Well, I’m in the market for a new amplifier, and in spite of my nearly fanatic love of tube amps I’m finding myself leaning heavily towards the Flextone III Plus, from Line 6 — yep, a digital modeling amp.
Why? Because it’s versatile (it models 32 different classic amps,) surprisingly affordable (about $600,) and it does a fairly amazing impersonation of one of my favorite amps of all time — the ’58 Fender Bassman.
So, as much as I may value an all-tube amplifier for its timeless tone, well, I think I might just value low-cost and versatility even more.
While the Flextone III comes in a few different configurations, the one I’m looking at is the Flextone III Plus — a 150-watt combo amp with a single 12-inch Celestion speaker, the above mentioned 32 tube-amp models, and 16 different emulated cabinet models. You can even mix and match the amps and cabinets to create entirely new combinations.
Another big selling point for the Flextone III is its 12 digital models of old-school stompboxes and amp effects, including the most believable Fender Vibroverb vibrato emulation I’ve ever heard. It even does the MXR Phase 90, Leslie 245, and some great analog-style tape loop delays. Oh yeah, and it’s got onboard compression and gate.
The Flextone III’s amplifier models include:
- Fender– 1964 Deluxe Reverb, 1953 Deluxe Reverb, 1958 Bassman, 1963 Vibroverb, and 1965 Twin Reverb
- Vox– 1967 AC-30TB, 1961 AC-15
- Marshall– 1966 JTM-45, 1968 Super Bass, 1968 Super Lead, 1987 Super Jubilee, 1987 JCM 800, 2003 JCM 2000
- Mesa/Boogie– 2001 Dual Rectifier, 2001 Triple Rectifier
- And seven more from Budda, Cornford, Matchless, Soldano, Bogner, Gibson & Supro
Starting to see why I think a digital modeling amp might be the way to go? If you head over to Line 6’s website you can listen to mpegs of the Flextone III in action… it’s pretty damned impressive!