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spikey

Why no Variax port ?

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Maybe there's a good reason for this, or maybe I just missed it, but when I checked out the AmpliFi on the Sweetwater site i noticed there was no visible Variax digital port... Huh? Latest digital amp and their own digital guitar without a port for it seems like a oops to me... As always YMMV...  :P

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For use with the JTV gear, in terms of Line6 equipment - you would want to look at the HD500x, the DT25 and DT50 amps, and the StageSource L2 and L3 speakers. Those are the actual "latest and greatest" that L6 has to offer. "Flagship" is the word that describes the HD gear; not so much the Amplfi. The Amplifi is using several year old (X3 era) amp and fx modeling. The newest amp and fx modeling is in the HD500x, and the M-class FX (M9, M13)

 

The older generation POD's still accepted VDI for the Variax, but I think the Amplifi is intended to appeal to a different buyer.

It's a POD in a bluetooth speaker box, without the proper input and outputs. In terms of price, it's half the cost of a DT25, with the full litany of amp models and Fx one has come to expect from L6 - in that regard, and at that price, it's certainly no slouch. The DT25 has no onboard FX; just the HD amp models. The Amplifi app looks *really nice* though; I like the idea of editing my tone patches with an iPad, cool idea.

 

A slight aside here : the HD amp models are superior to the Amplifi amp models in every way possible. I liked the old X3Live, it was really great at the time. The HD500 is a definite step up; they reinvented the process for modeling the amp characteristics. They then partnered with Bogner, who created the DT amp series which can switch analog components on the fly, to actually be the power amp portion of the amp model. The HD500 can model both the preamp and power amp part of the amp model; when you use Line6Link (another feature you will not find on Amplifi) the HD500 models only the preamp portion of the signal, and the Bogner/Line6 DT25/50 "becomes" the actual poweramp. Analog relays, switches, power use, etc. It actually changes from triode to pentode, not just modeling the difference between Class A and A/B, it actually changes itself between those power amp typologies.

 

It's worth mentioning, in defense of the X3 and the Amplifi - there are way MORE amp models. The X3 was the XT guitar+bass models in one unit; where previously you had either XT for guitar or XT for bass, they merged them. I think that was around the time they did away with paying extra for expansion model packs. So, while the HD series amp models are a step up in overall sound quality, the sheer number of options is not there, and for many, the improved sonic quality does not outweight the HD omission of the 5150 amp, or the bass amp models, things like that - if you look at IdeaScale, you will see many votes for adding the 5150 amp model to the HD series!

 

They added one bass amp model to the HD500 series after the release, in a firmware update, with it's corresponding cab and mic settings; but nothing else since, in terms of bass amp models. I used to play bass in a band, and I tended to use my X3L for the FX and the DI box use, rather than the actual bass amp models. It gets tricky with bass, the recorded sound vs the "live sound" - you always need to push air on stage, and I had issues getting that to work the way I wanted. I eventually moved back to guitar, and put down the bass, and adjusted my rig accordingly. Actually sold my X3L to a bassist so I could buy an HD500 when it came out!

 

In terms of the Amplifi target buyer, it would appear the lack of proper 1/4" and XLR outputs is by design, and probably goes with the intended use - this is not the amp you bring on a big stage. It certainly isn't a "recording" solution; it has no functionality in either regard. Something about putting a real mic on a signal which already has mic modeling on does not sound good..

 

The mic modeling (near as I can tell; there is no proper manual) is "always on". AKA, 'studio/direct'. Which is great when you are connecting XLR outs to a PA or mixer, but not so good for putting a mic in front of the cabinet.

 

The Amplifi floorboard at least has stereo 1/4" outs, and a "guitar amp" 1/4" out which just drops off the Bluetooth / streaming music portion of the signal.

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