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DocRodney35

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About DocRodney35

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  1. DocRodney35

    Fractal jumper.....ordered the Helix.

    I apologize in advance but I tend to type a lot. I am new to the forum and to Line 6 products. I play multiple guitars; Fender, Gibson, ESP, PRS, etc., pretty high end. Lately I’ve been playing for Praise and Worship as well as rock and country and I’m very fond of the 80s “hair genreâ€. I’ve played through most amps with my staples being Marshall and Fender tube amps. I do have Vox, Hiwatt, Mesa, and Peavey Valve Kings that I do love. Then I bought a Boss GT100 and used it to pre-amp the power amps of my tube amps. Great sound. Played that unit for a couple years and still have it. I was convinced that the newer guitar processors are gonna take over. I do play FOH with in-ears and no backline. So I researched for the best available product and all pointed toward Fractal, so I bought an AX8, all the accessories, many presets, and IR packs. It sounds good and has many features but I’m wondering if mine has a problem or am I still stuck on real amp sound. The reverbs sound fake to me. The distortions are all fuzzy and each one can be programmed to sound like all of the others. The overdrives are ok but thin and digital sounding. I will compare mine to a friends unit to determine if there is a problem with mine. Meanwhile I thought I’d purchase a Line 6 Helix. Honestly to me Line 6 was a joke. Never heard a good tone from any product. Then I purchased a Line 6 wireless vocal mic. It far out performs my Shure mics and even my Sennheisers. So, let’s try this Helix thing. After a Fractal session I tried the Helix. It sounded mid rangey and thin. Another crappy Line 6 product. A few days latter I stared at the Helix. I watched a few videos, read the manual (a page or two), updated to firmware 2.30, then added some third party Impulse Responses. Some IRs I grabbed from my Fractal (yep they work) and I purchased some. I programmed some P&W presets and started to rethink my initial thoughts. Then I programmed some upbeat P&W patches from watching YouTube vids. I continued to increase my number of user presets with IRs. Now I cannot put down my guitar. The thing can auto detect the pickups impedance so I can grab any guitar and have basically the same preset with the specific guitar characteristics. I cannot get a bad sound from this Helix; in any genre. It sounds and feels like a real amp. It sings with sustain and harmonics of a high end tube amp. The reverbs and delays do not sound fake like they do on my Fractal. I am hoping my Fractal actually is defective but a side by side comparison in the short time I’ve played with the Helix, proves there is no comparison to me. The Helix is never muddy like the Fractal, the overdrives sound like overdrives and the distortions are not Fuzzy, unless you want and like fuzz. I do NOT. The best thing I’ve noticed is no “CPU overloadâ€, With multiple Program paths I can program multiple amps, cabs, IRs, dozens of effects, and NEVER run out of processing power like I encounter on every Fractal preset where I need a few reverbs and delays. I will be playing the Helix live FOH this Sunday with in-ears and no backline so my opinion may change, but today the Helix kicks the crap out of the Fractal. Believe me, I didn’t think it possible at all. I’m still hoping my AX8 is defective. I know this rambling is opinion based on what I’ve personally experienced and opposite of my expectations. I know there are strengths to both of these units and never in my wildest dreams would I put Line 6 on top but now I have them on top for a wireless mic and now this Helix unit. I can’t even stop playing my guitar. It just sings whether using my Strat Elite, Strat HSS, Tele Elite, ESP, PRS, or Les Paul. I’m sure Line 6 was trying to compete with the big dogs, but I’m gonna bet they didn’t predicate that, in my opinion today, they would come out and lollipop slap their completion. That’s my initial review which could change after Sunday’s live performance. We shall see. I warned you that I type a lot. If you made it this far, you must have had s lot of spare time on your hands. Lol
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