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Ricky Rioli

Amp / Cab sim + active speaker

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For my domestic use, I have a small old practice amp, which makes a pretty basic sound. I would like to make a nicer noise, without making more noise.

I'm wondering if an amp sim and/or a cab sim plus a small active speaker would make a more pleasing noise. 

(Thinking forward to a highly unlikely future, the amp/cab sim could go straight into a PA, yes?)

I havent done much reading up on this subject yet, so feel free to be patronising, and please don't waste your time getting too technical on my account ;)

Like all things, active speakers seem to go from dirt cheap to money burning. How much would need to be spent not to make the amp/cab sims a waste of time?

And yes I am looking at the cheap Line 6 for sale in the effects section :D

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Posted (edited)

I'm not shure I can answer your question to full extent, but I can give you my thoughts about a simmilar set up. I did som testing of this during the easter holidays. My task is to make myself a multi- purpose rig with components that can serve more than one purpose, combined or separate. First of all I want to be 100% battery powered and portable/compact, so I can use my bass at my Cabin, or around a campfire together with a guitar or two.

So i tested a VOX amplug connected to  the AUX in on a JBL Extreme Bluetooth speaker. This worked surprisingly well, and I would be sufficient to keep up with an acoustic guitar.

I think, however I will continue to search for a decent preamp/ cab sim./ DI (pedal?) with AUX in and headphone out. That way, I can use it in a gigging situastion as well, either into my amp, or directly to the board/ FOH. The bliuetooth speaker can, of course, be utilized for playback with or without the attached bassplayer, should that be what the audience demands. 🙄😎

Edited by JvJazz83
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Something like a modelling multiFX unit is highly effective for home use, whether you use an FRFR type amp / speaker, or just a decent pair of headphones that will set you back far less than an FRFR / active speaker. I suppose something like a decent set of powered PC speakers might give you a decent sound, or some cheap studio monitor style speakers, but they're still more than a decent set of headphones.

I use a Line6 HD500x with a set of Sennheiser HD280 Pro's at home.

For band rehearsals & gigs, I plug the HD into the Effects Return of my Ashdown 2x10 combo.

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14 minutes ago, Skybone said:

Something like a modelling multiFX unit is highly effective for home use, whether you use an FRFR type amp / speaker, or just a decent pair of headphones that will set you back far less than an FRFR / active speaker. I suppose something like a decent set of powered PC speakers might give you a decent sound, or some cheap studio monitor style speakers, but they're still more than a decent set of headphones.

I use a Line6 HD500x with a set of Sennheiser HD280 Pro's at home.

For band rehearsals & gigs, I plug the HD into the Effects Return of my Ashdown 2x10 combo.

Thanks for the nice clear advice :) I've got some recommendations for headphones already sorted, but as I gave myself tinnitus a few years ago, I don't want to use them all the time. 

I think I should probably just get a move on with the Line6 and worry about identifying the right active speaker for me later on.

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7 hours ago, Ricky Rioli said:

(Thinking forward to a highly unlikely future, the amp/cab sim could go straight into a PA, yes?)

Yes, I believe it has a DI out, which is what goes straight into a PA desk.

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5 minutes ago, jrixn1 said:

Yes, I believe it has a DI out, which is what goes straight into a PA desk.

It seems like a future-proof choice: good with headphones, with a domestic speaker, with a bigger active speaker, with going into the desk, with going into a traditional amp.

And working out how to program it should keep me occupied until the return of normality in 2023..... :|

 

 

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PS and thank you to whichever mod moved this thread to the right subforum. After I posted it, I realised that asking people with an especial interest in amps and cabs about amp and cab sims was pretty rude. Like going on the Bass Guitar subforum and asking which sequencer and synth best for replacing a bass player.....

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Ricky Rioli said:

Thanks for the nice clear advice :) I've got some recommendations for headphones already sorted, but as I gave myself tinnitus a few years ago, I don't want to use them all the time. 

I have tinnitus as well, so I know what you mean, but you can still use headphones regularly, just make sure the volume's relatively low.

A decent set of headphones will make a difference though.

I did have my Hi Fi amp wired up as a monitor for my DAW setup a while back, but I've not used that since I moved over from a tower PC with a Delta 44 soundcard.

As for programming it, use and trust your ears. Think of it as a new amp, and start as you would with that, only add effects when you're happy with a "core" sound. Also, don't forget that you may need to tweak your settings for a band situation, what sounds good at home, won't always sound good when playing out. 

Edited by Skybone
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26 minutes ago, Ricky Rioli said:

It seems like a future-proof choice: good with headphones, with a domestic speaker, with a bigger active speaker, with going into the desk, with going into a traditional amp.

I recently moved to using a HX Stomp into a QSC K12.2. Complete revelation, would never go back to a trad rig. 

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In the house I use a Helix (or the Native plugin) into powered Yamaha HS7 monitors. Sounds fantastic and lets the Helix do all the tone shaping work.

In the past I also used the Helix into a Yamaha DXR10 powered PA cab for live work. Was very good.

I really like the approach. It's simple and allows lots of routing options for PA support etc.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

In the house I use a Helix (or the Native plugin) into powered Yamaha HS7 monitors.

I see that there is also the smaller HS5. Google searches haven't found me anyone saying that they're too small for the purpose....yet

Edit: but I did find someone opining that the JBL MkII had a better bottom end than the HS5

Edited by Ricky Rioli

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24 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

In the house I use a Helix (or the Native plugin) into powered Yamaha HS7 monitors. Sounds fantastic and lets the Helix do all the tone shaping work.

I use headphones at home, but have wondered about the HS7.  Do you think a single one on its own would work (if just for playing bass)?

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1 hour ago, jrixn1 said:

I use headphones at home, but have wondered about the HS7.  Do you think a single one on its own would work (if just for playing bass)?

As it happens I've got 3 of them!

A pair for my PC (and native etc) and a third one that is in a wheeled rack with my helix kind of like a combo set up. It works very well for guitar and bass, although of course for guitar there is no point using any stereo fx.

 

I've recently had a bit of a change around so my physical Helix is now next to my PC and is now my interface and soundcard so I use the pc pair almost all the time now. But one alone is great. Good sound and more than loud enough. Plenty of low end too.

 

Sometimes I think about making Wet/Dry/Wet patches and using all 3... but that's guitarist thinking and should be stopped! :D 

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2 hours ago, Ricky Rioli said:

I see that there is also the smaller HS5. Google searches haven't found me anyone saying that they're too small for the purpose....yet

Edit: but I did find someone opining that the JBL MkII had a better bottom end than the HS5

I've never tried the HS5 but for the 7 there is tons of low end - to the point that I usually use the hi and low cuts in the Helix somewhere between 30hz and 80hz to tame the lows.

 

Annoyingly they are also better than my 5.1 system in the lounge for films!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, fretmeister said:

I've never tried the HS5 but for the 7 there is tons of low end - to the point that I usually use the hi and low cuts in the Helix somewhere between 30hz and 80hz to tame the lows.

This comparison review says that on the HS5 the lows taper earlier, but doesnt say they totally vanish: https://bpmskills.com/producer/studio-monitors/yamaha-hs5-vs-hs7/

edit: have found more people saying the JBL 305p MkII has much better bass range than the HS5 eg https://bpmskills.com/producer/studio-monitors/jbl-lsr305-vs-yamaha-hs5/

That comparison says the Yamaha is flatter, so guess better for combining with the Line6's aims...?

Edited by Ricky Rioli

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Posted (edited)

For around the same money there are bigger rugged speakers like the Alto TX208. Presumably the payoff for being more sturdily built is lower sound quality? Also, do speakers of that size have problems making a fully toned sound at low volume?

Edited by Ricky Rioli

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Posted (edited)

For your amp simulator there is a really obvious solution which I use; the Zoom B1 Four. You get some decent built in sounds, a range of amp and cab sims plus a whole host of fx sims. All that plus a drum machine, tuner, looper headphone amp and aux input for playing along with songs. Runs off batteries mains or a USB lead £70 Zoom B1 Four Bass Multi-FX Pedal - Andertons Music Co.  The only downside is that it's really designed for home use. Reprogramming it is fiddly and you'd ideally need a physically bigger unit to stomp on the pedals at a gig.

The other issue is your practice amp, a couple of us have been pimping ours by replacing the small speakers with something better. We both used the Fane 6-100 to replace the puny 6" speakers in our practice amps and the improvement is really worthwhile for something that takes only an hour or so to do.

A House Jam Combo - Build Diaries - Basschat

Here's the effect of just a speaker swap, Pimp my practice amp! - YouTube Pea Turgh would have got even more bass if he'd added a couple of cardboard tubes to the port holes to tune the cab properly.

Edited by Phil Starr

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Thanks for all that advice. I'm already in the process of acquiring the Line 6 that Rich is selling. Then I'll be buying a studio monitor along the lines of the HS5. And then my practice amp will go back to its traditional role of sitting in the back of the wardrobe.

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On 07/04/2021 at 23:22, Ricky Rioli said:

For around the same money there are bigger rugged speakers like the Alto TX208. Presumably the payoff for being more sturdily built is lower sound quality? Also, do speakers of that size have problems making a fully toned sound at low volume?

I've been wondering exactly the same thing. AFAIK most small pwered speakers are fanless, so noise not a problem. But no idea how they'd sound at very low volume.

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I have a Hotone Ampero One Multi-Effect unit and paired it with a Headrush FRFR108 speaker and combined they sound fantastic to me for both bass guitar and six string electric guitar :) 

John 😎 

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, madshadows said:

I have a Hotone Ampero One Multi-Effect unit and paired it with a Headrush FRFR108 speaker and combined they sound fantastic to me for both bass guitar and six string electric guitar :) 

John 😎 

I've got a Hotone as well, the Omni IR, which is a cab sim / cab IR loader - so probably like a standalone pedal with just the cab sim bit of the Ampero. It's really good, I ended up buying some STL cab IR models for it and with those and the original bass cabs it's got a fantastic range, and has DI out. It's the last pedal  on a pedlatrain nano "fly rig" and I have a few different things that can go in front of it, but actually I like it on with nothing but a compressor and a clean preamp (Xotic RC Booster or Darkglass Harmonic Booster). 

Edited by adamg67
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On 07/04/2021 at 16:37, fretmeister said:

I've never tried the HS5 but for the 7 there is tons of low end - to the point that I usually use the hi and low cuts in the Helix somewhere between 30hz and 80hz to tame the lows.

I just bought an HS5. So far have merely plugged the bass directly into it. For home use, there is definitely no shortage of bottom end! Very happy

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I summoned up the courage to take a look at the Line 6 manual. I was expecting unreadable rubbish but not really annoying unreadable rubbish. Ugghhhhhh.

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