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Everything posted by cruisinon2

  1. The HD/HX designations are essentially meaningless... little more than marketing blather for press releases and product descriptions. All it does is allow you to roughly determine the relative ages of different products. The current generation of devices has carried the "HX" moniker since Helix debuted 8-ish years ago. Prior to that it was "HD"... but do they actually mean anything? Not really... but they need some way of announcing "this is our newest $hit" to the masses. Eventually some new platform will put Helix/HX out to pasture, and a snazzy new designation will take its place. In practical terms all you need to know is that nothing is backwards compatible... you can't load new models onto an old device. Occasionally popular "legacy" models are ported over into newer devices, but it's hit and miss.
  2. Or just cycle through them in HX Edit, and you don't have to bend down and fiddle with knobs...
  3. This has been a "set it and forget it" enterprise since day one... and even if that weren't the case, I seriously doubt that you'd ever see any of the rabble being promoted to "Sheriff of Nottingham". First of all, it just ain't L6's style. And second, the last thing we need around here are more swelled heads ;)
  4. Lol... good luck. The very people you're seeking action from are never here ;)
  5. Won't help you level things as much a you think. Keeping patches level is all about perceived loudness, not measured amplitude. A patch that's midrange heavy will always seem louder than a tone that's more scooped, even if they're both registering exactly the same on a dB meter. It's just how our brains are wired...blame biology, thank Fletcher and Munson...;)
  6. Can't swing a dead cat without hitting an A/B box... pick your favorite, they all do the exact same thing.
  7. Yup... and this time around seems to be worse than usual. I counted no less than 9 separate threads of update woes over the last few days. Either nobody ever learns, or the need for instant gratification is the most powerful force in the universe. Hard to say, lol...
  8. Coder 1st Class, Philip A. Schumpfgeek will be pleased to know that you appreciate his efforts ;)
  9. Alexa? Really? Count your blessings that Amazon isn't airlifting a pallet of guitar strings onto your front lawn every time you power up...;)
  10. I think "chewing on tinfoil whilst caught in a thunder storm" is closer...;)
  11. I love the smell of Firmware Russian Roulette in the morning... It doesn't have to be this way, folks, lol... this happens with practically every update. DON'T be an early adopter, unless you like being a guinea pig. Barring some sort of "my life depends on updating Helix TODAY" scenario (and frankly I cannot fathom what might cause such a situation), just wait. Your Helix is still every bit as good as it was yesterday. Give it a week, perhaps two. By then, courtesy of everyone who volunteered to be cannon fodder, the bugs will either have been squashed, or they won't... but at least you'll know what the score is. Either way you'll have saved yourself hours of aggravation and wasted time, and you'll still have a functioning device... while the "I need it now!" contingent goes quietly (well ok, maybe not quietly) insane. So rock on, if it still turns on... If not, we now return you to your regularly scheduled stress-induced alopecia ;)
  12. It wouldn't be odd... it would be miraculous, lol. It's hard to get directions to a place that doesn't exist...
  13. Sure... for session guys who have to be EVH one minute and Joe Pass the next (and can actually pull that off), the Variax is a dream come true. But the other 99.97% are generally only interested in one or the other. Most guitar players, even the good ones, are one trick ponies... and yes, I'm including myself in that lot, lol
  14. There's lots of reasons why they never really caught on... but mostly I think it's due to the fact that Joe Average guitar player just doesn't have needs/wants that are sufficiently diverse to justify the purchase, as those you've described... and that makes it a hard sell on a scale that would make it worthwhile for a big multi-national corporation to bother with. It's also a device that requires a great deal of time and tinkering to get the desired results, particularly with the acoustic tones... and I think that was a turn off for a lot of folks who aren't that tech-savvy and/ or knowledgeable about what makes different types of guitars sound the way they do in the first place. The latter was exacerbated by the way it was advertised, which convinced a lot of people that a realistic jumbo acoustic guitar tone would come flowing out of whatever electric guitar amp/cabinet setup they already owned, with just the flick of a switch on the guitar. Many of them, having no clue that the frequency response of typical guitar speakers simply can't do that, blamed the resulting crap-tastic acoustic tone on the Variax... there was a new thread complaining about this every 11 minutes back in the day, lol. Plus, most of the guitar playing universe gravitates towards a particular genre, with limited crossover outside of whatever it is that they like to hear and play. There just aren't that many guys out there who are equally at home playing a dobro, banjo, and shredding their way through "Matter of Puppets". The Variax concept was ambitious, and while not without its limitations, was largely successful. I just don't ever see it being widely adopted by the masses, even if there is a next generation at some point. My guess is that the bean-counters came to the same conclusion some time ago...
  15. The only thing that surprises me about this, is that it took this long for the axe to officially fall...(pun intended) ;)... development ceased long ago, as the last update worth discussing was in 2014, if memory serves. That's an eternity for any product that's heavily tech-dependent.
  16. That's nothing... after your free trial is up, you have to send them a complete set of dental records and a DNA sample. ;)
  17. Like anything else in life, your mileage may vary. There are always lemons, and somebody gets stuck with them. Nevertheless, I stand by what I said. The overwhelming majority of users are not touring pros, and their gear will not be subject to the ravages of life on the road. If they gig at all, it's every third Friday down at Walt's Trout Hut, and they have far more to fear from spilled beer than anything else. Not to mention the fact that half of the guitar playing world is still afraid to give a truss rod a 1/4 turn... they're not gonna confidently go futzing around with the Helix's inards, and especially not when there isn't a compelling reason to do so in the first place. And even if I'm completely wrong about all of that, appealing to L6 for some interior preventative maintenance cleansing protocol is a compete waste of time. In a million years, they'll never openly encourage customers to tinker around inside their products, because too many would f*ck it up beyond recognition.
  18. This is a solution desperately in search of a problem... I've owned my Helix for at least 6 years now, and I've had numerous similar floorboards, midi controllers, and pedals of just about every conceivable variety over the years/decades prior... and not once have I ever had the need to open one up to clean anything. I suppose if one regularly performs out in a wind-swept desert, then you might have some issues eventually... but that aside, this simply isn't something that most people will ever need to do. And not for nothing, but we live in a society where it's necessary to put warnings on plastic bags, so Joe Average doesn't stick his head in it....encouraging folks to start poking around under the hood of these things looking for a problem that isn't likely to exist, is a recipe for disaster. It's the very LAST thing that L6 themselves will ever encourage, and they're certainly never going to provide you with something that for many, would end up being a "How To Destroy Your Helix in 3 Easy Steps" manual...
  19. It'll only cost you a kidney... but don't worry, you can live quite happily with just the one, lol
  20. We'll I see we've finally reached the summit of Mt. Lazy... I'll tune back in when the AI algorithm plays the notes for me, too. I forget...which one of the Four Horsemen is this? ;)
  21. Must be that time of the month... the Eternal Question has returned, yet again. ;)
  22. We could debate all day over the likelihood of a malfunction when you get wherever it is you're going. My primary concern would be local access to a L6 service center, should the need arise. Depending on your destination, getting it serviced may or may not be possible without shipping it to hell and back, and a long delay without your instrument. If it were me, whether they've discontinued them or not, I'd be taking the path of least resistance by bringing an inexpensive, less tech-dependent instrument that I could have serviced anywhere on earth. Life's already unpredictable when you're not in the midst of an overseas, life-altering experiment... you're gonna have headaches as it is.
  23. Everything evolves, and while it's certainly not impossible that the existing design could be improved upon...I just don't think there's any money in it. Even the powers that be around here keep referring to the Variax as a "labor of love"... and nobody gets rich off of those, which makes it a hard sell to the bean counters.
  24. They just never caught on the way L6 had hoped. While I was quite enamored with my Variax initially, the more I used it the more difficult it became to ignore the shortcomings. In my case it was largely the drop D tuning that was utterly unusable with anything approaching high gain...too much cross-talk between the low E and A string piezo saddles. Little by little it just spent more and more time in the case. Being tethered to a cable didn't help either...I went wireless a long time ago. They're also way too finicky and unstable, and if/ when something goes awry, there nothing under the hood that's user-serviceable. Most guitar techs/luthiers have never seen one, and even if they're competent they haven't the faintest idea what to do with the hardware because it's not "normal" guitar guts. And finding an "authorized service center" can be a real pain in the arse depending on where you live. Nobody wants the extra expense of shipping a guitar to hell and back to get it fixed, on top of being without it for an extended period of time. They're also a lot of work at the beginning just to get them functioning... balancing individual string volumes from one model to another, etc. I think that turned off a lot of users who aren't the most tech savvy, or who just don't have the time or inclination to figure it all out. All of that adds up to a product that's just not destined to be widely adopted by the masses. It's a great concept, and perhaps at some point it'll be refined to a point where the platform is more stable and requires less tinkering to get results. Problem is I don't think there's enough of a demand for L6 to bother... the current iterations have been stagnant for years, and I'd be surprised if there's a next generation anytime soon. But who knows?
  25. SPOILER ALERT: Variax guitars aren't the only instruments that rot on the wall at GC for months/ years on end without being touched by so much as a dust rag, let alone having the strings changed...
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