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Any of you guy's gone all digital for amplification


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I got my first Fractal product a AxeFxII last July and have totally loved every min. with it.

I gigged it up until December when I had back surgery with a VHT poweramp running into a Mesa Boogie 4-12 and was very pleased with what I was getting out of it. I really like how it allowed me to get mt stage volume way down because I was sending a line out to FOH and then bringing the cab volume up just a little to fill out my monitor mix, every sound guy was very pleased with what I was doing.

Since back surgery I have been playing the AxeII threw a RCF NX 12-SMA powered monitor and am just blown away with this setup, this rig is super light and can get plenty loud without it falling apart.

Now that im starting to recover from surgery and starting to play guitar more I thought it would be fun to plug into my "real" amp the other day because it had been months since I had last done it....I have been playing my Mesa Boogie Rectifier for nearly 10 years now and I love that amp, I MEAN LOVE IT, it has worked so well for what I do that I rarely even tried other amps anymore....so I get out the pedal board and plug in Ahh the glow of tubes.....hit the standby switch.....HATE IT!!!!

I messed around with it for around a half hour before turning it off, I cant believe it but I have lost my love for my tube amp.....no mater how I set the dials I could not get a tone that sounded near as good as what im getting out my AxeFxII!

All this has me thinking hard about getting rid of my "real" amp and was wondering if any of you guys have done the same?

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Digitech GSP1101 with a SS Rocktron Velocity 300 power amp here.

I hear such great things about those units. A ton of pros are using them in their rigs now, since the first AxeFX. Would love to get my hands on one someday. I'm using a digital rig in the form of Guitar Rig on my laptop. I was always in a situation where I couldn't blast an amp in the house/apartment, and was recording mostly anyway, so found that using software was perfect for me. I've tried various amps over the years but I always go back to the computer, can get so many amazing tones from one piece of software. And I've used it live with the foot pedal unit as well with good results. I wouldn't feel bad about moving on from the amp at all.

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All this has me thinking hard about getting rid of my "real" amp and was wondering if any of you guys have done the same?

Think hard before deciding. The Mesa got you through a decade of gigging/recording. It can't possibly do what the Axe-FX is capable of replicating.

But, it is a great tube amp, so, if I were in your shoes, I would keep both. If selling is a financial consideration, then do what you have to do. You never know, the day might come when the Boogie would come in handy and it's gone.

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While I like my Marshall Haze 40, I've gone back to my Line 6 XT Live. I like adjusting patches for different guitars, and while my very best experiences with amps have been just plugging straight in and cranking it until the power tubes start singing, modelers offer so much tweakability as well as consistent sounds.

Plus, the XT Live is the only thing that gets me my perfect clean tone. But I'm still running tubes; input is into a Valvulator and the Line 6 goes into the return loop of my Marshall, so that's 1 12AX7 up front and 2 EL34s driving the speaker.

I had thought of trying out those Bose tower monitor things, but I don't recall them being reviewed well and they cost way too much. But I do believe that the time will come when a guitar "rig" is ultra portable and gets both the sound and FEEL of a cranked tube amp. But the recent popularity of low-watt amps might mean that it's not in the near future.

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Wow....I am moving in reverse lol.....I dumped my POD back in 2005 and now am loving old school NMV circuits like tweed 5f1s and Jtm45s.... Works for me.

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dammit, all this I'm hearing about the Fractal Axe FX is not good; I don't need expensive ideas planted in my head now! Jay's fully tricked-out system what that Bradshaw-like switchboard is impressive, although I'd want to use a Mesa 20/20 to drive the thing. I like EL84s.

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All this has me thinking hard about getting rid of my "real" amp and was wondering if any of you guys have done the same?

Think hard before deciding. The Mesa got you through a decade of gigging/recording. It can't possibly do what the Axe-FX is capable of replicating.

But, it is a great tube amp, so, if I were in your shoes, I would keep both. If selling is a financial consideration, then do what you have to do. You never know, the day might come when the Boogie would come in handy and it's gone.

Solid points bro.......the thing for me is that black box actually nails the recto tones better and more consistent than my actual recto.

The other thing for me to keep in mind is I just had back surgery and am having great luck in my recovery so I kinda want to get away from the weight of all the old gear I've been hauling around for years

Glad to see there are some others here that are embracing the new tech that out right now.......It's a good time for us guitar players!!

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dammit, all this I'm hearing about the Fractal Axe FX is not good; I don't need expensive ideas planted in my head now! Jay's fully tricked-out system what that Bradshaw-like switchboard is impressive, although I'd want to use a Mesa 20/20 to drive the thing. I like EL84s.

The first day I had my AxeII I was running it with the VHT and a set up a AB-Y switch to switch between my recto and the Axe, within about 10-15 min. I had it dialed in damn near exact to my recto, my other guitar player and band could not tell the difference in blind taste test, I set my other guitar player up and let him play while I switched between the two and he couldn't tell them apart with sound and feel.

You would probably really like it running it with a tube power amp and cab, for me with the latest FW the sound and fill has gotten so good that I don't feel like i need the power amp and cab......and that's a good thing for my back!

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I'd like to. Tried for a few months to run a Boss GT-8 through a FRFR Roland keyboard amp and I thought I'd nailed the sounds I wanted. Then played through a Mesa Blue Angel and decided I prefer tubes and analog pedals. A little ironic given I'm one of the HFCs biggest contrarians and love electronic music, digital recording, and my iPad.

Maybe there's a combination I'd like but after trying a lot of software sims in studios and a few modelers, I just really prefer old school.

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modelers can nail just about any tone, given enough tweaking, but what I haven't been able to get with anything other than a tube amp - and not just any tube amp either - is this kind of springy "bounce" and responsiveness that's kind of hard to describe but you know it when you are feeling it.

Lower watt amps, and EL84s or 6V6s imho tend to get this springiness better, at least at lower volumes. Something as stiff as KT88s, I think you might as well be playing a transistor power amp.

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I'd like to. Tried for a few months to run a Boss GT-8 through a FRFR Roland keyboard amp...

You know, I try to keep up. I keep seeing people refer to an FRFR... what the hell is it???

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I'd like to. Tried for a few months to run a Boss GT-8 through a FRFR Roland keyboard amp...

You know, I try to keep up. I keep seeing people refer to an FRFR... what the hell is it???

Two Full Range speakers. Powered PA cabs are one example.

Those AxeFX seem real neat, but a Boogie Mark IV, a few pedals, and a simple rack processor, and I'm good for about any tone I care to dig up. I made the mistake a few years ago of trading away my first Mk IV for a Triaxis and TC G-Force thinking I needed more options, but the IVs give me everything I need. I don't care to spend countless hours dialing in countless tones when I've already figured out what works for me.

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SometimesI wonder what people get out of their tube amps with a few pedals. When it comes to my own playing, I'm a bit of a purist. A tube amp and possibly a treble booster do it for what I do. There is no need to extend the rack or digitize it for me. The digital apparatuses require programming to find the personal sound. That's an effort I don't want to invest as I'm sitting on a computer the whole day. It looks like that my personal playing is influenced as an opposite to my daily job. For freaking rock sounds I have a Rockman XPR connected to my HiFi stack that I rarely program. The XPR can be said to be an analog AxeFX. Finally, I'm an analog fan.

The modelers surely offer quit some comfort as a stage rig as they are light weight, easy to install and movable.

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SometimesI wonder what people get out of their tube amps with a few pedals.

For me other than a wah and compressor, it's different flavors of gain. A Marshall BluesBreaker pedal to warm up the clean just a smidgen or add a little more oomph to the mid-gain sound, a Brown Sound in a Box 2 for an even more distorted "Marshall-y" tone, and a Bad Monkey set as a lead boost.

I use an ancient Quadraverb in the loop and switch it on an off with the Boogie's "FX" switch on the footswitch.

Going back to the OP: I'd rather have all these options at my feet than program every different permutation in software. What if you want to have all three dist boxes on at one time? Better program it in advance. Maybe only two of them, with a flanger? Another program. What if, this time, for some unexplained reason when I switch from the lead channel to clean I want to leave the delay or all three of those dist boxes on, whereas every other time I've ever played this song live it's been off, and that's how the patch is set up? Unless you've thought about that very scenario and programmed for it in advance, it ain't gonna happen.

Maybe if I was a touring pro or in a tribute band that needed the exact same sound every night for every song I'd consider it, especially if I was looking to recreate the recorded tones of the album/s. But for me, I'd rather go my own way.

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Ben has really shown how good models sound in his vids . I tweak less w my HD. Im practicing Sinatra tunes w a vibroverb patch and just turn the thing on a.d go. I like the small rig and the ability to go direct and cut down on stage volume these days. I want to save my ears and joints at this stage . Im using my amp this week cause its a brand new soundman but once I get him under my thumb its gonna be direct lol

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So far, digital sounds digital to me, although I must confess I have not stepped up and dropped the big bucks on an Axe FX, but for my needs, a nice warm, responsive organic tube amp fits the bill perfectly.

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I haven't tried the AxeFx, but I've used a few other modelers and never liked them. My current rig with a '66 Deluxe Reverb and pedal board is just what I need for now. I wouldn't rule out modelers foever, but so far, I don't like them.

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I'd rather have all these options at my feet than program every different permutation in software. What if you want to have all three dist boxes on at one time? Better program it in advance. Maybe only two of them, with a flanger? Another program. What if, this time, for some unexplained reason when I switch from the lead channel to clean I want to leave the delay or all three of those dist boxes on, whereas every other time I've ever played this song live it's been off, and that's how the patch is set up? Unless you've thought about that very scenario and programmed for it in advance, it ain't gonna happen.

It's possible to do just that with the Axe and it's plug-n-play foot controller (or any midi fc with a bit more effort). Set it up to run as any typical pedal board and have full control of each pedal on the fly.

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I'd rather have all these options at my feet than program every different permutation in software. What if you want to have all three dist boxes on at one time? Better program it in advance. Maybe only two of them, with a flanger? Another program. What if, this time, for some unexplained reason when I switch from the lead channel to clean I want to leave the delay or all three of those dist boxes on, whereas every other time I've ever played this song live it's been off, and that's how the patch is set up? Unless you've thought about that very scenario and programmed for it in advance, it ain't gonna happen.

It's possible to do just that with the Axe and it's plug-n-play foot controller (or any midi fc with a bit more effort). Set it up to run as any typical pedal board and have full control of each pedal on the fly.

So, when you switch to patch #1 that is a clean Fender sound from patch #2 that is a distorted Marshall sound with 3 additional distortion boxes turned on manually, the dirt boxes stay on? Can you switch amp settings separate from the "Pedals"?

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