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Cygnus 50W Plexi VS Real 50W Plexi

Which clip is the real amp?

  • 1st

    Votes: 78 57.4%
  • 2nd

    Votes: 58 42.6%

  • Total voters
    136

Joker

Inspired
It's time for another installment of our favorite guessing game: Is it the Axe FX III model or the real amp?


I used the 1987x 50W (it's a bit of a pleonasm but i'll mention the wattage anyway) plexi model running on the latest Cygnus public beta and compared it to my 50W plexi clone. Controls on both amps were identical. Everything, except normal channel volume, was cranked.

I applied eq matching before running both signals into the same MIKKO IR and tried to level match them as good as I could with an LUFS meter.

The file is a bit bigger than usual (96kHz @ 24bits) in order to preserve the true tone of the amp and the Axe FX III. You can download it, too, if you want to analyze it inside your DAW :D

All I can say is that it's getting really, really close. What do you guys think?

Thank you guys for participating in this poll! Here's the answer:

The first clip is the real amp.

Polling results at the time this answer was published: 1st - 71 votes, 2nd - 57 votes


This is before I made some advannced parameter adjustments, though, which is why I made round two where I tried to eliminate as much differences as possible.
 
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Uelef

Member
Well, clip 1 sounds better to my ears – more intense and vivid. But the volume is a bit higher – that could influence the result. I would be amazed if clip 1 is not the real amp.
 

zedeloc

Member
I think number 2 is a little quieter despite the volume match. I'm watching the level meter on my interface and 1 jumps up a little higher on average. For this reason, I'll hold my judgments. But I will say that the character of both is very similar when I take a step back from just preferring the louder one.
 

Joker

Inspired
Isn't that basically an error? Cliff said that controls don't translate like that
I checked my preset again just to make sure that everything was cranked. Turns out I lowered the bass knob and increased the input trim a bit. I have left everything else cranked and I haven't touched any advanced settings. The matching EQ did the rest.

I know it's not a 100% apples to apples comparison as not even two plexis from the same year will sound identically, but it's all I had at my disposal as a hobby musician.

Just for clarification: I used a Suhr reactive load with the real amp, so the comparison is even closer. The Two Notes stuff has that bathtub thing going on which doesn't let the true nature of the amp shine through.
 

Joker

Inspired
I think number 2 is a little quieter despite the volume match. I'm watching the level meter on my interface and 1 jumps up a little higher on average. For this reason, I'll hold my judgments. But I will say that the character of both is very similar when I take a step back from just preferring the louder one.
Maybe it's not the best way to volume match, but i basically used a simple LUFS meter for both tracks and tried to adjust the levels as good as I could. The momentary levels can differ, though, as I haven't reamped the exact signal but played two different, but still quite similar, versions.

The dynamics are quite different, but I didn't use a compressor/expander to make one more or less dynamic so that they sound even more similar.
 

zedeloc

Member
Maybe it's not the best way to volume match, but i basically used a simple LUFS meter for both tracks and tried to adjust the levels as good as I could. The momentary levels can differ, though, as I haven't reamped the exact signal but played two different, but still quite similar, versions.

The dynamics are quite different, but I didn't use a compressor/expander to make one more or less dynamic so that they sound even more similar.
I plopped it into my DAW and messed around with the levels a little bit. You are totally right about the dynamics. I had to match section by section.

I cannot definitively say which one I prefer. There are some differences. 1 is brighter than 2. 2 seems a little more percussive. 1 seems to have a little more distortion. I'm going to haphazardly guess 1 is Cygnus on the basis of your statement about the input trim and bass knob lol. Both tones are great. The fact that I'm attempting to deduce due to factors other than just the modeling, fidelity, or even preference is a testament to how great the modeling is.
 

Joker

Inspired
I reuploaded a new version now where I've lowered the dB of the first clip by 0.8. Should sound closer now. It's tough to volume match in this particular case, as each section has its own thing going on volume wise, and without any compressor, it's tough to keep these spikes in check.
 

Digitalnoob

Inspired
I liked the first version much better than the second. Seems more punchy and better clarity imho, I’ll venture to guess and hoping the 2nd clip is the real amp.
 
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Joker

Inspired
Just keep this in mind: One clip is made with a 2.7k USD boutique plexi replica and the other is a 2k USD modelling unit.

I still like the real thing, but how close are we now? It's truly breathtaking! The plexi is all about harmonic richness and I like what this update did overall to the tone, but it truly shines with amps where the lows/mid-lows are more prominent. Love this update!
 

rossipedia

Inspired
I'll say it again: these are so close it doesn't matter. In a song, or even live, nobody is going to be able to tell the difference. We've been at that point for a while now.

The part where it really matters is feel. Does it feel as good to play the AxeFX vs the real thing? I'd also argue that yes, generally we're there, but we'll always want it to be better.

In my mind, Cygnus isn't focused on making these amp models better sounding in a mix or otherwise recorded, but to the person playing them. That's where the real magic lies, and unfortunately nobody listening is going to really be able to tell whether it feels better playing one clip vs the other.
 
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Werpinater

Inspired
I feel like 2 is the real amp, tone wise very close between the two. I felt like 2 had more extraneous noise in the gaps, like I was hearing the RF interference in the analog circuit, which the Axe is REALLY good at eliminating. But tone wise, both sounded great!
 
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