Help me choose an amp with DI/IR capabilities

Which amp would you choose?

  • Friedman JJ Junior 20

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Mesa Boogie Badlander 50

    Votes: 2 20.0%
  • Suhr PT15 IR

    Votes: 4 40.0%
  • Other (specify)

    Votes: 4 40.0%

  • Total voters
    10

Malloc

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Jul 25, 2014
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Currently only have a Dr. Z Cure for real tubes, but I'm once again tempted by the siren song. Since cab simulation has gotten much better over the past decade I'm looking for an amp that can be used direct without speakers like my modelers. My preferred tone leans more towards vintage F/M and size/weight are a consideration.
 

Malloc

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Jul 25, 2014
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319
I voted Suhr PT15 IR because I have one. I use it through the matching cab and hence have no experience with the DI/IR functions. It is, however, the best amp for me that I ever owned.
That was definitely my first inclination until I realized there are some decent competitors now. I see PT15IR at the most full featured yet most expensive (also basically unobtanium at the time of this post). Also I don't love having *that* many knobs. The Friedmans with DI capability are *probably* more the tone I'm looking for and I like the simplicity, but their DI capability is the most rudimentary without selectable IR or separate out volume (thankfully price and availability are much better). Badlander is a Boogie which I've always wanted to try and has a middle ground of DI capability, but it's quite a bit heavier and I probably won't really use the higher gain settings that are baked into the price.
 

aamefford

New guitar player. Old-ish guy…
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My only tube amp ever, the Mesa Boogie Mark V 25 combo has DI and 2 cab simulation options. Some don’t like the DI set up. So far, it’s fine for my needs. The good - 22 lb, sounds great, very versatile, the combo is so small you can use it as a head. The bad, many knobs, a bit tweaky, 10” speaker, it NEEDS an attenuator for BR volumes unless you go DI out into monitor(s). The masters are very touchy, and it gets LAF with minimal knob rotation. That, a fender modeling amp (nice stereo DI on that actually - GTX100) and a Pod Go are my experience with amps.
 

DreamTheaterRules

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I’ve read a lot, but haven’t PLAYED any of the amps in the poll, and unlike TGP where people spew “knowledge” and make recommendations based on what they’ve heard, I do not feel qualified to vote.

Based on what I’ve heard, all three are great amps. If I was closing one of those right now, it would be the Suhr. But if I was going amp heavy again, I’d like all three.
 

Malloc

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Jul 25, 2014
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319
I’ve read a lot, but haven’t PLAYED any of the amps in the poll, and unlike TGP where people spew “knowledge” and make recommendations based on what they’ve heard, I do not feel qualified to vote.

Based on what I’ve heard, all three are great amps. If I was closing one of those right now, it would be the Suhr. But if I was going amp heavy again, I’d like all three.
Anecdotes about related amps are also welcome. Thankfully I live close enough to Wildwood that it’s feasible to go there and play all 3 in the same day (well if the PT15 ever gets back in stock that is).
 

DreamTheaterRules

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Anecdotes about related amps are also welcome. Thankfully I live close enough to Wildwood that it’s feasible to go there and play all 3 in the same day (well if the PT15 ever gets back in stock that is).
Jealous! Play them. The PT 15 looks like it’s potentially the greatest small power tube amp ever, overall.
 

RickP

Established 1960, Still Not Dead
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Dec 10, 2019
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Gulf Coast of Texas
I’d go one of two ways.

1. Get an Axe FX and tube power amp. If you’re going digital, go digital. You have all the options, including use with a guitar amp, and it can be a standalone amp for anything from practicing with phones, to recording, to arenas.

2. Use the amps you have with a UA Ox Box. This makes use of what you have, doesn’t limit you from changing or using rented back lines, and also functions as a DI, while providing attenuation for smaller venues.

Neither option is the cheapest, but you’ll give yourself more options going forward than locking into a single amp solution. I hope that is helpful in your considerations. Most here know I enjoy analog and digital options about equally, and have no aversion to using one or the other, or mixing them. Be open to whatever best makes the experience you want.
 

Malloc

New Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2014
Messages
319
I’d go one of two ways.

1. Get an Axe FX and tube power amp. If you’re going digital, go digital. You have all the options, including use with a guitar amp, and it can be a standalone amp for anything from practicing with phones, to recording, to arenas.

2. Use the amps you have with a UA Ox Box. This makes use of what you have, doesn’t limit you from changing or using rented back lines, and also functions as a DI, while providing attenuation for smaller venues.

Neither option is the cheapest, but you’ll give yourself more options going forward than locking into a single amp solution. I hope that is helpful in your considerations. Most here know I enjoy analog and digital options about equally, and have no aversion to using one or the other, or mixing them. Be open to whatever best makes the experience you want.
Currently have a Helix for digital and it’s good enough that I would rather have the all in one simplicity over perfect tone. However, sometimes I just get the urge to boil electrons.
 

goat-n-gitter

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Get a Two Notes Captor X. Silent or attenuated running, huge assortment of great sounding IR's, and the tone of the amps you already know and love. I use one with my Mesa MK V and Vox AC30, and I love it. The price is much easier to swallow than the OX box as well.
 

craigbeckta

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May 18, 2022
Messages
5
PRS MT 15 with a Suhr Reactive Load.

That is my new set up and it sounds great.

These videos will show you how little difference there is with the same Impulse Responses.



41 Amps

 

LSchefman

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Apr 26, 2012
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Michigan
The Cure is a truly fine amp.

I'm a 'several tube amps guy' I suppose, but maybe that's overkill. Anyway, I wouldn't buy an amp with a built in DI at all, ever.

I'd buy a UA Ox and use it with any amp I would ever play through, now or down the road. Or I'd consider a Suhr or Mesa reactive load box.

Only then would I look at more amps. Otherwise you're stuck with only one amp you can go direct with, and one day you'll be in the same spot.

Don't fence me in. ;)
 
Last edited:

GuitarJammin

Guitar Player
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Messages
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Location
Corpus Christi, TX
The Cure is a truly fine amp.

I'm a 'several tube amps guy' I suppose, but maybe that's overkill. Anyway, I wouldn't buy an amp with a built in DI at all, ever.

I'd buy a UA Ox and use it with any amp I would ever play through, now or down the road. Or I'd consider a Suhr or Mesa reactive lad box.

Only then would I look at more amps. Otherwise you're stuck with only one amp you can go direct with, and one day you'll be in the same spot.

Don't fence me in. ;)

Yup! (in a big texas voice) I say buy the amp you like. I have some separate reactive load boxes and a couple of SM57s for the amps that don't have built in IR. I don't let the IR capability "Fence me in" when choosing amps, if it's got it great, if not...well I have other ways of running direct or mic'd.
 

Tone-y

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Jan 22, 2018
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That's more like a Blug. Many people love the Blug amp.
The blu guitar amp 1s are great. Not perfect as they have a few quirks but they can do a lot. The only thing is you need to buy some of the extras to really unlock some of that flexibility. The blubox IR loader if you want proper IRs over the old fashioned "red box" cab emulation. And the remote 1 foot pedal for access to the second master volume and hidden functions like tweaks to the amount of gain available (useful for getting around the fact that there a bright cap on the gain pots that you can't disable). You can do all this with midi commands but the remote 1 is far easier as it just plugs in with an instrument cable and it's set up to go.
Benefits of the amp 1 is that it's small and light, universal power supply for any region voltage - just plug that kettle lead in wherever you are, doesn't need a speaker load so no potential damage if you forget and turn it on (also means you can just do the IR thing without needing a load box). It also runs cool and quietly with little internal noise. I have a 50 watt head and it's like turning on a space heater and if you stand closer than 6 feet you get loud transformer hum. Don't have that problem with the amp 1.
 
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