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  1. First of all, please accept my sincere apologies for the time taken to get back to you. I had no idea that you had taken the trouble to go through my post so thoroughly, as you did. I also need to apologise as I can't, for now, provide you with a comprehensive response due to personal reasons. I will, however, endeavour to do so, when I am able. However, for now: 1/ Thank you for your comments. I found them very informative and we'll worth reading (twice, so far); 2/ If I might: You seem quite "grounded" to me e.g., you don't get phased by the hype, you make mistakes but you learn from them, you appear to have a pragmatic approach to endeavours such as procuring equipment to compliment your Variax Standard, etc.; 3/ You also make some very relevant points e.g., I agree; some of the PODs are quite overwhelming, and need a lot of time and effort to get the sounds that you might require (a criticism that I hear quite often in relation to the high end Helix range). And as for being a "simpleton" ~ no way; IMHO, you just want to "get on with it" i.e., no fiddling around with presets; just plug in and play your guitar, right? On that point I agree entirely; it's all about playing (yet, sometimes I feel that technology is getting in the way of the very thing that we are trying to do: plug in, play, enjoy, ...); 4/ Regarding the Line 6 / Yamaha relationship, it's impossible to tell exactly what will happen, but my concerns are based upon two main factors: A/ Yamaha is a huge corporation with the power and clout to do whatever it takes to meet its objectives. To me, they are a bit like Sony; neither organisation does anything by halves and both are ruthless in their pursuit of making money. This concerns me, as do most "large" corporations (the majority of which appear "too powerful" for the "greater good" and beyond the skillset of we humans to manage organisations on such a scale). However, B/ That said, Yamaha have given us some outstanding products over the years e.g., did you know ever use an AW4416 multi-tracker?; I did ~ w-w-whow!; amazing. As were the n-Series mixing desks i.e., the n8 and n12 respectively. I bought the latter, but not after doing my homework. As digital desks go, it wasn't that expensive, especially given the technology it utilised. More importantly, it was also an ultra low latency FireWire audio digital recording interface designed specifically for Cubase (a product which I use and is produced by Steinberg, a company that Yamaha also own). Although I didn't entirely buy into the product's work flow strategy, the n12 was a magnificent piece of engineering in that it did what they said it would, and it did it on a very reliable basis; until Yamaha suddenly "dropped it" much to the surprise of many n-Series users. Simply put, by doing so, Yamaha effectively relegated the n8 and n12 to the scrap yard. Although I haven't tried for a while, linking my n12 to Cubase can no longer be achieved, given my current operating system and version of Cubase. Hence, my investment in the n12 was a costly mistake. However, for Yamaha, it was the "right" thing to do. In summary, I fear that this is far more likely to become a "feature" of the life cycles for Line 6 products now that they are part of Yamaha. Then again, I could be wrong. Unfortunately, that's about all I can manage for now but, as above, I will try and revisit this when I am able. In the meantime, how are things with you, your Variax Standard and the Firehawk FX?; good, I hope. After all, critical as I am of the Firehawk FX, I still have mine (mainly because I also own a Variax Standard) and I can cite a good many examples of the Firehawk FX being used to very good effect by numerous guitarists in a number of environments. Gotta go. Take care...
  2. RJI777

    Helix MegaLite

    Apologies ... I didn't mean to "get at you" ... although, with hindsight, my words do seem a little sarcastic and "pointed" ... I'm sorry about that ... there was never any offence intended, I assure you. However, your response has significant merit as, IMHO, it is indicative of a problem that we all face as contemporary musicians. There is so much gear available (even from a single company such as Line 6), that it's pretty much impossible to review it all, let alone derive valid conclusions, comparisons and commentary. Indeed, managing to keep up with all the information relating to the XT, X3 and HD series, is praiseworthy in its own right. So, as for "missing the Firehawk"; well, let's just say, "That's understandable" (and probably a very wise move). As above, my apologies if you found my words intimidating in any way.
  3. I know that this post is a little late but if anyone is still interested, here's my tuppence worth on the subject. Simply put, if you are a bass player, avoid the Firehawk (FH) FX board. Unlike most POD and Helix products, the FH FX doesn't pay much attention to the needs of bass players. If you dig into some of the board's effects, you will find a very limited amount of bass oriented functionality but, IMHO, this board is designed for guitarists. Of course, you could (as I did), build your own bass tones from scratch. You can even use some of the guitar oriented presets as a starting point. I did have some success e.g., I concocted a couple of patches that were "in the right ballpark" according to my drummer; but these tended to be novel bass sounds, not the basic tones that every bass player needs. In summary, after two days, I got frustrated with the FH FX and gave up. IMHO, the basic elements (e.g., a decent compressor, etc.), required to build good quality bass tones are not there. They could be, but I doubt that Line 6 will provide such an update; not for the FH FX. Finally, given that the FH FX board didn't provide a solution, what did I end up doing? Well, I got myself a little Boss GT-1B, which sits nicely on my FX board and, given the price, is an outstanding piece of kit; on it's own or as part of a larger bass pedal configuration.
  4. RJI777

    Helix MegaLite

    That's pretty much what I was thinking: What's new? I've actually gotten so attached to all the amazing Line 6 sounds that even a flagship Helix isn't enough any more. Better?; yes. New?; I'm not convinced. And, as I have at least four Line 6 devices (not to mention the add-ons) that provide the core sounds and effects, the competition are looking like much better alternatives e.g., based on the demos I have listened to (and various other information sources), I'd probably be better plugging into a TC Electronic Plethora X5 or a Boss GT-1000; both of which seem to offer state of the art sound quality and functionality. Of course, the fact that a lot of these sounds and effects are new to me, is a major selling point e.g., expanding on my present collection in such a way that I am not sure a Helix could.
  5. RJI777

    Helix MegaLite

    Well said: "It is what it is and it ain't there." And exactly the same can be said of the competition e.g., the TC Electronic Plethora X5, the latest Boss GT-1000, etc., which, for various reasons, are becoming more and more attractive to me, Variax or not.
  6. RJI777

    Helix MegaLite

    Therefore, the Firehawk FX is a flagship product, is it? I think not; and have never heard another guitarist consider it as such (the opposite in fact). Pretty low cost too; at least mine was. And although I have been very critical of the Firehawk, it does cater for my Variax. But that's just me...
  7. RJI777

    Helix MegaLite

    So this is the latest offering, is it?; the POD Go. Perhaps, I am missing something but, where do I plug in my beloved Variax? I don't get it. Why do Line 6 limit the connectivity potential of the Variax in this way? I mean, IMHO, it's only their most innovative product ever, so surely connections to all associated equipment is a good thing. Then again, obviously not?
  8. I seem to recall being told that Line 6 were limiting the Onyx production run to 1,000 guitars, from which I purchased #261. Of course, my older POD X3 floorboard, didn't understand the new Variax model, and although I sorted the control issue by purchasing a Firehawk FX, I find that the guitar sounds provided by this particular floorboard do not live up to the standard set by the FX boards based upon the company's more established POD technology. Hence, as I have no intention of giving up my Variax, it looks like I will be shelling out for one of the Helix product family, relatively soon. That said, I am fully aware that this will be costly, but it also brings me to my last point. It is as follows. Given the remarkable nature of Variax technology, why is it not possible to connect a Standard Variax to any Line 6 pedal board? Surely, having a Variax input on all Line 6 FX units is 1) a just reward for all of those who have invested in Variax technology?; and, similarly 2) provides Line 6 with a more.flexible business model, especially as it makes their flagship digital guitar technology even more flexible, in terms of its connectivity, and thus, potentially more appealing to a wider range of potential customers.
  9. In response to the original post, I'm afraid that this is an issue that can really only be satisfactorily resolved by its author (whom I will address directly from this point onwards, if that's okay). So, you're looking for an effects unit, right? Well, you're not spoiled for choice, that's for sure; but that's pretty much the problem, isn't it? i.e., the product ranges available from Line 6 (sorry, Yamaha) and their competitors is bewildering. Hence, your post asking for advice (which is good). However, might I suggest that you consider your position as follows: Where are you now? e.g., what do you have, effects wise, at present?; how much (and what kind of) experience and knowledge do you have (and / or have access to)?; Where do you need to go?; what will you be doing when you get there?; and for how long?; not forgetting other factors such as your own personal expectations and those of your target audience, etc., etc. Hence, I would suggest that the difference between the two (i.e., target destination minus current situation) determines what you need to do, including the appropriate choice of effects unit and the work that you will have to do to incorporate this piece of kit into your personal world as a musician. Of course, your current financial situation is important too, but determine what you need first (leave paying for it until later). However, please allow me to be a little more specific. Expanding upon your title for this thread, can I rephrase it as, "Is the Firehawk FX fit for the 2020s?" In a word: " No"; as far as Line 6 are concerned, this decade currently belongs to their Helix product range. And, from what I read, expensive as it seems, there are a lot of very happy Customers out there. IMHO, as someone who has used Line 6 products for longer than I care to admit, the Firehawk FX is an oddball; a distraction, if you like. It departed from the company's "traditional" POD architecture, but can't compete with the Helix product range. In fact, based on my own experiences, using a Firehawk FX with a standard Variax, tells me that it can't compete with various elements of the POD product range either (which, I should add, comprises of various models which have provided me with years, decades even, of continuous, trouble free use). For example, amongst other things, I also own a POD X3 Live floorboard. This is old technology, right? I mean it can't even control my standard Variax, like the Firehawk FX, can it? Yes, that's true, but the X3 comprises a far superior build quality, makes the Firehawk sound like a toy in terms of its sounds and, as for its flexibility and all round functionality, the Firehawk FX doesn't even make it out of the starting blocks in comparison with the X3. In summary, I have used the X3 live but wouldn't dream of taking a Firehawk FX on stage with me. But I guess that's why more contemporary POD products such as the POD HD500X floorboard are still available (which, by the way, have you checked the price differential between these products recently? If not, perhaps, ...). Then again, I find that using my Firehawk FX is relatively straightforward and consistent. I just set it up as required and play my guitar through it. Simply put, my Firehawk FX floor board doesn't cause me any real problems, but neither so do all of my other Line 6 products e.g., my original TonePort UX2, bought way back circa. 2005. In fact, in addition to 15 years of trouble free service, my age-old UX2 proved fit for purpose to record an entire album to the standards required by pretty much every online digital music procurement and / or streaming service of any significance e.g., iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc., etc. And, IMHO it could do so again, if required. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the Firehawk. Of course, the Firehawk FX has some cool features, right?; e.g., Bluetooth technology which allows it to be programmed using your phone. Really? Gimme a break. I mean, so what?; it's a gimmick. Seriously, what has this for to do with anything? To my mind, phones (mobiles) are for making phone calls and have no real purpose when it comes to "world class" effects units. More importantly, Line 6 have provided powerful, stable effects unit management software for years. So, what does an App running on your phone add in terms of real value? IMHO, nought; but, if that's what matters to you, well (in fact, if you don't mind, I'm not even going to dignify that with an answer). As above, it's simple to use and, although I recognise that ease of use is important, I do sense an implied assertion here that the Firehawk FX is "simple" because, well, I don't know; I suppose that some might say that guitarists are "simpletons"; but certainly not in my opinion. Also, be careful about the marketing hype and what you are actually purchasing (especially now that Line 6 are part of a much larger organisation). I mean, on the Firehawk FX's box, Line 6 make lots of alluring claims; some of which become somewhat questionable when subjected to a little pragmatic scrutiny. For example, they say that this floorboard is the "perfect recording interface for every guitarist"; a claim that has no validity or reliability (in fact, it's not true). And, as for the arrogance of generalizing their claim to "every" guitarist, Line 6 should be ashamed of themselves (again, this is a falsehood). More so, according to the packaging, the Firehawk FX also includes "world class amp and FX modelling." Does it really? Says who, exactly? But more importantly: If the above is true (which it's not; it's all lies; seriously, I kid you not), how come we all need a Helix (allegedly)?; It doesn't matter how "perfect" or "world class" a piece of equipment is, the limiting factor regarding its output will almost certainly be the person using it (e.g., see comments above regarding the capabilities of Line 6's TonePort UX2, available since 2005); How do such statements inspire Customer confidence in the product, if it doesn't "do what it says on the tin", so to speak?; How is it that I can cite multiple real-world examples of experienced guitarists who have gotten rid of their Firehawks, and resorted to more elementary, back to basics setups, because the Firehawk "ruins" their sound? And, since these points kinda bring me (almost) full circle regarding this post i.e., only you can resolve this, and it's you, the guitarist, that matters, not your effects setup (or dream rig); I'll shut the f*ck up now, other than to wish you the best of luck and hope that you end up with the floorboard that a) you need, b) will last you for years (which Line 6 kit tends to do), and c) you can afford. I hope this helps. RJI777 PS: Regarding affordability; an item might seem expensive, but if it will provide you with years of reliable service, well ... I'll let you ponder that one, shall I? PPS: If you think that Yamaha's "acquisition" of Line 6 won't change the way in which the latter conducts its business, think again...
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