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#46703 - 10/14/19 01:29 PM Guitars, Amps, EFX, so many choices and my thoughts...
Justin Offline

advanced member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 236
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Funny, these days when I go into the studio I feel a bit overwhelmed with the myriad of choices I've accumulated over the years. Still, a good problem to have! Here's a list of some of them and some of my quick, anecdotal thoughts. I'd love to hear your thoughts/tricks/tips on any of the stuff below.

Physical Amps I Own
Fender Bassman 59 Reissue 4x10- great for stage, super loud for a 40 watt amp can produce squealing real-tube harmonics when turned way up and a great way to annoy the neighbors. I should get a load box for it.

Fender Mustang IV - great 150 watt solid state modeling amp and the only stereo amp I've ever owned. You can plug in any stereo source into the stereo FX loop and bypass the Mustang's Pre/Modeling effectively making it a portable stereo power amp. Versatile and light weight.

Boss Katana 50 (v1) - Small, portable and so many FX and choices when using the software, sounds amazing for it's size and price. Without a computer though you can't access the choices which sucks. The floor control also sucks, only 4 store-able presets and if you wanted to use the expression pedal and a footswitch at the same time, you can't. Still, this amp sounds so good my next step is to mic it up and see what I can do with it.

Pod XTLive Floor pedal - Haha I keep this on and plugged in my studio - why? Because it's a giant dongle for Podfarm software - totally want to get rid of it but since I could only get about $100 why bother, it still works as a midi floor controller, I doubt I'd use it for much else these days.

Pod HD500 Floor pedal - Honestly it has great EFX in it and fantastic program-ability as a midi floor controller. It also has a digital SPDIF output and the amp modeling isn't too shabby. It also serves as an input device for my Line 6 300 Variax guitar, I don't use much but has some cool sounds in it like banjo.

Eleven Rack - So under-rated, I've recorded whole records with it. It has AES in/Out, re-amping capability, great FX, FX loop possibilities. Great for bass guitar too.

Countryman Type 85 DI - my direct box of choice for guitar and bass.

Overloud TH-U - probably my current favorite all-purpose recording tool. Rig Player sounds amazing with expansions. FX also sound really, really good. I'm not crazy about the cartoon like illustrated controls but, really who cares, as long as the sounds are there.

Positive Bias FX 2 Elite - I really like the amp sounds and FX, I do find the support documentation lacking in that you often have to guess hard at what emulated pedal or amp you are using. I realize there are licensing issues but this is the whole point of trying to virtually create your favorite rigs. I think the guitar modeling thing they did, while creative, just isn't that useful.

Scuffham S-Gear - still some of the best sounding, most useful sounds around. Love this one.

Native Instruments Guitar Rig 5 - an oldie but a goody, I turn to Guitar Rig often in post (after I have a recorded DI guitar) when I just need something that sounds "different." I find sometimes I'll find something that sits in a mix better.

IK Multimedia Amplitube 4 Max - I really like it, I like that the gear looks just like the real thing so they must pay the licensing fees. Lots under the hood.

Waves PRS Supermodels - Yeah they're good, they're real and very useful high quality. Sometimes when you just need a good sound to start with, these deliver.

Waves GTR3 - Still some good stuff in here I use from time to time. The Lay-D delay/pitch stomp has trippy efx you won't find elsewhere.

Softube Metal Amp Room - kind of a one-trick pony but yeah, it chugs.

Soundtoys 5 - No amp modeling but truly awesome FX when used on guitar.

Plugin Alliance Guitar Pedals and Amp emulations - really, really good. I use the Boss Pedal emulations a lot especially the blue chorus.

Eleven Rack plugins - Great but only AAX.

Line 6 Podfarm - oldie but goody but only VST, something about the delay FX sound really great.

Audified Amplion and Pedals - noisy, not real useful.

Toontrack EZMix Guitar stuff - I don't find it all that useful.

Hardware Pedals I own:

- Dunlop Crybaby Wah - a classic

- ZVex Box of Rocks - Distortion/Boost - sometime fun, great for Tele

- Xotic EP Booster - subtle but great for Fender sound thickening

- Boss Super Feedbacker - one of my oldest pedals, has a cool trick to it

- Bixonic Expandora - want to sound like ZZ top - this is the one!

- Chandler Tube Driver rack - added new tubes, fun for experimenting

Guitars I own:
- Gibson SG Special white, ebony fretboard 1990ish - my main ax

- MIM Fender 57 Road Worn Strat Reissue maple fretboard, vshape - distressed at the factory love it

- MIM Fender 50s Road Worn Blonde Tele maple fretboard, cshape - distressed at the factory love it, really dig in on this one

- MIM Fender Nashville Tele red rosewood fb - Fishman bridge for cool piezo blending and I added a Duncan Hot rails in the bridge so it really sounds very Les Paul like on overdriven - love this guitar for lead work!

- MIJ Hot rodded Jackson Soloist TV Yellow Ash body, ebony neck, Floyd Rose with P-90 bridge, texas specials - don't use much but a solid ax

- MIJ Hot rodded Silver Ibanez Pro Line with 3 dimarzio pickups - weird one but ready for rockin' 80's metal.

- 90's Ernie Ball 5 Stingray Bass Teal - active pickups, great bass

- Taylor 310 Acoustic Spruce top, rosewood FB - no electronics, no cutaway - just a straight up great recording acoustic with the most reliable acoustic neck I've ever owned.

- Line6 Variax 300 - don't use it much but some cool instruments you wouldn't expect, fun to play with and interfaces with my Pod HD500 via ethernet cable.

- Kemper Profiler Stage: ouch $1700

- AxeFX 3: ouch $2250

- Line 6 Helix: ouch $1400 - nice that if you own one, you can get the plugin for an add. $99.

- Les Paul Traditional or Standard Tobacco Burst - what can I say I love Aldo Nova but it'd be hard for me to put Dimarzio super distortion PUPs to replace the cherry stock ones: ouch $2-3K
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#46704 - 10/15/19 12:15 AM Re: Guitars, Amps, EFX, so many choices and my thoughts... [Re: Justin]
stub Offline

Registered: 12/03/18
Posts: 23
Loc: Colorado, U.S.
I think the Helix is kind of a risky choice. I know a couple people who have 'em and love 'em, and a couple people who didn't like them. (One just sold it after a few months.).

I have a Pod HD500, and there are some things it does well, but the dynamics just aren't there, and I couldn't get a usable tremolo out of it.

AxeFX 3 and Kemper have pretty great reputations.