In praise of the Friedman Smallbox

Well thats a question for yourself. Are you playing for what you hear, or what your audience hears. I suggest if you are not playing for what your audience hears, should you even be paid??

I craft everything for my audience. Live or recorded. At times its a pain in xxx, but if I'm getting paid (even if not and they are taking time out of their busy day to listen to what I have to share), that's what I do.

If you have the DAW abilities/gear, isolate some guitar tracks and listen to them. I think most agree that Randy Rhoades solo in Crazy Train sounds great recorded (have no idea if it did live - PS he died about 30 mies from where I used to live).

Isolate his solo. On its own the tone sucks!, In the mix of the recording, it was quite good.
 
I craft everything for my audience. Live or recorded. At times its a pain in xxx, but if I'm getting paid (even if not and they are taking time out of their busy day to listen to what I have to share), that's what I do.
To add to this, I will admit at times, I have not been fully happy with my tone using monitors, but I trust what I am giving FOH and the sound person. I remain consistent in what I offer which makes the sound persons job easy. I cannot remember a time within the last 7 years were the recorded tone from FOH wasn't exactly what I wanted to deliver.

Early on in my life (started playing pro at 17) people would ask me what music style I played. I always responded, I am a musical whore, I play what people want to hear.

Decades later I realized I needed to apply that same philosophy to my FOH tone. Deliver what is desired/needed, not what"feels/sounds" to you at the moment or even worse, in isolation.
 
Sorry you feel like that. Never intended that. Alex disagreed with me. That's OK. Alex and I have chatted on the phone. (He was debating a Fractal vs Kemper purchase - went Kemper as it was local to him), He's a great guy. I wished we lived at least on the same continent, even better in the same country. I'd love to jam with him.

I have no issue if people disagree with me, but if they don;t listen to my side, it's only so so.

You can say I disagree. That's fine and I respect that. To imply I am talking to kids here is disrespectful of those following this thread. Calling my take as bullshit is equally disrespectful of me. Did I ever say that your experience, feelings about something and input on a topic was bullshit? Easy answer NO!

As I said earlier, no harm no foul. I am going to send you a PM. I never view confrontations as ends but as progressions to potentially stronger relationships (because you both now know you both have skin in the game).

[MOD EDIT]
 
Since this thread has gone this way, I throw in my vote for the Quilter Mach 3 for some of the discussed applications (consistency of sound for live/FOH/etc.) as its XLR direct output with cab voicings blows away any other direct solution I've used. I haven't used them all, by far. But anyone who still wants a real amp with great sounds and tons of power that can be totally consistent for FOH etc at a gig and still have all your personal amp-related needs covered, check it out. It is not a multi-FX/modeler/etc. so if you have to have a completely different rig per song - something only the Helix and its ilk can pull off currently I believe - look to the previously mentioned options.
 
Sorry you feel like that. Never intended that. Alex disagreed with me. That's OK. Alex and I have chatted on the phone. (He was debating a Fractal vs Kemper purchase - went Kemper as it was local to him), He's a great guy. I wished we lived at least on the same continent, even better in the same country. I'd love to jam with him.
Mark is awesome! When I made my decision to buy a Kemper, he was a tremendous help and I can vouch for him as someone who truly cares about helping others. And that's a very rare trait among people. Still, we disagree respectfully on the amp-in-the-room feeling aspect and that's totally cool.

@jay4321 I think he also tried to help you by challenging your views and pitching his convictions (isn't this what all of us passionate gearheads do?). Sure, maybe the tone wasn't the best, but the underlying intention was to help you. And that's what counts.

To stay in the Ron Burgundy spirit, I'd like to conclude by using a gif to describe my feelings when I read all the posts this morning:

1706705020400.gif
 
Since this thread has gone this way, I throw in my vote for the Quilter Mach 3 for some of the discussed applications (consistency of sound for live/FOH/etc.) as its XLR direct output with cab voicings blows away any other direct solution I've used. I haven't used them all, by far. But anyone who still wants a real amp with great sounds and tons of power that can be totally consistent for FOH etc at a gig and still have all your personal amp-related needs covered, check it out. It is not a multi-FX/modeler/etc. so if you have to have a completely different rig per song - something only the Helix and its ilk can pull off currently I believe - look to the previously mentioned options.
Yessir, I love mine! I got one of the early made in USA ones.
 
Last edited:
Yessir, I love mine! I got one of the early made in USA ones.
I remember when they said that first run was USA made I was pissed I couldn't get one at the time. This one has been good, though - you would hope there isn't an audible difference! Also, I didn't get one of the infamous units where the FX loop in/out is labeled backwards.
 
I remember when they said that first run was USA made I was pissed I couldn't get one at the time. This one has been good, though - you would hope there isn't an audible difference! Also, I didn't get one of the infamous units where the FX loop in/out is labeled backwards.
I did! I wrote to Quilter as couldn't figure it out, Pat Quilter personally wrote back and apologized. They offered a sticker to "fix" the mis-labeling , but I told him I already fixed it with permanent marker. (We had a little laugh) Send became "end" and return became "turn". I bet they are just the same, they just wanted to do the first run in a US plant before going overseas. Either way a great amp IMO.
 
Honestly I wonder how many folks know what a plexi sounds like anymore let alone a good one. I'm not going to put the IR-X quite there but it's very good for sure, if you keep in mind that's it's a preamp only.

The thing so many people leave out of the tone equation is volume. The killer sounds of all the big, classic amps were achieved (at least in part) through cranking them up. Like really CRANKING them. You'll never be able to achieve those sounds any other way, with any modeler or analog pre, or anything else.

The need for that kind of amp volume from the stage is now long gone and often actively avoided. Add to that the fact that 90% of guitarists (I just made that stat up) never play on stage and want an amp they can actually enjoy at home-volume-levels, and you get where we are now: everyone trying to recreate an award-winning recipe while leaving out one of its main ingredients.

And while a diet-food example would be the most appropriate sequitur here, I would rather mix my metaphor: It's like a car company boasting "We've captured all the feel of a grand prix racer, but in a car that can be driven at much safer speeds of 60 mph or less." While it may be true that their car handles and accelerates really well, will it truly ever feel like a Formula 1 car banking in a turn at 200 mph?

Doubtful.

All this is not to say that modelers et al aren't good or have no place. They are actually fantastic and I LOVE them. I do fly-dates with my FM3 and 100% prefer it over a real amp for all the things that a real amp can't bring to the table no matter how loud you crank it. Namely:
  • Portability
  • Flexibility
  • Ease of setup
  • Consistency

EDIT: after being gone a week on vacation, I replied to this thread from page 2 before seeing the fisticuffs that were to follow on page 3. Now I wish I was still on vacation.
 
Back
Top