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Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Guitarman » Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:02 pm

HI Guys

We all know that the best sound we can get from our guitar is to mic an amp and record
what comes out,but I have a problem with neighbours so I have been using Gutar Rig Pro 5 for a while.
After playing Shadows style instrumentals and only Strats for 52 years,I have finally
got a guitar that has humbuckers,Epiphone ES-339.

My question is,does an amp like a Blackstar,that has a direct recording out socket,give a better sound than Guitar Rig 5?
Now I have found humbuckers,I am sorry I didn't try them years ago.

I have only used clean sounds up to now,but my ES-339 is excellent for Jazz type sounds,and maybe a bit of overdrive will creep in soon.

Thanks

Alan
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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Gary_W » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:53 pm

I have Guitar Rig 5. I also have the Redwirez Big Box bundle. And a Matamp C7 that has a 'direct' output. And I've tried the Blackstar HT-Dual pedal for recording purposes so I guess I'm allowed a stab at this. So flameproof vest on and you'll see why in a bit :)

My Matamp has a dummy load built in, so the pre-amp AND power amp are working normally (well, as normally as they can firing into a dummy load vs a speaker anyway!). So what comes out of the amp is a line level signal.

This signal needs to be fed into cabinet emulation software. The new cabinets in guitar rig 5 (the control room PRO) is based on the Redwirez impulses and IMO they do a good job. Used like this, you have the best of both worlds - you have a 'real' amp that feels like a real amp and it then squirts into your choice of cabinet with your choice of virtual microphones. Not to mention all the rack fx in there, so you really have the best of both worlds going on IMO. It sounds much better than GR5. Unless we're talking extremely thrashy stuff in which case my amp is happier to let GR5 take over.

How I'm typically set up now is Guitar > Matamp > MixIR2 plugin with Redwirez cabinets > Guitar Rig (just for reverb and rack fx as needed). On the occasions where I need fuzz, distortion or wah, these will be real ones in front of the amp..... I have a completely analogue signal chain until I get to the PC :)

On the Blackstar amps, the bad news is that your recording output already has cabinet modelling on it!!! I really wish they would not do this in the day and age we are in, or at least give the chance to either 'do it' (when you want to go direct to a PA for live) or 'not do it' as impulses on a PC will do a much better job of emulating a cab than the crude 'take it or leave it' approach of doing it in the amp. I mean, what if you want to mic it differently in the virutal world? No problems on a PC but with the Blackstar emulated output you are stuffed. With a 'line level non-cab emulated output' you can easily run a Blackstar through a virtual 2x12 mic'd with a ribbon plus a condensor on one side then mix this with a 4x12 with greenbacks and an SM57 + a 414 on t'other. No drama. But not possible as they've already decided on 'here is a 4x12 mic'd with summut, take it or leave it.....' :headbang: :protest: :headbang:

This is a real shame as I think the little HT-5 is a fabulous amp..... If only they would provide a dummy load'd line out as opposed to / as well as the current method I'd probably find an excuse to go and get one!

My opinion on a great solution here? A Blackstar HT-Dual pedal. This has 'line out' AND 'emulated out'. It has a very similar vibe to the HT-5 but in pedal form.... Dave will come along in a mo and fill in my blanks :) But in terms of 'both are dual channel valve driven devices that have a mostly British flavour, bags of tone and oodles of gain' then you'll get where I'm coming from.

I used one of these recently with the line out direct into the PC and it was fabulous.... I personally still prefered my 'real' amp but this pedal plus the redwirez cabs gave it a real run for its money. IMO, the Dual plus the cabs you already have in GR5 would be well worth considering as a silent solution..... I thought the HT Dual sounded and felt better than any of the 'front ends' in GR and it allows you to use the (rather good) back end.

Gary
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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby 4TrackMadman » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:35 pm

To be honest with you in most cases amp speaker emulation line out hasn't been that great in other amps that I've tried, although I am not sure how it is in this one. A processor with modeled sounds or a pedal might be a better idea in this case, or maybe a closed in speaker enclosure that you can mic and blast the volume on might be even better:
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=speaker+isolation+cabinet&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=16442644321412717907&sa=X&ei=wclCT-bqKeSa2AWGs-QB&ved=0CFAQ8wIwAQ
(there are other iso cabs and you can even make one yourself)



HT-Dual is a really nice pedal for what you're looking, here is a review:

http://houstonmusicreviews.com/GearReview/Blackstar_HT-Dual/blackstar_ht_dual.htm

There are quite a few other options of modeled pedals, such as AMT DT-2:
http://houstonmusicreviews.com/GearReview/dt-2/amt-dt2-distortion-factory.htm

H&K Tubeman:
http://houstonmusicreviews.com/GearReview/HKTubeman2/hughesandkettnertubeman2.htm

Lots of other options out there, including Sansamp TRI-AC, GT-2, Sansamp Classic:
http://www.tech21nyc.com/products/sansamp/classic.html
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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby ef37a » Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:40 am

FYI all Blackstar FX sends are "1/2 normalled" so you can send a pre emulated signal out for recording without killing the speaker.

No, they do not provide a loaded speaker output but a sutable load box for the HT-5 in particular is beer into water to build! Note also that all the amps (sans HT-1) have more than one speaker out and whilst you should not connect two speakers here there is no reason why you cannot "pinch" a bit of the 8Ohm(say) tapping to feed an AI. You are then effectively in parallel with the speaker. Beware of the level of course! At full clean welly the 5 on 8R tap will be putting out a bit over 6volts, about +18dBu.

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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Guitarman » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:56 am

Hi Guys

Many thanks for the replies.

I should have mentioned that I also have a Weber Mini-Mass Attenuator,which might
alter the replies I have,but my thoughts of using a Blackstar HT-5 emulated out and the cabs in GR5 seems to be a non starter.

I am quite taken with the Dual Pedal idea,and further research is needed.

I had never heard of Redwirez before,I have looked at the website and I am quite impressed.

I am trying to make the right decision first time as I am tired of buying gear,keeping it for a few weeks,then selling it for something else.

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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby 4TrackMadman » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:00 am

With attenuator you could also try injecting a speaker emulator box in between the power amp and the speaker, something like HK Redbox.
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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:59 am

Guitarman wrote:HI Guys

We all know that the best sound we can get from our guitar is to mic an amp and record
what comes out,but I have a problem with neighbours so I have been using Gutar Rig Pro 5 for a while.
After playing Shadows style instrumentals and only Strats for 52 years,I have finally
got a guitar that has humbuckers,Epiphone ES-339.

My question is,does an amp like a Blackstar,that has a direct recording out socket,give a better sound than Guitar Rig 5?
Now I have found humbuckers,I am sorry I didn't try them years ago.

I have only used clean sounds up to now,but my ES-339 is excellent for Jazz type sounds,and maybe a bit of overdrive will creep in soon.

If you aim at emulating the SAME sound as a particular guitar through a particular amp/speaker with a particular mic you will go mad, having first given equipment manufacturers all your money.

The DI on a Blackstar will sound one way. Guitar Rig will sound (several) other ways. Neither is "better". Do you currently own either?
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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby ef37a » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:59 pm

If you have ever stuffed an electric guitar thru' a "flat" hi fi amp and speaker* you will know how ***t it sounds! The practice is also a well known tweeter killer.

All an emulated amp out does is mimic to some degree the filtering effect that an HF limited guitar speaker has on the signal. The Blackstars are optimized for 1x12 and 4x12 V30s IIRC. Other amps vary I am sure.

*A recording chain is of course essentially "hi fi"!

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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Guitarman » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:54 pm


If you aim at emulating the SAME sound as a particular guitar through a particular amp/speaker with a particular mic you will go mad, having first given equipment manufacturers all your money.

The DI on a Blackstar will sound one way. Guitar Rig will sound (several) other ways. Neither is "better". Do you currently own either? [/quote]

Yes,I have Guitar Rig 5 Pro,which gives me nice Strat/Shadows tones without and effort.

As I said,I have now discovered Humbuckers,and the Jazz Amp in GR5 is the only amp the 339 sounds any good through.

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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Gary_W » Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:22 am

Exalted Wombat wrote:

The DI on a Blackstar will sound one way. Guitar Rig will sound (several) other ways. Neither is "better". Do you currently own either?


I disagree with this - line out into cabinet impulses does sound better than the DI on a Blackstar. The OP has the ability to use half-decent impulses in GR5 that will out-do the fairly basic cabinet emulation in the Blackstar. The Blackstar will out-do the front end of Guitar Rig for the majority of 'regular' sounds (GR is great at the crazy noises and makes a good job of 'normal' stuff until you a/b it with a proper amp IMO).

I fully accept that an experienced person in a studio with wealth of mics can do a better job but that's not the situation for the op here. He has impulses (in GR5) and wants to do better. An amp with Line Out as opposed to Emulated Out with give him the most bang for the buck here. As he has a dummy load with line out (if I understand correctly) then he could use that on the back end of any decent amp out there and feed that line out to GR impulses or Redwirez (or similar) if he wishes to spend a bit more. Depending on budget, we have the Blackstars, Orange Tiny Terrors, Vox Night Trains, Matamp Minimat etc. And, as already mentioned, the little Blackstar Dual pedal has the benefit of a line out as well as an emulated out and it does a cracking job fed to impulses IMO. Whether it will be a good match with the 339 he has or not is another matter - for my money, the HT5 and Dual are unbeatable for the money at crunch to higher gains but the cleans are 'good' as opposed to 'brilliant'. Again, IMO ;)
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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Guitarman » Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:47 pm

Hi Gary_W

You make a lot of interesting comments in your last reply which makes sense.

I guess from what you have said that a "Proper Amp" connected to my Mini Mass Attenuator,using the Line Out socket would give me the best sound?

I am facinated by the Redwirex BigBox Bundle,but I wonder how I would use it with the equipment I already have.
I presume it is not a VST that I could load into GR5 or Reaper?

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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:26 pm

Guitarman wrote:I guess from what you have said that a "Proper Amp" connected to my Mini Mass Attenuator,using the Line Out socket would give me the best sound?

There is no "best sound". It will give you a certain sound. Try, and see if you can use it. (Notice I didn't say "...if you like it")
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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Gary_W » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:30 pm

Guitarman wrote:Hi Gary_W

You make a lot of interesting comments in your last reply which makes sense.

I guess from what you have said that a "Proper Amp" connected to my Mini Mass Attenuator,using the Line Out socket would give me the best sound?

I am facinated by the Redwirex BigBox Bundle,but I wonder how I would use it with the equipment I already have.
I presume it is not a VST that I could load into GR5 or Reaper?

Alan

Hi Alan,

IMO, yes this would give the best sound. A good few mic's, experience and a decent room would pip it to the post but I really think for the home hobbyist with 'real world' situations then line out to impulses is a great option..... I've got some great sounds micing up my cabinet at home but (due to my experience level and mic selection) I prefer the impulses!! In addition, the variety I get with the Redwirez plus the fact that I can get the cranked sounds out of my master-volume only amp when our children are asleep makes it the best possible solution for me but others may vary of course ;)

To use the Redwirez cabs, you need a plugin to 'wrap' them in. If you download LeCab (google will grab it easily), you have a basic and free way of doing this. Then you can download the free Redwirez Marshall and have yourself a go....

To use with 'what you have now', do the following:-

Open up your DAW

Put Guitar Rig as a vst effect on the channel you are playing through. Choose an amp but GET RID OF THE CABINET and everything else. Good matches for the Redwirez Marshall are the Hotplex and Coolplex, but obviously try them all :)

On the same channel, insert LeCab as a VST effect AFTER guitar rig, so effectively GR5 is doing the amp and LeCab is doing the cabinet. Load one of the Redwirez impulses. As a start, go with the Royer ribbon mic at 1 or 2 inches from the cap.

Put another instance of GR5 AFTER LeCab. You can now pop in rack effects such as a bit of delay or reverb.

And that's it.

In GR5 itself, it's also worth revisiting your presets before you spend anything - the only presets that use the (cut down) Redwirez are the new ones that use Control Room Pro. So also consider making your own presets in there - select your front end amp but get rid of the matched cabinet - most are pants IMO. Instead put in control room pro and play with the mics and cabs in there.

If you do buy the Redwirez bundle, there is a plugin that comes with it called MixIR2. It's a more elegant version of LeCab. My usual way of playing now is guitar straight into the Matamp, line out to MixIR2 plugin then Guitar Rig5 for reverb or whatever.

Gary
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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Gary_W » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:37 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:
Guitarman wrote:I guess from what you have said that a "Proper Amp" connected to my Mini Mass Attenuator,using the Line Out socket would give me the best sound?

There is no "best sound". It will give you a certain sound. Try, and see if you can use it. (Notice I didn't say "...if you like it")

Let me qualify 'best sound' here so my opinions do not get bogged down in needless semantics..... I know that one person's 'great' is another person's 'meh'

Taking an emulated out from a Blackstar gives you an emulated 4x12 or 2x12 IIRC - it's been a while. If you like it, great. If you don't, you're stuffed or have to try and fix it....

Line out to impulses gives you a lot more flexibility and IMO impulses fart in the general direction of the average emulated output and the emulated output on the Blackstar is distinctly average compared to the rest of the amp which is very good indeed.

Again, IMO :)
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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby ef37a » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:01 pm

"Taking an emulated out from a Blackstar gives you an emulated 4x12 or 2x12 IIRC - it's been a while. If you like it, great. If you don't, you're stuffed or have to try and fix it...."

No, you don't!

As I said, you can get a "flat" preamp signal from the FX send or a speaker output from a spare speaker jack but you will probably need a 20dB attenuator on the latter.

And again, there is no dummy loaded output but it is very easy to arrange, 16R 10W, 2 jacks in a tin, level pot to taste.

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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Gary_W » Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:11 pm

ef37a wrote:"Taking an emulated out from a Blackstar gives you an emulated 4x12 or 2x12 IIRC - it's been a while. If you like it, great. If you don't, you're stuffed or have to try and fix it...."

No, you don't!

As I said, you can get a "flat" preamp signal from the FX send or a speaker output from a spare speaker jack but you will probably need a 20dB attenuator on the latter.

And again, there is no dummy loaded output but it is very easy to arrange, 16R 10W, 2 jacks in a tin, level pot to taste.

Dave.

The fx send eliminates the power amp from the equation and as Blackstar are selling it under the premise of 'it's only 5w therefore you can crank it and benefit from power amp distortion' then you are missing out on the back half of the amp. We could all discuss the difference or otherwise that this is a true statement is it not?

As to making a dummy load, the OP does not have to - he has one. If he had not and he does not have the electronics knowledge to make his own (and that's the norm BTW) then a line out is a much more flexible option in today's world..... As impulses have been 'out there' and constantly improving for years I cannot work out why, on a recording amp, they would put an emulated output ONLY as opposed to giving a line out as well.... Their decision to do so means you need A.N. Other bit to make it work if you wish to 'go modern' as opposed to being stuck with their voicing.

Do you honestly believe that the emulated out only as opposed to having both is a good decision on their part? If so I'd love to hear your reasoning.
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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Jack Ruston » Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:49 pm

Over the past few months I've been playing around with direct guitars a bit more on certain projects, as the tracking room I'm using is an hour away. What I've found is more or less exactly what's being said here...the best approach seems to be to get a direct unprocessed output from the head, and take that into the DAW via some sort of dummy loading or whatever. Then it's redwirez impulses. BUT, what those impulses don't really do is mimic the behaviour of the speaker as it distorts and thus limits. So what it sounds like is a little bit like what you get when a speaker is running at too low a level...The limiting that glues the highs, mids and lows together in a block is missing. You find yourself continually eqing and then undoing it or changing it. Speaker distortion with a cab has the effect of slamming the sound up against the end stops and thus getting a sort of solid consistency to the frequency bands. I don't really know how else to explain it but it's clear when you compare the sounds. So I've been experimenting with other ways to achieve that goal.

Overall, it's not the same as a cab in that it doesn't seem to have the weight and solidity so far, but it's good. It's a LOT better than the amp sim plug ins. And it allows a sort of 'roomless' level of closeness with certain impulses which can be useful. It's frustrating not being able to use the room or the mic to manipulate things but that's the trade off I guess.

I've also found there's milage in mixing impulse responses to achieve a different sound in the way that you might with mics.

My feelings are still mixed in that some days I like what it does and other days I find it really hard work, but it's definitely an approach worthy of experimentation for those with no option to mic a cab.

I'm using the Sequis Elemental to load the output and take the direct sound.

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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Jack Ruston » Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:55 pm

Oh also...In relation to all the analogue speaker simulators: I've also found that these seem to basically just be an eq (primarily low pass filter) and they really can't get close to the sort of realism that the speaker impulses achieve. I think I've tried them all and I haven't heard any that really impressed. I don't think analogue is the medium for solving that particular problem. Not to say that they don't have a use, for example feeding a PA or something. But I personally use my Elementals to get direct sounds rather than emulated ones.

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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Gary_W » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:20 pm

Hi Jack,

How have you got on with the impedance curves in Redwirez using MixIR2? Not sure if that is trying to address the issue you are having or a slightly different one? I tend to stick the 50% one in on most patches :)

According to the manual it does this:-


Impedance Curves (Z-Curves)
The Redwirez collection includes impedance curves of various speakers. These can be used to
reproduce the effect that a tube amp can have on the frequency response of a speaker. Compared to
solid-state power amps, tube amps have a higher output impedance. As a result the connected
speaker's frequency response will change, causing its frequency plot to look more like its impedance curve than when driven by a solid-state power amp. You may appreciate the more scooped tone, or the added thump and sparkle.

Some people perceive the low-end bump around the speaker’sresonance point as “warmth”. You should run these in a serial block, before or after the cab, the order is not important.
The IR labeled "100perc" is the impedance curve as it was measured. This is a bit extreme if your goal is to simulate a real world tube-speaker effect. Files with 90perc, 80perc, etc. represent "toned down"versions of the impedance curve for less of an effect, where “90perc” is 90% wet, “80perc” is 80% wet, etc. 50-60% wet is equivalent to the real world effect we saw with many of the tube amps we tested.

Gary
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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Jack Ruston » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:00 pm

I haven't investigated those at all. I'm running the IR's in Altiverb because there's no RTAS version of their own convolution plug in yet....does that matter?

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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Gary_W » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:32 pm

Sorry, Jack, I'm not 100% sure!

In MixIR2, it puts the IR curve in series AFTER a parallel mix of speaker cabinets. So I suppose you could just try putting it as a seperate instance of Altiverb after the cab models?

Again, in MixIR2 it has a wet/dry slider for each thing in the mix and with the impedences these seem to default to 50% wet...

Another thing to mention. When I bought the bundle, I got sent the 32 bit VST version of MixIR2. I wrote to Redwirez and asked 'what about 64 bit support?'. They sent me a 64 bit beta straight away and it seems to work a treat. Might be worth asking them the same question on the RTAS front? Seems like the 'do stuff' quite a lot but don't seem to be quite so keen on updating their website ;)

If this fails, just a freebie version of Reaper and try it as a VST in there with MixIR2 to see if it makes the difference you are looking for or whether this is barking up the wrong tree - if it sounds better to you in Reaper with the impedance curves then you'll know how hard you want to hassle them to do RTAS :)

Oh, and in your post earlier where you were mentioning the room.... In most of my patches, I'm doing an impulse of 1 or 2 cabs mic'd up with 1 or 2 mics each, then they are mixed to a greater or lesser extent with room mics. MixIR2 makes this dead simple. Once you've done it, you can save it as a preset or indeed as an entirely new impulse.
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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Jack Ruston » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:48 pm

Thanks very much for that.

When I'm talking about the room it's not really the ambience I'm concerned with but more using the position of the cab in relation to the boundaries as an eq. Effectively using the room to alter the amount of bottom end.

J
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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby ef37a » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:15 am

I am trying desperately NOT to bee seen here as spamming and defending a Blackstar product!

Yes, I admit that a built in load and DI from that would have been a good idea but that would have been a bit tricky to engineer with mulitple speaker outs/Z's and keep the amp safe. Can't do everything for 300quid.

B's also have a bit of a dislike of the power soak ethos I think hence the sophisticated power control in the Series Ones.

The "low SPL OD amp sound" was I think implied by others? If you can find it in Blackstars information I will apologise but it is a fact that 5 watts into a 95dBW/mtr speaker is a hell of a lot quieter than 40W into 2x100dB V30's (the Artisan 30). That last cannot be created completely convincingly any other way AFAIK as yet and not wake a chavvy.

The Five also has a MV controllable OD channel which will run at any level you chose. I know the sound is not to everyones taste (my son does not care for it!) but many people seem to like it.

Err? Did someone mention the Motherload? If so that is a horse and rabbit soup argument.

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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Gary_W » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:09 am

Hi Dave,

I think the whole ethos of low power amps really came up with the Guitarist reviews of products such as the Cornford Harlequin etc.. Or that was my first intro to the concept anyway. And since then the legend of 'cook the entire amp in the way that they did in the 60s and 70s without waking the neighbours' is a half-truth that gets perpetuated!

Fair enough if Blackstar don't specifically say 'you can crank it' but all of the companies who make 4w through 7w amps don't do much to educate the end users of the sheer volume of these things if you do crank it in the way the mags make out...... In fact, Nick Guppy is proudly quoted on the BLackstar site as saying 'gives that 'everything on 11 sound at low spl levels'. Well that's true as long as you don't actually set the master on 11...... Many users will take that quote as meaning you can do just that ;)

The amp I have came with an attenuator. They got a 5 stars all round review for the C7 in Guitarist and they sold in droves (well, Matsmp droves - only 500 were ever made). The owner then got complaints that they couldn't get a distorted tone out of it without blowing the windows out - it has no master volume :). He sent attenuators out FoC to everyone who wanted one just so they were happy and made sure he told any new business 'you do realise that 7w is really, really loud don't you?'

I'm not being 'down' on Blackstar. In fact, I spent part of Saturday night convincing a friend that an HT5 should be his next purchase because it does everything he needs - he had (like many newbies) believed that he'd need at least a 50w Marshall..... I think they make fantastic amps at a brilliant price.

My only issue with any of them is the lack of line out which would make it an even better recording amp with the modern accompaniments such as impulses..... Even if they put this 'before the power amp so no soak required and left off the cab modelling in the box' then that'd be fine...... I have had fabulous sounds out of the HT-Dual line out doing exactly that.... Surely that cannot be a cost consideration? It's less components, not more? And if you do both then it's a couple of resistors and another jack :)

Gary
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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby ef37a » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:31 am

"..... Even if they put this 'before the power amp so no soak required"

Sorry Garry, maybe I am being thick here! The FX send is just the above, it exits (via a buffer IC, PLENTY DO!)as the signal that feeds the PI. I know of no amplifier that gives you "post PI, pre power amp grids" feed? (hmm? Might try that!).

No I don't and never did think you were knocking the Five.
The sound level it generates is in fact a bit of a "home goal". The designer hates single ended op stages "hummy and don't sound right" and in any case the lone EL84 has been done to death. The consequence however of a fixed biased push pull op stage is that it kicks out a lot more than a single EL84 can if you drive it hard, about 10watts and this is why a 5 plus a 4x12 is a valid gigging setup IF you want hard, overdrive sounds. Loud clean it can't do but mayhem it is pretty good at.

As to what magazines say? Well you don't sell cars to young men by telling them they are slow and boring!

Dave.
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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Guitarman » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:53 am

HI Guys

Many thanks for the replies,the discussion is fascinating.

I suppose I can have the best of both worlds with an HT-5,I could disconnect the speaker and run a lead to my Attenuator which has a Line Out socket,then I could use the Redwirez Impulses.

Or alternatively,I could use the Emulated out,you never know I might just like it.

I know the HT-5 won't give me a Shadows type sound,I have already tried one in a shop but,now I have an Epiphone ES-339,the Blackstar might be just the amp I need to give me a nice smooth Jazzy type sound from the humbuckers.

I have played Strats for 52 years,and only bought the ES-339 2 weeks ago.I am very impressed with the sound I get from it,but I feel I can do better than putting it through GR5 where only the Jazz Amp comes close to the sound I want.

Alan
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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Jack Ruston » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:41 am

Be careful disconnecting the speaker from any amp, be it a head or combo. You need to make sure that whatever happens the required load is present or things could go bang. I don't know a lot about the electronics/physics side of this but I don't think a speaker attenuator is also necessarily a dummy load...is it Dave? And if it is, is it the correct impedence for the output you're using.

J
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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby ef37a » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:33 pm

Jack Ruston wrote:Be careful disconnecting the speaker from any amp, be it a head or combo. You need to make sure that whatever happens the required load is present or things could go bang. I don't know a lot about the electronics/physics side of this but I don't think a speaker attenuator is also necessarily a dummy load...is it Dave? And if it is, is it the correct impedence for the output you're using.

J
If the attenuator/soak was resistive (not all are) and we assume that the smallest attenuation we would need is 3dB (1/2 power) then for an 8 Ohm soak the input Z without an 8R speaker connected would be about 20 Ohms and that is a wee bit naughty for a valve amp on the 8R tap but would be acceptable plugged into a 16R jack.

For greater levels of power reduction the speaker does become virtually redundant. Remember, if you just need a "safety" load on a valve amp, whilst biasing it say, just short any speaker jack.
Dave.
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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Jack Ruston » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:43 pm

Thanks Dave. Your knowledge is as always much appreciated.

J
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Re: Real Amp or Software Amp?

Postby Guitarman » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:58 pm

Thanks for the warning regarding disconnecting the speaker.

My Attenuator is a Weber Mini-Mass - the maximum wattage it will handle is 25,and the Impedance is switchable 4-8 and 16 Ohms.

I used it on a Vox AC15 Handwired,and it was fine.

I am still trying to find out if I can use the Tone controls on the clean channel of the Blackstar Dual Pedal.
My dealer say's it is the same as an Amp,but without reverb and speaker.

Mmmmmmm is it?

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