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Alchemist500

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About Alchemist500

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  1. I'm curious what FRFR setups have gotten closest to the amp in the room feeling?
  2. This got me thinking ... as I'm relatively new to Helix, what are the "highly rated" amp models that people seem to agree are the most popular or most used?
  3. Although I use the Helix mostly in 4cm mode with a Mark V, and am not all that interested in the amp/cab models, I am absolutely amazed at how good the overdrive pedals in the Helix are. The Minotaur and TubeScreamer models are amazing ... the valve driver and industsrial fuzz ... It is VERY HARD to let go of my beloved drive pedals (BB+, KOT, Gristle King, Elements, ego compressor) but the simplicity of the Helix and ease of moving the FX chain around ... no cables ... no power issues ... no tone suck ... Helix is one helluva product ...
  4. With a tube screamer and my MXR EQ, I can get nearly any tube amp to sound very similar to another amp. When you've got 25+ digital amps in a MFX unit, there is guaranteed to be a TON of overlap ... especially in the lower to mid gain settings ... The differences in tone are very subtle in many cases ... I also think, if you had al 25 of those tube amps in a room and plugged into each one, by the end of the day you'd be thinking that a lot of them have a very similar sound and feel too. Certainly there's a huge difference between a high gain soldano and a Fender Twin ... but when you get into that sweet spot of where a lot of rock and blues tones are rooted, the similarities in sound tend to be greater than the differences.
  5. Here are two choices to consider in terms of combos ... The BOSS Katana 100 Peavey Bandit 112 Both have serial effects loops so you could just use your HD500X for all the tones or you could use it for effects only and use the amp models in the combos if they sound better. They also have the benefit that they will sound more like a guitar amp than inexpensive studio monitors which I guarantee you will not sound or feel like a guitar amp. Smaller, inexpensive studio monitors can sound good, but in a different way than a guitar amp. Someone in the thread mentioned the Roland Keyboard amps and I've used a keyboard amp for a BOSS GT-10 for years and it sounds great. Can get very loud too. I think going the combo route gives you more flexibility and if you want to jam with others, you're good to go.
  6. Thanks for that recommendation. That XiTone cab looks like just what I'm looking for. Like how it has different adjustments to get closer to a guitar cab feel if you want it. How does the Firehawk 1500 sound in terms of the stereo field it creates?
  7. Really good post and I agree. I think for some, the challenge of getting the Plexi amp sim with a tube screamer and a 4 X 12 to sound exactly like so and so's tone because that the exact setup someone had on some song and it's kind of like a rubix's cube challenge to prove it can be done ... I guess there's a certain satisfaction to that. What I'm looking for from Amp Sims is a sound that is inspiring, dynamic and interacts really well with my guitar and pedals ... inspires creativity ... I find that comes more from a tube amp and a couple of good overdrive pedals and then use the Helix for all the mind blowing effects it can create so quickly. Although I do believe I can get just about any amp sound out of the Helix to nail a particular song tone ... that's different than getting a really great and dynamic tone that doesn't frizz or frazz or hiss in some way when it really gets pushed. For whatever reason, I find it easier to get that kind of simulated tone with a clean amp sim and a (sim) overdrive pedal or two or three than to nail it with amp overdrive (sim) ...
  8. Lots of good points. I find that part of the fun of a good tube amp is the dynamics involved in compressors, boosts and overdrives going into the front end of the amp. There's something very unique about that that I have never seen really replicated with modelers. Certainly not that modelers can get great tones, because they can, but things that happen between a few pedals and the front end of the amp is quite unique ... YMMV.
  9. For me, I've gotten FRFR setups pretty dialed in and as long as I kept playing on that modeling rig I was OK ... but ... if I ventured back to to the force and plugged into a real tube amp with a good pedal setup and then back to the modeling + FRFR it was like ... whoa ... damn ... time to start tweaking to try to recapture that .... SOUND ... I really think, the more you play with and stick to a modeling + FRFR rig, the more you tune into its sound and it starts to replace your "home reference" of what your base sound is ... that, by the way, is not a bad thing ... it's when I switch back and forth between modeling and my regular amp setup that I find myself more "searching" and tweaking the modeling sound to get it "just right."
  10. Maybe that's the reason I like the 4cm using my Boogie for most of my clean and overdrive tunes. Super easy and don't have to tweak amps at all. The overdrive pedals in the Helix have been such a pleasant surprise and tweaking them to get a good sound is as easy as real pedals. The Helix is the easiest mfx unit to get great sounds out of I've tried. I think when you go the FRFR route with cabs and IR's and trying to get the "amp in the room" sound is when the deep, deep rabbit hole of endless tweaking opens up.
  11. When you guys use the 4 cable method, do you set your Helix Amps (if you use them) to the amp or the preamp? Thus far, I've turned off the cab sims because they sound kinda muddy, but am curious about preferences (full amp or just preamp?) going into the effects return of a tube power amp?
  12. The Traynors actually sound pretty good with the Helix. They have a preamp tube you can route through if you want to warm up the signal that colors the sound somewhat, but generally in a pleasing way. The Traynors project a great stereo field and that's their strength. They also mix other signals really well. Having tried other monitors, I've found the Traynors hold their own pretty well but given that more companies are making products specifically for Electric guitars like the Firehawk 1500 and the Friedmans, I'm really tempted to give them a try. Even the Stagesource, apparently has an EQ DSP setting specifically for Electric Guitars which may be a game changer.
  13. thanks for taking the time for this really well thought out response ... very informative ... To me, there is something distinctly different about going straight into a PA with an effects box vs. mic'ing guitar cab for instance. It has to do with the attack of the notes as I play them. With a Guitar cab that is mic'd and then sent through the PA, I don't here what I describe as a "whoooof" coming off of the initial attack that I personally find kinda annoying. It's a whoooofy sound combined with some brittle frequencies that are projecting picking noise you don't generally hear from a good amp + guitar cab. Interestingly, those nuances are very characteristic of acoustic guitar performances and sound "right" to me in that context but when that extra sound information is projected from a PA with an Electric (I can nearly always pick it up when a guitarist is going direct from a MFX box into the PA, even with a Fractal or Kemper unit) it doesn't sound right to me. It's certainly gotten a lot better over the last 10 years though and maybe that's what the advanced IR's are helping to address.
  14. Thanks for the posts above. To my ears, tube amps kinda soften the harshness of digital amps somewhat ... Not sure if that's the right word, but maybe it's just the digital signal going through the tubes helps to round it out in a good way? I don't know. Although the Amp sims in the Helix sound great, much better than most of what I've heard and right up there with Kemper there is something about a guitar amp + a guitar cab ... maybe it's just like "comfort sound" because we grew up listening to it ... I don't know. I also find that most digital units sound better with a clean amp sim + distortion pedal for whatever reason moreso than a distorted amp. At any rate thanks for the ideas ... That Firehawk 1500 is intriguing because of the bluetooth streaming and wet/dry/wet capability. Also puts a second amp in the room if someone shows up to play without an amp. The stereo wet/dry/wet setup with a single cab that looks like a guitar cab is pretty cool. Seems like the reviews are that it sounds good too ...
  15. New Member Here ... Hello to all on the forum! Been reading posts on and off for years, though. Purchased a Helix a few weeks ago. Have a variety of tube amps ... Fenders, Vox, THD, /13, etc. Have used and liked digital gear. Was using a GT-10 in 4 cable mode with amps for last several years, just for delays and modulation and it worked great. Heard the Helix and had to get it ... Started as a 4cm setup with my Bookie Mark V 35 and it sounds absolutely fantastic. Am even using some amp sims which I didn't think I'd use as I really like the preamp of the Boogie. For my home studio, I use a couple of Keyboard Amps (Traynors) for loops, drums, etc. when I jam with friends and for song writing. They've been great and dependable. I plugged the Helix direct into the keyboard amps with full patches (not the ones I use in 4cm) and it sounded great ... much better than the GT-10 did ... Got me thinking... Do I want to spring for a full blown FRFR setup and how much better would it sound than my current setup? So here's the question ... What FRFR setup between ... let's say ... the Line6 stagesource, Firehawk 1500, Atomic CLR and the Friedman FRFR cabinet would give me the best results in your opinion? I would sell my Traynor's and use them for jamming, loops, drum tracks in addition to, at times, as my amplifier from the Helix when I don't want to use a 4cm with a tube amp. Any suggestions?
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