22 June 2009

Digital guitarist: Amp edition

Having decided that I’m a digital guitarist, it’s seems like it would be nice to get a combo amp that had the digital modeling and effects built-in. Yet, the footcontrollers for a Line 6 Spider III or the a Peavey Vypyr or a Fender G-DEC 30 or what-have-you are at least as big—some bigger—than my Digitech RP350. Whether the digital processing lives in the amp or the footcontroller doesn’t really have an impact on what I have to carry and set up.

The RP350 is actually more flexible because, if there’s a PA available, I don’t have to take an amp at all. The RP350 can also drive two amps (in stereo) as monitors while simultaneously sending balanced, line-out signals to the house.

So, again, I’m validating my choice.

My little Crate 15W 1×12 has served well with the RP350. Plenty loud enough for small venues and a decent monitor when plugging the RP350 into a house PA. (In one case the sound tech insisted on micing the Crate instead of taking the direct outs from the RP350.) I’ve been thinking of getting a second one so that I can run them in stereo.

I’m wondering, though, if I should get a keyboard amp. Would that do more justice to the RP350’s sounds than the Crate? They also typically a mic channel and sometimes additional channels as well, which could be handy. I’d considered that when I got the RP350, but the Crate was cheap, and I just needed an ad hoc solution.


KenHR said...

A keyboard amp is worth trying out. I have a Peavey solid state KB amp that's wonderful on its own for clean tones or when I'm using the Dean Markley pickup with the Martin.

Robert Fisher said...

Thanks for the comment, Ken!

Which Peavey KB amp do you have?

KenHR said...

Hi, Robert,

Sorry, missed your reply.

I have a KB60, a sturdy little combo; being solid-state, it's not a terribly loud amp and I usually have to run it into the board for gigs or band practice. For recording, however, it's plenty.

It's served me well for 17 years now and has never needed a repair or refit. Even survived being transported uncovered (young + stupid) through a major blizzard.

Robert Fisher said...

Cool. Thanks.

Peavey’s current keyboard amps all have co-axial speakers, though, which I have a (probably irrational) aversion to.