Apartment Rig, Too many options

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Zulu_Twenty, May 6, 2020.

  1. Zulu_Twenty

    Zulu_Twenty SS.org Regular

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    Hello everyone, long time lurker finally joined.

    I started playing guitar again after couple of years and want to "upgrade" my rig so to speak, im getting a second guitar also.

    I'm strict bedroom player with no gigging aspirations, i also don't record and such.Just playing along with songs i like.(Children of bodom, Trivium etc)

    I live in a apartment so need a setup that can deliver metal tones at low levels.I have read prob. hundreds of threads about the subject and there seems to be two camp, go modeling or low power tubes can sound great at low sound levels.

    My current setup is Behringer V-Ampire and EHX Metal Muff.I use the amp bypass option on the amp.

    My options and prices as below(Its expensive here);

    Helix Stomp + Studio Monitors 980$

    Mooer GE200 + Studio Monitors 630$

    Engl Gigmaster 15 Head + 1x12 Cab 830$ (558$ Used)

    Blackstar HT-5 Metal Head + 1x12 Cab 560$

    Boss Katana 50/100 420$


    My draw to these tube amps are i dont tweak my tone too much , dont use effects so i can have couple of good tones instead of hundreds of so so ones.Am i wrong?Or modeler will still have the edge when playing in the room?

    Does HX Stomp worth the premium over Mooer if i only care about the distortion tones i get form it?Delay while switching effects etc dont bother me.Id rather not spend that much.

    Blackstars Metal Head seems like a good option(more suited for metal compared to regular ht-5) but cant try them as all shops are closed here.

    Is the Katana overrated, i remember not liking Roland Cubes.If we only care about the hi-gain stuff is it meh?

    Any experience with Engl gigmaster?Some say its not modern sounding?It has watt selection too so seems promising.

    Sorry for rambling, just option paralysis and not being able to try them made me confused :D

    Thanks!
     
  2. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    Out of your options you will get the best sound out of the HX Stomp with studio monitors IMO.

    I really, really don't care for low power tube amps for metal tones. To me they just don't punch in a way I like.
     
  3. GoldDragon

    GoldDragon SS.org Regular

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    The great thing about studio monitors is that they usually can sound pretty good at low volume. Since you are in an apartment I would go that route.

    A 1x12 cab, even at low volume puts alot of sound into the room. You will hear your neighbors banging on the walls when you stop playing.

    If you want a great bang for buck monitor that can also get loud and also let you jam with other musicians, you could get Behringer Truth monitors. They are around 200/ea, so 400 or less on sale. They are like 250 watts per side, 8" speaker, biamped tweeter, and have alot of headroom. Can get loud. Great for listening to music and monitoring / mixing. Some people use these for their home theatre setups. They can sound big but also sound good quiet.

    https://www.behringer.com/Categorie...io-Monitoring/B2031A/p/P0252#googtrans(en|en)

    Some people might advise you to get 5" monitors in an apartment.

    If you can afford the HX stomp and good monitors, go with that. Or check out the Gigboard. I like it more than the HX, but Im in a minority. The Mooer is no slouch either!

    OTH, having a katana would let you jam out easier. If you want to go to friends houses and play. If you don't know how to dial in the Katana for metal, you might not like it.

    How about this? Katana + Mooer GE200 + studio monitors for $900

    Of your initial options, I would get the HX + monitors.

    If you can't get 8" monitors, I would seriously consider the Katana because you can actually use it to play in a band. I think trying to riff out metal on 5" speakers will be pretty lame.

    Another option is a Katana Head and a used Cab. The katana head has a 5" practice speaker built in. You wouldnt even need a cab to start.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
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  4. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only the dead have seen the end of GAS

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    helix and katana are the standouts ime. They are very user friendly and great at low volumes imo.
    Honestly you can't go wrong with either. :shrug:
     
  5. trem licking

    trem licking SS.org Regular

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    also check out the line 6 pod go. is a computer an option for you? could use vst+audio interface+studio monitors
     
  6. Lax

    Lax SS.org Regular

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    Good studio monitors like yamaha hs7 or 8
    Maybe not 5" you may find them thin sounding and end up buying the subwoofer.

    And a modeller, I am a fractal fan so I'd suggest you find an used ax8.

    Have fun!
     
  7. GoldDragon

    GoldDragon SS.org Regular

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    OK, this is what I would do myself with a 1K budget. You can get everything at 15% off. Just ask.

    Behringer Truth monitors x 2 - $400
    Katana Head - $300
    Used Cabinet (or new 1x12) - $300
    Amp plugins - $0

    The Truth monitors are great all around speakers and have enough headroom to riff metal but also sound good quiet. They can also be used to rock out house parties.

    The katana head has a 5" built in practice speaker when you need to play quiet.

    With a 1x12 or 2x12 cab, the katana head will be loud enough to play with a band.

    If you are recording, free plugins are pretty damn good. There are youtube tutorials that show how to get metal.

    You might be able to find a 4x12 peavey cabinet for $300.

    Metal sound usually comes from a closed back cabinet and having enough clean headroom. Its not just about the amp. A 15 watt tube amp through an open back cab is not very metal when you need to turn it up.
     
  8. Zulu_Twenty

    Zulu_Twenty SS.org Regular

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    Shame about that, i would look closely to modelers than.

    Im currently using a ss amp with 10inch speaker and true that i dont even open the volume half way.As i said no plan for gigging/jamming so monitors makes more sense in a way.8 inch monitor prices jump too much to justify so i would go 5 inch if i do.I just cant wrap my head around how monitors would sound.
    Well i put the 900 buck option there but dont want to spend that much actually .
    Katana seems very well received but not sure it would be if it was 2x the price. (Head is not available here)
     
  9. Zulu_Twenty

    Zulu_Twenty SS.org Regular

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    Indeed , this many people can't be wrong, Im just worried that Katana being so close to price to Blackstar i would be disappointed that i didn't get a tube amp.
    My computer is on 24/7 but i was thinking if i was gonna spend the bucks on monitors , for little more i can get a processor like mooer instead of a interface.
    My room is quite small so i thought 5'' ones would be enough(jbli yamaha or presonus) but never tried them .It is the bass response that makes the difference i guess?
    Axe is over my budget even if used here unfortunetly.
     
  10. Choop

    Choop n______n

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    +1 for this--for the VST+audio interface+studio monitors option, if you're looking at the HX stomp just to play through monitors anyway, I think plugins like the Neural DSP Fortin and Archetype sets would work well for you. They come with an IR type setup also, so it's all packaged together nicely if you go with one of these. Also they really do sound killer.
     
  11. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only the dead have seen the end of GAS

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    I own multiple tube amps and think the katana sounds great. Digital tech anymore sounds damn good. Plus katanas are quite cheap if you get one used.
     
  12. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    Hx stomp and mackie CR4's (discounted because they are discontinued). If you can splash the cash then fractal fm3 and CR4's. Enjoy!
     
  13. Zulu_Twenty

    Zulu_Twenty SS.org Regular

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    My hesitation for VST'S also comes from they come out quite expensive when you start buying bunch of plugins and IR's but getting one good sounding one and soundcard may fit the bill.I will look into that plugin.
    So plugin+monitors+soundcard and im done, can use it on the fly with my laptop also i guess.
     
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  14. thraxil

    thraxil cylon

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    I'm pretty much strictly an apartment player at this point. I have basically both approaches:

    • Axe-Fx II with monitors and a Fryette GP/DI box (not necessary but very nice addition)
    • Orange Micro Dark plus a couple of the little Hotone solid state sub 1W amps plus a (kind of massive) pedalboard.

    The advantages of the modelling route are that it sounds really good at low volumes, it sounds really good through headphones (for when you really need it quiet), and it's basically already setup for recording direct into a computer.

    The advantages of the small amp and pedals route are that (for me) it's just more fun to mess around with. I make heavy use of an EHX Freeze pedal and Ditto Looper and similar things to do ambient stuff that just entertains me for hours. I like tweaking stuff and it's just more fun to turn knobs on pedals than go through menus on a modeller. It also allows me to justify a pedal buying habit. The downside is that it doesn't really sound good with headphones and isn't very good for recording. The rig sounds really good but does tend to need to be a touch louder than the modeller to really hit that sweet spot.
     
  15. Merrekof

    Merrekof SS.org Regular

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    I'd go for the Helix or Mooer with monitors. I'm in a similar situation myself. I'm using a Line6 Pod HD pro X with a mesa 50/50 poweramp. Haven't used that poweramp in months, it is just too loud. I'm usually goung through monitors or headphones when the kid is sleeping.

    Even the Katana amp could be too loud in your situation.
     
  16. ATRguitar91

    ATRguitar91 SS.org Regular

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    A third option that I'll suggest is a preamp pedal/modeler into a pedal power amp like a Mooer Baby Bomb into a 112 or 212 cab. This is my preferred way to go for a practice rig and it'll sound good at whisper level volumes. Can easily get one of these setups going for around $400 if you find used deals. I rocked one of these setups for years and never had a complaint from neighbors in my apartment, you just have to be considerate with your volume.

    The upside to this type of setup is that you could always run the modeler into a pair of monitors if you get some later, or get an interface and run the preamp pedal into the interface with IRs.

    If you're worried about the cost of VST's adding up, there are tons of free amp VST's out there that sound pretty killer. I'm keen on the Ignite Emissary myself.

    One thing to consider, it's just nice having a good set of monitors for daily use and listening to music, same thing with a good set of headphones.
     
  17. Merrekof

    Merrekof SS.org Regular

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    True, spend a little extra and you'll be enjoying that for years to come.
     
  18. GoldDragon

    GoldDragon SS.org Regular

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    The 8" monitors will sound alot better than 5" for metal.

    I linked the Behringer Truth 8" monitors because they are amazing and they don't cost much more than 5's.

    The Behringer monitors are a copy of a much more expensive monitor.
     
  19. Roadsterjosh

    Roadsterjosh SS.org Regular

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    I honestly doubt that the Blackstar HT5 metal is gonna give you anything more than the Katana, or sound better without a bunch of work.
    I have played the HTmetal line, they sound okay. Their underwhelming for me as far as "tube" feel, given that they sound more artificial and like a distortion pedal to me. It wasn't better than my 30 year old Peavey Bandit and was a lot more expensive.

    Of the options you've listed I would choose the HXstomp or Mooer GE and good monitors, or the Katana. Don't discount the PODgo either, it looks intriguing.
     
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  20. Sleazy_D

    Sleazy_D SS.org Regular

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    Legit all you need is an hx stomp and monitors? Nothing else? Excuse my ignorance, I normally just play amps.
     
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