I’m not digging my rig

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by ChrisG, Jan 14, 2022.

  1. ChrisG

    ChrisG Blues Newbie

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    Hi Blues Friends! Just curious what others are using as a simple bedroom blues rig. I have a Fender Mustang GTX 50 and I’m just not sure I’m digging it. Hard for me to choose an amp model that I’m really loving. Thinking maybe there are just too many options. I bought it because of the ability to control the volume at bedroom levels and that it has many pedal options I could try without spending a ton of money. It has some features that sound like outer space and I’ll never use them. Anyone else out there using this amp? What settings and amp model? If not maybe tell me what is a better alternative if I decide on something else. I play a fender custom strat and a Gibson ES 335. Love to hear your thoughts!
     
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  2. PapaRaptor

    PapaRaptor Dental Floss Tycoon
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    I haven't used that amp, but I would suggest that instead of diving through hundreds of presets, start out with something very simple. My rig is an old Eleven Rack and I use pretty much two amps for guitar. One is modeled on the '65 Super Reverb. I usually pair it with a 4x10 cabinet, which is how the Super comes. I have a real Super sitting here, although it's an early 80's silverface. To my ear, the 11r and the Super sound very much alike. You might also try the '65 Twin that's in the GTX, along with a 2x12 cab. Those and the early Fender tweed are pretty much the source material for what came later.

    I also use a JTM-45 model with a 4x12 Celestion Greenback cabinet simulation. I don't have a Marshall JTM-45 to compare it, but that's the one I like most.

    Your tastes may vary, but pick a couple of the amp sims included and concentrate on those. You will eventually start to figure out what you like and what you don't like.

    The only other amp sim I use is the Ampeg SVT with an 8x10 speaker package which I use for bass. I haven't found anything I like better.

    Then try the basic pedals. The Greenbox in the GTX, which is modeled after the Tube Screamer, the Blackbox, modeled after the Pro Co RAT. Fender doesn't identify one as being a Boss Blues Driver clone, but they have a variety of different OD pedals you can try.

    There is enough to keep you busy for quite a while in the GTX50. Take your time and find your own sound. IMHO, the presets can just confuse the crap out of you. Find your own sound instead of trying to find one that's good enough from the presets.
     
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  3. Dennis(Slughand)Miller

    Dennis(Slughand)Miller Good News Blues

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    Check out the Supro Delta King amps. Also the Peavey Classic 20 mini head has switchable output 1/5/20 watts and many other great features.
     
  4. Rancid Rumpboogie

    Rancid Rumpboogie Blues Mangler

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    I have a Fender Mustang III V1 ... the original Mustang. It kept me exceedingly happy for five years until I got my Quilter MicroPro. I didn't use any of the presets that came with my Musang. I developed my own. I knew I wanted a clean like a Fender Twin, so chose that amp type and stripped all effects from it except a little reverb. First I set the treble, middle and bass all at high noon. Then I went into the advanced settings area and tried all of the speaker emulation choices and ended up liking it best with speaker emulation turned OFF. Then went back to the main amp settings and started twiddling knobs until I found a tone that I dearly love.
     
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  5. Mr.Scary

    Mr.Scary A Blues Legend in My Own Mind

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    I have the mustang lll which is pretty much the same and use the Fender Twin and Marshall JCM 800 and that about it and run the pedals in the front end. Old school, no effects loop. I've dialed them in and really don't play with presets much anymore.
     
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  6. MarkDyson

    MarkDyson Blues Hound Wannabe

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    I feel this advice. Between the Positive Grid's Bias Mini and Spark, and the Headrush Gigboard, I acquired a dizzying array of options for amps and effects pedals all at my literal fingertips to fire up and sound like, well, anything. In theory. Then there were the reverb and delay pedals with another whole "tone cloud" thing going on with even thousands more presets to wade through.

    In practice, dizzying was right—more like bewildering. In "dazed and confused" mode I packed them away and returned to a simple physical amp with proper knobs and no pedals and just started working on making that sound decent enough to live with, on the theory I could refine it later when I understood more. Then I'd just focus on trying to play better. (Sage folks tried to advise me to do that back when I first started diving into rabbit holes, but I was too stubborn to listen.)

    I think even Griff has like two or three presets on his own Eleven Rack that are his go-to tones. Papa is good, Papa is wise: I'd settle on a couple that are solid stepping-off places and then experiment in that limited sandbox. :Beer:
     
    #6 MarkDyson, Jan 15, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
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  7. BraylonJennings

    BraylonJennings Tearing it up at the campfire

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    I used amp sims and played direct into a PC for my recordings for years. Great to be able to change tones afterwards, but a Lotta time spent chasing tones. Now I use a simple clean amp and a handful of pedals for color. Much less time twiddling knobs, more time playing. I use a direct line out to record so I don't have to fuss with mics, also. Find a simple clean tone and go from there.
     
  8. Elio

    Elio Student Of The Blues

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    I have to agree with most of the other opinions here. My experience with my GDEC, Spark, and Mustangs has been that I have yet to find a factory preset that sounds in any way good to me. With that said, by starting off with a clean amp model and then bringing in just a bit of overdrive, reverb, and compression, I have been able to get some *really* amazingly nice tones. For some reason, it seems that the presets that they ship with are just universally set to extremes and just never sound good to my ear. The Mustang is certainly capable of producing some great tones though.
     
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  9. MarkDyson

    MarkDyson Blues Hound Wannabe

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    I believe the lack of curation of presets that make it into the "cloud" means it's quickly swamped with a flood of uploads of...um...questionable utility. With units like the Spark you can easily test drive a preset before you download it, but you still have to audition an insane number of them with no real way to filter the sea of candidates down to just promising ones. A rabbit hole for sure.
     
  10. MarkDyson

    MarkDyson Blues Hound Wannabe

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    My biggest beef with all the modeling amps that have apps associated is I can't tell how an amp is set just by looking at the knobs: they can be wildly different from what is actually set in the app. That bothered me with the Bias Mini, and still does so with the Spark. I found I spent most of my time digging around and turning off everything to get down to just a base amp and then using the physical knobs to tweak it. The app was just an impediment to my process. It's a great amp and can produce great tones, but the methodology isn't clicking with me.

    My Quilter has six voices and another half dozen or so boost types but I can look at the knob and know exactly how it's set. My Nace? It is what it is, and that's what it is. :cool:
     
  11. MarkDyson

    MarkDyson Blues Hound Wannabe

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    FWIW I searched and found an expanded user's manual for your amp and noticed it has a Blues Junior amp and cab option. Especially for bedroom playing that might be all you need; not sure if it models the "fat switch" feature of the BJr but when I had the physical one that (with the gain turned up until crunchy as I wanted and the master volume to control loudness) was a complete rig for most uses. YMMV.

    https://www.fmicassets.com/Damroot/...00000_Mustang_GTX_expanded_manual_ENGLISH.pdf
     
  12. mountain man

    mountain man Still got the Blues!

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    I like tube amps and simple pedals. My main rig is a Nace Pro18 combo with 5 pedals. 1st and most important is the tuner. The two main pedals I use are the J Rocket Archer Icon and the OCD. These three pedals are pretty much what you will get at one of Griff's BGU Live events. Occasionally I'll use the Fultone Octafuzz and the Deja Vibe. So any 15 or 20 watt tube amp will due but I'd start with the Marshall that you can switch to low watts (5 or so)(try to get it with a 12" driver for a fuller sound - but a 10" will due - don't get an 8"), or the Blues Jr (I use mine with an attenuator for that low watt tube crunch). there is probably a better low watt Fender tweed amp buy you'll need to look as I'm not that familiar. You certainly don't need my behemoth 80 watt Fender twin tweed 59 reissue hand wired Joe Bonamassa.... Good luck!
     
  13. CaptainMoto

    CaptainMoto Blues Voyager

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    My 2 cents as a casual observer:

    My personal preference is to start with a good tube amp and add effects pedals to achieve my tone.
    I've sold all my modeling amps and amp simulators.

    Having said that, I've watched a few vids on that amp and It seems to me it's a pretty good amp, that can take you from home practice to jams & gigs.

    The #1 problem I see with it is............TOO MANY OPTIONS!
    That's one of the reasons I dislike all the simulators.

    My recommendation is, pick a single amp model, like a Fender Twin and then select a few basic effect such as one O/D Delay and or Reverb.
    Save that present and learn how to adjust the amp & effects settings to make tones that sound like the blues tones you are seeking.


    Don't forget to learn how to use the pickup selector, volume & tone controls on the guitar.

    That's It!

    Treat that thing like it's one particular style amp until you nail your tone and have confidence in your adjustments.
    Don't change amps, effects, or any other parameters other than the basic volume, & tone controls.

    Between pickups selection, volume & tone on the guitar and the tone control on the amp you'll have enough to keep you busy for a long time.
    When you add an O/D you'll have all you need to refine a great blues tone.
     
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  14. MarkDyson

    MarkDyson Blues Hound Wannabe

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    (y)(y)(y)(y)(y):Beer:
     
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  15. ChrisG

    ChrisG Blues Newbie

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    Thank you! Your suggestions really helped me. I dialed in two tones using the suggestions that I really think I can work with. I had to just clear the presets and create my own. That was the ticket.
     
  16. ChrisG

    ChrisG Blues Newbie

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    Thanks man! I used the Super and really dig it. Mustang doesn't have a JTM-45 (at least that I can tell). I'm using an Orange 70's Mod for my heavier rock blues tones and it sounds pretty cool.
     
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  17. ChrisG

    ChrisG Blues Newbie

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    You were right on the money. Had to move away from the factory stuff and make my own. I think I can make this work for a while. Thanks!
     
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  18. ChrisG

    ChrisG Blues Newbie

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    Thanks for the link. This really is helpful!
     
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  19. MarkDyson

    MarkDyson Blues Hound Wannabe

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    :Beer::Beer::Beer:
     
  20. glynnd

    glynnd Blues Newbie

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    It is also useful to keep some sort of written record of the settings that you develop and that you like, then you can go back to them easily.
     
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