRFR rig is as good as the DT to my ears on just about everything. I leave the POD set to Studio Direct and have a boat load of patches set for it. It works in mono and stereo just as well. Electric tones are solid and acoustic tones clear and resonant. I can do synth tones and all kinds of trippy delays, mods and reverbs playing off the stereo. I can also use this rig as a back line/ monitor setup while also feeding the same signal to the main PA since it is Studio Direct. It isn't pretty though. Having an old pair of PA speakers just doesn't look cool right?
So here is my dilemma. Which solution do I concentrate on? Frankly I am tired of wasting calories on all 3 methods. It's tough enough chasing one rabbit down a hole without trying to nab 3 of them. While I may keep the combo just for use on its own, I need to settle on one POD solution and stick with it. I am considering selling the DT, cabs and the FRFR rig and using the cash to reconfigure with a quality pair of powered monitors or even keyboard amps. I have also thought of selling the FRFR rig and sticking with the DT but it just isn't taking root with me. If I sell the lot, combo, DT and FRFR I might be able to swing a pair of L2 speakers. Would it be worth it? I don't know.
So tell me what you are using and why. What made you go that route and would you change it if you could? What other FRFR solutions are you using besides L series and would you recommend them? Bring it on...