My current live setup is a variety of analog/digital pedals going into the Two Notes C.A.B.+ with the power amp sim set to on… then into a Headrush 108 FRFR cab… it sounds pretty good… and can get loud… but for the QC I really want to raise the quality of sound a few notches… I’m thinking about getting a pair of QSC K8.2s and running stereo… it should sound awesome! so I’m interested in what some of you are planing to use live.
I have a few options:
- 2 x K8
- PowerCab 1x12
- 2 x Atomic CLR
At this point, the PowerCab is my default option. It wins in terms of size / weight / looks and I don’t usually run stereo live.
I will probably mostly run the QC straight to FOH and use the monitors availible. I think that works fine and it’s nice for the back
Another option is to use my EXH Magnum 44 with a Harley Benton G12 with a V30, since I really like the sound of an amp in the room. I a bit skeptical to FRFR’s, though I have never tried one. How do you think FRFR’s compares to a real amp and cab?
I’ve only read good things about the PowerCab, seems like a great option for modellers.
I’ve done that a good bit, too. I’d walk into a gig with my pedalboard slung across my back, guitar in one hand, and fan in the other hand.
currently going straight into the console.
Thinking of adding 2 studio monitor for home use though (IE not at the studio or live)
Not sure which one to go, I kinda like the amp in a room effect.
I’ve played with the FRFR and it was damn fine too. Just feel weird to play a 1600$ device in a 200$ speaker…
Never tried the powercab
FRFR us great for modeled setups!
I usually just run straight to the front of house.
I do have a Yamaha DRX10 though, but it is so flipping loud hahaha! I can barely turn it up at all, but I guess that isn’t a bad thing. I’m sure my neighbors don’t like when I turn it up hahaha!
I’ve never tried a Powercab either.
I’m just worried that an FRFR won’t sound as good as an amp and cab. Or atleast that they won’t have that amp in the room sound. Do you think FRFR’s sounds as good?
That’s a loaded question.
Leaving aside the whole question of “amp in the room sound”, I’d say FRFR has several advantages over a guitar cab:
- Axial variation: Guitar cabs have a relatively narrow tonal sweet spot while FRFR is much more consistent on and off-axis. Compare that with the on-axis “cone of death” and the off-axis “blanket sound” from a guitar cab.
- Tonal versatility: Go from a Fender/Jensen sound to a Vox/Blue sound to a Mesa/V30 tone using cab sims.
- Scalability / Consistency: As venues get larger, your guitar sound is eventually going to be primarily heard through the PA (FRFR) and not through your guitar cab(s). You’ll get more consistent results from show to show if the signal fed to FOH is coming from the modeler and not a miked cab.
- Portability: IME, FRFR systems are smaller/lighter than guitar amp/cabs capable of similar SPLs. If you can get a personal monitor mix, you can even leave your own FRFR at home and just get “more me” in your wedge.
The main advantages of guitar cabs are
- “Thump”: FRFR doesn’t flap one’s trouser legs the way a 4x12 can
- Traditional looks
- Good FRFR can be pricey
If “amp in the room” is a must-have, you’re probably going with a guitar cab. Otherwise, if it works with your budget, FRFR has some pretty compelling advantages. I address the issue of traditional looks by using a PowerCab. It’s not necessarily the ideal look for a metal band (not that I play metal) but it at least looks like there’s a “guitar amp” on stage.
Thanks for this very thorough answer, Alec! I would like to try an FRFR sometime. Until then I’ll probably just go straight to FOH using whatever monitors are availible. Or use an amp and cab as well. I would never mic a cab again when playing live though. An IR gives far more consistent results, as you wrote.
I’m just gonna almost 1/1 replace the POD I just sold: QC goes into the band’s rack where I have a C.A.B. M+ that splits cab sim to in ear and direct to a Matrix power amp that feeds a TC vertical 2x10 and a vertical 2x12
I might consider sending two lines to the rack and not use the Two Notes anymore
so it sounds like you’re experienced with a modeler going into the Matrix power amp and into a guitar cab… I assume you’re disabling the IR on the signal path to the Matrix/cab setup but enabling the IR to FOH… could you elaborate a little on your experience with the Matrix/cab setup in a live situation… i.e. is it nearly like having an actual guitar amp/speaker? (by the way I love my Two Notes C.A.B. M+… but won’t need it once I get the QC… and one thing the Two Notes can’t do is change IRs with MIDI commands or preset changes… the QC will. )
My experience is with bass so, grain of salt and all that.
In any case, yes, I disable the cab-sim on the modeler and feed the CAB M, it then send the signal with cab sim to IEM and FOH and sends the original signal to the Matrix.
On stage and in rehearsals I do not feel any difference between using a traditional bass amp or using the modeler with the power amp… plus, since I made my own IRs from my cabs with the Two Notes software I even have very similar tone to IEM and FOH
Both guitar players on my band do the same with modelers and Rocktron power amp and both are very happy with the setup and don’t use their guitar heads anymore