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I'm back! Sold my AXEFX and bought a Helix


theweirdguy
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Hello everyone once again!

 

Oh well its been a crazy ride,  I bought a line 6 Pod 500X  and thought ie was "semi professional"  and sold it....

 

Then I bought a AXEFX II XL   and thought it was a labyrinth of software and the learning curve was way over kill.. Plus the sound quality of the AXEFX wasn't worth me locking myself up into a room for two months to learn how to master its use.... sold that AXEFX immediately

 

Okay just bough the Helix! It will arrive in a week....

 

I have a plan of how to use it...

During this time I purchased a couple of 100% handmade OUTSTANDING italian boutique tube amps.. I have been playing guitar for 47 years and I never heard an amp as responsive as these italian amps.. they are called "Mezzabarba" check them out when you get a chance.. so why do I need a Helix?  Well I dont want to carry my huge stage rig around anymore and scale down my stage rig....  I will be using two 100 watt italian tube amps and the Helix will be the control center and effects.... using the 4 cable method (plus one extra for stereo) 

 

And if I like any of the presets in the Helix I will keep them as add on patches.. I am very very excited about the week to come!!!!!  I will be asking for your help brothers... thanks for being there!

AJ 2016 Tour Rıg Stereo.pdf

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Good luck!  I am also using 4 cable method with my Helix and my Mesa Boogie.  For smaller gigs or rehearsals I use the Helix alone.  I recommend you get the Helix official Bag, makes it a lot easier to carry and has plenty of space for other goodies. With the exception of a few bugs, I am very happy with this new toy.

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Thank you for your replies dear friends.... I hate pedals, and try to use as little as possible.. I am tired of carrying a rack of effects so the Helix will save me lugging around refrigerator sized racks...    I will put up a video when I get mine next week stay tuned...!!!

 

I will need your guidence, thanks again!

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Hello everyone once again!

 

Oh well its been a crazy ride, I bought a line 6 Pod 500X and thought ie was "semi professional" and sold it....

 

Then I bought a AXEFX II XL and thought it was a labyrinth of software and the learning curve was way over kill.. Plus the sound quality of the AXEFX wasn't worth me locking myself up into a room for two months to learn how to master its use.... sold that AXEFX immediately

 

Okay just bough the Helix! It will arrive in a week....

 

I have a plan of how to use it...

During this time I purchased a couple of 100% handmade OUTSTANDING italian boutique tube amps.. I have been playing guitar for 47 years and I never heard an amp as responsive as these italian amps.. they are called "Mezzabarba" check them out when you get a chance.. so why do I need a Helix? Well I dont want to carry my huge stage rig around anymore and scale down my stage rig.... I will be using two 100 watt italian tube amps and the Helix will be the control center and effects.... using the 4 cable method (plus one extra for stereo)

 

And if I like any of the presets in the Helix I will keep them as add on patches.. I am very very excited about the week to come!!!!! I will be asking for your help brothers... thanks for being there!

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Hello everyone once again!

 

Oh well its been a crazy ride, I bought a line 6 Pod 500X and thought ie was "semi professional" and sold it....

 

Then I bought a AXEFX II XL and thought it was a labyrinth of software and the learning curve was way over kill.. Plus the sound quality of the AXEFX wasn't worth me locking myself up into a room for two months to learn how to master its use.... sold that AXEFX immediately

 

Okay just bough the Helix! It will arrive in a week....

 

I have a plan of how to use it...

During this time I purchased a couple of 100% handmade OUTSTANDING italian boutique tube amps.. I have been playing guitar for 47 years and I never heard an amp as responsive as these italian amps.. they are called "Mezzabarba" check them out when you get a chance.. so why do I need a Helix? Well I dont want to carry my huge stage rig around anymore and scale down my stage rig.... I will be using two 100 watt italian tube amps and the Helix will be the control center and effects.... using the 4 cable method (plus one extra for stereo)

 

And if I like any of the presets in the Helix I will keep them as add on patches.. I am very very excited about the week to come!!!!! I will be asking for your help brothers... thanks for being there!

You have a great taste! I'm Italian and mezzabarba are the finest hi level italian amps

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You have a great taste! I'm Italian and mezzabarba are the finest hi level italian amps

 

In my over 47 years of profession playing I have never used an amp as spectacular as the beautiful 100% Handmade MEZZABARBA amp.. They are wonderful amps and I thought I would never use the words "the best" but with the Mezzabarba amps that is exactly what they are.... they should be killer with the Helix.. I cant wait to hear them together

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In my over 47 years of profession playing I have never used an amp as spectacular as the beautiful 100% Handmade MEZZABARBA amp.. They are wonderful amps and I thought I would never use the words "the best" but with the Mezzabarba amps that is exactly what they are.... they should be killer with the Helix.. I cant wait to hear them together

I hope so.

I think you will use mostly all modulation effects delays and reverb, Helix univibe is a perfect replica for example (i love it), Choruses are very nice also Electric Mistress is very close to the real one.

distortions i like the last two they added, Timmy and KWB (that is my favourite) because they aren't midragey like TS808, TS9.

I don't like fuzzes and this is my idea if you will vote.

http://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Add-less-extreme-sounding-fuzzes/800313-23508

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Just one question

Why the external

MIDI controller?

 

good question, There is an rather involved answer

 

Two reasons....

 

A) I want 3 rows of 5 preset switches, for a total of 15 instant presets at my feet... the Helix offers 4 sets per bank with only two banks, this  is too few for my style of music where I use many different textures my performances. Because I am a very active player running around on stage during our shows the last thing I want to do is scroll through Banks.... I want all I need right there at my feet, tap one switch and I'm done... "for me" The foot control should be the last thing I think about....  I hate scrolling banks on stage.... My Rocktron "Midi Raider"  foot control has 15 instant preset switches. Thats all I need for a 2 hour show.. the 8 instant presets on the Helix face is not enough... I do not want to be scrolling on stage.... the winning formula is "keep it simple"....  one click and its done... and with the extra foot control I have 15 instant presets to click with one tap without scrolling... thats double what the helix offers before tap dancing..

 

 

B) The second reason and to be very honest with you it is out of fear.... coming from past experiences with Yamaha gear...

Let me ask you, have you ever seen any "vintage" Yamaha amps?  No you haven't seen any because there are none..    why?

Because they disintegrate as time goes by time, first their switches rust and lock up, then they slowly turn into dust.... Every Yamaha amp I have ever owned started off great, shiney new, sounded wonderful, all the switches worked, Everything was absolutely perfect for about two years..... then the switches started getting scratchy and failing, contact cleaner and electronic oils  keep it going for another year then the entire amp rotted in front of my eyes...  Yamaha makes great amps that last 3 years tops...then they turn to dust... Now I want you to take a long had look at the joystick on the helix :)   I am not foolish enough to put the helix on the floor and let the dust, dirt sweat and beer get on it.... that Joystick will be the first thing to go.. "mark my words"...

So I will use the helix not on the floor but elevated on a music stand off to my right so I can see everything at eye level, I will also wrap the Helix with "stretch wrap" so no humidity or dust gets into it....( I dont need the expression pedal just reliability)     It will stay shiney new until a sell it 2 years later when Line 6 comes out with the Helix2

The area where I live and perform "The Aegean Riviera" is very humid, very hot, and very dusty..... it eats all gear. I play over 250 shows a year and gear reliability is first priority... I am not a bedroom guitarist and live on the road in the field and basically gig every day.... I have been playing guitar professionally for 47 years... I've seen it all, heard all the claims, heard all the hype, then saw gear that I paid hard earned money for lock up from internal rust and then rot and turn to dust.   I will baby my helix, wrap her up in saran wrap, (with pin holes to avoid condensation) and keep her on a music stand at "eye level"... all footswitching will be done with a battle tank reliable combat loving Rocktron 15 switch Midi Raider Footswitch.

 

You ask me then "why didnt I buy the rack mount version?" 

Well wasn't the whole idea to stop lugging heavy racks around?  I mean Racks are great when your in your 20's, 30's, and 40's, I'm in my 60's  and thank God I've been around long enough to see the digital FX and modeling get to a level where its usable professionally on stage and be so light weight... I will just carry the Helix under my arm in a specially padded carrying bag and thats it "keep it simple"  the only time I will put the Helix on the floor is at home when I futz around with it...

 

I bought the Helix because of all the obvious "pro thought" that went into its design.... It was designed by guys who "used to gig for a living and still play today" they included a "midi in" jack on that unit for a reason :) they knew what would eventually happen :)  heee heee  heee 

 

Yamaha is a huge manufacturing giant, their software is top notch, and design staff are excellent, but when it comes down to calculating production costs "like all manufacturing giants" they sit down and source out the most economical parts they can find that will do the job... 

In my book I look at all the Yamaha electronic amp gear taken into the combat zone of pro-touring in humid hot conditions to have a trouble free life span of 2 years... then switches start to go.... Lets hope that the Helix is different.... :) :)  :)  but in the mean time I will pamper it like a baby and sell it 2 years later and get the new one..... 

 

Thats why I use an extra foot control in my setup...

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Thanks for the answer :) Funny Every Yamaha thing I've ever bought has been epically reliable (apart from their amps but then there weren't a lot of them) This is still a line 6 product but your concerns are duly noted

I know what you are saying about access to patches without scrolling. I only hope you aren't planning to change any of them mid song...

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Yes I've heard about the latency issue of the Helix,  but I will use the old time tested technique of "hand editing"  and create some fretboard sounds and just find way to time it so it doesn't sound too bad.. lets me ask you is there "spillover" on the delays on the helix between patches? That could save the day with the latency issue..

 

Only God is perfect so the Helix is bound to screw up here and there...I don't seek perfection.. just usability in "reel time" and reliability...

 

As far as this being a line 6 product, don't kid yourself....

The R+D is line 6 yes.... but the manufacturing is Yamaha...  "think three years max on the road for amps etc"

 

My Helix is for sale january 2018,

If we are all still here...

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there is no spillover which is why I mention it. It completely cuts the signal so basically you have to work it into a gap in the song.How long it cuts for depends on how big the patch is but you should be aware of it. I certainly wouldn't like to do it in between songs.For me I build patches that have 3 basic tones . Clean crunchy and filthy and work my effects around that core but I only change patches when I have a gap

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I bought the Helix because of all the obvious "pro thought" that went into its design.... It was designed by guys who "used to gig for a living and still play today" they included a "midi in" jack on that unit for a reason.

Members of Team Helix still gig for a living—it's just that since music-as-a-profession has been largely marginalized (piracy, minuscule streaming payouts, spacebar DJs as rock stars, etc.), we all need day jobs as well. A bunch of well-known bands still have to work between tours and recording.

 

But yes, MIDI in and out on Helix was never in question. :)

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good question, There is an rather involved answer

 

Two reasons....

 

A) I want 3 rows of 5 preset switches, for a total of 15 instant presets at my feet... the Helix offers 4 sets per bank with only two banks, this is too few for my style of music where I use many different textures my performances. Because I am a very active player running around on stage during our shows the last thing I want to do is scroll through Banks.... I want all I need right there at my feet, tap one switch and I'm done... "for me" The foot control should be the last thing I think about.... I hate scrolling banks on stage.... My Rocktron "Midi Raider" foot control has 15 instant preset switches. Thats all I need for a 2 hour show.. the 8 instant presets on the Helix face is not enough... I do not want to be scrolling on stage.... the winning formula is "keep it simple".... one click and its done... and with the extra foot control I have 15 instant presets to click with one tap without scrolling... thats double what the helix offers before tap dancing..

 

 

B) The second reason and to be very honest with you it is out of fear.... coming from past experiences with Yamaha gear...

Let me ask you, have you ever seen any "vintage" Yamaha amps? No you haven't seen any because there are none.. why?

Because they disintegrate as time goes by time, first their switches rust and lock up, then they slowly turn into dust.... Every Yamaha amp I have ever owned started off great, shiney new, sounded wonderful, all the switches worked, Everything was absolutely perfect for about two years..... then the switches started getting scratchy and failing, contact cleaner and electronic oils keep it going for another year then the entire amp rotted in front of my eyes... Yamaha makes great amps that last 3 years tops...then they turn to dust... Now I want you to take a long had look at the joystick on the helix :) I am not foolish enough to put the helix on the floor and let the dust, dirt sweat and beer get on it.... that Joystick will be the first thing to go.. "mark my words"...

So I will use the helix not on the floor but elevated on a music stand off to my right so I can see everything at eye level, I will also wrap the Helix with "stretch wrap" so no humidity or dust gets into it....( I dont need the expression pedal just reliability) It will stay shiney new until a sell it 2 years later when Line 6 comes out with the Helix2

The area where I live and perform "The Aegean Riviera" is very humid, very hot, and very dusty..... it eats all gear. I play over 250 shows a year and gear reliability is first priority... I am not a bedroom guitarist and live on the road in the field and basically gig every day.... I have been playing guitar professionally for 47 years... I've seen it all, heard all the claims, heard all the hype, then saw gear that I paid hard earned money for lock up from internal rust and then rot and turn to dust. I will baby my helix, wrap her up in saran wrap, (with pin holes to avoid condensation) and keep her on a music stand at "eye level"... all footswitching will be done with a battle tank reliable combat loving Rocktron 15 switch Midi Raider Footswitch.

 

You ask me then "why didnt I buy the rack mount version?"

Well wasn't the whole idea to stop lugging heavy racks around? I mean Racks are great when your in your 20's, 30's, and 40's, I'm in my 60's and thank God I've been around long enough to see the digital FX and modeling get to a level where its usable professionally on stage and be so light weight... I will just carry the Helix under my arm in a specially padded carrying bag and thats it "keep it simple" the only time I will put the Helix on the floor is at home when I futz around with it...

 

I bought the Helix because of all the obvious "pro thought" that went into its design.... It was designed by guys who "used to gig for a living and still play today" they included a "midi in" jack on that unit for a reason :) they knew what would eventually happen :) heee heee heee

 

Yamaha is a huge manufacturing giant, their software is top notch, and design staff are excellent, but when it comes down to calculating production costs "like all manufacturing giants" they sit down and source out the most economical parts they can find that will do the job...

In my book I look at all the Yamaha electronic amp gear taken into the combat zone of pro-touring in humid hot conditions to have a trouble free life span of 2 years... then switches start to go.... Lets hope that the Helix is different.... :) :) :) but in the mean time I will pamper it like a baby and sell it 2 years later and get the new one.....

 

Thats why I use an extra foot control in my setup...

Aegean Riviera? Where are you from?
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Members of Team Helix still gig for a living—it's just that since music-as-a-profession has been largely marginalized (piracy, minuscule streaming payouts, spacebar DJs as rock stars, etc.), we all need day jobs as well. A bunch of well-known bands still have to work between tours and recording.

 

But yes, MIDI in and out on Helix was never in question. :)

Don't feel too bad. Baseball great Henry Aaron worked in a sheet metal factory during the off season for while before he got paid better. He turned out OK. Now, get back to work before Yamaha puts the lash to you! :) 

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Yamaha is a huge manufacturing giant, their software is top notch, and design staff are excellent, but when it comes down to calculating production costs "like all manufacturing giants" they sit down and source out the most economical parts they can find that will do the job... 

 

Hey, folks. Yamaha owns Line 6, they are not the same company. Helix might not even be manufactured in their facilities for all we know... When Yamaha owns someone (like they used to own Korg) they don't necessarily come in and take over everything.

 

My experience with L6's reliability on POD, XT Pro (and floorboard for both of them), then through X3Live, M13, DL4, HD 500 (for almost 6 years now) and now Helix is great. I had a minor problem with my JTV Variax that I had for a year. They took care of it instantaneously at their cost.

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I've got to say I'm still reeling at the idea of Yamaha being considered unreliable!

I still see tons of studios and live installations with 02rs in them

The guitars are epic. I've got an SA2200 that (with a change of pickups) is arguably the best thing I own (and I have 60 plus high end guitars) I've used the Motif Synths the Sy synths the DX line. The i88x and 01x audio recording kit, the MSP monitors. The DG and AG stomp. My piano is a Clavinova I can't actually recall ever buying a bad Yamaha product or indeed one ever breaking on me

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Aegean Riviera? Where are you from?

 

That area includes the lovely Greek islands and the famous Turquoise Coast of Turkey ....

 

I grew up in New York, starred in a off broadway Musical as Jimi Hendrix in 1979 :) 

 

After a twist a fate took to Turkiye I loved the low crime, great weather, nice warm people, CLEAN NATURAL FOOD and I saw that all my friend back home in the USA were dying like flies from cancer I figured I'd hang out a while.. met s sweet gal had a kid etc.....  The world is a big place lots of cool places to check out... A guitarist never goes hungry... just open up your guitar case and start playing on the street :) you will make you dinner money and probably met a sweet lady whose house you stay over :)  "its a rock and roll life" :)  I'm an old fart now but I still rock 

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I've got to say I'm still reeling at the idea of Yamaha being considered unreliable!

I still see tons of studios and live installations with 02rs in them

The guitars are epic. I've got an SA2200 that (with a change of pickups) is arguably the best thing I own (and I have 60 plus high end guitars) I've used the Motif Synths the Sy synths the DX line. The i88x and 01x audio recording kit, the MSP monitors. The DG and AG stomp. My piano is a Clavinova I can't actually recall ever buying a bad Yamaha product or indeed one ever breaking on me

 

Brother if you read what I wrote carefully you will see that I wrote "Amps".... yamaha Guitars , pianos, keyboards, are fine but their older amps just rot on the road.. so When I buy a Yamaha amp or related product I figure 2 or 3 years then its a liability on the road so now I accept that reality when I buy them and just sell them when the time comes before they self destruct.

 

Also again if you read carefully where I use my gear is one of the most humid hot and dusty places on earth... its not a climate controlled studio where gear lasts forever ... so I have my own past experience to draw upon..."I've learned my lesson" :)   I am not saying Yamaha sucks, (or else why would I buy a Helix???)

 

I'm just saying I will baby it and sell it in two years...."while it still works" :)

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That area includes the lovely Greek islands and the famous Turquoise Coast of Turkey ....

 

I grew up in New York, starred in a off broadway Musical as Jimi Hendrix in 1979 :)

 

After a twist a fate took to Turkiye I loved the low crime, great weather, nice warm people, CLEAN NATURAL FOOD and I saw that all my friend back home in the USA were dying like flies from cancer I figured I'd hang out a while.. met s sweet gal had a kid etc..... The world is a big place lots of cool places to check out... A guitarist never goes hungry... just open up your guitar case and start playing on the street :) you will make you dinner money and probably met a sweet lady whose house you stay over :) "its a rock and roll life" :) I'm an old fart now but I still rock

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9XEtAdO08w

Aaah! Now I understand.

good food? I'm Italian here we have great food, famous and (sadly) copied in all the world.

We invented slow food.

Anyway I have been in Turkey twice for working and I've visited already 3 Greek island.

Turkish and Greek food is similar and both delicious.

 

Olive oil cheese a lot of salads and vegetables and a little of red wine these are the secrets for a long healthy life.

I love greek islands.

Have you never been in Italy?

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Brother if you read what I wrote carefully you will see that I wrote "Amps".... yamaha Guitars , pianos, keyboards, are fine but their older amps just rot on the road.. so When I buy a Yamaha amp or related product I figure 2 or 3 years then its a liability on the road so now I accept that reality when I buy them and just sell them when the time comes before they self destruct.

 

Also again if you read carefully where I use my gear is one of the most humid hot and dusty places on earth... its not a climate controlled studio where gear lasts forever ... so I have my own past experience to draw upon..."I've learned my lesson" :) I am not saying Yamaha sucks, (or else why would I buy a Helix???)

 

I'm just saying I will baby it and sell it in two years...."while it still works" :)

I saw you talking about AMPS but I got a little confused as I don't really consider the Helix an Amp

It's an FX unit to me. I mean you yourself are running it into two AMPS so I thought you were using the amps as an illustration but broadening to things like FX units

Not to beat this to death but a Line 6 effects unit is about as far from an old Yamaha amp as a Segway is to a Lancia Delta

Hence my confusion

Anyway whatever works for you matey

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While there have been a few bugs in a few here in the early days, I doubt seriously that the Helix will just start falling apart after a few years. You don't have nearly the amount of heat that an amp has, and I've found that all my Line 6 non "pro grade" products have held up well even on the road. Helix build of course seems to be a step up in ruggedness and build quality over those.

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Not to beat this to death but a Line 6 effects unit is about as far from an old Yamaha amp as a Segway is to a Lancia Delta

 

 

Yes .. "but" they are built by the same manufacturer with the same mindset... I am not yamaha bashing but I have my past experiences  to draw upon... hence my fear...

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While there have been a few bugs in a few here in the early days, I doubt seriously that the Helix will just start falling apart after a few years. You don't have nearly the amount of heat that an amp has, and I've found that all my Line 6 non "pro grade" products have held up well even on the road. Helix build of course seems to be a step up in ruggedness and build quality over those.

 

Yes and no,  100 degree heat, 95% humidity, "night time humidity drizzle from the salty aegean Sea that would rot a harley davidson etc"   the conditions under which I play are torment,ng to gear....  its not a normal gig.. it is 265 back to back abnormal gigs... You gentleman don't understand the extreme conditions under which we work here... so I don't blame you for thinking that..

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yes :)  but the old Fender maps and marshal amps from the 60's are still going strong ....

 

I am using Italian MEZZABARABA amps now.. point to point wiring  no circuit boards I'm set for the next 30 years.... 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Oh well :(

I finally got Helix this week..

Played it for two days.... and sold it today,

I had some transparency issues with it and the tone of my tube amp together...

I am now demoralized :(

 

The fact that I didnt care for the amp modeling tones didnt phase me because that was not how I planned to use it.... I have included the graph on my first post of how I planned to use it ( just for the effects and control) .... But when I used it in the 4 cable method it drastically changed the multi timbral harmonic complexity on my boutique tube amps..

 

When the amp was in the Helix loop the Helix really took away the breath of the amp... and the "air was gone it sounded flat"....

 

Guitar into to Helix guitar in put,,

Helix effects send 1 to Tube amp input,

Amp FX send to Helix FX return 1

Helix mono out 1/4 jack to FX return on tube amp..

 

Sounded flat...

I took off all the effects, no nothing just dry through the Helix and it sounded dull... I dont want to use added EQ in the helix to prop up the sound... the amp should sound like the amp the Helix should be 100% transparent..

 

Possible explanations::

 

Bad Jacks::  replaced them all

Guitar Ä°nput gain :::tried every setting with the pad and -20 db to +4db it was all the same

Tried different USÄ°NG loops:: 1,2,3,4 all the same,

yes I had removed the amps and cabs in the patch,

The chain was I had a compressor for use first but it was turned off , then a valve distortion "ready to be used as a clean boost gain on 2.5" but turned off  then a sen/return loop block, then a simple echo and plate reverb ... "all FX were turned off"... when I used this (when the amp was in the loop it sounded flat)....

tried adjusting send and return levels nothing changed...  turned up the "dry through" signal and again sounded dull....

My tube amp has a parallel FX loop with a mix control.. first I set it to totally wet (series style) sounded flat then increased the dry signal of the amp still the FX's sounded dull... not blatantly dull but to my ears "the magic was gone"   I think the analog to digital converters in the effects loops are the culprits....

 

Anyway I have been watching Helix Demos on youtube 2 hours a day for like 6 months and this was a big letdown for me I had high hopes for this unit... I'll try the next version when it comes out .... the unit is not bad but with the 4 cable method my amps lost their magic... and frankly I am very tired of futzing around with gear.. I just want to simply play guitar for a while this whole thing has been very spiritually draining...

 

Another explanation is that I should stay way from digital gear because my brain and my ears seem to be tuned to analog sound.. "but" my number one and number two rigs uses a digitech GSP21 Digital FX and it sounds great in the effects loop of the Marshall JMP1 preamp I use in my first rig ...with the 20/20 stereo marshall power amp .. in my second stage rig it also sounds great in the FX loop of my Mezzabarba italian boutique amp...

so it seems that the digital effects are not the problem in the FX loop of the amps because both my setups have "a parallel FX loops where I can mix a dry pure tube amp signal into the FX loop of both the marshall JMP1 and the Boutique Mezzabarba amp... "Yes I checked for phase cancelling and thats not the problem here" 

 

The problem happens only when I put the tube amp in the effects loop of the Helix, I loose those complex harmonics in the tone that gives it breath! I tried everything and have come to the conclusion that it could possibly be the analog to Digital converters in the Helix....

Its a darn shame cause I had very high hopes for this unit... :(

 

Oh well I am packing it up now I sold it online a few hours ago...:(

 

Shucks man.... oh well back to the drawing board....

So I have learned that to my ears the effects sound better in the loop of the amp instead of putting the amp in the loop of the Helix with the 4 cable method...

Hope to catch everyone next time...

thank you for your suggestions and support.. God Bless and stay well...

Awesome John...

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That sucks man.  I plan to use it similar to the way you have it in the diagram, but loading the amp and inserting everything in the loop and straight to my studio monitors.  Hopefully I won't notice the same issues you ran in to...  I'm actually excited to be getting it in 6 days after waiting for a while.

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I think the analog to digital converters in the effects loops are the culprits....

it's extremely unlikely that it is the A/Ds themselves. I think what is probably happening is that the sound you like/are used to is your guitar plugged straight into the front of your amp. This means the passive pickups and cable form a circuit with the preamp directly. Your passive pickups and cable become the load on the preamp, and that is the tone you are used to. Even changing the cable in these conditions can have quite an effect.

 

As soon as you plug your guitar into some powered box first, whether it's a multi-effect or just a stompbox, that interaction between your amp and your guitar has changed since the effects unit is no longer acting as a passive load.

 

So, in my mind, you have some choices:

1) Plug the guitar into the Helix, but choose an input impedance setting on the Helix that gives you the sound you are looking for, or a close approximation.

2) Plug the guitar into the Helix, and use EQ to try to compensate the sound to make it sound like the preamp sound, since you are no longer plugged directly into your preamp.

3) Plug the guitar into your amp as you normally do, then only use effects in your amps effects loop. This is the one most likely to get your sound back, but may limit your flexibility too much.

 

Plus there are options I'm sure I haven't thought of here that others can chime in with.

 

So the short answer is, I don't believe it's the Helix unit exactly that is the problem. It's going from a pure passive load on your preamp, to a powered device. It will change the tone, no matter what the device is.

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Two days!  Been there, done that, then bought the same piece back again later.  It seems like you tried every possible way to make it happen for you, but still - your story is very similar to mine, and before I got it I vowed to give it a chance - use the various combinations, and see what happens for a bit, not just fail to get something you're looking for and not being a little persistent - more combinations of things - I'm still letting it really grow on me for good, or not.  So far, mostly good.  Anyhow, good luck, I didn't hear you talk about G-System, it's pretty bad-lollipop in your configurations - no modeling, only fx.  Low on the number of menus and tweaks (compared to Fractal and Helix).

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That sucks man.  I plan to use it similar to the way you have it in the diagram, but loading the amp and inserting everything in the loop and straight to my studio monitors.  Hopefully I won't notice the same issues you ran in to...  I'm actually excited to be getting it in 6 days after waiting for a while.

 

Please let me know how it turns out for you...

maybe there is an adjustment somewhere that I missed,

Good luck...

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it's extremely unlikely that it is the A/Ds themselves. I think what is probably happening is that the sound you like/are used to is your guitar plugged straight into the front of your amp. This means the passive pickups and cable form a circuit with the preamp directly. Your passive pickups and cable become the load on the preamp, and that is the tone you are used to. Even changing the cable in these conditions can have quite an effect.

 

As soon as you plug your guitar into some powered box first, whether it's a multi-effect or just a stompbox, that interaction between your amp and your guitar has changed since the effects unit is no longer acting as a passive load.

 

So, in my mind, you have some choices:

1) Plug the guitar into the Helix, but choose an input impedance setting on the Helix that gives you the sound you are looking for, or a close approximation.

2) Plug the guitar into the Helix, and use EQ to try to compensate the sound to make it sound like the preamp sound, since you are no longer plugged directly into your preamp.

3) Plug the guitar into your amp as you normally do, then only use effects in your amps effects loop. This is the one most likely to get your sound back, but may limit your flexibility too much.

 

Plus there are options I'm sure I haven't thought of here that others can chime in with.

 

So the short answer is, I don't believe it's the Helix unit exactly that is the problem. It's going from a pure passive load on your preamp, to a powered device. It will change the tone, no matter what the device is.

 

Thank you for your viewpoint which is a very good one.... it makes a lot of sense for sure...  

but the reason I came to the conclusion that I thought this "dulling of the amps tone" in the loop of the Helix was due to the Analog to Digital converters in the Helix is that in my mental  troubleshooting  of trying to find out "why it sounds dull?"  I did have one extra piece of past experience to draw upon that I didn't mention in my previous post...

 

Before I bought this Helix I did own an AXEFX XL II   ,    I was not happy with the AXEFX either for many reasons and sold that unit as well...... but in my evaluation of the AxeFX I did use the 4 cable method in the same manner I mentioned here as I did with the Helix and with the AXEFX it was very transparent and didn't homogenize the amps tone at all when it was in the FX loop of the AXEFX.....     So what you say about the load and cable makes sense (and thank you for sharing your experience bro) but I used it the same way with the AXE FX and did not have this dulling effect on the amps complex sonic timbre....   And I dont use a cable , I use a wireless.. so it was the same wireless in both units....  

so go figure?  :wacko:  

 

In retrospect The Axefx was a friggen nightmare to use! I hated it! It was like the black monolith of bedroom guitarists who spend weeks tweaking each patch... Yuck! That why the HElix was so attractive to me... it seemed to be designed by guys "who actually gig for a living".... but I think that both these units were basically designed as "amp modelers direct to the board"  first...

and then all of the other possibilities and usable variations were "added on"  as an afterthought...  

Now for guys like me who play over 250 shows a year it is integration with the gear I have and ease of use on stage that is the  selling point for me.... Thats why I bought the Helix :(  

 

I would not use an AXEFX if you put a gun tomy head, I have enough "odds and ends in my life that battle for space in my brains ram"   I am a musician not a scientist and the AXEFX was a lesson in frustration my wife gave me a rub and a beer after I sold it I was that totally burned out by that geek box... but to the AXEFX's credit it had the better more responsive amp modeling tones of the two units and a perfectly clear FX loop when using the four cable method.... am I sorry I sold it? No!!!!!!!!!!!   :blink:   I'm glad that monstrosity is out of my life!  And if I ever bump into the guy who designed it I'm gonna slap him around for funking up my life....

 

As for the Helix,   "sigh"  :( .........   I think their next generation version will be the one I am looking for   :( soooo close to being "the one" yet so far...   

 

So I am at the fork of the road in mylife now, do I become "johhny vintage gear" and slip a disc in my back? Or do I commit to total brain suicide and buy a kemper??? Ä°ts the only one I haven't bought yet.... I am so exhausted .... just thinking about this digital labyrinth devices gives me a headache.... I have forgotten how to play guitar  :lol:

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Two days!  Been there, done that, then bought the same piece back again later.  It seems like you tried every possible way to make it happen for you, but still - your story is very similar to mine, and before I got it I vowed to give it a chance - use the various combinations, and see what happens for a bit, not just fail to get something you're looking for and not being a little persistent - more combinations of things - I'm still letting it really grow on me for good, or not.  So far, mostly good.  Anyhow, good luck, I didn't hear you talk about G-System, it's pretty bad-lollipop in your configurations - no modeling, only fx.  Low on the number of menus and tweaks (compared to Fractal and Helix).

 

 

Yes I also owned the Gsytem sold it in 4 days.. the guy I sold it to sold it in 3 days and cursed me for life, the guy he sold it to tried to run him dow etc... The G system is the most incompatible "you have to do it my way or die trying to do it your way" unit I ever came across....  I cringe when I think about it  :wacko: ....   God help us all , we are all gear possessed  zombies... :ph34r:

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Being the glutton for punishment that I am , I have decided to buy a kemper and try it out too... :blink:  duhhh

Why? What do I have to gain?  Why torment myself with this "Quest of frustration" ?  

 

We are electric guitar players!

We do not make any sense in any way, our whole life don't add up, we are freaks for nature...

We are illogical emotional spaced out old souls trying to find and share that sound in our heads...

But once in a while amongst the kayos of our existence something "clicks" and we enter a "special zone reserved for the most high" and we play our hearts out as people listen and are moved, touched and freaked out all at once.... Thats what I felt when I first saw Jimi....leslie, Johnny, and Carlos... 

Yes we are all a bunch of nuts thats for sure,   it takes one to know one and I think you know what I mean....

Lets keep each other posted of our exploits fellow tone brethren..

God Bless and take care... see you down the line ... Cheers

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Buy the Kemper and profile your own amp, so you will gig with the KPA alone, no amp at all.

Buy a good FRFR monitor or, even better, buy a Red Sound RS LG-12 to work with your KPA.

 

Don't excpect to use the KPA and the Mezzabarba togheter.

 

If you need some more advices with the KPA, join the "Kemper Amp Italia" facebook group, there you''ll find more advices

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There is no sense

You have to admit to yourself you are an analog guy.

So buy some good boutique analog effect to match your great mezzabarba boutique handwired amp.

Forget digital is not for you. :D

 

I wish it were that easy bro...

The digitech stuff sounds spectacular "in the FX loop of the amps"   ....   plus I hate pedals, those cables, the oxidation of the jack ends, the drunk fans tripping on them, the beer being poured on them... its Torture! Remember that I play over 250 shows a year... lots of our fans are drunken Brits and they jump right on stage "with their Beers" .. pedals? a pedal board? No way!  Ä±f you noticed on my original diagram of how I planned to use the Helix I planned to use it on a music stand and hook it up to a Rocktron Midi raider foot pedal which would do the actual stomp switching...The Midi Raider is indestructible  and its the "only thing" on the floor.. its phantom powered through the 7 pin midi cable so there are not a lot of cables on stage.... just one cable one foot control....all the effects are in the rack... it sounds great! and is clean and simple.. the only problem is that it weighs a lot (the rack in the back the map, the Midi Raider is made well so its heavyweight...  I am just trying to get a lighter newer version of what I already have.... so I have no allergy against digital effects.. I prefer multi processors over analog boxes for ease of use...

 

I use a very simple organic tone that is rich and tasty...  the digital effects are in parallel and stay out of the way of the amps tube tone...

This is what I am trying to sound like without dragging around a truckload of gear... 

 

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Buy the Kemper and profile your own amp, so you will gig with the KPA alone, no amp at all.

Buy a good FRFR monitor or, even better, buy a Red Sound RS LG-12 to work with your KPA.

 

Don't excpect to use the KPA and the Mezzabarba togheter.

 

If you need some more advices with the KPA, join the "Kemper Amp Italia" facebook group, there you''ll find more advices

 

 

Thanks for the great advice!!

Yes my hope is to profile the tone I already have.... I posted a video of my sound above... its very organic and simple but harmonically very complex...... on that video I using a marshall jmp1 preamp into a marshall 50 watt combo (FX return just the power stage) 

There are Mezzabarba kemper profiles on the net I ahve seen them and heard them they sound sweet, ...  let me try the Kemper and I will let you know how that turns out.... its a darn Shame the Helix was perfect except for the FX loop dullness that dulled the organic sound of the tube amps in the loop... I am sure they will straighten that out in their future models....

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