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jaae01

Using Cab Blocks With a External Guitar Amp

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I'm using a Blackstar amp and 2x12 speaker cab as a surrogate for a powered FRFR with the Helix LT providing the amp sim and all fx. The output from the Helix is going into the Return on the effects loop of the Backstar bypassing the preamp stages of the Blackstar. My question is: Should I be using an amp+cab block or just an amp block on the Helix? With the amp+cab, it sounds hollow and muffled, with just the amp block the sound is very fizzy. Neither sounds right. I know the issue would go away with FRFR but I can't afford it yet.

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FWIW... When I run into the effects return (or power amp in) on one of my amps I use just an amp block.... not cabinet or mic simulation. 

When I run directly to the FOH and/or into a full range setup on stage... I use the full amp/cab/mic setup.

 

1 hour ago, jaae01 said:

The output from the Helix is going into the Return on the effects loop of the Backstar bypassing the preamp stages of the Blackstar.

 

... with just the amp block the sound is very fizzy.....

 

I don't know the amp in question... but usually an effect return on the amp will still go through a few things such as presence, reverb and any type of resonance control you may have. Try adjusting your presence (turn if off) to see if that helps with the fizz at all.

 

If you have a "power amp in" you may want to try that as well because it will likely tap into the power amp at a different point. 

 

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The setup you described doesn't really reflect an FRFR set up.  Your power tube section, speakers and cabinet will color the sound, not providing the Full Range Flat Response of a true FRFR system.  I would recommend that you think of your set up as a tube power amp and speaker cabinet set up.    

 

With your set up, the Pre-Amp only block should be selected.  Choosing the Amp only block adds in the simulated power section of the selected amp model and this is going into the power section of your amp.  Choosing the Amp+Cab block sends a simulated amp, power section and cab into the power section of your amp.  This may be the cause of the fizziness you're hearing.  So since you already have a power section and cabinet, the Pre-Amp block is the correct choice here.  

 

I highly recommend using the 4CM template as using a true 4CM set up allows more flexibility of your effects (for pre and post preamp signal management - i.e. OD in front of the amp, Reverb and Delay in the effects loop).  

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1 hour ago, jaae01 said:

I know the issue would go away with FRFR...

 

Well that's not really the case... boomy low end and fizzy highs are common complaints when switching to an FRFR rig. Low and high cut filters are pretty much a necessity with any FRFR speaker(s). 

 

But as for your current problem... you could do it either way. I used to run my 500X into a tube power amp and Marshall cabinet. I was never able to get a decent tone using just the preamp models, with no cab/mic modeling. I used full models + mics and cabs... but the choice of mics and cabs matters. If its muffled and boomy, try a different mic/cab combo...

 

Or just use a preamp model, forget the cabs and mics, and deal with the high end fizz with a high cut. 

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19 hours ago, jaae01 said:

I'm using a Blackstar amp and 2x12 speaker cab as a surrogate for a powered FRFR with the Helix LT providing the amp sim and all fx. The output from the Helix is going into the Return on the effects loop of the Backstar bypassing the preamp stages of the Blackstar. My question is: Should I be using an amp+cab block or just an amp block on the Helix? With the amp+cab, it sounds hollow and muffled, with just the amp block the sound is very fizzy. Neither sounds right. I know the issue would go away with FRFR but I can't afford it yet.

i had a blackstar ht60 and did the 4cm and it was fine I used the sim with out cabs and also with it depends on the amp.after adjusting and playing with the cabs it worked out fine.I had to get rid if the amp and I now use a Seymour Duncan powerstage 170 with a blackstair 212 can.works well.I had a mackie12

thump and switched to the SD.

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Try it both ways. You can't break anything. I had a Blackstart HT40 that I did 4cm with sometimes and sometimes I used a preamp model, and amp model, and amp and cab. I just did whatever sounded good to me at the time. 

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The more your setup gets away from FRFR, the worse the factory presets will generally sound. Most of the presets developed by other users are also intended for FRFR. Therefore, with your setup you are going to have to develop your own custom presets, which will likely require a good bit of EQ. I tried doing this with my Mesa rig and got the best tone using a Lonestar “pre-amp only” model in Helix. Even so, I quickly went back to FRFR...

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