No Speakers! Can We Go Direct & Enjoy It? – That Pedal Show

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Welcome to That Pedal Show! Please subscribe to our channel and visit our store

Life too short for long YouTube videos? Please see the ‘Interesting bits and go-to sections’ information below.

In this episode our hand is forced. Regular viewers will know that we love our valve amps. Transformers, speakers, glowing tubes… all of that stuff that has made the best guitar sounds of all time, or at least as far as we’re concerned.
BUT! The hammer has come down. We’ve finally sent our neighbours over the edge and That Pedal Shed is to be no more. We’ve been silenced. So do we lose the rest of a rare (and expensive) filming day, or do we try something else?
As it happens we have the Mooer Radar on hand – a digital, IR-based speaker simulator among other talents. Let’s hit it with our Plexi and see what we think. In addition, we have a BluGuitar AMP1 and BlueBox combination. How about we go direct to our audio interface, put on the ol’ cans and see if we can make the best of it.
What unfolds is partly predictable, partly surprising, and partly positive that we might delve into this again one day. That was the surprising part.

Enjoy the video – it is one of the last you’ll ever see from That Pedal Shed. Boo and indeed hoo! (But don’t worry, we have a new, bigger and better home to go to.)

Pedals in this episode…

• TheGigRig Three2One

• D’Addario Pedal Tuner
UK & Europe:

• Analog Man Sun Face NKT Red Dot

• Keeley D&M Drive
UK & Europe:

• Walrus Audio ARP-87 Delay
UK & Europe:

• Source Audio Ventris Dual Reverb
UK & Europe:

• BluGuitar AMP1
UK & Europe:

• BluGuitar BluBox
UK & Europe:

• Mooer Radar
UK & Europe:

• TheGigRig G2

Why do we have preferred retailer links? Find out here:

Interesting bits and go-to sections…
– Intro playing: 00:00
– What are we doing today? 1:30
– We have to move: 1:54
– Rewind: 2:55
– We’ve gone silent – Amp1 and Amp2: 5:15
– The sound in the room? 7:13
– BluGuitar, Marshall and Mooer: 7:40
– Phase and latency issues? 8:00
– But why the phase issues – is it AD/DA? 8:36
– Dan’s Biffy Clyro Rig tangent: 9:38
– BluGuitar BluBox: 11:06
– Last ever recording in this room? 12:00
– Marshall/Fryette/Mooer sounds: 12:45
– Mooer bypassed and on: 13:37
– Other sounds in the Mooer Radar: 14:17
– It’s usable, isn’t it? 15:50
– Dan’s not happy at all: 16:45
– I literally can’t play with a sound I don’t like: 17:35
– Can we make it better? 18:30
– What about more gain? 21:25
– Shall we try a hollowbody – Collings I-30LC: 24:12
– It doesn’t sound bad in the headphones: 26:19
– A radically different connection between sound and feel: 28:28
– But hang on, people do this all the time! 29:37
– What about on stage? 30:45
– What are those headphones anyway? 31:50
– Let’s try the Sunface: 32:20
– What if your only experience was via this stuff? 35:10
– The essential feedback loop? 36:45
– BluGuitar AMP1 discussion & sounds: 37:40 (39:22 & 42:28)
– Dan’s Conservatorium tangent: 40:44
– That sounded better, right?! 42:28
– And with more overdrive? 45:45
– Strat love – can there be any? 51:00
– BluGuitar BluBox cabs quick flick: 52:45
– This is the way the world is going? 55:30
– Truly the end of an era: 56:00

Guitars in this episode:
• Fender ’60s Reverse Headstock Stratocaster – watch Mick’s video at
• Fender Custom Shop 1963 Telecaster – watch Dan’s video at
• Gibson Memphis 1958 ES-335 –
• Collings I-30LC –

Amps in this episode
• Marshall 1987x head
• Fryette Power Station
• BluGuitar AMP1 (see above)

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Please visit our preferred retailers!
UK & Europe: Andertons Music
Australia: Pedal Empire


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35 thoughts on “No Speakers! Can We Go Direct & Enjoy It? – That Pedal Show

  1. Thank you!!!! Finally someone is talking about this. I've been going through all kinds of amp and cab simulation solutions but I just couldn't enjoy playing the guitar for 2 years now. What I would notice is that I try to play something fairly complicated and my fingers just get tangled up and it doesn't come out right and no matter how much I practice it's just not getting any better. And earlier I'd play much more difficult things with no problem at all. I lost all passion for playing the guitar and I thought "well I guess I just grew out of this" And then I'd just grit my teeth and get tense and force it. Until I realized that it's not the sound that's not right. It's the bloody headphones that's the problem. The latency, the disconnect, no attack, no natural compression, the freakin feeling of playing the guitar is lost completely. Then I found your video. I sold all that crap now. I'm playing on my electric without any amplification. It's still more enjoyable this way. (although I hate it). And what's incomprehensible to me is that no-one seem to talk about this or understand my problem with headphones. Only good thing coming out of this is if I now plug in an amp I get wings and I just fly off the fretboard. It's like going for a walk after wearing a 40 kg backpack for 2 years.

  2. I'm at a distinct advantage here. I've never gotten used to the feel of an amplifier because I've never been able to play loud. I've always used practice amps with or without headphones. I actually prefer headphones because I can crank it up and it sounds great and more like listening to an album. What I want to know is what setup do I need so that I can run stereo pedals and get the stereo effects through headphones. A stereo input device with a headphone jack. It seems to me that such a device would be small and possibly fit onto a pedalboard. I can't explain how amazing it would be for me to be able to plug my guitar and headphones, both into my pedalboard, and get full stereo sound.

    Basically, at the moment, I'm using a Fender Mustang 1 with headphones. The speaker in the amp is not being used at all. I just need the rest of the amp in a smaller package that, preferably, will accept stereo sound and output stereo sound via headphones. I actually think that's the problem with your video. You are probably losing the stereo sound you are used to. It makes a huge difference to have stereo sound when using headphones. Modulating effects sound awful when played mono though headphones. My Mustang has built in stereo effects and they sound soo much better than any pedal you can buy when playing though headphones. Go grab a Mustang 1 v2 and plug some headphones in and start playing around with the presets. You'll see what I'm talking about. Loads better than what I'm hearing from this video. Maybe it's not coming across YouTube very well but it sounds like y'all are playing with toys. My setup sounds like I"M frikin Pantera. I just wish I could plug my pedals in stereo.

    I think it's time to revisit this. It's been two years. Take out all the variables and plug a guitar and headphones into a small modeling amp. If you can replicate that with something that fits on your pedalboard and make it work with stereo pedals, I'll throw all my money at you. In fact, why don't YOU make it, name it after me, and solve this problem for all the bedroom bandits like me.

  3. Reactive load through interfAce and back out at reasonable volume through studio monitors with GOOD IRs
    is a compromise between loud amp and silent via headphones method. Decent results…

  4. Listening through headphones to a direct signal, even one affected by numerous pedals, always brings on ear fatigue MUCH earlier for me. I think it's because the input into the ear is too strong and abruptly 'clear' for want of a better word…. it doesn't have the decay that you'd get from sound travelling through the air from a speaker to your ear… (the sound pressure decreases inversely depending on distance from the source) and the difference that such decay makes to different frequencies gives a much less 'immediate' sound.

    Also, putting reverb on to give a sense of space is all well and good… but that isn't the sound you're getting from your speakers… that's the sound going INTO the speakers. Am I right in saying that speaker emulation affects it's how the SIGNAL is affected (resistance loading and all that)?
    The sound reaching your ears is not just the signal though. To give a more accurate sense of the sound IN THE ROOM it should be compressed AGAIN to simulate a specific sound source and then reverbed again, to simulate the affected SIGNAL coming out of a specific source and travelling through a room..No!?

  5. Crank some gain! No metal tones ever? I hear "way too much gain" when the gain knob is like 1/3 up. hahaha.

  6. Secret to these direct solutions is just a touch of reverb after the cab emulation to simulate the response of the room… Once you put that on then it's much more comfortable to play through in my opinion

  7. Can we go direct to where ? The air? a lot of us aren't ampless people and don't really have a clue how to do this and some of us are trying to gig on a budget. Majority of musicians like myself are not rich, and can't afford expensive equipment. You should at least try to appreciate that fact and appeal to this narrative in products you promote or review and provide affordable price alternatives for gigging musicians on a budget, just saying

  8. Do you think it’s entirely fair that you did this review of going direct whilst dealing with the trauma of having to move – could this have coloured your opinions at all?

  9. Going direct is just like sniffing your girl friends CLEAN underwear. The feeling isn't quite right, something's missing.

  10. I record at home. Ironically, I record direct because I can use the studio monitors, whereas when mic-ing an amp, I have to use headphones. I hate headphones as a general rule. I can get inspiring sounds at reasonable volumes with the monitors. But the key is to use some room reverb. Even a close-mic'd amp has some room reflections in it when recorded. But a direct sound is completely dry and sterile. Room reverb is essential and will make the guitar sound "alive".

  11. I hear differences but I can't judge any as better or worse. It all sounds a bit processed to me but that aside, I have no preference that makes me want to play or not. Honestly wish I were refined enough to know the difference but I don't. Maybe that's a blessing in disguise????? I'm just not sure buying any of these things will make a difference except empty my wallet and make more junk at home that'll be obsolete in a year or two.

  12. Really late commenting I know, but only just seen this video. I've been playing solo gigs with an amp modeller setup (Boss GP-10 so not the best option to be fair) for a few years now. I completely agree with everything you say in the video, it is really hard sometimes to feel connected. Unfortunately, a lot of the time a direct, quick to set up and easy to transport set up is the best option for a lot of gigs. On those gigs, I do miss having that little bit of feedback when an amp is turned up. You do get some of the feel back when you have good floor monitors aiming back at you instead of headphones, but it still doesn't quite match a good valve amp. Really hoping that is some potential solution around the corner to close that gap.

  13. Did you guys figure out the Radar is an ir loader too? At the beginning you were unsure. I'm not sure about the stock cabs in the pedal but the ability to put your favorite ir's in might have a dramatic affect/ improvement on the sound and feel. Sorry I don't have time to finish watching yet. I'll find out if you figured it out later tonight.

  14. Dude stop complaining and say something interesting for all of us that can't use amps… 1 hour of complaining…

  15. First, you guys are super great. Second, I have heard your guitars sound much better on the show buttttttt…..I have also heard them sound worse. I hear you on the feedback loop and my love of moving air is rivaled only by my love of stereo effects. Effects made much more feasible in a live setting with irs.

  16. Im confused about di's. Do you need a preamp pedal after your pedalboard and before the di?

  17. 30:50 Look into the "Back Beat" rumble product that vibrates the sound into your back the way a large speaker would. Any product endorsed by Victor Wooten is good enough for me. Just sayin. I wanna try it but 299.00 price tag holding me back.. (for now) 😉

  18. What about cab sims through PA though? Say you want to rock your your board through a pa system and just use monitors as your cab so to speak. That's where the cab sims should really shine or fail.

  19. Guys. Kemper latency is like 2-3ms. WEIRD that most metal bands use it in the studio and live and remain in time. You guys often play at 2000bpm?

  20. It sounds SO BAD compared to your normal tones. Im not entirely convinced that people who praise the BluGuitar amp have ears or a good amp to compare.

  21. You have nailed it!!!!. I am trying to figure out a fly board that will be a straight to mixer set up. Problem is exactly what you all are experiencing……lifeless and nasally….and it's made even worse by IEMs. Most of my guitar playing buds also agree they (IEMs) sound horrible. Yes we have ambient mics, yes, you can feel the drums, the molds were $700, but they still sound tinny and thin. The pick attack is lacking. It's all you can do just to get through leads note for note. All creativity, feel and spontaneity is gone. I am considering trying a preamp of some sort into a Two Notes Torpedo CAB, especially because the newer version has power amp simulation which helps. But by the time I am finished I may have dumped a shit load of money into something that is still uninspiring.

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