#1
Hi all,


Here is the situation: I have an LTD EC-256 electric guitar and an M-Audio Fast Track mkII audio interface. Before I start spending any money, I was wondering which way to go for practicing at home:

- Buying a near field monitor (probably the m-Audio BX5 D2). I like this option because it offers me also the possibility to play with a variety of amp sims and record my playing. (headphones are out of the question. I simply don't like to use them)

- Buying a small modelling amp and a relatively cheap distortion pedal (no need for audio interface here).

Now don't be too hard on me. I know that we are talking about two different worlds. So I am looking for some opinions.


My primary purpose is practicing at home with some backing tracks probably. It doesn't have to be loud. I just want to focus on improving my guitar playing techniques.


Thanks in advance \m/
Last edited by Darmanos at Jan 26, 2016,
#2
First off, I think we would want to know what kind of computer you have, specifically, how does it do running an amp sim? I think that is probably the biggest hurdle. If your computer can't run an amp sim at a fairly low latency you're probably going to be extremely disappointed with the results, no matter the tone.

After that, I would ask, what is your budget for a modeling amp? I looked up the price of that monitor and found it is about 80 bucks, I would assume that your budget for an amp would be more than that. Even if you were planning on buying two I would hope your budget for an amp would be more than 160.

Lastly, I would not suggest using any pedals, especially distortion pedals with a modeling amp. If you don't like the sounds of the models that amp provides I would move on. Modeling amps as a general rule just don't seem to react very well to pedals, especially distortion pedals. Not to mention if you were planning on getting your dirty sounds from a pedal you're probably better off just getting a strictly clean amp on the same budget.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#3
Hi @Kevin Saale,

Thank you for your answer.

My laptop has the following specs:

4th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-4200M (3.10 GHz 400 MHz 3 MB)
6 Gigs of DDR RAM
1 TB HDD
OS: Win7

I tried Guitar Rig 5 and hooked up my m-Audio card to a portable bluetooth speaker just to check the sound and I got less than 19ms of latency (which is okay I guess). But the sound was aweful. The speaker is a Creative SB ROAR, which is a nice device to play mp3s through my phone but I highly doubt that it is suitable for this use.

My budget (in euros) would be 100€ which is the price of one M-Audio monitor. I thought that one monitor is enough for now, since I mainly would like to hear the guitar..

Thanks again \m/
#4
Yeah, from that info and your budget the monitor is probably your best bet in my opinion. It sounds like your lap top is capable of running at a low enough latency and I doubt you would do much better at that price range buying an amp.

That being said, hopefully some other folks with more experience can chime in on the monitor, because I have no experience with the one in question.

Good luck friend.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
#5
Yeah, with that budget and computer specs, you're better off with amp sims.

I can get a minimally decent sound even with simple earbuds with amp sims. The combination of amp sims, IRs and soundcard you're using have a lot to do with the sound you get. And they require much more tweaking and careful EQ to have a good tone, so monitors won't save your tone if you're not patient.

Since my room is not very good in terms of acoustics and I need to be quiet when at home, I prefer to use headphones rather than monitors.

I can't give you any insights on monitors in that price range, so I'll let someone else chime in. But I can say from my experience that Guitar Rig isn't that good. You can get better results with free amp sims like Lepou's stuff and use good IRs (check this thread). However, if you like the sound of Guitar Rig when you get new monitors, then that's fine. But keep in mind to try other stuff in case Guitar Rig fails
Last edited by DanyFS at Jan 26, 2016,
#6
20ms of latency is not at all acceptable for practicing - it's too much.

Running an amp sim through a single speaker will not sound great. You would be better off with a good pair of headphones, if you want to stick with sims ( because the stereo effect of reverb is important to get a decent tone with sims), or get a small digital amp like a Roland Micro Cube or something similar.
#7
I always use amp sims at home, simply because i find it handy to be able to record ideas as soon as i can. For a while i kept changing between my amp and computer, and now my amp just sits there and gathers dust. And your computer seems good enough, so go for it!
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#8
I'd go with amp sims in your situation. Bluetooth will have too much latency for live monitoring.

Check out Peavey ReValver too. Their ValveKing and Basic 50 amps are free. You can buy a bundle or just one item at a time to manage any costs.
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#9
Hi all,

Thank you guys for all these useful information! It helps me a lot.

If I understood well, going for the near field monitor, means buying a pair and not just one. Which raises my budget to the double!

On the other hand, I had a look at the Roland Micro Cube mentioned by @Reverb66 and it looks like a very good option for practicing at home (I especially like the smartphone connectivity feature)! So I might go for this one. And later when I reach the recording phase, I might go for a pair of headphones.

Thanks again guys! I hope this thread will be helpful for others as well!
Last edited by Darmanos at Jan 26, 2016,
#10
Quote by Darmanos
Hi all,

Thank you guys for all these useful information! It helps me a lot.

If I understood well, going for the near field monitor, means buying a pair and not just one. Which raises my budget to the double!

On the other hand, I had a look at the Roland Micro Cube mentioned by @Reverb66 and it looks like a very good option for practicing at home (I especially like the smartphone connectivity feature)! So I might go for this one. And later when I reach the recording phase, I might go for a pair of headphones.

Thanks again guys! I hope this thread will be helpful for others as well!


If you can find an used Peavey Vypyr 30, then it would be even better than the Micro Cube in my opinion. They run under 100 euros used, and it is probably one of the best modelling amps around
#11
Quote by DanyFS
If you can find an used Peavey Vypyr 30, then it would be even better than the Micro Cube in my opinion. They run under 100 euros used, and it is probably one of the best modelling amps around

+311
#12
Similarly,

I also sometimes plug my headphones into my Line 6 UX1 and play with Pod Farm SIMs but it is simply easier to just plug headphones into my Vypyr 60. Laptop would be easier for me if say I wanted to practice in a different room of the house - like say next to my wife while she watches 'Friends'.
#13
You can actually have a bit of both. I've never played the Vypyr 60, but I hear that it sounds great. I do have a Vypyr VIP1 which offers both of what you are looking for. The VIP-2 and 3 have even more options. The cool thing about the VIP is that you can download the free VIP Edit program onto your computer from the Peavey website and use your amp as an interface without having to worry about your computer's specs. I was getting a lot of latency trying to plug straight into my computer, but I guess the Vypyr uses the amp's tech instead of the computers, so there is no latency. You can use the Edit program to dial in sims, and add stomp boxes to your sound. You can also record with it. I even downloaded Hydrogen, so that I can toss a drum beat on my recording to give the guys a better idea of what is going on in my head. It has proven to be a very valuable practicing and writing tool for me.
Gibson Les Paul 60s Tribute
Jackson King V
Peavey Valveking 100
Ampeg VH140C
Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner
MXR ZW-44 Overdrive
Dunlop ZW-45 Wah
Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor
Digitech JamMan Solo XT
Peavey Vypyr VIP 1
#14
Given the price and convenience, I think modelling amps are the way to go. They are so feature rich these days and easy to use, it's hard to think of better alternatives. Any of the entry offerings from Peavey, Fender, Vox, I guess Marshall soon, etc. should satisfy your needs plenty.
#15
Here is an example of someone using their Vypyr with the VIP Edit program. I don't know if Fender or Vox has anything similar, but the Edit program was what pushed me to the Peavey. Be aware, though that if you get the VIP 1, there are a few stomp boxes that won't be available to you, so it might be worth the extra money to get at least the VIP 2, but that depends on what kind of tones you are looking for.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyrqegA34Ok
Gibson Les Paul 60s Tribute
Jackson King V
Peavey Valveking 100
Ampeg VH140C
Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner
MXR ZW-44 Overdrive
Dunlop ZW-45 Wah
Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor
Digitech JamMan Solo XT
Peavey Vypyr VIP 1
#16
If your budget is really 100€ then I'd play free stuff with whatever computer speakers / headphones I had and save up for either nicer speakers/monitors or a modeling amp if you want to go that route.

Free version = ReaperHD DAW loaded up with free plug-ins from LePou and others. There's a bit of a learning curve.

Free version 2 = Peavey ReValver with the ValveKing sim.

See if you even like this route before you spend money on it.
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#17
Hi everyone,

It's been years and years since I bought my first amp (which was already used as well), I never knew they have gotten so high tech!!

I think @Nolasludge is right! The Vypyr VIP1 and its software offer both the things that I am looking for

As @metalmingee pointed out as well, better increase the budget and get something decent. I am still able to practice with the hardware I have right now, so I can wait. Even though it would be nicer to practice with a better tone/sound quality...

My only concern with the Peavey, even the smallest, is that it might be too loud for a practice amp. Am I wrong?
#18
Nah, the vypyr sounds good at low volume. Each channel has a channel volume (post gain) plus a master volume, so dialing it in to low volume isn't too tough. Good luck man, its definitely nice to have something stand alone from your computer to play on.

Edit: As an aside, I know you said you don't like headphones, but they are absolutely unbeatable for quiet practice. I have a 50$ dollar set of Fostex phones I got on sale that sound awesome for pretty much anything, I use them almost exclusively with my PODxt. I also have my POD hooked up to my computer for recording and the ability to listen to music and practice through my headphones at the same time. Whenever I want to listen to my POD without headphones I just turn on my HiFi. Through the HiFi it sounds amazing and is loud enough to blow the windows out if I want to.
I don't give a shit if you listen to me or not
Last edited by Kevin Saale at Jan 27, 2016,