Why are amps still dinosaurs?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kcducttaper, Oct 8, 2021.

  1. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Is this why so many things taste like chicken? :)
    agedhorse likes this.
  2. swink


    Jan 10, 2019
    One formal YES!
  3. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Looks like the Kemper lets you assign functions to those 4 EQ knobs. (Correct me if I'm wrong - LOL - don't feel like downloading the manual and spending 20 minutes skimming through it to confirm.)
    That reminds me of how my Sony digital camera works. It is more configurable than many. I get to decide what many of the buttons & dials do. So whatever function would be handiest for me on that button next to the shutter, or under my thumb on the back panel, I can go ahead and put it there.
    The bad news is, I have to spend an awful lot of time reading the manual, then wading through multiple menus to figure this all out. And then I have to remember where I decided to put everything. (Some decisions are very intuitive but others are more arbitrary.) To make things more confusing, some of the assignable buttons have physical labels that become incorrect if you reassign. (Change the spot labeled ISO to White Balance or vice versa.)
    So it's a double-edged sword. When I use the camera a lot, I remember how I set it and it's great to have everything I want at my fingertips (and bury all the stuff I never use). But if I go a month or two without shooting, it is a strain to re-familiarize. I have older, simpler cameras that are less confusing - but also less capable.
    I could see this approach being desirable on an amp head where you have 4 or 5 knobs that you could map out. For the upright bass it would be nice to have HPF and a notch filter all ready to go. On a rock gig I might want instant access to compression and distortion. Sometimes you might want 5 bands of EQ - other times 3 bands with sweepable midrange. Or use a knob to toggle between different amp models.
    This might be way more trouble than it's worth to most on a bass amp right now, but with a few refinements it could be a lot more palatable. 1: if each assignable control had its own OLED label (or were situated under a long OLED screen) then you could see and instantly remember what it does. 2: if you could do most of your setting up with a well-designed phone or tablet app, that would be quite preferable (to me) over pushing buttons and scrolling through menus on the actual unit.
    It might be a while before all this is economically viable on a humble bass amp. But I can see the B|Amp and Kemper are already taking steps in that direction. I'm not suggesting everyone must conform immediately - just trying to gaze into the future and wondering what some of the options in the 2030s might look like...
    (And wondering aloud how to further refine the experiences with the Sony camera and Bergantino amp I already have.)
  4. Muyy

    Muyy Commercial User

    Sep 4, 2009
    Orlando, Fl
    Starr Guitars
    I got a kemper. You can’t really change what the buttons do but it’s laid out mostly like an amp and is easy to use after a few days of actually trying. The new editor app on iPad/pc is much easier to use if you hate menu diving. It sounds good and weighs nothing, can’t complain and has been what I use for everything for a few years now.
    Jefenator likes this.
  5. Both of the options looked laborious to me!

    Personally, I'm tuning up an '89 Trace Elliot VA350 Tube Amp, pulled the SS preamp out and installing a vent panel to increase airflow on the tubes, still using the Flat Response Tube Preamp with a third generation TE pedal preamp, a 60's Mullard Master Series EF86 in a new Edison preamp and a few other pedals with a separate distortion chain with a very handy ISP BETA Rack Preamp and the Alembic SF-2 Superfilter.

    That's easier for me than reading a technical "how to" manual and running menu's of various types, assign, hold and click twice to save then have more things to forget or actually never use...

    ...Pinball Wizard!
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021 at 12:48 PM
    Jefenator likes this.
  6. 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.

    Oct 17, 2021

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