power amp/PA? Anyone play this way?" />
#1
Hey all,

I had the hardest time coming up with a thread title.

The effect boxes/rackmount gear of today is a lot different than 20 years ago when I was "actively" playing. I'm just blown away by what you can get out of something like a Digitech RP500 (for example). The fact that these "big stomp boxes" have balanced XLR outs is icing on the cake.

This has led me to think about bypassing a traditional guitar amp completely and just going to a power amp/cabs straight from the pedal. Sacrilege? Maybe. But for a guitarist with a wide range of styles (everything but country, literally) it might be the best option.

I'm not in a dedicated band and don't make my living playing. I'm a Network Admin by trade and jam on the weekends, pretty much with anyone who wants to. Back in *coughthemid80'scough* I was in a bar band that did thrash metal covers. I had an old Peavey half-stack that had one volume setting and one sound. Cranked WFO, all the time. But I play a lot more styles than just that.

Does anyone play this way (amp-less)? Say, out of the pedalboard/rack direct into a power amp and speakers (behind you, not necessarily thru the PA)? Do you use normal "PA" speakers? Guitar cabs? A PA amp? "Guitar power amp?"

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this subject. Thanks for your input.
#2
i think you'd have to spend a LOT to get close to tube amp quality tones

axeFX is supposed to be awesome, not sure how big a PA you'd need to gig with though
Get off this damn forum and play your damn guitar.
#3
My guitar teacher uses a GT-10 with a GSP-1100 in the send/recv loop, then into a PA. Sounds great and I doubt anyone could get the same versatility out of separate pedals.
#4
If you could find a processor that had a preamp voicing you wanted, I suppose... but if you use a tube-based power amp you'll have to have speaker cabinets lest something go wrong and your power amp catches on fire.

It will be difficult as you would have to buy a power amp and speaker cab and try each processor through that.

If you really wanted it, you could certainly do it, but surely for the amount of time and money you will spend doing that, you could find a tube amp you liked?
#5
Quote by stevo_epi_SG_wo
axeFX is supposed to be awesome, not sure how big a PA you'd need to gig with though

Yeah, I've heard a bunch of praise about the Fractal axeFX thing as well. It would be cool to try one, because the best thing about it seems to be the insane amount of tweaking you can do...
#6
they make rack mount processors for that, just hook up to a tube power amp and a cab for the best sound, you could go straight to a pa but that might not sound as good
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#7
I've played from modeler to PA several times just jamming with friends. Worked great and I didn't have to lug my amp over. I've never done it in a live situation. I recently got an RP500 and am seriously considering RP-PA set up for experimentation.

By the way, the RP500 effect models are excellent.
I am not a huge fan of amp/cab modelling but the RP500 is pretty good.
#8
Wow, I didn't expect replies so quickly! Glad to see this board is active. :

I'm thinking along the lines of what fly135 posted, except with an amp/speakers for my playback/output to crowd.

Currently, my gigging tours consist of people's basements and garages. I guess I'm back to where it started about 25 years ago. But heck, I might go back into the bars if the vibe was right. These days I play for fun and not for glory. Sorry...I'm an old guy and my delusions of being the next Larry Carlton or Yngwie are long behind me. You don't make it big by playing covers. I never wrote anything of my own. Not that didn't suck, anyway.

Please keep the comments coming!
#9
I read once that the band Saosin used PODs with their tones modeled on them when they'd play overseas because they'd be always using rental gear. They'd bypass the preamp on the rental amplifiers and go straight into the power amp so I'm fairly sure what you're saying is possible and practical but I'm not exactly sure how to do it.
#10
Quote by MT in Austin
I've played from modeler to PA several times just jamming with friends. Worked great and I didn't have to lug my amp over. I've never done it in a live situation. I recently got an RP500 and am seriously considering RP-PA set up for experimentation.

By the way, the RP500 effect models are excellent.
I am not a huge fan of amp/cab modelling but the RP500 is pretty good.



Wow. Interestingly enough, I've got an RP500 on the way to me right now. I heard a bunch of sound samples from it and was impressed. I currently play through a Fender 212DSP, which isn't bad at all for the money. But all my pedals were lost long ago. The built-in effect aren't that bad, but you can only do one thing at a time (w/o fiddling with all the knobs)...or switch channels.

I was thinking about replacing the Fender with a power amp/speakers and getting my tone completely thru the RP500. Good to hear it's a good piece of gear.

There's no substitute for a good tube amp, but in my situation, it's not always practical. I.E. after hours practice, etc.

As I said, I'm getting back into this after roughly a 18-year hiatus. I had a monster pedal board (with monster hiss) of about 10 different pedals (and brands, and cords, and 9V adapters...) you get the picture way back when. But it's all so easy now. I just need to know what direction to go in.
Last edited by oldmetal at Jan 30, 2009,
#11
im currently using a GX3 poweramp into an Orange 4x12 with my GT-10 and i get a decent tone from it this way. basically similar to just running into the FX-Loop on a regular guitar head etc, but i went the poweramp route because i didnt want anything extra on the amp i wouldnt be using.

with the cab sims disabled it sounds awsome just using the orange cab.

went this route because well...typically the audience wont be able to tell a difference between a Hughes and Kettner tube amp, and the GT-10 modelling one:P

sure another guitarist might be able to tell, but not that many can if the floor preamps/rack preamps are hooked up right instead of running in the front of some random guitar head.
#12
Thanks, WaltTheWerewolf; that's really good, detailed info. Just what I was looking for. I'm assuming you're running the amp bridged into the cab?

I agree with you that "a good sound is a good sound." A good, "bluesy-amp-sound" is useful for any number of different songs and 99% of the audience can't tell a real Fender Twin from a good simulator anyway.

As for the guitarists in the crowd, a good sound is a good sound, no matter how you get it.
Last edited by oldmetal at Jan 31, 2009,
#13
The important thing to remember when using a processor to PA setup is that you gotta have speaker emulation working too in the processor, otherwise the full range PA speakers will make the guitar sound like crap.
#15
well yes im running the poweramp into the cabinet just like a guitar head, got a low wattage poweramp though sense my cab is 16 ohms it is only putting around 200watts into it. now my 8ohm 400watt cab allows 350watts from the poweramp.

disabled the cab simulation though because its a guitar cab, the cab sims through an accual cab made it sound really weird, gave it some weak dynamics etc.

oh and like the other guy said, if its not an accual guitar cab and is a regular fullrange PA speaker setup dont disable the cabs lol. sounds like a massive fuzz pedal for every amp that is not clean:P
Last edited by WaltTheWerewolf at Jan 31, 2009,