High-end digital. Axe FX, neural, etc . . .

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Jul 17, 2022
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A few years back I was led into the digital realm after 15+ years of traditional tube/SS amps.

I started with the katana 50 combo, hooked up to a laptop. It didn't have "the feel". While playing I felt something missing in the hands-to-speaker-to-ears system. The available sounds were nice, but missing something.
I moved from that to a podGo into a clean SS amp. Again, very nice sounds, but missing something.

From there I moved to the line6 HxEffects into a tube combo. Again, same thing, very nice sounds, missing something. With both the podGo and the HxEffects I used 4 cable method.

I stopped there, because any upgrades from there would be high dollar, AxeFx, Kemper, Neural, so I went back to traditional tube combo with stomp boxes.

My question is, if there really is one in this rant, does AxeFx, Neural, Kemper, have that "feel"?.

Or, this is also a possibility, is my perceived lack of something in the chain actually psychosomatic and only in my mind? Obviously the line6 helix is used by thousands of gigging musicians, and while the podGo is the budget version, the HxEffects that I had is from the actual helix line, and I couldn't deal with the missing "something".

On a side note, the UA ox box. That unit obviously takes the amp speaker out and completely transforms it to a digital signal. Does it lose the "feel" (if indeed the "feel" is real), or, because it is ultra premium product, (axeFx, Kemper, neural) does it retain the "feel"?

Thanks for any insight into the ultra premium product lines, I don't have anywhere I could go to try them out.
Im not in the market for them anyway, but id like to hear of anyone else who may also have the reaction to digital that I've had.



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May 4, 2018
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My own experiences tells me that my Fractal Axe-FX does have a "real amp feel" when it's using a tube power amp as its power amp, and when it's connected to guitar and not FRFR cabinets. FRFR cabinets are very different in how the tone is produced, and while it may sound the same some distance from the cabinet, up close where you'd be when letting your guitar interact via feedback, it's totally different.

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