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Powercab 112+: first impressions, and anything else I need to check?


jpspoons
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I know, I know, I'm four years late to this party... my Powercab 112+ arrived three days ago, and although I haven't been able to spend anywhere near as much time with it as I would like, I'm really impressed so far. I bought it online from a retailer a couple of hundred miles away, so I'm trying to make sure as quickly as possible that everything is working as intended... this product seems to have collected more than its fair share of actual and perceived quality issues since launch.

 

First impressions:

  • Really loud. See separate thread
  • Sounds like a real guitar amp! With loads of different speaker options! So in fact, loads of different guitar amps!
  • (More) option overload. Added to the Helix, there's probably at least 3 years' of trying out different tone and effects options ahead of me, before I have to face reality and try to actually improve my playing.

 

What I've tested:

  • Most of the connections
  • I may have invented this as a reported issue, but I thought I'd read that some people believe that the speaker models are over EQd, but the corresponding mic-modelled XLR out isn't - so if you have to 'correct' the modelling with EQ on the Helix, it will sound very different tonally through FOH
    • I've tested to powered monitors and after a bit of user error, it sounded nigh on identical to me (the delta presumably being the mic modelling)
    • As I say though, I may have imagined reading this

 

What I haven't tested yet:

  • AES cable and therefore parameter switching through the Helix - the cable arrives tomorrow
  • IRs or any of the LF modes. I did listen very intently to some extremely clean sounding LF mode switching this afternoon - and realised too late that I didn't have a cab model in my chain. Argh
  • Input 2 / USB input
  • Reported issue that tweeter is on when it shouldn't be

 

Is there anything else I should be checking / looking out for before the "cooling off period" is over?

 

Many thanks in advance!

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On 6/17/2022 at 3:01 PM, jpspoons said:

I may have invented this as a reported issue, but I thought I'd read that some people believe that the speaker models are over EQd, but the corresponding mic-modelled XLR out isn't - so if you have to 'correct' the modelling with EQ on the Helix, it will sound very different tonally through FOH

  • I've tested to powered monitors and after a bit of user error, it sounded nigh on identical to me (the delta presumably being the mic modelling)

 

 

Probably the biggest complaint about the Powercabs is the perceived inaccuracy of the speaker models.

FWIW and IMO:

 

Do YOU have extensive experience playing every one of the speaker models through a closed back 112 cab?

Probably not. Any of them?

If the answer is YES, then you are entitled to an opinion about the accuracy of THOSE speaker models.

If the answer is NO, then don't worry about it and don't listen to what anybody says.

If it SOUNDS GOOD to YOU, then it IS good! THAT is all that matters!

 

What your Powercab sounds like through the XLR outs will depend more on the system it's being played through than anything else.

The final determiner of what the audience hears through FOH is the sound guy.

If you record it and it sounds close to the actual Powercab in the room, you're good.

 

On 6/17/2022 at 3:01 PM, jpspoons said:

IRs or any of the LF modes. I did listen very intently to some extremely clean sounding LF mode switching this afternoon - and realised too late that I didn't have a cab model in my chain. Argh

 

The LF modes are the speaker without the HF Driver.

LF FLAT is the speaker EQ'd to be as flat as possible.

LF RAW is the speaker without any EQ, the raw, natural sound of the speaker.

You might try LF FLAT with cab models or IRs to see if you prefer it to the sound of the EQ'd speaker + HF Driver.

If you're after the maximum AITR experience, that's LF RAW. That said, there's no reason not to try LF RAW with cabs/IRs.

If it SOUNDS good...

 

NOTE: Nobody knows what the speaker emulation called "NATURAL" is supposed to be. It's different from either of the LF modes. Think of it as "OTHER".

 

On 6/17/2022 at 3:01 PM, jpspoons said:

Reported issue that tweeter is on when it shouldn't be

 

The HF Driver should ONLY be on in FRFR mode. To test in the other modes, from the panel (NOT PC Edit!) navigate to the HF Driver setting and turn it OFF.

If the sound changes, there's the problem. It should ONLY occur when using L6 Link to switch modes. Using MIDI or switching manually is not an issue (IME).

By most reports it's NOT an issue on the PC112+, only on the PC212+, which I (and other PC212+ users) have documented.

 

On 6/17/2022 at 3:01 PM, jpspoons said:

Is there anything else I should be checking / looking out for before the "cooling off period" is over?

 

 

Just a bit of advice. Get the PC112+ OFF the floor! It'll sound much better.

Also, make sure you've got the latest FW. Don't expect to see any updates or bug fixes.

As far as anyone can tell (from the deafening silence of L6 on the subject) the Powercab series is abandonware.

Use it for what it is and have fun!

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Thank goodness you're here @rd2rk, this genuinely is like arriving at a party 4 years late and wondering if anyone will still be there.

 

On 6/18/2022 at 5:10 PM, rd2rk said:

Probably the biggest complaint about the Powercabs is the perceived inaccuracy of the speaker models.

 

My "still worth buying?" post on TGP generated a bit of a spat between one person who was delighted with the accuracy of the speaker models. and one person who was railing against Line6 and will never buy a Powercab because of the inaccuracy of the speaker models. The latter had never actually heard a Powercab. The power of the internet at work, I guess.

 

On 6/18/2022 at 5:10 PM, rd2rk said:

Do YOU have extensive experience playing every one of the speaker models through a closed back 112 cab?

Probably not. Any of them?

If the answer is YES, then you are entitled to an opinion about the accuracy of THOSE speaker models.

If the answer is NO, then don't worry about it and don't listen to what anybody says.

If it SOUNDS GOOD to YOU, then it IS good! THAT is all that matters!

 

Definitely no to the first. I've played a few closed back 112 cabs, but can I recall their sound and cross-reference to the speaker inside? No. 

I was actually really happy instead to read the feedback (good and bad), take a view, and buy online - if it hadn't sounded good, I could either tweak it until it did, or send it back.

You are 100% right (for my situation at least), I only care about what sounds good to me. And I'm delighted with my purchase so far.

If there comes a time when it sounds as bad as some peeople think, I will take some solace from the fact that either my ears have become more discerning, or I've gone deaf and it was good while it lasted :-)

 

On 6/18/2022 at 5:10 PM, rd2rk said:

NOTE: Nobody knows what the speaker emulation called "NATURAL" is supposed to be. It's different from either of the LF modes. Think of it as "OTHER".

 

When I joined a software organisation a LONG time ago, there was no such thing as a bug, you always had to refer to as an "undocumented feature". This is definitely an undocumented feature.

 

On 6/18/2022 at 5:10 PM, rd2rk said:

 

The HF Driver should ONLY be on in FRFR mode. To test in the other modes, from the panel (NOT PC Edit!) navigate to the HF Driver setting and turn it OFF.

If the sound changes, there's the problem. It should ONLY occur when using L6 Link to switch modes. Using MIDI or switching manually is not an issue (IME).

By most reports it's NOT an issue on the PC112+, only on the PC212+, which I (and other PC212+ users) have documented.

 

Thank you, I'll try this out. I was pretty sure I'd seen this documented by your good self - there's an upside to reading 4 years' worth of posts in a week, but the downside is trying to remember where you saw something mentioned.

 

On 6/18/2022 at 5:10 PM, rd2rk said:

Just a bit of advice. Get the PC112+ OFF the floor! It'll sound much better.

Also, make sure you've got the latest FW. Don't expect to see any updates or bug fixes.

As far as anyone can tell (from the deafening silence of L6 on the subject) the Powercab series is abandonware.

Use it for what it is and have fun!

 

Much appreciated! In order:

 - Do you mean the built-in stands, or something additional? One of my Day 4 wishes is that they'd built in a multi-position tilt rather than just 0 or 45 degrees, but that might not be what you mean

 - Done, thank you and understood. You guys seem to have a done a ton of the bug-tracking and fixing already - that's the major upside of being four years late.

 - I'd like to think I went in with my eyes open. That said, there is a gaping disparity between the "what's going to be in 3.20?!?!?!?!?!" threads and the "I don't think they'll ever fix this" threads

 - THIS!!!! Thank you for all of your feedback and encouragement, I'm not a pro player and when all is said and done, playing guitar and having nice toys with which to play guitar makes me happy :-) And maybe even my 6 year old rascal too one day, who knows ;-) 

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On 6/18/2022 at 4:39 PM, jpspoons said:

- Do you mean the built-in stands, or something additional? One of my Day 4 wishes is that they'd built in a multi-position tilt rather than just 0 or 45 degrees, but that might not be what you mean

 

I found that 2-3ft of the floor worked best for the PC112+. I currently have my PC212+ on a 1ft step stool, with my Catalyst on top.

This is definitely a YMMV thing though.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Whether you need to get the Powercab off the floor or not depends on your desired tones. What happens is a cabinet on the floor will get bass coupling between the speaker cabinet and the floor giving a possibly unnatural bass boost. But that could be good or bad depending on what you want and how your Helix patches are setup. I have found the 112+ has less bass coupling than 212. That's probably because of 1 speaker vs 2 (bass coupling is impacted by speaker surface area) and that the 112+ has a light back angle on the front of the cabinet while 212 is flat.

 

By the way, I love my Powercab 112+ and use it on every gig, with Helix or with Quad Cortex. I use FRFR and IRs or cabinet models Helix/Quad Cortex for the simplicity and flexibility. But I have used the speaker models. If you find something you like, use it. If it sounds good it is good. I wouldn't worry too much about whether they sound like the original or not. The sound will be very different depending on number of speakers and open or closed back. Just go by what sounds good.

 

 

 

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