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Tube amps Gone?

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Did any of you get rid of your tube amps and just use the helix with pa monitor speakrs if so do you regret it? Thinking of trading my stuff for monitors and stand not sure,and are your monitors loud enough for small  mid size places?

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I'm thinking the same thing. i have 8 various tube amps, figure I'll keep 2 or 3 and sell off the rest. I can't (yet) convince myself that Helix can replace those 100%. I still need to do more live gigging with the band to see how it's going to shake out.

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I don't own any tube amps at the moment.  I don't feel like I need one, even though I still do love a lot of different tube amps.   I just play 90% of my time in my bedroom so the Helix through studio monitors is perfect for me.  I would love to buy one again and start using it along with a load box and Helix.  But I haven't felt like the current set up is lacking.

 

For gigging with Helix, a monitor solution would only have to be for you to hear yourself, and maybe for your bandmates to hear some stage volume from you.  Generally you'd be relying on the PA for the rest of venue to hear you.  Same way you'd be relying on the PA when you mic a tube amp.

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For me it was a longer process from tube amp to solid state with frfr.
Last week I sold my tube poweramp and replaced it with a ss poweramp (Crown Xli 1500)

I use it with a 2x 12" frfr passive cab.
With the tube poweramp I had always the headroom problem. That means at higher stage volume I got to much distortion from the tube amp.
Now I can use my patches at every volume and the sound stays constant.
The tube sound now comes from the helix and not from the tube amp. Sound was fantastic on stage !
You have to use a good frfr cab or monitor e.g. friedman, matrix, gemini, ... then you don't need a tube amp anymore.
A low cost pa speaker will not do it !

I think you have to decide which way to go.

 

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Ive seen alot of good reviews for the alto ts212 and 210 and Ive heard them on youtube they do sound great and I like how its very portable I would like to male sure its loud enough for smal places that only use a PA for vocals.its alot I guess to think about.

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I'm keeping my tube amps (Carol-Ann Triptik and DT25) but I just use Helix with my Alto TS110A PA speakers 95% of the time.  

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I sold my last tube amp - mostly because I needed money for emergency dental work for one of my kids.   It was between selling my last tube amp (a great one too, JP-2C) - or selling my helix setup (helix with 2 L3T's).

 

I had been using Helix 4CM with the JP-2C.  It worked great, and I hated to break that setup up, but when it came down to between the two, the Helix affords me a lot more versatility and now that I'm full time on it for modelling amps and cabs, I've been more impressed with it and there is a lot less regret in selling the JP-2C.

 

The true test is going to be live - we don't gig again until September.  If it goes well, I'll stick with this setup - if not, I may be investing into an amp again when finances permit.

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I'm keeping my tube amps (Carol-Ann Triptik and DT25) but I just use Helix with my Alto TS110A PA speakers 95% of the time.

 

That Triptik is a keeper every time.....Alan is some kind of genius.
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No more amps and pedals for me. Just Helix and a couple of JBL Eon 610s. NO regrets. I love that I can load up a preset and it sounds EXACTLY the same every time. 

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No more amps and pedals for me. Just Helix and a couple of JBL Eon 610s. NO regrets. I love that I can load up a preset and it sounds EXACTLY the same every time. 

 

That is appealing - especially seeing that tubes degrade over time.   Plus the fact I can eventually buy an LT and have the same exact tones for a backup if my main Helix goes down.   I've had identical model and year of tube heads and they have variation of sound.

 

When I sold my last tube amp, I gave the guy a bunch of tubes I had in a storage bin, a few sets of matched power amp tubes and a bunch of preamp tubes.  It was the first moment that I thought, maybe getting rid of this thing isn't so bad after all.

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Sold my Fender Princeton RI about a month ago. I always go straight to PA and if I need an amp, I'll use my Quilter Aviator 8 or Yamaha THR100HD

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I actually sold my last tube amp when I went to the Mustang IV.  Sold most of my solid state amps when I went to the HD500X, and sold my last solid state amp and all but two pedals when I got the Helix.  I still have a couple of pedals left not for any reason other than laziness.  I just need to post them up on craigslist, but it hasn't been high on my priority list.  I also have a HD ProX I haven't gotten around selling yet either.  Again, just laziness.

 

I have two Yamaha DXR12 speakers now, but I use one at home and one for performances.  I've yet to encounter any venue I need more than one, but if pressed I could use two.  But I've never had to increase the volume on the single DXR12 above the 12 o'clock position.  I figure if I get to that point I need to tell everyone else to turn down because our stage volume has gotten out of hand.  The only reason to be louder than that is because you're an amateur and can't control your stage volume.

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In 2008 or so, my main gig went to zero stage noise.  At that point, I sold the last of my amps and went full on modeling. 

It was the Axe-FX I used back in those days.  Helix is what I use these days.

Now that I have my head wrapped around all of the positive benefits of modeling, I can't see myself ever going back to an actual, old school tube amp.  Too restrictive by comparison.

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I've got 6 tube amps and I can't seem to pull the trigger. My plan is to keep my Mesa Triaxis 2x12 rig, the Mark V and my Traynor YGM-4... and cut the Maverick, the Champ and the Traynor Darkhorse loose. Even the 3 remaining would seem like too much to hold onto. The sad part is how small a room they live in, and how little they get played now!

 

The Helix is staying.

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My Helix feeds Two (2) Yamaha DXR10 Monitors (Yamaha Level Knobs at 12 O'Clock) for a nice wide sound field at reasonable SPLs. I have yet to sell either of my Fender Mustang Amps (IV v.2 and III v.2) as I have them for backup (amps/powered cabs) and occasionally run them "Dry" in a W/D/W config with the Yamaha DXR10s.

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I still have the Fender Showman amp I bought in 1968. Its been heavily modified over the years, but right now the Normal channel is pretty stock. I just put in a new output transformer, new tubes, news tremolo Optocoupler and two new Celestion G12-65 speakers in the 2x12 Bassman cabinet I used with that amp for many years. I can't get rid of an amp my friend Doug and I worked on so much. Doug's dead now, but I still have the old notes we took designing clipping units for that amp. I created front of the amp Helix patches for it, and have an old Lexicon MPXG2 hooked up to it out in the garage. I've experimented with a lot of stuff over the years.

 

I'd love to gig with that amp and My Les Paul that I bought in 1969, just for old times sake. But I can't bring myself to do it, its too inflexible compared to a JTV-69S and Helix. How would I get those open tunings and acoustic tones? Frankly the band has moved beyond that old setup for me. That's too bad, but progress.

 

Odd that the Variax and helix go to a lot of effort to reproduce what that old setup does. What's really different is that its a lot more than just one of those setups.

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Right now, I have 3 tube amps (68 Bassman, Marshall DSL, and a Bugera v22). They currently don't leave the house for gigs since I got the Helix. The ridiculous pedalboard with 20 patch cables also stays parked in the man cave. I'm not going to sell the amps (well, maybe the Bugera), but they are more like decorations or for conversation. The Helix straight to the mixer has been that awesome (so far).

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I sold all my tube amps and cabs except for one.  I kept it because you never know when you might actually need it, AND (mostly) for nostalgic reasons.  I will say that I plugged it in the other day and was grossly disappointed in how it sounded.  I gigged that amp for 25 years, and know it inside out.  I was very bummed, lol.  I plugged back into my Helix rig and was VERY pleased.

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Stopped using tube amps when I turned to the digital side back in 2009.  Sold off my last tube amp well before acquiring my Helix.

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Ugh.  Not sure.  Then again I just spent my first full day with my Helix LT running 4CM through my Mesa Express and it sounds glorious once I figured out how to do that effectively.  I put together four presets that handle most of our playlist including some very song-specific effects and I'm blown away at the quality of the sound through that amp.  This thing is some serious gear but I truly love my Mesa.  Probably my Fender amp is headed out the door tho, along with a good number of pedals, which will be hard.  That said, I may feel different next week.

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I have a new Grandmeister Deluxe 40 head, and I got it only because it has a certain snarl that Helix can't reproduce to my ears. Actually Im using it with Helix so that I can add a wah, volume pedal, and compression, which works out great! I'm sure others have a special tube amp that does similar stuff for them. But all in all, Id say Helix (and a few others) have dampened the need to purchase amps (like it was say a decade ago). 

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Simple question, simple answer. A pro will hardly do without his tube amp on stage. Why? Because it's not only about sound, but also about sound pressure. And in respect to the latter there is NOTHING yet to replace a tube amp. Believe me, I have done some serious testing recently, tube amps, transistor amps, modeling or virtual amps, as combo or with monitors. If it were for sound reasons alone, you could easily skip your tube amp, e.g in a studio ...

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A pro will hardly do without his tube amp on stage. Why? Because it's not only about sound, but also about sound pressure.

 

 

As far as sound pressure, I've stood in front of monitors that would blow yer hat off. So to me it all about choice and not professionalism.  ;)

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Since buying my Helix I've sold two amps. But I still have two high quality tube amps, two 212  cabinets and a large pedal board that includes an H9. I'm really having trouble selling all of that, even though I rarely play through it. It's not that I feel like I need it, everything I do now revolves around the Helix, FRFR and Variax guitars. I guess I acquired an emotional attachment to that equipment by doing all the research and putting it together a piece at a time. It's kind of like having a personal museum.

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As far as sound pressure, I've stood in front of monitors that would blow yer hat off. So to me it all about choice and not professionalism.  ;)

 

Well, if you hear no difference, then you may well abstain from using a good amp ...  ^_^

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Well, if you hear no difference, then you may well abstain from using a good amp ... ^_^

So how long have you been a tube snob? That's ok, if it helps those that need it the most I'm all for it. BTW, I was probably using those good amps you speak of when you were still crapping yellow. ;) and yes I'm using Helix because it is "many" of those good amps you speak of, in one box. I thought you mentioned "sound pressure"? Then you switch to tone when pressure didn't work. So Which one would you like to discuss, because they are two separate things.
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So how long have you been a tube snob? That's ok, if it helps those that need it the most I'm all for it. BTW, I was probably using those good amps you speak of when you were still crapping yellow. ;) and yes I'm using Helix because it is "many" of those good amps you speak of, in one box. I thought you mentioned "sound pressure"? Then you switch to tone when pressure didn't work. So Which one would you like to discuss, because they are two separate things.

 

LOL, who's the snob here? I was just saying, if there's no difference in it for you, forget the amp. And you come with insulting suggestions ...? Well, if that's your personality, then have it your way. I prefer staying in an objective level. About my level of experience: I am 53 yo and playing the electric axe since I was 14. I was playing on transistor amps first, not having the money for a Marshall. Later I switched to a modelling amp (Line6 POD directly into PA). Only a few years ago I was buying my first tube amp, a small one for sessions and later a big one for the band.

Have you EVER been playing with a transistor or a modelling amp alongside a guy with a tube amp? Well, I have done so, in many projects. The experience was ALWAYS the same: Having the same volume (!) and a good sound, side by side with a tube amp guy, my (transistored or modelled) guitar got lost in the overall sound, even via PA. That's where sound pressure comes in as you sure know. Sound and sound pressure make together one impression, so you can treat it like one impression in a discussion, too.

You may not encounter these problems, when being the solo guitarist in a band, but you sure do, when you have the constellation described. I even had to leave a band once exactly because of this problem, because at that time I could not afford a tube amp and it does not do, when the lead guitarist's sound does not come through in spite of having an acceptable volume. Volume and sound pressure are obviously different things, too! Well, no more of these problems, since I have my tube amps. Mind, I am NOT talking about studio work here, I would always prefer to work with a modelling amp supplemented maybe by a Digitech FreqOut in such a surrounding.

Conclusion: when playing with two guitarists, sound pressure gets equally important to the sound itself. And so far I have not encountered any serious alternative to a tube amp, nor in rehearsal room, nor on stage.

If you do not have this situation or if you have found an alternative that works, well, great! You must definetely work with what works for you. But don't be as arrogant as to think that your perspective is the only one valid! BTW, ask any pro in hardrock (that's the music I talk about here), whether he would do without his backline ... And I tell you another thing: EVERY band I heard in concert so far, that did not employ a backline (95% or more do, though), had a crappy sound. Always. And yes, I know that some parts of the backline are only there for showing off and actually not used. And of course I know that some bands put their amps in sound booths backstage and do only in-ear-monitoring, but they still use their tube amps. Never asked yourself, why, when something like a Helix is so much easier to control and much more reliable than such a old-fashioned tube technology thing??? Just for nostalgic reasons? You might want to think again!

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Have you EVER been playing with a transistor or a modelling amp alongside a guy with a tube amp? 

 

I'm 60, and yes I have... The modeling amps today are not like the bean from yesteryears. 

 

And you come with insulting suggestions ...? 

 

Pot calling the kettle here bud? And I quote "Well, if you hear no difference, then you may well abstain from using a good amp"...

 

 

And in respect to the latter there is NOTHING yet to replace a tube amp

 

That's a pretty flat statement and one I believe many would disagree with. Helix is not your fathers Pod, Axe FXII, or Kemper. They have come a long way, and many pros's today or touring with them. So in that regard, you are incorrect and you're the one who needs to rethink the flat statement you made.  ;)

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Wow I didnt mean to start a tube war hahahah easy guys.Im into my 50's worked in the greatest iconic section of ny back in the 70's 80 Music Row 48 st at the greatest music store that has since closed down.I love my first big amp it was a fender twin with jbl speakers.It was a beast to haul around but I loved that thing and since then I plated with marshall peavey 5150 my favrite heavey amp peavey classic and blues and my last amp os a blackstar which gavem me thebest of clean and overdive I love it. I was just curious when I asked the above question because the first few minutes using the helix I was impressed by the fender type of amps and marhsll and heavey amps.If I could sell my amp easily I would but I think I will keep it because its just a great amp but I can see the ease of just grabbing the helix and a good frfr speaker and hit a small club.its a great unit

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LOL, who's the snob here? I was just saying, if there's no difference in it for you, forget the amp. And you come with insulting suggestions ...? Well, if that's your personality, then have it your way. I prefer staying in an objective level. About my level of experience: I am 53 yo and playing the electric axe since I was 14. I was playing on transistor amps first, not having the money for a Marshall. Later I switched to a modelling amp (Line6 POD directly into PA). Only a few years ago I was buying my first tube amp, a small one for sessions and later a big one for the band.

Have you EVER been playing with a transistor or a modelling amp alongside a guy with a tube amp? Well, I have done so, in many projects. The experience was ALWAYS the same: Having the same volume (!) and a good sound, side by side with a tube amp guy, my (transistored or modelled) guitar got lost in the overall sound, even via PA. That's where sound pressure comes in as you sure know. Sound and sound pressure make together one impression, so you can treat it like one impression in a discussion, too.

You may not encounter these problems, when being the solo guitarist in a band, but you sure do, when you have the constellation described. I even had to leave a band once exactly because of this problem, because at that time I could not afford a tube amp and it does not do, when the lead guitarist's sound does not come through in spite of having an acceptable volume. Volume and sound pressure are obviously different things, too! Well, no more of these problems, since I have my tube amps. Mind, I am NOT talking about studio work here, I would always prefer to work with a modelling amp supplemented maybe by a Digitech FreqOut in such a surrounding.

Conclusion: when playing with two guitarists, sound pressure gets equally important to the sound itself. And so far I have not encountered any serious alternative to a tube amp, nor in rehearsal room, nor on stage.

If you do not have this situation or if you have found an alternative that works, well, great! You must definetely work with what works for you. But don't be as arrogant as to think that your perspective is the only one valid! BTW, ask any pro in hardrock (that's the music I talk about here), whether he would do without his backline ... And I tell you another thing: EVERY band I heard in concert so far, that did not employ a backline (95% or more do, though), had a crappy sound. Always. And yes, I know that some parts of the backline are only there for showing off and actually not used. And of course I know that some bands put their amps in sound booths backstage and do only in-ear-monitoring, but they still use their tube amps. Never asked yourself, why, when something like a Helix is so much easier to control and much more reliable than such a old-fashioned tube technology thing??? Just for nostalgic reasons? You might want to think again!

 

All of this is your opinion. It only becomes fact to you because you strongly believe it. It is not my experience. I currently play in a loud rock band. I mainly play rhythm but we trade lead parts back and forth quite often. He uses a Two Rock set up with some rack gear and the largest pedal board I've ever seen. I use my Helix and DXR12. I have no problem keeping up with him or being heard. Our biggest problem is volume creep on both our parts because we each get into it and it gets crazy loud real quick. There's absolutely no reason a proper digital rig can't take the place of, or play along side of, a tube rig. 

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Axxxeman you're talking about putting a pod up against a tube amp and yes the pod did fall flat back in the day, but that is a 20 years old example... have you used a helix??

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Of course I believe in it. Because I believe in what I have experienced many times. That's what every intelligent being hopefully does, you included. If your experiences are different, well all the better for it. And concerning "volume creep": I suggest using two master volumes (either in your amp, if it has it, or volume pedal or output levels, if you prefer playing helix), one lower for rhythm, one for lead. Do a soundcheck to test the combinations and off you go ... no need to raise volume by hand anymore.

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In Helix that's handled with snapshots. One for rhythm, one for lead, up to eight total. The lead player uses a volume pedal that I assume keeps getting rocked forward a little at a time.

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Wow I didnt mean to start a tube war hahahah easy guys.

 

 

"You" didnt...  ;)

 

I was just saying, if there's no difference in it for you, forget the amp.

 

No, what you were stating was that I couldn't hear the difference between that "good tube tone" versus one of those err...., modelers...   On a "modeler" forum no less- LOL. But,  that's ok, and you are entitled to your opinion as am I and the rest of us. Speaking from experience, you too can choose to be wrong as much as you like here.  :P

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I've gradually gotten rid of all of my tube amps. I've had many over the years and there's a few I deeply regret selling; most notably my Mesa/Boogie Mark IIc combo and my Bogner Ectasy head. I don't think I've dialed in a lead sound in my Helix that's as perfect as the ones in those two yet, but I haven't given up hope; getting closer every time I work on it. And neither of them could possibly be as versatile as Helix. Besides, I'm 63 years old and tired of being the equivalent of a furniture mover. 

 

I love that I can load up a preset and it sounds EXACTLY the same every time. 

 

 

That is appealing - especially seeing that tubes degrade over time.   Plus the fact I can eventually buy an LT and have the same exact tones for a backup if my main Helix goes down.   I've had identical model and year of tube heads and they have variation of sound.

 

Man, I've bought pairs of matched power tubes when one of them was bad right out of the box. On one occassion it blew out my transformer at the beginning of a gig. 

 

I still use (rented) Mesa Triple Rectifier half stacks with the band I tour with. You'd be hard pressed to find two of them that sound identical. Not to mention that tube amps can be sensitive to the electric wiring of a venue. I'd imagine many of us have had the experience of having a tube amp sound great in one venue and sounding like crap in another one... and not just because of the respective acoustics. 

 

The ridiculous pedalboard with 20 patch cables also stays parked in the man cave.

 

Yeah, tracing a short amongst that many cables isn't that different from finding a needle in a haystack. 

 

Simple question, simple answer. A pro will hardly do without his tube amp on stage.

 

I've been making a living as a guitar player for 40 years (discounting 2 miserable years in L.A. in the mid '80s when I became a full-time telephone solicitor). Did I somehow lose my status as a pro when I went digital? And you wonder why people might take issue with that statement? BTW, I read your other post about using a digital rig alongside a guitar player with a tube amp and can't agree with it. I know a fair share of people who have had the opposite experience, including myself. 

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SOLD my DT25 when I got the helix, replacing it with a EON610

Also had a Marshall JTM60 that I never used, so sold that to an aficionado 

 

Still have a Spider Jam, my first LIne6 purchase - its not a tube amp, but I still have it. Clearing out my collection of multi-effects pedals. Primarily I use the Helix with its built in looper or Trio+ through an FRFR - either the 610 for playing with a drummer, or a Lunch box for practice.

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I have a couple of fantastic tube amps (JP-2C LE and a Mark V 35 combo) that I love. I use the Helix with my JP-2C and it works perfectly. Sometimes I want the amp on and sometimes just the Helix. That is the beauty of this unit.

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Triaxis is too versatile to get

 

I've got 6 tube amps and I can't seem to pull the trigger. My plan is to keep my Mesa Triaxis 2x12 rig, the Mark V and my Traynor YGM-4... and cut the Maverick, the Champ and the Traynor Darkhorse loose. Even the 3 remaining would seem like too much to hold onto. The sad part is how small a room they live in, and how little they get played now!

The Helix is staying.

Triaxis is too versatile to get rid of. One of my fav things is plugging the triaxis into the souncard with an IR. It doesnt get much more simplistic than that.

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