I'll open with a disclaimer. I'm frustrated with the Helix but I believe I am very unusual in what I'm looking for. I'm here to ask for help before I get rid of this thing.
Ok, I have a helix and I even bought the powercab plus so that i give line 6 a fair shot. I did this years ago with the Vetta 2 head and line 6 4x12 cab so that I'm not left wondering if there was more I could have done. Months after getting the Vetta 2 I had almost given up playing guitar as it always felt as if I wanted to play it would just be me re tweeking to find something it was incapable of doing. So I sold it and went back to my old set up. I feel I gave it a very fair shot, I wanted it to work, I want this to work. I'm not some tube amp fanboi, I want this to be easy and have great sounds that are easy to switch around.
Currently I can't make the helix sound like anything but generic garbage, this is possibly due to me starting music in the 90's where "originality" was crammed down our throats but today cloning yourself is considered a trait worth bragging about. The Helix, Kemper, Headrush and so on is proof of that to me but I could very well be wrong. I don't see that as a bad thing, it's simply not the world I grew up in is all.
I play a Ibanez universe, 7 string. I play through an Ampeg bass amp head BR2, 4x10 can and a 1x15 cab. My sound is very unique and not for the sake of being different but rather many many years ago (20 years ago or so) I played through the BR2 amp head and thought "wtf, why do more people not do this!!!" I have a Whammy (2 sided), metal muff, T2 delay, Flashback x4 and a BBE sonic maximizer. This gives me a very different sound while still sounding like a guitar played through and amp, the tones are simply massive in the mid and low range but my high end suffers a bit, EQing mostly fixes that issue.
I figured I'd take a chance on line 6 once again, in the back of my mind I had concerns so I watched as much as I could on youtube. I noticed very few people play with heavy distortion and when they do they sound remarkably the same, Meshuggah like, djent... Everything else for lack of a better word is just generic sounds for jazz, blues and "rock." Again that's ok... It's literally a modeler claiming to replicate these sounds.
There are many great players who play jazz, blues and rock but they are literally a dime a dozen, tens of millions can and in fact do play literally just like them... same pedals, same amps, same guitars. I don't play anyone else's music, I don't know anyone else's songs because I simply never cared, it's just who I am.
I got the Helix and despite it claiming to have the cabs, the amp (better versions) and some of my effects it literally sounds NOTHING like my current rig, no matter how much I play with all the settings. All distortions sound very similar. I hear a "kink" on all the notes, then a distortion is layered over the top. Some distortions sound like a fizz that is to my ears, disgusting. This gives you that Djent sound, clear-ish notes with lots of fizz but it all sound incredibly flimsy to me... This is upsetting because my goal was to get my sound and use a DI out to record for ease. This is why I invested in line 6 again, ease of recording and ease of changing effects for songs so that it's not always the same delay, same reverb, same distortion settings unless I manually tweek them... every time I want to change.
Is there something I'm doing wrong? It feels like I'm stuck with fake versions of these options. Like the bass amps and cabs were meant to have a bass play through them and if you step outside of that you get this horrible sound that resembles nothing like what it claims to be. I plug into my old setup and instantly I'm thinking, "The Helix is maybe at best a 2-3 on a scale of 1-10 of the sound I'm getting with the real gear. I cannot make it sound like an ampeg amp with simple distortion that I have physically sitting next to it, this is with the Helix and powercab.
I don't want to sound like AC/DC, Meshuggah, led Zeppelin or jazz/blues... I wanted to sound like me with less buttons to push, less dials to mess with between riffs or songs and a super easy clean recording out through a DI. I'm left sounding like generic rock/whatever where if I step outside of that programming it flaps and farts at me like it has no idea anyone would play these things together. When you play a certain amp, distortion and so on you PLAY like that sound... If I give you effects that make you sound like U2 or Nirvana you play like them... the sounds have a way of leading us to that style and that does not interest me.
Help would be nice or I'll be selling the Helix (not returnable) and sticking with my old setup. Reality is we use a few pedals, even on something like a Helix. You will have all your "go to" effects, amps and cabs... This can all be bought for around the same price as the Helix/powercab but again I wanted ease of recording, ease of switching sounds... and so far it's absolute generic garbage to my ears because it's nothing like they claimed it would be.
I do want this to work, I truly hope I'm just missing some piece of the puzzle. i don't know if it's updated to the 2.8, I don't see how that would matter unless the Helix used to be horrible and patches fixed it... but it very well might have the 2.8, I'll look if that is brought up, if anyone gives feedback.
Thanks! Sorry for sounding negative and "generic" is not an insult as my sound could very well sound like crap to all of you... and I'm ok with that.