The *combination* of these ideas is powerful and innovative. I have asked Demeter and Digitech, so far, to provide such a prepackaged system.
Whole-system (rig) thinking is a new trend.
The past couple years have been a tremendous revival for the tube amp. There has never been such intense research by so many companies. At the same time, the progress of the multieffects units continues in full force. But the industry really needs to think about how to effectively *combine* pure tube amp tone with special effects, without destroying the pure amp tone or turning down the effects to the point of turning them completely off.
No one has ever designed a complete system that combines pre-amp effects, post-amp effects, and a speaker isolation cabinet. The closest we have to that is the ART transistor combo amp with pre-amp multieffects -- which is simple, cheap, lacking power tube saturation, and not innovative.
The Blues Master/Crunch Master was ahead of its time. In the past few years guitarists have been hoping to get cranked tube amp and speaker tone by using low-pass filters, compression, inductive loads, preamp tubes, and equalization. Now that they've had a chance to try these approaches, and have found they don't work, the world is ready for products using low-watt power tubes, such as the ADA Ampulator, the H&K Blues Master, the Kendrick 5-watt tube combo amp.
Many guitarists are looking for a way to combine mind-blowing effects with genuine singing tube amp tone, and at headphone level. I have succeeded at designing such a system, by combining a speaker isolation cabinet (a technology that practically no one knows about) with post-amp effects.
The first company to provide such a system will have a hot product.
While providing this system concept and design, I have also provided ways to use your existing traditional equipment into such a setup. I sold all of my equipment in order to go back to the drawing board and properly design a complete system from the ground up. I read about all amps, cabinets, and effects processors on the market, to see what mass-produced equipment could be best fit together into such a configuration.
My philosophy is that particular brands and models are not important. Any decent tube amp will do; any decent guitar speaker and effects units will do. Running your gear properly is more important than picking out a particular model. You can assemble this system using the Micro Room, ART processors, and a Carvin amp. For my experiments, I used a Digitech 2101 unit, which has a well-placed effects loop. I put a Fender Pro Jr. 15 watt tube amp in the 2101's "effects" loop, along with a Celestion 25 watt Greenback guitar speaker, and a Shure Beta 57 dynamic microphone.
Demeter is the only company making a full-sized speaker isolation cabinet. I wish they would market it better. No one seems to have heard of it.
My individual ideas are not well-established, and my combining of these ideas is unprecedented. The individual ideas and their combination have generated a good deal of interest. I've received a lot of interesting email with questions and related information based on others' experiences. This is a great time for these ideas to come together. I hope that Hughes and Kettner re-release their Blues Master unit, which was simply ahead of its time. The Blues Master also didn't sell well because it wasn't presented and packaged in the best way. When you combine the Blues Master with a speaker isolation cabinet, you will surely get much better tone than using the inductive load and low-pass filter contained in the Blues Master. Then, if you add post-amp MIDI-controlled eq and effects, as well as pre-amp MIDI-controlled eq and effects, you have a fully programmable genuine tube amp and speaker system, including effects that can be placed either before or after the amp, easily. This system sounds great at headphone levels -- far better than just using compression, preamp tubes, and low-pass filters, and better than turning your amp down to 1/2-watt levels.
The 50 watt tube amp has its drawbacks. The 5 watt tube amp does some things better. The speaker isolation cabinet has pros and cons. Effects create problems in typical setups. Speakers sound good but they make loud noise, which is a severe problem that prevents people from playing guitar at home. When you combine these technologies in the right way, you end up with a system that has powerful characteristics unlike anything we've seen.
I would like to start a company to make such systems. I have the knowledge to assemble such a system. But I have other interests. I would rather use such a system than build it. Whoever offers such a system, or components designed for such a system along with clear directions, will have a hot product that is appreciated by all home guitarists.
This complex system could be made ergonomical and could be manufactured cheaply, so that you could walk into a music store and buy such a system for $1000. It's trivial putting together such a system -- all the component technologies are widely available.
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