#1
Firstly a quick one to say I've been on this site for a week or two and I'm loving it already!! Why was this site not about when I started playing the guitar??

That out of the way.

I've posted a couple of times already saying i'm looking at buying a modeling amp in the near future. What I'm interested in is how reliable each amp is and how easy it is to use. I'm planning on trying the amps out for size before I buy one so I'm gonna get first hand knowledge on sound and tone. What I won't be able to tell is how likely the amp is to break down, any little bugs it might have that arent noticable to start with but can be really annoying after awhile, and also how easy it its to come up with new sounds and how easy it is to store and retrieve them.

I'm looking at the Fender Mustang III, Peavey Vypyr 75 and now probably the Roland Cube 80xl

I'd be interested in hearing any experences you guys have had with these amps

(Just FYI i'm most likey to be playing metal, but I'd like a versitle amp that can do any thing, budget of about £300, playing mainly at home with the very occasional jam elsewhere, I've not got a guitar yet but say the Epiphone Les Paul Prophecy)
#2
All of the above amps are fairly good for what you want. Lately the Mustang III has been getting a lot of good reviews from both consumers as well as professionals. Vox's new Valvetronix + has also been praised.

As for reliability, in my experience, there's nothing really to worry about. They're quite stable, and compared to tube amps, they're even more reliable, as there's no risk of blowing a tube while playing. If there are problems, they're usually minor ones like a faulty soldering somewhere, and easy to fix. Also, guitar stores often fix them up for free if it's bought from them.

As for ease of use, in my experience, it's a breeze, man! If you're good or adequate with computers and such, they're very intuitive to use, and even if you're not, I'd say you'll get the hang of it quite quickly. The user's manuals are, in most cases, quite detailed and could make a 6-year old use one like nobody's business.

Anyway, hope you find an amp that you like, man!
Gear:

Guitars: Ibanez SV5470F, Ibanez Xpt700, Fender MIM Standard Stratocaster ('04-'05), Jackson Ps-2
Ashton AG200,
Amps: ENGL E530, Bugera 6262-212,
FX: TC Electronics G-major 2, Behringer EQ700, Morley Volume / Wah
#3
I have the Peavey Vypyr. I have no complaints about it. It reliable, nice sound and many options. the only thing is, instead of hitting the pedal to change distortion, you have to change it on the amp. that can get a little bit annoying
#4
Quote by fluffymuffins
I have the Peavey Vypyr. I have no complaints about it. It reliable, nice sound and many options. the only thing is, instead of hitting the pedal to change distortion, you have to change it on the amp. that can get a little bit annoying


Do you mean switching from clean to distortion. or between different types of distortion?
#5
Quote by fluffymuffins
I have the Peavey Vypyr. I have no complaints about it. It reliable, nice sound and many options. the only thing is, instead of hitting the pedal to change distortion, you have to change it on the amp. that can get a little bit annoying


Get a Sanpera
#6
Quote by The^Unforgiven

As for reliability, in my experience, there's nothing really to worry about. They're quite stable, and compared to tube amps, they're even more reliable, as there's no risk of blowing a tube while playing. If there are problems, they're usually minor ones like a faulty soldering somewhere, and easy to fix. Also, guitar stores often fix them up for free if it's bought from them.
Saying a tube amp is unreliable because you need to replace tubes occasionally is like saying Ferraris are unreliable because they go through tyres fast. Experienced giggers carry spares. I've had to change a tube at a gig, I had it fixed before my band mates had finished their beer. When a modeller blows up it's usually game over because repairs end up costing more than the amp is worth. People will still be playing JTM45's and old Fender Twins when all the Vypers, Valvetronics, Mustangs and Spiders are rotting away in landfills.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#7
Roland cubes are very reliable and are built to last. I've had my 15x for 4 years and it still works great.
Guitars: Fender FSR Standard Strat, Squire Affinity Strat, Epiphone Nighthawk
Amps: Vox AC15C1, Roland Cube 15x, Peavey KB-1
Pedals: Digitech RP355, HD500, Joyo AC-Tone, EHX Soul Food
#8
Quote by Cathbard
Saying a tube amp is unreliable because you need to replace tubes occasionally is like saying Ferraris are unreliable because they go through tyres fast. Experienced giggers carry spares. I've had to change a tube at a gig, I had it fixed before my band mates had finished their beer. When a modeller blows up it's usually game over because repairs end up costing more than the amp is worth. People will still be playing JTM45's and old Fender Twins when all the Vypers, Valvetronics, Mustangs and Spiders are rotting away in landfills.


Ok. I'm not really interested in valve amps right now. (Ok, bit of a lie. I'd f*ckin love a really decent valve amp but I cant afford one and at the moment I wouldn't use one anywhere near to its full capacity) I won't be gigging with it. I'm looking for something that will sound awesome in my room and give me a whole range of different sounds to play with and fall properly back in love with playing the guitar. The whole "get a valve amp they're way better than solid state" argument is moot.

You say modellers will blow up and end up getting thrown away. Whats your own personal experence with them? Have you/bandmates/friends had this happen? Like I said, not interested in valves right now. I wanna know about the amps in question.
#9
he is saying that tube amps are very repairable. modeling amps usually just need to be replaced if something goes wrong.

this doesn't mean that modeling amps are unreliable. they have the potential to last for years and serve you well. there is just no chance they will outlast something like an old marshall or fender like cathbard mentioned. but don't worry about all that. you're just looking for a cheap and effective modeling amp, not a lifetime investment for stage and studio haha
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.


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#10
Yeah, when an ss amp breaks down it's usually harder to repair than when a tube amp breaks down.
Guitars: Fender FSR Standard Strat, Squire Affinity Strat, Epiphone Nighthawk
Amps: Vox AC15C1, Roland Cube 15x, Peavey KB-1
Pedals: Digitech RP355, HD500, Joyo AC-Tone, EHX Soul Food
#11
Quote by The^Unforgiven

As for reliability, in my experience, there's nothing really to worry about. They're quite stable, and compared to tube amps, they're even more reliable, as there's no risk of blowing a tube while playing. If there are problems, they're usually minor ones like a faulty soldering somewhere, and easy to fix. Also, guitar stores often fix them up for free if it's bought from them.


Cathbard already beat me to it but this is simply just not true. Bands have been gigging on tube amps for 50+ years. How many concerts have you been to (or heard about) that were cancelled because the guitarist's amp blew a tube? Honestly, I'm a pretty big fan of modeling amps (I currently own a Vypyr 60) but I personally would not rely on them in a gigging situation. And modeling amps are not easy to fix. Unless it is insert jack, lose speaker connection or a software download - most everything else is a PITA.

PS: I realize there are people out there that gig with Pods, Vettas, and even Vypyrs I'm just saying I personally wouldn't.
#12
Quote by Norm81
Ok. I'm not really interested in valve amps right now. (Ok, bit of a lie. I'd f*ckin love a really decent valve amp but I cant afford one and at the moment I wouldn't use one anywhere near to its full capacity) I won't be gigging with it. I'm looking for something that will sound awesome in my room and give me a whole range of different sounds to play with and fall properly back in love with playing the guitar. The whole "get a valve amp they're way better than solid state" argument is moot.

You say modellers will blow up and end up getting thrown away. Whats your own personal experence with them? Have you/bandmates/friends had this happen? Like I said, not interested in valves right now. I wanna know about the amps in question.

I've never been in a band with somebody using a modeler (tbh I mainly play in three piece bands and bass players don't use modelers) but some modelers are better than others. You hear about Spiders dropping their load all the time, Vypers and VT's not so much, Mustangs are still too new to have demonstrated their reliability but if Fender's other SS offerings are anything to go by I wouldn't be betting the farm on them being as reliable as a Vyper or VT - time will tell.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#13
Cheers for all the replies fellas. But some of you are missing the point a little bit.

If i ever start gigging with a band I'd be looking at buying a bad ass valve setup and not using a modelling amp. But for the moment that's not the game plan.

I'm gonna be using it at home in my room, so it's very rarely if ever gonna be moved or used at maximum capacity. I want that option but it'll be a once in long while occurence.

What i really wanna know is if I'm gonna be using one of these specific modellers is it gonna still be working 5 years down the line? Then maybe 10 years down the line. and do any of the amps mentioned have any specific things I should be aware of?

Also are they all kind of similar or does one stand out?
#14
Quote by Norm81
Cheers for all the replies fellas. But some of you are missing the point a little bit.

If i ever start gigging with a band I'd be looking at buying a bad ass valve setup and not using a modelling amp. But for the moment that's not the game plan.

I'm gonna be using it at home in my room, so it's very rarely if ever gonna be moved or used at maximum capacity. I want that option but it'll be a once in long while occurence.

What i really wanna know is if I'm gonna be using one of these specific modellers is it gonna still be working 5 years down the line? Then maybe 10 years down the line. and do any of the amps mentioned have any specific things I should be aware of?

Also are they all kind of similar or does one stand out?

like I said erlier, my cube 15x has lasted 4 years and is still running great.
Guitars: Fender FSR Standard Strat, Squire Affinity Strat, Epiphone Nighthawk
Amps: Vox AC15C1, Roland Cube 15x, Peavey KB-1
Pedals: Digitech RP355, HD500, Joyo AC-Tone, EHX Soul Food
#15
What genres are you playing?
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#16
They're all pretty good amps but do you really need that much power?
HILT!

Where's Waldo?

#17
Quote by kutless999
like I said erlier, my cube 15x has lasted 4 years and is still running great.


Thats cool. any issues at all?
#18
Quote by Cathbard
What genres are you playing?


Mainly metal and punk. i want to be able to try as many styles as pos but it's definately whacking out metal riff that gets me smiling!
#19
Get the Vyper then. The Vyper 60 is a lot better amp than the 75. If you can stretch the budget to the Vyper Tube 60 then you will be set for quite some time. It wipes the floor with the 75.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#20
Quote by OliOsbourne
They're all pretty good amps but do you really need that much power?


I do have a habit of going a little over the top

Like I said I want the option of playing in a band situation if it comes up.

I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to guitars and equipment, I've been out of the game for ages.

I've also noticed that the bigger amps tend to have a few more options included as well. Although if i could get the same performance from a smaller amp 99% of the time I'd definately consider going for that.
#21
Quote by Cathbard
Get the Vyper then. The Vyper 60 is a lot better amp than the 75. If you can stretch the budget to the Vyper Tube 60 then you will be set for quite some time. It wipes the floor with the 75.


I had looked at but I'm not sure if I'll be able to stretch to the extra £150 or so.

In what sort of way does it better the 75? Is the difference gonna be noticable at the lower levels i'll be playing at about 80% of the time?
#22
Quote by Norm81
Ok. I'm not really interested in valve amps right now. (Ok, bit of a lie. I'd f*ckin love a really decent valve amp but I cant afford one and at the moment I wouldn't use one anywhere near to its full capacity) I won't be gigging with it. I'm looking for something that will sound awesome in my room and give me a whole range of different sounds to play with and fall properly back in love with playing the guitar. The whole "get a valve amp they're way better than solid state" argument is moot.

You say modellers will blow up and end up getting thrown away. Whats your own personal experence with them? Have you/bandmates/friends had this happen? Like I said, not interested in valves right now. I wanna know about the amps in question.


Basically a modeller is like a computer. If it works, it will work. If it conks, you need to buy a new one. Like computer chips, one will alst a decade, one three, and one an hour.
But when it goes, it goes. Period.

A tube amp has no digital brain- its all analogue. No logic circuits- just lots of wire and electrons. So its easy to repair if it conks.


Il put it this way. A modeller is like a cell phone- can be charged off a socket easily, but when the battery is ****ed you need to get a new battery.

A tube amp is like a car. It runs out of fuel every once in a while and you need a new tank ful. But if the tank leaks, it can be sealed.

Either way, Peavey doest normally make amps that conk easily, neither does Vox, even on the budget ones. Cath is right about the Mustangs, too new to comment on.

And plus one to the Vypyr Tube- sounds a lot punchier, plus you can get proper powertube breakup if you crank it.

EDIT: And the tube vypyr wont be any more reliable than the SS, since the preamp is digital.
Last edited by GS LEAD 5 at Aug 20, 2011,
#23
Quote by Norm81
Thats cool. any issues at all?

Nope, I've gotten some dirt in the speakers, and even a little water and it still runs and sounds great.
Guitars: Fender FSR Standard Strat, Squire Affinity Strat, Epiphone Nighthawk
Amps: Vox AC15C1, Roland Cube 15x, Peavey KB-1
Pedals: Digitech RP355, HD500, Joyo AC-Tone, EHX Soul Food
Last edited by kutless999 at Aug 20, 2011,
#24
Quote by GS LEAD 5
Basically a modeller is like a computer. If it works, it will work. If it conks, you need to buy a new one. Like computer chips, one will alst a decade, one three, and one an hour.
But when it goes, it goes. Period.

A tube amp has no digital brain- its all analogue. No logic circuits- just lots of wire and electrons. So its easy to repair if it conks.


Il put it this way. A modeller is like a cell phone- can be charged off a socket easily, but when the battery is ****ed you need to get a new battery.

A tube amp is like a car. It runs out of fuel every once in a while and you need a new tank ful. But if the tank leaks, it can be sealed.

Either way, Peavey doest normally make amps that conk easily, neither does Vox, even on the budget ones. Cath is right about the Mustangs, too new to comment on.

And plus one to the Vypyr Tube- sounds a lot punchier, plus you can get proper powertube breakup if you crank it.

EDIT: And the tube vypyr wont be any more reliable than the SS, since the preamp is digital.


Cheers for the great explanation!

I wish you guys would stop tempting me to spend an extra bunch of money! I'm weak and easily led! I've just put in to do an extra 70 hours overtime at work already in the next month and a half so I can buy this stuff asap!!
#25
You should get what you want even if you have to spend a little more. It'll be worth it in the long run.
Guitars: Fender FSR Standard Strat, Squire Affinity Strat, Epiphone Nighthawk
Amps: Vox AC15C1, Roland Cube 15x, Peavey KB-1
Pedals: Digitech RP355, HD500, Joyo AC-Tone, EHX Soul Food
#26
Quote by Norm81
I had looked at but I'm not sure if I'll be able to stretch to the extra £150 or so.

In what sort of way does it better the 75? Is the difference gonna be noticable at the lower levels i'll be playing at about 80% of the time?

They are just warmer and more "organic". The tube power amp takes the curse off the digital preamp. If you can't stretch the budget, the 75 will keep you happy but if you buy the 60 you will be happier for longer.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#27
It was my understanding that the Vypyrs preamp was analog. It is the post preamp FX that are digital - like the stuff you would normally put in a FX loop (delay, flange, etc)

I have not validated this yet though due to laziness.

The stuff labled 'effects' on this knob.




anyone else know for sure one way or the other?
#28
Well, digital or SS, the tube power amp still takes the curse off it.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#30
Be that as it may be (and it is true) the Vyper Tube is a superior amp and the difference is that the power amp is tube. The case for tubes rests m'lad.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#32
Quote by Cathbard
Be that as it may be (and it is true) the Vyper Tube is a superior amp and the difference is that the power amp is tube. The case for tubes rests m'lad.


I meant the curse bit, not that the 60 sounds worse
#33
I can't believe people actually are bashing me because I said that solid state / digital / hybrid amps are realiable and stable. I didn't say that tube amps are particularily unstable or unreliable - what I meant is that they just need care and maintenance. Please stop twisting my words, especially since this thread was not about tube vs everything else, it was about modeling amps in general.
Gear:

Guitars: Ibanez SV5470F, Ibanez Xpt700, Fender MIM Standard Stratocaster ('04-'05), Jackson Ps-2
Ashton AG200,
Amps: ENGL E530, Bugera 6262-212,
FX: TC Electronics G-major 2, Behringer EQ700, Morley Volume / Wah