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Long term Line 6 customer/user here - Flextone combo, POD 2.0, Flextone HDII, Pod Pro, HD147, HD Pro, GX, FM4, wireless system etc. Over the years I must have paid for a lot of bubbly at the shareholder meetings!

 

I've got a deposit down on a Helix and after many months of anticipation stock has arrived and I had a quick play on it today. Instead of walking out of the shop with it I was left somewhat underwhelmed and said I will get back to them. Yes it seems nicely built and the user interface is colourful and fun to use. However the actual sound didn't grab me as being noticeably better than what I already have. Am I doing it wrong or does anyone else think there may be an element of The Emperor's New Clothes going on here?

 

Is there a patch or amp setting or something else that I could try in the shop that makes the Helix shine?

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What were you playing through?

 

It would be worth noting what version of firmware the unit is running. There was a bug in one of the early versions that made it so every mic on every cab defaulted to an SM57, which can be pretty harsh.

 

Other than that, I'd say you need to be willing to spend a little time with it. Personally, I noticed a huge difference immediately between the Helix's models and my other stuff.

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Just throwing this out there.... In the shop isn't really a great place to be impressed with anything. Guitar Center, and most other music stores have so many shredders right next to you, that you can't really hear what's going on with what you're trying out, and the typical sales people don't often know enough about a new tech piece of gear to be much help.

 

If you plug this thing into what ever guitar amp they have there at the moment, it probably won't sound to great. At the very least, if you're going to limit it to an in-store demo, plug some decent head phones into it instead, then try the stock patches...

 

I got mine, and found I had to flatten the response of my speaker with the Global EQ to try to get closer to what I was hearing through the headphones before it made me smile. I had to live with it for a bit before the light came on. My culprit was my speaker -- found it was full range, but not flat response -- made all the difference in the world for me.

 

My 2 cent's worth.

 

Dave

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I had a buddy on another forum who took his back after having it 2 weeks ... before any good firmware update went out... I think he made a huge mistake, I love my Helix it is so easy to dial up tones, which I had big trouble doing on my 11 rack (depended on others presets) a +1 on both the guys before me.

 

I have used mine mostly through 2 L2M's with the L6 link. sounds so good!!!

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There is a small improvement at the amps, and a huge at the effects. Nothing that a good EQ can not fix on a HD 500

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There is a small improvement at the amps, and a huge at the effects. Nothing that a good EQ can not fix on a HD 500

I disagree. I could never make the HD500 sound good. I gave up after a couple of months and went back to my X3 live for a while, before I got the Axe-Fx.

The Helix works pretty much out of the box. HUGE difference :)

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Thank you for the replies so far. I tried the Helix through a Yamaha monitor and then through headphones. I'm certainly not saying it sounded "bad" rather that it didn't sound "better" in the elusive tone department than what I have. Which makes we wonder if people can suggest something I can try with it when I go back to the shop which will show off it's strengths and convince me to part with my hard earned money ;) 

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If you're happy with what you have and something like Helix doesn't blow your socks off, it's also possible that you have what you currently own dialed in for you so well that it just is the best thing for you. Not everybody needs to upgrade after all...

 

That said, I find it hard to believe that if you dialed that in for your own usage really carefully that you wouldn't hear a very big difference.

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 struggled getting a tone that I really liked out of the HD500X. I spent many hours scowering forums and tweeking, and managed to get something useful for live gigs. It was OK, but not something I loved. Then I tried S-Gear from www.scuffhamamps.com. My experience was completely different. Every setting on every amp just sounded wonderful and I found myself wanting to play and seldom tweeking. Different tone were't better or worse, but rather different in an inspiring way. And it wasn't just the tones, it was the flexibility of the amp models that allow many tones out of the same amp, and how the amps feel when you play them. To sum it up, S-Gear was just more musical and inspiring and didn't require endless tweeking. I never used the HD500X at home to just play for the fun of it, always S-Gear.

 

Helix is much more like S-Gear in terms of tone and feel. Yes, there's still some tweeking, especially in the Cab and IR models. But the tones are there, the feel is there, and you can spend more time playing music and less time thinking you're just one tweek away from the tone you're looking for, but never get ther. Also Helix effects are totally different that HD500X. They sound much better and are a lot easier to dial in.

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Thank you for the replies so far. I tried the Helix through a Yamaha monitor and then through headphones. I'm certainly not saying it sounded "bad" rather that it didn't sound "better" in the elusive tone department than what I have. Which makes we wonder if people can suggest something I can try with it when I go back to the shop which will show off it's strengths and convince me to part with my hard earned money ;)

 

For things like this, I don't think you can expect to make a qualified judgment with only spending a very small amount of time with it. It takes a while to learn the character of the device. You already have a pre-bias and are comparing it to something else in your mind, and when Helix doesn't immediately produce the sound of your older equipment (that's in your mind), it makes Helix less appealing for you, or at least a great sense of skepticism. I did the same thing when I got mine and compared it to HD's modeling for a while. After time you start to see a the little intricacies and dynamics from Helix that you might not at first notice.

 

Effects-wise, Helix is really, really good. Especially the delays. Nice wide stereo imaging. There's just not enough effects right now.

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Is there a patch or amp setting or something else that I could try in the shop that makes the Helix shine?

Yeah, here's what to do.

1.) Buy it and take it home

2.) Update the firmware

3.) Buy Glenn DeLaune's Helix patches

4.) Configure global EQ to his settings

5.) Run both XLR from the Helix to a pair of decent quality full range flat response speakers

6.) Play guitar!!

 

As others mentioned above, no ideal sounds to be had in store. Need to do firmware update, that mic setting glitch made everything sound harsh, not right, which has been corrected. Be sure to follow the steps to reset all globals and patches after doing firmware update, before you load Glenn's patches on there..

 

Just my two cents. That's exactly what I did, and it sounds incredible. I am using two L2t speakers, which does make a difference, they rock, but other FRFR options will work. Heck a pair of 5" studio monitors will get you going!

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So is there a standout amp or preset to start with?

 

imho, yes. There is a standout amp.

 

There's one standout amp for my Tele, one for my Atom CT, and one for my Crowdster.

 

And they don't always sound so great when I plug my tele in and dial up my Atom CT patch, etc.

 

And... in my experience so far... I mostly don't like the cab that is SUPPOSED to go with the amp. For instance, with a Bassman I like the Z cab better than the 4 - 10 that you're "supposed" to use with it.

 

Also, imho, for the very best tones out of any modeler, you have to create your own. Honestly, I've had Helix in my posession for over a month now, and I haven't dialed up a single factory preset yet. No lie. 

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Yeah, here's what to do.

1.) Buy it and take it home

2.) Update the firmware

3.) Buy Glenn DeLaune's Helix patches

4.) Configure global EQ to his settings

5.) Run both XLR from the Helix to a pair of decent quality full range flat response speakers

6.) Play guitar!!

 

As others mentioned above, no ideal sounds to be had in store. Need to do firmware update, that mic setting glitch made everything sound harsh, not right, which has been corrected. Be sure to follow the steps to reset all globals and patches after doing firmware update, before you load Glenn's patches on there..

 

Just my two cents. That's exactly what I did, and it sounds incredible. I am using two L2t speakers, which does make a difference, they rock, but other FRFR options will work. Heck a pair of 5" studio monitors will get you going!

 

^^^ 100% ^^^

 

This advice should be on a 'Quick Start' paper in the Helix box.

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^^^ 100% ^^^

 

This advice should be on a 'Quick Start' paper in the Helix box.

Yeah! :) one quick addendum, go to global settings, tab over to delay, and set patch changes to bottom row and fx to top row, this also corresponds to how Glenn's presets are configured. It defaults to eight patch changes, and his patches are designed in the four x four mode. Just realized that today!

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Yeah! :) one quick addendum, go to global settings, tab over to delay, and set patch changes to bottom row and fx to top row, this also corresponds to how Glenn's presets are configured. It defaults to eight patch changes, and his patches are designed in the four x four mode. Just realized that today!

 

Or... go to 10-button mode. Way cool. With 10 different things (or even groups of things) to turn on and off... you might be able to make one patch do the work of 2 or 3 or more.

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I also have run through all of the Line 6 modeler's, AX212, to Pod XT, X3 Live, HD500 and HD500x and Helix.  I found the HELIX immediately had better feel and the amps were much more responsive to guitar and playing style.  The only thing that is still a little elusive for me is a good acoustic sound using a JTV Variax.  I had a good one dialed in on the HD500X but for whatever reason haven't been able to dial it in on the HELIX yet.

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I love Glenn's patches for Helix!!!  Only did a little tweaking for my own usage.

Love the Mik Mars preset!!!

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I also have run through all of the Line 6 modeler's, AX212, to Pod XT, X3 Live, HD500 and HD500x and Helix.  I found the HELIX immediately had better feel and the amps were much more responsive to guitar and playing style.  The only thing that is still a little elusive for me is a good acoustic sound using a JTV Variax.  I had a good one dialed in on the HD500X but for whatever reason haven't been able to dial it in on the HELIX yet.

 

Try one of those Taylor IRs floating around. but don't set the mix at 100% with Variax, you might not need it all.

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1XgNa5vH3j1ZkVoTFJLQ241WTg/view

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I feel effects and AMPS are vastly improved. It just takes tweaking and time. And coup,e irs I bought are incredible.

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Rather than mess around trying it in the shop again I've taken the plunge and bought the Helix. Now we will see whether I become a convert or end up with buyers remorse!

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Rather than mess around trying it in the shop again I've taken the plunge and bought the Helix. Now we will see whether I become a convert or end up with buyers remorse!

 

I doubt you'll regret it :)

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Yeah, here's what to do.

1.) Buy it and take it home

2.) Update the firmware

3.) Buy Glenn DeLaune's Helix patches

4.) Configure global EQ to his settings

5.) Run both XLR from the Helix to a pair of decent quality full range flat response speakers

6.) Play guitar!!

 

As others mentioned above, no ideal sounds to be had in store. Need to do firmware update, that mic setting glitch made everything sound harsh, not right, which has been corrected. Be sure to follow the steps to reset all globals and patches after doing firmware update, before you load Glenn's patches on there..

 

Just my two cents. That's exactly what I did, and it sounds incredible. I am using two L2t speakers, which does make a difference, they rock, but other FRFR options will work. Heck a pair of 5" studio monitors will get you going!

I got the patches wheres the settings for the eq?

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I've had my Helix for five days now.

I pre ordered it after trying in-store at one of Paul Hindmarsh's live demos.

 

Actually, in the shop with Paul playing (and me having a play through it) the Helix sounded good, but noting to write home about.

I bought one because of the online videos I'd seen. A bit of a leap of faith really.

 

Anyway, now I have mine at home and have had a few days to work with it, I can assure you it sounds pretty fantastic!

 

Just today I attempted to dail in the tone of my 1970 Vox AC30 top boost, the best amp I have ever played.

The Helix pretty much nailed it! A very good sign, and one that fills me full of confidence going forward.

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I got the patches wheres the settings for the eq?

 

If you're referring to Glenn's EQ settings, I'd like to know the same.

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If you're referring to Glenn's EQ settings, I'd like to know the same.

I'm wondering the same thing. I bought the patches yesterday. They are amazing, but I had to manually change all of the amp models to remove the cabs since I'm using Helix with 4cm. It's interesting because his video said that they sounded great in any setup including 4cm and the front of an amp. Running a simulated cab into a 412 just doesn't sound right to me.

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the only ones I found are in the txt file in the gillmore down load

 

this is it:

Thank you so much for your support.
 
My Global EQ settings are as follows:
 
Low Gain, Mid Gain and High Gain are ALL set to Zero
I use the Low Cut set at 90Hz

I use the High Cut set at 6.0 Hz 

........................

 

they don't effect the L6 link

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Just throwing this out there.... In the shop isn't really a great place to be impressed with anything. Guitar Center, and most other music stores have so many shredders right next to you, that you can't really hear what's going on with what you're trying out, and the typical sales people don't often know enough about a new tech piece of gear to be much help.

 

If you plug this thing into what ever guitar amp they have there at the moment, it probably won't sound to great. At the very least, if you're going to limit it to an in-store demo, plug some decent head phones into it instead, then try the stock patches...

 

I got mine, and found I had to flatten the response of my speaker with the Global EQ to try to get closer to what I was hearing through the headphones before it made me smile. I had to live with it for a bit before the light came on. My culprit was my speaker -- found it was full range, but not flat response -- made all the difference in the world for me.

 

My 2 cent's worth.

 

Dave

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How did you flatten the response of your speaker with the Global EQ? Really interested in trying this, thank you.

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Not scientific at all... I listened with my Sennhiser (sp?) headphones, not top of the line, but they sound pretty good. Then found my passive Yorkville monitor sounded rather harsh by comparison. I put my headphones to monitor the XLR, and assigned the global eq only to the 1/4" outputs that I send to my Quilter Tone Block 200 amp,then the Yorkville. I could then compare the speaker with eq to the tone going to FOH via the XLR.

 

I felt the harshness was in the mids, so set the Q of the global eq high and gain high to find the frequency where it sounded the worst. Then started cutting the gain of that frequency down. I ended up cutting the gain at about 2.6 kHz to -8 dB and varied the Q until it was more pleasing, ended up Q=1.7, I think. Also used -3dB and about Q=1.6 to take some boxiness out of the Vox models at 330 Hz... It will vary depending on your speaker. I wish I had an RTA, Real Time Analyzer to get it better, but don't. I did pick up an Alto T112, I think it is used, and found I didn't need to use the global eq with it, but when I used it live found my signal was washed out, need to boost the mids in my presets, but was probably over compensating for my Yorkville. Need to revisit that. Went back to the Yorkville until I can sort that out. Work in progress...

 

Dave

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How did you flatten the response of your speaker with the Global EQ? Really interested in trying this, thank you.

 

 

imho, you don't. You simply dial out the frequencies that are making the room sound bad. You do this by ear.

 

DO NOT use the global EQ to make your patches sound better, or else you won't have it available to do its job once you're in the club. Leave it alone until performance time.

 

DO use a parametric EQ if you must to make your patch sound better, but before you do this, consider that the amp is not set the way it should be, or you are using the wrong amp model or cab model or both for the sound you are going for.

 

I always try and "fix" the sound at the source, the amp model, the cab, the high and low cuts in the cab, the mic on the cab (honestly, 90% of of my tone tweaking once I have my amp set up is low cut, high cut, mic choice --I use the built-in cabs so I can do this--, as well as mic distance and early reflection).

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What are your typical  high and low cuts in the cab/ IR Peter?

I ask this because I have just bought a DXR10 and seem to need / want a lot more cutting than I did with my Audio Technica MX50s sp very interested in what other people are cutting to.

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imho, you don't. You simply dial out the frequencies that are making the room sound bad. You do this by ear.

 

DO NOT use the global EQ to make your patches sound better, or else you won't have it available to do its job once you're in the club. Leave it alone until performance time.

 

DO use a parametric EQ if you must to make your patch sound better, but before you do this, consider that the amp is not set the way it should be, or you are using the wrong amp model or cab model or both for the sound you are going for.

 

I always try and "fix" the sound at the source, the amp model, the cab, the high and low cuts in the cab, the mic on the cab (honestly, 90% of of my tone tweaking once I have my amp set up is low cut, high cut, mic choice --I use the built-in cabs so I can do this--, as well as mic distance and early reflection).

Well, in my case, the Yorkville NX35 was the culprit, not the room -- good sounding speaker, but designed as a PA speaker - passive, to emphasize the vocal range that sits in the mids. With guitar amp models also being mid heavy, I found those frequencies doubled up in this speaker.

 

With distortion, it could very harsh and unpleasing. Sounded NOTHING like all the wonderful demos on L6, the You Tube vids, or when I recorded via USB to my DAW. Had to take some of that away. If I adjusted my presets to sound good in my stage setup, the signal to the FOH sounded dead. I tried to make my stage speaker - the Yorkville and amp - have a Crown XLS1000 and Quilter Tone Block 200, so that the stage represented mostly the same. When I dialed my presets so my stage mix sounds good, it sounds like crap to the main FOH. Once I global EQ'ed my stage setup - specifically the speaker, the FOH guys love my UN-EQ'ed XLR FOH signal sent at mic level to their board.

 

I am 6'6" so always put my stage guitar monitor on a pole pointed at me. I tried for years to have the monitor on the floor, but found most of the signal hits me around the waist, I kept creeping up my stage volume so I could hear myself over the drums, etc. Became a stage volume issue. Once I put it on the pole, I was able to control overall stage volume better. (Just wish I could put a volume control on the drummer, but different story...)

 

As I mentioned in my last post, I did pick up a used Alto TS112A self powered speaker. I was surprised how good it sounded without global EQ. Really didn't need to do anything to the presets, and comparing the (sucky ;) ) factory presets to the demos I've heard of them.

 

Tried the Alto at a gig on the floor - same problem for usual for me, was blasting and couldn't hear as well. The next gig I put it on the pole, but found an weakness of mids wasn't cutting through - not like how good it sounded at home (common problem when setting up sounds, I know). I had been adjusting & living with the Yorkville so long that had I come to get the sounds dialed in for it, so even with my global EQ adjustments it has more mids than the flatter Alto. I would need to bring up the mid ranges I had been cutting in amp models a touch in my presets.

 

What I'd like to do is adjust the global EQ for the Yorkville flatten it better, so I could use either with no preset adjustments. Would like to get my hands on an RTA and reference mic for that, but $$$.... When it was on the floor, the Alto did get boomy from bass coupling just like any speaker, so I did use the global EQ to do a bass cut, and it was better. With it on the pole, did not have this issue, of course. Had I been thinking, I would have tried a global mid boost - would have had to try it on the fly for the night -  had other things on my mind at that point, like playing songs & stuff.

 

When I do close monitoring with my stage rig, I've found I rarely need to change global EQ for the room, I have, but it is pretty rare. The Alto self-powered is some heavier than the Yorkville that is a NEO 12" 2-way. I was very surprised it was not as flat as I had expected it to be.... It is rugged and when I have it dialed in, sounds good. I have listened to a mixer with my presets via headphones and it could use a touch more mids, so I may have some twiddling to do.

 

The thing is, that each piece of the puzzle does have a real affect, so I have adapted my practice to my needs. The specific piece of equipment anybody has is not likely to be the same as everyone else has to work with. I've been chasing the issue pretty much since when I realized my Fender amp mic'ed up did not sound good out front when it sounded great on stage. the audience was NOT hearing what I was hearing.... I've tried numerous amp and speaker combinations since switching to modeling around 2005 with the XTLive, and made the progression through the POD's and Variaxes along the way.

 

Dave

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Rather than mess around trying it in the shop again I've taken the plunge and bought the Helix. Now we will see whether I become a convert or end up with buyers remorse!

 

 

Well now, the question is did you have Buyers Remorse with Helix or did you like Helix after all and will be willing to mark the thread as resolved due to an operator unfamiliarity?

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