I did the playing at home and hauling my gear to church thing, however not with a couple of strymon pedals, but a boogie combo and a minor rack with fx. Guess it is the same idea in general. Made the move to helix a month ago and have sold off all my stuff.
The good: thereâ€™s no way I am going back to breaking my back on a rig I used to have. The helix covers almost all my needs and more; great, extremely usable amp models (my needs for church -matchless dc 30- are different from what I play at home -rock in all its beautiful flavours). For church even more important; more effect combinations and rounting than you can imagine etc. Get a lot of positve feedback on my sounds right now. To top it off: I think my sound in church has improved considerably as well, mainly due to the fact that I am not micing up a (great) tube combo with a single SM57 in a busy live setting, which is very sensitive to placement, but use an IR with studio controlled mic placement and a nice blend of different mics. Consitency is king here.
Granted: I am missing my old mesa sound a little bit, I have been playing Mesaâ€™s for the better part of this century, so that is only natural. The mark IV model in the Helix however is the best MB Mark emulation I have heared so far and an acceptable replacement.
A couple years back I told myself that the Mesa probably would be the last tube amp I had, since the modelling technology was starting to mature really fast. After selling my tube amp ans playing with my helix for a month and a bit I still stand by my analysis; I do not see myself buying a new tube amp (combo or head) in the future.
Iâ€™d say: take the plunge: the helix is still under development. Hopefully the weakest point (reverbs) will be adressed before not too long, because that is the only minor flaw I can see: the HD reverbs and the lack of a great spring reverb. That however is compensated by other pretty good reverbs.