#1
Hi guys

Currently playing a Valveking MH20 through Marshall 1912 and quite frankly due to limitations on how loud I can go, I'm not entirely happy with it - obviously tube amps are meant to be played loud and I can get to about 2.5 on 1 watt setting before it gets too loud (live in apartment). And as Im not a serious player, trying to get a sound I like with the little time I have to play is pretty much impossible - I can get a generic sound but nothing more.

So I'm tempted to sell the above and grab either line6 Pod HD Pro or Pro Hd500x. My thinking is I've got a range of sounds I can fiddle with when I get more time and save them and then not have to mess around when I have a little time during week to play. Additionally the volume problem isn't so much of a issue as I don't have to drive the thing loud to bring the best out of it. I'd obviously prefer a Kemper but funds are limited.

My question is what's the best way of setting this up to sound decent when not using headphones (powered monitors, extra Poweramp into a guitar cab etc.) ? I've seen some suggest just a normal stereo system instead of monitors as I can also use that for other uses and still get decent sound from it.

I'll add that currently this just for home use as I'm not in a band and have no plans to be in near future.

Opinions appreciated!
#2
I'm using powered recording monitors (specifically, a set of KRK Rokit 8's).
To get the most out of it, you want something with a wide and fairly flat frequency response.

FWIW, the rackmount versions are the most expensive; if you're unlikely to be using a foot pedal, I'd suggest the "bean" versions (the least expensive by maybe $300). Same electronics, essentially, but easier to cart around.
#3
a POD HD 500X and some decent monitors are all you need, it was the best decision I ever made gear wise. it should hold me over until I can afford a Fractal Axe-FX II.
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#4
If by normal stereo system you mean hifi speakers, I'd suggest that you avoid it. Good, flat speakers will be much better. Studio monitors, as others above said, will do just fine and don't have to be expensive. Just one warning: those monitors are usually quite directional, so if you like to move around, the tone you perceive will vary quite a lot. It's a normal feature of studio monitors and explains why the choice of monitor (nearfield / midfield) and their placement are crucial.

If this is a problem, go for something a little bigger, like a Matrix Q12 or an Atomic CLR: those are also flat, but since they're intended to be used on stage, they have a wider dispersion. I have a Q12 that I use at home, works like a charm.
Guitars: Music Man JP7 2009 (piezo) and JP6 2013, Fender Stratocaster US 1991
Last edited by Yuka66 at Feb 29, 2016,
#5
Cheers for the advice guys. Wondering if the HD500x is the way to go or maybe Yamaha THR10 would better? Pod seems to have more features but some people have said it makes it harder to actually use and obviously the Yamaha is pretty straight forward. Anyone have both that could offer an opinion?
#6
Have you tried some OD pedals in front of the VK? Maybe you're too quick to take it out of the game.

When I need to practice at low volume I dial in a clean sound on my class5 Marshall and stick in a Hughes and Kettner Tubeman II pedal in front which is essentially a 3 channel preamp, clean, crunch, lead. Sounds fantastic and I even record at low volumes with it or direct.

Look into the Tech21 TM30 amp - that might be your ticket as well, unless you really need the digital interface. Personally, I've never been too crazy about processors, even though I own a Boss GT-10 and get good sounds with it, I get better results in the box with Amplitube or Ampire and speaker IRs, or at least it is easier to work that way cause after you record you can tweak it and even reamp it back through a real amp if the sims are not working. I'm not crazy of any of the digital modelers at the moment as I hear a certain things in there that annoy me. If I have to pick, I thing the Yamaha and Vox modelers are more organic sounding unless you go into the high end stratosphere with a Kemper. Don't like the Axe-Fx either, but Kemper seems to be OK. Still wound't trade my Marshalls for it.

Have you tried the VK fx send into a DAW with some cabinet IR loaded? Keep the speaker connected but you can turn volume down, use the fx send to feed your DAW and then go nuts with IRs and effects, or just go directly in the box. If we're talking home practice, I don't see why you'd have to get that much extra gear.