#1
Ok, this might seem an obvious answer as I suspect the atomic is way better however bear with me...
I'm about to choose new gear for playing full throttle metal.
If I'm lucky I could find a used 6505/5150 head in budget that doesn't need revalving soon however I really need a set up that I can both silent practice and record at home once the kids are in bed but I can also use for gigs. Sadly 120w heads aren't that quiet at night...
Hence why I'm considering the 2 items in the title with a power amp?
However....
If I buy the atomic I won't have any pennies left over for a better power amp and will have to carry on using my average/generic solid state amp
If I get the 5150 pedal I will hopefully have enough left for a second hand tube power amp to give it extra balls on stage.
So... what would you all do?
#3
Ehhh, for me there's two points to consider here:

1. How often are you actually going to be recording the thing? And be real here. You can't really silent practice with tube amps because the whole point of tube amps is to push them or to at least get them in a solid operating range.

2. Will you be satisfied with not having the 6505/5150 head? Because they're great fucking heads and have some significant balls to them - their sound is undeniably epic. You will feel and sound so much better if you get either of those heads. Both in band practice and live. Right now you can't hear the difference between those and your solid state, but put them side by side you won't even want to think about why you've used the solid state for so long. I get that live people might not know the difference between a solid state and a 6505/5150, but you will. And man, that counts for a lot.

The MXR 5150 pedal is sick, though.

What even is your budget? You can get 5150/6505 fairly easily used, and you won't need the MXR pedal then because... well the amp has it

I wouldn't really bother with the Atomic, you don't sound set up to love it - so why bother spending the money on it?
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#4
You can always just plug the Amplifire straight into the PA, you don't even need a di box. Buy a powered wedge later if you need it.
The 6505 model is quite good in it really.
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#5
what cath said, just go from the Amplifire to the PA. all you need at home is headphones.
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#6
Oh I know the difference between valve and solid state, I've borrowed a friends 5150ll for recent gigs and it pummels everything else, hence why I'd ideally like an ampifire with a tube power amp but just can't afford both
Sadly we're only gigging approx once every couple of months at the mo where as I'm obviously wanting to practice silent everyday
#7
A tube amp doesn't really give you an advantage with a modeller. The point of the modeller is that it models the entire amp and then just needs a clean poweramp that doesn't colour the sound too much and reproduce the tone. Straight to the PA is usually the best idea.
#8
Quote by chrislanie
Oh I know the difference between valve and solid state, I've borrowed a friends 5150ll for recent gigs and it pummels everything else, hence why I'd ideally like an ampifire with a tube power amp but just can't afford both
Sadly we're only gigging approx once every couple of months at the mo where as I'm obviously wanting to practice silent everyday


I feel like I post this for every post I make outside the pit - but what about using a DAW, an audio interface, and maybe BIAS Desktop? That's a cheaper package than everything listed above and allows you to use 6505/5150 models at home and at headphone volume. You can also record cleanly with this method
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#9
Not sure how you'd be doing silent recording/practice with a 5150/6505 head/cab?? You have the budget to buy a cab to go along with it? Yes, it's got volume control but I always found the tone at lowest volumes was not exactly awesome (fine for practice, but for recording??) And no, not trying to discourage you from getting one cause they are awesome when you can use them!

And modeling has come such a far way in the last few years. The sort of tones that were only available in the high end systems has filtered down to affordable ranges. Are you close enough to stores that would carry the amplifire? Does your current SS amp have en effect loop? Could always just use digital direct into the power section of it. Would solve your immediate budget issues Then buy a powered wedge or power amp & cab down the road.

Another idea would be to find one of the 60w tube vypyrs. They do a great job modeling the 5150/6505 and the tube version use the power section of a
6505.
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#10
Sorry if I've caused some confusion with this
In an ideal world I'd have a 6505 just for live and a kemper just for practicing and recording however I'll be lucky if I could afford a second hand 6505 never mind a kemper hence why I'm trying to think of the best 'can do both' option?
Btw I disagree about modellers not benefiting from valve power amps. Our other guitarist has a kemper which he uses for live through an ss power amp but last Saturday it was beaten by my friends 5150. The kemper can reproduce the tones of valves astonishing well but it's just a preamp after all, it still lacked that wall of grunt that only power tubes can produce.
I can choose a second hand amplifire but then no valves for live (though admittedly I could sort that at a later time...)
I can choose a second hand 6505 but then no pennies for modeller...
Or of course there's 3000 other combinations in between!
#11
Maybe he didn't have it setup properly. Or used a profile that wasn't very friendly to being used with a power amp and cab? Or was dialed in for TV level volumes and not for stage use? One quick way to check, disable the cab emu and slave the kemper into the effects return of that 5150 :P

As for your choice. What matters the most to you now? Gig/jam or practice? Do you already own a cab? Do you care about effects at all? If you can live with a 5150 at TV volumes, have a cab to use and love the 5150 for what it does, I'd go with that. If you're buying used, you won't lose money if you decide to go another direction. They are easy to buy & sell :P
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#12
Kemper's etc are all well and good, but show me a sound guy who knows what the fuck do with it. Not to mention you're really relying HEAVILY on the venue having floor wedges - let alone good ones

Most sound guys at venues can't even mix, and that's what they're there for! Giving them Kemper to deal with... Who knows what would happen
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#13
Anthony1991, it's a lot easier for the sound engineer in my opinion. He gets a nice signal and the only thing he needs to adjust is volume. No hassle with placing mics or whatever that can seriously fuck up the sound. Lots of people using modellers bring their own way of monitoring, mostly being a wedge or IEM's, but some do use a cab.
#14
Quote by I K0nijn I
Anthony1991, it's a lot easier for the sound engineer in my opinion. He gets a nice signal and the only thing he needs to adjust is volume. No hassle with placing mics or whatever that can seriously fuck up the sound. Lots of people using modellers bring their own way of monitoring, mostly being a wedge or IEM's, but some do use a cab.


Oh totally, in theory it's much easier for them. And if you're already bringing a cab or wedge... well, not to be that guy, but why not just take a real amp? You're really not saving on anything if you end up bringing more than just the modeller (this includes money too).

I'm not hating on the kemper/axe fx by any means, but in my experience trusting random sound guys and their gear at small venue gigs is a very big leap into the unknown. I personally feel that Kempers/axe fx and so on are great - but they're more suited for touring bands that take their own sound guy (and have back ups of those modellers).

I've started going so far as bringing my own SM57 and mounting it onto my cab, and even giving the sound guy my own XLR. That's how much little faith I have in random sound guys after 100s of gig experience
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#15
Anthony1991, it's a pretty big leap for sure. I personally haven't had issues with house wedges. Lower stage volume and I'd argue I haven't had better sounds. What you're doing is basically the same as the line out on a Kemper in my opinion. It's a mic in front of an amp and there's nothing to screw up on apart from EQing way too much or having bad levels.

Taking a real amp is nice (even though I sold mine when I got the Kemper and haven't looked into buying one since), but it's the versatility of the Kemper that really does it for me. I could do one of the projects I'm doing with my old set-up, but I'd have to add a second amp for a different project and a bass rig as well, since I also play bass through my Kemper. The ease of the Kemper (presets for everything) lets me focus more on my playing as well. I don't need to think about changing the preset on my Timeline and changing the mode on the Whammy for certain songs and what drive pedal I use for what songs etc. I just have a bank with my 5 general sounds and if I need specific stuff for songs, I have a bank for that song.

As far as cost goes, my pedalboard alone was worth more than the Kemper. So I definitely saved money with the Kemper. Purely the weight was a big factor for me as well. I'm young and can easily carry a 412 by myself, but I'd rather not if I don't have to. My Kemper rig weighs about half or a third what my amp weighed. And my amp required a cab with it and a pedalboard that weighed as much.
In the end, it's about what you need and what you want and for me it was this kind of rig. For you it's probably something entirely different. :-)
#16
For the record I've decided to go with the evh pedal through the clean channel of a peavey valve king head.
I'm sure many of you will disagree with this choice but whilst I still believe the atomic to be the far better unit I would probably only use 3 patches out of the 192 or however many and probably one of them 90% of the time.
The evh is a typical one trick pony however it seems to be awesome at that one trick and if I'm honest I'm the same one trick guitarist, I would have been paying £250 extra for loads of stuff I probably will never use.