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Thread: Has modelling "topped out"?

  1. #1
    Let it B JeffB's Avatar
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    Default Has modelling "topped out"?

    Been a few NAMM shows now, and really nothing new at all on the modelling front from any of the big boys...Line6, Vox, Roland


    we've seen a few more floor versions from line 6 (XTL, that new Floor POD) and a "re-vamp" of the Spiders..which is pretty laughable as its just full of "pre-sets" now. I A/B'ed a Spider II 30w, vs the Spider III 30w, and tonally..no difference.

    Vox hasn't done really ANYTHING..we got the Da5/15 all digital models last year..and a 100w head in the lower priced line..but..eh...thats nothing really new...

    Roland re-vamped the "cube" series recently..but they are basically the same amps with a power squeezer for better tone at low volumes...the GT8 added alot of versatilty and features...but again nothing new on the actual modelling front..

    so has it topped out? What could be next? Will modelling die a slow death and be relegated to the bedroom/budget amp, and easy at home recording market? Or is the next breakthrough on the horizon?

    Discuss...
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    Mojo's Minions TimmyPage's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    This may sound like blasphemy, but I believe that eventually modeling will be good enough to replace tube.

    It may have gotten to it's 'best' for a few years to come though, you never know when the next big breakthrough will come for it.. it may be at next years NAMM, it might be in 20 years.

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    Aceman is MR SPEED JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    I think they've kind of hit a point with it where it's difficult with current technology to improve on what's out there now. While the technological breakthrough that will be the next big "Wow!" is in the works, we'll see more affordable stuff with a lot more crap packed in it. Maybe more companies doing the "digital + a 12AX7" thing, too.

    Topped out, though? No. I think before too long, somebody's gonna ape the feel-aspect that's missing from current stuff, and tubes won't be as important anymore. There's obviously always gonna be a hardcore market for them (look at records.... who'd have thought they'd have survived this long?), but they won't be considered the only "real" way to go.

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    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    nah- we are in the baby steps of what can be done with computers and modeling. who knows, you might be able to have a 'blank' amp and guitar, and virtually build all components from pickups to transformers and downl;oad it all to your gear. you could at least experiment with different sounds without having to do major rebuilding or pickup swapping..

    how about a virtual pickup? you could download the characteristics of actual pickups to it- Line6 has started this idea, but they use generic single coils and HBs...
    In any case, I can see it all heading this way.
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    Mojo's Minions Mephis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Considering all the amps everyone whorships around here as "the best modelers" sound like piss to me...

    I would agree with the statement that modelling has topped out, in the bad way.

    And solid states will never sound anything like tubes. So don't get your hopes up. Sure a JC120 or an old randall 100 watt sounds great, but they don't sound like tube amps. And those are some of the best sounding solid states I know of, considering their age I would say solid state technology has de-evolved lol.
    Last edited by Mephis; 12-13-2006 at 10:21 PM.
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    Aceman is MR SPEED JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mephis View Post
    Considering all the amps everyone whorships around here as "the best modelers" sound like piss to me...

    I would agree with the statement that modelling has topped out, in the bad way.
    So, because you dislike modelling, it's advanced as far as possible? I don't like to eat at Crackerbarrel, but that doesn't mean they're never going to offer more food choices in the future.

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    Her Little Mojo Minion DankStar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    It's good enough for me. But the geek police never sleeps, so someone will one up it once again.

    People will still complain though, probably before they even try it. Hell, I'll kick it off right now: Those new modellers that just came out in 2012 really suck.

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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    well, i guess they still come out with tube amps that suck too, as well as SS ones, yet there are more choices than ever. the great thing about it is that if someone doesn't like modeling, they have lots of other choices. i think its great that we have retro thinking companies as well as ones pushing the technology.
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    25's Nemesis Benjy_26's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    The GT-8 is leaps and bounds better in terms of features and sound quality than its predecessor. Trust me, I've been on Roland modeling since the VF-1 (rack version of the GT-3).

    Has modelling topped out?

    Not by a long shot.

    Mephis, modellers might sound like piss to you, but that's just opinion. To be honest, 5150's have always sounded like a bag of ass. Different strokes.

    Do the tones I get from my rig nail the sound of the amps I'm modelling? Sometimes.

    Do they sound good for what I use them for? Always.

    When soundmen,audience members, and guitarists using high end amps walk up and ask what amps I'm using, they don't believe the tones I get are coming from a floorboard.

    It's getting that close.
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  10. #10
    Mojo's Minions Mephis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Quote Originally Posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
    So, because you dislike modelling, it's advanced as far as possible? I don't like to eat at Crackerbarrel, but that doesn't mean they're never going to offer more food choices in the future.


    Before we start talking about how much ass crackerbarrel kicks, lets actually stay on topic.

    I have yet to hear a single modeler that sounds as tonally/harmonicly/dynamicly rich as a cheap tube amp. I have heard a few SS amps that were not modelers that sound damn good though.
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    25's Nemesis Benjy_26's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Now that I think of it, isn't "Have tube amps topped out?" a more valid question?

    What have companies done that's really new in that arena?
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    Mojo's Minions Mephis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjy_26 View Post
    The GT-8 is leaps and bounds better in terms of features and sound quality than its predecessor. Trust me, I've been on Roland modeling since the VF-1 (rack version of the GT-3).

    Has modelling topped out?

    Not by a long shot.

    Mephis, modellers might sound like piss to you, but that's just opinion. To be honest, 5150's have always sounded like a bag of ass. Different strokes.

    Do the tones I get from my rig nail the sound of the amps I'm modelling? Sometimes.

    Do they sound good for what I use them for? Always.

    When soundmen,audience members, and guitarists using high end amps walk up and ask what amps I'm using, they don't believe the tones I get are coming from a floorboard.

    It's getting that close.
    But aren't you using a tube poweramp with your GT-8?
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    Mojo's Minions Mephis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjy_26 View Post
    Now that I think of it, isn't "Have tube amps topped out?" a more valid question?

    What have companies done that's really new in that arena?
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    Aceman is MR SPEED JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mephis View Post
    Before we start talking about how much ass crackerbarrel kicks, lets actually stay on topic.

    I have yet to hear a single modeler that sounds as tonally/harmonicly/dynamicly rich as a cheap tube amp. I have heard a few SS amps that were not modelers that sound damn good though.
    That's not on topic. The topic is whether modelling has reached it's pinnacle, not whether or not it's worth a crap to begin with.

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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Yeah, I think it has. To me, modelling has always been one of those things that's just not for me. I used to hate it, but now I just don't care for it.

    Besides, our ears are remarkably accurate. We don't hear in digital, we hear in analog, and it's not one line that the info goes to our brain on: it's each hair in our inner ear sending its own nerve to the brain, so we hear in sort of "parallel analog". The quality of our own hearing is vastly superior to what most, if not all, modelling on the market does.

    Most modelling is in "CD quality" 16bit or 24bit. I have used some modelling before, and it was decent, but not what I was after. I prefer to have one amp type and multiple effects and then one guitar anyways, so this is all just my opinion.

    EDIT: modelling can't really "top out" in the sense that they can always try higher-powered, faster, more accurate computerized simulations of these amps, but when you plug into, say, a Line 6 and set for a clean tube amp, yet it sounds worse than an actual clean tube amp, I find fault. This is why I bought a ME-50 rather than a GT-8 or GT PRO.
    Last edited by Robert Delahunt; 12-13-2006 at 11:02 PM.
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    Ultimate Tone Member ParaGuitarMedic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjy_26 View Post
    Now that I think of it, isn't "Have tube amps topped out?" a more valid question?

    What have companies done that's really new in that arena?
    An interesting question, and certainly one that is forgotten since Tube Amps are supposedly the way. (BTW- Before I get crucified, I am a tube guy through and though)

    I don't think modeling had topped out. And I'm sure that the "next big thing" will come along sooner than anyone thinks. I mean, the technology used in those Variax guitars is incredible. It can only get better. I don't, however, think that tube amps will ever go away in our lifetime. There is just too many of them out there and too many of us love them. JB FROM HELL made a great point: Who would have thought records would be around this long?
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    Aceman is MR SPEED JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjy_26 View Post
    Now that I think of it, isn't "Have tube amps topped out?" a more valid question?

    What have companies done that's really new in that arena?
    "Something new" isn't what grabs people's attention. Guys want vintage Marshalls, not a new one. They want clones of Fender's revolutionary designs from 40 years ago. They don't want them to do something revolutionary now.

    Also, I believe most guitarists are full of sh1t, and would fail a double-blind listening test between tubes and Line 6's top of the line product. Now, before you tell me why I'm wrong, and that you'd never fail that test, of course you are the exception
    Last edited by JB_From_Hell; 12-13-2006 at 11:04 PM.

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    25's Nemesis Benjy_26's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mephis View Post
    But aren't you using a tube poweramp with your GT-8?
    Yeah, but there is a marked difference between the sound quality of the -6 and the -8 even when running through the 50:50.

    In fact, lately I've been running the -8 through a pair of SWR California Blondes with the tweeters switched off (for smaller jazz gigs) and it still sounds fab. It's not as authoritative as when running through the Mesa, but the basic tone and texture is there.
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  19. #19
    Ultimate Tone Slacker firebirdV's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    I don't hink so. With all of the SS technology out there (especially in high fi stereo systems), I'd expect there to be some new modelling equipment in the near future. It may take a few years, but I'm sure something new will pop up.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Has modelling "topped out"?

    I'm going to go off on a tangent here and ask why does any company need to do anything new??? I'm sure we could all name an amp that we would buy if we had the money and it would be pretty damn satisfying on a lot of levels...it would just be expensive that's all. Most of the stuff we all dig heaps is old anyway, yet amp companies are just trying to come up with new crap to hype more people into spending more money on their products.

    I don't think anyone here would actually care about "new" technology all that much anyway deep down...I mean what do you want your amp to do that would be "new" technology? ...perhaps you'd like it to sense what you want to play by tapping into your brainwaves and you wouldn't even have to play it yourself, you could just think it

    Sure there needs to be good stuff at cheap prices so as to make quality things available to all people, but do we really want to kill the need or desire to own a top notch piece of gear like a Bogner? Imagine how pissed off Mr. Bogner would be if someone came up with a way to get every possible bit of tone and dynamics that sounded and felt exactly like one of his amps...but for the price of a Gorilla amp??? Then Mr. Bogner would go broke!

    I think that if anything would be a good development in the amp world, it would be that manufacturers focused more on QUALITY rather than QUANTITY. Go back to old school ways of doing things even though they might not be the cheapest route to take...and maybe even figure out how to make it cheaper! I don't think there is one among us who wouldn't appreciate that. If everyone focused more on the un-comprimised quality of their products (ahem...GIBSON!) then this world would be a far better place...rather than focusing on how to put more bells and whistles on everything!

    Just my daily rant

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