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Just a small nod to real amps - tube or otherwise.


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Even when I first had the Boss GT-5, I realized that I would soon be embracing this new approach to getting guitar sounds. No, it did not sound as good as my Blues Deluxe but it's flexibility and adaptability shined a very bright light on an amp's limitations for me. All amps, tube or otherwise, have steadily disappointed me with their limitations, weight and cost. I still have a couple (neither are tube amps) because they are fun to play through and they're always there already set up and ready to go. In fact this brings me to the one disadvantage of modeling pedals. I gig with the Helix so at home it's always put away in its case. If I want to use it at home, I gotta hook it up to either my studio system or headphones. But I never do. I just plug into one of my amps.

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I have a similar situation. I use my Helix for the band and then bring that rig back to my office where there are three amps plugged in and set up, ready to go. I don't give in to them very often. It only takes me about 2 minutes to get my Helix out of it's case, plugged in to power, my DXR plugged in to power and to the Helix, and I'm ready to go. I kind of see it as set up rehearsal to keep me organized at a gig.

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Get an LT for home happiness and leave it set up eh?

Nah. Already have my amps at the ready. I don't need instant access to different sounds in my studio. In fact I like to take my time finding the right sound in my Yamaha THR100HD.

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My quest for a rig that would execute several commands simultaneously was what gradually brought me to digital modeling. I initially did it with tube amps (Egnater IE-4 MIDI switchable 4 channel tube preamp, VHT 50/2/50  EL34 power amp, TC Electronics G-Force, Ground Control MIDI switcher, wah, volume and expression pedals and two Bogner cabs). It sounded great but it was a lot of stuff to lug around and it took me at least 15 minutes to set it all up. After a while I went through Line 6 products like the AxSys and Vetta and loved the convenience, but none were as realistic sounding as the Helix! 

 

This might sound weird to you guys but I do all of my practicing without an amp. When I set my Helix and FRFR speaker up, it's mostly for tweaking; in fact I can't resist constantly trying to refine my patches. That's one thing and practicing is another. I gig often enough to get plenty of playtime with amps and effects. 

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My quest for a rig that would execute several commands simultaneously was what gradually brought me to digital modeling. I initially did it with tube amps (Egnater IE-4 MIDI switchable 4 channel tube preamp, VHT 50/2/50  EL34 power amp, TC Electronics G-Force, Ground Control MIDI switcher, wah, volume and expression pedals and two Bogner cabs). It sounded great but it was a lot of stuff to lug around and it took me at least 15 minutes to set it all up. After a while I went through Line 6 products like the AxSys and Vetta and loved the convenience, but none were as realistic sounding as the Helix! 

 

This might sound weird to you guys but I do all of my practicing without an amp. When I set my Helix and FRFR speaker up, it's mostly for tweaking; in fact I can't resist constantly trying to refine my patches. That's one thing and practicing is another. I gig often enough to get plenty of playtime with amps and effects. 

 

...and as one of the hottest guitarists for decades on the Chicago scene, yer  advice is  well worth considering......

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This might sound weird to you guys but I do all of my practicing without an amp. When I set my Helix and FRFR speaker up, it's mostly for tweaking; in fact I can't resist constantly trying to refine my patches. That's one thing and practicing is another. I gig often enough to get plenty of playtime with amps and effects. 

 

Not weird in the least.  I test guitars without any amp when going for the purchase.  I like to hear the guitar natively without any amplifier or effects coloring.  And practicing without an amp allows me to recognize how accurate my precision is in my playing; just makes the performance pronounced.

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