Synergy Amps, Are They Worth It?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by XPT707FX, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire \[T]/

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    yeah the kemper is only good if you don't try and adjust eq/gain settings (or barely adjust em) . I owned one for years and that was part of why I got rid of it.
     
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  2. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    I guess I should just try some of these to see how they are. On paper, I just have trouble with the power amp differences. For example, the AC30 famously has no negative feedback in the power amp, which is quite different from most Marshall and Fender designs. And the Uberschall has a unique "presence" circuit and unusual negative feed back design as well.

    But those are probably the two modules I'm most interested in: amps that I kinda like but not enough to actually buy an AC30 or Uberschall. Toss in an 800 module and to be able to switch around between them and carry it all in one hand could be great, but I don't know if one power amp is really going to deliver for that.
     
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  3. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    That is usually one issue of these systems. If you use the same poweramp, many preamps tend to start sounding, and feeling, the same. People tend to downplay how much the poweramp effects the sound and feel of amps. It took me many years to understand that also, after using different rack preamps through the years.
     
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  4. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    The power amp definitely makes a difference. And...if you're going for something like the ac30 cranked or something like that these probably won't sound anywhere close.

    That being said they should be able to do unique presence circuits or negative feedback changes in the power amp themselves. That's not a big deal actually. There's only so many ways you can do that.

    But something like an ac30 that requires cathode bias and tortured tubes...that's going to sound very different into a standard power amp.
     
  5. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    - I think it's more about if you just get something you like and it gives you the character of said amp that the module represents.
    - One thing I like about Synergy is they don't claim it's like the real amp anywhere. Nowhere on the advertising do they claim this. At least what I've seen ( I haven't read it all). The only thing regarding feel is the 3 way cathode select switch on the back of module will choose the 3 "most popular" feels. So they make it apparent the module is gonna have 3 feel settings basically. implying it's different.
    - They also claim the tones in the module to not be identical as well. Like in the description of the SLO module they say "Mike Soldano himself designed this dual 12AX7-powered preamp to elicit the same thick sound, creamy gain, and endless sustain of his original amp."
    - See, this is all advertising word-craft. They are telling you it's not the real deal yet trying to tell you it will give you that character but not exact so you'll still buy it.
    - The reality is that some of these combinations might end up being preferred over the real thing, because they are they're own thing and it's just subjective. A little bit like someone liking a modded amp over the original etc.
    -What if they partnered with Fractal to make a module or combo amp/head you plug the AxeFx into and it switched all these different power amps and also preamp tubes combo at the same time while using modelling too? Would that be the ultimate abomination to the original amps or evolution? : )
     
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  6. Meeotch

    Meeotch SS.org Regular

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    Good conversation!

    I bit the bullet this winter and went balls deep into a Synergy rig. I bought a SYN-1, and both the SLO and Uberschall modules. I'm running this into a Fryette Classic XXX power amp (had to sell a ton of shit for that one!)

    So far I'm super impressed with the tones. I'm sure the Fryette plays a big role, but I really think Synergy have done an awesome job here. I've been flipping amps like crazy the last 2 years, and my list only gets bigger and bigger. When I saw the future plans for the Bogner, Engl, and Fryette modules I was sold, as I've always wanted to try a UL, Uberschall, and Powerball to name a few. This will give me the chance to get legit representations of these tones without having to buy head after head. Plus the idea of having Fender Twin cleans and Twin Jet gain in the same amp is insane!

    I can see why Opeth went for the SLO module. It produces a monster wall of sound - thick, rich, and full. I can now see why the SLO has such a huge following, because I haven't quite gotten these tones before. It needs a boost for the nasties, but most amps do anyways!

    The Uberschall is another amp I've never tried, and damn this module is sick. Channel 1 has an upper mid emphasis and is perfect for fast, tight rhythms, where channel 2 is more brutal and scooped. Both have tons of gain on tap.

    I'm looking forward to the Fryette modules, and will probably pick up the Powerball next. Yes it is a big investment up front, but you can look at it like the more invested you get, the more amazing pure tube tones you have at a price that will be less than owning the respective heads. Sure you could just go digital, but what kind of fun is that??
     
  7. jco5055

    jco5055 SS.org Regular

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    Honestly I think that's what it comes down to at least for me. Since I currently do not make a living off of music/can't get tax write offs from gear etc, I really think it makes no sense for myself to stick to one amp/model only, so some kind of modeler/multi-amp solution is the only way to go. I think almost anyone that has the $$$ and space/ability to have all analog seems to prefer that/knows that's the way to go, bur I can't decide if the convenience of digital/Axe FX still qualifies under that "if you have very limited $$$ to spend on gear Axe FX 3 (or Kemper/Helix etc) is really the only smart way to go" or I just can't give up analog, and Synergy is that perfect marriage between modeling and analog.

    Honestly if they had some kind of rental/try out service for the modules (or my local guitar center starts stocking them) it would be a no-brainer.
     
  8. Meeotch

    Meeotch SS.org Regular

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    Last I checked GC is carrying Synergy, so you could always order it and try it out before commiting.

    I have yet to take the plunge into digital, although the Axe III is very inticing. I just have too much fun with tube amps and 4x12s to go down that rabbit hole. I'm sure I'll try it eventually, and like you said for some people it totally makes sense.
     
  9. Jon Pearson

    Jon Pearson SS.org Regular

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    I am really curious about hearing the Synergy stuff in person as a former Randall RM user. The Randall stuff was cool, but the stock modules left quite a bit to be desired. The Synergy stuff seems like a home run, but not likely for me given that I'm pretty satisfied with the Axe III and my couple of tube amps that I still have.

    If Mesa bought into the module thing (unlikely) and did a JP2C or Mark style module, it would sway me more. As it is I think there are a lot of really cool modules, but the Mark sound is kind of a go-to for me, and the Axe models are so damn good running through my cabs that it's pretty hard to imagine anything trumping them.
     
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  10. jco5055

    jco5055 SS.org Regular

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    I wish Synergy somehow came up with effects also, one reason I lean towards Axe FX is the $$$ saved as it also has effects, which seems to be at the bare minimum $500 or so dollars for a decent multi-effects processor.
     
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  11. Emperoff

    Emperoff Not using 5150s Contributor

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    Problem with Synergy is, old Egnater racks were 400$, 600$ later on (new). And they hosted up to 4 modules. Synergy is charging 900$ for a two module setup which puts you into a 1800$ 4 channel rack preamp when full. Not that great of a deal if you ask me...

    And the drums destroyed the mix (and almost my eardrums). Good thing he provided solo tracks...
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2020
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  12. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    I contacted Synergy to confirm if infact the sensing tech is only for the powered head and combo, and also asked what that tube inside the Syn-1 and Syn-2 are used for. My guess is it could be for either the effects loop, the sag control, or the cab sim. It would be nice to know. Will report back if I get a reply.
     
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  13. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    are you sure you're not talking about the randalls?
    The egnater branded stuff was never that cheap.
     
  14. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    There's stirings in the dark about the Deliverance module coming very soon. Along with others. Can't wait to see this. Right now I think the Ecstacy and Uber are my fav's, especially that Ecstacy. It's probably all BS.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
  15. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Over here they were blowing out the Egnater modules and racks at Guitar Center for at least a year after it was discontinued/wasn’t being sold at retail. Since it was always so niche, folks just thought it was always really cheap once they tried liquidating it all.
     
  16. 0rimus

    0rimus SS.org Regular

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    Yeah I got an email saying the Fryette modules were due in May sometime; but that was before the pandemic/quarantine stuff was in full swing, so I wouldn't hold them to that.

    Also I got my Powerball module. And I'm super impressed. Has no right to sound that good.

    I was worried with a few recent threads having a hater-fest about the Powerball, as I've literally never even seen an Engl in real life and most of my love for the PB is based on nostalgic idealism/band association.

    Still honeymooning. I'll try and make my lazy ass do a NRD or at least a crummy write-up with pictures this weekend.

    A financial hurdle to get into the synergy setup for sure (for a retail heathen like me) but I regret nothing.

    I need a jcm900 module now, the Pitbull, a 5150 one...
     
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  17. Emperoff

    Emperoff Not using 5150s Contributor

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    I saw a post from Bruce Egnater itself when I was looking for one talking about the pricing, so yeah.
     
  18. jsmalleus

    jsmalleus SS.org Regular

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    Good way around those worries about the power amp flavors is to skip the SYN5050 & other $$$ power amps and grab one or two much cheaper Randall RT 2/50's instead. The transformers from the amps the modules are based on won't be there, but you can load each side up of it with just about any power tube & they're midi switchable. Grab two for less than one new SYN5050, slap different tubes in em, bias them with the super easy test points and adjustment knobs right on the front, and welcome to flavor country (mine are loaded with 6L6, EL34 in one, KT77 and 6550's in the other). Just one with 6L6 and EL34 or another tube type covers a ton of ground. All controllable with the same single press of the footswitch you're using to switch modules and any effects unit if you get it all hooked up together. Plus the cathode switches on the synergy modules, lots of options in there and feels better than any modeler/profiler I've tried. I use the SYN5050 for the live rig since it's 1u and lighter, but the RT 2/50s are where it's at and what I play thru 90% of the time (out of them, the syn5050, mesa 295, vht 2/50/2, RnR PWR-150, and Carvin TS100 I picked up after selling most of my other amps in favor of the modular setup). If you dig a more hi-fi sound you might want the syn/fryette/carvin instead, but the randall is a bit juicier and raunchier like the mesa, which is more my speed and with the ability to load two different types of tubes into one power amp and midi switching, it's a beast.

    Or just run it through the power section of any amp you already have! It's easy to forget you don't even need to buy a separate power amp if you want to just add it to your existing amp or hear what it sounds like with what you already have. If it has an effects loop, and you want to try the synergy stuff, just get a syn1 and plop it on top of your amp.
     
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  19. GoldDragon

    GoldDragon SS.org Regular

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    The poweramp and (even more so) the cab makes a bigger difference than the preamp.

    While I'm not a big fan of Line6 modeling, their powercab concept is a really good idea. Its a FR cab that is loaded with IRs to make it sound like different cabs.

    I'm not really sure of its value when used with modelers that already have IRs built in, but for someone with a versatile tube amp, it might give you ability to nail many different tones.
     
  20. Genome

    Genome SS.org Regular

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    Does anyone know if these play well with a Matrix? Presumably not, as there's no power amp simulation? Thinking about picking up the rack pre but I've only got a GT1000FX, no tube power amps.
     

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