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We didn't stop until blind A/B tests could fool our own employees.


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Digital_Igloo, on 15 Jun 2015 - 1:57 PM, said:snapback.png

We didn't stop until blind A/B tests could fool our own employees.

 

It would be a ballsy move on the part of Line6 if they posted A/B tests of the actual amps and effects up against the Helix. No proper names of the modeled equipment would be required. We can figure it out.

 

I would like hearing direct comparisons between the HD and HX amps and effects as well for those that are in common to both. 

 

Maybe use a looper and pump the same riffs through each unit.

 

While the internet won't give us a true example of the tones (internet file compression and different user's sound systems), it will give us a reasonable comparison.

 

Please use Fenders and Gibsons in addition to JTVs.

 

I did not pre-order the Helix for two reasons:

  1. Not retaining the goodness of multiple DT control over L6 Link only
  2. Not hearing examples of the tones of the new HX architecture

If not, I can wait. I just don't want to.  :P

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Direct comparisons between HD and HX would be most welcome, as long as the settings between the two are as close as possible, and the same riff played, by the same person, for each sample. When the settings would eventually be revealed, reveal every detail. And no externally sourced IRs.
 
But I doubt very much Line 6 would do this. I just can't see it. Why would they publicly downplay one of their own products? But someone who will eventually have both devices would likely do something like this.
 
On the off chance they would do this, please don't forget about Ibanez guitars. In fact, forget the Fenders, Gibsons, and JTVs. Just use Ibanez. Just kidding, of course.
 
I thought about pre-ordering too, but am holding back. Mostly because of the effects list. It's missing some critical things for me. While there's no doubt for me that, tonewise, the HX will sound better than the HD, it's just a matter of how much. Since the amps packs for the HD series are just a taste of what the HX might be like, that's enough for me because I was quite impressed with most of the stuff in there.

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I just think the feature list, the routing options, the dual processors, along with the new modeling which I have no doubt exceeds the POD is worth it.  I have wanted to go full FRFR for a while now but couldn't let the DT go.  This convinced me.  I will keep the 500 as a backup until I am absolutely certain but I already know how that will work out...  Helix is my new Dream Rig...  No way do they go to all this trouble for no audible improvement.  Remember the doubters when the HD was announced?  Well, was it an improvement? I can't wait...

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Why would they publicly downplay one of their own products?

 

Done properly, it wouldn't come across as "Look how much the HD sucks compared to the HX". We all know several people will do it anyway after the Helix hits the market place. If Line6 does it, they have control of how it's done first.

 

Companies make different products for different customers based on their wants, needs and the prices they can afford. Do you want to drive a Chevette or a Corvette? They both get you where you are going. Some can afford either, but that does not dictate which they will buy.

 

Comparing an HD to an HX would be like comparing a Gibson Studio to a Gibson Custom. They can both be great sounding guitars but one is simply at a different Standard than the other (ha). I think everyone understands you pay a premium for a higher quality, better sounding product. 

 

I am very happy with my HD500X and the DT amps I have. I think they sound great together, or separately. I will not be selling any of them if I buy a Helix.

 

In all fairness, after re-reading his posts, DI did say "We'll be releasing multiple videos over the next couple of months that should get deeper into the minutia." I should have included that and I just need to be patient. Dang, I hate the wait!

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IF the HX modelling was noticeably better there would or soon will be A/B clips demonstrating it.

 

I can tell already the quality is there in the demo's so far. The playing also helps too but I can hear more detail. What I don't know is what the recording chain is.

 

Like any exponential curve , getting to the next level requires 2 or 3 times the processing power to equate more then an incremental increase.

 

The detail of the clips to me is is generous 3-5% improvement.

 

Most HD users will hear the difference.

 

ABing is  perfectly valid so long as the testing has no variables apart from the units.

 

Sweetwater may also make improvements over past L6 gear demos in production.

DSD recording thru better than in the past equipment.

 

Who knows!

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A 3-5% improvement is not generous. Add a zero to the right of each number and now we're talking. Personally, at least from the clips I've heard so far, the sound improvement over the POD HD500 is VERY noticeable. If the rest of the amps display the same level of detail, I would even venture to say that Helix will be aurally comparable to an Axe FX II. Obviously, this is just speculation since we don't have much to go by just yet. But I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case. Looking forward to the comparison!

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Pop the popcorn, order a pizza . . this is gonna be a little while longer. Probably end of July/August at the earliest. Yes, Helix looks great, a bit like the Axe FX Edit, the extra effects loops, expression pedal options, on the fly editing , dual dsp chips ( hopefully strong ones that won't collapse after a few firmware upgrades). Helix could be the answer to what I've been hoping from Line 6 for a long time now: The Vetta III ( minus the speaker cab). I think the only thing that would keep me from buying this would be if Roland does a  new version of the VG 99. But then, they would be killer combined together  :)

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I don't really know how you would assign a number when it comes to perceived quality of the amp models. I always figure if a sound works for the song like you need it to, then it's a good sound. The thing that's more important to me is how easily I can get those sounds and how does it fit in with the way I work. The thing that sets the Helix apart for me is the UI. When I got it, I started using it and setting tones up before ever looking at a manual. I'd say I was able to understand 90-95% of the functionality without ever seeing one. There were a few things as far as settings that the manual pointed out that were less intuitive, but the major things are all very easy to grasp. That's what makes me excited. The thing I've always liked about Line 6 is that they make multi-FX units for people who don't like multi-FX, and this tapping into that tradition.

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It is easy Phil. Since you heard it more than us (I believe you was a beta) you can at least please tell us how close is to the sound of pod HD? Let's say that the pod HD was 80% better than the X3, the Helix is ? to HD.

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I remember reading somewhere, in some thread, it was likely in this forum, that the way the expansion packs for the PODs were modeled was based on the way the modeling was done in the Helix. Kind of a Helix model ported to the PODs. So if that's true, is the model packs for the PODs a slight approximation of how the Helix models might sound in comparison to the older POD amps?

 

I know I was pleasantly surprised at how good the amps in the model packs, particularly the 5150 and bass amps, are compared to the older ones. A definite difference to my ears. If I had to put a subjective number on this, I would say the models prior to the model packs are ~10% less quality. So I'll take a guess and say the modeling in an actual Helix might be ~20% better quality than a POD?

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I don't really know how you would assign a number when it comes to perceived quality of the amp models. I always figure if a sound works for the song like you need it to, then it's a good sound. The thing that's more important to me is how easily I can get those sounds and how does it fit in with the way I work. The thing that sets the Helix apart for me is the UI. When I got it, I started using it and setting tones up before ever looking at a manual. I'd say I was able to understand 90-95% of the functionality without ever seeing one. There were a few things as far as settings that the manual pointed out that were less intuitive, but the major things are all very easy to grasp. That's what makes me excited. The thing I've always liked about Line 6 is that they make multi-FX units for people who don't like multi-FX, and this tapping into that tradition.

 

It is easy Phil. Since you heard it more than us (I believe you was a beta) you can at least please tell us how close is to the sound of pod HD? Let's say that the pod HD was 80% better than the X3, the Helix is ? to HD.

 

I could be way off base, but the way I read his post, I believe he has already told you.

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I could be way off base, but the way I read his post, I believe he has already told you.

 

I think you're reading too much into that. I'm not saying there's no audible difference. I think there is. It seems easier to get the tones I want out of Helix, but what I'm saying is that assigning a quantitative measure to a qualitative assessment seems rather pointless. What does it even mean to say something like, "this amp sound is 30% better than this one". Does it mean 30% more people will like it? Does it mean it's 30% better in terms of realism? I think that's one reason manufacturers don't go down the road of doing these comparisons.

 

The one thing I will say that makes a big difference in Helix is having dedicated high and low pass filters for every cab model. I find that's a big help for getting a great sound out of the gate.

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I think you're reading too much into that. I'm not saying there's no audible difference. I think there is. It seems easier to get the tones I want out of Helix, but what I'm saying is that assigning a quantitative measure to a qualitative assessment seems rather pointless. What does it even mean to say something like, "this amp sound is 30% better than this one". Does it mean 30% more people will like it? Does it mean it's 30% better in terms of realism? I think that's one reason manufacturers don't go down the road of doing these comparisons.

 

The one thing I will say that makes a big difference in Helix is having dedicated high and low pass filters for every cab model. I find that's a big help for getting a great sound out of the gate.

 

Thank you for adding what I highlighted in your text above. 

 

I think everyone has been thoroughly impressed with the features provided in the Helix. I believe what many of us want to know is how close the Helix is in terms of realism. A/B tests of the actual amps and effects was the leading request in my original post.

 

I don't doubt that the employees at Line6 are top notch. If they could be fooled by the tonal realism, that should be a proud part of their front line marketing. It would be a bold move for Line6 to lay it out there for the world to hear. Maybe that is what they are working on right now. 

 

Comparing the HX to the HD would show us how much of an improvement has been made in realism. The price difference is substantial. While the functionality is tremendous and certainly value added, it alone might not be enough for potential buyers. 

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I would like to point out that you are focusing on Tone or Sound and ignoring that people like Sean Halley have been saying that it is the Feel that is most improved.

 

I expect that the tests DI refers to had the guitar in the testers hand, listening in studio monitors to the miked real amp or HX model (blind test), and they couldn't work out which was which.

 

We all know that the moment it is released that the internet will be full of Helix v everything else comparisons mostly trying to get that perfect "djent", and mostly of dubious value as the conditions will be different! 

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I would like to point out that you are focusing on Tone or Sound and ignoring that people like Sean Halley have been saying that it is the Feel that is most improved.

 

I expect that the tests DI refers to had the guitar in the testers hand, listening in studio monitors to the miked real amp or HX model (blind test), and they couldn't work out which was which.

 

We all know that the moment it is released that the internet will be full of Helix v everything else comparisons mostly trying to get that perfect "djent", and mostly of dubious value as the conditions will be different! 

Sure mate, but I never used a tube amp before (only a friends buggera for 10 minutes) to know what is the feel. I can't say i miss something that I don't know. 

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A 3-5% improvement is not generous. Add a zero to the right of each number and now we're talking. Personally, at least from the clips I've heard so far, the sound improvement over the POD HD500 is VERY noticeable. If the rest of the amps display the same level of detail, I would even venture to say that Helix will be aurally comparable to an Axe FX II. Obviously, this is just speculation since we don't have much to go by just yet. But I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case. Looking forward to the comparison!

 

I'm sure I'll like the Helix. I get good tones from the 500X, so I'm relatively certain I could get good tones from the Helix. I'd by lying if I said I didn't at least want a test drive...

 

But what does a "3-5% improvement" mean? Or a 30-50% improvement? What units are we measuring in? (I say we call them 'Eric Johnsons'...this amp is 3.147159 EJ's better than that one ;) ).

 

You can't quantify subjectivity. It will be just like everything else. Group A will declare Helix to be the best thing since indoor plumbing, while Group B will say they can't hear enough of a difference to justify the price jump from the POD HD...at which point Group A will tell Group B that their ears suck...and there will be weeping, and the gnashing of teeth, lol.

 

This cheeseburger is 5% better than that one...why? More cheese? Was one prepared by a vestal virgin? Some guys like Coors Light...I'd rather die of thirst.

 

Yes, each generation of modeling improves upon previous iterations...but trying to hang a number on the finished product is utterly meaningless. Maybe its just me...

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Yes you are totally right, it is totally a subjective matter. That percentage was arbitrary.

But there is such a thing as experienced ears. Guys like you who have been around

and have played some of the real amps modeled.

You can hear minute tonal change. After all that is the nature of the ear.

It is not unreal that 1% difference could be noticed by a professional guitarist without ear damage.

This is all arbitrary of course.

 

And thus my conjecture;

The consensus is that the HD models are close to about 90% real in detail compared with the real amp miked and listened over the same monitors in the control room.

Consensus also has the better units like the Axe FX and Kemper Profiler close to 95% there to the real thing when listening over control room monitors.

It is purely arbitrary that the Helix could be as much as 3-5% better than the HD making it as good and HOPEFULLY better than the Axe and Kemper. Unlikely but wishful nonetheless.

 

All will be revealed and none too soon! Even at that with all the improvements in the design hard and soft it is getting my gas hankering

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I think it really boils down to is the 3x cost as compared to the 500(x) going to be worth it...whether sound, ease of use, feel etc...we will all have our own take on what makes it worthwhile...or not.

 

I WANT the Helix to be worth it...being a gear junky and all and fan of Line6 stuff...however, the price point is significantly higher which causes some angst about pulling the trigger. I need to see how it really stacks up (no pun intended).

 

Very excited for this thing to hit the streets...

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Line 6 must know this right? If they launch a product that is 3X the cost of HD500X, then the only way to get their enthusiastic customers* to go for it is if it is better than the HD500X in every meaningful way, let alone to get the higher budget customers of competing products who will demand that it is equal or better than other products they are considering, and that even a single failure will cause no end of grief.  

 

Just look at how they are going on about lack of scenes or preset switching trails on the TGP thread! My view on that is that with 32 blocks, my fairly simple rigs, and the ability to switch 8 values is that I probably have everything I need within a single preset, but I will wait to see how it works in reality before tempting the agnst**.

 

* that would be us because we are enthusiastic enough to come on a support forum for a product not yet available!

 

** that would be the reaction of Mrs Rewolf

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I'm sure I'll like the Helix. I get good tones from the 500X, so I'm relatively certain I could get good tones from the Helix. I'd by lying if I said I didn't at least want a test drive...

 

But what does a "3-5% improvement" mean? Or a 30-50% improvement? What units are we measuring in? (I say we call them 'Eric Johnsons'...this amp is 3.147159 EJ's better than that one ;) ).

 

You can't quantify subjectivity. It will be just like everything else. Group A will declare Helix to be the best thing since indoor plumbing, while Group B will say they can't hear enough of a difference to justify the price jump from the POD HD...at which point Group A will tell Group B that their ears suck...and there will be weeping, and the gnashing of teeth, lol.

 

This cheeseburger is 5% better than that one...why? More cheese? Was one prepared by a vestal virgin? Some guys like Coors Light...I'd rather die of thirst.

 

Yes, each generation of modeling improves upon previous iterations...but trying to hang a number on the finished product is utterly meaningless. Maybe its just me...

I think you also read too much into my comment. All I was saying is that 3-5% is hardly generous. A generous (key word, "generous") change in tone, or what have you, would be more like 30-50%. That's all. No need to write an essay on it :-).

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And where in the heck are you going to find a professional rock guitarist without ear damage?

 

Haha! I was just thinking about that when he said it. And it's not just Rock. Have you played with an 11 piece Latin band, with horns blasting right behind you? Ooh, joy!

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I expect that the tests DI refers to had the guitar in the testers hand, listening in studio monitors to the miked real amp or HX model (blind test), and they couldn't work out which was which.

 

Oh, people would claim to work out which is which—but most of the time, around half of 'em were wrong.

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"This new amp is way better than my old amp 'cuz I can turn it up to 11 so that's, like, 1 more!"

 

That's what the '% improvement' discussion reminds me of.

 

Sssshh - it is a little known secret, but not all Line 6 users are Rock guitarists  :ph34r:

 

and its its only a small percentage that are professional

 

I can only infer the intent of these posts, but I will presume they were not meant to be condescending. I do not want to see this thread take the low road.

 

I agree that "percent improvement" would be difficult to impossible to quantify across the board. To each their own. That is why I requested A/B comparisons and not percentages. 

 

I don't know the percentage of professional, gigging musicians versus the at home hobbyist. The bottom line is we all hand over our money, whether it be for our tools or our toys, regardless of how that money was earned. 

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I apologise if my humour didn't come across - it can be a bit dry and that is by British standards.  

 

I am certainly more Rock than anything else, have some hearing damage (mainly to the right ear which might be down to driving long distances at high speed in pre Air Con days with the drivers window down because I didn't have power windows either), oh and I am very amateur indeed.

 

I think what happened with these posts is that the quality of a simulation is very difficult to quantify - as others have said, and without being able to quantify it in the first place to have a relative value between them is impossible; to say one is relatively better than the other in this aspect or other - yes, to say 8% better would be just like politician's statistics... whoops there I go again  :P

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I apologise if my humour didn't come across - it can be a bit dry and that is by British standards.  

 

I am certainly more Rock than anything else, have some hearing damage (mainly to the right ear which might be down to driving long distances at high speed in pre Air Con days with the drivers window down because I didn't have power windows either), oh and I am very amateur indeed.

 

I think what happened with these posts is that the quality of a simulation is very difficult to quantify - as others have said, and without being able to quantify it in the first place to have a relative value between them is impossible; to say one is relatively better than the other in this aspect or other - yes, to say 8% better would be just like politician's statistics... whoops there I go again  :P

 

Thank you for the post. I agree "100%". (Oh no, it's rubbing off on me!)

 

We will all hear the comparisons eventually. I really like my Line6 equipment and Line6 as a company. I would love to see them grab the bull by the horns and be the first to knock the socks off of our ears in terms of tone. I believe they have already impressed many with the UI and routing aspects so far. With 2.45 times the processing power and their code writing skills to squeeze the most out of the available DSP, I would be surprised if we were not truly impressed with the realism. I just wanted to hear more on June 11th by the folks who know the Helix better than anyone else.

 

Sorry about your hearing. My hearing is not what it used to be either. It is not fun getting older. I find myself having to ask others to repeat themselves more than I ever did before. 
 
Some may not agree with me, but I think Paul Hindmarsh's Sean Halley's tone using the U-vibe in the demo video sounded great. I just want to hear more.
 
P.S. - Doesn't everyone wear socks on their ears when it's cold out?
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Thank you for the post. I agree "100%". (Oh no, it's rubbing off on me!)

 

We will all hear the comparisons eventually. I really like my Line6 equipment and Line6 as a company. I would love to see them grab the bull by the horns and be the first to knock the socks off of our ears in terms of tone. I believe they have already impressed many with the UI and routing aspects so far. With 2.45 times the processing power and their code writing skills to squeeze the most out of the available DSP, I would be surprised if we were not truly impressed with the realism. I just wanted to hear more on June 11th by the folks who know the Helix better than anyone else.

 

Sorry about your hearing. My hearing is not what it used to be either. It is not fun getting older. I find myself having to ask others to repeat themselves more than I ever did before. 
 
Some may not agree with me, but I think Paul Hindmarsh's tone using the U-vibe in the demo video sounded great. I just want to hear more.
 
P.S. - Doesn't everyone wear socks on their ears when it's cold out?

 

Still waiting for a Paul Hindmarsh demo, unless you have seen a vid the rest of us haven't. Sean Halley is the guy in the only vids so far other than sweetwaters 'review'. Really looking forward to hearing what Paul can do with this though, his demos are much more playing than talking, unlike what they've shown us so far

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Still waiting for a Paul Hindmarsh demo, unless you have seen a vid the rest of us haven't. Sean Halley is the guy in the only vids so far other than sweetwaters 'review'. Really looking forward to hearing what Paul can do with this though, his demos are much more playing than talking, unlike what they've shown us so far

 

Yes, sorry about that. I meant to say Sean. I would like to hear Paul as well. I will edit my post so as not to confuse anyone.

Cheers

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