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Everything posted by ric1966

  1. I’ve spent a little time adjusting my presets. To my ears, cutting the reverb’s mix parameter to somewhere between 50% and 75% of its previous value seems to do the trick. No noticeable glitches with the update so far...
  2. Glad to help! Have not had it in the rain, but it deals with heat well. Wouldn’t recommend getting it wet if you can help it. I do worry about audience beer spills during the breaks! No problems with the joystick on mine or the other guitarist’s so far. He’s had his about a year longer. Neither of us have had any issues in rehearsal or on stage (knock on wood). Would definitely go for the warranty and have a back up plan for gigs (mine is Firehawk). I’m with you on lugging gear... 51 myself with a bad lower back! Also want to mention the ability to load IRs. For me this and the snapshots are game changers when compared with previous modelers I have owned (RP500, AMPLIFi and Firehawk). If you haven’t already, check out some of Jason Sadites’ videos on YouTube. He is an expert at dialing in tones and you will get a good idea how great Helix can sound.
  3. Feel is identical to me. I’m not missing anything in terms of dynamics. The Helix models clean up when you roll the volume down (especially the Plexi) and there is no noticeable latency. The real deal has to be cranked up pretty loud to get the power stage distortion you can get on Helix at any volume. This was always very limiting to me in rehearsals and on small stages. Helix can give you this too, with the right monitor, if you want it. You really do have to think in terms of the “finished” sound when using FRFR, which I have discovered sounds more natural in a band mix once you get used to it. I no longer have the 2204, but I have experimented with Helix FRFR vs Mesa mini-stack using Helix’s Lonestar preamp into the Mesa mini-stack and the Helix’s Lonestar amp into FRFR. Unless the stack is cranked, I prefer the FRFR rig. With the stack cranked, I would say it is pretty even in terms of tone quality. I would gig with either one. For a gigging musician, I can’t over emphasize the advantage of Helix snapshots. My presets each have four snapshots, a Fender clean, a Marshall with no OD, a Marshall with OD in front (TS-808), and a lead tone Marshall with OD and boost/effects. It would cost me thousands to replicate this on stage and I would be lugging a heavy combo amp, two different tube heads, at least one 4x12 and a large pedal board with complex switching.
  4. I’ve owned a Helix LT for about a year. The other guitarist in my cover band has a Helix Floor. We both use JBL FRFR powered floor monitors for rehearsals. Most of my snapshots use Marshall amp models for the cranked-up mid to high gain gain tones and Fender models for the cleans. I favor a Plexi for the 70s to early 80s covers and a JCM-800 for the late 80s to modern covers. Our drummer and bass player really dig the way we can get that cranked up Marshall tube tone at low volume. The tones are very convincing in terms of matching what you hear on the original recordings. I don’t miss my ‘82 JCM-800 2204 head and 4x12 cab one bit! Or my Mesa mini-stack, it is collecting dust... When we play live, we simply send mono XLR (fixed volume) to the house and monitor with our JBL wedges by feeding them the 1/4” mono signal. This setup makes controlling stage volume very easy and it sounds just like our rehearsals to us on stage. We get lots of compliments on the guitar sounds out front!
  5. The stomp block can be made into a compressor in front of the amp. Is the real limitation that you can’t have a compressor AND a distortion block in front of the amp?
  6. Should have mentioned I’m on an iPad Pro.
  7. Very quirky lately, seems it logs me out consistently the first time I jump back to topics. Just now I attempted five times to sign back in... never asked for my username and password, but logged me in on the fifth attempt!
  8. I was faced with a similar dilemma a year ago. Wanted Helix’s snapshots feature, but was very happy with the HD amp models in my Firehawk. When I finally broke down and bought an LT, I started by creating new presets using the same parameter values as my core Firehawk tones wherever I could find an HX model that was comparable. It was a good starting point, but I ended up tweaking quite a bit. I switched to Helix mainly for the snapshots, but fell in love with its IR loading capability as well. It took some work, but now I like the Helix tones much better. Would be hard to go back now!
  9. ric1966


    I do find it interesting, particularly for Line 6, that POD HD owners were screaming for the ability to load IRs. Now that Line 6 has answered with Helix, it is considered by some to be too complex! This is always a design trade-off, and I for one would rather have the higher capability, even if it means I have to work a little harder to get it tweaked out the way I want it. The main thing to remember is that you are replicating an entire studio signal path. With so many musical styles and recording techniques out there, the platform has to be flexible. Flexibility works against simplicity. I will concede that some of these advanced tone shaping techniques could be baked into a “no fizz” block. I consider a “good” well mixed IR to be essentially that, but each user has to determine what sounds “good” to them.
  10. ric1966


    Yep, try the “hi-gn all” Redback 4x12 mix IR from Celestion. Its a mix of three different mics (R121, MD421, SM57) with professional placement and some EQ baked in. I use this IR with a 63 Hz low cut EQ block up front (before the amp block) and a parametric EQ block at the end of the chain. High band is centered at 7 KHz, Q=0.7-1.5 and cut is 1.5-3.0 dB. High cut in this block is set at 12.5-15.0 KHz. Ranges account for the different amp models. No more fizz!
  11. Jumping on the bandwagon with some of the previous comments in this thread, I made some mods to my workhorse Plexi patch last night. I was already very pleased with the tone, but I think I may have improved it. Ear fatigue was setting in so the jury is still out! I placed a high/low cut EQ block first in the chain and set the low cut to 63 Hz with a +0.7 dB boost to compensate for lost level into the amp block. No high cut in this block. I settled on these values by comparing the tone with the EQ blocked bypassed or not. It’s a subtle difference, but it seems to tame some of the digital flubbiness and result in a smoother sounding overdrive. I was running this same block at the end before with both high and low cuts, so I replaced that with a parametric EQ block, set the low cut to zero and bumped the high cut up from 11 KHz to 14.5. I then set the high parametric band to 7 KHz, left its default Q at 0.7 and cut just 1.5 dB. Made a subtle but very pleasing difference. More natural sounding to me, with a thicker harmonic content. Thanks guys for all the tips!
  12. Follow DunedinDragon’s excellent advice and keep working on it... the other guitarist in my band and I both use JBL EONs with great results. EONs sound very bright because most of us are used to hearing monitors that roll off the high frequencies. If you want to see how flat the EON’s response is, just check out the curve on JBL’s website. Once you cut some highs, find the right IR or Cab/mic combo and get it dialed in, you will be amazed at how well you can get that studio-polished, cranked up tube amp sound at any volume. It takes a while to get used to FRFR, but you’ll know you are there when you play along with your favorite tunes and your guitar sounds so close to the original recording that it fades into the mix! Well worth the effort.
  13. Ryche, check out some of Jason Sadites’ great Helix videos on YouTube. He uses a slick crossover split with volume blocks in combination with an EQ block to address the same concerns you mentioned. The filters in the standard EQ block have a different slope (dB per octave) than the high and low cuts in the cabinet/IR block. IIRC, he starts with low and high cuts at 100 Hz and 12 KHz respectively and then tunes the amp’s tone stack and/or adds more EQ blocks to shape the tone. He rarely goes back and moves the overall cut frequencies. In the end, it’s all about what sounds right to you...
  14. ric1966

    best I.R'S

    My personal favorites are two of the 4x12 closed back Celestion Redback IRs. The ones in their collection which are noted as “hi-gain all” and “lo-gain all” use a mix of MD421, SM57 and R121 microphones. The high gain mix is a little darker, which helps to tame the fizz on a crunch or lead channel. The low gain mix sounds great with a clean amp model, as it is a little brighter. Whether or not you like these will be a very personal decision. It just so happens that Celestion’s sound engineer and I have similar taste in guitar tone. These also don’t require much high cut to suite my taste, so I use an EQ block near the end of the chain with high cut set at a modest 11-14.5 KHz depending on amp model.
  15. Ritchie Faulkner’s tone on the new Judas Priest album, FIREPOWER.
  16. Loving the Lonestar preamp model into my Mesa 2:Fifty rack tube power amp with two 1x12 Mesa Theile cabs via 1/4†outs! The preset I use for that rig also has a Lonestar full amp block with Celestion IR on the bottom path that goes to my JBL EON 612 FRFR monitor via XLR out. If I really want a wall of sound, I also connect my Marshall Woburn speaker to the headphone jack, mapped in global settings to the XLR outs. Best of both worlds!
  17. Two thoughts... a split path with an 8 msec simple delay on the lower, zero feedback, mix 100%, panned full right. Pan the other leg after the split (original signal) full left. I saw this trick in a YouTube vid re John Petrucci tone. Second, the Celestion Redback IRs are based on a 150W speaker that may come close to the EVs Zakk was using. I tend to favor their “high gain†mix IRs which use a combination of R121, MD421 and SM57 mics. The 4x12 closed back version will probably be the best one.
  18. I know you want to stay stock, but $12 will get you a genuine Celestion Redback closed 4x12 IR package. The high gain mixed microphone file in that package sounds amazing paired with a Brit 2204 MOD amp model. With a little tweaking it can get very close to the recorded SJ sounds I’ve heard. If you really don’t want to go the IR route, check out some of Jason Sadites’ videos on YouTube. He has some great methods for dialing in stock cabs.
  19. ric1966

    Line 6 Please...

    You could get two E-H 95000s and midi-sync them for about the price of one Headrush...
  20. Helix held up very well IMHO. The only one that sounded obviously digital to me was the Pod Farm. I agree with several posters that the tech has progressed to a level where, in the right hands, tones can be dialed in to the degree that our audiences wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. I noticed when I got my LT and dialed in some basic tones, they sounded a lot like the ones I had dialed in on my Firehawk and RP500 before that... just fuller, less digital and more reactive. I believe it comes down to this... we are all shooting for that ideal tone in our heads and it’s different for each of us. Even the OP used the tools at his disposal to make each modeler sound as similar to his ideal tone as possible in the video. I’ve noticed that when I build a Helix preset from scratch that it gravitates towards my ideal tone regardless of which amp model and whether I use an IR or built in cabs. After that, it comes down to picking style and technique. EVH or JP playing through any of these modelers would still sound like EVH or JP!
  21. Great insight Ben! I’ve been obsessed with the new Cali Texas Ch2 since updating to firmware v2.50. After dialing it in to my taste and noodling with it for several days, I loaded up my “old†Brit Plexi Brt preset and was pleasantly surprised that one still sounds very convincing by comparison. Two great amp models with different but incredible voicing. It will still have a definite place in my band’s set list. I do think I will replace my Rectifire preset with the Texas! Keep up the awesome work!!!
  22. Am I missing something? When I attempted this on my LT, there was only the option to adjust in whole cents, no fractions of a cent.
  23. I’m totally on board! Lonestar is my new favorite crunchy amp, at least until the rabbit discovers something else shiny down in the deep hole that is Helix!!!!! It has plenty of gain for lead tones without an OD in front, but an 808 works great with it too. Line 6, THANK YOU for this amazing, free update.
  24. I don’t feel like I’ve had to adjust my playing to Helix in this regard. The presets I use don’t seem to have any more or less accentuation of string noise than any of the amps I’ve played over the years. That said, if you nail down any specific frequencies, I would be interested in seeing how an EQ might be used to notch them out.
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