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New Amp -OR- Midpriced modelers -OR- Is anyone here (still) playing a Tonex?

aamefford

The (should be) Committed
Joined
Nov 17, 2021
Messages
912
I want a Plexi and JCM800-ish set of tones. I don’t have a fortune to spend. Low to mid hundreds, not thousands. The tonex always intrigued me as a viable solution to the Marshall want-itis and the Vox want-itis soon to follow, rinse, repeat. I went a couple of rounds with Pod Go early on. Too fiddly, too much stuff, never got on with the UI. The Tonex seems a little less fiddly, still too much stuff, but maybe good, and maybe good capture sets by others. I have no interest in doing my own captures.

My thoughts in order of likelihood:
Tonex - not too fiddly? Lots of amp options, but on the downside, lots of amp options. Stand-alone IR loader capability
HX Stomp family - same as pod go. Too many options, never jived with the interface
Freidman’s new hypetrain IR-X or whatever tubed preamp plus digital IR modeler - seems cool, lots of hype, $500
Other MIAB pedals - which one? How authentic? Good enough?
Ceriatone 50 watt chupacabra/Yeti/Molecular/Leviathon/JCM51 hot rodded Marshall clones - other than size, price and wait time, viable options. About twice what I want to spend, even used. Still, $1500+/- for a point to point hand wired 50 watt amp.
PRS Archon USA made 50 watt - dark horse, but giving it serious consideration. At all like a Marshall? There is one sort of close to me around $900. Seems high, but purple with purple wood face. Not that I love purple, but my lovely wife does.

Current gear, could be used with pedals, pre’s, MAIB…
Mesa mkv25combo with the 10” Celestion creamback - maybe the crunch is good enough?
Mesa open widebody 1x12 with the standard Mesa celestion 90 watt.
Fryette PS2, attenuator, loudulator, 50 watt tube power amp. I’m pretty sure you can open a beer bottle on it too.
UA Dream Fender in a box
Blues driver Waza, Sugar Drive (klone-ish) Boss OS-2 (OD/Distortion combo), Kelley Caverns reverb&delay
Behringer flow8 mini 8 channel mixer
Kali “studio monitors”, 6” woofer (decent, lean to pleasing over accurate just a little in a good way)

Help? Comments? Ideas?
 
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I'm going to be a Kemper shill here and recommend kicking it up a notch and looking for a used Stage.
Or if you don't need a floorboard/footswitch a Head or Rack.
All the amps, and all the pedals you can imagine.
The Tonex (which is brilliant) lacks effects, so you are still adding pedals.
Line6 might be a good choice as well...
 
I'm going to be a Kemper shill here and recommend kicking it up a notch and looking for a used Stage.
Or if you don't need a floorboard/footswitch a Head or Rack.
All the amps, and all the pedals you can imagine.
The Tonex (which is brilliant) lacks effects, so you are still adding pedals.
Line6 might be a good choice as well...
I’ll have to look at prices. My needs are not professional, just home noodling. Tonex is in the price range, helix hx used is in the range. Really, the less fiddling the better. I don’t really know where I’m going with this, but I’m not in a rush. I’m just obsessing…
 
I like the Headrush for ease of editing and creating patches. Sound wise it’s good enough for my needs.
I’d considered the MX5, just ‘cause touch screen and price. How are the “Plexi” and JCM800 tones - close enough?
 
There is a megathread at TGP about this. I gave up on keeping up months ago, but I can tell you the feedback is off the charts. Many “better than Kemper” comments, once good profiles were available. And I think it’s still $400!

I ONLY waited to buy one until I got a HDRX 20, and that’s covered now, so maybe soon…
 
I’ll have to look at prices. My needs are not professional, just home noodling. Tonex is in the price range, helix hx used is in the range. Really, the less fiddling the better. I don’t really know where I’m going with this, but I’m not in a rush. I’m just obsessing…
I'm no professional, that's for sure!
Just a cover band rhythm player/singer, and someday more into recording.
No single piece of gear satisfies all comers, so always best to follow your dream/heart/pocketbook.
I gave serious thought to Tonex, but soon realized I'd need more pedals/wires/power supplies/patch cables etc.
That made me think about chasing tones and flipping or acquiring more pedals.
So I traded the complexity of revolving pedals/wires etc. with learning the interface.
All good.
***EDIT*** That said, if recording is your thing, effects are easily managed in a DAW.
 
I like the Headrush for ease of editing and creating patches. Sound wise it’s good enough for my needs.
Ditto on Headrush. The MX5 is perfect for me and very easy to use, and sounds great! I bought a second for gigging so I don't need to rip up the home rig. You can also get a small midi multi switch pedal and increase the functionality very cheaply.

Good luck, let us know your decision!
 
I’d considered the MX5, just ‘cause touch screen and price. How are the “Plexi” and JCM800 tones - close enough?

Subjective but they are real good. Dry less so than with a little hint of verb or delay but I play with a fair bit of gain and like to add some slight flavor to even a real tube amp tone.
 
Thanks all for your comments so far. I’d love to hear from anyone actually playing a tonex here. I’m leaning ever so slightly that way. I started following the TGP thread months ago, but I bailed on it as well. This is a smaller and more like minded community, hence my asking here. I appreciate all ideas, and welcome further thoughts. Thanks all!
 
Thanks all for your comments so far. I’d love to hear from anyone actually playing a tonex here. I’m leaning ever so slightly that way. I started following the TGP thread months ago, but I bailed on it as well. This is a smaller and more like minded community, hence my asking here. I appreciate all ideas, and welcome further thoughts. Thanks all!
Honestly, now that I have the HDRX, I’m going back to the thread and encourage you to do the same. Lots of user feedback there, including some pros. Did you see Tim Pierce video? He’s completely sold on it!
 
Did you see Tim Pierce video? He’s completely sold on it!
He was sold on the Kemper, too. But afterward I never saw it again in his videos. He used his tube amps. So far, it appears to be the same with the ToneX. I've only seen him use the real amps since that video came out.

Maybe he gets excited about a piece of gear and then goes back to his usual, trusty favorites. I've done the same thing with studio gear.

There have been many times I sold a favorite piece of gear because I was excited about some new thing, and then sold the new thing and bought the old fave again.

The honeymoon thing is real, and I think it probably affects everyone.
 
He was sold on the Kemper, too. But afterward I never saw it again in his videos. He used his tube amps. So far, it appears to be the same with the ToneX. I've only seen him use the real amps since that video came out.

Maybe he gets excited about a piece of gear and then goes back to his usual, trusty favorites. I've done the same thing with studio gear.

There have been many times I sold a favorite piece of gear because I was excited about some new thing, and then sold the new thing and bought the old fave again.

The honeymoon thing is real, and I think it probably affects everyone.
I have the utmost respect for Tim Pierce. That said, he is now running a flourishing business, and doing a pretty good job of it methinks.
As you have postulated, things come and go.
Hits are King.
 
He was sold on the Kemper, too. But afterward I never saw it again in his videos. He used his tube amps. So far, it appears to be the same with the ToneX. I've only seen him use the real amps since that video came out.

Maybe he gets excited about a piece of gear and then goes back to his usual, trusty favorites. I've done the same thing with studio gear.

There have been many times I sold a favorite piece of gear because I was excited about some new thing, and then sold the new thing and bought the old fave again.

The honeymoon thing is real, and I think it probably affects everyone.
I think Tim does what you do - use what you know works to make your living. Tube amps in the studio for both of you. For Tim on YouTube, whatever will get him views, exposure for his channel and master class, and some revenue. I have no doubt he was honestly impressed with the Tonex. Nor am I surprised that it hasn't supplanted his amps on his channel. Use what you know.

As for me, I don't know much yet, so I'm just fishing around.
 
I think Tim does what you do - use what you know works to make your living. Tube amps in the studio for both of you. For Tim on YouTube, whatever will get him views, exposure for his channel and master class, and some revenue. I have no doubt he was honestly impressed with the Tonex. Nor am I surprised that it hasn't supplanted his amps on his channel. Use what you know.

As for me, I don't know much yet, so I'm just fishing around.
Yep, I think that's exactly right.

I get excited about things, and then often go back to Old Faithful. I'd imagine he does, too.
 
I have the utmost respect for Tim Pierce. That said, he is now running a flourishing business, and doing a pretty good job of it methinks.
As you have postulated, things come and go.
Hits are King.
I think he's great - wonderful player, seems like a great guy.

I'm just guessing that he suffers from the same thing many of us do: GAS!!
 
I want a Plexi and JCM800-ish set of tones. I don’t have a fortune to spend. Low to mid hundreds, not thousands. The tonex always intrigued me as a viable solution to the Marshall want-itis and the Vox want-itis soon to follow, rinse, repeat. I went a couple of rounds with Pod Go early on. Too fiddly, too much stuff, never got on with the UI. The Tonex seems a little less fiddly, still too much stuff, but maybe good, and maybe good capture sets by others. I have no interest in doing my own captures.

My thoughts in order of likelihood:
Tonex - not too fiddly? Lots of amp options, but on the downside, lots of amp options. Stand-alone IR loader capability
HX Stomp family - same as pod go. Too many options, never jived with the interface
Freidman’s new hypetrain IR-X or whatever tubed preamp plus digital IR modeler - seems cool, lots of hype, $500
Other MIAB pedals - which one? How authentic? Good enough?
Ceriatone 50 watt chupacabra/Yeti/Molecular/Leviathon/JCM51 hot rodded Marshall clones - other than size, price and wait time, viable options. About twice what I want to spend, even used. Still, $1500+/- for a point to point hand wired 50 watt amp.
PRS Archon USA made 50 watt - dark horse, but giving it serious consideration. At all like a Marshall? There is one sort of close to me around $900. Seems high, but purple with purple wood face. Not that I love purple, but my lovely wife does.

Current gear, could be used with pedals, pre’s, MAIB…
Mesa mkv25combo with the 10” Celestion creamback - maybe the crunch is good enough?
Mesa open widebody 1x12 with the standard Mesa celestion 90 watt.
Fryette PS2, attenuator, loudulator, 50 watt tube power amp. I’m pretty sure you can open a beer bottle on it too.
UA Dream Fender in a box
Blues driver Waza, Sugar Drive (klone-ish) Boss OS-2 (OD/Distortion combo), Kelley Caverns reverb&delay
Behringer flow8 mini 8 channel mixer
Kali “studio monitors”, 6” woofer (decent, lean to pleasing over accurate just a little in a good way)

Help? Comments? Ideas?
A few things stood out after reading your post:
- Low/mid hundreds
- Nothing overwhelming

The first thing that comes to mind is the Zoom G6. It's priced around $400, has a straight forward UI, and one of the most plug-&-play units I've encountered.

After playing the Boss GT units for years, I switched over to the new (at that time) Zoom G3 and was pleased as punch for the same reasons you mentioned. And it sounded great through my powered monitor/wedge at home, and though our church PA. That model is still available for about $200.

Zoom often gets a bad rep from the forums, mostly from folks who've never played the units-- which seems to be the default these days LOL!

Since returning to the guitar after a decade away, I was thrilled to see how far the tech has progressed. Recently purchased a HX Stomp, and a Boss GX-100. Aside from verifying that each unit actually works, and playing around with a few presets, both units remain in the corner. Why? Because the amp I purchased has really been all I need; it's a Boss Nextone 80. That thing really sounds great at any volume, and visually reminds me of the Marshall Blues Breaker :D

Sooo... If you're just in it for the fun, and maybe playing local shows and/or jamming with friends, the Zoom stuff really is great. HX Stomp & the Boss units look like fun, and I can confirm that they do sound wonderful... just need to turn off my amp, and plug those in more often LOL!

Hope something there helps~

~M
 
Ok, Zoom and Boss added to the list of stuff to check out, along with head rush. I’d kinda panned zoom, but for no good reason. I did the same when I was looking for a good field recorder, the zooms are actually really good. Half my pedals are Boss… Thanks!
 
I think he's great - wonderful player, seems like a great guy.

I'm just guessing that he suffers from the same thing many of us do: GAS!!

I don’t know him from Adam, but the influencer business model is akin to pump it and dump it. They’re carnival barkers, first and foremost.
 
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