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Paulzx

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Everything posted by Paulzx

  1. I'm not even using proper headphones as such, I'm using earphones - because I don't use the Helix in the headphone mode, no need for me to buy decent headphones, but I did this as an experiment really. I remembered when I first got my Helix and I didn't have any real output speakers at the time. I did have proper headphones though so I started using it that way and remember the high gain stuff sounded fantastic. When I got around to getting some FRFR speakers, I was completely underwhelmed because the character of the distortion was completely different. I've been chasing that type of distortion ever since and not really achieved it. I tried the ear phones last night and again, distortion high gain from the unit itself without speakers is night and day different, so much better. I have discovered for myself how much better the sound can get when you change speakers - I went from some dreadful muddy bassy Alto TS212 speakers to the other extreme of Yamaha HS5 monitor speakers and that is a much crisper sound for sure - but it's nothing like the ear phone sound. Honestly, if you're a rock or metal player, listen to the high gain with headphones - it's so tight and aggressive that if anything, you would probably dial it back a bit, but it's exactly what most high gain players are looking for, which is the opposite to what you get through speakers. What I can't get my head around is that surely what you hear on the headphones direct from the unit itself, is the true tone/distortion that the unit is making? Where it goes wrong (for me) is when it goes through external speakers, so why can't we get the Helix to make the exact same sound, or near to, with speakers - any speakers? On a side note but relevant to this - all the countless tone demo videos/artist patches you can buy, that sound so epic on youtube - that sound nothing like that when you run them through your own speakers - now I know why. Those patches were not recorded through speakers were they, they're recorded direct from the Helix through a PC, so more akin to what you get through headphones etc.
  2. Oh yeah, I realise you tone will change from output device to output device, but what I'm talking about is not really just a change of tone, it's a fundamental difference in how the high gain distortion is produced. It's a completely different sound and EQ'ing it doesn't really get you there
  3. Yep, using two monitor speakers at moment. My patches are all amp and separate IR, it's still not the same though
  4. So I tried some headphones on my helix floor for the first time in a few years just out of interest and instantly noticed that my high gain patches all sounded a hell of a lot better in the actual characteristic of the distortion/breakup/dynamics. In fact, its what I've been trying to achieve using FRFR speakers but not really got close. The headphone distortion is really aggressive, very tight bottom end, no woof, no mud just razor like bite in the high gain. I don't think I can reproduce that using real speakers, it's too different a sound. Why is this the case that the Helix can produce this tone via the headphones but not to real speakers as such?
  5. Just out of interest which yamaha monitor speakers are you using? I got some hs5's for a small guitar room but now thinking of returning them for hs7's just to try and get a fuller sound. I don't know if there's much difference. I know the 7's have better bass response, not that I'm trying to add bass particularly, just get a fuller sound
  6. Slightly surprised to read this. I could write a book on my struggles with the Helix but most of the issues were down to things I was doing, most notably using the wrong speakers. It's all about the output device and then on from that, how you EQ the sound. The Helix is totally capable of sounding good. There are people with demo videos that have it sounding fantastic in fact. I don't know their particular methods but it sounds very good. Personally, I don't think most people really care if various amp models sound exactly like the real amps, I don't think people are chasing that. I think what most of us want are a collection of different amp sounds that just sound good when you play them, if they're a bit off from the real thing who cares, as long as what you've got sounds good? If you're suggesting that the Helix or any other modeller can't sound great - irrespective of accuracy of the actual modelling - that's not really true is it?
  7. Thanks mate, I like the sound of these suggestions. I have a love hate relationship with the presence control. Like you say it definitely adds fizz, I went through a period of time of putting that to zero on all my tones which to be fair, did sound more authentic but then I started adding it back in, in small doses because I was losing a bit of aggression in the tone. I'll try the TILT eq.. Great idea, never really tried it. Like the sound of the Rochester compressor, never used that either Thanks for the suggestions!
  8. One of the running battles I have with helix high gain amps, single or dual, is that the stock cabs all sound a little bit lifeless to me but they are a bit toned down on the high end which is useful. The IRs when you first hear them sound bigger, fuller and more lively but also quite fizzy, which I find hard to tame just by cutting the highs because it ends up sounding like a transistor radio if you go too far, even then the high strings on the guitar sound too thin and treble. I find it quite hard to tame that even using the eq blocks. It just seems quite difficult to me to eq a great high gain sound so the highs are not thin sounding but I will admit I'm no sound engineer! If anyone has any suggestions I would be eager to try them out or if anyone has discovered a really good method to eq the high gain sounds I would love to know.
  9. Paulzx

    Fractal FM9

    I expect a lot of folks got the extra foot switch device to use with fm3, I would probably do the same eventually. I was aware fm9 can do dual amps whereas fm3 can't, obviously Helix can do dual amps or IRs, but it's interesting you say your best downloaded tones were dual amp because I've never found any that I thought were any better than single amp, but I may try this again, can you recommend any?
  10. Paulzx

    Fractal FM9

    Interesting to know and to be fair line 6 do pretty well with updates so I think if they find a way of just improving some of the sounds now and then, it would be enough
  11. Paulzx

    Fractal FM9

    This is interesting. Looking at the fm9 has actually steered me towards the fm3 for a number of reasons and I do believe the fm3 is a better sounding unit particularly for high gain tones, than the Helix. I'm going to order one and do a direct comparison. My requirement is a bit different because although I like the versatility of the Helix, it's not more important than the tones and I'm on a mission to get the best high gain tones, I've never been fully happy with the Helix on this front but that's just me, I realise others get what they need out of it. To further muddy that issue, I've also discovered there are ways to make the Helix sound better and it all comes down to the output device. Sadly, I had been using Alto TS212 speakers which although recommended at the time, are in fact lollipop for using with helix. Having swapped to smaller yamaha monitor speakers, the Helix has come alive more, so at the moment I'm looking at getting the Helix to sound as good as it can. Thats a warning to anyone using these alto speakers.. they're great for music play back but not guitar. Way too much bottom end and way too muddy, it kills your tone
  12. Yep I think I need a direct comparison really.
  13. Same here, I own seven guitars and yet the most expensive one is the one that just doesn't sound right! In an ideal world I would borrow another PC1 and see if it's the same but of course that is a bit impractical as I don't know anyone locally with one. I'll try the gain block idea though. In a really desperate attempt to get a better result, I might change these Alto speakers for something smaller. I've never felt the Alto's were giving me the best sound anyway, and they are big PA speakers for a home setup. I know.. clutching at straws again!!
  14. Yep it remains a mystery, I tried the PC1 in my spider 2 amp and although i don't really like the sound coming out of that amp, the guitar is hotter and more punchy. The go to method on helix for high gain patches has always been - add a screamer distortion pedal at zero gain, to front of chain, followed by your high gain amp block plus whatever cab or IR, that method has worked for the most part with my other guitars, but with the PC1 I'm finding that I either want to crank the gain on the screamer, or the amp block itself, up to max - or even add a second distortion pedal to the chain! I never normally do any of that, but with the PC1 it's just lacking punch in the high gain and I end up trying the above, that shows you how underwhelming it is, yet the guitar itself has a reputation of being the opposite!
  15. Agreed, like if I was to put that super 3 in another guitar it would work perfectly but in this guitar it's a bit lame. I think they were suggesting it might be just the internal sustainer electronics not being properly compatible with newer electronic devices. I don't know, it does seem like a stretch doesn't it? I've actually got a DT50 combo I don't use, I'll try it in that too
  16. Yep, had a few of the same thoughts, I mean when I say compare how it sounds, I know that usually is very subjective, but seriously, I'm not even in subjective territory with this guitar because the high gain output is so underwhelming even compared to my newer JS32 budget guitar, I shouldn't be hearing that or even thinking it. Most people's experience with that Dimarzio in this guitar seems to be that it's too hot and high gain, so there's definitely something off here. On another forum for Jackson guitars, someone mentioned it's probably the electronics in the older Jackson, seemingly not working properly with the newer modellers, whereas the newer PC1's electronics presumably are updated and do work as expected. I don't know yet if there's any truth in that, it is true that the guitar is one of the older models and the Helix relatively new, the newer JS32 works fine so maybe there is something in that. I'll try it through through something different like you've suggested, I've got an older Spider 3 amp somewhere at home, will try that.
  17. Is anyone here using a Jackson PC1 with their Helix? I think I might have a problem with the guitar actually because those bridge pick ups are Dimarzio super 3's I think and they are supposed to be very hot and aggressive, yet my high gain tones sound a bit under powered when I use the PC1. When i use my budget Jackson JS32, the same high gain patches sound really good, so unless I need a different approach to get a PC1 to sound any good with a Helix, there must be a problem with that pick up surely? I wondered if anyone else here was using a PC1 so I could get a direct comparison/opinion etc?
  18. Paulzx

    Fractal FM9

    Agree with this really. I always find it a bit odd when people bash the competition in an effort to defend their own loyalty or purchase, when in the case of the Helix, let's be honest, you need to hit it out of the park to beat that, but it's good to know what the competition is doing. As others have mentioned, value for money cannot be beaten on the Helix right now and I for one wouldn't even consider changing to a vaguely similar unit just because it's new. literally the only thing that interests me about Fractal gear, is the quality of the tones it produces. If the FM9 turns out to be vastly better in terms of the guitar sound it produces, then I want to know about it because as most guitar players, we want the best sounding stuff within a realistic budget. It's interesting to see how the FM9 goes down once more people have bought it. Initially on some Fractal forums, I've seen conversations where people were comparing it unfavourably to the Helix! It's just interesting to know that's all.
  19. I don't think anyone is panicking, it is just an interesting story to discuss because some people may at least be more mindful of it when playing live in hot weather, and indeed some people will hopefully remember to take a back up having read something like this. We should be able to have an objective discussion about these things at the end of the day, I don't think it will dent the Helix sales ;)
  20. Totally agree. It's a scary thought either way though, the thought of the failure, then the thought of trying to get going with a back up lol. Looking past the initial problem with the Helix and what may have caused it, I too was a bit surprised that the OP didn't appear to have a back up particularly in what seemed to be a big show at least.
  21. Agree.. to a degree! I was going to say the same thing, was there a back up unit? I guess not everyone has the funds to duplicate these units maybe, and even if he did have a spare unit, unless you run that ready to go instantly, you'll still suffer the embarrassment of having to drop out of the show briefly, but yes, the back up is an obvious omission in the story, the failure of the unit though, is a bit scary and it's relevant because clearly, in certain circumstances, the Helix has a vulnerability most of us didn't know about, whatever that was. I think if it happens again, you have to look at whether the unit is reliable enough to use full stop. It just sounds like a nightmare scenario.
  22. Paulzx

    Fractal FM9

    Helix was around £1400 over here when I looked before but either way, they've tried to put it in the same price point as Helix obviously, as I said before though, it would have to be A LOT better than a Helix to tempt me. Be interesting if someone here can get a demo on one
  23. Paulzx

    Fractal FM9

    In the UK though, the fractal works out a bit cheaper than a new Helix at the moment. Fractal have obviously targeted the Helix this time around. I think Helix must dominate the market share for floor processors and fractal now want a piece of that
  24. Paulzx

    Fractal FM9

    I think in your position as a gigging player, that is the only way to go, you've obviously got helix set up perfectly for what you're doing. I'm not playing live so it's different for me but you are right, at the end of the day we all have a time investment with helix one way or another
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