#1
Hello...

I would love to get some good input about which direction to go to improve my current setup. First, I have played acoustic for years and used to play through a old Crate mono dual speaker output power mixer run directly into 2 Passive 200watt EV speakers (SX100). But I recently purchased an Apogee One which made me (finally) able to start playing my '93 American Standard Fender Strat. I have been playing:

the strat-> Apogee One->Ipad running Garage Band-> Crate power mixer->passive EV speakers. Aside from being a bit unconventional, it sounds pretty good and gets pretty loud. I also have a Jamman looper and a Cry Baby wah pedal which I can also integrate into this setup.

Question is how to best improve this in the most economical way possible while still preserving ability to play out acoustic if I ever chance to do that again...I really think I may get a Line 6 Firehawk FX which I think would be a lot of fun to play with. I have also considered:

1) buying an amp such a Fender deluxe reverb to replace power amp and speakers
2) selling the passive speakers and buying powered speakers instead
3) selling the mixer and buying something else instead, something that could at least handle stereo output (for stereo looping, etc.)
4)some combination of the above

Help please, don't have unlimited funds but also want to have a quality system that is not so antiquated and clunky.

Any help/advice is highly appreciated, thanks!!!
#2
Don't be shy, post a budget that you want us to work with and we can go from there.
It will help us give you the best, tailored advice for you.

Jackson RR3 Rhoads and DK2M Dinky
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Ibanez TS9, ISP Decimator, MXR 10 Band EQ
-Digitech RP1000
#3
I guess it depends and might involve eBay, etc. but probably around $1000-1500 would be max. If I could get a great setup for below that that would obviously be great. Not playing out but would like to do that eventually maybe (in addition to retaining ability to play acoustic as well)...
#4
Digital multi effects processor of your choice and this:

http://www.electrovoice.com/product.php?id=2583

Clean, simple, compact, plenty loud, light weight, sounds awesome. $399
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#5
Sounds like you're more inclined to go the modeling/PA route, but #1 is great if you want to mainly play electric. It can do acoustic in a bind, might actually sound great, I've never tried it.
I'd personally go #1 and maybe mmodeler in 4 cable method (GT-100, hd500).
#6
Thanks for all of the replies. I'm not necessarily more inclined to go the PA route; however, playing acoustic also involves vocals so that's why I did that in the first place. I am considering a good amp like the fender reverb 65 reissue and possibly the fx100 rather than the Firehawk FX maybe? Seems like it does just about everything the Firehawk HD does minus the HD amp and effects models...don't know if that is a big deal or not...btw, probably stupid question, but what is a 4 cable method?
Last edited by ArtVandalay7 at Apr 14, 2015,
#7
Quote by ArtVandalay7
Thanks for all of the replies. I'm not necessarily more inclined to go the PA route; however, playing acoustic also involves vocals so that's why I did that in the first place. I am considering a good amp like the fender reverb 65 reissue and possibly the fx100 rather than the Firehawk FX maybe? Seems like it does just about everything the Firehawk HD does minus the HD amp and effects models...don't know if that is a big deal or not...btw, probably stupid question, but what is a 4 cable method?
If you're going to run a multi-effects in front of an amp, you're probably not going to have a very clear tone. The 4 cable method helps to solve that issue.

Essentially what happens with the 4-cable method is that all preamp effects (like clipping distortion) from the effects unit are sent to the front end of the amp, along with your guitar signal. Then the amp does preamp sound wizardry to that signal, and sends it back to the multi-effects. The multi then adds on time modulations and pitch shifting, etc. then sends that signal back to the amp, hitting the power amp to the cab for all to hear c:

When you run a multi-effects in front of an amp (guitar > mfx > amp) the amp's preamp will try to make your saturated signal of delays, reverbs, amp sims, etc. sound like the amp's natural preamp. Generally, that sounds muddy. So the 4-cable method routes different parts of the mfx signal path to different parts of the amp. However, this requires the amp to have an effects loop, the Reverb 65 Reissue doesn't.

I'd suggest getting a multi-effects with patches (Zoom G3, POD HD500) and a tube amp with an effects loop. The G3 can't do the 4 cable method, you can only put it in the effects loop (but it's a lot cheaper than the POD). For clipping sources, you'll need standalone dirt boxes. The POD can do the full 4 cable mothod, no standalone dirt boxes required. But I would vouch to get your own dirt boxes anyway, so I'd vouch for the G3 plus a dirt box or two. For the amp, there are other Fenders with effects loops.
Last edited by Will Lane at Apr 14, 2015,
#8
I am a Fender fanboy and own several nice tube amps from them but to cover Acoustic/electric/vocals in one rig? Electrovoice powered PA or equivalent is the ticket.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#10
I assumed that you would lose some quality with an "all-in-one amp" so I don't think I need that anyway. Right now I have Takamines which have decent pre-amps built in and always sounded pretty good just plugged into the power mixer. Should I sell the passive SX100s? Also, having a strat I feel like the 65 reissue might be a lot of fun to play. It seems like I've seen some professionals on TV using Line 6 mod units with that amp...? Anyway, probably not worth it for me to buy a pod HD500 since I don't need to do all that tweaking. SX100 seemed like a good initial choice since it's quite a bit less expensive than the Firehawk...
#11
Quote by ArtVandalay7
I assumed that you would lose some quality with an "all-in-one amp" so I don't think I need that anyway. Right now I have Takamines which have decent pre-amps built in and always sounded pretty good just plugged into the power mixer. Should I sell the passive SX100s? Also, having a strat I feel like the 65 reissue might be a lot of fun to play. It seems like I've seen some professionals on TV using Line 6 mod units with that amp...? Anyway, probably not worth it for me to buy a pod HD500 since I don't need to do all that tweaking. SX100 seemed like a good initial choice since it's quite a bit less expensive than the Firehawk...


Depends.

Do you want to simplify, downsize, and improve the quality of your rig? If yes then yes. EV SX100s are pretty decent passive speakers but they require a mixer and amp. EV ZLX12P have a built-in mixer and amp. They are significantly better sounding as well.

If you like what you have now and just want to add a tube amp, pick out a nice one. You don't have to get a spendy DRRI to get great tone though. Blues Jr, SuperChamp X2, and HRD will get you there for less than 1/2 $$.

Choose.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Apr 14, 2015,
#12
If you've got the space, why not do both? Seems like all you really need to do is add a decent amp. Does your looper have stereo outs? If so, you could use that to split your signal. Not sure how bulky and clumsy that'd be though, I have my vocals, acoustic and electric guitars all integrated in one rig but I don't have a computer involved so mines not as bulky. I just have a powered wedge next to my amp and a gigantic pedalboard with everything on it. I love being able to use any one or all three with just the flip of a couple switches.
Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
#13
Feel like I'll be getting an amp and possibly trying to sell my EVs and trade up for powered EVs although how vocals will be added to that not sure...anyway, I'll look at those other amps although the blues Jr. and Hot Rod deluxe look only slightly less than the DRRI (700s-800s). Definitely want to get either the Firehawk or Amplifi fx100 though--like Bluetooth capability and ability to match music tones in my library a lot. Are there certain amps that sound better with these multi-effects pedals (guy at Line 6 was talking about series vs. parallel effects loops on amps and it was a bit over my head as to which ones will sound better with their multi-effects pedals and how to tell)...thanks again for all of the input/ideas for this noob!!!
#14
65DRRI $950 new
HRD $729 (or $450 used)
BluesJr $529 (or $350 used)
SCX2 $379 (or $250 used)

All these amps are very gigable but if you put DMFX in front of them you lose the best of the amp/guitar interaction. The ZLX will sound much better with DMFX in front. Choose one or the other, and remember to K.I.S.S.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Apr 14, 2015,
#15
Yeah, I think I would like to be able to choose between a great sounding clean amp with no modification and then also have the option to play with all kinds of different effects and sounds that the Amplifi 100 and Firehawk can give you. Just still don't have a sense if feeding that into say a Blues Jr. on a clean setting will work well. Don't want to spend $300-450 if it won't.
#16
Quote by ArtVandalay7
Yeah, I think I would like to be able to choose between a great sounding clean amp with no modification and then also have the option to play with all kinds of different effects and sounds that the Amplifi 100 and Firehawk can give you. Just still don't have a sense if feeding that into say a Blues Jr. on a clean setting will work well. Don't want to spend $300-450 if it won't.

This is the exact reason I have my rig set up the way I do. I like experimenting and screwing around with different functions of a multifx, but I also love the sound of my amp and pedalboard (no mfx). So I just set up a powered wedge next to my amp for mfx use, vocals and electro-acoustic and have my normal pedals and amp for when I wanna sound good. My pedalboard (which includes vocal and acoustic preamps) is a work in progress, but I think I'm well on my way to living room legend status
Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
#17
Makes sense. Think I'm gravitating back toward getting an EV zlx12p (thanks for the idea on that) and maybe a Firehawk perhaps?....now I'm also wondering how running a microphone and acoustic Takamines with built-in preamps directly into the zlx12p would compare with something like the Fishman solo SA220 which I'm also looking at to replace my clunky old Crate power mixer and 2 heavy bulky old EV SX100 passive speakers...thoughts?
#18
Quote by ArtVandalay7
Makes sense. Think I'm gravitating back toward getting an EV zlx12p (thanks for the idea on that) and maybe a Firehawk perhaps?....now I'm also wondering how running a microphone and acoustic Takamines with built-in preamps directly into the zlx12p would compare with something like the Fishman solo SA220 which I'm also looking at to replace my clunky old Crate power mixer and 2 heavy bulky old EV SX100 passive speakers...thoughts?


Fishman solo is big $$. Just get 2 ZLX. Each has it's own 2 input mixer with separate gain and a pretty good EQ section. You can connect as many as you need for coverage of a coffee house gig or a full line array for Yankee Stadium. If you need more inputs add an appropriate mixer. Very musician friendly rig this. I use one for intimate acoustic gigs and it doubles as a powered wedge monitor with my full band.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#19
Well, pulled the trigger on a good eBay deal on a ZLX from Sam Ash. Good advice, thanks much. Now, to try and price my old pair of EV SX100s and my Crate power mixer, both so old I can't find any frame of reference for which to list them...😩
#20
Quote by ArtVandalay7
Well, pulled the trigger on a good eBay deal on a ZLX from Sam Ash. Good advice, thanks much. Now, to try and price my old pair of EV SX100s and my Crate power mixer, both so old I can't find any frame of reference for which to list them...😩


Good quality EV Sx speakers sell pretty easily. Maybe $500 as a small PA? Depends on the model of your Crate Head. Google works.

http://columbia.craigslist.org/msg/4899664882.html
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#21
the Crate power mixer is a PA-4+. Wouldn't think it would fetch much but who knows?...so when you use the ZLX for a coffeehouse-type gig I'm assuming you plug into a mixer first and not vocal and guitar directly into the ZLX? Otherwise, no reverb, etc. Also, do you position slightly in back of standing/sitting position a la Fishman-type rig?
Last edited by ArtVandalay7 at Apr 16, 2015,
#22
Quote by ArtVandalay7
the Crate power mixer is a PA-4+. Wouldn't think it would fetch much but who knows?...so when you use the ZLX for a coffeehouse-type gig I'm assuming you plug into a mixer first and not vocal and guitar directly into the ZLX? Otherwise, no reverb, etc. Also, do you position slightly in back of standing/sitting position a la Fishman-type rig?


I rarely use reverb or effects for acoustic gigs so if it's solo I would just use the ZLX. Normally we have a duo with 2 guitars and 2 vocals so we bring a small 1402 Mackie mixer. Our acoustic thing is pretty intimate usually so we can put the ZLX on the floor behind us or off to the side, angled-in as both a monitor and main. Just gotta be mindful of levels so we don't get feedback. For larger outdoor shows we bring a pair of JBL powered EONS for mains and use the ZLX as a floor wedge for both of us. Nicest monitor I have ever used.

The PA4 is worth $100 if in really nice condition or $50 if it looks rough.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Apr 16, 2015,
#23
My setup would be probably consist of my 6- and 12-string Takamines (both with on-board eq and effects) and vocals as well as a Jamman looper pedal. One day I hope to gig out with my brand new Martin HD-28 (when I finally get one)and will probably need a mic for that as well . Don't you use any reverb on your vocal mics? I thought most people do. Thinking I would probably need a nice inexpensive mixer as well? Probably would like one with at least the capability for someone else to plug in as well if I make a friend...
Last edited by ArtVandalay7 at Apr 17, 2015,
#24
any thoughts? I also found another zlx-15p at a local pawn shop asking $400 used. I have 2 EV SX-100 (not sx-100+) and the Crate PA-4+ amp as well as an old Crate bass amp (B20-xl) that I could possibly fashion a trade with? Opinions?
#25
Quote by ArtVandalay7
any thoughts? I also found another zlx-15p at a local pawn shop asking $400 used. I have 2 EV SX-100 (not sx-100+) and the Crate PA-4+ amp as well as an old Crate bass amp (B20-xl) that I could possibly fashion a trade with? Opinions?


Most of the Pawn shop speakers I have tested were beat to death by DJs or had blown speakers. Don't get one there unless you can test it thoroughly at full power. The EVs and PA4 should be easy to sell on CL.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#26
thanks Cajundaddy...probably a good trade to trade the 2 SX-100 for one more good zlx-15p, agree? Not sure where to price those either--saw the one Craigslist ad but most of the speakers for sale on the net are SX-100+.
#27
Quote by ArtVandalay7
thanks Cajundaddy...probably a good trade to trade the 2 SX-100 for one more good zlx-15p, agree? Not sure where to price those either--saw the one Craigslist ad but most of the speakers for sale on the net are SX-100+.


Depends on how clean or beaten they are. In good condition they should sell for $300- $400 quickly. Trading for a "like new" ZLX would be great. Don't get the 15" unless you plan to run drums through it. The 12" sounds great for guitar and voice and is more portable.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY