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Steeldom

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  1. Steeldom

    Is variax dead?

    Hi so I'm really curious about this topic. I own a Helix Lt and two JTV59s and I'm quite happy with the setup but I'm also looking into the future. Thomann has taken the Variaxes completely off of their website. I Would understand the JTV since it's a bit older. But the Standard and Shuriken are also not available anymore. So my guess was that maybe Line6 has a new Gadget they will present soon but nothing as of yet. Or is that just something on the Thomann side of things and the guitars are made and sold as usual?
  2. It's actually fairly straight forward. You treat the Helix / HX Stomp like you would any other amp. So direct out to guitar in, output back into the return of the Kemper. In Profiler Mode you select the reference amp and then you start tweaking your HX patch like you would tweak an amp until you get the result you want. I think it is better to tweak the HX patch like this instead of going into it direct. Because this is the signal chain that you're going to profile. So since there's some A/D D/A conversion going on there might be slight differences between listening to the HX direct or through the Kemper. Once you have the tone you want, start the profiling process. And then refine it until you're satisfied. The great thing about Helix and HX stomp are the nearly endless possible combinations of amps and pedals. I would argue it is almost impossible to not find a setting that you like.
  3. Hey guys, I just had to share this. I had a Kemper in 2012, sold it, was VERY unhappy bought one again last year. But the Helix has drawn my eyes ever since it came out. And the reason is that for me it is probably an "AxeFX light" so to speak. Many routing options, more than the Kemper allows. But my heart was with Kemper and at the time I could only afford one of them so the choice was easy. But my mind never let go of the Helix. I don't have any tube amps, so I rely on profile packs from the internet. I even bought some. But I never found myself to be AMAZED. I liked the sound, it was ok. But I always wondered. Every time I hear profiles on youtube they sound amazing and I just couldn't recreate that sound at home. Maybe it was my speaker. Maybe my guitar. And the second thing I found myself doing all the time was to use up pretty much all the effect slots just to get the sound to where I want it. With one or two distortion pedals in front an equalizer behind the amp. A light ambience hall. A noise gate. And since I lock in a Solo boost that I can activate from any sound. That leaves me with little space for other things like delay or chorus. So then I thought about Helix. There I have more than enough effect slots for anything I would ever need. Up to 4 amps in parallel and all kinds of shenanigans. So what if, I would use the Helix to create a sound and then profile it with the Kemper? And that is what I did. Last week I bought an Helix lt. And I fiddled around with it a bit. And started doing the exact same thing. Pedals in front, effects after until I reached a point where I was satisfied. And then I profiled it. So in the Helix my signal chain almost always is: slight Compressor - distortion pedal - Amp + Cab - Mesa Equalizer And that combined gives a pretty rad Amp sound. And the Profiler captured it perfect. Even more so. I think I've tricked my Kemper into thinking it is profiling something it actually isn't. There's no compression going on in the profile and yet I get full and rich sounds. I think (although that maybe mojo) it even enriches what comes out of the Helix a bit. And boy oh boy I couldn't be happier. I had to force myself to stop playing the other night when it started to see daylight again. A clean signal chain, no effect, not even the usual ambience hall. And it just sounds amazing. If I find the time on the weekend I will put online what I've profiled so far. Hiwatt, AC30, 5150 and Fender Deluxe. Now it really feels like I have a collection of vintage amps at hand to profile the way I want. Now you might ask: Why not just use the Helix? As I said to my ears it actually sounds better after profiling. And the profiler has some features that I just don't want to miss. Such as the detuner is way better than Helix'. It's not even comparable. On the Kemper I can detune my guitar a half step or a step and play comfortably. The Helix just doesn't get there. And the second feature is the locking effects. Being able to have a soloboost locked let's me adjust that in rehearsals or live without having to change every profile I use. Just like having one boost pedal on your pedalboard. I haven't yet found a way in the Helix to achieve the same. So the end of the story for me is: The combination is so much greater than the sum of it parts. To me it is ridiculous. I have the feeling I hear my Kemper for the first time. So thank you Kemper and thank you Line6 for making me a very happy guitarist. PS: I posted the same thing on the Kemper Forum, cause I'm just so happy with both products! :-)
  4. Yeah it's kinda fun and a huge drag at the same time... You safe up to that new piece of gear you want and then you finally have it and it's so much fun... for a while. And then a clever marketing team comes up with the next "hot lollipop" and even though you were so happy a second before, you feel something is missing. The power amp thing isn't even the real problem for me. I've got the small ritter amp in the back of the Kemper and although it's certainly not as loud as the DT50 it has done some work and since I'm using modelling gear I've considered going in ears for a while. So the stage sound might not even be required at all. The thing about HX Effects is that it wouldn't have the variax integration. Which is why I tried to use my HD500 only as a pedalboard and plug it into the Kemper front, like I would with a normal amp. But the result did not please me. Even without any effect engaged it sounded to me as if the HD500 would make it all thin and liveless (which at the moment I want to believe is user error). EXACTLY! In an ideal world I would want a room where I can be as loud as I want for as long as I want, all the different modelers and about half a year of free time (at least) :-D Thanks for that. It was an idea but probably not a good one. What would be your suggestion for the Variax integration of the setup? Of course I could just use batteries. That would even open up the possibility of going wireless. The reason I don't feel confident in using the variax with batteries in a live situation is that I tend to forget important stuff in the heat of the moment. When I'm on stage I want to focus on the music, on the band, on the crowd, not on the gear. I don't want to worry about battery life and if I have charged them all in the middle of a set. And I can almost see myself running out of battery life in the middle of a song :-D There's no small variax capable device on the market at the moment, is there?
  5. Hi guys, in the 15 years I play guitar I have learned that there's never going to be an "it", like in "This is it!". No matter how advanced the gear, something will always have an edge in some aspect. So here I am again considering changing the gear I have. The way I went was (you can skip this if its too boring): Pod X3 Pro --> Which is a mighty fine unit but I "grew out of it" Variax 600 - Pod hd 500 - Dt25 --> Which is a very flexible setup Then the Kemper came along and those sweet sweet sounds... But I sold it because I wanted more flexibility. Axe-Fx Ultra --> Which had all the flexibility and sounds but was a drag to use because of the interface and you had to have a device to connect it to pc, and one to be able to play through headphones. So that went away as well. After some time with Lowlevel gear and not a lot of time for music I decided to again buy a Kemper, because of the sounds, and I love it. But it lacks flexibility when it comes to effects. So I also bought a Pod HD 500x and recently I upgraded to the full Dream Rig JTV 59 - hd500x - Dt50 212 --> Now that is a combination but the Kemper sounds better. Here are my considerations with each, and its important that I'm talking about live, because at home the Kemper is all I ever want and need. Only using the Kemper brings some disadvantages for what I want - I have to play the variax with batteries - I have to have an extra footswitch - I have to have a device to amplify the sound for monitoring - I am very limited in the amount of effects I can use per preset Heres what the Kemper does what I really want - It has the best Amp sound of any device I ever had - I can lock blocks so that they act like "global" effects --> I need this for my solo boost which I want to be a single effect that i can adjust for ALL sounds I use The Dream rig on the other hand - is very easy to setup live, two cables, power, done - Variax integration Its disadvantages are - limitation in number of effects - Gaps when chaning presets The sound is great but it does need some tweaking and additional EQs to get it to where I want it. But every EQ is consuming one of my "precious" 8 FX blocks. At the moment I have a pretty flexible 1 preset setup, dual amps with the bare minimum of effects I use. It does work but it leaves a lot to be desired. Again I want to be able to adjust the solo volume boost for all the sounds with pretty much one knob. This does not work when I use multiple presets. The Kemper and the DT50 together sound EXACTLY like I want it to but the hd500 in front of the Kemper "kills" the sound. Maybe I'm doing something wrong. I've tried every global setting and amp/line I could think of. It doesn't sound at all like the Kemper directly. TLDR: What I have is good but it doesn't satisfy me completely Now then there is the Helix. I say Helix, I mean the Helix family. Because there are some options to be considered. DT Integration: I've read that the Helix can only change the DT Poweramp config via Midi. That is not a problem to me since I do not WANT to change the settings. But what I would like to know: Can I connect Helix via Line6 Link to the DT 50? Will the Master knob on the front work? Because it doesn't work when I put the Kemper into the FX-return. I then have to controll the master volume with the Knob on the back of the DT50 which is very inconvenient (again I might be doing something wrong). So will the Master and the "pulled master" mode still work with Helix and DT50? The second thing is about snapshots. Because snapshots are essentially THE feature that I want a Helix for. If the HD500 had that I could make it work with 8 effects. As far as I know you can setup the footswitches to be: 8 stomps or 8 Snapshots or 4/4 (with the option of toprow vs bottomrow) So you cannot assign 5 footswitches to snapshots and 3 to stomps or vice versa, correct? And you cannot have Stomp - Snap - Stomp - Snap in one row? LT VS Full I really like the little screens on the big Helix. To be able to name anything like you want it is awesome. But I wonder if it is worth the price difference? So what are the thoughts of you who maybe have both? I'm also considering the rack version with the footcontroller, which has some advantages and some disadvantages. The thing about my X3 Pro I miss the most is having my modeler safely stored away in the back and only a footcontroller frontstage. Since I do use my Variax with a cable I gain some space from having the HD500 at my feet. So theres that to consider as well. HX Stomp There could be a way of fixing my problem by putting an HX stomp into the FX loop of the HD500. This gives me 5 more effects (since one is used up by the fx loop) and an upgraded sound. Plus its the cheapest version of them all. But I worry that it will have the same effect like with the Kemper and the sound will be worse than plugging into the Stomp directly. Has anyone here tried this combination? So bottom line for me is, I do not want to sell my Kemper because I already did that once and I regreted it immediatly. And also it's just too much fun. But I could if I was sure that the Helix would make the things I want the way I want. I'm sure some of you have experiences with the different gear I mentioned or even something else entirely. What would you recommend? sThanks for your thoughts in advance, sorry for the long post :-D
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