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What amps have pleasantly surprised you and what amps have been a let down?

Georgy

Inspired
It always intrigues me to see what amps people tend use as their go-to amps. Surely, we've all got a top 4 or 5 (or more hopefully!), that are our main amps that we choose to use. I know, everyone's musical and tonal tastes are different, so it's all very subjective. In the same time, obviously, this can really come down to your rig setup; whether you run FRFR or normal cab set-up.

For me, being more of a rock-to-hi-gain player predominantly, my GO-TO amps that never fail me are the Friedman amps, in particular Dirty Shirley, BE100, as well as Cameron, Splawn and a good handful of Marshalls. Even the Angle amps sound pretty darn good. I've used/tried a lot of amps within my Axe 2, but the above seem to be the ones I gravitate to mostly.

On the flip side of that, I'd have to say, with a heavy heart, that the biggest disappointment from my point of view (guys, please don't crucify me for this), is the Bogner XTC.. I can't quite get a decent XTC sound through either my normal guitar rig setup (Axe 2 ----> Return of Splawn + 2x12 cab), nor with my Axe 2 and Friedman ASM.. Actually a friend of mine and I have struggled to get anything that even remotely resembles an XTC. We both used to own an XTC half stack, so we know what sound we were sorta hoping to get close to... nup, not even close.

Haven't really come across many Mesa patches that stood out and grabbed me, even though some of the sound clips on the forum have been quite impressive. Again, just my opinion.


What do you guys tend to GO-TO more often than not?
 

Rick

Fractal Fanatic
I've been pleasantly surprised by the Triptiks, the Maz 38, and the Tucana. I have zero real amp experience with any of them, and was surprised I haven't heard more about their real counterparts, considering how good they sound and how versatile the tones are.

No huge disappointments to point to, really. I am pretty happy with my sounds these days.
 

Georgy

Inspired
I personally hope the Bogner amps don't change, inaccurate or not. They are mostly all I use these days in the AxeFX, my favourites by far.

Wow.. didn't see that coming. I wish I felt the same as you, because having owned an XTC, I remember vividly the sound it had, and yeah, the Axe ain't even close to it. That said, I love the Axe, I'll never get rid of it and I'm super happy with it.
 

jlynnb1

Axe-Master
Wow.. didn't see that coming. I wish I felt the same as you, because having owned an XTC, I remember vividly the sound it had, and yeah, the Axe ain't even close to it. That said, I love the Axe, I'll never get rid of it and I'm super happy with it.
have you opened up the treble on those like Cliff has instructed?
 

Randalljax

Fractal Fanatic
Wow.. didn't see that coming. I wish I felt the same as you, because having owned an XTC, I remember vividly the sound it had, and yeah, the Axe ain't even close to it. That said, I love the Axe, I'll never get rid of it and I'm super happy with it.


what Bogner did you have a 100b or Classic? The one in Axe is the 20th that is 6l6 .You may want to change power tube to EL34, play with the SAG and some of the other parameters ,The old XTC were chewy ,had more low mid growl as opposed to the 20th modelled
 

Anthony David

Experienced
Wow.. didn't see that coming. I wish I felt the same as you, because having owned an XTC, I remember vividly the sound it had, and yeah, the Axe ain't even close to it. That said, I love the Axe, I'll never get rid of it and I'm super happy with it.

I should have prefaced my statement with a disclaimer that I have never played a Bogner amplifier in reality, and have no clue what the models should actually sound like. The only guitar amp I have ever owned was a Blues Junior. I am a bassist primarily, after all. I think I just like the Bogner models because they aren't so piercingly bright to my ears. That said, they really should improve until they are accurate. I just wonder if many Bogner fans feel this way about the AxeFX, or your amplifier was unique in some way. Or maybe Cliff's is unique. Too many variables with this stuff.
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor
I really wouldn't want to say anything bad about any of the amp sims. The truth is that people who have owned the real life versions have rarely heard those amps in a control room of a good studio. And even then the cabinet that was used and how it was miked vs an IR of something else will be the biggest difference in your sound.

Trust me, I know from experience. I regret some of the "this doesn't sound right" threads but I'm extremely happy of the A/B clips I've done with the real thing vs Axe-Fx and lately. Sometimes there are bugs and mistakes and a well done A/B reveals many things. In my case it's lately proven that real amps will not be used. If I do use them it's "just because I have them" but not because there's a tonal difference.

Friedman amps are the biggest surprise for me. They always sound good. Brit Silver with the ML Brit Collection is my main rhythm sound right now.

The Mesa amp sims are really good and sound just like the real amps.

Really happy with most amp sims and the rest are probably someone else's favorite amps. :)
 

Georgy

Inspired
Some interesting and insightful replies, thanks guys!

I'm not gonna quote everyone, I'm just gonna randomly reply..


I certainly haven't played around with Cliff's treble suggestion/instruction, but I'll definitely give that a go. (Didn't know anything about that to be honest, but thanks for the tip).

I had the 101b with 6L6s. We actually played around quite a bit with the parameters but couldn't really get near XTC territory. My friend with whom I did this experiment actually builds amps, who understands amps better than what I do - even he couldn't quite dial a patch to sound XTC'ish. We've tried it via FRFR setup (Axe ii ---> Friedman ASM), and we tried it by going Axe ii ---> return of a 50w SLO clone.

I'm certainly not saying that any of the amp sims are bad (that's near impossible), I was just simply saying that there were a couple of amps that did nothing for me, and there were a few preference amp sims. Doesn't mean I won't mess around with them and tweak them again sometime. Interestingly enough, I'm sure I'm not alone when I say this, but I've actually come across a few amp sims within the Axe that I actually like better than the real thing!! (Angle, JCMs, JVMs, PVH)


Guys, I also just wanna say, this isn't a sore spot for me; it's just a pity that the Bogner amps within the Axe (in particular the XTC) don't quite to do it justice like, say for example, the Friedmans or the Marshalls etc. I was also curious to see what other members of the forum thought as well - we are a community after all and we should help each other and point fellow members in the right direction as long as they're not being a total douche (apologies to anyone if I came across that way).

Thanks for the input guys.
 

yek

Legend!
I owned an XTC Classic (EL34) and a 50th Ann. XTC (6L6).
The models are a good representation of the real amp. I hear the growl and the gain structure and rawness.
Like on the real amp, boost (Boost switch or Input Trim), Presence and Treble are important to achieve your tone. And of course an appropriate IR. I don't care much for the EURO Cab Pack (sorry Mikko). The stock Fractal 4x12 V30 + GB (cabs 60 and 61 or something) are a good start.
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor
I owned an XTC Classic (EL34) and a 50th Ann. XTC (6L6).
The models are a good representation of the real amp. I hear the growl and the gain structure and rawness.
Like on the real amp, boost (Boost switch or Input Trim), Presence and Treble are important to achieve your tone. And of course an appropriate IR. I don't care much for the EURO Cab Pack (sorry Mikko). The stock Fractal 4x12 V30 + GB (cabs 60 and 61 or something) are a good start.
None taken yek. It's not for all people. That's how the cab sounds like. :) Some people say it's the best pack. Some say it's weird. :) I must admit I'm not a huge fan of the Euro amps. In real life or in the Axe-Fx. It's a different sound that I go for. Then it's the go-to for some people.
 
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zenaxe

Fractal Fanatic
This is kind of a goofy note, but one really cool amp is the Splawn Quickrod. It's weird because it is NOT my goto HG Marshall style amp (modded Marshall is my bread and butter) but it feels very unique and distinct among that set, it is fun alternating between it and the Atomica or HBE. Makes me want to request more M style amps (Helios, Wizard, Metroplex, Voodoo V-Rock) even though they are probably redundant from the Fender aficionado's perspective.
 

Gregmang

Fractal Fanatic
The Splawn didn't surprise me at all as I have one and the Fractal is as good - no BETTER - than the original.


I also have an early 90's Mesa Triple Recto (2 channel) and for the life of me just can't seem to get the same feel and sound with the Fractal. But it really doesn't matter as I have found SO many amps I absolutely love (Friedman HBE is just perfect.....)
 

rsf1977_again

Power User
Atomica High. Best for growl high gain Marshallness. Never even knew about this amp. Too bad, it seems Cameron amps have disappeared. I may have bought one.
 

ssmorga78

Experienced
The 5e3 Fender(Deluxe Tweed) has blown me away recently. Never even messed with it before, so I have no point of reference......but dear lord that amp is JUICY!!!
 

Hellbat

Fractal Fanatic
I was using the 5F8 Tweed alongside a Plexi 50W high for everything recently, but then while practicing with the band I accidentally selected an old Boutique 2 preset I'd made and I realized how freaking good it still sounded. It's back in the rotation for an upcoming Christmas gig, it's just too perfect for Run Run Rudolph.
 

dr bonkers

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
The Trainwreck, Spawn, and the Cameron just blow me away when I want to peel paint off the walls, especially when I start lowering the voltage with the Variac. To my ears, they just sound massive.
For cleans, I love the Dumble (no flaming arrows please!), Soldano, & 5F8.
My biggest disappointment, and it is more with myself in dialing in tones than with the unit, is that I can't seem to get a clean I like out of the Vox and Supertweed. I really thought those would be my favorite amps, but I am glad I have this unit because it saved me from some serious buyers remorse if I invested in the real things and felt that way.
 

maxdown

Fractal Fanatic
I owned an XTC Classic (EL34) and a 50th Ann. XTC (6L6).
The models are a good representation of the real amp. I hear the growl and the gain structure and rawness.
Like on the real amp, boost (Boost switch or Input Trim), Presence and Treble are important to achieve your tone. And of course an appropriate IR. I don't care much for the EURO Cab Pack (sorry Mikko). The stock Fractal 4x12 V30 + GB (cabs 60 and 61 or something) are a good start.

Ownhammer has recently released a pack of Bogner cab IRs which might be an alternative worth trying out too - I'm liking them but I've never owned a real Bogner amp or cab so have no idea if what I'm dialling is 'accurate' or not .... it just sounds good to my ears.

I also echo that it's not in any way a slur on Mikko's EURO pack ...... based on his recent preview clips, I'm definitely waiting impatiently for his forthcoming Marshall Pre-Rola pack ............ and I'd told myself that I already had enough bloody packs!
 
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