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Hi fi amp?

neale dunham

Inspired
...Been doing a little research lately into Valve Amplifiers worthy of the title: "Suitable Axe Fx 3 Valve Amplification".

I own a few different brands of Valve power amps, including a Marshall 50/50 a Mesa 50/50 and the VHT 2502 etc. Obviously, they all do their respective thing very well, but then that got me thinking... The Axe Fx is capable of producing sounds through the amp block from many different types of amps. Naturally a branded power amplifier is going to reflect the characteristics of the original pre-amp associated with it.

So maybe something more neutral is the order of the day? Perhaps a Fryette Powerstation for example? Yep. I have one, works very well again thanks.

But then that got me thinking some more.....If I want a neutral sounding amp in order preserve as much of the axe fx natural tone without much tube amp colouration at all then why couldn't I use a Valve Hi-fi amplifier made for audiophile use? Would that not be a cleaner, unadulterated tone??

Sure, some modifications would have to be made, to ensure robustness and power ratings etc etc the list goes on, but you get my theory. Would the Axe respond well using a high quality hi-fi amplifier into a modelling type speaker such as a Celestion F12 x200 for instance and I'm not saying that a speaker of that magnitude is ideal, but its the concept I am trying to establish.

Does anybody with a superior knowledge of electronics to mine know, whether this approach is worth pursuing? I am intrigued to know if I could find something that could work for small concerts and shows and be loud enough without the use of an in house P.a.

After all, if the axe fx requires as neutral a platform as possible then a hi-fi amp would surely provide this as that is what it is designed to do right?

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.
 

chris

Legend!
"hi-fi" is made for listening to mastered music. it's not really meant for live audio that isn't compressed. 10+ years of the axe and many more with modelers in general, you'd probably see a bunch of threads about it and recommendations if it was a viable option.
 

neale dunham

Inspired
But if you ran the Axe fx in full FRFR mode, wouldn't that effectively be kinda mastered?

You would just have the benefit of utilising the sweetness of the valve tone in a real world situation.

I understand its a departure from the norm, but then again that's why it's curious?

In theory, it should work, but also agree that its an application few guitarists would ever need or entertain. In my circumstances I could get it to work as long as I knew that in frfr mode it would be compressed enough?
 

chris

Legend!
But if you ran the Axe fx in full FRFR mode, wouldn't that effectively be kinda mastered?

You would just have the benefit of utilising the sweetness of the valve tone in a real world situation.

I understand its a departure from the norm, but then again that's why it's curious?

In theory, it should work, but also agree that its an application few guitarists would ever need or entertain. In my circumstances I could get it to work as long as I knew that in frfr mode it would be compressed enough?
no. mastered means it's compressed for delivery over a hi fi system. guitar is very dynamic and has a lot of sudden loud parts. hi-fi speakers aren't meant for that. live sound speakers are.
 

neale dunham

Inspired
Ok cool, I will look into this.

When I described the system from the initial post, I said I was looking to use a speaker designed for live use, such as the Celestion fx12 x200. Not a hi-fi speaker.

I think you may have misunderstood what I've said Chris.

I am looking to run a Hi-fi stereo amp running a guitar cab, not hifi speakers.

So, am I looking for a dude called Gamedojo guys?

Thanks.
 

200man

Experienced
"hi-fi" is made for listening to mastered music. it's not really meant for live audio that isn't compressed. 10+ years of the axe and many more with modelers in general, you'd probably see a bunch of threads about it and recommendations if it was a viable option.
While it is true that most releases these days are heavily compressed, hi-end audio is miles more dynamic than any of the light weight class D amps everyone is currently using for FRFR. The reason there are not more threads is the cost and weight of true hi-fidelity amps. And people who listen to true hi-fi music are playing dynamic recordings without compression...that was the crappy direction the 80s spit out. Les Paul used an Altec 604 and a McIntosh 60 watt hi fi amp when he played live before solid state. Some of the hi end hi-fi solid state amps would be MUCH better for a live performance. Again, the problem is the weight. Still, if you can put up with the weight you can flip between several amp/cab settings which is still an advantage and the fidelity would be much better. A good Bryston or McIntosh amp would be superior for sure...but then you better now look at the speaker quality if you walk down that road. ;)
 

neale dunham

Inspired
Checked your Statement 200Man and agreed.

Confirming my thoughts.

Anything I guess can be worked around in the good name of very decent tone, which is what I am after. Im totally convinced that using a high quality Hifi amp would greatly improve the sound of the Axe fx. Why wouldn't it?

I think most guitarists are still locked into thinking that guitar amps are the only solution available. I like to think outside of the box and push the boundaries sometimes. However, There are obvious caveats, such as roadworthiness and durability of taking a hifi amp to a concert for example.

As long as you can confirm this is a viable means of amplification, I am definitely all ears, as this makes total sense to me.

Totally get your point on speaker choice tho.
 

chris

Legend!
I think most guitarists are still locked into thinking that guitar amps are the only solution available.
hmm, i'd say that majority of Axe users go direct to at least FOH (some still use guitar amp gear for stage sound), and many also use PA speakers, or FRFR speakers, which aren't "guitar amps." so in general, i'd say the modeling crowd has left the "guitar amps only" thought. non-modeler people would probably think guitar amps are the only solution for sure.

personally, i try to use the most general and readily available gear. i've never really looked for that "ONE" guitar or "ONE" amp to get my sound. if that one breaks, it's probably hard to get another, and probably hard to fix it as well. i don't think tone is in the specific gear, or that one specific type would sound better than another in general.

if you do find something that works better to your ears, that's great! maybe this hi-fi amp would do that for you. in theory i understand what you're saying about it. but personally i don't see much of a difference between a hi-fi amp vs a standard pa power amp. every concert i've ever heard live or recorded has used standard pa power amps, not hi-fi (pretty sure), and i've helped tech and setup pretty big shows using standard pa gear. it's all sounded good to me and acceptable or even more than acceptable. to go that one inch further with very specific, more expensive and rare gear doesn't really interest me much. that just becomes the new threshold, and then there's suddenly something even better.

the more i chase better, the more i realize there's more-better out there and i just decided to stop at a certain point as it fulfills everything i need and i'm not wanting more. that's just me. i know many people always want "the best." but sometimes chasing the best makes you ignore the "extremely good" you may have now, and it becomes less about playing music, and more about gear chasing and never being satisfied. i've had countless people tell me they played a gig horribly because they're waiting to buy a $3000 amp, or something else. while joe-what's-his-face is at the corner bar killing it every night through a broken blue's jr and a 40 year old guitar that doesn't intonate right.

again, just my thought on the topic in general. hope you find what you're looking for!
 

BBN

Fractal Fanatic
Bryston amps seem to have a reputation of being extremely high quality. One of those may be comparable in regards to finding something 'audiophile-ish' (like a hi-fi Mackintosh)
 

dr bonkers

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
I have played the Fractal too through McIntosh power amps, as well as Hafler and Crown reference power amps.

It sounds great, as good as any frfr amp for sure. Reference amps for studio use are made to be as full range and flat response as possible to avoid coloring your monitoring.
 
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