Amp opinions

Discussion in 'Discussion' started by Slartibartfarst42, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. Slartibartfarst42

    Slartibartfarst42 Well-Known Member

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    So far I've used my AA3 by going into the F/C return of a BluGuitar AMP1 and then into an Orange 1X12, however, recently I've just been using headphones and when I recently had to reset the unit to factory settings I noticed that through the headphones, those stock patches suddenly worked a LOT better. This has started me wondering if I should seel the AMP1 and Orange 1X12 in favour of a FRFR system. One that caught my eye was the Laney IRT-X so I was wondering firstly if anyone had any experience of using an AmpliFire with this unit and secondly if anyone could suggest anything better for a similar price?
     
  2. Culpster

    Culpster Well-Known Member

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    Do you gig? I haveheard that it is not loud enough to gig with.
     
  3. Slartibartfarst42

    Slartibartfarst42 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not gigging at the moment, though I hope to again in the future but my experience of gigging has me questioning if this is really going to be an issue for a couple of reasons:

    1. From either the AA3 or something like the Laney IRT-X I can route the signal into the PA so if the Laney isn't quite loud enough, does it really matter when I can also use the PA?
    2. I used to gig with an Orange TH30, which is a very loud amp and I got all or most of my volume from this but we found it was very difficult to get the mix right as we were always battling each other. Eventually we ended up turning the volume of all of the amps right down and instead ran them through the PA, allowing the PA to do all of the heavy lifting in terms of volume. It became a hell of a lot easier to get a good mix and our overall sound at gigs therefore improved massively. This being the case, it strikes me that I could largely use the IRT-X as a monitor at a gig if the PA is projecting all of the actual volume.
     
  4. Jr.Deluxe

    Jr.Deluxe Well-Known Member

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    Problem relying on the house PA system for stage volume is how good are the monitors and how many mixes are there? If there is 2 mixes then the vocalist will get one and he wont want guitars too loud for him to get his sing on. That leaves 1 other mix. If you like to have a loud rock guitar mix or like to solo without feeling like your sound is out in the far distance you will be figting to get turned up in the monitor mix. I like to hear myself about twice as loud as you want to hear me in the monitor mix. If a keyboard player is relying on that monitor mix as well you are going to be in whiny crybaby trouble with him. You need your own loud frfr system. I use 2 jbl eon 610s. Loud, light and F--- everybody else. And i can sing through them at the same time when i front my blues trio.
     
  5. Slartibartfarst42

    Slartibartfarst42 Well-Known Member

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    OK, so let's say that the IRT-X isn't the best solution for amplifying my AA3. That being the case, what do other people use that they find is the best way of getting the most out of the AA3? I'd say it would need to meet the following criteria:

    1. Excellent reproduction of the AA3 tones, in the way that headphones always seem to work well.
    2. Be reasonably compact and light.
    3. Be in the region of £350 or less.
    4. Be excellent for home use but could be used effectively in a live situation if the need arises.
     
  6. Culpster

    Culpster Well-Known Member

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    Get a Boss Katana 100w and put the AA3 through the FX loop. Use Celestian IR or 3 SigmaAudio. That is what I would use in your situation. Down the road pick up CLR or Mission Engineering powered wedge or cab. Hope that helps
     
  7. Dave_5150

    Dave_5150 Senior Member

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    IRT-X is a great bit of kit. it's advertised as true FRFR and so it gives a true representation of your AA sound. As such it's brilliant for setting up patches. However to an extent that's irrelevant when gigging as the PA will defintiely colour your sound and you'll end up needing to add EQ at the desk.

    I gigged mine for around six months and it gave the best experience I've had with the AA in terms of on stage sound quality. However I tend to take my Alto TS210 instead now. The sound isn't anywhere near as good, but only I hear my monitor on stage anyway and it is defintiely louder.
     
  8. Slartibartfarst42

    Slartibartfarst42 Well-Known Member

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    Having only ever used conventional valve amps before I'm a bit confused about this whole FRFR thing. I had always been under the impression that a PA was FRFR but based on what you say, apparently it isn't. This would explain why a powered PA speaker has always disappointed me. I assume that systems like the Katana, Amplifi and IRT-X are FRFR so they should all work well. The thing is that this thread started with me being told that an IRT-X isn't powerful enough for gigs and if that's the case, how can a Katana be powerful enough when it's half the power. The same might be said of the Line6 Amplifi 150 so on that basis the IRT-X is both more compact and more powerful. There doesn't appear to be any other options that are genuinely FRFR for less than £400.
     
  9. Jr.Deluxe

    Jr.Deluxe Well-Known Member

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    A PA is tuned to the room to sound pleasing for the genre of music performed that night. A classical orchestra would not sound ideal through a PA set up for a metal band. A PA set up for metal probably need to be adjusted for blues. So frfr as a reference point is abandoned in setting up a PA. Frfr means what goes in is what comes out. Powered speakers also follow the PA in terms of pre eqing. Frfr is closer to studio monitors.
     
  10. Dave_5150

    Dave_5150 Senior Member

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    Katana and Amplifi aren't FRFR - although Amplifi's big brother the Firehawk 1500 is FRFR. I'm not aware of a viable FRFR alternative to the IRT-X for under £400. Other popular but more costly FRFR options include the Matrix FR10 and FR12, the Friedman ASM and Atomic's CLR.

    I always found the IRT-X fine for personal stage monitoring with the set AA at about 70% ouput, but I only pay bars and clubs (and the occasional festival, but they provide their own PA and monitoring). I imagine the IRT-X would be a less viable solution for touring bands playing larger venues.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
  11. Chalky

    Chalky Well-Known Member

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    I also agonized over the merits of FRFR a couple of months ago but took the view that the advantage would be offset by ambient variables. If you are using and amp / cab, bypass the preamp, and ensure your power tubes and speaker are not designed to break up early or your tones will get flubby. I use a Marshall 1987x which is a clean amp at gigging volumes and V30's as they are the most affordable clean speakers I am aware of. Oh, and a Zilla cabinet to survive the Friedman preset!
     
  12. James Cannon

    James Cannon New Member

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    I run my Atomic Amp through one irt-x for practice and two irt-x's for gigging, which is great for stereo delay. One irt-x is 200 watt and is plenty loud enough on its own!
     
  13. Slartibartfarst42

    Slartibartfarst42 Well-Known Member

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    I've tried to read up on FRFR options as best I can, though it's all still very new to me. I've compiled a list of options in my price range that I could try so is there anything here that just isn't good for what I want to use it for or is there something I've missed out that would be good?

    Laney IRT-X
    Alto TS210
    Alto TS212
    Mackie SRM350
    Electro Voice EV ZLX12P
    Mackie SRM450
     
  14. Alex G

    Alex G Member

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    I guess you may try a RCF ART 310A MKIII...that should sound quite good
     
  15. Slartibartfarst42

    Slartibartfarst42 Well-Known Member

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    I've been doing what research I can see that this whole FRFR thing isn't as easy as I first thought. I'd always assumed that a PA speaker was FRFR but clearly it's not. The Atomic CLR is FRFR but it's also ludicrously expensive, as are other options like that. Studio monitors are FRFR but there's no way they can be used for even a small gig so as far as I can make out, if you want an FRFR system for your Atomic at a reasonable price, it's the Laney IRT-X or it's nothing. It amazes me that nobody has made a more reasonably priced FRFR powered speaker before now so I imagine it may end up quite popular with those using modellers. I won't be back in the UK until August sadly so I'll have to wait to buy it until then. Perhaps something to rival it will be launched in the meantime but for now it seems to have that section of the market all to itself.
     

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