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ledvedder5150

Guys who have gone from all tube amp to all digital. Opinions?

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I'm considering going with a Helix/FRFR setup for gigging. I'm currently using an HX Effects in 4cm with my 5150iii and I absolutely love it. That's making me consider going with the full Helix or LT. I'm just wondering what everyone else who has gone this route, or at least tried it thinks about it.

 

Also, what FRFR's would you recommend to keep that "amp in the room" feel?

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Some people love FRFR. Some hate it. After I tried my Rokit6 monitors and an FRFR112, I bought a tube amp. I'm currently saving for a reactive load box so I can try using the FRFR112 as a supplement to my tube amp. If I still don't like FRFR I'll just keep using Helix with the tube amp and use the FRFR112 for bass, which sounds great.

 

Or maybe I'll try a Powercab+. I suppose I could sell my little brother......

 

Do you like exploring rabbit holes?

 

This subject has been discussed to death.

 

Search here and in the Digital and Modeling forum on The Gear Page for "FRFR". you'll find hundreds of opinions on the subject as well as just as many recommendations for what FRFR is best, and why they all suck.

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On 10/19/2019 at 7:49 PM, ledvedder5150 said:

Also, what FRFR's would you recommend to keep that "amp in the room" feel?

 

IMO, you don't get an "amp in the room" from an FRFR. You get a finished sound.... which includes the mic as part of the tone. A poweramp and cabinet will nail down an "amp in the room" but you won't have an FRFR so you can never go down the path if you want to. Most FRFR's cannot turn off the horn which makes it difficult to achieve the "amp in the room". 

 

The PowerCab is capable of doing "amp in the room" because many of it's options disable the horn. When those modes are used it is not an FRFR, it is a speaker cabinet with some tone shaping on the speaker alone. The PC is an FRFR when it is set to FLAT or if you have the PC Plus and load up 3rd party IR's...

 

I would suggest looking at a PowerCab Plus. You can control that fully with a Helix and swap settings per preset. That way you can get the "amp in the room" tone when you need it, and you are fully setup to take full advantage of an FRFR at your own pace. If money is a concern, the PowerCab can also do "FRFR" or "amp in the room", but you won't be able to control it per preset from the Helix. 

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I like the idea of using an external power amp. Something like the SD Powerstage or the EHX 44 Magnum, into a guitar cab. What are your opinions/experiences with this? 

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31 minutes ago, ledvedder5150 said:

I like the idea of using an external power amp. Something like the SD Powerstage or the EHX 44 Magnum, into a guitar cab. What are your opinions/experiences with this? 

I've had very good experiences with a Mooer Baby Bomb. I setup my presets where I route the signal without cab sim to the 1/4" outs and then use this tiny power amp to fire up the usual guitar cab in the rehearsal space. I'm not rehearsing every week and am not a pro but if you happen to have a guitar cab anyway you can get the full guitar amp in the room feel for 100 bucks (pretty much the cost of the baby bomb). And it's loud enough in my opinion.

 

If you already have a cab you like sitting around somewhere, a powercab is basically 1000 bucks too much in my opinion. But I guess all depends on what you want to do with it.

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Hey, just one guy's experience here: I switched to a (full) Helix and Variax back in April. Gigged a bunch on it in everything from 500 person clubs to 15k at a 4th of July show. Before I switched my guitar rig was 5 guitars, medium-big analog pedal board, tube head, attenuator, and cab. Now it's a Variax and the Helix going into my IEMs.

 

Folks ask me all the time if the Helix/Variax is "as good" as my analog rigs, and I don't know that I have a simple answer. I've swapped out the pickups in the Variax and had it plek'd, and spent hours and hours with the Helix (just like I would with an amp and pedals) and it's fine. BUT I'm sitting in the studio this morning playing a Suhr into analog pedals and a hand-wired Vox, and I have no desire at all to get out the Helix. That said, I play keys as well, and for live gigs the Helix/Variax cut 140 lbs and ~20 minutes off my setup. When it's 2:00 AM and I'm loading out, or when I have 15 minutes of changeover time on a big stage, I have no desire at all to get out the analog rig. I mean, between the keys rig and the analog guitar stuff, I was carrying more gear than the drummer.

 

So I guess here's where I come down on it: Playing with the Helix is different. The amp is part of the instrument, and so of course it's different, just like moving from an upright piano to a Yamaha C7 is different. When I was considering making the move I had to ask myself what I was trying to get out of it and weigh the pros and cons. If what you're after is an "amp in the room" thing, then you should probably ask yourself what you'd be getting out of moving away from an actual amp in the room. It sounds like what you'd be getting out of a Helix and FRFR is additional flexibility in amp/cab choices. If that's important, it's probably worth the time and money. If you're happy with the rig as it is now, and you don't need the additional flexibility, then the Helix is probably just a shiny object that you don't need and you may as well save the money for a new Fender Custom Shop or something.

 

Hope that helps,
Dean

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In my opinion, those who successfully embrace FRFR are those who don't need it to have an "amp in a room" feel. I wanted an FRFR in the room feel ... and it did that perfectly.

 

Powercab is your best bet, but if you really want an amp in the room, it's a scientific fact you need to place an amp in the room.

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6 hours ago, ledvedder5150 said:

I like the idea of using an external power amp. Something like the SD Powerstage or the EHX 44 Magnum, into a guitar cab. What are your opinions/experiences with this? 

There’s the only way you have the amp in the room thing. I use a SD Powerstage, it’s exactly like a real amp in the room. Every other ways to use the helix will get you the sound of a miced cab.

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I use my HX Stomp into an Orange Pedal Baby powering a 4x12 cab - it sounds phenomenal - certainly the best sound I've had out of my helix and it's full on amp-in-the-room feel. 

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Seeing you have the HX Effects that means for your "amp model" is your 5150 (pointing out the obvious :) - are you looking for additional amps as well, or just to simplify your setup (once your patches set)?  Also, are you maxing out the 9 blocks/preset? 

 

I have the Helix LT and run 4CM into my Marshall DSL40C.  I went in with the expectation of using my DSL for my amp and Helix for effects only, but then setting up a few patches with amp and cabs so I could use the Helix as a backup if my amp was under repair.  That quickly changed after I started messing with the Helix.  Some presets are what I expected, just my Marshall and the Helix for effects, however, I also now have a bunch of patches where I use a Helix preamp model and go direct to the effects loop return, so my DSL is just a tube power amp (all in 4CM).

 

Going straight Helix, however, has been a bit of a learning curve for me - especially since I'm now getting into some recording (I'm barley scratching the surface).  Thanks to the guys/gals on this board I've learned a lot!  Amp in the room vs amp, FRFR speakers, need to get monitors for recording and mixing and not use home stereo speakers, using the Helix as your audio interface, etc.  I really get into this stuff and love to learn and play with it - so I don't mind it.  For others that are looking for more plug-and-play, going all Helix vs. amp may be a bit more than what they had in mind.

 

 

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I went full digital back in GT-10 days and I don't missing carrying all the extra gear and fighting with a guitar cab that sounds different in every room. As far as "amp in the room", you need something that moves air like the cab you're used to or it won't work feel-wise. So either a real guitar cab, Powercab, or probably one of the Friedman options. I tried their wedge 12" speaker and that was the closest to a guitar cab feel I've gotten with full-range speakers. I personally prefer my monitor up on a pole behind me to further decouple from the effects of the stage/room on my sound. I'm also an anomaly among guitarists as I couldn't really give two craps less about "cab feel", since I learned to play and spend 99% percent of time practicing in headphones or monitors, so for me playing guitar has nothing to with the amp or air movement, just hitting the right notes at the right time in the right way. I sure do like having a load in that consists of my pedalboard, my guitar case, and my 12" PA speaker with a pole.

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I've found if you have an FRFR that can push some air that you can get amp in the room sound...  I sure as heck haven't enjoyed my 2 custom tube amps I kept much in a few years now.

 

I have Helix, Axe FX III, and Kemper Stage.  I love all 3.

 

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3 hours ago, kraftybob said:

Seeing you have the HX Effects that means for your "amp model" is your 5150 (pointing out the obvious :) - are you looking for additional amps as well, or just to simplify your setup (once your patches set)?  Also, are you maxing out the 9 blocks/preset? 

 

I have the Helix LT and run 4CM into my Marshall DSL40C.  I went in with the expectation of using my DSL for my amp and Helix for effects only, but then setting up a few patches with amp and cabs so I could use the Helix as a backup if my amp was under repair.  That quickly changed after I started messing with the Helix.  Some presets are what I expected, just my Marshall and the Helix for effects, however, I also now have a bunch of patches where I use a Helix preamp model and go direct to the effects loop return, so my DSL is just a tube power amp (all in 4CM).

 

Going straight Helix, however, has been a bit of a learning curve for me - especially since I'm now getting into some recording (I'm barley scratching the surface).  Thanks to the guys/gals on this board I've learned a lot!  Amp in the room vs amp, FRFR speakers, need to get monitors for recording and mixing and not use home stereo speakers, using the Helix as your audio interface, etc.  I really get into this stuff and love to learn and play with it - so I don't mind it.  For others that are looking for more plug-and-play, going all Helix vs. amp may be a bit more than what they had in mind.

 

 

When you switch between a preset using the 5150 and a preset using a Helix amp mod, do the levels match with the volume you have the 5150 set to, or do you have to adjust the Helix amp models independently? 

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3 hours ago, ledvedder5150 said:

When you switch between a preset using the 5150 and a preset using a Helix amp mod, do the levels match with the volume you have the 5150 set to, or do you have to adjust the Helix amp models independently? 

Whether you're using your amp, or amp models, you do have to set levels across your patches.  And it's best to do it at gig volume if at all possible.  Once the levels are set I then use the main volume control as my master volume.  You may have to tweak a little here and there depending on the room your in.  I thought this would be a pain, but it wasn't a big deal and it's not any different than if you brought multiple amps to a gig - you'd have to level them as well.  

 

Speaking from experience, start with the clean amps first, then level the OD.  Seems obvious but for some unknown, idiotic reason I started with the dirty amps, then soon realized some of the clean amps couldn't get loud enough to match.  Just like the real world - shocker :) 

 

Finally, don't get hung up on all the science around which way to best level your volumes across patches.  I used a sound meter on my phone (NIOSH SLM - it's good and it's free) just to get in the ballpark.  But I did the real leveling just listening with my ears.  Others swear by sound meters only, others ears only, etc.  There are a ton of threads on this forum but frankly you could easily go down a rabbit hole with this topic.

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Just a friendly advice - 5150 in the Helix is nothing like a real 5153, except for obnoxious amount of gain available. Line6 Badonk is your best friend in that regard. I had the same setup as you, and went full Helix. Actually, now, after a couple of weeks of learning, adjusting, and getting used to Helix's workflow, I wouldn't go back.

Oh, and a Headrush 112 or a PowerCab will move some air. Definitly. Just don't use a real cab, as you lose the ability to use IRs correctly.

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

 

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What about going through my 5150's effects loop into a guitar cab, bypassing IRs? Or a power amp into a guitar cab? 

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2 minutes ago, ledvedder5150 said:

What about going through my 5150's effects loop into a guitar cab, bypassing IRs? Or a power amp into a guitar cab? 

 

 

That's an option, but for me, there's no point in doing that. IRs are the sh*t! :) IRs is what makes Helix one of the most versatile units ever.

I'd get rid of the 5153 and the cab and go with Helix + PowerCab/Headrush 112 + some Ownhammer IRs.

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1 hour ago, Chr1sROSE said:

 

 

That's an option, but for me, there's no point in doing that. IRs are the sh*t! :) IRs is what makes Helix one of the most versatile units ever.

I'd get rid of the 5153 and the cab and go with Helix + PowerCab/Headrush 112 + some Ownhammer IRs.

 

It's all personal preference but... there's nothing quite like playing through a 4x12 - even at lower volumes it just creates a "bigger" more solid sound. I've done helix into - 1x12 combo, headrush 112 and then power amp into cab and it's the helix > power amp > cab that suits me best - you get the feel of the amp in the room with all that 4x12 power but with flexibility of helix still being able to pick amps/preamps blocks before the actual power amp. You do miss the Cab/IR blocks but I'd take an actual 4x12 over a cab/IR into a FRFR any day. 

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On 10/20/2019 at 11:38 PM, andrelast said:

There’s the only way you have the amp in the room thing. I use a SD Powerstage, it’s exactly like a real amp in the room. Every other ways to use the helix will get you the sound of a miced cab.

Not exactly. I have created some IRs that just don't sound like any miced cab IRs I downloaded (commercial or free) over the years. At least I haven't found any that would sound similar to my own creations.

Whether they would please anyone else - no idea (I could post one for you folks to try), but to me, at least so far, they're giving me a close enough "real amp" feel through a FRFR monitor.

There's one main difference remaining, though, that'd be the physical impact of whatever larger guitar cabs. My Alto TS310 (and all the others I tried) just doesn't offer enough "weight support" for the kind of impact making your pants flap. But I don't exactly miss that much, if at all. And if I'd do, I'd rather get a larger FRFR solution.

For me, the days of playing through guitar cabs are over once and forever (unless I have to play through some session/rental stuff) and I'm not even remotely sad about it, more to the absolute opposite, I'm enjoying my guitar sound more than ever before (and fwiw, in the pastI owned several rather expensive full tube/analog rigs, spiced up with expensive digital stuff plus a whole bunch of cabs of every size). I already sold my alltime favourite 2x12 cab, the 1x12 and 4x12 will folliow (ok, I may keep the 1x12 just in case...).

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41 minutes ago, loydall said:

It's all personal preference but... there's nothing quite like playing through a 4x12 - even at lower volumes it just creates a "bigger" more solid sound.

 

I don't disagree with you at all... but there is another side to the discussion. This is an interesting conundrum, and really is the difference of approach and mindset between "amp in the room" and "FRFR". Not right, not wrong.... different. In the end you are right... it is "personal preference". 

 

For those that play live and are miced up through a system, the crowd doesn't get to hear that 4x12 sound. You can dial in the tone all you want for yourself... but the crowd will get tone of a mic (often a '57) jammed into a tiny 2" square section of a single speaker.... producing a tone that will pale in comparison to the full cab sound you hear on stage.  A live tech does not have the benefit that a studio tech does with using multiple mic's and placements to capture that full tone as much as possible.

 

My approach is to use cab blocks or IR's with multiple mic placements to try and convey the fullest tone possible to the FOH. I look at it this way... if I send a great tone to the FOH, then it will also be a great tone in my monitor, FRFR or in ears. 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, codamedia said:

 

I don't disagree with you at all... but there is another side to the discussion. This is an interesting conundrum, and really is the difference of approach and mindset between "amp in the room" and "FRFR". Not right, not wrong.... different.

 

 

 

Yeah - totally agree... For me I have 4 scenarios of set up - 1) At rehearsal where I go through the 4x12 that is provided by the rehearsal room 2 ) Through my 2x12 at home 3) Through my 2x12 un-miced for smaller pub gigs and 4) larger gigs where I'd mic up my 2x12.

 

I'm quite enjoying being able to pack everything I need into a bag for rehearsal each week and know I'll get a similar tone to what I dialled in at home. If I was regularly playing gigs where I bought my own cab and it was miced-up I may look at the FRFR option for the reasons you described... 

 

As it is we're lucky to even get small pub gigs!

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Opinions? Easy: I'm never going back to analog again. I've been trying to achieve the sounds of my guitar heroes (and the sounds i hear in my head) with analog gear for 26 years now, without success. And let's not talk about how to bring that on stage, because that's another vast can of giant worms. :)

 

Digital gives me everything i've dreamt about: i can now sound exactly* like the recordings i'm used to. Vai, Holdsworth, Robben Ford, and even a bit of those Alex Argento and Jens Johansson dynamics - all within the reach of my toes, consistent day to day, unit to unit.

 

We live in the future, and i love it. :)

 

*probably not exactly, but it feels like it, and sometimes even better than the original...

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Ok, so I really need someone to help me pull the trigger. I've played tube amps my entire life.

 

Do I get the Helix to replace my HX Effects and continue using it in 4cm with my 5150 head?

 

Do I get a standalone power amp to use the Helix with my existing cab?

 

Do I just go all out and get the Helix and some sort of FRFR like a Headrush 112?

 

I sometimes play out at places that don't have FOH. 

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25 minutes ago, ledvedder5150 said:

Ok, so I really need someone to help me pull the trigger. I've played tube amps my entire life.

 

Do I get the Helix to replace my HX Effects and continue using it in 4cm with my 5150 head?

 

Do I get a standalone power amp to use the Helix with my existing cab?

 

Do I just go all out and get the Helix and some sort of FRFR like a Headrush 112?

 

I sometimes play out at places that don't have FOH. 

 

Yes!

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26 minutes ago, ledvedder5150 said:

Ok, so I really need someone to help me pull the trigger. I've played tube amps my entire life.

 

Do I get the Helix to replace my HX Effects and continue using it in 4cm with my 5150 head?

 

Do I get a standalone power amp to use the Helix with my existing cab?

 

Do I just go all out and get the Helix and some sort of FRFR like a Headrush 112?

 

I sometimes play out at places that don't have FOH. 

What kinda cab are you playing your amp through right now?

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I had the M13 and haven't even looked at it since the day I unboxed the Helix.  Actually, that's a lie - I had to look at it when I took pictures of it to sell online :)  I know the HX Effects is way ahead of the M13, but my plan was to use the Helix in 4CM for effects only and still use my amp for tone - like my M13 setup.  That all changed when I pressed the power-on button.  Getting the Helix is like the saying "if you build it, they will come" because once you start playing around with it you want to explore more.

 

I was always an "I get my tone from my amp" guy and only used affects to supplement my tone.  Now I have more presets that use Helix preamps than I do using my tube amp preamp section.  

 

I don't play out right now, but if I did I would seriously consider going all Helix and leaving the amp at home.  Having a load-in that consists of a backpack and guitar(s) is very appealing.  Especially since my DSL weighs 58 lbs and my back is not in the best shape.  Plus I use a 1x12 extension cab so I would want to bring that with as well.

 

My plan would be Helix to FOH.  If there was no FOH I'd have to decide between an FRFR or some type of power amp (Seymour Duncan PowerStage?) and my speaker cab.

 

Welcome to the future!

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1 hour ago, SaschaFranck said:

What kinda cab are you playing your amp through right now?

It's a custom built 212 cab. 

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On 10/19/2019 at 7:49 PM, ledvedder5150 said:

I'm currently using an HX Effects in 4cm with my 5150iii and I absolutely love it.

 

I wouldn't switch if I absolutely loved it. 

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On 10/19/2019 at 6:49 PM, ledvedder5150 said:

I'm currently using an HX Effects in 4cm with my 5150iii and I absolutely love it.

 

15 minutes ago, spikey said:

 

I wouldn't switch if I absolutely loved it. 

 

I absolutely LOVE my wife.

She's drop dead gorgeous, a demon in the sack, a great cook and a meticulous housekeeper.

She doesn't even mind that I gig 3 nights a week for chump change and come home drunk.

 

That's making me think about trading her in, but there's so many choices!

An Italian Super Model

An Asian Beauty

A High School Cheerleader

A Hooker from Hoboken

 

Help me out here guys, I just can't make up my mind!

 

*******************************************************************

 

I recommend that you keep the HX FX, 5153 and 212 cab, and get your wife to Roadie for you.

 

:-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)

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8 hours ago, ledvedder5150 said:

It's a custom built 212 cab. 

 

In that case, you'll likely experience a rather noticeable difference in "perception" when going for any of the rather typical (and probably affordable) FRFR monitors. You may even like it, but chances are you won't.

 

Personally, I switched from what I think was a most excellent 2x12 cab (a DIY clone of those Mesa half-open, half-slanted cabs) that has been my to-go-for thing for plenty of years (I only used a 1x12 in case size was an issue) to a lowend-ish Alto TS310. Along that, I switched from an IMO equally excellent Boogie MkIV (that only served as a clean "pedal platform" most of the time) to modeling (various setups ever since I got my first hardware IR loader, an AMT Pangaea), which finally brought me to the Helix, after carefully checking out all of the big tiers.

I can safely say that I *absolutely* love it and have more confidence in my guitar sound than ever before (and I owned quite some setups during all the decades, including certain $$$ devices). The only thing I am missing soundwise might be the flapping pants thing, but I really don't care too much about anymore. Let alone I'm playing several InEar gigs without any cabs on stage since plenty of years already (musicals, other theatre productions, etc.), so I'm used to that.

 

I will however admit that I seem to be an exception. There's quite some folks who switched back from modelers and FRFRs to modelers and cabs and some even went back to fully analog rigs. I will never do that and I'm going to sell what's left of the analog days (the Boogie is history already, but there's still a Laney, a Twin, a 1x12 and an Orange 4x12 left...) without any regrets. I just love all this new stuff (and fwiw, all my bandmates and the FOH folks seem to be pretty happy, too).

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7 hours ago, rd2rk said:

 

 

I absolutely LOVE my wife.

She's drop dead gorgeous, a demon in the sack, a great cook and a meticulous housekeeper.

She doesn't even mind that I gig 3 nights a week for chump change and come home drunk.

 

That's making me think about trading her in, but there's so many choices!

An Italian Super Model

An Asian Beauty

A High School Cheerleader

A Hooker from Hoboken

 

Help me out here guys, I just can't make up my mind!

 

*******************************************************************

 

I recommend that you keep the HX FX, 5153 and 212 cab, and get your wife to Roadie for you.

 

:-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  :-)

Funny stuff here! I probably should have elaborated. I meant I absolutely love the HX Effects. 

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I had over 50 years of playing with tube amps and personally going all digital has given me all the things I could never accomplish effectively with my tube amps.  But that's probably due in large part to playing a very wide range of styles from blues, to rock, to jazz, to rockabilly, to funk...etc.  So for me, bringing a polished studio sound into the live environment was what I always strove for and was never able to achieve effectively with tube setups, especially when it came to mic'ing the amps to achieve that finished studio sound.  For me, this was a one stop shop for getting what I've always wanted.

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I read time and time again that "FRFR wont get amp in the room sound" - but I'm just not sure I agree. Maybe its my particular "FRFR" - but I've found that I can get close enough for my purposes.

 

I see it as needing 3 main things if you want FRFR to feel "amp in the room":

  • Volume.
    • I would guess most people associate "amp in the room" with "loud".
    • Specifically meaning, 5" Studio monitors on stands simply wont recreate the effect like a guitar cab (or FRFR) on the ground moving air.
  • Good cab IR that matches whatever you're "expecting"
    • There are a million companies making them now. Take your pick
    • Personally, I use a single Orange IR from OwnHammer on almost EVERYTHING now...just because thats the cab I was most "used to"
    • You can probably do just fine with the built in Cab blocks - I just have no interest in exploring since I found a set of IRs I'm very happy with.
  • EQ accordingly.
    • That is, Parallel EQ with what feels like an agressive high pass and low pass
    • The IR does a lot of work here - but its still my experience that an FRFR will be a little "boomier" low, and still project WAY more high frequencies.
    • Anything from a high pass up to 130hz and low pass as low as 4k or as high as 14k. Maybe use the P-EQ to scoop a little 4-6k?

 

Of course, this is all done with the intent of emulating an "amp in the room". I have little idea how it would work if I ran this exact patch FOH, but I don't think it would be disastrous by any stretch. (After all, at worst its an unmic'd cab sound?).

 

I'm able to make myself happy and shake the walls just the same as I used to with amp and cabs... only with the added perk of being able to play at talking volume and still enjoy the experience. (I never liked my analog / tube stuff quiet).

 

I don't miss having an analog amp and cab anymore. Occasionally I'll think "that would be fun!" - but quickly realize I wont use it much, or it would be a passing novelty I end up selling again eventually anyway. I already made the change once when I got the Helix.

 

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1 hour ago, thisperishedmind said:

I read time and time again that "FRFR wont get amp in the room sound" - but I'm just not sure I agree. Maybe its my particular "FRFR" - but I've found that I can get close enough for my purposes.

 

I see it as needing 3 main things if you want FRFR to feel "amp in the room":

  • Volume.
    • I would guess most people associate "amp in the room" with "loud".
    • Specifically meaning, 5" Studio monitors on stands simply wont recreate the effect like a guitar cab (or FRFR) on the ground moving air.
  • Good cab IR that matches whatever you're "expecting"
    • There are a million companies making them now. Take your pick
    • Personally, I use a single Orange IR from OwnHammer on almost EVERYTHING now...just because thats the cab I was most "used to"
    • You can probably do just fine with the built in Cab blocks - I just have no interest in exploring since I found a set of IRs I'm very happy with.
  • EQ accordingly.
    • That is, Parallel EQ with what feels like an agressive high pass and low pass
    • The IR does a lot of work here - but its still my experience that an FRFR will be a little "boomier" low, and still project WAY more high frequencies.
    • Anything from a high pass up to 130hz and low pass as low as 4k or as high as 14k. Maybe use the P-EQ to scoop a little 4-6k?

 

Of course, this is all done with the intent of emulating an "amp in the room". I have little idea how it would work if I ran this exact patch FOH, but I don't think it would be disastrous by any stretch. (After all, at worst its an unmic'd cab sound?).

 

I'm able to make myself happy and shake the walls just the same as I used to with amp and cabs... only with the added perk of being able to play at talking volume and still enjoy the experience. (I never liked my analog / tube stuff quiet).

 

I don't miss having an analog amp and cab anymore. Occasionally I'll think "that would be fun!" - but quickly realize I wont use it much, or it would be a passing novelty I end up selling again eventually anyway. I already made the change once when I got the Helix.

 

 

I think a lot of us are with you on this, but I can't dismiss the fact that there are "amp in the room" people who have tried all of these things and it still doesn't work for them. 

 

I have to accept, though, that I'm wired differently than a lot of those guys. For example, WHY do they need all high frequencies to ALWAYS be nerfed?  

 

Just because traditionally guitar cabs sucked with highs doesn't mean that once we figure out how to have them we keep them toast. I think it's just that they're used to them being toast. If we'd started out with full range speakers instead of the limited range cabs of the 50's, I have to assume we'd largely use fuller range guitar sounds in our modern era.

 

Yet, those frequencies often weird out old school players . . . so they get cut. I EVEN CUT THEM SO THEY DON'T lollipop ABOUT MY TONE, BUT THERE'S TIMES I THINK THEY SOUNDED BETTER THAT WAY. 

 

We all have our preferences on how things should sound, and I guess there's just no getting around that. I've never found an FRFR that sounded like a tube amp in the room . . . so if you can hear that difference, and you vastly prefer the tube, an FRFR just won't do it no matter how hard you try. 

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6 hours ago, thisperishedmind said:

I read time and time again that "FRFR wont get amp in the room sound" - but I'm just not sure I agree. Maybe its my particular "FRFR" - but I've found that I can get close enough for my purposes.

 

I see it as needing 3 main things if you want FRFR to feel "amp in the room":

  • Volume.
    • I would guess most people associate "amp in the room" with "loud".
    • Specifically meaning, 5" Studio monitors on stands simply wont recreate the effect like a guitar cab (or FRFR) on the ground moving air.
  • Good cab IR that matches whatever you're "expecting"
    • There are a million companies making them now. Take your pick
    • Personally, I use a single Orange IR from OwnHammer on almost EVERYTHING now...just because thats the cab I was most "used to"
    • You can probably do just fine with the built in Cab blocks - I just have no interest in exploring since I found a set of IRs I'm very happy with.
  • EQ accordingly.
    • That is, Parallel EQ with what feels like an agressive high pass and low pass
    • The IR does a lot of work here - but its still my experience that an FRFR will be a little "boomier" low, and still project WAY more high frequencies.
    • Anything from a high pass up to 130hz and low pass as low as 4k or as high as 14k. Maybe use the P-EQ to scoop a little 4-6k?

 

Of course, this is all done with the intent of emulating an "amp in the room". I have little idea how it would work if I ran this exact patch FOH, but I don't think it would be disastrous by any stretch. (After all, at worst its an unmic'd cab sound?).

 

I'm able to make myself happy and shake the walls just the same as I used to with amp and cabs... only with the added perk of being able to play at talking volume and still enjoy the experience. (I never liked my analog / tube stuff quiet).

 

I don't miss having an analog amp and cab anymore. Occasionally I'll think "that would be fun!" - but quickly realize I wont use it much, or it would be a passing novelty I end up selling again eventually anyway. I already made the change once when I got the Helix.

 

What FRFR are you using? I'm seeing mixed reviews for many different ones. 

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17 hours ago, thisperishedmind said:

I read time and time again that "FRFR wont get amp in the room sound" - but I'm just not sure I agree. Maybe its my particular "FRFR" - but I've found that I can get close enough for my purposes.

 

You follow this with a list of things to do in order to make it work. It is that list of things that many guitar players are NOT wanting to do... they just want to plug in to a power amp and guitar cab and have it sound that way immediately. What those player forget (or don't realize) is that their tone doesn't make it to the FOH, yours does!

 

Don't get me wrong... I'm on your side. Like you I have great success with getting an "amp in the room" tone/feel from the monitors or FRFR. 

 

17 hours ago, thisperishedmind said:

Of course, this is all done with the intent of emulating an "amp in the room". I have little idea how it would work if I ran this exact patch FOH, but I don't think it would be disastrous by any stretch. (After all, at worst its an unmic'd cab sound?).

 

It is not an "unmic'ed" cab sound. In your list #2 is a "good cab IR".... that will include a cabinet, speaker and microphone(s). It is the sound of a "mic'ed up cab" that you are processing to sound as natural as possible. 

 

By getting that "natural sound" from an FRFR your tone will probably sound fabulous through the FOH. Far better than a real amp that sounds great on stage, but is much thinner and weaker in the FOH with a single mic jammed into the cone. 

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I have the following 3 FRFR solutions, although I usually just play through the two JBL sidefill monitors (actually powered mains on a pole for stage monitoring).  I have plenty of volume with these and pretty much hear the whole band just like what the audience hears since one of these is close to my ears.

 

1. Mission Gemini 2 2x12 with ability to dial the horns out via a control pot.  I personally don't dial the horns out and totally feel like I am getting an amp in the room sound for me.  It can get freaking LOUD to me at close to 4x12 cab levels.  It sounds really good!

 

2. Xitone convertible open/closed back MBritt 1x12 FRFR. Also pretty darn loud, and has a very pleasing output.  This had no problem keeping up with our former second guitarist before he left the band.

 

3.  Line 6 Powercab Plus FRFR.  This one is fairlyclose to Xitone volume and us very serviceable.  I don't use the simulations of guitar cabs, just straight FRFR.

 

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There are 4 solutions I'm currently leaning towards. I'd like to hear your opinions (pros/cons) of each. 

 

1. Headrush FRFR112

2. Laney LFR-112

3. Line 6 Powercab

4. SS power amp into my current 212 cab

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11 minutes ago, ledvedder5150 said:

There are 4 solutions I'm currently leaning towards. I'd like to hear your opinions (pros/cons) of each. 

 

1. Headrush FRFR112

2. Laney LFR-112

3. Line 6 Powercab

4. SS power amp into my current 212 cab

 

#3 (especially the 2x12 version) can provide anything the other 3 provide... with more options.

#4 limits you from ever taking advantage of the "full range" options. Cab modeling, mic modeling, acoustic instruments (should you use them), etc... etc... 

#1 & #2 provides full range options, but won't provide you with a traditional "amp in the room" tone without really learning how to capture/create it... which takes time.

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