Thursday, January 9, 2014

tube amp and Digitech 3

Well, my new practice amp is going to be the Peavey Vypyr 75 watt or the 100 watt Fender Mustang 3 or just the Digitech 3 with no amp, that’s right, you don't need an amp with the Digitech 3 and save for a tube amp 2x12 with the Digitech 3, when I move it out of the bedroom. If you end up with 2 amps, one for the bedroom and one for playing live you want a modeling amp in the bedroom. Why? Because of the tone differences in solid state amps and tube amps, it can be confusing when switching to a different amp at least for me it is. I found this out while going to guitar lessons and the teacher has a Fender amp, the tones are different than my amp and it gets confusing playing through his amp for me as far as playing individual notes, understand? Plus the Digitech is far more potable than a 2x12 tube amp or 2x12 modeling amp. I couldn't begin to tell you how much I have looked into what to buy. I have spent months; I can’t afford either right now, so in the mean time I have been reading up on both the modeling amps and Digitech. Currently I have a cheap craigslist amp that got me by for awhile, 15 bucks. It did what I wanted: amplify my guitar and at that time, I wanted to kiss that amp, now I am ready for bigger and better things. The debate in my brain has been as follows: 1st you don’t want to buy an amp and then wish you bought a different amp. These two amps and there are others, are modeling amps. I can try different amps and effects straight from one amp and not have to buy or trade with people for other amps because I end up not liking the amp I bought; I can simply switch it to a different amp with the turn of a button. I love the sound of that option plus I will save thousands of dollars in the long run. This will also help me decide what type of amp I will buy when and if I want a larger amp. How many watts do you need in a bed room, not much but if it goes beyond the bedroom you don’t want to be limited. How many watts? 10-30 is too low by all in agreement just check any of the chat rooms plus you doesn’t get a 12" speaker with 40watts and under. Next, what are the limitations to a tube amp? Currently the consensus is: Tube amps rule but not in the bedroom or possible garage. Tube amps generally do not have head phone hook ups. This investigation on which amps have headphone hookups took 2 months to find out that tube amps in general do not have head phone jacks and for good reason. You can’t shut off the speaker load of the amp. You end up turning the speaker down and use head phones. It is possible to set up a tube amp with a emulated speaker load but I think we start to drift from the point of owning a tube amp at this point. Ok so it’s going to be solid state(modeling). Well which one. This took 4 months of chat room talk and article reading to educate myself with better knowledge of solid state amps. For the sake of argument we will all agree that solid state amps are not the same as tube but this almost isn’t true today and I will discuss the evolution of amps, I do not want to get in the middle of that argument of tube amps being better than modeling amp (notice the wording between solid state and modeling changing, I am doing it on purpose). Let me explain: Both are electronic (solid state and modeling) but completely different in technology. The evolution of amplifiers is here and is being meet with great resistance from mostly older people who in general resist change. Some trends become fads but in this case I believe this trend is here to stay. For the older reader of this blog I would like to make the comparison of modeling amps and solid state amps to the 6 cylinder motor. The 6 cylinder motor of today is not the same as yesterdays 6 cylinder motor from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, there is no comparison, and this is the same with solid state amps and modeling amps. Six cylinder motors from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s were dogs and completely unreliable, today’s six cylinder is capable of being and in some cases is a high performance internal combustion engine, case in point, the Lincoln MKZ six cylinder pumps out 300 horse power. Their inline four cylinder produces 240 Hp. Many eight cylinder motors of yesterday didn’t produce that much horse power or the increase in gas mileage with the increase of performance. If you’re a tube fanatic and see someone with a modeling amp understand and respect why they have it and you will most likely get the same respect and understanding in return. Most ears do not here the difference between modeling amps of today and tube amps as far as tone goes. There will be a day when tube amps will be considered the old tools of the trade, the trend to modeling amps is here, recognize it. (Does this mean I am against a full Marshall stack with a JCM 800 model 2210 planted on top? “F” no) the only difference between modeling amp and tube amps is cost, modeling amps run approximately 1/3 (and much more depending on make and model) the cost of tube amps. Peavey’s or Fenders modeling amps are the way I am going to go as far as 1x12. Not only do you get different sounding amps but also effects on board with the option of sending your music to a computer without buying a dozen to two dozen add on components, which is what you would need to do with a tube amp. 75 watts or 100 watts is all that is needed and over that starts to get loud and 75-100 watts can handle most drummers. Plus the trend in audio engineering is to mike a smaller amp (2x12) and feed it through the PA system, this gives the engineer more control over the sound quality and level, there is nothing worse for an Audio Engineer than battling a musician who insist to turn the volume of their instrument higher than all others in the band (most notably: egotistic lead guitarists and keyboard players) I have had battles in the past and deteriorates the quality beyond belief. Most people are not disciplined enough to understand this. I meet a drummer at a play house, after explaining to him that his volume of playing was too loud and he made the adjustment in his arms; that young man is a professional musician and he didn’t know it. The days of stomp boxes is coming to an end and for good reason...again cost. Please don't blast me that not all stomp boxes are the same, I know this but like I said most people don't here the difference, why, because their ears are not tuned to everyday use. With a Digitech GNX you end up with all the stomp boxes one will need without taken a second mortgage, Plus there is an 8 track recorder on board and top it off all the effects you need. The GNX4 or 3000 does not have the 8 track but comes with software to record, the problem is your operating system might not recognize the software and the company that developed the software is no longer in business. What to use with regard to stomp boxes and recording software took me an additional 3 months to figure out. 3 Months visiting chat rooms and extracting bits of information from search engines such as Google and Bing. This was big time difficult and I am glad that I became educated in it because of the difference in the GNX models which most people would not think there was much of a difference besides an upgrade from GNX 3 to GNX 4000 by Digitech. The GNX 3000 is not a typo it is a different model than the GNX3. The gnx3 and 4 have recording capabilities via software use on your computer it is better recording quality than the on board gnx 3 but that is still in debate among chat room chatters. The recording capability is the only reason I am partial to the Digitech verses the Boss model. The difference between the Digitech GNX models I found in chat rooms and is difficult to read by the manufacturer, for some unexplained reason they tend to hide this valuable info to the consumer, I still can’t figure out why they just don’t come out and say it but they don’t. The GNX 3 and 4 requires a certain operating system than most of have, me I have windows 7 and it doesn’t work on it. When you read reviews by the manufacture they will state that it has a built in 8 track recorder like the GNX3, this is not true and misleading, you need the software installed in a computer with a specific operating system. Most other don't work or could work with modification so who wants to find out, not meeeeeeeeee. You know your company is in trouble or there is a need to hire a new manager when you find your company using trick words to confuse and miss lead your customers. The GNX 3 can be had for 125 USD used and the same goes for the Boss model. Retail is about 350 USD this is cheap by anyone’s opinion compared to purchasing the same effects individually. When you add it up it’s about 2000 USD cheaper on the retail end. They can be hard to come by on craigslist, most guitarist aren’t interested in selling and when they do go on craigslist they are snapped up by other guitarist. It won’t surprise me to see a GNX 5 out by Christmas, with the fixes in place. Good luck out there as the manufacturers of today get tricky with wording of their advertising and remember that anytime you’re going to make an investment in a product…become educated in that product, you might become pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised. DESS

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