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Kilrahi

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Everything posted by Kilrahi

  1. Well that's a challenging question and it comes down to a number of things that are hard for me to know. The biggest is "what is most important to you as a guitar player?" If it's pure sound as good as it can be - well then the HX Stomp kills the Firehawk. However, if what you're more in to is the ease of setting up tones, then I'd have to say the Firehawk takes the win. Below is kind of my perspective on both. My advice would be to determine which features are the MOST important to you. 1. Firehawk: This is the unit I first purchased (Kind of - I got the Firehawk 1500 which is basically a killer amp that had a baby with a Firehawk) and I still adore it and spend hours lost in its possibilities. It's greatest strength compared to the HX Stomp is affordability and simplicity of use. It has a HUGE array of useful amps, cabs, and effects just like HX Stomp, but it also has a Bluetooth app for use on Android or IOS that allows for extremely quick and easy chain setup. Further, you can quickly download signal chains from the cloud that other power users have created. The other day I wanted to create the perfect "Sweet Child of Mine" tone and within seconds I'd found some great choices from the cloud, tweaked the one I liked, and then I saved it so I could easily access it later. It has a built in wah/volume pedal, AND of you're ever even remotely tempted to get a Variax guitar (and they're awesome by the way) this has the connections for using one to its fullest - the HX Stomp does not. 2. HX Stomp - If you're a hardcore guitarist, the tragic blackhole is that no matter how much money you "save" buying some great all in one rig, somehow you always find yourself wanting the next big improvement. If you are this type of guitarist, there's a good chance that as soon as you get the Firehawk you'll already be dreaming of the next step up in sound. This is one of the HX Stomp's biggest draw points as quite frankly, it has the better sounds when compared to the Firehawk. What's more, the Firehawk appears to be a finished product whereas the Helix family is still Line 6's pride and joy, which means you're going to still get more and more free updated tones as time goes on. Whereas the Firehawk is portable, this thing completely trounces the Firehawk or anything else on portability (I mean - LOOK AT IT!). Finally, it will seamlessly melt into any future rig you may want to expand to, and that includes attaching to a Firehawk, a Helix Effects, LT, Headrush - the sky is the limit. The only drawbacks? It's $200 MORE expensive than the Firehawk, it does not have a built in expression pedal (another $100) and the fact is it is not even close to as easy to quickly setup a quality tone, or as easy to access it's features (three switches and no app as opposed to the 12 switches, foot switch, AND the app for the Firehawk - Plus no Variax input). Whew. Tough Decsion. So which profile do you feel best fits you?
  2. Time and money is probably what it comes down to. The older legacy effects were done in the earlier days of Line 6 with earlier technology. Keep in mind though, that in no way means they suck. Lots of time and effort was put into making those the best possible at the time of release. From what I can see, Line 6 continually puts effort into coming out with new effects or updating old ones, and when those are created the Helix gets updated. So, why keep the old effects, especially if they're duplicates in some cases? First, for the effects that ONLY exist in legacy editions, they're still extremely useful and if you try them you'll probably notice they still sound great. You can ditch the legacy effect if a newer one is ever created. As for the effects that are sometimes duplicated (at least with the Firehawk it had both HD versions and old legacy version of the SAME effect) that probably is a bit of overkill, but at the same time, if you're a person who fell in love with one of your presets with the old legacy settings and are now stepping out into the new world of updated modeling, who is Line 6 to take that old sound away from you? It's still a legitimate sound, after all and arguable worth using in its own right.
  3. That's an excellent point because yes, the Variax is ahead of the FX send loop no matter what you do. With that being the case, plugging the stomp into the FX loop of the Firehawk should solve the problem in most cases. What I don't know, though, is what the dry signal of the Variax does in the Firehawk. Does it travel through the FX loop or is it separated before that even happens? Or does it matter where in the chain I place the effects loop? Those details would impact whether/how I'd ever be able to take advantage of the amp/cabinet models of the Stomp through the Firehawk while still keeping the Variax connected to the Firehawk, and not the Stomp.
  4. I also have the Firehawk and the FBV, and am thinking of buying this. My understanding of the FBV is that it ONLY controls Firehawk settings, so based on what I know you could not do some of the above, unfortunately. I also use a Variax so the idea of losing the Variax control just isn't worth it to me in MOST scenarios since I'm perfectly happy with the Firehawk's amp/cab settings (as you know, they're pretty thorough). I'm mostly interested in getting the stomp to increase the Firehawk's effects chain out. This would essentially add six, and so most of the time I'll simply be using two cables to attach the stomp to the Firehawk's effects channel. Either way, I'll be experimenting in multiple methods and I'll be sure to share what I experience here.
  5. Kilrahi

    HX Stomp FAQ

    Ugghhh . . . and now Musician's Friend just sent me a 15% off coupon . . . that's like waiving cocopuffs in front of barely sober crackhead . . .
  6. If you're not looking for the wet/dry/wet setup then it's stupidly easy. Simply connect the Axe's balanced outputs in to the Firehawk's balanced inputs. Walla. BUT you won't have all of the speakers engaged in this setup no matter what you do. The other speakers were specifically created for the wet/dry/wet setup. Each of the speaker's has different capabilities in terms of how much output they can take before they basically blow up on you. As you can imagine, wet signals don't require near as much oomph as dry signals. If the Firehawk let you do what you want to do (let your dry signal blow out all six speakers equally) you'd basically destroy the smaller speakers. If you want the wet/dry/wet it gets a little harder. The four cable method should work though through some variation of using either the Firehawk's FX chain + the guitar input or the guitar input + the balanced or unbalanced inputs. Ultimately though you have to ask if what you're interested in doing makes any real sense, and I have to say based on what you're asking not really. The Firehawk 1500 was primarily designed as a simplistic (but AMAZING) way to establish a wet/dry/wet setup. That's why the effects are already built into the thing. It allows a novice/lazy/broke/practical person like myself to quickly establish a brilliant sounding setup with minimal effort. That's why I bought it . . . now once I did, as what happens with so much guitar gear, I started dreaming of buying a HELIX effects unit but understandably don't want to make my investment in the Firehawk a waste, so I keep trying to figure out how good it pairs with it. For you though, where you already have your own effects unit that you still enjoy, my advice would be to look elsewhere. Line 6 offers several great Powercabs designed to do exactly what you want and they save you a good chunk of change over the Firehawk. That's what I'd recommend you do . . .
  7. Yeah, I'd be all over that. I think that's a great idea. The harder part would be figuring out how to implement it in to the stomp in a non confusing control scheme. Really, they need a bluetooth dongle that connects to the Variax and allows us to control it with our phones or PCs similar to the Firehawk setup. Then we could confidently have great control over our Variax regardless of the external setup.
  8. Well, you don't KNOW that it would have been a failure - you are correct that it probably would have added somewhere in the realm of $100 to the price though. No matter how you toss the dice, this stomp box seemed to be aimed as much to the traditional stomp box users - a kind of Trojan horse to convert them to the type of modelling that Line 6 provides or as a way to even expand Line 6's market share in the smaller, and becoming ever more competitive, modelling segment. With that goal in mind, it just doesn't make sense to add a Variax input, especially since the $600 price point is probably the upper limit that a traditional pedal user would consider going for (hell, it's probably still a little too high for those guys who think of it more as a single pedal). So, I mean, I get it, but it still sucks for the initiated who are deep into Line 6's ecosystem. We love our Variax's, and there's a ton of stuff we could have done interfacing it with this little box.
  9. Kilrahi

    HX Stomp FAQ

    Absolutely the Helix FX would be another substitute for the HX Stomp being connected to the FX channel of the Firehawk. What I don't know is what having an amp in the signal chain would do to the Firehawk wet/dry/wet setup and that's something that the Helix Stomp could not do - if it works. Like you, I wish there was clearer guidelines on this and I know I've seen the same YouTube video you refer to several hundred times. The loss of the Variax input is just tragic, but I think Line 6 is seeing this as their best hope for a Trojan Horse that converts more of the modelling uninitiated. In some ways, what you're doing really depends on what you already have though. In my case, the amp/cab models on the Firehawk sound brilliant especially through the Firehawk. I don't necessarily need the Stomp's cab models. However, Helix keeps updating new effects, and the original Firehawk has a somewhat limited (though perfectly adequate in most cases) amount of blocks you can have. The HX stomp seemed like a perfect way to expand the block chain out. Plus, I bought the FBV controller for the Firehawk 1500 and so the Helix Effects rack would add way too much real estate to my setup - the Stomp is nice and dinky. If a person didn't have the FBV though, and all they wanted was effects, the Helix Effects could be a great choice. Of course, my other reason for liking the Stomp is precisely how dinky it is. I'm sure you've noticed moving your Firehawk 1500 around is like pushing around a small bus. The HX Stomp would allow me to plug in some headphones when I'm travelling, or when I just don't want to move the bus, and practice away with a ridiculous amount of settings. So I'm kind of interested in it both as a way to expand my Firehawk's abilities AND to have an easy way to practice on the go.
  10. I know this is a double post, but the Variax dilemma got me thinking. A big part of the JTV Variax charm is that it essentially looks like a regular guitar to the unsuspecting eye. I think a lot of us modelers live in that realm, because we don't want to get into the constant gear arguments between the larger majority who essentially thinks that guitar gear should never evolve past the equivalent of rubbing two sticks together to start a fire. So how do you improve its functionality without making it look like less of a guitar? Again, most of the time it doesn't matter because I use a Firehawk or some other controller and modifying it through that is stupidly easy. For those times when it's not though (looking at you HX Stomp) why not give the next line of Variax's Bluetooth integration? You could link it up to a phone, tablet, or PC and edit things on the fly that way! That way the Variax itself could still largely look like a regular old guitar. Heck, they should even do this with the existing line by creating a Bluetooth link of some sort. I would envision a Bluetooth transmitter that plugs into the digital Variax port and allows it to receive signals from a phone, tablet, or PC that could edit the existing models/tunings on the fly. Maybe it could even add the wireless connection to an amp (dual Bluetooth like Samsung has in their devices). Even if it couldn't, you could still plug it into the Variax digital port and then use a regular old cable output to your amp. If wishes were horses . . .
  11. Curious here, what major functionality are you still wanting for: 1. Firehawk 2. Variax? I've kind of just accepted if I want to go ape *&$!# I'll need to buy a Helix product. I'm just not sure I need to, especially when all of the things you can do with a Firehawk would classify as ape *&$!# in the 90's (though I will probably buy the new HX Stomp - bastards finally figured out how to get me there!). For the Variax, I'd like a much more modern way to change the tuning/guitar models on the guitar itself without resorting to Firehawks, Helixes, or PC tweaking while ALSO not making the guitar look like crap. That's kind of a tall order though, and admittedly, I can live without it because of how well the Firehawk handles controlling the Variax. Anyway, just curious what you're still looking for.
  12. I have a Firehawk 1500, which was basically created by Line 6 taking a Firehawk HD and mating it with an amp. I absolutely love the thing. I never have issues with blue tooth, and switching between patches is fluid enough for me. I owned a HD500X, and while it allowed for more complexity, it was not even close to as user friendly as the Firehawk. I sold it to pay for my Firehawk and I've never looked back.
  13. This was challenging to me too, and I do wish there were more official sources. At least in regards to questions like "hum" and "sag," some of the dilemma is that the makers of the modeler assume that you are familiar with those concepts on a regular amp, so they do not make an attempt to explain them. I found it very useful to google concepts such as "hum," "sag," "presence," "bias," "bias excursion," "early reflections" etc.. Sweetwater's site in particular had a lot of useful reference information. I have to admit, for Line 6 to clearly outline this information for all of their products would require a massive manual. A better approach would probably be to have the manual refer to an encyclopedic entry on their site that explains all of the parameters they try to model. Not every modeler would have the applicable setting, but if yours did you'd look it up, find it, and get what it did. It would take a lot of time on their part but it would probably be worth it long term rather than have their customers, who are often new to the guitar world, try to figure it all out on their owns through hours of research.
  14. Kilrahi

    HX Stomp FAQ

    Yeah I was curious about the same thing. I love my 1500, and I have read numerous mixed opinions on connecting a HELIX to it. I have to admit the saner part of me feels it's mega overkill, and I had practically decided not to worry about it. Then this thing comes out and suddenly there's a VERY dinky way to have HELIX access when I want it with the 1500. Based on what I've seen, it sure seems feasible. If we are primarily just interested in the stomp effects, we ought to just be able to plus it into the Firehawk's fx send and return options. Using this machine's amp effects seem like a harder approach, but the four cable method sure seems plausible. My issue there is I use a Variax, and I like powering it and tuning it with the Firehawk amp vs. the guitar itself (it's far faster and easier). The four cable method would require I use the Variax on battery and any crazy tunings would have to either be presaved or created using the Variax's own method, which is a bit of a pain.
  15. I'm pretty excited for it and ALMOST bought it within seconds of seeing it . . . but then I noticed the lack of a Variax input which has me torn. I get that it couldn't have EVERYTHING and still retain its puny size . . . but since I use the Variax heavily, having to go back to controlling all of its abilities via the actual guitar, and power it by the battery pack again is no small thing to give up.
  16. Thanks for the tip! I'll mess around with that preset and see if I can figure out how it works . . .
  17. I recently bought the Firehawk FX as a way to get around buying a bazillion pedals (which starts to get expensive). For the last month and a half since I bought it, any sound I might need a pedal for seems to be creatable within the Firehawk and so I've been able to avoid it buying any more pedals. It's been great! However, none of my guitars have a whammy bar, and there are a lot of pedals out there that simulate this very well. For example, the Digitech Whammy Pedal, but that sucker is expensive. I got really excited when I noticed that the bender pedal in the Firehawk FX clearly looks like it was a riff on the Digitech pedal, BUT when I tried to use it it sounds really synthetic and fake. Basically like a synthesizer which is what most of the pedals in that section sound like. Does anyone know if there is a way to imitate a whammy pedal in the firehawk? I tried researching myself but couldn't find much that helped. Am I doing something wrong? At the end of the day the Firehawk allows you to connect external pedals so I suppose it's not the end of the world, but a way to do it would be preferable. Thanks for any input!
  18. Thank you for the sympathy Guitarkyller and the offer and information psarkissian. I opened a ticket and I'll see where that goes. I'm also watching youtube videos on soldering on a new pizeo. It looks possible - but my bad luck says I'll frack it up. Or worse, that's not the real problem (though it sure seems like it is). I'm a hobbyist who enjoys sound. I'll never have the money to buy 3 billion guitars, and a lot of my fave artists use alternate tunings and/or have a wide range of kit that they play with. I bought the Variax and the Pod HD500x precisely to spend a ton (for my relatively tame budget) so that I wouldn't have to spend a TON in the future. When you first use the Variax, combined with the pod, honestly, it's amazing how powerful it feels. It really does wow with its sense of possibilities. I have to say that's been awesome. However, the fear is obvious, the failure rates. The more complex something is, the more likely it gums up. I've bought a few traditional guitars and they never need much of anything (I know some people tweak their rigs endlessly - that's just not my gig) which is a HUGE plus for a traditional guitar. If the long term failure rate of my Variax is high that will definitely bring down the joy I can get from it. If this is the only time it ever borks, hopefully I'll be loving it again real soon. Fingers crossed it's a one and done repair. We'll see!
  19. Thanks for the feedback everyone. If you don't live anywhere near a Line 6 service center (I'm Midwestern US - out in the sticks - I believe the closest one is a 14 hour drive) is the best option to ship it back to Line 6? Do they have some sort of repair program like that? Sounds like a pretty penny, just to find a box safe enough to ship it in. Blast.
  20. Anyone ever ran into this problem? My high E string won't make a noise in modeling mode. It seems to play totally fine if I'm just running a regular amp setup except for some background feedback that is slightly irritating. As a way of background: A little over a year ago I bought a JTV-59P Variax and really liked it. I also bought the HD500X and the special cord to connect the two. I played on it for a few months. Keep in mind, I'm just play at home so none of this equipment went through any harsh anythings. Then I had to put it all on hold for a while due to school and work (while = 8 months) at which point this sucker was just in storage. Today I excitedly whipped it out. I had purchased the vintage HD download and so I connected everything, made sure it was all up to date, and started to play. Quickly I realized that the high E might as well not be on there in modeling modes. I checked the HD workbench and none of the string volume settings helped. I also turned off the modeling effects and it played with plenty of volume, but the moment I turn on modelling - NOTHING. Any ideas?
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