Thinking about swapping to a completely digital guitar rig for touring. Help?!

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    • #9341
      Cary Miller

      Hi hi.

      So I have spent most of my life as a bit of a purist when it comes to tube amps. Currently I own an AC30 w/Blue Alnicos which has been modded a bit (custom reverb tank, custom tolex and wood frame with a slightly better speaker mount placement for better phase response, and NOS tubes which are actually a bit better than the stock ones from even the original amps from the 60’s thanks to a guitar tech friend who knows some retirees from VOX’s heyday).

      I also have a “Purplexing” Jimmy Wiggle 100 watt Plexi clone, with some built in tricks that are custom to it’s design as well.

      Lastly, I have an old Block Letter 5150 combo, of which I also use the clean channel often to get into kind of Fender amp territory as well as the dirty for the heavy stuff.

      All of these I will probably never sell off, but they are heavy as hell.

      I once had a hernia surgery years ago, and I just don’t want to lug all this stuff around live anymore if I don’t have to. I own a small recording studio in AZ and I love to track these amps, but I’m feeling the urge to experiment this year and put together a live rig which is far more condensed, portable, and programmable.

      I keep looking at the AXE FXII XL+ due to it’s ability to run two amp sims (I like to use ABY switches for two amps live typically). And the Kemper because I could just model my own sounds if I wanted.

      However I don’t know much about the Line 6 Helix…or the Headrush (I’ve watched all the Pete Thorn Vids I can find on these units, but that’s about it).

      I’m just wondering what people typically prefer for general live use…in terms of reliability, flexibility, and program-ability to make sure your set lists are dialed in perfectly.

      Thanks for taking the time to read this!

    • #9352

      Some points worth considering:

      1. Having the option to take your own personally engineered tones from the studio to the stage is definitely something worth considering. That might be the one overriding factor above all other factors if it’s really important to you.

      2. Even given #1, there is still the issue of logistics — a) How big of a live footprint do you want to have? b) How you plan on achieving self-monitoring if you’re using a direct-to-board setup?

      3. There are some subtle differences between Modeling and Profiling. If point #1 is really important to you, then obviously Profiling is really important. If not really important, then there are a lot more options on the table if you think Modeling will get you “close enough” for live performances (especially when you consider the “audience ignorance factor” of average people not being able to tell the difference between different types of power tube distortion and speaker breakup).

      4. Have you considered just getting a pedal-platform 1×12 combo? An 18-watt circuit (Marshall or clone) can probably adequately produce a variety of tones your current amps produce, especially with pedals. With all of the “amp” pedals out these days, you can probably find something to recreate your AC30, Plexi, and 5150 tones.

      5. A final option might be the Amplifire Pedal by Atomic Amps. Apparently it has the same DSP horsepower as the AXEFXII, but it’s in a stripped-down format meant for no-nonsense setup.

    • #9357
      Pete Thorn

      I really like the combo of Helix and Kemper I’ve been using. The Kemper does the tones convincingly but it’s somewhat perplexing from a ergonomic/ease of use standpoint. But it does sound great.

    • #9372
      Joel Price

      I gigged digital for over a year and just couldn’t get along with it. The main issue is the interplay between the guitar and input stage of the amp. It’s sounds like a perfect studio tone. But it doesn’t FEEL real. Great option for fly gigs, and if you just can’t carry around gear. If you’re inspired by the feel of your amps though, you’ll find modeling and profiling wanting. I just went back to tube amps. Heads and cabs. I just use high powered speakers now in ported 112 cabs.

    • #9378
      Pete Thorn

      Ya, there’s always going to be something great about real amps/speakers moving air.

    • #9621
      Chuck Callahan

      Hey Pete,

      Greetings from Nashville I’m a big fan.

      I’m interested in either getting a Helix, Kemper, Headrush, or axe fx iii and was wondering if you had a favorite between those? I do need something both for live settings and recording.

    • #9642

      Digital guitar will be better i guess

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