What to look for in an amp that will be subject to modeling other amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DudeistMonk, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    So I have a line6 Bass POD live...and I dig the little thing, its introduced me to a lot of tones...

    But I need a new amp, since my old one is dieing and can't keep up anymore...Since I'm not made of money and since I crave versatility I was thinking I could buy a reasonably priced solid state amp and a cab like the Ampeg 410-hlf (which impressed me in the store). The idea here being get the cleanest clearest sound I can find and then use the POD's amp modeling to give it character....Would I be flawed in this reasoning?

    In other words what am I looking for in an amp if I'm going to use it to model other amps? Also if you wouldn't do this yourself please tell me why.
  2. The only reasons I haven't done this with my Bass POD Live XT is I bought it used a month ago and haven't hooked it up, and I already own three heads. Having said that, Carvin's power amps consistently get good reviews in various forums, plus you'll be able to use the Bass POD direct through the FOH while simultaneously playing through the amp (if the need arises).
  3. Well IMO then you'd want a Markbass. They are said to be the "least colored" amps on the market, being that they represent your basses' tone.

    You could always look at the line 6 lowdown combos, they are available anywhere from 15-450 watts and are built to model.
  4. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab HELIX user & BOSE Abuser

    Feb 11, 2004
    You want as close to completely uncolored response as possible so you can hear what the models are doing(as opposed to what the speaker cabinet is making you sound like due to not flat/full range response).
    Setups that work(IMO) for me since getting the XT LIVE:

    XTL->QSC2402->ACME B2's
    XTL->QSC2402->SWR Henry 8x8
    XTL->QSC2402->ACME B2's + SWR Henry 8x8 (outdoors, large stage)
    XTL->BOSE PAS with 4 BOSE "bass" bins

    At home ACME B2's are used as they tell you EXACTLY how you sound.

    Line 6XTL does have a switch for LINE OUT or BASS AMP out. You could use the setup you suggested and tinker quite a bit on the EQ's in the POD. My XTL has one set of patch banks for the ACME/SWR days and a completely different set for the BOSE due to BOSE having a not-totally-flat(IMO) response curve....:D

    A test I've done with every jambox ever bought MAY be able to help determine what's good for YOU at a music store.
    Bring an mp3 player with a few GOOD bass songs(i.e. Stanley Clarke, Wooten, Clatter, TOOL, etc.) you are familiar with and run them into the amp's LINE IN or EFFECTS RETURN jack. Crank the amp and see if what you hear is what the song(s) & bass sound like or if it sounds like ka-ka....let your ears be the judge. Doing the above at or near STAGE VOLUME is best but may not be allowed by the store.
    Some cabinets "get honky" or "strange sounding" when leaned on.
    It's best to know how it sounds, as you intend to use it, before you buy!
  5. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    Thanks for all the suggestions so far (I'm researching some of them right now)...

    Am I correct in assuming a solid state amp would be the best candidate for this situation?

    Also I was thinking something in the 500W at 4om region and since can controlling most everything from the POD I don't need a ton of features (although they never hurt)...any amps I must absolutely check out?

    Thanks again folks.
  6. I would avoid the Ampeg cabs, I use them and like them but they have a distinct colouration. Use a good power amp and one of the cabinets suggested here. I'm not familear with the different POD models but you may not even need a preamp, which would remove a significant source of colouration.
  7. If you're looking for clean power, why not just go POD->Power Amp?
  8. +1

    And yeah, there are much nicer sounding cabs out there than the Ampeg.

    Eden, Accugroove, Epifani, Bergatino..........just to name a few.
  9. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    I didn't even take into account the cab in that way.

    I'm actually still a little confused as to what the difference between a power amp and an amp is. It seems like they offer a whole lot of power for cheap...I'm confused as to why though.

    Thanks for the suggestions, I'll look into them.
  10. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    A power amp usually only has a volume control, and requires a line level signal going into it, which is louder than instrument level. Normal amps have a pre-amp and power amp combined, although the pre-amp usually colours the sound hence people suggesting you go POD to power amp.

    The EA iAmp is perfect for what you want though. As clean and transparent as a pure power amp, but takes an instrument level signal and has a parametric EQ should you need to adjust for the room you're playing in.
  11. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    So for the past couple of days I've been doing some research, reading a lot of threads....

    I've looked at a few power amps and I determined that the Carvin DCM2000L looks like a whole lot of bang for my buck. http://www.carvinguitars.com/poweramps/ and they seem reputable. Also do I understand correctly that its not really necessary for me to play out of the power amp before I buy one, since it shouldn't influence my sound at all?...cause there is no way I'm going to Cali to play through an amp.

    Which brings me to some new questions...

    4ohm or 8ohm cab?

    The amp can run 2ohm so I could theoretically buy a 4ohm cab and still expand down the line, correct? Also I searched long and hard but can't find a FAQ on the advantages of either 4ohms or 8ohms, could someone clear this up for me? It seems like as long as you have the power to run the 8ohm you should get it for further expandability?

    I thought I understood bridging but why doesn't this ad up?

    2RU professional power amplifier

    2000W @ 4 ohms bridged

    8 ohms/325w
    4 ohms/600w
    2 ohms/1000w

    Shouldn't the bridged power at 4ohms be twice that of the single channel power at 4ohms equaling 1200W not 2000W?

    Can I run/should I run bridged at 8ohms? What would the bridged Wattage be?
  12. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    4-ohm bridged power should be DOUBLE the 2-ohm per channel rating.

    8-ohm bridged power should be DOUBLE the 4-ohm per channel rating.

    * * *

    Your main concern when modeling is the ever-present bottleneck of speaker enclosure. The speaker enclosure should be relatively flat/transparent - like a good PA stack or studio monitoring system - so that any modeled heads/cabs can be reflected properly without undue peaks and valleys in their response that would act like a filter on the input signal.

    Think of this as having a clear new window, as opposed to a saggy old stained-glass window. In one you can see the shape beyond for what it is; in the other it may appear that a multi-colored fun-house mirror has been used to distort and hide the essential nature of the signal.
  13. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    This is a must.
    I have a feeling that most players who think modeling isn't for them tried it with a colored head and/or didn't use a good enough cabinet.
  14. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    Thanks for clearing up the bridged thing...and the insight into cab choice.

    Okay even more questions....sorry.:help:

    Still wondering about the benefits/pit-falls of 4ohms or 8ohms is?

    I also really can't afford most of the cabs suggested...Of the cabs I've tried I like 4X10's with a sub/ports (maybe its coming from a 1X18' but I really like the definition of the 10's)...Any suggestions for affordable cabs that I can play at a samash/guitar center?
  15. rbonner


    Sep 25, 2008
    I used to think that too. But this is kinda wierd. While this isnt the best modeling preamp out there, but when I put this used BASS V-AMP PRO on the baby rig and hooked up two 810 cabs and flipped to the FENDER BASSMAN selection and started playing i was totally amazed. It sounded very much like I remember my old Bassman sounded.

    Sure I foolishly sold her 35 years ago, but the tone is engrained deep in my soul. And this thing sounded like it, except now I have the ability the ability to bust sheetrock.

    I've long since gone away from that tone, but I have a switch that can give it back to me.

    Anyway, the point Green is while the speakers are colored (AMPEG 810's) the stupid amp didnt know any better. I'm sure if I put the 67 Blackface next to the Baby Rig I would hear a difference, but I was totally amazed none the less. BOB
  16. rbonner


    Sep 25, 2008
    Yeah go plug into an ACOUSTIC B600H and a B810 cab and crank it up, see what you think. (GC) I liked the sound and I'm an AMPEG guy. BOB
  17. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Sure it works. And as a fellow lover of sound I'm sure it was enjoyable too! But some things work BETTER than others. Present a modeling situation where the model and the auditioning rig are a lot different from one another and this becomes increasingly apparent.
  18. rbonner


    Sep 25, 2008
    OK so lets toss this out, if we wanted to only own one rig and have it do all this, what would we use for the speakers then? Meyer Sound 700HP and and their full range upper cabs? Hey I guess this is what the OP asked? BOB
  19. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    Hope you don't mind me paraphrasing :D

    I will try acoustic thanks, although probably just the 4X10, I don't think I'll be needing a fridge (nor do I want to carry one around)...

    Also on my list of things I can try right now...

    Eden D410XLT 4x10 Bass Speaker Cabinet (8 Ohms)....Maybe I can finance it :p

    Any other cabs I should check out?...I like to get my list down to something more manageable than "I'd like to try every cab in the store please." ...and it seems I would have to spend a lot of time trying each cab through the same amp + the POD with various models (although I'm not sure if the store would take kindly to that).
  20. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    C'mon, Bob. There's a fair number of alternatives ranging from Acmes and a couple of other less colored bass cabs to BF Omni 15 to some suitable PA cabs - all of which are less peaks-and-valleys sculpted in their frequency response than typical one- or two-way bass cabs. It's really not that hard of a target to acquire ; }

Share This Page