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Old 6th November 2006, 07:50 AM   #1
suzyj is offline suzyj  Australia-Aboriginal
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Default Studio monitor and modelling amp for guitar practice

Hi guys,

I'm learning guitar, and have so far been using a fairly crappy fender solid-state combo amp. I'm building a sound system for my study using a pair of studio monitors (Vifa P13WH mid-woofers and D27TG tweeters in a 5.5 litre vented enclosure), driven by 40-odd watt lateral MOSFET power amps.

Anyway, I'd like to use this setup for my guitar practice, rather than the Fender amp. However clearly the low distortion amp and low-efficiency speaker are going to sound pretty poor if I plug the guitar straight in. Notwithstanding the 100K input impedance of the MOSFET amp loading the passive pickups excessively, the frequency response is far too flat.

Anyway, I thought if I plug the guitar into a modelling preamp first, then run that through my low distortion amp/speaker, I can get a good approximation of an expensive valve guitar amp and cabinet, without the cost and necessary volume levels.

I'm looking at the Zoom G2, which seems to be a reasonable unit. Certainly I figure for $180 it can't be too dreadful. What are people's thoughts of this sort of approach?

Cheers,

Suzy
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Old 6th November 2006, 09:29 AM   #2
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Hi,

Hi-Fi speakers and live guitar don't mix. You can approximate the
sort of sounds you'll put down on recordings, but this is no fun to
practise with or to see what sounds you can get "live".

Use an effects pedal with your amplifier, either a front end pedal
or one more designed to go into the effects loop of the amp.

Generally speaking Fender do not make crappy amplifiers, may not be
what you want, but usually decent enough for the intended purpose.

/sreten.
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Old 7th November 2006, 10:03 AM   #3
sangram is offline sangram  India
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Hi,

Yes, I've tried both but the best effect is by keeping the modelling switched off, and miking up the amp for recording.

For practice, it's probably OK but still not the same kind of tone.

A large part of speaker tone is made up of cone breakup of the loudspeaker - and overloaded valves. A cheap combo will not have the second, but have the first, and modellers are good but not as good as even cheap combo speakers.

Maybe for headphones or DI into consoles if you're playing in a very noisy environment a modeller is OK, but for realy letting your hair down nothing like a couple of 12" cones straining under load.

I only have a small cheap combo myself and it's a single 10" speaker, but not bad. Light years behind the modeller, and that's a good thing
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Old 7th November 2006, 11:23 AM   #4
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I have to agree with all of the above. However, If you like psychedelic stuff then the effects are pretty crazy through a stereo setup. A bit gimmicky though and the novelty soon wears off. U2 anyone?

In my experience with similar zoom pedals they are good value for money and quite versatile. I have often run mine directly into a domestic stereo setup but the sound is way to bright and clinical. Not surprising really, but you can address with some of the models available or EQ settings. I have even tried a valve overdrive pedal in the mix. Still not the same though.

I have been chasing my tail for a long while with this approach when I should have just spent the money on a valve combo.
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Old 7th November 2006, 12:47 PM   #5
sangram is offline sangram  India
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sonusthree
...when I should have just spent the money on a valve combo.
Or on making one??
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Old 7th November 2006, 12:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by sangram


Or on making one??
I'm halfway there Sangram. I have built a cabinet and have fitted an unbranded old 12" 1960's driver.
One of the early Cyrus Ones (only one channel works anyway) is powering and its humble 25 watts is way more than plenty.

You're right though, it's still not the same.
I'll get it done one day but for now, I'm strictly low voltage until I learn more.

How about you Suzy? Fancy building something?
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Old 7th November 2006, 04:06 PM   #7
ruerose is offline ruerose  Canada
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behringer makes good modelling units for cheap as well.
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Old 7th November 2006, 07:10 PM   #8
suzyj is offline suzyj  Australia-Aboriginal
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sonusthree
How about you Suzy? Fancy building something?
I'm tempted. I've got schematics for a Marshall 18 Watt valve amp, which would be pretty easy to knock together (though the transformers are fairly expensive).

My main concern is getting evicted though. I've played through valve amps, and they sound _real_ good. Only problem is that they sound better the louder you run them, and that's a bit of a worry, given that I live in a flat.

That's why I'm interested in modelling - that way I can get the tone without the volume (I hope!).

Cheers,

Suzy
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Old 7th November 2006, 08:43 PM   #9
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Have you seen those devices that allow you play the amp at full power but keep the volume low.
Obviously the cone won't be breaking up but then nothing's perfect.

The Marshall powerbrake is one version:

"......Or maybe you're one guitar practice away from getting evicted! How can you get monster sound at quieter volume levels? Simple: Put a brake on it." http://www.instrumentpro.com/P-MARPB100.html

Now that's an idea begging for DIY!
I've always assumed it to be a box load of resistance and heatsinking but it also mentions inductive loading.
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Old 11th November 2006, 05:50 PM   #10
PB2 is offline PB2  United States
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Default Re: Studio monitor and modelling amp for guitar practice

My son has taken up guitar and I've been helping him with equipment. He liked the sound of Line 6 equipment and heard good things about it. He had their distortion box for a while, then purchased one of their modelling amps, excellent value. I like what I'm hearing:
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...984#post996984

I think it would be a risk with those small speakers because there's no compression out of the guitar and there can be significant LF energy. Some filtering and compression might make it work reasonably well. A real quality guitar speaker with a small amp will probably work much better.

Also depends on what style your playing.

Nice projects on your site by the way!

Pete B.


Quote:
Originally posted by suzyj
Hi guys,

I'm learning guitar, and have so far been using a fairly crappy fender solid-state combo amp. I'm building a sound system for my study using a pair of studio monitors (Vifa P13WH mid-woofers and D27TG tweeters in a 5.5 litre vented enclosure), driven by 40-odd watt lateral MOSFET power amps.

Anyway, I'd like to use this setup for my guitar practice, rather than the Fender amp. However clearly the low distortion amp and low-efficiency speaker are going to sound pretty poor if I plug the guitar straight in. Notwithstanding the 100K input impedance of the MOSFET amp loading the passive pickups excessively, the frequency response is far too flat.

Anyway, I thought if I plug the guitar into a modelling preamp first, then run that through my low distortion amp/speaker, I can get a good approximation of an expensive valve guitar amp and cabinet, without the cost and necessary volume levels.

I'm looking at the Zoom G2, which seems to be a reasonable unit. Certainly I figure for $180 it can't be too dreadful. What are people's thoughts of this sort of approach?

Cheers,

Suzy
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