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

Also, I'll throw out there that if I do get a modeler like a Kemper, I've read that pushing it through the effects loop instead of through the front of the amp really helps get the tone from the modeler much cleaner. So in essence, everything just goes in front of the modeler, and then the modeler goes into the effects, and the preamp on the amp would be ignored.

I like this approach, because I don't have to buy yet another piece of kit to carry around (ie FRFR cab).
I ran my Kemper through the return on my Custom 50 combo.
It sounded good, but I think it depends on the profile chosen. That and the fact that I was using the speaker in the Custom 50 all the time, so it was less versatile in that config.
You definitely get more of the well rounded features (speaker imprints, amp choice etc.) when using monitors, PA, FRFR and such.
 
If you dont need effects, just amp, and no fuss, you could try the Strymon Iridium or the walrus ACs1. Easy peasy, marhall and vox aplenty.
When I thought about one of these, the sticking point for me, was that I had the AA3 for less than $400, and the AA12 for a little more, already in house, and they offer a bunch of amps plus almost all needed effects. So unless the Iridium tone was a significant step up, then overall it was a step backwards. And, while it sounded pretty good, I didn't think it was necessarily a step up in tone.

Full disclosure, I haven't tried one in person, which is always an issue, as that could change my mind.
 
When I thought about one of these, the sticking point for me, was that I had the AA3 for less than $400, and the AA12 for a little more, already in house, and they offer a bunch of amps plus almost all needed effects. So unless the Iridium tone was a significant step up, then overall it was a step backwards. And, while it sounded pretty good, I didn't think it was necessarily a step up in tone.

Full disclosure, I haven't tried one in person, which is always an issue, as that could change my mind.
It isn't. Bot OP was very clear about simplicity. This is very, VERY simple
 
It isn't. Bot OP was very clear about simplicity. This is very, VERY simple
Totally agree with that. I'd just have a hard time giving up all the extra stuff (basically a whole rig once amplified) vs. more simple but now you have to build the rest of the rig around it. AA may feel the opposite though, so your point is on point.

That said, for the same money I'd go Tonex and get "more" and from what I hear, a step up in tone as well. But for pure simple amp tones, Iridium would be tough to beat in it's format.
 
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Totally agree with that. I'd just have a hard time giving up all the extra stuff (basically a whole rig once amplified) vs. more simple but now you have to build the rest of the rig around it. AA may feel the opposite though, so your point is on point.

That said, for the same money I'd to Tonex and get "more" and from what I hear, a step up in tone as well. But for pure simple amp tones, Iridium would be tough to beat in it's format.
I'd agree with that. Tonex seems on par with kemper and better. And that is saying something from a kemper player
 
Maybe I Am Confused Here But Are You Looking For An Amp Of Some Sort Or Are You Looking For Those Marshall Tones? Why Not Use The Amp You Have And Get A Pedal Like The Friedman BE Deluxe That Gives You A Couple Channels And Various Ways To Dial Tones In And Be Done With It? The Carl Martin Plexi Tone Pedal Is Nice As Well. Friedman Does A Good Job At Nailing The Marshall Tones. I Am Also A Big Fan Of The Kemper And If You Were Going To Raise Your Budget That Would Be My Suggestion As You Get A Great Value In That Unit. Find A Used Powered Unit Of Your Choice And Go With It.
 
Maybe I Am Confused Here But Are You Looking For An Amp Of Some Sort Or Are You Looking For Those Marshall Tones? Why Not Use The Amp You Have And Get A Pedal Like The Friedman BE Deluxe That Gives You A Couple Channels And Various Ways To Dial Tones In And Be Done With It? The Carl Martin Plexi Tone Pedal Is Nice As Well. Friedman Does A Good Job At Nailing The Marshall Tones. I Am Also A Big Fan Of The Kemper And If You Were Going To Raise Your Budget That Would Be My Suggestion As You Get A Great Value In That Unit. Find A Used Powered Unit Of Your Choice And Go With It.
The glib answer is - yes. I’ll very likely either do the Tonex or a pedal. Thanks for recommending some. The little Mesa does a fine sparkling clean and fat clean, so pedal(s) are a viable option.

One curiosity with such as a Friedman BE or other - can they be used into a power amp as a preamp? I have the Fryette Power Station, which is a nice clean 50 watt power amp along with being the quieter or louder box.
 
@aamefford Let me ask again Aa, are you more concerned with getting plexi and JCM tones through a guitar cab? or, via your monitors? For some reason, without re-reading the whole thread, I was thinking you were hoping for a "low volume" solution as well, which is why I've pushed more for the modeler route. There are definitely some pedals that can push your amp that way, but I see you're still asking about using them as a pre-amp, so I want to be sure what you're preferred set of optimal circumstances is.

I admit that I still haven't tried my AA12 or AA3 direct into Power Station>Cab. I've heard that setup before and it sounded GREAT but I just haven't gotten around to trying it. I always play the amps if it's early, or the modelers if the wife is in bed.
 
The glib answer is - yes. I’ll very likely either do the Tonex or a pedal. Thanks for recommending some. The little Mesa does a fine sparkling clean and fat clean, so pedal(s) are a viable option.

One curiosity with such as a Friedman BE or other - can they be used into a power amp as a preamp? I have the Fryette Power Station, which is a nice clean 50 watt power amp along with being the quieter or louder box.
You Can Use The BE OD Deluxe Pedal With Your Fryette. It Will Also Sound Great With Your Current Rig. If You Are Wanting A List Of Pedals For Those Desired Sounds I Can Get You Several More But The Two I Already Gave Are Tough To Beat In All Truth. You Mention the Tonex And The Pedal In This Post I Am Responding To And Those Avenues Are Two Very Different Avenues. Not Bad Ones, Simply Different Ones So I Am Not Entirely Clear On What Direction You Are Really Wanting To Take....(You Also May Not Know That Answer Either And That Is Ok). I Want To Know So I Can Best Help You. If You Need Multiple Scenarios In Many Directions I Can Do That Too! I Just Don't Want To Take You In A Direction You Are Not Wishing To Go If That Makes Sense. :)
 
@aamefford Let me ask again Aa, are you more concerned with getting plexi and JCM tones through a guitar cab? or, via your monitors? For some reason, without re-reading the whole thread, I was thinking you were hoping for a "low volume" solution as well, which is why I've pushed more for the modeler route. There are definitely some pedals that can push your amp that way, but I see you're still asking about using them as a pre-amp, so I want to be sure what you're preferred set of optimal circumstances is.
I admit that I still haven't tried my AA12 or AA3 direct into Power Station>Cab. I've heard that setup before and it sounded GREAT but I just haven't gotten around to trying it. I always play the amps if it's early, or the modelers if the wife is in bed.
I am virtually all low volume at least for now. That happens 3 ways most frequently:
1) Amp into Fryette into combo speaker or 1x12 or both - Favorite
2) amp direct out to monitors
3) UA Dream into monitors - Most frequent
There’s a sugar drive, Boss BD-2 Waza, Boss OS-2 and a something or other Rams Head Pi out front, and a Keeley Caverns after/in the loop in all cases.

Also headphones, but not as often as I thought - Fender Mustang Micro, Mesa HP out, Boss Waza Air - all surprisingly good, but it turns out I don’t like playing in headphones as much as I thought I would.

I haven’t tried yet the UA Dream into the Fryette, but I’m curious. The Fryette has excellent volume control.
You Can Use The BE OD Deluxe Pedal With Your Fryette. It Will Also Sound Great With Your Current Rig. If You Are Wanting A List Of Pedals For Those Desired Sounds I Can Get You Several More But The Two I Already Gave Are Tough To Beat In All Truth. You Mention the Tonex And The Pedal In This Post I Am Responding To And Those Avenues Are Two Very Different Avenues. Not Bad Ones, Simply Different Ones So I Am Not Entirely Clear On What Direction You Are Really Wanting To Take....(You Also May Not Know That Answer Either And That Is Ok). I Want To Know So I Can Best Help You. If You Need Multiple Scenarios In Many Directions I Can Do That Too! I Just Don't Want To Take You In A Direction You Are Not Wishing To Go If That Makes Sense. :)
I don’t know yet is pretty close. I’m very new to playing. There is a fantastic community of long time players here, whom I have a lot in common with regarding my favorite music and tones (60’s thru 90’s, late 70’s to mid 80’s being my favorite decade). I started this thread and a couple of others both to plan my next moves, but mostly to learn from the folks here. Questions like the BE through the Fryette are really just “I wonder if that will work?” Thank you for the suggestions on pedals. I don’t want to start from scratch trying things.

Anyway, thank you to all for your help and input. I appreciate it!
 
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I am virtually all low volume at least for now.
Could you do me a favor please? Get (or use, if you already have) a phone app to tell you how many dB you're playing at in your "usual" situation. The reason I ask is simple: I've found it much more gratifying to play at low volumes through a modeler. As much as even the PS (which we both have) can tame an amp to "wife is asleep 2 rooms away" volume, IMO, that doesn't sound as good as a modeler at those low volumes.

Multiple reasons for this. Tubes aren't working, (and yes you can use pedals when you can't push tubes, but then #2 takes over) and speakers aren't even moving. Guitar speakers don't have "their" tone until they are turned up a bit and moving some air. MANY speakers cones add a significant coloration to the tone, that we always hear at volume but when you turn them down loan, the cone isn't working hard enough to contribute it's "breakup." MAYBE this can be achieved with lower wattage tube amps, smaller and low efficiency speakers. A 5 watt tube amp can be fairly loud through a 2x12, but through an inefficient 8, it's not really that loud. B

I have had amps from 5 watts to 100. My Bogner goes down to 2. I modded Epi Valve Jr's to much better amps, had a few custom build 5-8 watt SE amps, but I had all heads and played them with 1 or 2 12 speaker cabs. I've had a TON of pedals. Not like some of these guys... I only have 30 or so now, but have been through a couple hundred. All that only to say, IMHO, if you need to play at LOW volumes, nothing is as satisfying as a modeler through monitors. Guitar speakers just need to be moving to sound good and that = volume.

You've got a pretty good amp to cover those times you can play louder. For the rest of the time, a modeler will be better, IMO
 
Could you do me a favor please? Get (or use, if you already have) a phone app to tell you how many dB you're playing at in your "usual" situation. The reason I ask is simple: I've found it much more gratifying to play at low volumes through a modeler. As much as even the PS (which we both have) can tame an amp to "wife is asleep 2 rooms away" volume, IMO, that doesn't sound as good as a modeler at those low volumes.

Multiple reasons for this. Tubes aren't working, (and yes you can use pedals when you can't push tubes, but then #2 takes over) and speakers aren't even moving. Guitar speakers don't have "their" tone until they are turned up a bit and moving some air. MANY speakers cones add a significant coloration to the tone, that we always hear at volume but when you turn them down loan, the cone isn't working hard enough to contribute it's "breakup." MAYBE this can be achieved with lower wattage tube amps, smaller and low efficiency speakers. A 5 watt tube amp can be fairly loud through a 2x12, but through an inefficient 8, it's not really that loud. B

I have had amps from 5 watts to 100. My Bogner goes down to 2. I modded Epi Valve Jr's to much better amps, had a few custom build 5-8 watt SE amps, but I had all heads and played them with 1 or 2 12 speaker cabs. I've had a TON of pedals. Not like some of these guys... I only have 30 or so now, but have been through a couple hundred. All that only to say, IMHO, if you need to play at LOW volumes, nothing is as satisfying as a modeler through monitors. Guitar speakers just need to be moving to sound good and that = volume.

You've got a pretty good amp to cover those times you can play louder. For the rest of the time, a modeler will be better, IMO
I will measure this weekend, sounds like fun. My rough guess is 75 db most of the time, or a bit less. I bet I only get to 80 or 85 db once in a while when Mrs. AA is out or making her own noise, and usually when I’m on dirty clean whacking a chord to try and see exactly where EOB is. A lot of what you mentioned is why I most frequently play the Dream through monitors, plus a single power switch to turn on the board, mixer and monitors. Kind of why I keep coming back to the tonex. It will fit on my board (and I’ll go from spacious to cramped), it *seems* the least fiddly of the modeler/capture options, maybe. Find amp captures you like ( granted, by sifting through 10’s of thousands….), get clean, EOB and dirty captures of the amp, put ‘em on Tonex, repeat a couple of times and you have what you need. I’ll likely never capture anything myself. Maybe once to understand the process. Play with the tonex as your amp into monitors, Fryette or Mesa into a cab or headphones. All at $400 plus tax or less. It seems a no brainer? As long as it really sounds close to good or better. The downside to me is that my current space is not at all conducive to plugging into my laptop. It seems like once 2 or 3 primary amps worth of captures are loaded, one would be good to go though.
 
I will measure this weekend, sounds like fun. My rough guess is 75 db most of the time, or a bit less. I bet I only get to 80 or 85 db once in a while when Mrs. AA is out or making her own noise, and usually when I’m on dirty clean whacking a chord to try and see exactly where EOB is. A lot of what you mentioned is why I most frequently play the Dream through monitors, plus a single power switch to turn on the board, mixer and monitors. Kind of why I keep coming back to the tonex. It will fit on my board (and I’ll go from spacious to cramped), it *seems* the least fiddly of the modeler/capture options, maybe. Find amp captures you like ( granted, by sifting through 10’s of thousands….), get clean, EOB and dirty captures of the amp, put ‘em on Tonex, repeat a couple of times and you have what you need. I’ll likely never capture anything myself. Maybe once to understand the process. Play with the tonex as your amp into monitors, Fryette or Mesa into a cab or headphones. All at $400 plus tax or less. It seems a no brainer? As long as it really sounds close to good or better. The downside to me is that my current space is not at all conducive to plugging into my laptop. It seems like once 2 or 3 primary amps worth of captures are loaded, one would be good to go though.
I've read a lot about it, and agree with your assessment. If I get one, I'll be looking for some M type profiles and will turn you on to some good ones. I've really been thinking about it lately but want to get the Silver Sky working and give the HDRX20 a full workout with single coils before I decide on my next purchase.
 
@aamefford I Hear Everything You Are Saying And I Get It. I Also Agree With What @DreamTheaterRules Is Saying And From Where He Is Coming From. My Hope Is You Getting All Of What You Are After Right The First Time And Still Have Room To Grow In The Various Directions You Already Operate Within. Based On Your Equipment You Already Have And The Things You Expressed That Are Important To You I Would Say A Pedal Like The Friedman BE-OD Deluxe Or Similar Would Be Your Least Expensive Option. In The Overall BIG Picture A Modeler Would Be A Great Solution For You. I Would Suggest The Kemper For This For A Lot Of Reasons. You Could Easily And Effortlessly Get The Sounds You Want And Set And Forget And Have A Plethora Of Options In All Kinds Of Directions Going Forward If You Ever Chose To Do So. The "Pedal" Costs Below Your Budget Amount (Awesome!) And Of Course The Kemper Is Above That Amount. It Comes Down To What You Want To Do Long Term And What You Are Willing To Spend On This Purchase...But Also With The Future In Mind. The Tonex Is Not A Bad Choice, But A Safe, Middle Of The Road Choice Imo (Nothing Wrong With That At All).

For Me Personally, If I Wanted Options, Low Volume Quality Sounds, Simplicity AND The Opportunity and Options For Future Growth In Many Directions The Kemper Is My Choice. It Is Solid, It Is Proven And Keeps Getting Better With Age And Updates Over Time (Always Free). If You Lived Around The Corner I Would Simply Have You Come Over And Pick Some Things And Try Them...Take Them Home And Live With Them And Make Your Choice From There To Make Sure You Are Completely Happy With Your Choice. :)

Love,
Dad
;)
 
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I bought a Katana 40 as an all-in-one home rehearsing amp and sold it back because I found it too thin or bright for my taste (could not get a good chugging sound and leads were kinda weak). Went to the Positive Grid Spark: it is a really good looking unit, the app is great and has a couple of gimmick features that can be fun to use but it the tones are so muddy / bassy that I will sell it soon for sure. A friend of mine has this Yamaha thr10 that is not exactly a beauty to behold but seems to sound decent enough. That may be my next target or maybe I'll start using at home the Fractal unit, which is indeed an absolute marvel
Did you go into the global eq section in the software? It’s a must. Tames the fizziness that the Katana is known for.
 
@aamefford I Hear Everything You Are Saying And I Get It. I Also Agree With What @DreamTheaterRules Is Saying And From Where He Is Coming From. My Hope Is You Getting All Of What You Are After Right The First Time And Still Have Room To Grow In The Various Directions You Already Operate Within. Based On Your Equipment You Already Have And The Things You Expressed That Are Important To You I Would Say A Pedal Like The Friedman BE-OD Deluxe Or Similar Would Be Your Least Expensive Option. In The Overall BIG Picture A Modeler Would Be A Great Solution For You. I Would Suggest The Kemper For This For A Lot Of Reasons. You Could Easily And Effortlessly Get The Sounds You Want And Set And Forget And Have A Plethora Of Options In All Kinds Of Directions Going Forward If You Ever Chose To Do So. The "Pedal" Costs Below Your Budget Amount (Awesome!) And Of Course The Kemper Is Above That Amount. It Comes Down To What You Want To Do Long Term And What You Are Willing To Spend On This Purchase...But Also With The Future In Mind. The Tonex Is Not A Bad Choice, But A Safe, Middle Of The Road Choice Imo (Nothing Wrong With That At All).

For Me Personally, If I Wanted Options, Low Volume Quality Sounds, Simplicity AND The Opportunity and Options For Future Growth In Many Directions The Kemper Is My Choice. It Is Solid, It Is Proven And Keeps Getting Better With Age And Updates Over Time (Always Free). If You Lived Around The Corner I Would Simply Have You Come Over And Pick Some Things And Try Them...Take Them Home And Live With Them And Make Your Choice From There To Make Sure You Are Completely Happy With Your Choice. :)

Love,
Dad
;)
Thanks Pop! I couldn’t make the like button do the Haha emoji on my phone. You don’t happen to be around the corner in the San Francisco / Sacramento CA area are you?
 
Thanks Pop! I couldn’t make the like button do the Haha emoji on my phone. You don’t happen to be around the corner in the San Francisco / Sacramento CA area are you?
No But Those Two Cities Sound Like They Are A Little Further Away From Each Other Unless Your Name Is Gallo And You Have Some Grapes Growing.
 
Close. Right between on 80. The valley is about 30 minutes north and west.
 
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