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Spider Valve MK2 - Question about amp models
by jmtr on 2010-07-10 12:44:03

Hi,

I have a new Spider Valve MK2 HD100 (with 1.50 firmware? version) that I bought just few days I go. I've been trying out different amp models in 'manual' mode with all effects turned of using only little reverb and I have noticed following issues in amp models.

- 'Class A' models (specially this VOX AC30 model) :

  When 'Drive' is turned all the way up and playing single notes from G, B and E strings (eg. Eb, E, F# from B string) you can hear odd artifact/sound. Its like ringing sound/tone on the background and/or a some strange out-of-tune pitchshift effect. Is this some kind of problem with my amp or with the mk2 1.50 amp models?

  I was able to reproduce similar 'artifact' by adding FX1 / 'tubescreamer' effect with hi gain&drive settings.. when playing individual notes you can hear strange out-of-tune sounds in addition to to actual notes that you are playing... I'm not sure if this happens with other amp models (than Class A) and I'm unable to test this right now as kids are sleeping and the amps is sooo LOUD .

- 'Hi Gain' Amber:

I like this tone, but it seems that bass,middle&treble controls have very little (if any) effect on the tone - Anyone else noticed similar issue?

It also seems that some of the amp models dont really react to bass/middle/treble controls as one would expect... or the effect of turning bass/middle/treble all the way down or al the way up has only little effect to the tone/amp model?

Best Regards, Juha



Re: Spider Valve MK2 - Question about amp models
by Nick_Mattocks on 2010-07-10 13:04:19

Hi Juha

Your point about the AC30 model has been raised before.   This particular phenomenon is present on the real amp that this model is based on.  Accentuated harmonic response was something exploited heavily by '70's blues rock guitarist Rory Gallagher when he used a Vox as his main amp in the early days before he moved to Fender.

With the high gain amp models saturation levels may mean that some of the controls aren't quite as responsive perhaps.

For some users of the Spider Valve MkII series amps, the 1.50 firmware update has been a bit disappointing in that some users claim some bottom end and warmth that was there in the previous firmware v1.17 is now gone, and despite the fact that they will lose the ability to connect to Spider Valve MkII Edit software and some of the additional FX Infusion FX, they have rolled back their firmware to version 1.17 and reckon that the difference is very noticeable.

For myself, I have persisted with firmware 1.50 because the loss of FX Infusion and the ability to edit my presets on the computer would be too great, but I agree that the current firmware lacks the bottom end and warmth of version 1.17, so ideally I'd like to see a new f/w update which uses the 1.17 amp models but keeps FX Infusion and editing.  Line 6 are aware that some users aren't totally happy with 1.50, so I would expect a new firmware update at some point, but have no idea if or when that might happen.

Regards

Nick 



Re: Spider Valve MK2 - Question about amp models
by jmtr on 2010-07-10 13:40:13

Hi,

Thank you for your quick response Nick!

I was able to find similar discussion in POD X3 discussion areas: http://line6.com/community/thread/29680

I'llcheck if I am able to re-produce this same 'ghost note' effect using other Clean/Twang/... amp models and FX1 / Screamer stompbox model.

About this firmware version:

Is there some way I could try out this older 1.17? firmware version? -  My spider valve mk2 come with 1.50 firmware and after firmware reset (power on with A channel/button pressed, ...) but after that it says that the firmware version is 1.50. Is it possible that my spider valve mk2 would have 1.50 firmware as 'factory default'?

Regards, Juha



Re: Spider Valve MK2 - Question about amp models
by Nick_Mattocks on 2010-07-10 19:46:01

Juha

If you have an FBV MkII Shortboard or FBV MkII Express, you can roll back to an earlier firmware using Line 6 Monkey.  You may also be able to do this via MIDI, but there seems to be some doubt about that at the moment because of some advide given to another user by Line 6 Tech Support in the last few days which contradicts this.

Regards

Nick



Re: Spider Valve MK2 - Question about amp models
by jmtr on 2010-07-11 01:23:17

Hello All,

Thanks again Nick, maybe I'll try that older firmware version just to be able to compare the tones by my self.

About this 'ghost note' or 'odd harmonics' issue, I was able to reproduce the same issue with multiple amp models with following settings:

- Twang (both models) - Bass/Middle/Treble = 12 o'clock, Drive full (or at least past 3 o'clock) (no effects), Channel volume between 9 - 11 o'clock

- Class A (both models) - (Same settings)

- Blues (both models) - (Same settings)

- Crunch (amber) -  (Same settings)

- Hi Gain (amber) -  (Same settings)

It is most audible with 'Class A' models and once you find it and learn to recognize it you can hear it on virtually all (overdriven) amp models and this 'odd harmonic' tone becomes present at latest when Screamer stomp box model is added to get more overdrive to overall sound and playing single notes (eg. 4th, 5th frets from B string) ... (Settings for FX1 / Screamer :  drive=85%++, gain ~ 75%, tone  ~ 50%)

As this 'odd harmonic' sound seems to be present in many amp models and I have to say that at the moment I suspect that this is unwanted side-effect caused by line6 DSP and modeling algorithms rather than 'accurate modeling of vintage amps' - who would like to model that?

I found out that this very same issue has been discussed and reported at least on following discussions / threads:

* Odd Harmonics with some Amp Models when Increasing Drive  - POD Support / POD X3  forums

* Strange tones on Spider IV - Amplifier Support / Spider IV

* Additional Tone Present on Spider IV Class A Red Model? - Amplifier Support / Spider IV

* Re: High gain not smooth - Amplifier Support / Spider Valve (This may be the same issue)

.. and it seems that this has been generally labeled as 'accurage modelling of VOX AC30', but I have to say that sinceraly I don't quite believe this, as I can hear this very same 'thing' on multiple different amp models when drive is added (drive set past 3 o'clock).

Hopefully Line6 personnel will respond to this questions and they are able to fix/address this issue..

Best Regards,

Juha

ps: sorry for possible grammar mistakes in this posting



Re: Spider Valve MK2 - Question about amp models
by Nick_Mattocks on 2010-07-11 02:02:57

No worries re: the odd grammar mistake here and there.

Hmmm....  I had only come across the ghost notes thing with the Class A models and from that respect it will almost certainly be due to accurate modelling of the original amps.  The fact that you are hearing it more widely may indicate a couple (or more) of other potential problems:

1     No offence intended, but it might be the guitar itself (slight fret buzz, problem with the way the string(s) sit on the brige saddle, the nut, proximity of pickup to strings)

2     One or more of the valves in your amp may have become microphonic which could make it behave a little bizarrely - try the pencil test, which is to take an insulated stick about the size of a pencil (the plastivc barrel of a cheap ball-point pen will do) and lightly tap all the tubes.  If one rings through the speaker then that tube should be replaced - ideally both tubes of ther same type should be replaced, so if one of your 5881's is exhibiting this, replace and bias both, or if one of the 12AX7's is exhibiting this replace both (no re-bias needed).

If you plug the DI out into a mixing desk and monitor using headphones without having standby on, do you still hear the unwanted harmonics?  This will tell you whether the problem is in the DSP section or whether it's in the output section.

Regards

Nick



Re: Spider Valve MK2 - Question about amp models
by jmtr on 2010-07-11 12:26:58

Hi,

Thanks for your quick reply Nick. I have tried this with multiple guitars and results are more or less the same

1. "Fret buzz":

The guitars that I have used to test this are:

- Line6 Variax 700

- Jackson Fusion

- Schecter Hellraiser C-7

some of those guitars may have some fret buzz here and there, but I'm quite certain that this is not the case now as the problem (4th and 5th fret on B string just are the notes I was playing when I noticed this problem - I can play other notes from other positions/strings and still get this ghost note audible)

So unfortunately I don't think this 'ghost note' or 'odd harmonics' thingy is caused just by fret buzz on my guitar - that would be too easy to solve

a) I have never experienced similar problem / sound artifact / ghost note sound with those guitars and my previous amp setups

   (Digitech GSP 2120, ART SGX2000, Digitech RP-1) and my old Marshall amp (R.I.P)

b) something in the nature / behaviour / sound of this 'ghost note' makes me think that this could be caused by line6 DSP/amp modeling

2. "Valve microfonics":

My spider valve mk2 HD100 is just ~ week old so I hope that this is not the case either .

I try to arrange it so that I can plug the DI out to mixing board to be able to check whether the problem seems to be in DSP section.

Can I plug some some of those other preamps I have directly to 'poweramp in' jack to check the power amp section to rule out 'valve microfonics' problems.

Best Regards,

Juha



Re: Spider Valve MK2 - Question about amp models
by ricksox on 2010-07-13 11:20:31

Hello,

This has been discussed ad nauseum here on our forums since we released the PODxt series.

According to our sound design department, these "ghost notes" you are hearing are all entirely inherent in the actual amps we modeled and are not part of the amp modeling process, DSP, AD/DA converters etc.

What I would suggest you do is submit your feedback at the following link to let our product managers know that maybe this is something we should reconsider modeling in future products.

http://line6.com/company/contact/productfeedback/

Line6Miller



Re: Spider Valve MK2 - Question about amp models
by jmtr on 2010-07-13 12:36:29

Hello,

Thank you for you reply, nice to see that someone with sort-of 'line6' stanza is giving somekind of comments .

I understand that this topic may have reach the point of 'nausea' for those who actively help people on this kind of support & discussion forums. For me, owner of brand new Spider Valve mk2 HD100 amp, this point has not been reached ... unfortunately I'm getting a bit desperate because I still consider this issue a flaw in amp modelling rather than man's greatest achievement in the history of amp modelling

Anyways, my band mate has Line6 Toneport UX-2 so my question is:

- Can I run DI out from my amp to one of the XLR mic input in UX-2 and get reasonable recording quality?

- If so, I should run DI out in Studio mode, to make is preamp/DSP modeling only - right?

- Any other suggestions on how to record my amp's DSP section with regular PC/MAC computers?

I was thinking that I could post some sound samples about this issue in my amp. For example how adding FX1: Screamer causes similar 'strange harmonic' sound to some of the amp models (eg. Twang models)... (Which I think that this is strange as Tube screamer pedal "increases the gain of the input signal overloading the preamp and further distorting the signal" [1]... still this should not generate this VOX AC30 like ghost note in (real) amp that does not suffer from this flaw?  - right?)

[1] : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibanez_Tube_Screamer

BestRegards,

Juha



Re: Spider Valve MK2 - Question about amp models
by ricksox on 2010-07-13 12:51:40

Hello,

I'm not discounting the fact that there are indeed ghost notes there, I'm simply reinforcing what I've heard directly from our sound designers. Beleive me we appreciate you as a customer and we absolutely take our customer feedback seriously.

To answer your questions:

Anyways, my band mate has Line6 Toneport UX-2 so my question is:

- Can I run DI out from my amp to one of the XLR mic input in UX-2 and get reasonable recording quality?

- If so, I should run DI out in Studio mode, to make is preamp/DSP modeling only - right?

- Any other suggestions on how to record my amp's DSP section with regular PC/MAC computers?

Yes. You can run out of the DI out on the Spider into an XLR input on the UX2. One thing to keep in mind is that you will be "stacking" modeling so to keep things simple, I'd suggest setting up a patch in POD Farm using maybe a mic preamp model or even bypassing the software all together and just using the ASIO driver sends directly into your recording application.

Yes, run the output in Studio mode. You seem to be on the right track in regards to direct output recording. My only other suggestion would be to avoid stacking amp models between your Spider and the POD Farm software. Typically doing this doesn't result in good tone IMO.

Line6Miller



Re: Spider Valve MK2 - Question about amp models
by jmtr on 2010-07-14 08:44:43

Ok, here are some sound samples of my Spider Valve MK2 HD100 DSP section (sorry for the boring and bad playing)

- Class-A amber/blue (for Class A amber the harmonic 'should be there' as it said to be modelled like that?)

- Twang amber/blue models (played with 2 different guitars)

- HiGain amber (it is audible if you listen carefully, the 'harmonic' sound is definitely there...)

Please listen to Class A samples first, then you can learn to recognize this 'strange harmonic' sound that is some audible in background, after that you can find the same harmonic in Twang model samples and finally if you listen carefully you can hear it in HiGain amber as well... (Use headphones or real speakers, it may be hard to hear it using built-in PC speakers).

Same 'strange harmonic' sound is audible with 'crunch' and 'blues' channels at least when adding FX1, model=Screamer and cranking the drive on that stomp box model. So my question is, is this normal - to me it isn't! ???
Also to me it sounds like the 'strange harmonic' appears to be exactly same for dfferent amp models (same as the one that 'should be there' for VOX AC-30 model == Class A amber). It also has that 'something' that makes me think of 'looping a sample' (looping/convoluting a Impulse response?) as the harmonic kind of 'rings' and it 'rings' faster for higher notes...

Samples are: (guitar1 = Variax 700, guitar2 = Jackson Fusion)

* ClassA_amber--guitar1.mp3

  - Amp model: Class A (amber)

  - Drive: full

  - Bass/Middle/Treble: noon (12 o'clock)

  - Channel Volume: between 9 - 11 o'clock

  - No effects

* ClassA_blue--guitar1.mp3

  - Amp model: Class A (blue)

  - Drive: full

  - Bass/Middle/Treble: noon (12 o'clock)

  - Channel Volume: between 9 - 11 o'clock

  - No effects

* Twang_amber--guitar1.mp3

  - Amp model: Twang (amber)

  - Drive: full

  - Bass/Middle/Treble: noon (12 o'clock)

  - Channel Volume: between 9 - 11 o'clock

  - No effects

* Twang_blue--guitar1.mp3

  - Amp model: Twang (blue)

  - Drive: full

  - Bass/Middle/Treble: noon (12 o'clock)

  - Channel Volume: between 9 - 11 o'clock

  - No effects

# same with other guitar (guitar2 == Jackson)

* Twang_amber--guitar2.mp3

  - Amp model: Twang (amber)

  - Drive: full

  - Bass/Middle/Treble: noon (12 o'clock)

  - Channel Volume: between 9 - 11 o'clock

  - No effects

* Twang_blue--guitar2.mp3

  - Amp model: Twang (blue)

  - Drive: full

  - Bass/Middle/Treble: noon (12 o'clock)

  - Channel Volume: between 9 - 11 o'clock

  - No effects

* HIGain_amber-guitar1.mp3

  - Amp model: HiGain (amber)

  - Drive: full

  - Bass/Middle/Treble: noon (12 o'clock)

  - Channel Volume: between 9 - 11 o'clock

  - No effects



Re: Spider Valve MK2 - Question about amp models
by jmtr on 2010-07-14 08:46:08

... rest of the samples here:



Re: Spider Valve MK2 - Question about amp models
by ricksox on 2010-07-14 11:36:56

Hello,

Yup, I can hear them. Like I said in my last post though, this is inherent in the modeling and again, according to our sound engineers is also noticeable in the actual amps we modeled.

I'm not really sure what I can say to you at this point other than please submit your product feedback so our product developers can see your concern over this.

http://line6.com/company/contact/productfeedback/

Line6Miller



Re: Spider Valve MK2 - Question about amp models
by jmtr on 2010-08-07 12:16:24

Hello,

I have sent my product feedback to product owners and product developers about 3 weeks ago now and I have received no response / email confirmation..

http://line6.com/company/contact/productfeedback/

Isthe product feedback system working at all or is line6 simply ignoring customer feedback?

Sinceraly, very disappointing.. almost as disappointing as getting very unwanted additional harmonic sounds audible when cranking up hi-gain amber amp model for guitar leads!



Re: Spider Valve MK2 - Question about amp models
by spaceatl on 2010-08-07 14:08:04

They keep those developers locked away in a cave some place...Don't worry, they have plenty of Red Bull and Doritios...In my time on the forum I have put in suggestions and L6Miller has instructed me on how to submit my concern. There's been a few different mechanisms over the years, but I always use the one that L6Miller points me to...

There was a time that I felt like you...I thought, dang! Why won't those guys listen to me...Well, I came to realize after a few years, that yeah, they are listening...I have seen it first hand. But it takes a little time...The other thing that happens if you continue using Line 6 is that you learn some deeper things about it...tricks, whatever...But those little experiences generally help sharpen an opinion...

The thing is, that you will never know exactly how your feedback was delivered to the developers...It might be that L6Miller has to put them all in a backpack and ride his mountain bike up this mountain to the cave the developers are locked in...I think he takes L6Andy up there these days because they are always trying to escape and the last time one of them managed to get L6Miller's iPhone, they jailbroke it and load it with porn apps...

As L6Miller said, this topic, of what I generally call "Precision Modeling" vs "Idealized Modeling", has been hashed and rehashed on the forum at considerable length for years...

Anyway, I kinda see it this way...Line 6 tried to model the amplifier precisely as it responds...One thing to keep in mind with these older amplifiers like a Super Lead 100 is that no two Super Lead 100s sound alike...Those and others that are hand-wired point to point can never be put together exactly the same way. Ghost notes, Heterodyning tranny, noise, burning moths and all those unique characters are in there. I think they optimize the unpleasant ones some, but I think they really try to do a precise and honest rendering of the amplifier they have...

Digitech, Boss and Roland have a different approach. They take the warts out. They are idealized versions I think and they sound great but after a lot of personal debate I decided that's not completely what I am after...I do have some COSM pedals, but not much and very specialized...

I am sure they have heard you...I hope you find what you are looking for.



Re: Spider Valve MK2 - Question about amp models
by poynt99 on 2012-09-09 12:58:46

Further research into the so-called "ghost-note" issue has revealed that it is extrememly unlikely that these discordant notes are ghost notes modeled from the amplifiers.

There are at least a dozen amplifier models in the POD X3 and Spider IV amplifier (and probably many more products) exhibiting this problem, and the suspicious fact that makes it difficult to believe these are modeled after the amplifier itself, is that every one of these models exhibits the exact same discordant note. One would expect each amplifier that was being modeled would exhibit its own unique-sounding artifact, yet this is NOT the case with these modeled amplifiers.

Have a listen for yourself and come to the only logical conclusion available.

PS. I have not yet listened to the POD HD, but I will report back what I find in this regard.



Re: Spider Valve MK2 - Question about amp models
by ihventura on 2013-03-17 04:23:21

troll?



Re: Spider Valve MK2 - Question about amp models
by poynt99 on 2013-03-17 08:45:26

troll?

Not at all. But since you've bumped the thread, here is what I found with the POD HD.

L6 has indeed included this 50/60Hz intermodulation feature in many of the amplifier models. However, this "feature" can be disabled in these amplifiers by going into the settings and adjusting the "HUM" parameter to zero. Once at zero, the intermodulating notes cease to appear.

The fact that the intermodulation can be "dialed in" supports my original notion that this is not part of the actual modeling process, even though the particular modeled amplifier may have exhibited this noise. The HUM function was apparently "added" into the DSP software as a simple means for L6 to model this defect (or effect if you will) in any amplifier they encountered.




The information above may not be current, and you should direct questions to the current forum or review the manual.