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Helix reviews please!

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I've got the Positive Grid stuff on my iPad, as well as Amplitube and a bunch of synthesiser apps.

 

Using the screen to control these things is terrible. Line 6 made a great decision to not go with the iCrowd and start implementing useless gimmicks like touch screens. imho.

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For those who may complain that there are not enough cabs, let me point out that even other modelers that support cab IR's didn't have enough either.  However it doesn't matter because there are plenty of 3rd party cabs out there many of which are more impressive that what comes with the Helix.   Same has been the case with the AXE FX and Kemper and in fact most of those users turn to one of these most popular sites for cab variety and rarely use the stock cabs.    These three below combined offer thousands and thousands of cab IR's, more than you probably know what to do with.

 

http://www.ownhammer.com/

http://www.redwirez.com/

http://www.thecabfactory.com/

 

Do not discount the power of the cab and what you may not realize is that importing of cabs are one of the most powerful features added to the Helix which impacts overall tone.  The most influence on your quality of tone will come from the cab and less from the amps.  Amps will drive some of the tone and most so be more about gain breakup. When you realize this and start trying out 3 party IR's, your going to be blown away with your sound.  

 

I think this should be considered in overall reviews in how these cab IR's can take you to another level with the Helix.    That's my 2 cents.

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Where are the inputs on the back panel for additional control switches. Many multi-effects have this capability.  Given the stellar array of input/output options on the rear panel I was shocked not to find this capability. I know you can use an expression pedal for some of this functionality but it is a nice option to be able to add a couple of switches (often to work the bank changing) so that the existing switches can be employed for other purposes. Did I miss something here?  Do they exist and I just failed to spot them?

 

In regards to this comment, I'm not entirely sure what you were expecting. There are two relays that could conceivably be used to control external effects if they respond to a relay signal, but there really aren't many effects that have that functionality. There's also the CV output, which offers more external control. The most common way to control external effects by far, though, is MIDI, and the Helix offers a ton of function there. With the 4 loops, you could actually create some pretty complex schemes by bringing loops in and out of chains.

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Its still missing acoustic and vocal/mic amp models. Given the Variax and mic inputs, one would expect these amp models on a unit this expensive. I hope they, and a number of new effects models are on their way and we're just seeing the MVP introduction.

 

Once you try using an acoustic IR with an acoustic guitar, I suspect that you might never want to use an acoustic amp model again. It sounds much more realistic than any other treatment I've ever heard.

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Could we please review the sound and quality of the device? There has been nothing but whining about the lack of this or the lack of that and the price compared to an HD since day one. This has been beat to death as is getting very old. I understand your issues and respect your thoughts but let's move on and talk about what is there. There is a section and forum for the requests and wants.

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Yes, some of you guys are holding out on us!

I get the feeling you don't want anyone else to have it.

And you want it all for yourselves. LOL

First impressions?

Pros and Cons.

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Here is my first impression of the Helix, obviously it has only been out a few days so these comments may change or even be moot as Line6 hopefully continues to improve the product with future updates. I have separated my initial observations into three categories, "THE GOOD", "THE BAD", & "THE UGLY":

 

THE GOOD

  1. Seems to be excellent build quality. It is a heavy (heavy in that good solid way) unit and seems like an exceptionally well constructed piece of hardware.
  2. The interface is revolutionary and astounding. The no-hands ability to modify settings on the fly with footswitches and pedals is a game changer. Fantastic idea.  The internal routing options are incredibly flexible and intelligently laid out. The flexibility on footswitch assignations is great.
  3. Several knobs that live on the backs of other units are on the top of this one and very easy to see and manipulate in a live situation.
  4. Back panel has an incredible array of outputs and provides enormous potential and flexibility. This is critical as software/firmware can be changed by updates but you are pretty much stuck with whatever available hardware ships from the factory.
  5. Scribble strips!!!!!! What can you say, just magnificent. First encountered these on the Behringer X32 boards and again they are a game changer. They make the product so much easier to use and so much more informative at a glance.
  6. Different colored customizable lighted rings on footswitches. Again, just fantastic!
  7. Touch sensitive capacitance sensing foot switches that instantly jump you to a screen with the parameters for that amp/pedal. OMG, this makes programming changes from the pedalboard so much easier.
  8. One of my favorite features is the humble Hold/Edit button. This can instantly jump you from a pedalboard view with presets to a pedalboard view with each of your selected preset's pedals(each switch corresponding to a pedal instead of a preset), depending on how you assigned the pedals. This means you can essentially easily toggle on the fly between a preset and individual pedal view and all of the footswitches that correspond. This allows you to potentially toggle them with, up to I believe, 8 footswitches (10?), depending on your configuration. This feature alone is almost worth the price of admission. Pressing the bank switch can allow you to choose a preset and instantly revert back from individual pedal view to preset view. Inspired!
  9. The sounds seems pretty good. Have yet to encounter a multi-effect/modeler that I did not need to tweak to sound good to my ears and be an acceptable replacement for an analog rig.  Time will tell on this account. Don't understand why every manufacturer seems to put out clean presets that sound so anemic. The distorted heavier presets seem to be better straight out of the box.  I am fairly confident I can get this thing to sound amazing. The unit is responsive to volume changes, e.g. cleans up when guitar volume is attenuated but this is no longer such a revolutionary feature, other units can do this as well.
  10. Amazing detail on the amp/cab models with lots of nuance that can be customized, e.g. hum, sag. Nice job on this. Have not had a chance to play with the IR's yet.
  11. The control pedal is heavy duty and seems to have decent travel. Some criticism of this pedal in the "The Bad" section
  12. Lots of control switches with flexible configuration allows this board to be catered to the user. Bottom row preset change, top row pedal stomp; all pedal stomp; all preset stomp; etc.. Very well thought out.
  13. Larger screen although it could still be a bit bigger for maximum visibility.  More on this in the "The BAD" section.
  14. The scribble strip above the control pedal with the default labels of "EXP1" and "EXP2" can be customized to indicate the assigned pedal's function.
  15. This all-in-one box is a high quality modeler and effects pedal board with lots of horsepower and functionality that does not require a separate rackmount and pedalboard or even a separate foot pedal (although apparently the Helix will be available soon as two separate units if you prefer). This one-stop compact solution to my live sound is one of the most compelling features to me in my ongoing efforts to streamline my rig. I have been going direct from my previous multi-effects/modeler to my PA for over two years now and I am sold, I almost never use an amp and pedals any more. With rare exceptions I never bring an amp/cab or FRFR to my gigs. A modeler/multi effects unit makes load in and load out much simpler with less back strain and I have more flexibility, require less tap dancing on my pedals and I don't have nearly as many possible points of failure as with my setup with tube amp, pedals, and cables. Despite all of the virtues of pedalboard direct to PA,  I have never been quite able to hit the warmth, feel, and tonal complexity of my old school analog and tubes rig. I am looking forward to what I think will be a far superior and more consistent sound and user experience with the Helix. Can't wait to get this thing gig ready.

THE BAD

  1. A much better screen than former Line6 multi-effects but the screen is still only a barely adequate size. It still does not compare screen real estate, brightness, or clarity with a decent tablet screen. It seems to be fairly low resolution and not very bright. Maybe I am just spoiled by modern tablet screens. The screen on the Helix is perfectly adequate for programming but not very impressive for live use and I wonder how visible it will be on an outdoor gig.  Additionally the still relatively small size of the screen makes maximal useability and visibility of the home screen and its icons almost impossible.  The home screen is more effective for programming than live use. More on my issues with the icons below.
  2. Wow, here we are in the touch screen era and users are still being forced to move blocks around and similar operations with a combination of button pushing and toggling. Future iterations of the Helix should employ a touch screen. I grant you Line6 made many of these operations as painless as possible with a very well thought out interface but it is still laughable when you compare it to how much easier many operations would be to manage with a touch screen. A touch screen would have made all sorts of operations much faster, more intuitive, and simpler. Although many of the Helix's features are inspired and game changing, in this one respect (no touch screen), it feels like they simply made the best horse and buggy possible. The Helix is an obvious candidate for a touch screen.
  3. Although the build quality seems high I find myself concerned with some of the knobs such as the parameter, "Preset", toggle, "Volume", and "Phones" knobs. It seems like one errant kick of a foot or a clumsy person in the band or audience might easily break them off. Several of the knobs on this unit should have been protected with "fences" from accidental contact from stomp button changes or audience or band members. Either that or changed to less breakable knobs. Am also curious to see how well the toggle switch in particular will hold up over prolonged usage. My recommendation to Line6. Get out a good editor to reduce usage of the toggle and really all buttons. Good editors add ease of use and reduce warranty claims and repairs. With that said the programming ease and conception of the Helix are extremely well executed. Buttons like "Home", "Bypass", "Action" look like they may be particularly vulnerable to moisture. These buttons feel and look great but I wonder how immune to a bit of moisture they are. Some gigs the stage juts out practically into the audience area and I would hate to see this thing die from just a small bit of beer or water spilled on it.
  4. Icons, icons, icons. This is a bit of a preference thing so I almost hesitate to put it under "THE BAD" heading.. The icons that represent the blocks, e.g. amps, effects, routing, etc. are a bit small and as a result hard to differentiate in some cases while standing up if you don't have perfect 20/20 vision. Additionally, the icons are only by category e.g. amp, modulation, distortion, etc.. I would prefer to know whether I am looking at a preset with a Fender Twin or a Marshall Super Lead, a flanger or a chorus.  Simply showing a general icon for "Amp" or "Modulation" is too vague. I would love to see each effect and amp have its own icon even if they were only slightly varied. Yes, you can drill down and see the specifics but it would be nice to be able to detect the effect or amp type from the home screen. Perhaps we could see cusomizable icons in the future so the user has the option to create a picture more meaningful to them. I also tend to prefer abbreviations unless icons are big enough to be clearly differentiated and large enough to offer a meaningful visual representation of what they refer to.  This may become a non issue for me as I get more familiar with them. It might be nice to have the option to toggle between text or icon.
  5. Where are the inputs on the back panel for additional control switches? Many multi-effects have this capability.  Given the exhaustive array of input/output options on the rear panel I was shocked not to find this capability. I know you can use an expression pedal for some of this functionality but it is a nice option to be able to add a couple of switches (often to work the bank changing) so that the existing switches can be employed for other purposes. Did I miss something here?  Do they exist and I just failed to spot them?
  6. The scribble strip devoted to the text "EXP1" and "EXP2" could probably be effective for displaying other pieces of information.  I would suggest a future firmware update allow other pieces of information to be displayed here.
  7. The control pedal has a huge hex wrench that is required to adjust the travel resistance of the pedal. To be fair this is a great option. Just not sure I like the idea of always having to have the wrench handy. I also noticed that when you press the pedal toe-down to activate it, the rubber grommet underneath the pedal feels almost like it is sticking to the pedal board for a moment before you move it toe-up.

THE UGLY

  1. Why do I feel like I am the villager shouting "The Emperor has no clothes!" when it comes to Line6. The lack of amp models and particularly effects models on the Helix is shocking and in my opinion unacceptable for a unit this expensive. Cheap $150 pedals match this unit for the number of effect emulations. Most boutique effects and even very commonly used ones are totally missing with the exception of a few (would love to see a "reverse" effect btw).  The lack of selection on even basic bread and butter effects is abysmal. I believe there is only one phaser option.. The one phaser (a simple MXR Phase 90 emulation) has almost no adjustable parameters and like the oriiginal pedal it emulates does not even allow the number of steps to be selected, e.g. 4 steps, 8 steps, 12 steps.  There is no biphase option as far as I know. I don't mean to sound obsessive about phasers, I use it to illustrate a point. There are so many basic effects that are either missing or only provide one or two options where other units provide many.  Is the harmonizer a "smart" harmonizer? I don't think so or at least the literature does not seem to specify. There are shockingly few distortion and overdrive pedal choices although this is probably one of the better populated of the categories and it is still pathetic for a unit of this price and potential. There are zero, I repeat zero reverb emulations other than Line6 emulations, no Lexicon, nothing! The list goes on and on as in, there are very few options in every effect category with the possible exception of wah choices. Wow! This is a situation that Line6 absolutely must remedy! What gives guys? This is simply unfair and needs to be fixed with software updates. I agree with people that say, "better one good effect than ten crappy emulations" but this is just ridiculous! Hire some programmers, get them with some musicians with good ears and please address this. It is an outrage that so little effort was put into providing adequate choices and options. How can you guys not see this is a huge problem?  Looking forward to firmware updates that include new amps and effects! No one is saying you need to cater to every single request for each user's favorite amp or pedal but the Helix has yet to hit even an acceptable baseline for the number of available amp/cabs and effects. If more and I mean many more amp and pedal choices are coming in the future please let us know or the usual trolls and idiots will start saying that we don't need them and picking a fight with everyone who is pointing out such an obvious shortcoming in what appears to be such a stellar piece of hardware. No wonder Line6 kept the list of amps and pedals on the Helix under wraps for such an unusually and atypically long time. Were they scrambling right up to the release date just to get the few in that exist? I don't know whether this is the result of an overly complicated development process, a need to deliver particularly high quality emulations, and/or a lack of manpower, or something else but this is a very disturbing, disappointing, and gaping lack in the Helix. I think most of us really expected to see a fully fleshed out selection of amps and effeects in this "flagship" product. Thankfully this is a problem that hopefully can easily be addressed with firmware updates if Line6 realizes how serious this issue is and is willing to commit the resources to fixing it. I would hope there is enough spare memory already on board to add additional amps and effects. The current list of amps and pedals is just embarassing. I promise you, the majority of your general user base needs, wants, and IMHO at this price point, deserves more high quality amps and pedal choices in every category! Thanks!

 

 

Could you be a little more specific?,,, :lol:

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Agreed BigRalphN!

 

My quick review after about 3 hours of playing around & using HD500x for the past 2 years....

 

1) AMP MODELS- really happy with them. More detailed than HD and they don't have the fizz or 'clipping' that I always tried to tweak out. I never liked the HD Fenders much because they had a plinkiness and when I had the drive over 50%, they had a digital sounding distortion.

The Helix models (that I've tinkered so far) sound really nice as soon as you pop them into a block.

2) THE INTERFACE- an improvement over HD, but not as drastic for me as the amp models. I should probably put it on a table as I set up my presets, so I can use the touch footswitches to tweak, but I want to kick on effects as I play to see how they boost, etc. Also I am inserting blocks and changing changing amp models and I don't know if that is possible (tonight I will RTFM more).

I hope the PC based editor is at least as robust as HD. With added options to store effects settings as favorites and copy & paste entire signal paths (input,effects, amp block, output). It's nice to keep the board on the floor and tweak settings while recording on PC

Oh crap, I just did a feature request - sorry, it's just so hard to avoid

I'll try to give more insights when I get a few more hours of playtime.

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Edit

 

Also I am inserting blocks and changing changing amp models and I don't know if that is possible -- using footswitches.

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For those who may complain that there are not enough cabs, let me point out that even other modelers that support cab IR's didn't have enough either.  However it doesn't matter because there are plenty of 3rd party cabs out there many of which are more impressive that what comes with the Helix.   Same has been the case with the AXE FX and Kemper and in fact most of those users turn to one of these most popular sites for cab variety and rarely use the stock cabs.    These three below combined offer thousands and thousands of cab IR's, more than you probably know what to do with.

 

http://www.ownhammer.com/

http://www.redwirez.com/

http://www.thecabfactory.com/

 

Do not discount the power of the cab and what you may not realize is that importing of cabs are one of the most powerful features added to the Helix which impacts overall tone.  The most influence on your quality of tone will come from the cab and less from the amps.  Amps will drive some of the tone and most so be more about gain breakup. When you realize this and start trying out 3 party IR's, your going to be blown away with your sound.  

 

I think this should be considered in overall reviews in how these cab IR's can take you to another level with the Helix.    That's my 2 cen

 

I have an Lodigy EPSI IR cab loader and use Ownhammer IR's they are superb. Have not tried the others, they have even started to make multi cab IR's like we had already been doing for over a year now. see( http://line6.com/support/topic/15965-tutorial-how-to-make-multi-cab-irs-from-existing-irs-for-use-with-the-helix/ )

 

I used EPSI with the 11 rack and some times just a few stomp peddles strait in to the mixer. I can tell you that "IT'S ALL ABOUT THE CAB IR'S" this is the biggest advancement in modeling since it's inception IMHO. You have 100 user spots to upload IR's to the Helix so that is effectively 100 extra cabs. the problem you may have is picking some out . the IR packs that Ownhamer sells have a lot in each and you can spend alot of time testing. I have a handful that I picked out of the modern metal pack they used to offer that I love but all are great. they have some freebies that you can try as well.

 

Patiently waiting for my Helix so I can try some out with it.

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In regards to this comment, I'm not entirely sure what you were expecting. There are two relays that could conceivably be used to control external effects if they respond to a relay signal, but there really aren't many effects that have that functionality. There's also the CV output, which offers more external control. The most common way to control external effects by far, though, is MIDI, and the Helix offers a ton of function there. With the 4 loops, you could actually create some pretty complex schemes by bringing loops in and out of chains.

Maybe I need to clarify that section. I was not referring to controlling external effects. I was referring to the capability to add additional external footswitches that could control functions on the Helix. The capability to give yourself a couple of extra switches to, for instance control Bank changes on the Helix. This frees up the Bank switches on the Helix to control effect assignments or other parameters. You will find other multi-effects that have external footswitch jacks for just this purpose. Not a critical feature on the Helix which already has many assignable footswitches, but a nice to have. Was just surprised it was not available on this unit which has such an incredibly flexible and well provisioned back panel.

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I played with my new Helix last night on Fremont Street here in Las Vegas with my band.
I used it going straight to the PA and had a separate monitor mix for myself with Helix being fed back to me.
 
I usually use my DT amp and Bogner cab as well and mic them up, but last night there were 3 different bands so I had to break down from the stage quickly.
 
Verdict: The Helix sounded GREAT! The soundman at the venue complimented me on my guitar tone. We play classic rock. I'm using the Boogie Rectifier amp for crunch and leads. My lead tone just has the drive all the way up on 10 as opposed to the crunch tone being on 6 and I also crank up the master volume on the lead patch a bit.  Plenty of distortion and​​​​ sustain while still maintaining articulation. Basically...it sounded a lot like the Boogie rectifier amp itself would have. I'm very pleased.
 
Today I've been setting up patches to use with my DT 50 and Bogner 4x12 cab. I'm running straight into the effects return of the DT50 because Helix isn't working properly yet to use the L6 link with the DT amp (but that is coming they have told me).
And now that I've got the same amp settings using the "Preamp" instead of "Amp & Cab"...it sounds incredible with the tubes of the DT amps power amp section and the coloration of the Greenbacks in the Bogner cab. It really thumps and has an extra "sweetness" in the distortion. :)
 
 

​

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Edit

 

Also I am inserting blocks and changing changing amp models and I don't know if that is possible -- using footswitches.

Good on you for the First impressions review. Much appreciated! 

I am glad the amp models are a noticable step up.

 

Thanks too robbie. Very glad for you! You sure are game giging off the bat like that!

GAS

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Thanks too robbie. Very glad for you! You sure are game giging off the bat like that!

GAS

 

It's so easy to get my sound with the Helix. :)   The HD500 took forever to figure out. But I haven't even looked at the owners manual with the Helix.

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Maybe I need to clarify that section. I was not referring to controlling external effects. I was referring to the capability to add additional external footswitches that could control functions on the Helix. The capability to give yourself a couple of extra switches to, for instance control Bank changes on the Helix. This frees up the Bank switches on the Helix to control effect assignments or other parameters. You will find other multi-effects that have external footswitch jacks for just this purpose. Not a critical feature on the Helix which already has many assignable footswitches, but a nice to have. Was just surprised it was not available on this unit which has such an incredibly flexible and well provisioned back panel.

 

 

So you want to be able to have more switches?  Wouldn't this be effectively achieved by adding another MIDI controller?

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Maybe I need to clarify that section. I was not referring to controlling external effects. I was referring to the capability to add additional external footswitches that could control functions on the Helix. The capability to give yourself a couple of extra switches to, for instance control Bank changes on the Helix. This frees up the Bank switches on the Helix to control effect assignments or other parameters. You will find other multi-effects that have external footswitch jacks for just this purpose. Not a critical feature on the Helix which already has many assignable footswitches, but a nice to have. Was just surprised it was not available on this unit which has such an incredibly flexible and well provisioned back panel.

 

There are 4 analog control inputs. EXP Toe Switch and EXP1 - EXP3. Could any or all of these be used directly as HELIX control switches (that is, plug a switch in instead of an expression pedal)?

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An earlier Helix design employed a touchscreen. We showed it to people—they overwhelmingly hated it. Were worried about spills. Didn't want "a tablet on the floor." The UX breakthrough came when we pulled the focus from the potentially confusing signal flow to the familiar environment of stomps/footswitches. Instead, the user treats Helix like a modular pedalboard, where if something needs to be edited, it's only a touch away, but it otherwise stays of the way.

 

Cap touch footswitches over a touchscreen (or even over both, which was discussed at one time) was a very purposeful design decision.

 

Cheers!

 

That's all understandable for the floorboard.  I'm sure it probably would have been a production nightmare to have different screens on different devices, but I wish Line 6 had kept the touchscreen on the rackmounted version.  It's cool that I can add the foot controller for $500, but the floorboard is not near the rack to edit the settings.  I'd love to have the Helix Rack in my studio desk and be able to simply touch a block to edit the parameters.  Instead I have to decide between form factor and ease of editing.

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That's all understandable for the floorboard.  I'm sure it probably would have been a production nightmare to have different screens on different devices, but I wish Line 6 had kept the touchscreen on the rackmounted version.  It's cool that I can add the foot controller for $500, but the floorboard is not near the rack to edit the settings.  I'd love to have the Helix Rack in my studio desk and be able to simply touch a block to edit the parameters.  Instead I have to decide between form factor and ease of editing.

 Maybe the PC Edit program will allow touchscreen, which would solve at least your problem.

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 Maybe the PC Edit program will allow touchscreen, which would solve at least your problem.

 

Even if doesn't have touchscreen support, a robust mac/pc editor will be a great way to edit patches in the studio without having to reach down and fiddle with the unit.  I hope that down the road they'll do an editor for mobile devices.

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We ran the Helix straight to the house at church this morning. I let my son use my the Helix (good Dad) and I used the HD400. He was playing lead and using more effects so it made sense for him to use it. We were blown away. It sounded incredible. He used a lot of heavy delay and reverb and it was lush and warm. They did away with amps a few years ago and this is the first time I can say a guitar sounded great. I have some settings on the HD400 that sound decent but not compared to this. I know guys that are real happy with their HD500 settings but I seriously think this is way better in feel and tone. He used the ac30 normal with the Minotaur and 808 screamer. He alternated between the elephant man and transistor tape delays and plate and spring reverbs.

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I got the Helix 3 days ago and started replicating my presets from my other rigs.  Pretty quick learning curve as promised. Actually able to come very close, as well as improve - adding some dynamics/response I didn't have.

 

Holding opinion overall but only disappointed in 1 effect at this point - the filter. 

 

Using the filter for an auto-wah and it's pretty bad honestly.  Tweaked and tweaked...got close enough but the high frequency end goes into the dog whistle range.  The filter overal is pretty thin sounding regardless of where I put it in the chain or which preamp/amp used.  Staff please put it on the list for an upgrade.

 

The only other issue is getting the PC ap to run,  It nstalled and ran on my Win10 laptop fine, but locks up on my Win7 desktop in my studio.  Reinstalled but no change.  Any answers/suggestions would be appreciated.

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I got the Helix 3 days ago and started replicating my presets from my other rigs.  Pretty quick learning curve as promised. Actually able to come very close, as well as improve - adding some dynamics/response I didn't have.

 

Holding opinion overall but only disappointed in 1 effect at this point - the filter. 

 

Using the filter for an auto-wah and it's pretty bad honestly.  Tweaked and tweaked...got close enough but the high frequency end goes into the dog whistle range.  The filter overal is pretty thin sounding regardless of where I put it in the chain or which preamp/amp used.  Staff please put it on the list for an upgrade.

 

The only other issue is getting the PC ap to run,  It nstalled and ran on my Win10 laptop fine, but locks up on my Win7 desktop in my studio.  Reinstalled but no change.  Any answers/suggestions would be appreciated.

Glad to hear it's sounding great for you. As to the auto wah, if it's the same as in the Pod HD, it's a Mutron, which is nice on bass, but never sounded good on guitar - I had one back in the day. The Mutron was a poor choice for auto wah, and I've been asking L6 for years to model something that sounds good.

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I got the Helix 3 days ago and started replicating my presets from my other rigs. Pretty quick learning curve as promised. Actually able to come very close, as well as improve - adding some dynamics/response I didn't have.

 

Holding opinion overall but only disappointed in 1 effect at this point - the filter.

 

Using the filter for an auto-wah and it's pretty bad honestly. Tweaked and tweaked...got close enough but the high frequency end goes into the dog whistle range. The filter overal is pretty thin sounding regardless of where I put it in the chain or which preamp/amp used. Staff please put it on the list for an upgrade.

 

The only other issue is getting the PC ap to run, It nstalled and ran on my Win10 laptop fine, but locks up on my Win7 desktop in my studio. Reinstalled but no change. Any answers/suggestions would be appreciated.

Try adjusting the mode, low pass gives good results. Also try lowering the gain slightly.

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The only thing I keep wondering is:
Why on Earth didn't the HD500 or now The HELIX have delay trails when you switch patches?

It sounds so bad to be playing a lead with delay and hit that last note before going back to a crunch sound and the delay gets cut off instantly.

It seems like that would have been something that woud have been addressed a long time ago. :(​​​

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The only thing I keep wondering is:

Why on Earth didn't the HD500 or now The HELIX have delay trails when you switch patches?

 

It sounds so bad to be playing a lead with delay and hit that last note before going back to a crunch sound and the delay gets cut off instantly.

 

It seems like that would have been something that woud have been addressed a long time ago. :(​​​

 

My guess is because you'd need a entire processor (or two for Helix) devoted to just that task. But you can have trails within a preset, and presets allow for quite a bit of flexibility within them.

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Try adjusting the mode, low pass gives good results. Also try lowering the gain slightly.

Thanks for the replies guys. 

 

Yeah that's what I found too.  Using low pass setting and have the filter at the very front of the chain.  I'll look at the gain and see...the one I'm trying to replicate is from an old Kord AX30G, which sounds/responds way better than the Helix filter.  More midrange without the sqeel.  I use it for 1 song in the set and would like to retire it now.

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For those who may complain that there are not enough cabs, let me point out that even other modelers that support cab IR's didn't have enough either.  However it doesn't matter because there are plenty of 3rd party cabs out there many of which are more impressive that what comes with the Helix.   Same has been the case with the AXE FX and Kemper and in fact most of those users turn to one of these most popular sites for cab variety and rarely use the stock cabs.    These three below combined offer thousands and thousands of cab IR's, more than you probably know what to do with.

 

http://www.ownhammer.com/

http://www.redwirez.com/

http://www.thecabfactory.com/

 

Do not discount the power of the cab and what you may not realize is that importing of cabs are one of the most powerful features added to the Helix which impacts overall tone.  The most influence on your quality of tone will come from the cab and less from the amps.  Amps will drive some of the tone and most so be more about gain breakup. When you realize this and start trying out 3 party IR's, your going to be blown away with your sound.  

 

I think this should be considered in overall reviews in how these cab IR's can take you to another level with the Helix.    That's my 2 cents.

Could not agree more.

I'm 100% with you.

 

It surprise me that every demo I've see to date always featured modelled cabs and not IRs.

With modelled cabs the tone will always sound kinda artificial, but I'm very confident that with IRs the new Helix will compete with fractals great tones (I consider kemper a product of another category, with its pros and cons).

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Could not agree more.

I'm 100% with you.

 

It surprise me that every demo I've see to date always featured modelled cabs and not IRs.

With modelled cabs the tone will always sound kinda artificial, but I'm very confident that with IRs the new Helix will compete with fractals great tones (I consider kemper a product of another category, with its pros and cons).

 

The Line 6 cabs are IR based as well... They're not just "modeled cabs", whatever that means.

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Once you try using an acoustic IR with an acoustic guitar, I suspect that you might never want to use an acoustic amp model again. It sounds much more realistic than any other treatment I've ever heard.

Is there an acoustic IR included in this release?  And what are some of the best ones out there?  

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Glad to hear it's sounding great for you. As to the auto wah, if it's the same as in the Pod HD, it's a Mutron, which is nice on bass, but never sounded good on guitar - I had one back in the day. The Mutron was a poor choice for auto wah, and I've been asking L6 for years to model something that sounds good.

Different strokes for different folks, I have always found the original Mutron envelope filter pedal to be the best one I have ever heard on the guitar. Really glad this emulation is on the Helix although I would agree there should be at least one more option for an auto-wah/envelope filter sound.

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The expression pedal on the Helix has a relatively unique design where it recesses into a slot in the top of the Helix chassis. I am curious whether there is some kind of sleeve or a separate cavity that isolates the slot so that dust, dirt, humidity, or worse case scenario, liquid don't constantly find there way inside to vulnerable electronics? Anyone on Line6 that can comment on this? If it is not isolated it seems like it may prove to be a poor design choice.

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I'm not a gigging musician but I'll chime in anyhow. I've been playing my Helix with a JTV69 into an Alto TS112A powered PA speaker for 2 days now and I'm completely blown away. I was planning on keeping my HD500X as a backup but Helix is playing in an entirely different league. The amps and effects are a huge step up. Playing a JTV acoustic model into a Taylor IR is incredible. I'll be trying it into my DT25 as soon as I get home from vacation (had Sweetwater ship Helix to my vacation address). I'm pretty sure I'll be selling my HD500X along with my Vetta II Combo soon. Tomorrow I'll be exploring recording into Reaper. It's a great time to be a guitarist.

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Darrell, if you could be so kind as to share with us where one can get this Taylor IR it would be greatly appreciated!  :D

 

 

I'm not a gigging musician but I'll chime in anyhow. I've been playing my Helix with a JTV69 into an Alto TS112A powered PA speaker for 2 days now and I'm completely blown away. I was planning on keeping my HD500X as a backup but Helix is playing in an entirely different league. The amps and effects are a huge step up. Playing a JTV acoustic model into a Taylor IR is incredible. I'll be trying it into my DT25 as soon as I get home from vacation (had Sweetwater ship Helix to my vacation address). I'm pretty sure I'll be selling my HD500X along with my Vetta II Combo soon. Tomorrow I'll be exploring recording into Reaper. It's a great time to be a guitarist.

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I haven't heard anyone mention if there is a delay between presets... well? 

 

Still no tracking # from GC but I did find out some ordered from GC online last week and received them and walked in some GC stores and got them. still can't understand "why me?" I paid on 8-8-15 and don't have it yet?!?!?!? some how I fell through the cracks. They should have filled the pre orders first before any store got one... I think I need to stop looking on here for a wile because I just get more depressed that this has happened. I hope that they at least compensate me some how for this.

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The Line 6 cabs are IR based as well... They're not just "modeled cabs", whatever that means.

Yes, I've searched on the forum and I found something that I didn't remeber, that their "standard" cabs are IR based. My fault.

Anyway, to be honest, from the clips I've listened too, they sound something in the between to the pod HD cabs and the IR cabs I generally use. Same kinda compressed mids and no so real hights that feature any "simulated" cabs (POD, Amplitube etc).

Maybe they are just the demos, maybe they are the cabs itself (and in the future they will be tweaked), maybe is the tecnology to have some limit. Really can't tell. For this reason I would like to listen to some good demos with genuine third party IRs like the redwirez: I know that they sound awesome and I'm very confident they could represent a big step up from the basic sound (that, to me, it's already good but, at least from what I heard, not revoutionary from the HD series).

Hope I explained better my point.

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I can't believe someone would put so much emphasis on things that the Helix currently lacks, even going so far as to calling it 'the ugly' - dude.. you KNEW before you even put the credit card number in what the Helix actually came with. There are lists available everywhere.

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I haven't heard anyone mention if there is a delay between presets... well?

 

 

Preset switches are lightning fast and are not an issue like on other Line 6 products.

 

Great! Thanks Darryl. Can you maybe share your patch as well? What do you have in the signal chain? Also, what acoustic model are you using on the Variax? I have a Variax standard with the helix incoming this week.

It's just an empty patch with the Taylor IR followed by just a touch of reverb. It takes about 30 seconds to set up.

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