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Tube amps Gone?


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23 hours ago, DitaBahti said:

Thank you for helping in advance... my teenage sons are off to college and I need some help using my Helix to find and set up tube amp sounds (modeling?) Would someone be so kind to direct me or walk me through the process of how to do this. It would be most appreciated.  warmly, Dr. Rob


Start here



This is part 1 but is not labeled that. He has at least 23 of these and they are labeled with their respective part numbers. Keep in mind these are his methods and there are other ways to do things but it's a great place to start.

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I got my Helix in Oct. 2015 in the first shipment that Sweetwater had. I used it in various ways...mostly with my DT 50 amp the first year (the amp models sounded better with some tube juice). Then as the models got better, alone with a Bose L1 Compact to monitor myself onstage and running the XLR out to the P.A. out front.

The tube amp models have gotten progressively better and better. The Archon amp model has been my favorite clean, crunch, and lead model over the last year (I don't like using distortion pedals in front of an amp...I like the sound of the amp's overdrive better).
Able to get a great sound using that and a third party IR cab.

Having said that...a couple of months ago, I bought a Mesa Triple Crown rackmount head. That head has a built in load box so you can shut off the speaker output.
I go straight into the amp, then take the line out of the amp and come back to the Helix and use the head as my amp in the chain. Still go out through the IR and then to the Bose L1 compact onstage and XLR to front of house.

And yeah...huge difference when using a real tube amp. 
I have to give a lot of credit to the tube modeling technology. But like a few have already don't realize what's "missing" until you play through a great tube amp again. 
The "singing" notes, the articulation, the even ordered really is a difference.

And surprisingly enough...people in the audience are hearing it too. 
I already had people telling me that I had one of the best tones out front of anyone they had ever heard. (I play live here in Las there's some pretty stiff competition). 

But since I've gotten the Mesa in the chain...not only do I have people coming up telling me that my sound has went up a level (I tell them it's new P.A. gear lol), but my playing and technique have jumped up as well. 
Can't explain what it is except to say: The amp models are real close...but the Mesa head tones feel like molten butter underneath my fingers. Puts me in a "zone" when I'm playing and a big smile on my face.

I still have my tube amp model presets as well (just in case the amp head ever goes down).  And I could easily just switch to those and be right back in business.
But if that happened, I'd be moving heaven and Earth to get this Mesa head fixed as fast as possible and back in the chain.

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Within the last years, i did'nt own a real tube amp except a Line6DT25 (not really a real tube amp because of some modelling stuff included) sold two years ao and replaced by a couple of selfmade FRFR-Powercabs.

Problem: As i mostly play just for myself with selfmade guitars, i was a bit afraid to lose the "reference" - forgetting how a real tubeamp sounds and reacts.


So - as a reference - back to the roots: In the early 80's, i owned and played an Acoustic G100T 112W with a Elecrtovoice 12L speaker. I played a lot during this time from small gigs to medium open air up to 4000 people, so i still have the sound and feel in my head and on some rare records. A couple of weeks ago - i found one of these old diamonds and bought it for small money. :)

I can get a nice sound with it on home level, as the amp uses cascaded gain stages, but at last under these conditions, i can get still better sounds with the Helix and FRFR. Not regarding the huge differences in variability. This was a surprise to me.


Next week, i'll get my old guitar back: A Ibanez Artist 300 AV from 1982 in nearly mint condition - better than my old one that i bought new in 1982 after two years of playing.

This was a pretty good guitar in it's style and i'm curious how my selfmade paddels compare to this original.


When this setup is complete, i will have my old 80's setup to comare it with the actual selfmade stuff. Think this well be an interesting experience after so much years of analog absence.




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