guitarmaster you need to take a chill pill man because you missed my point. Whether or not Hetfield or Navarro have good tone is subjective... our opinions are going to differ there obviously. But my whole point is a professional musician can use whatever tools they need to get the job done, no matter if its high end boutique equipment or low end chinese made stuff.
In the 80's this didn't happen.................now unfortunately "quality" is a characteristic missed by many products and obviously by the brands that produce them...............
In the 80s you could buy quality equipment made in the US without the "boutique" stigma driving the price tag up. If you do a cost comparison analysis between the 80s and today you'd realize there is a pretty big difference in the manufacturing cost at least here in the US. There is no ONE culpurit to shift the blame to but one of the bigger ones is the inflation in land/housing value over the past 15-20 years. Any good company can mass produce quality, rock solid gear but to do it in the US means you need to carry a very large over head cost which will cause the retail price to skyrocket. Couple that rise in cost with the stigma of "boutique" equipment and greed to an extent and you now have a product that maybe made to the exact same specs as it was 20 years ago, but in todays world its sells for 200%-300% more.
Now here's the kicker... worker compensation has not followed the price of inflation for about 15 years now. That means a guy doing my job 15 years ago was getting paid the same as me except in his world the price of living (or price of manufactoring) was much lower. This is why bigger companies flock to Asia to do their manufacturing... its also why only small companies can still thrive in the US, but in most cases those US companies have much larger price tags, not just because they may make a better product, but the biggest reason is the huge overhead cost of manufacturing that you wouldnt have doing your production in Asia. So not only are the retail prices spiked on US made products, but the todays customers make less money than their 80s counterparts after you factor inflation, thus it makes it harder to afford that product. Now you can see the vicious cycle forming... less demand out there due to affordibility issues means a drop in supply, which brings you to today's boutique market of great sounding, rock solid products that are grossly overpriced due to many factors.
One thing i will agree with you on is the whole notion of this sucks. Not because of the products, but because inflation and greed have caused what could have been honest businesses to cut corners in order to stay competitive. And for the businesses that do stay honest, they're forced to charge waaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy too much in order to compete in the boutique market.
As for the whole digital vs analog, I never said there isn't a difference. My whole point was one isn't necassarily BETTER than the other. They each can have different applications. There's delays and reverbs (as well as many fx) in some digital units that an analog pedal could never do just because of the complexity of the algorithm. At the same time digital units can't nail the warmth of an analog unit (at least not 100%). So they both have their applications which will all depend on what a particular guitarist likes... point is one isnt better than the other. To claim so is extremely ignorant.
Wait a moment please..............for me digital units that deserve attention are only : Eventide, old TC. Electronic products (TC2290) for example.............
You should add Fractal Audio to your list if your going to name Eventide. But again my arguement is the whole "BETTER" aspect, especially in the analog vs digital arguement. There are two reasons why many supposed "tone gurus" claim analog is superior and both actually have to do with comfort. The first reason is analog pedals have a much simpler design and are easier to use. That provides a certain comfort level to a musician whole may or may not be the brightest penny in the fountain. The second reason is mostly due to your musical conditioning. You're used to hearing certain tones and certain effects in a certain way. No not every musician will end up liking the same things but the whole "warm" vs "sterile" arguement comes down to your ears are USED to hearing analog equpiment whether they be the gera the musicans play through or what the engineers record on. We are trained by the music we listen to prefer a certain tonal characteristic, and for those that grew up in the pre-digital age those tones were created on analog equipment. I've been playing music whether it be classical/orchestral when i was younger to rock/metal today, for the last 20 years or so... through my experience of both listening to various bands, playing in various different setting and playing various different instruments has been the conditioning of the way my ear/brain interprets tone. That is going to be a totally different experience and conditioning to most anyone else... therefore my interpretation of "BETTER" will differ, as will yours. So in that same breathe there is no "BETTER", its comes down to what you like and if your brain is conditioned to like what analog fx and boutique amps gives you then so be it. But to harp on you opinion that this is better than that shows a lack of depth... at the end of the day if you can make something work for you and it makes you happy then so be it.
You say I'm contradicting myself because of the gear I choose to use?
Sure, if you had liked Line 6, you would have used Line 6 or other brands (made in China/Korea) not Fractal and so on.........this is a contradiction. You told that my comparison is juvenile , but you're a boutique amps user and a lot of your gear is not made in China.
If you have chosen Fractal over Line 6 there's surely a reason.................probably Line 6 couldn't give you the tone (fx) you looked for.You have surely compared Fractal to Line 6 and you have noticed the differences. Fractal is better than line 6, there's not any doubt.
Everyone can use what he wants...............IMO Hetfield's current rig is "unbalanced". A Line 6 placed next to a Mesa/Boogie or other hi-end equipment is like to put a rotten apple in a box with shining red apples..............and I add that for example to use poor cables in a 15.000 US$ equipment is pure madness!!!!!!!! When I think about pro musicians, I think about pro-equipments...........sorry but I dislike products made in China/Korea, but not those made in Japan for example (speaking about oriental stuff). U.S.A and Europe made products are the best and I would like to come back to the 80's avoiding to see printed on the rear of some fx processors /keyboards and so on : "Made in China"............call me mad, but China had ruined the World with crappy products !!!!!! Many brands build their products in China (or in the Extreme Orient Nations) to reduce the production costs, but this is a disadvantage for the customers and sometimes people waste money buying something that is branded for example TC Electronics , but it's made in Thailand. Tc Electronics G major is made in Thailand :http://www.tcelectronic.com/media/GMajor_Rear.jpg
but G Force is made in Denmark :http://www.tcelectronic.com/media/GForce_Rear.jpg
This is an example of products made under the same brand but built in different places.
Again its not a contradiction. I choose to play what I play because its what I like. But I have played many amps, many guitars and many fx pedals/units. Some of the best gear I have played has been made somewhere in the Far East. Line 6 Echo Pro and Mod Pro can stand their own against some of the best fx units out there. ESP's LTD division has put out some great, quality, reliable guitars for reasonable prices. What i own today has no bearing on what I like because that can change (and has) at any time. Could it be your thinking of a word in italian and there's no direct translation other than contradiction? I ask because me own certain gear does not contradict my opinion of other gear... its not a proper use of the word.
And just so we're clear I wasn't calling you juvenile and stupid, I was calling the notion that boutique is automatically better than digital units or mass produced chinese units is juvenile and stupid. Its an extremely close minded way of approaching gear (and music in general) and limits your horizon. So if you want to make the jump that me calling the notion juvenile and stupid is the same as me calling YOU juvenile and stupid, then thats on you my man.
No problem, opinions are opinions, probably I misunderstood.............but I disagree with this statement :
Its an extremely close minded way of approaching gear (and music in general) and limits your horizon.
A great quality equipment can't limit my horizon...................and I also think that comparing products and brands is not a waste of time but it's a way to search for the best solutions and obviously to spend our money "using the brain" . I can't believe that a pro can't find alternatives to Line 6 stuff ! It seems that a lot of pro guitarists delegate to their guitar/amp/fx techs the choice of their gear , I think this is a really bad mistake and it generates only lack of "personality" and "expression" in their tone. There are a lot of real good rack compressors/Ng/rack fx units..............I ask myself why Metallica use Behringer and Line 6, this is the point and this was the comment I made answering to Elpelotero. Excuse me man, for you it's logic to have 4 tri-axis and a line 6, behringer, instead of some pro fx , for example Eventide ???? I remember Danny Spitz's rig in 1988 : 3 Mark IIIs, Eventide H3000, 4 Rocktron Juice Extractors (made in USA, Allan Holdsworth's signature, not like today's Rocktron stuff, that's made in China!!!!!!!!!!)...............good times !!!
Point taken but you dont even know HOW and WHEN they use that gear (unless your secretly jame's tech). Also how often do you hear Metallica use FX live? Very sparingly so why would they need an Eventide? Just because money is no object to them doesnt mean they have to use the most expensive stuff out there. And the if that behringer ng has been in his "fridge" for years and last time I saw them they sounded amazing... again other than just having the very "best" money can buy, why play soemthing else if that works for him? I'm just not seeing WHY they HAVE to use certain gear in order to have good tone. Listen unless your amp is super noisey most noise gates will do the trick... hence me using a Boss NS2. But again niether you or I know exactly WHEN and WHY they use those particular pieces of gear. My Noni told me a long time ago... "believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see." A picture only tells a partial story.