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Nelder17

Tips for use with Power amp + Cab

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So after first trying the Helix with a powered speaker and deciding that route wasn't for me, I picked up a power amp and cab to use it as a more traditional amp set up. The frustrating part about all this is that in the store when I first hooked it all up it sounded great. Now with it home I can't seem to make it sound good at all.

 

Just going for a fairly simple metal tone. I had been using the Mark IV lead channel, but now for the life of me I can't get it to sound good. I've since tried about all of the hi-gain amp models but they all have the same cold, lifeless feeling. I've settled on using the Fireball model, but in order for it not to be a flubby mess I have to use an 808 in front of it on the usual max volume 0 gain setting. This introduces an unbearable amount of fizz to the top of my sound that I can't seem to eq out without muffling the tone overall.

 

So i'm just wondering if there's any EQ tips or tricks that I might be unaware of? For the record, i'm using an ART SLA-1 power amp into a Mesa Thiele 1x12 cab with a C90 speaker. Guitar is a PRS S2 singlecut with EMG 57/66 pickups.

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Hi Nelder17

 

There are so many variables when trying to get accurate 'good sounding' tones with even the best modelling gear. 

 

It largely depends on whether you want to have a guitar amp sound, or a mixing desk guitar channel played through a P.A. sound.

 

Good sounding to one is bad to another.

 

If you have ever listened to the Helix headphone output, through quality monitoring headphones,

You will not hear anything even close to listening to the real amp that is being modelled.

 

I feel this may be why so many new to modelling, claim that most model amp distotion is fizzy and harsh.

 

After playing various valve amps for around 45 years, the most realistic modelled amps I have heard have been through fairly neutral guitar cabs. Playing a guitar through a HiFi, what else would anyone expect other than more high end and fizz than a guitar amp would ever produce.

 

Don't expect a full range flat response speaker to sound exactly like any tube guitar amp.. show me an actual guitar amp cab ( except acoustic amps ) with a tweeter ?.  

 

Many people with the Firehawk 1500 struggle

to get a good accurate guitar amp sound coupled to Helix.

 

Using FRFR Try using Hi-cut on the cabs in HX Edit. Using a complete Helix patch with cabs & mic, your really listening to what an engineer might hear in the mixing booth, not what as a guitarist you usually hear from an amp.

 

I have been using modelling tech and valve amps since my fist Flextone amp.. I have found almost all guitar modelling tech sounds more like the valve amps it is emulating, through a modeling amps effects return. All cabs play a much bigger part in the over all guitar sound than most people would think.

 

I have always found modelling amps to have fairly neutral sounding cabs, so it's felt more natural for me to start from there with Helix.

 

Good luck :)

 

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In this case you're using a standard cabinet I assume.  That being the case, were you also using cab/IRs and mics in the preset?  If so, it wouldn't surprise me there was a lot of mess there.

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A modelling amps cabinet is usually fairly neutral .. as I say, most normal amps cabinets really effect the tone, less so a modelling amps cabinet.

 

Have you tried it ?

 

I have tried various methods, 4 cable into various tube amps, QSC PA active monitors,  I've tried stereo rigs with two identical tube amps running into the effects return and that can sound great, but then the power amp valves impart either EL34 or 6L6 overtones, so for me, the most authentic sounds I have achieved have been into the return of a modeller.

 

I have a number of tube amps, I can sit them next to each other and edit tones in a way that all but removes the effects of the modelling amps cabinet.

Sometimes I will not use the cabs, mic & IR's.. Bear in mind, a good modelling amp needs to emulate some fairly big tonal swings. if they made the cab less than reasonably  transparent how would they get the models anywhere near ?

 

Each to their own, some will much prefer the polished sound of a complete pre-set cab & mic through a PA. but I get a more convincing AMP sound using this method.

 

For the Helix I'm currently using an old Line 6 Flextone, and it really does sound better than any other methods I have tried.

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17 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

In this case you're using a standard cabinet I assume.  That being the case, were you also using cab/IRs and mics in the preset?  If so, it wouldn't surprise me there was a lot of mess there.

+1 Sounds like you have a cab model in your preset on the Helix.   A cab model going into a guitar cabinet typically makes what people call a "muddy" or "lifeless" sound.  To start, make sure you're using just the Amp model, and not Amp+Cab.  Make sure there's no Cab or IR models in your chain too.  

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As common knowledge, so many variables - my experience.  I use a Helix rack with a newly acquired Rocktron Velocity 300 rack power amp.  Pleasantly surprised by that thing, pretty powerful with EQ control on the front panel to boost/cut the bass or treble as needed. I got this to cut down on rig weight, and tube wear, to use in place of my Mesa 2:90

 

Also using two Bogner 1x12 cubes.  Besides the adjustable EQ solid state power amp, this next thing made a tremendous change/improvement in the ice-pick syndrome:  I set the speaker boxes on the floor.  I have these sweet little individual stands for each speaker box.  Kept the speaker off the floor and angled slightly up.  Seemed like a great idea to keep stage volume more under control, and get myself the sound.  But struggled with a thin, sharp sound as described that no EQ or IR would satisfactorily fix.  Put the boxes flat on the floor  and a dramatic improvement immediately.  Something about "coupling" that's an audiophile type concept that I wasn't aware of, but it's real for me.  I've also got a 2x12, and a 4x12 that I haven't tried with this rig.  They were always dark sounding with other rigs.  This change to the 1x12 setup has been a huge success, so I haven't gone to them yet.

 

So for me, speakers made a big difference. I don't use IR's for rig use, only for direct to PA signal.  I'll just guess that your power amp also might have some effect, through this one I have is the only non-tube one I've used for quite a while, and very happy with it.  Will be gigging with it soon, and don't know how I'll handle this, but TBD.

 

Just one more variable to mess with.  Turns out it's a system...

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Yes I had the cab sim's turned off. 

 

My cab may be the problem. Maybe my ears just don't like the Mesa black shadow speaker that's loaded into my 1x12. I'm considering trading it in for a mini recto 1x12 slant with the Vintage 30. 

 

 

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Powercab    It clearly seams I was doing something line 6 agree with... Even a PA system has its own cab resonances.

 

As stated.. I was trying to emulate an Amp in the room, which you can not get through a traditional PA. I have found so many people on here very fast to jump in and criticise anyone else's methods. I have been playing for forty five years now, My first proper amp was a second hand original Marshall 1959 super lead. I bought it in 1976.

 

I don't come here to criticise anyone or tell anyone their sound must be a mess.

 

Too many smart Alec's who know it all on here. 

 

Regards

Paul

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In a nutshell, this newly announced 'Powercab' is using the exact same principle I had described in my initial post.

 

As I said, I found that for me the most realistic amp sounds using modelling tech, was into the return of a modelling amp.

 

The Line 6  Flextone amp I have been using of late, has a fairly FR 12" Eminence speaker. 

 

 

https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/line-6-powercab-112-and-powercab-112-plus.1931154/

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I'm a huge fan of running modelers through a Fryette Power Station /2x12 cab with Vet30's while sending FOH the Amp + IR signal

Really important to tweak your sounds at the volume you are going to normally play at

set your low cut 80hz and high cut 12k (lots of possibilities here) prior to sending to your 1/4" out 

sometimes you might find the preamp version of a specific amp better than the amp + power section of the amp

if you like the sound of your cab, it should be a reasonably painless process

what's a simple metal tone? 80's or more modern?

 

 

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17 hours ago, troy said:

I'm a huge fan of running modelers through a Fryette Power Station /2x12 cab with Vet30's while sending FOH the Amp + IR signal

Really important to tweak your sounds at the volume you are going to normally play at

set your low cut 80hz and high cut 12k (lots of possibilities here) prior to sending to your 1/4" out 

sometimes you might find the preamp version of a specific amp better than the amp + power section of the amp

if you like the sound of your cab, it should be a reasonably painless process

what's a simple metal tone? 80's or more modern?

 

 

 

 

How are you liking the Helix + PS2 into a guitar cab?  I'm thinking of picking up the PS2 for my Helix to run through my Mesa 2x12 Recto cab with V30's.  On the fence between that or going 4CM with a 5153.

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I love the PS into a guitar cab

 

The good news is you can try either way

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