Amp Modeler Advice

Findthetone1

Well-known member
I'm thinking about getting back into a modeler and wanted some of you experts to weigh in. I'm a home player at the moment using a modded Blues Jr and pedals or my Katana Artist. I'm an 70s/80s rock and hard rock guy and am getting into rockabilly so those would be my main tones. Probably 15 or so different presets. The big thing: I am NOT a tweaker by any means and my home tech consists of an iPad pro until I get around to a new hard drive so ease of editing without a computer is what I'm after. Suggestions?
 

danyeo

Well-known member
If you’re not a tweaker then stay away from Fractal. Kemper is more straight forward but you need good profiles.
 

ClintN667

Well-known member
I had a Kemper and honestly I was never satisfied. I kept switching profiles and changing settings. I would love a profile for a little while but it never lasted. Plus in the back of my mind I was always questioning if the profile really sounded like the amp. YMMV but if I knew then what I know now I would have got an Ox Box, Fryette Powerstation or Boss Tube Expander then occasionally grab a 20 watt head in different flavors.
 

MetalHeadMike

Well-known member
I've wanted to grab a Fractal for YEARS and almost finally pulled the trigger a couple months ago, but the endless rabbit hole of tweakability always holds me back from taking the plunge. It's bad enough for me when I have 2 channel amps, so I think an Axe would be a nightmare for me. That said...I have to be honest and say I'm still damn curious though :doh:
 

ClintN667

Well-known member
MetalHeadMike":1x17xuh5 said:
I've wanted to grab a Fractal for YEARS and almost finally pulled the trigger a couple months ago, but the endless rabbit hole of tweakability always holds me back from taking the plunge. It's bad enough for me when I have 2 channel amps, so I think an Axe would be a nightmare for me. That said...I have to be honest and say I'm still damn curious though :doh:

I spent more time switching profiles and tweaking with the Kemper more than playing. I couldnt imagine going to Fractal.
 
I avoided Kemper b/c of the endless “is there a better profile out there” tease. Gigged an AXEII for a couple years and have been bouncing between Mesa amps and a Helix for the past couple. Both modelers have great tones in them and tbh, are not difficult to dial in. You do have to concede a few weeks to get up and running as this is a paradigm shift from plugging into an amp. You have to re-work how you think about amplifying your signal. But with a little effort both the AXE and the Helix sound imdistinguishable from each other—and IMO from a mic’ed Tube amp.

Don’t let all the options avail on the Fractal dissuade you—I played the AXE every day for years and never once touched any of the ‘advanced parameters’.
 

Findthetone1

Well-known member
Thanks for the replies so far folks. I should've stated that the Kemper is out of consideration. I just can't justify that kind of money for a home rig. The Headrush looks promising to me I like the drag and drop screen. I'll see what others say.
 

stratjacket

Well-known member
Ease of use without using a computer may be a hard one. I hate editing on little panels and I am not sure any of them are easy for me to edit without connecting to a computer and editing that way (that is super easy to me though). I would probably look at the AmplFIRE products if I wanted to edit directly on the modeling device.

I've had 4 versions of Fractal (Standard, Ultra, the II and now the III) and early on there was the curiosity of tweaking, but after some time that all faded. I really just have about 3 presets that are pretty simple that I normally play and it took me 5 minutes each to make them. So I guess its to say the rabbit hole is there if you want it, but simple is always better. Years ago I'd spend forever on some tweak and then switch to a simple patch that you'd normally dial in (OD, EQ, Amp, Delay Cab) and the simple patch almost 100% of the time sounded better.

I also use it for Cab IR's from my Suhr Reactive Load coming out of an amp and that is my favorite way.
 

Chris6870

Well-known member
Findthetone1":1hq8id31 said:
stratjacket":1hq8id31 said:
It’s definitely on my short list. The 7” touchscreen on the Headrush is getting my attention though.
I played with a guy who had a Headrush. He never stopped messing around with it the whole time we were playing. Honestly if you have a Katana artist what more do you need for home?
I have the AX8. I have a handful of presets that I use and that's it. If I want to tweak and explore with it I do, but I usually just play it. BTW the AX8 sound WAY better than the Headrush.
 

Findthetone1

Well-known member
BrokenFusion":1jystrfd said:
Findthetone1":1jystrfd said:
stratjacket":1jystrfd said:
It’s definitely on my short list. The 7” touchscreen on the Headrush is getting my attention though.
I played with a guy who had a Headrush. He never stopped messing around with it the whole time we were playing. Honestly if you have a Katana artist what more do you need for home?
I have the AX8. I have a handful of presets that I use and that's it. If I want to tweak and explore with it I do, but I usually just play it. BTW the AX8 sound WAY better than the Headrush.
The Katana is packed up because I had it in the classifieds but your question is a good one. Maybe I’m bored. IDK lol. You can only access 8 tones on the Katana and I guess ease of accessing more presets would be nice. I’ll probably spend more time with it in the next week though.
 

Elric

Member
Guys talking about the Fractals being complex may not have played one recently. They are not really any harder to dial in than the amp they model these days. So a Mark model will be a PITA a Plexi model will be simple and so forth. The Fractal stuff is way up there tonally. The Kemper is cool too but data management is a thing due to the profiles.

The Atomics are nice simple units. The Helix has a nice user interface but I don't like it as much sound wise as Fractal or even Atomic.
 

Steinmetzify

Well-known member
ClintN667":n5tgsiup said:
I had a Kemper and honestly I was never satisfied. I kept switching profiles and changing settings. I would love a profile for a little while but it never lasted. Plus in the back of my mind I was always questioning if the profile really sounded like the amp. YMMV but if I knew then what I know now I would have got an Ox Box, Fryette Powerstation or Boss Tube Expander then occasionally grab a 20 watt head in different flavors.

Did this with an Axe II for a year.....when I decided to get the Kemper, I told myself that I was going to run 5 profiles....one for each of the amps I dig.

So far, my recording folder has.....5 profiles in it.

I think it's a personal thing....like I said, I did it with the Fractal, but just told myself not to with the Kemper.

Far as cost goes, it's worth it to me to have those 5 representations of the amps, especially the two I use that I could pretty much never afford.
 
Elric":2n0mffa3 said:
Guys talking about the Fractals being complex may not have played one recently. They are not really any harder to dial in than the amp they model these days. So a Mark model will be a PITA a Plexi model will be simple and so forth. The Fractal stuff is way up there tonally. The Kemper is cool too but data management is a thing due to the profiles.

The Atomics are nice simple units. The Helix has a nice user interface but I don't like it as much sound wise as Fractal or even Atomic.
Agree about the Fractal but I found the opposite with the Atomic. In fairness I had it several years ago. I’ve spent years with both the AXE and the Helix and I am pretty confident I couldn’t tell one from the other in a blind test. I would not say that about the Atomic, but IME IMO and all that.
 

danyeo

Well-known member
Elric":6chhg26e said:
Guys talking about the Fractals being complex may not have played one recently. They are not really any harder to dial in than the amp they model these days. So a Mark model will be a PITA a Plexi model will be simple and so forth. The Fractal stuff is way up there tonally. The Kemper is cool too but data management is a thing due to the profiles.

The Atomics are nice simple units. The Helix has a nice user interface but I don't like it as much sound wise as Fractal or even Atomic.

I owned one recently, AX8, and I'm very familiar with how to tweak it. When Leon Todd has a 30 minute video on how to set the levels to get your presets to match in a live setting you know it's a different world from an amp. Shutting off a modeler and firing up an amp is like the sensation of biting into a York Pepper Mint Patty. :D
 
danyeo":2hli3kao said:
I owned one recently, AX8, and I'm very familiar with how to tweak it. When Leon Todd has a 30 minute video on how to set the levels to get your presets to match in a live setting you know it's a different world from an amp. Shutting off a modeler and firing up an amp is like the sensation of biting into a York Pepper Mint Patty. :D
Again, if you don’t have a few weeks to get yourself up to speed on the hardware and workflow, don’t bother. You will just end up frustrated and underwhelmed. Most of what you are hearing difference wise is how the tone is monitored. An amp on the floor next to you compared to a modeler (or a the real thing for that matter) through near field monitors, or a PA, or headphones is a completely different experience. You could take the time to run a modeler preamp into a power amp and then a guitar cab but IMO if you are going to do that, just bring a fucking amp it’s much easier lol.
 

Monkey Man

Well-known member
Steinmetzify, good to see you bro'.

To the OP:
I take it that a 2nd-had Kemper is out-of-the-question price-wise too?
 
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