Thank you SO much for this detail! Above and beyond.
I appreciate the tips about expectations. I used my Variax with a Spider V amp for a theatre gig, but that amp had acoustic amp models built in. With a little tweaking, I was able to dial in some acoustic tones that were so good and audience member came up to me afterward and asked when I pulled out an acoustic, because he didn’t remember seeing one.
The thing is, I only used the speaker in the Spider V for onstage monitoring, and sent the signal to the house PA. I ended up selling the Spider because the in-room sound of the speaker was awful. The Powercab, even in flat FRFR mode sounds decent.
I had to learn how to change my string attack on the Variax to get the right sound when using acoustic models, and that’s actually been fun. I don’t really need spot on tone - it’s the versatility of the guitar I love - I just need to be able to flip between electric and acoustic sounds and not have it be jarringly “digital-y.” There’s a Line 6 pro who does a YouTube demo of the Variax acoustic sounds, and it’s insanely good, but you read later that the signal is going through processors and other pro gear and then Pro Tools. I need the most basic, easy-to-navigate Variax>Helix>Powercab set up.
With the Helix, which doesn’t have acoustic amp models that I’m aware of, I didn’t even know you could run a signal chain without an amp model. That’s the kind of beginner level info I need. If I play with some of the settings in the examples you provided, I’m confident I can find something that’s going to sound great.
Thanks for taking the time to help me out!