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Amazed how good my FM3 sounds through a ToneKing Gremlin with cab sims on


I’ve got a ToneKing Gremlin, cool little class A 5 watt blackface/tweed style amp running a KT66 and with a really nice built in Ironman attenuator.

Has a Alnico Cream in it too, nice $329 speaker upgrade from the previous owner.

Anyways, really good amp, but no reverb, no tremolo nothing. So I was hooking up the FM3 to run for for effects into the front end. No fx loop either lol, don’t get much on that amp for the money it cost lol

Long story short, was doing a patch with some reverb, tremolo, chorus etc, no amp or cab sims and I ended up changing presets and golly did it actually sound awesome with the amp sims and cabs active.

Turn the Gremlin up to where it normally would have edge of breakup and playing patches like “ma the meatloaf” sounded so good. Bit more dynamics, more in the room sound/feel from the semi open back cab, and a little more aggressive in your face tone, but not muddy or anything like you’d expect running a cab sim into a cabinet

I don’t know if the Alnico Cream is just a really flat speaker, or the “ultra linear” power section of the Gremlin works a certain way, but I was loving what I was hearing, cranked tweed tones, the Marshalls, Ac20, all sounded really good with stock factory presets

Connected the CLR to the output to compare, and yep, sounded great, but a little different. Little more like a mic’d guitar cab coming from a monitor. Can get a little more thumb being 500watts for a 5 watt tube open back combo, and together it was really nice with two slightly different tones.

I’ve played with power amps and cabinets before, never seemed worth the hassle, and running a cab sim into a guitar amp usually was total mud and cab sim off was usually thin and harsh so I’ve been just FRFr powered monitors for years, no exceptions.

I don’t know if it’s just this amp or speaker or what but man it sounds good

Long story short, there are no rules. Try running a cab sim into a cabinet, and amp into an amp, an amp into a pedal, if it sounds good it is good


I tend to resist "if it sounds good its good" in situations where I don't understand why (I'm obsessive about needing to know the mechanics of why) - but in the end it's a hard circumstance to question too much, when someone simply enjoys what may unexpectedly pop out of the speaker. I need to let myself do the same a little more in 2023.


Fractal Fanatic
Long story short, there are no rules.
This is the best approach anyone can have with FAS gear. There are suggested used cases, which I take as places to start, but not really anything that's 'supposed' to be done a certain way. Use whatever configuration sounds good and inspires you to play.


Put this to a bit more of a test tonight, tried it with my little Supro Delta King. Not good. Effects alone into the front end sounded great but with amp and or cab sim on it was harsh and shrill with cleaner amps and just muddy farts with the higher gain stuff, kinda as expected. That Supro actually is a cool little amp but it’s got this really ratty sounding speaker, great for dirty Chicago blues sounds, but not going to take a jcm800 and 4x12 IR well

Tried my Vibro Champ for another small 5 watt amp, and it’s a sweet super clean Fender sound, and wasn’t terrible but really nothing special and didn’t sound overwhelmingly good.

Then had a headrush 108 sitting there so back to that and was kind bad. Twin Reverb felt kind of thin, moved over to the 50 watt plexi preset and kind of harsh…. What gives ?

Well these were just the untouched presets so of course no high and low cab cuts and that was at least part of it, the guitar speakers roll off the highs and lows compared to even the cheapest frfr style monitor.

Back to the Tone King, set the level to about 4, tone knob right in the middle (only controls it has) and same presets are so much better, untouched with no cuts etc. warmer and fuller, much more in the room sound from the open back. Every amp still has its unique character but the speaker and/or blackface style circuit is enhancing things in all the right places but my Fractal gear has never sounded better in the decade or so I’ve been an owner.


This is very interesting. I occasionally play with a gentleman who runs his FM3 into the front of a VHT Special 6 amp which if I understand correctly, is a hand wired Fender circuit. The amp has a tone and depth control and a 3 way texture switch. It appears that the controls behave like tilt and shelf filters. The guy is a Fender and Vox junkie and and the tones and sound from his rig is jaw dropping.

I wonder if your Tone King and the VHT are based off a similar circuit.

No doubt similar since the ToneKing is very much a blackface style. The Cream speaker specs show the expected 75-5000hz range and with a good bit of upper midrange bump.

I don’t know if the amp circuit kind of balances out the bump from the speaker, or I’m just really liking those upper mids, but it sounds really good. Reviews of the speaker say it sounds good with near anything, and I’d believe it.

Other thing that is really cool is when I’m running into the amp, the tone knob seems perfectly voiced to add just the right amount of brightness or thicken it up with a small adjustment.

Instead of changing the IR I can just move the tone knob a little to taste, and everything sounds like it’s coming out of a guitar speaker still
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