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Need help deciding between cab sim/ir pedals

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by montiavi, Feb 12, 2021.

  1. montiavi


    Feb 16, 2020

    Because I dont want to bother my neighbors I'm practicing through an interface and to enhance my sound I want to buy a cabsim pedal, but there are so many that i cant decide. What's important to me is that I can load other IRs into it and that its not combined with a preamp or od, so Darkglass ultra pedals and the Omnicab and simplifier are not an option.

    I'm wondering between these pedals:

    Darkglass Element

    I can connect my phone with bluetooth instead of aux in, I might not need my interface anymore unless im recording.
    It looks simple to use
    I dont know if I would like the touch controls
    can only store 5 cab sims

    Two notes C.A.B M

    It has a display
    can store a lot of cab sims
    Just as expensive as the Darkglass
    its big

    Mooer Radar

    Cheapest IR pedal on my list
    can store a lot of cabsims
    No XLR out
    Controls dont look initiative
    AMT Pangaea VC-16

    Almost as cheap as the Mooer
    Built in compressor and other effects
    Controls dont look initiative
    Ive read that setting it up is a pain

    Thanks in advance, if you have some other recommendations let me know!
  2. TheLopp


    Dec 30, 2013
    I have a couple of different cab sims but the one that I play the most, pretty much everyday, is the Shift Line CabZone X. I’m totally in love with that one. It has a power amp sim too that sounds really good IMO.

    A+ CabZone X
    montiavi likes this.
  3. montiavi


    Feb 16, 2020
    That looks nice and compact thanks!

    What im also wondering, is there actually any difference in sound between different cab sim pedals, if you use the same IR?
  4. TheLopp


    Dec 30, 2013
    I actually don’t really know but I suppose that the hardware impact in some way to the sound. I haven’t loaded the same IR to my different cab sim pedals.

    What I do like about the CabZone X is that the aux in and headphone out is very silent and sounds very, very good. I think the Two Notes has more hiss, but a lot more options of course.
  5. EmaTheMirror


    Oct 9, 2009
    London, UK
    I don't have Shift Line's hardware, but I often used their free/donation-ware IR files (there's a collection of 12 IRs for bass) and they are really good.
    For Darkglass 4x10 cabs, Seacow have one free too.
    Dr. Bonkers do nice IRs too for reasonable prices, amongst the others.

    Now, why am I only mentioning software? Mainly because you mentioned you'd be "practicing through an interface", which is the same case scenario where I currently use IRs, besides recording.
    If you are ending up in a computer through an interface, IMO there's no reason to spend money for additional hardware when you already have all you need. Just to clarify: an outboard IR loader doesn't inherently sound better than a plugin within the daw - they both do their digital work. If anything, you might even save
    A/D-D/A conversions in the path:

    • Bass/analogue pedals -> hardware IR loader (A/D conversion)+(D/A conversion) -> 1/4" or XLR cable -> interface and DAW (A/D conversion)

    • Bass/analogue pedals -> 1/4" or XLR cable -> interface and DAW (A/D conversion) -> IR processing "in the box"

      [edit: there's obviously a final D/A conversion from the interface to the analogue headphone/speakers output going to your ears on top of that]
    You are mentioning that higher-end hardware solutions act as a direct interface or have their means to send the digital signal straight to the computer, so you skip that passage. However, I'd ask myself if it's really worth outsourcing the IR workload (close to nothing for CPU consumption, nowadays) for a home recording/home practice case scenario.

    Now: are you considering using the IRs in analogue settings, band practice or live performance? That's why hardware IRs IMO are great stuff and definitely have their place, but I'd really think about how I use IRs first. At least I did last year.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2021
  6. montiavi


    Feb 16, 2020
    Good point, I could do it on my computer. But I have a stupid question, how can i use software with a virtual cabinet in combination with sound from other programs? programs such as amplitube dont let me play other sounds from something like spotify, I have to import it into the recording software.

    What do you use?
  7. EmaTheMirror


    Oct 9, 2009
    London, UK
    If you want a fully-featured DAW you can use Reaper or under Win the free yet complete Cakewalk by Bandlab - formerly Sonar and quite expensive back then.

    If you only want a very lightweight program which hosts VSTs routed the way you like for live processing, there's a nice one-man app called Pedalboard2 (Mac/Win)

    For free IR loader, Ignite Nadir does the job.

    Re. the audio routing within your Os, it sounds strange to me that you can't use some playback from Spotify/System sounds while using the Asio drivers. What os and interface do you use? Did you update all drivers? I think you can contact the interface's customer support.
  8. SLPimp

    SLPimp An Injury to One is an Injury to All Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2020
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    I've used the Two Notes and loved it. The preamp in it is solid on its own. It has power amp sim and 30 cabs built in. DI is excellent and the iOS app is very easy to use. Best bang for the buck.
  9. Matty Koff

    Matty Koff

    Aug 21, 2014
    Pricier than a single pedal.. but I'm I'm going to say an HX Stomp is right up your alley.

    6 blocks you can cab sim and layer 5 effects on it.. parallel routing, and you can easily change the effects in your signal chain to be before your amp or after into the send/return effects.

    I just got a Pod Go.. it has 10 blocks, but 6 of them are fixed, 1 volume, one wah, one amp block, one cab block. then 4 effects blocks, one block for FX loop, and the final block for output with pan.

    The Pod go can use 1024 point cab IR's, or will convert 2048 point IR files to 1024, the HX stomp can use 2048-point.

    I love my Pod go.. but it can't do parallel routing.. and while you can turn the amp and cab sims on or off, two of the blocks are dedicated to it. It does have 6 foot switches and an expression pedal though.. larger footprint, where the HX stomp is still large but could be squeezed onto a pedalboard.
    EdO. likes this.
  10. I use the element as a di, headphone amp for practice and preamp for my power amp. It covers a lot of ground. I can also Bluetooth my iTunes and backtracks to learn.
    I like that I can Bluetooth presets from my phone and it sounds pretty darn good.
    It only stores 5 presets but I don’t really shuffle through cab sims that much.
    Good luck!
  11. Squint


    Feb 22, 2017
    Louisville, KY
    +1 on the Element as it has been great. Darkglass continues to add IRs and features. (Last update they added a basic tuner) It is a solid pedal and has less noise than the Torpedo cab M had in my experience.
    My second choice would be Shift Line. They make great stuff too.
  12. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    The thing I don't like about cab sims is that they model both the high frequency rolloff and low frequency rolloff of the cabinet. As I'm usually sending my signal to a VERY capable PA, I want just the high frequency rolloff (to de-clink my signal(or de-fizz it if I'm using ioverdrive)), and I don't want the cabinet emulated low frequency response to get in the way of solid, extended low end.

    So, what I need (ahd use) is a high frequency rolloff - a low pass filter. I use a Broughton for that. It's $100, and has the one knob I need to be able to adjust (corner frequency). I've been very happy with that strategy.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2021
  13. Horseflesh


    Sep 22, 2020
    If you are on Windows, Voicemeeter might do what you need. It's a virtual mixer for Windows sound sources.

    VB-Audio VoiceMeeter
  14. I use the digitech cabdriver. It's ok! The 4x10 sim sounds the best.
  15. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Your neighbors can’t rock if you don’t let them. Turn it up!
  16. Jxff


    Sep 6, 2016
    Mission Viejo, CA
    How do you access the tuner on the Element?

  17. Squint


    Feb 22, 2017
    Louisville, KY
    To turn on the tuner on the Element you press all 3 touch sliders at once. It will mute the signal and will give you led indications to tune up or down. Press all 3 sliders again to return to normal mode.
    Jxff likes this.
  18. Jxff


    Sep 6, 2016
    Mission Viejo, CA
    thx! I added the Element last week. I was using a Zoom MS60B stereo out into a DuoCapture EX, no cabsim built in, but you can record dry or through AmpliTube. With phones it is a very portable solution that now hangs at work. I keep a Squier P bass there and practice after hours.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  19. XLunacy


    Nov 28, 2013
    Love my Two Notes Cab M !
    It does a lot more than just cab sim now, it has a parametric EQ, a preamp, a power amp sim, some reverb, even a tuner (not the best in the world for sure, but it works fine and it's "free").
    It really makes for a great all-in-one pedal that can also be used in the context of a complex signal chain (each part of the signal processing can be disabled independantly).
    Zymba likes this.
  20. hbabels

    hbabels Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    I’d say the Element or Cab M. The element has great sound quality and the touch buttons should work well based on my experience with the hyper luminal compressor with the same type of buttons. The Bluetooth connection is really nice and just easy. I wouldn’t worry about only 5 cab slots. You can switch them out easily with your computer and when practicing how many different ones are you realistically going to use ? I my experience I pick my fav and stick with it. Maybe occasionally switch to 1 different for variety radically different tone , but generally I make any all other tone adjustments elsewhere in the signal chain.
    The Two Notes had equally great sound quality with a fair amount of additional tone tweaking features, which is both good and bad. Good if that’s what you want and don’t mind a slight learning curve to understand how to dial it in etc it really can produce excellent results.
    It doesn’t have blue tooth connectivity so you need a cable foe the aux in but that’s bit a big deal and if you want to add Bluetooth connection to it or any device you can get something like this :

    Anker Soundsync A3352 Bluetooth Receiver https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H5C2BQX/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_C74AHWEY0VCS52XM3FZ5

    I have one and they work / sound great.

    the Mooer Radar is good feature / price wise & sounds good but not as good as the above two as it reads shorter IR length and just cheaper components / less processing power overall so it’s a step down but not a bad unit at all & does what it says so it’s good just not as good but it’s priced accordingly so depends on your budget and level of pickiness.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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