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Author Topic: The guitar world is getting boned.......  (Read 3108 times)

Luke Geis

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The guitar world is getting boned.......
« on: April 19, 2019, 01:48:53 am »

As I typically do, I sit around on my free time checking stuff out, keeping up on the latest stuff that interests me and blogging words that most probably think are silly and wasting internet space. Today I caught a doozy. It turns out that one of the guitar companies that specializes in amplifier modelers ( digital guitar amps )  is offering a special FR?FR speaker specifically designed for reproducing guitar signals......

Enter the Headrush brand of Guitar amp modeling and their new Headrush FRFR 112 speaker just for demanding guitarists like you and me. Funny thing is, Alto has a peculiar looking speaker called the TS312 which looks exactly like the Headrush FRFR 112!!!! What a coincidence.

For those of you not familiar with the newer lingo in the guitar world, FR/FR is a newer term used to describe what we call PA speakers. FR/FR stands for Full Range Frequency Response. Who would have thought right? This term has been going around for almost 10 years but hasn't really picked up any real momentum until about the last 2-3 years when guitar modelers have actually started getting rather good. Most of the companies making FR/FR speakers are making one of their own design or at least the cabinet is original anyway. I'm quite certain several are just taking a basic powered PA speaker apart and putting the components in a cabinet that looks more like a guitar cab. Heck, some even look more like speakers used in a car type audio system.

Back to the two speakers at hand. Included are some pictures and you can see right away, that they are the same thing with a different name on them. My real question is, who actually makes the things? Do Alto and Headrush get them from another OEM supplier, or does Alto rebrand them for Headrush? I know that Headrush is not the OEM.

I say getting boned because as most of us know, Alto is not exactly the screaming example of audio perfection and performance. While no slouch by any means, they are not top of the heap. The Headrush company is a group of AVID employees that left and utilizing much of the technology that existed in the 11Rack ( ala Digi02 with ProTools for guitars ) created their own company. The 11Rack was at one point the best you could get before Fractal Audio came along and stole the show ( Fractal was always ahead, but no one could afford them and they were still relatively new ). Now Headrush is also leasing technology from Alto it appears. Anyways, here are some pictures to postulate over.

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Martin Morris

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2019, 08:10:35 am »

As I typically do, I sit around on my free time checking stuff out, keeping up on the latest stuff that interests me and blogging words that most probably think are silly and wasting internet space. Today I caught a doozy. It turns out that one of the guitar companies that specializes in amplifier modelers ( digital guitar amps )  is offering a special FR?FR speaker specifically designed for reproducing guitar signals......

Enter the Headrush brand of Guitar amp modeling and their new Headrush FRFR 112 speaker just for demanding guitarists like you and me. Funny thing is, Alto has a peculiar looking speaker called the TS312 which looks exactly like the Headrush FRFR 112!!!! What a coincidence.

For those of you not familiar with the newer lingo in the guitar world, FR/FR is a newer term used to describe what we call PA speakers. FR/FR stands for Full Range Frequency Response. Who would have thought right? This term has been going around for almost 10 years but hasn't really picked up any real momentum until about the last 2-3 years when guitar modelers have actually started getting rather good. Most of the companies making FR/FR speakers are making one of their own design or at least the cabinet is original anyway. I'm quite certain several are just taking a basic powered PA speaker apart and putting the components in a cabinet that looks more like a guitar cab. Heck, some even look more like speakers used in a car type audio system.

Back to the two speakers at hand. Included are some pictures and you can see right away, that they are the same thing with a different name on them. My real question is, who actually makes the things? Do Alto and Headrush get them from another OEM supplier, or does Alto rebrand them for Headrush? I know that Headrush is not the OEM.

I say getting boned because as most of us know, Alto is not exactly the screaming example of audio perfection and performance. While no slouch by any means, they are not top of the heap. The Headrush company is a group of AVID employees that left and utilizing much of the technology that existed in the 11Rack ( ala Digi02 with ProTools for guitars ) created their own company. The 11Rack was at one point the best you could get before Fractal Audio came along and stole the show ( Fractal was always ahead, but no one could afford them and they were still relatively new ). Now Headrush is also leasing technology from Alto it appears. Anyways, here are some pictures to postulate over.

Luke - check out Big Mick Hughes on modeling guitars for Metallica ... and he so wanted to hate it?!

The whole interview is worthy of a watch - the guitar fractal/modeling fun starts at 6.50 mins.

Half a truck of backline ... history!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niCoi9nlh9g

 
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Stephen Beatty

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2019, 10:58:39 am »

 I wonder if I should contact Alto about any upgrades to my TS310's for "Guitar Sound" updates.
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Mal Brown

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2019, 04:47:45 pm »

I had a series of shows last season where the lead guitars were Line 6 Helix or Kemper Profilers.  They were great.  My fave was the Profiler powered head driving a 2x12 slant cab.  Great sounding rig.  Big time vocals in the act so low stage volume and youíd never know by the guitar sound.  Really impressive.
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Ed Walters

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2019, 07:36:12 pm »

These are both inMusic brands. Sixty seconds of search finds that out. Of course itís the same speaker, itís the same company.

Ed
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2019, 02:06:52 am »

What a weird coincidence.

I was just playing with a local blues band tonight. My first time playing in any group for nearly 10 years.

And one of the guitar players had one of the HeadRush pedal boards. And oddly enough, the website front page for HeadRush has a picture of a Julius Keilwerth SX90R Tenor saxophone, which is the exact same model of tenor saxophone that I play, albeit in a slightly different finish.   :o
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2019, 02:08:19 am »

These are both inMusic brands. Sixty seconds of search finds that out. Of course itís the same speaker, itís the same company.

Ed


InMusic also owns Air Music Technology and M-Audio, both of which used to be owned by Avid.
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2019, 06:02:53 am »

I say getting boned because as most of us know, Alto is not exactly the screaming example of audio perfection and performance.

Not sure I see the issue here.

The guitar amp is part of the musical instrument. If the people using the speakers are happy with the sound (just like all the people using 30w 12" drivers with stamped frames mounted in chipboard cabinets), what's the problem?

Chris
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2019, 10:53:16 am »

Not sure I see the issue here.

The guitar amp is part of the musical instrument. If the people using the speakers are happy with the sound (just like all the people using 30w 12" drivers with stamped frames mounted in chipboard cabinets), what's the problem?

Chris

The purposes are totally different.  The low power 12" in even an open back cabinet - is intended to reproduce a limited frequency range with poor impulse response and high distortion.  The PA/FRFR monitor/etc is intended to reproduce full frequency range with excellent frequency, phase, and impulse response and ultra low distortion. 

One creates tone, the other reproduces with as close to zero added tone.
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Guy Graham

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2019, 02:00:18 pm »

I think Luke's original point was mainly aimed around something I've also noticed, when occasionally perusing popular guitar/instrument orientated forums - the recent increase in capability and popularity of guitar amp modelling devices, appears to also have created a "new" market segment of so-called FRFR (mainly) powered speakers.

This creates new opportunities to leverage existing product designs, and brand/market them in a way that appears attractive to users of these modern upmarket modellers.

What I've noticed in reading discussions amongst guitar players, is that many don't necessarily seem to realise these FRFR boxes are exactly the same as most of the typical inexpensive powered PA products using the same driver compliment and so forth.

Whilst there's nothing inherently wrong with all this, it seems that the marketing is taking advantage of those folks unfamiliar with the plethora of powered PA speakers.

Hence whilst the current Headrush version of the Eleven amp modeller is near the top end of that market, the Headrush branded version of InMusic's budget powered speaker is easily potentially viewed as a higher quality product of that type.

I've noticed lots of discussion on those guitar forums around whether [insert generic powered speaker de jour] is as good as / better / worse than products like the Headrush branded options.

Whilst it's clear most of those consumers seem to recognise that regular powered utility boxes can fulfill the same basic function as products branded and marketed as "specialised" speakers for outputting modelled guitar sound, the protracted parsing of minute differences in key metrics such as sound quality, usable maximum output and build quality - suggests that the guitar-specific marketing goes some way towards clouding judgements, often in favour of products promoted via the latter.

I don't see anything particularly wrong with *fairly* exploiting a potential new market segment, it's notable that most of the popular powered speakers getting discussed and used for this purpose are generally towards the bottom end of the market (think nasty MDF Berry types etc).

As a dispassionate observer not invested in anything more expensive than a £50 Zoom box, which covers my minimal multi FX needs for bass plus acoustic and electric guitar - it seems odd to read such fiercely debated discussions around the merits of using a £150 or a £300 powered speaker, to reproduce the output of processing devices that mainly cost well in excess of £1000!

Sent from my SM-J320FN using Tapatalk

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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2019, 05:17:32 pm »

The purposes are totally different.

I'm not sure you've understood my point.

The purposes are exactly the same: to produce sound that the guitarist likes.
Whether the colouration occurs in a rack unit, at the cones, or a combination thereof, is largely irrelevant. So long as the guitarist likes the result.

I can see that, in theory, the idea is to have the colouration/tonality 100% within the rack, and have a "perfect" speaker reproduce the signals coming out of the rack.
In practice, it ain't gonna happen. We're still waving bits of cardboard around using magnets - there is no perfect speaker, so there will always be some subjective choice at the speaker end.

If a guitarist decides they like a SRX812P and another prefers a DSR112, who are we to say which is right?

Chris
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2019, 05:51:44 pm »

I'm not sure you've understood my point.

The purposes are exactly the same: to produce sound that the guitarist likes.
Whether the colouration occurs in a rack unit, at the cones, or a combination thereof, is largely irrelevant. So long as the guitarist likes the result.
Actually, I think you're missing the point.


The point is to have a  full range, flat response speaker that will work as the speaker for many different types of modelers. The sound of the speaker/amplifier/cabinet and effects comes from the modeler. The modeler may contain dozens or hundreds of different combinations. The only way for the modeler to reproduce an accurate reproduction of all those various combinations is for the speaker itself to be, basically, a PA speaker. If you were to use a guitar cabinet as the speaker, then you would be introducing the sound of that guitar cabinet into the signal chain, which you can't then remove from the modeler.


It's a well known fact that guitar amps and speakers have a specific tuning to them, and only sound good when used for guitars. And they all have a different sound, which become part of the guitar player's sound. But many guitarists these days want to change up their sound depending on what they are playing, and the digital amp/speaker modeler makes that possible. But to get the truest reproduction, you need a speaker that is a full range, flat response speaker to reproduce all those different combinations.


The idea of the digital modeler and using a full rang, flat response speaker (i.e. a PA speaker) has been around for nearly 15 years now. It was a thing when I bought my first guitar back in 2005 along with my Digitech modeler.
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2019, 06:48:30 pm »

Justice,

The part of my post that you omitted shows that I understand the idea behind these modellers, and I also say why the theory is nice, but it can't work in practice.

To re-iterate:
- There is no perfect loudspeaker.
- Therefore, any given speaker will introduce some non-linearity/colouration/tonality of it's own.
- Therefore, the choice of which speaker to use becomes subjective.

From my point of view, so long as the guitarist is happy with the sound coming out of whatever speaker they choose, it's fine by me.


If there was some company selling cheap PA speakers as the perfect guitar FRFR speaker (ie, what goes in is what comes out, zero distortion etc etc etc), I'd have an issue because, again, there is no perfect loudspeaker.

Chris
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2019, 07:21:30 pm »

Even an average PA speaker is many times better than they shitty speakers that guitar amp companies put in their high dollar guitar cabinets.
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Jim McKeveny

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2019, 08:14:03 pm »

Despite popular myth, guitarists haven't been getting boned in decades. Point of Fact: NOT getting boned is what leads many a youth to adopt the guitar.
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Luke Geis

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2019, 07:09:09 pm »

Guy: Exactly the more eloquent words I was searching for!

Jim:HA HA :)

I have been playing guitar for the better part of 27 years. I was an early adaptor to the pedal board style FX units that pretty much had all that stuff built in. I think I got my first Zoom 2020 in the mid-1990s. Followed shortly by a Zoom 3030, then a Digitech RP7 and several others. I was never 100% happy with them, I just really liked the convenience of having everything in one box. I hated having independent pedals even more. Around 2001 I was finally at the point where if I couldn't get the sound I wanted from the amp connected directly to the guitar, then I had the wrong amp. I have been pedal free for nearly 17 years now!

I have always been interested and curious about the newer generations of modelers that are out now. I owned a Line 6 HD500 for a little while but it just didn't quite have IT. Now I am more into building guitar amps that suit my wants and needs. I will likely pick up a Fractal Audio AX8 or Axe FX III before too long just to see how it has changed in the last 10 years.

My driver for the whole Guitarists getting boned bit was mostly because I realize that the vendors are taking advantage of guitarists who are not that privy. The whole FR/FR thing started because a vendor needed a way to sell a product and not sell musicians on currently available PA speakers. It worked because now just about every guitarist refers to their PA speakers as an FR/FR speaker..... The market was pretty hot for a while on the RCF NX12SMA as being the ultimate FR/FR speaker. I am rather lucky enough to own really nice stuff, including 8 of the NX12SMA's and know that the RCF is a pretty good step above much cheaper options. My gripe about guitarists getting boned was that now inexpensive rebranded speakers are being sold as guitar specific high-end units to guitarists who just don't know. They are also sticking with the FR/FR distinction instead of just being straight and calling it a PA speaker.

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Brian Jojade

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2019, 09:38:42 pm »

I say getting boned because as most of us know, Alto is not exactly the screaming example of audio perfection and performance.

If guitar amps and speakers were about producing audio perfection, then people wouldn't be as particular about the 'sound' that their kit produces.  The whole point is that the combination of gear colors the sound the way they want it to.  If it involves tinfoil and paper towel tubes to get there, that's what you use.
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Bob Faulkner

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2019, 07:16:30 am »

hmmm... not being a guitarist, so with all this audio "modeling" these amps can do, is there really a need to have an expensive (or specific) guitar?

Years ago, I mixed for a band where the lead guitarist used a Line-6 amp that had a ton of modeling on it.  I don't recall what the actual guitar was he used, but his amp made some phenomenal tones... I recall thinking that my original Sears electric guitar could have been used.

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Doug Johnson

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2019, 09:14:44 am »

At least it looks like they are selling the Headrush version for the same price as the Alto version.  At least they are not price gouging.
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Mal Brown

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2019, 12:49:04 pm »

hmmm... not being a guitarist, so with all this audio "modeling" these amps can do, is there really a need to have an expensive (or specific) guitar?

Years ago, I mixed for a band where the lead guitarist used a Line-6 amp that had a ton of modeling on it.  I don't recall what the actual guitar was he used, but his amp made some phenomenal tones... I recall thinking that my original Sears electric guitar could have been used.

Absolutely,   In guitars and basses better construction generally translates to enhanced playability and better tone.  There is no making up for starting with good tone to begin with.

I have a couple of utility basses to pass around when running open micís, hosting sit ins, etc.  they are OK.  I have them dialed in as well as I think they can be.  As instruments they are simply not inspiring next to either my Lull or Marco basses. My Marco is amazing every time I pick it up...
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Matthias McCready

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2019, 08:11:43 pm »

so with all this audio "modeling" these amps can do, is there really a need to have an expensive (or specific) guitar?


So what is with all the different microphones which are used in live sound, I mean you can just use EQ and make any mic sound the same right?

Sorry couldn't resist  ::) ;D
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Stephen Kirby

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2019, 09:58:05 pm »

The really silly part of this is that they're trying to reproduce the sound of something that doesn't extend beyond 5kHz.  Worse, D-A conversion has real issues with the waveforms of distorted guitars.  And most of the people playing these things are into the jar of bees rectum fryer sound.  So now you have these extended bandwidth speakers trying to reproduce all the ugly artifacts of modelers.  And using low end PA speakers with smiley disco eq curves, making it still worse.

Of course, I'm not the target market for this.  Playing these things feels to me like the difference between playing a sampling keyboard vs. a real instrument.  Yes, you have dynamic control and some degree of tone production, but it feels like remote control to me.  I've sat with Robben Ford, plugged into his back up Dumble, trying to follow his hands and find how he gets the sound he does.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2019, 10:10:27 am »

The really silly part of this is that they're trying to reproduce the sound of something that doesn't extend beyond 5kHz.  Worse, D-A conversion has real issues with the waveforms of distorted guitars.  And most of the people playing these things are into the jar of bees rectum fryer sound.  So now you have these extended bandwidth speakers trying to reproduce all the ugly artifacts of modelers.  And using low end PA speakers with smiley disco eq curves, making it still worse.

Of course, I'm not the target market for this.  Playing these things feels to me like the difference between playing a sampling keyboard vs. a real instrument.  Yes, you have dynamic control and some degree of tone production, but it feels like remote control to me.  I've sat with Robben Ford, plugged into his back up Dumble, trying to follow his hands and find how he gets the sound he does.

The bees in a jar with smiley curve bass boost is already coming out of the modelers - it's not a direct product of the amplifier as I get the same thing from a player that uses a guitar amp.

I'd be pleased with a player that has an overdrive pedal and a 10 watt amp set to 11.

As for Mr Ford, 90% of what he does is in his hands and fingers, 10% in the Dumble.
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Re: The guitar world is getting boned.......
¬ę Reply #22 on: April 23, 2019, 10:10:27 am ¬Ľ


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