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Delta-Blues-210BT I’ve wanted to ditch my Peavey Delta Blues 210 for a while but what to replace it with has been an issue. The 210 is a great amp but running my digital amp sim into its tubey goodness is basically dumb (and a huge hassle in patch-tuning).

Ideally I’d like to not lug an amp around with me and go straight to the PA but the few sound guys I asked about this seemed terrified by the idea. They said they’d probably run my amp sim into a monitor and mic that just to be safe. So I guess I should still have an amp that I can control.

Looking around the forums lead me in the direction of keyboard amplifiers like the Roland KC-350 and Behringer K3000FX. Keyboard amps of any decent power and quality are expensive (the KC-350 is $600+ here) and they get quite heavy.

tech21Somewhere I stumbled across the Tech 21 Power Engine PW60 extension cab

The Tech 21 Power Engine 60 is an open-backed 1×12, 60W powered extension cab designed to be used with the Trademark 60. It is not a standalone piece; however, it can be combined with any discrete bass preamp. You don’t have to tweak your usual settings or presets. Just plug into the Power Engine and go. It has a level control, 3-band active tone control, 1/4″ input, and balanced XLR input and output. You can daisy-chain any number of Power Engine 60s together for the really big gigs.

Regardless of what it’s intended for, it’s been embraced by amp sim users. The Harmony Central reviews are glowing. “Clear”, “clean”, “flat”, “loud”, all very promising. Also it only costs $380 Canadian, weighs in at a svelte 33 pounds and if I decide to go for stereo I could grab another one without too much hassle.

I’ve ordered one and it should be here tonight, I’m hoping I should be able to make that cash back selling the Peavey if it’s all good.

Posted on - August 28, 2007 [at] 12:03 pm by Brad
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6 Comments on this post

PoHeadway on Amp search
August 28, 2007 at 2:24 pm

Hi Brad.

Have you ever thought about purchasing a Digitech 2120?

The last band I played in our guitar player used one. Amazing. He could program any sound he wanted with it, and with amazing results.

Still considered by many as one of the all-time great guitar processors.

The Digitech 2120(with footconroller) is my next purchase. Usually find a couple or so posted on ebay.

Our guitar player didn’t use an amp on stage. He played directly into the PA and also had it run through the monitors. It was all any of us needed on stage.

Our drummer played the top of the line Roland kit that was run directly to the PA and back through the monitors also.

I used a Bass POD, directly into the PA, for my bass, and with no stage amp.

We had no stage amps at all. It could be quiet on stage, if you so liked it to be.

I’ll never go back to a stage amp once I purchase myself a Digitech 2120.

Steven Garrity on Amp search
August 28, 2007 at 3:09 pm

I downsized from a Fender HotRod DeVille 60W 2×12″ to a Traynor 40W 1×12″ because the Fender was just too much (weight and volume) for my setup (which has dwindled to mostly noodling at home – no band setup anymore).

I quite liked both amps, but if I were to make another change, I’d go even smaller. A little 30W Vox or some such hipness.

Brad on Amp search
August 28, 2007 at 3:15 pm

I haven’t heard much buzz about the Digitech amp sims. Seems like it’s either Boss or Line 6 and since I already dig the GT-6 I figured I wouldn’t mess around.

Also having it rackmounted and an additional pedal board is another bunch of equipment to lug around. I’d rather just have it all in one if possible.

Klif on Amp search
August 29, 2007 at 8:33 am

Speaking as a sound man, I’d -love- to have guitars go straight to the board! I don’t know who you’ve talked to (maybe they know something I don’t!), but I -hate- when guitarists whine about their tone and control and other crap like that!

Speaking as a guitarist, now: Man, are you crazy? Don’t plug straight into the board! You’ll lose the tone and your control and other crap like that!


Brad on Amp search
August 29, 2007 at 9:58 am

Ha ha. One of the sound guys mentioned something about patch levels. I think he might have been afraid I’d have a super loud solo patch and destroy the entire building, I don’t know.

The tone and control is all in the amp sim for me so I really don’t care much about the amp. Though in some venues it’s almost all off the floor so I better have an amp.

Joseph on Amp search
December 25, 2008 at 2:02 am

Ha! Great thread, man. Yeah, the Power Engine 60 pretty much rules. The stuff the sound guys are saying about going straight to the board is old-school nonsense. Sometimes the old way of doing things actually isn’t the best way, but often the old way is all a sound guy will understand. But, rest assured: if you get a sound man who’s up to speed on technology, or has an open mind, using the PW60’s XLR output or your amp simulator’s XLR output is the best way to go.

On a side note, now that you’ve seen one of Tech 21’s offerings, have you checked out their Tri-AC or Character Series Sansamp pedals? They are the Tech 21 tube amp simulators, but here’s the thing that makes them rule: they use a 100% analog signal chain! Your signal is never digitized! That means it gets even CLOSER to real tube characteristics! I’m using a Tri-AC and a Character Series Liverpool, going straight to the mixing board via a $250.00 direct box (Radial JDI Passive), and after Christmas, I’m gonna have the direct box’s thruput going into a Power Engine 60 for my personal monitoring.

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