Replacing My Amp With A Cab Simulator Pedal

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somanytoys
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Re: Replacing My Amp With A Cab Simulator Pedal

Post by somanytoys » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:37 am

tdbajus wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:09 am
I would fear that if the PA wasn't good enough to mic an amp, it won't do much better with a DI. It's easy enough to bring one of those cheap but excellent Sennheiser 609 mics that work great just hanging off the handle of the amp.

I have been pretty envious of Mick Harvey though, since I read his entire rig is a tele, a sansamp, and two god damned cables. Bastard.
http://www.bad-seed.org/~cave/interview ... gp_mh.html

I know what you mean about the travel rigs though, which is why I do love that Vibro Champ- fits easily in an overhead compartment.

ZT amps are pretty nice sounding, and loud as hell, and even smaller than the Champ. They, imho, sound like butt with distortion, but sounds pretty great with an Xotic compressor for a bit extra sustain.
Yeah, whether it's a small amp mic'd or a DI, if a PA is bad, very little is going to sound good, especially depending on how much of the band's sounds that the PA is carrying. I have a couple of the 609s, they're good mics, and I recently bought a couple of Audix i5 mics with the cabgrabbers, they're good as well.

I like the idea of Mick's setup, I've got 2 sansamp bass pedals that I'm thinking would be what I would use where I don't need to have an amp. Sansamp is very impressive for bass to me, I haven't used any of their guitar stuff.

I had a ZT lunchbox, they're small, loud as hell (especially through an external speaker - 200 watts, I think?) and it will even handle playing a bass through it pretty well. But I just couldn't get along with the overall sound, it was kind of squishy and odd sounding, like overly compressed in a really bad way. It was kind of similar to the also very small & convenient Quilter Labs Micro Block, a 45w amp head in a pedal. I tried many different pedals to try to help the sound of both of them, but it just wasn't satisfying for either, so I sold them and bought a couple of Bugera T5 tube heads that are small and sound great. No regrets.

One day I would like to check out either the HX or the CabZeus. The thought of a good, usable amp and cabinet sims in a pedal is very appealing, especially after having good experiences with using them for bass.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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Re: Replacing My Amp With A Cab Simulator Pedal

Post by tdbajus » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:32 am

I don't love the HX amp models, but their effects are wonderful.

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Re: Replacing My Amp With A Cab Simulator Pedal

Post by MT » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:56 pm

What about something like the Seymour Duncan Powerstage 170? Use it as a clean amp and get your drive from pedals.

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Re: Replacing My Amp With A Cab Simulator Pedal

Post by somanytoys » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:41 am

tdbajus wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:32 am
I don't love the HX amp models, but their effects are wonderful.
Surely they have at least a few good models in there to work with, that aren't trying too hard to emulate something super special? I've never been super impressed with the modeling stuff, at least for guitar, but because of that I also haven't kept up with it. I would hope that since the big boys like Kemper have come out with stuff that people rave about, this should be pretty decent, for that price.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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Re: Replacing My Amp With A Cab Simulator Pedal

Post by tdbajus » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:55 am

I'm sure people could make recordings of the amp models and I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. But I have found almost all amp models to not be fun to play through, if that makes any sense.

One notable exception- the UAD Deluxe model is pretty fun. It doesn't feel like an old BF amop when you play through it, but it's awesome in it's own right.

Still not as good as an amp, though.

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Re: Replacing My Amp With A Cab Simulator Pedal

Post by marqueemoon » Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:15 am

I’m also a low watt amp user. I use a 12 watt head in low power mode (7ish watts) and an open back 1x12. That said I’m not going for Hiwatt-level heft.

If I were doing this and the last device in the chain didn’t have an XLR out I’d definitely get a high quality passive DI. I’d eventually like to get Jensen DI from Whirlwind or Pinstripe Pedals for my bass/acoustic board.

DIs in small clubs are usually the cheapest possible and in shit condition. In my experience many sound engineers are also spooked by active DIs and automatically assume they will be noisy/ruin their shit somehow.

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Re: Replacing My Amp With A Cab Simulator Pedal

Post by somanytoys » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:03 pm

Yeah, I mainly went with lower wattage amps to play at home, and my 2 original 25/30 watt amps (Laney VC30 & Frenzel Deluxe/Plexi) don't have attenuators. My new Frenzel has one that brings it down 1/2 and then 1/4 (probably down to about 7ish), but it's the only one.

Maybe one day I'll buy an attenuator or 2 that I can use with those amps, but instead I bought these lower wattage (4-5w) Vox & Bugera amps. Buying all of those was all much more expensive in the end, than just a couple of attenuators for the larger amps, but they're quieter, sound good and are much more portable for the times that I don't need 25 - 30 watts screaming out of the amp.

I have a couple of double passive DIs, they're not high-end but they seem to work well. I may not be doing something right, but I find that it makes a big difference on guitar having the pedals go into a (tube) amp to warm the sound a lot, and a cab sim to help shape it before it goes out to something generic, like a PA, recording input or whatever. That seems to matter much more with guitar than it does with bass. I can understand the hesitation of an active preamp/DI into a system, some of those definitely have the ability to overload the signal capacity quickly. I think I jacked up the preamp a little on my Acoustic bass head with my Sansamp Pinnick pedal, couldn't see the clip LED (apparently) going crazy, and it sounded good, not all clippy, so I didn't really look. It wasn't very happy for a while, so I bypassed the preamp and used the power amp only, but it seems to have settled down lately.
Last edited by somanytoys on Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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Re: Replacing My Amp With A Cab Simulator Pedal

Post by tdbajus » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:25 pm

I have had poor luck with attenuators, except for the one that is built into my Kendrick Solo7, which is pretty wonderful.

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Re: Replacing My Amp With A Cab Simulator Pedal

Post by mackerelmint » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:45 pm

Well, I'm gonna second the Tech21 Leeds suggestion.

I can't speak to running it direct, and it's definitely lacking in the XLR department, but it's really fucking good sounding.

I run mine into a power amp and a 112 with a fane-like speaker. That might be a good solution here.
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Re: Replacing My Amp With A Cab Simulator Pedal

Post by somanytoys » Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:02 am

I bought a Tech 21 SansAmp Bass VT DI that I got in last night, and I can only say that the thing is just awesome, everything I expected it to be. Plugged into that & DI'd it to the PA, and sent the parallel out to a couple of Jext Telez pedals and into an Acoustic bass head and 4x10 cab. I had the VT set for somewhere in the SVT/fliptop mode on character, not too much gain and a very little dry signal blended, and it sounded great. I think the speaker emulator in it works well, but I didn't do a really serious on vs off comparison, I tried some different settings but mostly got something I really liked to play in stereo with other sounds. With the VT DI giving a constant great bass sound, I could switch between the JT pedals (a Range Lord & a Dizzy Tone) and all of those combinations sounded excellent together.

The Dug Pinnick pedal I bought has a direct out, but I don't know if it has a speaker emulation like the VT does, so I don't know how much that would or wouldn't matter on the Leeds pedal going direct, using a cab sim or not. I bet that Leeds preamp/pedal is really nice, I looked at it briefly when pulling down the VT DI manual from their website. After reading your post about that, I pulled out my Catilinbread RAH last weekend, which I think is a (pretty) similar type of pedal, based on Page's Hiwatt (though I'm not thinking it's really a preamp like the Leeds), and it sounds really good on lots of settings, and very responsive.

It would be interesting to do a side by side comparison for kicks, and see if the sounds of one are any noticeably better over the other. Aside from the sounds, knowing Tech 21, I would think that the Leeds is probably also more useful, like as an actual preamp. I like the RAH, though, for what it is.

I have truly loved everything I've bought from Tech 21 lately, I have nothing but good things to say about them. Jext Telez, too, but that's another addiction story.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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Re: Replacing My Amp With A Cab Simulator Pedal

Post by mackerelmint » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:08 pm

Tech 21 really do a good job. I love my leeds more than I thought I would. They're a company I've always respected, filling a role that more people should to for solutions to their various problems. The whole "GOTTA BE TOOBS, MAN" thing is really self defeating after a certain point.
This is an excellent rectangle

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Re: Replacing My Amp With A Cab Simulator Pedal

Post by somanytoys » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:16 pm

Well, I am a tubes guy, I do love the way they sound. But they're usually heavy as hell, and just getting to be less necessary now. with all the technology that's coming out. Strangely, everything I own for bass, except for my SWR's preamp, is all solid state, and it all sounds good. I'll probably never get rid of my bigger 25-30 watt tube amps , but I won't likely be lugging them around much, either. These Tech 21 pedals are really making a believer out of me.

I saw where Tech 21 actually said for some of their pedals, tube amps can actually overcompress the sound you're getting from the pedal, so it's not recommended. A lot of it now is just about making those nice tube-emulation sound from the pedals louder, but cleaner - they don't need the tube warmth. Both of my bass poweramps are QSC, and they produce a very faithful representation of whatever's put into them, good or bad, same with the poweramp section of my Acoustic head. They may not sound "just like a tube amp", but I doubt anybody but a purist would really complain about the tones coming out of them, that I've worked so long and hard to shape what's going into them.

I do find that some solid state guitar amps can be less than pleasing, although I think often that it has to do more with that preamp's shortcomings, not the power amp section, but who knows from one amp to another. There are always exceptions, like using the Bugera's tube preamp made an unbelievable difference in the Iconoclast. I thought that the RAH would serve that purpose and act like a nice preamp that way, but now I don't think that it was really meant to be used as a preamp, just a tone building block. It's nice for that purpose, but the Leeds seems so much more usable that way.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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Re: Replacing My Amp With A Cab Simulator Pedal

Post by mackerelmint » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:37 pm

Yeah, I always got the impresson that the RAH was a pedal without the pre functionality, though I've never tried one. SS still has a legacy reputation, but that's finally starting to go away as things like Quilter amps and the T21 offerings over the last 30 years seem to be gaining traction. I'm all for it. More options is more better.
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Re: Replacing My Amp With A Cab Simulator Pedal

Post by somanytoys » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:15 am

Yeah, the RAH is a very cool as a pedal, but it's definitely less functional in the way that you use your Leeds. That's a definite plus that I'm really coming to appreciate more and more, options.

And that legacy is kind of unfortunate, because I think that it's more the preamp side of solid state that has given it the bad reputation. I had a Quilter MIcro Block 45, and didn't get along with its preamp, I really doubt the fonky sound I couldn't get away from was the poweramp side. But that's their cheapest, smallest model, and I will say that they're a good, responsive company to deal with. Maybe their larger/better models are great. It's just that like the ZT Lunchbox, as cool as both of them are as a concept of really big out of something small, it just wasn't for me, especially as a palette for pedals, they colored their sounds really badly, even through very good speakers.

But I would bet that almost no venues, from dance clubs to decent bars that host bands to arenas use tube poweramps for house sound. Because the ss poweramps do what they're supposed to - "clean boost" in a huge way on the back end.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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Re: Replacing My Amp With A Cab Simulator Pedal

Post by mackerelmint » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:30 pm

See, that's interesting, since I'd been considering maybe picking up a quilter 45. And like you said, the preamp is built in. I was wondering how that might color things. Not that my powerblock is large, but I'm always looking for something smaller. It's rated at 150W which is pretty optimisic, but it does get plenty loud. I love that it does stereo, but its fx loop could be better implemented and I'm hoping quilter makes a little stereo head at some point. Mine's been fine, but those powerblocks are known for going down.
This is an excellent rectangle

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