"Amp in a box" direct to studio monitors/PA?

I wonder if anyone here has tried an MXR 5150 pedal, or another “amp in a box” pedal straight to PA/studio monitors.

Say, guitar–modulation pedal–MXR 5150–delay pedal or multi FX pedal–monitors/PA.

Logically, the volume needs control but amps in a box are not supposed to need an amp’s power section to create their tone, so I am curious if anyone here has tried this.


1 Like

I’ve just got myself a Simplifier Dlx pedal.
I have a tube amp too.
It hasn’t got the tone of the amp, but it’s good enough.
I have a digitech RP effects pedal which does amp simulation too (all digital).

I would say:

  • Digitech = 50% ( good enough to learn and practice, have also taken to open mics and it was fine).
  • Simplifier = 85% (great tone and dynamics, now what I take to open mic’s regularly).
  • Vox AV60 = 95% ( great clean tone and good attempt at Marshall sound, love it but it’s too loud for most situations)

The Simplifier sits on my pedal board and runs off the 9v supply, so convenient :slightly_smiling_face: does ‘wet/dry’ too :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


They call it an “amp in a box” but that’s because it is emulating an iconic amp’s sound.

My perception is that you still need to place it in front of an amp (like a flat and clean amp) to get a good sound. I woudl think this pedal was designed to be put in front of an amp.
ALso, you’ll totally miss that ending, that finish that a speaker delivers.

I played the Wampler Pinnacle, also considered a “AIAB”
It can be used as tone shaper but also as signal booster

What COULD work well is connecting it to a something like a Strymon Iridium
It is said to take pedals well because it simulates amp+cab


Good points, thanks. As far as the 5150 goes, I see it like this:

1/ OTOH, it is meant to create the tone on its own, thus the amp itself should be irrelevant but the speaker will indeed make a difference anyway.
2/ OTOH, amps that sound good through speakers have emulated outs and this pedal does not.

I would not mind ordering one and trying it out…except I have never played a 5150 amp so I have no idea how close it would get :slight_smile:

I am currently dealing with significant hand issues and physiotherapy (4 months and counting), but at some point in fall or next spring I will probably choose between an Iconic 5150 15w and a Fractal FM 3.

(I started in Jun 2022 at 48 yo and did 30-45 min/day till late October, but then did 60 hours of practice in November and so it began :slight_smile: )


I would have to agree, Simplifier simulates amp and cab too.

The idea with both the Strymon and Simplifier is that you can get a variety of amp tones - including overdriven Marshall….

You should be able to plug that pedal into a PA system. I have a PA system and do this sort of thing all the time. Plug my pedal board in to the mixer for the PA and off I go rocking the jammy jams. Why direct into studio monitors?

1 Like

I don’t think it’s truly “meant to create the tone on its own.” It’s meant to be used with an amplifier. The manuals says “Run a cable from your guitar to the EVH5150’s INPUT jack and run another cable from the EVH5150’s OUTPUT jack to your amplifier.” The whole “amp in a box” thing is just a marketing term for what is essentially a drive pedal that tries to make your amp (including amp sims and such) sound like one of EVH’s amp.

Can you plug it directly into a board or whatever? Sure. Will you get a usable sound? Maybe; depends on what it’s going into, et cetera. Will you be getting the best the pedal can deliver? Almost certainly not.

In my opinion, a real “amp in a box” would be something more like the Orange Terror Stamp. Roughly the size of a large pedal (and designed for a pedal board), has its own valve preamp and its own solid-state class AB power section (20W output). Has a speaker out so you can hook it up to a cabinet, and also has a line out with cab simulation (for headphones, interface, whatever).

1 Like

I think the OP doesn’t have a PA.



I’m not so sure. Some of these pedals are pre-amps with cab sims with a fair amount of EQ. Try plugging into an FX loop, PA, AI, and whatever else. I have an American Sound pedal that I can squeeze out just about any Fender amp tone under just about any circumstance. I also have a Flamma Pre-amp that I like a lot.

1 Like

Oh, was going off the title. :man_shrugging:

1 Like

He may do, I don’t know.

I got the impression he was exploring it as an approach which may result in the purchase of Monitors or a PA, or may be a capability that he could use for gigging with a PA.

I’m not sure why someone would have a PA unless they were intending on performing and, in some cases, venues already have a PA. It’s more likely for someone to have monitors (assuming we are talking about monitor speakers for a PC, rather than, say, a wedge monitor for performing).

But either works really.



Something with a preamp and cab sim is a different story (although one that I don’t think applies to the EVH5150 pedal).

I asked because it had not occurred to me before (but I heard from a guy who used pedals straight to PA so I figured same would apply to my studio monitors at home).

It just seemed logical to me that given the design idea behind the MXR 5150 it could just work reasonably well with stereo monitors and no amp. Will I go that route? Unlikely. But inquiring minds must know!

1 Like

I picked up a fairly affordable one that is essentially a 130W two channel amp with a mixing board and speakers on stands. Great ambient sound.

EDIT: So yeah, there are different sized/powered PAs as there are amps.

1 Like

@J.W.C, I’m going off of this :point_up:
I have also used a bunch of other dirt pedals in the same context. They might not have cab sims, but they have plenty of EQ.

Folks should just try things. Nothing is going to blow up. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Yes, through an audio interface and a DAW with monitors should work fine. If you are going to do that you should get some good amp sims and FX from your DAW plugins as well.

Having said that, it’s the sort of thing I would do and, at one point, was considering. Especially as I have mixer and a number of amps and other electronic instruments (synths, etc.) that could be mixed together and played out of the PA.

Yes, having the option for stereo was another thought I had.

I decided against it as being overkill for my needs and I suspect that would apply to most people, but it’s certainly an option.



1 Like

Got it. I picked up a PA system a lot cheaper and more powerful than a Katana 100w amp.

Personally, I can’t see why you would need that much power unless performing in a venue.

My Katana was used for gigging and for jam sessions a few times and the 100W is far more than needed. If it wasn’t for the FX loop, then I would have been happy with the 50W and even that is too loud for what I needed 95% of the time.

Of course, having the lower power modes all the way down to 0.5W made that moot.

I should mention my Katana on the 50W setting could still be heard amongst a full band playing through a PA with a pair of Mackie SRM450s (at around 20% volume). These things are loud!

Compared with the PA option, the Katana was the right choice for me at the time. It sounded great, felt like a real amp and was far more portable for things like Jam sessions.

It also had all of the amp tones and effects I needed for those situations in a plug and play form, and was easy to carry around the house if I wanted to play in the garden or my office, where the PA wouldn’t have worked.

It was a great amp and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another one.

But I do see the appeal of the PA approach for some cases. I just think it’s a bit inflexible or inappropriate for a lot of people.

Of course, having both an amp and a PA gives all of the options.



Sure why not; as I mentioned, maybe you’ll get a usable sound, even if its not how a given pedal was designed to be used. I think the best odds of getting the best from your gear is to use it as intended, but I agree there’s nothing wrong with experimenting (especially if you’re looking for something that’s different from what is normally considered good tone, or something that’s more more of a sound effect).