My overall feedback to the Quad Cortex

Not sure this is the right section, but…
I ordered the QC from Sweetwater on December 18, 2020. I had a Fractal FM3 on order, but decided to go with the QC as it looked amazing according to the specs and the limited videos and reviews.
Also, it was supposed to arrive on February…
I only received it on May… I used it initially with a Tech21 power cab60 I had before, trying all the presets. They sounded, honestly, quite bad…
I did research over the web, and decided to buy a full FRFR speaker (got the headrush FRFR-108). It improved the sound a bit, but still, nothing close to what I expected.
I was trying different models to get the sound I wanted (I had a LoneStar before, so I knew exactly how it should sound), but could not get it to sound the same, even when I used all my original settings.
I have seen reviews of the Neural DSP SLO-100 plugin on YouTube, but even when I dialed the exact setting on the QC, I could not get the same sound. I know how an SLO-100 should sound, and it was not even close.

As of now, I have two presets I made and I keep tweaking them to get the sound I want, but I’m getting very disappointed. My old Line6 POD 500HD (which is ancient) sounds better!
There are very limited effects, and most of the amp models sound so so…
Captures are another hype: It might work for someone who captures its own settings, but a capture is only good for the specific settings it was dialed for the process. If I want another settings, the gain and tone controls really do not work as in the real amplifier or real model.

I tried to use same settings as John Petrucci described in details for the JP-2C+; There are many captures of each channel of this amp, each with different settings, but nothing close to what JP described. I spent hours tweaking them, adding EQ together the tight sound (actually, it is the best sounding preset I had).
The same problems were with captures I got from the cloud. Some users made detailed description of the amp settings. In my case, I tried the MarkV, but again, the tone was way different than the real amp.

Bottom line: VERY disappointed. I wish I could get my money back…
There are some amplifiers that MUST be in any modeler (Mesa Boogie MarkV, Bogner XTC, Morgan AC20, DrZ, just to name a few). Captures do not help (see above).

I listened to some of the plugins by Neural DSP, and if the QC could just do that, I would be happy (especially the SLO-100 plugin with its effects).

I would appreciate an honest reply from Neural DSP.

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I completely agree.

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So a $2000 modeler didn’t sound great through the cheapest speaker on the market? Really?

You can get more than your money back if you simply list it for sale.


Exactly… This is why I invested in some nice Yamaha HS5’s … just got my quad cortex yesterday and she sounds GREAT… I literally have all my amps directly next to these monitors through the quad cortex … I literally can’t tell the difference in the captures and the real amp sitting next to it … that was my biggest worry ( sound quality ) not just though the Quad Cortex but how it sounds “in the room” . When I play this thing through my old monitors it sounds terrible… I probably would have thought about selling as well if I had cheap monitors. Either way … hope you find the “Sound” your looking for… I know I found mine : )

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I am kind of confused seeing some of these Posts.
I do not have and never have uses Axe or Kemper therefore I can not compare them to QC.
I have the QC running into my Accugroove El Whappo.
I use it for my Bass(s) And have plugged several of my Guitars into it and It sounds amazing. No issues with respect to Volume either which is another complaint I see often. I have never been past 12 O’Clock and it is plenty loud. A few of the presets are quieter but that is what I kind of expected. I have not used this as an interface as I have an Antelope Orion Set up with PT so It just goes into that with no issues. I have a lot to learn about this unit but so far I am thrilled.
I get the impression many people are getting this to use as an interface and are running though Computer and Small monitors or into Cheap FRFR cabs or maybe just through a combo amp of some sort that just won’t cut it. I have run into my guitar rig, Fuchs ODS via Tone Tubby Speakers and bypassed cabs in presets and have had decent results but this is mainly for my Bass so maybe eventually ill get around to tweaking it on the Fuchs Rig. Another complaint I hear is noise, with the exception of a few really High Gain presets it seems pretty quiet. The different guitars do sometimes make a bit of noise. Especially the older Sheraton and. Fender Mex Strat. The PRS Core Guitars are quiet even The Silver Sky which has Single Coils. Sometimes when you get the Single Coils too close to the computer you get some noise. All in All I give this an 8.75 out of the box. I am looking forward to the evolution of the QC Just my 3 cents.

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First, I do not have stocks in any company (Neural DSP or any other…). This is my own ears and opinion.

I owned many quite expensive amps. The reason I sold them was they were both too loud and too heavy… I wanted something relatively small and light to carry to rehearsals and gigs.

That is the reason for my choice of monitors. They do sound great, even though they do not cost a fortune. I tried the QC with expensive monitors (in a studio we use for rehearsals … same result).

If you like the QC, good for you. I wanted to like it (one does not spend close to $2,000 for experimenting). FOR ME, it does not work as I want. It may have features that are great for other players, but not what I was looking for. Sad.

And, I do put mine for sale. It retails now for $1,800 (if you can get one). Other people ask for close to $3,000 for theirs. I’m putting mine for the same price ($1,800). If anyone is interested, you can connect with me.

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Thanks you all for your replies
I use a PRS Custom 24, with Symour Duncan pickups… you can’t say it is a cheap guitar…
As I said, I used it with very expensive studio monitors, with same results.
I’m not complaining about the noise (once can expect noise from very high gain amplifiers).

Also, regarding captures: I’m sure this is THE high point of the QC. As I mentioned, the only preset that I was able to get a great sound out of it was with the captures of the JP-2C amplifier (after I had to sort though about 25 captures for each channel AND happy EQ to it to get the sound of the amplifier…).
I have no doubt that you can capture your amp with it, and will have the QC sound exactly the same. This has a great value for some people, but not to me.
I want to dial a certain tone using known amplifiers (some I owned or used in the past), but I can not get the tone. For me, that is a big minus.

I hope other people will enjoy it. I’m selling mine (with a lot of disappointment).

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Man, the QC sounds great.

I need not to say more


Yeah I definitely second the idea of people using this as an audio interface into poor speaker… I’m not really using it like… I’m sure milage may vary. :v:t6:

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Exactly Everyone has their own goal (we are all searching for the sound)and I guess that’s why they make so many different types and sizes of hammers.
I was making a general observation as I have seen so many varying opinions and complaints about this particular piece of gear. I’m sure you will get what your looking for and hope you have fun on the adventure to that point.

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Hmmm… Well admittedly I play a lot of clean glassy stuff with a lot of gain to make it touchy coily not a lot of distortion… George Lever made a good point when answering questions about the quad cortex captures. He says the quad cortex just captures “Exactly” what you give it so if someone makes a captures of an amp but does not know how to really dial it in the capture will sound bad… I put this to the test with my amps and it is in fact true …when I spent the extra 20 minutes dialing in my Supro… She sang to me and the quad cortex did capture this change that made all the difference…once again milage may vary. :v:t6::guitar::pray:t6:

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but heh, I did plug the QC into a FR-108 from headrush and it was… meh

through headphones I make it sing so well though… I must try some other speaker, it does not make sense to play a 2K guitar in a 2K unit if the sound is coming from a 200$ speaker

Accugroove makes some awesome FRFR Guitar Cabs, Powered or Passive. Check them out. My El Whappo is just amazing . It has 4 DSP EQ settings, this is a FRFR bass cab but the guitar still sounds pretty badass through it.

I use it with a Friedman ASM-12 and I cut trough in a very loud metal band. the speaker is heavy and has only one handle to lift it…this is the downside.


I use the QC with a powerstage 170 and a real cab. Sounds and feels great. As good as my Kemper.

I also use it through a Yamaha dxr10. Also pretty good but prefer a real cab.

I feel your sentiment man. I hope this improves soon.

I made two presets and I must say that they are practically indistinguishable with the Petrucci sound (Terminal Velocity and The Alien). On one preset I used the blue channel of the 5150 (modeller), on the other the captrure CA John Ch3 1 (taken from the Cloud). As a cab I used the 412 CA Stand OS A V30 01. I used the Eq to lower the frequency a bit after 5 kh. Honestly, the sound is excellent. On the modeller you have to lower the bass and rise the treble and mid.

I use a Powercab212 or Powercab112+ (depending on the gig) in FRFR mode with Quad Cortex. I am very happy with the results. Helix works great too. Different is good.

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Our opinion of QC in our 3 studios is going against some tough competition
We found the GUI to be great…an improvement over Headrush
The effects were not good
The overall sound as recorded through a LesPaul standard and into our
Main Raven console was not good.
We primarily use 3 UA Ox Boxes , 2 Fractal Axe FX iii and a dozen tube heads.
We really wanted to keep the QC but it sounded so weak against our current setup we couldn’t justify the investment

I personally think the QC is amazing. But going back to the original post here, I’ve found some simple mistakes that can cause you to get bad results on the QC. Just trying to help in case this is causing your problems.

First, you got to get the guitar input level correct. Other platforms (like Line6) do this automagically, the QC is manual here. Second, the cab block is really important. Put a looper on and spend 3 hours finding the right cab and settings. Third, I’ve found anytime you put the master up over 4 everything gets way oversaturated, so maybe keep the masters low (like the defaults).

And yes, the best modeler ever made is worthless without a great speaker. Don’t spend 2K on a modeler and $300 on a speaker.

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