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marmatkat

What amp models have you dived deep into?

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I'm still new to Helix, and the most I've done with Amps is mostly tweak channel gains and masters. I suspect it's possible to really explore an amp like one might do with an actual amp in a room. Someone suggested an hour with it at a minimum with no fx. I'd be very curious to hear from folks who have gotten super friendly with a particular model. Do you think controls are as rich as a "real" amp? Thanks!

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From what I can tell Line 6 has done a pretty decent job in replicating the behaviors of the different amps.  This is even to the point of the amps that overdrive when you turn up the amps master volume.  I use a pretty decent cross-section of amps in my patches and the behaviors do vary quite a bit as I suspect they would with the real amp.  I've had a lot of real world experience with some of the amps, but not so much with others.  The one's that I've used most in the real world such as the Fender's, the HiWatt, the JC-120, and the Vox's appear to respond pretty consistently with how I remember those amps working.

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I think they can be, but modeling is a little different in a way that may need a short explanation.

 

For instance when i turn the treble control up on a real amp, i can plainly hear the the treble coming up as i turn the control. On modeler, especially the Helix, when i turn the treble control up, i dont hear it coming up nearly as evidently as i do on a real amp. I need to strike the strings again in order to hear the full detail of the new treble setting. So its there....but is it dialing similar to the amp its modeling? Its a little harder to tell.

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The ANGL has been a big fave of mine; as a result, I've spent a LOT of time tweaking it for various results... I've found it a very dynamic amp model for detailed high-gain sounds.

The Litigator - ditto, more for mid-gain, but I've enjoyed pushing that one hard as well.

Recently, I've been taking a sort of 'second run' at the various Plexi type amps, the Park channels, JTM... interestingly, what I found was that there seems to be some common DNA in these Plexis, Parks and JTMs, and the ANGL... as though the sort of cross over one another in a 'middle ground,' and then the ANGL continues on into outright higher gain without / with less 'assistance' in front of the amp.

I've been enjoying the nuances of that exploration.

Oh, and the Divided amp has been a point of fascination for me lately; I push moderately and harder, and get some interesting textures which have had me practising and 'keeping me honest' with my playing.

 

Clean; I've long relied on the WhoWatt for core clean tones (try it if you haven't - surprisingly good with body; mind the gain =]) but recently did a deeper exploration of the MK IV clean channel, and WOW, I got a result with a lot of nice body, and a nice dreamy chorus/delay/reverb ... inspiring.

I also did a Blackface (or was it one of the other F-type amps?) test which I've got to revisit, as it felt like the first time I got something really nice started.

 

I think all of this is evidence that, after spending the last year and a bit with my Helix Rack/Control setup, I'm starting to hone my abilities with dialing and tweaking with a broader range open to me.

I began using it to do my small gigs within a week or two, and shockingly successfully at that... I can just see that I can arrive at what I'm after more directly now.... I think that's fair to say.

I also feel like I need less 'massaging' blocks in the signal paths to sort things out...

 

Hope that makes sense.

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I play with every parameter available to every amp model I use.or am simply trying. No stone goes unturned.

But that doesn't mean I won't miss something somewhere.

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The Archon clean has been blowing me away. It is REALLY the perfect curve to dirt for my pick attack. It actually makes me want to buy one.

 

Oh, BTW, The Helix made me buy a Klon clone. And then it made me buy 4 more. In the end I like the Helix Minotaur just as much as my favorite Klones - the MonsterPiece and the J. Rockett Rockaway. Stupid Helix. ;)

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The Archon clean has been blowing me away. It is REALLY the perfect curve to dirt for my pick attack. It actually makes me want to buy one.

 

Oh, BTW, The Helix made me buy a Klon clone. And then it made me buy 4 more. In the end I like the Helix Minotaur just as much as my favorite Klones - the MonsterPiece and the J. Rockett Rockaway. Stupid Helix. ;)

😂

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why on earth would you buy 5 klon clones if the helix is just as good ?? you probably could have bought a helix Lt for that much , and loaded a dozen+ klons in series inside it 😂

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I've gone deeper into the Mark IV model. It sounds amazing! I added in the required EQ and set it up similar to how I would set the real thing. Remarkably, it is so darn close, it is uncanny! Love it!

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I've gone deeper into the Mark IV model. It sounds amazing! I added in the required EQ and set it up similar to how I would set the real thing. Remarkably, it is so darn close, it is uncanny! Love it!

 

 

That's the one that I love when I hear other people play it, it just has too many moving parts for me. I've tried multiple times and can't get a tone I'm happy with. It seems like every adjustment you make on one dial effects other parts of the amp. It's kinda like trying to tune a floating bridge, if that makes sense. Love Chevelle's tone, Journey's, Petrucci, Myles Kennedy uses one, hell I think lamb of god does too. I see country and reggae guys even. All sorts of different tones, all sounding great. Yet I can't get a single usable one. Any tips? It's got to be a problem on my end. 

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I feel the same way. I've tried to get a good tone, but every time it comes out ... meh. Again, I'm sure it's me, but other amps have "popped" right from the start - US Double, US Deluxe, WhoWatt, JazzRivet, and Matchstick to name a few.

 

That's the one that I love when I hear other people play it, it just has too many moving parts for me. I've tried multiple times and can't get a tone I'm happy with. It seems like every adjustment you make on one dial effects other parts of the amp. It's kinda like trying to tune a floating bridge, if that makes sense. Love Chevelle's tone, Journey's, Petrucci, Myles Kennedy uses one, hell I think lamb of god does too. I see country and reggae guys even. All sorts of different tones, all sounding great. Yet I can't get a single usable one. Any tips? It's got to be a problem on my end. 

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In the last few weeks, I have been moving through my favourite amps, systematically mapping the Line 6 models with examples I can find of originals (not real amps, various recordings I find online). A couple of things I have discovered:

 

1. the Line 6 models are mostly excellent but I find that the default settings are often not that near to the real things. With some tweaking though, they sound pretty accurate and amazing.

2. I have found the best setup is to use an amp plus two parallel cabs - the sound I get is richer and more dynamic. It also allows me to have more nuanced control over tone by using different mic options for each cab.

3. After paying for several IR's from various companies (Ownhammer, 3Sigma, Redwire) I have concluded that they are no better than Line 6's own versions, and in some cases, much worse. I know that many of you will disagree with this, and I appreciate much of this is down to the type and usage, but my careful experimentation leads me to this conclusion. 

 

I intend to share my amp setup patches soon. Obviously, the massive caveat with this is that I have tweaked these amps to sound accurate on my setup which means that anyone who downloads them might not get what they expect, and is likely to have to tweak eq.

 

Simon

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Thanks for the helpful summary. I'd love to know the kinds of tweaks you typically do. Also, details about the patches would be useful - I'm a newbie who hasn't done any sophisticated routing - just a single path through default Amp-Cab blocks.

 

In the last few weeks, I have been moving through my favourite amps, systematically mapping the Line 6 models with examples I can find of originals (not real amps, various recordings I find online). A couple of things I have discovered:

 

1. the Line 6 models are mostly excellent but I find that the default settings are often not that near to the real things. With some tweaking though, they sound pretty accurate and amazing.

2. I have found the best setup is to use an amp plus two parallel cabs - the sound I get is richer and more dynamic. It also allows me to have more nuanced control over tone by using different mic options for each cab.

3. After paying for several IR's from various companies (Ownhammer, 3Sigma, Redwire) I have concluded that they are no better than Line 6's own versions, and in some cases, much worse. I know that many of you will disagree with this, and I appreciate much of this is down to the type and usage, but my careful experimentation leads me to this conclusion. 

 

I intend to share my amp setup patches soon. Obviously, the massive caveat with this is that I have tweaked these amps to sound accurate on my setup which means that anyone who downloads them might not get what they expect, and is likely to have to tweak eq.

 

Simon

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Thanks for the helpful summary. I'd love to know the kinds of tweaks you typically do. Also, details about the patches would be useful - I'm a newbie who hasn't done any sophisticated routing - just a single path through default Amp-Cab blocks.

No problem. Most tweaking is done using the basic controls - drive, bass, mid, tre, presence. Sometimes i'll use low cut on cabs. I also try variations of microphones (some have more low-end warmth, others more high-end). 

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I've gone deeper into the Mark IV model. It sounds amazing! I added in the required EQ and set it up similar to how I would set the real thing. Remarkably, it is so darn close, it is uncanny! Love it!

 

 

That's the one that I love when I hear other people play it, it just has too many moving parts for me. I've tried multiple times and can't get a tone I'm happy with. It seems like every adjustment you make on one dial effects other parts of the amp. It's kinda like trying to tune a floating bridge, if that makes sense. Love Chevelle's tone, Journey's, Petrucci, Myles Kennedy uses one, hell I think lamb of god does too. I see country and reggae guys even. All sorts of different tones, all sounding great. Yet I can't get a single usable one. Any tips? It's got to be a problem on my end. 

 

Yes, this.... I, too have had trouble dialing in the Mk IV to something I really like across a range of guitar volume levels.  But I'm sure it's me, and I just need more time.  I also haven't added the eq on the back end, which would probably be useful.  It may be that the Mk IV is also not as "dynamic" in changing tones, and is meant more for developing a single tone?  I don't know.  I need to spend more time with it.

 

The Mk IV manual clearly states and describes how dependent different knobs are on each other.  Have you gone to Mesa and downloaded the manual.  It's very detailed and helpful in helping a user approach it.

 

As another point.... Not only do I agree it's a good idea to spend more than an hour with each amp without any effects, but also:

 

4. Amp sound is extremely dependent on the cabinet, mic, and mic placement, too

 

5. Don't ignore Sag and Bias and Hum... these can have very noticeable effects, especially on mid-gain sounds (and hi-gain as well)

 

and

 

6. Once you've got the amp under your belt, you'll find that many amps are extremely dependent as well on the supplied signal, IOW, the character of many amps change a lot based on overdrives and other pedals you put in front of it..... so there's that....

 

If you like system analysis and learning what affects what.... Helix is AWESOME :)

 

@benadrian has produced some nice discussions on the affect of Sag and Bias and hum on the TGP thread.

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If you are looking to replicate that "cranked up" power stage distortion at any volume, then sag, bias and bias excursion are your best friends! I love a Plexi Bright model with master dimed, sag at 6.9, bias at 6.0 and bias excursion at 4.0.

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@benadrian has produced some nice discussions on the affect of Sag and Bias and hum on the TGP thread.

 

Any observations by Ben Adrian or others in those discussions that you found particularly useful?  I tend to adjust Sag, Bias, and BiasX parameters to what sounds best to me for a given preset but Hum and Ripple I tend to just set very low. Now you have me thinking maybe I should be paying closer attention to the Hum and maybe also the Ripple parameters.

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