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  1. Hey guys, This topic intrigued the heck out of me since I now own both units. I will declare a winner, but before I spit my opinion on this topic, let me just say that both units are awesome and sound incredible. Everyone is a winner as this really boils down to what are you willing to put up with in the situation you use it for. My opinion: I am a gigging musician in an original metal band called Niviane out of Sacramento CA. and I play live currently on most weekends. I have owned the POD HD500X, Helix and Fractal AX8, currently having the Helix and AX8 in my possession. My current gear is a Line 6 HElix, Fractal AX8, Matrix GT1000FX poweramp and (2) Matrix FR12P cabs with Ibanez Prestige guitars and DiMarzio DActivator/Air Norton pickups. Going from the POD HD500X to the Helix was a relatively easy transition for me, but the Helix is not a POD unit. Within 20 minutes of opening the box and setting the Helix up, I had already created a patch. The Helix was so very simple to use and navigate right from the unit itself. Within one hour of fiddling around with the Helix, I had created a set of 4 presets that eventually I dialed into what would be the tone I used for live performances. Like any other Helix user, I spent my off time tweaking my tones to create the "holy grail" of sound. Tweaking the Helix, again was a very simple task whether you were using the Helix editor or changing presets on the fly directly from the unit. Every time I gigged with the Helix, I would get nothing but compliments on my tone. Extremely easy to set and breakdown, the Helix was exactly what I was looking for when it came to "ease of use". But, being the "tone lollipop" that I am, I was intrigued by the Fractal AX8 and decided to pull the trigger and purchase one. Once i had it in my hot little hands, I could not wait to get it home and hook it up. Now, I had watched videos constantly on you tube and was told that if you were a first time fractal user, there would be a learning curve. I got it home, hooked it up and it did not matter how many videos I watched, the learning curve was real! It took me one hour alone just to get a tone set-up. Once I got the tone set up, I was able to create 4 presets. Now, I am ready to test this thing out. Once I started to play at a stage volume level, the first thing I noticed was the lag/latency when switching presets. This problem alone set me back two days just trying to figure out how to make it go away. Talking with people on the forums was a help, but the most common answer I got was to use scenes or learn to deal with it. I was ready to return it back to Fractal and buy another Helix! But everyday, someone would give me a new tip and I would get closer to obtaining what I wanted, but the lag/latency between presets was still bothering me. I had never used the snapshots option with the Helix, but I figured I would give the scenes a shot with the AX8. What I found out with scenes is that there is more learning to the already large learning curve I had encountered. There are a couple of YouTube videos that were instrumental in learning about scene modifiers and without those videos, I probably would have gotten rid of the unit. But once I learned about scene modifiers, manipulating the scenes became easier and the lag/latency issue had disappeared. I finally felt like I was getting somewhere with this unit. So, I created a bank of scenes and realized the only thing I could not modify......was the different output levels per scene. I watched a video that showed output levels being modified through the main output block, going into the scenes option and raising the level of your output accordingly. Again, I thought that I had found the magic elixir for the AX8....that was until I turned the volume up to stage level and experienced a loud "inrush" of volume that was maybe a 1/4 of a second long, but extremely noticeable when changing scenes. When I leveled the scenes outputs back to zero, the "inrush" of volume went away when changing scenes. So, I ended up going back to presets with the AX8 and I did dial in a killer tone. I did use the AX8 at my last show in Reno NV and I had to deal with the lag/latency of changing presets. I did find that it wasn't too hard to anticipate going into a solo or going back into my clean preset, but to me, I just shouldn't have to do this. At $1,350.00 with tax brand new, I would expect a better piece of equipment. Your opinion of this unit may differ from mine and thats ok. I did not write this post to argue with how someone else views this unit, I wrote it to let other people know of my experience with it and being this is the Line 6 forum, also let you know how much easier I think the Helix is than the Fractal AX8. I also would like to share my review based on my experience with both units. Ease of use: Obviously this goes to the Helix. After owning the AX8 for a month, I still find it difficult to modify without my laptop present. Tone: This is going to go the AX8 on a very slight edge. As easy as it is for me to find a tone with the Helix, it sounds more "processed" or "digital" to me than the AX8. The AX8 has a very warm tone that really gives it the feel of a tube amp. I am sure that I could manipulate the Helix to do the same if I take more time with it. Functionality: With functionality, I mean switching presets, making the unit work they way you want it to. I give this to the Helix. I had absolutely no lag/latency issues, I could modify on the fly, I could use/modify with or without the editor. The Helix has a nice, big easy to read screen and its very easy to see the adjustments you are making. The Helix can also be used as an interface with my recording software (Sonar Platinum) where the AX8 cannot. Both units are built like a tank though and can take a beating. My choice is the Helix. I don't understand why Fractal made a unit that sounds so good, so difficult to use and with (in my opinion) so many imperfections. If they could perform an update to remove the latency issues, make adjusting and or creating presets easier and give it the ability to be used as a recording interface, my opinion of this unit would certainly change. Again, my review/ experience is not to sway anyone nor is it to badmouth any unit. It is simply my experience with both units and I wanted to share that. I hope that someone finds it useful.
  2. So, I would like to chime in on this subject. I play heavy metal in a band out of Sacramento and have been used to using the full blown tube heads, 4-12 cabs and having to haul that crap every where i went. This pertains to playing metal, rock, blues, cover music, etc. I was intrigued by the whole "Modulating" world, but wasnt sure I could replicate the same sound as a tube head. I jumped in feet first and long story short, my whole rig was changed and it was not cheap. Ended buying the POD HD500X and upgraded shortly to the Helix. I went on forums upon forums and kept hearing about Matrix Amplification being the best amp for these types of set ups. I spoke with Andrew at Matrix and he was telling me how the power amp paired with FR FR speakers would make a world of difference to my sound. I asked alot of questions about speakers and speaker cabs and again FR FR speakers kept coming up. So, I purchased 2 FR FR speaker cabs and the GT800FX poweramp from Matrix and I cannot begin to tell you how impressed I am with the sound. The 2 cabs together still weigh less than my 4-12 Marshall cab and with the FR FR speakers, the speaker sims truely ring through. I never used the speaker sims with my Marshall or Peavey Cabs, but using the FR FR really opened up another whole world of sound and now I am diving into the IR speaker cabs and such. Had I never been introduced to FR FR, I probably would have been just fine with my Marshall and Peavey cabs, but now that I have I would never turn back. Just my two cents on this and I am sure everyone will have their own opinion about this.
  3. Another thing is I don't use a Variax guitar. My Helix is only connected by USB if I am using the editor or if I am doing an update. Otherwise its standalone. I do not have the rackmount version. I may try rebooting in a couple of weeks. I have all of my settings dialed in and (because of my goof) I lost all my presets last time and do not want to go through that again with a bunch of shows coming up.
  4. I am assuming your asking if I have updated to 2.12? If so, yes..thats the one I have updated too :)
  5. I should be more specific about my freezing. My update was performed to a tee as directed on the Line 6 website. I used the supplied USB cable to connect my Helix to my computer. Followed all the directions as written and was maticulate about it. When my Helix re-booted, everything worked fine. A couple of days later, I turned my Helix on like I do any other time and the start-up screen froze. (As we know, the Helix takes about 20 seconds from the time you turn it on until the time your patch screen shows up). At the end of that 20 seconds, the screen was just froze, nothing was moving. I turned it off, went through the start-up process again and this time it started up fine. This has happened 3 times since the update, intermittently. I turned it on, walked away and the screen was frozen. I have used it probably 20 or more times since the update. To me, that's 3 times more than it should have happened.
  6. This is the exact case that happens to me. I should have been more specific on how it freezes, but it freezes up on startup. It takes about 10 seconds or so for the Helix to boot up, but I have had three instances now since updating 2.12 where the Helix does not go to my presets, but the start up screen freezes. The problem is corrected by restarting the Helix, but I dont think I should have to do that. I updated my firmware by following the instructions for the update to a tee. I have the Helix pedalboard, not the rack
  7. Hi all, I was real reluctant to update my Helix to 2.12, but I did and now every once in a while, it freezes. Has anyone else had this issue? and what is the fix? Am i going to have re-load it? What a pain this was in the first place and I kind of wished I never did the update.
  8. I messaged one of the members who turned me on to this website http://btpa.com/P6505PGMAJ-XX.html I just ordered the cable and it is supposed to be compatible with the Helix to the 6505+. You should be able to map the switches in the settings to change the channels.
  9. I have a Helix and a Matrix GT800FX. I run it into a 120W Peavey 2-12 cabinet. I run the matrix volume at almost 90% and control the volume output from my Helix. I have had absolutely no issues with running it this way. It sounds amazing (i play metal) and had all the same questions you had. As far as the ohm options are concerned, I believe Matrix senses the ohms and adjusts to it. I have a 16 ohm 4-12 Marshall Cab and I used it the other night without any issues.
  10. Hi guys, First of all, I am new to the Helix and absolutely love this thing. I purchased it specifically for smaller venues and its ease of set up and breakdown. But, it has quickly become my go to rig for all venues. Really love the sound it produces and I have just scratched the surface of it. I owned a POD HD500X prior to my Helix purchase and there are a couple of things I have found "easier" on the HD500X (mostly because of me being a newbie to this product) than on the Helix. The first is the ability to have internal stompboxes available with my presets. For instance, I have presets 1A, 1B, 1C and 1D on the bottom and 2A, 2B, 2C and 2D on the top. I have configured presets 1A-1D as my band patches, but want to use 2A-2D as stomp boxes to add to my patches when needed. Its probably something extremely simple, but I havent figured it out yet. Also, enabling the looper. On the POD HD500X, it was as simple as pressing a switch. I messed with it last night and could not figure it out for the life of me. I have watched a couple of videos, but still havent figured it out. Any help, ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  11. Hello all, So I am upgrading from my POD HD500X to the Helix, mainly because I had my poweramp go bad during a show. I have heard all these good things about the Matrix poweramp that I finally bought one. When I spoke to the Matrix engineer, he stated the next weakest link in my signal chain was my POD unit and my speakers. He had suggested either the Helix or the Fractal. After watching numerous videos and I am already familar with the Line 6 pedalboard, choosing the Helix was easy. So now that I have purchased the Matrix poweramp and the Helix, I am looking for suggestions on what 12" speakers to run. I currently have a 2 - 12 Peavey cabinet with Greenback 25s. I should also mention that I am not interested in using powered speakers at this point. I am looking to purchase a couple of high end 12" speakers that I can throw in my Peavey cab. All of my main guitars are Ibanez Prestige with maple necks and Dactivator pickups if that makes any difference. Thank you
  12. Thank you for your response. Imagine strumming a chord in "C" and thats the best example I can give you. It was sudden, but did not stop until I switched between presets. I will check my firmware to see if I am running that version.
  13. So I just posed a topic and probably should have given some more information. I have several other guitars that I have tried it in and it works fine. My RRMG has EMG 57/66s in it (active pickups) The light blinks green on and off when plugged into my RRMG but no sound comes out. Any one else have this issue and how did you fix it?
  14. I am sure that somewhere there is a post about this, but I just bought the g10 and it works great with every one of my guitars except my Randy Rhoads Jackson. Has anyone else had this issue and how do we fix it?
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