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Solid state or tube power amp?

Discussion in 'Axe-Fx II Discussion' started by Madpickinskills, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. Madpickinskills

    Madpickinskills
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    I'm sure this question has been asked. I did a search but nothing that I was looking for came up with what I typed
    Anyway, is it better to use a solid state power amp for the Axe FX 2 or a tube power amp? I'm not really playing live just recording at home.
    thanks
     
  2. unix-guy

    unix-guy
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    Axe-Master

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    If you are recording why use a power amp. Plug in your USB... Done!

    A good solid state "reference" amp is your best bet. The Matrix GT series are very good, loud and small/light.
     
    Birdy likes this.
  3. Rick

    Rick
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    I second the direct option @unix-guy suggests.

    Otherwise, it’s tantamount to “which is better, a Strat or a Les Paul?” As in all things sound related... best is the one you like the most. Trust your ears.
     
  4. DBraz

    DBraz
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    If you are recording and playing at home buy an ASC-12 for yourself and record directly.
     
  5. FreeMind

    FreeMind
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    Solid state cons:
    Tube amps do some things naturally, that you would have to dial in manually for a solid state amp. For example, You have to dial in the speaker page manually. And since you can't do it perfectly, the result isn't fully.. "real".
    Solid state pros: You retain the character of each individual amp model. That is, a Marshall sounds like a marshall and a mesa sounds like a mesa, because you also model the power amps of these. Also, there is no coloration when capturing your own cab IR.

    Tube power amps are the other way around.

    But anyway, the easiest way to record is to get a usb cable... and that does sound great.
     
  6. ChainOfThought

    ChainOfThought
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    Inspired

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    I used tube first then switched to matrix and haven't looked back. Still figuring out how to dial in the speaker page appropriately, but it sounds good anyways. I didn't notice a huge difference in feel when I switched, so for the 1u size and weight plus no tube maintenance plus turning power amp modeling back on.... Seemed like a no brainer to me
     
    Christian Voso likes this.
  7. mnemonic

    mnemonic
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    I assume you’re using a real guitar cab as well? So it’s deciding between axefx > tube poweramp > guitar cab, vs axe fx > ss poweramp > guitar cab?

    The main disadvantage to both is that if you’re mainly recording it will be easiest to use impulses in the axe fx, so FRFR would be most similar to your recorded tone.

    However if you prefer guitar cab for the sake of sound and feel ‘in the room,’ I can understand that. I stayed with guitar cabs for this purpose (also all I ever used was v30 impulses so just having a v30 cab made things simpler for me).

    I’ve done axefx > Fryette 2/50/2 (EL34 tubes) > guitar cab, and currently use axe fx > matrix SS poweramp > guitar cab.

    Tube poweramp is cool and all, don’t need to set the speaker resonances since what that does is simulate a real tube power amps interaction with the speaker load and it’s impedence curve. In fact, with a tube power amp you’re best off either turning off power amp sims and using the axe fx as a pure preamp, or at least turning down the speaker page hi and lo resonance to 0.

    Advantage is, it feels like a tube poweramp, because it is. Downside is some models sound good with a Fryette EL34 poweramp and some don’t. The Mesa models were not as good with this poweramp as they were into a solidstate poweramp with the full poweramp sims enabled. Sure you can run poweramp sims on into the tube poweramp, but you get this overly scooped double-poweramp sound with many of the models. Not all though. A more coloured poweramp like a 2:90 or something is also an option, that I’m sure would make the Mesa models sound great (and conversely probably sound balls with the Marshall models).

    Solidstate poweramp takes a bit more effort to set up, since you should find out the low resonance frequency of your cabinet and set it on the speaker page of the amp model, for the best sound. This setup is more flexible also, since the Mesas sound like Mesas, Marshall’s sound like Marshall’s, etc.
     
    Christian Voso likes this.
  8. bleedthefreak

    bleedthefreak
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    I used a 2:90 for the longest time. It definitely colored the sound coming through. For certain models it sounded really good but others not so. I took a step into solid state with the Matrix and it was hard at first.

    After some time I eventually adjusted to make it work well. Then moved to some full range PA speakers. Customized those and it worked well as long as my ears and fingers could get used to hearing it through a PA and not my guitar cab. This option allowed me to use every amp and hear the difference between the models.
     
  9. Shades_of_indigo

    Shades_of_indigo
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    To reinforce what others have said, just do USB. It sounds awesome and its so easy your granddad could do it.
     

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