Nailed it. My bandmate bought an Axe FX III and I have a Helix. Previously, we both used real Mesa Recto's. The biggest difference I've seen is the ease of learning / use. I can dial in patches with the Helix screen pretty easily. He has to bring a computer if he wants to mess with his Axe FX. The Axe FX III has a billion tweakable things on every block, practically down to atomic particle interactions on the power supply and built-in compression & EQ and all sorts of junk. You can blend IR's and move the time alignment between them. It's pretty cool, but extremely maddening when you're just trying to learn the basics and you don't even know which of the 5000 configurations are the ones causing you trouble. It's a bit maddening even if you know what you're doing. It's taken me about 2 years to get to the point of finally starting to understand what's going on with the more obscure settings like bias/bias x. I'm a little jealous of all his routing options now, but not an extra $1400+ worth of jealous (once you throw in the footswitch). My recommendation is, go with Helix first... use it to learn how to make good sounds and figure out the basics of dealing with the world of modelers (which extends significantly beyond just the modeler itself). After a few years and you're ready to take on the additional brain bandwidth of worrying about what happens when you play with the virtual power voltages on every block, then you can probably get the AXE III super cheap... or you can get whatever the new Axe model is.