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Guitar Tube Amp VS Modeling Amp (Can you hear the difference test?)


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I failed as well. They all sounded nearly identical to me (by which I mean a generic "blues" tone). Amp C (the Fender Mustang) may have sounded a little nicer to my ears for whatever reason - that's the one I guessed was the tube amp.

 

In my own experience "modeling" stuff has been better for recording than playing live. As mentioned in another thread about my recordings, I almost always record my electric guitars straight into GarageBand. I have also gigged with a Digitech RP1000 modeling unit. I've used the RP straight into the board. I've also used it with a little tube amp as a monitor on stage. So here's what I think based on that experience...

 

1 - Digital doesn't have the same "feel" live. I prefer to have a tube amp with me on stage. The RP direct into the board didn't make me a happy player. I felt disconnected, and I struggled to get into the songs as much. I love the easy set up - but it just isn't very dynamic. Ultimately I decided that even if the audience couldn't tell, I could tell and I'm playing to make myself happy too. Using the RP with a little tube amp as a monitor was better, but I still prefer to gig with an old tube Princeton or Deluxe Reverb and a few pedals.

 

2 - For recording purposes digital sounds great, and it is so easy. It allows you to focus on the song and the mix instead of the mic placement, etc. I find that very liberating.

 

3 - With digital devices and software, most of the stock sounds/samples are way too wet or too gainy to sound natural. I guess they want to show what the unit can do, but I almost always have to write my own sounds (or tweak an existing one) and avoid the sounds that come in whatever the unit or software is. If you are willing to tweak them a bit digital cans sound great recorded.

 

That's about everything I know, Rocketman. [biggrin]

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Using the RP with a little tube amp as a monitor was better, but I still prefer to gig with an old tube Princeton or Deluxe Reverb and a few pedals.

 

2 - For recording purposes digital sounds great, and it is so easy. It allows you to focus on the song and the mix instead of the mic placement, etc. I find that very liberating.

 

3 - With digital devices and software, most of the stock sounds/samples are way too wet or too gainy to sound natural. I guess they want to show what the unit can do, but I almost always have to write my own sounds (or tweak an existing one) and avoid the sounds that come in whatever the unit or software is. If you are willing to tweak them a bit digital cans sound great recorded.

 

That's about everything I know, Rocketman. [biggrin]

There is a good reason for that.

 

When "we" record with fair quality digital equipment, or LISTEN with fair quality digital, it's literally the same as using models. Has we recorded with analog tape, or used a GOOD digital, (basically, used quality recording equipment), AND listened back on a quality stereo rather than an MP3 file on a computer, we would hear that Princeton or Deluxe or whatever "quality" amp and sound.

 

Digital breaks down the sound and reproduces it "digitally", so it's really the same thing as modeling.

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True Confessions.

 

I missed two out of three, A & B, but......... with the USUAL and typical slant of polls these days, Carvin is not exactly a world renown name in tube amps. A comparison test of more "common" amps would be more interesting to me.

 

I guess what REALLY threw me off was the pointy headstock guitar........

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this is very much one mans opinions, verses another but I thought they all sounded good.

 

and I am not filling you guys full of BS here, but this was easy.

 

The tube amp, A.. was very clearly heard to me. subtle I guess but to me obvious. the organic characteristic of the tone is there.

 

And without even finishing the video I new C was a mustang. I have a Mustang III and a IV, I picked it out right away most likely on a bassman or deluxe setting.

 

On the other hand had no idea that B was a roland, but it wasn't bad to my ears.

 

I also have three good tube amps, (Marshall JTM602x12, Goldtone GA30RVS, Fender FR Deville 4x10)

 

do the tube amps sound better? yes, they do, no doubt about it. But do the mustangs sound good? IMHO, yes..

 

I've A/B'd both mustangs against marshall quite extensively so that I would have some good settings to use at gigs with the M-IV. Using an A/B/Y switch, it's very easy to hear the differences.. if you have to unplug, and plug in again, you'll never quite really hear what's going on.. but the A/B/Y being instantaneous is much easier. Truth is,, honestly guys I can get the Mustangs to sound VERY close to the Marshall.

 

while some guys just hate the idea of modeling amps, I'm a believer. (IMO Fender got it pretty much right)

 

In fact, for the cost, vs the features, they do a pretty good job when it comes right down to it.

 

I've gigged with the Mustang IV and it does a pretty good job. Where my Marshall JTM60 2x12 will slice thru the stage mix, the Mustang IV had a tendency to get lost if the stage was pushing. Out front, when mic'd (and I've heard the recordings) it sounds just fine. and -- hey I still sound just like ME! :)

 

like I say,, they are not for everyone, but I think they get sort of the bums rush with some people.

 

just my 2cents

 

/ray

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Guest Farnsbarns

I haven't listened. I'm at work but also it's a stupid test. YouTube use data compression which takes a lot of harmonic content out. Whoever posted this on YouTube for comparison has something to learn about media formats and audio file compression (not to be confused with a compressor).

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... Carvin is not exactly a world renown name in tube amps. A comparison test of more "common" amps would be more interesting to me.

 

 

Maybe, but if Carvin was/is good enough for Zappa and Vai, it can't be too bad.

 

I liked the sound of B best, which is interesting because it was a Roland 80 Cube, of which I have the XL model- a very popular and respected model/brand in SS amps. Thought it sounded warmer than A, and cleaner and brighter than C.

 

I also thought the Fender sounded harsher, but heard a pretty sweet harmonic in one note. Could have been pinched.

 

Definitely a stupid test, because I got none right, even with two separate guesses. But I wear hearing aids, so I have an excuse.

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Put me in the B camp. I realize that the test is not really valid because they are all presented in a digital format, but I was expecting an overall smoothness to the tube amp that I did not hear in A. The B amp sounded more muffled than A so I went with B, but I suspected I was going to be wrong because it was more of a lack of clarity than a smoothness.

 

My guess is that the tube amp was not warmed up first. To my ears, a tube amp does not sound any better than a SS or digital amp until the tubes have warmed at least 20 minutes or so, then the tones smooth out and the harmonic tone, that 'bottle' sound come out more in clean tones.

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Wow... shockingly I got all three right :o But more to the point I could clearly hear the difference between the first one and the last two (they sounded pretty much the same to me slightly more muffled)... So I knew by that.

 

In the first I could hear more of that ringing tonal quality much cleaner and clearer in the high and low end tones. And that's all I could hear.. I would accept all of them as ok tone that I wouldn't think much about really.

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In response to Mr. Booger's question about can I tell the difference between the 3 amps, no, I can not.

 

All 3 sounded just like Grado headphones connected to a laptop.

 

P.S.

 

Perhaps I'm cruel and unusual but I kept hoping a giant python was stalking him throughout the video and it would end with a big surprise. Imagine my disappointment.

 

 

 

 

 

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yea man, it is,, but with out an amp, it will just go "plink,,, plink... plink..."

 

lol .

 

Those Roland "Cube" series amps, have always been pretty impressive, IMHO.

Especially so, when they first came out! But, they still sound great,

even among all the newer "digital/modeling amp" competition.

 

VOX, makes some pretty great, and decently priced "modeling" amps, as well.

 

 

CB

 

I have to agree with you CB. I friend of mine has had a Roland Cube for years and i've always thought it sounded really good.

Also, as far as his test, what kind of mic did he use ? mic placement ? what recording device ? what speakers did we all listen to it on ? too many unknown variables. But like CB said, Rolands are nice.

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A few years ago I tried a bedroom size Roland Cube against some new, but very small and inexpensive tube amps.

 

The cube was the best one.

 

Just because it's tube don't make it any good, and just cause it's SS don't mean it sucks.

 

There are a lot of crappy tube amps out there. Even as the best amps are tube.

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