1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

amp/cab/effects simulations

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Malus, Mar 2, 2005.

  1. Malus


    Feb 20, 2005
    San Antonio Texas
    I am a new bassist - was a keyboardist/trumpet player in the '80s and am pursuing this new instrument as my primary with zeal - getting back into music after a long hiatus.

    That being said, I want to experiment with different sounds without having to mortgage the house. I stumbled upon the Behringer Bass V-amp - which provides 125 preset amp/cab/effects - and you can program it yourself and save your own creations in any of the preset slots.

    The thing that intrigues me about this is the ability to make your lowly practice amp sound truely awesome. I first heard the guitar version of the V-amp played through a 30 watt practice amp that sounded like a tube amplifier at my buddy's house. From my days programming sythesizers and tweaking the right sound - this is very appealing to me - I don't have the money to buy 10 amps to find the right one - and one sound isn't always right for a large range of music.

    I guess I really have two questions:

    1. Are there other manufacturers who have taken this integrated approach?

    2. As experienced bassists what are your thoughts on amp simulations, and cab simulations? (what are the pros and cons of using this approach?) How much of the bass world is tied to tradition, and how much is interested in trying new things?

    Thanks for any advise you can spare for me. :bassist: :help:
  2. Well Malus, in response to your fist question, the Behringer V Amp is a "version" of the Line 6 Bass Pod (im sure someone else will expand on that later!). Line 6 came out with the Bass Pod a few years ago, and I know of a few players (mainly those who use a power amp setup, rather than a regular bass head) who use the amp simulators as their pre-amps. Lots of variety, but my thoughts on these devices is that most of the players I have seen use them have found an amp setting they like and rarely vary from it while playing. The effects part seem to get a bit more of a workout from some of these guys though. I have a friend who recorded bass through his Pod and it sounded awesome - tone to die for! I would recommend if you were going to use it with a power amp setup live and had GAS for something other than a traditional bass head.
  3. Malus


    Feb 20, 2005
    San Antonio Texas
    Thanks - I'll check out the Line-6 model too. :cool:
  4. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    1. The amp simulation market is mostly controlled by Line 6. I do believe they were the first to make a marketable version, and are judged as the standard. Likewise, their price is at least double of the Behringer V-Amp. Both have their pros and cons, but I think you'll find the Line 6 generally much more liked.

    2. Amp simulation is generally aimed towards recording, as you can get many different simulated amps, however the controls on each "amp" are quite limited. Say, with a half stack, you can split the signal to a DI and say, mic the cab. Besides the controls on the head, you can move the mic around for different sounds. Also, you can change the room. There's no way to get as precise a sound with a simulator as you can with the real deal.

    Though on the otherside, it's a way to get an idea about each amp, cab, and effect before buying, but nothing is perfect.

    If you want to use amp simulation for live playing, either you will need to run the simulator through the house PA, or buy a power amplifier and speaker cabinets. In that sense, you'll be spending about as much money, if not more, than a single, quality stack.

    I personally prefer a traditional stack, but am looking at getting a Line 6 Bass Pod Pro for recording. Live use will almost always go to my GK, or my future Vox combo.
  5. Malus


    Feb 20, 2005
    San Antonio Texas
    I checked out the Line-6 - some serious scratch there ($300). However, I did see the Digitech B80 and B200 - everything in one nice package - and it looked easier to program too - from reading the user's manual online - and has an integral tuner, and a simple drum machine (very cool as I am developing my timing on the base); the B200 also allows you to feed a stereo input into it in addition to your instrument for 'play-along' practice.

    Does anyone have an opinion of the Digitech models? (I am leaning toward the B200 - only $50 more than the V-amp/B80 - at $150 -- half the price of the Line-6 - a happy medium).

    I am definitely entry level - and can't see spending more on an effects pedal than my bass cost... :eek:
  6. psionide


    Feb 19, 2005
    Arendal, Norway
    I have the v-amp, and I think it`s a good tool for beginners. You can mess around with the different amp types in order to find the sound that you like best, and it gives a good foundation of effects too.

    Once you`re done with the first period of messing around, you`ll probably end up doing what most people do; use maybe 2 or 3 amp simulations and then mainly using it for effects, which it actually does quite nicely. Once you get some more experience and maybe go get a proper amp and such, it`s still great for both recording purposes and as a headphone practice amp. It`s a very versatile unit, and for the price, I think it`s a steal.

    The quality of the amp simulations is pretty good, and I`m not sure you would be better off with a more expensive unit, but, as always, I could be wrong ;)

    One last thing; If you plan on using it for gigging, get the pro (rack mount) version. The standard version is all plastic, and I doubt it would take a beating very well.