Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #138014  by James-T
 Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:44 pm
So here's something I've been wondering about for a while. What's the measurable sonic differences between the Fractal and a real amp.

I stumbled across this demo on the net illustrating how to take full advantage of your amp's effects loop and your Fractal unit.

Its probably not that interesting unless you already own a Fractal.

Just so happens my Blues Deluxe, which is a great amp on its own has a modern effects loop so I gave it a try.

I've recorded three scenarios: the Fractal on its own straight into my recording interface (garage band) and utilizing the Blues Deluxe's power amp with the Fractal providing the pre amp modelling, and finally running the Fractal as an effects modeller and using the Blues Deluxe as the preamp and power amp (but still taking advantage of the effects loop - like the demo illustrates)..

Here are the results running both a clean tone and an over driven tone. The results really surprised me "in the room" and also on the recordings. I have to say the sound coming out of the JBL in my blues deluxe is more three dimensional and most so when the Fractal is providing effects only (although the Blues Deluxe sounds amazing just as a power amp). Obviously using the Blues Deluxe as a power amp allows one to tap into some great amp sounds - like all the cool Mesa Boggie models in the Fractal. Turn the Blues Deluxe into a Blues Junior? No problem…….but

In quoting Barefoot Dave:
the Fractal sounds great, although nothing compares to the tactile feedback of a real guitar cabinet. Like so many others, I crave the thump of the real deal hitting me in the gut. I think that experience doesn't translate for most in the crowd, however, so the Fractal will go straight to FOH.
I've never been fully satisfied with the feel of the Ultra through my K12. It sounds very HIFI - yes thats awesome, but seems to be missing something when I'm playing with the band in rehearsal. In fact I think the tactile three dimensional shapes of the sonic properties make me play more by feeling and intuition.