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Just got a VB-99 - Has anybody gone "modelling" and then sold redundant gear?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by dkelley, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. New Effect Day.... worthy of a thread imho.

    Grabbed a brand new in boxes, still sealed, Roland VB-99 and GK-3B pickup for less than a grand!

    Modelling - I've embraced it, I use it for amps, pedals, rack gear, studio reverbs and compressors, pseudo-analog synthesizers, and even own a variax electric guitar that can, sometimes, be very believable and inspiring (yet at rare times it can be an uneven and unpredictable POS).

    The VB-99 was a BIG investment, but I'm currently most excited about the bass and amp models. I haven't tried it yet but have heard some insane demos that are so convincing that nobody would be able to tell that it isn't modelled unless you're looking at the bass (specially so with the great amp sims and fx running as well).

    My first decision will be deciding if I'll mount it on my fretted ebmm sub 5, fretless ebmm sub 5, or fretted carvin bunny 5.

    I'm leaning towards a fretted axe for now since I only own one bass gk pickup for now and specifically want the fretted j, p, and rick tones. I'm not sure I'll care for the stingray tones since my subs do that better than many 3 band stingrays do LoL, but we'll see.

    Here's my main worry... imho the scariest concept about great gear modelling is how it can make some of your REAL gear obsolete.... like my vintage amps, all gone now, and my hollow body electric guitars and 12 string acoustic... all gone due to my variax guitar .....

    ..... What if I find myself having to choose between keeping only my carvin fretted or ebmm sub fretted basses with the gk pup on it? that's a decision I don't look forward to making. They're SUCH different instruments, both brilliant, and while the sub seems so simple compared to the elegant and brilliantly engineered Carvin BB-75, the Sub speaks to me, plays so well, sounds so incredible... boring to look at (all charcoal/black), but just an excellent instrument.

    Or stranger yet for me - what I find that the VB makes my sub fretted bass obsolete by installing it on my carvin? What if the VB stingray tone is so good that I don't miss my sub? I think that's unlikely since my sub tone is perfect imho, but what IF that happens? It would be a strange mental state to find myself in.

    So here's a question I pose....

    Has anyone found this situation with a v-bass or vb-99 or variax replacing a instrument so well that it gets sold... even though you thought it was a keeper?
  2. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    Invariably everyone goes through a period of "look at the shiny shiny!!!" with new tech and later begin to miss the trusty old workhorse. Selling the old is for things you hate. I loved my firstborn and now I regret selling him when our newborn came along.
  3. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    I don't see any reason to be concerned. If you like the new technology well enough to let it replace your old gear then embrace the new. The Model T Ford had so many shortcomings that drivers who were told "get a horse!" by passing riders as they struggled to get their newfangled contraptions started could well wonder if they had made the right decision. No one today would prefer a horse over a car for normal day-to-day transportation needs. But people still ride horses for pleasure and in terrain where powered vehicles are impractical. If the new thing excels for your then use it and love it. You can keep the old too for the pleasure it gives you and for those situations where only it will do the job.

    As for me I have no desire to buy a collection of pedals or tube amps because I have a digital multi-effects pedal that does all that for me to my satisfaction. In my case it wasn't one replacing the other, it was one new thing that eliminated the need to ever buy the others in the first place.
  4. both logical points guys, thanks for that.

    This will be a wild ride! I suspect the first bass to go will be my hagstrom 8 reissue... hell of a bass though, setup for nice low action, new strings, and with an active 2 band bartolini preamp replacing the old passive tone control (which was insufficient for an 8 string to my ears).

    great bass - but how often does one play an octave bass eh? I mean really.... specially when I can make a modelled 10 string Stingray bass on the vb-99... in theory at least.

    It's just going to be sad when I realize I don't pick up my other basses any more and might as well sell them. Maybe that'll take a few weeks, maybe a couple years.

    I'll update at one point in the future when I find out for sure...
  5. Installed the pup on my usa sub 5 fretted. Interesting. .... the ray tone when switched between modelled and real is nearly indistinguishable. .. the model having slightly more midbass.

    The model sounds like its wired in series actually. Odd. Could be the choice of strings they modelled though too.

    If they had on board tone controls for models I might be ok without a real music man after all......

    Wow these bass models are outstanding. The ricks and precisions nail it perfectly!
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    None of my modeling stuff replaces my traditional stuff, but I still use it sometimes.
  7. Shardik


    May 24, 2011
    Halden, Norway
    Redundant gear is redundant. I try to sell it as quickly as possible. I have too much stuff lying around, and find selling stuff I don't use liberating. But acknowledging the fact that something is indeed redundant can be a long process.

    I do love modelling, but not exclusively. Even so, I now have one guitar amp with built in modelling. My bass amp has loadable toneprint and I have a Zoom multistomp pedal with modelling. I have also sold a Pocket Pod and a Behringer XV Amp. Those multieffects didn't do it for me, eventually. I have probably around 10-15 ordinary stomp boxes. There is something about that direct sound control that appeals to me. I often use my pedalboard when tweaking out my sounds. If I find a sound I like, then I try to make a similar sounding patch with the multistomp models.

    I guess I consider myself pragmatic. It's not either old or new, analog or modelling. I just try to pick what works, and try to get rid of the rest. ;)
  8. Ba55Man1ac

    Ba55Man1ac Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Hey man, glad you're enjoying the VB. I'm a long-time V-Bass / VB-99 user in my covers band. Occasionally i'll get in a rut with having 200 perfect polyphonic patches :D at my fingertips & put an analog board together. About halfway through the 1st set i'm thinking "gee this song really misses that vintage P through B-15 sound" & i'm more appreciative of the VB once again.

    The pickup is mounted on my Stingray & i don't even bother plugging in the link cable from the regular pickup any more!

    It's capable of some amazing things... the more you delve in there, the more you'll discover. Enjoy the ride bro!
  9. Stumbo

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

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
  10. I haven't replaced my BOD liveXT yet, but I have disabled the amp models. I prefer the cleaner sounds. So that leaves me with a compressor (could be better), a wah peddle, some delays, distortion, chorus, all of which could be better and synths which completely fail to track rapid playing.
    That doesn't mean that modelling is a bad idea. Just that i have 10 year old technology. It gets better all the time and I will be replacing it with ...... i don't know what yet.
    Several years ago I went for a production engineers job at a company which makes high end tube compressors and was thinking about a line of bass amps. The designer was talking about the BS in the market place:- Valves that glow "hot" ... because they have a red LED behind them. He said that his designs were probably too clean but then;
    "we know what "valve sound" is, we just need to dial a bit more in"
    So even real valve isn't real. It all comes down to what do you want, .........and who is going to notice?
  11. I just reorganized my user patches so I have a bunch if basses in 25 or so patches. ... fenders... ricks... warwick... hofner with flats... stingray... upright. .. then a bunch with fx and amp sims as well. ... then synth and guitar stuff. Can use on bass controls to flip between them. ...

    Next I want to change the volume knob on the gk to instead change pickup pan and so on.... I can control volume witha pedal.
  12. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    For what I do and like as a bassist, modeling stuff isn't really needed. I just want a nice clear un-hyped tone that I can get the character of my bass out of and a couple of effects.

    My guitar player buddy, though, plays in a lot of very different bands and needs a ton of different sounds both amp and effect wise. Last year after buying an AxeFxII he sold EVERYTHING else, probably five or six amps and 30 pedals, and he's still very happy about the decision.

    I think modeling is definitely "there," it's just a question of whether you need to be there or not.
  13. This thing gets better and better. .. driving my amp with it now like a normal bass and I have a pedal configured for useful pickup panning or frequency shaping on single pup models. .... adjusted levels between patches and can flip transparently between Warwick and precision basses or anything else. ...

    The most useful product I've used ever. Modeled my ebs comp and a hard limiter. ... flawless.

    Finally Warwick tone on a ebmm neck
  14. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    I've had the V-Bass for about 10 years. Used it quite a bit for a while, then kinda fell out of using it. Your post had rekindled my interest tho. Wondering what differences exist with the newer unit?
  15. I haven't tried the Roland. I know I've almost always had a pod since they came out. I use them as practice rigs, recording ideas quickly at home and i actually currently use a pod HD in my main rig as an effects processor with no modeling. I have never sold gear because of a modeler yet. Although i could see that happening if i got an axe fx or something really nice. For me its actually been the other way around. I think modelers a are great for people who haven't figured out there own sound yet. I was a peavey amp fanboy when i got the first bass pod. The pod gave me ideas about what amps to use for certain sounds. Since then I've owned Edens, SWRs, and Ampegs. I still use ampeg cabs to this day but i prefer the dual tone capability of my sans amp RBI. I know a lot of guy crank the blend knobs so they completely cut out the dry signal which IMO sounds sterile. I tend to keep my blend knob about 1 o'clock for most situations and lower it even more if i want a cleaner tone for slapping or something.
  16. cool thoughts Nephilymbass!

    Hey Marcus, I know the processing is faster in my newer unit so it has the capability to emulate many more things at the same time.... two full signal chains that are fully independent and can be run at the same time (Even with a different modelled bass in each path with different fx following each into a different modelled amp).

    String modelling (rounds can be modelled into flats or nylons).

    Superior upright modelling (but still pretty glitchy imho, however fun to use all the same.... really benefits from pinky muting just over the bridge at the same time imho).

    Includes pitch to midi output in this new version (not that it is all that big a deal considering you get audible latency with that option enabled).

    apparently much more synth options in this version (I only scratch the surface of that however since I'm fine playing real keys if I need to - I'm more about the bass and amp modelling).

    I don't know about the older version but mine has a hell of a good model of a warwick and a lot of configurability (to an extreme) of pretty well every parameter of a bass guitar model.

    Mine is NOT a floor board though.... stupid tabletop design. why tabletop? how dumb of an idea was THAT? roland... I never know why they do what they do.

    But besides the fact that it should be a rack mount, it's an irreplaceable part of my signal chain now and I've only had it a very short time so far.

    EDIT: I should point out the positive of the older unit though - it's a floor board, better decision imho.... and also apparently the bass and amp models in your older v-bass also sound fantastic from what I've been told. However I only know my own unit.

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