Donner Arena 2000 Or Just Stick WIth Amp Sims

Discussion in 'Soundgear' started by sentientlantern, Jan 25, 2023 at 4:25 PM.

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Budget Amp Modelling Pedal or Software Amp Sim?

  1. Modelling Pedal

  2. Software Amp Sim

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  1. sentientlantern

    sentientlantern Member

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    Does anybody have any experience with that new Donner Areana 2000 amp modelling pedal as well as VST amp sims? Could you tell me what your thoughts are when comparing them>

    I currently have a Boss Katana 100/212 but I'm selling it as I'm not gigging right now and, since it isn't any better or worse than software amp sims, it's just taking up space. I was thinking about replacing it with something smaller maybe.

    I don't have the budget for something like a Kemper or Neural DSP so I was looking at the Donner Arena 2000.

    I've tried most amp sims and found a few that I like so my question is, would there be any benefit to buying an Arena 2000 for recording? Does it sound better?
     
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  3. izn444nz

    izn444nz Member

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    That really depends on your workflow. To me, recording with amp sims is much easier and sounds just as good as when I'm using modeling pedals like HX Stomp.

    Sometimes it sounds even better because, to me, Neural DSP and Mercuriall, depending on what I'm doing, sounds better than HX Stomp and Helix Native and others I had like Mooer GE300 and Ampero.

    I keep the pedal just for when I want to sit down to jam and rotate real knovs without looking at the computer to tweak the tones. I do track with it, but mostly the dry track which I can apply amp sims and FX later.
     
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  4. mk_96

    mk_96 Rock Star

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    It looks like a nice little thing with a lot of nice non-sound related features like knobs, app, a foot control thing that i imagine can be used for wha or volume and maybe expression, it's portable, and it has ballanced line outputs, which will be very useful if you return to live gigs.

    Soundwise doesn't seem to be anything super exciting or new from the demos i could find so i doubt it'll be any audible improvement beyond what you can get by setting things up correctly, so if you just want it for home practice and don't really care about the phisical pedal layout, i'd say save the money and stick to amp sims.
     
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  5. JMOUTTON

    JMOUTTON Audiosexual

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    I don't know about recording as it's always fiddly to tell other people what sounds best to them.

    There is and will always be the advantage of not having to have your computer running or near by to just pickup a guitar and play. Which has nothing to do with recording but a lot to do with the chance you might come up with something worth recording in the first place.

    To each his own though, if the autonomy from the computer is worth something to do you in daily life, especially when it comes to actually using the instrument then you have your answer. If it is not then you have your answer as well.
     
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  6. sentientlantern

    sentientlantern Member

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    Thanks for your replies. Yeah as far as I'm concerned, if it doesn't sound markedly better than amp sims, it would be a waste of money to buy one. I may get one one when/if I start performing live again. Lugging an amp around is no fun.

    If anyone who owns one chimes in and says that it does, in fact, sound amazing for recording, I may reconsider.
     
  7. PifPafPif

    PifPafPif Rock Star

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    Hardware, for the same price range, will sound worse than software.
    It is logical : you pay for the hardware AND software inside.

    To get something sounding like (or better than) Neural DSP, THU rig player or ToneX, you need to get a Kemper or Quad Cortex.
    They cost around 2000 bucks new :wink:

    On my side, i use a Mooer GE200 as "plug and play" virtual pedal board. It feels (not sound) like Kemper or QC.
    And plugins only for recording.
    Of course, if i was going to tour/gig again, i would record a dry DI and reamp with GE200, to get the same sound live.

    If i wanted to get a big "amp in the room" feeling, i would simply buy a second hand Peavey Bandit and plug my computer/plugins into it :wink:
     
  8. sentientlantern

    sentientlantern Member

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    The reason I considered the Arena 2000 is because it apparently punches well above its price tag. From the reviews and demos I've heard/seen, it does sound great. I just wondered if anybody here has made a direct comparison with amp sims.
     
  9. Gnosisrausch

    Gnosisrausch Ultrasonic

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    I love the Donner releases and I have some of their pedals as well, which are really good. However, there is actually no rational reason to pick hardware modeling over amp sims nowadays. Better invest your resources into practicing :)
     
  10. sentientlantern

    sentientlantern Member

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    Practice is free! I'm saving up for two SSL UF8s and a UC1! :rofl:
     
  11. Guitarmaniac64

    Guitarmaniac64 Platinum Record

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    That really depend on which amp you use.
    All mesa amps sounds good in Helix the JCM800 they moddeled did have the bright cap removed so it sounds different than a stock JCM800 but they have a JCM mod that sounds awesome and the amp called Cartographer "a modded Traynor YBA-1" is basically a JCM800.
    My experience is that no ampsim sounds better then my Helix floor or native if you use the same amp model AND the same IR using the same IR is really important as the cab is easely over 80% of the tone.
    Almost all pedals in Helix is also spot on compared to the real pedals some had issues like thd first RAT people users reoprted it to Dev and when they should fix it they saw that some components was fried in the pedal.
    I think its the same with the SD-1
     
  12. Lois Lane

    Lois Lane Audiosexual

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    I don't think there would be a benefit to buying the Donner if you don't hear a difference between that and your software of choice, the opposite holds true if you do. If you were gigging that would be an entirely different scenario and I would suggest to play through a pedal.
     
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  13. PifPafPif

    PifPafPif Rock Star

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    As i said, to "punch above" Neural DSP, THU Rig Player, ToneX ... (because i only use profilers for amps now), you need a Kemper or QC and 2000 bucks.

    If you don't really need hardware ... software all the way !!!

    Here is a free profiler plugin (hear this) that smokes most hardware modelers AND even some profilers :
     
  14. Tob

    Tob Platinum Record

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    For recording only? No. Amp sims vsts have reached a level where they compete with real amps.
    The only benefit would be monitoring. If you are one of those guys that can`t play if they are more than 3 meters away from their amps :winker: (latency)
     
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  15. sentientlantern

    sentientlantern Member

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    That does sound good. I downloaded it and the profiles he's shared with his videos. Tested them out a bit. Sound great though it is quite CPU heavy even on a decent processor. This will definitely require more committing to audio but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
     
  16. PifPafPif

    PifPafPif Rock Star

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    It was just to show how a freeware can compete with 2000 bucks Kemper and QC :wink:
     
  17. sentientlantern

    sentientlantern Member

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    It was always going to get to this point. It's great to see it happen.
    It's very good for a beta!
     
  18. izn444nz

    izn444nz Member

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    Yeah, I agree with that. At the same time, I was able, many times, to match real amps and Neural Plugins with Helix (same IR, of course). However, even when the tone is exactly matched (sometimes I add a layer with a EQ match IR of the amp DI to make things even closer) there's a little "something" missing. Don't get me wrong, I'm a strong supporter for everything Line6 has been doing but, taking a lot of attention to details, while A/Bing these things, I can hear this small thing. Nothing to worry much about, but it's there. At some point I'll create a video to show what I'm talking about.
     
  19. Lois Lane

    Lois Lane Audiosexual

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    Oh Brother....

     
  20. metaller

    metaller Audiosexual

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    Also consider the Mooer stuff like GE250
     
  21. jefft

    jefft Producer

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    Ive tried loads but ended up with the Valeton GP 200 LT, thats basically a GP200 without the pedal, its ideal for recording and easy to edit, and it also sounds excedingly good. Also I use a line 6 Spider v3 for recording, hich is equally good.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2023 at 8:57 AM
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