• We would like to remind our members that this is a privately owned, run and supported forum. You are here at the invitation and discretion of the owners. As such, rules and standards of conduct will be applied that help keep this forum functioning as the owners desire. These include, but are not limited to, removing content and even access to the forum.

    Please give yourself a refresher on the forum rules you agreed to follow when you signed up.

Power amp for Conventional Guitar Cab

hbucker

Inspired
I'm thinking for a conventional guitar cab, an AX8 into a tube power amp would be optimal.

I do understand the solid state angle for FRFR cabs, but it there a good argument for solid state into my 212 cab?

Your opinions please.
 

syxx

Member
If you want the option of doing 1 out to poweramp/cab and 1 out to front of house with cab impulses you are going to probably want to go solid state. The exception to that would be if you are using a Fryette Powerstation, which is great.

On the pedalboard you can get the Seymour Duncan Powerstage 170 or ISP Stealth power amps. I just got a powerstage 170 and its awesome into my Mesa 2x12. Tested it against the Stealth and sent the Stealth back.
Rackmount/standalone there are more options: Matrix, Powerstage 700, any SS power amp basically. Fryette is making a new flatter tube power amp for modelers and is said to be available soon, the LXII.

If you are only wanting to use it as a preamp and turn off power amp modeling, you can use it with whatever tube power amp you want basically. Mesa, Engl, Marshall, Fryette, etc. But you are going to probably have to mic your cab with this route.

That said, I've tried all of these options. With the AX8, I would just go with the powerstage 170, or isp stealth. Stick it on the pedalboard with your ax8 and now you don't have to carry anything else. but the Powerstation would be my 2nd choice.
 

ChainOfThought

Experienced
I'm running an ENGL E840/50 and loving it. I haven't actually tried turning the poweramp modeling on with it, so I'm not sure about that. But with power/cab modeling off and running it like a traditional rig in a rehearsal space...its been pretty awesome.

I'd be really curious to compare it to a quality SS poweramp like a matrix or the quilters & whatnot that everyone talks about, but for now I'm happy with what I got (in other words...I'm out of expendable income and don't want to try to sell what I have to buy what I haven't tried)
 

Keg8605

Power User
Good to see someone trying out the seymour duncan power stage. Would like to check out the 700 and 170 sometime. I'm back in tube land for awhile anyhow but nonetheless.
 

hbucker

Inspired
Thanks for the input. I'm looking into all of the suggestions.

For those of you pushing traditional guitar cabs, was your choice of amp intentional? (tube vs. ss) Or was it a situation where you already owned the power amp and might as well use it?

I'm trying to understand why one would be inherently better than the other. ...If there is such a thing.
 

artzeal

Experienced
..is there a good argument for solid state into my 212 cab?

The main one is that you get to use any and all AX8 amp models that sound good with that cabinet.

How it breaks down IME:

AX8 Into quality SS Amp (linear response, high slew rate) into Cabinet = optimal results only with those amps & effects combinations that work well into that particular cabinet. IE: running Fender Amp models into a cabinet with V30s or Greenbacks works fine but don’t sound as authentically Fender as a Jensen IR and FRFR - if you need that. That said: This makes for a great sounding rig that is a more reliable and convenient variation on how many of us have played for decades. Plus it has the added benefit of being more portable and delivering a cranked tone at any volume.

AX8 into tube amp into cabinet: IME, a tube power amp is the least optimal - if you need authentic modeling. It only works within a narrow range of choices. Might as well use a whole amp and the AX8 just for effects (which I do with my remaining tube amps). Few or none of the combo AX8 amp models + tube power amp will sound and respond just like the modeled amp or hardware. Power amp modeling needs to be turned off and a fair few advanced parameter adjustments need to be dialed in to get the response to match up well: and for each amp model. No benefit over a SS amp for anything I do: but it is possible, and I can see where it might be quite useful for some tone meisters with a tube power amp and cab that really does it for them and aren't married to amp model authenticity.

AX8 into FRFR = All Amps, Cabs & Effects closely replicate their real world hardware incarnations. Lots of IR choices to get it "just right" for any amp preference.
 
Last edited:

ChainOfThought

Experienced
The main one is that you get to use any and all AX8 amp models that sound good with that cabinet.

How it breaks down IME:

AX8 Into quality SS Amp (linear response, high slew rate) into Cabinet = optimal results only with those amps & effects combinations that work well into that particular cabinet. IE: running Fender Amp models into a cabinet with V30s or Greenbacks works fine but don’t sound as authentically Fender as a Jensen IR and FRFR - if you need that. That said: This makes for a great sounding rig that is a more reliable and convenient variation on how many of us have played for decades. Plus it has the added benefit of being more portable and delivering a cranked tone at any volume.

AX8 into tube amp into cabinet: IME, a tube power amp is the least optimal - if you need authentic modeling. It only works within a narrow range of choices. Might as well use a whole amp and the AX8 just for effects (which I do with my remaining tube amps). Few or none of the combo AX8 amp models + tube power amp will sound and respond just like the modeled amp or hardware. Power amp modeling needs to be turned off and a fair few advanced parameter adjustments need to be dialed in to get the response to match up well: and for each amp model. No benefit over a SS amp for anything I do: but it is possible, and I can see where it might be quite useful for some tone meisters with a tube power amp and cab that really does it for them and aren't married to amp model authenticity.

AX8 into FRFR = All Amps, Cabs & Effects closely replicate their real world hardware incarnations. Lots of IR choices to get it "just right" for any amp preference.

Highlighted for emphasis...thats a pretty important factor in everything you typed up there. I don't find myself limited to any subset of the amp models based on my PA/cab. I find the modeling side of it interesting, but not important to me. In other words, if I pull up a Bogner model and I enjoy playing with it, then it piques my interest in finding a real Bogner to play through at some point. If I do find that real Bogner and its nothing like what I was getting through the AX8 rig...I really couldn't care less. I'm only interested in getting a tone that works for me, doesn't matter one slight little bit if it winds up being 'authentic' to whatever my chosen model is or not. I only went with the Engl poweramp because I used to have an Engl head and I loved it...saw a good deal on the PA & jumped on it. With hindsight I wish I had put effort into finding a good SS poweramp to try out first, but all things considered I don't feel like I'm missing out on much for my use.

So...I'd tend to agree if you're after model authenticity and having more/all available options in the modeling (i.e. poweramp modeling) then you might need to look into SS. If you're not fussed about any of that, then you should just find the poweramp that works for you...if it has tubes then you go down that road, if its SS then you go down that road.

My .02 anyways.
 

Georgy

Inspired
My 2c worth..

I’ve been using the VHT 2/50/2 with a Mesa Recto 2x12 for over a year and have found that to be the best option for me.. This is also because the guitarist in my band is a loud player, who has a 100w Mesa Roadster blasting into his 2x12 cab; so for me to be able to ‘keep up’ I’ve needed to find something that can compete with that air-movement and sheer volume. Will this work the same for you? Depends?! If you’re playing a band with another guitarist who has a 100w valve head, then yes, maybe a tube/valve power amp is your answer. Will a SS power amp be able to do the same thing…..? Personally I doubt it. Tube amps will move the air and create the feel of a 100w full/half stack.. I’m sorry but in my experience, a SS power amp setup cannot do that. But, let your ears make the call.

Personally I’d always choose a tube power amp over a SS one because the SS power amps just cannot do what a tube power amp does, _in my experience_. Yes, some will say that tube power amps colour the sound and SS ones are more neutral and therefore do NOT colour the sound. I personally think that’s BS. HOWEVER, I’d definitely use a SS power amp for a passive FRFR speaker, but not a ‘real’ 2x12 cab for the reasons that I’ve given.
 

Brian Buzek

Inspired
You may find this hard to believe, but my tone with the ax8/frfr combo is more organic than any tube amp and cab I have ever had. And in 35+ yers its been a few.
Don't short change you self.
 

zenaxe

Fractal Fanatic
Flat response SS > Tube if you use a variety of amp models. Allows you to use the power amp modeling of the AX. Just need a flat response with sufficient output. At least 2X what you would use for a tube power amp in terms of rated wattage. If you really stick to a few models, say they all use EL-34s or are Mesas or whatever, a tube power amp that is similar may simplify your life but not worth it for me personally as I would rather have the FAS power amp models for the associated amp model active and the power amp modeling from FAS is superb.
 

hbucker

Inspired
Highlighted for emphasis...thats a pretty important factor in everything you typed up there. I don't find myself limited to any subset of the amp models based on my PA/cab. I find the modeling side of it interesting, but not important to me. In other words, if I pull up a Bogner model and I enjoy playing with it, then it piques my interest in finding a real Bogner to play through at some point. If I do find that real Bogner and its nothing like what I was getting through the AX8 rig...I really couldn't care less. I'm only interested in getting a tone that works for me, doesn't matter one slight little bit if it winds up being 'authentic' to whatever my chosen model is or not. I only went with the Engl poweramp because I used to have an Engl head and I loved it...saw a good deal on the PA & jumped on it. With hindsight I wish I had put effort into finding a good SS poweramp to try out first, but all things considered I don't feel like I'm missing out on much for my use.

So...I'd tend to agree if you're after model authenticity and having more/all available options in the modeling (i.e. poweramp modeling) then you might need to look into SS. If you're not fussed about any of that, then you should just find the poweramp that works for you...if it has tubes then you go down that road, if its SS then you go down that road.

My .02 anyways.


I totally identify with your post. As it is, I've only bonded with a small percentage of amp models in the AX8 and don't expect to bond with more than half (if I'm lucky) regardless of what recording station or FRFR I have set up.

This doesn't mean that I don't want to get the most out of my AX8, but it does mean that if I'm happy with the sound, I kind of don't care what's making it. As it is, I've set up a bank of presets with the sag turned off and the cabs removed - running into the power amp on my 20 watt tube head and through my 2x12 cab. All eight patches sound some version of fantastic, and absolutely sound real. Until I started this thread I had only thought about getting tones that I liked, not really worrying about how authentic they were to the amps they were modeling. - A valid point, just not necessarily my priority.

I do see a reason to sim the power amp with my AX8 and just amplify that with ss into the 2x12. Yet, when I was setting up my eight patches, they all sounded like a real amp playing through my 2x12. This is my ultimate test for the AX8 in this scenario: does it sound like a real amp in the room with me or just a mic'd studio amp. It sounded real - impressively so.

I'll keep thinking about this. I honestly can see a reason to go either direction.
 

syxx

Member
I totally identify with your post. As it is, I've only bonded with a small percentage of amp models in the AX8 and don't expect to bond with more than half (if I'm lucky) regardless of what recording station or FRFR I have set up.

This doesn't mean that I don't want to get the most out of my AX8, but it does mean that if I'm happy with the sound, I kind of don't care what's making it. As it is, I've set up a bank of presets with the sag turned off and the cabs removed - running into the power amp on my 20 watt tube head and through my 2x12 cab. All eight patches sound some version of fantastic, and absolutely sound real. Until I started this thread I had only thought about getting tones that I liked, not really worrying about how authentic they were to the amps they were modeling. - A valid point, just not necessarily my priority.

I do see a reason to sim the power amp with my AX8 and just amplify that with ss into the 2x12. Yet, when I was setting up my eight patches, they all sounded like a real amp playing through my 2x12. This is my ultimate test for the AX8 in this scenario: does it sound like a real amp in the room with me or just a mic'd studio amp. It sounded real - impressively so.

I'll keep thinking about this. I honestly can see a reason to go either direction.

I actually frequently run my AX8 into the return of my 6505MH, 5153, or Triple Rec depending on how i'm feeling at the time. Sometimes I just run it through SS and use power amp modelling. Sounds awesome. I gave up on trying to stick to one particular thing. Whatever i'm feeling at the moment is what i'm gonna do, and thats fine.
 

Jerry K.

Experienced
I am playing into a Roland Blues cube and it sounds fantastic. I have tried it both with and without the amp models with no cabinet simulation and they both sound really good. It is 80 watts of SS power which somehow equates to the same 80 watts of tube power and it will easily keep up with a Twin, I actually prefer it over my Deluxe. Best of all, you turn it down and it still sounds great!
 

vick1000

Inspired
There are flat response tube power amps. The Carvin TS100 is one example, the VHT 2/90/2 is another.

I prefer my Mesa Stereo 2:50, less versatile, but has the color I want from my power section.
 

Robax8

Member
I actually have ran my 8 straight into the front end of an old 1976 120 watt orange half stack and it sounds absolutly amazing with amp and cab modeling On! as a matter of fact, if I turn off the cab modeling off it sounds horrid. but this amp is a one of a kind and no matter how loud I push it it will not break up el34's and 12 ax7's so im just saying? try differnt things. like a post i read that said.
"adjust with your Ears" if it sounds good to you Do It!
 
Top Bottom