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polara

Tech 21 Fly Rig

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I keep a Richie Kotzen (I don't know any of his bands or exactly who he is) Tech 21 Fly Rig around as backup, and was reminded last night, just messing with it, that's a darned nice little unit. No modeling per se (well, not digital at least). The size of a large Subway sandwich, but considerably more durable. The SansAmp part is fine, not super-flexible but sounds like an amp. The "OMG" distortion section sounds great but again it's not the most versatile thing: it does Big Hot-Rodded Marshall, and some slight tonal variants thereof. The delay is pretty nice, and has a tap tempo and a "drift" nob that kind of does a modulation thing. If it had the sounds you wanted, it seriously could be your entire pedalboard and amp... I love the idea of going to a gig with just a guitar in a Mono bag, and a clip-on tuner, two cables, and a Fly Rig in the pocket. I happen to like a little more Vox-y amp sound and some different effects so it won't replace my Fractal, but I like having it there in case the fancy computerized box goes down.

Anyone else use these things?

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Not yet.  But that v2 keeps calling  out to me...

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My bass player uses one live.  It sounds great and the DI sounds perfect through the FOH.  I'm buying one soon.  Just not sure which one.

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1 hour ago, polara said:

The size of a large Subway sandwich, but considerably more durable.

Ladies and Gentlemen. I submit for your consideration, one of the funniest statements on the HFC to date.

Truly signature worthy.

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If you get a chance you should definitely check out Richies music. His first album (my favorite) was a full on Mike Varney shredder album so probably not your cup of tea but his following  solo albums and his recent band The Winery Dogs (with Billy Sheehan and Mike Portnoy) are chock full of nice songwriting and some great guitar playing.

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1 hour ago, polara said:

I keep a Richie Kotzen (I don't know any of his bands or exactly who he is) Tech 21 Fly Rig around as backup, and was reminded last night, just messing with it, that's a darned nice little unit. No modeling per se (well, not digital at least). The size of a large Subway sandwich, but considerably more durable. The SansAmp part is fine, not super-flexible but sounds like an amp. The "OMG" distortion section sounds great but again it's not the most versatile thing: it does Big Hot-Rodded Marshall, and some slight tonal variants thereof. The delay is pretty nice, and has a tap tempo and a "drift" nob that kind of does a modulation thing. If it had the sounds you wanted, it seriously could be your entire pedalboard and amp... I love the idea of going to a gig with just a guitar in a Mono bag, and a clip-on tuner, two cables, and a Fly Rig in the pocket. I happen to like a little more Vox-y amp sound and some different effects so it won't replace my Fractal, but I like having it there in case the fancy computerized box goes down.

Anyone else use these things?

They had a whole mess of these available to attendees at the the G4 Experience 3 years ago. I got to mess around on one briefly. They are very handy for gigging situations if your main amp shits the bed. For lightweight travel rigs to open mic/jam nights, they're not too shabby either.

Admittedly, they aren't as versatile as they might be but in pinch, and with the right effects, they ain't too bad.

 

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I've got the bass fly rig, and love it.

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I have the original FlyRig5 and it’s been all over the US and Canada with me.

I love it for many reasons! 😊

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I've got GAS for one of the Fly Rigs ~ probably not the Kotzen model, but maybe the more generic one.  Thing is, I recently blew my gear budget on a Boss MS3 to replace my traditional pedalboard … and on that Strat I recently bought … so it'll be a while before I can actually be in the market for anything again. :(

But the Fly Rigs get great reviews from everyone who's used them, and the vids and clips sound great!

 

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I've been very pleased with the NU-X  Cerberus, Similar concept, slightly bigger, but more versatile.  Unlike most multi effects amp sims, the drive sounds are really good.

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So, I took the plunge.  I had a credit at Sweetwater and decided on the Fly Rig 5 V2. 

I've played nine gigs in the last year and a half.  Seven with the Line 6 Firehawk 1500 amp (think stripped-down Helix in a high-powered full range cab) and two gigs on back to back nights with the Headrush pedal board and two powered full range cabs.  Headrush was killer, but the USB port died on the first one and I've set out to program the replacement.  There are other reliability issues, so this thread was like the "local anesthetic" mallet shot the Three Stooges used to inflict upon their victims. 

I need clean, crunch and lead tones.  Just three.  I need reverb all the time (a crutch I'm not ashamed of).  I need a good delay.  I need a loop for modulation effects (I have one that does chorus, flange, and a great spinning speaker).  I need a tuner.  I don't need stereo out.  I like the idea of being able to turn off the cabinet simulation to my stage monitors (or amp, if I choose to), while the FOH out is XLR and maintains the cab simulation.  My buddy plays a Trademark 60 and his DI sounds great. 

So, we'll see.  I can't imagine it won't serve me well as the backup plan.   

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Posted (edited)

I have both versions, but more experience with the original. I originally just used it at rehearsals, but getting some gigs late last that had very limited space- (our band is a 9 piece) I decided to just use my fly rig. The FOH guy said that the tones were very good and since I’m using iems, I don’t really hear what’s out in the room anyways, so I trust his word. A few weeks ago the V-2 arrived and at that gig I ran it into the return on my amp (with the cab sim off) and it sounded great- the Clean, Plexi and Cali sounds were all very useable. (I prefer the drift functionality on the original’s delay vs. the on/off setting with the V-2, but the dotted eighth note addition is a nice add to the new one. Also the effects loop allows for additional capabilities.  This past Saturday & Sunday, just the V-2 was used- Saturday was outdoors (but limited stage space) and Sunday was a decent sized stage under a giant tent for about 1200 or so, but with another band loading on as soon as we got off, so I didn’t want to mess with an amp and the peripherals. The XLR worked great and again, the sound guy- who I trust, said the sounds were very good. In retrospect, these Fly Rigs (and the likes) are convenient, have some pretty decent and useable sounds and offer a lot of flexibility.  There’s certainly more capable stuff out there- our bandleader has a Kemper, but to me these sound and perform/ play very good, and convincingly so though both an amp and a PA.

Edited by PFunk

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I've used a T21 Bass Driver/DI for decades now, and it's been the mainstay - even when amps have crapped out.  I got my son a Bass FlyRig last year and was surprised at how great it sounded out of the box.  He's gigged many smaller rooms with just that, and gets a bass tone that's out of this world.

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I actually used it on a fly gig a few years ago. Currently used for the 12 string guitar in my Floyd tribute. Great in all applications imo

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I had the  Richie Kotzen Flyrig for several months (may have sold it here). Solid unit, just more gain than I wanted in the overdrive, and I was looking for something a little more flexible that included a compressor to use in front of an amp. These days I'm using a Boss MS-3 which is larger. If Tech21 did a Flyrig in a Vox amp flavor, I'd probably spring. 

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If you can find one of their discontinued, “Liverpool”, pedals, that will get you there. Second only to the Menatone, “Top Boost in a Can”, pedal, in sound quality. Most of the Tech21NYC, “amp in a pedal”, stompers were shite. The “Liverpool” is the happy exception; Tom Petty, Beatles, Queen, all there. 

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I dug the "Liverpool" pedal - agreed that it was the best of the bunch (for guitar).

I ditched mine when I got my Wampler ACEThirty, but those are a solid VOX in a pedal thing.

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Posted (edited)

Okay, so I did the Fly Rig 5 V2 solo through the Headrush FRFR powered 1x12.  My first impression was the bottom end.  It was thunderous.  I had to dial it back a good bit so as not to intrude on the bass player and the kick drum.  The "Blonde" amp sounds like a generic black face Fender.  Mid-range control is the key.  It "sweeps" a larger band than most mid controls.  I liked it at about ten o'clock.  Treble is shrill past about noon, so that's where I left it.  Bass control on about 9 o'clock.  Gain on the Blonde channel is critical.  It's designed, IMHO, to allow just enough break up for really good "roots" rhythm and a great clean if the volume knob is turned down.  More gain sucks.  Less is about the same clean sound without the touch sensitivity. 

I like the boost set "Pre" so it increases the gain a bit.  It works well with the Blonde channel or with the Plexi channel added in.  The lead channel, for me, is best used as an addition to the Blonde channel.  I prefer the "Cali" mode.  They say it sounds like a Boogie, but that's a bit ambitious.  It's sweeter and has a little looser bottom end.  I do prefer it, when toggling back and forth. 

The Reverb is really good.  Just a small and big room and a "mix" control.  Very usable, but I prefer the smaller room.  The Echo/Delay is stellar.  The "Drift" control is really cool.  It's a modulation of the repeats.  The "Tap Tempo" button works great, but I'd have it revert to how the control knobs are set when disengaging and engaging again.  It stays with how you've tapped the tempo switch until you switch the tempo switch again, if that makes sense.  If you don't reach down and reset the knobs, your fancy footwork is saved.  

We played nine or ten songs.  Mostly classic rock stuff.  I wouldn't give up my Firehawk 1500 or the Headrush for the new Fly Rig, but I'm keeping it on deck from now on.  I really can play a gig with it on the "Fly".

 

Edited by The Shark
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7 hours ago, The Shark said:

I wouldn't give up my Firehawk 1500 or the Headrush for the new Fly Rig, but I'm keeping it on deck from now on.  I really can play a gig with it on the "Fly".

 

Nice review: the V2 sounds very useful. Same here: the Fractal is more flexible, but I could definitely make it through a gig with the FlyRig and the audience wouldn't give a toss.

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Nice that the v2 versions have the XLR built in for DI connections. 

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