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Posts posted by bobruz

  1. MP-2 had expanded features from the MP-1 unit.  Did it sound better?

    Not necessarily, but it had more gain control, better loops, great chorus and wah built in.


    Really cutting edge for the time.






    MP-2 Features



    Complete digital control of an all-analog signal path.

    128 User programs plus 39 factory Preset programs.

    Two low-noise 12AX7A tubes with 10 tube voicing settings and overdrive.

    Onboard compressor for maximum sustain and funk squeeze.

    Four-band tone controls for basic tone shaping.

    Nine-band graphic equalizer for detailed tone adjustments.

    Powerful effects, including wah-wah, tremolo, and stereo chorus.

    Noise reduction circuitry to reduce unwanted hum and noise at high gain settings.

    Stereo effects loop with programmable mix control. Side-chain design keeps dry signal within MP-2, preserving dynamics and signal-to-noise ratio.

    Speaker emulation circuit and room compensation equalization.

    Cabinet-emulated, balanced XLR outputs with ground lift, as well as unbalanced 1/4" phone outputs for recording.

    Independent unbalanced 1/4" phone outputs for stage use.

    Front and rear panel 1/4" phone inputs for easy access.

    Complete MIDI implementation, including Real-Time MIDI for changing parameters "on the fly."

    Optional MIDI Controller Pedal Pack provides instant access to any program for fast on-stage control, plus real-time MIDI continuous control.

  2. Loved that preamp.  Still have one and an MP-2 as well. 
    I believe it would sound great in the loop of the Helix driving some different cabs/IR's.

  3. I use an SKB, 6U, Roto Rolling rack for my Helix, L6 G90 wireless and a Koch ATR-4502 

    single space tube hybrid stereo amp.  Pretty sweet.  Snap off the covers, cable up and you're ready to go.

    Case keeps the gear clean, protects it from moisture and it rolls around like luggage.

  4. I have a similar setup with a Koch stereo power amp into a 2x12 stereo cab.

    I have some presets with IR's because they sound really good or have some additional tuning capability.

    It can be interesting to force the tonality of one speaker cab and mike setup onto a different

    physical cab and see what tones emerge.

  5. Just buffer the guitar thru a simple preamp unit and then into the return loop.

    Something like an RJM Tone Saver or Radial Dragster to match the impedances.

    Some tuners may do it as well.

  6. Billy is a great all-around musician. I grew up watching him, and Talas evolve.

    He can play guitar with the best of them too. His take on multi-frequency amplification

    and overdrive were inspirational. The Helix project was probably pure joy for him.

    He used to have a chasing LED pack on his strap that looked really cool as he was pounding

    out the grooves to Thick Head or High Speed on Ice.

  7. Both the cab approach and the FRFR approach are great ways to implement the Helix.

    I use a Koch ATR-4025 into a 10/12 cab when I do the cab thing.  http://www.koch-amps.com/guitar-poweramp-atr-4502.html

    It has great balls and the Helix allows simulation of many different amp types thru that setup.


    I use a Yamaha DXR12 FRFR when I do that thing.  The full range type speaker allows all the nuances of the Helix & IR combinations

    to come thru.  I consider it as the full studio sound with the FRFR.


    When I want the spl in the room tone, I go with the power amp and cab.  When I need the most versatility, I do the frfr.

  8. This seems to be an orphan response here but live I use a Koch ATR-4501 tube hybrid stereo amp

    into a Wizard 10/12 cab. 10" Celestion Vintage 10 and a Jensen Falcon 12.


    At home I use that setup or I run the Helix into a VHT Special 44, 1x12" Celestion Gold speaker.

    The Special 44 has all tone controls post-Return so you can really tweak the response.


    No FRFR at this point. Tried the Spacestation V3 but it was not for me.

  9. I agree with the general sentiment throughout this thread.

    Difficulties with articulation or clarity are likely a symptom of too much drive

    or a higher gain model selected.


    I'm typically about 70% lo gain and 30% higher gain in my gigging presets.

    Whenever I feel I'm losing definition, the solution is to lower the driving gains a bit

    and let the amp model do more of the tone shaping. Usually the guts in the models like

    the Archon clean or Dr.Z as the channel volume or master volume comes up can really shine through.


    FYI-I use the Helix with a Koch ATR-4501 stereo tube amp and a Wizard 10"/12" cab. I'm not using it with FRFR.

    I do have patches with and w/out cabs based on how they sound. No IR's at this point except for recording.

  10. If you plan to run the Helix as a effects only before the amp you can keep the footswitch.

    You could however, using 4CM have your Blackstar preamp in a Helix Loop and use it as you do now

    AND also use all the other modeling options in Helix as well.  This config would allow effects before and after the amp.

    If you use Helix as modeler back into the amp return, the footswitch will not likely have any effect.

  11. My experience with Katana and Helix:

    For a rehearsal rig I picked up a Helix LT and I was looking at a couple 1x12 combos to use as a compact setup.

    I found a Katana 100 combo at a reasonable cost and tried it out.  The Katana sounded OK on it's own but not quite there.

    I thought it was very brittle sounding due to the speaker.  With the Helix LT into the Return, even more brittle.  Could not dial it out and have

    a useable tone left to work with.  Plenty of oomph though.  No problem getting good volume.

    I changed the speaker to a Celestion Gold that I had lying about.  It completely changed the overall amp tone, but now it was softer in the mids

    and fizzy in the highs.  Again, dialing the Helix LT you could get it better but you would not be left with anything gutsy to work with.

    Ultimately I took out the Gold, put the stock speaker back in and sold it.  It's a nice amp, just not for me.


    I picked up a NOS, 1x12, VHT Special 44 to try.  This amp has post-return tone controls as well as a multi-selector for amp response.

    This amp sounds much better than the Katana for Helix to my ears, but I think ultimately, I'm heading towards a DXR10 or PRX-710.

    I'll keep the VHT since it is an excellent, clean tube amp that is very pedal friendly.

  12. I've been using a Koch ATR-4502 tube hybrid power amp into a 10/12 cab for some time with great results.

    I do use some cabs and IR's with acceptable results. It's the myriad of combos you can do to find the good

    ones that is the real strength of the Helix.

    I also use a Spacestation V3 with the Helix which is FRFR amplification. I use this with IR cabs almost exclusively.



  13. Just picked up an LT from Sweetwater for my rehearsal/small gig activity.

    It will be nice to be able to tweak presets at rehearsal and transfer them

    directly to my gig rig. Nice to have a spare also.

  14. I agree with Tony for the most part. However, volume down is not usually a good move on the gig though.

    My experience has shown if the volume is too low, the tuner struggles to settle down and thus more time is needed.

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