Your favorite modelling amps.......and recommendations?

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by living room rocker, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. living room rocker

    living room rocker Member

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    I'm two years into my guitar journey, have an Epi G400 dialed to perfection w/SD Pearly Gates bridge and neck, and been eyeballing amps a step up from an entry level Fender Champion 20.

    Given these parameters, your recommendations and favs for solid state modelling amps please?

    1. never say never but probably won't ever gig
    2. will use at low volumes mostly, but would still enjoy some "oomph" if desired
    3. would prefer an amp w/built in effects vs investing heavily in pedals
    4. enjoy cleans the most, but love a good ac/dc and gilmour tone too
    5. I'm reasonably PC literate, but consider ease of use a bonus too
    6. < $750

    Thanks guys (and girls); really enjoy this site; check it every morning @ coffee.
     
  2. sazista

    sazista Active Member

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    Well, i like my Fender Mustang III v2 a lot. It workss well for everything you mentioned, and you can gig with it. Just forget the preset sounds and start from scratch. If you like them, go in and tweak them to your standards. I have NOT heard good things about it's replacement the GT 100.
     
  3. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Modeling amps get a love/hate response from many fora...

    Me I own three, and have had some experience with them, so I'll tell you
    about that.

    My favorite Modeling amp right now is my Roland Cube Bass 60XT.
    It has many models I'll never use, but I've found two or three great models and
    use them all the time.

    I know it's a bass amp, but Roland makes a Cube series for guitarists, and my recommendations
    apply to the guitar series. If anyone can model certain effects, it's Roland. They are the same
    company that makes Boss Pedals.

    The Cube amps are solid state, so that unplugs all of the "gotta have tubes" folderol.
    Guitarists make passionate statements about tube amps, and the glorious distortion
    you can get from them. But if you are not intending to gig, or to play at "band level"
    of loudness, standing next to an insane drummer, then you don't have to pay any attention
    to the tube amp issue. Tube amps are great, but unnecessary for those who play clean
    or at low levels. Onboard effects work fine, and you can pick which Cube amp you want
    based on cost and output desired.
    Acorn Theatre 09-14-12@100.jpg
    My favorite modeling amp for guitar is my Vox VT-30. This is an older amp, so they aren't
    made any more. But the Valvetronix series continues with more modern versions, and they
    are definitely worth a look. My VT-30 gets as loud as I need. They make bigger ones, but
    I play smaller venues in a trio with no drummer. So I mostly have to play it at low levels.
    It sounds great at low levels. This is not true for many amps that will be recommended to
    you by guys who play loud.

    One of your main questions ought to be: How does it sound when played at less than half
    of its output? I have actually owned amps that didn't sound too good until you crank them
    up a lot. I don't need those.
    Luna and Vox 2016@100.jpg
    The VT-30 has lots of models I'll never use. But once again, it's fun to practice with, and
    after exploring what it offers, I found several settings that I was able to save as presets.
    Those are what I use for my music. When I'm noodling around off duty, I can explore some
    of the other avenues.

    Those are only two... and there are so many. But each of them has its own virtues. The
    Valvetronix series uses tubes in the output stage, and solid state in the earlier stages of
    the amp. So it's technically a hybrid. There are other hybrid amps out there, because the
    idea is a good one. Purists don't think so, but purists can pound sand IMHO. There are lots
    of tube amps for sale for those who want to wrassle with old technology.

    I am a pedalboard guy, so I actually play more with a couple of other amps:
    Non modeling amps with hybrid construction: solid state in the pre-amp stage and
    tubes for the out put stage. I like small amps, and I don't need ear-busting levels of
    output, so I am very happy with my Orange Micro Terror, plugged into some home made
    cabinets. This is a simple amp with no effects or models. I use pedals, as shown.
    April & Orange tall rig@100.JPG
    The Orange amp sounds great at low levels, and it's a 20W amp so it has plenty
    of output. It's so small, it looks like a toy. But it runs those two cabs and can rattle
    the crockery in the kitchen downstairs when cranked. Definitely not a toy.
    April & BlackHeart@100.jpg
    My other favorite small amp is the Black Heart Little Giant, above. Also a hybrid.
    Those are not made any more, so if you want one, you'll have to search for a used one.
    The Little Giant is like 5W, so it plays great at low levels and is a perfect practice amp.
    No models, no effects, simple and good. Blackheart made a couple of more powerful
    versions, like the 15W "Handsome Devil." Any Blackheart amp is worth getting
    if you can find one, they are excellent
     
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  4. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    I'm really enjoying the sounds that my Yamaha THR10 puts out, combined with the way it responds very much like a tube amp. It is a very simple interface and has the basic essential effects, although to get the most from them you need to use the editing software and store it as a preset, but that's easily done. Works great with headphones or without, but doesn't get real loud without the little speakers overloading a bit.

    I am going to have a serious look at the head version soon, but that's really a completely different thing.
     
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  5. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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  6. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Well-Known Member

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    It's not on the cheap range but well under your limits. 400 bucks but might be able to...

    I think it would be a mistake not to check out the Boss Katana Air. Probably the best practice amp now available. Not that I am biased.

    Totally portable and wireless. Can run up to 20 watts on batteries 30 watts on AC but that's way louder than I need even on batteries.

    Supports all the possible customizable and downloadable Boss Katana library effects. Want yours to sound like Hendrix or Clapton or Page people have those all set up already. There is a bunch of free software access included ( well not free since units are not free so lets say bundled ). Editing software to control the effects and tones as fine grained as you want. ( Me I am just using the built in panel so far ).

    I just use the dial built ins Clean Crunch Lead or Brown ( sure there's an acoustic one there also ). Nice set of controls on the unit and it is small very small and easily portable but powerful. Did I forget to say it sounds impressive as heck?

    Supports aux in or bluetooth in has outputs for headphone and all USB output. Sure you can plug in a guitar cable but it has a nice bluetooth guitar plug feed with a rechargeable ( right in the unit ).

    So extremely easy to play tunes from your iPhone ( via bluetooth or aux in ) ( or android ha ha or computer whatever ) and play along via bluetooth ( no cable to amp ).

    Has stereo speakers so supports some really nice speaker cab effects reverb / delay its dang impressive.

    Also it is totally controllable via remote from smartphone / computer / tablet ( so there's a boss katana air app ) if you want to do it that way. But you can of course just use controls on the unit.



    I don't use my backstar anymore ...
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
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  7. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Well-Known Member

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    Made more comments in original post.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
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  8. living room rocker

    living room rocker Member

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    Thanks for the heads up, the Mustang GT was one I was considering.
     
  9. living room rocker

    living room rocker Member

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    Appreciate your candor by affirming that a tube amp isn't probably my best option. It's so easy to get pulled into hype about what's best. I'll explore your recommendations, thank you.
     
  10. Guilll

    Guilll New Member

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    Personnaly the Fender Super Champ XD is the best I've ever tried. I used to have one and it was much better than the Vox VT range in my opinion (I had a AD-30VT before). From what I've heard it sounded way better than the Fender Mustang too (but I've never actually tried this one). My 2 favorite sounds on it were the clean Fender channel and the Marshall Plexi, so exactly what you need. And you can find one super cheap (around 250€ here in France).
     
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  11. sazista

    sazista Active Member

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    Check out the youtube vids. It may be ok but i am going by those reviews of the GT.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
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  12. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    I second that.
    Of course ...
     
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  13. ungarn

    ungarn New Member

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    Boss Katana 100 combo based on your needs.
     
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  14. Clifdawg

    Clifdawg Well-Known Member

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    Another vote for the Fender Super Champ x2. Great amp, full stop.
     
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  15. jtees4

    jtees4 Active Member

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    I am very happy with my Mustang III and it's even the lowly V1. Whenever I change up I end up coming back. It sounds great at any volume, and has enough power for loud cleans with a drummer if ever needed. Actually a great amp. Could probably pick one up used for $200 easily, then buy the 4 button switch and you can really do everything with it.
     
  16. nashsed

    nashsed New Member

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    I'd go for the Katana 100 without a second thought.

    1) Works wonderfully well at low volumes. Has a built-in wattage selector so it's perfect for home use.
    2) Has an array of built in effects
    3) The Boss Tone studio software is quite intuitive and easy to use.
    4) Has some great clean and overdriven sounds.
    5) The Katana 100 has an FX Loop in case you wish to use pedals/looper in the future.

    I have a Katana 50 and it's a cracking amp that works beautifully with my Epi G400. The only thing I miss is the FX Loop that comes with the 100. But you really can't go wrong with either one.

    No other modelling amp comes close at the moment. Maybe the Yamaha THR10 but it's limited in terms of effects.
     
  17. fos1

    fos1 New Member

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    My instructor recommended the Katana 50 or 100. I choose the 50 for the $200 price tag. The builtin features are basically the same when used with the Boss Tone Studio software but the additional connectivity and better speaker may be worth the additional cost for the Katana 100 for other than home use. I will probably upgrade to the 100 in the near future.
     
  18. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    I paid $139.99 for this 100W Katana. It's a bit trashed as cosmetics go, but who cares at that price ? If you're patient, you'll find a good deal.

    Magané.JPG
     
  19. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Well-Known Member

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    Well i dunno ha ha i think the boss katana air is better?
     
  20. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Member

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    I second the Katana 100 if you ever want to jam or gig. It's a very capable amp in it's own right and with the Tone Studio software, updates and a GC-1 footswitch it's also a completely giggable amp.
     

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