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josephyballew

Will new firmware bring new effects and amps at no cost?

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The great thing about Axe FX and Kemper is that all firmware is free with new improvements, amps and effects at no cost. These units five years ago, you can still get the latest firmware. When they do come out with a new unit, it will have more memory and stuff like that.  I can understand paying for models and new effects with a $500 unit, but  not a $1500 dollar unit. If I spend $1500 for this unit, I don't want to be charged for more amps and effects. I have watched every video on the Helix. It has strengths and weakness points. To me Helix wins hands down on Stomp Boxes, expecially The Univibe.  Helix wins again at ease of programming. I am waiting for the unit to come out and so a head to head on amp models. I would say that everything is close on amp models. Axe FX I think has the edge on digital effects, the amount of effect, and the amount of amp models. All my favorite amps are in the Axe FX. The last thing is Tone Matching. Tone matching is nothing but a spectrum analyzer looking at the eq of your desired tone, then looking at the tone you have, then matching it eq wise. That is not rocket science. One effect that I love on the Axe FX is the Multi-delay. Talking about atmospheric tone. With all this being said, I think Helix can surpass it two biggest competitors once they catch up with quantity of amp models and effects. I know that it is a new unit and it will take a year to catch up.Helix is on the floor, better interface, to die for analog stomp boxes, and easy to program. Please don't take the route of making customers pay for updates with new models, effects, and fixes.

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This came up before here, and I said the same thing when it did - Line 6 has never made people pay for updates. They have charged for model packs before, though. Even though they have had model packs, they have also had a lot of free updates that added new amps and effects as well.

 

Personally, I'm not too worried about the total quantity of amp models. I just want the models they provide to be the best they can be. As far as the total number goes, it's not really fair to compare what the Kemper does to the Helix. Theoretically, there is no limit to how many Kemper profiles there can be. Any amp can be profiled by any user. It's a different paradigm than modeling.

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True, but he did mention the Axe FX which is on the same playing field as Helix. By stepping into 'the big boys' arena, Line 6 has set themselves up to a similar update scheme as the other two. I'm not saying they need to release an update every week, but they definitely need to step their game up on the updates side just like they did with the hardware and software. It's not like there's a lack of feature requests over at the Idea Scale either, so the potential for new content is definitely there.

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I'm confident there will be updates, but Fractal is Fractal and Line 6 is Line 6. They have much different philosophies. I think anyone buying a product from a company the size of Line 6 and expecting them to behave like a small boutique company is a bit misguided. I do think they realize of continually supporting the platform, and I expect that. I just think the range of users that Line 6 has to deal with is a lot different than a company like Fractal does. I expect that they will be much more intentional and focused in their updates. With Fractal, it seems that Cliff will release updates just because the mood strikes him.

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As long as Line 6 doesn't take 6 months to a year to release an update, I'm OK with that. Like I said, there's a lot of feature requests in the Helix Idea Scale. At this price point I do expect better support than they did with the HD500, for sure!

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At a $1500 price point and only 45 amp models with none of my favorite amps, I would expect to get new amps free with new firmware.

 

My favorite amps are Friedman HBE 100

                                  Bogner Estacy all channels

                                  Diezel H4

                                  Mesa MK5 all channels and switches

 

It might take buying several amp packs to get my favorites later on, provided you even model them.

 

I think I understand. You only have 45 amps to Axe FX 200 or so amps. You are trying to play catch up on Amps and you chose a price point 60 percent of what an Axe FX is. By the time you pay for add ons, it will cost what an Axe FX does. It will take you years to do 200 amps and then want to charge for them. By the time you catch up, this unit will be obsolete. Buy an Axe FX and it is only outdated when you want more DSP Power. All their updates are free. I think you guys are taking the wrong approach. It is cheaper to pay $2500 and always doing updates free. Every five years or so big DSP jumps are made and then you will have to upgrade. So what happens when you come out with Helix 2 and better models? Will you be able to update your Helix with Helix 2 models? I don't want to buy something that is going to be obsolete in 3 years when you come out with a new model. I can understand updating DSP, but once you get into this price range, you will lose a lot of Customers if Helix can not get Helix 2 sounds and effects. All of us get it with the $500 HD 500X. Every three year a new unit that makes the old unit not forward compatible. You guys really need to think this one out.

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they aren't promising any updates or any length of time....

i'm confident there will be updates....

but those kinds of expectations will eventually disappoint you...

they actually did very well with updates on the hd500....

but there is a big difference from when it was new... 5 years ago....

and now... when it's 5 years old and clearly they've been working on the next thing....

i suspect the Helix will follow a similar arc...

but to start with... Helix addressed the vast majority of hd500 requests...

so i imagine they will be free to work on more fun stuff.

 

 

As long as Line 6 doesn't take 6 months to a year to release an update, I'm OK with that. Like I said, there's a lot of feature requests in the Helix Idea Scale. At this price point I do expect better support than they did with the HD500, for sure!

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200 amps in my mind is totally unnecessary, and I suspect there's gamesmanship and insignificant difference in many. But in any case, especially for anyone other than a bedroom twiddler, time would be best spent getting the tone that matters out of a few select amps. YMMV

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Also, DI is on record elsewhere as not liking nickel and diming, but if I were Line 6 I wouldn't commit publicly either, until I was darn sure of my strategy, Dev costs, and product demand. I suspect you'll see most if not all enhancements free. To your point, the competition has established a precedent as well.

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200 amps in my mind is totally unnecessary, and I suspect there's gamesmanship and insignificant difference in many. But in any case, especially for anyone other than a bedroom twiddler, time would be best spent getting the tone that matters out of a few select amps. YMMV

Amen. If I had 200 tube amps in a warehouse somewhere, 197 of them would collect dust. Choice is nice, but eventually you reach a point of diminishing returns. How much time are you really gonna spend tweaking?

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I think  some of you guys are not understanding why a lot of people like more amps.  It's because it has a better chance of having amps that we will like.  Axe FX has so many amps that it has just about all the amps that I like and want to play. 

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I think  some of you guys are not understanding why a lot of people like more amps.  It's because it has a better chance of having amps that we will like.  Axe FX has so many amps that it has just about all the amps that I like and want to play. 

 

If you need a selection of 200 amps to find one you like, maybe you have other issues...

giphy.gif

 

:D

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Well I should have said favorite and not like.  I like the 5150 and Dual rec but there are some amps I like more like the EVH5150III, Triple Rec, Engl Invader and Diezel VH4.  It's also nice to have more amps to try out to find your dream tone.  There are only a handful of modern high gain amps in the Helix right now.

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Well I should have said favorite and not like.  I like the 5150 and Dual rec but there are some amps I like more like the EVH5150III, Triple Rec, Engl Invader and Diezel VH4.  It's also nice to have more amps to try out to find your dream tone.  There are only a handful of modern high gain amps in the Helix right now.

 

I fully agree.  The Diezel is probably the most requested amp on Ideascale.  5150 is played out for me, but I understand why a lot of people want it.  I've actually done fairly well on cobbing together my own models of the Triple Rec.

 

I would be very interested in seeing somebody do a side-by-side comparison of the models on the HD series vs. the Helix.  

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another thing to remember is Helix can load user IR's... That alone is going to expand the tonal range exponentially.  No longer are we limited to a small range of tones from a given amp.  I think the45 amps in Helix combined with the new capabilities will let you find whatever tone you are looking for.

 

That said, I still would LOVE a Friedman amp and cab pack, just because...   ;) 

 

http://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Friedman-Amp-Pack/754564-23508

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Everybody keeps trying to compare the Helix and the AxeFx. The AxeFx is still twice as expensive as the Helix. The AxeFx and foot controller cost $3000.00, the Helix is $1500.00. Even without the foot controller the Axe Fx is still 50% higher than the Helix. If line6 charges for new amp models, I'd be willing to bet that it's going to cost a lot less than $750.00, keeping it well below the price of the AxeFx.

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Everybody keeps trying to compare the Helix and the AxeFx. The AxeFx is still twice as expensive as the Helix. The AxeFx and foot controller cost $3000.00, the Helix is $1500.00. Even without the foot controller the Axe Fx is still 50% higher than the Helix. If line6 charges for new amp models, I'd be willing to bet that it's going to cost a lot less than $750.00, keeping it well below the price of the AxeFx.

I have to agree with you. This is not your Pod. I understand this is more than the HD and I understand that many can't afford this. But this is not a POD HD. It is designed for the professional marker but is still at a price point some of us can afford. If this turns out as sweet as it seems I won't mind shelling out more an amp pack if it has something I want. They can't put in every boutique amp on the market either.

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I don't understand this discussion. I would not buy a 1500 Euro product, if I don't like the sounds it can produce without any updates. So, try it out, buy it or not. We can not just hope Line 6 will give us the amps we are missing. For me this is like buying a new car and expecting to get a reload of gas every three months...

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The great thing about Axe FX and Kemper is that all firmware is free with new improvements, amps and effects at no cost. These units five years ago, you can still get the latest firmware.

 

 

Not really true. The AxeFX is no longer supported. Fractal upgraded their hardware to the AxeFX2 in May 2011. They have since released the XL and XL+, but who knows how long they will support the AxeFX2. So far, 4.5 years. However, your point about not charging for updates during the life of the hardware platform is valid.

 

I own an AxeFX2. Good for metal. Not so good for non-metal. A lot of their amps sound very similar, and I struggle to get a non-metal tone that blows my mind. I also hate both the physical interface on the unit, and the AxeFX Editor. Not at all intuitive, and reminiscent of 1980s designs. I want to play guitar, not battle interfaces. HELIX looks modern by comparison.

 

I will be buying a HELIX at some point, but it seems a little under-cooked right now for me. I have no doubt L6 will be adding more effects and amps, and will be looking at it again once they do that. Personally, I buy for what they have at the time, not for what they might have. I am OK with them charging for new amps/effects (but not bug-fixes). Whether they do or not, I will base my purchase on what is currently on offer, and at what cost-price, and whether I want it for that price now. I would prefer they charge me for upgrades, than make me buy a whole new unit just to cover their development costs. They are a business after all.

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I own an AxeFX2. Good for metal. Not so good for non-metal. A lot of their amps sound very similar, and I struggle to get a non-metal tone that blows my mind. I also hate both the physical interface on the unit, and the AxeFX Editor. Not at all intuitive, and reminiscent of 1980s designs. I want to play guitar, not battle interfaces. HELIX looks modern by comparison.

 

 

Interesting. I also own the Axe FX 2 and am running the current FW. I dont play metal and I find a wide choice of amps and cabs that work with my style of music. Whether I build them from scratch in Axe Edit (which I find to be a great, intuitive tool) or use some clean/dirty presets from creative owners like Yek. Recent updates have really enhanced the tones Im getting from the box.

 

It sounds like the Helix might be more to your liking.

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Interesting. I also own the Axe FX 2 and am running the current FW. I dont play metal and I find a wide choice of amps and cabs that work with my style of music. Whether I build them from scratch in Axe Edit (which I find to be a great, intuitive tool) or use some clean/dirty presets from creative owners like Yek. Recent updates have really enhanced the tones Im getting from the box.

 

It sounds like the Helix might be more to your liking.

 

There's enough clean amps and effects in the AxeFX2. I just can't get them to sound good. I know it's a cliche, but they always sounds like they have digital artifacts to my ears. I always found the same thing with Boss pedals for some reason. YMMV. I've been overseas for the last year, so I haven't tried the latest Axe firmware. Maybe it's all there for me now when I get back home. :)

 

I hope the Helix is more for me, but not quite yet. Needs a few more effects in particular in there before I'll be buying. Looking forward to hearing what people have to say though once they get their hands on it.

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200 amps in my mind is totally unnecessary, and I suspect there's gamesmanship and insignificant difference in many. But in any case, especially for anyone other than a bedroom twiddler, time would be best spent getting the tone that matters out of a few select amps. YMMV

I agree with not needing 200 amps. The problem is the 5 or 6 amps that I really want is not in there. I am also sure most want different amps than me. That is probably why the Axe FX has 200. I have been playing professionally for a real long time and do not like sounding the same on every song. I use to be a tube purist, but you have 3 fantastic sounds and locked into that. Modelling is almost equal with the latest technologies. 

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Everybody keeps trying to compare the Helix and the AxeFx. The AxeFx is still twice as expensive as the Helix. The AxeFx and foot controller cost $3000.00, the Helix is $1500.00. Even without the foot controller the Axe Fx is still 50% higher than the Helix. If line6 charges for new amp models, I'd be willing to bet that it's going to cost a lot less than $750.00, keeping it well below the price of the AxeFx.

I try to do the math on everything

 

45 amps verses 200  200/45 =4.44      

no tone matching, scenes, xy change, custom scales on harmonizer

more real estate on controller, Axe FX appears to have better digital effects.

 

Here is where the Helix wins with me

The interface, ease of programming, Helix has better analog stomp boxes by far.

The clean sounds are good. Do not care for the Plexi. That would go to Friedman HBE model.

I use to have a 50 watt Marshal Plexi and it was to die for. Not the tone in the Helix on the video.

I really like the Engel amp model, but only got to hear solos. Don't know what chords would sound like

The last video Paul did he played every sound in Drop D. I play one song a night in drop D.

What users want with demos is not talking and go through all amp models and effects in standard key.

 

I ordered the Helix and cancelled my order because of unknowns and I have not played through one yet.

To me The Engel is the only modern high gain amp so far.

This unit has a lot of potential, but from what I have seen so far is only worth $800-$1000 with you having to pay for add-ons when compared to Axe FX.

I could be way wrong. I may play through one and freak out.

When they come out with Helix 2, I would bet you won't be able to get the tones back into Helix.

One thing I like about Kurzweil Keyboards is that you can load any sounds from or to prior keyboard.

Helix has a lot of memory and this should never happen for many years.

I would be really pissed to get a Helix  and never get the amps I want and then Helix 2 come out and they are there but you can't put them in Helix.

Memory was an issue before but with this unit would alienate a lot of customers to not be able to get Helix 2 sounds in Helix.

The bottom line, I will wait until the unit comes out and go to Guitar Center and see first hand. 

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I know DI says he doesn't believe in nickel and diming, but that's exactly what I'd like to see. Not in the sense of ripping people off,but of Line 6 knowing they can allocate a man-month to model a new amp (which, all in, probably costs them close on $10k) knowing they can recoup the costs. Sure, I'd love my new Helix to give me everything for nothing. But I'm an adult and know that they've got mouths to feed, too. If users being willing to pay makes Line 6 more likely to produce cool new stuff I'm all for it.

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I agree with you Agbiggs, except that a lot of people will not agree with it only because of the precedence (of free updates) that Fractal and Kemper have established in recent years. If they charge for new amp models, Line 6 risks the potential of not attracting new customers. So free updates could be thought of as a way to get people into buying Helix.

 

Having said that, I personally wouldn't mind a small charge if it includes amps and effects that I want, given the lower price point of Helix. It also depends on how frequent they update and improve Helix. So far, it seems they are on the right track, given the update they just released.

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I would rather see Line 6 release a developers kit to Third Party sources to develop amp and even effects models.Yes we would have to pay for the but I think this would get people all the boutiques they want faster.

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I have the Helix since Friday....

 

Compare to real amps that I have used (Fender, Marshall JCM and Orange), its very close. The biggest diff is I use L2T so I get the mic sound. I don't need amp in the room sound. But if you decide Helix is not as good as others for whatever reason already, you probbaly won't like it even it sounds the same side by side. To me... it sounds very similar to Axe FX2 (with my little experience ). There are so many very bad recordings of axe fx on youtube too.

 

With its smart routing.. you probbaly won't run into DSP problems unless... unless.... u need  2 complete  separate  routings with some very heavy demand effects such as pitch shift and spring 63 reverb on both routes.

 

I am able to create some very complicated U2 sounds with plenty of DSP power left.

 

For me, the selection of amps and pedals are enough as I  have the tools to shape the sound to replace the missing pedals or amps... getting close I imagine. But afterall, the ability to edit your patch on stage  is a dream. I have used almost all multi effects units in the past few yrs. .(returned, sold, borrowed..)....none can be compared to Helix in terms "total stage control". I can edit the stomp boxes even standing up...

 

But if you are one of the those that needs an amp not included in Helix  and can't live without it.. buy something else. Its quite simple... 

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I think that Fractal has done an astounding job at keeping us Axefx users stockpiled with free IRs and constant updates. That machine has truly changed the way I gig, work doing sessions, and teach guitar. Fractal is the very top of the mark. It is completely untrue that it is best for metal but not for other styles. That's just ridiculous... The Axefx is a tweakers wet dream. If you're not interested in diving into a heavy parameter field then you might want to look elsewhere.

Comparing the Axefx to a device that hasn't even hit the street is also laughable. Really? You've TopTenListed it with other devices, compared it to benchmark, almost decade long existence and it hasn't even shipped yet? Wow. Look, getting into this new device is exciting for me too. Truthfully I think line6 gear has yet to compare even a LITTLE bit to fractal. Historically it has had good intentions but never went the whole way. I do think that the POD had a massive effect on recording, th hd500 certainly has impressed a few guys I know and respect But tue Helix looks like it changes things... Line6 might've just caught up a bit. For me personally the size of the device, not needing a rack, the aluminum construction, and a fearsome display is enough for me to buy one and hope it works out for my tastes and needs. I am pretty confident it will. But watching a handful of videos isn't the evidence I require. So I'm not going to compare and make judgements with this thing to any device just yet. I figured I should probably actually play one first!

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So I'm not going to compare and make judgements with this thing to any device just yet. I figured I should probably actually play one first!

You mean you actually want real world, first hand experience with the unit before forming an opinion? You're not content with guesswork, wishful thinking, and wild conjecture? Clearly you've come to the wrong place...;)

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You mean you actually want real world, first hand experience with the unit before forming an opinion? You're not content with guesswork, wishful thinking, and wild conjecture? Clearly you've come to the wrong place... ;)

 

No that would be the TGP monster thread...  :)

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