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About MGW-Alberta

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  1. My version of Microsoft Office (I forget the number) had to be uninstalled. It stopped working after updating MacOS. That wasn't the first time I lost the use of a valuable app that I depended on because Apple decided to abandon backwards app compatibility. Then I went to the Microsoft website to (reluctantly) pay for a new version but the only one that will consistently run on my system is a subscription service. I refuse to rent software. I only buy it. Renting software is a scam and I won't do it. There is a stand alone version but after reading about it I learned it only works on the 3 most recent versions of MacOS and every time Apple makes some small "security update", whatever that means because Macs are already secure, it counts as a new version so I would have to buy a new copy of Office over and over again. I said screw you Microsoft and screw you Apple. I learned how to use Pages and I won't be updating MacOS either. There is nothing wrong with my OS and there is nothing wrong with my apps either. Everything works fine .... until I update and then it costs me money and frustration. I will only update if I am absolutely FORCED to. Same goes for my phone. I can't tell you how many apps I lost because of iOS updates. Never again.
  2. I will not enable automatic updating on any device. I suppose it's fine if your equipment is less than six minutes old but if you're like me and you can't afford to buy a new phone or a new computer every 20 seconds the only safe option is to completely disable automatic updating and treat every new update with suspicion and extreme caution. I learned the hard way too many times that updating without seriously investigating first can cost you your way of doing things, thereby costing you time and can also cost you money as well. I only update if I am forced to and there are absolutely no other options.
  3. Some (not all, I think) Fender amps that use the 5AR4 rectifier tube (also known as GZ34) can be re-biased for use with a 5U4, which will stiffen them up a little bit. On my old vintage Vibrolux Reverb the point of the start of breakup changed from 2.5 to 3.5 on the volume which made the amp more useful for my purposes. Possibly all in my head but I always felt the amp was also slightly more articulate and responsive/sensitive with the 5U4 as well. I say I think not all because I don't know if I've ever heard of anyone using a 5U4 in a 5E3. I've never investigated that though.
  4. Yes, the rectifier is one of the variables in the sag equation.
  5. ^^^ This. Craig has it correct. I personally don't care for a lot of sag. Some is good but more isn't better. One thing I almost always do with an amp block is to stiffen it up.
  6. I usually set my sag relatively low, maybe about 2 or 2.5 because I'm going into an amp and I don't see the need to do that twice. As for hum and ripple I dial those way down even lower. Like 1 or lower. Bias and biasX I tend to keep in the neighbourhood of 4 to 6, so around middle.
  7. I run my Helix in 4CM as well. I had a .50 Calibre for about 10 years and then moved to a Mark V-35. I was having heat issues with the .50 Calibre so after I had it repaired the second time I sold it and bought the Mark V-35. It has a very quiet built-in cooling fan and does not have the same issues. The .50 Cal was a great sounding amp and a wonderful platform for effects but the design of having the tube sockets mounted directly to the board instead of to the chassis was the reason it heated up and had issues. (4 x EL84 in my case as it was the first generation .50 Calibre. Yours will likely have 2 x 6L6) You may want to consider opening up your amp and examining the board. If you see burns on the board it may be an indication of trouble coming at some point. I use amp models in many of my presets and I also use cab blocks in some of them and IRs in others. Quite often I find them to be shortcuts to the sound I'm after. Some presets just don't work well with cabs or IR blocks but many presets do work well. I suggest you experiment with them.
  8. I've never worked with that block but I suspect that is not possible. I think you can set the block they way you want it and then either turn it on or off with a foot switch in Stomp mode or assign one tuning parameter to it per Snap Shot. Others with experience will probably chime in but I suspect that's how it will work.
  9. To the best of my recollection, HX Effects and HX Stomp are very similarly priced so the choice of which one to buy was always yours to make.
  10. I would also add that it might be wise to look for some kind of protection for your jack connections. I am assuming the reason you want a good and hard case is because you plan to transport your Helix to gigs. If that's not the reason, just say so. In my view, protection for the jack connections seems important to me. Like the vast majority of us, I don't play large venues but rather I play smaller venues where stage space is limited. On smaller stages I believe there is a greater chance of having your cabling stepped on by other persons on the stage.
  11. I am in the same situation. I run my Helix Floor through my Boogie using 4CM and I was seriously considering the idea that I might get better results using an FRFR cabinet, not that there was anything wrong with the results I was getting already. I think the idea sprang up mostly from latent GAS lying dormant within me. I started reading everything I could find on FRFR. I watched more videos than I could possibly count. I spent several months obsessing over it. I read about frequency responses in the various FRFR cabs, which are not truly FRFR by the way. That's just a name they give to a particular style of monitor. If they were truly FRFR they would all sound the same, or at least very similar. I read about construction materials, internal cabinet volume, size, placement and spatial orientation. I also recalled my own experiences with Helix shortly after I first purchased it, trying it with my own studio monitors, near-field monitors and my public address system. I also went down to the music store in my little rural town with my Helix Floor in tow. They didn't have any FRFRs in stock but they had several powered monitors and I tried them all. I used the presets I was using when I tried my own equipment and I tweaked them in the store as I tried each one. The more I learned, the less enthusiastic I became about the prospect of making the change. In the end I abandoned my search. I will stick with my Boogie and 4CM. It is a system I know well and I get great results with it and I'm getting even better with it all the time. It is a tone that is compelling and feels real. This is one man's story. I only speak for myself but I thought you should hear from the other side as well.
  12. MGW-Alberta

    3.2 hint?

    Do you mean like NOS Mullards in a Plexi rather than JJs? Or like 6L6s in a Plexi rather than EL34s?
  13. This is only indirectly related to the subject of the original post. It is related .... but only indirectly. When the acoustic simulator was introduced on Helix I gave it a try and was underwhelmed. I watched some videos on it. I think one of them might have been by Sadites. At any rate I kind of gave up on it but after pondering on some of the ideas in this thread I experimented with a few things and made some improvements. It's still not a great acoustic tone but it's better than I was getting before. I made a split in the path such that the unmolested signal from the electric guitar goes straight into path B. The acoustic sim still sits on path A and I reduced the shimmer to zero. The body is about 3 and top is about 5 and I boosted it by about 2db. On path B, I added the 12-string block and adjusted it to a very low blend level. It's not there to simulate a 12-string. It's just there to give more liveliness and jangle to the tone and the blend is low in an attempt to reduce the impact of the unnatural synth kinds of sounds pitch shifters produce because I am not using any distortion to cover up that synthy sound. After the 12-string block I 100% delayed path B by 9ms with zero repeats. Adding any repeats at all just turned it to mush and introduced some weird artifacts. After the 12-string block and the delay I also added to path B a chorus and a 10-band EQ. So half of my "acoustic" sound is straight from the simulator and dry, running through an acoustic IR from 3-Sigma and with no amp block. The other half is straight from the guitar, doubled an octave up by about 30%, delayed 9ms and slightly wet. The EQ provides an opportunity to fill in some of the gaps and compensate for the humps created by the sim and it also lets me use the master level control to adjust the balance between the simulated tone and the straight guitar tone. The straight guitar path helps a lot particularly when picking one string at a time. The acoustic sim straight out sucks on single notes and really only works for strumming but by adding a percentage of straight guitar tone I'm getting some of that back. Like I said, it's not perfect but it's much, much better. I am now using 5 blocks to get my simulated acoustic tone: the sim, the 12, a delay, an EQ and the IR. It's a complicated set of variables to adjust but I think there is potential there and I'm making some headway. So thanks guys. I know it wasn't directly about what you were discussing but the discussion helped me on a different matter.
  14. I find the pitch shifting effects on Helix to be the ones most in need of upgrading. In my view they're only good in a pinch. They all seem to have that very artificial sound common to a number of the EHX pedals that use POG technology. They also seem to share that same EHX bugginess where the tracking becomes confused if you don't stick to major and minor chord voicings. Add 9s and minor 9ths are good examples of chords that can easily confuse the tracking. The Mosaic is a bit better than Helix (or POG) at avoiding those cacophonies and it also has slightly less of the artificial flavour but it still needs more development in my view, as does Helix. That said, I think you should probably keep using your Mosaic for now. It's probably your best bet until something better comes out or if Line 6 decides to improve their pitch shifters to make them sound less like a synth. I'm not sure what the answer is but I don't think the current generation of frequency oscillators are cutting it just yet.
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