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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So i have spent the last few weeks tweaking my AXE FX non stop, i made about 6 patches that I'm really happy with. One clean, two rhythm (one power ball / one Mark IIC+) and two lead tones (FAS Lead 2 and 5150).

I originally found a Mesa 50/50 on craigslist for cheap and started using it with my presets. They sounded good but the power amp really "colored" the tone, meaning a lot of amps started to sounds similar.

Then i got an SLA 2 used for dirt cheap, i tweaked the presets a bit more and could really get a great tone, and more importantly a very authentic tube feel and sound. Its hard to explain but the same nuisances you get from different amps the AXE FX manages to replicate very well. I tested it out "live" with an ENGL Powerball / Mesa Dual Rec (90's) / and SLO100 / and even though the tones were not exactly identically the "feel" of the amp with the solid state power amp was more accurate than it was with the Mesa power amp.

Im still working on getting my patches perfect, and will have some videos recorded soon. But just my two cents in the tube vs solid state preference at this time. The point I am at right now I would say if you want more flexibility go with solid state, if you want to replicate a specific tone go with tube. For now i am going to be sticking with the SLA 2 and using the Mesa with my Pod XT.
 

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:lol: just kidding

I would assume you're probably right about being more transparent and being able to hear the power amp sims quite a bit more with a less coloring power amp.

I've always been a fan of the big tube block amps though and wouldn't live without one, but hey that's me.
 

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El Kabong
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That's more or less what I decided when I tested it with my Carvin DCM and Peavey Classic power amps. The solid state amp just makes more sense to me for trying to more accurately represent the sound of the amp I'm trying to emulate at any given time, and it makes even more sense when I'm planning to go direct live.
 

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I am Groot
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The "feel" is the big issue with me, which is why I cannot get into a solid state power amp. I absolutely agree that it is going to make the amp sims more accurate, but I'm also going to play worse, so what is the point?
 

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^That sounds like a psychological issue. You think, "It sounds like a tube amp and feels like a tube amp... but it's not a tube amp, thus I cannot play well!"

So, for you, there definitely would be no point. But for someone like Samer, there definitely is a point. :yesway:
 

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I am Groot
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^That sounds like a psychological issue. You think, "It sounds like a tube amp and feels like a tube amp... but it's not a tube amp, thus I cannot play well!"

So, for you, there definitely would be no point. But for someone like Samer, there definitely is a point. :yesway:
That is the easy answer, sure, but it is completely wrong. When we went to record the Division album, we knew we would be re-amping everything, so we used a modeler for the scratch tracks. Mike found some Zoom pedal that actually sounded really, really good, which we used for demos that we passed out at shows.

We didn't realize the trouble it was causing us until halfway through cutting solos, when we realized that we were having a hard time getting inspired. Like I said, we always knew we would be re-amping, so it had nothing to do with a psychological block about playing solid state gear. This was never going to make the album. I actually came to the conclusion about "feel" and playing tube amps BECAUSE of this experience. Until then, I just figured that modelers never sounded as good.

If it doesn't effect you, then more power to you. I wouldn't write it off as all in the head, though.
 

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I hate to sound like I'm selling this thing, but Dave I totally get what you're saying, and at the same time you really need to try one of these out sometime. It actually has a very tube amp like feel even when I'm just playing through the headphones. Really, the sag, damp, and master controls make all the difference.
 

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I am Groot
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I tried jacksonplayer's, but it was before he upgraded the firmware, so I cannot speak to what you are used to. At that point, though, it sounded really, really good, but it was still a modeler. :shrug:
 

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Pallin' around
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I was thinking about getting an Axe FX and just running it in the effects loop of my Powerball with my amp on the clean channel and low gain. Has anybody tried this and had good results, or is it better to just get a dedicated tube or ss preamp?
 

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I was thinking about getting an Axe FX and just running it in the effects loop of my Powerball with my amp on the clean channel and low gain. Has anybody tried this and had good results, or is it better to just get a dedicated tube or ss preamp?
No need to run through the clean channel at all. Just plug the Axe into the loop return with the send unconnected.

I did this with my Invader for a while and it sounded badass. :yesway: A power amp is a power amp whether it's integrated into a head or not. Only problem is all the extra weight and space it takes up.
 

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Definatly going to get a decent tube amp first though but an axe is getting more & more tempting to own one... someday :p.

Kinda like the idea of having a lightweight amp that sounds great.

Would be great to have a few proper soundclips of poweramp testing though, I do see lots of ppl that love the vht 90/2/90 (wich is good in a way since it pretty affordable in europe).

Any place to check out how it affects the sound tube vs ss?
 

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Dream Crusher
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Also shredfreak, keep in mind that the 2/90/2 is NOT lightweight.
 

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VHT 90/2/90 is actually as cheap as it gets for me ... second hand they're a fucking steal over here.

The shit part is that practically no store in the country has any of that gear in stock so try before you buy is out of the question for me unless i can find someone who actually owns one.

all i got is youtube clips & you dimwits' opions basicly :lol: (no offence) so they better be good if i'm going to shelf out 2 grand :scream:

(i finally found the tube head that suits me & it cost me 200$ travelling cost to visit stores... so fucking infuriating)
 

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Super Moderator
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I tried jacksonplayer's, but it was before he upgraded the firmware, so I cannot speak to what you are used to. At that point, though, it sounded really, really good, but it was still a modeler. :shrug:
You have to mess with the thing for more than an afternoon or a day. Initially it sounds good, but yeah the presets all sound like a modeler.

When you dig deeper and begin really tweaking it, it's pretty cool what you can do.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
VHT 90/2/90 is actually as cheap as it gets for me ... second hand they're a fucking steal over here.

The shit part is that practically no store in the country has any of that gear in stock so try before you buy is out of the question for me unless i can find someone who actually owns one.

all i got is youtube clips & you dimwits' opions basicly :lol: (no offence) so they better be good if i'm going to shelf out 2 grand :scream:

(i finally found the tube head that suits me & it cost me 200$ travelling cost to visit stores... so fucking infuriating)
Why is the VHT cheap in Europe? I would think it would be more since it is US made.
 

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Super Moderator
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I was thinking about getting an Axe FX and just running it in the effects loop of my Powerball with my amp on the clean channel and low gain. Has anybody tried this and had good results, or is it better to just get a dedicated tube or ss preamp?
Not through a Powerball, but I always plug my Axe-FX into the effects loop's return in a Marshall JCM2000. I prefer the 2000 because I can leave every knob at zero and control everything from the Axe-FX. With the JCM800 and JCM900, you usually have to control the volume with the amp's volume knobs. It sounds great through all of them, but best through the JCM2000 (which a lot of people don't seem to like as an amp itself for some reason).

However, you have to run it through the effects loop, preferrably with all of the knobs at 0, so that the only thing coloring the tone is the amp's character itself and the tubes inside, with 100% of the EQ, gain, and so on coming from the Axe-FX. Not saying that a solid state amp isn't going to sound great. It will, but just saying that if you DO go the tube amp route...
 
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