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HELIXers, I really would like your Opinion


bartnettle1
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More time I spend on it the better it gets.

 

I'm sure the more time that goes by and line 6 will put a lot more in to this.

 

Sounds great now, and easy to use. I'm happy with it as it is. I'm sure after more updates from line 6 this will get even better.

 

 

Only thing I really want is a Mesa mark amp, 2+ or iv or 5 then it will be perfect for me.

But for now I have endless sounds to try out.

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Without any reservations, the Best processor I've gotten my hands on, and that includes an AxeFx2....haven't tried a Kemper so can't say how it compares however from reviewing Kemper posts it looks like the Helix out shines that unit in most ways, though which amps actually sound better between the two I'm sure is up for debate.  Had mine since Wednesday and like the poster above said, it gets better everytime I use it...sure with more updates it will continue to improve but out of the box its pretty darn good...good enough for me to start selling a number of tube amps and pedals in my collection....easy to get pristine tones out of it so you spend a lot more time playing than endlessly tweaking....hope that helps.

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1)How do you feel about your new Helix?

 

I'm glad it's finally here I waited two months to get it from the time that I paid and it was definitely worth the wait it is heading shoulders above the 11 rack which I've been using for the past couple of years I will not sell that one I will save it and still continue to use it as an interface to ProTools.

 

 

2) What would you like to see changed or improved about it if it was at all possible?

 

There's only one thing so for that I have noticed that I would like them to change and that is when I make settings different then the standard or default ones on any particular FX or cab or amplifier if I accidentally turn the knob and it changes what is the default effect for that block all the settings go back to their default, this is slightly aggravating when you accidentally turn the knob and then turn it back and have to reset all those parameters, maybe some type of auto save for the settings that you include at least on that particular thing. Ok two things, Also my mission engineering expression pedal works backwards from its intended purpose and I have to change it on each preset to make it work correctly like I would any volume pedal that I'm sure there must be some global setting but I haven't been able to find it as of yet

 

3) How would it be then?

 

I'm sure as most have found that use it is head and shoulders above everything else they have used I myself have never used an Axe FX ll but I do know this thing is stinking sweet and right out of the box makes me happy without a ton of tweaking which was something I was not able to harness in my 11 rack, thanks to guys like "singtall" who made the "Singtall superPACk" (for the 11rack) I was able to get the tone that I really wanted but with this unit right out of the box it has sounds I want and even ones I am trying to manipulate it was really easy.

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Very happy with this product, as with everybody else the more I use it the more I like it, the only thing I would like to see changed is awaiting the advanced user's guide (which usually takes a little while to show up) with some deeper information on each effects settings.  Other than that I am sure a more robust PC editor will also be on the way eventually.

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........ with some deeper information on each effects settings. ......

Since the FX accurately model original devices the information about effects settings will be the same as those on the original devices. Documentation about that can be found (or not) from the original device manufacturers. I don't think Line 6 is responsible for that documentation, (unless there are any FX that are Line 6 originals).

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Silverhead,

Oh I absolutely agree.  Usually the advanced user guides are produced by actual users after the fact as more people get to use the device much like the advanced user guides for POD and HD series.  For example some of the settings for simple delay aren't really well documented as to what the controls laid out on the Helix actually control or the definition is rather vague.  Which is understandable in the initial manual release which is more geared toward getting the user started and familiarized with how the piece works.

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Oh, I think I see. It's the mapping of the Helix controls to the physical controls of the original device that you're looking for. Not the operation or effect of the original controls. Yes, Line 6 should make the mapping more clear where necessary.

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1) How do you feel about your new Helix?

 

It's great. I had grown cold about my HD500 that just didn't seem to like some of my guitars, but this one made me feel like experimenting with tone again.

 

2) What would you like to see changed or improved about it if it was at all possible?

 

a) as others mentioned, moving the joystick almost always means unwittigly changing a block assignment, which also results in losing the original settings. If you're tweaking live (something that during the first few uses happens regularly), you might get in trouble. Luckily, there are alternatives (the touch sensitive footswitches, brilliant).

 

b) I'm a linux user, and I don't expect the software to work on Linux, I keep a few old computers about for that, but come on -- Line6 software is much too picky about what it runs on. And you NEED to backup, because updating means losing presets.

 

c) not that that can be changed in any way, but this thing is incredibly heavy! I wish they maintained the sleek and light profile of the HD500. The unit is otherwise awesome.

 

d) I still have to use it at full volume, but it seems a little treble-happy.

 

3) How would it be then?

 

Didn't manage to play with it live yet. I'll have to see how it performes at gig volume -- the configurability is really a joy, though. I always use the pedalboard mode, and between the extra DSP power (brilliant that you can chain paths), the extra configurability and control, I managed to cram about 3 HD500 patches onto one, with a few extras, all "stompable"! Awesome.

 

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Hiya,

Helix owners,

 

Your answers are most welcome,

 

1) How do you feel about your new Helix?

 

2) What would you like to see changed or improved about it if it was at all possible?

 

3) How would it be then?

 

Thank you guys! 

 

1) The sound and feel is a very noticeable improvement over my HD500 and the patches need less tweaking to sound good. The user interface is super easy and intuitive to work with. It's not a hassle anymore. This part is very promising.

 

2) Fixing the dreaded black display on boot that is only resolvable by doing a factory reset and thereby loosing your presets.

Fixing the problem in the PC program so that it doesn't crash when trying to save a backup of your presets.

Making the Amp switches Tip and Ring controllable by momentary switches like you can on block switches.

Solving the backup problem would make it usable for rehersal.

Solving the black display problem would make it usable for gigging.

Solving the momentary switch problem would make it possible to control our lighting rig through a DMXIS interface (saving me a lot of tap dancing when changing patches and lighting sequence simultaneously).

 

3) Then I would have a single control unit for all my needs with excellent sound, easy to use and compact to carry.  :)

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1) How do you feel about your new Helix?

 

--> Very happy with it so far. I'm hoping to use some advanced routing options plus the Mic input to simplify my solo show setup and eliminate a mixer.

--> I'm also very happy with the sound. My previous rigs were an HD500 and an XT Live; before that I used real amps. The XT Live was good but a noticeable tradeoff from real amps. The HD500 is excellent, and if I were pressed for cash, I would be OK with continuing to use it.

--> My first impression of the Helix's amp models is that their default settings were all dialed in to sound excellent in a variety of contexts. Noticeably moreso than the HD500 and especially the XTL, the Helix has an organic and musically satisfying response in-between clean and distorted, so that it's more fun to use picking dynamics and guitar volume.

--> I have played all my modeling gear through a FRFR system, in my case either a band PA or my own QSC K8. Note that any modeler in that context is not trying to sound like an un-miked amp, but rather, the theoretically perfect modeler will sound like a great amp, expertly miked up in a soundproof room (in another dimension...), and then the signal from that mic played through your headphones/speaker/etc.

 

2) What would you like to see changed or improved about it if it was at all possible?

--> Faster boot-up time would be nice

--> I personally would like a little more routing flexibility, but I doubt that the average person would want the tradeoff of complexity.

--> One-click or one-touch access to a preset's Variax settings

--> Some elegant way to have separate independent "mic presets" and "guitar presets" so I don't have to paste in a mic signal chain to every single preset where I want to use a mic (which is doable, but inconvenient)

 

3) How would it be then?

--> Oh I don't know. I think half the fun is refining and improving, moreso than "arriving" at everything you want. :-)

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Well, here's a clip I recorded just now. Didn't even use the Helix as an audio interface, because, did I mention? I use Linux -- so it's the crappy laptop integrated soundcard. The backing track is: 

 

http://www.guitarbackingtrack.com/play/pink_floyd/shine_on_you_crazy_diamond.htm

 

Played over it with my usual patch, didn't even normalize, this is what came out, no further processing, but both tracks at 0dB.

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/401585/ShineHelix.mp3

 

Pretty sloppy, I know, but it was just a quick test.

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1. I own an AVID ELEVEN and an Axe-FX XLII as well as my new HELIX. I have also experimented with Kemper. I like the HELIX. By far the most refined and usable interface. Certainly the best screen in the business. Soundwise HELIX has a few good tones but not as organic as I am hearing through the Axe-FX. Keeping in mind that Fractal has been refining these tones for years with this style of component modeling. Their current QUANTUM modeling is very good and amazingly real. That said, the HELIX is the first Line 6 unit I would use live on stage for many years. I cannot imagine an audience that would not find the tones satisfying. A few of the tones are very, very good. 

 

2.

  •  Add a universal lead boost. Everyone adds this themselves. Give me a simple footswitch with an adjustable boost and life would be easier.
  • I personally would like more footswitches. I like to run my Axe-FX with 5 available patches as well as 10 stomps at one time.
  • Add a simple feature that recognizes that many pros will have multiple units or may rent a unit after long travel to a gig. Give us a simple USB fob that transports the setup from unit to unit. That would be brilliant, carry my rig setup in my pocket!!!
  • Allow me to beat sync via midi beat oriented effects a la the Adrenalynn units.
  • Continue to develop tone to achieve Axe-FX standards. 

 

3.     If all of the tones had the depth of the Axe-FX on more setting I would sell my Axe-FX and permanently settle on the HELIX. It is a better platform. I wish I could use the HELIX as my MIDI Controller for the Axe-FX. Right now that would be the dream rig for me.

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Hiya,

Helix owners,

 

Your answers are most welcome,

 

1) How do you feel about your new Helix?

 

2) What would you like to see changed or improved about it if it was at all possible?

 

3) How would it be then?

 

Thank you guys! 

Well, once I wrapped by brain around the Helix, and after having a few questions answered by "Digital Igloo" and "Phil_M" I can't think of anything that needs to be changed. I think it sounds great. I'm wondering about the AC-30 models though. I'm not hearing that "High-End" "Glassy" sound those amps are famous for. My favorite amps are the "Brit 2204" and the 'German Ubersonic". The "Jazz Rivet" is great for clean tones. Not loving the reverbs too much though. I don't use much Reveb but the "Chamber" seems to be the best sounding one to me. In the POD HD's the "Hall" sounded best to me. Anyway . .  Loving the Helix so far. I've been tweaking patches for hours upon hours now and I'm really making sone headway. I'll be demoing some of my sounds very soon. Probably by the end of next week. Thank you Line 6 for an incredible tool for me to use in my music creation!!

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Well, here's a clip I recorded just now. Didn't even use the Helix as an audio interface, because, did I mention? I use Linux -- so it's the crappy laptop integrated soundcard. The backing track is: 

 

http://www.guitarbackingtrack.com/play/pink_floyd/shine_on_you_crazy_diamond.htm

 

Played over it with my usual patch, didn't even normalize, this is what came out, no further processing, but both tracks at 0dB.

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/401585/ShineHelix.mp3

 

Pretty sloppy, I know, but it was just a quick test.

That sounds incredible, tommasi!  If you don't mind, where can I get a copy of that patch?

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That sounds incredible, tommasi! If you don't mind, where can I get a copy of that patch?

I shared the clip on this thread because with virtually no effort it came out much better than I expected, with a guitar (strat road worn '54) that my hd500 never liked all that much. For me this speaks well for the helix. I certainly do not mind sharing the patch, but that just means you're also in line for line6 to fix the win10 bugs... :)

 

In the meantime, I can describe it to you:

 

Road worn strat 54, neck pickup until the very end when I switch to the bridge

* deluxe comp

* valve driver, off at the beginning, you can tell when I turn it on in the middle

* us deluxe nrm, 121 ribbon Mic

* ubiquitus vibe stereo

* stereo chorus

* '63 spring stereo

* simple delay, stereo

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That sounds incredible, tommasi!  If you don't mind, where can I get a copy of that patch?

 

Managed to save the patch!

 

I think it's all inactive from the start (I normally use stomp mode with 10 footswitches), you need to turn on the blocks I mentioned earlier.

 

Enjoy.

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/401585/HelixTones/Fenderino.hlx

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Managed to save the patch!

 

I think it's all inactive from the start (I normally use stomp mode with 10 footswitches), you need to turn on the blocks I mentioned earlier.

 

Enjoy.

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/401585/HelixTones/Fenderino.hlx

Thanks a lot, tommasi!  I don't have a Helix yet but this patch will be saved and played once I get mine.  

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As good as Helix may be is it 5 times better than a HD 500?

That is the price difference here in Sydney is $2400 retail.

I just cant justify it. The Aussie dollar is crap right now. 71 us cents,

For USA buyers the Helix is only about twice the HD500X

CORRECTION: three times the amount

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As good as Helix may be is it 5 times better than a HD 500?

That is the price difference here in Sydney is $2400 retail.

I just cant justify it. The Aussie dollar is crap right now. 71 us cents,

For USA buyers the Helix is only about twice the HD500X

 

Actually the Helix retails for 3X the retail of the 500X - $1499 vs. $499 US. Some folks were able to cut discounts, not me... It's OK, though, I'm happy with mine. I used some of my gigging kitty $$ for it.... It is a different animal, though. Taking some time to wrap my head around it. Not hard to make good sounds at all. Mostly hard to make decisions on which to use. I'm trying to duplicate my 500X basic sounds for gigging. So many choices...  Not ready to use it this weekend's gig, though, will be using the 500X until I get the Helix all set up to go. Liking it a lot so far. Found it necessary to use the global EQ to flatten the response of my speaker to try to match the headphones to take the midrange harshness out -- worked great. Will also apply to my HD500X and backup HD500, when I get around to it.... Oops -- off topic, sorry.

 

Is it 3X as good.... hard call....

 

Dave

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1) How do you feel about your new Helix?

Very happy overall. Tone is not as great as an Axe FX2 (I have used one for years) but way better than a POD HD (which I also have been using for years). The IR block make a big difference to your "tone palette". I use it with a Variax which works really well (post firmware 1.02) with it, as it did with the POD. The large LCD, the LCD strips & the foot switch colors are really useful and not a gimmick, as I initially thought they might be. So great for practice and live sessions, which is what I've been mainly using it for. For the studio (and recordings) I will stick to using my Axe, and BTW the Helix makes an awesome controller for the Axe FX if anyone's wondering.

 

2) What would you like to see changed or improved about it if it was at all possible?

At this stage (had it for about 3 weeks) I really miss a proper (desktop based) editor (see "

Helix editor is available for download" thread for more details). Apart from that, I think they pretty much nailed it, 
and sure there lots of little things here and there (I started a handful of Idea Scale) that I would like to have fixed but nothing really screams at me. Their product manager (Digital_Igloo) and Phil_m (another Line 6 employee) have really been on the ball with the forums answering questions, etc... which is really nice.

 

3) How would it be then?

Not sure what that's exactly supposed to mean, but for me it's a keeper. If the price is too high for you, I think it's only a matter of time (a year?) before they release a cheaper model with reduced features (for instance, the dual path, the large LCD and the strips are not 100% necessary and it could make things cheaper to reduce or remove those) so you could wait for that. If tone is by far what you care about the most, I'd look at the AX8 - which is about the same price.

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Just thought that I would add that I compared my Helix with my Axe FX running the Quantum (1.01) firmware, and all my presets use Ultrares IRs. To try to simplify it seems to me (I'm not a tone buff - I only got 7/10 on the Helix challenge) that I hear more "complex" stuff going on (particularly distortion wise) on the Axe side than on the Helix side - this said I'm not sure that those differences wouldn't get lost in the context of a mix. I haven't done a proper blind A/B test yet, this is me using the same guitar in the 2 devices with similar presets, so it's not a very rigourous or fair test. I also noticed that the Axe responds better when using the volume control on the guitar than the Helix, even though I very rarely use this myself.

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1) How do you feel about your new Helix?


Wow - amazing job.  Such attention to detail.  Sounds great.  Software and hardware design - quality, functionality and UI - outstanding.  I've wanted to love modelling from the POD 1.0 and have been there but always felt a bit meh.  This one delivers and I look forward to the future.


 


2) What would you like to see changed or improved about it if it was at all possible?


I'd love to see a Variax block that would let you bind controllers to Variax settings that could be triggered in latch or momentary - e.g. set the guitar tone control to 0% when engaging the Rat from a single footpedal.  A Mark series Mesa model would be great.  So much in there already and I look forward to future updates.


 


3) How would it be then?


Great too.


 

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As good as Helix may be is it 5 times better than a HD 500?

That is the price difference here in Sydney is $2400 retail.

I just cant justify it. The Aussie dollar is crap right now. 71 us cents,

For USA buyers the Helix is only about twice the HD500X

CORRECTION: three times the amount

 

In Sydney, the HD500X is AUD$800, so in both AUS and the US, the HELIX is 3x the price of the HD500X. Pretty much the same as the US price after including currency conversion and GST: US$1500 = AUD$2400 (using 0.70 conversion rate, 10% GST).

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Your right ozbadman! I stand corrected!

I bought my HD500 for $500 when Allan's went into receivership.

 

Okay three times the cost!

I still cant afford it but I want one LOL.

 

What I might do is set aside a few hundred here and there and then get one.

Or get another free money credit card. The one where you pay no interest for 12 months but you have to pay about $400 a month to wipe out the $5000 tp actually pay no interest.

 

If you pay the minimum every month you pay it off for years and end up paying back twice or three times the amount.

The Helix is half one of those.
So about $200 a month over a year.

 

Only thing is I already am paying one off about three debts. 

Maybe in 6 months can get a Helix

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A lot of functionality not in the other type modeler boxes. One of the best for live uses. Much better tone than anything the HD500 had to offer, especially on the high gain end. Just a hair behind my Kemper on realism.

 

I think it will be good as it matures and they work the bugs out. But the one major issue I can't get around is the USB issues and streaming on MAC. I can't have a unit in my studio I can't use to record and playback seamlessly with. 

 

They should have done their own USB driver like Yamaha, Boss and Fractal did instead of depending on the Core Audio piece to work. At least that's my opinion. 1500.00 is a lot to play around with. My 30 day return window is about up, so back it goes for a refund. There'll be one more open box on Ebay here in about a week:)

 

Good luck everyone!

 

mcoffey

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1. Ive had my helix for about three weeks now. I also own an axefx2xl and contrary to what others have said I think the helix is every bit as responsive and authentic as the axefx2 is. I can't remember ever being as excited over a piece of kit as I am with this. The sound is top notch and the UI makes everything else seem primitive.

2. I would like to see the inclusion of 'scenes' as per the axefx, and the inclusion of a micro pitch in the pitch block.

3. I think this is the best modeller in the market at present as it is every bit as good sounding as the axefx2, but it can handle more fx in a preset, and is much more practical both to create presets and to use it in a live environment.(Its also about a third of the price of an axefx2 and MFC controller in the UK). First class stuff, well done Line 6.

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Actually the Helix retails for 3X the retail of the 500X - $1499 vs. $499 US. Some folks were able to cut discounts, not me... It's OK, though, I'm happy with mine. I used some of my gigging kitty $$ for it.... It is a different animal, though. Taking some time to wrap my head around it. Not hard to make good sounds at all. Mostly hard to make decisions on which to use. I'm trying to duplicate my 500X basic sounds for gigging. So many choices...  Not ready to use it this weekend's gig, though, will be using the 500X until I get the Helix all set up to go. Liking it a lot so far. Found it necessary to use the global EQ to flatten the response of my speaker to try to match the headphones to take the midrange harshness out -- worked great. Will also apply to my HD500X and backup HD500, when I get around to it.... Oops -- off topic, sorry.

 

Is it 3X as good.... hard call....

 

Dave

Five times here in Australia. It really is massively expensive, and no try before you buy. But Mcoffey, I'm a few days into messing with it and the potential is enormous. Recording wise I expect to get the most out of it but live, probably combined with a lightweight frfr, it will replace my entire amp and pedal rig as well as giving me instant Variax model and tuning with each song preset. If you tour the freight/hire costs alone will pay for it after a while. Sell some stuff and dive in I reckon.

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Mcoffey, you were using El Capitan I presume? A Yosemite partition would have fixed your issues, also the bugs would have been ironed out eventually for EC. Bit of a hassle but not really the fault of the unit

 

I'll be the first to admit, I'm picky and don't suffer well. :) Who knows, I might come back to it after they iron the major stuff out. Plus, a decent GUI would be nice as an editor. But for now, my 1499.00 is going elsewhere.

 

mcoffey

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Five times here in Australia. It really is massively expensive, and no try before you buy. But Mcoffey, I'm a few days into messing with it and the potential is enormous. Recording wise I expect to get the most out of it but live, probably combined with a lightweight frfr, it will replace my entire amp and pedal rig as well as giving me instant Variax model and tuning with each song preset. If you tour the freight/hire costs alone will pay for it after a while. Sell some stuff and dive in I reckon.

 

Actually, only 3x even in Australia. Same as the US prices. See my maths above.

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Actually, only 3x even in Australia. Same as the US prices. See my maths above.

Spot on if he was referring to the 500X (although 2nd hand average $500 tops), but he named the 500.  In any case our dollar is no friend to the gigging musician with a head of GAS up.  Having briefly owned a 400, and with a bandmate using a 500X, I'll reiterate that it's night and day.  Helix is a completely different beast, one that can even outsmart its owner!

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  • 5 years later...

This might go over like a lead balloon here but... I spent a LOT of time with this trying to get close to my reference tone (1987x and 65 Deluxe) I experienced some issues with my ears, something in the upper midrange was off. I never got even close to the real thing.  All I really want is 2-3 really useable models.  Unfortunately it is way too much of a compromise.

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