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What you think of the new Helix MultiFX processor?


bartnettle1
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There's a part 2 now to the Helix Vs Fractal on youtube

Based on Part 1, you have promised to post a video about your personal issues with Fractal and its owner every day for the rest of your life. Please don't give us daily updates in this forum.

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Saw and heard it Gearfest at Sweetwater yesterday. All I can say is AMAZING! The most realistic Marshall plexi tone that I have heard in a modeler. According to the spokesperson, they are targeting August release. MSRP of $1499 is a bit salty. I am guessing the street price will come in at about $1199 but that is just a guess. The big plus will be not toting big amps etc around. It sounded great through the PA rig that they had set up. We all have to admit that Line 6 has been on the cutting edge of realistic modeling albeit I am not all that impressed with there version of a Marshall Plexi in the HD500. Takes a lot of tweaking to get a good Marshall type tone with the HD. Passable but nothing like the Helix. Just MOHO.

 

Cool, I wish I could make it to these shows. If the Helix is like all the other Line 6 Gear I've got it's gotta be pretty good. I've got to admit the DT50HD with one DT25 Ext Cab plugged into it and the HD500 feeding the beast sounds really freak'in good! The X3 Pro into the DT50 sounds great too. I'm happy so far but I'm going to have to wait a while for the HELIX.

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Cool, I wish I could make it to these shows. If the Helix is like all the other Line 6 Gear I've got it's gotta be pretty good. I've got to admit the DT50HD with one DT25 Ext Cab plugged into it and the HD500 feeding the beast sounds really freak'in good! The X3 Pro into the DT50 sounds great too. I'm happy so far but I'm going to have to wait a while for the HELIX.

 

Yeah, me too!! I was considering figuring out how to get off work to drive down there to Sweetwater, but it didn't work out. I am with ya on the DT sounding fantastic, and my DT's ain't going nowhere! Mostly, because they are also the main amps for my other stompbox pedalboard. I have lately been loving the DT25 combo stacked on top of a DT25 extension cab. I did have to spend some time with the MIDI rig to reprogram the default / standalone models on the DT25. 

 

In general, for alternate DT amp models in 'standalone' mode I LOVE the three SLO amp models, especially the crunch and lead. I also switched off the 'boost' in all the standalone models, and changed up the default mic model. It took me a while to realize the mic model set in the HD500 was not impacting the XLR out from the DT. That mic setting can be changed via MIDI though, so I am thinking with the Helix, and some MIDI cables, the functionality of the Link to DT could potentially be even more robust than it is now, albeit with a bit of a workaround. But not needing to rely on the DT XLR out for the main mix send means you can also still send the DT XLR to the mix, and pair it with the Helix XLR outs. Maybe even using the DT for your 'dry' amp signal.

 

One thing I really want someone who has access to a Helix (hint, hint L6!!!!) is to run the Helix to the DT, except with no cab / mic modeling. Then send that amp / preamp only model back to the Helix, XLR in, and run that signal through a Helix cab+mic simulation.

 

Is this even possible? No clue, but I wanna try it :)

 

But, for sure, am keeping the HD500x. I do like being able to do the wet/dry/wet stuff, and stereo. I like to do a 4x12 thing, with the two extension cabs under the two combos, but send the right combo speaker out to the lower left cab, and left combo to the right cab. Makes a nice 'X' pattern stereo sound. Diggin' it.

 

I've said it elsewhere, but I want to reiterate - defining a DT25 amp model to 'no amp' works WONDERS when using a JTV / Variax for acoustic and reso models. The master volume still works - the channel and gain, eq do nothing. It's a direct tap to the power amp. The trick is, the topology, pentode-triode, and class A/B settings DO make a difference.

 

I configured A-I and B-I to 'no amp', and changed up the power settings slightly between the two, and A/B compared them until I had two decent JTV acoustic reso tones. When using with the Link to HD500/x, just define no amp mdoel in your HD500 preset as well, and make sure you are on the DT channel with no amp model. This removes the preamp portion of the signal. And in general, it's actually louder than adjacent channels WITH preamps - except for preamps for high gain amps, or with the 'boost' setting ON.

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I go away for  a week from my PC and come back and all hell has broken loose! 

 

Line 6 is swinging for the fences, so to speak. And about time, too. After seeing the Helix intro video on Line 6 home page and the Sweetwater demo vid I was impressed. A power switch, multiple effects loops, multiple expression pedals, a much bigger edit screen, DUAL DSP CHIPS fer chrissakes!! I looked at my Pod HD 500x and said " nice knowing you". 

 

Now that I've taken a breath or two my skeptical mind kicks in . . . hmm . . will the dsp chips go cripple after the first couple of software upgrades ala the Pod HD 500 and drive me nuts? Will the roll out be plagued by a cascade of snafus? Will the joystick ( a great idea btw) snap off after a couple of pushes? The mind boggles at the possibilities.

 

My hope is that none of this will come to pass. I've always been impressed with Line 6's ideas, loved my old Vetta II, hated the Pod HD 500 sans X, and like the 500x much better. I somehow got the feeling that the tech folks were insane geniuses and then sent their ideas to the budget bean counters and thats where all those great ideas went to die, get snipped, scaled back, or outright embalmed. That doesn't seem to be the case this time.

 

In the case of the Helix, I bow to your boldness.

 

now let's see if it will fly . . . 

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I own an Axe FX II so its been many years since I've looked at Line 6, or any other companies kit (I justified the purchase by telling myself I would never need to buy another fx unit or amp), yet after stumbling across the Helix, here I am reading up about it, feeling slight pangs of that old illness I thought the Axe had banished - G.A.S

 

Is the Axe amazing? Yes.  Is it perfect? For some, probably, but for me, no.  Not that it has problems, but for how I use it, there are some things I wish were done differently, or in a different way, and I was really struck by the Helix video - Pretty much every little niggle I'd change on the Axe is addressed by the Helix, its like Line 6 custom designed it to my exact wish list.

 

The Helix's feature set and philosophy is more aligned to my use though - Its all in one unit, no separate controller, scribble strip LCD's on switches, built in expression pedal, multi coloured footswitches, large LCD, multiple quick editing functions, dont have to take your hands off the guitar, XLR mic in, multiple fx loops, and the icing on the cake that grabbed me (and a smart move to start a video with a feature not present in the Axe FX), a good univibe model.

 

The Axe is insanely powerful, but that naturally means its also very, very complex.  I've owned one for 18 months and I'm still learning it.  To get the most from it takes time, as its really not plug and play - As someone posted, often the Axe feels more like work than fun, but then again, it is a professional grade tool, so its meant to - you sure as hell don't read the quick start guide and chuck the manual away. 

 

If the Helix can even get into roughly the same ballpark as the Axe in terms of tone, I'd potentially sell my Axe for a Helix.  But thats the six million dollar question though - As was posted, its ALL in the DSP code, and the Axe is so good because the guy who invented it is the Jimi Hendrix of DSP programming.  If the Helix can at least do passable cover versions though, then its feature set looks enough to temp this Axe owner into switching.

 

Oh, and another big plus would be Strymon, Lexicon, TC type effect as tweakable patches - The Axe will do all that, but you effectively have to program it all from scratch, so quick and easy access to lush ambient delays and reverbs would be another sterong plus for the Helix

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There is no denying to be able to see what you are doing is a huge improvement. Imagine if the Axe had that large multi colored screen? It would transform it and not be such a chore to program.

 

The Helix no doubt will sound better. I read in the FAQ that there wont be any headroom issue so that means the O/S must be 32bit floating point. The converters might also be better so even using the same amp modelling on it would reveal better detail.

 

I am only guessing but it is also stated that the Helix modelling is from the ground up so the improvement is not going to be subtle.

 

It should be the best sounding modeler by all accounts.

 

The ease of use without bending down will win it a lot of friends

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It should be the best sounding modeler by all accounts.

 

 

BEST?!  If you are truly comparing to all professional level systems (i.e., Axe FX)  I would suggest your enthusiasm has infected your hyperbole  ; )

 

 

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i have kind of made my mind up with helix, being just a beginer, i have been going through the stage of buying different amps, effects and guitars, i have decided for my needs i dont really need any of my amps, the HD500 is more than good enough for what i need although i will be upgrading to the Helix.

 

so i am going to sell the 5 guitar Amps i own and the HD500 to help fund the Helix when it's here in England.

 

It is nice to have an a bunch of real guitar Amps to play around with, although i dont really need one let alone five lol im starting to see the HD500 or the soon to be released Helix will do just fine.

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It should be the best sounding modeler by all accounts.

 

 

BEST?!  If you are truly comparing to all professional level systems (i.e., Axe FX)  I would suggest your enthusiasm has infected your hyperbole  ; )

 

 

 

Not biased, but professional means the one that can get you money with, even a pod 2.0 is professional unit. Best sounding can be even pod 2.0 Axe fx is the most authentic sounding unit for recording, compared to the real amps. Different meaning for each word.

It can be the best sounding unit, not the most authentic, though.

And we still not heard it as a plain amp, or vs a true amp.

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