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Is the Powercab like an amp in the room


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AITR room is a unicorn. It's the sound of a specific amp, played thru a specific speaker in a specific cab, in a specific room with specific room dampening factors including how many people are in the room with you, on a day with specific temperature and humidity factors.


IOW - you already HAVE AITR. You can tell because you can hear the sound and you're not wearing headphones.

You just don't like it.


That said:


Powercab is a wooden cabinet, tuned for the Eminence speaker(s) it contains, so it will ALWAYS sound more like a real guitar cab than a plastic PA style FRFR speaker or studio monitors. My HR FRFR112 sounds as good as my PC212+ in FRFR mode, just different.


There's 3 "FLAT" modes - FRFR, LF FLAT, LF RAW. The difference between them is shrouded in mystery. Here's the OFFICIAL explanation:


"Essentially full-range, flat-response, and equivalent to the signal being sent to a front-of-house mixer. This mode is most helpful for simple plug-and-play compatibility, letting your amp modeler do all the work. This mode is ideal for simply plugging in as if you were connecting directly to a PA, active monitor, or recording interface. It provides a flat frequency response, ideal for guitar signals that already include cabinet emulation or for playing back music and backing tracks."


I have always assumed that:

FRFR meant speaker EQ'd Flat + HF Driver

LF FLAT meant speaker EQ'd FLAT, no HF Driver

LF RAW meant the RAW speaker with NO EQ applied. BUT...  see below.


Also, the Powercab, even the stereo PC212+ that I have, sounds like crap for music playback.


Speaker Emulation Mode


"Intended to respond like a real guitar speaker for a traditional "amp-in-the-room" experience. This mode applies different tonal characteristics of the selected speaker model to the system's coaxial driver, with the following adjustable parameters."


This is supposed to be the "AITR" sound, but real guitar cabs don't have a coaxial driver so???


What's more, if you select a speaker type, then go into the Edit App and disable the HF Driver, nothing changes so, again, ???


Anyhow, pick a speaker type. I look at it like this - if, instead of claiming to emulate real world speakers, they had simply named them "Speaker 1", Speaker 2" etc, we'd have all been better off. When crafting a tone, just try them until you find one that suits the tone you're after. There's only 12, so LOTS easier than an IR pack with 3000 variations!


There's also a Speaker Emulation called "Natural" which is supposedly the sound of the RAW speaker, but it sounds different than LF Flat or LF RAW (which sound the same), so who knows what's really going on with that. If anyone reading this has a link to an OFFICIAL L6 explanation of the "Natural" emulation that says more than:


"HF OFF / Natural – This is the natural sound and feel of the speaker in the Powercab with the high-frequency compression driver disabled and
no EQ of any kind applied"


Please post it.


Confused yet?


Go to Sweetwater. search for "Guitar amp". There's hundreds.

Search for "Guitar Cabinet". There's hundreds.

Which one provides "AITR" feel?

ALL of them.


Buy a Powercab from a source with a good returns policy.




If you don't find something you like, buy a Fender or a Marshall or a ???



As mentioned, I have a PC212+, which I like better that the PC112+ that preceded it.

I also have a Catalyst100.

Which one I prefer depends upon my mood and the temperature/humidity that day.

They both sound like AITR.

They both sound LOTS BETTER than my decent quality studio monitors, which don't sound half bad.


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They sound no less AITR than any other FRFR speaker.


I have both PC+ models. In FRFR modes, no it doesn't sound like an AITR, nor do any other FRFR systems... sorry, they don't. Argue all day, but they don't.


In speaker mode, they'll never sound like the AITR you're hoping for, because of basic physics. The cabs are not the same shape/dimensions as the models on the Helix and you can't get a 4x12 feel from a 1x12 cabinet.


After that, it depends on how you set your patches up - if you use a sh*tload of pedals in front of a valve combo, there comes a point where it stops sounding like an amp in the room, too.

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This stupid argument needs to die.


AITR is meaningless.


I propose new terminology:


FAITR - FRFR Amp In The Room.

GAITR - Guitar Amp In The Room.

HAITR - Hybrid Amp In The Room.


Then the focus of the discussion can change to something MEANINGFUL - WTF is HAITR???






Based on my experience of most MI forums (and politics or religion), they absolutely move the MOST air...


I need more coffee. 








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  • 2 weeks later...

When someone asks if it sounds like an AITR, I *assume* they are using common vernancular to mean does it have the characteristics you'd normally attribute to a guitar amp VS. a pure FRFR speaker, PA, or studio monitors.  I think it's an easy and clear "YES".  

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  • 1 month later...

I think we expect guitar amps to sound a certain way for an application, PA speakers to sound a certain way for different applications, and HIFI stereo speakers to sound a certain way for yet another application. PowerCab is attempting to cover all those different applications with its MODE/Voicing. To me, FLAT/FRFR is ok for gigging situations for acoustic guitar. But it can't reproduce the sound of 4x12 or bass cabs in Helix. You'd need a lot bigger FRFR to come close to that. 


If you're trying to get a good 1x12 guitar sound from a modeler, Powercab in FLAT/LF Raw does that pretty well. It will sound a lot like a typical 1x12 guitar amp. This is what I'm looking from Powercab, it's the application to which I am applying the product. I think it works great. 


And for those occasions where I need a FRFR, Powercab is good enough for gigging situations. Not perfect, but good enough. I like that flexibility. 


For other situations, if a 4x12 cab block in Helix into Powercab FLAT/FRFR sounds good, then I'll use it. I don't really care if it sound like AITR as I know that's impossible. The question is simply does it sound good for the application. 


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