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Posts posted by Thoeng

  1. Most of what I play on guitar is heavier modern rock as well.


    Helix preamps into your Laney power amp should sound good tto start. But the different Helix pres may likely sound more similar that you care for. I started with 4cm Helix pres into the power amp of a Mesa Recto, Mark V, Stiletto, and Simul 290. Each of them had their own coloration and none were really neutral enough to run Helix full amp models.


    There are more differences between Helix full amp models, and frankly full amp models sound best to me. You can pretty much run Helix full amp models into any solid state amp into a guitar cab (Crown QSC, etc.). So maybe you can get your hands on one to try it. If you like it, a Crate Powerblock can be had for $100-$150 and fits in the Helix backpack pouch. Even if you don't use it long term, its a great backup amp for the stable. A line 6 HD147 is intriguing as it is 300W, 150W stereo, with switchable impedance for full power at different loads (rare for solid state) and looks cool to boot. It has stereo effects returns which should work great for Helix.


    Now if you try solid state and it lacks the last bit of tube flavor you can't live without (tube amp/cab interaction), you can go for a neutral tube power amp like the Fryette Power Station (I want) or Line 6 Spider Valve (I haveand curently use). These can take the Helix full amp models with very little of their own coloration. Spider Valve was made to take Line 6 POD X3 full amp models into its neutral 100W 6L6 power section. Fryette Power Station was designed to take an attenuated real tube amp signal or modeler tthrough its neutral 6L6 power section into a guitar cab.


    Note that Line 6 DT amps (I own a DT50) were designed for POD HD preamps and Helix preamps (recommended by Helix manual). I much prefer Helix full amp models into Spider Valve over Helix preamps into DT.


    By going Helix full amp models>power amp>real guitar cab, you eliminate 50% + of the learning curve and frustrations trying to get a good tone since you are not dealing with cab/mic blocks or IRs. The most difficult, and often initially discouraging thing to deal with are those cab models and IRs. Don't get me wrong, there are good sounds to be had with them. There is just quite a bit to learn about them coming from a physical tube rig. It can eat your lunch and take many hours of trial and testing to discover what you like.


    Almost every default Helix amp model into my Spider Valve>Mesa 212 sounds great right out of the chute. Then just a little tweaking from there gets me what I need. I've let go of the cab models and IR's and just let the sound guy mic my cab or mic it myself.


    I will definitely say that I wouldn't go back to my Mesa amps and old stomps after Helix/Spider Valve. I fire them up from time to time, but just smile ear to ear when I go back to Helix/SV.


    Maybe one day I will go FRFR or amp-less. But the guys in the band still play traditional amps and are loud in our jam space. So a traditional guitar cab works great for me right now.


    Great post on this!

    When I was AB'ing between my Shiva preamp and the Helix preamps into the Shiva poweramp, I found the Helix preamps a bit dull sounding.

    Lacked the punch and 3D spread of the Shiva. When I switched the Helix preamp to full amp models (sans cab of course), it much improved the sound.

    Seems counter intuitive, but they work better for me then the preamp only models.

  2. I have had excellent results running my Helix into the effects return of my Mesa 5-25 amp. The trick is to NOT USE the amp models and the cabinet models. DO use the preamp models.


    I got a wonderful lead sound using the US Small Tweed preamp model. That can get a little flabby on the low strings if you push the gain too much. In that case try lowering the gain and adding some compression ahead of the amp model to get some sustain.


    I found that using this method, the Tube Screamer model on the Helix sounded close to the sound of my old Tube Screamer.


    One thing you will notice is that some of the preamp models will distort easily and some you have to turn way up to get any grind. The Divided Duo is an example of one that stays clean. For the cleaner preamps you will need to us an overdrive or distortion model before the preamp model for lead sounds.


    I'm guessing the Marshall preamp models should get you sounds that are similar to or better than the sounds you got out of your Marshall amp without the Helix.


    I hope this helps.




    I find the preamp models a bit dull sounding.

    Against better judgement, i tried the full amp model (no cabs) and like the results better.

  3. I'd say to give it a go.


    Start out with a 4CM setup with your current amp.
    The switching possibilities, snapshots, scribble strips and number of quality effects is more than enough to warrant the price of the Helix.


    From there on you can start to experiment with going straight to the poweramp of your Laney.
    If you like it enough to ditch the Laney preamp and clean up your setup with fewer cables, good, if you don't, then stick with the 4CM.


    Either way you get a lot of possibilities for a fair price.

  4. Also would just like to clarify, monitoring via the headphone out is not going to cause distortion on speakers unless you have it cranked up too loud. So that is one thing to play with. However, you could also plug headphones in there to verify, as it should not distort those. I frequently use my Helix as an interface to monitor the sound coming out of the computer while I play via the headphones. It allows me to play along to YouTube videos so I can practice. I experience no distortion doing this.

    Thanks for trying to help me figure this out guys.

    Sorry about the cranky response at first. Long day  :)


    I don't feel that volume is the issue. The weird part is that at first the drums will sound fine, but after a few minutes they will begin to distort.

    I guess I am indeed not using it as intended, so can't complain it's not working as i'd want it to. Guess I'll put a pair of studio monitors on the want-list.

    Kinda just bought a house though, so that might be a couple months  :D

  5. Hi Thoeng,


    If you want to get this right – very simple answer – buy some real studio monitor speakers. They don't need to be huge or expensive - just anything that is a real monitor.


    For the life of me, I cannot comprehend why anyone would spend a stack of cash on one of the most state of the art digital modelling units in the world – and then feed the signal from the phones socket to some PC speakers. Jeeziz wept! Then you wonder why it distorts?


    Wrong, wrong, wrong, in so many ways it's just wrong!


    This is a joke post, right, or, is it me?


    It's on my list. I bought the Helix mainly for my live rig, so studio monitors are not a priority for me.

    The guitar sounds are fine for what I need through the computer speakers . I'm just setting it up correctly for use with Garageband I think.

    The drums from Garageband sound fine when hooking the speakers up to my computer, but when I go USB to Helix then the drums distort, so just a user error in the setup i guess. 


    The speakers are not distorting because of the volume being too loud, the problem seems to be that the drums are going through the guitar chain...

    Like I stated in my earlier post. But thanks. I guess...

  6. Yep. That's the physical chain. You may need to configure your DAW accordingly.


    I tried it with the phones output going to my computer speakers.

    My Garageband drums sounded distorted, as if they were being fed through my Helix guitar chain.


    How do i get this right?

  7. Hi, A newbie Helix user with a Shiva here too!!


    I have it running into the rack send at line level which gives me a good Unity level - had to run global EQ a little to get it totally transparent but its there now.


    I've come from an FX8 and this thing is so much more flexible - could quite easily do a whole gig (in a covers band) on 1 preset!!!


    Snapshots vs amp switching giving me some problems as I can only get it to work by assigning an EXT AMP switch rather than the instant EXT AMP - but that could be me being dull!!


    No Ground Hum, however, I am using the old Fractal humbuster cables...


    Any chance you could give me the details off your global EQ?

    I've got mine "fairly" transparent, but would like to try your settings if possible  :)

    • Upvote 1
  8. I can get the Helix on a Pedaltrain PT2 but its tight!!


    Don't need any extra pedals etc but would like to keep the cables for 4CM plugged in to save any hassle/confusion at gig time!!


    Was going to go Helix Bag to make the carry to direct FOH gigs even easier, but not sure that would give me the space I need for other cables etc...




    I got this one: https://www.thomann.de/gb/thon_effect_case_for_line_6_helix.htm


    Perfect fit

  9. Okay so i joined the club!
    Got one last week and so far i'm really enjoying it.

    First evening was spent going through presets with headphones and computerspeakers.
    Far from ideal of course, but was good to get to know the unit.
    I mostly play rock, but don't really consider myself a high gain player. So far i'm liking the 2204, the Shiva and the Recto as a good starting point.


    Last weekend I brought my Bogner Shiva up from the garage to try it out.
    Preamp models into the power amp in of the Shiva sound great, but i live in an apartment so i could only try it out at bedroom volumes.
    Having a bit of trouble getting it to work in 4CM though. Not getting a transparent base sound at all. 
    I'm using an FX loop block (2 lit arrows) on the Helix. Drive and mod before this block, delay and reverb after.
    My shiva has a pedal send and a rack send. It also has a power amp in and a return. Add that to the instrument and line level out on the Helix and i'm lost...


    Anyone have any experience with the Helix and a Shiva in 4CM? It's a newer one (green chassis), with bright switches, independent boost and loop that doesn't need the special cable.


    • Upvote 1
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