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Verne-Bunsen

Comparing PowerCab+ to my Atomic CLR cab

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I've been quite happily monitoring my Helix through an Atomic CLR cabinet since I got it, which was about three years ago I think. Fast-forward to today and I'm really wanting to get stereo monitoring in-the-room. Atomic doesn't produce the CLR in the cabinet configuration any longer, and they never pop up on the used market, so getting a second unit is highly unlikely. I don't want a wedge (call me old fashioned), and I want my stereo monitors to match, so really it seems that I'm going to have to seek life after CLR... The more I've read and viewed on PowerCab+, the more excited I've gotten about them.  I'm eager to put this one through the paces and take an objective look at how it stacks up with my CLR! I'm hoping that this ends with me running stereo with two PC+ cabs...

Photo%20Apr%2010,%207%2052%2031%20PM.jpe

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I use Powercab+, and if I want stereo, I'll use my two JBL EON610s in a wet-dry-wet setup. Still pretty portable.

 

I use to use stereo all the time at gigs. But since getting Powercab+ I don't anymore, and I don't miss it at all. 

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I have never experienced Wet-Dry-Wet. Heck, I’ve never run my guitar in stereo even in headphones until quite recently. This is all pretty new and exciting terrritory for me right now, haha! I can see how it would be difficult in a live setting, both in terms of extra gear/setup and in actually implementing it so that it translates effectively to the audience. But man, putting yourself right in the sweet spot of the stereo field is pretty intense.

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I've had the opportunity the past couple of days to commit some hours to this, and I have things to report. 

For starters, I'll confirm what I suspected going in: comparing the CLR to the PC+  in its "Flat" mode, playing presets in Helix using impulse responses from Ownhammer and 3Sigma, the CLR has the edge. I'm not sure how to describe or quantify what quality it is that gives it that edge, but it is just more.... pristine? Present? Haunting mids? So, really, no surprises there. The CLR remains my mental benchmark for FRFR performance. It's just a really, really good speaker.

That said, the PC+ is no slouch. It sounds great in "Flat" mode and if I weren't A/B'ing it with the CLR I wouldn't really have anything negative to say. Where the PC+ really shined though was when I turned off the impulse responses in the Helix and used the PC+ "Speaker Model Emulations". I didn't really expect to be "wow'ed", but I really was.  The first chord was kind of a jaw-on-the-floor moment. Very impressive. The sound is obviously different from what I otherwise have dialed in, so it is not consistent with what I hear in headphones or what I feed the DAW, but it is different in a really appealing way as far as monitoring in-the-room goes. It made me not care that it was different, which I guess is as good a thing as I could possibly say about that.

So, given that feature, and given the integration promised in the next Helix firmware update, I'm 100% in for the PowerCab Plus. Have I mentioned yet that two of them sound completely outrageous in stereo?

Photo%20Apr%2012,%2010%2006%2004%20AM.jp

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How do you find the Powercab when it’s tilted back Verne? I find it really harsh with little or no base if it’s not sat flat on the floor.

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That has not been my experience. I’ve run them tilted back since I got them and have not noted any harshness of lack of low end. For whatever it is worth I have mostly been using them with 3Sigma IRs loaded in Helix.

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