Questions regarding switching to quad cortex

Hello there,

Actually i have a tube amp and 2x12 soldano cab.
I am considering switching to quad cortex as my main amp + effects as i play with 2 differents bands in 2 separate places who have either cabs or PA.

At home i have my 2x12 soldano cab.

I am pretty confuse on what else would i need to get sound out of the quad cortex once i get the device?
Power amp pedal, frfr speaker or nothing more ? :stuck_out_tongue:

I would greatly appreciate some help there !

Thanks a lot !

You can either:

  1. use a normal guitar cab with a clean power amp (such as SD Powerstage).
  2. use FRFR speaker (either powered or with a power amp as above)
  3. go direct into PA and not use a cab at all

I personally use 1 as just the PA doesn’t do it for me, but might end up that way if we switch to a full in-ears system at some point.
With 1 you just need to make usre you send your signal to the amp before any cab modelling in the QC.

Thanks for your reply,

As i am quite new to this, it seems that buying a Power amp would cover most of my need :

  1. Playing home on my cab via the power amp (i guess i should just uncheck cab sim ?)
  2. playing on an available cab where i will go still using a power amp

And if no cab just use quad cortex with cab sim activated and plug directly into a PA right ?

To play in rehearsal, does the SD 170 will provide enough power ? and even later this year when we will start first small concert ?

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Yes that’s all correct. The SD170 should be plenty.
I personally use the 700 into two 4x12s, but that’s for two guitars (two channels makes it easier), and we are a very loud band. I’ve never had to (or been allowed to) run the volume above half though as it gets oppressively loud after that.

ok thanks !

Sorry for all these questions, but 2 years ago i used a boss GX100 and 4cable method was boring to use, and added a lot of complexity ect…

I want to use quad cortex for reharsle in the conditions i mentioned to always have a nice sound without carrying tub amp + pedalboard and also be prepared if we do some amateur concert with only a PA available in the bar or stuff like this !
And when at home playing from time to time through the quad cortex or for the fun through my tub amp !

So these 2 solutions : PA directly or on a cab via a power amp will both have good sound while using the full capabilities of the quad cortex ?

You can do both at the same time. After your overdrives, amp model, and effects in the QC, you can split the signal into two rows. From there you can use one row to send a signal to a power amp (I use Output 3 to go into an Orange Pedal Baby for my 4x12 cab) and use the other row to send the signal into a QC cab block, then out to front-of-house.

Works beautifully that way. I’m happy because I get some volume on stage that I like, and the sound guy is happy because he doesn’t have to mic up a cab (and he has more control on his end).



If you dislike the hassle and complexity of the 4CM, as well as the potential additional failure points using multiple cables, and I feel the same way, you may want to go with an FRFR solution, which is what I use. The downside is you do still have to carry a monitor with you to gigs but there are some fairly light ones available now. The virtue of using an FRFR is that what you hear on stage tends to be very close to what the audience is hearing making it a great platform to dial in tones that work for you and the FOH. You also get to enjoy the varied selection of amps, cabs, and captures available on the QC, uncolored by your ‘insert brand name here’ amp/cab. Using an FRFR, when dialed in correctly, can get you closest to an authentic rendition of all the amp, cab, and capture variations available on a modeler.

One caveat with using an FRFR is there is more of a learning curve and you may find that dialing the EQ in on the QC a little tricky at first as the FRFR will not have the same inherent limitations that a, for example, Celestion speaker would have in terms of frequency response (dramatic drop-off for example around 5khz) as well as a narrower frequency range (not the 20hz - 20khz range you commonly see on an FRFR).

Some players prefer using a traditional guitar amp and cab with their modeler as it can be easier to dial in the tones they are used to hearing and has a “feel” they are accustomed to. The drawback is if you are playing for example through something like a Marshall amp/cab, you will probably tend towards one of three choices.

With the Marshall, the first option would be going directly into the guitar input of the Marshall and using the QC for effects only. The second option would be 4CM which you already stated you don’t like. The third option would be going in through the return loop of the Marshall (directly into the power amp section bypassing the preamp) which means you probably won’t be using the QC’s cabs or cab captures. If you do, your Marshall will color them and they will probably sound farther from an authentic model of a Vox, Boogie, etc… Not to speak of the fact that you would be putting a virtual cab through a real cab. Usually not recommended but still an option. Your stage sound will also likely be further from what the FOH is hearing. Still, many love this approach and the sound of their favorite traditional amp/cab leveraging the modelers amps and effects.

Putting the QC through a clean platform like an SD Powerstage offers a sort of compromise between an FRFR and a traditional guitar amp/cab approach.

Lastly, per the options @tomfs listed, you could use a monitor from the PA or IEMs. This approach requires the absolute minimum of equipment be hauled to the gig. The drawback is that it puts a certain measure of the control over your sound in the sound engineer’s hands. You are also at the mercy of whatever PA monitors are on stage and things can sound different each time you set up. Also, if you sing, you may not like the sound of your guitar and vocals coming out of the same monitor as well as likely coming from in front of you instead of behind.

Anyway, any of these approaches is legitimate and ultimately a matter of personal preference. Good luck in discovering what works best for you.


Ok thanks to you all for your precious answers !

For now i will do as you recommend : PA or to the fx return of amps for now.
And if needed i could buy a SD 170 or 200 to plug directly into guitar cab.

Thanks !