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IR's - anyone else overwhelmed? (tips?)

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first world problem if ever there was one...

 

I thought I'd take a trip into the rabbit hole of IR's, why... because they are there! :)

 

I bought the Ownhammer Core Tone Bundle after a bit of research and I'm sure it's very good... but I found it so overwhelming, too many files, too much choice that after a couple of evenings I just deleted them off the helix and vowed never to go there again.

 

Until I got the free Allure pack - I have to say I thought it was great - just a few flies to play with and I got some good sounds really quickly.

 

I know this is all the falut of the user (me) and I know that IR's if you know what you are doing are very useful tools - but did anyone else just get too overwhelmed and would just like more simple packs where some says here's one or two - just use them IR for dummies I guess...

 

anyone else find this?

 

Any other very simple packs people recomened?

 

Cheers

 

Mark

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3

 

first world problem if ever there was one...

 

I thought I'd take a trip into the rabbit hole of IR's, why... because they are there! :)

 

I bought the Ownhammer Core Tone Bundle after a bit of research and I'm sure it's very good... but I found it so overwhelming, too many files, too much choice that after a couple of evenings I just deleted them off the helix and vowed never to go there again.

 

Until I got the free Allure pack - I have to say I thought it was great - just a few flies to play with and I got some good sounds really quickly.

 

I know this is all the falut of the user (me) and I know that IR's if you know what you are doing are very useful tools - but did anyone else just get too overwhelmed and would just like more simple packs where some says here's one or two - just use them IR for dummies I guess...

 

anyone else find this?

 

Any other very simple packs people recomened?

 

Cheers

 

Mark

 3Sigma. 10 cabs per set. 

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I tried a number of free IR for speaker cabs, and actually, the 3 or 4 cabs I like best in Helix are way better for my use, so I don't bother with 'em.

 

I do love IR for making my piezo-equipped acoustics sound amazing however.

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So how many are you getting in a pack? If it's that many perhaps the company's are doing themselves a disservice?

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For the Ownhammer collections, I go straight to the OH1 and OH2 mixes in the "Quick Start" folder. They nail it for me.

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Celestion has some nice focused sets.

 

The way I finally worked through my RedWirez set years after I bought it was to figure out what my preferred mic was for my favorite real world speaker. I then selected my favorite mic position with that mic. After that, I went through the different speakers focusing on that mic / position combination.

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100% agree that it's important not to give yourself too many choices, especially at first. I can't find the quote right now, but one of the major IR makers actually says "do not listen to them all" :)

 

For Ownhammer, suggest reading this:

http://www.ownhammer.com/tutorials/general/

 

That includes this bottom line recommendation, using files in the Quick-Start directory: "The vast majority of the time for most people and with most libraries, OH1, OH1F, and/or SP2 are all that may be needed." Many people also find SP1 useful I think.

 

Starting there, if you find yourself wanting a little more or less something, you can check out other variations.

 

Personally, I pretty much always load up a very small set from each cab/speaker, usually only one. Limiting maybe, but I'd rather choose a different cab and/or speaker than faff around too much with variants of one.

 

And as with all the built in cabs and mics (and amps etc), you don't have to use or master them all. Just make yourself happy in the moment, come back later and see if you still think it's cool/interesting/useful.

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Also, I hate to diss someone's work, but I think you'll have much better luck with Ownhammer, CabIR.eu, CelestionPlus, Redwirez, and the free Allure pack than 3Sigma. The 3Sigma stuff is very scooped and bright, might work great for some people, but not me, and I don't think my opinion is unique.

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I don't mean to hijack, but what's a good IR pack to start with from ownhammer? I like Plexi, Bassman, Princeton and Orange Rockerverb type amps.

Thanks.

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Don't think I'm expert enough to answer that, but also, you've got a huge variety of amp flavors there, not clear if you're going for maxed out slam, vintage mostly-clean, all of the above, or what.

 

Suggest listening to samples of some combinations you like in the real world. It's tough though, the music and amp tones are so different for each of them.

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Don't think I'm expert enough to answer that, but also, you've got a huge variety of amp flavors there, not clear if you're going for maxed out slam, vintage mostly-clean, all of the above, or what.

 

Suggest listening to samples of some combinations you like in the real world. It's tough though, the music and amp tones are so different for each of them.

 

 

All of the above. I want some IRs that are suitable for cleans, edge of breakup and heavy rock tones (not metal).

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BLUF (bottom line up front) - for any IR packs, try starting with a 421 and an R121 together.  It gets you the highs and lows.  For OH, try a 421 at "0" with an R121 somewhere between "5-10" depending on the sound you want.  That's my baseline for new IRs.

 

I love discussing IRs, so here I go.

 

The particular IRs you settle on will certainly be determined to a sig extent on the sound you want, the amps you're using, etc.  But it was RedWirez that really EDUCATED me.  They recommend a few diff mics and few diff mic settings (mic placements), which I suggested above (their guide is easy to find).  I used that as a starting point in all the IR packs I buy.  For me, combining a 421 with an R121 gives an excellent middle of the road sound I use all the time regardless of which company made the IRs.  And just this last week I got my Fender amp out of the closet (haven't really used since I bought the POD 20 or so years ago), and I found the two mics I bought about 40 years ago (a Shure and an AKG) and I did some tests on how they sound and compared that to the Helix with cabs and IRs.  Working with IRs has significantly helped me understand how to mic amps (yeah, I know this is backwards!) and Kudos to line 6 and all the IR makers.  They did a good job of modeling real life behavior using mics and amps.  All just based on my ears and preferences - no science here.

 

I hesitate to even put this on the Forum, but because I have the time, I have compared IRs by recording the identical guitar setup and just changing the IRs and then listening for the differences.  I've been a guitar player nearly 50 years with the last 30 spent in my "home studio" so I know what I like.  For me, just my opinion, IRs fall into 2 categories - I like the sound or I don't.  Below I focus on IRs that I like.  The ones I don't like jump out right away.  Like Zooey said above, I bought 3 Sigma, but I'm not a fan.

 

In the case where I like the sound (I use OwnHammer and RedWirez), I compared, for example, OH 1 and 2,  MDRN, and PROG, to a 421 coupled with a 121, and others in the OH Core tone bundle, and the difference in sound is negligible in the cases where I like the sound.  There is an obvious difference between a "0" and a "10".  But to everyone that reads this - this is true for my set up.  I can see where you might find big differences where I didn't because of the effects you use, or a diff amp, etc.  I used the Interstate Zed with a clean sound, and with the mic preamp and Scream 808.  And I also compared OH speakers (the Core Tone has 3 diff speaker options which further complicates things).  I can hear some differences, but they are not sig enough that I would definitely want to use one speaker over another.  While sounding diff, they all sounded good.  I also have the OH Heavy Hitters and I think one speaker seemed a bit smoother with extreme dist so I settled on that one.

 

My point is that there is less of a difference between the IRs in a set than we might expect, except for a couple outliers.  I've even compared mics (all the SM57 type mics, for example).  Again, the diff is small enough that I end up back where I started, which is, a 421 with a 121 gives me a nice, versatile sound to build on to.

 

So for the OH Core tone, I recommend trying their OH 1 and 2 and MDRN, combining "0" with something in the "5-10" range, based on the sound you want.  And try combining a 421 "0" with an R121 "5-10", again, depending on the sound you want.  Of course picking the "right" amp as the foundation is critical!  Even if you listen and think, "these do sound a little different," I doubt you'll say one is definitely great and the other isn't.  They're just diff.

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100% agree that it's important not to give yourself too many choices, especially at first. I can't find the quote right now, but one of the major IR makers actually says "do not listen to them all" :)

 

 

That's Redwirez. They're the ones most people say "too many choices. Apparently, not many folks read their article "Dialing in your tone with Redwirez IRs".

 

http://www.redwirez.com/ir/DialingInYourTone.pdf

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It's not what you asked, but just to say it. one of the big advantages of the built in cabs is that a bunch of mic and distance variations are already on board. Unlike IRs, you don't have to pick a tiny subset of the available variations up front to load in your Helix.

 

Unlike some folks, in spite of having played guitar for many decades, I don't have a ton of experience with piles of different cabs and speakers, so when I'm working on a patch, I'm not trying to duplicate some real world rig I know well and want to duplicate. I just try different stuff, adjust mics and/or distance and or amp settings and/or post-amp EQ, see if I like the result, and move on if not.

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As others have suggested, for OwnHammer, head straight for the Quick-Start folder for each cab/speaker combination. There should be about 30 IRs in there that are representative of the several hundred otherwise. And half of those are the "M+" versions which are just a mid-boosted versions, so really about 15 IRs. Those represent the handful+ of single mics, and the handful+ of mixed mic combinations they use to create their IRs. And as most folks said, likely one of the mixes is all you'll need - the OH1 is very nice, same for MDRN for my tastes. And as Doug6 said, don't be afraid to mix a few of the single mics (or even the mixes - hey there are no rules!).

 

The main point is, no need to be overwhelmed with the OwnHammer pack. By focusing on the Quick-Start folder, you'll get a great selection of read-to-use IRs that is not overwhelming. But if you are really particular and want something not there, you can delve into the separate folders for each mic and mix and your options go way up. I never felt the need to do that, though.

 

On the subject of mixing IRs, I've been meaning to pull out a few of the "different" IRs that OwnHammer has, such as their FRED, and also ROOM, REAR, etc, and trying those mixed with others. Might be interesting, for example, a ROOM capture w/an OH1 or other mix might be cool. But I haven't tried it yet.

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Okay cool. I got the Allure pack and a few free ones so I'm set for now. I found a nice one in that free pack. Made a little jingle with it. :)

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I would agree with several others here.  I tried a demo 3Sigma and it turned me off of IRs for a while until I realized others like OwnHammer and Celestion were a different breed and far more comprehensive.

 

I am in total agreement with what others have said that you should really just focus on the mixed IRs from OwnHammer.  In my opinion this is what separates OH from many of the others, and is the key to getting the most out of the IR environment.

 

You have to take into account that what makes a modeler like Helix special is that you're bringing studio quality sound to a live performance.  Once HUGE difference in how cabinets are mic'd in the studio and how they're mic'd on stage is in the studio they commonly use different combinations of mic's and placements...in other words a mix.  That's generally what you've been listening to on most professional recordings most of your life.  Although OH provides the individual mic and mic placements which can come in handy sometimes for tweaking a sound, you'll find the mixes to be far closer from the get-go to closing in on what you've heard on pro recordings.

 

Of note, the ones the are mentioned most often are the mixes containing the MD421 and R121 as those tend to be ones that are combined very often in studios and provide a nice full, natural response.  In my case that's pretty much the only combo I use and I don't really worry too much about the rest.  You may be different in what you want to hear, but you'll save yourself a lot of time and energy just sticking to the mixes to find what pleases your ear the most.

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I would agree with several others here.  I tried a demo 3Sigma and it turned me off of IRs for a while until I realized others like OwnHammer and Celestion were a different breed and far more comprehensive.

 

I am in total agreement with what others have said that you should really just focus on the mixed IRs from OwnHammer.  In my opinion this is what separates OH from many of the others, and is the key to getting the most out of the IR environment.

 

You have to take into account that what makes a modeler like Helix special is that you're bringing studio quality sound to a live performance.  Once HUGE difference in how cabinets are mic'd in the studio and how they're mic'd on stage is in the studio they commonly use different combinations of mic's and placements...in other words a mix.  That's generally what you've been listening to on most professional recordings most of your life.  Although OH provides the individual mic and mic placements which can come in handy sometimes for tweaking a sound, you'll find the mixes to be far closer from the get-go to closing in on what you've heard on pro recordings.

 

Of note, the ones the are mentioned most often are the mixes containing the MD421 and R121 as those tend to be ones that are combined very often in studios and provide a nice full, natural response.  In my case that's pretty much the only combo I use and I don't really worry too much about the rest.  You may be different in what you want to hear, but you'll save yourself a lot of time and energy just sticking to the mixes to find what pleases your ear the most.

 

I agree 100% about everything.

I would just add that even if I did not try this for many many days, I haven't found any stock Helix cab/mix combi that can get me the same satisfactory tone (and effective for live & loud use) that I can get from some selected IR files sold by the most known suppliers.

Among the best, apart from Ownhammer, I also got excellent results with Cabir.eu (I love their Orange 4x12), and Valhallir.at (Wolverine 2x12 is really great). By the way, Valhallir offers also some very good free samples that could be enough (adding maybe some extreme - as usual with Helix such as 80Hz/4.5kHz - hi/lo-cuts in the Helix).

I also generally prefer the customized and ready mixed versions of these IR files.

From 3Sigma I bought only one pack (UK Custom) but for me it's useless (too mid-scooped), so I did not try anything else from them; maybe they are ok if your target is just recording, headphones and low volume use.

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This was a helpfyul thread! I too bought the OH core tone bundle and found myself completely overwhelmed. Hundreds or thousands of IRs for four cabs and a couple of mixed combinations was not what I expected! I thought I bought the wrong thing.

 

I did just randomly stick a few in a 2-day old Helix LT, and managed to get one of them in a patch so far, one of the blended IRs. It sounded pretty good so was an auspicious start. :)

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Helix's ability to manage and support the vast selections of 3rd Party IRs offerings can only improve.

 

I am particularly looking forward to seeing what the fruition of Dan Boul's Line 6 subsidized IR Shoot may be.

 

As convenient as it is to work with Helix's Stock Cabs in Split Paths, it would be terrific to see Helix's Stock Cabs and Mic selections expanded, in forthcoming firmware, especially if additional Parameters were introduced to support Lateral Mic Position, Mic Aim (Angle/Orientation), Cab Rear Micing (for open cabs), and a Room Mic.

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Also, I hate to diss someone's work, but I think you'll have much better luck with Ownhammer, CabIR.eu, CelestionPlus, Redwirez, and the free Allure pack than 3Sigma. The 3Sigma stuff is very scooped and bright, might work great for some people, but not me, and I don't think my opinion is unique.

this^^^

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Also, I hate to diss someone's work, but I think you'll have much better luck with Ownhammer, CabIR.eu, CelestionPlus, Redwirez, and the free Allure pack than 3Sigma. The 3Sigma stuff is very scooped and bright, might work great for some people, but not me, and I don't think my opinion is unique.

I have been using 3Sigma Acoustic IR's ( Taylor) live with good results. Acoustic guitar IR's, not cabs. 

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I agree 100% about everything.

I would just add that even if I did not try this for many many days, I haven't found any stock Helix cab/mix combi that can get me the same satisfactory tone (and effective for live & loud use) that I can get from some selected IR files sold by the most known suppliers.

Among the best, apart from Ownhammer, I also got excellent results with Cabir.eu (I love their Orange 4x12), and Valhallir.at (Wolverine 2x12 is really great). By the way, Valhallir offers also some very good free samples that could be enough (adding maybe some extreme - as usual with Helix such as 80Hz/4.5kHz - hi/lo-cuts in the Helix).

I also generally prefer the customized and ready mixed versions of these IR files.

From 3Sigma I bought only one pack (UK Custom) but for me it's useless (too mid-scooped), so I did not try anything else from them; maybe they are ok if your target is just recording, headphones and low volume use.

Wow....have you been peeking at my IR collection?...and stealing my ears? Your assessments are exactly as mine.....though I am currently having a love affair with the Celestion plus collections, my Orange, OH SP 1/2 and WOlverine mixes never gEt bumped from my woefully insufficient IR collection inside the helix........Cmon L6', ya know we need a few hundred more slots onboard........

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Helix's ability to manage and support the vast selections of 3rd Party IRs offerings can only improve.

 

I am particularly looking forward to seeing what the fruition of Dan Boul's Line 6 subsidized IR Shoot may be.

 

As convenient as it is to work with Helix's Stock Cabs in Split Paths, it would be terrific to see Helix's Stock Cabs and Mic selections expanded, in forthcoming firmware, especially if additional Parameters were introduced to support Lateral Mic Position, Mic Aim (Angle/Orientation), Cab Rear Micing (for open cabs), and a Room Mic.

 

I don't think "convenient" is the word I'd use to working with the stock cabs.  There's an awful lot of tweaking of parameters that I can bypass by just loading a single IR.

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I don't mean to hijack, but what's a good IR pack to start with from ownhammer? I like Plexi, Bassman, Princeton and Orange Rockerverb type amps.

Thanks.

 

 

I just purchased, loaded, and tested the Class A Duo set. Absolutely awesome, especially for the kind of music I'm playing (primarily post-rock, power-pop, etc.).

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IR and cabinet choice should start with what you're trying to accomplish. We all have our favorite pro guitarist within the context of the styles of music we like. You can start there by exploring what these musicians use to get their tone and use that as a starting point for speaker and cabinet selection. From there its a question of whether you like warm and full, or bright and thin. This is highly influenced by the mic choice followed by mic position. Once you select a good starting point, then next question is to ask what's missing? If there's no problem, then you're done. If you can't identify what's missing, then searching for it through all the available IRs is not going to be a fun or efficient process.

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This thread alone sums up my like and not so much like of the Helix!

 

Whilst I think it's great that we can get all these sounds easily, for me at least, the never ending possibilities over complicate it a little bit. It turns us all into tinkerers.

I swear I have spent more time editing tones on my Helix than actually playing through it, because once you know the variables, you start to obsess with changing stuff,

and do we ever end up being 100% satisfied with the sound?

 

For me personally, I want a great bit of kit like the Helix, but I want easy solutions, I just want to set up quickly, get great tones and just play my guitars.

When I heard the IR's against the in built cabs...the tinkering started all over again! Where does it end lol?

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For the Ownhammer collections, I go straight to the OH1 and OH2 mixes in the "Quick Start" folder. They nail it for me.

 

Ditto. 

 

Rosen Digital for quick and very good results. Cabir.eu or OH mixes if you wan't more choices without spending days or weeks.

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I've also had the experience of option overload with an Ownhammer set.

 

In the case where I like the sound (I use OwnHammer and RedWirez), I compared, for example, OH 1 and 2,  MDRN, and PROG, to a 421 coupled with a 121, and others in the OH Core tone bundle, and the difference in sound is negligible in the cases where I like the sound.  There is an obvious difference between a "0" and a "10".  But to everyone that reads this - this is true for my set up.  I can see where you might find big differences where I didn't because of the effects you use, or a diff amp, etc.  I used the Interstate Zed with a clean sound, and with the mic preamp and Scream 808.  And I also compared OH speakers (the Core Tone has 3 diff speaker options which further complicates things).  I can hear some differences, but they are not sig enough that I would definitely want to use one speaker over another.  While sounding diff, they all sounded good.  I also have the OH Heavy Hitters and I think one speaker seemed a bit smoother with extreme dist so I settled on that one.

 

My point is that there is less of a difference between the IRs in a set than we might expect, except for a couple outliers.  I've even compared mics (all the SM57 type mics, for example).

 

I'm glad to hear you say that because I've found the difference between several IRs in an Ownhammer set to sometimes be so subtle than it's barely perceptible. And after going through a few dozen of them, you can easily lose perspective.

 

Celestion has some nice focused sets.

 

I've purchased from Ownhammer and 3Sigma and gotten the free Allure set. Still, what worked best for me was this freebie from Celestion Plus: https://www.celestionplus.com/free-download/ I think I'm going to purchase a few of their IRs in the near future.

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I've also had the experience of option overload with an Ownhammer set.

 

 

I'm glad to hear you say that because I've found the difference between several IRs in an Ownhammer set to sometimes be so subtle than it's barely perceptible. And after going through a few dozen of them, you can easily lose perspective.

 

 

I've purchased from Ownhammer and 3Sigma and gotten the free Allure set. Still, what worked best for me was this freebie from Celestion Plus: https://www.celestionplus.com/free-download/ I think I'm going to purchase a few of their IRs in the near future.

Ha ha!  That makes two of us!

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Does anyone else have the problem of auditioning several IRs while practicing alone, selecting the one that sounds best and that you think will sound best in the live mix, then showing up to rehearsal with the rest of the band and realizing it wasn't the best choice? As I'm sure we all know, you can work all you want on your tone by yourself, but you have to play a few bars in the real world with the rest of the band before you know for sure how well it will work. IR selection is no different, it's just a lot harder to tweak on the fly during rehearsal.

With other parameters, you can tell pretty easily after a few seconds of playing whether you need to nudge, for example, the drive or bass parameter a few notches up or down. But IRs don't change linearly, you move from one to the next, which can sound drastically different. It would be a bit of a drag holding up rehearsal saying, "hang on guys, let me try a different IR...this should do it...no, that's worse, let me try this...oh hell...nope...ok, this one should do it...wait, it's even worse...hey, I need to plug this into my computer and load some different IRs."

The best ideas I could come up with were:

1. Just pick a middle-of-the-road sounding IR you know couldn't sound bad in the mix, even if it's probably not the best, and stick with it.

2. Stick with the IR you chose, but be prepared to radically change the high/low cut or an EQ.

3. Once you find the IR you think is best, load in several similar IRs from the same set so you can fine tune on the fly.

Any other ideas?

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#2.

 

And try to build your patches at love volume and through the speakers you'll be using.

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I really like the 3Sigma IR's as they pretty much sound like the cabs they are emulating with mic placement, right out of the box.  The new ACE ones are enhanced somehow and are even better.

 

Ownhammer is the go to, id you need to mimic a specific rig.   If you know someone recorded something (maybe you), with a certain speaker and certain mic placement, and you need to as seemlessly as possible add something, Ownhammer might be a good choice.   Also, guys that tour, who are just eliminating their favorite cabinet...  Ownhammer is a great choice, although 3Sigma might work as well.    I look at 3Sigma as giving the best sound of the Cabinet as possible.   That generally IS NOT what the typical Marshal 4x12 sounds like with an SM57 stuck in front of it.  If you need that, especially if you play live... you might drift toward the Ownhammer as it will be a more familiar sound to the sound guy... enough to where he'll forget there isn't a mic on stage.  Whereas with the 3Sigma he might say.. "wow... amazing sound/tone"...  and just have to deal with it into the mix.

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