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PiFromBRC

Actual side-by-side, controlled comparison between "The Big 3"

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I would be interested in hearing a side-by-side of Kemper, Axe, and Helix.  All either direct or through the same amp with the same guitar and the same musician.  We all know that the individual guitarist has their own unique sound, for better or worse, due to attack, feeling, ability, etc. Though it would be via crappy computer speakers, it would be a very telling comparison.

 

I'll find out next week if I'm able to get the Helix without breaking the GDP.  Every damn day I'm spending more time on the computer drooling over the Helix, reading the various boards (fan boys are so amusingly allegiant to their respective units), and searching for an actual side-by-side.  

 

Anybody find one of these controlled comparison?  Anybody willing to post one?

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I understand his thoughts and appreciate the idea as similar thoughts have occurred to me. The issues would be many though. Bias of the user could make one sound better, intentionally or unintentionally , as well as the proficiency with each device. I am sure YouTube shootouts will occur down the road. I plan on taking mine to my friends studio. He has the Kemper. We will obviously compare a little but are mor interested in the performance of the Helix in a professional studio situation (he is not a home studio).

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Personally, I'd be way more interested in a blind A/B test between the real amp and Helix's model of said amp.

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There is nothing wrong with a shootout.

While undoubtedly Helix wins on ease of use and looks; routing flexibility is a huge plus.

 

t still would be nice to hear at least a reamping of a dry guitar split from a player who played the real amp.

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I would like to see a blind A/B test between all three of those units and the amp that they are modeling it and/or profiling along with the cabinet that is used for the IR as well

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Personally, I'd be way more interested in a blind A/B test between the real amp and Helix's model of said amp.

 

I have no doubt that you guys are going to deliver on your word.  I've modded both my amps, so the amp models themselves are merely a starting point.

 

I called my guy at Bananas at Large today (you know....the guy who was *supposed* to call me when they got the units) and he sheepishly admitted that they sold out immediately.

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I know this kind of comparison doesn't tell the whole story, not even close, BUT

Having said that, I must say I liked most of the Helix models way beter than the Fractal ones!

Fractal sounded way more synthetic to my ears, at least the distorted samples.

What do you guys think?

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Yes to me the higher gain AxeII have compression on them.

From the SLO models the Axe wins to my ears.

But they are so close especially the wet I was really wondering some files got mixed or duplicated. LOL

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Meanwhile in another part of the galaxy . . . 

 

Fractal Audio LA Amp Show 2015 GoPro Supercut
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Huh.  Some of those tones are really nice, but some sound way too processed.  The guy with the Tele is an amazing guitarist (lollipoper), so I kind of have to discount him because he can make any system sound good.  

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I know this kind of comparison doesn't tell the whole story, not even close, BUT

Having said that, I must say I liked most of the Helix models way beter than the Fractal ones!

Fractal sounded way more synthetic to my ears, at least the distorted samples.

What do you guys think?

I dunno.  Some of the settings were definitely off between the two, particularly, yes, the processed ones.  On most of them, and I hate to say it, but the Fractal sounded a little more warm.  I would suspect that this can be easily fixed with dialing up presence, checking SAG, etc.

 

Thanks so much for posting this.  

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A critical comment from a fractal fan paraphrased "I hope the release date of the FX8 isnt a Helix!" LOL

He must of been satirical!LOL

I have heard of the FX8 for way, way longer than the Helix and it still isn't out. I'm glad the Helix wasn't a FX8 LOL

He probably was talking about the release coming after the announced date of release.

 

Anyway, I gotta say the Helix FX sound as good as the Axe's from what I have heard so far

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On most of them, and I hate to say it, but the Fractal sounded a little more warm.  I would suspect that this can be easily fixed with dialing up presence, checking SAG, etc.

 

Really? To me the bottom end of the HELIX sounded much clearer than the AxeFX. The AxeFX seemed to have more high-end fizz, making it sound muddy and making all the sounds very similar. And I own an AxeFX. I like it, but this is a problem that I have always had with the AxeFX. Very happy that the HELIX at least sounds different to the AxeFX and to my ears on the internet (whatever that's worth?), the HELIX sounds better so far. Looking forward to it getting out of early-adopter mode so I can purchase one next year.

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Gee, is it a big surprise that most folks tend to prefer the sound of the device they own?!

 

And of course keeping with that, I think the Axe FX has a wider more pleasing spectrum of sound  ; )

 

BUT I will say the Helix does sound better then my old Pod HD 500.

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Gee, is it a big surprise that most folks tend to prefer the sound of the device they own?!

 

And of course keeping with that, I think the Axe FX has a wider more pleasing spectrum of sound  ; )

 

BUT I will say the Helix does sound better then my old Pod HD 500.

 

Actually, I own the AxeFX2, but I prefer the HELIX sound in the samples above. Whether that will translate when I hear the unit live is another question entirely.

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This is the inherent problem with poor quality comparison audio and video clips and those are poor quality. The poster himself stated that they are mp3 files and that he did some EQ and tweaking to try to get them to sound "similar", he failed.

 

The truth is that they are both great devices with different personalities and different underlying signature sound. "Better", "Best" is subjective and very personal and you don't have to go back too far in time for an example. For those of you who grew up in the "hair metal" days, many guitarist dialed in their Marshall stacks to obtain a particular overdrive/distortion sound that most thought was "awesome". Today, the young folks hear that tone and they describe it as "a can of bees".

 

What's more amusing is people comparing reverbs and getting testy over which one sounds more 

 

This is the inherent problem with poor quality comparison audio and video clips and those are poor quality. The poster himself stated that they are mp3 files and that he did some EQ and tweaking to try to get them to sound "similar", he failed.

 

The truth is that they are both great devices with different personalities and different underlying signature sound. "Better", "Best" is subjective and very personal and you don't have to go back too far in time for an example. For those of you who grew up in the "hair metal" days, many guitarist dialed in their Marshall stacks to obtain a particular overdrive/distortion sound that most thought was "awesome". Today, the young folks hear that tone and they describe it as "a can of bees".

 

What's more amusing is people comparing reverbs and getting testy over which one sounds more "lush".

 

Actually I missed the EQ comment.  I was surprised at the sound, but tweaking EQ is the number one, hands down, biggest mistake a lot of people make and it completely disqualifies the sound clips imo.  The reason I say I was surprised is because the USB sounds (without any post-production) on the demo vids make the Helix the hands-down winner to my ears.

 

Thanks for providing that qualification and I will mia-culpa by reading the fine print on any future comparisons.

 

And "lolipopping' around with reverb is the second biggest mistake.

 

And why the hell is my spell checker suggesting re-verb for reverb?

 

Back to work.

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Gee, is it a big surprise that most folks tend to prefer the sound of the device they own?!

 

Absolutely—it's called confirmation bias.

 

You have to admit, lasvideo, that Line 6 is the victim of confirmation bias far more often than others. (Roland's not far behind, with everyone mistakenly believing COSM is a single 20-year-old architecture.) The only way to overcome confirmation bias is with double-blind ABX listening tests. We've run a metric ton of them throughout development, and if Helix's sonics were inferior in any way, we would've kept working until they weren't.

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Not by me. Ive owned several of the Pod series and enjoyed using them over the years. And I think the joint synergy of Yamaha and Line 6 have come out with a fine piece of equipment. And If I wasn't so happy using my Axe FX I would have purchased the Helix immediately.  ; )  As I said, I just hear a wider spectrum of sound with the Axe FX which sounds better to my ears, That and the wider selection of amps and effects also influence my perception. But I can see Helix as a viable alternative for many others.

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Here's some info on ABX listening tests: https://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php?showtopic=16295&

 

The HydrogenAudio forums in general are a fantastic place, with people who do their best to quantify results and be scientific, while still respecting the idea that we don't yet understand or have the ability to measure everything about how humans hear.

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After 37 years, over a dozen bands, endless 'hired gun' sessions and tours, etc., I know exactly how my ears work;  For lollipop.  I would be very happy if Line 6 came out with a tinnitus filter.  Hard wired.  To my brain.

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