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Two Notes Torpedo VB101 & VM202 Mini-Reviews

Hasta La Convolution, Baby! When a young and groundbreaking manufacturer puts his efforts on digital convolution to emulate the sound signature of speaker cabinets, the result looks something like the Torpedo VB-101 & VM-202 guitar and bass speaker simulators. read more…

User reviews on Guitar Amp Parts & Accessories products

11 month wait time!!!??? (Loop Master - 4 Looper (Strip))

By charlie00, 14/11/2018
I placed an order with Loop-Master for an 8 loop strip September 2017 and received the pedal August of 2018. Thats 11 months. Communication was fine the whole time. I was polite about it, but 11 months... Also, it would seem that he is no longer burnishing the edges of the aluminum so there are very sharp edges all around. The one I ordered before that took less time but it arrived with an led not working which he rectified pretty promptly. Just wish the wait times would be improved and ensure that the edges aren't sharp and that there isnt loose pieces of solder rolling around inside the pedal. 11 months is long enough to get these details right. Other than that, they do seem to be pretty reliable.
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Economical Way for Direct Recording and PA/FRFR Playing (nUX - Solid Studio IR & Power Amp Simulator)

By MGR/Brian Johnston, 07/06/2019
SOUND:
You can sound completely different with the same guitar and pedals as you change up your cabinet, amp tubes and microphone/mic placement. Solid Studio offers 8 classic cab selections, three tube types, eight microphones and three different placements for a wide variety of possible outcomes and tones.



Typically my favorites are the Roland Jazz Chorus 112 for cleans and the Marshall 1960 4x12 for dirt; and typically I prefer the EL34 tubes and the Sennheiser MD421 microphone in center position for both. Now, having said that, the tone I want from my pedals I sometimes prefer a different cabinet, set of tubes, microphone and its placement. Consequently, the Solid Studio is not a one-trick pony and minor tweaking does make a difference, particularly if you want to break free of your typical crunch or lead sound. I also noticed that if I’m using a preamp I don’t find the ‘Power Amp’ option on the Solid Studio useable (it tends to thin the tone), but when using just pedals (e.g., fuzz, overdrive, modulation) then the Power Amp fills out the sound a better (that option also includes a Presence knob to add that high-end sparkle).

OVERALL IMPRESSION:
A DI or direct input device, Solid Studio allows you to record direct to DAW, play through a PA system or into a FRFR (full-range flat-response) speaker. Using the IR (impulse response) of a particular speaker cabinet, tube amp, mic and its placement you can zero in on various and different tones to help sculpt an ideal sound and at a very reasonable price of only $199 USD. Besides the typical XLR balanced output and a quarter-inch jack input/output, there also is a ‘through,’ so that you can have a dry line out to a different source. Included is access to eight different classic cabinet types from Fender, Marshall, Roland, Vox and Celestion (Vintage 30s and Greenbacks). There are eight microphone types (from Shure, Sennheiser, Neumann, Royer and AKG), three mic positions (center, mid and edge) and three tube types (EL34, 6V6 and EL84). In sum, there are dozens of options to coordinate with your gear’s characteristics to achieve the tone you want for recording or live play. You also have access to a Power Amp option, which is very helpful when working with pedals only (and no preamp) for a bigger more polished sound; an option that includes Master volume, Drive and Presence. The NUX Solid Studio also has a USB output for firmware updates. I would have appreciated 1-2 fewer Fender option and 1-2 higher-gain options, e.g., Mesa or Friedman cabs.

GENERAL USE:
Solid Studio requires some experimentation, since your choices depend on the gear (e.g., pedals, guitar pickups, etc.) you use. With the Roland Jazz Chorus 112 working so well for my clean tones, I start with that selection, although I will zip through the other cabinets to hear what they have to offer. Likewise, my dirty tones start with the Marshall 1960 cab and then I will try the others in case there is a better choice (the Fender Bassman cab seems to work well with clean and dirty, for example). My mic selection often is the Sennheiser MD421 as it offers a good amount of thickness and clarity (I may want a thinner sound or even a heavier sound and may select a different mic as I go through the fine-tuning). The next step is to select my tubes. EL34s are heavier with a bigger crunch, 6V6 have a warmer sound, and the EL84s are brighter with more high ends. I often select the EL34s, but I do have some drive pedals that have more punch and grain with the 6V6 tubes. The microphone selections vary significantly, with some producing a deeper and thicker response, whereas others are ‘lighter’ with more clarity, any of which can be used to coordinate with dark pickups/pedals vs. bright pickups/pedals. Likewise, mic placement makes a difference as having a center position translates into more high-ends, a mid position more mids and an edge position more bass. Double tracking your guitar (so that one is center and the other either mid or edge, with the same or different mic) can produce a very unique and multi-dimensional sound.

OTHER DETAILS:
A medium-sized pedal, Solid Studio measures about 105 mm (L) x 115mm (W) x 58mm (H) with knobs (4.1 x 4.5 x 2.3 inches). The heavy-duty metal chassis has powder coated dark blue paint with white graphics. The five knobs (Cab, Mic, Master, Drive and Presence) feel of heavy plastic and will withstand normal use and abuse. The two toggle switches that control tube type and mic placement are solid when flipped and located toward the back of the pedal, sandwiched between the largest two knobs. All knobs have exceptional quality pots (smooth and very solid when turned without any static or noise). The two soft footswitches (Cab on/off [bypass] and Amp) are solid in feel. The cable input/output, power supply, etc., are located in the back, saving on pedalboard space and keeping any cable inserts away from a stomping foot. The larger XLR cable output is located on the left side. Solid Studio does not run on batteries and requires a 9VDC power supply while requiring 240mA of power.
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Authentic Sounding with a Wide Array of Guitar and Bass Cabinets (Hotone Audio - OMNI IR)

By MGR/Brian Johnston, 20/08/2019
SOUND:
The sound you produce (using the same gear) with a 1x12 cabinet as opposed to a 4x10 cabinet can be significantly different and particularly when comparing a Fender cabinet to a Marshall or MESA – each company has its own flair and uniqueness that can sound great with one type of guitar or a slew of pedals, and yet sound mediocre with other gear.



The OMNI IR is an impulse response pedal that enables you to get that cabinet feel and depth while playing into a FRFR speaker, into a mixing board (PA system) or into your DAW. Based on other IR pedals in its price range, it sounds as good as the best and definitely better than others (no names mentioned, but I have found some IR pedals/devices sound boxy and as though playing through a metal can or drum). The OMNI IR sounds authentic, clear and detailed. In the demo included with this review I work through three different preamps by Victory – The Countess, The Sheriff and The Kraken. I apply each to various cabinet sizes on the OMNI IR, but in each instance I strum a few clean chords so that you can hear Channel 1 on each of the preamps, and then switch into high gear with Channel 2 on each. Thus, you get to hear small (1x10) and large (4x12) cabinets with three different preamp types, as well as three different guitars. Often I use a MESA cabinet on my Axe-Fx II Mark II, and when running through all the samples on the OMNI IR I found one that could go head-to-head with the Axe-Fx (in terms of matching the tone I like). As it so happens, it’s a MESA cabinet (although there’s a Bogner 2x12 I really like as well).

OVERALL:
The OMNI IR offers a very good selection of 39 of the most popular sizes and cabinet models, and it’s quality makes its $199 USD price reasonable. There are eight cabs in the 1x10 and 1x12 categories that mimic the likes of Fender, Marshall, Orange, Gibson, Vox and MESA. There are nine cabs in the 2x12 category with responses from Selmer, Two-Rock, Fender, Vox, MESA, Orange, Marshall and Bogner. There are three 4x10 cabs that mimic Fender, Bogner and Marshall. There are thirteen cabs with responses from Marshall, MESA, Friedman, Orange, Randall, Engl, Diezel, EVH, Bogner and Electro-Voice. To even things out, there also are six bass cabinets that mimic Ampeg, Eden and Gallien-Krueger. Having all these responses in a small pedal format is ideal for those home studios recording/playing direct to DAW, but a godsend for those plugging direct to a PA/Mixer (common in many night club settings). Extremely easy to use and dial in a great tone, no matter your gear, you can create several unique sounds/tones simply by selecting different cabinets – and without having to haul around actual cabinets.

GENERAL USE:
The OMNI IR’s knobs and switches provides access to all controls and parameters (visible via the OLED screen), but also accessible through the free computer OMNI software (which I find easier to navigate) via the included USB cable. OMNI IR has a Master volume control and a Function knob. When turning the Function knob left or right a preset is selected. When pressing down the Function knob you access the menu system, whereby you can make a number of changes (again, this can be done via the computer software) to any of the 39 presets. Through onboard or via the software you can set the preset volume and control and the frequency/gain for bass, midrange, treble and presence. The ranges vary for each, such as Low (frequency range of 50Hz-500Hz with gain of 10Hz -12~0~+12dB) Midrange (frequency of 500Hz-1kHz with gain of 10Hz -12~0~+12 dB) , High (frequency of 1kHz-5kHz with gain of 0.1kHz -12~0~+12dB) and Presence (frequency of 5kHz-16kHz with gain of 0.1kHz -12~0~+12 dB). You are able to change and save any preset to any of the preset numbers (besides resetting the factory settings). The Footswitch is assignable so that it can bypass, mute or scroll up or down the presets. Like the OMNI AC (acoustic) pedal, the OMNI IR has a Thru so that you can blend your original guitar tone with one from the OMNI IR. As well, there is a balanced XLR out (to a mixing board, for example) with a ground lift option, a headphones jack and an Aux In (to connect an MP3 player or other device). The OMNI IR comes with its own 9VDC power supply while consuming less than 200mA of power.
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News Guitar Amp Parts & Accessories

[MUSIKMESSE][VIDEO] BluGuitar present the BluBox

Published on 04/08/16
On their home turf, Germany's BluGuitar introduce and demonstrate their new BluBox Speaker Emulator at Musikmesse 2016.

[MUSIKMESSE] BluBOX Speaker Emulator

Published on 04/07/16

Feature Articles Guitar Amp Parts & Accessories

Top hardware speaker simulators

Published on 12/19/17
Top hardware speaker simulators
Speaker emulators seem to be highly in demand right now, mainly as a solution to record yourself and play live, benefiting from the sound of a tube amp. There are obviously lots of software tools to …

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