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Clarity on features of Amplifi 150 for newbie...


gwynap
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So I've just bought an Amplifi 150 and FBV express MkII...

 

I'm a singer / rhythm guitarist and the amp sounds great to me.

 

So, I'm just working out a few things and I wonder if you good, good people will give me clarity on a few things...

 

1. I understand that you can only access four tones from the amp, but it has 25 banks. Is it right that you can't select a bank, but have to edit a tone from an existing bank then save it to bank 1 to play it? Is there an easier way to swap banks?

 

2. I understand that the FBV express can only select the four tones which take a while to switch, long enough for this not to be useful during a song, so I can't use the stomp switches to say, switch the distortion on off. This right? I've sort of got round this by assigning the drive of a distortion to the way pedal so I can control it that way (that's all I want), but I'd really want to just turn the stomp on/off. I know that the shortboard does this and other things, but I just want a bit more distortion sometimes...

 

3. When recording with the Amplify, obviously you can record with a mic, or headphone (if you don't need the speaker playing), there's no line out, but you can record with the USB. So we record as much live as we can, and I'll need the speaker on while doing this obviously (or out though headphones into mixer then back through everyone's headphones). So for clarity, would you record through the USB and 'aggregate' the USB device into Pro Tools (we use Macs)?

 

The problem I have is that when I record into Garageband (this is me trying it out first...) there is digital distortion on the recording from the USB. Has anyone else had this problem and know a fix? I've tried different tones and the same thing happens...?? The amp sounds great, but when recording through USB, there's a digital intermittent crackle, not much, but enough for the audio to be useless.

 

That's it.

 

So the Amplify is *ALMOST* the perfect amp for me. Line 6... 1) Switch Banks Easily 2) Give the FBV Express a mode to control the stomp boxes rather than tones 3) Line out... 

 

Hopefully someone will help me sort the digital crackle. I'm up to date with all software.

 

I'm keeping it because, the alternative for me is to get a nice Vox with a stomp pedal which I'd have to record through a mic anyway, and so I will only have one sound really from this.

 

Oh, and it looks beautiful as well.

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ok, so I have sorted the digital distortion issue. In the tone editor, I have enabled volume control and turned the Max Position down to 65% - This now works great in Logic for me.

 

I had to aggregate my USB A to D (an Audient iD14) with the Amplifi USB using Audio MIDI setup, then select the correct inputs into each track, but that worked fine.

 

 

The more I read, I think the FBV Shortboard can switch banks can it? and it can turn stomp mod and delay on / off can it?

 

If so, I guess my perfect amp is AMPLIFI and the Shortboard? Even though I only play chords...!!

 

 

Can anyone clarify if there's an easy way to swap banks without the shortboard, or indeed if you can 100% swap banks with the shortboard? ...or what the FBV 3 offers over the Shortboard?

 

Thanks a lot!

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ok, so I have sorted the digital distortion issue. In the tone editor, I have enabled volume control and turned the Max Position down to 65% - This now works great in Logic for me.

 

I had to aggregate my USB A to D (an Audient iD14) with the Amplifi USB using Audio MIDI setup, then select the correct inputs into each track, but that worked fine.

 

 

The more I read, I think the FBV Shortboard can switch banks can it? and it can turn stomp mod and delay on / off can it?

 

If so, I guess my perfect amp is AMPLIFI and the Shortboard? Even though I only play chords...!!

 

 

Can anyone clarify if there's an easy way to swap banks without the shortboard, or indeed if you can 100% swap banks with the shortboard? ...or what the FBV 3 offers over the Shortboard?

 

Thanks a lot!

I have an FBV Shortboard MKII and I can bank up and down with ease. The extra buttons on the Shortboard will allow you to switch on the stomp, mod, delay, compressor and reverb, but not in the way you think: IIRC, the Function 1 button is tied to the comp, and the middle row of buttons are mapped sequentially (i.e. stomp to effect 1, even if it is not a stomp effect, modulation will be effect 2, delay will be effect 3 and reverb will always be reverb, this cannot be changed).

 

In short, bearing in mind the small quirk I noted above, an FBV Shortboard MKII will allow you to bank up and down, select any of the 4 patches within the bank and turn effects on/off. If you can return the FBV express and get the Shortboard instead, I would highly recommend it. If price is an issue, check out eBay and Guitar Center, you can usually find them used for much less (I just scored a one-month old FBV 3 from "flea-bay" at 40% less that way).

 

FBV3 will give you everything that the Shortboard will, along with nice colored rings around the effects so that you can see which one is the stomp, delay and mod. Also, being a much newer board, I would expect the FBV 3 to be supported much longer than the Shortboard. If Line 6 has not discontinued support for the Shortboard by now, I almost expect them to do so soon.

 

--- Edits below ---

I finally received my FBV 3 yesterday and I gave it a spin. It seems to support the same functionality on the AmpliFi, but I noticed the following differences when used with a Spider V:

 

- Color rings around the foot switches show the effect that is controlled by each: yellow for comp, orange for stomp, green for delay, blue for mod and red for reverb.

- The switches are mapped as follows:

   FS1 - Always comp (on both AmpliFi and Spider V)

   FS2 - Effect 1

   FS3 - Effect 2

   FS4 - Effect 3

   FS5 - Always reverb

  

Spider V 60 and up only: Function - One button looper (Rec -> Play -> Ovdub. Press and hold to erase).

 

Not sure why AmpliFi does not support color coded footswitches, since it works perfectly well with the Spider V series amp.

 

In short, if you have an AmpliFi, either the FBV 3 or the Shortboard MKII will work and offer the same functionality, but the shortboard, being older, will be cheaper. For Spider V, the FBV 3 offers more polish and, if the price is right, worth getting.

Edited by deadlocked
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Thanks for the advice! I will be able to swap out my express coz I bought it from gear4music in the UK, and you can return stuff within 30 days. This will hopefully give me my perfect set up, although it's a bit overkill for me strumming a few chords....!

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Thanks for the advice! I will be able to swap out my express coz I bought it from gear4music in the UK, and you can return stuff within 30 days. This will hopefully give me my perfect set up, although it's a bit overkill for me strumming a few chords....!

If you just want to strum, but want access to all tone banks, the Shortboard MKII will give you everything that you need for the least cash. Forget about what I said about the FBV 3's color-coded rings, as they are not supported on the AmpliFi anyway.

 

or... if you really want to get fancy (not that I am condoning massive merchandise  returns anyway, lol), the Spider V 120 in the US costs  about USD $100 less than the AmpliFI 150 but it is a much more powerful amp, features-wise (you can edit tones on the amp itself, supports the G10T wireless transmitter - receiver is already built into the amp, has a built-in looper and has better integration with the FBV 3). It might be less loud (150W on the AmpliFi vs 120W on the Spider V) and the tablet or phone is connected via USB, not bluetooth, but you can upgrade to a Spider V 240 (which is stereo) for about the same price of the AmpliFi 150. I do not know pricing in the UK, but I would expect similar savings on the Spider V over there as well. I do prefer the USB connection on the Spider V vs bluetooth on the AmpliFi, as tones load 4-5 times faster from the app on to the Spider V vs the AmpliFi.

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