Line output vs load box?


I'm looking for silent recording solutions for electric. I've given up on di'ing into plugins tbh. I had a helix for a while as well but it just didn't quite do it for me....

I currently use a pettyjohn predrive (awesome) into a digitech cabdryvr and this gives much better and 'usable' tones, dynamics and sustain etc. imo. While I like it, it obviously still has a slight 'DI quality' to the sound.

I should point out I'm mainly looking for nice cleans and some crunch, I've never found getting a satisfying hi gain sound anywhere near as challenging- is not really my thing though.

I have a Rivera pubster 25 watt tube combo which has a line output. I'm pretty clueless about using amps for silent recording and was wondering if anyone could advise the best way of capturing the sound of this amp without a mic- whether it would be worth getting a load box to use the speaker out rather than the line output if I'm not looking to particularly drive the tubes/amp? As was saying- is 25 watts. Do you even need a load box at this level?

Also, very basic question- I def don't need a load box if using the line out rather than the speaker out? I've not tried the lineout yet for fear of blowing my DI- I've got a Dav electronics BG1 and blew the DI trying a speaker out from a JC120- silly I know, just nervous generally now.

Any advice gratefully received, hope the above makes sense.


Well-Known Member
It all comes down to quality.
A line out will have to use some sort of speaker/cab emulation. If you have a combo it might be tuned to sound the same, if it's a head it'll almost certainly sound different.
If you use a load box (With a line out) or something alike (H&K red box is quite nice, weber has some stuff, but really expensive will be the boss tube expander or ox box) you'll get more options of what cab to use and how to sound.
The difference between a loadbox and a pedal like your digitech is that you'll go through the power amp before going into that load box. So if the character of your amp comes from there, the load box will sound more like your amp.
Depending on the price it'll also sound a lot better but might be overkill. If you have a $500 amp, hooking up a 2k load box might be a bit much.
At the same time, if you have a $500 amp, maybe $25 of it will be spend on the line-out. So getting something of $100 will be a huge step up. (I'm paraphrasing here but you get my point)

load box vs line out is hard to say, I don't know your amp. It's a matter of trying. I use an attenuator for a 20 watt amp to keep it at home volumes so.. need is situational.

If you plug in the line out, keep the speaker connected!! Always! never ever ever turn on an amp without a speaker or proper load box connected unless it's specifically stated in the manual it's ok!
You won't blow up your interface by connecting it to the lineout. Depending on the amp again it might output through the speaker, or cut out when using line.

I'm afraid in the end your solution will be in trial and error.
Thanks for the advice. As far as trial...gonna try the line out vs a torpedo captor (need 8 ohm) from the speaker out- I guess the speaker out will have more of the character of the amp than the line out....we'll see, if it doesn't I can save a bit by taking it back.
Thanks again,