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Have you owned a modeller?

  • I own a modeller and it's good enough for me. It's the foundation of my main rig.

    Votes: 26 44.1%
  • I own one but use it for effects only.

    Votes: 3 5.1%
  • I own one and use it only for effects but I plan to start using amp modelling in the near future.

    Votes: 1 1.7%
  • I own one but it's not part of my main rig.

    Votes: 10 16.9%
  • I owned one for less than 3 months but it didn't do it for me.

    Votes: 1 1.7%
  • I owned one for more than 3 months but it didn't do it for me.

    Votes: 7 11.9%
  • I tried some but they didn't do it for me.

    Votes: 4 6.8%
  • I've never owned or tried one.

    Votes: 1 1.7%
  • I own a modeller but I'm going back to the real thing. I've owned it less than 3 months.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I own a modeller but I'm going back to the real thing. I've owned it more than 3 months.

    Votes: 6 10.2%
1 - 20 of 84 Posts

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought this would be interesting.

Shannon mentioned looking at the VG99 in his thread so I had a look at it and despite my bias against Roland it has some nice features and looks pretty cool. This got me to thinking. There are a number of good modellers available today and the flexibility they offer cannot be matched by traditional analogue gear unless you have Lee's bank balance. There is still a lot of people who think they are not as good as the real thing and many more who think there is only one that comes close. But I am wondering how many people own a modeller or have owned one and how happy they are with the modelling technology they have tried.

This isn't another one of the regular tube amp vs modeller questions, we are not looking for the best option here or even focusing on the pros and cons. The question I am asking today is, is modelling good enough for you? I'm interested in seeing how many people have tried modelling and how many of those are happy enough with what it offers them and to what extent they use modelling to replace analogue gear.

Vote in the poll then post a reply detailing what you own or have owned and how you use modelling today. You may as well say something about your future with the AFX as well as I guess just about everyone has thought about getting one if they don't already own one.
 

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Premium Member
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32,765 Posts
I've owned a Johnson J-Station, and borrowed a Line6 Spider for a gig in an emergency once, as well as did a little bit of recording with one.

The J-Station actually had a couple nice models - the "blackface" clean, mark-II, and Recto patches were excellent, although seriously bass-heavy until I changed them all to run through 1x12s. In fact, itwas the Johnson takeon the Recto sound that got me into Mesas in the first place, when I first played a Millenium. That said, it couldn't compete with the real thing - I recorded most of the mp3.com album I did with a J-station, and it sounded fine on its own, but any time I tried mixing a modeled tone with a real amp, with VERY specific exceptions (say,textural parts), the tones didn't seem to mesh.

The Line6 felt stiff, couldn't hang live, but didn't sound too bad mic'd up.
 

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Dream Crusher
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21,053 Posts
I've owned a POD (first a 2.0, then an XT) nearly as long as I've been playing. The Line 6 stuff sounds great through a PA (when tweaked properly) and is good for headphones practice, but it tends to get lost in a busy band mix and can be very harsh in the upper mids/low treble. Most of the gainy sounds are very compressed as well, and it's not as transparent as I'd like; most guitars and pickup positions sound very similar through it. I prefer my tube amp, as it just sounds and feels far more inspiring; but when dealing with volume considerations or quick recording, the POD wins.

I also still use a DL4 for delays, which is a Line6 delay modeling box. Not perfect, but close enough for me.

I also learned that I tend to spend way too much time tweaking modelers and too little time actually playing, so a simpler setup with a few set-and-forget pedals and a two-channel shared-EQ amp forces me to actually play a lot more.

Having played an Axe-Fx when JJ brought his over, it wasn't as earth-shattering as the hype had led me to believe. The options and sounds and the like were mind-boggling, and it certainly sounded very good, but I go for mainly dry guitar sounds and a more 'boutique' dynamic response, neither of which I felt were represented well enough to justify the expense of the AFX and its related controllers/power amps to me. When I find myself in a volume-limited apartment, that might change however. Basically, it has far more options than I need, and I wouldn't want to take the huge bath on selling and then re-buying everything.
 

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Premium Member
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1,781 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've owned the Line6 Pod X3 Live in the past for over a year and currently own the Digitech GSP1101. I didn't like the Pod and rarely used it after I bought the Engl E530 but I love the GSP1101 and it is my main rig now and the more time I spend experimenting with it the more I love it.

You all knew that already :lol:
 

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Premium Member
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1,781 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I also learned that I tend to spend way too much time tweaking modelers and too little time actually playing, so a simpler setup with a few set-and-forget pedals and a two-channel shared-EQ amp forces me to actually play a lot more.
This is one of the cons of modelling to me. When I owned the E530 before I purchased the GSP1101 I spent hardly any time tweaking and played more however I was never happy with my lead tone. Looking back I probably would have been happy enough if I threw a nice reverb and delay in the loop. I can't see myself going back now because I have all these other great sounding amp (models) but I do regret that it means more time tweaking, less time playing and some indecisiveness about what amp I will use. I actually find myself switching a lot when I practice and I don't get as much real practice as I plan to, instead I find myself rocking out stuff I know or just experimenting through a bunch of different amps. I'm less productive as a result.
 

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18,790 Posts
My first "real" amp was a Line6 Flextone II combo (2001), this lasted me up until I started gigging with my first band, at which point I upgraded to the Line6 Flextone II HD and a Behringer 4x12 (2005-ish). Now I've moved on to a Line6 POD X3, and it'll be good enough for me until I can afford an AxeFX.

I love the flexibility of modelling. Would I switch to "real" amps if I could afford to? Yeah, probably. But for my current purposes, I love having every tone I need at the press of a footswitch, including bass and acoustic.

I'd love to have a studio full of tube amps, cabinets, and microphones, but until I can afford that, I'll stick with modelling :lol: It's good enough for me, and 95% of people listening to it won't know the difference (basically only the guitarists will notice or care).
 

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Premium Member
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23,428 Posts
I flirted with a few modellers... the J-Station, the M-Audio BlackBox, played around with some Line6 stuff (spyders, Vettas), Digitech, etc. They are definitely getting better, but I guess I prefer the real thing.
 

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El Kabong
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5,037 Posts
I think most of you already basically know how I feel about this subject. A good modeling rig gives me everything I need in a package that is reliable, consistent, relatively easy to move, and quick to set up and tear down.

My POD X3 + tube power amp rig took some time to get right, but once I did, it sounded great. My Axe-FX rig has pretty much cured me of most of my non-guitar GAS. I can tweak it in ways that I could never tweak a real amp, so in that respect, the sound is actually preferable, IMO. Even though it stomps all over my POD, I still like Line 6 and wouldn't mind either picking up a used Vetta on the cheap or getting a solid-state (guitar-type) power amp for my POD to have a durable and reliable backup rig.
 

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Registered
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6,968 Posts
I have a Tone port. I generally just use it for practicing and use it for a interface for guitar, directly into reaper. Most stand alone modelers are essentially toys, i feel like (Not stuff like Axe FX, any of the higher end digitech stuff), and would never use it for actual recording or live use.
 

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RG 7 player of doom
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690 Posts
Not sure how I'm meant to be voting here.
I have the real deal tube head and cab setup on the way.
However, it's going to have two main uses.
For when my cover/tribute band finally gets a drummer and we start playing live, I'm actually only using the power amp stage of the head for the volume, and the preamps of my POD X3 for the actual tones.
Since I'll be using a real cab, I get to totally bypass the cabinet models, which are the weakest point of the POD.
Since the preamp models are actually good, going into a real tube poweramp and real cab means I'm pretty close to having a real deal tube sound we are all familiar with.

Why am I using this setup you ask? I hate the pedal tap dance, simple as that.
Back in the day, I used to have to turn on and off delay pedals, over drive pedals, AS WELL as changing the amp channels just to get to certain sounds.
And honestly, it's not worth the effort IMO and I want to just concentrate on practicing the songs and not having to practice the pedal moves.
So with the POD, I hit one switch, bam I have my clean tone, another switch, clean tone with delay and compression, another switch will be high gain rhythm, and another switch is high gain lead with reverb and delay.
Being able to do that with one hit of a button just makes life so much easier and with the music I'm playing, I literally do not have the time to be turning on and off multiple pedals at once.
It also means I can completely leave my footswitch for the amp at home, which is one less item to bring and of course means less weight to carry.

Also, on the live stage, I'm not going to chance the fact many venues around will have terrible monitoring (many of the venues I've seen around here seem to use pretty fucking cheap monitoring speakers), so no way would I just plug my POD straight into FOH.
I wanna feel that air moving behind me as I play and have some good backline support.

However for home use, I'll have a real amp to finally use instead of resorting to amp sims for my recordings.
The real amp will be the basis of most of my rhythm tone stuff , and with quad tracking I can blend two tracks of real amp with 2 tracks of amp sim for certain sounds.
For leads, I'll mainly still be using POD Farm since it's my favorite amp sim product for leads, but of course I'll experiment with the real amp and cab for leads too


I guess it's fair to say I believe that both real amps and modeling are both tools in the box that are highly useful
 

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Premium Member
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7,708 Posts
I've never actually used a modeler for anything longer than a day or two. We had an old line 6 practice amp I used once at a band rehearsal. It was quite simply awful for any kind of pro or semi-pro sound, but at the same time I wish we had something even remotely that cool and interesting back when I was a kid.

To get 5-8 amp sounds plus effects in a 1x10 or 1x12 for $99 is simply incredible and we never had that kind of sheer awesomeness when I was growing up. We had to settle for $300 Crate 20 watt pieces of shit that had distortion that sounded like rob zombie gargling with razor blades out the window of a moving car.

As for pro quality modelers, I'm looking forward to the Axe Fx, I've heard nothing but good things about it, and going from years of solid state and tube pre's with tube amps, it will be really interesting to see where the Axe Fx fits with what I've played and owned before.
 

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Colourful bastard
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403 Posts
I've owned HD147, XT Live, Pod Pro, Flextone, 2112, 2101, GX-700, several. I half miss the XTL, that through an ENGL Poweramp is probably my favourite tone that I've had. Too much trouble for me though, I like to be able to eq and tweak on the fly, so I've gone back to heads.
 

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Premium Member
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3,391 Posts
Why am I using this setup you ask? I hate the pedal tap dance, simple as that.
I hate it too, hence why I have a MIDI rig, cost more for similar functionality, but in my experience, better tone.

I have used modellers often, owned 3 of them (Pod 2.0, V-Amp Pro, Pod XT), and just have never taken to any of them. I spent more time tweaking them than playing them, just to get a tone I was vaguely happy with.

The problem is, I started with a practice amp, but then after a year I went straight to a tube amp (an Engl Thunder), which also happened to sound good at low volumes, and I could get some damn good recorded tone out of it. So, all the supposed advantages of the Pod were lost on me. I also ran it with a G Major that would switch the channels on it, so I never had to tap dance for effects either.

When I moved to the Engl Invader, same thing happened, it's controllable via MIDI, and then within about 9 months of owning the Invader, my entire rig was MIDI enabled (pedal switching, multieffects, even my Digitech Whammy), so no messing around, the tone sounds good enough at low volumes, and simply stupendous at loud volumes, and I can get a great recorded tone out of it.

The main problem I find with modellers is, I'm not particularly bothered about using 30 different amp models, the most different amps I truly want is maybe 2 or 3, at most (and 2 of only really for recording), so having access to numerous tones that I would never use doesn't really help me.

I'm not going to say that it's impossible to find your own tone with a modeller, but I could never find mine, and I spent more of my time tweaking them to become like the tone I already had 4 feet away in the amp, than just playing the amp I already had. I like the tone I have, it is VERY me, so I'm not really interested in using 40 different versions of different tones, when the one I have is already bloody monstrous.

The best way to show the way I have taken to modellers is twofold. First, when I went to university, I took only my Pod and left my Engl Thunder with my parents. After a week of trying to use the Pod 2.0, I went out to the nearest guitar store and bought the cheapest but best sounding tube combo I could find, and instantly played about 3 or 4 times as much guitar, and 3 or 4 times less tweaking. Secondly, when I moved all my gear out to a rehearsal room with a band I was in a couple of years back, I had only my Pod XT at home. I would play it to learn parts, but could never write any songs as I was never inspired by it. The moment that band folded, I brought my gear back home. 12 weeks later, I had realised I hadnt turned the XT on once. Ebayed it, never owned a modeller since.

Now a disclaimer to all this is, I've tried many modellers (as well as the ones I've owned, I've played the Digitech stuff, Vox, Johnson, Yamaha [probably the best sounding ones were the DG series Yamaha, I could live with them], various plugin ones like Amplitube, Eleven, Sansamp etc) but have yet to play the holy grail, the Axe FX, so if I'm ever in the same place as one, my views may change, but I'm a bit wary of dropping money to check to see what its like, especially given I have zero spare money currently as it is.
 

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THUNDERBEEEEAR!
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3,920 Posts
I've had my x3l for about a month now and I still haven't figured out how to get a decent tone out of it. Cleans are pretty easy to get right but for the more high gain metal sound it will take some more tweaking.
I've also noticed I don't play as much as when I had the real thing.
A pm or two with tips on how to get a good metal sound would be appreciated.
 

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RG 7 player of doom
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690 Posts
@Stu : Well admittedly, being on a government welfare unemployment wage means I can't really drop the cash on a MIDI based, high end tube rig any time soon :(
I don't use many of the PODs models. Maybe about 10 or most (5 or so for high gain, 5 different ones for leads, I don't really play anything that isn't high gain or super clean :lol:)
 

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Premium Member
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@Stu : Well admittedly, being on a government welfare unemployment wage means I can't really drop the cash on a MIDI based, high end tube rig any time soon :(
I don't use many of the PODs models. Maybe about 10 or most (5 or so for high gain, 5 different ones for leads, I don't really play anything that isn't high gain or super clean :lol:)
Yeah I know the feeling dude :), I'm employed but since I moved out of home, I've barely been able to afford much other than the odd DVD. I'm glad I got it all out the way before I did move out.

I just wanted to make the point that its not the only avenue, obvious to most I guess, but not always obvious to everyone
 
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