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Captor X

Michael Kokoszka

New Student
Nov 11, 2019
12
6
Hi,

I currently have a mark V 25 and a 1x12mini recto slant cabinet.
I mostly play at home.

I can almost never set the volume past the bare minimum so i was thinking about getting a captor X.

Does anyone have experience with it?
Can i just plug it into my computer and play like that or do i need extra things?
Is it a smart thing to buy one (here in europe its 550 EURO)
Thanks in advance
 

Ed Seith

Supreme Galactic Overlord
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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Okay, so this is what's called a "power soak," and this one might be exactly what you're looking for, since it does two things. Being from Two Notes, I'm guessing it does them REALLY well, though now that you know it's called a power soak, there are other options you can look into as well, also from big name manufacturers like Mesa.

    Thing 1 that it does: "soaks" the power out of your amp before it gets to your speaker, so you can dial in your tone's sweet spot and get those tubes red-hot if you want to, but still be able to run it through your speaker at bedroom volumes to bring teh metulz.

    Thing 2 that it does: allow you to connect that same tube amp directly to your computer with hard-coded cabinet models so you can record YOUR AMP direct, just like an AxeFX does. The shortcoming here is that you can only choose from the cabinets built into the unit. On the other hand, you can record direct WITHOUT a cabinet added, and add one into the recorded track, which a lot of people do with AxeFX or Kemper anyway.

    They're not cheap (usually about $600US), but power soaks are old tech that works great, and with the new, modern features, these are an awesome option for the player who loves their tube amp but can't play or record at tube amp volumes.
     
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    Ed Seith

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    Wow, the Sweetwater link William shared has a LOT of great information, and the modern features added to this make it phenomenal! And still for that $550 US price tag.. Something may have just hit my wishlist...
     
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    Ed Seith

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    That's a tube in there? I thought it looked like one...

    No, it's more like a massive heat sink with electronics. Running a tube amp without a speaker attached is very BAD for a tube amp. The power soak/attenuator/etc acts like an attached speaker so the tube amp isn't damaged. It also disperses a lot of the power so you can crank the tube amp, but still play quietly at in-room volumes.

    If you've ever been in a bedroom with even a 1x12 tube combo cranked up, you know it is almost deafeningly loud. Certainly even my PRS MT-15 is, and that's only 15 watts of tube-driven power!
     

    Ed Seith

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    There's very little that can replicate the air-moving "oomph" of a proper tube amp. The emulators come close, but they're not PERFECT. However, they are less reliable, more finicky, and when you have to replace the tubes, it can completely change the tone of the amp. Solid state amps are as reliable as a TV. They sound the same, night after night. They are maybe half as loud per-watt as a tube amp, but they can still get quite loud. I played big gigs for a decade with my solid state Fender M80 head and 4x12.

    A valve amp is meant to be a compromise between the two, but I confess, I don't understand the architecture enough to explain how they do that.

    I currently mostly use my AxeFXIIXL+ modeling a 5150 Mk III tube amp, and as a backup, I have a PRS MT-15 with a V30 in a closed-back 1x12.
     
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    Ed Seith

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    DAW is Digital Audio Workstation, and GarageBand is one of them, and perfectly useful for now. The iRig will be a great starter interface. Don't worry about a Scarlett for now - you can do that if you decide to add a microphone.
     

    Michael Kokoszka

    New Student
    Nov 11, 2019
    12
    6
    Thanks all for your replies.

    I want to clarify that my main goal is to be able to play through the speakers of my computer. I do not intent to use it as an attenuator. I also would like to use it to record some backing tracks for myself.

    If i buy the captor x i will use the mesa boogie cab packs, which can be heard in the video linked, altough he only plays metal, but you get the idea (in the video is also a mark V 25 used)

    On the other hand i'm doubting to buy a Fractal FM 3 which has the same desired capabilities for me. Here in Europe its sold for 1200 EUR.
    I find a axe fx III a bit overkill for my use (+ it cost 3000 EUR)
    In case i buy the fm3 i would keep my Mark V + 1x12 for band practice.

    Which one should i choose and why (money is not the issue)