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Firehawk 1500 reviews

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Let's here what you think... How does it sound. Does the front side tone sound close if you use xlr outs to FOH? Etc.....

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Got a 1500 Tuesday evening, 2/9/16.  My son plays lead guitar in a band (Sand Creek Soul on FB).  They are a Southern Rock/Blues/Country Band. Im an old washed up Metallica cover band guitar player and even though I bought the amp for my son Jacob, I plan to have fun with it on the side...  hee hee!   

For reference Jacob is using my old Mesa Roadster and an M13 as his present gig-rig which sounds AWESOME together.

 

We picked it up Tuesday afternoon and literally took it straight to band practice.  First thing they did was turn it on and Bluetooth a Brad Paisley song to it, Wrapped Around I think was the name.  Anyway they wanted to check how good it sounded and would it be loud enough for audio before and during breaks at gigs.  It sounded really good, just like in a car or on a home stereo.  The volume is NO concern at all, it gets LOUD and still sounds good there too.

 

Now I'm a little behind the times on the next part, but I will say I was extremely impressed with the tone cloud, tone match and song library...  That s#*!t is about as cool as it gets.  It must be pretty easy to do also as these guys in the band are all 19 or 20 and they had that stuff working like they had used the amp a million times before.

 

They searched the cloud for a tone match to that Paisley song, Jacob hooked up to his strat and adjusted the back track & guitar to even levels and tore into it.  It really did sound just like the guitar in the song..  uber cool....

 

The bass player took his shot next, plugged the bass into it, sounds EXACTLY like a nice bass amp, not a guitar amp acting like a bass amp.  Did the same thing with their Sigma electric acoustic.  It sounded terrific.

 

So, to answer the question above, what do you think?

 

I think this is the most practical guitar "tool" I have ever seen.  In a band situation it hits about every need you could have, but even if your not gigging its still a great piece of hardware. 

 

I think it will make you a better musician.  The bluetooth back track, the tone match, the metronome, the effects & models its all you could ever need or want.

 

I think I wish I had one when I was 19

 

It sounds AWESOME> With some very minor tweaks we got whatever we were looking for in the sound.  My son puts down a spot-on nasty SRV Pride&Joy solos and all and we tweaked around until we got it just how he wanted and literally did a side by side with my boogie and M13 and you could not tell the difference.  If anything the 1500 had a little better sound match to the original recording.  We used the tone cloud and it started the SRV off with a Fender Blackface Verb, Ibanez screamer and something else although I cant remember what it was now.  Anyhoo it wasn't perfect at first or at least not exactly what Jacob wanted but we dialed it in with just some simple treble/mid/bass adjusting.

 

......and yes, I finally got my turn and plugged my JPX6 into it and hit the cloud for some master of puppets.. was BAD A$$!

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oh, as far as I know, they haven't plugged it into the PA yet, was no need to at practice so I cant really say yet how it sounded that way...

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Let's here what you think... How does it sound. Does the front side tone sound close if you use xlr outs to FOH? Etc.....

 

Yeah, +1 to how it plays with sending the modeler signal on to the PA! I am guessing it's line level? Not sure, can it be toggled between line and mic level for the XLR output? Hopeful that is a good to go connection so as to not muck about with using 1/4" from something like Helix, HD500x, etc, vs using XLR from Helix to Fh1500, and XLR from Fh1500 to FOH, mixer, recording, etc.

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Great thanx, let us know how it sounds xlr out to FOH/pa system. Compared to what you here thru the six speaker front..

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Will do, they have a gig Saturday so have some real world with the PA

 

I would imagine it sounds stellar! I have their DT25 and some of their Stagesource speakers, and both are excellent - very different, but quite good. They took the cool look of the DT25/50 and built the FRFR type speaker system inside it - comparable to the Amplifi in terms of configuration, Bluetooth, tone matching, Android app - and merged it with the higher power and expanded routing options of the Stagesource gear, just without the Line6link. I would imagine with all that they have done previously, this new piece will merge well and play nice with PA systems and such.

 

It occured to me that with the FH1500 connected up in stereo to a PA, it's the easiest way to stream music into the PA! Just bluetooth from your phone to the FH1500 and crank that up in the main mix?

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yea that's exactly what the Sand Creek boys did wit it this weekend, sounded great.  Also plugged the guitar into the system same way, stereo out to PA sounded awesome, best his guitar has sounded yet. Only problem he had was the volumes on his presets, they aren't totally transparent yet when he clicks through them.  I think he has his pedal on the short board set at 90% max and 60% min.  So he rolls pedal back selects a preset then rolls it in til its about right, on solos then just rolls it up.  We're gonna work on leveling out though by going in and adjusting then saving so its transparent in the PA.

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Just want to make sure I got this all straight. You ran stereo xlr outs to FOH board? Did you and your son think the tones you set up at home transferred well thru the xlr outs? This just might be the ticket!

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yes, they sounded the same.  My son is actually in Nashville Tennessee this week.  Yesterday they recorded a demo CD with a guy named Jim Furrow down there.  Jim commented to my son that it was the first time he had ever not mic'd an amp to record the guitar for a song.  My son said, that Jim said it sounded great coming out of the 1500FH and going straight into his studio recording equipment.  Then he wanted to know all about the amp, how long it had been out, what all it could do, bla bla bla...  said he was considering buying one for the sudio....

 

They go to another studio today and do the same thing, will pass along what this guy says as well.

 

T

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Just ordered will give full review an two days.. Helix vs FH 1500... Amplify150 vs FH 1500. Stay tuned!

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Just ordered will give full review an two days.. Helix vs FH 1500... Amplify150 vs FH 1500. Stay tuned!

 

nice!! Yeah psyched to test mine out with the guys on Friday, hoping to crank it up with some loud drums and bass with my Helix. Thinking of cool ways to use Helix programming to control the extra 1/4" send to the guitar input to take advantage of the extra speakers! Maybe toggle that send on and off with an FS or use an EXP pedal to control the send level. Might just take the 1/4" out of Helix to not even split out a wet dry, so it's just wet L/wet mono Center /wet R

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Must say, the Firehawk app is really cool, so I am also interested in checking out the Firehawk presets, see how the FH HD models compare to the 500x, Helix, etc. It's also cool they have so many of the random 'legacy' models. I do still remember the X3Live had a lot of cool amps and some FX that went away with the HD series.

 

One thing I can say; it's really, really heavy. Lift carefully! Watch your lower back peeps, this amp is no joke! I did stream some Beatles from Spotify to it at work, and it sounded really nice - wasn't able to crank up or anything, but was super easy to pair up the Bluetooth and turn up the volume

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Well well well, what a pleasant surprise. There is a lot going on with what comes out the front with the 12 inch main, two mid horns and I have to say an a partridge in a ...... Two bass ports on the bottom. Vs my amplifi150 just sonically better, HD amps etc. the FH app is great, lets you assign fx to foot switchs. And you don't have to Bend over or put you helix on a desk to edit. Compared to my helix just easier to dial in great tones or find some already made in the cloud and with the helix you were always in search of mr. good monitor. If there was such a thing? Here's the drawback, ITS HEAVY! Why didn't line 6 put castors on this? Ouch... Next up xlr outs to FOH to see how the front great tone compares to the simulated xlr outs. Which is funny since the front is simulated out per say. Now the better part. The preset switching is way faster than my amplifi 150 and a little faster than changing presets on my helix. Oh, the fbv mkii works with the FH. I have fbv 3 on order.

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They sure don't knock that kind of money off in the UK, I mean it can't be more than a few weeks old

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This was on a different forum. Fh1500 roller case coming soon I guess?

Posted 4 posts up

Do you read the threads lol?

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Ouch! I started this thread! Just decided to post pic here so you don't have to jump back and forth between web sites that's all. I de friend you. Ha ha.

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OK Now you guys are driving me crazy! I've been bitching and moaning about how I can't output my FH floor modeler to an amp, but the FH1500 is the supposed solution? I just bought the FH a month ago! Had I known all this stuff earlier, I would have opted for the FH1500! So typical. McB, you especially have been so helpful on the FH forum. Did you switch to the 1500 as well? Excuse me while I curl up into fetal position, thumb in mouth!

Jim

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No I didn't get the 1500, I'm running firehawk fx into a stagesource LT3 and it sounds very good

I'm getting better with the eq block now and that seems to be the trick to creating natural sounding patches

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i've tried the FH 1500 out in the store a couple times and just had a bummer experience with the external FX loop:

i created 2 patches, both with active external FX loops and ran a delay in the loop. I wanted to see if audio would drop out when switching between patches and it did. Very, very disappointing. would be great to have delay and reverb tails continue uninterrupted when switching patches. This is pretty much a deal breaker for me. Was so close to buying it. Am curious if others have looked into this? Maybe there's a fix?

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I think you'll find in this price rang or even above not much crosses over between presets. The helix has trails with delay and reverb but only within that preset not when you switch presets. I don't run any thing external in the fx loops so I can't help you there all my fx are within each preset.

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i've tried the FH 1500 out in the store a couple times and just had a bummer experience with the external FX loop:

i created 2 patches, both with active external FX loops and ran a delay in the loop. I wanted to see if audio would drop out when switching between patches and it did. Very, very disappointing. would be great to have delay and reverb tails continue uninterrupted when switching patches. This is pretty much a deal breaker for me. Was so close to buying it. Am curious if others have looked into this? Maybe there's a fix?

The FX loop will continue into the next patch as long as the FX loop is on in both patches.

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The FX loop will continue into the next patch as long as the FX loop is on in both patches.

thanks for this info. when i tested this, i detected a brief stutter in the FX loop audio. i was switching patches via the selector knob on the top of the amp. i set both patches to have fx loop engaged, in same location in chain, with same volume parameters.

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How about if you put the delay between the firehawk output and your amp? So that it's the absolute last thing in the signal chain.

I'm not saying it will work but might be worth trying

My bad , it's not possible on the 1500 is it?

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Now that I've been playing this amp for awhile. I've noticed how much better the HD amp/cabs sound than the standard amplify amps on this app. Sooooo, how about it line 6 give us more HD amps etc. this is such a big sounding amp to dumb it down.

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So far so good on first outing. Brought amp to practice modest 12 channel mixer board and mackie mains not sure what kind. Xlr outs are hot had to turn down gain on mixer quite a bit.(line out I guess on fh1500) volume knob is Independent of xlr set volume. Which is great. tone was really close to what came out of front of amp. First used mon/left out than for fun used both xlr outs. Now most all my set up is mono I think. But, it seemed to sound a tad fuller with both xlr's hooked up. Not sure why? Now if your a head phone user the tones you make in your headset with the fh1500 will be totally off from what comes out front and back I have discovered. I use a pretty good frfr headsets. Set all your tones up from what you here from the front playing at the volume you would be in your band. Hate to say this, and I'll probably get hate mail. IMO this fh1500 sounds better and is less tone temperamental than my helix and way easier to navigate with iPad app. This weekend bigger stage better sound system test.....

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First off, thanks to everyone who has left a review. Very helpful! I'm seriously considering the 1500 but I have an important question as a gigging musician...please take a sec to hear/read me out.

1. Say you've set up a bunch of patches all with an output Volume of say, 5. But while you're soundchecking onstage the sound guy says "can you turn down a couple of notches" do I have to now manually go and change EVERY patch? This could be a pain if you set up a patch for every song in your set.

2. is there some sort of "auto save" feature where say I'm playing in patch 1 and I realize mid song that I'm a little loud so I decide to turn the master down on the amp (like you would with a "traditional" amp) will it remember that volume setting if I switch to Patch 2 then back to Patch 1? Again, like a traditional amp? It would be impossible to save via the app on the fly. Any input on this would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Yes if you turn the master volume on top of amp down let's say one click or one light lower it stays there for every preset. Also when you turn your fh1500 back on it remembers where the volume was. Now if your using the xlr outs that's mainly controlled at the board. I set up all my presets so when I change between them as close volume wise as I can get them except for my lead tones or anything else I might need more volume. When I'm play live I use the master volume for how much I need for me and let the FOH sound person deal with the rest thru the xlr out.

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Played out again, did I say this amp is HHEEAAVVYY, ha ha, maybe like twenty times. I now use a roller dolly I got from Home Depot to move it around. But just getting it in the car is a project. Does line6 have supplemental medical, lol.... So Far I have been finding that it transfer to front of house mains and sub pretty darn close. Maybe just a tad trebly if that's a word. Nothing the sound person can't cure. Compared to my ex helix which was bass sonic this amp is pretty good.

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