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  1. I'm very sure this topic has been discussed ad nauseam, but I'm struggling a bit with it. I have a Peavey Delta Blues 15 guitar amp that I like very much. I don't care one bit about the preamp characteristics, but the amp itself is just peachy and I actually own it! I previously had a POD500HD hooked up to it and I was dissatisfied with the tones I was getting. A lot of inconsistency of tone, especially on the higher strings at the 10th fret or above. I've found this on my Fender Strat (active pickups) and my Epi Les Paul with Gibson pickups. I've been watching the Helix since the Line 6 tease emails and recently spent about an hour playing on one that a friend (former Kemper fan) bought. He's playing through an FRFR setup, but I reasoned that if I neutralized my tone on the Peavey I could live with the tone coloring the Peavey would inject. I chose not to go with the 4CM because, as I said, I don't care for the Peavey preamp -- it's just another preamp and not a distinctive tone like a Bassman, Plexi, or Dual Rectifier. There is a question lurking in here -- please be patient. I tried hooking the Helix up to the power amp using FX Send and there just wasn't enough volume from it. I actually like loud. So I went with Left/Mono (Helix) -> Guitar In (Peavey). The demo tones are far and away better than those on the POD HD, but nothing I would ever use even for goofing around at home. So I created some straight-line serial tones using models for guitar rigs I knew. For example, Eric Clapton favored the Tweed and not a heck of a lot else. I threw in a compressor and Fassel Wah on the front end and '63 reverb after the AMP+CAB block in case I wanted it. The results were good, and I could see that the Helix was superior in almost every way to the POD HD500. But still I was left with the stupid "but there must be more I'm not getting." feeling. Then I tried a Fender clean with the Deluxe model. I tried with the Preamp model and let the Peavey handle the CAB. Not too spectacular -- I expected lots of brights with the Strat, but found it a touch dull and found the headroom not what I expected. It broke up pretty easily and I'm at a loss to figure out why. Ok, last bit of describing my adventure: I followed this tutorial and created a relatively complex tone exactly as described. I understand that using an amp and IR in front of a real guitar amp has pitfalls, but what's a guy to do? Anyhow, this is a great patch once you get it right. It's downright playable! Now, I know a number of you get into the weeds (and that's a good thing) about how to craft a tone. Even after playing as long as I have, I'm still more a plug and go guy but I now want to understand how to make "that tone." I'm not just stupid happy with grabbing a great guitar and plugging it into an ok amp and wailing away. So here's the question: Am I always going to feel handicapped by not going the whole way with an FRFR setup? My reading suggests that a lot of people have sold off some pretty trick amps and purchased FRFRs and are living happily ever after. Obviously, there is no single right answer to this, but my goals are 1) Not necessarily to sound like a particular guitar player to make my cover band sound authentic; pleasing to me is more important. 2) To use the Helix to potential and not limit it artificially by some self-imposed constraint. Money is an object, but if I'm way off track, that's something I need to know. 3) Any comments regarding whether is started in the wrong direction and should rethink what I've done. Note: I do have a pair of reference headphones, but I just can't spend my life with them strapped on. Things do sound different through them, but I can't exactly isolate how/where they sound different. Thanks for reading and looking forward to your comments.
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