Let's talk load boxes!

Alex Kenivel

Rock Star
TGF Recording Artist
Messages
3,113
My PRS MT15 has overtaken my Helix in the Race To Tone©: High Gain® so much that I want to have it as an option to record and play at low levels. So far I've been using the MT15's preamp send into my DAW and running Ignite TPA-1 for power amp sim and Redwirez MixIR2 for cabs (leaving the MT15 on standby simply cuts the sound from the speaker so I can achieve quiet play) but I'm not sure if I should keep doing that or look into a Reactive load box.

What are some of the best low-cost load boxes that one could get? Are they all a tonal compromise somehow? I know there are some more simple solutions like DI boxes that can tap a line out from the speaker output (B3#$!^g$r has the GI-100 for example) -- are those any good?
 
If volume is no problem you could always get a Bray Line-out Box which goes between head and cab and apply IR to the signal in your DAW.
Cost= $55. :giggle:
 
If volume is no problem you could always get a Bray Line-out Box which goes between head and cab and apply IR to the signal in your DAW.
Cost= $55. :giggle:
that's cool for cheap chips! I'd personally want to be able to silence the speaker
 
I'm not sure if I should keep doing that or look into a Reactive load box.

Since all the gain is from the preamp, I would say your current solution is more than good enough.
In all honesty you are not going to gain much tone variety form a reactive load with a high gain amp unless you want 100% accuracy.
The TPA-1 provides poweramp coloration and controls which is more than good enough to rock and roll.
 
I've just bought a two notes captor and am planning to run it into my Helix as an IR loader. Unfortunately my JVM is away getting the OD channel modded to Od1 specs so I haven't been able to try it yet.
 
  • Fryette Powerload/Power Station
  • Suhr Reactive Load
  • Bluetone Loadbox
These are units that I've had good results using. The Bluetone is unique in that it's both a 3-step attenuator and works as a loadbox. They make a Lite version without the honestly awful analog cab sim and headphones out. As a load it is IMO on par with the Fryette stuff, just not adjustable for impedance curve like the Fryette is.

Personally I don't use loadboxes anymore. To me if I want to go direct, a great digital modeler is just plain more convenient.
 
BTW, using your Helix for IR's/fx/interface is pretty ideal for use with a loadbox, you avoid the latcenty of using an IR-loader in your daw and can monitor directly off the Helix.
 

Here's another thread on here about the same topic. Usual suspects are mentioned.
 
I’ve had most of the load boxes, UA, Two Notes, Suhr but no Boss or Fractal… I prefer the Tone King Ironman Mini or the II.
 
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Since all the gain is from the preamp, I would say your current solution is more than good enough.
In all honesty you are not going to gain much tone variety form a reactive load with a high gain amp unless you want 100% accuracy.
The TPA-1 provides poweramp coloration and controls which is more than good enough to rock and roll.
I wouldn't say all the gain is from the preamp - especially on the Clean channel (yes I play the MT15's clean channel 🤯). Turning up the clean volume toward "kill" gets pretty crunchy through the power section and pulling the boost knob on top of that gives a nice chunky overdrive. The preamp stays clean even in TPA-1 until I add another plugin with volume boost to help hit the virtual t00bs. The Depth and Presence knobs also don't work.
 
I have Suhr RL, Suhr RL IR, Waza TAE, and Fryette PS-100. The Suhr to me has the best articulation for the stuff I do. When I first started out the og Suhr was the first one I got, but I was always wondering how other load boxes were in comparison. So it was a costly adventure but now that I have a better perspective, Suhr all the way. Either model works well. Also handy when biasing your amps.

Never tried the two notes boxes, mainly cause I could not stand the WoS plugin.
 
I used the two notes for some year and recording but I end selling it, as the axe does the job .
I wanted to try the fractal box or suhr but I give up in the end .
 
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