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Matt P

Desktop Multi-effects/Practice tool

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Back when i was younger i played a lot of guitar and my main rig was a Marshall JTM600 2x12, i wasn't married and when i wanted to practice i just used my amp along with whatever pedals i wanted. I'm now married with a son and very limited space so i mainly play sitting at my desk using a Focusrite scarlett and some headphones.

the sound is fine but i'm missing some of the tone shaping and effects i used to have access to, my space is very limited so using an actual amp with a speaker isn't an option (also all my amps are all valve and lack any kind of headphone output, and practicing without headphones is not possible.)

i have been having a bit of an look online and was thinking of buying either some kind of desktop effects unit or possibly some hind of tiny hybrid micro head (Bantamp maybe, or a micro terror) I do own a Marshall DRP-1 but it's a bit of a one trick pony and it really needs a new set of pots as it is a bit on the temperamental side.

I know that i could use some kind of software but my main pc is Linux and i would rather have some kind of physical box of tricks. I would also prefer something that is designed to be on a desk rather than anything designed for floor use (no footswitches) a small footprint is a must too, or even something that would sit on top of my interface or on a shelf with controls along the front provided it was smaller than a 1U rack, 1/2 rack width would be ok.

My budget is about £50, happy to go either new or used.

the units i have seen so far include -

Line 6 pod (various versions)

Behringer V-amp

Mooer PE100

 

what are peoples thoughts on these? are there any others i should look at?

 

Thanks

 

Matt

 

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I'd recommend a VoxTonelab something or other. I've owned one of the big, AC30-sized original Valvtronix ampsfor years,and the sound quality isfantastic. I'm going to sell it soon, but only because I just don't getthe use out of it. For anyone needing the volume and the range of tones and effects, it's outstanding. Same tech in the Tonelab bits, which I've considered for playnig with recording online. TBH, in the unlikely event I ever went gigging again, I think I'd be looking more to something like thisrather than humpnig a hefty amp around.

If you're looking more for a pedal that can double as an amp sim / DI and give you "one, good sound", I'm hearing surprisingly good things about the Joyo range.

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I saw the Vox offerings but they all seem to be designed for floor use rather than sitting on a desk, i was really hoping for something that was desk orientated so that is can sit next to my pc off the floor (this also keeps it away from the inquisitive fingers of my 3 year old son) i will keep an eye on eBay though, if it is cheap enough then i guess one of the smaller ones could sit on the desk.

i have seen some of the Joyo offerings, one of the small pedal preamps might be an option as an always-on box.

thanks for the reply @EdwardMarlowe.

Matt

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I used to have a Korg Pandora PX4 which was pretty good as a desktop practise tool. There’s one on eBay for £24 plus postage at the moment. 

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2 hours ago, Matt P said:

I saw the Vox offerings but they all seem to be designed for floor use rather than sitting on a desk, i was really hoping for something that was desk orientated so that is can sit next to my pc off the floor (this also keeps it away from the inquisitive fingers of my 3 year old son) i will keep an eye on eBay though, if it is cheap enough then i guess one of the smaller ones could sit on the desk.

i have seen some of the Joyo offerings, one of the small pedal preamps might be an option as an always-on box.

thanks for the reply @EdwardMarlowe.

Matt

No worries. A lot of the Vox ones now are designed for floor use - I guess so they could be used live, orf for players who prefer to use stomp boxes on the fly. The original one like this https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/274358975605?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=710-134428-41853-0&mkcid=2&itemid=274358975605&targetid=876739461253&device=c&mktype=pla&googleloc=9045886&poi=&campaignid=9437781569&mkgroupid=98509560649&rlsatarget=pla-876739461253&abcId=578896&merchantid=6995734&gclid=CjwKCAjwt-L2BRA_EiwAacX32f7xpT_BVQ7i9D5B2oEkLvoNz2CxD3JqLofRFiEkpVJXlNkJPlxtWxoCrg0QAvD_BwE might be more what you're after if you can find one used.

The Line 6 Pods were designed to plug in to a udb, if memory serves. Never used one, but they were big news a few years ago. 

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well, i've never seen one of those Vox units before, it looks really good, i'll definately put a ebay watch on for one, thank you!

the Pod units (and the cheaper clones) usually have some kind of 1/4" output that i can link into my current interface, the USB is sometimes to act as an interface for recording but on some models it's there to allow connection to a PC for patch editing software, i spent a frustrating hour one afternoon attempting to set up a friends early Pod 500 HD thing (can't remember the exact model) it was so complex that i gave up and gave it back whatever i buy will have to be one of the cheaper models with less bells and whistles.

 

Matt

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I haveheard that the Podcan be a bit confusing, yeah.

The Vox I linked to was the original Tonelab - they came out around the same time as or shortly after the first, big, blue grillecloth Valvetronix series amps. The 'SE' stage edition came out shoertly thereafter, it was essentially a combination of the Tonelab and the big VC12 footboard for the amps. It does seem, looking at their new range, that they have shiftred very much towards being footpedal-based interfaces - as I said, I'm assuming this is because so many players felt more comfortable with treating it like foot-pedal FX, rather than the format of the original, which looks to me much more in the same thinkspace as a recording desk. It's true also that Vox were very much at the forefront of something I think we're only starting to see begin to gain traction now - the idea of having a small box on the floor to generate tones, and relying on the PA for doing the 'loud' bit. I do think ,though, it's a shame that few companies are going the route of this "baby recording desk" style.

The plus part is that these older Tonelabs seem to hold their used value fairly well if you ever wante to move it on again, and the buil;d quality is such that I wouldn't worry about them being OOP.

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22 hours ago, ezbass said:

I used to have a Korg Pandora PX4 which was pretty good as a desktop practise tool. There’s one on eBay for £24 plus postage at the moment. 

the korg pandora units are on my watch list, they tend to sell at around 40 quid but very occasionally they go around the 30 mark, i tend to prefer knobs and dials for adjustment but if a pandora is available at a low enough price then i'll jump on it as i've always fancied one ever since i saw the original one in a magazine.

 

Matt

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