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LSchefman
09-30-2012, 01:25 PM
Do you then get a backup of it just in case?

Same question for guitar.

sergiodeblanc
09-30-2012, 02:15 PM
I have only had exact duplicates of guitars and amps once in my life for touring reasons, the only good thing about it was by having them it assured that I never needed to use them. I kept hauling them around, and as long as they were in pairs they would never give me any trouble, leave one at home or in the truck.....

LSchefman
09-30-2012, 02:35 PM
And what if you have the perfect amp, and it is stolen or is irreversibly damaged, and the manufacturer isn't making it any more?

I'd kind of like to have a backup in a bank vault!

veinbuster
10-01-2012, 11:21 AM
I feel that by the time I needed the backup, my sense of perfect may well have changed.
So I don't get duplicates.

markie
10-01-2012, 11:24 AM
"The One".......................... Does it truly exist, or just a figment of our imagination :biggrin:

LSchefman
10-01-2012, 01:16 PM
"The One".......................... Does it truly exist, or just a figment of our imagination :biggrin:

Probably a little of both!

I really have two "perfect amp" needs. One is for personal self-expression, the other is for something I can get a lot of use out of in connection with my ad music work. They aren't always the same thing. I'm not sure they always can be.

And as Veinbuster says, our own ideas about perfect change. So I've always tended toward versatility, two channel amps for the past 20 years, etc.

The HXDA is definitely a self-expression amp for me, but so far it's proving pretty darn versatile. I'm growing very attached to it.

So much so that I just sent one of my favorite session players to the PRS website to check out the video demo of the amp! He's been a Two-Rock player of late (I turned him on to those amps, and I'm sure he'll keep his TR regardless), but has a Marshall that he's not using much and feels kind of meh about it. I think he'll like what he hears from the HXDA.

Sometimes "the one" is actually, you know, "the two." ;)

Twinfan
10-02-2012, 05:59 AM
I tend to duplicate guitars, if they're my main gigging axe, but not amps. I just get a backup I'd be happy to use, or a spare set of valves.

Boogie
10-02-2012, 07:40 AM
Good question. If I were making my living from the gear, then my IT systems experience echoes your concerns...what if it dies? If the cost of duplication is less than the lost revenue and downtime, then don't think twice and buy it. It's a wise insurance policy (and makes you really look pro if something fails in the middle of a job. That can guarantee a call-back.).

For us weekend warriors, it doesn't seem too reasonable to duplicate our gear, but even playing 30-40 gigs a year is a business commitment. If I couldn't play because of failed gear I'd be replaced in a heartbeat. Of course, it pays to buy reliable, professional equipment to begin with.

LSchefman
10-02-2012, 11:11 AM
Good question. If I were making my living from the gear, then my IT systems experience echoes your concerns...what if it dies? If the cost of duplication is less than the lost revenue and downtime, then don't think twice and buy it. It's a wise insurance policy (and makes you really look pro if something fails in the middle of a job. That can guarantee a call-back.).

For us weekend warriors, it doesn't seem too reasonable to duplicate our gear, but even playing 30-40 gigs a year is a business commitment. If I couldn't play because of failed gear I'd be replaced in a heartbeat. Of course, it pays to buy reliable, professional equipment to begin with.

Agreed. Most recording equipment, and even monitors, can easily and quickly be replaced if something fails. And frankly, my sound isn't going to change very much if I can't replace, say, a particular mic. I use the "tried and tested" standard and readily available mics anyway for the most part.

However, one's sound is going to change a lot if a take has to be touched up with an overdub from a different amp!

Mikegarveyblues
10-02-2012, 06:08 PM
Not sure i'd duplicate equipment unless I was in a pro situation or had a lot of money. Even then i'd maybe only duplicate the amp. Guitars... i'd be happy to have a few Strats, different PRS's, etc... I just don't feel the need to have the exact same guitar with the same pups, etc. Amp wise, i'd want at least one identical backup on stage with me every night and perhaps identical rigs dotted across the world. Anyhoo... That's dream world, back to reality...

I love my Laney Lionheart. My only worry would be it getting stolen in a break in. It seems unlikely they would (Famous last words!!!) compared to other items in the house. Right now it would be easy enough to replace it. If they stopped manufacturing them and they rarely came up used then it could be a different story.

LSchefman
10-02-2012, 07:35 PM
Not sure i'd duplicate equipment unless I was in a pro situation or had a lot of money. Even then i'd maybe only duplicate the amp. Guitars... i'd be happy to have a few Strats, different PRS's, etc... I just don't feel the need to have the exact same guitar with the same pups, etc. Amp wise, i'd want at least one identical backup on stage with me every night and perhaps identical rigs dotted across the world. Anyhoo... That's dream world, back to reality...

I love my Laney Lionheart. My only worry would be it getting stolen in a break in. It seems unlikely they would (Famous last words!!!) compared to other items in the house. Right now it would be easy enough to replace it. If they stopped manufacturing them and they rarely came up used then it could be a different story.

I've never had duplicates before, even of guitars, either. Never felt the need.

I am starting to feel the need re: this amp. It's probably stupid, and will probably pass. ;)

docbennett
10-03-2012, 08:18 AM
For anyone who has contemplated buying a 2nd HXDA amp as a "backup" I would make the following recommendation...if you're going to go that far (and, the HXDA has become easily the favorite of my 5 PRS CAD's) you might want to contact Doug Sewall....my HXDA is the proto that has all the standard features plus, what he calls "the kitchen sink mod". The way that is explained is there is a toggle in the back that allows you to switch from parallel to series circuitry. Doug explains that you get the option of "plexi vs JCM"...or, in his own words:

"The series/parallel switch on back takes the two channels normally running parallel with each other (additive gain) and places them in series (multiplicative gain). It would be (circuit wise) similar to going from a plexi topology to a JCM 800 topology."

All I can say is that it easily doubles the number of tonal options. By toggling between parallel and series, the tones are totally different. One is a much higher gain...one is a lot cleaner. I can go from virtually clean tones (keep both gain levels at about 7 O'Clock...just above minimum) and bring up the master volume (in "plexi mode) to incredible hi-gain, "infinite sustain", and great tone...in "JCM mode"...all at bedroom volume...just by toggling back and forth.

In any event..if you are going to the expense of duplicating an amp that you love...it might make sense to have the duplicate be able to do everything the original can....and more.

Just my 3 cents as a very satisfied customer of the HXDA "Kitchen Sink" amp.

LSchefman
10-03-2012, 08:56 AM
I know you love that amp, Bennett, and that mod is certainly a great option for a higher gain player!

But what I love about the amp is the way it sounds at what you'd probably consider relatively low gain settings. Here's how I set mine up with my guitars for recording some rock stuff this morning for an ad project where the client wants a sound somewhere between alt rock and power pop punk:

First switch to the left on DA, and the second two switches on HX. HX gain around 12 o'clock; bass gain just a touch above off; treble around 11 o'clock; mids and bass around 1-2 o'clock; presence around 10:30 o'clock, volume about 12 o'clock. Bridge pickup on SC58, with tone at 7, volume rolled down so there's bite, but it's not too trebly. Recording with a Royer 122 ribbon mic tilted at a vertical angle of maybe 10-15 degrees, six inches off the speaker cone. The Royer brings out some of the low end, and smooths out the high end.

Sounds like *not* a lot of gain, right? But here's my technique for getting a big guitar sound:

Layer a few passes, and it will sound huge, and plenty gainy. Often, the less gain, the bigger the sound when a rhythm part is layered. On one of the passes I'll turn the bass down more and turn up the treble, just to balance things out.

In any case, this is about as high gain as I usually work, unless I'm using a germanium old-style fuzz, which produces a distinctly different flavor of gain that I do like and often use (and probably most players would use it differently). Going to the JCM800 sound isn't for me, it's too buzz-saw in the midrange for my own taste. I'd probably choose a different amp for very high gain, something like a Mesa, which is a bit more scooped in the midrange.

Gotta remember, ad clients don't want what they call "screaming guitar solos" for the most part, there has to be room in the mix for the voiceover or dialog, which is midrange information. So basically the final mix gets scooped there anyway. A guitar solo is all midrange and most will interfere with the VO.

So at this point, I think I'd probably not get use out of the kitchen sink mod. One good thing is that with a spare amp (if I got one) I could always send the other one in for the mod if down the road I felt the need. But after 20 years in the biz...I think the stock amp is plenty.

aristotle
10-05-2012, 10:48 PM
Were it me (and in my case, it is me!) I wouldn't back it up with the same thing. I know you were on the fence regarding the MDT early on, but I think that it's the perfect complement to the HXDA. If I recall, you were concerned with clean headroom, and initially, I was of the opinion that the MDT really didn't go very clean at reasonable gig volumes. That's just because I just didn't fiddle much with the Bright switch. Set in the "normal" configuration, master dimed, volume on 10 o'clock, it's clean heaven, with beaucoup de volume. Hit the bright switch in the configuration, and it goes from great clean to JTM45 crunch (which makes me wish that the bright switch could be foot switchable.).

It'll sound crazy, but I've settled on a gig configuration with the MDT set as the clean machine, and the HX/DA set as the dirty amp, both switched through a Radial Headbone into a single cab. Works fantastic...

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k493/trmckn/HXDA-MDT-2_zps8d95d740.jpg

sergiodeblanc
10-05-2012, 11:18 PM
http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k493/trmckn/HXDA-MDT-2_zps8d95d740.jpg

Tell the truth, you are just running that little SS Marshall in the background through the PA just like KISS, right?:biggrin:

aristotle
10-05-2012, 11:21 PM
That "little Marshall" is actually a 100W JCM900 combo with a quad of EL34s at the output and 3 12AX7s at the preamp. These are sometimes maligned, but for 80s hair band music, it's fantastic!

sergiodeblanc
10-05-2012, 11:34 PM
I know, I'm just playin', it's just residual jealousy from MA-Pete"s Glaicer Blue Ted!

LSchefman
10-06-2012, 09:08 AM
Were it me (and in my case, it is me!) I wouldn't back it up with the same thing. I know you were on the fence regarding the MDT early on, but I think that it's the perfect complement to the HXDA. If I recall, you were concerned with clean headroom, and initially, I was of the opinion that the MDT really didn't go very clean at reasonable gig volumes. That's just because I just didn't fiddle much with the Bright switch. Set in the "normal" configuration, master dimed, volume on 10 o'clock, it's clean heaven, with beaucoup de volume. Hit the bright switch in the configuration, and it goes from great clean to JTM45 crunch (which makes me wish that the bright switch could be foot switchable.).

It'll sound crazy, but I've settled on a gig configuration with the MDT set as the clean machine, and the HX/DA set as the dirty amp, both switched through a Radial Headbone into a single cab. Works fantastic...

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k493/trmckn/HXDA-MDT-2_zps8d95d740.jpg

Aristotle, gotta say that usually I'm about plain-looking amps, but that rig truly takes my breath away! The guitar has to sound amazing with the amps. I'm finding the SC58 a great combination with the HXDA.

I do like your thinking on this issue; I had a tough time deciding between the MDT and the HXDA.

aristotle
10-07-2012, 08:56 PM
Hi Les,

Here's a (very sloppy) comparison of the HX/DA and MDT set very clean. Master dimed, volume around 10 o'clock, which is actually quite loud. The MDT had the "bright" switch set to normal (otherwise it breaks up at a lower volume...) and the HX/DA was set with two out of three on the D/A mode (forget which was which) with the lead channel around 10 o'clock and just a shosh of bass volume. EQ's set so that they had a pretty similar clean tone. For my tastes, clean or dirty, neither really has a clear advantage. The HX/DA gives you more alternatives though, so that in and of itself is an advantage I guess. If you're gigging the amp (and from what I've read of you posts, you're mainly recording with these, so maybe doesn't apply to you...) and you set the amp relatively clean, I think that the MDT takes pedals better (again for my tastes at least...)

Anyway, in the clip, the first section has a couple of riffs with pedals switched out (one on the bridge pickup and one on the neck). The next is with a Wampler Pinnacle set for (to me) a modern gain tone that's a bit scooped, and the third is with a Fulltone OCD set with a bit of crunch. Bottom line for me is that there isn't a clear winner, without pedals, the HX/DA has more options, and with pedals, the MDT has more options. Both are fantastic in my opinion. Used an R5 (hotmod with wraptail and burstbuckers...) for this one. SC58 is also very tastey through these as well...

Both heads were switched through a Radial Headbone into the PRS 2x12 with V30s. You can hear the clicking when I switch between heads because I used two mics to record this. The first was at the cab, and the second was around 20' away. Unfortunately I placed the mic on a small stand on the floor right next to the remote control footswitch for the headbone, hence the clicks. It makes it obvious at least when I'm switching heads I guess...

http://i1112.photobucket.com/albums/k493/trmckn/mdthxda4.jpg


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJSqEMNDlWI

Boogie
10-07-2012, 09:41 PM
Could you replace the amp with income from 2 projects? Do you do more than 5 projects a year? Would you lose the opportunity for a call-back if your amp failed?

If you answered yes to these, buy a duplicate and rest easier at night. Your concern is valid, IMO

LSchefman
10-07-2012, 10:40 PM
Hi Les,

Here's a (very sloppy) comparison of the HX/DA and MDT set very clean. Master dimed, volume around 10 o'clock, which is actually quite loud. The MDT had the "bright" switch set to normal (otherwise it breaks up at a lower volume...) and the HX/DA was set with two out of three on the D/A mode (forget which was which) with the lead channel around 10 o'clock and just a shosh of bass volume. EQ's set so that they had a pretty similar clean tone. For my tastes, clean or dirty, neither really has a clear advantage. The HX/DA gives you more alternatives though, so that in and of itself is an advantage I guess. If you're gigging the amp (and from what I've read of you posts, you're mainly recording with these, so maybe doesn't apply to you...) and you set the amp relatively clean, I think that the MDT takes pedals better (again for my tastes at least...)

Anyway, in the clip, the first section has a couple of riffs with pedals switched out (one on the bridge pickup and one on the neck). The next is with a Wampler Pinnacle set for (to me) a modern gain tone that's a bit scooped, and the third is with a Fulltone OCD set with a bit of crunch. Bottom line for me is that there isn't a clear winner, without pedals, the HX/DA has more options, and with pedals, the MDT has more options. Both are fantastic in my opinion. Used an R5 (hotmod with wraptail and burstbuckers...) for this one. SC58 is also very tastey through these as well...

Both heads were switched through a Radial Headbone into the PRS 2x12 with V30s. You can hear the clicking when I switch between heads because I used two mics to record this. The first was at the cab, and the second was around 20' away. Unfortunately I placed the mic on a small stand on the floor right next to the remote control footswitch for the headbone, hence the clicks. It makes it obvious at least when I'm switching heads I guess...

Thanks for this, Aristotle! Super-nice demo!

You made it easy to hear the differences between the two models, and I truly appreciate it!



Could you replace the amp with income from 2 projects? Do you do more than 5 projects a year? Would you lose the opportunity for a call-back if your amp failed?

If you answered yes to these, buy a duplicate and rest easier at night. Your concern is valid, IMO

Good advice!

If an amp went down I wouldn't lose an opportunity, since the work I do doesn't involve auditioning. But I would certainly feel less comfortable. Even when I have a been given a decent deadline, clients often will want the project completed early. It just happened last week!

A TV ad project came in on Tuesday at 6 PM, and the original deadline was Monday, end of day. One thirty second and one fifteen second version. Six days is a luxurious amount of time in the ad world.

Well, that soon changed from 6 days to a day and a half for the whole ball of wax. Scoring to picture, arranging the two versions, recording, mixing, mastering.

By 9 AM Thursday I got a client email asking for finished tracks by noon same day.

Fortunately, I'd gotten a head start! By Thursday morning, all that was left was a couple of guitar overdubs, mixing, mastering and uploading the audio files to the client.

This is where not having to mess around getting a guitar tone is a big deal!

Given this three hour deadline, having the rig miked up properly and ready to go before I got started was an absolute necessity, not a luxury. Because I not only had to track, I had to mix, master and upload audio files to the client in the three hour period. It can take as much time to mix a 30 second track as it does a 3 minute song.

People often ask me, "Don't you audition guitars, amps, mics to figure out the best one for a project?" Well, that'd be great, but who the heck has the time? That's why I only have a couple of guitars and a single amp. It's a big reason I like PRS guitars, they're versatile. I gotta simply strap a guitar on, and get going. I maybe have time to move the mic to capture a particular thing. That's about it.

On a project like this, even using a modeler would have slowed me down. I hate playing through modelers, I like the vibe of the amp in the room. Modelers force me to do more takes. Too frustrating under a deadline. And in truth, just going through models, and picking mic/cab impulse responses, and all, kills the creative vibe and takes additional time. Faster, and sounds better to just walk into the room and move the freakin' mic a couple of inches!

So...yeah. I can justify a backup amp. ;)

sergiodeblanc
10-08-2012, 12:08 AM
good thing about it was by having them it assured that I never needed to use them.

Buy that sucker Les! just keep it in the wrapping and then you could sell it to a "collector" down the road.

Boogie
10-08-2012, 06:17 AM
Buy that sucker Les! just keep it in the wrapping and then you could sell it to a "collector" down the road.

That would be great, but it's not a true backup if it hasn't been tested, burned-in and dialed-in. But since they don't leave the house/studio, wear-n-tear should be zero. I'd certainly buy THAT! :)

captdg
10-27-2012, 09:57 AM
While reading pro gear, saw an ad for a box that would save the "exact sound" of ANY guitar and amp combo and then you could duplicate it. I know this isnt for the purist but would it get one out of a tight spot? or is this just sales talk? I guess I meant Modeler. I am new and just learning.

LSchefman
10-27-2012, 01:40 PM
While reading pro gear, saw an ad for a box that would save the "exact sound" of ANY guitar and amp combo and then you could duplicate it. I know this isnt for the purist but would it get one out of a tight spot? or is this just sales talk? I guess I meant Modeler. I am new and just learning.

This would be the Kemper profiling amp. I believe that the modeling technique is largely impulse response derived. The Axe-FX Bennett refers to uses another modeling technique, and it's algorithm based with the additional ability to use cabinet impulse responses.

It sounds pretty darn amazing for what it is.