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Battling with modeling guitar amps...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Slater, Mar 8, 2001.

  1. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Is anyone in a band with a guitar player that uses a modeling guitar amp-Line 6, Johnson, (new) Fender, etc? The guitarist in my band has a Johnson Millennium, and I hate that thing.
    The problem I'm (actually, the band is) having is...
    ...For certain songs, we can have a great mix, and I'm very happy with my tone, E.Q., and just the way my bass sounds in the mix. Then, it's time to play the next song, our guitar player changes patches, and our mix is dirt & water-aka MUD! This will happen when our guitar player uses heavy distortion and clean settings on the amp. It's just a clash of E.Q. settings and effects. On rare occasions, our guitar player will use a 3-channel Marshall amp with no modeling, and our mix sounds great on every song, so I know it's the modeling amp. Unfortunately, he has this $1500 Johnson amp/toy, and insistis on using it. (He only uses the Marshall at rehearsals when he leaves the Johnson at home to tweak the settings).
    So, are there any other bass players out there battling these modeling guitar amps?
  2. Cornbread


    Jun 20, 2000
    Lawrence, Ma
    I'm in a band with a guitarist who uses a POD, which I think is something like a modeling preamp. I think I'm the only one who doesn't like the thing. Call me old-fashioned, but I'd love to hear a nice, CLEAN guitar sound someday....The only thing that comes outta that POD is distortion. Oh well, what can you do?
  3. my crappy guitarist has a Line 6 Spider 1x12 amp. Sounds like crap! I get better guitar tone with my Fender 15b pratice amp with a DOD Deathmetal distortion pedal than that thing! uch
  4. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    the modelling amps take a lot of tweaking to get good sounds. one of the guitarists in my band uses the line 6 ax212 simultaneously with a roland VG-8 (and gr-1 synth, but that doesn't model, that's just a guitar synth module) and every patch required tweaking on his part to get the sound right.

    when they are set properly, they are the best thing in the world, imo. excellent creative tools, especially hal's (the one guitarist in my band) setup - with the ax212 and the vg8 he can have, simultaneously, distorted and acoustic/clean/12 string guitar, multipart harmonies, and all kinds of textural things. and then with the guitar synth available at the same time, he can play up to 3 different sounds all at the same time. the other guitarist in my band also uses the gr-1 along with his regular marshall rig - between the 2 of them they can get a symphony going.

    it opens up a lot of room for me, believe it or not, because i can play things that aren't commonly considered bass parts, and one of them can cover the low end with some synth/modeled bass sound - gives us the ability to have many more textures available at our disposal.
  5. JT, that's different. Your guitarist puts it all to good use. My guitarist bought it just so he didn't have to buy a bunch of fx pedals. I believe he should have gotten a regular amp and then pedals because his amp sounds like poop lol.
  6. My guitarist has a Johnson, and I think it is wonderful! It does take some tweeking of sounds to get levels all the same, but it ia 1000's of times better than the GK guitar head he was using.
    Probably all your guy needs is to do similar adjustment to the presets. He might also want to try adding an aux. cabinet. My guitarist is running his thru a Peavey 412 stereo cab with slanted front.
  7. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i guess all i was saying is that with a little effort, he could probably get his stuff to sound good too.

    one of the biggest challenges a player faces is sounding good in an ensemble - players of all instruments. guitarists think they need to have a thick, round, bassy tone to sound good, which is true if they are playing alone, but if they are in a band, they need to make sure that there is room for the other instruments, or else it sounds like ****e.
  8. True. He hasn't spent much.. if any time tweaking it to sound right. We tweak it whenever he leaves the room =X :D My lead has a Marshall Valvestate amp. Good stuff. I need to teach them how to EQ better though. Oh well.
  9. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    How true.
    I think part of the problem is that the amp manufacturers set up these amps to sound great by themselves on the show room floor. But, after the amp is purchased, the new owner is going to find out that the factory presets don't sit very well in the mix of a band.
  10. virtual.ray


    Oct 25, 2000
    True enough,but most of them have fairly extensive EQ capabilities so a good result should be obtainable.My beef is that they just don't come across like a good tube amp does in terms of dynamics and presence.A fire breathing Tube output section has much more character IMO.
  11. I've been helping out this band who recently lost their bass player so that they can keep playing while they look for a new bassist. The guitar player uses a Roland JC-120, Line 6 Flextone 212, and Roland guitar synth. Never any problems. I think it depends on the guitar player more than anything else. Lack of taste or good sense will equal bad sound.
  12. I like those Johnson amps, of course I've never heard one used in the context of a band, and that probably doesn't say anything good about them if I've never seen a band use one.
  13. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    I'm a guitar player as well as a bassist. I have a guitar POD that I use for recording.(As an aside I've actually used the guitar POD to record bass from time to time). Anyway, I have been a tube purist for years but have come to recognize that modelling amps are ok - especially on those gigs where you have to sound like AC/DC now and Santana three songs from now.
    If your guitar player is screwing up the band balance its not the Johnson amp. It's him not using the gear correctly. He should be able to change patches and adjust volume in a nanosecond.It's not the tools-it's the workman.
  14. kcm


    Jun 17, 2000
    Woking, Surrey.
    I'd politely suggest to him that the sound in the band doesnt seem right and that you need to have a full rehearsal with all the kit. A guitarist in my old band had loads of gizmos that sounded great in the bedroom but ****e in the gig, so we insisted on a rehearsal to sort all the sounds out. I find that in most bands I'm in the bloody guitarist sets up whatever sound he wants without any thought at all to the overall sound of the band. The band I'm in at the moment has a guitarist who hates any form of pedals or racks and has only one sound....balls out or nothing!! No how much we try to get him to give it a bit of light and shade he just plays the same.

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