when comparing the same amp models through the same cabinet it's a toss up on which one is better.
Slo 11R wins over Amplifire
Amplifire recto wins over 11R
some models sound very tube like with either unit, to those amp models i give the nod of approval. some amp models are craptacular but still useful with some eq. the Amplfire SLO is fairly crappy by comparison, but with eq it does the Carvin amp thing very well....but that's not what it was designed to sound like.
i say this over and over again; amp models are just models, not always close to the real amp. forget what the amp model is called and dial it up the way you like it. for example: i have used the 11R JCM800 in place of Fender amps when dialing up modern country tones. it just chimes better.
twist some knobs and enjoy the tonal adventure my brothers.
Really wonderful advice. I've found over the years with the 11R that I've gradually been using the "DC" custom models more and more, ignoring the fact that they don't claim to be a specific classic model of amp, and I'm glad I got over that hurdle.
Also refreshing to see that you've kept your independence in analyzing products and amp models despite collaborating with brands.
I'm a simple amp+cab guy when it comes to guitar tones. I may only occasionally throw a touch of reverb on, or rarely a stereo delay to widen. Maybe a dirt pedal up front but usually not... fewer knobs to mess with that way and I generally find (good) amps are more responsive to pick dynamics and guitar knobs if there's nothing in the way... even if the result ain't always pretty. EQ blocks can sound awfully pretty, but bog down my simple mind. As you could probably tell, this means I need amp models that truly behave like big old real tubes.
If you were to scribble a quick cheatsheet of the amp models that authentically "bring the ruckus" between the 11R and the Amplifire, what would that list look like? Beyond the 11R SLO and the Amplifire Recto, which amps in each box do you good?
EDIT TO ADD: I have purchased the Ownhammer IR's which I currently host on my MacBook, so I'm concerned only with actual preamp+poweramp modeling sound and feel, assuming an appropriately selected Ownhammer IR