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Guitar going direct to PA

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Space Pickle, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle

    Apr 15, 2013
    Hi guys, one of the guitarists I play with wants to plug his electric guitar with magnetic pickups into the PA. He's very conscious about keeping volumes reasonable, which is great, but not knowledgeable with the gear needed to do this. We play rockabilly and blues, so he mostly wants a clean sound with a bit of dirt added as needed.

    What gear can he use? A Kemper or Helix etc. is too expensive and he doesn't need the features anyways, but I'm thinking one of those new Boss Katana amps might work, using the amp for stage monitoring and then taking a DI off of it to the PA. Are there any pedals that would do a reasonable speaker sim/amp sim for guitar as well? Maybe the Mooer Radar?
  2. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Tech 21 is the first brand that comes to mind, in particular their Character Series.
    Or, if he is on a tight budget, Joyo makes inexpensive clones of the Tech 21 series. (For example Joyo American Sound = Tech 21 Blonde.)
  3. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    What planet is your guitar player from?

    So, aliens have landed?:thumbsup:
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  4. Get a mooer preamp they can be had dirt cheap and sound good
  5. Any direct box gives you the ability to send an instrument level signal as a balanced XLR signal to a mixer channel. The Countryman 85 even lets you use the speaker level amp signal coming in.
  6. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    electric guitar direct usually sounds terrible. unlike with bass the amp and the speaker is at least 50% of the actual expected sound of "electric guitar". even "clean" guitar is nothing like direct guitar, the amp is a huge part of the equation.

    if he really wants to go direct then he'll need some kind of amp simulator to recreate the sound of a regular guitar amp. fortunately there's lots of those these days, usually digital "modeling" boxes for guitar. line 6 helix, boss GT-1000, axe-fx, kemper, that sort of thing.
  7. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    that's fine, but if the amp is already up there and loud enough for "stage monitoring" then there's no reason not to just mic it, that will pretty much always sound better.
    bushbass and s0c9 like this.
  8. Katana 100 would work well and has a line out. Perhaps that and a small, cheap DI box to change it from unbalanced jack to a balanced XLR!
  9. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Sometimes I plug my pedal board straight into my brothers Soundcraft Gigrac and I never have a problem getting a great sound. I think the key is a nice compressor and EQ allows me to dial in the feel and characteristic tone I want. I use a Diamond CP1 and MXR KFK1 EQ.
    Stumbo likes this.
  10. Goteky45


    Oct 30, 2009
    Try the new mooer preamps. There are many models and the cab sim is good for PA use
  11. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    Line6 Pocket Pod? it's definitely affordable.

    i've not used it but have tried some of their other Pods and the sound is usually OK.
  12. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Don’t use the Countryman 85’s speaker level feature if you have a Class D amp however. That can be very bad for both your amp and the console you’re plugging into.
  13. dxb


    Dec 25, 2016
    Any digital modeling amp like a Katana will give you the same tone at every volume level (unlike a tube amp that you have to crank to get the best sound). Also many low-wattage tube amps don't get super loud, and many of the loud ones these days have built-in attenuators. There are also quite a few "amp in a box" type pedals that can be run into a PA.
  14. SuperK


    Sep 12, 2012
    San Jose, CA
  15. ficelles


    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    I built this: Condor Cab Sim

    Sounds great through PA or home stereo, and you can dial in some dirt depending on how you bias the JFET. If you like soldering it's a cheap solution :)
  16. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Does he already use pedals? If so, those into a speaker sim and/or DI would get it done. If not, the Tech 21 Character series into a good clean DI should get it done.

    If he can save up later, one of my guitarists uses the new Helix and it sounds RIDICULOUSLY good. I wanted to hate that thing but I just can't.
    Scottkarch likes this.
  17. caledoneus83


    Feb 26, 2018
    Katana would be a good option... Great amp!
  18. +1 because this ^ answers the OP's question exactly.

    A D.I. is basically a transformer that is designed to take the output from an instrument and properly interface it to a PA system or mixer. It is mounted in a box with a 1/4" and XLR connector. If you want to get fancier than that, there are plenty of options. But this is the basic device.
  19. TheLowDown33

    TheLowDown33 Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2009
    Omnicabsim, or the amplitube stuff would work. Tech21 if he wants OD from it too. I would personally use a small amp and cab, but that's just me and my guitar habits.
    Impermanence likes this.
  20. waveman


    Sep 25, 2008
    Zoom MS50-G would be a decent inexpensive option. You can plug directly into most mixers with the 1/4" jack.

    I have a Digitech RP1000 that works well too.

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