#1
OK, last go at this and then I'm going to give up!

As I'm not a famous guitarist in a band and am never likely to be, it seems to me that units like the Tonelab LE, Boss GT10 or Digitech GNX3000 offer the most practical route to enjoyable playing that includes a variety of sounds. At the moment I play at home with a GNX300 and sometimes jam with friends but would like to play in a band at some point. Modelling amps seem very popular and it seems to me that these floor units do so much more with the technology and arguably do it better. I could, of course, just get a modelling amp, in which case I was looking at the new Peavey Vypyr but I suspect that I might get more long-term use out of one of these floor units and then amplifying it myself. The trouble is that in searching this forum I've found a lot of advice that sometimes appears to be contradictory so I thought I'd ask for clarification. I have learned that generally an FRFR setup is seen as the best but there are a number of ways to achieve this.

I understand that the most accurate way to listen to these units is through headphones so what I need is an amplification system that duplicates that as close as possible. I need it to sound good in the home but also sound good if I ever get to try it at a gig. It would be nice if the amp had a headphone socket but it's not essential and it would be nice if I could plug some kind of music device into it to play along with, though that may need some kind of mixer. I have about £300 to spend in total.

I've seen a couple of people go with keyboard amps and claim they work well though equally some seem unimpressed. In my budget I was looking at things like Behringer K3000FX; Peavey KB-4 and Roland KC-150 or KC-350. Would these work well and which would be best?

Another option that seems popular is powered PA speakers, though again I've read complaints of over dominant tweeters and poor high volume sound. In my budget I was looking at Behringer B-215A or Yamaha MSR 400. Again, would these do what I want; which would do it best and would they be better than the keyboard amps?

Would I need some sort of mixer with these to do what I want and if so, what should I look at as I know nothing about them at all? Bottom line is, would I end up with something that is better and more versatile than a modelling amp or am I better off simply abandoning the whole Idea and sticking with a Peavey Vypyr?
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
#2
You could get a really basic solid state 50w combo or whatever, then just use a multi-FX unit in combination with that.

Ibanez SR506BM
Ashdown Little Giant 1000w
Peavey TVX 115+410
A big ass upright

#3
I tried that with a ss Crate amp and really didn't like it at all. I've also tried a Power Engine and wasn't too impressed. I liked a Mackie SRM450 but I can't afford that
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
#4
OK, I've tried the GNX out with my Marshall (DSL401) and been a little surprised by the results. Firstly, while the amp models were very good and certainly had a tubey feel to them, they didn't have that natural organic feel that the Marshall has by itself. There is no doubt that there is no real substitute for genuine valves. Having said that, it's not like I spent a huge amount of time on this and I suspect that playing with the settings would yield better results. On its own the Marshall has a lot of bass in the sound so when playing direct through the amp I tend to push the highs a bit, keep the mids just over central and trim the lows a touch to get the sound I like. Conversely, when using the models on the GNX, they seemed a little harsh and to save messing with the patches I boosted the bass on the amp to try to compensate for that. Having tried a number of patches, the result was difficult to describe. I liked what I heard and am convinced that playing with equaliser settings would yield impressive results but you could tell that there was a distinctly digital quality to the tone. I didn't notice this at first as I started with the GNX and felt it sounded quite organic but as soon as I went direct to the Marshall the difference was night and day. Having tried this experiment I know that I just can't give up my Marshall as it's just too nice but I also like the variety the GNX gives me and I'd like to keep that and work on adjusting the patches to suit the Marshall more. This brings me to a set up question that came to mind while I was playing with this.

I'd like to use the Marshall amp as my main guitar tone but I'd also like the option to engage modeling through the GNX when I want a particular sound the Marshall hasn't got. What I'm looking for is a way of splitting the signal from my guitar so that if channel 'A' is selected, I go direct to the Marshall and if channel 'B' is selected, the guitar connects straight to the GNX and then to the Marshall through the effects return. I imagine that this is possible somehow but would that mean that when going direct to the Marshall the effects loop was blocked from me. Would it be possible to wire it so that I had these options:

Guitar--Splitter box--Channel 'A'--Marshall amp---FX out---effects and GNX---FX return
I
I--Channel 'B'--------------------------------------------GNX----FX return


It sounds like a good idea but I don't know if it's possible as I don't know which inputs I'd use on the GNX. I assume I'd need an input from channel 'A' and one from Channel 'B' from the splitter box but where would they go in the back of the GNX and would the GNX be able to determine which signal to use?

Alternatively, am I over complicating this whole thing and I'd be better using the GNX for practice and a backup and I could get much the same results on the Marshall with just a few well chosen pedals?
Gibson Les Paul Studio with Catswhiskers pickups
PRS SE 'Floyd' Custom 24 with Creamery pickups
Fender Standard Stratocaster with DiMarzio pickups
Takamine GN30
BluGuitar AMP1
#5
The best amplifiers to use with multi-effect boxes are those that have a very flat response curve. Most guitar amplifiers don't have this, so some frequencies get amplified more than others. That's why you had to compensate for the inherent bass in your amp by turning up the treble on your GNX so much.

Finding amplifiers that have the kind of response you want are a little difficult. I thought the Tech 21 Power Engine was one people recommended, but if you've tried it with no success, there are still other options. Atomic makes (or made) a series of amps called the Reactor series that are designed to work well with multi-effects and amp modelers. If you can't get ahold of any of these, two other possible options are using a keyboard amplifier or a small PA system. Those choices will, unfortunately, lose a bit of the tube warmth from other options, but they will allow you to tweak the EQ a lot more.