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Reviews Guitar amplification

Tech 21 Hot-Rod Plexi Review

Stack Attack Although most amp modeling is digital, Tech 21 has always created its amp emulations using analog circuitry. The Hot-Rod Plexi pedal ($179) is the latest example. It’s an effects processor that’s designed to be used with an amp, so unlike the SansAmp processors, it has no speaker emulation built in. read more…

Exclusive Line 6 AMPLIFI 150 Review

The Blue-Toothed Combo Line 6 enters the Bluetooth era with the new AMPLIFI series, which combines multimedia speakers and a modeling combo in a single box. read more…

Line 6 POD HD500X Review

Are you POD-to-date? The final exam of the music course I took at the Audiofanzine academy, read as follows: "With a theorem-article of at least 10,000 characters, resolve the equation LINE 6 POD HD500X where X = (new footswitches + powerful DSP)". read more…

User reviews on Guitar amplification products

ottimo preamp rack (Tech 21 - SansAmp PSA-1)

By Michele Meekee Crisci, 20/11/2019
ho comprato il sansamp dopo aver letto in giro parecchio, prima di costruire un sistema rack da usare principalmente in casa. L’ho abbinato con un rocktron velocity 120, tc-g major prima serie ed un dbx 131s, un loudspeaker v30 su cassa thomann.

PRO
ha tantissimi suoni, i puliti molto belli e le distorsioni credibili. Garantisce una gamma di suoni veramente ampia e tutti utilizzabili.
La facilità di utilizzo è una delle sue carte vincenti, il midi ed il loop serie/parallelo fanno il resto, al prezzo di un pedale....anche se vecchio ancora valido, poi dipende da che uso se ne fa. Non è un modeling-amp! È qualcosa di diverso ed unico

CONTRO
non ha la dinamica ed il tocco di un valvolare ma reagisce bene al volume della chitarra. se si vuole maggiore fruibilità bisogna aggiungere un equalizzatore. Sansamp consiglia di non usare power amp a valvole, infatti uso rocktron velocity 120. Anche per questo un loudspeaker FRFR dovrebbe essere abbinato per una migliore resa

OVERALL
suona bene ed è divertente da usare, bisogna metterlo nelle condizioni di suonare bene...se lo si trova come me a 200€ vale sicuramente la pena provarlo. Fra i migliori preamp in giro a questo prezzo e la sua fama per me è guadagnata. Lo consiglio :bravo: :bravo:
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With New Firmware, the Spider V sets a new Standard for Integrated Amps (Line 6 - Spider V 60 MkII)

By MGR/Brian Johnston, 30/08/2019
SOUND
The Spider V MkII is the latest in the Spider line of amps and with a big difference. First, you can select a more produced sound for any of the presets, which is how the original Spider V sounded, but you also can select the Classic mode, which is more of a raw amp tone that emanates from its 10-inch loudspeaker (and without the tweeter).



The Produced sound is ideal when running the Spider direct to DAW, for example, but also when using an acoustic guitar (since this mode uses both the loudspeaker and the tweeter for a more rounded and accurate tone). There are different presets for an acoustic guitar, but suffice to say (as you hear in the demo) an acoustic sounds great coming through this amp. The Classic mode has you playing through the Spider V as you would any other amp/cabinet, which sounds more traditional – and this feature is really turning heads with Spider users.

There are various presets on the Spider, any of which you can edit and save, ranging from super clean to crunch to hi-gain. I was impressed with both crunch and hi-gain as they sound punchy, heavy and thick to varying degrees, but many of the clean sounds (particularly the artist presets) are mesmerizing. And that is the other improved feature with the MkII, in that there are a lot of great sounding artist presets from the likes of Devin Townsend, Ola Englund, etc., but also classic songs that emulate compositions from Led Zeppelin, Metallica, The Beatles and everything between. Although the Spider V MkII is a solid state amplifier, it does have a host of very usable sounds that sit well with both home recording and live gig playing. And when you consider how many different effects accompany all the different amps and cabinets with this amp, you get just about any perceivable sound possible.

FEATURES & SOUND
There are two new features with the Spider V MkII. The first is a new Classic Speaker mode that produces a more organic sound and feel, just like a regular amp. What I mean is, if you were to plug into a typical amp/cab combo you get that true-to-life amp sound and that’s just what this amp offers. Conversely, you can select a ‘produced’ sound, which is ideal when running the Spider direct to DAW, for example, but also when using an acoustic guitar (since this mode uses both the loudspeaker and the tweeter for a more rounded and accurate tone). There are different presets for an acoustic guitar, but suffice to say (as you hear in the demo) an acoustic sounds great coming through this amp.
The other new feature with the MkII is the Artist, Iconic Song and Classic Amp presets. At your fingertips are straight-forward clean, crunch and lead tones (that you can customize), but also several Iconic Song presets, like Whole Lotta Love and Enter Sandman, as well as artist presets from the likes of Jeff Loomis, Bill Kelliher, Vernon Reid and others.

Those two features not only are new with the MkII (previous Spider V owners can download the new MkII firmware for free!), and definite game changers, but there also several great features built into this amp. These include being wireless ready (with a Line 6 G10 transmitter), a built-in metronome, drum tracks and a preset sampler function (pick a preset and hear it in different genres, such as Blues or Classic Rock). There are 78 amps and 24 cabs that range among Clean, American, British and Hi-Gain (from classic Fenders and Marshalls to Diezel and Friedman). And there are several stomp boxes in the categories of drive/distortion (10), delay (14), reverb (13), modulation (24), wahs (8), filters/synths (15), dynamics (8, including compressor) and EQ (1). And you do get a free license to Cubase LE for recording and mixing purposes, but I recorded my tracks in Cakewalk Sonar X3 with the Classic mode via a Shure SM57 mic… and with very decent results.

The various presets on the Spider can be edited and saved, and they range from super clean to crunch to hi-gain. I was impressed with both crunch and hi-gain as they sound punchy, heavy and thick to varying degrees, but many of the clean sounds (particularly the artist presets) are mesmerizing. Although the Spider V MkII is a solid state amplifier, it does have a host of very usable sounds that sit well with both home recording and live gig playing. And when you consider how many different effects accompany all the different amps and cabinets with this amp, you get just about any perceivable sound possible.
All elements can be tweaked via USB and the free downloadable Spider software, but also with the hard controls on the front of the Spider V. The Amp and FX buttons switch between the two, so that in Amp mode you can adjust the EQ, volume and drive of the amp, whereas in FX mode you adjust the compressor, amount of fuzz, depth of reverb, tempo of delay, etc. (each color coded, e.g., blue LED around a knob indicates ‘delay’). Speaking of tempo, you can adjust this manually if desired by tapping the Tempo button, or if hold down the button you access the Tuner. This amp also includes a 60-second Looper, a headphones jack and an AUX input to jam to your favorite music.

Some optional add-ons (not included with the amp) include an Expression Pedal, ideal when using the internal wahs, filters, etc., a foot controller, and a USB cable (to connect to a computer for editing, recording and firmware updating).

OVERALL IMPRESSION
Designed to be a one-stop type amp for practice and recording, particularly for the budget-minded individual, the Spider V MkII offers and exceeds anything a person could want in an all-inclusive package. From small practice to higher wattage workhorses for gigging musicians, the latest Spider V MkII series’ sound quality, diverseness and total options surpasses anything else on the market in its category. If you’re tired of lugging amp heads, speaker cabinets and a pedalboard, then you may want to look into this amp line. The model being reviewed is the 60-watt version, which is loud enough for small bands (although it depends if your drummer is a fan of John Bonham’s heavy pounding), and certainly complex enough to serve the needs of any home practice, playing and recording musician. With over 200 amps/cabs and effects, 128 presets (including classic to modern sounds, with iconic songs and signature tones), the Spider V MkII offers a lot. But with editing software, easy-to-navigate hardware (via the LED menu), built-in wireless receiver, a 60-second looper, headphone jack, and all the other options combined, the price ($429 Canadian) of the Spider V MkII makes it a serious contender for Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS). There’s also several other features for the modern musician, including being able to sync up with an iPhone, iPad, Android device or computer (for recording or editing), adding an expression pedal or foot controller, receiving free Cubase LE software upon registration, and being able to choose between Classic (traditional speaker sound) and Full-Range (produced sound) modes. The overall engineering of the Spider V, along with its improved MkII sound and features has brought all-inclusive amp packaging to a new level.
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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 amplification

Jet City Amplification JCA45

Published on 05/02/16
Jet City Amplification has announced the JCA45, a JTM45-style amp, and organises a special group sale at Indiegogo

Panama presents Fuego X amplifier

Published on 04/19/16

Feature Articles Guitar amplification

The top high-end hardware modeling amps for guitar

Published on 05/07/18
The top high-end hardware modeling amps for guitar
After the war of the DAWs and electric guitars, now is the turn of high-end amp emulators! Once again we asked our French community to share with us their preferences regarding high-end amp emulators…

The top entry-level modeling combos for guitar

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Guitar amplification classified ads

Peavey ValveKing 4x12 Slant Guitar Cabinet

$150 Reverb classified ad

Hughes & Kettner TM212 Tubemeister 2x12 Guitar Cabinet

$400 Reverb classified ad